Sunday, 20 November 2016

50 - All Finished

 My dad bought this bike around '76 or '77. I think it had been around a few owners already, it had been pretty heavily trialled and was never in great condition, always hard to start and oiling plugs. We kept it at my granny's and it was great fun to ride it at the weekends when we were down visiting. Of course as a young 10 year old kid I was more interested in doing jumps and pretending I was Evel Knievel than I was perfecting my trials skills. You'll see too that this was long before the days of health and safety, no such thing as proper trials clothing for kids either !

 When I got a bit older I started to do some observed trials with a workmate. His fathers land was used each year for the Slemish trial so we'd ride around it trying to get some practise in. I fixed the bike up, sorted the engine a bit better and put on new tyres. It didn't do any good, trials was changing in a big way, the bikes where way better and the sections mostly huge steps. There was a pre '65 class with easier sections for the old British stuff but I couldn't ride in it. Instead I had to take the D line along with all the new monoshock bikes. This usually resulted in either me or the bike getting wrecked, but it was always a fun day out.

 Gradually I stopped taking her out and the bike lay in the shed in a pretty forlorn state with a hole in the chain case. 

 I got the incentive to restore it when in Barcelona one year. I saw some beautiful trials bikes in a moto museum and decided that our old bike should look the same. So on and off over the last couple of years the restoration has been taking place and it now looks like this.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

49 - Fitting the exhaust

 I had bought a reproduction pipe from someone in Spain. Quality's not too bad but the bend's not produced as good as the original. Why is it that with all the modern machinery available, that tubing is bent with so many kinks nowadays, but 45 years ago it could be bent nice and smooth ?

 Worst of all when it was tightened into the cylinder head it pulled too far over towards the carburettor to allow the silencer box to be installed. After considering different fixes, I decided to just try bending it with a bit of heat. I got it clamped up with a vee block in the vice and was able to get enough heat into it with just a blowlamp to get it cherry red. Then a good pull made it move a bit. Of course it turned a bit bluey brown but I was able to polish that back out on the polishing mop.

It fits better now, so all's left is to re-weld the bracket lug on the silencer box into it's final position. 

48 - Down from the loft

 So far I have done all the restoration in the upstairs loft of my shed and now the time had come to take her downstairs. I lifted the engine out and took off the bars and mudguards then my son and I lowered the bike down the narrow stairs. 

 The rest of the afternoon was spent putting things back on and tightening them up.

 I had to make up a throttle cable from a universal kit to suit the new "old style" grip. 

47 - Tank painted

 At long last I got the tank over to Clifford who didn't take long to give it a nice coat of paint. It's as glossy as a billiard ball and the pin stripes are painted in not just tape. 
It really sets the bike off well and makes her look fantastic. 

 The colours I went for where Ford Sunburst Red and Ford Silver Fox. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

46 - Tank prep

 Brian has glassed back together again the tank. He made a very neat job of the seam, and I recoated the interior with fresh Caswell. I have no doubt about it being fuel tight.

 Now I just got to keep at it and get all the prep work finished prior to painting.

Brian's website  --

Sunday, 15 November 2015

45 - A new addition

 Wow - four months have gone by and I haven't posted a thing. Well to tell the truth I haven't done much to the bike over the summer. I eventually left the tank with Brian the boat repair man and it's kinda been sitting there since. The rest of the bike is pretty complete so there wasn't a lot to do and I get easily side tracked with other things.

 I took a notion to buy a lathe for the workshop. After studying the internet I ordered a 290V from Warco. This is about as big as the variable speed model bench lathes go. It has a 6" swing and 28" between centres. 1 1/2" spindle bore and 3MT tailstock, so it should do most jobs on the motorbike for me. Also it comes with 3 and 4 jaw chucks, face plates steadys etc. 

  Warco 290V lathe

It arrived on a pallet inside a packing crate, luckily the shop at the end of the road has a forklift so he was able to lift it off the lorry and set it in my garage. When it came time to install it I borrowed an engine lift from a mechanic and put her in place in the corner of my shed.

I've been very please with it so far. It's accurate, the digital read out makes things real easy, and you can machine at a decent rate with the power feed, so it's no mickey mouse machine even if it was built in China. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

44 - Tank repairs

 This is one of the last big jobs to tackle. The problem I faced was that before I could get the tank painted I needed to do something about the interior. Twenty odd years ago I had put a Petseal tank sealer solution into it, but this had split and cracked. I didn't think pouring in more on top of it would be satisfactory and there was no way to completely remove the old stuff because of the limited access.

 So I had no real choice but to cut it open. Before I did so I found a local boat repair man who specialises in fibreglass and gelcoat repairs. He's going to glass it back together for me and we'll find the best product for recoating the interior. 

 It was a dusty job but not too difficult to open it up. I cut in to it with a thin disc about half an inch from the edge then went round the curved tunnel with a hacksaw blade. Once open the old petseal came off in big pieces, only here and there was it well attached.