I didn't plan on buying this bike. We'd JUST picked up the two silver bikes, and Donna was tearing into 'The Pup', but I had got Number Five's engine running and was feeling buoyant! She'd been on the e-bay watch-list, because she was local and fairly cheap, but that was because she had a dead engine. Ideas flitting around my head had been that the running engine from Number One, could be used to make Number Two good again, but I'd decided perhaps I ought to have a closer look at Number Two's internals first, because I might not have to completely rebuild it or scrap it, it might just need the top end looking at. This one, then could be fixed with Number One's engine, and the dead engine from this one, pillaged for its barrels to fix Number Two, if that's what it needed. So I put in a low bid, NOT expecting to win... and did!
Anyway, decided to tackle THIS one first. Mainly because for SOME strange reason it actually had tax and an MOT. No Idea HOW, it certainly didn't deserve one!
When I collected her, She was pretty tatty, but 'reasonably' original. Cosmetically she had suffered an awful lot of light fading. The tank is almost completely silver on one side, where it had been red! And the plastic parts have faded, with mottles and shadow marks to a murky, milky grey colour. There was also a lot of surface rust. Chap that sold her said that he'd bough her from a bloke who'd had her in a garage for 18 years. I don't believe it. THIS much degradation only comes from exposure to the elements. She lived out-side or perhaps in a car-port, but I suspect it more likely, a green-house.
The Previous Owner admitted to making this particular repair to the exhaust. He claimed he wanted to keep it 'original'! And to have spend 'Hundreds' on fixing it up to the state you see here!
The tyres had plenty of tread on them, but were not new. The front is quite possibly the original tyre. The rear, though is definitely a later replacement. Its a metric size, and a 'low-profile' tyre about quarter of an inch wider, but the same rolling diameter, as the OE fit 3.50 x18 imperial size.
The rear Grab-Rail was missing, and the centre stand was cracked! I didn't have a side-stand, but then that was an optional extra, it may have never had one.
The clock console, a morning dew revealed, mists up. Its a common bug-bear on old bikes, the seal under the glass goes hard. On these its quite prevalent because of the construction of the clock casing. Oh well, this is the sort of thing I have to expect, I suppose. Like the Shock, which, no shock, is in a pretty shocking state!
Also noted for attention were the clonking head-race bearings, and the total lack of damping from the front forks, which had next to NO fork oil in them when I stripped them, but enough when I collected the bike to determine that the fork seals were shot!
Showing SOME promise though, lifting the seat, which had obviously been re-covered, and pretty well, actually, it had a new battery... so that accounts for about £50, of the 'Hundreds' spent on this bike.... can't for the life of me figure out where the rest went.. though! But the chain & sprockets weren't in bad shape, maybe they were new when he re-commissioned her too.
Chap claimed he'd been commuting 50 miles a day on the bike since he acquired it and 'fixed it up'. MOT cert showed about 1000miles less than the odometer, so he probably did. And I suspect that those 1000 miles, in conjunction with obviously spending as little money as he thought he could get away with, is most likely what resulted in the thing being seized up!
So time to 'tinker'
NEXT: Part 2 - Initial Investigations