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Fettled Bike 2. 1979 Yamaha DT175MX Restoration.

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tinkicker
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Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 16:25 - 08 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

So 5 litres of fuel in the tank and I am a happy bunny.
Whistling a happy tune, I felt the requirement for the invigorating effects of my favourite French, ground aribica bean beverage; and toddled off into the kitchen to make it.
In my minds eye, I would sit on the sofa with cup and saucer in hand, sipping away and gazing fondly at the bike before recommencing battle.

The missus was working the weekend, so I could run the bike to my hearts content and still have time to open the living room windows and ventilate any fumes that leaked past the doors into the room.

As I sipped, I smelt a growing smell of petrol, and thinking the carb was overflowing, put down my cup and went to turn the fuel off.

The fuel was off..... The blasted fuel tank was leaking. He said he had lined the tank in his ad, which he had.
Obviously the lining had failed.

This could turn out to be very expensive.

I then thought back to when I first got the bike. Was it leaking then?

No it wasn't because it only had enough fuel in for 600 yards of riding and it ran out of petrol on the test ride.

The smoking gun. The old devil knew about the leak and only put enough fuel in it to start it.
The paint and bodywork being about the only thing I was able to give the old ball bag any respect for, was in fact duff.

I had three choices.

1. Find a good tank and have it painted which was going to cost a kidney.

2. Try the slim chance of fixing the leak by putting yet more liner in. Another costly option but which did not entail selling any body parts.

3. Try soldering up the holes. I am not a big fan of conducting hotwork on fuel tanks, I have seen the results of it going horribly wrong in safety films at college, complete with blood spattered holes in roofs. I did not have the equipment at home to do it and it was the least favourite option.

I went for the wafer thin chance of option two and bought the various cleaners and potions required. Another unexpected 8 x £10 notes, flying and flapping away from my pocket.

I do not have a fuel filter fetish, the pic was in fact taken to show the leak. Just in front of the oil tank wing nut. Those two drips are leaking fuel.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51661362943_e530dcad2a_h.jpg

Having spent much of my working life on 24/7 breakdown cover with a commercial vehicle hire business hiring out 27,000 vehicles nationally, I hate mobile phones with a passion and they are not glued constantly to my hip.
I had a missed call from my suspension guys in Bradford and a follow up text asking me to call them back at my soonest convenience.....
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 17:05 - 08 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who the actual fuck paints a tank without being 110% certain it doesn't leak?!
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 19:32 - 08 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
Who the actual fuck paints a tank without being 110% certain it doesn't leak?!



Beezlebub is loving it. Me.. Not so much.

https://www.heritagedaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/shutterstock-1501712105-1-1500x1000.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 19:48 - 09 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

With heavy heart, I gave my suspension guys a call...
Whassup?
We examined your fork tubes and are happy that there is sufficient meat left to clear out the pitting, but they are bent.
Bent?
Yup, both running out by about 5mm.
We need to put em on our machine to straighten them before we can put them in the tube grinding machine.
OK.
Its £50 per leg to true them up. Its getting to be an expensive job, we tried to source some aftermarket 31mm tubes but no one is doing them and they are no longer available from Yamaha. New ones would have been the cheaper option.
Fine, just do it. We have no choice.
Ok bye, click.

Silence punctuated by quiet sobbing. I heartily wish my PC had blown up the day I set eyes on that cursed bike.
Obviously another relic of that accident 40 odd years ago...

Once you know what to expect, it stands out like a sore thumb..
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51326879500_c60412e464_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 20:50 - 10 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleaners and potions duly arrived, instructions were consulted and followed to the letter and the new liner material put in the tank. It was left near a radiator for over two weeks to cure and then the tank was refitted.
Fuel was fearfully poured in and breath held.

No leaks! Yay.

I figured it would be wise to take a look inside the airbox. He said he had fitted a new filter but that means nothing.
What is this idiots definition of a filter? An old sock?
Filter was in fact new and was made of foam. It was also the wrong one and badly fitted.

The DT monoshock has two types of filter.
Early type that is stretched over the cage and squeezed between the airbox body and the airbox lid to hold it in place.
​​​​ Cost about £20.

Later type is slightly smaller and stretched over a cage, which is held in place with a large washer and wingnut. Cost about £12.

Guess which he had fitted.....

It was too small for the cage, one side had slipped out and would have allowed unfiltered air to the motor. It also had a hole in the end for the stud, washer and wingnut arrangement where there should not be one.

Another £20 flying and flapping away adding to the many £100s already spent on this "fully restored and overhauled bike". It had not been oiled...

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51660329592_10d5fdf0ad_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 17:55 - 11 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waiting for the tubes coming back and not much to do. They have a six week turnaround time for rechroming forks. Meanwhile, I had two niggles.
1. He had highly polished the fork outer tubes which is the incorrect finish.
2. He had fitted a really cheap seat cover for some reason. Maybe the original was torn in the accident. I dunno.
AlI knew is it was the wrong un and lumpy as hell.

I set to with grey scotchbrite and five coats of clearcoat to get the finish right on the forks and ordered the correct style seat cover for the model year.

Forks refinished and being allowed to harden. That seat cover is horrible and plain wrong without a logo.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51694881563_3599b74012_h.jpg

The correct seat cover fitted. Looks better than expected even though the foam is a bit crispy underneath in places. The 79 UK model had the logo on the rear and a seat strap. European and all later models had a larger logo on each side and no strap.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51708951169_fcbbdc8be0_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 07:21 - 12 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a good month or so of inaction, the fork tubes arrived. With new industrial chrome around 20 thou thick, they should never pit again.

Went into the conservatory to put them by the bike and sniffed. Faint smell of petrol, probably from the carb and tank vents. Shrugged my shoulders and left.
Three days later, the next Saturday, I decided to crack on and get the forks built up and fitted. Opened the conservatory door and extremely strong smell of petrol.

The tank had started leaking again.


https://hypixel.net/attachments/facepalm-png.1601369/
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 07:25 - 12 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drained the tank once again and set to building the forks. My teeth were so clenched together, I could have bit through a 1" rebar. I was heartily sick of that infernal machine.

Got the forks built up and had enough for that weekend. I had to walk away.

Suspension guys made an excellent job of the fork tubes, meanwhile the old tosspot was still haunting me.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51739355853_348b2e5712_h.jpg

I needed to source another tank that was not rotted through underneath and get it painted. That was not going to be cheap.
It was time I contacted the old villain and advise him of the new circumstances he was about to be enjoying in the near future. That tank was the final straw. The only thing major left of his "full restoration and rebuild" was the stove enamelled frame.
I had forgiven his lies too many times.
It was time to seek reparations either voluntarily or legally. I was fit to explode.
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 15:18 - 12 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent the previous "restorer" an email detailing what I had found with the bike and all of the things he had said he had done, and in fact had not.
I said that the leaking tank was the final straw.

I sent him the site address of the original blow by blow thread that this one is based on for him to look through.
It is obvious, it was not just an account of a bike rebuild but damning evidence of a serious misrepresentation of the condition of the machine in his advertisement.

Caveat emptor in UK law does not apply in the case of material misrepresentations in advertising, where the purchaser has not had the opportunity to inspect and test an item to his satisfaction.

I got a reply from his "son".
He said that since he sold the bike, his father had been taken seriously ill and was currently in no fit state to deal with the matter.
His father had read the thread in question and was upset that I had found the bike to be in such poor condition. He had been really proud of it.

He "the son" was willing to offer a one off payment of £500 to save his dad from further upset.

I considered what would be the likely outcome of a trip to the small claims court and the judges decisions.

1. As the the seller was a motor vehicle lecturer and the fact was stated in the ad, his fully overhauled bike would be expected to be in a safe and roadworthy condition by the buyer.
Clearly it was not.

2. In respect of the rebuild, it would be reasonable for the buyer to expect the machine to be in a good and serviceble mechanical condition.
Clearly it was not.

3. It would be reasonable for a buyer to expect that any repairs expressly stated in his ad, would be of good and durable quality with the expectation of a reasonable lifetime. Clearly they were not.

4. It would be unreasonable of the buyer to expect one persons description of "restoration" to be of the same standard as his own.

5. It would be unreasonable for a buyer to expect that a restored 43 year old bike be in the same original condition as it left the factory, unless it was stated in the ad.

The judge would allow damages for the mechanical work and the tank and disallow the costs incurred for the electrical work as he did reveal problems with it in the ad and despite the wrong parts fitted, it did start and run on delivery.

I would not have submitted costs for replacing fasteners and fittings with the correct ones. Those were down to me.

I would have probably been awarded £1000. Another £500 above his "son's" offer.

So.....
If the guy is really seriously ill and needing his son to bail him out (form your own opinion on that one), would I really want to add to his misfortunes?

Am I prepared to commit to the large amount of time of building a case against him?
( A large part of my job in my motorcycle activity center days was fighting ambulance chasing lawyers and doing the legwork for the hired professionals to smooth off, if the other side was not backing down.)

Am I prepared to use a day of my annual leave for the court appearance?

All the above for £500?

I decided to take his offer in good grace as a sign of genuine regret that the bike was not as it should have been.

Onwards and upwards. Plenty more money to be spent yet, thanks to that old goat.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 16:29 - 12 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll repeat what I suggested to my mum the other day...

"Have you considered taking up alcoholism?" Wink
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 17:29 - 12 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
I'll repeat what I suggested to my mum the other day...

"Have you considered taking up alcoholism?" Wink


Has to be said, I have put in the practice over the years.
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 07:44 - 13 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a bit of hunting about, I found a solid looking tank in Germany. It looked like someone had painted it with a tarbrush, but it was completely rust free inside.
Looks like it was from an old fieldbike that had been run on premix for years.
This had protected the inside of the tank.

It was very expensive though for what it was. This German bike breaker appears regularly in my ebay searches and he certainly knows how to charge.

Teeth gritted, order placed.

It was time to address those absolutely awful tyres. Vee Rubber was the make and they are horrible to mount and dismount. Rock hard, 6 ply, and stupid tight beads.

I once trialled them at the motorcycle activity center and my techies threatened to strike if I went with them. I can see their point when they routinely hand change up to 3 tyres a day.
Maxxis won the day, much to the relief of my lads.

I had seen the horrible tyres in the pics in his advert and suitable Kenda ones with the correct trials universal tread pattern were on order before the bike had even been delivered.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51738295672_537dd91225_h.jpg

I noticed that the wheel bearing were far from new and thought it best to order quality replacements in as a matter of course. At least the shoes looked new.
As it turned out, the old ones were not too bad. They had not rusted, it was just the grease that dried out.
Not worth keeping though, they went straight into the scrap.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51756536008_8b804a679b_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 08:16 - 13 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

The replacement tank arrived during the hot and sweaty battle with that tyre. I was tugging on a tyre lever like a demon trying to get the bead off the rim, when it slipped and I bopped myself hard on the end of my hooter.

Door bell rang and a sweaty apparition answered the door with red face, streaming eyes and talking like he had a badly blocked up nose. Gawd knows what the delivery driver thought.

Replacement tank.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51756436761_3e96eee21b_h.jpg

Battle over and front end rebuilt.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51755609707_3e816d4661_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 18:49 - 13 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much of this post is explaining what a tax disc is to a US audience. I trust bikechat forum users already know....







To cut a long story short. I contacted Barry at Image refinishing to redo my tank and sidepanels.
Back in the day, I used to use Barry for all the roadbikes that had been dropped at the training school. The off road stuff generally did not matter, usually plastic bodywork and if it was not broken, scuffs and scratches were acceptable.

However, it was bad for business if prospective customers seeking to work up to their riding tests were seeing your road bikes out and about on the road with dents, dings and scratches everywhere. Entirely different customer. They expected the training bikes to be pretty much spotlessly clean and faultless.
At this time, motorcycles no longer being a cheaper form of transport for teenagers and young people to get about on, new on road trainees tended to be older, very affluent guys having some sort of mid life crisis or keeping up with their social circle who already had bike licences from the past and just got reaquainted with them after years of bringing up kids.

Barry only did motorcycle paint and always did an excellent job, far better than factory finish.

Only problem was that the £500 for the new paint I got off the old beggar was almost £500 too little, even at trade price. File Attachment:
Time to dip into my pocket again.
Barry was concerned at his overheads, they had almost tripled in three months esp for the electric for running his oven.
He knew it would affect his business but had no choice.

So tank sent away to one of Barrys external contractors, vapour blasted on the outside, insides filled with walnut broken shells and put on a machine to rotate it. This was to get rid of all the old dry petrol residues typically found in tanks that had been stood for a very long time with fuel in them.
Then thoroughly cleaned out and pressure tested.
This is what added significantly to the cost.
Never needed it before since the bikes were all replaced at two years old or 60,000 miles and I had not factored the process in to my estimate.
Then back to Barry for refinishing. Took almost 60 hours work in the end, 20 more than Barry estimated, but a quote is a quote.

Meantime I was struggling to find something to do for the two months the bodywork was away.

I did order a repro tax disc. It had the correct stamp for a watford issuing office ( first owner location), it had the correct fee displayed, was the correct colour for that year and the expiry date was August 1980.
Back in those days, the registration suffixes rolled over to the next yearly suffix on the first of August, so everyone mainly bought new motor vehicles then. Hence the end of july expiry date.
A S regixtration suffix would become a T suffix on new cars first put on the road on the 1st of August 12 months later.
We don't do that anymore. They change twice a year. Bummer, you only get to drive a "new" car for six months now.

The bike would not make it that far and would never be taxed again.

We do not have them in the UK anymore, they rely on numberplate recognition cameras. The UK is one of the most camera surveillance equipped countries in the world. They are everywhere. Big Brother is watching...

Tax disc displaying the bikes particulars. For policemen to tell at a glance that the bike was taxed for that year by the colour, that it had MOT if required (annually if over 3 years old), and was insured. You could not get a tax disc without showing all the certificates. That is exactly how the original would have looked.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51764760496_f181791359_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 08:09 - 14 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I took the tank over to Barry, I stripped the paint from the underside of the tank to inspect for rust eating its way through.
Very pleased to find only light surface rust in a few places. No rot.


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51800419672_0d56395196_h.jpg


Barry when he first saw the tank was not entirely enthusiastic with the tar brush paint effect, but after the work was completed, he was very pleased. It turned out to be one of the best condition tanks from that era he had seen. Said it was like new.

Then he waved his hand in the general direction of my pocket.... Get yer money out lad. £880 for tank, 2 sidepanels and a front fender. At trade price Confused
He did have 60 hours work in them though. He redid the tank at one point. Barry is a perfectionist.

The paint did look good enough to lick though and was as good underneath as on top.
One thing deviated from standard. He said originally, the factory sidepanel decals were not clearcoated in. Did I want them as standard, or clearcoated over?
I went for clearcoated. I hate decals peeling up at the corners.

As for the old tank, I advertised that on ebay as unroadworthy and suitable for static display only. Got £40 for it.

Bodywork returned and looking great. Once again, Barry did a great job. I think he is one of the best motorcycle painters in the UK. He was never cheap though. How he gets paint flexible enough to stick to polyprop parts without flaking off when it flexes, I have no idea, but he does. When I picked up the parts, he twisted that front fender almost 90 degrees.
He said that under the (flaking) paint the old guy did, the front of the fender for about six inches was almost bleached white. Must have been exposed to 40 years of sunlight through the shed window.

Paint is now the correct Yamaha French Blue. The original was a shade too light. More like a powder blue.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51949894025_d9aae06d16_h.jpg


Barrys paint looks far better than factory finish.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51949894090_06dffa09cf_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 10:14 - 14 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I was waiting for the bodywork, I gathered everything together and made a provenance file for the bike.

Every letter from the previous owner, every receipt from the rebuild and all the posts I made on the previous thread are included.
The next owner after I have shuffled off this mortal coil in 20 or so years will enjoy it.

Already know who the next owner will be. When I become too infirm to ride it around the village occasionally, it will go to one of my ex motorcycle activity center apprentices.
Known him since he was a 12 year old young riders club member and school holiday volunteer at the center.

He had done the heavy lifting and shown enormous commitment to the center, so when he was approaching school leaving age, I offered him a full apprenticeship in motor vehicle technology. After his apprenticeship, he subsequently went back to college full time to study precision engineering and became a first class mould and toolmaker.

The little sod laughs when I speak of thousands of an inch being precise.. He speaks in microns.

His father was an alcoholic, so he looked to me to be a father figure. He was like a son to me.
He is now approaching 40 Crying or Very sad and enjoying a stellar career in precision engineering with a family of his own. I am extremely proud of him.

He will enjoy, cherish and keep the bike in fine fettle long after I am gone.
His current ride is a complete, unrestored but preserved1965 BSA Bantam. He says it has taken nearly 60 years to look like it does and is worthy of preservation as is.

Unfortunately my stepson would immediately sell the DT on, or ride it into the ground and destroy it very quickly. Very different mindset to material objects. It would not be in good hands.

Provence file detailing the rebuild.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51805903221_cd61161fc1_h.jpg

Every letter, receipt and disaster is contained within. It is quite a heavy tome!


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51804944127_b3c56dcfb8_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 15:38 - 14 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

I happened to come across a NOS front wheel rim. I had been casually keeping a weather eye out for one, but it was not a priority. The chrome on the front was not great close up, but looked fine from maybe 6 feet away.

The previous guy had had the wheels rebuilt with new spokes, but kept the old rims. I don't quite understand why, although the rear was in far better condition than the front.

Anyway the new rim was a bargain.

Rim arrived and I set to swapping it. It must be almost 20 years since I last built a wheel and doing one at least once every month, never used to faze me much, but I never looked forward to it.
Yep one a month, sometimes one a week. Not for the reason you would expect though. We ran a variety of Yam RT100s, TTR125S and TTR125L kids bikes on fleet, ( IIRC 6x RTs, 8x TTRS and 8x TTRL) that were prone to rear hub failures, esp the TTR125. Remember that these bikes were being pounded over rocks, jumped, wheelied and running through streams and mud 7 days a week, up to 6 hours a day.
What would happen is that the wheel bearing locations would become fluted on the inner side. The casting was just not strong enough to support the constant pounding over those numbers of hours without distorting.
We tried having one machined with a steel insert fitted, but then the hub would crack after a few more weeks.
It is unlikely a privately owned machine would ever encounter these problems.
Don't even get me started on TY250S and TY250R Z spokes.... Soon as the hub wore out, we scrapped them and fitted Talon rear wheels.

Remember, the general public were hiring and riding these machines and the maintenance and paperwork had to be top notch.
A great deal of my time was fighting off no win, no fee ambulance chasers. One sniff of impropriety or botched maintenance that led to a serious injury would be catastrophic for the business and my career.
As one of my hats was head of maintenance and another was operational health and safety manager, I was in the frame for jail time for corporate manslaughter if someone got killed by negligent maintenance or supervision... That tends to concentrate the mind and the stress is huge.
The owner of a motorcross and offroad park not too far away did in fact go to jail for that very thing. I do not recall the details but it was something to do with a throttle cable bodge and a young lad got killed.

I appear to have digressed...oh dear.

Back to the tale. New hubs required regularly meant I was no stranger to wheel rebuilding, so I set to with a cheerful whistle.

Gawd. 20 years is a long time.
Started lacing the wheel. The spoke pattern is not straightforward and involves 3 different spoke types. After a couple of hours I had a lay down and a gentle cry. I drank a lot of beer that night. Sunday morning dawned and hung over, I forced myself back in the shed to try again. It went together OK this time, wheel built, tyre re mounted ( thank god it was not that vee rubber), and wheel refitted. It looked great.

The rear wheel rim is better, but I am still keeping a weather eye out for a NOS bargain. At least the rear looks a bit more straightforward.

New rim, tube and tape. Now I just need to fit them.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52010588045_4da5452fb0_h.jpg


Much better. The chrome on the front was ok from a distance, but could be better... It could not take a polish.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52010125443_0dadfa2f12_h.jpg
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tinkicker
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PostPosted: 07:26 - 15 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wonderful British weather finally stopped raining long enough for the roads to dry out. Time for a quick road test and shakedown ride.
The bike had already had quite a few heat cycles through it, so it was time to put a little pressure on the rings.
Did around 15 miles with rpm kept in the midrange and rested every few minutes at 3000rpm for the rings to shed a bit of heat in case they were running a little hot.

Nothing really untoward happened, gearchange was slick, brakes were ok, but being used to twin hydraulic discs the size of dinnerplates, they would not be setting my world on fire.
However for a bike with a cruising speed of 50mph they were adequate, and if any more powerful, those long and skinny forks would have trouble handling the load and the front end squirm all over the place.

One thing is apparent. As I will never be taking the bike off road, the gearing as it is with a 14T front sprocket as standard is not much good for roadwork.
First was far too low and pulling out of a junction, you were reaching for second as soon as you got your feet up on the pegs. Top gear had the engine running extremely busily just keeping up with the traffic (I live in a rural area, so most speed limits are 60mph).
I put a 15T on the front and this was much better, albeit at the expense of accelleration and it is a little overgeared in top.
First to second is now snicked in at probably 12 mph. It struggles to reach 60mph and 6000rpm in top gear however.
However, the engine sounds far happier.

One thing I was surprised at was the linear power delivery. There was no discernable point where the ports and pipe came into their own. It pulled fairly strongly from 3000 rpm to 7000 rpm. However it did seem a little disappointing in comparison to my memories of owning one brand new in my youth.

I thought I remembered my old one coming "on pipe" at around 6000rpm and becoming a fire breathing monster with front end lifting off the ground in first and second.

Back in the day, I had a variety of two strokes - yam TYs, RD200, RD250, various bultaco sherpa trials bikes and a YZ250 think it was the G model.... Anyway, last of the air coolled ones, before they went watercooled with the odd water running through the steering head setup. Anyway, looking at 30bhp tops.
Since then I have had a variety of fire breathing superbikes topping out at 185mph and 165bhp.
I also weighed about 10 stones wet through and looked like a string bean.
These days, my ex body building frame, now gone to seed weighs 16 stone and my shoulders are twice as wide.

Perhaps it is just my perspective of power and faulty memory that has changed, along with the extra weight and a larger area of sail perched on top of it than before. Perhaps I expected too much of it.

Finished off with a long straightish road close to my home, swapped the plug for a new one and held it at 5000 rpm in 4th and a little over half throttle for about 4 miles, to check the midrange mixture with my 135 main. Books says 130 or 140 standard, so I split the difference.
When I pulled that old plug at the side of the road, I developed a new talent - juggling. God that plug was HOT!

Midrange mixture was slightly rich at a chocolate brown colour, but not black. Happy for running in, but I dropped the needle a notch and tried again.
The motor appeared to be crisper in the midrange and not having a new plug, I cleaned the old one and tried again.
Now it was a milk chocolate brown, so closer to the ideal, but still a little rich.

Of course to do a proper plug chop, it should be done with a brand new plug.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51834769462_5afab56dc1_h.jpg

Before I went further, I needed a full throttle run with a new plug to see what was happening there.

And once again, the fun and games began....
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 07:38 - 15 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

By now we are into the high summer of 2022 and I have owned the bike for 12 rollercoaster months.

I had put maybe 50 or 60 miles on it by now and it was imperative that I do a full throttle run to check the fuelling with 135 main jet.
Back to my long straight. Clean plug fitted. Start her up.and get into top with throttle wide open.

45mph. 50mph. 55mph BWAAAARGH and a sudden power loss.

Merde! Have I blown the piston? Has it fried the rings? Clutch in, killswitch off and coasted to the side of the road.
Having gears that change down when the engine is breaking down was a novel idea for this bike. At least something is a success.
So what has happened? Removed helmet and gloves and could not see anything out of the ordinary.

So I kicked it over and it started first kick. So piston is not holed then. But it sounded loud at the exhaust flange area.
Has the exhaust come loose and blown out the ring?

Nope. Still looks tight.

Sticks hand around area of front of pipe to feel for the draught of escaping gas. Much draughtiness, in fact it was downright windy down there.

Down onto my knees, long knackered by a lifetime of kneeling on hard concrete repairing various types of heavy truck and heavy equipment. Had a look under the front pipe. It had a hole in it about 3/4" round.
What the feckity feck is going on? I do not know which was the most painful, my knees or looking at that hole.

The silly old sod has obviously shafted me again. Neutral

Back home and pipe removed. I had seen before that he had repaired the front pipe. In one place. It looked like he had plated and brazed it.
I was wrong. Digging away at the pipe, bits of exhaust repair putty was coming away and the front pipe was like lace underneath.
He had smothered putty on, hardened it and smoothed it into shape like body filler.

The exhaust before this was badly pitted and in my opinion, in poor shape, probably due to being parked up covered in road salt for 40 years; but now it was clearly beyond redemption.

"Repaired and restored" exhaust with putty falling out everywhere.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52072484008_5ebd20b2fc_h.jpg

I was going to have to do what I did not want. I was going to have to fit a Fresco front pipe and damn the originality.
Looked like the ship of originality had sailed.

I am a great believer in karma and kismet, and once again fate lent a helping hand. A common theme of this build has been that very rare to find parts in the UK have appeared on ebay exactly at the right time and in excellent condition....at a price.

I checked the price of a Fresco exhaust and as a futile gesture, I put the part number of the OEM exhaust in the search bar.
I got a hit from the same breaker I bought my almost brand new shock from. It was not there during the week because I never cease looking for items I need or would like, but it was here now.
It was also twice the price of the Fresco pipe.
The blurb said it came from the US along with a bike fittted with an aftermarket pipe and looked to have had very little use.
I checked the part number stamped on the pipe.. 2A6. Yep it was the right pipe.

Another £300 flying out of my back pocket. To add insult to injury, no point checking the plug colour, because when the pipe blew, it went lean, hence the drop in power.

I still have that little task to do... Just great.
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 10:26 - 15 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exhaust arrived from the breakers and it looked pretty good. In fact it looked damned good. It also came came with the US style rear silencer in the same excellent condition. Sadly the baffle is missing. I have searched for a baffle without success.
I would much prefer a removable baffle to the labyrynth type silencer that Europe got.

Still, it gave me a chance to have a poke around inside it to assess how much carbon was in there - not a lot from what I could tell.

Took the front pipe to work to subject it to various cleaning processes, the first being to lift the lid of the long unused but still full Sodium Hydroxide paint stripping tank. I was interested in the effects of Sodium Hydroxide on fatty acid molecular bonds and "forgot" to bung up the ends of the pipe. Silly me. Shhh!

I left it overnight to stew and then put it through various other cleaning process, finalising with a beadblast, rinse and 20 mins in the rust remover bath and hot wash.

Pipe really was as described. A couple of tiny stone dings from rocks thrown up by the front tyre, but absolutely zero corrosion pitting.

Very pleased with the condition.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52072708434_b964257a88_h.jpg
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Minty
World Chat Champion



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: 20:50 - 15 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love your work, top stuff!
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 23:29 - 15 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minty wrote:
Love your work, top stuff!


Thank you very much Minty. It is all about laughing about this poor hapless git who got ripped off, but far more important is the educational element.

I am the fool, the lessons learned therin offer the most value.
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 08:58 - 16 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

New exhaust fitted after about 8 coats of heat resistant paint and looks far better than the old. The old one was very badly corrosion pitted.
These days patina like that is prized, but it did not fit my idea of how I wanted the bike.

I wanted it almost identical in condition to the bike I had brand new when I was 17, albeit the one I had was the later model with the box section swingarm and red.

Exactly like this un. Sure mine had yamaha in big white letters on the seat sides though. Memory can play funny tricks...

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/flEAAOSwdfhhayf8/s-l400.jpg

It was a friend that had the blue 1979 model and I always thought it was a far nicer looking bike. More classy looking somehow.


Anyway. Pic of exhaust fitted.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52071431972_be4c4b6d8b_b.jpg

Just small items to attend to now.. Or so I thought.
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 09:10 - 16 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

So summer goes on. I actually get out and ride the thing (only when the weather has been sunny and dry for a fortnight and forecast to be sunny and dry for a fortnight hence).
I add about 180 miles to the speedo and decide to get a professional classic bike appraiser in to value the DT and my 25 year old VFR750 that has had the same treatment as the DT, but despite being 10x more complex, had no heartaches waiting in the wings.

Upshot was that the DT was the lowest proven mileage, genuine UK bike with matching numbers he had ever seen or heard of. He waxed lyrical about the restoration If it was to be stolen, it would be irreplaceable and his valuation would reflect that. Twas worth a LOT of money. I was gobsmacked.
He made a big deal about what I considered normal finishing touches. I never thought much about it at the time, my constant searching for bits n pieces had unearthed them and I just thought "oh they will look nice and keep it original as it left the showroom".
He said they were the difference between show judges picking it out as a show winner and coming third place.

Since I have no intention of taking it to shows, it's all a bit Meh. Good job I did not tell him about the KYB stickers on the insides of the forks legs covered by the wheel hubs, he would have fallen over into a swoon.

NOS Stickers. Show winners apparently. Months and months of constant searching to come across the correct ones.

Headstock E and model number

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53075131516_d3884e6170_b.jpg

Battery vent tube sticker under sidepanel. It still had the original fitted, but I found that one in a deep dive on ebay, and knowing I was going to have to have the tank and panels repainted, snapped it up. Good job because Barry said it would not have peeled off without tearing, adhesive was too dried out.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53074555462_a5c2045d9e_b.jpg[

So I am feeling cock a hoop about it all. Yippee! Then came the end note in his email. Of course, this is the devil bike, it was not good reading...

Basically, if I rode it more than a few dozen miles a year, I would remove one of its reasons of rarity - the low mileage and slash its value.
Bllocks.

So I have spent all this money, time and effort on a horror of a bike that I cannot ride...

Just feckin great. I could have wept..
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tinkicker
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 14 Jun 2024
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PostPosted: 09:16 - 16 Jul 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bikechat UK. In the interest of continuity, I have included a response from a user on the forum this thread is copy pasted from. I have removed his identity.





I suspect this is the closing of your story?
It would be a great side table short book… Eloquently written sir! I’ll hoist an Ale…. Out of corn nuts now…
Thank you
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