With the upcoming Grumpy Club trip to Belgium in August, I needed some suitable transport. Now the over 70’s have recently all plumped for BSA Bantam’s as lightweight alternatives for their usual British iron and also fancied an overseas trip on their nimble charges.
Now, as much as I admire the Bantam, lightweight, two-stroke etc, there are a couple of problems with me owning one. Firstly the gears / brakes are back-to-front and secondly my toolset is very metric.
So I need something a little more Japanese. Preferably Yamaha. Now a bit of eBayResearch indicates a few things:
– that XT500’s are now stupid money, even for a ropey old one.
– that monoshock DT’s of 80’s vintage seem to be collectable now also
– generally little trail bikes have gone up in value !
After watching some DT125’s, AS3’s and other twinshock bikes, I missed the end of an auction for a DT175 with DK Motorcycles , but it didn’t sell so gave them a call to find out if it was still there. The 125 AS3 they were currently listing wasn’t so good in the photo’s and the DT175 was still there.
Anyway, back from Belgium and then up to Stafford to pick up the bike on a Thursday afternoon. It’s always a nice feeling to find a bike in a nicer condition than seen in the photos.
Lots of bikes at DK, including a Yamaha YZ250F , like one of my own projects and they were clearing space for another container load. Some nice bikes, including a few early 70’s trail bikes. Went shopping in IKEA in Wednesbury on the way back which was more than a little surreal.
Following day and first thing decided to see if it was going run (sold as a non-runner). Firstly pulled the spark plug out and no spark. Ah, this bike has an ignition switch (and a key) and also a kill switch. Got these both in the right place and lo, a nice big fat spark.
Dropped some fuel down the plug hole and a very brief firing was the result. So off with the carb, which wasn’t straightforward as the rubber was a bit stiff. The pilot jet on the Mikuni was blocked and using some cleaner and the air line from compressor managed to degunk it. The fuel needle was also stuck, but yielded with some fresh petrol.
Anyway, carb back on, choke on and first kick and away. I’d put some premix in from the motocrossers so there was a bit of smoke but a run down the lane started to clear it a bit.
Running in 30 minutes.
After an hour, Tamara was practising her starts and pull-aways in the garden and the engine on the bike sounded really rather good.
Planning on an original look-and-feel to the bike and rather than a restoration, just planning to get it MOT’d and on the road with the minimum of expenditure.
Spent 30 minutes on eBay to locate a headlamp, two front indicators, brake and clutch levers, front tyre (have a rear somewhere) and some bulbs. The main missing item was the rotor/alternator cover, but managed to find 3 on eBay in US and hopefully this will be here in a couple of weeks.
Need to road register the bike and will therefore need to get:
– dating letter, decided to use the [Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club dating service ->
http://www.vjmc.com/dating-service.html ], which I’d not done before.
– MOT, need to work on the bike and for the cover to turn up.