March 2021

A friend of mine had once owned one of these bikes, and besides performing very well for its engine capacity, I always thought it looked the piece. Sort of factory cafe racer. Nice.

This one needed waking up after a long sleep. That means the carbs will be totally gummed up with dead fuel. Always a tedious job.

Inevitably there will be other problems. Regardless of the physical size of any machine, it still has all the same sets of parts, and many do not enjoy storage. We begin by removing seat and tank, then carbs, fuel taps, and various vacuum arrangements. That gets us to here.

Removing the float bowl from the first carb revealed much as expected. A lot of cleaning to be done here.

The body of the carb appears to have suffered the same fate. Fuel left in carbs long term does some unimaginable things.

Second verse - same as the first. It takes hours that one seldom recovers in paid time, but if it isn't done properly you will be visiting it again in double quick time.


The needle and main jet were so firmly gummed together on this side that gently levering the slide out of the body succeeded in plucking the jet right out of the carb body. We obviously should be using old fuel as a glue..!

They decided to play ball once I spoke sternly, and apart from the necessary cleaning required they came up good enough to do another turn.

While cleaning manky, fiddly bits is as much fun as gnawing your arm off, it is always a very pleasant task at the far end of it to be able to reassemble all clean and sometimes even shiny stuff that stands a good chance of behaving as intended. We hope.

While handling the fuel tank I discovered it had been leaking. Being the left side, and thus downhill when on the sidestand, the condensation forms enough of a puddle to evenyually make holes. From the paint damage it would seem this had taken place over a considerable time.

I still had the best part of a tank repair kit in the form of a 3 part chemical process that coats the inside in a resin-like substance, and gives a long term solution in most cases. It took well, and spent several days in the sun curing before fuel went back in. All good and not a drop from then on.

Front brake next. Damn, old fluids are such a pain. I did not feel like stripping and rebuilding this lot, especially as I figured parts would be problematic, so I cleaned all the accessible places and bled lots of fluid through the system. As luck would have it, we ended up with a working brake. It would certainly be up to the task of pulling this lightweight machine up promptly.

The clutch cable needed adjusting, but had partially seized up where the adjustment needed to be effected, so that came off for wire brushing and oiling. The cable got a good dose of oil down it at the same time, so that did not put up a fight as it went back together.

The rear chain was long overdue for lube and adjustment, so liberal amounts of WD40 in the usual places first, then chain lube after. It was not prolematic, but all these things are time consuming. Basically you are doing 5 years overdue maintenance. Minimum.

Unfortunately, the tyre proved to have a steady leak, so the wheel had to be removed and a new inner tube fitted. At least it made it easier to give the wheel a bit of a spruce up. One step forward, two steps back sorta thing.

Having cleaned all the areas that had been disturbed, the whole plot was looking a bit healthier at the end of all this. It fired up happily enough, and the tuning was logical, so it went out on the road and seemed to do what it should. Having never sampled such a beast before, I was not sure if it was performing as well as it could, but bearing in mind that it was only a 250 I figured maybe it was.

I arranged for a wof check, and it passed with nary a niggle, so that was rewarding right there.

Smart little machine really, and I did not feel way too big for it, but I think it would be needing a few more horses for my stable.