TESTING THE PACHYDERM

TESTING THE PACHYDERM

TESTING THE PACHYDERM

First ride on the JUMBO

Having spent so much time rebuilding Ugly Betty it is time to take it out and see how it performs. Never
really wanted to be a Mahout on an Elephant but I suppose there comes a time in every Trials Rider’s
life when he or she must step astride the TL350 JUMBO by SWM……. here goes!

First impressions have to be set aside as apart from having seen them in some very capable hands,
I have always considered them to be one of the Ugliest Trials bikes ever produced. Having rebuilt this
one some of the features are neat and functional but others are very crude and could have all been
constructed from some drawings by Shadetree Engineering.

All those ideas must now be erased and having done the restoration, as best as I could, I’ll leave the
cosmetics out of it and just concentrate on how it actually handles and performs from the layman’s
trials enthusiasts point of view….. “Hmmmmm, like the Black and Gold! …… alloy looks good, without
that Pernod blue paint…….. however does it start?”

The test itself will be divided into some of the classic sections and they will be further sub divided as
we go along noting good and bad points alike, points out of 10 will then be awarded to reach our final
score. So on with the helmet cam and lets take it for a spin.

Well, a different riding position!

Couple of things to note, a left hand kicker on the same shaft as the shifter, now thats got to leak
sooner or later. Fuel pipe runs very close to the exhaust, and the petcock is directly above the mid
section but on the test model, the JPS, plenty of room to get at the carb….. Nice colors!   Dinky little
footrests, do all Italians have small narrow feet?

A shorter folding type shifter would have been a good idea. The test bike weighed in at 205 lbs and
the only real light item was the alloy swinging arm. The forks are big Betors of the 38mm type but
seem very stiff maybe through lack of use, maybe need some work or less oil of a lighter SAE…….
Damn, I like the colors, and boy that alloy shines!

Seems to balance well

Wheelies on command

Sure footed on the adverse cambers with the big 38mm Betors and new
Dunlops.


Tendency to lock the back end on the downhill, maybe should have used
the Decompressor

The air cleaner “mods” kept her running in deep water

Pulls 4th out of the mud hole easily

Even does a “nose wheelie” with the Grimeca brakes

New Renthals improve the riding position but I don’t like the flapping
hand guards

On the heavy side, so might be a problem getting her back in the van


Routine washing after the event is a breeze!

Full reports of the test and final scores will be published in a later article and I may even get to take
her to an event in the New Year.

The “REVEAL” is coming soon when we get rid of the SNOW!!

TONY DOWN

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THANKSGIVING

THANKSGIVING

THANKSGIVING

The charter boat, HMS Mayflower

Another year passes and time to pause and reflect. Thanksgiving, as the word would imply, giving
thanks, was giving thanks to their religious freedom or the fact that they had made it through to the
start of the Eastern Winter?

Of course it is an American Holiday or more rightly the early settler’s holiday who were, when all said
and done British.  The British Empire in those days would sail the Seven Seas putting ashore
wherever it fancied, shoving up a Union Jack flag and claiming it for Great Britain. Didn’t really seem to
matter back then as we had a Navy and a gunboat, and if someone else lived there…..TOUGH!

Land Ho …. Plymouth ?

So the Pilgrims set of from Plymouth, in their chartered boat, sail across the ocean and after god
knows how many weeks at sea arrive in Plymouth! Clearly they were not too good on names
especially originality of same and for the most part called everything after a British town or county. How
original is New England, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. No matter, life continues, to hell
with the natives and lets see what there is to eat.

With the turkey being here already and relatively easy to catch and domesticate no surprize then that it
became the cheap Thanksgiving meal. Of course the early settlers were very lucky to have the
Campbells aboard the boat and no sooner had they arrived than they were able to produce their
Condensed Mushroom Soup without which there would be NO traditional green bean casserole. Well
despite that one, the rest of the fare was indeed what they could find and pick, without the help of
Martha Stewart,……. and the rest of the World usually calls it The Harvest Festival.


Martha meets Gordon Ramsey in an early “Hell’s Kitchen”

Green Bean without Campbell’s Condensed Mushroom Soup by Brenda

In this household Brenda cooks ALL of the Thanksgiving feast and I do the same thing on Christmas
Day with all the British favorites including the pudding.

The “Dangerous” Christmas Cocktails

Today is no exception and there are pots and pans that I have never seen but out of the chaos a
magnificent meal is produced. The Christmas cocktails are poured (one month early) but knowing
how dangerous these little devils can be there is a three drink limit on the grounds of it being a
pleasant day without argument or telling the world how it is. I made it through the meal unscathed but
I’m still waiting for the “pie” which got away as there was no room to cram any more in.

Be careful what you say or you might get it all!

Some variations on a theme this year as Campbell got the heave ho and Brenda made the whole
dish without their assistance. Another delight which I have never tried before was roasted Brussel
Sprouts with crisp bacon and I’m really looking forward to some more of that on today’s leftover
selection. Might even tackle that pie!

Looking good, I’m going to enjoy this one

TONY DOWN

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EXTREME MAKEOVER PART IV

 

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART IV

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART IV


Dumbo/Jumbo will fly again!

Closing in for the kill now with only fork seals to fit and cables to go on it looks like I will soon be in a
position to write the last in this series, “The Reveal”. Well that would seem about a week away with
postal strikes and now Thanksgiving as yet another excuse for non delivery of mail.

Time to turn my attention to a few more of the cosmetics and finish off the back end of the elephant.
Splashguard should be riveted up and fitted and then I can get the joke wheel in and complete the
mudguard. Get some urgency from BJ Racing and get the throttle cable on its way and hopefully the
long awaited seals will get here from the UK. Also need to get my decal man in Phoenix to follow me
through on the web and cut some tank stickers in the SWM style.

The new splash guard will work well

Decision made on decals, so now in the hands of the post office once more. By the time I’m finished I
won’t want to part with this thing and I’ll be wishing I put those gold rims on. Well who knows, as I
haven’t heard from the owner it maybe he has forgotten all about it or doesn’t want it anymore.

A bitterly cold day with a high wind chill factor made being outside bloody unpleasant but on a positive
note the splashguard went on and will work well. The post person arrived bringing cables and oil
seals and amazingly the old betors came apart without a problem and the new seals were fitted and
the “tusks” are now back on the pachyderm. One leg had oil in while the other was running on mud
and water! (A Shadetree mix to replace SAE 10)

The Betors come apart, this one had oil, the other used Shadetree
Engineering’s Water/Mud Combo Fork Lube

The Shiny Tusks are back in!

Everybody else cooperated today and all decals and the throttle cable are on order. No excuses now
and the rebuild should be easy  once the wheels are in. A little groveling in Santa’s old lever box turned
up two usable perches and with some new lever blades I now have a couple of workable units for the
handlebars. The normal polishing and repainting will follow and I’m looking forward to getting on with
the project. I’m now on a very limited time frame with Thanksgiving on Thursday, the Christmas
decorations ritual on Friday and Brenda’s birthday on Saturday. However I don’t suppose anything else
will arrive in the time period so patience on the Jumbo for a couple of days.

Yesterday I was looking for the classic lock nuts for some bolts? Seems I’m completely out of the very
standard small metric fellows so time to look in the nuts and bolts boxes. What do I do with them? Do
I throw them away when I undo them? I must have 2000 + bolts but only about 100 nuts and of course
none in the size I want or of the locking variety. Another trip to Ace for a box or two of the common ones
looms.

Yet another bitter cold day and the ice hasn’t melted so time for the heater in the workshop, the new
(old) levers got the treatment and don’t forget if you are rebuilding levers make sure all the critical parts
are well cleaned and get all the mud/grease off the pivot point and you might just get that silky feel
when you rebuild them.

The elephant is coaxed onto its side and time for some decaling, so into the mini paints and brushes
section and repaint the manufacturer’s logos on the two portions off the exhaust and then carefully
expose the logo on the flywheel cover. Delicate work this but in my opinion makes a big difference to
the overall finish…….. but you can be the judge. Never seen a bike with so many manufacturer’s logos,
they are everywhere! I assume they were proud of their creation but the cost to emblazon them on
nearly every component must have been pretty expensive.

Logos everywhere, some hand painting

With the heater left on I might just get some serious rebuilding done this afternoon and then go and
get those nuts. The back wheel will be next after cleaning a very nasty chain. As I mentioned in an
earlier edition on this monster the chain may be relatively new, as are the sprockets, but always difficult
to tell when people don’t look after their investments. I’m guessing a good hour to rectify the chain and
get some lubricants into the rollers and always satisfying to get that smooth machinery noise when
you spin the back wheel. That took longer than expected and 90 mins were spent getting Shade’s chain
back to snuff. He also had an interesting spring link, well one of the two, which was bigger than the
other and had two fish plates? Fortunately I saw one the correct size in the 2000+ bolt box so once
more onto the bench with the contents and more happy sifting.

A newish chain with the “Shadetree Eng” lubricant “CRAPO”  a fine blend
of grease, mud, dust, rust and baked cow****

90 mins later with penknife and wire brush

Wheel finally in and despite the flats on the rim it rotates without bashing anything on the way round.
Chain and brake all functional and here are the 2 before and after shots of the arse end of an elephant.
See if you can spot the difference

You might remember this….. bent everything. As Shade says “if the adjuster
won’t move bend the rod…and get a bigger Hammer!”

Straight, clean and polished

The reconditioned levers were all put back together last night so now I have some thing to heave on
after we get the “Ice fishing” in the clutch housing organized. Time for the rear mudguard today and
then move up to the bars area and secure that clutch thing and bolt on the kill switch with the new
shortened wiring through the frame. All that will be needed then is the front end, and now that the tusks
are on just wheel, stays and fender to complete up there. A few days off for the holidays and other tasks
and then, hopefully next week the decals, throttle cable and Wayne Weedon’s gold number plate
should all be here and then…… it will be REVEAL TIME!

First set of re-conditoned levers………. but,

The rear mudguard went on and looks good and after polishing every bolt, washer and nut for the front
end time for the “ice fishing” in the clutch hole and reconnect all that system before going for the front
wheel. Well goodie goodie! the cable nipples are too big for the levers…. ain’t life grand!!!…..and the
construction of the cables appears to have been done by the apprentice…. not impressed!
So back in the lever box, and of course the bent Dominos have the right size for the nipples. Elect to
use the Domino perch and find two other blades that will match the cables. All sounds easy until you
take everything apart and find they use different size pivot points. Nothing for it I will drill out the old
Dominos and use them with different pivots. Another 2 forward 4 back day!

Despite all the frustrations I spent 1 hour in the shop this morning and achieved more in that time
than all yesterday afternoon. The Domino perches were drilled to take the bigger pivots, the blades
were sanded back to polished alloy and pivots were spun up and the remainder painted. With all that
done flip the front wheel in and now I can push the beast around. Almost tempted to slip back and
mount the stays and fender but in my own best interests I’d better stay clean as guests are due soon.

Second set, using the Domino perches

Today’s mission is outside putting up Christmas lights but I might be able to sneak in the shop and
finish up the front and throw up a couple of “before and after” shots of the front just to tease you all.
First all the delights of humping all the decs down out of the loft then the norm of finding how many
lights that were working last year have failed in 10 months of storage.

It had to be a joke 13 out 17 strings of lights have failed when they were all working when taken down
on 12th night? How can you build in that sort of failure rate, the mind boggles! So with no lights to put
up I can return to Jumbo and finish off the front end. Fit the second set of levers and now for the brake
cable after the stays and brake anchor. After a little adjusting it is obvious that it is not going to fit. Off
with the new cable and a quick check against the old for “free length”. The new one has 2 EXTRA
inches of inner cable!!! So do I use the old or shorten the new one I have waited all this time for? It
gets shortened and matched to the new rebuilt Domino lever. All working and on with the new
mudguard.

So here is the before and after on the front end after a fair few hours of polishing spokes, rim, and
forks along with the anchor stay which also had the SWM logo embossed in the alloy.

Another neglected piece

Even a SWM logo on the brake anchor…. who knew?

Thats it for the epilogue of rebuilding,… and all the final shots, post logos and throttle cable and
Wayne’s Gold Comp plate will up be up in the next article “THE REVEAL”

Funny thing is…… I’m almost beginning to like this thing and I’m looking forward to test riding it in a
later article. It as a 51.5 wheelbase and the footrest position looks about right although the footrests
themselves are a bit primitive, and it seems the kicker will hit the rest! I’ll be bending that back to a
better shape.

Now if it were mine…….. gold rims, some bigger span Domino or Magura levers, Michelins instead
of Dunlops, some new Falcon gas shocks, and some different pegs.


OK, a quick sneak peek before the reveal………TC photographer caught
in the act…. it looks better in daylight without the “photo effects”

TONY DOWN

P.S. Despite all my plans the “REVEAL” has been delayed due to non arrival of some essential parts.
If the postal system ever delivers the goods then all the invited guests will be rescheduled for the event.
So, avid readers please be patient, lets hope the wait will be worth while. 5/12/09

TD

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  • 12/10/2009 7:19 PM Tim Jackson wrote:
    Tony,
    Like your website, riding and writing. Few have your flair for describing riding techniques. I’m taking notes. Congratulations on your 2009 AHRMA success! Keep up the good play and see you on the circuit in 2010! This was my first year in trials. I will be back to defend my 11th place national standing, if I can quit falling off! Tim Jackson, Idaho Falls, ID (AHRMA Intermediate VMX[’71 matching #s B50 MX] & PVMX [’77 Elsinore 125])(AHRMA Novice Modern Classic Trials [’74 350 Sherpa T & ’74 TL125]) P.S. I’ve recruited a local friend, Randy Hubbard, from the AHRMA Expert MX ranks, who is restoring a ’74 RL250. He told me that after watching me slowly beat the tar out of myself section-by-section in vintage trails that it looks like fun!
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EXTREME MAKEOVER PART III

 

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART III

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART III


The continuing saga of the Mahout and his Elephant rolls on, progress is slow as I await snail mail to
reach its final destination. The (ivory) polished alloy tusks can’t be fitted until the fork seals arrive and
ice fishing in the clutch housing has stopped until cables and levers are on hand.

The mind’s eye turns to the splash guard and how to configure same. In the past I have used dish
drainers, cut to shape, and color matched to the scheme. In this case I’m thinking along the lines of a
RV roof vent which seems to have the right sort of curvature and I think could be shaped to fit. 4
brackets or cable ties and it should be secure enough.

Time to put on the electrics, change the plug cap, drill a hole for the kill switch wiring and get the yokes
back on and force some grease through the old tired bearings. With that lot back on try the exhaust and
see if that will behave itself without knocking any of the new paint off. All goes back on but I notice the
rear silencer has to mount on the outside of the frame which in turn will then clout the suspension unit.
I was wondering what the two large left over washers were for?  So better take that off again and step
out the right rear suspender!

Yokes and pipe back on

Finished on the electrics

Today’s mission will be the carb for a complete go through and make ready for that new splash guard
that I want to make. I suppose I could use the old air box as a template, still plenty of time as Royal Mail
and the USPS still refuse to deliver the parts I need. Better get my nose in the old lever box and see if I
can rebuild the Dominos that were destroyed, usual reason overtightened on the bars, and therefore
bend when the bike gets dropped! Not quite sure how you break a decompressor lever though, that
takes a bit of doing.

The carb, like most other things on this machine is covered in grease and has never been cleaned, I’m
aware of the maxim, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but from time to time a little routine maintenance goes a
long way. Time for a mega clean, new pipes and cable and then build the special splash guard which I
have mentally already fabricated. If I can get through these tasks might even get the back wheel in and
the rear grey fender cut to shape.

Another unholy mess from Shadetree Engineering

Del Orto’s finest took a lot longer than expected with all the small jets completely blocked and lots of
gummy resin in the float bowl and all other orifices. It all gets blown through and I now have holes
where holes should be! I thought I had the right length throttle cable but, not so fast, as its about 3
inches too short and won’t work. Another delay as I have to order some more from BJ Racing
tomorrow.

Sgt Wadman was right….. “if its alloy it will shine!”

The splash guard began its construction with a lot of hacking around with the old airbox to get rid of
the broken junk and create a template, with mounts, on which to hang the Rubbermaid dish drainer.
Today’s dish drainer seemed a bit tougher and took a fair time to cut to shape and sand off ready for
painting. It will all be riveted tomorrow and fitted in place.

“Your mission Jim, is to make a Splashguard….. this tape will self destruct” 

Cut and shaped

On a positive note some correct size decals were found on e-bay and I have a request in on some
others in a reduced size which might look even better. Of course the SWM tank badges cannot be
sourced and any decals that are available are all in the wrong color scheme.

Cables and decals ordered and despite a very cold day the Post Office delivered the new other cables
and oil seals. The new splash guard went on with no fuss and will offer good protection for the carb.

A lot more room to get at the carb

Neat and functional, which is more than can be said for the exhaust
clamp which is a mud grabber!

……and in World news….. an old friend in the UK is sending me a “Gold” competition plate to adorn the
beast. Wayne Weedon is the name so check him out on Facebook, become a friend, and then look in
his album section for all the superb “bling” he is making for our vintage trials irons. Thanks Wayne.

TONY DOWN

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  • 11/30/2009 2:21 PM Don Hale wrote:
    Hi Tony – Having fun watching the progress on the Jumbo. By the way there is a guy selling some SWM parts in southern california on craig’s list. His ad is posted around nov.15 in the motorcycle section. I was wondering how the rattle can paint you’re using holds up against gas spills etc. The bike is coming along nicely. Also when you were on your trip to retreive the pool table, you stopped for a Chinky. What the heck is that? Have fun – Don
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THE EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT

After a terrible financial year Christmas is once more just around the corner. The decision was made to
go for a joint present …. and of course after all Brenda’s research it has to be the pool table! NO more
the token female competitor, she is moving into the league BIG TIME !

A very wet drive through Utah

With negotiations completed on the phone on a bleak and dreary Friday November 13th we set off on
the 420 miles round trip to Grand Junction. It rains, perhaps pours would be a better description, as we
cross the border into Utah and head north via Moab to I70. They have almost completed the road works
at Monticello, well done everybody! Only two years to resurface the T junction. Well at least we can get a
move on down the freeway but then amid the slashing rain there is a lane closure with “Be prepared to
Stop” signs. Flashing lights everywhere and the entire  force of Utah State Troopers with at least 40
police cars with all their lights on. Yes, they are stopping everybody with big trucks re-routed through a
rest area and the rest of us stopped on the freeway itself. Our turn comes and a very wet Trooper wants
to see my driving licence, not entirely sure what they, or who, they are looking for but after asking me if I
had been drinking we are waved on our way. A little early for me as its only 1130 !

By 1 o’clock we meet up with the table owner and the table in its golf club setting. Seems the club has
been sold and everything must go so that is why we got a good deal. 2 hours of dismantling and by 3
we have it all in pieces and loaded in the back of the Cadi.

Rails off, whats next ?

No power in the “sold” golf course 19th hole

The quest for lunch is next and we partake of a less than perfect Chinky in Delta. Another 20 miles
down the road and time to stop at Russel Stover’s chocie factory again and stock up on more goodies.
Getting dark now the journey continues in the rain and of course its getting colder! As we leave
Ridgeway and set off up the hill the snow starts and in no time we are in blizzard conditions and the
white stuff is settling on the roads. By the time we get to the top of the pass its a complete whiteout and
I’m crawling along at 20 mph handling all the controls like eggs. Eventually the long twisting 10 mile
downhill is over and we are back in rain again and the roads are clear.

A brief respite as we climb out of Placerville and wind our way through Sawpit and the long climb up to
Telluride. The snow has passed through and its pretty but exceedingly treachorous. Up through
Mountain Village and the crawl up and down the hills and over the Lizard. A nice glaze in the headlights
as we creep down into Rico and stop for a quickie “splash & dash” as fuel is on the low side. Temps
are down at 27F but soon start rising topping out at 35F as we pass through Stoner and then its back
to rain again for the last 20 miles.

Saturday morning and between showers I manage to get most of the hardware into the downstairs
lodge room prior to humping it all upstairs. Survey of the route means taking down my Lancaster oil
painting as a precaution before shoving the 7 foot frame through the canvas on the staircase. Upstairs
furniture is on the move, yet more dog hair vaccummed up and the table’s final resting place decided
on. Now its starting to snow and the forecast is 4-12 inches. The frame and legs make it upstairs
without too much effort and we didn’t hit the wall plaster once!

32 carriage bolts all located and tightened and time to do a “walkaround” with a cue and see how
the freedom to play will be. Don’t want any precious ornaments and keepsakes getting the “whooops!”
The 3 pieces of slate are carefully brought in and wend their way upstairs and once the jig saw has
been solved they are screwed in and we are done for today. Time to go drinking and play some pool
on the Hollywood tables as its Saturday afternoon and competition time!

Waxing and levelling

It snows all afternoon and as we slither our way home its now settling and we could see quite a bit by
morning. Sunday, and now time to finish the task. Brenda drips candle wax in all the bolt holes and
seams and scrapes off all the residue while I collect spirit levels and squares prior to putting the cloth
and rails back on. Lifting the table to adjust the level pops the wax and we have to go through the whole
process again! This time we are level and on goes the felt. Little bit of a puzzle getting the pockets and
rails squared up but eventually all the technical bits are sorted and the last 18 rail bolts are secured,
now some back breaking misery under the table rivetting the pocket leathers securely into the base.

Drrrruuuuum! ready to play

Out with the balls from their o’night cleaning in the dish washer………….? well these are novel!……. don’t
wash billiard balls in the dish washer unless you want some strange colored eggs!

NEVER wash your balls in the dishwasher!!!

A used billiard ball man lives in town and 20 mins later we have another set and play begins. It works
and will provide many hours of pleasure and hopefully our games will improve with the extra free
practice, and for every 10 games we play we have saved $7.50 so there is some mileage in the
purchase.

As they say at Wimbledon…… “New Balls Please”

Finally a little helmet moouse to clean the felt and put up the cue rack for all the house cues, spider
and the shortie pokers for the difficult shots.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

TONY DOWN

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EXTREME MAKEOVER PART II

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART II

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART II

Making a Jumbo

Several parts can’t be found or sourced so some substitutes are required. No side decals with the
manufacturer’s name for the tank, and the wheels are still questionable? ….. and the new color scheme
may not be to the restoration purists liking. However as the owner of the beast usually gives me a
blank canvas I’m sure if he ever comes to collect it he won’t be too annoyed considering what a heap it
was.

All painting has been completed, my fingers are buffed to a fine gloss, alloy and other fittings positively
gleam! So now its time to reassemble the heap and see what the final results will be. Still trying to
source some “amusing” parts for that artist’s touch, need to recover the seat in some of the world’s
most expensive leather and beat those wheel rims into submission. Fork oil seals to be replaced as
soon as they arrive and then fit all the new goodies and the grey mudguards. I think it will look good
but I’m sure there will be the doubting Thomas’s out there that will criticize the new look “John Player
Special” livery….. but what can you do with old UV faded plastic?

After 2 very cold days and a good dose of snow attention was turned on the seat and on removing
“Shade’s” attempt at the recovering mess the seat base was in 2 halves! A small delay here while
some sort of strengthening device is made and then on with the very expensive leather. Another couple
of coats of black for the tank today and then source some suitable decals for same. May have to get my
man in Phoenix to rush me a couple. I’m currently thinking of using the Cagiva type Elephant logo in
gold about 1/4 inch wide with SWM lettering inside the body and then JUMBO where the original logos
were on the tank recess. Some other tasteful decals on the rear section to protect the paint where the
legs rub should finish the job off. Need to find one of those  Domino exhaust lifters/decompressors,
real bugger this as I virtually gave one away on ebay about 2 years ago.

Ventured into the workshop today with good intentions but its too cold! Managed to connect the rear
brake assembly now that its straight and functional along with the reconfigured chainguard and its two
tensioners. Found a few missing items but the speed of the electric drill was causing an icy blast so
the project has been abandoned for the day, tomorrow should be warmer.

Warmer today so time to get rebuilding and see how it goes back together. With the engine in and the
forward bolt and head steady assembly in place time to get the rebuilt swinging arm in the frame. This
took a bit of lining up but eventually the freshly greased bolt slipped through. The cleaned up brake
pedal and rod followed along with the bash plate.

Time for the suspension units. Simple task but here we find “Shade” has used some AF bolts in
threaded metric holes!!! Nothing for it but to drill all the way through and go for a passing bolt.

The “passing bolt” in the top left shock mount to rectify Shade’s work

Upstairs Brenda has been helping out with the seat which was broken. I used a cut up plastic ACU
License to join the two pieces and still retain some flexibility and while I have been overcoming
Shade’s work she has recovered the battered old seat.

More from Shade on the seat

Thanks Brenda

Meanwhile the tank had been left in the laundry room to dry but the sled team ventures in and gave it a
good sniffing so that now needs to be sanded from bloody dog hair and redo the process. Still
waiting on UK parts and another “goodie” coming up on ebay! This project will take longer than I
thought but I’m not exactly in a rush to meet a deadline so a little a day seems the way to go.

De-dogged and repainted

The nasty clutch arm was ground down as it was binding on it’s pivot but is now back in place and
moving smoothly with suitable grease. Maybe refit the electrics today and try some rim bending before
yet more painting. Could even clean the carb and devise the new rear splash guard where the old air
cleaner box was…….and then the lower clutch cable just fell out!!! Jeeeees what sort of engineering is
this? Looks a bit like ice fishing, hole in the top of the clutch casing and the lower cable comes out of
there without too much of a decent seal and then goes to the signal/lightener device on the upper
frame rail. If it falls out that easily just think of the problems if you broke one on the Scottish? and do you
have to take the entire side case off to refit it and drain off all the oil???

The “Ice fishing” cable in the clutch!

Making progress

My local motorcycle shop has an ex trials rider in their workshop! He is even familiar with these
machines and is a wheel builder to boot! Says he can have those rims on before Thanksgiving for
around $90 a wheel……… I’m very tempted. A night to think that over and elect to use what I have,
although had this bike been mine those rims would have been on in a flash. Two new Dunlops and a
replacement security bolt for the front as it was running without which no doubt caused the valve to
slide inside. New tube and plenty of washing up liquid on the bent rim and she pops on. Now I’ve not
fitted Dunlops since the 70’s when I got them for free and in recent years I’ve been using Michelins and
the IRC’s which almost go on without any tire spoons, not so with Mister Dunlop! The side walls are as
stiff as a brick and its almost painful trying to get the valve and tube in !! Finally on and set so just
the new Renthal sprocket and the day is done.

As they were………. basically scrap!

The WOW factor……Very smart even if they aren’t round!

With the wheels behind me I can now concentrate on the general rebuild, the ignition, carb and
exhaust can be done along with pegs and the yokes. Still waiting on fork seals but I can complete the
back end and make the new splash guard. Stay tuned to this site for the next riveting installment of
Jumbo rides again.

Even the cartoon looks similar!

TONY DOWN

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  • 11/22/2009 11:24 AM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    Tony , knowing you as little as I do , and of your love of torque , I can’t wait to see your reaction when the jumbo is up and running proper !!!
    I bet you will have a newfound passion for jumbo Italian old girls … And they turn pretty well too .!
    Reply to this
  • 11/23/2009 4:32 PM Don Schmutzler wrote:
    Tony,
    You should use a old pattern-makers trick the next time you want to bring some old plastic bits back to life.
    Take some WD40 and spray it on the plastic, then use a Scotch bright pad and polish away like you would on a piece of alloy. We used it all of the time to make plastic patterns look like new. We once took a very tired looking TY and used this technique to bring the plastics back to life.
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EXTREME MAKEOVER PART I

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART I

EXTREME MAKEOVER PART I

The battle with UGLY BETTY continues, so now armed with more sanders, cloth and paint remover I
will set  about the beast as I start into “Speedy’s” extreme makeover. The wheels will take the
longest to get anywhere near pleasant but its been done before so I’m looking at around 3 hours a
piece and some sore and battered fingers. This can all be done while the paint is drying interspersed
with yet more polishing of the alloy bits. As my good old drill sergeant in the R.A.F. would tell me
“Mr Down, if it’s alloy or brass it WILL shine!”

Man these are grim! and more flats than a 3p piece!!

The new sanders are in action early today and the workshop is a scene of rust & dust as many parts
gather on the bench and get ready for painting. The frame is sanded but needs that one lug re-welded
so that must wait for Monday but the exhaust system gets the once over and the Pernod blue is finally
removed from the front stays. A day long battle on the yokes continues but by nightfall they are ready for
first polishing and, though I say so myself look pretty sharp! Every bolt, washer and nut gets the sander
treatment and I may now be one of the few people without a finger print as my digits have been buffed
to perfection!

No more Pernod !

That cleaned up well too

First go at restoring the fork legs

While I’m waiting for some of the other parts time to take on the tank/seat unit where “Shade Tree” has
been at work. With all this hideous heavy plastic I’ve never been impressed with self tapping
wood screws on a trials bike but it seems that was the way it was put together. Clearly my old friend,
Shade had an odd ball collection so a variety of Phillips, Flatheads and Allens have been used
connecting the seat and the front and rear assemblies. The recovering of the seat is hardly an
upholsterer’s dream. If you want leather to go round curves then you have to cut it to shape to avoid all
the bumps and wrinkles! Oh well more work here but another task that has been done many times so
not a major problem.

The nasty yellows of tank and seat base are now in the hot water vat soaking ready for their final
cleaning and painting. The horrid little footrests took their first coat along with the rear shocks and
springs. Front stays and exhaust got a night time painting session so daylight will reveal what I
missed.

The “Ali look” for stays and exhaust

Today its time to prep the motor with a lot of washing and then that too can get the new paint along with
the tank and seat unit. Time to order the “new” parts from the UK, namely fork seals, front brake cable,
the two part clutch cable and maybe the tank decals which were broken on arrival. Might as well find out
oil capacities for the motor and forks as this thing is a first for me.

If I get downtown Cortez today the search will be on for some grey leather and a bit of alloy to make a
comp plate to grace the newly polished yokes. Well that didn’t happen, but on a positive side Megan
welded the lug back on for nothing and the tank and seat unit got a good scrubbing. Brakes were
dismantled, cleaned and brake plates painted. One small dribble on the exhaust but quickly sanded
off and refinished. Next up the frame and a first coat in metallic gold. Then to see if the plastic would
take the high gloss black which it did without orange peeling, crazing or running. Maybe I’m getting
better at this painting job. Tomorrow its engine time and then first attack on the less than pretty akronts
and spokes.

Re-welded and sanded ready for some paint

The new look “John Player Special” gold frame

First coats of gloss black for the plastics

It has to be the engine today! Covered in grease and grot with a fair bit of abuse time to see what a
good scrub can do before it too gets the paint treatment. Seems the chain came off at some stage and
smashed the front end retaining clamp and appears to have cracked the guard mount on the motor.
Shade tried to “JB weld” the area but as expected just left an unholy mess. Amazingly the wheel
bearings are still good and the sprockets and rusty chain were changed before it was put away wet
many years ago. It did have a decompressor fitted although the cable and lever were both broken so
yet more bits to rebuild and source.

Scruffy but clean!

The painted engine has that “fresh” look and after a lot of scrubbing in the big sink the wheels at least
looked demi presentable apart from the “flats” everywhere on the rims. One sheet of emery later, all 36
spokes have had their individual cleaning on both sides and look 10 times better. Autosol brings back
the rim! Just the front one to do, if the fingers can take the pain, then go and find a tire shop who has a
rim bender to try and put the flats back in the round….. used to do this on the Bobcat wheels when my
Mexican Army drove them over rocks and concrete and knocked the tires off the rims.

Fresh in black with just the fins to cut

So with only the front wheel to go time to be PATIENT and not try and do things too quickly until the
paint has hardened. Wheel finally done and the rim and spokes have their shine once more but the
rim itself has been tested to destruction by who knows who and has more flats on it than a 3 penny
piece! Last time I saw a flat this bad on a rim was when I crashed the Ossa on Rannoch Moor during
the 1975 Scottish and knocked 2″off the wheelbase. A while spent looking at those gold rims and
wondering how quickly they could be done and rebuilt?

So all that remains is the side cutting on the fins to give it that “Harley” look. Should take about 3 hours
but it really does make the engine look very special even if the rest still looks like crap! Fins now all
re-cut and once more the motor looks new apart from the obvious defects and has now been
reinstalled in the frame with all the Battleship hardware on the head. A visit to Cortez for the seat
leather went well but I feel I got ripped off, but no matter the task is done. The wheel saga continues
with 2 tire shops telling me its not possible, and even after explaining its not for road use I still couldn’t
find the tool so I will have to devise something myself. Perhaps the gizmo that turns off the mains
water ?

Refined and re-finned!

TONY DOWN

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  • 11/19/2009 5:32 PM Mike B wrote:
    Hi Tony,I really enjoy your articles especially your adventures in restoring vintage bikes. I am currently restoring a TY175 and wonder if you could share with me some pointers in painting prep. When you repaint an item, say a frame, do you remove all existing paint and primer down to bare metal, remove just the paint or paint over the existing paint? Do you use a clear coat over paint? I’m going through the trouble of making the bike look better. I just want make sure it stays that way as long as possible. Any other pointers?

    Thanks,

    Mike in CA
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BEAUTY & THE BEAST

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

BEAUTY & THE BEAST


We can rebuild it!…….. stronger, faster, more powerful, prettier, the
Bionic JUMBO

The decision to do something with “Ugly Betty” was made, mainly due to boredom so after the mini
photo shoot of her in the “before state” time to start dismantling the beast. The tank and seat unit
seems to be mainly held on by gravity so that was the first to go revealing some classic “shade tree”
modifications. The replacement rear fender had broken away from its mounting point and another bolt
was broken off in the frame but it was quickly removed and set off on another journey to the dump
along with the lifting rope that was fitted to these bikes.

Now bearing in mind this machine is going to be “el cheapo” and for the most part will be refurbished
with what parts I have left over from my rebuilding days I’m looking at minimal new parts and a lot of
work with the sander. As more and more abused and battered parts are taken off once again I can’t
help but notice that Akront rims get an incredible beating compared to D.I.D, I have a couple of gold
rims in the shop but wheel truing is not one of my specialties so I may just clean up the old ones.
The footrests are small and primitive and have no angled hanger so they only move in the vertical which
seems like a backward step. The exhaust seems very Bultaco’ish with a collection of clamps and
springs but is soon in the refurbishment bin as the task continues. The airbox, although reasonably
well thought out is difficult from a maintenance point of view as there is no boot from the carb and
therefore requires a lot of struggling and heaving to get the carb on and off without damaging the rubber
inlet to the motor or the airbox itself.

New air system coming

Various bits, cable ties and gummed up cables leave the scene as surgery continues. The front wheel
complete with puncture and missing valve stem takes a little removing as the spindle is stuck and
won’t come through the damaged speedo drive but eventually she drops out and the very ugly stays
and front fender follow.

At the back end it looks like the chain has two connecting links which have been mounted opposing
each other, how dumb is that? The rear wheel once free of the very bent brake rod drops out and I can
now look at the chain guard which is certainly not of Italian manufacture !  Functional, but exceedingly
crude, with heavy alloy welding and poor attention to finish!

A lot of bent bits!!…..YIKES!

Up front the fork legs are removed and the upper clamp is not connected to anything and spins free
without any tools required. Likewise the lower yoke is loose and and whole assembly drops out without
any effort. Amazed that the quality betor yokes have been painted but that was the hideous “Pernod”
requirement from the sponsor but my intention is back to polished alloy if I can get the paint off.

A lot of work here to get back to polished alloy

The goofy clutch system is disengaged and also the electrics and worn out plug cap. Now for the
engine! The rear support is the swinging arm and a single bolt at the front seems to be about it, apart
from the Battleship Missouri mount on top of the engine which is really an afterthought and again
functional but there had to be a better way? Only way out for the engine is through the bottom so the
good looking bash plate comes off and the Austrian Rotax engine drops clear.

Nearly done

Now what????

I have bars, tires and some spare levers and I think I have enough throttle parts to get Domino back in
shape. Nothing for it but some good old elbow grease and a lot of sanding and polishing. The
“industrial strength” paint remover does nothing! Yet more crap from the Green party as we can’t have
anything that might actually do the job in case some poor soul licks it and burns the skin off their tongue.
With aching arms years of grot are removed and the fine sander brings back an acceptable finish to the
swinging arm.

The cleaned up S.A.

The suspension units are dismantled and alloy becomes shiny again, the brake rod is straightened,
the snail cams are hammered back flat and all spindles spun free from corrosion so they might go
back through the bearings. First renovation of the forks legs goes well and they at least look reasonable
apart from some deep gouges having been crashed through big rocks.

First cleaning of one unit

Time to see what my paint stock holding is and whether I can devise something that will look like the
owner actually cared! Perhaps a Gold frame? with a silver exhaust, …… still fancy the black tank, grey
fenders etc, but all this could be subject to change

My lucky day as “ACE” are having a sale so I stock up on yet more sanders, paint and emery cloth and
then some hi-heat engine enamel for the motor and exhaust. So now its another day of sanding and
washing the grease off the engine and that yellow tank arrangement ……. to be continued!

TONY DOWN

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  • 11/16/2009 4:53 PM wayne wrote:
    C’mon Tony! More boredom = updates, this one is going to be interesting to see what you make of this tank!
    Reply to this
  • 11/16/2009 5:52 PM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder !!!
    Jumbo’s are/were great bike’s ! And I know yours will be unique with the DOWN massage … And the linkage under the tank was to increase leverage on the clutch , worked for Bernie !!! (but you knew that , I’m sure )Father of the one or two finger clutch… Keep us posted , I’m still looking for a jumbo to get remanufactured and move in with the fantics …
    Cheers , Glenn
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  • 11/16/2009 5:59 PM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    PS. permatex gasket remover will eat/soften alot of old baked epoxy’s and /or paints ….
    Reply to this
  • 11/17/2009 12:02 AM Don Hale wrote:
    Well Tony……here you go again, fixing up another vintage bike. I know you don’t like this bike but I bet when you’re done with it, it will look great. I’d also like to know how well the bike works as a trials bike, looks aside ?
    Reply to this
  • 11/23/2009 10:35 PM Steveo wrote:
    Here’s a cheapo repair that works well on scratched fork tubes-I use a couple of eye loupes taped together for studying the damage close up.Then a piece of fine emery paper,at least 400 grit,on a smooth mill file with a light penetrating oil for a lubricant,to gently remove the high spots of the damage.Often putting a bit of masking tape near the edges of the damage,so as to not marr the rest of the fork tube.
    Then comes a good solvent,to remove any oil residue,brake cleaner or lacquer thinners.A small dab of J B weld to fill the void,and with careful touch and observation,gently use the fine ,lubricated emery on a flat surface to remove the rest,cleaning the emery often with lubricant,so as to not get any fouling to possibly re-scratch the repair.Re-install the tube with damage to the inside and some new fork seals!I have successfully done this type of repair on many occasions,it’s a decent option to a $500 fork tube…
    I bet that when you get your Jumbo project finished,that you will be delighted with its performance!
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UGLY BETTY

 

UGLY BETTY

UGLY BETTY

This machine arrived from Colorado about 2 years ago and sat in the workshop along side another
280 model from the same manufacturer. I had already acquired most of the replacement parts for the
smaller model and was about to set about rebuilding the pair when everything around me collapsed.
The 280 was dismantled and sold on ebay for more than I paid for it with parts going as far as Italy and
the UK.

Man what an ugly beast,…..it just sat and looked at me, I’ve walked round it, inspected it from every
angle, tried to imagine riding it, even thought of different color schemes, seen pictures of it in action,
tried to get my mind around the name, but no matter how I see it in my mind’s eye I’m still left with the
image of one of the ugliest trials bikes ever produced! I refer of course to the Speedy Working Motors
creation…….. The JUMBO.

Not a thing of beauty!

Anything this ugly….. no wonder I haven’t touched it

SWM appeared in the  70’s with some ISDT bikes and then with a ton of money they moved into
the trials scene and managed to virtually acquire the entire Bultaco works team with some decent
salaries for their efforts. No surprise then when you look at the machine to find that it is very similar
to the Bultaco of the period in terms of layout, suspension, overall design, and looks….. although
Bultaco never produced anything this gross!

 I’m not entirely sure what has happened to it’s owner as he won’t reply to any of my emails so I’m left
with this butt ugly heap in the workshop amid my own shiny creations (well whats left of them). Should
I rebuild it or just wait until he asks what has happened to it after two years plus ?

It seems that nobody really liked it when it was imported out here, other than the man who rode it to a
World Championship,  and Arizona superstar Andy Saum who rode them exceedingly well when his
family was the US importer. I suppose if I change the colors, never much cared for Pernod anyway, got
rid of the rope lift thing….. which I thought was a “Shade Tree” add on until I saw Bernie reaching back
and lifting the rear end during the BBC Kickstart trials, and did some serious polishing, then maybe I
could take it to a trial without being embarrassed.

As for colors the readership will be pleased to know that I’m out of my purple phase so I’m leaning to
blacks and silvers for this one. Maybe some of these new Krylon paints will have the answer for that
God awful discolored yellow tank and side panels. Maybe a black and gold engine, gold exhaust,
polished alloy rear end, grey/silver guards, black tank with gold logos and a silver hammered frame?

Destruction begins after a quick before and after type photo shoot. Strangely it has two connecting
links on the chain facing each other! The tank and seat unit are off and some strange head steady
assembly is revealed. There are 5 big Allens all bolted in the head and another monstrosity for some
primitive clutch mechanism. Now why did they use those Wassel handlebars? I think I still have
enough spares around to get this thing up and running and there will be a few changes coming. Of
course my knowledge of this machine is zero at the present so it will be a quick learning curve but on
the positive side the carb looks pretty functional, although the cable and twistgrip isn’t, and it has a
good spark which is a plus.

Bent levers and Wassel handlebars and the rear rope lifter

Clutch mechanism or a train signal?

More parts removal today and a lot of rust removal along with trashed tires and bodged up cables and
fenders to go in the bin! So far only one lug broken off and one snapped bolt in the frame. The airbox
will get the heave -ho and a nice podded system will be fitted…. the rest I’m afraid is crude and very,
very, UGLY !

TONY DOWN

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  • 11/12/2009 10:03 AM Marc Price UK wrote:
    All in the eye of the beholder as they say.
    For my part is is a shame to see a bike like this blinged up with gold and fancy colours.
    An unuasual bike has a lot going for it.

    I like the yellow and Blue tends to go well with it.

    Now as for those white sunglasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    1. 11/18/2009 10:03 AM wayne wrote:
      We all have different tastes! It’s all reversible though.
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  • 11/23/2009 10:12 PM Steveo wrote:
    Stepping out into the unknown and away from your trusty Yamaha’s I presume?
    Well I’ve had the privilege of watching a very good rider,do absolutely amazing things on one of those,rather expect that you have too.Hence your reasoning in purchasing your beast?
    Riding here on Canada’s west coast is fine yet,with the exception of our usual rain…..not that I do much anymore what with a new girlfriend and all….
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  • 12/8/2009 8:58 PM Michael H wrote:
    Had a Jumbo…too much power or not enough Bernie type skill…still sorry I sold it. Great Web site!
    Reply to this
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