BEAUTY & THE BEAST
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
We can rebuild it!…….. stronger, faster, more powerful, prettier, the
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.
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
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!