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