Archive | August, 2010



As I mentioned last time the electricity in the museum is fixed, all the needed light fixtures and wall sockets are there now. During this week the floor and climate control guys will get to work with that. Given that it is an old farm building, all the power needs to be up to spec to handle harsh environments with lots of dust and moisture (not that we”ll have a lot of either…), therefore all the switches are linked directly to relays in the sealed box on the ceiling to cut power completely when you hit the switch. First time I turned the light on I was afraid I the fusebox had exploded, those relays are NOT quiet!

We’re taking another look at a few of the projects we did back in the start of the site. We did them before we really had access to all the parts we have today so a lot of the small details are a bit off. It’s mostly the nuts and bolts we’ve used that are the wrong model, newer ones with markings on the head and plastic non-slip discs. The blue AS1 is actually the first project we put on the site, we were almost done so it’s just the final few steps that we have chronicled.  We had restored the orange AS3 before we started the site.

We’ll strip them down and make sure they’re up to spec with the restorations we do now, some parts will get replaced like the bolts and we’ll probably repaint the frame for the AS1 but they’re mostly good.

And on that subject: the AS2J from france that we got a few weeks back is done! We’ve had to replace some parts like the meters and the handle but the majority is just the old parts with a good layer of cleaning and polishing. Sometime in the past the bike has probably been in a light accident that destroyed the original meters and damaged the housing for the front light.

Now that it’s back together we took it out for a test: the engine runs perfectly, it’s good in idle and it revs smoothly all the way up to the top. On the short street we drove it on it hit 70kh/h without problems and lifted the front wheel of the ground. Not bad for a 40 year old bike!


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Well, have we got great news today: the electricity in the soon to be complete museum is now wired and working! This brings us one step closer to getting things up and running. If all goes to plan the floor will get cast during this week. That means that pretty much within a month we could have everything ready. Expect lots of pictures (though not today, forgot to bring the camera…).

What we do have some more pictures of is the AS2J that arrived last time from France. We stripped it down, polished and cleaned everything along with replacing a few odd bits with original Yamaha parts. I think this is the first time that we have ever had a complete bike laid out in parts at once,  usually we have to wait for parts that are away to be restored.  The working time between the first photos to the last ones is less that two hours, assembly really flies when you”ve got everything prepared in advance!

Just a word of advice with the Flickr slideshow below: the slideshow I can embed on the site only has low resolution images with heavy compression meaning that most of the detail is lost. If you want to see a sharper version in higher resolution – click the name of the gallery next to the Flickr logo in the top left corner of the slideshow and it will take you to the pictures on Flickr. You can also press the name of the gallery right away before starting the slideshow and it will take you to the pictures.


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Some changes


Today we received a brand new AS2J from a seller in France. There’s quite a difference between this one and the last few we”ve received mainly that this one is not a heap of rusted parts! The paint isn’t even faded by sunlight. On top of that it started with the very first kick when we got it.

We’ve also got the engine block for the AS1 project back som getting polished so now we can hopefully make some progress with that. At the same time they fixed our engine block we sent a few pairs of cylinder heads along to see what the result would be and I have to say that they look better than I expected they would. When we sent them off they were some of the worst ones we had, spraypainted and dirty, but they look pretty much like they”re new now. They are slightly more shiny than NOS parts but nowhere near as bad as they can get in some cases.

We also got a big load of parts back from getting galvanized with a new layer of zinc. It cost a grand total of 250 SEK (about 25 euro) to get all of them done, a bargain to make old parts look like new. The main problem is that you have to clean them and strip them of their original coat of zinc completely before they can put a new layer on. That takes a whole lot of scrubbing and some work with acids but the end result is worth is. Now we just have to find the time to do this with all the parts in our old screw drawer…

Today we’re trying out something new: instead of hosting the pictures on the site using the regular gallery we’re going to try hosting them on Flickr. The gallery of pictures is embeded below!


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Bad weather


The bad weather recently and the fact that the holiday is over means it’s time to get back to restoring bikes and not just driving them!

To start off: we’ve received a number of new bikes during the last few weeks, we still haven’t decided what to do with most of them but in order to get more parts ready to send to Smethurst for chroming and various other restorations, two of them have been disassembled. You can read about the process and check out the pictures of it in the projects tab. Since we haven’t decided what to do with them yet they can be seen directly if you press ”Restorations” or follow this link to them!

Earlier today we also got a shipment of parts from the US: a whole batch of NOS steering adjusters!

Unfortunately we’re still waiting for the final pieces for both the blue AS1 project and the ”Titan” project, hopefully we’ll get them soon.


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Double the fun

Where do you even begin to describe the process of disassembling two whole motorcycles… You know from the start that you’re in for a few surprises with each of them but you have no idea what: Will some of the screws be next to impossible to remove? Will the oil have turned rancid and stink up the whole room for hours? Will the frame be mended using ”special” methods?

The first surprise came pretty much right away when I started work on the blue AS2J, after the petrol tank had been emptied and removed it was time to disconnect the battery. First thing to note is that the contact had oxidized and was stuck so I had to remove it by opening the fuse container. Something tells me that this bike had a bit of electrical problems when it last ran: the fuse was a nail!

The oil in the engine was about as fresh as can be expected but at least it didn’t smell all to bad. Unfortunately the wire holder on the generator was broken, I can”t understand why this is the case on most of the bikes we get. Other than that the engine and components were in good order, the clutch carriage is fresh without marks, the plug next to the drive sprocket is whole and the carburetors look good.

Next however came the biggest of the problems: the swing axle that needs to come out in order to remove the right exhaust. It had rusted completely stuck, even turning the head to rotate loose the rust didn”t make the job of removing it any easier. In the end the solution was gratuitous amounts of violence! A hammer can solve those tricky problems. I used a plastic tipped hammer to avoid damaging the metal. A little later both exhaust were removed.

The handle, light and front fork all came off easily. A nice surprise was that the light indicator on top of the headlight had a blue AS3 lens in good condition instead of the standard red AS2J lens. I don”t know the exact reason but the red lens is much more common than the blue lens.

Up next was the second AS2J, the red one!

This one had been up and running on the roads as late as last year, when I started draining the oil out of the oil tank it was as fresh as when it comes out of the bottle so I saved the clean, early flow for when I next might need some oil.  Unfortunately the oil drained so slowly that the sun had time to set before the tank was empty. I let the last oil drip out during the night and continued work the next day.

Unfortunately oil turns out to be the theme of this bike: everything was covered in a nice layer of oil and dust from the road. The exhaust pipes were absolutely full of oil, it”s always good to have a box ready to let them drain into when you”ve removed them so they don’t spill oil on the floor. Other than getting plenty of oil on my hands everything went well until I came to the kick: the splines must have broken at some point because the kick had been welded to the kick axle. That means that the angle grinder will have to deal with the kick but that”s for a later day.

What’s remarkable about both these bikes are how well preserved the front and especially rear fenders are. Usually the rear fenders have severe rust in them, very few are even salvageable to get rechromed, but both of these were in great condition. Especially the one on the red AS2J was spectacular, it was covered with a thick layer of dirt underneath but there isn’t a spec of rust on it!

Enjoy the pictures!

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