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Given that the Stinger is far beyond my abilities to repair I’ve decided to start fiddling around with the 185 ER motorcycle to see if I can bring it back to life. I don’t know an awful lot about motorbike repair let alone restoration so this is going to be a learning experience but that’s just all part of the enjoyment, right?

When the bike was discovered we tried kick starting it but it was having none of it. Mostly because something is very wrong with the throttle, it’s jammed and no amount of twisting will get it to move so freeing it up was my first task.

Look at the state of that, just look

Look at the state of that, just look

To add an extra layer of fun to the project I had to find the tools before I could use them. I suspected that everything I would ever need was probably in the workshop it was just a matter of locating it. I was right, and hopefully while I do this I can slowly sort out where things go.

After a bit I’d managed to track down the jam to the bit of wire that leads onto the small bit that looks like a miniature dustbin, or the carburettor as it’s known. The lovely chaps on the Classic Bike forums suggested I just spray that with WD40 and see if that can un-gum it. I’ve given it a good coating so we will find out if that has worked in a day or so.

The top is half off the carburettor in this picture so it looks a bit weird.

I’m going to try and keep to doing the absolute minimum to the motorbike until I’ve got the engine ticking over otherwise I may end up spending a fortune on something that doesn’t even run. While this may be an important part of classic motorcycle ownership I’m not quite ready for that. 


We (my little brother and I) moved the Suzuki TS 185 ER into the workshop today battling fierce weather and curious ducks.

The first bike in the workshop for years

The first bike in the workshop for years

It seemed like the right thing to do as we had cleaned the workshop so that you could reasonably expect to be able to work on something in there. Yesterday I even found the bolt cutters after only a moments searching (instead of several days )and then used them to rescue a friend who had locked something up with a padlock and then rather cunningly lost the key. For future reference using bolt cutters is excellent fun and makes you feel like MacGyver.

Once the bike was in the workshop we had a better look at it.

A lovely dusty bike

A lovely dusty bike

It’s in surprisingly good condition really, I mean almost every bit of plastic or rubber is shot through the but serious metal parts seem to be fine once you get past the rust, but that’s all part of the fun of restoring bikes.

I'm sorry officer I have no idea how fast I was going

'I'm sorry officer I have no idea how fast I was going'

It really is mostly dirt, although there are a few more parts that will need replacing than I originally thought.

The starter switch is going to, erm need some work.

The starter switch is going to, erm need some work. Or to be exact, finding.

I’m not sure where to begin, I suppose a good clean to start things off. Of course, you can’t rush something like this so perhaps the first step should be have a cup of tea and then think about any future steps. Actually with that amount of forward planning it should probably be a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Yes, that’s what this project needs, a tea break.

Since looking at the Stinger the 185 ER is looking far more restorable and closer to being road-worthy. Intelligence reports that the bike runs and is only suffering from a flat tire. It’s been off road for a while and was used for riding around farms doing farm things but it’s supposed to be a bit of a corker.

Many Bothans died to bring us this information*

Anyway here is a photo of it in the boat shed, yes I know there seems to be an unlimited source of sheds at my mum’s place. We have a garage, a workshop, a boat shed and stables as well as a few barns and other slightly wobbly buildings best described as ‘misc’ including a mysterious shed tucked away in the corner that is supposed to contain motorcycle auto jumble but more on that later.

Here is the other Suzuki in the boat shed.

An 185 ER allegidly in working order.

An 185 ER allegidly in working order.

Again please excuse the awful photos, I’ll drag the bike out into the light in a few days once I’ve finished cleaning out the workshop.

Yet more dark photos of classic bikes

Yet more dark photos of classic bikes

I took a photo facing in the other direction so you can see that this is a boat shed with actual boats in, well a boat and then a lot of scrap bits and bobs.

Look real boats, well one at least.

Look real boats, well one at least.

When I took this photo I noticed something else, a couple of bike tanks so I took a close-up photo of them too.

Some tanks and some art.

Some tanks and some art.

I recognise the white one as a spare tank from a trials bike built around a Villiers Engine that my dad made but the bike one is a new one on me. Perhaps another motorcycle is hidden under all this mess? Can anyone identify the tank?

The painting of a sheep was also made by my dad, it’s a strange shaped sheep because it’s a been painted in this funny style which I can’t remember the name of where people would paint animals to emphasize the positive qualities of the beast from an agricultural perspective. There are loads of these sorts of paintings which show giant square cows, meaty pigs and things.

Anyway, I’ve heard that a load of auto jumble is in another of the sheds, one that has been locked so I should go and look in there. Apparently it’s already been picked over by someone else but perhaps I’ll be lucky. There was a time when this farm was full to the brim with classic bikes so perhaps I’ll find a old Bantam that the other people overlooked.

*A Star Wars quote if you don’t recognise it.

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