I said to my (now) wife Nicola in early 2018. “Do you want that sorted for next summer?” I was pointing at the TS 185 ERX that had been languishing in her dad’s shed for about 20 years. “Okay,” she replied in a dismissive way, challenging my manly ability to undertake such a project.
Four months later, I drag the bike out into the weak spring sunlight and find that things were a bit worse than I first thought: the headlamp/surround was non-standard and the wiring had been butchered, the frame was rusty and the motor didn’t look too good either.
I started stripping it down and putting subassemblies into zip-seal plastic bags. I got most of the bike apart, but the swingarm pivot bolt was stubborn. There followed literally weeks of spraying the area with GT-85, ACF-50, and WD-40. If a can had a number on it, I sprayed it on there. I had to give in and ask Pep from Pep’s Motorcycles. He’s a Suzuki trained mechanic of many years’ experience and if he can’t do it, it isn’t possible. A week later it’s out.
I now got parts ready for blasting and powder-coat. The steel rear, inner mudguard support came out badly from the blasting process with several large holes. Fortunately, I sourced a NOS part from the internet. The assorted parts came back looking pretty good, but the coater had not bothered to mask up or blank off the various threads. My fault for not checking first and assuming it would be done. I purchased a cheap tap and die set, which just about did the job.
I sent the complete wheels off to Central Wheel Components to be rebuilt with stainless rims and spokes. They will also powder-coat the hubs in satin black. It’s right at this point I decide that I am not going to keep a tally of how much I am spending!
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