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Thread: Float like a butterfly...

  1. #1
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    25th March 2004 - 17:22
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    Float like a butterfly...

    Sting like a,

    well maybe that should be; Rust like a
    rusty thing.

    A year ago I did something silly. I decided I wanted to start a bike resto project. The subject the mighty T125 Stinger. Why? Circa 1970 these bikes are ‘before my time’ of learning to ride & closer to my birthday. But at my now maturing age I find these appealing more & more. The Stinger was a jewel of a bike for the time & I love the quirky kitsch styling. GP replica stated brochures, despite no self respecting GP bike having up-pipes. . .

    Having something cool to potter around on would be nice, also garners to the hunter gatherer instinct.

    So what to start with? I’d passed on a T125 a friend was selling ~ 8 yrs ago. Time to look at TM. Phew! They’ve shot up in price, seems everyone wants a bit of this nostalgia stuff. So after passing on the million dollar items & finally got desperate & bought something that I knew was a mistake. An incomplete bike that had been half converted into a bucket, but had heaps of spares (probably none of which I would want).

    So the search was on & I’ve been collecting parts here & there & the odd evilbay purchase, pistons etc. Then of course I bought another one. From hereon known as Rusty. With my 500 project & dirtbike maintenance I’ve not even touched them, it’s a 2 year project (ok maybe 3) so gather is all I’ve done.

    - - - - -

    Arriving back from a trail ride early Sunday (don’t ask) I was at a loose end. One of those ends that could only be tied by doing something different. None of the pressing jobs either seemed appealing or had time to be adequately addressed in an afternoon.

    Rusty, time to get busy! Rusty was a TM purchase & had been living on the North Shore. A mate went to pick her up & reported it belonged to some Old Hippy with a dozen broken vehicles in a house on blocks with a caravan. A total Gunner (I was Gunna get around to fixing it up but. . . ). From the look of the bores this was a very low mileage bike which had some perhaps electrical fault so it was parked & left to die under a tree.

    Perfectly complete but left to rust to death. I hate fuckin Hippies!

    Ok so strip down time & retrieve loom & electrical parts all missing or bodged on the other bike. Seat locks, horn, ignition, some cables, all very serviceable.

    The rest is a total waste of otherwise undamaged tinware ally etc.

    Ok so now I have parts & a list. Once I get things together I will sell off the old useable parts (I have 3 bottom ends sets of forks etc) but I’m still after a decent front mudguard.

    Here’s a picture It’s an after picture. OK it’s someone else’s after picture but what I am aiming for. Actual pics when I bring the camera cable into werk my wife thoughtfully ‘cleared away’.

    Philosophy: I believe it is important to have one at the start of any project. When for example making a racebike it is important to decide if you will ever put it back to road to sell it. If you can make the jump to ‘never again’ then it makes the project more focussed & frees up inhibitions. Sadly the ‘Good’ bike had a few of these festooned on it as I try to retrieve it to road. This is where Rusty gives her organs for transplant.

    . . .So my philosophy is to make a nice run around in very near to shiny new condition. But not concourse. Not all 100% original. The paint for example will be my take on a Suzuki gold/bronze or similar. It will run modern comfortable grips & decent tyres. I may mod the brakes to make them safe. This will be my interpretation of how I remember these cool little bikes. The train spotters will be able to pick the odd hole, but screw ‘em.

    Sadly action will again be delayed, but perhaps 2 years in the future you will be reading about this neat little run about I can take to rallys etc. But I will update this as weekend afternoons occur when I can attack small ‘projecettes’.

    Rusty gets neckid pics to follow.
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    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  2. #2
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    30th August 2006 - 21:44
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    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Sting like a,

    well maybe that should be; Rust like a rusty thing.

    NO, no, sting like a rusty, about to be restored thing! What a cool project! Bikes of my yoff. Keep us posted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gubb View Post
    Nonono,

    He rides the Leprachhaun at the end of the Rainbow. Usually goes by the name Anne McMommus

  3. #3
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    1st August 2007 - 21:17
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    good read...and they were nifty bikes....nothing like a bit of nostalga to realise how old yer arse is!


  4. #4
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    15th July 2005 - 13:48
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    Quote Originally Posted by South3rn Rid3r View Post
    nothing like a bit of nostalga to realise how old yer arse is!
    Oh nooooo - I've heard stories about old guys with 'sore' asses
    Two Words - Denny Crane

  5. #5
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    1st August 2007 - 21:17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex Adams View Post
    Oh nooooo - I've heard stories about old guys with 'sore' asses
    who you calling old? i aint old yet....just reaching the best years!


  6. #6
    Thought you might of been crying Wolf......

  7. #7
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    24th June 2004 - 17:27
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    Thats very cool - nice bikes...

  8. #8
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    22nd March 2007 - 10:20
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    you lucky sod
    A wolf!
    I remember at the ripe young age of 14, riding one of them, at night, down the inland route to Kaikora, before it was sealed.
    Wonderfull fun bike,
    I'm happy to see that at least one will not make the Knackers yard.
    So when I get o my rigi,digi, 14000miles Green high side Suziki AC50 Maveric, the wolf's little brother
    I will remember this post.
    I await with glee the outcome of you endevors
    To be old and wise, first you must be young and stupid.

  9. #9
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    12th August 2004 - 09:31
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    Well done mate. My first bike was a T125, way back when. It was a really fun bike to ride, and much quicker than my mate's SL125. Even rode it from Wellington to Wanganui without a problem.

    From memory they must be one of the easiest of bikes to work on. Lift off the tank and seat, and that's about it. Almost everything else is sitting in the breeze.

  10. #10
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    25th March 2004 - 17:22
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    If I was crying Wolf it would be the T90, although I believe the T125 might have been called Wolf in Japan & was also called Leopard in some markets. I do have a T90 tank in the spares. I had an A50T which was the high pipe A50 & largely the same as AC50 I think.

    The original Mk1 was different again. To be correct the T125 most of us know is the T125MkII. There was also a model with down pipes. The US model had some minor changes, seamless tank & longer seat, headlight shell etc.

    Boy who’s the train spotter now?



    Ok here’s the dreadful reality of Rusty. Fortunately the ‘Bucket bike’ is the one being restored.

    [Edit] note the forlorn 500 awaiting pipes in the background & the compulsory KB calendar as well as a T125 pic & brochure printout on the wall (along with a tasty RZ hybrid).
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    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  11. #11
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    22nd March 2007 - 20:31
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    Wow. That's one mission you've got there. May the force be with you.

    Nice big gargre, but where are the girlie pics? It's so sterile in there...

  12. #12
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    25th March 2004 - 17:22
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    Remember Rusty is just the parts Donor. 'Bucket bike' is the one being restored. I would have posted a pic but it is under the house a bit.

    I was kinda thinking the garage looks so small in the pics as you loose depth & you can't see the rest of it. When I get time I'll smooth over the concrete floor & spray the walls, I only did a quick roller coat a day or so after moving in to get the light effect of white walls. ~ 5 more double fluros were added later.

    We almost didn't look at the house as it only said single garage, & while there is only one garage door there were an awful (most) doubles we saw whilst looking were considerably smaller. Don't care about the 1 door, there was never any danger of a car being parked in there.

    Lesson: never get an estate agent to write your house blurb or any of the marketing info.
    So why have one? Lets leave that for another thread please.
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  13. #13
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    25th March 2004 - 17:22
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    Well why not?, time for an update:

    So this arrived in the mail today; an air intake for a stinger. Both the ones I have are ripped & are of course unobtainable from new, but some chap had gone to the trouble of having them reproduced & I saved the link from an old Ebay advert.

    I've also bought 2 rodkits for a DS80 (thanks Motoequip/TonyB) that arrived last week, although I still need wider big end pins, but with 3 cranks I might press them apart to find 2 goodies. Or there are some in UK that are 17mm but wider & can be ground down. But they were a bit pricey.

    Also obtained is some size up rims so I can fit wider tyres than std. Purists will scoff but I don't care for running dreadful ribbed original 2.5" front tyre & if I go the next rim size I can get 2.75" front & 3" rear tyres that will still look std to all but the Anoraks & allow modern tyres. In addition one of the rims came with a twin leading shoe brake off a Honda or something which was modified to fit an early suzuki. What a score! Again not strictly original but will look period & give a fighting chance of stopping when asked.

    Had a couple of false starts with front guards, but I have something to bodge on until I find the correct guard look I am after (the US ones were slightly different to ours & funkier I think). Wouldn't mind a headlight chrome strip or seat strip but that can all come.

    Oh what joy & I haven't had to lay a spanner on it for months, not that I've had the time.

    Next step is to strip the frame (+ odds like stands) back for painting so I can make a rolling chassis (on some old wheels) then build new wheels & start on the engine & cosmetics.

    . . . . but next step in my list is to stop work on racebikes & start again on the 500 which has been idle & needs finishing.

    Next exciting T125 instalment, ohh, late this year I suspect.
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    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  14. #14
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    20th December 2005 - 21:53
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Pwalo View Post
    Well done mate. My first bike was a T125, way back when. It was a really fun bike to ride, and much quicker than my mate's SL125. .
    A flood of good memories. It was my second bike, had a little Suzuki A50 1st then the T125. Had it several years and got me hooked into bikes. Bought a Honda CB350 next and have had bikes ever since. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since but the Suzuki T125 is really memorable for its good looks & the fun it provided. Cheers.

  15. #15
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    13th March 2003 - 11:47
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    My Bro' had a Stinger in the early 70's a nice gold one like your first pic. The sound they made was fantastic and I loved riding that bike and the engine was very reliable. They seemed to run quite rich so never seemed to suffer seizures even with the iron barrel engine - not alloy like the fantastic A100, but at least the Stinger had a 5 speed gearbox.

    They were good for distance riding with the smooth twin cylinder engine and a soft seat, but the let down was the gas mileage (was miles back then). We lived in Napier and I rode it to Wairoa with the guy from over the road who had a CB450. He was impressed with the pace of my ride on the bike, but I had to gas up on the way. It would only do 40mpg and had a tank not much bigger than a gallon so I had to top up at Putorino each way. Now of course bikes like that would not survive because the gas stops don't exist any more. Ah the memories.
    Cheers

    Merv

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