There's nothing like the start of a new build. Like a kid hyped up on sugar on easter morning, the mind darts from one idea to the next, to the next, to the next... Until blammo, you're elbow deep in a pile of bike parts, classic motorcycle magazines and screen shots of your favourite GP racers. You're covered in oil, grease, 30 year old rust from the muffler and exhausted. This is the Earnest bike build, day one.
I had heard through the grape vine that the boys at C's Garage had gotten a hold of the 'new' Earnest motorcycle and that was that. I'm in. My Saturday was sorted. Having 4 motorcycles already myself (of which only one is a road bike) I joined the crew as a fellow kid on a sugar high, eager as hell to build a cool street motorcycle.
Tharr she blows captain. A 1978 Yamaha RS125. 125cc of smoke trailing, ring a ding ding goodness. What a sight to behold. Well, not quite yet at least.
After more than a few smokey laps around the big rural block and with grins from ear to ear we set up shop.
Before tearing it to pieces we made sure all the vitals were good. We already knew it was great at smokey hoons, but we wanted to check what portion of the electrics were salvageable. The headlight, horn and some indicators weren't working but after a few checks with the multimeter, a few connection wiggles and some minor elbow grease amongst the birds nest, boom, we have go! The 6 volt system didn't exactly blow minds and the headlight more so resembles a paraffin lantern but those are mere technicalities.
The torque induction (still unsure what the hell Yamaha meant by that) got the boot along with the chain cover, wheel arches and all the unnecessary parts hanging off the tiny tube frame. Get out of here, be gone you rusty non-functioning hang abouts.
Whilst Adam disassembled the last of the excess parts, I whipped off the carb and the plug for a closer inspection. A quick check of the plug didn't whisper and foul play although it (unsurprisingly) looked like it needed replacing. I measured the carb bell mouth at 24mm for reference as we will be upgrading the intake to wake up some of those sleeping horses. All those unnecessary parts mean lots of unnecessary frame mounts and clips. Out came the angle grinder and those too got the boot.
The forks got torn down for a visual check and interestingly enough, the head bearings are cageless ball bearings meaning a fountain of tiny grease covered balls came exploding out as soon as the triple clamps were take off. Great. Maybe back to the drawing board on those forks huh. Something with technology closer to this millennium perhaps?
Well there she stands. A very successful day one for these sticky, sugar driven kids. Later on, a few hours of research was put into tracking down key parts and Adam made sure he had enough welding gas to start the fab work. Roll on summer!
Words & Photos: www.christophercain.cc
Building and fabricating is only half the fun...