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Old 4th August 2010, 12:04   #1
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Default Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B

The year was 1980.

M had married T the year before and they had moved to Coonoor. M worked in Coonoor and T in Ooty. The commute on the bus was becoming pretty downright miserable given the weather, et al.

One evening T landed up at home and there right in front of him was this beautiful piece of machinery, glittering in all its glory.

It was a Yezdi and was a gift from his wife.

That bike saw many a happy time touring the southern states Ė Ooty, Coonoor, Pondicherry, Chennai, Bangalore and so much more.

It also saw some dark hours.

Once, M was waiting with some friends at their favourite Chinese joint while T was on his way to join them. The manager Po Kun was a friend and had joined them at the table. A call came through for Po Kun and he left the table. When he came back he was holding a stiff brandy. He asked M to knock it back before he would tell her what happened. So she did and listened.

T had been on his way up the hill. Opening up the throttle on an empty stretch he accelerated uphill. From nowhere a truck appeared on the wrong side of the road. T didnít have the time to even take his hand off the throttle, let alone brake or swerve. He was hit straight-on by the truck. Thrown off the bike, he flew through the air and landed somewhere down the hillside.

Miraculously, not a single bone in his body was broken. He suffered from great pain caused my muscle stress and whiplash over the coming months, but, he thanked his lucky stars that day.

The bike was a complete wreck. A write-off. The insurance company said it would cost as much to repair the bike as to actually buy a new one and so they recommended buying a new one. T flatly refused. No matter how much time, effort or cost, he would have none other than his bike. And so it was resurrected.

When their son was born, he rode around with them on the bike in a sling which M had designed and made. When he was old enough, they made a seat on the tank (the safest place on a bike for a child) and he spent many a happy hour sitting on the tank with his feet on the crash guard and his hands holding the inside of the bars. He knew when his Dad was coming home since the roar of the engine coming around the corner, would echo around the sleepy colony in Chennai.

Come 1992, T was posted to Bombay and, since public transport was the only sensible thing to use there at the time, the bike was taken and parked in his fatherís garage in Chennai.

Over the years it stayed there. They returned from Bombay but the bike papers had been lost and, he being a stickler for rules and having no time at all to spare, it continued to stand in that garage.

The son wanted the bike from the time he was 12.

Come 16 he begged for it and they spent the next couple of years searching for the papers but no sign of them.

Come 18 they gave up and bought him a CBZ. It was the best bike on the street at the time and he loved it. But, his heart always lay with the bike that stood in his grandfatherís garage.

He left the city for another, then went abroad, sold his CBZ beforehand, spent a couple of years wandering around, came back and wandered around. All the while he searched for those papers but no luck. Briefly they turned up Ė found by an old friend in her house, apparently given to her many years ago to pay road tax and then forgotten.

And then they disappeared yet again.

Eventually, he moved to Bangalore. His heart always having been set on that bike, if he could not have that one, he would have another. He bought a Roadking.

When T was in town he saw it and a big smile lit up his face. He swung a leg over his sonís bike and shot off down the road before he could be warned that the brakes werenít as great as they might seem. He returned a few minutes later with a glint in his eye.

Three weeks later he told his son he could do what he liked with the old bike.

The Yezdi still stood where it always had Ė for nineteen years.

It was loaded on to a truck last Wednesday and after four tension-filled and abuse-riddled days, it finally landed in Bangalore. The transporters missed the first consignment on Wednesday so it only left on Thursday. Then the truck broke down along the way so it only reached on Friday evening. At which point the stupid lorry driver drove straight to the airport since he wanted to ship the major part of the consignment overseas. It was kept there overnight and finally reached his uncle's place at 4 on Saturday.

A quick word on the uncle. He spent the last fifty years fiddling with bikes. Worked with Enfield R&D, raced Enfields at Sholavaram, opened the first Suzuki retail shop in Bangalore, imported the first Ind-Suzukis to India, was given an award by Suzuki for a suggested design change which allowed quick change of tyres, is now retired and spends his time restoring bikes. His garage includes his own 1963 Jawa which he was given by his grandfather when he was 16, a stock, limited-edition RZ350 signed by Kenny Roberts junior, a street-tuned monster of an RZ350 and a 1954 Matchless. His promise to the son was that if he got a job and moved to Bangalore, they would rescue the old Yezdi and work on it together.
So the bike finally landed at his place and was wrestled down off the truck.

The *******s hadn't tied it properly and it had fallen over!!! The right side brake lever had broken off (@)(#@&$)(&!!!!!!!!!!) which is tragic as it had lasted 30 years and is simply impossible to find and replace these days.

But, it had arrived, at long last.

It HAS arrived.

As you have no doubt long since guessed, I am that son and its been a long long wait for me.

But, the time has finally come.

I immediately took a bunch of spanners to it, pulled off the saree guard, side luggage rack and the crash bars. I also took a heavy hammer and mallet and broke the lock for the steering (the key for which had also been long-since lost).

MIRACLE OF MIRACLES - the piston moved freely and there seemed to be great compression in the bike's engine. It has NEVER been rebored, is running a standard bore and has only 39,000 kilometers on the odo. I nearly did a jig since I was sure that the engine would be a wreck and rusted through.

As the pictures will indicate, this is going to be a long project. Iím going to be working on it over the weekends with my uncle.

There will be times when nothing happens. But, as and when it does, I shall update you all.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and sharing in my happiness.

Cheers

Rahul
Attached Thumbnails
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Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3184.jpg  

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Old 4th August 2010, 12:44   #2
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WOW!!! That thread made for a great read. Absolutely loved the way it was written and also the story behind it. The bike looks in a pretty descent shape compared to the bikes that I have seen. I have a JAWA of a similar vintage and its in a much worse condition. I hope to restore it soon.

Coming back to your bike. I hope that you, together with your uncle bring it back to all its glory. I am sure that T would be very pleased to see her that way.I wish you all the best with your restoration.

Regards

Rahul
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Old 4th August 2010, 14:34   #3
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the B types a beaut!! and its in perfect nick too,, dont attempt repainting it, i feel it jus needs a good wash and polish, youll never be able to match the factory paint finish, my 83 d is still on the original paint and it s still strong. you might have to buff all the Alu parts ,, try not changing anything, get it running and ride it around for some time before you attempt to jump into it. youve waited a long time, have patience all the best
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Old 4th August 2010, 15:40   #4
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Well pened Rahul, loved reading it. Best of luck with the restoration. Hope we'll get to see pics of your dad riding the restored ride.
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Old 4th August 2010, 15:55   #5
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Great write up and a even beautiful example in terms of the Yezdi. Best wishes on your restore. Hope you go all the hog is restoring it from scratch so it may last for your kids too...
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Old 4th August 2010, 16:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
WOW!!! That thread made for a great read. Absolutely loved the way it was written and also the story behind it. The bike looks in a pretty descent shape compared to the bikes that I have seen. I have a JAWA of a similar vintage and its in a much worse condition. I hope to restore it soon.

Coming back to your bike. I hope that you, together with your uncle bring it back to all its glory. I am sure that T would be very pleased to see her that way.I wish you all the best with your restoration.

Regards

Rahul
Thank you for the compliments namesake Would love to catch a glimpse of your Jawa some time. You should actually take a gander at my uncle's. Its stunning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by howler View Post
the B types a beaut!! and its in perfect nick too,, dont attempt repainting it, i feel it jus needs a good wash and polish, youll never be able to match the factory paint finish, my 83 d is still on the original paint and it s still strong. you might have to buff all the Alu parts ,, try not changing anything, get it running and ride it around for some time before you attempt to jump into it. youve waited a long time, have patience all the best
Thanks so much. Yes I certainly will try and keep as many of the parts as I can. And I'm certainly in no hurry to get it all done immediately. First things first - the engine. Once we can get that up and running, we'll take it from there. I'd love to try and see what it looks like under the grime but I'm really doubtful about the paint being a keeper... The reason being that rust has set in over the last two decades or so in Chennai. Even the places that look ok in the pictures actually have rusted. It isn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been and thats only thanks to the fact it was in a sealed garage for most of the time but still.. Aluminium parts will be cleaned and maybe buffed a little but I prefer the dull finish to the high reflective gleam. Will see though If you ever bring your bike through Bangalore I'd love to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorpsycho View Post
Well pened Rahul, loved reading it. Best of luck with the restoration. Hope we'll get to see pics of your dad riding the restored ride.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sats View Post
Great write up and a even beautiful example in terms of the Yezdi. Best wishes on your restore. Hope you go all the hog is restoring it from scratch so it may last for your kids too...
Thanks a lot guys. Really appreciate it. Will certainly keep you posted as things progress.

Cheers

Rahul
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Old 6th August 2010, 19:59   #7
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Ah, so she finally arrives!! But documents still missing?
I dont think she really needs much more than a good scrub, a good lube job and some TLC to get her started up.

Congrats on her arrival, and good luck with everything!! Keep us posted for anything you need. Let me know if I could drop in over the weekend.

Cheers,
Rahul
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:36   #8
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UPDATE:

Hey guys,

Woke up late-ish on Saturday and had planned on working on my Roadking with my uncle. So headed over to his place and spent the day changing the piston on it (opened it up for the first time since getting it as I had found the bike seizing at speeds of 85 - 90 km/h). The piston turned out to be some local thing and the expansion at high speeds was causing the seizing. That done, I'm now running it in for another 500 kms.

But, spent most of the first couple of hours admiring the beauty of the Standard.

First things first, I was STUMPED to see the tyres weren't flat. My uncle had simply tried his luck and filled air in the tryes. By the end of the day, the front tyre was still holding with no loss of pressure. The rear tyre was slowly deflating over a period of hours but I was amazed. After 20 YEARS these things should've had big gaping holes in them. They shouldn't have even been able to inflate with air let alone hold it in. With a change in tubes, the tyres might even be good for a little bit (or a little more than that ).

Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3195.jpg

It gets better.

As you can see from the pictures, my uncle has already stripped the bike. He took a buffing machine and simply pulled it along one of the pipes and voila! Wonder of wonders, a layer of dirt and rust came off exposing the orginial chrome underneath! I was gobsmacked!

You can see the difference between the two sides of the bike (only the right side had had the initial layer 'peeled' off) in the pictures below.

Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3193.jpg
Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3194.jpg
Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3198.jpg
Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3205.jpg

Moving forward, we're going to emery it down until not a single speck of rust remains. Doing that with the tank right now.

The trouble with most platers is that they simply plate over rust which means that the oxidisation process continues under the chrome resulting in the chrome flaking off really fast. Back in the day, the cleaned, rust-free surface was first plated with copper and then with chrome. This would ensure that rust could never set in and the chrome would last for yonks. My Uncle's Matchless was plated like that in Chennai in 1973 and the chrome today, nearly 40 years later, is still perfectly intact. Sadly, this is a dead art.


I find such beauty in the lines of the bike. The stripped bike looks like some beast of out a dystopian movie like Judge Dredd or The Book of Eli.


Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3209.jpg
Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3212.jpg
Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3216.jpg

If I weren't into originality and if I weren't so sentimentally attached to this piece, this would be a beautiful candidate for a bare-bones makeover.

The ignition key was lost and the electricals have been chewed through by rats so we're working on that. Trying to source another key (don't want to change the whole thing) so will have to wait until that happens before firing her up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
Ah, so she finally arrives!! But documents still missing?
I dont think she really needs much more than a good scrub, a good lube job and some TLC to get her started up.

Congrats on her arrival, and good luck with everything!! Keep us posted for anything you need. Let me know if I could drop in over the weekend.

Cheers,
Rahul
Hey Dude. Sorry didn't reply before. Was busy the whole weekend (as you can see from the post) and only the post now. Yeah docs I shall work on. I have a couple of ideas in mind. Might ride it up to Coonoor eventually to get a duplicate RC. Out of town this weekend but perhaps you could come along the next if we're working on it.

Cheers

Rahul
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:43   #9
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And since help was offered I do need some.

The original brake lever was broken and I need one. Not able to find one in the gujli in Shivajinagar. Here are a couple of pictures of the broken one.

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Restoration - at long last. 1980 Yezdi Standard Type B-img_3219.jpg

If any of you do happen to come across one please let me know. I'd gladly take you out.

Cheers

Rahul

Last edited by bblost : 7th October 2010 at 15:10. Reason: Please check forum rules, esp rule #11. Thanks.
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