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How I got started in all this!

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Many years ago I got fed up with waiting for the bus, only to be sat with lots of semi coherent baboons and other lower evolved forms of simian upright walking mammals also known as school children. It was then decided I would do a CBT and get my first motorcycle, at the tender age of 35!

My wife decided to make me work for my first machine, She managed to find a used Yamaha at a second hand bike dealers for one hundred pounds. This was transported home on the back of a trailer that was used by the local gardener. It was wheeled into the garage under the cover of Darkness, which meant I did not get to see the bike in its full glory. I did get the Haynes manual.

I had acquired a YB100.

Daylight and the weekend brought me the chance to examine the purchase. She had been assured that all that was needed were a new front tyre and mudguards. Closer examination showed an exhaust with more holes than James Galway’s flute a rear tyre on the front and a front tyre on the rear! There was fractionally more water in the middle of the Kalahari than there was acid in the battery, the indicator switch was missing the plastic slider as was the plastic choke pull. The chain and sprockets were worn, very worn and there was also a worrying rattle from the petrol tank but it was a bike!

My father was worried about me having a motorcycle, but on one of his infrequent visits he saw my machine and pronounced there was no way I was getting that on the road. I was infuriated, incensed, a tad miffed… So armed with my socket set and spanners, I set to work.

First strip down, battery out and binned, tyres off, chain and sprockets off, mudguards off and the flute was removed. New parts ordered, battery, mudguards (pattern) new exhaust (pattern), as well as two new tyres, tubes and tyre levers.

I had never heard the engine run. Though allegedly the wife had. So the first thing was to charge the battery and fit it, put it on the charger, boiled the ball’s off of it. Realise bike is 6 volt not 12 volt. Get moaned at by wife, new battery 2 ordered. Charge at 6 volts. Fit and connect. Replace spark plug too!

Turn fuel to on. Now in my many attempts to start it our dog (a Pembroke Corgi) started to bark as the exhaust coughed. As I struggled to get the bike to even stutter he barked louder and louder. Then to my surprise there was a roar. The engine sprang into a cacophony of 2 stroke

combustion. Our dog had unfortunately parked his snarling nose half an inch from one of the holes in the rear of the exhaust. One that suddenly spat hot exhaust right down his snout. He shot off like a hound from trap 2 at Yarmouth Stadium and fled up the drive still barking, he then lifted his rear off the ground, span round in a handbrake turn to face the bike and barked his retribution at the thing that had the affrontery to bark back!

That set the precedent, after that whenever a bike was wheeled out of the garage Monty went light. These were thin, metal cows that needed herding back to whatever field of hell they came from and he was going to tell them. He was an entertaining dog!

Next take exhaust off, marvel at thing of many holes, examine new exhaust. Find it is a common exhaust for the FS1E and YB100, think to oneself the baffle for a 50cc will be smaller, will restrict the power. Remove baffle from old exhaust, remove baffle from new exhaust, manage to lose both damned screws. Swear. Profusely. Spy old wooden toilet seat with brass fittings in corner of garage. Realise that the long screws in the hinges look to be the same size as the screws that hold the riser for the seat hinge to the mount on the top of the toilet seat, take one out, see if it fits, it does. Bog seat exhaust christened. At this point I did my CBT! Well it was nearly on the road.

I had discovered that most of the bulbs in the bike were toasted black with crispy filaments, so all bulbs were replaced. Now the sweat really began, chain, sprockets and tyres.

To anybody who believes they can change a tyre for a tubed tyre bike at home armed with two tyre levers I have news for you. You can but it is fecking difficult. Getting that bead over the rim is hard, damned hard, really damned hard, really really damned hard. Once it is over it is fine, it comes undone fairly easily but getting it started is a right pain in the hand, wrist, arm…. I put a front tyre on the front and a rear tyre on the rear I thought that following the way they were fitted to the bike could be a bit of a nono!

Whilst the wheels were off I examined the drum brakes. The linings were thin, down to the shoe in fact. So more spares ordered. Whilst the wheels were off I decided to put the new shiny bits on. With the new mudguards and the new exhaust the bike began to look quite good! Put the wheels back on and set the brakes up.

Replaced the front and rear sprockets, greased the new chain and fitted that to the bike. Lost a couple of screws on the chain guard so just spaced the ones I had left. Now the indicator switch and choke pull had me puzzled, they did not seem to be on any parts list, so I had to find a replacement. At work I realised that highlighter pens could be the answer so I asked the office to save any highlighter pens that had run out of ink, a broad nib highlighter cab filled with chemical metal, painted in matt black Humbrol and drilled became my choke pull, a narrow nib cap treated in the same way became the indicator slider switch. Well they worked!

Time for a test ride. I did have insurance, but stuck to pottering round the estate and I ground to a halt. Petrol in the tank, but no vroom! Back to the garage and take tank off. Grab Haynes and remove carburettor. There is mud in it, actual mud! What the? Tank off and drain and notice that there is mud coming from the tap! Panic. Really panic. Shake tank with fuel cap off and watch gravel fall out.

Some moron must have run out of petrol and put stones in the tank to make whatever petrol was in the tank flow out. Filter petrol using homebrew kit, use it to remove mud from tank and tap. Strip down carburettor, clean everything reassemble, put back together and pray. Turn petrol back on, no leaks good, kick, no spark, bad! Realise you had followed instructions on disassembly to the letter and not on rebuild, refit battery, kick start again, vroom, make mental note to kick oneself up arse.

The only MOT place I could get a slot at was some 20 miles from the house, so armed with CBT, MOT slot details and insurance certificate I set off. The YB was different to most motorcycles with the gears, 4 straight down, I claimed it was a racing box (rather than a moped box). It set off and handled well, got a tank full of fuel from the garage in the village and set off on the long odyssey to the place of haven known as Gildo’s. I waited like an expectant father to find I had got a fail, headlight not aligned, missing screws (that I knew about) and front fork seals.

Back home front wheel off, remove front forks and take to Anglian Motorcycles in King’s Lynn, spanner twirling yes, forks no, I would let an expert do those. The forks were picked up with new fork seals, the front end reassembled, light aimed, new self tappers in the chainguard and a new slot booked. The wife followed me in her Ford Orion on the next run. Going down the A47 on the then new dual carriageway section to Wisbech I crouched over the tank and gave her the beans. The wife following recorded a top speed on the flat of 65mph!

Back to Gildo’s for the retest and what do you know, the YB100 Deluxe had passed. Now why was it a Deluxe model? It had a luggage rack, that was useful you know, I carried a surround sound system home on that (main speaker in the rucksack, surrounds in a cardboard box on the rack under a bungee net)!

Proudly I set off for the centre of Wisbech, where at the Post Office I showed my certificates and got a nice tax disk. I went back to the bike and proudly put it on. My own hard work had rebuilt this machine.

Review Of The YB100 Deluxe Bog Seat Exhaust Model.

Appearances, red, pearlescent red paint makes it look more than it is, a simple 100cc commuter bike. The luggage rack finished in black powder coating looks a bit cheap, but it is useful.

It has an oil injection system, damned useful, pour 2 stroke oil in and forget, check every two weeks and top up. Means no more shaking the bike at the petrol station in order to mix the fuel and oil up. Love that.

The machine will move briskly away from a standing start, easily able to keep up with traffic that is around, overtaking HGV’s along the dual carriageway requires a good run and hope, but I have done it. Overtaking HGV’s on a single carriageway means if you are in your 30s or a non slimline model you will need a bit of a run at it.

Fuel economy is good, it returned on average 90mpg even with me riding it. Handling was something else. The bike did not like a lot of lean, that could have been down to tyre profile, but it was never designed to be flung around getting a knee down anyway. It was assured, even in the wet and cold (I rode this bike all year). The lights however were a joke. This bike was meant to be run in the city, not out in the agricultural depths of rural Norfolk. The glow worm in the jam jar at the front seemed to have 2 settings, dim and dimmer. I managed to find a sort of mid switch position that gave a lot of light to the front, but that stopped the rear light working…

Reliability, walk out, pull choke out in cold weather, kick, start, go. Never stopped doing anything else as long as I owned it.

Fun, we all remember our first bike, this was a barnstorming little beast that set me free from public transport. But I had also managed to get 500 miles of business use on my insurance, which meant I could be sent out making deliveries, I had many nice afternoons out going to local customers with their orders or to outworkers with data discs (this was before the internet really took over). The one out the back of my village was handy, I was allowed to set off an hour earlier from work, go there on my way home on the understanding that I did not claim for mileage as they were close to where I lived, so I would get home, paid, 40 minutes earlier.

If you want an oddball gearbox bike then it is one to consider, but if you are learning to pass a test then it is one to avoid else you will be making clunking mistakes on the gear changes.

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