One has to go!

Something has been mulling around my brain for a while, something I didn’t really want to admit too .. I am not enjoying riding the twinshocks now that I have been out playing on the 305 !!

Because I just had the 300 at the time I was riding local twinshock events, but eventually I was getting a bit bored and frustrated with them. For obvious reasons they are generally fairly easy and I just want to throw the bike up something bigger or more technical at times, so I stopped riding events for 4 months and just went up to the Zona 1 quarry practice area where I could try some rocks etc. But the problem then arose that the extra weight of the bike started to cause my knee some issues and more often than not I would choose to ride the mono as it was not only lighter but also had better brakes, quicker engine and fair better suspension.

I had always said I would like to keep a 300 as it was the best twinshock I had back in the day and I won many club events and a couple of championships on one back in 1984, but the reality is that I don’t have the space to just keep one in the garage and no-where in the house that I could display it .. even if Jo would let me 🙂

The painful decision is that the white 300 is being sold, it has a new home to go to already. Sad but the right decision. I know I would be better off having a modern bike but can’t justify the cost of one, and I enjoy riding the 1989 305 against modern bikes as well as the option of riding in some twinshock club events on the aircooled mono class.

You never know I may end up with something newer as well, but the 305 is staying. It will get a better engine soon and gradually smartened up, but I am enjoying it as it is for now.

First test of the 305

Steve Saunders giving the 305 a quick test
Steve Saunders giving the 305 a quick test

A request to travel up to the Zona 1 mcc practice quarry to take some images for the Trial Magazine gave me the opportunity to get the 305 out for it’s maiden voyage !
I have just had the barrel re-plated by Langcourts in Weston-Suepr-Mare and Bob Wright supplied a new set of piston rings, so the engine was much quieter now and needed a few hours on it to bed in.

The test for the magazine was on the TRS machinery that Steve Saunders imports, so with him on-site it was common sense to ask an ex Fantic Works rider to give the bike it’s first run and advise.
I had put the bike together basically to see if i had all the needed parts and they worked so i hadn’t actually tested or adjusted anything, it was also fitted with a prototype Hagon rear shock absorber that we are helping to develop so all feedback to them is very helpful.

I won’t go into the detail as it would then make it rather pointless for me to write the article for the magazine … but Steve gave some great advice on front and rear suspension setting, and it was noted that the clutch is probably due some new plates and springs. But other than that all was good .. and the engine is very nice, but i am building a better one to slot in there shortly.

I had a two hour ride after the photoshoot was done and really enjoyed it, amazing how much lighter it feels than the 300 ! I have been getting a little bored with the twinshock events around here as they don’t like to put much hard stuff in the sections so the idea is to ride this 305 in modern bike trials and have a challenge again.

Many thanks to Steve Saunders, John Hulme from the Trial Magazine, Boyeson, Langcourts and Hagon for their help with the 305 … plus more who will all be mentioned when the articles start to flow ! Keep an eye on the Classic Trial Magazine for more news .. http://www.trialmaguk.com

Now we have two white ones !

White 305 to join the 300
White 305 to join the 300

I have had an old Fantic 305 sat in various boxes for a while, and did a swap with Graham Wignall for a 307 that was complete but tatty … so using the two i have put together a 305 to use.

Back in the early 90’s i had a 305 that i purchased as a bit of a wreck, rebuilt and rode in the local events and the North Kent Combine Championship … i ended up winning the intermediate class championship on the bike by wining every round i rode in … fair to say i loved that bike.

_DSC0252

Now i have another, to go with my white 300. I wanted something a little different as since i first brought the bike they have become popular. So out went the fluro orange tank colour and it was done white with an orange stripe! The frame of the 307 had already been done in black, and all i needed to do was spray the fork lowers orange and modify a set of 2mparts carbon fibre fork guards to fit .. Parkey at cutting edge carbon also sorted me out a carbon number board … and here we are.

The engine is a bit noisy, it needs a Nicosil coat done at local firm Langcourt engineering, but i have another complete engine on the bench that is getting a complete bearing, seal and con-rod change plus new piston rings etc. That can be slotted in there when done.

Steve Saunders kindly sent the rear shock off to one of his contacts for a rebuild, i have 4 of them so we have enough spare parts!

300 Michaud replica and 305 ... ready to go!
300 Michaud replica and 305 … ready to go!

The White Fantastic .. !

Well it’s been a busy few months in the garage, and then riding in the 2 day in Jersey.

The 300 Fantic is now running really well, i have used the French spec bike as the base and added a nearly new 249cc barrel, head and piston kit. (the French machines, in case you didn’t know, where 239cc’s for road tax reasons back in the day). I have also fitted and re-jetted a new Mikuni carb as this was an option on the Michaud replica when sold over here.

Still not cut the rear frame loop or cut off the footrest posts so i can fit modern ones but the latter will probably be done soon. Not sure about cutting the loop off as it does give some extra strength to the rear of the frame when i have to pick it off the floor !! 🙂

Anyway, managed a few play rides up at the Zona 1 mcc practice venue … here are a few photos, kindly shot on my camera by riding partner Graham Wignall.

Two become one … and a half!

rearmudguard

For a few days i had two 300’s built but i soon cured that ! The French spec bike i have has been used considerably less than my present machine so I have decided to make that one mine, but it needed all my best bits switched over and the French 239cc engine needed making into the normal 249cc version.

closecaseLuckily ebay came to the rescue with an almost unused barrel, head and piston kit. Current thinking seems to be that you should use 2 head gaskets as the 300 was made in the 4 star fuel era and putting that extra gasket in should help it run on unleaded without too much “pinking” when hot. I really couldn’t be bothered to strip the engine for new main bearings, seals and big end etc at this stage, it all felt ok but i will do it at some point in the future.

The Series 2/Michaud replica swing arm was taken off the old bike, a better airbox fitted and the front forks and yokes transplanted. New cables, bars and grips went on also. A new rear mudguard was also fitted, this time without being cut down! It was always a funny looking tail piece that most of us cut down at the time but as i hope to have this one road registered soon it will give room for the numberplate! The engine I.D. plate was totally worn away but i have new ones so that was riveted on, much nicer.

fullsideThe new Mikuni i purchased from the USA arrived, and didn’t incur any import duty as luck would have it. It is different from the mainly Beta rev3 fitting ones we normally get over here as it has the choke remote lever fitted to move it to the better side for operation on the Fantic, as is the tickover screw. It started second kick but isn’t spot on from the bottom end so i will play with jets and needle settings. As this will be my “keeper” bike i will treat it to new clutch plates and springs … after 31 years i think it deserves it!!

I have fitted a more modern style, shorter and alloy gear lever and as much as i didn’t want too i think i will have to cut the footrest posts off so i can use more modern units. We looked into having some alloy ones cnc’d to fit the posts but no matter what you do you can’t have a cut-out to alloy the mud to drop out because of the stupid posts! They will stay in the same place, nothing wrong with their position.

I have 3 weeks to get it all sorted as i am going to be riding it in the Jersey two day event … well, thats the plan!

So here it is at end of play today … Rear mudguard has had a liberal coating of stickers 🙂 (see top image)

complete