Project Elsie – MoT Time

1980 Yamaha RD350 LC 4L0 Restoration – Part 13 (MoT Time)

With many of the garages and MoT stations now open again I had no excuse to not book the MoT – the work has all been done, checked and double checked, all I am waiting for is new spark plugs but they can be fitted at any time.

I usually take my bikes to J and B Motorcycles in Boston – there are other very good places, we are spoilt for choice in this town but Julian was open and had a slot he could fit me in to at short notice. The MoT is your best mate. I don’t mean that he’s a great guy to go out and have a pint with but I mean he could well be the bloke that saves your life. Nothing gets past him, he doesn’t care about your feelings, if something isn’t right it doesn’t pass. If it’s all good he will be happy to issue the certificate and both he and you will sleep well at night knowing that all is well.

J&B Motorcycles workshop in BostonBesides all that Julian is a two stroke man and he knows his onions and he knows older bikes as well as any man, we always chat bikes and I always come away with some new piece of knowledge.

The MoT was booked for 10, I took the bike in the van as it had no tax or insurance, Julian helped me unload it and once he had wiped the dribble from his chin he gave it the once over. He couldn’t hide the wave of nostalgia that swept across him and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. He usually likes to give a quick once over to get the flavour of it and then checks the identity before getting in to the test proper. This was a bit of an issue as the bike did not come up on the DVLA database – according to them it had never been MoT’d before. Julian soon sorted it though and created a new record with all the correct details – funnily enough they knew the bike existed and they knew it’s date of first registration but that was all.

So on with the test.

First we had to fit a rear reflector – they are a legal requirement but were not back in 1980 so Yamaha didn’t fit them. A small sticky one was applied to the number plate – £1 seemed cheap enough.

After a good look around and a wiggle of all the footpegs, a check of the swingarm bearings and wheel bearings the bike was wheeled in out of the sun and the lights were checked as was the horn – all good so far. He checked the tyres – they were new so no problem, he verified that I had mounted them the right way round. Next on to the brake check – spot on – not a single wobble or grab the discs were obviously flat and even – bang in spec too.

Next the bike was wheeled forward and the light alignment was tested – just a very slight tweak in a downwards direction and a check of the beam pattern and he was happy. Very happy. In fact so happy he gave me a pass certificate with no advisories on it – YES! Just what I had hoped for.

The paperwork was done and the bike was wheeled back in to the van. It was at that time that Julian realised the front brake lever had gone to mush. Fortunately the certificate had already been issued and he knew I was going to put it right before it left my possession. That’s the funny thing about MoT’s they can only report what they see at the time of testing and at that time it was perfect.

I got the bike home and immediately investigated the cause of the problem, it didn’t take long to spot it. Some half brained fucktard had forgotten to torque up one of the ends on the pipe that goes from the master cylinder to the splitter. I was furious with myself – a stupid mistake like that can have serious consequences. I went round all the others and made sure everything was properly tight – every other one was so all’s well that ends well. I refilled the reservoir, bled the system, cleaned up the spillage and then gave it another test ride – a vital part of any build 🙂

All was good except I lost all electrics – only the CDI unit was getting a feed. Oh for piss sake I thought,  why me? Anyway it only took 2 minutes to find, a terminal had corroded inside a connector and when I took the connector apart it just disintegrated.

A spare one was purloined from an old Honda loom and soldered in place, everything is now back to A1.

I am delighted these problems happened while the bike was still in my care so I could deal with then and no harm was done. I guess things like this can happen on a build of this nature.

I will now hand the bike and it’s MoT certificate back to Scott and Ian and hope that they carry on the story from there. Thanks again to anybody that has subscribed to so that they could follow this series and many thank to Julian for a job well done and for showing me the dyno sheet on his RS250. Guess what project I want to do next. Unless a YPVS comes up, obviously. Dave.

Article sponsored by Wemoto.


Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

Boston Bike Bits