2 stroke Aprilia RS125 Restoration

Two Stroke on a budget – Aprilia RS125 (Part 6)

Project Two Stroke on a budget Part 6 – Plastic not Fantastic

Aprilia RS125 fairing fittingAs I am still waiting for parts my attention was turned to the rather nice looking plastics, which turned out to be not so nice after all. No matter how I tried I couldn’t get them to fit – there are two posts in the frame that have bits attached to the fairings – they are supposed to slide on. If, however I had the top fairing in place the sleeve was about 40mm back from the post it is supposed to slide over. I took the upper fairing off and spotted the problem, the upper support bracket is made to be adjustable – it has two bolts that secure it to the frame, the bottom fixing holes are slotted giving scope for adjustment. With that little trick spotted I soon had it all lining up, it’s all got to come back off for cleaning and painting but at least I know I’m not wasting my time.

The panels were a mile out, I was starting to panic at this stage thinking the frame or something else was bent. It wasn’t the fairing bracket just needed adjusting.

With that done it fitted perfectly.

Aprilia RS125 fairing fittingWhile it was all apart I took the opportunity to remove the old ignition switch. These things are fixed with shear bolts which are designed to not be removable for obvious reasons. It does make it a bit of a faf to remove them but as I had to take the upper yoke of to clean and paint it getting at the bolts is a lot easier. I cut a slot in each one with an angle grinder and a quick tap with an impact driver soon had them out. Everything got a good clean, I re-greased and reset the headstock bearings while I was at it. People often do them up too tight which causes coarseness and can be an MoT failure – these were fine. While I have easy access to the top of the frame I will polish it to make it look like the rest, it’s much easier when it is naked.

Aprilia RS125 yokesI need to get the forks off, I will do that when the back wheel has been put back on, it’s easier to move it about then – I will put it on my lift so I’m not scrabbling about on the floor so much.

It’s all rather grubby but there is nothing broken. I don’t have a key for it so the ignition lock will be removed.

Much easier to get at it all now, I haven’t polished the frame yet but all the dead spiders, cobwebs and unknown detritus have been removed – 5 minutes work but a big improvement.

Aprilia RS125 fairing supportThe fairing support frame was taken back to bare metal and resprayed in matt black, it looks much better now. Once again it’s time rather than money – only a quid’s worth of paint but it will lift the appearance of the finished bike for very little effort.

Everything cleaned up quite nicely and went back together easily, but then it should be easy when you only took it off 10 minutes ago – it’s when you come back to a project after 6 months that things get interesting.

Everything was cleaned and what needed repainting got repainted. I haven’t done the tops of the forks as I may be replacing them – the anodised end caps need replacing as well as one is badly faded. I’ll see what happens fork wise before I decide on that.

Naked but clean and looking a lot better

Everything back on except the fairing. Apart from the fork top caps being vastly different I am rather happy with that.

Aprilia RS125 fairing support fittedMeanwhile, back at the arse end my replacement wheel has turned up. I’m quite happy in that the wheel is in good shape, the disc is fine and the sprocket is in good condition and a 41 tooth one at that – the tyre is not so good. Sure it has only low miles, it’s hardly worn but there are major cracks in it, I ain’t going to use it on a bike capable of nigh on a ton, shit, I wouldn’t even put it on a moped!! Oh well, I ain’t going to whinge it was still ok, I just wish people would tell the truth in their on line listings.

Actually, I lied, I am going to whinge the rear caliper is a stupid design, there I said it. It hangs underneath the swing arm and the bleed nipple is not at the highest point when it is mounted. If you try and bleed it up with the caliper on the bike you are in for a world of pain – it ain’t happening. What I did was to take it off and put a piece of steel about 4mm thick between the brake pads. I could then hold it upside down with the nipple pointing up so I could get the job done. I don’t know how many other bikes are like this, it’s the first time I have encountered it. The method I use is 6 pumps of the brake pedal, hold it down, open the nipple, wait till flow stops, close the nipple, release the brake pedal. Repeat until no more air bubbles come out and you have a good hard pedal. It bled very easily, which is a pleasant change, sometimes they can be a nightmare.  Anyway the new wheel is in for the moment, I will use that tyre for testing and then will put a brand new set on it before it gets sold.

Aprilia RS125 swingarmThe sharp eyed amongst you will notice that my lovely shiney swing arm now has a big ding in it. That was the bloody, bleeding, effing paddock stand did that. I hadn’t realised that the rubber protector on it had fallen off until it was too late. It’s a pretty deep ding too so no amount of polishing will get it out. There might have to be a sticker put over that.

Just one last thing to wrap up this episode – always allow enough time to finish a job so you don’t have to stop then start again later. I had started late one afternoon and then got called in for my dinner, very nice it was too. Anyway, I digress, I came back too it the next day and proceeded to put the back wheel in, fit the chain, align the wheel, fit the caliper and then realise I had left off the shim washer and circlip that can only go on with the wheel out of the frame. There was some very bad language, I can tell you. Anyway, that’s it for now, see you next time when I take the forks off.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

Boston Bike Bits