you’ll remember Felicty Jane II. otherwise known as Betty.
well i took her in for a service last week. that and a new pipe. she’d not been running properly since i got her, but i put it down to the pipe she had on, a Sterling “race” pipe. full revs, high speed, she ran like a dream. low revs, like a dog. so i took her in.
so NOT just a problem that a pipe and a service will fix. let me state here and now, the guy i bought her from hadn’t ridden her as he rides automatic scooters. he deals in cars. buys and sells em. so he’d had a call from someone saying they had a scooter as a part exchange/deposit, does he want first refusal? he went through to look at her, liked her, bought her, put her up for sale.
i saw her, liked the look, liked the price, went and saw her, went back, gave him the money and rode her home. all well, as i say, sluggish and not great at low speeds, but open her up and she all but leaps away.
seems that whoever had owned her before that (and the V5 states one previous owner) had attempted to make her go faster, but not done it very well.
they had fitted a larger barrel. badly.
they had fitted a larger carb. badly.
they had fitted what my mechanic called “the largest jet i have ever seen on a scooter” which meant she was sucking fuel into her at a rate unknown to man. not only this, but as she has auto-lube, the oil/fuel mix was really out of sync, which means it was a miracle she hadn’t seized on me (something that my mechanic suspects HAS happened at some point).
the carb had been fitted with NO seals or gaskets, pulling all sorts of crap into the engine.
thankfully, it is salvageable, but at a cost of about three times what the service/pipe would have cost.
so i am saving up. and sitting here pissed off that i have a week off work that had plans involving riding up to Sunderland, down to Lincoln, over to Sheffield and Pontefract, and so many other places.
BUT, after chatting to The enemy, it has been decided that the engine gets done.
my mechanic is one of only three people i would 100% trust to build an engine that i know will be reliable to run and run and run. it’s that or try to sell Betty. at a loss, to then have less money to replace her. which means a risk of getting something much worse and being stuck in a never ending cycle.
then once the engine IS fixed, in the next three years, she is slowly tweaked and finessed and the bodywork and shiny stuff is also updated (panel wrapped, i ain’t made of money!) to turn her into a scooter that would grace the pages of Scootering Magazine. all ready for my 50th birthday.