1961 BSA C15 250cc
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My First Restoration Project - 1961 BSA C15 250cc

Posted 09-29-2011 at 03:31 AM by Curley

When i was a kid, my neighbor used to ride around the estate in his Norton. It made some noise but it just looked beautiful! He had a routine for riding the bike on Saturdays at 5pm every week.

I always looked forward to seeing the bike motor along the estate and the sound gave me goose bumps!

That was when i said to myself that someday i want to own something like that! I was 10!

From the dream of owning, it grew to restoring a classic and riding her with pride and joy.

Now almost 30 years on, i am one step closer to my childhood dream of owning and restoring a classic bike.

On September 17 I rented a van and headed over the to the Wales with my mate Sean, to take ownership of a 1961 BSA C15 250cc. It was about a 2 hour drive from Dublin to Rosslare in Co. Wexford, where we got the 8:45am ferry over to Pembrook in Wales. After a 4 hour ferry ride, we had a beautiful scenic drive through Welsh countryside. It was another hour and a half's drive to where the bike was stored.

The guy selling the bike took us around back to where the bike was stored. Looking at the bike, my heart sank! It looked worse then what the photos depicted! It was too late to change my mind at this point. From the sale description, the owner mentioned that the engine does not turn over as well. So i was expecting it to be a costly and long restoration project.

With the bike loaded and secured to the back of the van, we headed off back to the port to figure out how we are going to kill the next 10 hours while waiting for the next ferry crossing at 2:45am. Sean suggested we get the bike out at a petrol station where there is a jet wash and we can spend some time hosing down this bike which has been left in the rain for many years.

Not far from where we picked the bike there was a station with jet wash. Now, where we picked the bike up was in deep Welsh country. I was not too sure if we will have the remake of "Deliverance"

So, we got the bike off the van and rolled it to the wash area. Dropped the coin into the machine and started the pump. Gave her a really good hose down. She started to look a lot better as we were hosing her down and getting all the crap off. The we realized that the bike was not in such a bad shape after all. This was a surprise especially when the previous owner mentioned that the bike has not been started for 14 years and was left in the rain! He also mentioned that the engine actually ticks over and should start. :
So we had to try it, Sean did a gentle kick on the kickstarter and it did turn over really smooth and we heard some suction/compression!!!

That just made my day! The bike was better than it looked or thought! So after some tinkering with the bike as it dried, We got the cans of WD40 out and got all the nuts and bolts soaked. Then loaded the bike back on to the van and headed off to Pembrook to check out the town and kill some time!

This time i took the longer more scenic route (by mistake) and what a beautiful drive it was!
We arrived in Pembrook and decided to have a drive around and see what the town has to offer. To be honest..... nothing much actually. Its just a small port town without even a cinema or night club. There were some pubs though. So we decided to do some shopping. Never have either of us been in that many supermarkets in 1 hour. ASDA then to TESCO and finally Lidl! That was as much as we could take!

So off to the first nice-ish pub we find as we still had 8 hours to kill. A few pints and a decent meal of bangers and mash helped kill some time. around 10pm we decided to head to the ferry port and since there was a small queue building up, we decided to park up and wait 4 hours!!!

We just decided to tinker with the bike without taking her out of the van. We just tried loosening some of the bolts to see how seized they were. Surprisingly they were easy enough to remove considering the bike has been sitting in the rain for many years!

At 2:45am on 18 Sept, we boarded the ferry and headed home. Arrived in Rosslare at 7:00am and a 2 hour drive back to Dublin.
Got the bike into her new home where its dry and warm!

Pictures to come and will keep you updated on my blog of the progress!
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