1953/54 Motobi 200 Spring Lasting
What’s a Motobi? I didn’t know either, but it turned out to be the most beautifully made motorbike I have ever worked on. Every aluminium casting, as well as the yokes, the handlebars, all the tinware, and even the switches, are all delicate works of art. It screws together very nicely too. But the name is weird: a Motobi 200 Spring Lasting.
Anyway, owner Clive bought it to compete in one of those Italian long distance events for small bikes. It had been in a museum for years and the wiring was boffed. He bought a German-made CDI ignition/alternator kit made specifically for Motobi 200 two-strokes, and invited me to get on with it.
The original 6V loom had lots of wiring on contact boards in the headlamp shell, but with the new equipment it made sense to simplify that and put most of the action under the seat. The 63 year-old switches were covered in paint and grease but came up a treat. The 63 year-old plastic of the handlebar switch was getting crumbly but a couple of coats of paint should stabilise it for a few more years.
I loved working on this bike. Clive has some more to do with it: the seat is from another model and doesn’t fit yet, there’s some engine work needed, and a set of new exhausts is on the way. But the completed thing should see some action (1000 miles in four days) in summer 2019.