Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dalesman Puch - Still Kicking

With the prognosis on the accident knee not looking good (two damaged 
Cruciates,two fractures,s/steel tendon clips, half a kneecap missing) 
riding,let alone racing,are now on indefinite hold. In the fight back 
though I'm doing 5 hours a week in the Gym and much to my surprise, 
loving it!Without using the running bikes there's still the sick ones
to rehabilitate. So currently on the operating table
I've got a 1972 Dalesman Puch.The story is this:Over the phone  
I swapped a knackered TY80 kids trials bike project for a
Montesa Cappra roller and a "Wassell" roller. When it arrived I knew 
straight off (from the Puch hubs) that it was a Dalesman and 
even better I had the engine for it. Deal done,the guy 
told me he laughed that morning at getting rid of "this rubbish"
Sold the Montesa right out for £75, the Dalesman had a valuable
(but incorrect)alloy tank and 
the TY80 had only cost me £35 from the local paper.Dalesmans fetch
between £500-£1200 ,pleasure doing business sir,please come again! 
For a long time I put off doing it because some butcher had chopped 
out most of the engine plates to fit a different engine.
As I had the time, I spent some hours armed with cardboard & scissors 
to make the correct templates.Then my mate Mark came round to show me 
how to weld one afternoon. Thereafter with much cutting,and grinding
of 3mm steel I constructed the new plates and welded them in.
Now these are my first  welds and like the farmer's daughter maybe
they ain't pretty but sure are strong.
My ancient arc welder cost me £10 from a carboot sale and the rods
are 13 pence from the hardware store in the village,not expensive.
When I rang my elderly father to tell him of my welding exploits
coincidentally he'd just come in from gas welding on a 1930s J.A.P.
So the two bookends of the British bike story there.
My bike although made in Bradford, used the Austrian Puch 125 engine
Having owned a Puch M125 as a kid 30 years ago I know how well made & 
willing they are, if somewhat peaky for a trials motor.
As a footnote to this recovery period -the day before starting work,
I tried to fire up the Yamaha TY175 with my bad leg.
Ooohhh, I love the smell of two-stroke in the morning!
So perhaps not riding, but still kicking nonetheless. 
The pics are with a scrap motor installed, for proper Dalesman pics see Flickr link on left