refinish and reinterpret a vintage motobike bicycle.
color, painting, repair, customization
one of the delightful events of the lower mainland is known as “junk day” when the local residents would clean out the garage and put all manner of treasures at the curb for collection.
one of these fine days, some friends and i happened upon a rusted wreck of a bike that was once the pride of the streets and dirt trails.
most likely it was a (raleigh) rampar r-5 or one of its re-branded o.e.m. forms but was missing the plastic gas tank, steel chain guard, and plastic front number plate and reflector.
since then i learned that the bike likely dates from the mid to late 1970s, making it over twenty years old at the time of rediscovery!
the rear wheel mount and the seat bracket appear to be slightly less advanced than the 1978 model linked below so i am guessing this one may be an earlier version.
the restoration and reinterpretation involved cleaning off as much rust as possible, painting, reassembling, and cruising the mean streets of radner.
the major modifications included flipping and rotating the seat post and rear support to move the seat back 6″, raising the seat and tank by 4″, flipping the #6 side number plates to align with the new tank and become #9’s, adding a new sprocket for a better gear ratio and longer cranks, flipping the rear springs for less pinch potential, and removing rear reflector for quick exits from the seat.
the bike was finished with a repurposed kawasaki gas-tank, a new color-scheme, and new tires and tubes.
though a bit heavy, it is a fun machine to ride and always gets noticed.
the full suspension works alright in moderate conditions, but bottoms out when jumping and the front forks top out a bit harshly after every bump.
it’s a classic.