Paul Davies plans to ap­ply the Park­ing­ton method to cre­ate a dirt bike


A brace of Brit beau­ties plus a very pre-loved Suzuki be­ing revived the CB way

As with most older bik­ing chaps, I miss the heady days of youth and my early bik­ing ex­ploits. Mine started in the late ’70s, rid­ing on a dis­used rail­way line on friends’ bikes: a Yamaha TY80, DT100, DT175, YB100, Fizzies – and, when her back was turned, my mum’s Puch moped (which I still have).

I also have fond mem­o­ries of a Suzuki TS50ER and TS185C. It got me think­ing that maybe I could treat my­self to a ‘cheap’ birth­day present of a dirt bike, then join a club. But with even a medi­ocre trail bike fetch­ing well over a grand, I had to con­sider mak­ing one out of a spares-or-re­pairs road ma­chine.

I looked at bikes that were com­plete enough for a day­light MOT, but be­yond most peo­ple’s per­cep­tion of a restora­tion project. Then I put in an in­sult­ingly low bid on an on­line auc­tion site and had my bluff called. My lucky £300 buy (I hope) was the 1970 TS250 II Sav­age you see here, im­ported from Las Vegas. The mo­tor is seized, it has the wrong tank (1971) and is miss­ing its air­box, gen­er­a­tor cas­ing and other bits and bobs – but the ba­sics are there for me to make a start.

The staff at Huggy’s Speed­shop in Ather­stone, Warks, the place I bought the bike from, were very helpful with NOVA pa­per­work and gave me a tin of GT85 to help re­move parts for trans­port. They even do­nated a load of old plas­tic mud­guards for me to adapt. It’s a good old-school bike shop.

My in­ten­tion is to get it run­ning first, then get a day­light MOT – with a ‘make do and mend’ phi­los­o­phy I’ve picked up from Rick Park­ing­ton’s ex­ploits in CB. So the tank stays with maybe a touch-up of Ham­merite paint, and the same goes for the frame and ex­haust. I plan to adapt uni­ver­sal parts like the switchgear, speedo and var­i­ous other essentials. I may fit lights at a later date, al­though I can’t see me do­ing much mid­night green­lan­ing. As the bike was im­ported from the States, the bits I have are sur­pris­ingly solid – even the seat base and ex­haust. I have since found out that the 1969/70 TS250 is very dif­fer­ent from the 19711979 vari­ants. It does, how­ever, seem very well made and of a higher qual­ity than later mod­els. It’s a great lit­tle piece of trail bike his­tory.


It’s a start: the TS250 Sav­age cost £300 and has all the ba­sics

The Sav­age strikes an at­ti­tude against the wall of Huggy’s in Ather­stone

The en­gine’s seized due to lack of use (Paul hopes...)

Plan is to get it run­ning then go for a day­light MOT

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