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.
‘I PLAN TO ADAPT UNIVERSAL PARTS LIKE SWITCHGEAR’
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