IT’S NOT JUST ME… MEET JERRY’S JUMBO

Classic Dirtbike - - You Neeed -

’Never buy a mo­tor­cy­cle in bits’, I’ve ad­vised this in print a dozen times, so why have I ig­nored my own ad­vice and carted a car­ful of dis­as­sem­bled bike home? Sim­ply, be­cause it was what I could af­ford. I had sold a road bike and hav­ing just a lit­tle cash in my pocket was look­ing for a project, writes Jerry Thurston. My son and I had been do­ing turn and turn­about on our 1980 325 Beamish Suzuki with the usual gen­tle bick­er­ing about whose go it was next. We fig­ured there­fore, that it was high time that we had a bike each, that would both solve the ar­gu­ments and dou­ble the fun. An­other Twin­shock tri­als ma­chine it had to be. In­ter­net dig­ging un­earthed loads of nice things I wanted but couldn’t af­ford and plenty I could af­ford but didn’t want… Typ­i­cal. I did keep com­ing back to one ma­chine I had enough cash for, a 1984 SWM Jumbo 350 TL. Only loosely as­sem­bled for the pho­to­graphs, de­scribed as par­tially restored (never good) and painted in the wrong colours, it looked hor­rid, but con­versely noth­ing too crit­i­cal ap­peared to be miss­ing ei­ther. The more I re­searched the more I was fas­ci­nated by these big Ro­tax-en­gined an­i­mals and so I be­gan to talk my­self into it. The decider was the reg­is­tra­tion plate on the back of it. A bit of re­search proved that the num­ber was on the DVLA sys­tem and re­lated to the ma­chine, so it was road reg­is­tered in pe­riod, a nice lit­tle bonus. With most twin­shocks you can find at least one more for sale for com­par­a­tive pur­poses but try as I might I couldn't turn up a Jumbo in sim­i­lar con­di­tion to com­pare it with. So, with no idea of what to pay I risked a punt at what I thought to be sen­si­ble money for any un­re­stored ma­chine of the era and here I am. I'm aware that there is a long way to go be­fore it's ready but I'm al­ready rel­ish­ing the prospect... –

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