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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
Just wanted to quickly introduce new member - myself.
I am based in Belgium. Originally from USSR. Did have quite a lot of messing with old Soviet bikes of course. I do a lot of riding and a lot working on bikes - and my friends do take advantage as I tune and fix their bikes :) for free.

Myself I am riding Triumph Scrambler 1200 and Bobber 1200 and me and my oldest son just started joined project.
Bought ourselves 1955 MV Agusta 175 CSTL.
Bike is fully complete, original documents, one owner who used bike until 1967 and then put it in garage.
There is every imaginable stamp in bike book and even all maintenance records he did in local garage in Modena.

I did not have anything apart yet, but I can see that besides some minor issues everything else is cosmetics.
No rust in tank at all (was surprised), all tins are almost rust free. Chrome is mostly gone or in bad state.
Couple of small dents on tank, original paint remaining partially.

We plan to restore it, register it and use it for shorter rides for pure pleasure. We were surprised with how nimble and incredibly comfortable this bike is for our size.
I must say I envy times when they made spring seats - if only my usual bikes seats were so nice.

As it goes I am sure I will ask many questions :)




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Welcome from Philadelphia!
That is a great father/son project. Do you have a general timeline worked out? Keep in mind there is a online site selling rubber bits and random parts in Italy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome from Philadelphia!
That is a great father/son project. Do you have a general timeline worked out? Keep in mind there is a online site selling rubber bits and random parts in Italy.
Thanks. Well, we plan to do most of work in off riding season. Say from November it gets quite grim here (a lot of rain and cold) so I mostly park my bikes since I am more of long trips guy.
Then late march I am back on road. Whatever major I need to do goes into that time, all minor for later.
I plan to go to ACT Italy tour on Scrambler end October, so probably will start after I am back, first week of November.
My son is in Navy, but - engineering so he is most of the time on land on navy base. But weekends he is home.

So plan is to start with engine right in November, go full on disassembly and perfecting all possible. I am mechanical engineer by education but I was forced to abandon my masters in engineering and go make money for family in IT. So for me it is not just hobby, this is something I really need to exist :)
I do have some hobby level machinery in garage (lathe, mill, welding stuff, all imaginable tools I can afford) so I want to do all I can myself. But I won't be touching machine work on valves and cylinder - my machines too imprecise for it. I also need to check how is state now, make lists of all needs replacement, go to 2 major "oldtimer markets" in November and try to source what I need directly. We have MotoRetro in Belgium - small but very condensed market with a lot of parts and massive Veterama meet in Germany that takes full day just to go through. So there is a chance to get some parts, plus ebay etc. etc.

I wonder - do I need to replace valve seats to survive unleaded gas on these bikes? Or generally better to never even attempt unleaded and just put additive each time I fill up?
 

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Welcome to the family !!!
Great project you have taken on. Looks to be in good general condition.
You will find there are parts and owner manuals, but no workshop manuals (that I could find), but the assembly is straightforward and not hard to decipher.
I believe you will find the valve seats will be OK with unleaded.
The lead content in gasoline was not a critical element for valves as once thought. The primary purpose was to raise octane...it was an anti-knock component.
2 sources for information I have found helpful are these clubs:
MV AGUSTA CLUB SWITZERLAND
MV Owners Club of Great Britain
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the family !!!
Great project you have taken on. Looks to be in good general condition.
You will find there are parts and owner manuals, but no workshop manuals (that I could find), but the assembly is straightforward and not hard to decipher.
I believe you will find the valve seats will be OK with unleaded.
The lead content in gasoline was not a critical element for valves as once thought. The primary purpose was to raise octane...it was an anti-knock component.
2 sources for information I have found helpful are these clubs:
MV AGUSTA CLUB SWITZERLAND
MV Owners Club of Great Britain
Thank you!
This is good news. Indeed, my worry was based purely on old 1938 NSU 601 OSL I had once....or say I had half of it :)
I managed to get engine running but seats were real soft and did not last without a bit of cushioning that is side effect of leaded...then I sold unfinished bike.
Great to hear it is not case with MV.

I managed to download owner manuals from some site of MV museum. And parts fiches.
But I am not too worried. After repairing 120 kg of swiss watch like GW1800 engine (full "split case" job) and gearbox in my garage I do not think anything scares me anymore :)
Thanks for links too!
 

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This is an exciting project and well mapped out. Would love to see photos along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks!

Got itch yesterday and spend 2 hours removing big dent on lower part of tank. Succeeded but...damn those tanks were made of some kind steel. Had to use a lot of force to bump it back out. Last time I worked that had was removing dent on old soviet K-750 bike fuel tank. There it was just thick.
 

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Cool. I imagine the top dent will be even harder, no? From your photos it appears as a dent and a crease. At least there should be enough material to reshape without unintended splitting. Heat would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep, top dent going to be trouble. The crease is from top yoke hitting tank because steering lock stop plate snapped one of lugs off. I guess in 33 000 km it did had some accidents :) but that dent looks deeper than it actually is, so worst case I will give up and do old school filling on it.
Looks like we won't be able to retain original paint and clear coat over (my son asked). We'll see.

Now I am trying to find match to real light lens to keep it exactly as it was. It is some kind of different one, not like most I've seen.
Also left side cover has damage to one of upper bolt holes. But I dead set on replacing only big chromed parts :) like rims - rest I want to keep original.
Chroming here is waaaay to expensive nowadays.
 

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Chrome plating is waaayyy expensive everywhere !! There are alternatives now with "chrome paint"....but it isn't quite the same as real chrome.
I have a "Paintless Dent Repair" guy I use when reconditioning old gas tanks. Same technology/process as the auto dent repairers, which is this guy's primary business. But the thickness of motorcycle tank steel makes it a much more difficult job then a car fender. Only 2 out of the many paintless dent repair (PDR) guys in my area will touch a motorcycle tank or fender. They have built special fixtures to hold the parts and provide leverage points while they work on them.
I am sure there must be some in your country.
Here's a link to his site if you are curious.
The 2 Yamaha gas tanks shown in his "gallery" are my recent projects:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Chrome plating is waaayyy expensive everywhere !! There are alternatives now with "chrome paint"....but it isn't quite the same as real chrome.
I have a "Paintless Dent Repair" guy I use when reconditioning old gas tanks. Same technology/process as the auto dent repairers, which is this guy's primary business. But the thickness of motorcycle tank steel makes it a much more difficult job then a car fender. Only 2 out of the many paintless dent repair (PDR) guys in my area will touch a motorcycle tank or fender. They have built special fixtures to hold the parts and provide leverage points while they work on them.
I am sure there must be some in your country.
Here's a link to his site if you are curious.
The 2 Yamaha gas tanks shown in his "gallery" are my recent projects:
I was gong to go that route until I found that since I last time used that service here it changed quite a lot. Cost wise and being picky :(
Generally it is sad to see that tradesmen level degrades.
Trust me, US and UK and few other countries are in way better shape when it comes to those kind of metalwork, custom work, machining.
Last time I sent my drawing for steering stem to local companies they wanted to charge me 400+ euros for 1 part to turn on lathe.
I ended up being saved by friend from bike club who had massive CNC lathe...in his garage.
Sadly he passed away since.
The regulations in most of EU made it impossible to register for road anything custom, this had direct impact on custom builders of all kinds. They are "underground movement" :) now. And prices are through the roof.
 

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@bluesman Would it be worth shipping to the US and back? Prob not... prob silly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I got most of dents out. It is not perfect, but ready for normal treatment with tiny bit of bondo to smooth "dings" that remained.
What is really strange that crease in front of tank was easiest one to get out and it left zero mark.
Well - I used DIY tool :) took massive m24 bolt, turned its head into mushroom shape on lathe, welded it to piece of rebar that I can bend and...just after total of probably 8 hours and totally worn out wrists :) it's done.
Took rear numberplate off, it was split almost completely in half (weird metal, very hard and splits are multiple cracks as in hard plastics) and somehow managed to weld it back at 30 Amps with 2.5 mm welding rods using my old inverter. Damn, I want TIG!
So it started moving :)
 

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Progress!
cast plate mount?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Progress!
cast plate mount?
No, it is definitely stamped sheet plate. It's just very brittle. Looks like high carbon steel which is weird for numberplate/light holder :) it cracks like...like...forged knife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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new old stock found in Italy, just received. A little surface rust on inside but pristine condition otherwise. Definitely new, never used.
I found so many parts I can replace I start to feel my bank account getting empty in future. :)
But we will try to retain as much original pieces as we can. It is big chromed parts we will replace. Rims, exhaust, headlight trim, probably if I can find them - forks lowers and shocks, may be fuel cap and handlebar. Looks like it is way cheaper than rechroming...but we will see.
 
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