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Bearded Baldys dirty toys

Bearded Baldy

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Had a customer come in one day talking about the new quad he had just ordered, the bike shop wouldn't give him anything for his old one as it 'needed too much work' etc etc but they would dispose of it for him if he dropped it of... yeah right.

Asked him what he would take for it if i turned up with a trailer, a big chocolate cake was his answer (good thing my wife is a baker/cake decorator for a living).

At this point i didn't even know what breed of bike it was, but i wanted a quad for hooning and hunting missions so a couple of days later i went out to the farm after work.

Talk to old mate for a bit then he tells me the bike is waiting by the hayshed. Only bike i can see over there is a big late model looking thing so i park up and wait for him to wander over.

He looked at me like i was an idiot for a few moments then pointed to the one i had seen. 'Yeah it needs all the brakes done, wheel bearings, bullbars and handlebars got a bit twisted after i rolled it the 4th time, but it's your problem now hahaha'.

And that is how i became the owner of an '07 vinson 500!!! (not quite 10 years old at the time)

Big strip down and inspection followed. Had to remake some of the frame.





Clean up the faded plastics. Rebuilt the brake calipers with new pads, new wheel bearings and a balljoint. Then a few fiddly things.


For future reference, vinsons use datsun 510 universal joints which are cheaper than suzuki branded bits.

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Got used for everything from hunting and moving fallen tree bits to pushing the boat around. But after 5 years of getting parked outside without a cover it was looking a bit tired again. So a few months i stripped it down to give it another birthday.



Found 4 or 5 broken wires in the headstock loom and replaced the set of wires from the 4wd switch to the loom plug as they had broken internally.

So now 4wd works off a switch not just left stuck in 4wd with the servo unplugged as my trackside fix that i never got around to fixing.

Upper headlight works, and the speedo which stopped on my 2nd trip away is now functional too.

Made a new grab rail for the rear tray so the kids can actually hold onto something now too.



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Which brings the quad up to date. Still need to get some new carpet for the tray but otherwise ready to go.

Which brings me to the ag200.

Mates family had it in the woodshed and for a high price of $100 i picked it up.

First impressions. Inlet manifold was in 2 bits, fork seals leaking, broken speedo and cable, missing starter motor, oil leaks from a few places.

Good starting point though. 


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Started to give it a quick wetsand to tidy it up but ran out of paper halfway through.


It wasn't able to draw any fuel through with the split manifold so i dribbled some old lawnmower juice down the sparkplug hole and kicked it over. Started up and kept running so idled it round the backyard to check the gearbox out. Made it to 3rd but couldn't pull any revs.

Then parked it up for a couple of months.


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This week i decided to get it to at least start and run nicely so took it into work to play with it at over lunch.

New manifold, choke cable (was siezed), and a diaphragm for the carby was the initial idea along with obviously cleaning the years of shit out of the carb.



There is a rubber bung that plugs the pilot jet tube that was perished but not available locally so i put it back in and reassembled the rest.

Took the tank off and gave it a rinse out too. So of course after that the fuel tap leaked out its base. New gasket in there and no more wasting the liquid gold.

Started on 3rd or 4th kick so not bad. Still wouldn't rev out, smelled and sounded like it was flooding itself. Brought it home to have another look over the weekend.


Float height is good, jets and ports are clean. Hmmm pulled the pilot jet out again to check the oring at its base. Not looking too flash, so pulled a box of dhla spares off the shelf and found a suitable replacement. 


Had another look at the rubber pilot plug. If it wasn't sealing properly then nothing will work right. No fuelproof rubber in the shed so came up with a different solution.

Cut a thread inside the tube and cut down a countersunk machine screw to plug it up. 



Put it all back together and everything works as it should. Youngest daughter heard it start and wanted to go for a ride so i swapped my shed slippers for boots and we rode around the house and backyard a few times.

Now i have ridden it a bit further i have a bigger list of things to do. Swingarm bearings, unbent footpegs and a clutch job are in the future.

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