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Home Repair And RestorationLatchy's FS1E Rebuild

FS1E Restoration, The Rebuild Story

Steve, a work colleague and fellow biker, restores bikes.  His current project is an old Yamaha FS1E, a 50cc moped from days gone by.  The FS1E, affectionately know as the "Fizzer", was the darling of every young teenage wannabe speed merchant back in the 1970's sometime.  Claims used to abound of top speeds in excess of 60mph, a whole range of aftermarket tuning parts were available and anyone at the age of 16 would tell you they're the fasting thing on the planet.  I once had the dubious pleasure of riding one of the later models and found it slow, wobbly and downright miserable.  Steve assures me I must have been riding a restricted model and a bad one at that.

Steve proudly assures me his is an early one, this one has pedals!  Yes, pedals, as in pushbike pedals.  Originally the definition of a moped was a 50cc machine that had pedals that could be used if the motor was not running, hence the name moped, motor - pedal.   These pedals are normally both locked in a forwards position to act as footrests, but with a click of a button or whatever can be quickly offset and used to pedal the machine.  Later machines could do away with the pedal assembly and have normal footrests, but the downside is that these machines were restricted to 30mph.  Of course any teenager would immediately remove the restriction rendering the bike illegal.

Steve got the bike in a complete state but in need of a lot of work from another gentleman.  This gentleman had acquired the bike as seen in the picture below.

a yamaha fs1e in bits, all rusty and dirty

Wow!.  That's not a motorcycle, that's a box of rust with some old parts in it.  This chap put all the parts back together then for reasons unknown sold the bike to Steve.  Steve has spent most of his spare time cleaning, painting, polishing and replacing stuff until at the time of writing the bike looks like this.

a clean complete and fully restored yamaha fs1e in blue

Wow!  It's a bike!  I can't imagine how long it takes to remove all that rust.  I can't imagine how long it takes to sand, fill, sand and prepare all those parts.  I wouldn't know where to begin applying paint and polish to achieve such  results.  I would go insane looking through Ebay to find that missing widget.  I have a reasonable amount of mechanical ability when it comes to fixing bikes but I'm beyond useless when it comes to making them look nice.  I guess I'm jealous.  I'm too impatient, I want to see the fruits of my labour immediately not in 2 years time.  I want to ride the bike not lavish it with love and tenderness.  

All kudos to Steve for having that patience.  As far as I can tell this build is coming to an end, there are apparently a few nuts and bolts in need of attention or something as ridiculous as that.  Now here's the bit I really don't understand.  Having spent half a lifetime locked in a cold damp garage with an oily rag and a spanner bringing this thing back to it's former glory...he's going to sell it!  Surely after all that work and effort you would want to bask in the glory of your wonderful creation?  Surely you'd want to park up at your local bike haunt and listen to people saying how lovely it is and what a great job you've done?  Actually I think I do understand.

It's the journey that matters.  When I go somewhere on the bike, the ride to that place is as important as the destination itself, if not more so.  It's nice to have a cup of tea outside a beautiful café in the Lakes, but the ride to the café is the real reason for the journey.  So it is with restoration, it's the act of restoring the machine that's important.  Once the machine is complete in all it's wonder then there's nothing left to do is there except look at it.    

FS1E Restoration, The Rebuild Story The tale of stephen latchford rebuilding and restoring an fs1e
A Box Of Bits, Paint and Engine A box of fs1e bits and pieces and some work on the tank and the motor
Home Repair And RestorationLatchy's FS1E Rebuild Random Link

Reader's Comments

andy said :-
wow what a beuty i had exact same model\colour back in 79 it was the best thing to go out at night with baffles removed and ride around thinking you were the bee,s knees! only thing that ever whent wrong was spark plug fouling....bought in 79 for £240 and sold in 80 for £240 with another 10,000 miles on it....my reg no was ABM 624S and my one had pedals, but was super quick compared to other s reg ones that had no pedals but top speed of 30 mph. must have been good cause i continued to ride bikes up to 1100 cc but still look backin fondness!!
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Paul said :-
good god man, all mopeds had pedals by definition back in the day. I've been the proud owner of 18 FS1E's over the years and the one I own now(#19) is the first that has no pedals.To be fair, good on you for doing the bike, even though looking at it, the only bits left from the heap would be the frame and engine casings. So sad that people let theses beauties rot, forgotten in barns, garages and sheds. I use mine as often as possible, rain or shine. They are no good in the back room of your house just to look at.Unless your lucky enough to own several and can afford to leave 1 or 2 for display only.
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Tony Collins said :-
That's my bike on my garage floor I don't even know a Steve
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Ashy said :-
Well I've just got what I believe to be a 1975 fs1e yellow and black Frame swinging arm headlight bowl ears all nuts and bolts been chromed ,wheels rechromed respoked so cannot wait to get the rest done but all you guys give me the inspiration to crack on

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gaz (fev) said :-
Very smart fizzy i had one back in the reg swx 373 r i would love another even now at 45
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