(Jacob Rumans) #1
One of thesignature partsof theRE5 Mwas the
instrument cluster.The one on this bike was tardy
but complete. Thegreen plastic roll up cove r(that
flipsupwhenyou turnthe ignition key) was opaque,
as was the innerclear plastic instrument cover.
The innerone cameuppretty good by sanding it
downwith gradually reducing grades of wetand dry,
thenseveral uses ofT-Cut. The o uter movable green
one also cleaned up ok, but getting the‘hazing’
causedbyyears ofexposure to UV rays was
impossible topoli sh out. FindingaNOS one was
also afutile task....
That carburettor: it’sacomplex piece of
engineering.Therewereamultitudeof filters,
diaphragms, springs, screws and hoses.Imanaged
to ge tthreeofthe diaphragms apartand foundthey
were allsoundwith no leaks. The fourth one
couldn’t be dismantled. The float chamber was
encrustedwith dr ywhite dust.Isprayed some
WD-4 0and Plus Gas in thereand cleanedito ut as
best Icould, thenstarted on removing and cleaning
the jets.Igot three of themout, but theother three
wouldn’t budge.Therewas also one missingbythe
looks ofit.Idecided to drillthemout:big mistake.
Thankfully,Stuart Knox on theRE5 Facebook
forumcontacted me afterseeing thepictures of my
self-inflicted carbcarnageandhereckonedhecould
save the carb.He successfully drille dout the three
jets, made newjets on hislatheand so urced/installed
afew othe rmissing bits for just £106!Ifitted anew
battery thatIhadhanging around, cleaned and
adjusted thepoints –ithas tw osets of points this
bike, despitehavingone sparkplug. ThenIfilled up
theengine,gearboxand tank with newoil and put
half agallo nof50-1 petrol/oilmix in the fueltank.
Thoseapex sealsneedoil mixedin with thepetrol to
keep ’emlubed.The air filterwas replaced and


oiled...Fuel tapon, push th estarter and... VROOM!
With nopipesshe soundslikeaSpitfire ’s Merlin and
theapex seals seem fine!The chromed parts arrived
and were allfittedon, so timetos ee if th efan would
kick in overalonger runningperiod. Itdid, butI
couldspy somewater dripscoming outaholebelow
thewater pump outercasi ng.Ipoured inasmall
bottl eofBars Leaks: end of dribbling!
It wa snow timefor itsfirst test ride. Click up into
second gear; the digitalgearreadout on the
instrument panel was working!
Ahundred yards down theroadthe en gine
wouldn’t pulland started backfiring.Ipulled over
and water startedcoming out of the lower rad hose,
which hadsplit(old hose!).
With ho ses replaced andcarb alterations it went
further,but withabad flat-spot between 3000-
5000 revs that madethe bike almostun-rideable. It
was running VERYho, too...
Stuart hadmade aspark plugadaptor (the
original fat plugs supplied with the bikesfrom the
factoryfoul up often: £50apop) so Ican use
modern plugs.Meanwhile, sorting the carb was
tricky .The Rotaryengine has two carbfunctions,
one for lowerspeeds up to4000rpm and onefor
after.Cable tension and adjustment is critical to
ensure thereis aseamless changeover fromthefirst
to th esecond port opening: hence my issue.
Youneedaspecial tool to calculate when the
‘second port’ opens, whichIdidn’t have, soImade
one.Itworkedatreat. With thesetweaks made and
an upped primary mainjet (112.5),the thirdroad
testwas like being onadifferentbike! Ifinall yhad
aleak-free flat-spot(less) machine!
All Ineed now are new brake hoses (peace of mind)
and new tyres!With the world in lockdown my reliable
and sorted RE5Mwaits for its first long run...cmm

  1. What we call a
    restoration: lovely!

  2. Owners club key
    fob wasavital
    addition at £8!

  3. It could be 1975 all
    over again...

  4. Graham with the
    end result: well done
    that man! All told the
    bike cost around
    £5000 all-in.





28 /classic motorcyclemechanics

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