Friday, September 4, 2020

ZB32 finishing touches

Finally putting some miles on to the 1951 ZB32 Gold Star. The bike has thrown up a few woes but it is mostly good now, just a couple of minor oil leaks to sort out plus to get the electrics working properly.

The bike came to me as a part completed project that had sat unfinished for a good number of years. The original plan had been to break it to help complete a ZB34 which was lacking a genuine frame. In the end it seemed too good to take apart and ended up getting completed. An outcome I'm really happy with now. Parting out an old bike never really feels right and as I got stuck in to this one it seemed like it would have been a real pity even though it's not a matching numbers bike (the frame is '51 and the engine '49).

Though the ZB32 was basically sound, as is the way with projects, it needed more doing to it than I had first expected. The good news has been that the engine and gearbox are good. It's a willing performer and hasn't needed any more than filling up with oil. The magneto was very weak when I got the bike, it is now rebuilt and is a genuine first kick starter.

The forks proved to be a bit of a headache to get right. As the bike came to me they were binding terribly. On dismantling I found wear on the stanchions, so they were replaced along with the bushes. Movement was still lacking so next step was some new springs. That has improved things greatly but they are still slightly sticky, now it just seems to be a question of wearing in the new bushes.

After standing so long new tyres were required. Also, a new one on me, though the dual seat looked great the foam had completely broken down inside. I fancied the single saddle look so rather than replace the twin seat an american Le Pera single saddle was sourced. I fabbed up a bracket, measured up the length of springs required and the jobs a good 'un. I like the stateside look to it and it is mighty comfortable.

So now, just some final tweaking to go and all that remains is to get some miles under my belt. I'll get to know the bike a bit and thoroughly test it out and then it is going to have to find a new owner - I can't really justify keeping both the ZB32 and ZB34. Plus perhaps the cash will help buy something else interesting....

1 comment:

  1. A lovely machine. I am no expert on values, but the motor swap seems to me to be "period correct." An artifact of interest in and of itself.