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Discussion Starter #1
Hello forum members.

This winter I purchased my first 'classic' motorcycle which I've been dying to do for many many years. I have experience working on classic cars and
was even a diesel mechanic for a short spell, but I've never attempted a restoration on a bike. (I've worked on my newer Ducati, but it doesn't require nearly as much work)

I purchased a pretty ugly looking 1965 Wards Riverside 250 that was supposedly in 'running' condition but I have yet to see it run (other than on a video provided by the seller).
He seemed like a pretty straight up and honest dude so I took his word for it. With the weather now getting warmer here in Canada, I'm hoping to try and fire it up in the
coming days. The previous owner has installed a new spark plug and changed the oil but I'd like to change it again before I try starting it. He also sold it to me with
an empty tank (it was in the very cold of winter) so I'm going to add some fresh 'super unleaded' gas.

Question #1 - Is there anything else I should do to the bike/engine before I try to start it?

Question #2- the kick start seems pretty hard to kick over the few times I tried it, Is there something I can do to reduce tension on this?
It sounds like there's good compression, but a little too stiff for my liking. Is it just the colder temps? It's hovering around the
freezing mark here lately.

Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Vince.
 

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Hi , Just googled an image of this bike looks great !
That bikes a two stroke right? ..
So Id be looking into what two stroke oil you need to mix with the fuel and what percentage or does it have a two stroke oil tank with pump (doubtful that I guess given age ) .
If it were me I'd take the head off and check the condition of the barrel ect before starting .
 

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Hi You have a version of the Benelli 250 which is a development of the 175cc 4stroke, Other members of the engine family are 260 Mojave 350 Wards and 360 Mojave. Of note I have been alongside the 360 version on a rideout and that bike was hard to kick over so may be high compression.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

I don't think I have the nerve to take the head off just yet, I'm pretty paranoid about causing more problems than I actually solve.
I guess I was primarily concerned with there being adequate lubrication before it starts, is there something I can shoot into the spark plug hole to
lube up the combustion chamber?

I bought a 6v charger/tender this week and will try to start it on Sunday!! (wish me luck at least!)

Vince
 

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Hi Vince
Yes remove the plug and put some oil down the hole, and kick the engine over, this should then determine that your engine is free. Put the plug back in and fire up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I attached my battery charger, put some gas in the tank, pulled the spark plug (which looked very clean) and adjusted the gap, followed the starting procedure in the manual and it fired up on the second kick!

The only concern I had was that after it was sitting there Idling for a while the cylinder head and valve cover started to smoke a bit.
I suppose this could have been old oil, grease and dirt burning up. Is there any other reason why it would give off smoke?

Here's a video I made of it running, it sounds good to me.


[video=youtube;9I_XkRofQzY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I_XkRofQzY[/video]
 

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Well I attached my battery charger, put some gas in the tank, pulled the spark plug (which looked very clean) and adjusted the gap, followed the starting procedure in the manual and it fired up on the second kick!

The only concern I had was that after it was sitting there Idling for a while the cylinder head and valve cover started to smoke a bit.
I suppose this could have been old oil, grease and dirt burning up. Is there any other reason why it would give off smoke?

Here's a video I made of it running, it sounds good to me.


[video=youtube;9I_XkRofQzY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I_XkRofQzY[/video]
Sounds good to me from here .
The smoke you'll be getting off the engine is just old dirt and oil burning off.. possibly some wd40 or similar that had been sprayed on for protection.
Glad it's running for you that's half the battle over then

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

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That's a very nice bike, definitely not ugly, well, not sure about the handlebars, but hey, what do I know.
With a bit of good old elbow grease and t.l.c. There is a handsome machine under there.
 

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Your bike sounds great! Nice first start. I'm working on the 350 version of your bike. In addition to this forum, on Yahoo groups there's a Wards Riverside group that's useful.

I'm down in Massachusetts. Where in Canada are you?

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone.

Black Nails: I like the bike a lot and don't think it's ugly either, just in ugly condition. (I've already got new handle bars for it)

sign216: I've been meaning to check out that Yahoo group. I'm in Toronto.
 

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I'm pleased about that, what direction are you going with the renovation, It doesn't look corroded much, so why not just polish it up as is and keep the patina, replacing the gnarly bits as you go.
Or a repaint and clean up. Or a nut and bolt rebuild.
 

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Vince,

About the hard kick-start. A fellow on the Yahoo group had the same problem just last month. Here was my suggestion:

1. Try pulling in the clutch and kicking it (no fuel no ignition) to see what it's like then.

2. Remove the spark plug and kick it. With no plug there's no compression, and it should show if there's other issues.

About the Wards Riverside Yahoo group, there's a couple of guys in the USA that focus on these motorcycles and are really knowledgeable. The Yahoo site can be a pain to deal with, but it's a way of reaching more people, getting more answers.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm pleased about that, what direction are you going with the renovation, It doesn't look corroded much, so why not just polish it up as is and keep the patina, replacing the gnarly bits as you go.
Or a repaint and clean up. Or a nut and bolt rebuild.
I'm thinking of just going with a paint and clean up. The majority of my time will be spent making sure it's mechanically sound and ride-able, after which the majority
of my time will be spent riding it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Vince,

About the hard kick-start. A fellow on the Yahoo group had the same problem just last month. Here was my suggestion:

1. Try pulling in the clutch and kicking it (no fuel no ignition) to see what it's like then.

2. Remove the spark plug and kick it. With no plug there's no compression, and it should show if there's other issues.

About the Wards Riverside Yahoo group, there's a couple of guys in the USA that focus on these motorcycles and are really knowledgeable. The Yahoo site can be a pain to deal with, but it's a way of reaching more people, getting more answers.

Joe
Thanks Joe,
I did try playing with the clutch while trying to start it, and that seemed to make a difference. Without the plug in, it kicked over much easier, and since it's been running it
kicks over even easier now. Maybe it was a lack of lubrication?

The Yahoo site is definitely a pain, that's the main reason I haven't joined that group...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Quick update... I have the bike in pieces and have primed the frame. This is going to take a while.

here's a better before picture of the bike

Benelli3-small.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Can't believe it's been almost three years since I last posted here. Thought I'd check in and update everyone on the progress of the bike. I completed the restoration for the most part late 2018 but wasn't able to ride it in 2019 because it just wouldn't run reliably. It would shut off once it reached operating temperature and would be difficult to restart and run afterwards. After rebuilding the carb a few times and even bolting on a new one I finally solved the issue this past summer of 2020 by replacing the ignition system and converting it to 12 volts. I should have done it from the beginning but was reluctant to drop the cash, I was able to finally ride it a few times. I decided to re-badge it as a Benelli instead of a Wards, I didn't try for an all original restoration so nothing compelled me to keep the wards branding. The colour of the frame is silver, and the tank and other parts are the same colour as an Alfa Romeo I owned when I was 17 years old (my first car). I made the seat shell myself but had a professional upholsterer create the cover.
36491


Benelli250side2.jpg


36493
 

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That has turned out very well indeed, I hope you will get the chance to get some well deserved miles up on it.
The only thing that grates a bit is the lagging on the front pipe, But that is my personal taste, I really like the paintwork, good choice of colour.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That has turned out very well indeed, I hope you will get the chance to get some well deserved miles up on it.
The only thing that grates a bit is the lagging on the front pipe, But that is my personal taste, I really like the paintwork, good choice of colour.
Thanks. I hate the wrap as well but the pipe was horribly rusted so I needed a temporary fix. Im hoping to have the pipe remade one day as I've had no luck finding a good used one.
 

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Cacarella,
I can put you in touch w some Americans that should have new old stock pipes, or maybe some used ones.
It's pricey, but that's the name of the game.
Joe
 
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