Moto Morini Kanguro X1: Restoration project
In case you thought that Full Throttle doesn’t exist anymore – you were wrong! This corona situation messed our plans up. We didn’t travel as much, but we didn’t sit still. Join us and read how I saved an oldtimer – Moto Morini Kanguro.
The whole thing started with a pile of motorbike parts which could hardly be considered possible to assemble, let alone run. It looked pretty much like this:
Considering that, there wasn’t much to disassemble, so we immediately started cleaning and sorting the parts out. Everything that was still on the frame was disassembled too.
Certain parts needed a new paint job. For now I decided not to paint the frame, because it was in a pretty good condition.
After a while, this stay-home-work-from-home system turned out to be not entirely bad. You work online and during the break you clean and disassemble the parts. The complete wiring was taken off the bike and sorted out. There were actually not many parts that needed a paint job – only the tank and the mudguards. I only needed to fix some holes on the mudguards with epoxy resin and that’s it. Now, finally, all parts were taken off the frame, sorted out and cleaned.
Then, all bearings were taken out, cleaned and inspected. We concluded that the engine covers were not paired, so I needed to get a new pair. I found them with the little help of my friend Spidi, so that we could move on with the restoration. While I was busy searching for bearing lip seals and other needed items, our friend Max was working on the cylinders, cylinder heads, piston rings, valves and everything else that needed to be done. Max, what would we do without you 🙂
After a while, an unplanned pause had to take place. I had an accident with my BMW, so Moto Morini was left aside for a while. Despite that, soon we continued with the process. While I was fixing the BMW, Morini’s tank and mudguards got a fresh paint job, new tires were bought, wheels were cleaned and aligned and soon everything was ready to be assembled.
Finally, everything slowly started to look like the bike I envisioned. If you ask me, everything needs to be perfect, and when it comes to Morini, I decided to make it as original as possible. I am a land surveyor, which was unexpectedly helpful in this situation. I decided to use photogrammetry and after taking a couple of photos of the tank and the side panels, I used Autocad to make an original template for the stickers. The stickers were prepared by my friend, the owner of the company SiM-Dizajn. My recommendations!
After dealing with the looks, I tackled the wiring with the little help of my dad, who is an expert when it comes to electronics. During the years, I’ve learned a lot from him, but still left the majority of work to him. The wiring was reassembled, all connectors and couplings were fixed and everything that couldn’t be fixed was replaced. Now it was time to deal with the engine.
Engine assembly attempt No.1. As I already mentioned, this couldn’t be done without Max, who did all the machining and other precision work on the engine and thus helped with the overall project. The service manual was not very detailed, to say the least, so a couple of problems appeared. Is there a seal between the engine blocks or not? We tried to assemble it using only a sealing compound, as that was described in the service manual. No good, the shifter was impossible to move. Obviously, we needed to get Klingerite and try again.
Engine assembly attempt No.2. scissors, scalpel, we’re making the seals and trying to assemble the engine. Ok, the shifter works but not entirely smoothly. That’s it, we hoped and moved on – clutch, friction disc, wiring…
After the second attempt, we were quite happy and put the engine on the frame. After a couple of days of ignition tune-up and with the little help of Ivastart spray, it finally started…it’s alive!
Why be simple, when it can be complicated. Our happiness was short-lived, only a couple of weeks until the chain and the sprocket arrived from Italy. I assembled everything and did a short test run. Yeah, right. The shifter won’t shift. I did unscrew the two bolts in the engine block and it did improve, but leaving it like that wasn’t an option.
Engine assembly No.3. We disassembled everything again and I took it to Max again. We concluded that there was a washer extra on the gear drum. The engine blocks were replaced, maybe that’s when something went wrong. Ok, assembly again. Now there was too much free space between gear shafts.
Engine assembly No.4. We still couldn’t get it right, even without the washer. Finally, Max used the good old assemble-disassemble method couple of times and worked his magic. Everything was finally working properly. There’s more to be done, but the engine is finally perfect. All that’s left to be done is just prettying up the bike. Now I started to consider getting a paint job for the frame.
Now, I decided to use the dull cold days to repair the instrument cluster. I carefully removed the ring surrounding the glass on the instruments. Underneath that, there are rubber parts and glass.
After that, I unscrewed the two bolts to remove the entire mechanism from the casing. The instruments were ok, just old and working badly, so you couldn’t see the speed and RPMs properly. That is why I decided to clean and grease the mechanisms, glass and casing. The whole bike was restored, so the restoration of the instruments was a logical next step.
One of the reasons why I decided to disassemble the instruments is the fact that I wanted to put the odometer count to zero. The bike was assembled from scratch, so I wanted to start from the beginning. The whole process of putting the odometer to zero is very sensitive.
Apart from that, as I already mentioned, I cleaned and greased the mechanisms, washed the glass and painted the metal rings fresh black.
After that, it is necessary to be careful that all gears are assembled and working properly. Then you need to put the mechanism into the casing, screw the bolts and put the glass and the metal ring back. Since metal rings were freshly painted, I used the mouse mat in order not to ruin the colour. Then I used the screwdriver to close everything. This is very important so that the instruments wouldn’t become foggy. That’s it for now. Stay tuned