Me on my wee Honda Lead 80 scooter, Winter, 1986 or ’87.  Proper raglan sleeves and 2-tone shoes.  Paisley scarf too, if you could see it.  Sharp Mod gear, even if I say so myself : )

napa lead 80

I loved that wee Honda.  Whizzing along a deserted road on a moonlight Summer night was, to my mind, better than the disco I had just been to.  The little rorty 2 stroke was one of the best scooter engines ever made – a self-mixing, 5 port engine that walked all over the equivalent 125cc Vespa for torque:

After a succession of unfortunate incidents (“hit more times than Frank Bruno“, observed my brother), a design lightbulb went off in my head.  I decided the only thing to do was to strip away the remainder of the bodywork and create a nice cut-down!

Of course, I hadn’t realised that bodywork is there for a reason.  Once the bodywork is removed, you don’t have a hey presto transformation into an elegant cut-down.  You just have a right mare’s nest of wires and cables.  Depressingly, it didn’t look like a minimalist unfaired machine; it just looked like a dog’s dinner with bits missing.

It was beyond my limited abilities, limited tools, zero know-how and lack of patience.  The remains of FIL 176 sat undisturbed in various attics and barns for over 3 decades.

Here is the resurrection – doesn’t she look sad (the ghosts in the background are some folks I’ve blurred out, for privacy reasons):

June 2021

Anyway, there’s a bloke in Lurgan looking at her.  He loves godawful tasks like this.  (His most recent shed-task was reviving an elderly C90 Cub.)  Unbelievably, he even professes to be impressed with the above relic.  “She’s in good condition!“, he exclaimed.  (I suppose it depends on how you look at it lol.)  Immediately, I was reassured, for I knew I was speaking to someone as un-economic as myself.  Although it was a golden era Honda engine, of course.  Engines never came any better.  Of course the engine started.  Happy days …

So the plan is that he will finish what I started in the last century.  Very roughly like this:
Sort all the mechanicals; powder coat the frame (signal orange or amaranth red); route all the wiring inside the frame; get some quality German LED lights and a high-tech instrument cluster from <Moto Gadget> in Berlin, top off with a nice dark brown leather Biltwell seat, and Bob’s your carbuncle.
And if one really wished to go the whole hog, you can still get Jam shoes <here>:
Fizzz, pop, pop, fizzz : )
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