16. July 2010:
An impulse buy of the larger (and better)!!
Again, I stand in front of the gate with another Morini. It is
almost on the brink of beeing embarrassing! The next thing that was supposed
to happen was of course, that I had to finish my current projects, but
then yesterday I "impulse bought" a Dart! Tsk, tsk! Yes, I know! The
Morini virus has hit me hard!
A random look in DBA.dk (sort of
the danish ebay equivalent) and an ad on a very inexpensive Dart popped
up. Information was sparse: engine wasn't running, and there was also
no picture, but I said to myself "I can always have a look at it -
a Dart 400 engine is always nice to have."
The trailer behind
the Fiat 127 and onwards to Herning. A couple of hours on the road and
I was received by a namesake, who, by the way, also is a trained engine
fitter. Then a little further to his garage, the door was opened and a
Morini in a condition a lot better than expected was revealed to me - So,
of course there was no way round buying it!
Back home I
immediately looked at why it wouldn't start. It soon became obvious:
the timing belt was missing several teeth and was almost worn thin
from what seemed to be a lot of attempts to get it started. The
Morini got a new belt and the valves were examined: three pushrods were
bent. They were replaced, the valves were adjusted, it got a pair of
new spark plugs, and I also found a battery for it.
Typical problem born out of ignorance.
My guess is that there most likely has been mounted a NOS "original" belt.
It was also a B-belt on an A-pulley, so it has certainly been very
loose. Since the Dart (at least with fairing) offers the engine and
thus the belt higher temperatures such an old belt has a short span of
life! Good thing I have a couple of the excellent HNBR belts in stock!
Then the big moment came: would it start? Five seconds with the
starter and it started to cough - and very soon it had the finest
stable idle! I took for a spin to get it warm and changed the oil - also no
nasty surprises in the oil! Wonderful!
Hmmm, now I got quite
keen on getting the MOT done in a hurry. I didn't need to buy anything; tires
and brakes were fine. Only a couple things needed attention: horn and
brake switch weren't working and the foot rests lacked rubber.
rest of the evening was spent with the project: The horn switch was
missing a spring. I made a new one out of a modified spring from a ball
point pen. Brake switch only needed lubrication, but where do you get
special rubbers for the foot rests at midnight? Well, you simply cut a couple of pieces out of an old tire.
Around two o'clock at night the bike was, in my opinion, ready for inspection.
Midnight ingenuity... I do not know if
it would have passed the MOT without rubbers, but it felt better with
- rubbers a la BT45!
Friday morning I washed the Dart and went off to the various
authorities to get a short-term plate, MOT, insurance papers and
finally the license plate.
The reason why I wanted the MOT
as soon as possible is so that I can lend it to my sister-in-law. Her
Excalibur has a totalled motor (a wrist pin on the loose and the
following implications require a new piston, cylinder, crankshaft and
connecting rod). She got her drivers license last year and has barely
had a month with her Morini. I feel a little sorry for her having such
an aggravating beginning of her Morini-life, so the Dart came perfectly
timed. She comes on a visit in the weekend and so I can give her the
surprise that the biking-season for her isn't quite over yet! - By the
way, if you have a 500 motor you want to sell, please don't hesitate to
I have been riding my new Morini around 100 km by now
and have sort of gotten used to the slightly different style the Dart
has - and I must say that I am very enthusiastic about it! I have
ridden a Dart previously, but only briefly and that on wet tarmac.
Today I was able to have fun with it and despite the somewhat bad tires
(I of course am going to change to BT45's when the tires are worn)
I really feelt how well the bike handles! A bit of a shame that I don't
get more time with it for now ;o)
big plan with the Morini isn't entirely clear since the whole thing
obviously cames as a surprise - even for me! But I will most certainly
keep the budget at an absolute minimum. It is so nice looking as it is,
so I'm not going to "renovate" it, but simply maintain it and make
small improvements by and by. The colour combination I'm keeping, but
I'll try to find a fairing or possibly make one myself. Ejvin
Beautiful Morini in Denmark 2010) has made molds for his beautiful
Dart, so I could probably keep the costs at a minimum if I made it
There were prouced some red Darts that were intended for the Japanese market, and that look I'm going to lean towards.
This is as far as I know the original red version
as I said, it's in surprisingly good condition. It is obvious that
there has been a previous owner who knew what he was doing. For
instance, there are stainless bolts everywhere and the alterations in
connection with the removal of the fairing are really well done. I
guess the Morini has suffered the same fate as so many of the Darts: it
has been in the asphalt at one time and the fairing was ruined! - The
exhaust is a little scraped and also the handlebar has been in the
All in all I'm really happy about my impulse buy. I
will most certainly never feel "buyers remorse" about it. My new Dart
is cool! and I am very pleased to have a "backup-bike" that
from day one serves a good purpose.