Monday, August 20, 2012

1956 Csepel Danuvia 125

I've been slacking on the Isetta restoration recently because I recently acquired a new toy. It's a 1956 Hungarian motorcycle called a Csepel Danuvia 125/D. It's basically a Hungarian version of one of the most copied motorcycles of all time, the German made DKW RT125. This bike received a very thorough restoration in Hungary a few years ago before being imported to the United States. Generally I like to do my own restorations, however being a big fan of DKW's and this style of motorcycle, I jumped at the opportunity to acquire this bike.  

Some of the original Hungarian paperwork that came with the bike.

The bike runs great, but before I start riding it, I wanted to do a few little things. The spark plug cable that was on the bike seemed too short and was a little too modern looking for my taste. I replaced it with a vintage style woven cable. Also the wiring on the bike was done with a brown wire that looked a little too much like lamp cord, so I replaced the wiring and used a vintage style woven sheath over the new wiring. I also eliminated all plastic cable ties and electricians tape and instead used vintage rubber John Bull type rubber ties.

The bike didn't have a fuel filter, so I added a fuel filter that looks period correct. While I was at it, I pulled the carb and cleaned it. I drained all the fluids, so that when I start riding it it will have all fresh lubricants and fuel.

I also noticed that the bike was leaking a fair amount of oil out of the clutch side engine case. While searching for the source of the oil leak, I did find a few other minor problems. As you can see in this photo, the threads for the oil fill hole are stripped. The cap was basically just sitting in the hole. 

The source of the oil leak was that the shaft that the gear shift lever attaches to had a bad oil seal. Not a big deal, however there was another problem that put a slight delay in my riding plans.

Before the engine case can be removed, the kick start lever and the gear shift lever have to be removed. I had noticed that the bolt on the gear shift lever was so over tightened that it was bent. I had to cut it in the middle to get it removed from the gear shift lever. I soon realized why it was so overtightened. The splines on the gear shift lever and the shaft that it connects to were completely gone. If I had to, I could juke up a repair, however hopefully I think I've located a gear shift shaft and lever with good splines. I'm hoping I can get these parts fairly soon and get the bike back together before winter sets in. Oh well, I guess I can get back to work on the Isetta now.

Incidentally, there are also some weirdly awesome Hungarian microcars.