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Steve Evans

New Member - 1964 Li 125 Series 2

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Hi Everyone. I'm new to the site with a story to tell. My dad bought this 1964 Li 125 at a garage sale about 15 years ago in Northern Wisconsin. Upon his passing, my Mom gave it to me. In the last few years, I got it running reliably, fixed some of the "farmer-style" repairs and enjoyed buzzing (literally) around our vacation property.

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It wasn't perfect, but it was very original, unpainted and had less than 700 miles. There were a few dings on the rear covers and the leg shield was bent here and there. Here are some reference pictures:

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I had added the horn and light controls, removed the mirror and put in a proper screw, cleaned the carb, replaced the petcock, changed the chaincase oil and put on new Michelins. I added the luggage rack and a nice "Classic" top case to carry items for short errands. She was affectionately, if a bit ironically, called "Flash".  My long-term goals were to incrementally improve and lightly re-condition her over time. I wanted to preserve it as much as possible as I saw her as a survivor. Things were great until last Wednesday...

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I'm a consultant that travels a lot but otherwise works from home. My travel this year has been abnormally low so sometimes, I get stir crazy and like to get out of the house. On Wednesday, Flash and I went out for a chicken souvlaki gyro, a few quarters of Donkey Kong and to sit in the sun and have a bit of lunch. On the way home, a self absorbed driver who was so important that the thought of a 90 second delay at a stop light was inconceivable. Therefore, they decided to run through it even though it changed from yellow to red three seconds ago. I was in the process of completing my left hand turn and, well you probably can guess, someone's day drastically changed...

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First and foremost, I'm extremely lucky and blessed. I have a broken nose, lots of major bruising and road rash but should completely recover in a few weeks. That I'm walking and able to think clearly is a damn miracle. Flash, well, she, ummm....

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Tragic, but I'm glad to hear that you'll be alright. Welcome to the club. You should consider a move to the North -- we've fewer cars up here in Eau Claire! 

 

EDIT: Please hang on to all those pictures -- There aren't too many reference pictures of original U.S. market series 2 bikes. I'd also hang onto the damage pics for insurance purposes. 

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Even though it is heartbreaking that such an original scoot was damaged, I think it could have been much worse. There were no fuel or oil leaks, indicating the engine and gear case are OK. I think the frame and forks are still straight.

I'll need a right engine cover, leg shield, front fender, right rear foot board, headlight chrome trim. The upper part of the handle bar is slightly bent. I hope I can tap that back into shape. I haven't assessed the horn casting yet but I think it is OK.

Right now, I think my plan will be to start the parts hunt now. In winter, I'll bring her my basement and disassemble the whole scooter and do a full restoration. I'd like ideas of how to get a bit more power out of her for easier 2-up riding.

Is it better to start one big restoration thread or ask targeted questions in the appropriate categories? What does this community prefer.

Thanks everyone in advance. While I'm still mad as hell about the accident (it was a hit-and-run to boot..), I'm getting excited to bring Flash back better than ever.

-Steve

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4 minutes ago, ThomasK said:

Tragic, but I'm glad to hear that you'll be alright. Welcome to the club. You should consider a move to the North -- we've fewer cars up here in Eau Claire! 

I really like Eau Claire. I did work at the University and CVTC for 15 years so I spent a bunch of time there and at UW LaCrosse. Beautiful part of the state.

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Really? What department? I started here in '02 (Economics department). I've been riding my Lambretta to work daily since '04 (Schneider Hall). 

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From 1990 to 2008, my company provided the building automation HVAC controls for the campus. I primarily worked with the facilities operations group in the physical plant. I didn't work too much with the educators unless there were special environmental concerns we would address (like chem labs and the like).

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I'm hesitant to jump in on to jump in on this as I'm no expert (and it's a sensitive topic) but really you ought to have a professional appraisal done by a knowledgeable individual. I can't recall ever seeing a Series 2 this original -- it was really something special. It's value would have been quite high. Much higher than where your average *insurance company x* appraiser is going put it. 

Good Luck.  

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Steve , in my opinion I would try and fix the parts .  The original paint is in great shape.  original paint parts come up for sale occasionally as well.  

Last winter I did a nice original series 2 preservation that was A Li 125 and made it a tv 175 series 2 .  Gave it more pep .  A lot of options to make it faster.  

We are repairing a series 2 that was in a tornado currently.  Hit me up if u want to discuss fixing it.  

Cheers Mike

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3 hours ago, ThomasK said:

I'm hesitant to jump in on to jump in on this as I'm no expert (and it's a sensitive topic) but really you ought to have a professional appraisal done by a knowledgeable individual. I can't recall ever seeing a Series 2 this original -- it was really something special. It's value would have been quite high. Much higher than where your average *insurance company x* appraiser is going put it. 

Good Luck.  

Unfortunately, as of this time, no insurance companies are involved.

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1 hour ago, Stu aka S.Hanson #17 said:

I agree with vdublammy. It's only original once. Coerce those dents out, upgrade the cylinder.  A real winner!

Do you really think those parts can be saved? If so, I'm all for it. I just can't imagine that happening. I certainly can't do it - what kind of service shop has those skills?

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1 hour ago, baronvonmike said:

This bike was spotted in an impound yard in Wisconcin.  I guess you recovered it?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1607815065927204&set=gm.1077595905675539&type=1&theater

I can't see the FB photo (I don't do social media). But it if it was at the Milwaukee County tow lot on 38th and Lincoln before Saturday then yes, that was mine.

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2 hours ago, vdublammy said:

Here is the one I did .  

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Mike, that is the spitting image of mine before the crash. Since this is out of pocket - I don't know if I can afford a professional in Oregon to bring her back to life. If you have any leads on replacement body panels, please let me know. I'll discuss with the community further about increasing the displacement when I'm closer to buying parts. Step one is the body.

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Steve, yes they can be salvaged .  Plenty of options .  We can also match paint on parts.  Send me a pm if u want to discuss more.  I will show my painter/body pal this evening some of the photos and give u a ball park to fix.  Also, there is a fine gentleman name denver James who can deliver parts or u could have those parts fixed in ur neck of the woods. cherrs Mike

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Glad to hear you're ok.  Would totally recommend Mike, but if you wanted something closer there is Gran Sport in Iowa.  Agree you can fix what you have, fork and frame you'd want someone to have a serious look at.  http://gransportcycles.com/

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Thanks everyone. A lively, knowledgable and generous forum is invaluable when trying to keep these old jewels on the road. I reached out to my friend who is a metal worker and he referred me to a "master panel beater" in our area. I'll check in with him to see what he has to say. I know an experienced panel guy can work miracles, so we'll see where that goes.

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After reading some of the responses and PMs I've received, I'm considering selling it as-is to someone who can do the proper restoration themselves. I do appreciate the rarity of such an original scooter and am thinking it may be better off if an experienced restorer can do a minimally invasive repair (instead of my well-meaning but inexperienced hands). If anyone wishes to discuss this option, feel free to PM me.

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Glad you are okay - that was a beautiful original S2, heartbreaking to see the 'after' pics.  Sincere good luck wishes on the repair/resto. Mike is a great resource for original paint type stuff.

Sorry for the horrible welcome to vintage scooter ownership those 'cagers' gave you at the stop light.

Looking forward to seeing what you end up doing.

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Yeah, those cagers, especially in certain parts of the city... 'nuff said. I've been street riding since 1991 so I'm not a noob. Sadly, it can happen to anyone at anytime.

What is the best way to determine if the frame is still true?

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