Bianchi Stelvio 250 - work commences

Published on 5 August 2023 at 13:30
part restored 1951 bianchi stelvio 250cc motorcycle
ianchi stelvio 250 exhaust
bianchi stelvio 250 front brake hub

Despite having a ton of work to do I decided that today should be spent fannying about with my newly acquired 1951 Bianchi Stelvio. Most of the day was spent cleaning, polishing and making lists of things I need to buy to bring the bike back to what it should be. The list is long and most things on it are very expensive, the scarcer the part the more it is likely to cost. Things like the chain are standard - in this case a 420 x 122 links, I have a 428 on there at the moment but it's too wide and not in the best of condition. Feeding it on to the front sprocket is a nightmare, you just can't get your fingers in there or see it so you are working blind. What I did was to put the bike in gear, feed the chain over the top of the sprocket and then use the kick starter to turn the engine and hence the output shaft so it fed the chain round. When I had enough to grab I put the bike back in neutral and pulled it through. When I get the new chain I will join it to the old chain so I don't have to go through that again, I will pull the one that's on there through and the new one will follow it.

I made a couple of brackets - a stay bar for the front brake drum - it stops the drum rotating when you apply the brake. Very simple, straight piece of 20mm wide 3mm thick steel strip with a hole in each end, painted gloss black to match everything else. While I was at it I made a bracket for the exhaust silencer and put all that together, it turned out the down pipe was too long so I had to cut about 60mm off it to make it all fit, I am assuming it was a universal one. Everything is lined up so it's straight but misses everything like the kick starter and frame parts, I am well pleased with it.


I polished both wheels, the engine, the forks and a few other bits, I also checked that the points work - they do. I need to get a 6 volt battery and then put in some wiring to check the ignition system out in full but it's looking good at the moment with all resistances looking in the right ball park. To test all you really need it the points. coil, battery and spark plug wired up, it won't take long. I also stripped and cleaned the carb although it looked like somebody had beaten me to it. The only thing wrong was that the bit that slides up and down wasn't sliding up or down, it was very stuck. Some WD40 and gentle persuasion had it moving, I think it may be a replacement part that was just a wee bit out of tolerance. I gave it a good clean and then slid it back in, it was still way too tight but I could see from where it rubbed the carb body that it wasn't perfectly round. I used my polisher to carefully remove tiny amounts of material from where it was scored. Every few seconds I tried it again for fit, you want it sliding freely so the throttle doesn't stick but you don't want it bleeding air which would cause the bike to run a bit lean. I got it just right at about the tenth attempt, which signaled beer o'clock.

While I was still sober I decided to remove the Renthal trial bike handlebars that came with the bike - I found them offensive. I have a cunning plan for how I am going to make it all look authentic without having the truly authentic and entirely unobtainable bits, more of that in a later blog. Meanwhile I have a couple of jobs I want to get done on the hot rod before it gets dark.

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