Maserati T2 50 SS Racing Moped Barn Find Restoration Part 2

Published on 19 September 2023 at 19:27

The first part of any restoration is research - gathering as many photos and documents as possible. It's surprising how most bikes that are 70 odd years old have been modified over the years and many parts became unavailable years back and so got replaced with non original items. Things like exhausts, seats, shock absorbers etc. all wear out and once stocks are exhausted get replaced with whatever is available at the time. When you have something as rare as this bike, that got modified before it even left the factory and things get really complicated.

My bike is very heavily lightened with anything that was not absolutely necessary to make the bike move being removed, everything that was left had holes drilled in it so that it only just holds together. The engine casings and side covers have been extensively drilled, as have the wheel hubs and even the webs that strengthen the frame. The mudguards have been shortened to virtually nothing, the seat replaced with a racing one, the tail piece is made of very thin aluminium. There is no starter mechanism, the bike has to be bump started, the pedals have been replaced by much lighter standard footpegs, the toolbox has been deleted. Mine has no lights, no horn, no stand, no speedo - I haven't weighed it yet but my gut feel is that the whole thing weighs under 40KG - just as well given that power output was stated as being something like 2.7 hp.

The only documentation I have found so far is an old advert and a road test from 1958 that reveals the top speed to be 36 mph for a standard bike.

So, I have done a small amount of work on it, the first thing I have done is to order all new bearings and seals. Somebody had already done that some time back but they had got wet and suffered quite badly. With most bearings costing well under a fiver each it was a no brainer - the only exception was the main gearbox bearing - a rather unusual 52 x 25 x 12 device that I could only find one supplier of at a price of just under 15 quid. The full set of seals and bearings was just on 35 quid delivered - a very small amount of money for peace of mind.

At the other end of the scale is the gearbox - the same water damage that ruined the bearings has done for the primary shaft with teeth being severely damaged on two of the gears - first and third. When I first looked at it I thought they were pressed on but it turned out on further examination that the whole shaft is a single piece. That makes it quite complicated to machine, it then has to be hardened, which costs a lot of money. This one shaft is going to be 200 quid. Ouch. I suppose that's no bad really for a hand made piece, it has to be very accurate and accuracy costs money, I don't have the tooling to do the job myself. There isn't a cat in hell's chance of finding one so this is my only option.

I have spent some time going through all the parts, I am certain I have everything I need for the engine, both wheel rims and spoke sets will have to be replaced, nearly everything else can be reused. I a thinking of getting a home chroming kit as many parts on this bike, my Stelvio and the Motobecane will all need doing. I got a couple of quotes, it is incredibly expensive to get it done commercially. I will have to go that route of the diy solution doesn't work but I fancy the idea of doing my own plating, I hate having to wait for stuff.


The gears on the other shaft are not perfect but they are way better than some of the ones on this shaft. The bike isn't going to do 10k miles a year, it will probably do less than 100 so I think it will be fine, I'm quite glad about that because the other gears are much more complicated and having a set of those made would be about 500 quid, if I could find somebody to do it.

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