This is my principle GT380. A 1975 model M in Gypsy Candy Red which I purchased in 1979 with only 1500 miles on the clock.

After using it in 1979/80, the bike was parked up following an accident (me more than the bike to be honest). Briefly returned to the road in 1983 , by which time I was playing around with Z650s and therefore didn't get used much so was parked up again.

I eventually took it all apart and completed a rebuild in 2008. It's been on road every year since and out fairly regularly on sunny day.

 

When I first got the bike it was totally standard but had been standing unused for over 3 years. It was in excellent condition apart from the chrome which was already starting to go on the surface in places.

I quickly discovered the exhausts didn't give a lot of ground clearance, so they had to go and a Piper 3-1 was fitted. Centre stand also removed to improve ground clearance. Then the pegs were dragging, so I fitted rear-sets built by Mel-Lemoto in Kent.

Found a spare tank at a breakers and had the paint job done by a friend. Seat was recovered and cut down, proddy style.

OK bike ended up looking a bit different to standard, but it did what I wanted at the time. Yes that's me on the bike and yes they are crutches.

 

Everything was going great and then oops!

Bike had been parked in rain all day. Started bike, went less than 1/2 mile up the road into the first left hand bend and the main fuse blows causing the wheel to lock up while leaned over and we parted company. I say main fuse, but on these bikes it's the only fuse! Guess there must have been some water build up somewhere which when I tilted the bike caused short.

Not a very fast crash by any means, but the extremely large curbs on the bend caused a fair amount of damage to the forks, engine casings, front wheel, handlebars etc.for what was probably a 30mph spill. Even managed to warp one of the engine cases which caused the oil leak.

Unfortunately I also managed to hit the curb and broke my femur in couple of places and a thumb. Spent about 10 weeks in traction and several months on crutches, so the bike repairs had to wait.

Principle damaged was fixed soon after I was back on my feet as it was mainly just swapping parts out, but I couldn't afford insurance on anything over a 350 (nothing to do with the accident, that was down to speeding offences - hey gotta laugh I was younger then!) and I was using a Suzuki X7. So the 380 was parked up at my parents house where is remained until I eventually dug it out and got it over to my house in the 90s.

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By the time I got to the bike, it was time for a full overhaul.

Frame and other black bits were all powder coated.

 

I had initially planned on using original rims which I had sent the away to Bob Cooper in Coventry to get re-chromed but eventually decided to to go with new rims and had the wheels rebuilt using stainless spokes by Hagons in Romford, who also polished the hubs. Rebuild, polishing, tyre fitting and balancing cost just under £300.

In 2015 the rims started to show spots of rust around the spoke holes,so a good genuine set of used rims went of to Bob Cooper. Spare hubs blast cleared by CTC in Maldon and then rebuilt by James at Essex Wheels and Engineering. These are now fitted and look really good.

 

Carbs had seized up and were generally covered in grit & grime from the years. When I started to dismantle, I discovered the valves were stuck and when I opened the bowls discovered that the petrol had turned to glue and blocked every jet and blowhole imaginable. This seems to be a common theme on a number of GTs I rebuilt over the years. Fairly easy to fix, but messy and takes time.

 

Next up was the annoying oil leak on the right hand side.

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Engine had only covered about 10,000 miles but because of the long lay up the pistons needed 'persuading' to come out, so I decided to get a new set of genuine pistons, rings etc.. The original bores were in great condition and now having covered 3,000+ miles it's still going well.

 

Bike has had various updates since the original rebuild, including;

NOS Tank and Panels, Front and Rear Guards, Seat, Grips, Master Cylinder, Brake & Gear Levers, Footrests,

Boyer Electronic Ignition

Replaced a lot of the nuts and bolts with stainless parts