Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Done! But not dusted

It's been a tense week. While the generator arrived in record time the brake cable is still nowhere to be seen. Given that the cable was apparently the only thing standing between the Troll and the road I was understandably anxious. But late this afternoon Ivo called to say the Troll was pretty much finished and did I want to come over and have a look. The answer was an emphatic yes!

In the end Ivo and Roberto managed to reuse the old brake cable. It'll do for now but I'll replace it with the new one as soon as it arrives. There had been a few other problems. The clutch cable seized up when they took it on a test ride around the carpark, the neutral gear light has stopped working and the horn is broken. The clutch is working now but I might need to replace the old cable with a new one later. The important thing is that the Troll is now running and, with the exception of the horn problem, is now ready for the licensing centre. If all goes well, I should pick up the bike tomorrow afternoon and get it inspected early Friday morning. Woo who!

As you can see, the Troll looks magnificent. The 12 volt electrics are fantastic - the headlight and indicators are very strong and the engine fires up on about the second or third kick each time. I must admit the engine does sound very 'tinny' so I'm not expecting power and speed - but of course, that's not the appeal of odd scoots!

I must compliment Ivo and Roberto for their excellent efforts on the Troll. I originally engaged them to assist with a list of ten mechanical and electrical problems, but soon enought they ended up a full blown restoration on their hands. They did encounter more problems that expected (of course!) but managed to overcome them and the end result is magnificent. Also thanks must go to Dirk and Bert at Powerdynamo for their exceptional service and interest. And also thanks to everyone who wrote to me with suggestions, tips and encouragement. Thanks! Here is a link to their website:

So, Friday (touch wood) The Beast will be on the road. I'll post a video of the Troll in motion and then finish up with a handling report.

And then it's back to the Heinkel.

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Today the Troll was finished. I picked it up and took it for the short ride from The Vespa Shop to the Vehicle Inspection Centre. It was only a short trip - possibly less than one kilometre but across a major road that was jam packed with heavy (truck) traffic. I must admit the Troll wasn't a smooth ride. Firstly, I had trouble getting it started. While it turned over for Ivo and Roberto third kick every time it resolutely refused to start for me. Personally I think the kick start it poorly positioned, requiring you to stand very close the machine to get enough grunt behind it, at the same time as reaching across what is a very large bike makes you very unsteady. I almost dropped the bike a number of times. I also found the brake and clutch cables extremely tight, but they are symptoms of our recent mechanical challenges.

So, somehow I managed to ride the Troll safely through the traffic to the Licensing Centre. There I was immediately confronted with blank stares - "What the hell is that?" After a bit of banter explaining the origin of the Troll we started the inspection. Now the Troll decided not to start. How embarrasing! The inspector didn't bother hanging around. "Yeah, you'll need it to be able to run before we can inspect it." And then he walked off to complete his paperwork. Another inspector came over for a look. I asked him if could hold the bike steadly and then she fired straight up, but it was too late. I hopped back on rode back to the shop. Somewhere along the journey the glass in the rear vision mirror (a cheap piece of Viet cr*p we were using as a temporary mirror) shattered. Ivo and Roberto are going to replace it with the proper mirror (now fixed) and adjust the idle to prevent it stalling. Roberto is going to try again tomorrow morning. I expect it'll pass this time.

The Troll awaits inspection


  1. Paul: The Troll looks FANTASTIC!!!
    great job! I can't wait to see some better photos, taken in the sun. I love the color combo, reminiscent of the original but with more punch. Keep posting.

    John D.

  2. Great job on the Troll! It's nice to see another scooter brought back to life.