Author Topic: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread  (Read 3250 times)

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Offline CBR954

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Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« on: March 25, 2016, 02:05:06 AM »
Hi there.

My name is James and I am about to start restoring my Buffalo! For many years I had no idea about what this bike was until some recent serious searching on the net found out it is actually a taiwanese Tora. I'm sure most people here know the Rockford/TAS story.

The bike came to me in an interesting way and I have owned it for about 10 years now. It was found by my brother abandoned in a nearby swamp. My brother brought it home and the old man had a bit of a look over it, tipped the water out of it all, tested the kick starter and it had fair compression. The police were rang and they came to take the bike to the station for the purpose of if perhaps it was stolen then the owner could claim it. When the police were leaving they mentioned to dad that it if no one claimed it in 3 months  did he want to put his name down to be notified and he could keep it, he would then have two weeks to pick it up. Otherwise it would be destroyed. Well the old man saw potential in the little beast so said yeah no worries!

Sure enough in 3 months we got a call and the bike was legally ours! When we got it the old man rebuilt the top end. NOS rings were sourced from an old yamaha 80cc bike, we couldnt find a piston to suit at the time, but it wasnt too bad. new bearings etc. In fact I was doing my apprenticeship as a fitter machinist at the time and I turned up a new brass bush for the gearbox and new teflon swingarm bushes. I also fitted new wheel bearings at work, and come to think of it, I'm pretty sure we got NOS brake shoes from a honda or yamaha that fit.

The bike was pretty rough but it was mostly all there. Speedo, original air filter, seat in good nick, headlight (glass broken) but I'll let the photos do the talking there.

So since we got the bike up to a running standard it has seen a fair bit of use, exploring the dirt tracks around home and even going out west hunting pigs with a rifle over the handlebars. It has been an incredibly reliable little bike, always starts first or second kick and is great on fuel.

I have since finding out what the bike actually is began finding parts on ebay. I bought a rear brake lever which also came with the hub (which is missing on mine because it is broken, no back brakes!!), new clutch plates and an air box cover off a tora, which the bike was also missing.

So my mission in restoring this bike is to make it look like brand new again. Now this is where I might have to deviate from original a little bit. These things are bloody rare and hard to get parts for, not like a honda/kawasaki/yamaha/suzuki where you can restore a '70's bike with original or NOS parts fairly easy. I dont know how anal people are on here about restores being original, but I think there may be some things I wont be able to avoid. For instance, maybe the wheels are too far gone to rechrome and respoke, perhaps I may source wheels from a japanese bike that will be pretty close to original. I will be keeping it as close to original as possible, so there will be nothing silly like disc  brakes put on it or anything like that. The rear shocks arent really stiff enough for me riding it so I might have to find something else stiffer etc. Whatever I can keep on there original will be though. Parts will be rechromed, zinc plated, powder coated and painted where needed. At the end of the day, it is still going to be ridden.

I will post pictures and updates in this thread as I go. I can promise now, it wont be a quick project, it will just be in my spare time so it could take me year or so, but you never know, once I get stuck into a project I get pretty excited and hook in.

heres some pics


Offline CBR954

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 02:09:16 AM »
when it was first found

Offline dcr

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 09:38:54 AM »
Love the gun rack on the handlebars - especially the pic with the gun in the rack. "Road Warrior" anyone ???
1966 175 DT and 1968 350 GTR

Offline slawsonb

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 10:51:25 AM »
Cool little bike, James! Musta not been in the swamp for long. Looks darn good. Good luck with your project!
...bert

Offline hardy

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 10:52:51 AM »
A damn worthy project!

Offline coxy

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 01:48:41 PM »
Gday James good find best of luck with your resto.

Offline paul

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 11:19:07 AM »
Welcome to BS land. Is this a 60cc engine?

Offline CBR954

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2016, 12:22:15 AM »
Welcome to BS land. Is this a 60cc engine?

I believe its an 80cc. I'm pretty sure we worked that out way back when we got it running. This photo of an actual buffalo (not a tora) is marked 80. Plus it scoots along pretty quick, it doesnt feel like a 60cc

Offline RayK

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2016, 05:48:40 AM »
James
I sent you a personal message on this site.  On BS motors there is an embossed stamp at the base of the cylinder stating the capacity. e.g. on the 90cc motor it is 88cc.  The motor on the bike you have looks like a Bridgestone (made in Japan) or copy made by BS Tailung in Taiwan or a Tas/Tanaka made in Japan.
I hope this helps.
Cheers
RayK
BS 175DT x 2, BS 50 Sport, BS 90 Mountain x 3, BS 90 Deluxe, BS 90 Sport x2, Chibi, BS 60 Sport, BS 90 Trail x 2.

Offline CBR954

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 04:04:06 AM »
So I put the little beastie on the workbench today. I've pulled the carbie off for a clean out. The last time I ran, or tried to, it was pissing out fuel from the carby so I would say the float is stuck. Gonna put some fresh fuel in her, clean the carb and get her running again. I'll get some video of it running to put up here. Then it is going to get pulled apart for resto.

Oh, and I had a look at the bottom of the cylinder and it is quite clearly marked 76cc. As the rockfords were 60cc and 100cc, I'm wondering when the taiwanese made the buffalo/tora they overbored the 60cc engine. It does look like the chibi engine. And I recall years ago when we got new rings for it, we contemplated overboring to suit another piston, but we decided against it as there really wasnt much meat in the cylinder wall to bore out anymore. Makes sense to that theory I guess.

Offline paul

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 06:21:19 PM »
Is there an engine number on the right/kick start  side of the engine case, near the bottom? Is this a cast iron cylinder ? Never knew these Bridgestone cousins existed till I found this web site

Offline coxy

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Re: Australian Buffalo/Rockford Tora restoration thread
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 06:36:05 PM »
Yeah there pretty cool. I want one. I punched in buffalo motorcycle on eBay all I got was motorcycle jackets

 


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