The Blue Death

by Mike Boyd
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Fully Rigid Free Spirit The "spirit" of this build was to use as many "free" original or used parts I had around as possible. And to keep the original stock look as much as possible. And to keep it somewhat quiet. Started as a 1HP stock survivor from a basement in Chicago I bought from Max Mojo. Looked like it had not been ridden since 1978. First I tore it completely down and cleaned/polished/re-greased all original pieces. Put some fresh IRC 2" tires on but kept the original tubes that held air! New cables everywhere, since the original ones felt like rubber. Used a later model stock Puch roller bearing crank and a previously soft-seized Polini kit that I got for free and re-honed. Top fins were already chopped off, which was a bummer. Added some early prototype Jesse Stephenson fin dampeners to try to get rid of some of the ring noise from the hone. Did not case match as per the new Treatland 2022 hotboi specifications. Lightened the original 2 shoe clutch and added blue springs and a brace, and matched the shoes using a vise a la the Riggsby method. Discovered that at one point in 1978 someone had put a Batavus Bosch magneto on, which looks identical to the Puch one except for one serial number difference and a keyway cut 45 degrees or so off from the Puch version. That took a bit of time to figure out... Slotted the original stator for more timing options, added the correct magneto, and viola. Cut the 25mm header off of a Proma pipe I had laying around, then had M7 threaded rod welded on so I could fit the original exhaust chamber. Chopped half of the first interior baffle chamber off and replaced it with an exhaust cone I had machined (based on YouTube videos) to make a super sleeper pipe with an actual power band. This was probably the hardest part of the whole thing. Added a 15 Bing I had taken off of another bike, and used a dremel and sanding wheel to open up the dogleg in the stock Magnum-style air box for more flow. Eliminated the headlight switch (always) and added a period-correct simple handlebar mount for original style 8mm threaded mirror. Added the original Puch late model 6v voltage regulator and a resistor at the headlight bulb to prevent burning out lights. Added OEM pedal arms and period correct pedals because one side was welded on and at that point the bike looked too clean to not have nice things. So much for mostly free build. First test ride was the Sacramento "Tentacle Difficulties" Friday night ride, and it made it with flying colors other than the gas cap rattling off from cobblestone-induced vibrations on a fully rigid frame.


1978 Sears Free Spirit




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CornPed: That exhaust is rad! I love that you have the side covers and keep it so stock looking.