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    7. Front Suspension
    Comments (0) 7. Front Suspension

    The front suspension on this Berkeley is from a Mk1 Mini - as is the subframe. Although it has been pre-assembled, it looks remarkably original and un-messed-with. The rubbers have all seen better days and the bearings and seals feel tired but it's all rust-free and seems perfectly usable. That said...

    6. More Body and Mechanical Stuff
    Comments (0) 6. More Body and Mechanical Stuff
    The bonnet that came with the car has seen better days. It has a lot of crazing and the vent has been glassed-in. Fortunately I have a new (repro) one that I bought years ago from a feller who was remanufacturing Berkeley bodies. It fits OK on three sides but the windscreen scuttle side has too much curvature........
    5. Subframe and Headlamp Covers
    Comments (0) 5. Subframe and Headlamp Covers
    Considering the subframe is from a 1960's Mk1 Mini, it's in remarkably good nick with only surface rust and no major corrosion. The modifications that have been done by the previous owner are mostly unpainted but again, with surface rust only.
    4. Body & Subframe
    Comments (0) 4. Body & Subframe
    One last, little job on the engine before I bag it up again. The CX500 was not equipped with an oil pressure gauge - just a warning light that comes on should the oil pressure fall below say 5 psi. This usually happens if the engine is so knackered that it runs out of oil, or there is a leak that has been left un-repaired.
    3. Let's get started
    Comments (0) 3. Let's get started
    Just four bolts secure the engine to the subframe so it's quite quick and easy to remove it - even when it's all fitted in the car. Here's the bare subframe with every component removed. It's quite light but the Honda engine is probably less than half the weight of the Mini so it could probably be lightened even more.
    2. What do we have here?
    Comments (0) 2. What do we have here?
    Many Berkeleys have been rebuilt over the years with Mini engines which, in my opinion, are just too big for this pretty little car. They invariably sit too high and usually have an ugly bonnet bulge. However, the previous owner of my car had already made a start on the project and had chosen Honda's, water-cooled CX500 'V'-Twin engine.
    1. A Look Back
    Comments (0) 1. A Look Back
    This must have been the winter of 1970 / 1971 around the time of UK decimalisation. Sweet sixteen, in the snow outside my parent's house in Maidstone, wearing my first leather jacket (still got it) and Dad's old RAF boots. My first ever car was this 1960 Berkeley T60. In those days you could drive a 3-wheeler on a bike license at age 16 and even (kind-of) get away with driving it alone as a learner by sticking a kitchen stool on the passenger seat so you couldn't take a passenger. (We had some fold-up kitchen stools at the time...wink, wink).
    10. New Gearbox and stuff
    Comments (0) 10. New Gearbox and stuff
    The Comet engine's maximum revs are lower than the 650cc BSA so the bike could do with slightly longer legs. I made some enquiries with a company called Nova Racing who offer a 5 speed gear cluster with a choice of ratios but none higher than the 4 speed's 4th gear. The engine is not short of torque and I won't be thrashing around a track on it so I'll pass on the 5 speed for now.
    9. Mods
    Comments (0) 9. Mods
    I've kinda worked out how to start the beast on the first kick without being thrown over the handlebars (most times), warm or cold but it's still a mighty effort for my 63 year-old legs with titanium hip joints on both. So, anything that will minimise the firing-up effort is worth considering.
    8. On The Road
    Comments (0) 8. On The Road
    The crap winter and spring weather finally cleared and it warmed-up enough for this old nonce to venture out for an MoT and a few shake-down runs. A couple of niggly oil leaks were dealt with and I eventually sussed how to start the engine on the first kick (or two) without being launched over the handlebars - Tickle the carb until fuel drips from the overflow hole, full choke, quarter throttle and one hefty kick, standing on the left foot-rest with the bike on the prop stand.