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Old 08-31-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
Simon Slapstick OP
n00b
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson AZ
Oddometer: 9
School me on early 90s Fantics

Complete noob here, have wanted a trials bike since I was 11 and am finally looking to pick one up. Looking for info on 1990 Fantic 247s, spares availability, things to look for, things that suck, things that are good. I know the one thing on the bike I'm looking at that needs doing is fork seals.

Anyone got some experience or knowledge on these, or links to good sites that do?
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:54 PM   #2
2whlrcr
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Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Oddometer: 5,426
If you like spending your time wrenching, searching for hard to find parts and riding a clunker against modern machinery...I'd say go for it!

Or if you'd rather ride than wrench, buy something newer that's still being imported, or buy an old twin shock that will qualify for vintage trials, if you must torture yourself. Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:09 PM   #3
Simon Slapstick OP
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson AZ
Oddometer: 9
I'm in stitches here. Good advice!
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:48 PM   #4
Ccino
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ.
Oddometer: 30
Talking Fantic 307

Hi Simon, I am just upgrading to a Sherco after about 2 years with a very well used Fantic 307.
I too have done the fork seals several times and have decided not to go there again, as the fork outers have been worn/stretched to an oval shape and will not give good service for very long after servicing. Because of this problem, the oil from the forks leaks down and on to the front disk brake so then I not only had limited suspension, but no brake.
My ride had previously had a Mikuni carby fitted, which I've retained. The unusual feature of it is that it never needed any choke to start, and in my relatively inexperienced opinion, found it to run really well despite this enriched state. Unbelievable torque, and very difficult to stall. In competition I wound the idle back a little to discourage it's driving me (tail wagging dog, so to speak).
I have never fathomed the rear suspension, and it's pressure reservoir set-up. It is recommended to pressure-up with nitrogen to certain setting, but then checking when at this pressure would lose all pressure. I just pumped it up, and ran-with-it.
I have had a lot of very good riding, and learned heaps about this addictive sport, and have done so on the cheapest, beat-up, but amazingly powerful, machine. I literally got my Fantic from under a farmers hedge, fuelled it up, kicked it a few times and we've been great friends since.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:03 AM   #5
Ccino
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ.
Oddometer: 30
The engine is as rattly as a Ducatis' dry clutch. I constantly think it's going to explode when running at speed between sections, and the gearbox has a couple of false neutrals I have to make allowances for when going down the ratios. The drive-train prohibits you from clutch starting, and any way there is just too much compression. Just locks the rear wheel.
These bikes were just the "ducks-nuts" back in the day, and guys come up to me at events and talk about the riding they've done on Fantics over the years. Bottom line is, they are now old bikes. They are heavy and unsophisticated compared to todays' rides, and parts are undoubtedly going to be more difficult to get. Down here on the bottom of the world, you do a lot of waiting for returned (or not) emails. If it is your first trials bike, make the most of it, but bear in mind you're going to want to upgrade, and maybe keep the Fantic with the intention of riding it for fun days, or to encourage other to get into this great sport. Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:59 AM   #6
Monty348
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Oddometer: 59
309 Fantic

Since you asked about the 90's, I have a '91 309 Fantic still in good condition. They're nice bikes, certainly not "modern", but still fun to ride. The ignition is Ducati electronic, disc brakes front & rear, up-side-down forks with double seals to prevent leakage. Rear rim is tubeless. Air cooled so there's no messing with coolant leaks.
I guess what I'm saying is that it's a neat 23 year old trials motorcycle. Maybe even a bit rare. Looking ahead, vintage is getting younger all the time. PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
Sting32
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Minneapolis, Ks
Oddometer: 1,253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Slapstick View Post
Complete noob here, have wanted a trials bike since I was 11 and am finally looking to pick one up. Looking for info on 1990 Fantic 247s, spares availability, things to look for, things that suck, things that are good. I know the one thing on the bike I'm looking at that needs doing is fork seals.

Anyone got some experience or knowledge on these, or links to good sites that do?
I have 3 83/84 200 Pro's (one is a parts bike). One is still as my cousin bought it, and 3 years ago sold it to me; and he bought it new, in 83. He was damn good rider when the bike was new. He bought a gasgas but hasnt found time to ride the dang thing, just like this fantic.

luck will be your friend getting parts on Fantics, and somewhat for ANY classic trials bikes! Some parts (wear pieces) can be sourced, cases and main parts probably never anywhere but used via ebay or someone that has been collecting them for parts?

FWIW, we had a motor torn apart for more than a year, needing bearings, seals, and other parts... while waiting for parts to show up, then exchanging parts etc with Tryals Shoppe, and maybe others. A much more competent friend did the heavy work I admit, and it was HIS bench that the engine was torn apart on all friggin year, you can imagine his joy when it went home with us a month ago or so.

But, luckily for us, couple months ago, we lucked the heck out, and found a bike in ready for the dumpster like condition, on craigslist... but it had a lot of spare parts I needed... 90% of engine was there, 80% of the bike was there (no tank) levers on broken bars were gone no side covers below seat, but mostly intact... So we could build our 2nd bike and not thrash our semi-pristine 200. Yeah, I Should post a picture of the #2 bike, been assembled now. just to see it run, sooner or later we're going to do a lot of updating to this one, peg position, and stuff.

Yamaha is probably not much easier, other than there was a lot more of them, and more of the parts, NOS and used and on ebay easier to "bid on" or find some stuff.

At ANY RATE, fixing on these old bikes, ISN'T anything like calling Lewissport on tuesday, and saying "I need a new" {insert whatever part} "for my modern bike that I wrecked last weekend..." that is what 2whlrcr, dad, or I are saying... not that fixing up the great old bikes can't be fun, but I again, I would rather ride, than hunt the internet for freaking parts. YMMV.

YMMV=your mileage may vary
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
Simon Slapstick OP
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson AZ
Oddometer: 9
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm really looking for a cheapish bike to learn on and have no plans to compete (yet, nothing going on round my area anyway). Kinda want an older bike just cos, have previously been thinking of a crossover like the Reflex. This Fantic popped up at a cheap price locally.

Coming from the UK to the States is quite an eye opener! Where I used to live was only ten minutes from two different shops that only dealt in trials parts and bikes!!

I'll probably pass on the Fantic and wait for what pops up next.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
lineaway
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: nm
Oddometer: 2,185
Now you have second thoughts on the Fantic? The orange and white bike is very durable compared to most of the modern stuff. The one I have I saved from 9 years outdoors. The only thing I`ve done is clean the carb!
Too bad Mitch missed out coming to Sipapu, I rode an `86 Beta TR33 in his class and cleaned 15 sections!
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #10
Simon Slapstick OP
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson AZ
Oddometer: 9
I don't know what I want!! Lol. Getting it from buddies of mine to just get a 'dirt bike' but my heart is saying trials...
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
motobene
Motoing for 43 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 859
Just think. If you buy a Fantic 305 new and ride it in competition for 6 years, rebuild it to ride years more, then years after that 'remanufacture' it with AJP wheels and all sorts of detail - just because - then hang the damned thing for quarter of a century, having what in the original model year would have been a top factory works bike the top riders would have drooled to compete on, but today elicits all of a big yawn... you'll be a nut like me and have something that looks like this:



Fantics are flawed yet fun. No substitute for my totally yummy Gasser, but I suspect this one may outlast me. The kid's will have to figure out what to do with it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #12
Simon Slapstick OP
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Location: Tucson AZ
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Beautiful!
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:04 AM   #13
motobene
Motoing for 43 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Slapstick View Post
Beautiful!
I say the kids will get it only because the few times I did put it up for sale, there were some oohs and aahs but no money changed hands. Once I had it 'sold' to a fellow from Norway looking internationally for the best example of this model year, but he chickened out suspecting I was some kind of international scam. He later figured out that was not the case, but by then he had picked up something some humble.

I do ride it some times in - what is it - some air-cooled modern-type class in MWVTA events, but I don't have enough time after doing not enough of modern.
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