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Book Review

by Mark Daniels

How to restore Yamaha FS1-E - book cover

How to restore Yamaha FS1-E by John Watts, Veloce Pulishing
8" × 10½", 128pp
ISBN 1-84584-013-5, £19.99

How to restore Yamaha FS1-E heads up its cover as an 'enthusiasts manual, your step-by-step colour illustrated guide to complete restoration', yet within just a few pages there comes a contradictory passage that the "book is intended to provide an insight ... to give tips and advice gained by the authors' experience and mistakes".  Then the restorer is advised to obtain "a spare parts list, workshop manual, and owners handbook", followed by a comprehensive Haynes promo!  "Good advice" says our FS1-E specialist, "since you probably won't actually rebuild any FS1-E on the guidance of this book alone!"

Ok, there's a few points of reference very well researched which would probably prove invaluable, specific model descriptions and identification, frame prefix and machine references towards the end of the book - but our man wasn't so impressed with the stuff in between.  He criticised the regular theme of 'cheque book engineering' and frequent references to subcontract services, which all recurred too often to convince as much of a 'complete restoration guide'.

Horror pictures of FS1-E petrol tanks liberally plastered with filler would probably be enough for the purists to want to cast the author into a pit of blazing plastic scooters, but the high priest went on to cite a string of other offences against the Sports-Ped gospels.  "Look at that picture!  Seems dramatic, but who chops out spokes with a disc grinder without taking the tyre off the wheel first?"  And while the jury's still out on the originality of polished hubs, there's more mystery in references to missing cable guides ... but no detail about the guides or their location?  "Cables must be routed correctly" - but how?  Where?  Though certainly not like the very obviously overly long speedo and brake cables on the illustration bike on page 101.  Our man also picked up on "correct arrangement" above it, showing original (?) bolts with their head detail missing, poorly polished and chromed.  It was too late now as our FS1-E expert was away skimming through the rest of the pictures to see how many other features he could fault.  Cast aluminium barrels?  Surely this meant heads!  The liberal advocation of powder coated finishes, and even on an alloy head?  More examples of dodgy filling and shaky paintwork - the FS1-E guru wasn't impressed and declared the book should be re-titled "How not to restore a FS1E!"

If the illustrated examples can't meet concourse scrutiny, then maybe the restoration is being a little misguided?

It's got some tips, but it ain't comprehensive.  Specific detail is omitted and certainly shouldn't be taken seriously for concourse reference.  Too much cheque book engineering and obvious commercial endorsements.  £19.99?  You'd probably be disappointed.  Fizzy man, he say no!  Put the book down and step away from the bookshelf!

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