Saturday 11 May 2013

Friday bike

This bike is so rare that I was tempted to obscure the badges and use it as a 'Mystery bike'. However, Stuart would just spend about 3 days searching the Internet until he found it.

1985 Italjet Casual 350

This was an attempt by Italjet to build a roadbike based on their successful 350T trials bike. As you can see, it ended up being a strange mismatch of parts.

You can see the trials heritage in the engine, frame and exhaust, but although the bodywork looks quite neat for the mid 80s, the saddle and tyres look like they came from a custom, the cast wheels with drum brakes just look odd, and what is that mini 'spoiler' in front of the engine?

The bike was such a disaster that Italjet avoid mentioning it! Found this comment on a website that explains why.

The late Bob Lawrence of Hailey, Idaho was possibly the only U.S. Italjet dealer to actually sell a couple of Casual 350s. He told me that they each came back with debilitating electrical problems within days, sometimes hours. He gave up trying to sell the last two new ones he'd taken delivery of and pushed them into the back of his warehouse. They were still there, with no miles on them, when I took the above right photo in 1993.

However, if that hasn't put you off, the blue bike is currently for sale. Advert.

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