My Tourist 103 A1
I purchased my 1960 Heinkel Tourist A1 from Peter Crowl in 1995. The scooter originally came from California in that same year.
Other than cleaning the carburetor, powdercoating rims and fenders, and buying new tires, I did very little to the scooter.
During the first few years, I rode with worry - worry that something would go wrong with my scooter.
In 2000, something did go wrong. The Tourist was making a variety of terrible noises. I parked the scooter because I didn't know how to diagnose or repair it. After a 2 years of procrastination, I decided it was time to conquer a Tourist engine.
Very little was wrong with my scooter. A loose muffler manifold caused most of my noises. I ended up replacing many wear items and ridden this scooter several hundred miles without incident since.
That is until I rode a few other Heinkels and discovered that my A1 shifted poorly. Whenever I tried to shift into second gear, the gear shifter would bind.
If ever researching Heinkel scooters, you will find people complaining about how they shift. I considered my A1 shift problems to be due to this phenomena. After riding three other Tourists, I realized my A1 suffered some other problem. I figured the problem was either in the shift assembly, or in the gear box.
I cleaned and greased the hand shifter. Without the cables, it operated very well. With cables, the binding was still present. I decided that the trouble was in the gearbox. Several people offered wonderful ideas. Someone thought the gear post was rubbing on the inside of the clutch cover. Other people thought my cables were too tight. None were correct.
On Father's Day in 2006, I finally decided to fix this problem. I bought a new seal and bearing set and tore into the engine. All of the bearings looked great.
I found the problem. The spindles that support the gear shift forks were corroded.
After fixing this problem, I spent the next several days assembling the engine. I always go slowly. When the engine was installed, I tried twisting the gear post with finger and thumb and found it to rotate smoothly. I knew it was corrected!
A few days later, everything was reconnected and the engine was running again. I found my scooter shifted as well or better than everyone else's scooter.
Why did I wait 11 years to fix this problem?
A year or so ago, I promised myself to paint this scooter once all mechanical difficulties were corrected. My next job is to determine a paint scheme. Color selection is a difficult process for me.
My current ideas are:
- Red and black - stock colors. The big benefit here is stock colors bring more money if I ever sell it.
- Blue - VW Beetle blue. Here is my girl side emerging. I love this color.
- Gray and cream. Someone just sent me pictures of this color scheme. It was gorgeous.
- Black. I've always wanted a black scooter. Heinkels look good in black. But will I hate the constant cleaning required of black paint?
Continue on with the saga...