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Gilera 500 4cyl Protar


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I really shouldn't be starting another build thread on BM, I've got plenty in the process and waiting for attention. But I got hold of a couple of these old Protar motorbike kits and I thought I'd better put something up for posterity, because I can't find very much at all here in amongst the cars etc. I'm not brilliant with the search function, to be honest, but I can't find a jot about either of these.... I expect the regulars on this section will know better. 

Here's what I got.... 

IMG_20211006_134919

The Moto Guzzi is a reissue from 2000 as you can see, but the Gilera is more of a mystery. No entry on Scalemates for the box art- the box by the way, carries a price sticker of 30/- which I should explain for the younger BMers is 30 shillings in UK Stirling pre-decimal. That translates as £1.50 and that was a LOT of money in the 60s for a kit 

Anyway, I put an update on Scalemates but the 1975 issue has already taken the "new tool" slot on the kit history so I can't do anything about that. 

I'm supposed to be leaving these for later but you know how it is.... 😇

Start rummaging in the box, checking parts, dry fitting things and the next thing you know the glue is out. I could never be a collector, I'd have 'em all open and rummaged. 

So this may be a slow build with interruptions while I do what I'm supposed to be doing. And it's also a steep learning curve for me, I've never tackled a bike at this scale, or a Protar kit of any kind. 

The instructions are in a broadsheet style which will require some considerable study and deciphering, 

IMG_20211006_135012

But some initial progress has taken place. Not a lot but I need to upload a few pictures to Flickr and then do an update. 

I'm not too far away from the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in New Milton, and I see he has a Moto Guzzi 8cyl in the green dustbin fairing, I'm hoping that he has a Gilera 500 as well. Kind of looks like he has one of everything. 

A visit is surely required.....? 

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Just a quick glance in the box and the state of play.... 

IMG_20211007_224047

In the bottom left corner is the main engine block assembly done. I had a look over the big fairing pieces and they cleaned up quite nicely. The air intakes got cleared and filed for a thinner metal look. 

IMG_20211008_191005

These kits come from a stash where several kits have been started with initial assembly or paint, but I'm pretty sure this red paint is factory applied. The petrol tank is painted too. 

While working on the grey parts I discovered I had a missing part. The oil sump is a 2 piece item that fits under the the crankcase and one half was awol. So I've spent a bit of time scratching a mirror image on the half that I have. 

IMG_20211008_190808

These parts have lugs that act as engine mounts to the frame and I replicated them with a length of Ali tube right through and protruding each side. 

IMG_20211008_190752

The petrol tank turned out not to be supplied with a bottom. It's probably not seen to any extent but I thought it would benefit from something to cover the void. I resorted to my Muller Corner yoghurt pot styrene using the side wall plastic which is the thinnest. The sides are just wide enough to cover the bottom of the tank but not quite long enough to do it in one. A cross bar is fitted and the front section is to be added here. The two lugs protruding at the back take the fuel taps and pipes. 

IMG_20211008_190721

So far so good..... 😎

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Lovely stuff ! Shades of the IoM in the 60's and the heady smell of Castrol-R.

 

Off hunting to see if I can track one [or both.......] at a price that won't require a 3rd mortgage.........and following closely !

Excellent scratch building.

Rog

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Gosh that brings back lots of memories, being a keen biker I built lots of bike models in my youth, mostly Protar.

Protar covered a lot of very technically interesting bikes and I enjoyed them a lot.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

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Love the old Protar kits as they are always a little different, and a decent scale.  If you are interested, there is someone on ebay that sells spoke and rim kits for the Protar kits - he uses metalised resin, so I think it polishes up into alloy or steel depending on the rim.

 

Making these kits is a challenge though, especially the vinyl chains.

 

Will watch along too.

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https://www.motoblog.it/post/35367/grandi-duelli-iridati-1957-libero-liberati-gilera-bob-mc-intyre-gilera

 

That item is written in Italian and auto translated.... 😱🤣

It even refers to the IOM TT as the English GP, and the Ireland reference I guess is the Ulster GP. 

But never mind, there's some good stuff in there, including the photo from which the kit box art is derived. 

CrQbnjVWYAADS8j

Seems it's Libero Liberati and Bob McIntire egging each other on around Hockenheim in 1957. 

11 hours ago, roginoz said:

Off hunting to see if I can track one

Good luck with the search Rog. 

8 hours ago, spitfire said:

Protar covered a lot of very technically interesting bikes and I enjoyed them a lot.

Sure did, Dennis, their back catalogue is remarkable. Seems like Italeri bought them up....? But all I know of is the Italieri rebox of the Manx Norton kit. Who knows, they might have ALL the Protar toolings. 

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Italeri have recently reissued the Protar Paris Dakar BMW and Cagiva as well as the 79 Sheene Suzuki.  I think the 4 cylinder MV and Norton Commando is still available, but the 3 cylinder MV is a little harder to get.

 

it does look like they have many of the Protar masters as they also did the 1/12th F1 cars.

 

Fingers crossed that they have more.

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Interesting build Rob. I haven't seen these two before. I have the BMW sidecar combo underway or should I say, stalled build. I started re-spoking the rims. It's a time consuming and at times tedious task!

Come on Italeri, time to re release all of them!

 

Colin

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8 hours ago, heloman1 said:

I have the BMW sidecar combo underway or should I say, stalled build. I started re-spoking the rims.

That looks like a great kit, Colin. I'd definitely give one of those a go if I could get hold of one! 

The respoking business seems to be the go-to mod for these bikes but I can imagine the tedious aspect of the process 🙄. I wouldn't want to invoke a stall for this. And you need to get back on the case 😎

8 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Come on Italeri, time to re release all of them!

Yes I'm in! 

I have something that I'm not sure is good news or bad..... 

I found the MISSING part of the oil sump. It was loose in the corner of the box under stuff. So..... What to do?? 🤔

Well, for the sake of completeness of the kit and as some kind of penance for my stupidity, I hacked my scratch construction off and ditched it, and assembled the appropriate parts. 

IMG_20211009_232053

As for the mountings I'll reuse the Ali tube. 

What I can't do is build the frame and then mount the engine assembly - it's just to big, especially when the sump is fitted. The frame has to be built around the engine. 

I've been tinkering with the carbs and it all looks quite impressive. 

IMG_20211010_211520

The 2nd one in has a wire hoop inserted for a trial, to see if I can get the throttle mechanism represented in some way. If ever I was going to try this kind of tinkering, then this is the scale to be working on. 

 

There's one glaring weakness with this kit, in that the final drive is represented by an elastic band....... 😶

This is only a guess, but I'm thinking the Gilera is one of the first Protar kits and they resolved the issue with later products. A look at the Moto Guzzi kit reveals this little bag of joy.... 

IMG_20211010_211404

That's right, a fully articulated, all-moving chain kit!! 

That's more like it. 

At the very least, I have one chain to share between two bikes. And if Italeri are producing some of these kits currently, there may be a chance of getting some more chain kits. Or maybe an aftermarket source of such a thing. 

I can't see an elastic band being a successful outcome on this. The kit actually included one, used to contain the small bundle of wires included for the plug leads and cables, but having been undisturbed since the 60s sometime, it disintegrated into several scraps of rubbish as I undid the cable bundle.

The final drive sprocket in the gearbox space is in fact a little pulley wheel and that was telling me something as I fitted it. But there's enough space in the back of the gearbox for me to change things if the situation comes to that.. 

Hell, I replaced a headlamp bulb on my Citroën C3 so this would be a doddle by comparison.... 😃

(just a little in-joke for Citroën owners... 🤣

I'll see what I can find to resolve the chain situation 

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1 hour ago, rob Lyttle said:

That looks like a great kit, Colin. I'd definitely give one of those a go if I could get hold of one! 

The respoking business seems to be the go-to mod for these bikes but I can imagine the tedious aspect of the process 🙄. I wouldn't want to invoke a stall for this. And you need to get back on the case 😎

Yes I'm in! 

I have something that I'm not sure is good news or bad..... 

I found the MISSING part of the oil sump. It was loose in the corner of the box under stuff. So..... What to do?? 🤔

Well, for the sake of completeness of the kit and as some kind of penance for my stupidity, I hacked my scratch construction off and ditched it, and assembled the appropriate parts. 

IMG_20211009_232053

As for the mountings I'll reuse the Ali tube. 

What I can't do is build the frame and then mount the engine assembly - it's just to big, especially when the sump is fitted. The frame has to be built around the engine. 

I've been tinkering with the carbs and it all looks quite impressive. 

IMG_20211010_211520

The 2nd one in has a wire hoop inserted for a trial, to see if I can get the throttle mechanism represented in some way. If ever I was going to try this kind of tinkering, then this is the scale to be working on. 

 

There's one glaring weakness with this kit, in that the final drive is represented by an elastic band....... 😶

This is only a guess, but I'm thinking the Gilera is one of the first Protar kits and they resolved the issue with later products. A look at the Moto Guzzi kit reveals this little bag of joy.... 

IMG_20211010_211404

That's right, a fully articulated, all-moving chain kit!! 

That's more like it. 

At the very least, I have one chain to share between two bikes. And if Italeri are producing some of these kits currently, there may be a chance of getting some more chain kits. Or maybe an aftermarket source of such a thing. 

I can't see an elastic band being a successful outcome on this. The kit actually included one, used to contain the small bundle of wires included for the plug leads and cables, but having been undisturbed since the 60s sometime, it disintegrated into several scraps of rubbish as I undid the cable bundle.

The final drive sprocket in the gearbox space is in fact a little pulley wheel and that was telling me something as I fitted it. But there's enough space in the back of the gearbox for me to change things if the situation comes to that.. 

Hell, I replaced a headlamp bulb on my Citroën C3 so this would be a doddle by comparison.... 😃

(just a little in-joke for Citroën owners... 🤣

I'll see what I can find to resolve the chain situation 

 

Some of the Italeri kits have done away with the rubber band chains, some have not though.  The RG500 has one, but the Manx has a one piece chain and sproket, which is better.

 

There is no after market really available for 1/9th. MFH have some bits, but these are from their own kits, so don't always fit (the pitch of their chain probably wont match the sprokets).  There is some stuff from Japan like magnetos, but this really hard to find.

 

I am getting up to speed on Fusion 360, with the intention of fixing the Manx issues (front forks, chains primary & final drive) and maybe a complete new engine and gearbox with from resin 3d prints and PE.  That is a while away though.

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29 minutes ago, Mumbly said:

the rubber band chains,

So what do you make of the styrene chain assembly as supplied with the Guzzi that I have?? Is that a one-off project they tried before going to vinyl chains?? 

Comparing the rear chainwheels of these two, it looks like they have different pitches so any chain for one wouldn't fit the other. 

Good luck with the 3D printing process and design. 👍

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Glad you found the sump part. If you were going to use an elastic band for the 'chain', that would be an HD build and we all know you can't mention HD and motorcycle in the same sentence!

Yes the re-spoking is tedious, maybe why I stalled on the build. I need a month where I'm all but incapacitated or housebound!

I've built five of the newer Italeri kits, Rossi's Honda and five Ducati's.

 

Colin

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The chains are a tough one at the moment.  The MFH chain kit is the only option currently that I know of and I saw on another forum one being used with the Italeri HD WLA (which I think was ERTL originally) kit and it did not fit the sprocket, so needed some scratch building to make it fit. IT did look good though. 

 

Fusion is fun and I am enjoying the learning process. 

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I just spent a happy couple of hours at Sammy Miller's Motorcycle Museum today, for a bit of walkaround research and photos. I'm happy to report that Sammy himself is in fine form, and still buying more, rebuilding them and riding them! 

IMG_20211011_143403

 

The huge collection does indeed contain the Moto Guzzi V8 in the green dustbin fairing, and the Gilera 500. I have several photos of both. I should get them in order and contact Julien I guess. 

Both engines are dense with details but at least the Gilera has the fairing removed 

IMG_20211011_133809

 

The Moto Guzzi V8 is all but inaccessible through it's complexity.... 

IMG_20211011_134637

For a start I can see that the kit spoking is wrong. It didn't really make sense when I first looked at the parts but I was prepared to give Protar the benifit of the doubt, until I saw the real thing. 

IMG_20211011_205620

See how the spokes meet at the same hole as they attach to the hub? 

And where they attach to the rim they are doing it in pairs, 2 from the left then 2 from the right? 

The spokes should be attached to the rim intermittently and the hub attachment holes evenly spaced out. 

IMG_20211011_132955

I also could see (just about) what's going on with the 2 little float tanks between the carbs. They can be thought of as 2 pairs of carburettors, spaced because of the timing chain arrangement in the middle of the engine. Each pair has a little tank sandwiched between as a fuel feed. 

Protar supplies them but the instructions are obscure, the drawings are vague, and the wording refers to them as "cups".... 

"and between them are glued the two cups - 20."........that's it! 

I should mention that the parts in the exploded diagrams are all numbered and referred to in the instructions, but no parts or sprues have any indication of a number and no numbered diagram of sprues or any indication is given. You need to figure it out for yourself. 

That's all part of the challenge though 😃

Thanks for the feedback on the subject of chains @Mumbly.

And @heloman1I found something in the museum model displays....

IMG_20211011_130825

Nice..... 😇

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Might be of interest to any that don't know about this series - I highly recommend it. 

 

Sorry to go off-topic, but does anyone know if Peter Starr (host of that series) was born in the UK? He doesn't have much of an American accent. 

 

 

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Glad you found the sump part. If you were going to use an elastic band for the 'chain', that would be an HD build and we all know you can't mention HD and motorcycle in the same sentence!

Yes the re-spoking is tedious, maybe why I stalled on the build. I need a month where I'm all but incapacitated or housebound!

I've built five of the newer Italeri kits, Rossi's Honda and five Ducati's.

Looking at the Italeri kit rim, I think this might have been the reason I started re-spoking the BMW. It bears no resemblance to the real item!

Looks like a great museum to visit. Where in the UK is it? I might be making a visit next year.

 

Colin

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3 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Glad you found the sump part. If you were going to use an elastic band for the 'chain', that would be an HD build and we all know you can't mention HD and motorcycle in the same sentence!

Yes the re-spoking is tedious, maybe why I stalled on the build. I need a month where I'm all but incapacitated or housebound!

I've built five of the newer Italeri kits, Rossi's Honda and five Ducati's.

Looking at the Italeri kit rim, I think this might have been the reason I started re-spoking the BMW. It bears no resemblance to the real item!

Looks like a great museum to visit. Where in the UK is it? I might be making a visit next year.

 

Colin

The Sammy Miller collection is in New Milton which is on the south coast between Southampton and Bournemouth.  I have not been there for a while, but has some fantastic bikes.  If memory is correct, he has the 1st 500cc championship winning bike amongst others (AJS Porcupine) which almost did the lap of honour to mark the 70th anniversary of the 500cc/MotoGP championship but was dropping too much oil onto the track.  Also, the National Motor Museum is close by at Beaulieu.

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Going back to my efforts on re-spoking, here are the three rims from the BMW combination. I made a jig to help align the rim and hub. I used a stainless steel pool brush as a source for the spokes. Looking at where I have got to, I don't know why I haven't finished the build, I've done the hard part!spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

The two bike rims are on the left, with the combo rim still in the jig. Some 3D printed rivets might be good to represent the spoke heads and small diameter ali tube for the nipples. 

 

Hope this is of help to all you bike modellers.

 

Colin

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5 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Looking at where I have got to, I don't know why I haven't finished the build, I've done the hard part

Indeed you have! 

That's all looking orderly and organised. I've seen a few examples where a quarter of the spokes are done at one stage, and then the next set, so that the hub and rim stay joined and centred and no jig required. 

But that looks like an effective and doable arrangement 👍

8 hours ago, Mumbly said:

but has some fantastic bikes

Yes the Porcupine AJS is there and many others. My main recollections of Sammy Miller is as a Trials rider - as in the Scottish 6 day Trial, riding cross-country up river beds and mountains. He was epic at this, and there is a whole section of trials bikes. A hall of race bikes, general production machines, old historic and the "wierd and wonderful". The website may throw some light on the contents. 

There's a display of models, I'd say mostly Protar and similar, but it's easy to miss among all the full size stuff! 

Velocettes, Manx Norton of course, and they're kept in full functional condition. There is a video on line of him riding the Moto Guzzi V8 around for display. Probably loads more to be searched for. 

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I decided to modify the gearbox /drive sprocket area by blanking off the void, 

IMG_20211011_233246

The lollipop item is a bit rough but it fits in the opening. 

IMG_20211011_233505

I drilled through the centre of the clutch housing and through the new insert to take a length of Ali tube. This includes the removal of the pully wheel drive on its stub axle. So whatever I make as the drive sprocket will be mounted on the Ali tube. It's removable for now and may remain so until the clutch operating arm is fitted. 

Progress on the carbs.... 

Two pairs assembled, 

IMG_20211012_232906

I modified the fuel pipe connector on each tank to the 90°type such that they will take a piece of flex tube easily. The brass wire hoops are fitted to a plastic strip glued into the edge of the tank rather than the way I had it arranged before. 

IMG_20211012_233029

I now have both pairs fixed to the engine and a test piece of brass rod through the 2 hoops to check the alignment. 

IMG_20211013_000032

All I need now is a set of 4 arms to fit onto the rod and reach to the tops of the carbs. A 5th arm may be fixed in the middle as the operator arm. That would at least give me something to attach the throttle cable to. 

Also been tinkering with the plug leads and the sparkplug fittings. Nothing finalised there yet, and I'll need the distributor fitted for that. 

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Hi Rod,

                   I find this a fascinating thread having encountered the Protar kits long ago. Most of them were grossly under-detailed even for the day and were of questionable accuracy but nevertheless can be built into fine replicas with some skill. Witness the superb winner of the motorcycle class at the last ScaleModelworld competition to be held.

Obvious errors are in the fuel tanks with missing bottoms but the forks and suspension units were often oversize as a result of a misguided effort to make them work. I seem to remember the Guzzi forks being overlength compared with drawings and the engine is woefully under detailed.

Nonetheless, Protar had many unique and wonderful subjects that we aren't likely to see again at affordable prices. It's just a pity that  their enthusiasm and ambition never matched their ability.

 

Dave

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