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1973 Condor A350

Filtering by Tag: A350

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Classic Velocity

Want to own something a little different ? Be prepared for an adventure. The Condor never came to the USA officially, so it is not well known. I knew that. They stopped making it 37 years ago, so parts are not in abundant supply. Although based on parts from civilian machines, it is not. these truths make something as simple as finding an oil filter, into an epic virtual global journey. You would think that in these days of global sourcing and 3D printing, an oil filter could be readily found. Or perhaps an equivalent replacement item. No.

You see the Swiss did a couple of brilliant things to this motorcycle (as the Swiss tend to do with machines). First, they rubber mounted the engine to reduce vibration. Second, they plumbed in a spin-on oil filter to improve serviceability and engine life. For the latter, they used an Italian FIAMM filter (FT4664) which cross references to a number of filters (Ac Delco, Fram, etc) which are no longer made. They don't even turn up on Euro Ebay. So I drain the existing oil, run the filter a bit, drain it again, and then fill it with fresh oil. This will have to do for now. Other discoveries include a K&N E4400 filter fits perfectly and NGK B5HS plugs are a good substitute for the Bosch W8AC.

Out on the road, the bike is actually quite good. The right side shift takes a little getting used to, and the rear brake is super effective in slowing the bike down. The transmission is a little picky, as it is easy to find false neutrals, but once found the gears suit the machine. It needs a little idle adjustment, and a few other things, but a fun machine to ride.

Whole Lotta Shakin

Classic Velocity

With the bike running, it becomes evident why the Swiss opted for a rubber-mounted engine. It would shake a frame to bits as the Ducatisti must have found out. Cleaning out the carbs, a new spark plug, air filter, and a couple of brittle wires were really all that it needed. Once I find a replacement oil filter, I can get the oil changed and take it out for a few miles....

The Militant

Classic Velocity

The only excuse that I can offer is that I had a couple of Ammo cases in the basement, and I have always wanted a vehicle upon which they would look right. Another excuse is that I had been looking at Urals and Royal Enfields thinking something old and slightly battered would be cool. Then I stumbled across the Condor. I had seen one before at a show and in magazines, but thought that they were very rare. They are rare, but not as much as I thought. The combination of Ducati motor, BMW switch gear,  reversed gearing, and Swiss manufacturing made this of great interest. As usual, it had issues and I accepted the challenge....