I can’t even remember when I purchased this Aprilia 280 Climber trials motorcycle from a guy in Missouri. I purchased it on a whim, long before Facebook was a thing. My kids grew up riding it off and on. We never really got into trials riding. The bike is so rare and unusual it has become difficult to find parts for it, and repair manuals just don’t exist that I can find. It has a 280cc Rotax 2-stroke engine that is a bear to kick over. I have loaned it out to various people over the years and they play with it and then tire of it and I get it back, often in better shape than when I loaned it to them. I have good friends, what can I say.
After sitting in my shop gathering dust for the past several years, I decided this past fall to brush off the dust and get it running again. It was easy to start. I cleaned the carb, put in fresh gas, and with a couple of really hard kicks, it fired right up and idled perfectly. The petcock leaked, so I ordered a new petcock and replaced it. Now the hydraulic clutch is dragging so I bled the clutch and made some adjustments, but still is dragging, which is not good for a trials bike. My next plan is to open the clutch and see what is needed to get it working properly. Maybe some new clutch plates if I can find them? I may also need to replace the fork seals since they seem to be leaking.
Then I am going to ride it a bit and hopefully find some beginner trials events I can compete in. Sounds like a fun sport for a 62-year-old that still likes riding dirt bikes.