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1948 Airone - restoration

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I picked up this 1948 250cc Airone (these early generation models are nick named the Astorino as it has the same rear shock absorbers damper design as the 500cc Astore)

It came out of the San Diego area and I have had it for a couple years but have only fired it up but not ridden it. The tank is apparently not the original flatter chrome type (I have a repro) and the tank was touched up at the front and top due to some serious ruts.

At a minimum I need to overhaul the brakes, wheel bearings, suspension, steering bearings, fit new tires etc. It has a serious oil leak I need to find and fix.

I have been struggling with what to do with it for a couple years, restore it 100% or save the 'Patina' and just go through it mechanically??

This spider web of rust below the surface of the tin wear is typical, worse in some areas.

The fenders and the rear fender supports are very corroded, but its all in or nothing.

All the bright plating is mostly gone, it is however a complete bike, nothing missing other than a tire pump and tool kit and nothing appears to be broken.

I have gotten so far as putting it on a lift and giving all the fasteners a good blast of penetrating fluid.

Front wheel is a chrome plated rim with galvanized spokes, the rear is a red painted rim and spokes, I am betting the front was replaced at some time???

Restore or conserve?

If it was 100% original, I'd say preserve.  The tank, the wheel and the rust pushes me over to the restore column.

Dave Swanson:
I am in the same camp with Turin. 


--- Quote from: Turin on November 24, 2020, 07:11:38 PM ---If it was 100% original, I'd say preserve.  The tank, the wheel and the rust pushes me over to the restore column.

--- End quote ---

I respect both of your opinions very much, thank you. That's where I keep leaning to, many who have seen the bike want me to conserve it, I hate rust and I even hate it more when its called PATINA.

The Airone is not a big money bike, a real nice one can be found for between $8 and $10K USD. It could be freshened up and just ridden but I know I am going to take it all apart regardless and I think I would really struggle to put it back together without refinishing it.

I was able resist restoring my 1957 Cardellino because the overall condition was so good despite some big paint scratches in the tank, the Airone is in no where equal shape.

It will come apart .

+1 for restoration.  It needs the corrosion on the tinware arresting and by the time you've painted it, well better make a proper job!

I have a similar potential project with the Falcone Turismo below.  A good friend of mine bought it from Garlatti Moto in Italy a couple of years ago.  It has languished unloved in his boatyard since then.  We got it going a few weeks ago and it runs very well.  Actually I find it a better ride than my Falcone Sport, probably the smaller carb and lower compression make it more even tempered.  Anyway he want to trailer it to the 100th anniversary in Mandello next September and spend a few days riding in Northern Italy, and wants to improve the cosmetics.  As I'm newly retired with time on my hands I volunteered to have a go at it, thinking I'm bound to learn a lot along the way.
I look forward to following your progress on the Airone.

20200731_110644 by Derek Wardell, on Flickr


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