Are you familiar with Tomos? It was a moped and motorcycle factory based in Koper, Slovenia. The name itself is an acronym for Tovarna Motorjev Sežana, or Motorcycle Company Sežana, with Sežana being the name of the town where it was originally meant to be built. The company lasted from the 1950s all the way through to the 2010s, with the Koper factory finally closing its doors in late 2012.
In any case, Tomos created a bunch of vehicles over its long lifespan, the most well-known of which were its mopeds. Of those, the Tomos Colibri T12 proved to be its most popular. Powered by a little Puch 50cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, these stalwart steel machines helped huge numbers of people get around, throughout the 1960s and beyond. Moped enthusiasts still have soft spots in their hearts for Tomos Colibri T12s today—sometimes modified, sometimes restored.
That brings us to this video, where YouTube channel Mr. Rescue pulled a 1967 Tomos T12 out of wherever it had been left to rust, and put together a timelapse video detailing the restoration process. This channel restores a large number of things, from rusty bread slicers to rusty Lamborghinis—and the main factor in common seems to be that everything this channel tackles is in pretty sorry shape when they get their hands on it.
In that regard, this Tomos T12 is certainly no different. Immediately, the guy sets to work, spraying lubricant on rusted and stuck nuts and bolts, then loosening them and taking the bike apart bit by bit. In a few cases, he does have to whip out the grinder and cut off some particularly stubborn bolts that won’t come unstuck.
Once the pieces are apart, it’s of course time for a good clean. Luckily, it seems that this particular T12’s rust is mostly of the surface variety—not full-on giant holes that need to be patched in some way. For the most part, the guy is able to clean it up manually. The inside of the fuel tank needs the rust removed, which is a little more involved—but at least it’s a solid tank, and not one with more holes than Swiss cheese.
In the end, there’s only one part of the body where the guy ends up using a little filler to smooth out some roughness before priming and painting. That’s one small section of the top of the tank, and it’s easily filled, sanded, and made ready for the priming and painting steps.
Now, of course, some people would probably have wanted to put the reproduction decals under some kind of clear coat for protection—but still, the finished bike looks a whole lot more inviting than the sad heap that came into the workshop. Check it out and see what you think.