Wards 525/Gilson questions

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I bought another Wards 525 and have some questions. What factory colors did these come in?
I assume the blue color on it is factory. I'll probably take it apart and paint it (if I don't sell it first) and
would like to know if anybody knows the paint color code or name of the blue paint.

I can't/wouldn't do a pure factory correct restoration on it but having a nice factory color would make it look much better than it does.

This thing flies with the 6.5hp engine on it. It pulls harder than other Preds I had. The owner claims it has the stock cam in it and all he did was rejet the carb, put on an air filter and pipe. I took the open pipe off and put on a stock muffler as open pipes are to loud for my quiet neighborhood. The muffler doesn't seem to effect performance at all :)
I'll note another nice feature before I get into my other questions. It still has the factory rear mounted gas tank and is in excellent condition inside which surprised me. I thought it would have been rusty. It isn't.
It also has the gas tank on the engine and they are both hooked up with a T fitting under the engines tank. That would give this a very long cruise range.

Now onto my other questions. I have/had 3 of these 525's so far. They all have the same "problem". The bike seems like it has a hard time going straight and level. It seems to tip left then right constantly making it seem like you have to constantly steer it. All 3 of them did this. My guess is it doesn't have proper rake and trail on the triple trees.
It just doesn't give you a secure feeling when your riding at anything over say 15-20 mph. This one seems a bit worse as it has wide tires front and rear. It requires more Lean when making a U turn in the street. That is probably due to the front tire width. That isn't "bad" it just takes getting used to. The wandering steering feeling
isn't something I can get used to. If someone lives close to me - come over and ride these and tell me what you think is causing it. It is hard to describe in writing, but when you ride it you notice it right away.
I meant to ask the previous owner about that but didn't get the chance. It wouldn't have mattered, I would have bought it regardless of what he said :) I like these Gilson minibikes.

Here are some pictures of it.
Oh, can anyone decipher the serial number to tell what year it was made?


The color depended on the model. The MW models were pretty set in stone. The 5 horse, non lighted was totally blue. The 5 horse lighted was Black with chrome trim. The 4 horse was yellow (both the lighted and non lighted) and the 3 horse was red. The VT525 was Green. The Gilson models were apparently random variations, and the Allis Chalmers models were all Orange.

I'm not sure about the serial numbers for these. It's best to date it by the date code
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