That accomplished, I headed out back and continued fashioning a custom gas-tank siphon for the pickup. The one in the tank was pitted with tiny rust-holes that tended to suck air instead of gas, and the end of the pipe was sort of smushed against the bottom of the tank. The worst part was that it could not be removed. Fine engineering, there. So: replacing a siphon tube. Sounds simple, eh? Ha!
I had to drill a hole in the removable gas-gauge cover (oh, which now works, too! woo-hoo, two-for-one) through which I threaded a fresh length of steel pipe. This needed a complex bend in order to avoid hitting the gauge-dipper-thingy and to reach down into the tank. The new siphon system is stupid complex: It uses three hose-clamps, two lengths of custom-bent steel pipe, solder, sealant, a bit of wire, a length of rubber fuel line, and a screen to go on the end of the pipe in the tank to prevent sucking any flakes of rust or dirt into the fuel line. All of that is just the part that goes inside the tank. Then I had to cut the old gas line leading into the tank, seal the old pipe, and hook everything up to the new.
All done, I hopped into the cab and turned 'er over. vroooom! - it started up on first crank even after sitting for two weeks with the fuel lines disconnected! I watched the clear fuel-filter beside the new fuel-pump, and for the first time since I got the truck I could see it filling up at least as fast as the truck was using it. Took it for a spin to prove all's well, and yay! It accelerated better than it ever has and never starved for fuel.
Yep, just call me Chris "Mechanical Genius" McKitterick. I felt like one of those Cuban gearheads making do with bits and pieces when a new part is not available (to be fair, it's because I didn't want to spend the $250 on a new gas tank, ahem).
Next up: big carburetor and carbon-fiber reeds for the RS50... well, first would be setting a base speed for the bike with the stock carb and reeds, then taking it out for a full-speed run. I suspect I'll need to get new sprockets to take advantage of the new power.