Re: Is this manifold a disgrace?
As long as the carburetor is level, doesn't vibrate too much and is secure you're probably good to go. Several other members have had decent luck with flexible material for an intake. Is the hose fuel grade? That is, is it made to carry gasoline? If not then I'd replace it with something that is but if it is fuel line it should provide you with reasonable service. If possible could you post a picture of the entire bike? Is it a 26" bike or a 24". It is odd and unusual that things fit that tight.
Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"