Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - December 2015 - Ebook-dl

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YAMAHA TRX850: FORGOT
Re-evaluated
rotary!
■
1985 remembered!
■
Suzuki AS50!
HONDA
RCB
REPLICA
READER’S RESTORATION ON THE CHEAP!
Workshop skills:
Repairing oil
injection systems
Workshop knowledge:
Electrical
connectors
Project bike:
Kawasaki
GPz900R
PROJECT BIKES NIALL MACKENZIE RD400F ❙ STEVE PARRISH FZ750 ❙ KAWASAKI ZRX1100 & ZX-10 ❙ JAMES WHITHAM SUZUKI X7
2 / classic motorcycle mechanics
December 2015
Issue 338
Publisher: Steve Rose,
srose@mortons.co.uk
Contributor: Joe Dick
Art Editors: Justin ‘Dad’ Blackamore,
Fran Lovely, Charlotte Turnbull
Reprographics: Paul Fincham,
Jonathan Schofield
Divisional advertising manager:
Martin Freeman
mfreeman@mortons.co.uk
Tel: 01507 529538
Advertising: Sam Dearie, Lee Buxton
sdearie@mortons.co.uk,
lbuxton@mortons.co.uk
Tel: 01507 524004
Subscription manager: Paul Deacon
Circulation manager: Steven O’Hara
Marketing manager: Charlotte Park
Publishing director: Dan Savage
Commercial director: Nigel Hole
Associate director: Malc Wheeler
Editorial address:
CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
,
,
Lincolnshire LN9 6JR
Website: www.classicmechanics.com
General enquiries and back issues:
Tel: 01507 529529 24 hour answer
. .
www.classicmagazines.co.uk
jskayman@mortons.co.uk,
u scr p on: u su scr p on ra es
(but see page 36 for offer): (12 months
–
£50.40. Export rates are also available
–
.
purposes of Value Added Tax.
Distribution: COMAG Tavistock Road
West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE.
MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
MAGAZINE Media Centre Morton
Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR
Printed: William Gibbons & Sons,
Published date: CLASSIC
MAGAZINE is published on the third
e nes ay o every mon
ex ssue:
December 16, 2015
N v m
r 27 2 1
© Mortons Media Group Ltd. All rights
reserved. No art of this ublication
may be reproduced or transmitted in
,
recording, or any information
storage retrieval system without
publisher. ISSN 0959-0900
CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
magazine takes all responsible steps
to ensure advice and technical tips are
written by experienced and competent
people. We also advise readers to seek
further professional advice if they are
unsure at any time. Anything technical
written by the editor is exempt – he’s
rubbish with spanners.
CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
(USPS:729-550) is published monthly
by Mortons Media Group Ltd, PO Box
99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6LZ
UK. USA subscriptions are $60 per
year from Motorsport Publications
LLC, 7164 Cty Rd N #441, Bancroft
WI 54921. Periodical Postage is paid
at Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Postmaster:
Send address changes to CLASSIC
MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS,
Motorsport Publications LLC, 7164 Cty
Rd N #441, Bancroft WI 54921. 715572-4595 chris@classicbikebooks.com
Independent publisher since 1885
Don’t be swayed...
This month’s main test is one of those ‘opiniondividing’ machines that we often love to hate.
Suzuki’s RE5 was both loved and loathed
when it came out in the 1970s and was muchmaligned and seen as a bit of a quirky bike
as the years went by. Maybe like the Honda
CX500, it’s almost become loved, loathed and
then loved again? Certainly owners I’ve met
have loved ’em and Steve Cooper this month
was rather taken by it.
It’s always been this way though, hasn’t it?
I’ve just bought yet another project bike, this
time a Kawasaki GPz900R. Fine, I hear you
say, but speak to the purists and they tell me
I’ve bought the wrong one. Mine isn’t the first,
halo model from 1984, the A1, nor is it the
best version with the brake and chassis mods
(A7-A8) instead I’ve plumped for an A6. With
Bertie Simmonds
Needs a stiff one
bertie@classicmechanics.com
A drink, he means and two new
projects this month for the big man.
Why not Just
Ask your local
newsagent to
reserve you a copy
each month?
Niall Mackenzie
North of the Border Nice
Bloke
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Triple British Superbike champ Niall is
nearly done with his RD400F!
Bertie Simmonds editor
Steve Parrish
He only does it once a year…
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Appear in the mag, we mean. At last
progress on the FZ750!
Steve Cooper
Mark Haycock
John Nutting
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Scoop tests the Suzuki RE5 rotary and
shows us how to sort oil injectors.
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Master Mark is showing us how to
sort electrical connections and back
with Q&A.
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Our own Nutters heads back in time
once more to tell us about 1985.
Andy Westlake
James Whitham
Alan Dowds
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Andy shows us a reader’s awesome
little Suzuki AS50.
editorial@classicmechanics.com
He's tight, he's cool, he knows his
tools!
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Canny Scot Dowdsy finds something
wrong with his motor!
Older/Nicer stuff editor
West Country Correspondent
Having trouble finding a copy
of this magazine?
the understated colours of black and gold, a
few owners have told me it’s the worst colour
to have too (I can’t even get that right…) but
hell, what do I care? I’ve got a REAL GPz900R
and I can’t wait to get it all sorted and in some
semblance of shape.
Ashamedly, I’ve even been one of the
naysayers too. A couple of years ago, my
barbed criticism of Honda’s Super Dream from
the late 1970s to the mid-1980s led to an invite
from the owners’ club to ride one – and I rather
liked it.
So let’s all wave the flag for the lame duck
bikes or forgotten models that people seem to
shun. More power to you all, I say!
Andy Bolas
Getting connected.
Soon-to-be-X7-sorted!
The Master of MIRA
More motor mayhem!
Quick Spin Virgin
Lord of the Piston Ring
Stan Stephens
Paul Berryman
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Serial bike-buyer Andy B bought and
rode a Yamaha TRX. What did he think?
editorial@classicmechanics.com
Stan reveals that even the best make
mistakes. It’s what they do after...
editorial@classicmechanics.com
…fetish as that’s where he collars
brilliant bike builders: see page 26!
Has a Super Sausage…
www.classicmechanics.com / 3
4 / classic motorcycle mechanics
67
❙ WORKSHOP NEWS
70
❙ WORKSHOP: MAGNETISM
72
❙ HONDA CBR900RR
FIREBLADE
Stan always double checks. Nearly.
Bertie with his new ‘easy’ project.
76
78
❙ KAWASAKI GPz900R
Bertie with his ‘not so easy’
project! The fat fool!
❙ PROJECT SUZUKI X7
James Whitham nears the end of
this restoration.
82
❙ KAWASAKI ZX-10
84
❙ WORKSHOP: GET
CONNECTED
Can you take a late 1980s missile
and make it a tourer?
Mark Haycock on how best to
make electrical connections.
86
Contents
Pip’s back and what’s new?
❙ YAMAHA FZ750
Steve Parrish is back and his
Superstocker nears completion.
90
❙ KAWASAKI ZRX1100
94
❙ YAMAHA RD400F
More engine woes for Alan Dowds.
Niall Mackenzie can see the
finish line!
102 ❙ YAMAHA RD250
The ravishing round-tank in detail.
116 ❙ WORKSHOP: OIL
INJECTORS
06
ARCHIVE
08
1998 YAMAHA
TRX850
13
NEWS
18
CALENDAR
20
FEEDBACK
22
26
30
Fabrizio Pirovano on a
GSX-R600.
Andy Bolas buys a belter:
he hopes!
What’s hot, not and new in
the classic world.
Christmas is a-coming, and
Bertie’s getting fat…
More on the DVLA and fab
Fazers! Forza!
SHOW US YOURS
There are some top bikes out
there.
HONDA RCB RACER
REPLICA
A Honda replica done on the
cheap.
SUZUKI AS50
38
42
50
56
64
CMM STAFFORD
SHOW
Our round-up of a great
weekend! Magic!
SUZUKI RE5
Steve Cooper on a cool rotary
classic.
SUZUKI GSX-R750F
Suzuki GB will restore this
classic in a week at the NEC
show.
MIRA FILES: THE
BEST OF 1985
John Nutting on that most
classic of years.
HONDA MB-5
Our Retro Reboot of a classic
Honda tiddler.
121 NEXT MONTH
The FULL story on Stan
Stephen’s RD1200LC V6
motor!
122 PARTING SHOT
The view of things to come.
Andy Westlake on a triffic
tiddler my son!
Scoop on how to sort them.
119 ❙ COMING CLASSIC
Andy B on the Kawasaki ZX-7R
mechanics
/
mechanics
Fantastic
Fabrizio!
WORDS: BERTIE SIMMONDS PHOTO: MORTONS ARCHIVE
Fabrizio Pirovano was the original ‘pocket rocket’ and his
all-action style, clambering all over his BYRD Yamaha
OW-01 in the early 1990s was the stuff of legend.
A rock-hard motocrosser, he was a national champion in that
tough regime before heading to the Tarmac in 1986. Just two
years later and he was fighting for the World Superbike
championship, such was his adaptability. He was a real character
in the mould of what the WSB series was aimed at: a talented
privateer with a modicum of factory support. His 1988 FZ750
was emblazoned with a raft of small sponsors in a team managed
by his sister. But his stature grew (even if he didn’t, he got the
pocket rocket nickname for a reason) and his 10 race wins in
WSB as well as runner-up spots in 1988 and 1990 showed what
he was capable of. Of course, he was well known on Yamaha’s FZ
and FZR-OW-01 machinery (he also scored the YZF750’s first
WSB win) but he also rode for Ducati in World Superbikes and
went with them to the new World Supersport championship.
This was a series he finally won in 1998 on the Suzuki
GSX-R600. This shot from the Mortons Archive shows him in
full-flight during the 2000 season. Tough as they come, this
hard-as-nails racer once told me why I really should report on
him more often in the UK-based press, even though he was
Italian. Well, Fabi, it’s only taken 20 years but the debt is
finally paid!
Pirovano finally retired from international bike racing in 2001
following a brace of top five finishes in World Supersport, but he
will be forever remembered as one of the first real characters in
World Superbike. cmm
■ Want to get hold of pictures from Morton’s Archive?
Then head to: www.mortonsarchive.com
mechanics
YAMAHA
850
WORDS: ANDY BOLAS PICS: JOE DICK
It’s the ultimate test ride: Andy
Bolas buys a twin he’s been
hankering after for ages, but
does the quirky TRX win him
over or will it be a quick
resale? Let’s find out!
I
t is 19 years since the release of the Yamaha
TRX850 and I’m finally realising my dream of
riding and owning one.
Yes folks I’ve brought another bike and this one
comes thanks to CMM reader Ian Hunt, who read my
‘Coming Classics’ piece and wondered if I wanted to
make another addition to the Bolas stable. Well,
what could I say?
Now I know they say you should never meet your
heroes but I’ve met Kevin Schwantz and Niall
Mackenzie and they were great, but will the TRX live
up to my expectations after all these years or will I
need to get shot of my rose tinted specs?
Looking around my latest steed takes me back to
1996 standing outside PW Ranger (as it was back
then) the TRX’s metallic blue paint glistening in the
sun and even the silver finish on the Ducati-style
lattice frame is sparkling too. Practicalities first:
popping the rear seat off reveals a boot of nearFireBlade proportions. Being a shrewd purchaser, I
thought maybe the aftermarket belly-pan could have
been hiding some corrosion or other mischief but on
close inspection this is not the case. This is a really
clean example and a credit to its previous owner.
So, other than mismatched tyres, loose head-races
and the brakes needing to bed in all seemed well:
but I thought it best to sort these issues before we
test the bike in the mag so it was out with the
spanners, head-races adjusted correctly and a pair of
BT016 Pros fitted. Back out again and we’re all
good now and ready to go.
Considering the hit-and-miss build quality that
Yamaha used to put us through during the mid-90s
this bike is in very nice condition showing a mileage
of just 13k although it does show signs of a slight
tumble with a few light scuffs on its right-hand
silencer; the rest of the bike is great and other than
a nasty blue screen, nice EBC front disks and that
belly-pan is more or less totally standard.
/
mechanics
mechanics
Cocking a leg over the bike you realise how roomy
it actually is and not as race oriented as its looks
would suggest: the mirrors actually allow you to see
behind you rather than just your elbows (how novel),
everything is within reach and easy to use. The
switch gear and clocks are very clear and functional
although no fuel light or gauge is provided but you
do get a fiddly-as-hell to get at fuel tap.
The choke, which is situated between the left
hand frame rail and fairing (looks like it was stolen
from an old Mini), requires little more than a few
seconds of being on before the 38mm carbs can
cope on their own and allow the parallel twin to idle
on its own and fool you into thinking you have a
V-twin under you: this sleight of hand is down to
Yamaha using a 270 degree firing order.
Setting off and the bike is instantly more lumpy
than an inline four, as you’d expect, so it needed a
few more revs than I’d thought it would to pull away
cleanly. Thankfully the clutch action is smooth and
light, which helps although the motor sounds a little
muffled on the standard pipes. It pulls strong from
the bottom end around 3000rpm until it runs out of
steam just on its 8000rpm redline, then just hook
another gear from the slick feeling five-speed box
and off we go again. Out on the road and riding with
my friend who’s riding my 95 CBR600F-S I find that
the TRX is deceptively quick for what it is and while
it’s not the fastest thing on two wheels it’s the low
revving punchy nature of the motor that suits the
fast and bumpy A and B roads that I ride on along
with its solid chassis and softish suspension nothing
gets too out of hand. It also helps that the motor
doesn’t have the power to overwhelm the chassis I
guess: think of it as an easy-going introduction to V
or parallel big twins.
The brakes on this particular bike are amazing
considering they are the original Sumitomo four-pots
(many people upgrade to Blue Spots for greater
stopping power) and must have been refreshed fairly
recently as it stops really well with plenty of power
10 / classic motorcycle mechanics
ABOVE: Belly-pan is
non standard, but
excitement is.
BELOW: Lovely and
lithe. That’s the TRX.
Front calipers can
leave rider wanting
more oomph!
and feel even with its standard rubber hoses. One
negative I must mention is the headlight which is
very poor and almost as bad as a Fazer 600, perhaps
this could be upgraded with a different bulb?
It’s such a shame that Yamaha overpriced the TRX
when it was released as it’s such an awesome bike
with bags of character and when looked after the
build quality seems to hold up fairly well. But at
£6999 it was drastically overpriced so I think
Yamaha missed a trick with it. If you look at the
MT-09 which is sort of a modern day equivalent of
the 850, they have priced that very aggressively: I
wonder if in 20 years’ time we’ll be reading about
one of those? I guess I’m a lover of Japanese bikes,
as I don’t think I could get as excited about a
Ducati 900SS which – compared to the TRX – I
think looks rather dated now and would probably be
1
3
2
IN DETAIL: 1/ Simple
clocks shaded by
awful blue screen.
2/ Nice to see original
cans: aftermarket ones
liberate more sound
and power. 3/ Build
quality isn’t too bad.
4/ Feels like a V-twin,
can produce up to
100bhp with big mods.
5/ Skinny rear end is
what you want on a
twin.
4
5
SPECIFICATION
besieged with various mechanical woes or is that
just my misinformed opinion? Not that the TRX is
immune from mechanical woes according to the
doom-mongers. Apparently they drink oil, knock
cranks out and stretch valves, although I’ve also
heard lots stories of high mileage bikes which have
just been maintained regularly. On a more serious
note though, prolonged wheelies can starve the dry
sump motor of oil so we won’t be doing too many
of those!
This is the first bike I have had in a long time that
I’ve tried to get out on whenever a bit of good
weather showed itself. Or it’s had me popping into
the garage to have a look at it. The last bike that did
this to me was my TZR250 3XV V-twin. When you
think I’ve owned more than 120 bikes that says a
lot. Well, it does to me, anyway! cmm
YAMAHA
850
ENGINE
Type: 849cc liquid-cooled
four-stroke dohc parallel
twin with 5 valves per
cylinder
MAXIMUM POWER
79bhp @ 7500rpm
MAXIMUM TORQUE
63lb-ft @ 6000rpm
TRANSMISSION
5-speed
FINAL DRIVE
Chain
I owned (this) one – Ian Hunt CMM reader
My time with the TRX started
in May of 2013 when a friend
at work asked if I could take a
look at his dad’s old bike as it
had been stood for six years,
luckily in a dry well-ventilated
garage. When I found out the
bike was a TRX I was keen to
get hold of it myself as I have
always liked the TRX, having
ridden and worked on three
previously belonging to
friends in the past.
When I got the bike it
obviously didn’t run but after
cleaning the fuel tank out,
stripping the carbs down,
replacing the jets, both
diaphragms, rebuilding the
fuel tap and a new battery
she was good to go. After a
real good clean I found I had a
real gem of a bike. I’ve owned
lots of bikes over the years
but none of them (barring my
two-strokes, like my RGVs)
have had as much charm and
character as the TRX has.
Had I not been too
preoccupied working on our
new house I would have
probably kept the TRX and
would certainly have another
in a flash when finances
allow, if I don’t find a bargain
two-stroke that is!
SUSPENSION
Front: 41mm right-way-up
forks adjustable for
preload and rebound
damping.
Rear: rising-rate
monoshock adjustable for
preload, rebound and
compression damping.
BRAKES
Front: twin 298mm floating
disks with 4-piston
calipers.
Rear: 248mm disk with
twin opposed piston
caliper.
TYRES
Front: 120-60-17
Rear: 160-60-17
SEAT HEIGHT
795mm
WHEEL BASE
1435mm
DRY WEIGHT
190kg
FUEL CAPACITY
18 litres
www.classicmechanics.com / 11
12 / classic motorcycle mechanics
& events
Motorcycle Live!
This is your last call
for the experience that
is Motorcycle Live,
which takes place
from November 28 to
December 6.
Over the last few
years the show has had
a larger classic showing
and following and that
is what makes it one of
the best days out in the
motorcycling calendar.
As well as all the latest
motorcycles you will also
now see a burgeoning
classic presence.
Suzuki GB and its
Vintage Parts Stand
over the duration of
the show will be one of
the focal points of the
classic scene. It will be
there – to celebrate the
30th anniversary of the
GSX-R750 family – that
they will be building up
an original slab-sider
during the show. Check
out page 50 for more on
that story. Suzuki will
also be having a display
of some of the finest
examples of the GSX-R
breed from all capacities
on their stand. So don’t
miss that either.
The National
Motorcycle Museum
which is literally based
over the road from
Motorcycle Live, will
be providing a unique
‘hands-on’ display where
British motorcycling
literally will come to
life. Add into the mix a
huge number of celebs
at the show including
our own James Whitham
and Steve Parrish on
the main stage holding
regular quizzes, Q&A
sessions and the like
and you really can’t
miss it.
■ The show is held at
Birmingham’s NEC and
for more information
about tickets go to:
www.motorcycle
live.co.uk
RETRO-REBOOT IS ON THE MONEY
Well, weren’t we hitting the
mark in last month’s Retro
Reboot? Can you tell the
difference between these two?
Our Retro Reboot wizard Kar
Lee asked the question as to
whether Kawasaki’s H2 – the
firm’s supercharged superbike
– would make a good Retro
Reboot of the GPZ1000RX, a
sports-tourer of the late 1980s.
Well blow us down with a, er,
blower: look what Kawasaki has
mooted as its latest concept
model! It’s pretty damn close.
CMM went on sale on October
21st with this GPZ in grey
(below) while at the end of
that month Kawasaki was
at the show unveiling this
hottie (right.)
The show is where the
Japanese showcase their
prototype concept machines and
Kawasaki decided to talk about
new supercharger tech and
future products. This is Concept
SC 01 – or Spirit Charger – and
represents one of the directions
Kawasaki’s design team is
considering for the future of its
forced induction motorcycle line.
The blurb says: “With softer
more luxurious materials chosen
over the hard-edged performance
focused approach of the Ninja
H2 and Ninja H2R, the flowing
lines of ‘Spirit Charger’ suggest a
machine for all day, long distance
enjoyment and comfort.”
The president of Kawasaki’s
Motorcycle and Engineering
Company, Kenji Tomida, said:
“Firstly there is a need for
machines to possess power
and grace, secondly Kawasaki
motorcycles should continue
to be fun and rewarding to
ride and, thirdly, the ongoing
reliance on the skills within
the entire Kawasaki Group
harnessing cutting edge
technology to enrich the lives of
people worldwide”.
We love it. And of interest
is this: the classic world’s
own Dave Marsden of Z Power
was called up a few years back
by Kawasaki big-wigs asking
what direction future models
should go in: hence the use
of the H2 and H2R names
and the use of technology
(a supercharger) to make
bikes have an exciting
power delivery.
www.classicmechanics.com / 13
ON AND ON AND ON WITH
THE SHOW
Mark Williams looks with dread to the annual
Stafford pilgrimage but loves it. Awwww!
A
FZ FOR SALE!
Our cover star from the March issue is up for sale.
The Steve Adams ‘Lucky 7’ build was our main
road test and is a real act of how to subtly modify a
legendary machine.
Giving you the option to ‘double-take’ are the
following modifications: 1996 Thunderace wheel,
swingarm, 48mm forks and Blue Spot brakes, Lucky
7 footrest plates, Nitron GSX-R750 NTR R1 shock
and delightful RCD twin-filler fuel tank. Under the
half-fairing is a Pete Beale refreshed FZ750 motor
but with a lightly-skimmed head, Micron headers
allied to Racefit custom silencer, stage 1 Dynojet
and K&N filters and a cable clutch conversion.
While the spec is cool it’s the looks that are ace:
literally, thanks to the beefy components from the
Thunderace giving the bike a more purposeful front
and rear end.
Steve himself is selling to make way for other
projects, including a possible Triumph Speed Triple,
so if you want something in your garage which
our own Paul Berryman says was ‘four years well
spent’ then consider offers in the region of £6500
and contact editor Bert (and no he’s not getting
commission…).
BUDGET FLIPPING LID
Feature-packed and cheap as chips,
Duchinni’s new D606 Flip Front
Helmet is a great choice for
budget-conscious commuters and
tourers alike. Its single button
visor and chin bar release makes
light work of any face-to-face
situations, such as fuel stops,
asking for directions or grabbing a swift snack or
drink on the go. It has a quick-release seat-belt
chin strap, anti-scratch visor, integral sun visor, a
full venting system and removable/washable liner.
It comes in sizes XS-XL in plain white or black,
and retails at just £89.99 including VAT. The
Key Collection on 0117 971 9200 or visit www.
thekeycollection.co.uk for details.
14 / classic motorcycle mechanics
lthough I regularly attend similar events at
Kempton and Craven Arms, it’s not too outrageous
to claim that the high point of my motorbicycling year is
the Classic Mechanics Show at Stafford every October, and
maybe it’s yours, too. And yet every year as the date draws
nearer, I’m filled with a strange mixture of dread and
excited anticipation, and here’s why.
The things that I love about this annual wing-ding are as
follows: the chance to meet and josh with old friends and
colleagues who I rarely if ever get to see elsewhere; the
huge variety of machinery – from impossibly immaculate
restorations to rusty old dogs – in both cases embracing
familiar and unfamiliar models from my riding heydays in the 1960s, 70s and
80s; rummaging around the autojumble and accessory stalls and coming
home with bags of swag… even if it’s stuff I didn’t really need or could
reasonably afford; the Wall of Death that never fails to impress, indeed it so
impressed my then girlfriend with a biking culture she never knew existed
four years ago that she married me; people watching, because all human
and quite a bit of inhuman bikey life throngs to these gigs (albeit if, and sadly,
rather too much of it in wheelchairs or on crutches).
But all this is offset by a catalogue of misery which includes the
sometimes inclement weather which means squelching round the outdoor
plots which may then be lacking in crucial autojumblers who, dispirited by
the sheeting rain, have packed up and left by the time I get there (which is
always on the Sunday). I also invariably forget to bring the list I made of
stuff I really, really need to buy and of course can’t remember what most
of it was, and one consequence of this is that I instead buy stuff I really,
really don’t need. And then there are the occasional awkward encounters
with traders who stitched me up 10 years ago with a battery that didn’t
fit, or journalists that I stitched up 30 years ago by not paying a kill fee for
grammatically challenged gibberish about grey imports no-one cared about
anyway. Fighting my way through the Main Hall to reach the more obscure
bric-a-brac stalls in Side Hall One, especially when some old racer is being
interviewed onstage in front of the adoring hordes also makes me testy,
(road racing’s not my bag, see).
And then let’s not forget – because I absolutely can’t – the unbearably slow
crawl through Stafford’s hinterlands to the car parks which can knock 20
minutes of vital mooching and haggling time off the day’s purpose, and which
always coincides with a desperate need for a pee. Talking of which, then
there are the Showground toilets which are somewhere between a disgrace
and a joke and which there are unquestionably too few of.
But be that as it all may, and it may, this autumn I did particularly well,
copping a Brazilian-made Honda CG125 fuel tank for my woefully slow streettracker build and the discovery of GB Motorcycles’ stall on the main outdoor
drag. Not only did GB have all their used, mainly Japanese parts clearly
labelled – I mean can you tell the diff between a TS125 and a TS185 clutch
bearing? – but, upon discovering that they didn’t have a CB400N steering
head adjuster nut and some other obscure items I desperately needed, a
nice lady took down my number and said she’d phone me, “Because I think
we’ve got them back at the ranch.” And what’s more, she did and they had!
And then there was the sheet of 2.5mm alloy I needed to fashion a minimalist
instrument panel for my VT500 Ascot, and the Yuasa battery conditioner to
keep what’s becoming a motley fleet of ancient ’Ondas from losing their juice
this coming winter – knock-out value at fifteen quid.
So all in all and this year at least, the excitement was justified and the
dread wasn’t… which pretty much sums up my motorbicycling year.
www.classicmechanics.com / 15
& events
The sunny side of the classic world
with the VJMC’s Steve Cooper
WIN THIS BIKE!
The South Cheshire section of
the VJMC are raffling off this very
handsome machine (below) in aid of
charity from now until next year.
Will Barber, coordinator for South
Cheshire VJMC, says: “Next year’s
charity donation is a bit different in
that we are raffling off a fully restored
1972 Suzuki A100K motorcycle! The
bike has been completely stripped
and all parts passed to each of our
club members. The parts are either
being restored or replaced, with local
businesses helping out by discounts
or free of charge services. I have
just finished building a web page for
the VJMC Macmillan
Cancer Charity Bike at Just Giving.
Here you can donate however much
you like, and in return be nominated
raffle ticket numbers with a chance
to win the bike!” Will says that the
page also will have pictures showing
the progress of the restoration in the
coming months. You can see here that
the bike is looking in need of lots of
TLC at the moment, pre-resto. Will
adds: “The raffle for the fully restored
and registered 1972 Suzuki A100K
will take place on Sunday, August 7,
2016 at our annual VJMC Classic
ride-in bike show. This event
takes place every year at the
Bhurtpore Inn, Wrenbury
Road, Aston, Cheshire
CW5 8DQ. So come along
and enjoy the day. If the
winner is not present
on the day, they will be
notified the same day.”
Reader remembered
No less an icon than Kenny Roberts
has led tributes to CMM reader
Mike Rusworth, who was tragically
killed on his motorcycle in October.
Mike was well-known in his
home area of Leyland and was a
16 / classic motorcycle mechanics
I
t’s nice to
know that
in an everchanging
world there are a couple
of constants that, in my
world at least, haven’t
moved with the crazy
modern pace of time. I still
love two-strokes just as
much as I did back in the
day and I’m beginning to
think that after the autumnal
VW diesel fiasco they may
very well have a future. With a
little bit of modern technology
I’m sure there’s still some hope.
The second invariable is
that I am still, apparently,
a social pariah. I know this to be
a fact following a trip the local surgery to see
my GP. Both he and the receptionist looked at
me as if I was some lower form of life simply
because I carried with me a crash helmet
and wore a bike jacket. I ride when I can for
enjoyment and ease of parking. Surely I am the
same person whether I turn up in car or on a
bike: apparently not.
Many years ago I had what’s now politely
termed ‘an off’ which necessitated a trip to A&E,
the regulation plaster cast and a neck brace.
Having phoned in sick (justifiably in my opinion)
I was asked to present myself to the head of
department when I was able to get a lift in.
The interview was cursorily pleasant regarding
the injuries, brusque in terms of my predicted
date for a return to work and ultimately vitriolic
about my chosen method of transport. I was
asked “when are you going to stop messing
around with bikes and grow up?” Almost from
another plane I heard a voice similar to mine
saying: “what, and be boring like you?” To this
day I still have no idea how I kept that job and
didn’t jeopardise my future. I blamed the pain
killers at the time I think.
Few people seem to understand why anyone
would choose a method of transport that’s
inherently unstable. If the motorcycle was
invented today it simply wouldn’t be allowed on
the road. The fact that grown adults of a certain
age choose to ride old motorcycles is probably
a concept beyond almost everyone who’s not
similarly afflicted. Especially in the UK pretty
much anyone on two wheels is still demonised
by the media and mocked by society yet surely
we are a minority interest in our own right? If
we are truly supposed to celebrate diversity
shouldn’t we, the motorcycling public, be actively
supported by government in particular and
society as a whole? No, I won’t be holding my
breath either!
■ www.vjmc.com
www.classicmechanics.com / 17
see you there!
DECEMBER
Enormity enabled!
December 13
While we love the modern day motorcycle
part-finder that is the internet, we also
love the chance to root around in piles of
old parts in person – and this is the best
place to do it.
Whether it’s a nut, bolt, washer,
winding, reg-rectifier, seat, fairing or a fullon project there isn’t a better place to go
pre-Christmas to find the parts you need.
Normous Newark Autojumble is a great
day out for any motorcycle enthusiast as it
features stalls chock full of parts, places
to find restoration services and related
products all based in the open area of the
Newark Showground.
You could choose to walk around
the hundreds of trade plots ticking off
parts from your list as you get ’em, or
just stand around nattering to the stall
holder. You know the one, the bloke in
the tracksuit he’s had since the early
1990s. Soak up the atmosphere, smell
the old oil, buy the parts and take in a
cuppa in a Styrofoam cup and have a
burger or three. Remember, it’s nearly
Christmas so you’ll only be putting even
more weight on soon anyways. Normous
Newark is run by our very own event staff
from Mortons Media, each event attracts
a large number of visitors from across
the UK in search of the great finds and
bargains on offer.
■ Normous Newark Autojumble is held
at Drove Lane, Winthorpe, Newark,
Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. For more
go to: www.newarkautojumble.co.uk and
www.classicbikeshows.com
01-06 Motorcycle Live!
06 Burton Annual Toy Run,
20 Xmas Carol Service,
05 ‘Santas on a Bike’ in aid of the
12 Three Amigos Annual Toy Run,
Birmingham NEC,
www.motorcyclelive.co.uk
Children’s Hospice South West,
ride-outs in Devon, Bristol and
Cornwall see website for details:
www.santasonabike.org.uk
05 Southern Classic Off Road Show
and Jumble,
Kempton Park Race Course, Sunburyon-Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ:
www.egp-enterprises.co.uk
06 Ace Café Club Day Xmas Meet,
Ace Cafe, Ace Corner, North Circular,
Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD
0208 961 1000.
18 / classic motorcycle mechanics
from 9am. Burton-on-Trent, Staffs:
www.unwantedmcc.co.uk
midday, The Commons Car Park,
Pembroke, South West Wales,
SA71 4EA.
13 Xmas Toy Run,
Ace Cafe, London:
www.ace-cafe-london.com
13 Normous Newark Autojumble:
Ace Café www.ace-cafe-london.com
26 Boxing Day Cold Turkey Meet,
Ace Café 0208 961 1000.
27 Huddersfield Autojumble,
Old Market Building, Brook Street,
Huddersfield, HD1 1RG
www.phoenixfairs.jimdo.com
31 New Year’s Eve Party,
Ace Cafe, www.ace-cafe-london.com
www.newarkautojumble.co.uk
20 Paws n’ Claws Pet Food Run to
Mayhew Animal House,
Ace Café 0208 961 1000.
Tell us what events
you’ve got coming up!
www.classicmechanics.com / 19
Post to Mechanics, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ
or email your pictures to editorial@classicmechanics.com
WIN a Scottoiler bike care pack
Every month we’re giving away a Scottoiler Bike Care Pack to the writer of the best submitted letter we
receive. The pack contains two litres of Scottoiler FS365; giving you the ultimate in summer and winter
corrosion protection. Simply get in touch by sending emails to: letters@classicmechanics.com or post
your letters to the normal address, giving contact details just in case you are that lucky winner.
YOU PLONKER BERTIE!
During a lull in the fighting
here, I was just browsing
through the October issue
of CMM and I came upon
the article, on page 86, by
yourself and Peter Watmough,
regarding the ‘Handling small
parts’. I have to confess that
I was a little miffed to read
that “specialised bolts are
not available”! Clearly, it’s
not just your readers that
aren’t looking at the adverts:
it’s the editor as well! Please
see page 93 of that very issue
for our wonderful advert. Did
we not force enough tea and
biscuits upon you when you
visited us a few years back?
I’m now an old git with a
failing memory but I definitely
remember you coming here
to see what we do and then
writing a very nice article
about us. If you’d like to
refresh your memory, we’d be
delighted to see you again and
force more tea and biscuits
upon you! Don’t worry I’m not
sulking… too much!
Phil Denton Engineering
Limited
**Prize winner******
FZS-TASTIC!
Great feature on the Yamaha
FZS600 Fazer last month! I’ve
had two of these, the first a
1998 model as in the article,
on which I clocked up 54,000
miles, and my current ride
an ’03 model which has now
done over 72,000 miles. Both
have been great ‘do-everything’
bikes which have been used
for commuting into London,
the group but has no trouble
keeping up and often leading.
It also gives reasonable comfort
and great fuel economy. What
more could you want? That
aside, what’s happened to
Stavros’ FZ750? Yet again we
were promised an appearance
last month but still nothing. It
looked pretty much finished at
last year’s NEC show so why
the delay? I’ve been known to
take my time building bikes
but I’m beginning to wonder
if I’ll ever live long enough to
see it finished!
Colin Culverwell
Bertie says: “Good call
on the Fazer. They indeed
rock! As to Stavros’ FZ, you’ll
see it in this issue. All of our
projects rely on the owner
to get things done – and life
sometimes (understandably)
takes over. Also sometimes I
have to shuffle things about
in each issue, sorry!”
Bertie says: “I’m sitting
here head bowed in shame Phil!
After all that you and Steve
told me about the excellence of
what you can do for our readers
and restorers by supplying
high-quality bolts and fittings
engineered with precision – as
well as your amazing engine
builds – I really didn’t deserve
that whole pack of Bourbons!”
PUCH AND POOCHES?
I have just returned from my
annual weekend pilgrimage to
the CMM Stafford Bike show.
I’ve been going since the 80s
and as a keen photographer
20 / classic motorcycle mechanics
passing my IAM test on and
more-recently touring. I don’t
commute any more and now
use the bike for all-day ride
outs, often doing up to 300
miles plus in a day on our
favourite run down into Wales
and back for lunch. I also did
a trip to Scotland this summer
doing 2000 miles in a week.
Often it’s the smallest bike in
I’m always snapping away at
interesting machines and bits.
This year however I noticed
the much overlooked minority
attendee: the dog. Man’s best
friend has been attending
the show longer than me and
doubtless completely unaware
of the correct colour coding for
a 1966 Bonnie or levers on a
Z1. Anyway attached are a few
of the photos I took and hope
you like them. By the way the
tenuous link in the title refers
to my own 1980 Puch Zippy
which has been in the family
since new and was featured in
your Show Us Yours in the late
90s. Anyway, hope you like the
pics of the pooches!
Paul Davies
Bertie says: “Indeed
Paul, good call! I’m always
petting pooches at Stafford.”
Letter of the law
THEN AND NOW
I’m attaching two photos. The
first one in black and white was
taken about 60 years ago and
shows me, and my brother Rick,
on our dad’s 1930s Coventry
Eagle 250cc two-stroke. I was
the youngest so was relegated
to the pillion! That bike was my
introduction to motorcycling
when dad took me for a spin
around the block on it, which
led to a lifetime’s interest and
ownership of bikes. The second
photo was taken recently
when Rick was on a visit to
this country from his home
in Cyprus and we decided to
replicate that old photo using
my current bike, a 1977 Suzuki
GT 250. I’m still the youngest
so was still relegated to the
pillion! I also recall that as a
lad my magazine of choice was
Motorcycle Mechanics and now
I am a subscriber to CMM: so
how’s that for brand loyalty!
Phil Ramswell
Bertie says: “Phil! Thank
you for these pics and keep
on biking!”
WHIP ROUND?
November’s was another
splendid issue, but I’m feeling
that austerity has caught up
with your editor. Reading
about the Fazer I spotted the
rotund one in full-flight and
noticed his old boots had seen
better days (see Star Letter
pic). Do CMM not pay you
enough mate? I’m thinking of
having a whip-round for you.
Or perhaps the chamfered look
makes you think you’re Mike
Hailwood? If so, I saw you
at Anglesey so I’ve got news
for you sunshine, and it’s not
good…
Pete Barker
Bertie says: “Even when
I was fast (in the past) I was
slow! I raced in these boots
(only four times) so look cool
and feel comfy. I do have some
new SIDIs waiting so I can use
those. We all wear the comfy
kit, don’t we?”
NO WHITE VAN MAN!
I’ve been a subscriber for
many moons and love getting
my grubby mitts on my latest
CMM. So you can imagine
that I was most disappointed
on getting to page 128 of the
November issue and seeing
an advert for vans! A whole
page of vans for sale, what
is happening? Please Bertie,
this is a publication for bikes
and motorbikes and not vans.
If I’d wanted to see or buy
a van I would have brought
a van mag or trawled the
net for (you guessed it) a
van! I love this mag and the
contributors and the general
layout has much improved
over the years as it did lose
its spark at one point, so
keep up the good work, but
please: NO MORE VANS!
Kevan Kingsnorth
Bertie says: “Kev, you even
have a van in your name? Or
was that for a joke? Sorry
I read Paul Knowles’ letter in the latest CMM with interest
– so it’s not just me then! In 2014 I bought a GSX-R750L
which was already on a SORN. I was given the V5 with the
sale so sent it off to have ownership transferred to my name
and enclosed a SORN declaration form: according to their
website you can do this. A little while later I got a letter back
from them saying I couldn’t SORN the bike as I wasn’t the
registered keeper: it was obviously far too difficult to correlate
the two documents in the same envelope. I rang them up –
“no idea why this has happened, no we can’t do anything over
the phone, try again when you have the V5”.
So a few days later the V5 comes back in my name and I
SORN the bike successfully online. I keep the confirmation
email both electronically and in hard copy and check via the
DVLA website that the status of the bike is now showing it is
SORNed. Several months later, after restoring the bike, I get
an MoT and go online to tax it. The bike is now showing up as
‘untaxed and unSORNed’ on their system and I may be liable
to a fine. I ring them and they say they have no idea how
it’s happened, even though I have a reference number they
can’t sort it over the phone. So I write to them, quoting the
reference number, enclosing a copy of the SORN confirmation
email, and stating that I do not accept I am guilty of an
offence. Months go by and I get a letter apologising for the
error and stating that they have amended their records.
It begs the question, what is going wrong with their
computer system? The moral is definitely to keep every
confirmation, reference number and communication in both
hard and electronic copy!
Andy Overton
Bertie says: “Wise words Andy. Keep every bit of
information you can.”
you’re upset, but it was an
advert, not editorial and to be
honest many of us need vans
to move bikes around
to shows…”
STINKER STINGER!
Being in the States we’re
behind with the magazine,
but I started my own ‘Project
Stinger’ some months ago
so read with interest Steve
Cooper’s ongoing issues. Mine
is in about the same state as
yours in part 8. I’ve attached
a pic of it, and also an extra
wiring loom and oil pump.
You’d be welcome to the loom
and operating arm off of the
pump if you need them! You
folks have helped me with so
much information over the
years that I’ll ship to you for
no cost, if they’d be useful.
While your project was heavily
weather damaged, mine being
from California wasn’t. It was
however, totally molested by a
knuckle dragger with a large
hammer. It was a horrid job
of various fixes and incorrect
hardware. Bore diameter was
too small for first size over
pistons. Only one piston was
left. New seals, pistons and
rings, plus a good cylinder
hone has brought it back to
spec. A pressure test revealed
leaks that were fixed and I’d
encourage you to do one. I
ran into the same gasket kit
issue you did, but have been
able to source most of what I
need from dealers and eBay.
Mine will be a non-concourse
with rattle-can epoxy paints in
Candy Red. I look forward to
seeing yours finished!
Mike Corcoran
Bertie says: “Thanks
Mike! Hopefully Scoop will get
it finished ONE day.”
www.classicmechanics.com / 21
c n
joy in our pages, so you
pride
re with fellow readers.
and r
mortons.co.uk or mail
s sh to bsimmonds@
yo
us know
he front of the mag. Let
ss at th
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can. Do get in touch. Be
ots if
eY
John Robinson’s 1987 BMW R100
In it
, it would have been regarded as a bit ‘pipe and slippers’
average sports bike rider. I know that at the time it was new
e late 80s, I was riding a Suzuki GSX 11
100 and wouldn’t have
nsidered a BMW! As time has rolled on, I’vve now got a bit of a
cination for the old airhead boxers, and t ought that I’d build this
with a bit of a twist. This is my ’87 BMW
W R100, that started life
n 100RT. I bought it dressed as an RS a couple of years ago, and
h i was a runner, it was in a biit of a state
ntention was to build a boxer
o d memories of an R90S
owned, but at the same time,
da
le more performance
department. I rebuilt the
rom the crank up, fitting fully
d Krauser four-valve heads
compression pistons.
ner ok, the oil-cooler
ditched in favour of a deep
er on. In keeping with
e, I fitted 40mm R90S
s, and the bigger 40mm
Suspension was uprated
al-a-ride at the rear, and
ng up front. Braking is taken
much improved Brembos and
get that cleaner, R90S
e some RS full fairing
t e R90S cockpit
p fessionally
I
.
i )
ne tast e pec ally the
achie , and
KIT WINNER
/
mechanics
We’ve teamed up with The Hobby Company
www.hobbyco.net which distributes Tamiya
plastic motorcycle kits in the UK to give our
favourite restoration one of its amazing
motorcycles in miniature. So, send in your
pictures of your bikes and you could win the
chance to indulge in a miniature motorcycle
restoration of your own. Remember to send
your name and address on each submission
so we know where to post the kit.
Ray Jones’
1997 Yamaha
Thundercat
Bertie, you are more elusive than the
Scarlet Pimpernel, so I thought I’d try
sending you a picture of my pride and
joy for a second time: my 1997 Yamaha
Thundercat. I would love to hear your
thoughts. CMM is a great Mag as always!
Jerry King’s 1982 GSX 1100 Katana SD
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Alan Clarke’s 1986
Suzuki Impulse
Greetings from West Cumbria! This is my rare 1986
Suzuki GSX400X Impulse. It was purchassed at the
Bonhams auction held at the Stafford Shoow during
October 2013. It had been part of a privaate Dutch
collection and bore Netherlands registratiion. It
seemed it had been extensively used on a racetrack
as both tyres were completely bald on thee left hand
side and the bike appeared to have been fuelled by
100% ethylene which had dissolved the tank liner.
Many hours had to be spent scraping th
he inside
of the tank and endlessly flushing through
h before it
was completely clean. Obviously all carb jeets were
mpletely shot but the remainder
similarly blocked. Fork seals were also com
of the bike seemed useable. After also chaanging the oil, filteer, plugs and
battery, the bike fired up at the first attem
mpt. I have since doone 670km
(420 miles) and it is a flying machine. Peaak power is given as 59bhp
at 12,000rpm so it is a bit of a screamer, with a top speed of 125mph
– but I have not proved that! From what I can gather, there are no other
examples of this model registered with thee DVLA, so I wonder if this is the
only one on British roads?
mechanics
Martin McGrath’s 2000
Kawasaki GPz500S
John Butler’s 1983 Honda Sabre
and 1985 Honda Shadow
This is Canada calling, I live in Sudbury, Ontario. I love the magazine
and deciided to show you my biikes. One is a 1983 Honda V45 Sabre
the other is a 1985 Honda 750 Shadow. The Shadow is a bobber
project while the Sabre is being kept stock. I hope you like them both.
Keep up the good work w th the magaz ne.
Simon Lund’s 1999 Ducati ST4 café
racer
Here are some photos of my
cafe racer built from a Ducati
ST4, which as you can see it
doesn’t look much like an ST4
now! As well as altering the
rear sub-frame and exhaust
hangers, wiring loom, moving
the coils etc. (basically,
everything that is hidden
behind the fairing.) The tank
has also had the sides cut out
and new panels welded in to
make it slimmer and more inkeeping with the style of bike.
I’ve had the wheels, frame and
s g rm wder
nd
t
ai was d
/
mechanics
www.classicmechanics.com / 25
READER’S RESTORATION
A factory facsimile of a Honda
endurance racer built on the
cheap? Oh yes, it’s amazing what
pops up at a mini-CMM meet.
WORDS AND PHOTOS: PAUL BERRYMAN
F
actory Honda racing bikes don’t often turn
up at the Super Sausage Café on a Saturday
morning whether there’s a CMM event on or
not. So when Richard Jackson was the first bike into
Potterspury’s pukka little pitstop for a brew on our
recent classic day, we were all over his bike before
the wheels had even stopped turning. And the story
is as unique as the bike itself…
In-depth knowledge about 1970s endurance
racing may be rubbish at the average dinner party,
but it proved to be pretty damn useful for Steve Dove
and Richard Jackson at Badshot Lea autojumble
about 10 years ago. Exactly why a factory Honda
RCB1000 fairing was sitting on the grass with a
price ticket of just £70 isn’t clear – however, that
these lifelong friends knew it needed buying was!
Their good luck continued when an RCB seat unit
was found at another autojumble shortly afterwards,
and also bought for peanuts. Along the way a
genuine RCB mudguard also ended up in their mitts.
Naturally, a plan started to form in Steve’s mind
about building an RCB replica.
The original plan morphed into building a
CB1100R replica, based on shedloads of CB900
parts that Steve had been acquiring (“he’s very
effective at acquiring lots of stuff,” says Richard).
The bike that resulted was lethal, with a frame that
had such poor welding around the headstock for an
aftermarket fairing mount that it had been pulled
out of true. Steve sensibly had zero appetite to ride
something this dangerous, so the CB1100R replica
was once again turned into a pile of bits and sat
quietly gathering dust in his shed.
Come late 2009 and the threat of a garage
clear-out loomed large over this cache of now
unloved stuff. Steve agreed to pass the bits across
into Richard’s care rather than re-home them in
a skip, and the RCB replica plan was reborn. The
pair undertook hours of research on every piece of
available reference material that revealed something
interesting about these bikes – Richard picks
up the story: “Once we started looking into what
version of the bike to build, we realised that these
bikes never raced in the same spec twice – every
meeting something is different!” Arguably, this lack
of defined specification gives the project builder a
26 / classic motorcycle mechanics
headache and a dose of freedom all in one go. The
Bol D’Or winning bike from 1976 was eventually
decided upon as the right version to aim for.
One little gem of provenance that didn’t survive
the early moments of the project was the 1977 TT
scrutineering sticker that their autojumble RCB
fairing came with. This gives us a clue that it was
from either Phil Read or Charlie Williams’ TT bikes.
Richard laments the moment he reduced the sticker
to dust with an orbital sander while prepping the
fairing for paint: “My heart sank when I realised
what I’d done – it still hurts to remember that!”
This regrettable incident does, however, give us
a clue as to Richard’s style of project building – he
really doesn’t mess about. That’s why this project
went from a thousand separate bits into a road legal
bike, which drips in handmade one-off parts, in just
three months.
Richard is no stranger to tinkering with classic
vehicles; his line of work means he’s restored
everything from a Spitfire (the flying one, not the
road-going rusting one) to a Bugatti, so crafting a
replica RCB1000 wasn’t a task that overawed him.
That it took him three months makes it sound easy,
but he confesses that once he starts on a project
he slaves at it tirelessly until it’s done. The hours
ABOVE: First through
the doors at the CMM
Super Sausage event
– this jaw-droppingly
good RCB replica set
the bar high!
INSET OPPOSITE: “I
want that one!” – a
garage poster kept the
build on track.
OPPOSITE: Attractive
and authentic looking
Koso multi function
tacho delivers all, idiot
lights, speedo and trip.
it took to complete this work of art may have been
contained within a few months, but there were very
many of them – perhaps too many for good health,
he admits.
If you’re amazed at how quickly Richard built it,
then you’ll be even more amazed at how cheaply he
did it, just £1200! How can a motorcycle that is this
good be built for so little? Well, it’s only been this
cheap as hardly anything has been bought – Richard
can make almost anything, make it well, and make
it for buttons. Thanks to the shed corner clear-out
of Steve’s stockpile, which forms 75% of the bike,
most of the other bits came without a price tag too.
The lack of expense and time it took to create
it tells you nothing about the quality of the build.
Remove any idea that this bike is a cheap lash-up,
it’s anything but – everything fits and works together
with so much harmony that you’re unlikely to think it
wasn’t hand-built by Honda’s own race department.
In fact, ingenious touches are everywhere. Clever
engineering replaces open-wallet spending and uses
ingredients as diverse as flattened aluminium tubing
for fairing stays, to some waste piping, bicycle inner
tube and domestic sink U-bend that directs cold air
from the original fairing ducts to the cylinder head.
It’s smart, it still manages to look right and the
www.classicmechanics.com / 27
The building half of
the RCB’s parentage,
Richard Jackson. Parts
provider Steve Dove
avoided being in the
shot and remains a
man of mystery…
Oil tank level. Never
goes down (it’s a
dummy!).
result is that lots of creativity replaces lots of pound
notes. The 15,000 miles it’s done since it was built
without anything major going wrong are proof of the
quality. This is not a garage queen; this bike gets
serious use.
So what else has gone into this good-looking
RCB replica? The original works fairing, seat unit
and mudguard also needed a tank to complete the
bodywork. With autojumbles finally failing to turn up
a rare factory RCB item to use, Richard reshaped a
CB900FZ tank by encasing it in expandable foam,
then hand-sanding it to shape. This hybrid tank and
foam sculpture was then covered in thin sheets of
woven fibreglass. A light skim of filler was used to
hide the weave in the fibreglass shroud before it was
painted in the works colours (I told you he could
make anything…). The original rear tank mount is
now a dummy oil tank filler, and the original Honda
fuel cap has been shrouded in an alloy cover to
make it look the part. Clever.
The Comstar wheels are again from a CB900FZ,
but their design originated on these RCBs in the
mid-1970s and thus are more correct than you’d
imagine. They wear popular, grippy-in-all-weathers
Avon Roadrider tyres. The forks, brakes and
swingarm are all from the CB900FZ too, as is the
frame (not the lethal one on Steve’s earlier build).
The basic fitting together of the chassis was at least
one part of the build that was straightforward!
The original shocks Richard used were too short,
28 / classic motorcycle mechanics
and the bodywork at the rear of the bike was clouting
the wheel on compression. Some new, longer shocks
from CMM’s Stafford show were purchased. They
now work perfectly to create good geometry for both
its looks and its ability to hustle: “It handles really
well,” Richard enthuses. “It’s good enough to have
shown a few more modern bikes the way on local
roads.” Richard doesn’t brag about being a quick
rider, but listening to him for any length of time
makes you realise that like his project building, his
riding style may well be described as ‘quick.’
Setting the bike up on open CV carbs took a
while, and it needed a swap from stock carbs to
a bank equipped with the long-since unavailable
Ledar correction kit to nail the set-up. The bike
was tweaked on the Dyno at GP Performance near
Oxford, where some early problems with a brick
wall in the power at 6000rpm were traced to a new
old stock Honda coil that had immediately failed.
Replacing that saw a strong 101bhp at the back
wheel, but more mysterious was the torque figure of
approaching 80ft/lb, which GP Performance reckons
is a good 10ft/lb higher than expected throughout
most of the rev range and does sound more than
a tad high to us. Richard has a theory: “Steve’s
collection of second-hand Honda parts was massive.
It’s possible that amongst everything else, he’s
picked up an over-bored engine that wasn’t known
to be such.” Certainly that torque figure suggests
that this isn’t just a common or garden CB900
2
4
3
5
1
engine. Although the engine breathes out through
an unrestricted homemade replica exhaust (which
again is a clever piece of fabrication) and breathes
in through open carbs, it’s more likely that the extra
torque will have come from bigger cubic capacity
than those modifications.
Whatever cc it is packing, it now runs well. Tests
on private roads/autobahn (ahem) reveal it’s got a
top speed of around 140mph. One of the bigger
tests it faced was one of those rare hot days this
summer during a long-awaited pilgrimage to Spa,
as Richard explains: “The return journey had to
be made through Brussels after the ring road was
closed. It was 38 degrees Celsius and stiflingly hot,
with miles of slow moving traffic.” Air-cooled, this is
the worst kind of combination for the big CB engine,
but to its credit it hiccupped rather than vomited
when faced with the task.
“The oil temperature went up to 150 degrees, 50
degrees more than usual and it refused to tickover.
I had to wind the tickover up to get through the
problem, which was a horrible solution. Even when
back on the open road it was such a hot day that the
oil temperature remained at 130 degrees, but it ran
okay once it was a little cooler and it got us home.”
Mechanically then, is there anything left to do to
it? “The clutch isn’t always 100% perfect, it slips
from cold sometimes and owners of tweaked CB
engines recommend taking 0.2mm off each clutch
steel plate, which reduces the stack height enough
to use one more steel and one more plate, increasing
clutch surface area. I’ve tried heavier springs and
they were no better than the stock ones.”
Aside from that there’s little to do. Richard has
some AP Lockheed calipers on the shopping list,
which were used on the original RCB, a bigger oil
cooler to help stabilise the temperature on super-hot
days like the Belgian traffic jam, and he covets the
idea of a more comfortable seat pad: “200 miles is
the limit on that seat,” he says, which doesn’t sound
bad, but then he describes the last of those 100
miles as being ‘torture’, which sounds to us like the
seat has an actual 100-mile limit!
Will he ever sell it? It seems I’ve asked the killer
6
question. A flicker of pain and then a flicker of
possibility dance across his expression. “I don’t
know, I suppose I would, but the money would need
to be enough for me to do something else, like
another project?”
Asking what that may be, the answer is instant
and it appears that the next project apple would fall
from the same tree as this one! “I’d love to make a
Goudier Genoud Kawasaki Replica.” (That’s another
Seventies endurance racer to those who are not in
the know.)
When he asks me what I think this project is
worth, it’s clear he’s never really thought long
or hard about it before. When I tell him what I
think, which is a LOT more than £1200, he seems
surprised and chuffed.
I simply can’t do this bike justice in the amount
of space this article allows. I’ve skimmed across the
surface of the genius and magic that has gone into
it. This bike not only has a lovely story, but has had
a very clever man build it.
If you want an example of hand-built exotic luxury
in your garage, go make him an offer – this bike is
exactly that. I’ve seen much less appealing builds
than this with asking prices over £10k, and while
I’m not going to tell you what I think he’d take for
it, I will tell you that it’s less than that, and it’d be
a bargain.
Why do I want him to sell it? That’s easy – I am
gagging to see what he comes up with next. Top job
Richard! cmm
IN DETAIL:
1/ Night racing
heritage means the
genuine RCB seat unit
had quick battery
access and lights
already built in.
2/ Twin Cibies – one
for low beam, one for
high, no daytime MoT
needed.
3/ Shocks from CMM’s
Stafford show may
be unbranded and
ridiculously good
value, but they work
just great.
4/ Open CV carbs can
be a pain, but with
Ledar air correction
kits these are sweet
running at anything
less than ridiculous
ambient temperature.
5/ Shrouded in an
aluminium cover the
OE fuel cap mimics
the endurance look.
Clever.
6/ RSC morphed
into HRC around the
early 1980’s – either
means just one thing
“factory”.
www.classicmechanics.com / 29
CLASSIC LOOK
A RIGHT LITTLE
MAVERICK
WORDS AND PHOTOS: ANDY WESTLAKE
The Sixties and Seventies were all about a new brand
of freedom for the youngsters of the time,
and few summed up that freedom
more than the little Suzuki AS50.
/
mechanics
P
‘
erformance and economy from this new
Japanese tiddler,’ was the headline that
greeted the readers when Suzuki’s newly
launched AS50 was put through its paces by
Motorcycle Mechanics in November 1969.
The tester waxed lyrically about the little
two-stroke’s glamorous specification that included
flashing indicators, neutral indicator to the
five-speed gearbox and a rotary valve high
performance engine with ‘Posiforce’ lubrication.
Racing had certainly improved the breed and
following Ernst Degner’s defection from MZ in
September 1961 Suzuki won numerous world
road race championship with their multi-geared
lightweights, and as was pointed out in the MM test
much of this know-how had found its way onto the
Hamamatsu company’s range of fast and superbly
styled road bikes. Degner had scooped its first world
crown on the 50 in 1962 and the following year –
which saw New Zealand factory star Hugh Anderson
win both the 50 and 125cc titles – the Suzuki range
arrived in the UK.
Ironically, these were initially handled by AMC
(Associated Motorcycles) the manufacturers of AJS,
Matchless, Norton, Francis Barnett and James who,
within three years, would fold under the weight of
the Japanese invasion. With the likes of Degner and
Anderson ‘winning on Sunday’ there was no shortage
of ‘buyers on Monday’ and with Alan Kimber at the
helm some 18,000 Suzukis were shipped in and
out of the back door of the James factory in Golden
Hillock Road at Greet in Birmingham in the first
year alone. These comprised of a trio of 50s, the
M12, M15 and MD 15D, the 80 and K10 plus the
T10 250 twin, but the vast majority to find British
owners in that first 12-month period were the K and
M singles that featured in full-page adverts in the
motorcycling weeklies under the headlines ‘50cc
motorcycles for the young and the young at heart’.
Other than the introduction of the M15D ‘Sovereign’
in 1964 – at the time the only 50cc motorcycle on
the British market to feature an electric start and
described by Motor Cycling as having ‘a standard
specification which is lavish even by Japanese
standards’ – there was little change to the base M12
Sportsman and Super Sport models until the new ‘A’
range was launched in 1967.
Initially, as the 98cc A100 the new bike featured
a near-horizontal cylinder with race-bred disc-valve
induction mounted on the offside of the crankcase
and with its ‘Posiforce’ oil injection it brought an air
of civilisation to the lightweight sector of the market.
The following year a smaller 50cc five-speed
version with the same disc-valve induction running a
compression ratio of ratio of 6.7:1 and turning out a
useful 4.9bhp at 8500 rpm hit the showrooms and
unsurprisingly there was no shortage of teenagers
eager to get their hands on one of the 60mph
two-stroke singles. In its sporty AS50 guise –
Maverick in the USA – the little Suzuki only
lasted until the end of 1970, but over that decade
numerous other versions were built, including the
A50, the AC50 (like the AS50 with raised exhaust,
abbreviated chainguard and either exposed springs
or gaitered forks), the A50P (P for pedals) and A50K
(a restricted performance motorcycle) along with the
A70 (as A50 but with four speeds), the A80 and
A90 versions plus sports variants like the AC90,
AC90G, AS90 and AS90G.
This stunningly restored AS50 – now owned
by enthusiast Gerald Fewkes – rolled off the
Hamamatsu production lines in 1970 but with only
a little over 6000 miles showing on the odometer
it’s obviously had a fairly sheltered life. In its AS
guise it’s considered by many aficionados to be the
prettiest of all of the Suzuki 50s and as it was only
www.classicmechanics.com / 31
CLASSIC LOOK
in production for three years it now falls into the
category of hen’s teeth. It was brought back to life
by Gary Beevers – a man who is well known in the
car world for his top quality work – and arrived in its
new Wiltshire home in February this year where it
now shares garage space with a brace of Kawasaki
triples, a Hinckley Triumph and the rare USA model
125cc F6 we featured in April’s edition of the
magazine. Gary takes up the story: “I’ve always loved
the styling of those late Sixties Suzuki 50s and when
I saw this one advertised I knew it was too good an
opportunity to miss.
“Somewhere along the line it had lost its original
registration so I know little or nothing about its
previous life before Gary bought it in early 2014
but it was reputed to have been once owned by the
former racer and Suzuki enthusiast Don Leeson.
Sadly, Don was killed while racing in the 2005
Classic Manx Grand Prix so with no old V5 or
original registration number I haven’t been able to
substantiate that.
“I understand that prior to its restoration the little
bike was looking a bit rough but was complete with
no major components missing making it the perfect
restoration project. The front mudguard and the
wheel rims were both badly rusted and these had to
be replaced but the engine was still on the standard
bore and discovered to be in perfect condition. With
it stripped to the last nut and bolt Gary resprayed all
of the tinware in candy blue and silver grey two-pack
and while he was attending to this all of the bright
bits including the bars, kick-start, indicator stems,
32 / classic motorcycle mechanics
“Like any
two-stroke, the
oomph is at the
top end of the
revs, but it’s
tractable enough
to purr along in
top at 30mph.”
fork legs, exhaust and silencer were farmed out and
treated to a new layer of chrome. The wheels were
re-spoked and a new set of control cables fitted,
the petrol taps and the seat are the originals, as are
the tank rubbers but these are a little bit tatty and
I’m presently trying to locate a new set. The only
jobs I’ve had to do to bring it back to ‘pukka’ 1970
specification is to fit a set of original switches (Gary
had used those from a slightly later AP50), change
the mirrors and get some correct gear rubbers.”
Unlike the original Mechanics test that took
place in the depths of mid-winter in 1969 we were
blessed with a scorching hot late summer’s day
to put the AS through its paces. However, before
we fire the eager little two-stroke into action we’ll
briefly reflect on some of the words written about
its sibling five decades ago: ‘Racing develops the
breed and these words cannot possibly ring more
true than in the case of the new ultra-lightweight AS
50 Suzuki. When Hugh Anderson was out shattering
the opposition on the works racing 50 Suzuki with
its top speed of over 100mph to win the world road
racing championship the boffins in Japan must have
been making careful notes for the development of
their roadsters... Similar to most sports two-strokes
the power from the Suzuki motor is at the top
end of the rev band and if full use is made of the
five speeds in the gearbox some amazing average
speeds can be maintained with this ultra-lightweight
machine. However, although the engine must be
kept buzzing to obtain any real performance, this
does not mean that the bike isn’t tractable.
1
4
SPECIFICATION
SUZUKI
AS50
ENGINE
Air-cooled single cylinder
two-stroke with disc valve
induction, alloy head and
barrel
BORE X STROKE
41mm x 37.8mm
CAPACITY
49.9cc
5
COMP RATIO
6.7:1
POWER OUTPUT
4.9 BHP @ 8500rpm
LUBRICATION
Pump
IGNITION
Flywheel magneto
2
CARBURETTOR
VM 16 SC
PRIMARY DRIVE
Gears
FINAL DRIVE
Chain
GEARBOX
6
5-speed
FRAME
Pressed steel construction
SUSPENSION
Front: Telescopic fork
Rear: Swinging arm with
twin shocks
BRAKES
Front: 110mm full width
single leading shoe
Rear:110mm full width
single leading shoe
TYRES
2.25 x 17 front and rear
WHEELBASE
3
45.7 inches (1,160mm)
GROUND CLEARANCE
IN DETAIL: 1/ The little 50 is tractable
enough and does the job. 2/ Some of
the numbers are only for show! 3/ It’s
suprisingly comfy. 4/ The bars and levers are
‘of the time’. 5/ It has classic Suzuki looks.
Marvellous! 6/ The high-pipe looks the biz.
7/ The Maverick is an attractive tiddler.
5.9 inches (150mm)
SEAT HEIGHT
26.8 inches (681mm)
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
1.5 gallons (6.5 litres)
DRY WEIGHT
160lbs (72.5kg)
TOP SPEED
60mph (96.5kph)
PRICE NEW (1970)
£129 19s 6d – inc.
purchase tax
7
www.classicmechanics.com / 33
It will happily purr along in top gear at 30mph
and slowly accelerate to its maximum of almost
60mph. It will pobble along happily at low revs as
a ride to work mount with fuel consumption in the
140mpg bracket, or, if the gas taps are opened wide
the exhaust note becomes rather noisy at about
5000rpm and quickly buzzes to 8500 before it runs
out of breath – under this type of riding the fuel
consumption drops to 90 – 95mpg.’
As Gerald had promised, starting the 50cc single
was one of the easiest operations imaginable and
with the ignition on half a prod of the kick-start had
the engine singing into life. For our test ride through
the Wiltshire lanes there were no thoughts about
trying to search for the AS top speed of 60mph
but just blipping the light throttle at a standstill
brought a purposeful ‘zing’ through the long upswept
silencer, a note which instantly transported me
back to the days of my youth when ear-splitting
strokers ruled the world’s racetracks. Despite its
small capacity engine the AS50 – which weighs in at
160 lbs (72.5kg) – has the feel of a larger capacity
machine but with a fairly tall first gear plenty of revs
have to dialled in to get things moving. However,
34 / classic motorcycle mechanics
“With a willing motor, good handling and braking and up
to 140mpg, it’s a practical machine and Gerald is right:
it’s pretty too!”
ABOVE: Owner Gerald
Fewkes.
BELOW: She can still
cut it today!
once under way the rotary valve engine – designed
along with its porting to soften and spread the
characteristics of the power band – really came into
its own and it was all too easy to see why the MM
tester waxed so lyrically about the suitability of the
little Suzuki as the perfect ‘ride to work’ machine.
It was also complimentary about the handling
and braking, although they were somewhat more
circumspect about the narrow section Japanese
tyres the AS came shod with: ‘Handling for the
performance available is good, although the dampers
could be better on front and rear for really bumpy
roads (There is no adjustment on the rear twin
shocks). Braking is well up to standard and copes
easily with the weight of the machine from any
speed. However, the narrow section Japanese tyres,
although satisfactory in the dry, felt a little skittish
in the wet and care was necessary to avoid skidding.’
How writing styles have changed! With six volt
direct lighting – the battery reserved for the ignition,
brake light and indicators – the tester wasn’t overly
impressed with the headlamp or the fact that with
just a single seat and no pillion footrests there was
no provision to carry a passenger – but overall the
reviewer had plenty to enthuse over and closed by
saying: ‘… but when it comes to playing tunes on
the five-speed gearbox and manoeuvring through
London traffic it’s delightful. It’s aimed at the
youngster who wants a sporty looking, economical
lightweight and it succeeds!’
There’s no doubt Gerald was 100% correct when
he described the AS50 as being Suzuki’s prettiest
ever 50 and it’s one I would be only too glad to add
to the Westlake garage. cmm
Timeline of UK Suzuki 50s during the 1960s and 1970s
MODEL
YEAR
VARIATION
M15
M15D
M30
M12
US50
AS50/Maverick
A50
GA50
K50
KS50
AC50
A50K
A50P
K50
F50/Cutlass
1963 – 1967
1963 – 1967
1963 – 1965
1963 – 1967
1966 – 1968
1968 – 1970
1969 – 1976
50cc version of K10, no frame brace, leading link forks, Mark 2 version with telescopics
As M15 with electric start and 12 volt system
Step thru, 3 speeds, automatic clutch, leading link forks, tank on frame supporting seat
50cc version of K11, no frame brace
Step thru as M30
As AC50
Horizontal cylinder, disc valve, low exhaust on right, 5 speeds, spine frame
A50 with engine protection bars
Utility version of A50 with reed valve and 4 speeds
K50 with raised exhaust
Modified A50, raised exhaust on left
Restricted A50 for UK
A50 with pedals for UK
FR50
TS50
M50
MT50
RV50
1969 – 1976
1975 – 1977
1967 – 1976
1969 – 1976
1971 – 1976
1971 – 1973
1973 – 1976
Step thru, leading link forks, reed valve engine, enclosed fuel tank separate rear
mudguard, chaincase, one piece leg-shield
As F50 except rear mudguard part of frame
Trail model with A50 engine, tubular spine frame, exhaust low and sloping up on right
Moped, 2 speeds, trailing link front forks
Mini bike with 3 speeds, spine frame, chunky 8 inch tyres, pressed steel wheels
All-terrain model with spine frame, fat tyres, pressed steel wheels
mechanics
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you missed a stunning event, so take a gander at this snapshot of
the show and book in time for next year.
WORDS: BERTIE SIMMONDS
PICS: JOE DICK, BERTIE SIMMONDS
I
t was a great weekend packed full of the best
retrospective action on two wheels, proving that
for many the annual Carole Nash Classic
Motorcycle Mechanics Show is the highlight of
the year.
This year’s event was packed to the rafters with
superstars, bargain bikes, burgers, butties, hungry
bikers and hounds needing a home. My favourite
hound was a sorry looking Yamaha XJ650 ‘Turbo’
which was described as a very good runner with
MoT, complete with a puddle of oil underneath it.
We won’t even mention the knackered Kawasaki
KR-1 that had seen better decades that was
advertised for £1700…
For me, it was about touching base with the
owners club associated with my latest project (see
page 78) and purchasing a mug from them: now
that’s what I call grass-roots support. The GPz900R
Owners Club sums up many of the clubs that attend
the show. They are just a good bunch of blokes (and
ladies) who love the classic Jap motorcycle scene
and who have a great weekend manning their stand.
The big news was that the Bonham’s auction hit a
European record £3.6 million. Of interest to CMM
readers was that the 1971 Münch TTS ‘Mammoth’
featured in our October issue went for double its top
estimate – £85,500! The big earners were three
38 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Brough Superiors selling for a combined total of
£704,500. A complete Olympia Motorcycle Show
1937 Brough Superior 990cc SS100 went for
£208,700, while a pair of Brough Superior 981cc
SS100 Alpine Grand Sport projects reached
£236,700 and £259,100 respectively: big dollar for
such important Brit-bike icons. The star lots made a
substantial contribution to the total weekend figure
for machines sold, an all-time high for Bonhams’
annual October event and the highest grossing
motorcycle sale to ever take place in Europe. Other
interesting lots included an ex-Steve McQueen 1934
Indian 750cc Sport Scout – £59,740 – and a former
TT 1932 Rudge 350cc Works Racing Motorcycle
which attracted fevered bidding to see it realise
more than seven times its top estimate – £70,940!
The money is out there, folks!
Former Top Gear host James May added a
celebrity element to the auction room as he turned
up to see four examples from his own collection go
under the hammer. Top lot for Captain Slow was his
1967 Honda CB450 ‘Black Bomber’ which sold for
£5980. He wasn’t the only star at Stafford as four
times Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel
was among the crowd during the auction.
Of course the star name at the show was John
McGuinness and what a popular one he was. The 23
times TT race winner appeared on stage several
times throughout the weekend being interviewed by
fellow road-racer and TV host Steve Plater. John
said: “I just love bikes. If I wasn’t a racer I’d still be
a huge fan. Coming to events such as this one and
talking to people about our bikes… I love it!”
Addressing packed crowds, John covered topics
including his plans for next season’s racing, his own
personal collection of machines, his fellow
competitors and team-mates and what’s left on his
career wish list. He revealed that he’d just signed a
contract for an 11th consecutive year with Honda,
and will be competing at the North West 200 and
TT in 2016. The Morecambe missile said that
thoughts of retirement are far from his mind and
that he wants to win a Classic TT before he hangs
up his helmet.
Sei sizzled as all the
odds and sods of
Stafford came to the
fore. TT replica wood
statue was amazing.
BELOW: Bert’s mad
mates of Sunday’s
final cavalcade.
Annette Jones was the lucky winner of ‘Lunch with
John McGuinness’ and along with her husband she
spent plenty of time with him in the VIP hospitality
lounge. They were joined by Steve Plater and John
‘Mooneyes’ Cooper. Annette said: “I was so excited
to be selected as the winner of the lunch with John
McGuinness competition, and to have met so many
other famous motorcycling names makes it even
better.” Classic Bike Shows exhibition manager
Nick Mowbray said: “John has been one of our most
popular ever guests of honour; everyone we’ve
spoken to at the show has nothing but respect for
him and the queues waiting to meet him were some
of the biggest we’ve seen.” As well as appearances
from McGuinness, John Cooper, Sammy Miller, Jim
Redman and Colin Seeley were among the famous
motorcycle names to grace the venue.
As usual there was also the rather important
judging for ‘Best in Show’. This honour fell to a
rare-to-the-UK 1968 Suzuki T305. The model,
which was only produced for American markets, was
brought to the UK by current owner Paul Cann last
year. He’s since used specialist suppliers and service
providers to restore it to pristine condition; his
project being rewarded with the highly sought after
honour, a trophy and £100 first prize. Paul said:
“I’ve always been interested in bikes that are a little
bit different, and with this particular Suzuki having
never been sold in the UK it does get a lot of
attention when displayed here. I’ll exhibit it at the
classic bike show in Somerset in February, and
www.classicmechanics.com / 39
then it’ll be retired to my garage. I’m sure the next
project won’t be too far behind.”
It was also a successful event for our friends from
the Kettle Club, with the Suzuki GT750 enthusiast
group claiming the Best Club Stand award. A variety
of models were on display, but it was the 1970s
disco and tie-dye theme which really caught the eye;
exhibitors on the stand even dressing up in some
instantly recognisable 70s apparel! Kettle Club
committee member David Hewitson said: “The
GT750 was launched in 1971, and we had several
bikes on the stand from the decade. Our ‘theme’
pretty much decided itself! We’ve signed up 16 new
members this weekend, and we’ve had many, many
more people take away application forms. Claiming
the £1000 Best Club Stand award is the icing on
the cake.”
The club also drew attention to the stand with a
fully functional GT750 engine controlled by
microprocessors, and a smoke machine to evoke the
nostalgic feel of the two-stroke machine. David said:
“We’re particularly proud of the engine, which has
taken us years of painstaking work to put together.
It’s been a real draw for visitors, so it’s all been
worthwhile.”
We also want to thank those that lent us their
pride and joy for our stand, which included Niall
Mackenzie’s Pro-Am winning 1981 Yamaha
RD250LC, Steve Parrish’s 1985 Loctite Yamaha
FZ750, Pete Eaton’s 1989 Kawasaki ZXR750, Joe
40 / classic motorcycle mechanics
It was all on display:
Leaky XJs, rusting
runabouts and a
tight-fisted editor
about to make a mug
of himself with the
GPz Owners Club.
Walker’s 1977 Van Veen OCR1000, Ian Green’s
1985 Yamaha RD350 YPVS F1 and Jay
McgGreneghan with his Kawasaki GPz900R which
you can win if you go to: www.raffleplayer.com/
strokekawasaki.
Other mentions must go to the brave fools who
joined me on the cavalcade, including the hardy
souls who were there on Sunday afternoon. These
included Cliff Lawson on his 1953 BSA B31 (a
lesser chrome model/more rust model) which he
has owned for seven years most of which was
spent in a bramble bush (we kid you not.) Stuart
Price and his lovely Bridgestone, Mike Pemberton
of Push-Rod Performance and his Norton
Supermoto (he builds his own crank and barrels
It’s a 499cc 1962 machine and it revs to
7500rpm…). Then there was Frank Barnard on his
rather mad Honda Express Deluxe and Ken Baxter
with the Brough Superior SS80 from 1938 which
he’s owned it for 30 years which he declares is
‘part of the family’.
Exhibition manager Nick Mowbray said: “Across
all areas, this has to go down as one of the most
successful Stafford shows ever. A record-breaking
auction and increased attendance figures certainly
demonstrate that. Most important though, our
exhibitors and showgoers gave us fantastic feedback,
and are going home happy. Now the bar has been set
even higher for next year, so we’d best start thinking
about how we can top it once again.” cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 41
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mechanics
WORDS: STEVE COOPER PHOTOS: GARY CHAPMAN
I
t’s a generally accepted truism that history is
written by the victors. While this might be a
cliché there’s also an inarguable reality to it.
Every single time a nation, tribe or culture has
taken a pasting it’s never really been able to tell its
own story properly. Subsequent generations always
get to read about the winner’s side of things. We
hear how William of Normandy won the day by
countless brave assaults and someone’s needlework
allows us to see King Harold’s boys taking a right
old kicking. What a shame we don’t have access to
the home team’s notes. They’d probably have read
– ‘we’d have won if we hadn’t been knackered from
a ruck last week and all that walking down the A1!’
The same goes for certain motorcycles; the odd,
strange, misunderstood or different generally get
very seriously maligned and the classic press
often tend to perpetuate the lies.
Kawasaki H1s will try to kill you,
everyone should own a Yamaha LC350,
Honda Pro-Link CBX 6s are a pale
facsimile of the real thing and Suzuki RE5s
are poison. Well, in a furore of early 21st century,
apologist and revisionist text we’re going to
attempt to set the record straight on a seriously
slandered, libelled yet revolutionary machine.
Suzuki had always been a brave and forward
thinking organisation; examples of its abilities
abound if you look: hydraulic brakes on the
T10s (1962), a six-speed gearbox on the
T20 (1965), a parallel 500cc stroker twin
(1968) and dual ratio boxes on the early dirt
bikes. None of this was conventional or orthodox
back then yet the very fact that these and other
innovations were produced and became commercial
realities underscored the company’s ability to do
something back in the day that was special – think
outside the box. And this month’s subject matter is
a perfect example or case study. Suzuki seems to
have drawn a veil over the RE5’s development but
fortunately there’s still sufficient information out
there for us to begin to appreciate just how much
work went into that one bike.
The company knew just how arduous the job was
going to be. It was aware that the engine had its own
particular foibles and technical demands. Knowing
how important this project was Shigeyusa Kamiya
was elevated to the role of head of Suzuki's rotary
division and created a team that took the engine way
beyond what many competitors were doing.
Arch European proponent of the Wankel NSU had
experienced rotor tip sealing issues throughout both
prototype and production stages of manufacture.
This was the rotary engine’s equivalent of piston ring
blow-by. Because material science was substantially
less advanced back then Kamiya’s team found itself
at the forefront of metal/ceramic hybrid technology.
No one had done anything like this before and
Suzuki’s scientists and engineers eventually came
up with an electro-chemical plating process that
used nickel-silicon carbide to give a corrosion
resistant and diamond hard coating to the
combustion chamber. To ensure consistent and
reliable compression the coating had to be accurate
to within 1/1000th mm or one single micron. Every
single trochoid combustion chamber was physically
inspected under X-ray micro-analysis to ensure
the plating’s metallurgical structure was uniform,
consistent and all lying in the correct direction.
The mechanical sealing tip of the rotor presented
its own unique challenges which the team yet again
addressed. Using a material Suzuki called Ferro-Tic,
based on a ferrous/titanium carbide alloy, it provided
an anti-wear surface 12 times more resilient than
cast iron; the primary alloy of normal piston rings. We
tend to think of motorcycle designers as engineers
but on the RE5 a lot of the groundwork was chemistry
and applied physics, this was not a conventional
engine by any stretch of the imagination.
If the basic power unit was sorted the challenges
had by no means ended. Carburation presented
its own unique issues; cooling would remain an
inherent bugbear of the basic Wankel design,
lubrication required two separate sources of oil
and then there were other concerns few at Suzuki
could have imagined. The CDI would have to be
driven off two individual cams/triggers to overcome
chain snatch, exhausts necessitated twin walled
construction throughout their length and given
their own cooling ducts. These and numerous other
solutions to problems no one ever imagined meant
the bike rapidly put on weight.
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If you’ve never got up close and personal with an
RE5 I suggest you try it; the whole thing is a lesson
in packing the largest amount of components into
the smallest space. It’s a fairly substantial structure
by anyone’s standards and the more you look the
more you see. Against the contemporary Hercules
W2000 the Suzuki is massive and it seems that
every square millimetre of space has something in it.
Pipes and cast alloy, filters and casings, wiring,
fans and radiators – there’s just so much going on
here it’s almost sensory overload. Take a few steps
back and soak up those lines, absorb the styling,
study the subtle nuances. The shock absorbers are
fitted at a strange angle; almost vertical and more
akin to an early postwar British bike than a 1970s
technological marvel.
Of course there’s a sound reason for the set-up.
Apparently Suzuki found that, within reason, the
nearer to vertical the suspension units were the less
likely the bike was to adversely react to chain snatch
on the overrun. Our bike is one of the first M models
and carried with it Suzuki’s hopes and aspirations,
therefore little on it is restrained or muted.
Automotive stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro is said to
be partially responsible for the RE5’s detailing
and this is probably best seen in some of the more
ostentatious peripherals. Those spherical indicators
are unique to the bike, ditto the rear light and much
vaunted instrument binnacle. Even the headlamp
shell is overtly circular thereby implying the theme
of rotary motion.
Elsewhere and beyond the obviously RE5 specific
frame and exhausts there’s a large amount of
GT750 components. With so much investment in
the engine and its peripherals Suzuki needed to cut
costs wherever possible. In an ideal world possibly
everything would have been exclusive to the bike,
RE5 specific, but the pillaging of the triple’s parts
bins arguably gave the rotary a slightly ambiguous
rather than unique look.
Okay, enough prodding and poking, let’s get the
show on the road. The fuel tap is vacuum operated
so nothing to do there. Turn on the ignition and the
clocks do their party piece and raise their semicircular cover… neat. Starting the motor requires
nothing more than a couple of stabs on the button
before the most unusual exhaust note emanates
from those silencers.
Even now you can almost imagine the faces of
the Suzuki engineers the first time the prototype
fired up. Makes you wonder what the Japanese is
for “bloody hell, I wasn’t expecting that!” Nothing
else sounds like an RE5. At this juncture we should
point out that although the bike does have a kickstarter it’s effectively pointless. Such are the internal
resistances and compression that it’s normally
impossible to kick start the engine into life and
if you can the chances are the rotor tip seals are
shot to hell.
Throwing a leg over the bike is fairly
straightforward but getting it off the stand is
anything but; it almost feels like someone has bolted
it to the floor, You’ll need to be standing beside it
ready to heave and hope it doesn’t fall over or run
away with you because the C of G is high and the
bike is no lightweight. If you’ve an ounce of common
sense you will never run out of fuel on an RE5 either
as you won’t be able to push it to a petrol station. So
we’re on board and it’s truly a weird sensation as the
bike gets under way.
Fortunately some of the mass falls away above
walking pace and once again you sense you’re
getting substantially more than your money’s worth
but this time it’s the ear that cops it. There’s a
strange ‘wobba, wobba, wobba’ from the exhaust as
the bike picks up speed and then when you come
back on a neutral throttle the sound changes to a
continuous drone. Think air compressor or industrial
floor cleaner.
The engine demands choke longer than you might
expect but then there’s a phenomenal amount of
metal to get up to temperature. However, within
three miles the temperature gauge has moved to the
middle. And within another mile or so the blighter
SPECIFICATION
CONFIGURATION
Liquid/oil-cooled, single
rotary housing
DISPLACEMENT
498cc
GEARBOX
5 speed (1D-4U)
BORE X STROKE
61mm x 59.6mm
COMPRESSION RATIO
9.4:1
MAX HP
62bhp @ 6500rpm
MAX TORQUE
55lb-ft @ 3500rpm
DRY WEIGHT
507lb (230kg)
TYRES
3.25 19in (F) / 4.50 18in (R)
www.classicmechanics.com / 45
is getting towards HOT where it hovers throughout
our ride with no apparent ill effects.
As we get out of suburbia the RE continues to
amaze and impress. There’s an astonishing amount
of torque on hand; riding it quickly becomes
addictive. However, with no sense of engine speed
and zero vibration you’ll need to keep a weather eye
on the tacho or you’ll be in the red... a lot! Electric
bikes may very well feel like this now but back in the
day this was nothing short of sensational. I can only
begin to imagine just how different the rotary Norton
racers must have felt; the likes of Ian Simpson, Phil
Borley, Steve Hislop, Jim Moodie, Trevor Nation
and Steve Spray must have huge grins on their
faces when they weren’t being scared witless by the
unique power characteristics.
Make no mistake there is something special about
the way a Wankel engine delivers the goods. Every
cynical, gnarly old hack who has ridden one seems
to come up with their own analogy so I guess I’ll
have to maintain this curious tradition. Think super
smooth two-stroke multi way beyond the best GT750
but then throw in the torque of a feisty Suzuki
RM500 moto-crosser. Yes, that’d just about do it.
With far too much to take on board all at once
other, initially, less obvious facets of the bike
begin to come into focus. The ‘chugga, chugga
46 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Beauty’s in the eye
of the beholder but
Scoop is smitten.
chugga’ on the overrun followed by that addictive
‘wobba, wobba, wobba’ note as you accelerate.
The signature Suzuki gear indicator; on the RE5
it’s truly a godsend as you need as much help as
you can get. About the only obvious negative is the
Suzuki GT750 donated gearbox which makes a
crunch both in and out of first. Perhaps the huge
amount of torque available from virtually tick over
just overwhelms the clutch when stationary or at the
lowest speeds?
Suzuki’s chassis team were canny with the RE.
The saddle is firm without being hard which gives
you the impression of being above the traffic.
And you get a real ‘King of the Road’ feel from
the upright and fairly wide bars which somehow
conveys a level of innate quality or even gentlemanly
superiority which is both strange and rather oddly
smugly satisfying. How the hell does that work?
Against logic, the foot pegs are further back than
you might expect. If their positioning feels, initially,
at odds with the seat and bars it soon makes sense
and ultimately makes for a comfortable ride.
What soon begins to become apparent is that the
RE5 is extremely well thought out as a complete
package. The bike feels well planted for a chassis
drawn up in circa 1974. It’s entirely predictable with
no unexpected lurches or wobbles and for a fairly
chunky monkey the bike can be flipped from side to
side with surprising ease.
I’m circulating a roundabout so photographer Gary
can get some interesting shots and having to look
out for the inevitable muppets who cannot spot the
leviathan combination of candy orange bike and red
The case for the rotary
engine and its history
jacketed rotund rider. Just a touch of input via pegs,
knees or bars has the Wankel moving just where I
want it to be out of harm’s way.
The front brakes are good but in deference to the
inevitable diesel spill I rely mainly on that rotor’s
compression and a judicious feathering of rear brake
as and when. We’re then off to a new location and as
I accelerate away the RE fairly leaps at the chance
to stretch its legs. There’s not a cough or stutter
from the engine underlining just how well sorted the
fuelling is. I’ve ridden more conventional bikes that
are infinitely more finicky and diva like.
The case for a rotary engine is as convincing as its execution
is vexatious. Theory, common sense and logic all argue a
reciprocating piston engine is fundamentally flawed. Taking
energy/fuel to accelerate a piston, stop it and then move it again
is not the best use of a finite resource. Swapping to rotary motion
makes so much sense on paper; whatever it is you’re moving
remains in motion so you’re not squandering energy. Appreciate
that the reciprocating piston has its roots in Thomas Savery’s
stream pump of 1698 and you begin to see why someone might
think it was time for a change.
When Dr Felix Wankel began selling patents and licences for
his revolutionary engine in mid 1960s he’d already undertaken
a huge amount of research. The cynics might suggest that the
canny doctor knew just how much investment would be needed to
produce a commercially viable power unit and effectively passed
the buck while grabbing the loot.
The reality was that pretty much every major automotive
manufacturer bought into the concept. From the American car
giants right the way down to Iron Curtain MZ all wanted a slice
of the pie. BSA bought in a German made Fitchel & Sachs engine
and dropped it into a B series frame; this prototype would go on
to become the famous twin rotor Norton. Car manufacturer NSU
got in on the ground floor but had the rug pulled out from under it
when it was bought by VW/Audi which swiftly ended production of
the RO80.
DKW aka Hercules used a unit similar to BSA’s to produce the
W2000 but variable build quality and a poor reception ended any
long term potential. Yamaha built a prototype but never put it into
to production. Kawasaki is believed to have dabbled but allegedly
Honda remained aloof from the supposed charms of the Wankel
engine. In the bike world it was Norton that made the best job with
automotive giant Mazda keeping the faith until 2011 with their RX
car series which was only to due updated emissions regulation.
If only the Wankel engine had received a similar level of research
and technological input as the piston engine our biking world
might have been very different. Ten years ago everyone scoffed
at electric bikes and now we have a zero emissions TT with
phenomenal lap times for an emergent technology. Perhaps if
the RE5 had received similar levels of spin (sic) sufficient funding
might delivered a second viable alternative to the all-pervasive four
stroke piston engine.
Conclusion
Okay let’s get the negatives out of the way first. A
Suzuki RE5 is not the sort of bike you should buy on
a whim. Only around 150 were officially imported
into the UK and many of them are now probably
cosmetically dog rough and falling apart. USA
imports turn up but are often missing parts. Setting
up or fault finding an RE requires a fresh approach
and an open mind.
The bike is heavy on fuel, there are two oil
systems to consider, you’ll need a spark plug
converter insert as the OEM plug has long been
deleted, oh, and today you’ll be looking at oil filters
from a car apparently as again Suzuki no longer
offers the original. Rotary Recycle, the one company
offering a comprehensive collection of service items,
used parts and technological updates has ceased
trading too, so things don’t look so rosy: no, not
exactly the most encouraging of situations.
On the plus side owners of the RE5 are
www.classicmechanics.com / 47
The acquisition of an RE5
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mechanics
RE5 owner Dave Jupp may well be familiar to CMM
readers. He’s one of our favourite mechanics and lender
of test machines for road tests. Having owned pretty
much everything from singles through to Kawasaki
triples and early Honda fours you’d think he’d covered all
the bases. However, the RE5 is the only bike he has ever
actively pursued.
The pre VJMC grapevine located the RE5 at Monty & Ward in
Edenbridge back in the very early 1980s. Dave was already a fairly
seasoned restorer and explained to Mr Monty that he wanted an
RE5 to restore… which was a pretty weird ask back then by
anyone’s standards. Sitting at the back of the shop was a scruffy
RE5 complete with GT750 wheels, bent forks, rough paint but,
crucially, a running engine.
A deal was done with some cash plus a p/x on a Yamaha RD250 and
Dave became the owner of an RE5 when pretty much no one wanted
them. In the deal came some free parts, a new battery, a new rear
guard and new headlamp shell which were all in stock as Monty &
Ward had been official RE5 dealers. Can you imagine a dealer handing
over any NOS free of charge today?
With a bike to work on Dave splashed out on a new front mudguard,
a pair of second hand but straight forks, new aluminium rims, two
spoke sets, a pair of exhausts, three oil filters and a few clips and
brackets that were missing; all from M&W. His local bike shop ordered
a RE5 parts book and a RE5 manual.
From here on it was a total restoration with all the stands, brackets,
chassis etc. painted gloss black. The entire braking system was
stripped down to its component parts and fitted with new seals and
fresh paint. The rims had suffered badly from corrosion so new they
had to be replaced, the fork lowers refurbished and the used forks
legs fitted with new seals. A scooter paint shop sussed out the candy
orange paint and with the bike back together it sailed through its MoT.
Back in the day Suzuki wrote chapter and verse on how to set up
the throttle cables of which there are five! Two open/close cables,
two port valve open/close cables and one to the oil pump. Dave found
the info only partially helpful and spent an interesting year getting
everything set up just so. Having ridden the bike fairly extensively
during our test I can vouch for just how well it carburates.
Other than getting the cables properly correlated the only real issue
turned out to be a persistently wet plug. This only happened when
the bike was parked up and not used for a while and turned out to be
a leaking vacuum tap that was swiftly replaced. More than 30 years
on Dave still regularly rides the RE5 and despite its prodigious thirst
(30mpg if used with a little restraint) does substantial mileages with
Surrey to Leicestershire being perfectly viable.
www.classicmechanics.com / 49
i l f
/ classi moto
le mechanics
I
t’s like that famous film of 1985: you’ve got an
iconic vehicle and you’ve got to go back in time
to help sort everything out.
Yes, that was it: Back to the Future, a timetravelling celluloid classic. In this very issue we
have our own John Nutting talking about the
machines that made that year 30 years ago so very
special (see page 56) but one bike from that year
is even more iconic and ground-breaking than any
time-travelling DeLorean.
We’re talking of course about Suzuki’s seminal
GSX-R750F, a machine that broke the mould and is
still one of the bywords for performance
motorcycling. In short, the Suzuki GSX-R range has
led to the birth of the race-replica and (arguably)
streetfighters, specials aplenty (7-11s, turbos and
the like) and kick-started the race careers of such
greats as Kevin Schwantz, Doug Polen and our own
James Whitham.
Those of you who read CMM regularly will know
that we’re massive fans of Suzuki GB’s Vintage Parts
Programme here. Tim Davies Suzuki GB’s aftersales
marketing co-ordinator for parts and his team have
gone out of their way (and I mean that literally) to
bring us thousands of parts for our favourite Suzuki
machines from the last 15 to 40 years and we love
’em for it. The great thing is that – along with
stalwarts of the classic part Suzook scene such as
Crooks’ Suzuki and Robinsons Foundry – we
probably now have a bigger selection of classic
parts from everything from GS1000s, AP50s
through to RGVs and GSX-Rs.
Last year to highlight what they do, they built up
a TL1000S on their stand over the days spent at
the Motorcycle Live show at the NEC. For 2015
they needed to trump that feat and there was only
one motorcycle to choose – the GSX-R. Tim said: “I
really don’t think there’s a bigger icon in motorcycling
than the original GSX-R750. It’s responsible for 30
years of sportsbikes as we know them today and also
the popularity of the GSX-R brand.”
As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the
iconic range of sportsbikes, Suzuki will be rebuilding
an original 750F with refurbished and new
components. The bike, which is also part of Suzuki’s
popular Vintage Parts Programme, will be restored
by Team Classic Suzuki technician Nathan Colombi
(there could only be one choice) and will be
completed and started-up live on the stand on the
final day of the show. Nathan is THE man when it
comes to Suzuki’s Grand Prix machines (he keeps
Steve Wheatman’s amazing RGVs in fine fettle) and
he also put the TL together last year, so he’s the
man with the plan.
www.classicmechanics.com / 51
Davies explains: “We’ve got 10 days to get the
bike together. Nathan will build it, then strip it at his
workshop then rebuild it again on the stand. Last
year we had the TL build area at the back so now it’s
on the main Suzuki vintage area as a centrepiece.
Nathan should be okay for his work-rate, as he’s got
me and the dealers to fend off the questions from
the show-goers.”
So, we know what will happen at Motorcycle Live
over November 28 to December 6, but how was this
all started and how did they find the bike? Tim says:
“Our budget for buying the bike was about £5000
– which tells you how strong the money for a
GSX-R750F is. It also had to be a UK model, which
is tricky as there are many imported bikes out there.
So, we tried and looked for three or four months.
Eventually we asked Rob and Darin from Classic
Bike Trackdays and they helped find one. Rob
started asking around and found this UK spec one.
We paid £2500 for it, it has just under 34k on the
clocks and it was owned by a lovely fella by the
name of Andy Feeley. If we’re honest, you can see it
looked good in the pictures – but isn’t that always
the case?”
As Tim says, it’s amazing how prices have gone:
five years ago £5000 would get you a mint-as-youlike Slabby. Now, for £2500 you get one like this,
with plenty to do to it. Thankfully Suzuki were
buying this, but as Nathan reminds us: it’s always a
case of buyer-beware. “We’ve bitten off a lot to chew
with this,” he says. “And for me it shows that
sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting when
you buy a bike. We’ve found thrust-washers missing
on the crank. You’d never spot that from kicking the
tyres or checking chassis numbers. In a way we’d
prefer a bike with not quite so much to do on it, but
it does show what we have in stock for this model.”
This project has already taken lots of time and
effort. Both Tim and Nathan admit this isn’t your
average shed build. While there is a budget for parts,
it’s a big one. Nathan explains: “We’re looking at
£14,000-£15,000 on this all-told. Which we know
isn’t what a CMM reader would do, but we will have
an as-new 750F. We are using brand-new pistons,
crank and lots of other engine parts will be new. I’ve
spent one whole day ordering the parts and it’s
amazing just what is out there. Look at the carbs:
e
-
Nathan is a stickler for sorting things.
52 / classic motorcycle mechanics
.
c ws n
e
n
are
n
,
’
swingarm and rubbing the frame down to get the
finish just right.”
Some of the things that have befallen the bike
make you giggle, though. Take the PDF (Positive
Damping Fork) reservoir on the forks. Originally,
these were gold but for some reason they were silver
on this bike. “But at some stage, someone has
painted them gold,” giggles Nathan. “But could only
get the brush so far around: you can see it now
we’ve taken the fork-legs off. There were bits
missing from the forks too, some washers were
replaced incorrectly. Surprisingly the fork-tubes
themselves are available from stock.”
Carb bodies are only parts not listed.
G-H can given away by
slotted cover.
Tim Davies (left) and Nathan Colombi.
Frame needed attention.
So with many parts available, what’s not? Nathan
says: “As mentioned, you can’t get carb bodies any
more, or plastics or wheels (we’re refurbing ours and
using a spray to check for cracks.) We think that the
cowling is the hardest piece to find. They were light
even back in the day and have become brittle.
“Of course the F has three bolts on the top cowl
and the later G-H has just two. So we bought what
was ‘definitely’ an F-model top-cowling and – yes
you guessed it. It was from the later bike, so we
will be doing some mixing and matching to make
it all work.”
Bodywork can be an issue on these, but the boys
say that the fuel tank is pretty complete. Nathan
adds: “I’ve ordered all the original graphics that
we’ve got in parts which is pretty much all of them.
It helps that the bike itself didn’t have many
graphics. We are making the Full Floater sticker
though and some of the flashes that were decals on
the original are going to be sprayed on. We want this
to be a high quality build. We just hope the thin
panels haven’t lost their shape. The wiring loom
needs to be refurbed, so a bit of time needs to be
spent on most of the stuff.”
Other parts throw up similar problems. Tim: “We
have a ‘proper’ exhaust but the cover is slotted not
drilled, so it’s an original G-H model exhaust. We
will make a drilled sleeve for it and it will be blasted
and touched up. Some parts naturally were
superseded on the G-H models of 1986-1987. For
example the F model runs a rear brake lever with a
platform with a rubber foot on it, but the G-H has a
Much of the mighty motor will be replaced to ‘as-new’ condition.
knurled bar. The rear brake caliper is also now a
different finish. We are doing this to promote our
Vintage Parts Scheme, so we have to go with what
parts we can source and what fits. We know this may
upset the purists, but we are restricted by time on
how far we can go for originality.”
They have to be flexible, as (at the time of writing)
they are just four weeks away from the show itself. So
many parts when we visited were away being blasted
or painted. The engine promises to look superb and
inside, they also want to make it as good as new.
Nathan says: “As mentioned pistons and parts will be
new. We are running half a millimetre oversize to
allow for wear and we will re-cut the valve seats and
use new valves and springs and I’ve ordered a whole
gearbox with every shaft and bearing. Only one part of
this is on back-order. We want it to go as well as it
looks. Many show bikes don’t.”
Considering the amount of parts we saw ready to
go on, the whole Suzuki parts arena has been
scoured. Most parts come from the Vintage Parts
Programme in the UK, but also Suzuki Germany and
other parts of Europe too have been pilfered. This
shows just how your local dealer can also help you,
although Tim and Nathan joke that they hope they’ve
not frustrated any 750F restorers out there by
draining the parts needed to finish a project! One
major part that has left them scratching their heads
is the mirrors: these can’t be found for love nor
money anymore. The current plan is to use
replacement, but if anyone has some for sale,
contact CMM and we shall let them know.
Caliper was cruddy.
Hilarious repaint job
for PDF.
Brakes will get full
overhaul.
www.classicmechanics.com / 53
Just looking at it, you’d think it was worth £2500 all day long: but what lies within?
Getting original front brake discs has led to some
CMM reader style ingenuity from Nathan. He says:
“We’ve got plenty of left-hand discs – but the right
hand ones are unavailable. We can’t use aftermarket
discs as the originals looked so prominent on the
bike. Tim looked into going to the original suppliers
and getting more made. We asked for 50, but the
price per disc would be in the region of £290 before
Suzuki would even put any mark-up on them. It
couldn’t be done. So instead I de-riveted some
left-handers, turned them round and re-riveted
them: job done!”
The task ahead then is simple: the bike will be
built over the first seven days or so of the show. To
help, Nathan will strip and rebuild the bike before
the show so he knows the bike inside out. He will
also have certain sub-assemblies ready to go, but in
the main it’s a full rebuild. He says: “The rough
guide is that we will have Saturday and Sunday to do
the bare rolling chassis (frame, swingarm and
brakes) then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will
be spent building the engine. Gears will be off shafts
and valves will be out of heads, so there is a lot to
be done. Then the last few days will be engine
installation on Thursday and then we will do the
final work with radiator, electrics and bodywork.
Thankfully I’m getting help from Tom Crooks,
Martin’s lad from Crooks’ Suzuki.”
So what will happen to this machine, which has
effectively been a ‘no-expense-spared’ restoration?
Tim says: “The beauty of this is that we’ve got a new
GSX-R1000 out next year and we will have
effectively a ‘brand-new’ GSX-R750F for journalists
– and that includes CMM – to ride and enjoy. We can
roll it out for the launch so that’s positive as it will
really show off Suzuki’s heritage. We want to see
John Reynolds on it and James Whitham on it. We
think we should get some good press from it.” cmm
54 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Swingarm was a bit
chewed.
Nathan did a top
repair job.
It looked okay before, but it will look mint!
So what’s next? Well, Nathan is rushing around
making sure everything is in place, for the
build-up and strip-down pre-show then your
humble scribe going to be helping out on the final
day when the bike is going to be built-up and
presented to the throng. Apparently, I only need
to be good at making tea. Result!
Next issue, we will give you an overview of the
build from the show, along with some top tips on
restoring a GSX-R750F from Nathan himself and
interview the previous owner of this very bike.
Stay tuned!
• Suzuki can be found on stand 4D20 when
Motorcycle Live opens its doors on Saturday,
November 28, 2015.
• www.suzuki-gb.co.uk/motorcycles/my-suzuki/
vintage-parts/
• GSX-R owners also have the chance to get
involved with Suzuki’s celebrations at
Motorcycle Live, with three spaces available on
the GSX-R display up for grabs. To enter owners
simply need to upload a photo of their GSX-R
to www.suzuki-gb.co.uk/gsx-r-competition.
www.classicmechanics.com / 55
WORDS: JOHN NUTTING PHOTOS: JOHN NUTTING & MORTONS ARCHIVE
With 500cc two-stroke racereplicas, 100bhp 750cc
sports bikes with alloy
frames or downdraft inlet
geometry, the 1985 model
year marked many turning
points for the motorcycle
world. John Nutting picks
out the highlights
I
t was the year that the movie Back to the
Future and the Dire Straits album Brothers
in Arms were released, when Freddie
Spencer won both the 250cc and 500c world
road racing titles and when for the first time
you had a choice of factory-built Grand Prix
racer replicas in your local showroom.
It was 30 years ago in 1985 and, as Alain
Prost won the Formula 1 championship
and unbeknownst to us a baby was born
by the name of Lewis Hamilton, we
were humming along to Money for
Nothing and wondering when
we might see a DeLorean car
on the road. Meanwhile
in Japan, the factories
were slugging it out
with a wave of
new launches
guaranteed to
satisfy the
most avid of
sports bikes
fans.
Until
then, very
few roadgoing
bikes
could
boast a
proper racing
pedigree, but
after Yamaha released its
two-stroke RD500LC in 1984, Suzuki followed
up a year later with its own 500cc square-
four two-stroke that was a much more faithful
reproduction of the production racers that had
been so successful on the Grand Prix circuits.
Fans were stunned, but it got better. Suzuki
also revealed its new GSX-R750, featuring a
new 100bhp oil/air-cooled four mounted in an
ultra-light chassis using an aluminium alloy
frame
Yamaha had also been anticipating
the advent of 750cc class racing and had
launched its own new FZ750 sports machine
which although not as light featured an engine
configuration that would set the pattern for
years to come.
In complete contrast was a bike to appeal
to the US stop-light drag-racing fans, the
V-Max, that despite its unwieldiness featured
a 1200 V-four engine with such immense
power that it could leave almost anything in
its tyre-smoking wake. Kawasaki, which for
1984 had advanced superbike technology with
its GPz900R, followed it a year later with the
similar GPz600R.
Honda had also launched a new range of
liquid-cooled V4s for 1984, with the VF500F,
VF750F and range topping VF1000R, but to
exploit the image of its newly resurgent racing
campaign introduced a pair of new two-strokes
that would fly the flag: the NS400R triple and
the NS250R.
In Europe, only the Ducati factory carried
the racing torch and inspired by Tony Rutter’s
fourth consecutive world Formula 2 title,
launched its 750 F1 V-twin.
So at the start of 1985 the scene was
set for a new era of exotic sporting machines.
First of that year’s new models to be shown
to the press were the 750cc fours, with
Yamaha’s FZ750 being unveiled at the Estoril
circuit in Portugal.
Planning had started four years earlier
under the guidance of project chief Osama
Tamura with the objective of developing a
high-performance machine with winning
potential in the coming 750cc racing
class and durability to take Yamaha into
the Nineties. An even longer development
programme had concluded that an engine with
five-valve combustion chambers would provide
class-leading power with road-going flexibility.
SPECIFICATION
DUCATI
750F1
ENGINE
748cc ohc air-cooled
90º V-twin, 5-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
76bhp at 9000rpm
WHEELBASE
1400mm
WEIGHT
165kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
120mph (est)
ST ¼ MILE
12.8s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
50mpg
But that was just part of the picture. Key was a
liquid-cooled four-cylinder engine that was even more
compact than Yamaha’s novel XJ series. The cylinders
were canted forward at 45º, enabling the carburettors a
straight vertical drop from the air box. And the fuel tank
was mounted low above the gearbox.
The chassis took cues from Yamaha’s racing
team with a rectangular steel perimeter frame that
placed more weight on the front wheel, a 16-incher
with geometry aimed at giving a combination of
responsive steering and stability at speed. At 460lb
(209 kilos) though, the FZ750 would prove to be
heavier than the opposition. Yamaha had arranged
with the local police for a stretch of deserted road
south of Lisbon to be available. Chinning the tank
and revving to the red line through the gears I saw
10,800rpm on the electronic rev meter.
That was around what Yamaha claimed,
145mph, but the speedo was showing 250kph,
or 155mph in old money. Either way, this was
Honda’s XBR500.
58 / classic motorcycle mechanics
massively quick for a seven fifty of the time.
Also launched at Estoril for 1985 were the latest
versions of Yamaha’s Powervalve 350cc twin, the
fully-faired RD350F providing better comfort at
high-speeds, and complemented by the unfaired
RD350N, which also incorporated a number of
common detail improvements.
Next up was Suzuki’s GSX-R750, which was
launched at the Ryoyo circuit in Japan in February
1985. Under a clear blue sky, the track disappeared
into the distance in both directions, its dominant
feature being a straight more than a mile long that
wound into a tightening 100mph right-hander.
Dozens of GSX-R750 machines were lined up, red
and blue, glittering in the sun. According to Suzuki
the GSX-R750 tipped the scales at an amazing
176kg dry, or 388lb in old money, which was about
the same as most 400cc bikes (and only slightly
more than modern sports bikes). Like the FZ750, it
also broke new ground with 100bhp on tap, giving
Ducati’s TT-F2 machine at the 1985 Isle of Man.
a power-to-weight ratio benefit of more than 20%.
The GSX-R750’s engine could also be made
lighter, it was claimed, by means of Suzuki’s
Advanced Cooling System, or SACS, in which
copious volumes of oil were circulated through the
cylinder head and crankcases, a technique that
had been perfected in the most highly-developed
reciprocating aero engines of the Second World
War, such as the Rolls-Royce Merlin that powered
the Supermarine Spitfire.
That, allied to the aluminium-alloy frame that
had first been used on the RG250 Gamma two years
earlier, gave the Suzuki a huge advantage, not just
in acceleration, but overall handling and flickability.
Few could live with the GSX-R750 on the road or
track. In its first year of production, the GSX-R750
cleaned up with victories in the Isle of Man TT,
the Le Man 24-hour endurance race and Japan’s
domestic TT-F1 series. Its exploits, and of those who
raced it, were the stuff of legend.
Not long after it hit the showrooms in Europe,
emerging US star Kevin Schwantz was provided
with a modified GSX-R750 to compete in the
televised Anglo-American Match races held on
British circuits over Easter. Despite a lack of top
speed he impressed with his spectacular antics,
high-siding yet regaining control.
In the Isle of Man, Mick Grant won the
Production TT after buying a set of Metzeler
tyres when the Michelins he was contracted to
using upset the handling. Owners didn’t have to
fantasise that they were on a race bike. This was
the real thing. No wonder that around 10,000
were sold in 1985.
When Suzuki’s RG500 Gamma road
bike was launched three months later at
the Hockenheim GP circuit in Germany it
was better than I, or anyone, could have
expected. It had almost everything from
the racer, and more. The engine was just
like the factory units featuring four 125cc
liquid-cooled cylinders with disc inlet valves
and four expansion chambers jutting out of
the ar. Driv was throu h a cassette-style
i -spe g
. It frame as
ni -al oy
and all nc
i
ra n
rn .
SPECIFICATION
HONDA
VF1000F
ENGINE
998cc dohc liquid-cooled
16-valve V-four, 5-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
Geoff Johnson and
the VF1000 at the
1985 TT.
Below: Honda’s
NS400 motor.,
116bhp at 10,000rpm
WHEELBASE
1505mm
WEIGHT
234kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
150mph (est)
ST ¼ MILE
12.8s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
40mpg
SPECIFICATION
HONDA
NS400R
ENGINE
387cc two-stroke liquidcooled triple, 6-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
72bhp at 9500rpm
WHEELBASE
1385mm
WEIGHT
163kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
130mph (est)
ST ¼ MILE
12.5s/105mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION
40mpg
www.classicmechanics.com / 59
Honda’s NS250R.
SPECIFICATION
SUZUKI RG500
ENGINE
498cc two-stroke liquidcooled square four, 6-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
95bhp at 9500rpm
WHEELBASE
1425mm
WEIGHT
154kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
145mph
ST ¼ MILE
11.1s/122mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION
32mpg
SPECIFICATION
KAWASAKI
GPZ600R
ENGINE
592cc dohc liquid-cooled
four, 6-speed, chain drive
PEAK POWER
74bhp at 10,500rpm
WHEELBASE
1430mm
WEIGHT
195kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
135mph
ST ¼ MILE
12.2s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
52mpg
60 / classic motorcycle mechanics
With 95bhp on tap it was almost as potent as
the new generation of 750cc four-stroke fours, yet
it weighed just 340lb, not much more than some
350cc twins. At the time it was the wildest twowheel tool you could buy. And it stole a march on
Yamaha’s four-cylinder repli-racer, the RD500LC
launched in 1984 which was heavier, less potent
and more complex. It was also less of a replica
because Yamaha didn’t offer a proper production
racer for the 500cc class, the RD500LC being more
of a concoction of technologies.
At its launch the RG500 provided an uncanny
combination of exotic civility. The engine would
idle smoothly, albeit with an irregular popping from
the exhausts and a rattle from the disc inlet valves.
Sitting astride the bike there was nothing remarkable
about the positioning of the controls: indeed it
promised a comfortable ride. Instrumentation was
comprehensive with white-faced dials, but the
speedo, rev meter and water temperature gauge were
mounted in a race-style foam surround.
Snick into bottom gear and the bike pulled away
smoothly with deep drone from the pipes, although
response from the four 28mm flat-slide Mikuni
carburettors hiding under the fairing was at first a bit
wheezy. Better response came when the rev meter
needle started moving off its stop at 3000rpm. Still
there was no indication of what was in store until the
rev meter hit 7000rpm and all hell let loose as the
front end suddenly lightened. On Hockenheim’s long
straights the RG500 flew up to an indicated 150mph
with ease, the rider tucked into a cocoon of highspeed fantasy as the engine revved to 11,000rpm.
Also launched at Hockenheim was the latest version
of the RG250 Gamma featuring a revised parallel
two-stroke twin engine with the same Automatic
Exhaust Control (SAEC) to enable peak power to be
increased to 49bhp without sacrificing mid-range.
With a sleek full fairing incorporating a belly pan
that extended to the rear wheel, the bike could make
the best use of the extra power. On Hockenheim’s
long straights I tucked in and saw an easy 120mph
on the clock.
Almost as much fun was the little RG125 twostroke single featuring similar engine technology
and aerodynamics, enabling it to be held flat out
at 100mph for most of the track. Living with an
RG500 from day to day could be a chore however.
Tested at year’s end in wintery conditions, its plugs
would foul and the carburetion would become vague
unless given a high-speed motorway blast. The
RG500 might have been produced for just two years,
outlawed by tightening exhaust emission regulations,
but it lives on to continue the pure sports dream.
Kawasaki had changed the direction of superbike
technology with its 155mph liquid-cooled fourcylinder GPz900R in 1984. A year later for 1985
Kawasaki created the 600 sports category with its
GPZ600R featuring a steel perimeter frame, full
sports fairing and 16/18in wheels. But the fourcylinder 592cc engine, although featuring liquid
cooling and 16 valves, was an adaptation of the
earlier air-cooled GPz550 four, which without the inlet
geometry used on the FZ750 limited its power to a
claimed 75bhp. It set the scene for the class though.
Mat Oxley at the 1985 TT. Pic by Phil Masters.
SPECIFICATION
SUZUKI
RG250W
ENGINE
247cc two-stroke liquidcooled parallel twin,
6-speed, chain drive
PEAK POWER
49bhp at 9500rpm
WHEELBASE
1385mm
WEIGHT
130kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
115mph
ST ¼ MILE
14.4s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
35mpg
www.classicmechanics.com / 61
SPECIFICATION
SUZUKI
GSX-R750
ENGINE
749cc dohc 16-valve oil/aircooled inline four, 6-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
105bhp at 10,500rpm
WHEELBASE
1435mm
WEIGHT
176kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
At Honda, its racing division was throwing
everything into a full-blown effort to win the world road
racing titles in 1985, having lost to Yamaha’s Eddie
Lawson the previous year, the consolation being the
manufacturers’ title with riders Freddie Spencer, Ron
Haslam, Randy Mamola and Raymonde Roche.
To celebrate, Honda offered road riders
the NS400R two-stroke triple, a gorgeouslooking sports bike with one of the factory’s first
aluminium-alloy frames, racing style composite
wheels and full aerodynamics. With peak power of
72bhp and a dry weight of 359lb, top speed was
more than 125mph. But while the engine had three
cylinders, it wasn’t a replica of the NS500 racer’s
which had two parallel upward facing cylinders and
one facing down. On the NS400R it two forward
facing pots and a central vertical one.
The NS400R was still a lovely piece of work,
but being aimed primarily at the Japanese market
with a 387cc capacity, there was nowhere to race
it. That was where the first NS250R V-twin came
in, and although unavailable for UK riders through
the usual channels it qualified for the Isle of Man
TT production race. Talented journalist Mat Oxley
rode and promptly went out and won the 250cc
150mph
ST ¼ MILE
11.0s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
45mpg
62 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Yamaha’s mighty
VMax.
class. Honda did well in that year’s TT with Joey
Dunlop winning the Junior, Formula 1 and Senior
races. But the most unlikely success came in the
1500cc class of the Production race.
One of the updated models in the range was
a fully-faired version of the 998cc V-four, the
VF1000F. Geoff Johnson, who had won a year earlier
on a Kawasaki GPz900R, appeared to have made a
poor choice in switching to the Honda with its barndoor aerodynamics. But he repeated the win and at
almost the same 105mph race speed, showing how
strong the sports-tourer could be in the right hands.
Ducati’s offering for 1985 had an even stronger
racing pedigree. The Italian factory had been offering
racing versions of the 600 Pantah V-twin but only
to favoured teams such as Sports Motor Cycles who
with rider Tony Rutter clinched four world Formula
2 championships, including three TT wins. In 1985,
Rutter fielded a factory F2 machine and won again.
This bike featured new styling that was mirrored in
the 750F1 road bike, Ducati’s first proper racing
replica since the bevel-drive 750SS that was used
by Paul Smart to win the Imola 200 in 1972. Like
the 600 racers, the 750F1 featured a short-stroke
air-cooled engine with belt-driven desmo overhead
camshafts slotted into a Verlicchi tubular-steel trellis
frame using premium suspension and a fashionable
16/18in wheel combination.
It would be another of those rare occasions when
your average punter could buy a road bike that was
closely derived from a world road-racing title winner.
But that was 1985 for you, a great year for proper
sports bikes. cmm
SPECIFICATION
YAMAHA RD350N
ENGINE
347cc two-stroke liquidcooled parallel twin,
6-speed, chain drive
PEAK POWER
59bhp at 9000rpm
WHEELBASE
1385mm
WEIGHT
143kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
120mph
ST ¼ MILE
13.16s/99.54mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION
45mpg
SPECIFICATION
YAMAHA
FZ750
ENGINE
749cc dohc 20-valve liquidcooled inline four, 6-speed,
chain drive
PEAK POWER
105bhp at 10,500rpm
WHEELBASE
1485mm
WEIGHT
205kg
MAXIMUM SPEED
150mph
ST ¼ MILE
11.2s
FUEL CONSUMPTION
50mpg
www.classicmechanics.com / 63
RETRO
WORDS AND PHOTOS: KAR LEE
/
mechanics
AL
IGIN
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THE
ENGINE
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CHASSIS
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What do you think?
mechanics
66 / classic motorcycle mechanics
The Shed...
Where the bikes, bits, solid fuel and cat litter tray
reside and Pip makes a welcome return.
Latest from Laser
Here are some essential, everyday tools for any workshop from
Laser Tools.
The latest range includes very neat magnetic socket racks for
holding ¼in drive, ⅜in drive and ½in drive sockets; they feature
carrying handles for use around the workshop and magnetic backs
for fixing to metal roll cabs or toolboxes. They also fit neatly and
securely in the tool drawer. Designed to hold both standard and
deep sockets, you will always have the sockets you need close to
hand. Laser part number 6209 is ¼in drive and holds a maximum
socket size of 14mm; part number 6210 is ⅜in drive and holds a
maximum socket size of 24mm; part number 6211 is ½in drive
and holds a maximum socket size of 30mm.
Next up, the magnetic parts tray (part number 6144), is
manufactured from soft closed-cell EVA foam and holds those tools
and smaller parts on the bonnet, wing or tank without fear of damage
to the paintwork. Measuring 400mm x 180mm x 32mm deep, this
tray will hold several spanners, sockets and small parts easily.
Finally, how about a
heavy duty, steel shelving
unit Laser part number 6186?
Measuring 900mm x 450mm x 1800mm with capacity per shelf
265kg evenly distributed, this MDF shelving unit with black,
powder-coated, boltless finish frame is a must.
■ More details from www.lasertools.co.uk. We’ve checked
prices and Amazon is your best bet for these, with prices of:
6209: £10, 6210: £13.60, 6211: £20.68, 6144: £11.18
and 6186: £70.32.
GET YER
STRAP-ON!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll look
upon the humble bungee strap as a strip
of gold.
Mates beg, borrow and steal them,
meaning that you can have problems
attaching luggage, bags and bits to your
bike. Well, maybe – just maybe – the
bungee has been superseded by these
– the Rok Strap. Now, don’t giggle:
apparently they’re rubber, so they have a
shock cord that provides constant tension
and webbing gives adjustable length.
Some boffins at Oxford Products reckon
they are twice as strong and 100 times
safer than a bungee. Either way they come
You big studs!
in many different versions (and colours
for your kids who have scooters) and cost
between £8.99 to £14.99 depending on
length or style.
■ Check out: www.oxprod.com
Off-road hoses
Here are the latest from Samco Sport and
Racebikebitz. A wide-range of hoses for modern
and classic machines are available, but if you’re a
mud-plugger, these are for you. A sixpiece radiator hose kit with a lifetime
guarantee for the Honda CR500
(1989-2001) which apparently improve
water flow, lower engine temperatures and
look damn trick. Price is £80.92 and the
clip kit is a further £22. Most colours are
in stock, too.
Wemoto has introduced a range of
quality stainless steel exhaust stud
kits for Honda models.
The corrosion and rust-resistance
of the new stainless
steel stud kits
improve
appearance
and durability
of these
exposed
components,
providing
an effective
upgrade to the
original part with the added benefit
of a lower price. The exhaust studs
are M8 x 1.25 and reduce to M7 x
1.00. They are available as complete
kits of either four, or eight, which
includes both the stainless steel
studs and mild steel nuts.
Don’t forget your copper grease
when assembling the exhaust
studs! Prices are: 4 x Stainless
Steel Exhaust Stud Kit with Nuts
retail at £9.96. 8 x Stainless Steel
Exhaust Stud Kit with Nuts retail at
£19.96
■ For model fitment range visit www.
wemoto.com/components/Exhaust/
Studs/StainlessSteelKits or bell them
on: 01273 597072.
www.classicmechanics.com / 67
Just when you think it’s going so well.......
I
still get a bit of a tingle when I step onto a race
track. I’ve scampered down ‘The Mistrale’ at
Paul Ricard at 6 in the AM as the mist clears
and I’ve strolled the mile or so straight at
Hockenheim before they messed it all up. But a
magical September morning at Elvington takes
some beating. It’s just big... and very flat.
As the sun creeps up I realise that I’m in
the middle of a horsepower tsunami, surrounded by bikes with
over 500hp on tap and I’m down to ride my diminutive 168cc
Ducati, a near 60-year-old tiddler with about nine gee gees
on a good day. I don’t care, I love little bikes, I’m here for the
UKTA/Straightliners records bash. You pays your money and
get to pound up and down the two and a half mile ex
V-bomber airstrip for two whole days. I had intended to bring
my 100cc bike but the coefficient of embarrassment was a
bit too great even for me. I was unlikely to set any records on
either bike but the 160 had received many a good thrashing
and, with luck, wouldn’t make me look too ridiculous... who
am I kidding? A geriatric old fart like me plastered all over a
tiny red bike, ridiculous doesn’t even get close!
With my vital signs checked and the bike and safety gear
all examined I waited in line, dwarfed by Power Commanders,
turbos and raw insanity, my turn comes and off I wobble,
groping around for the gear lever, ah, did I mention that I
had to convert the little squirt to hand change? A last minute
rehash of the gear linkage was needed as I couldn’t get my
hoof within about two feet of the gear lever, a quick rummage
in my debris box yielded a pair of rose joints, a Honda gear
change shaft and an Aprilia (?) gear lever. Fortunately the little
Ducati is quite happy with clutchless upshifts as I decided,
in a moment of temporary insanity to cross the linkage over
to the sinister side. The first run, and the return, pass off
without incident and, even better the speeds are on the right
side of 80mph, my gob was... no, let’s not go there, suffice
to say I was pleasantly surprised. I remember that my CB160
was reputedly good for 82mph with 16.5hp, I know this has
nowhere near that much so I’m pleased that Ken H’s fairing
must be doing a fair job of nipping through the breeze. That
night I have a good look round to see if I can unleash a couple
of horses and discover a microscopic bit of debris partially
blocking the main jet, as this is only just a milli in diameter it
don’t take much to clean it out and steal a pony or two.
With the Contis inflated as tight as you like and the battery
showing 13v I’m gagging to run early on the Sunday but
there’s a curfew until 10.30am. At 10.31 I’m tucked in and
flat out, the little Duke is singing, the timing ticket conveys
the best news: 91.3mph! I’m now officially excited, time to
run back to get the requisite back to back runs in within the
hour. As I get into the measured distance I remember thinking:
‘Know what, this thing is going so well I could drop a couple
of teeth on the rear sprocket...’ Bang... clatter... silence. Fifty
yards from the timing beams something cries enough and
the poor little creature lets go, I free-wheel back to the pits
knowing that the sickness is serious, I’m brassed off, but in
reality I knew that I’d asked too much of the little bike.
A glance up the exhaust port revealed a tangle of broken
bits, sort of engine soup, not good. However 25 minutes later
I had transplanted the spare bullet into the red bike courtesy
of Colin Wilkinson, he’d lent me his unknown 160 engine on
a ‘you break it, you bought it’ basis, fair enough, and although
Col’s engine hadn’t been run for a dog’s age it fired up second
kick and wheezed along amazingly well. Having wrecked one
engine I have to admit that I was a touch apprehensive and I
rode the last couple of passes with a bit of decorum, possibly
due to the fact that the clutch was totally solid and if I broke it
the consequences could have been, er, inconvenient.
The whole records thing is a mystical area to me with many
classes and disciplines but I believe that we did establish a
few, one of them had to be for daft old git on little red bike...
noisy little red bike. We’ll be back, no mistake, I want to do
100 per on the poor little creature.
Skidmarx screens!
Skidmarx have been making screens
and bodywork since the 1990s and
their fitment list includes a wide choice
of screens, huggers, road and race
bodywork for machines dating back to
the 1970s.
Little wonder they’re always there at
the CMM Stafford Show year after year.
With such a wide application range you
could do worse than to contact them for
info on what screens they can do for your
special or restoration. Remember, like
the pics here sometimes taste went out
68 / classic motorcycle mechanics
of the window in the 1990s so you will
see coloured screens, but they do plain
screens and smoked.
Prices? Well a double-bubble for the
T595 Daytona is £54.95 and it’s a direct
replacement for the original screen. A
double-bubble for the TL1000S is the
same price and standard replacement
screens, in clear/tint are £42.95. The
Stealth cockpit fairing shown on the
XJR1300 is £149.95.
■ All are British-made and available from:
www.skidmarx.co.uk.
www.classicmechanics.com / 69
Shear magnetism
Always double-check everything or you will have to go to Liverpool,
says Stan Stephens. WORDS: STAN STEPHENS PICS: STAN STEPHENS/DAVE SMITH
I
was looking through the
October issue of CMM
when I came across the
story about the lovely Suzuki
GT380 restoration, with the
owner Dave Smith standing next to his
pride and joy.
I recognised Dave as a customer and
read the article. I had to smile when I
came to the piece where he said the
following: “Stan Stephens did the engine.
I have to take my hat off to him, what a
gent he is and his service is beyond first
class.” While that was very nice of him to
say, there is a story behind it!
When I write articles in CMM on
rebuilding an engine, I always emphasise
to check everything as you build it. When
you put the crankcases together always
check the crank turns freely; when you put
the gearbox in always check the gears all
work, ditto kickstart, ditto clutch
operation, etc. This article is about just
70 / classic motorcycle mechanics
that. Always check everything at each
stage because if you don’t it may come
back to bite your bum.
About three years ago I had too much
work on as usual and Bruce Maus, the
ex-Kenny Roberts works mechanic, offered
to come to work for me while he was in
England. I have worked on my own for many
years now but it was good to work alongside
another good mechanic for a while.
Bruce and I were working at the bench,
he was building a Suzuki GT550 engine
and I was building Dave Smith’s GT380
engine. I was finishing the GT380 and
Bruce was still building the GT550. Dave
had already paid for the job so when I
finished it we lowered it into its crate and I
packed it up ready for the courier to
collect the next day.
In the morning Bruce finished the
GT550 and we moved it off the bench.
There on the bench was a clutch push rod.
I said to Bruce that he had left it out of
the GT550, he assured me he hadn’t and
he operated the clutch arm to prove it and
the clutch operation felt right. Now on the
Suzuki triples the clutch operating arm is
in the left-hand engine cover and has a
short push rod as part of the mechanism
and another short clutch rod goes inside
the gearbox shaft, the piece of clutch rod
left on the bench was from inside the
gearbox shaft.
If it wasn’t from the GT550 it must have
been from the GT380. I opened up the
crate to have a look. The GT380 engine
had not come with the left-hand engine
cover on so as I looked through the crate I
could see the shaft but I could not see
down the shaft. A handy little tool I keep
in my tool-box is a telescopic magnet, it’s
a long thin telescopic shaft with a little
magnet on the end. I extended the
telescopic tool and slid it down the shaft
to feel for the clutch rod, sure enough I
was the guilty party, I had left the short
Simple solutions: Check, check and then check again!
Above: The engine as sent.
Below: The culprit!
clutch rod out. With the engine still in the
crate I popped the clutch rod in and
resealed up the crate. I said to Bruce that
it was a near one, the customer wouldn’t
have been happy, then Securicor collected
the engine.
A few days later I went to use my little
magnet on a stick, the magnet was not on
the end. I asked Bruce what he had done
with it. He said he hadn’t used it and the
last time he saw it was when I pushed it up
the GT380 gearshaft. It slowly dawned on
us where it was, inside Dave Smith’s clutch!
The phone rang, it was Dave Smith, he
said he couldn’t get the clutch to work! He
had put the left-hand engine cover on and
because it would not go on by about
10mm he had wound the cover screws in
until the cover was fully on and now there
was no clutch at all. I told Dave to leave it
to me. I very rarely make a mistake when
building an engine but I had made one
here, all because I didn’t follow my golden
rule to always check everything and just
my luck Dave Smith lived in Liverpool
which is way in the north-west and I live in
Sevenoaks which is in the south-east of
England. What was I going to do? Well, I
went indoors and said to my wife, Julie:
“How do you fancy a trip up to the Lake
District in the camper van, I will have to
drop into Liverpool on the way?”
When we arrived at Dave Smith’s house
we found it was in the road where John
Lennon lived. Dave’s house was quite
imposing, it would have been worth about
a million in Sevenoaks and a fair bit in
Liverpool. I thought at least he will have a
nice big heated workshop. Wrong, it was
tiny and crammed with bike bits, I had to
work on the bike while hanging over the
seat with Dave shining a torch. Sure
enough when I stripped the clutch off
there was the bloody magnet.
It was well gone midnight when I
finished. Dave is an interesting guy, he is a
top drummer and the list of people and
bands he has played with is impressive as
were the signed pictures of him with some
of the stars. I play electric bass so we
talked music for a while and Dave had me
sign a T-shirt. He was very grateful, but as
I said at the beginning of this article, it
made me smile when he said my “service
was beyond first-class,” I think I earned
that compliment but it was all my own
fault! Learn this lesson! cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 71
Project Honda CBR900RR Fireblade part 1
Blade sharpening
Does this fool ever stick to a plan? Well, he reckons he has or is now.
Where have we heard this before?
WORDS: BERTIE SIMMONDS PHOTOS: GARY CHAPMAN/BERTIE SIMMONDS
I
can’t help being a serial
buyer and seller of bikes. I
can’t help it.
In my defence I’ve only
once lost money on buying a
modern classic, so the way I look at it, it’s
money in the bank and I have my fun!
My flitty-flighty butterfly brain means
I have a great idea, chase it and then
completely change my mind. This is why
over the last five years I’ve worked out that
I’ve owned 10 bikes, maybe more (I’m
quite forgetful). From an Africa Twin to
the last of the double-cradle GSX-R1100s,
I’ve been addicted to buying cheap bikes
72 / classic motorcycle mechanics
before the price creeps up. The last three
years of my dotage have been in these
pages for you all to see: TDM850 (too dull)
Aprilia Mille (a mate made me an offer I
couldn’t refuse before Christmas and I’m
a single parent with a teenage daughter),
Yamaha RD350R (in bits and in biscuit
tins in one cat-wee smelling corner of the
garage) and now the Honda FireBlade.
Another Honda FireBlade I mean,
as this will be the ninth that has gone
through my hands from an Urban Tiger
1995 RR-S, two 929s (2000 and a 2001
in yellow that I’d love to get back) a 2002
954 in white and then a series of modern
ones from the RR-5 1000cc Fireblade
(lower case b now!) and the last an RR-8
in old man purple. There are rumours
that I once wrote a book on the early
incarnations too.
As mentioned in August’s Quick Spin,
I’d known of this P-reg RR-V for a few
years when a mate bought it cheap at a
garage clear-out. He knew I’d always liked
it (I’d ridden it for CMM’s main test back
in 2012) and when he finally decided to
sell it early this year, I swallowed hard and
paid him the £1900 he wanted. Nope,
not the cheapest Blade out there and not
the sought-after first models or even first
Simple solutions: Nab whatever goodies you can when buying a bike!
Shock works but looks shoddy.
Not quite the original can.
This is better and will go on over winter.
Abba stands are the best in the business.
She cleans up quite nicely.
Foxeye variant, but I knew this was a good,
solid bike and I knew its history.
It also came with some sweeteners. It
had just had a set of stainless downpipes
put on it that marry up to the original
end-can (which also came with the bike),
it had a full service and most of its
service history, it came with one of those
wonderful Abba stands that mounts in the
swingarm pivot for ease of use (I’ve now
got two) and best of all it came with a
shock that had seen just 500 miles of use,
so it’s as good as new old stock and would
be worth around a ton, I reckon.
I’ve had the thing about six months now
and done just under 1000 miles on her –
about the same amount the previous owner
did on her in the previous four years.
The reason I didn’t want to immediately
(again) trumpet my latest purchase was
that you’d all think I was a mind-changing
prat (again). But this one is a keeper. I
promise. There isn’t that much to do to
the RR-V other than enjoy riding it, but
there are plenty of niggles that I need to
address, mainly in the depths of winter
when I generally go into hibernation
riding-wise.
If you check out the official Honda shot
of my colour scheme, you’ll see that the
wheels should be gloss black. And I want
them to be gloss black. So when I’m not
intending to use the bike over winter I will
be whipping the wheels off and getting
them back to an original finish. I don’t like
the silver wheels.
As much as I like the rorty noise of
the Yoshimura RS-3 can, it leaks a little
moisture so I want to get the original end
can on it too. If you see the picture you’ll
notice the can isn’t in too bad a shape,
but close inspection shows surface rust
and scratches. If anyone knows how to get
www.classicmechanics.com / 73
Simple solutions: Original is best. So keep it standard stupid!
Best Blade?
Well, maybe. Kinda. If you’re a
purist you’d want to have one
of the first Blades, the RR-N or
P. This was the original 893cc
model that was updated into the
‘foxeye’ version (with mild mods
to suspension and gearbox),
which then transformed itself
into the slightly less wild and
more easier-going RR-T and V with
918.5cc engine and more comfy
ergonomics. By the time the
RR-X/W came onto the scene in
1998, the R1 was kicking its butt.
Nice, but some stickers need attention.
How she should look with black wheels.
Nissin brakes are brilliant.
74 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Yosh RS-3 adds bark.
rid of surface imperfections while keeping
the brushed finish, do let me know!
Maybe it’s time to invest in a wirewheel and bench grinder? Yeah, I know…
I don’t have one. I could buy an
end-can on eBay for £30
but I doubt it would be
any better than what I
already have and James
Whitham says bench
grinders and wire-wheel
cleaning and buffing is
therapeutic…
The fork bottoms are
stone-chipped too, so I
want to try and get those
back to standard. That
seems to me to be another
job to do when the wheels are
away being painted and I may just take
the forks out, sort out the bottoms and get
new springs/oil in there, like Andy Bolas
has done on his Bandit 1200 on page 88.
When I took this bike around Anglesey
(slowly) the front didn’t feel too good and
I think it’s just showing its age a little, so
new springs and oil along with that NOS
shock should do the business.
Honda’s legendary build quality has a
few things to answer for. I’ve found quite
a few parts that really didn’t seem to last
the course of the bike’s storage for a good
few years. The top fairing stay has flaked
and is rusting a tad. As are a few other
brackets and the water pump cover. It’s
easy enough take those parts off when the
bike is up on jacks and wheel-less, rub
those parts down/strip them and repaint
them myself. It’s one of the few things I’m
good at!
Another thing that does annoy me is the
tail-unit graphic on the right-hand side.
For some reason this shiny decal is pitted
and scratched – perhaps from a set of
throw-over panniers, so I want to get that
sorted. Sadly, they look hard to copy – but
I’m guessing anything can be done these
days. So, that lot and a standard screen
will just about do me, I think. cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 75
Project Kawasaki GPZ900R part 1
Geepers Creepers
A sober bike purchase? What on earth is happening at Chez Bertie?
I
t had to happen. A summer
garage clean-up-and-out
leaves room for more bikes
– the successful sale of my
GSX-R750 SRAD liberates
some funds and I’m at a loose end
one evening.
Now, while a number of my more foolish
purchases have been made while under
the influence, the widely-embraced
‘Stoptober’ kick the booze campaign saw
me dry as a budgie’s cage throughout the
month and yet still I bought a shonky old
bike with aid of my iPad.
What was I thinking? Well, firstly I’ve
always admired Kawasaki’s GPz (later
GPZ) 900R. It was a bike of which a
poster adorned my adolescent boudoir:
‘Who can catch a Kawasaki?’ Finally, I
have caught one.
Regular readers will remember that last
year we began a search for an old ratty
GPz to try and turn into a Top Gun replica.
Yes, despite many people thinking it was
the 750, it’s now largely accepted that
Tom Cruise as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell,
rode a 900R in the film. Many replicas
have been made, complete with Navy
76 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Fighter Squadron badges and Kawasakiless flanks. Now, for whatever reason the
CMM Top Gun project foundered, but the
gripes and moans from certain readers
continued, with more than a sarcastic jape
or comment as to why we never took the
plunge. So when I saw G8 6XWS up on a
popular auction site running at around 500
nicker, I decided to place a cheeky bid.
My new search technique on eBay was
to refine my search for bikes near me and
ending soon or just having begun: so you
save money with pick-up or snap up a
bargain. At £500 I was the top bidder for
a while but then she started to slip away.
I kept telling myself to stick at my £700
limit, but a few questions to the owner,
Steve and looking at the pictures won me
over. Sure, it wasn’t one of the popular
first models, it wasn’t even one of the
better later models (A7/A8 with 17in front,
bigger forks and twin-pot Tokico brakes)
but it was an unloved A6 in black and gold
– surely a blank canvas to work on?
A quick dabble on www.gpzzone.co.uk
showed me what I had heard rumours of:
some crazy, crackpot specials builders in
the UK and abroad had built some
Should I go green?
Or revert to red?
New calipers, old discs.
Owner Steve about to kiss her goodbye.
gorgeous updated and uprated GPz900R
specials. This bike could be transmogrified
into something much better than standard.
It was probably this whole ‘what might
be’ that saw me up my offer. Garn if I
don’t end up winning the thing.
Thankfully, it was just 15 miles away in
Northampton and seller Steve is over the
moon that I’ve got plans for the bike: “I’ve
had it a few years and it’s honest enough
and has a full year’s MoT. I’ve just not
really used it in the last three years or so
as I have a mint GPZ500S with just 5600
miles that I get about on.”
Wow: full MoT, no history as such, but
plenty of good points: the MoT doesn’t
mean so much as the thing will be coming
apart asap, and Steve mentions new
calipers front and rear (the piddly
single-pot ones) but hey, if I’m modifying
they can be sold on.
I insure the bike and get everything
legal for when I pick the thing up – it’s got
a full MoT after all. When I finally see the
bike I can see the black paint means it
looks better in the pictures. All of the
decals are shot and the paint is faded,
crazed and scratched. It’s gutting it’s not a
more desirable early red or green model
and as James Whitham says in a text back
when I send him a picture: “They’re hard
to restore I’ve heard and the 1989 colours
were all shit!” I get his point, but I kinda
like the colours. But this will be a full
respray, re-decal and the various bodywork
and engine badges need to be replaced.
Other things too: Where the frame peeps
out near the headstock is some mild
surface rust. One of the caps on the forks
has walked leaving a rusty adjuster. All the
bolts on the carbs and ancillaries are
MIVV cans were popular.
Cockpit has seen better days.
As has this motor!
suffering rust, save for those new calipers.
The engine needs blasting and painting
too. This thing has clearly been outside at
some point in its life. Every bolt needs to
come off and be cleaned or replaced. It’s a
full nut and bolt job, this. Bugger.
C’mon Bert, the good points. Well, it’s
complete. All indicators are standard and
the exhausts are the popular replacement
MIVV exhausts. They don’t look too bad,
just with some end-can rust I could clean
off. Time to saddle up for a steady ride
home and it’s running nicely at tickover, so
it all bodes well. Steve is keen to see the
bike go to a good home and get sorted in
one way or another, and that’s always a
good sign so I wave him goodbye with the
promise that I will keep him posted.
People told me I was risking it not
taking a trailer to pick the GPz up – but I
really wanted to ride it. It had an MoT
after all. Now, much as I love the GPz, last
time I rode one (all of 20 years ago) I
wondered what all the fuss was about.
Although truth be told I was a bit of a
FireBlade fanatic at the time. Well, blow
me if the bike didn’t handle rather nicely.
I was pretty surprised to be honest. And
then I hit the brakes. Jeez… how it could
have passed an MoT is a mystery to me.
New calipers it may have, but I bet the
discs and lines need replacing.
Then it happened. Cough, splutter, fart,
wheeze from 6000rpm: got to be gummed
up carbs. I pull over and check the tank. I
can see the rust. Bugger. I limp to within a
couple of miles on my destination as the
bike seems to clear then splutter again.
Finally the battery cries enough and I
coast to a halt next to an overflowing layby
bin. This juxtaposition isn’t wasted on me.
I get picked up by a mate and roll the bike
into my garage.
Am I gutted? Nah, not a bit of it: this
bike is coming apart and I’ve had a taste
of what she has to offer. My only decision
is what to do with her. I could restore her
fully as she is in this colour, or upgrade
and do something whacky, or simply
restore but have a better colour scheme.
Or go the Top Gun route.
Well, what would you do? cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 77
Project Suzuki X7 part 5
The final furlong!
He’s been busy and the projects are starting to stack up – time
to get the X7 sorted then. WORDS AND PICS: JAMES WHITHAM
I
t’s been a busy couple of
months for me as far as
bikes are concerned.
I’ve been commentating
most weekends for Eurosport,
then competing (making a fool of myself)
in the odd local trials event if I get a
weekend off, also instructing on the last of
my 2015 track-training days, but still
finding time to hole up inside my workshop
with the Absolute 80s radio station playing
and get on with a project or two.
I’ve bought another couple of race bikes
too: a nice little 1988 TZ250 Yamaha and
a hardly-run from new 1990 RS250
Honda. This bike particularly I can’t wait
to crack on with, firstly ’coz it’s my maiden
Honda restoration, and secondly it’s done
so little and is so honest it’s like a
two-wheeled time capsule, the way you
rarely find ’em.
Anyway, back to the project in hand.
The X7 is coming on really well and apart
78 / classic motorcycle mechanics
from the bodywork it’s sat on the bench
more or less done. The carbs have been
totally stripped and their outer aluminium
parts minted. Because the bike was such
a good runner (only 4000 miles from new)
before I started to restore it I decided not
to go to the bother of getting them
sonically cleaned but instead take my good
mate Jamie’s advice. Jamie is, in my
opinion, one of the best Japanese bike
restorers in the country and he said carbs
generally come up well using ‘Wonder
Wheels’, this stuff you get from Halfords.
It’s made, for the most part I think of acid,
and is meant to be diluted and used to
clean alloy wheels but used neat with a
brush it brings carbs up like new. It’s like
magic, honest! Check out the picture.
If you’re gonna try this though make
sure you have a sink or bucket of warm
soapy water ready so when you get the part
you’re working on to the right finish you
can immediately drop it in to the water to
Ribbed meant ‘fun’ in yer teens!
Simple solutions: Try not to be sidetracked by other projects! Err...
Clean carbs – but how James?
Top-end going on.
Engine and gearbox are ready.
Gearbox is in!
Easy way to get discs looking new.
neutralise the acid. If you leave the
solution on too long the ally can go a bit
dark. Also, wear rubber gloves coz this
stuff is strong. I’m no chemist but I reckon
if you were trying to, let’s say, dispose of a
body then 50 bottles of this and a tin bath
would do the job! Not guilty m’lud!
The wheels have come up really well
too. Of all the jobs to be done, I was least
looking forward to doing the wheels.
They’ve a different shaped spoke but
manufactured exactly the same way as a
Yamaha LC wheel (and I’ve done a few of
them), in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if an
X7 wheel and an LC wheel were made in
the same factory and supplied to Suzuki
and Yamaha by the same out-sourced firm.
In the original manufacturing process
they’re cast, then coloured, then turned in
a lathe to expose bare aluminium on the
rims and the outside of the spokes. The
best way I’ve found to get something like
an original look is to strip the bearings
She’ll look just as good underneath the side-panels.
www.classicmechanics.com / 79
Simple solutions: With anything like painting wheels: preparation is everything.
Brakes stripped for sorting.
Clean, paint and seals needed.
Bodywork looks mint!
The secret to carb cleaning!
Front-end looks fab!
Good masking did this.
out, get the wheels vapour blasted so
the rims and spoke outers look like new,
then mask off these sections and repaint
the rest... simples: but bloody fiddly! It
took me a full morning to mask up each
wheel cutting the excess tape off with a
Stanley blade as I went. The result looks
spot-on though.
The front brake was the next job on the
list. A relatively simple process this, of
taking the whole system completely apart,
removing the old paint from the master
cylinder and caliper with paint stripper
then repainting with, in this case satin
black, and then reassembling with new
seals. The nylon reservoir that is sealed
with an O-ring to the master cylinder can
be brought back to white (time and brake
fluid makes ’em go yellow) by leaving it
submerged in bleach overnight. You can
do all the white plastic and nylon parts,
like the two-stroke tank this way.
I used a flexible abrasive wheel pad in a
drill to clean up the disc. If you’re careful
you can get something like the look of a
new disc but to be honest if you can find
a new one it’ll look better, but then where
do you stop with NOS parts? And
remember, if you’re going to run the bike
when it’s done the new one will soon wear
and look like the old one, so it’s a waste of
dosh anyway!
Wiring looms can be tricky to make look
mint and new ones are usually difficult to
get hold of and expensive. All I’ve done in
this case is clean up the old loom the best
80 / classic motorcycle mechanics
A selection of Whitham project parts for fresh paint!
I can with thinners on a cloth, and it looks
fair. If the original shrink-wrap has gone
hard and cracked it will have usually done
this around the headstock where it is
exposed and been made to flex when the
handlebars are moved. The best way to
sort this is to fit some more shrink wrap
but to be honest it never looks the same as
the original stuff and it’s also tricky to fit
because most times you have to remove
the terminal blocks to slide it over the
wires: ‘tin’ and ‘worms’ spring to mind!
Another sneaky way of fixing up a
cracked piece of loom-wrap is to warm the
bad part with a hair dryer to make it
flexible, trim the broken piece out with
scissors, being careful not to damage the
wires inside, so you have two straight
ends, then slide one end neatly over the
top of the other. You’ll never see the join
when the bike is done. It’ll mean that
more of the wires will be exposed at one
end or the other but these will be hidden
either in the headlight or under the tank.
I’ve gone for an authentic looking
‘ribbed’ type front tyre, so I’ll have to
remember not to get frisky if I ever ride
the bike or it’ll hurt! All that’s needed to
finish the job off now is to pick up the
bodywork from the blokes at Spraybay,
bleed the brake, fit the seat, throw some
oil ‘n’ fuel in and see if she runs! You
never quite know, but with this bike I’m
quietly confident and I don’t have many
bits left over so that’s always a good sign!
I will keep you posted. cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 81
Project Kawasaki ZX-10 part 1
A practical sportsbike?
Can it be possible to get something fast, fun and practical for under a grand?
W
e buy bikes for
many reasons,
maybe we had
one back in the day, or we
wanted one as a kid.
But, although many of us buy a
modern classic for different reasons it’s
fair to say that when we have one in our
grasp, most of the time the bike will be
pampered, cosseted, looked-after and
won’t do anything like the miles it would
have when it was new. Dave Brooking
thinks differently.
Now, you may remember Dave from
a while back as he is building (eventually)
a Suzuki GSX1100EFE. Running his own
roofing company means he’s normally up
a ladder somewhere, but while the EFE
is coming along slowly, he wanted
something he could use day in, day out.
He says: “My son loves coming out on the
back of a bike with me, but as he’s getting
older (and bigger) I realised that I needed
82 / classic motorcycle mechanics
something a bit more substantial than the
ZX-7R I was using. We go off to bike races
together and visiting relatives, so I figured
I’d look around.”
Unbeknownst to Dave, Niall was
checking out eBay himself to find
something with the required seat. Dave
says: “Niall spotted this ZX-10 and said
‘it looks good dad’, and it reminded me
of my time on one back in the day. The
ZX-10 in this colour was the first bike I
was ever on the back of. I was in a pub in
Ilford, Essex, in the late 1980s and a guy
I worked with had a blue and silver
GPz900R Kawasaki and it was beautiful it
was. One day he came in and raved about
this bike he’d bought – a ZX-10. I was
mesmerised as it was a beast. I was about
20 at the time – so I was a late starter
(I’ve now raced and do lots of miles on the
road) but it must have been the first
model and about 1988. Well, he offered
to give me a lift home on it the next week.
He threw me on the back chucked me a
nasty lid to wear and we were off. What a
journey: down the road, between buses,
over bridges at speed. I was hanging on
for dear life and when I threw my leg off
the bike my legs turned to jelly and I
collapsed. I loved it. That was me hooked
on bikes and many Kawasakis too: I’ve
had a GPz before (750 and a 900) and
I’ve loved ZX-7Rs.”
What son Niall loved about the look of
this G-reg ZX-10 was the seat: nice and
level so he’s not perched up high – pillion
comfort is paramount. Dave says: “I put a
bid on and eventually I paid £831.25
which wasn’t too untoward for a bike with
32k on the clocks. And it looked good
when we picked it up. Brian, the seller,
had cleaned it and it had a few marks on
the fairing, but you expect that from a bike
that is more than 25 years old. She fired
up lovely, ticked over, after screaming on
choke – typical Kawasaki.”
Simple solutions: A cheeky bid often makes for a great buy.
All pretty clean and ship-shape around the E-box frame.
You got the good buying vibes from
Brian from the off: the kettle was singing
as we arrived, the bike was clean and
you could see a modern Honda Hornet
and a lathe in his garage. Looking over
the bike, it was in tremendous nick.
Sure, the paint was flaking off the wheels,
but on the whole this was a well-looked
after rocketship.
Rocketship? Yup. When launched in
1988 the ZX-10 was the fastest machine
out there, its 997cc four-cylinder motor
was developed from the GPz900R and
1000RX and produced a claimed
125-135bhp and up to 165mph. It wasn’t
a lightweight (245 kilos) but the ‘Tomcat’
as it was known in some circles, pointed
the way to 1990’s ZZ-R1100 and later
ZZ-R12 and even today’s ZZ-R1400.
With such brute power, it’s a shame
certain things are lacking. Dave: “Brian
advertised it as having tyres with lots of
tread – which was correct – just a shame
they were square, old Michelin Macadams.
On the ride home the bike was lazy to turn
in, then edgy when you started to lean it
over: clearly the tyres had to go. The
brakes too are iffy and I think they were
always wanting back in the 1980s, being
only twin calipers, not even opposed
calipers. This bike has Goodridge lines on
it, but I think it could do with the whole
brake system being looked at as it all feels
spongey – that’s something I shall do.”
But first, those tyres had to go. With
strange sizes (120/70-17 front and
160/60-18 rear) you don’t get quite the
normal level of different rubber. Thankfully
our friends at Pirelli/Metzeler came to the
rescue with their Metzeler Roadtec
Interact Z8s. These are developed for
sports-touring motorcycles and come in a
wide-range of sizes, but with a thoroughly
modern construction and compound. We
will do a full review in time, but the
difference was immediately noticeable.
Dave says: “It is like chalk and cheese
from the old Michelins and the bike
Exhaust is a still-game Motad.
Goodridge, naff calipers, peeling paint.
We will find out if this works!
Still a pretty looking machine for 800 notes!
suddenly handled. She wasn’t going to
stick her backside up until we got the Z8s
on her. It transforms the bike really. How
can people ride on older stuff? It was like
being on a knife-edge before and front felt
like it was folding. New tyres on and it was
a revelation.”
So, now the bike feels better, but to
make this truly practical, Dave is going to
get some form of luggage, maybe a bigger
screen and give the bike a full service and
sort those breaks. Then the world is their
oyster: “It’s a summer long-run bike for
Niall and me and we will take it camping
and head over to Ireland to see his uncle
Niall. Also we plan a two-up trip to
Bulgaria in the summer where my uncle
has some apartments. I reckon for under a
grand this bike will be a practical machine
for two-up regular use. Lovely job!” cmm
● Do you do classic biking on the cheap?
Give us a bell to crow about it!
www.classicmechanics.com / 83
Stay connected
Making sure your wiring has top-class connections is
important if you want to keep your classic running right,
says Mark Haycock.
2
1
1/ Quick and easy: choc-blocks are actually more meant for mains voltage
connections. 2/ Pre-insulated terminals need a crimping tool, but they’re popular and
easy to fit.
L
ast time I looked at some
electrical work on the
TX500 and I mentioned
that I needed to remake a few
connections, but I did not say
how that was done, so let us take a quick
look at various options.
There are any number of ways of joining
wires and we did see one of them, i.e.
solder splices but here we need a
connection which is only semi-permanent
and can be disjoined and joined again if
necessary. Probably the cheapest and
quickest way is to use connector strips or
‘choc blocks’ (Photo 1) which are really
meant for fixed mains voltage connections.
The only tools you need are a plain
screwdriver and wire stripper, and the
connections can be made pretty quickly.
The disadvantage is that the screw heads
are not insulated so that would need to be
rectified for safety and of course they are
not original but they are generally hidden
away. As an experiment I once used these
on a project and they worked well for years
without any problems.
You do often see the type of connector
shown in Photo 2 where modifications
have been made by previous owners.
Known as pre-insulated terminals, they are
fitted using a special crimping tool. I think
that what makes them popular is the fact
that they are quick to fit because, as the
name suggests, it is not necessary to fit
the insulation separately. I am not a great
fan as I think not only are they big and
clunky looking, but also because I just
84 / classic motorcycle mechanics
associate them with the shambolic
mess which most bikes have for a wiring
system after a few decades of previous
owners’ attention.
There are also any number of other
alternatives, but probably the best option
of all is to keep things as originally made
and for Japanese bikes this is usually a
paired connection of two terminals of a
particular size and shape, generally
described as a 3.9mm Japanese
connector, which is useful to know when
you are searching for them.
Photo 3 shows the four different
components which are needed for a joint.
There are one female (socket) and one
male (bullet) connector, made in this case
of tin-plated brass which both conducts
well and is resistant to corrosion. There are
also two (different) insulators, made of
transparent PVC.
So how is a joint made? We need just
two tools, shown in Photo 4. I want to
demonstrate that it is possible to use
very cheap tools here though better
so-called ‘professional’ or real
professional tools are available and are
probably easier to use. The wire stripper
cost £2 and the crimping tool was £3,
and I have used the latter very
successfully to make dozens of joints. I
must admit though that for some types
of tougher insulation the little stripper,
though easy to use, cannot cope so I use
this one (Photo 5) which was really
expensive at eight quid. Taking a close
look at a bullet (Photo 6) we can see the
3
4
3/ The parts needed for a good ‘bullet’
joint. 4/ Tools needed include a wirestripper and a crimping tool: both are
cheap as chips.
principle. The wire is held in two ways:
the inner core and the outer insulation
(and hence core also) are clamped in two
separate areas. The core makes the
electrical connection and the other
clamp helps to act as a back-up, which
is particularly helpful if connections are
separated by yanking on the wires. The
crimping tool has separate clamping
areas for different tasks.
We start by putting on the insulating
sleeve, with the wider part towards the end
of the wire. Now strip just enough
insulation for the core clamp and insert
the wire like this (Photo 7). By using the
odd-shaped part of the tool to form the
clamp by curling the tabs over (Photo 8)
we are left with this (Photo 9). To be
double-sure, use the flat part to squeeze it
tight (Photo 10). We grip the wire’s
insulation using the rounded part, which is
used by holding the tabs like this (Photo
11) and the tabs can be folded round with
Simple solutions: Sometimes you have to have the proper tools for the job: but they can be cheap!
6
5
7
8
5/ Haycock splashed out a mighty £8 on this baby. 6/ And this is a bullet connector. 7/ Strip back the insulation and place the
exposed wire in like this. 8/ Use the tool to clamp the bullet like this so we can turn the tabs over.
9
10
11
9/ Once you’ve clamped it, you should be left with something like this ready to turn the tabs over. 10/ To be sure, use the flat
part of the tool to squeeze it tight. 11/ Now use this part of the tool to fold the tabs over.
12
13
12/ This should be the end result you see, before you slide the insulation on. 13/ These connectors are used to join multiple
wires together. 14/ Blade or spade connectors are also used on things such as flasher relays. 15/ And for 90º connections you
use a flag connector.
one on top of the other. Give an extra
squeeze in the flat part and the job is
nearly complete (Photo 12) as we just
have to slide on the insulation and that’s
it. It sounds a bit fiddly but you get used
to it after a few tries.
To be sure of a good contact you could
solder the clamped core as well (the tin
plating takes the solder well), but this can
be a bit tricky and I do not bother now.
Honda recommends using silicone grease
to make them corrosion-proof, but you can
buy special grease called Contralube 770
which is specially formulated for the job.
Apparently it does not contain silicone and
its composition is a closely-guarded secret.
Other possibilities are where you need to
connect one wire to several others and in
Photo 13 we see connectors for (one wire
to two) and (one wire to three), which have
their own specially shaped female
insulators. Note that the lower one has a
wider core clamping area as it is meant for
heavier gauge wire capable of carrying
large currents.
Some electrical components are
connected using a different arrangement
called either a spade, blade or Lucar
connector, as on this flasher relay (Photo
14). The usual type (like this) is referred
to as being 6.3mm wide, which of course
is ridiculous as it is really ¼in. Wider ⅜in
and narrower types are available for
different applications. You might need to
form the corresponding female connector
on a wire and the same technique is used
as for the bullet connectors.
For connecting wires at 90º you use a
so-called flag connector. Once again, do
not forget to put on the insulation before
you fix on the connector, unless you are
lucky enough to find this type (Photo 15)
which clips on afterwards instead. cmm
■ Next time: connections of a different
sort altogether.
14
15
www.classicmechanics.com / 85
WORDS: STEVE PARRISH,
PICTURES: STAVROS,
BERTIE SIMMONDS
Project Yamaha FZ750 part 8
SHOWSTOPPER!
Stavros thinks this is part 8, but then it’s been so long, who knows?
I
t’s been another hectic year for me so I
apologise now for not keeping you guys
fully abreast of what’s been happening
with my project.
As you may recall, it was way back in
early 2013 that I bought a C-reg, 1986
Yamaha FZ750 for a grand in a bid to
bring back the halcyon days of my final
year or two of racing by building a replica
of my old Loctite Superstocker. I say
replica, but homage (said in a French
accent) would be more to the point as I
wanted something that looked the part,
even if it benefited from modern bits and
pieces in certain areas.
This time last year we were getting the
bike painted up in the original FZ colours,
but it still lacked a pukka exhaust and
brakes and it made a splash at Motorcycle
Live with a borrowed exhaust (thanks
Steve Adams) and standard brakes. Well,
now we’ve got the bike two steps further
on. She now has a wonderful Gibson pipe
on her, like the original bikes had and
Harrison Billet brakes fitted.
86 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Back in May, Bertie the editor sent me
pictures of the pipe that Gibson had
created. Well, what an amazing piece of
work. Tony Greenslade there said the pipe
was re-created from original sketches and
photos as no jigs survived. All I can say is
that if you want a decent pipe for your FZ,
go straight to Gibsons – web address on the
page opposite.
Brakes were a bit of an issue. We had a
great offer from Harrison Billet to use some
of their superb (British) six-pot brake
calipers, but the wheels we had weren’t
stock. We went for a mix of FZR600/EXUP
1000 front/rear wheels to get wider rubber
on 17in rims. The FZ original front disc
set-up is something like a 270mm pair
(and even 270mm at the rear) while of
course we had 300mm ones up front,
courtesy of Galfer (see the ‘thank you’ box
for details). We managed to get the whole
lot to fit thanks to IDP Moto and the
irrepressible Daryll Young getting some
plates to make ’em fit. He even finished it
all off with some nice cap-end black Allen
It’s been a while but Stavros has not
been idle.
Simple solutions: Don’t give up and keep going. Only you have a timescale to keep to!
Gibson found original drawings.
Tony’s pics helped recreate the zorst.
Galespeed levers over stock.
K&N filters: lovely!
Gibson’s art!
Doesn’t she look good at the Stafford Show?
bolts to make it look period, even if the
anchors are thoroughly modern. Venhill
lines (originally going to a certain RD350LC
project) finished the job at the front. We are
using the original rear disc for now, but this
may change before it hits the track.
Then it’s been about finishing bits off.
K&N Stack Filters, Galespeed levers/
master cylinders really set the bike off.
The levers especially are works of art and
so much lighter and niftier than the
Yamaha originals. Remember, this isn’t a
period-perfect build: I always wanted it to
be a mix of old and new and there’s
something distinctly cool about upgrading
a modern classic, isn’t there?
The bike has been running but we need
to iron out some bugs, obviously, but that
will now happen in the New Year as we
have another deadline to hit. Those of you
who went to last year’s Motorcycle Live
would have seen the bike there, then it
was in its current form at Stafford on the
CMM stand but another version will be
ready for the 2015 Motorcycle Live Show
at Birmingham’s NEC at the end of
November/start of December.
You’ll recall we had two sets of
bodywork, well, I began the project looking
at which paint-job to go with: the 1985
almost-standard silver/red with Loctite
stickers as you see here, or a full-on 1986
(if I recall) fully-faired Loctite red beastie,
which was a very handsome machine. As I
dictate this, the second set of bodywork
and spare tank (sourced on eBay) is now
with the wonderful Paul Corwen at KAS
Racepaint, who has been brilliant all
project long, so we hope to have everything
ready to have the bike resplendent in
Loctite colours at the show, so come along
to the main stage to see it.
After that it will be Christmas and New
Year and some fine-tuning then I for one
can’t wait for the green shoots of spring as
Editor Bertie has promised to give us a full
road test on the bike alongside a standard
machine, probably at Stowe circuit at
Silverstone. Who wants to come along and
watch? cmm
THANK YOU
It’s a long list! Thank you all!
■ Colin Peabody at Performance Parts Ltd for
Galfer discs, K&N filters, Galespeed levers
and accoutrements.
www.performanceparts-ltd.com
■ Tony Greenslade and Gibson Exhausts:
www.gibsonexhausts.co.uk
■ Janine and Peter Jarrett at Harrison
BILLET: www.billet.co.uk
■ Harris Performance:
www.harris-performance.com
■ www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk/services/
genuine-parts/index.aspx
■ Daryll Young and Craig Prior at:
www.idpmoto.com
■ Paul Corwen at KAS Racepaint:
www.kasracepaint.co.uk
■ Ben Diaper at:
www.dynamicgraphix.co.uk
■ Mid Norfolk Mouldings:
www.midnorfolkmouldings.co.uk
■ Dan Sager and Venhill Engineering for the
brake-lines: www.venhill.co.uk
■ Paul Berryman for a seat cowling.
www.classicmechanics.com / 87
1989 Honda CBR1000F-K
Q:
I have a 1989 Honda CBR1000F-K
and its looks are spoiled by a
scuffed round right-hand engine cover. It
appears not to have a part number that I
can find anywhere, even my Haynes
Manual gives nothing away. Can you help
point me at someone who might know how
to replace this?
Stephen Guy-Clarke
A:
Benelli 2C Phantom
Q:
I am having problems trying to find
a set of standard piston rings for a
Benelli 250cc 2C Phantom. I have tried
several websites with no luck. Can
anybody out there help?
Harry Duffield
A:
Yes, I can see this might be a
problem. However if you look at
eBay, particularly the US (.com) site you
will see quite a few listings for Phantom
parts. In fact, as I look right now I can see
a listing for a pair of new standard sized
pistons including rings, so the parts are
out there!
1980 Yamaha XS400SE
Q:
Well I’m truly stumped with this
bike, I have no idea what is going
on with it or what is causing the sooted
plug on the left-hand pot and which I
think goes hand-in-hand with the inability
to rev cleanly beyond 4k revs: every
ignition component has been replaced and
where possible swapped with the right
hand pot to no effect. I still end up with a
sooted plug! I have: renewed plugs (several
times), points, condensers, coils, HT leads
and HT caps. On the carbs I have: renewed
float valves, and all jets in the left-hand
carb. The diaphragms are perfect, both
slides operate cleanly and in harmony and
the carbs have been balanced. Air filters
have been renewed (even tried running
without them to no effect) the choke
mechanism has been checked and
functioning as it should. The needle clip is
at slot four, from the top. Additionally the
points gaps are spot-on at 14 thou, timing
(bulb lights exactly on LF and RF point),
valve gaps are okay and compression on
both sides is indicating 150psi. The bike
starts on the button, ticks over nicely and
runs well below 4000rpm!
George
A:
It sounds like a carburettor
problem to me, in that the sooty
plug is showing excessive richness. I take
it that this only manifests itself when
larger throttle openings are used and this
would point to the main jet or needle jet
assembly being incorrect. The main jet is
supposed to be a 135, and am I right that
you have just fitted a brand new one that
cannot have been damaged by being
prodded with a piece of wire? There should
be a metal washer between it and the
carburettor body, if it makes any
difference. Otherwise maybe the needle or
needle jet are incorrect. You might try
swapping over the various bits between the
carbs to see if it makes a difference. You
fitted a new O-ring with the replacement
float valve assembly of course? You might
be able to rig up a piece of clear pipe
connected to the drain screw hole to check
that the fuel levels are the same. Lastly,
are you sure the choke mechanism really
is working correctly so the plunger is
shutting off the passageway fully?
You could try to respray it using a
special colour-matched paint from
RS or similar, but in my experience the
match is not perfect. The simplest solution
though is just to buy new parts, as these
are still available as Honda spares at a total
cost of about £40. Ask your dealer for:
11311-MZ2-610 Cover, right, crankcase,
11396-MW3-601 Gasket, right cover
YOUR TIPS!
FIRE-FIGHTING!
Help me save the FireStorms! I read
your September article about the VTR
1000F and it reminded me about some
necessary advice for owners. These
bikes need to have their camchain
tensioners fixed otherwise sooner or
later they will break, the camchain
jump and the engine becomes a total
wreck. It is a small spring that breaks
and that lets the tensioner back off, up
to 20mm. It is not sufficient to change
CCTs at regular intervals as they break
at random, some after a very short
period other only after long term. A
common fix is to replace with a
mechanical tensioner and while it fixes
this problem it introduces other. They
are difficult to set at the right tension
and it will always be wrong either cold
or warm and need regular adjustment.
There is a fairly simple modification
that lets you retain the automatic
adjustment while preventing fatal
failures. By introducing a small rod
inside the CCT you can prevent it from
backing off more than a few mm when
the spring snaps and you will save the
engine. The fix is described here:
http://www.vtr1000.org/phpBB3/
viewtopic.php?t=19416. And by the
way, the VTR vacuum carbs don’t work
with K&N filters, at all. Keep the stock
type and have a smoother ride.
Bengt Bjorck
Send your queries to: bsimmonds@mortons.co.uk or write to Problem Solver, CMM, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ
88 / classic motorcycle mechanics
www.classicmechanics.com / 89
Project ZRX1100 part 11
Engine ’ere!
Last time was all about the ZRX frame renovation, but this month Al’s been back
on the engine front, trying to get the ZRX lump together so he can begin the turbo
install. It’s not been plain sailing though…
WORDS AND PHOTOS: ALAN DOWDS
R
egular readers (all
of you I hope!) may
remember where we
were last time down at Big
CC’s engine building room.
We’d got the forged Chinese con rods
bolted onto the crank, fitted and checked
all the bearing shells, and bolted the
cases together.
Sean at Big CC picked up a base
spacer plate to reduce the compression,
and we’d taken the Wiseco pistons to
Axis machining to get the piston crowns
machined down, further increasing the
volume of the combustion chamber, and
thus reducing the compression ratio.
That’s essential for a turbo engine to avoid
pre-ignition, overheating and detonation.
The next job was to assemble the
cylinder head. I’d stripped out the valves
and cleaned and lapped them into the
90 / classic motorcycle mechanics
head, now we had to refit them. First up
we needed to fit new valve stem oil seals,
that are vital to keep excess oil from the
top-end out of the combustion chamber,
as the camshafts and valve rocker gear are
bathed in copious amounts of engine oil to
keep them all running smoothly.
The little valve stem seals sit around the
stem of each of the 16 valves, stopping
most of the oil running down the valve and
into the combustion chamber (although
some people reckon they let a small
amount of oil through to lube the valve
guides). I’d sourced 16 new seals from
From left: Wrong seal, new seal, old seal.
New seals going in.
Simple solutions: Always check they’ve sent the right parts: never presume!
Ivan (Sean’s son) helps out.
Seals all sorted and done! Thanks Ivan. Small hands help!
Kawasaki, so I started to pull the old seals
off the top of the valve guides, and pushed
the new ones into place. But wait! It turns
out there was a mistake in my order and
the new seals were the wrong ones… Gah!
Two weeks later, having picked up a set
of the correct seals, we get stuck in again.
I’ve got a helper this time – Ivan Mills, son
of Big CC owner Sean, was in the shop and
he offered to help me out. He whipped out
the old seals in a trice, and slipped the
new, blue, Viton ones into place. Ivan then
inserted each valve back into the correct
spot, and we got cracking with the springs.
I’d not installed a set of poppet valves in
a cylinder head in a long, long time! But the
principles are simple enough – use the valve
spring compressor tool to clamp the valve,
spring and spring retainer, push the spring
down far enough to reveal the groove in the
end of the valve. Carefully place the two
retainer collets either side of the valve stem,
then gently release the spring pressure, and
the retainer is locked into place on the valve
stem. Repeat 15 times, with a tea break or
two as you go along…
Satisfied with the head job, it was time
for the pistons and block. Sean showed
me how to fit the three piston rings into
place, with the end gaps spaced round
A finished valve spring.
Idiot uses compressor on the collets.
www.classicmechanics.com / 91
Simple solutions: Check things work before sealing everything up!
Piston rings fitted!
Compressor in place on the valve.
the circumference. Then, I fitted one
circlip into the gudgeon pin hole, fitted
the piston onto the small end of the con
rod, slid the gudgeon pin through, and
carefully squeezed the other circlip into
place. Repeat three more times.
Now came the tricky bit. Fitting the
block onto the pistons means compressing
all the piston rings, and carefully feeding
each piston into its bore. Get it wrong, and
you can break a ring, or damage the bore.
You can get special piston ring compressor
tools, but Sean’s done it so many times,
all he needs is a small screwdriver. First
up, the bore gets a generous coating of
clean engine oil. Then he positions each
ring end carefully, so when he slips the
block down and gently rocks each piston
into the bore, all he has to do is push the
rings into their grooves. It’s a painstaking
process, and if the block feels like it’s
stuck at any time, there’s a chance
something isn’t right. Start with the two
inner pistons, then turn the crankshaft
slowly to bring the block down and the
outer pistons up. Repeat the gentle
insertion for these, and we’re done!
But something’s not quite right. We
want to spin the crankshaft, to see the
lovely Wiseco pistons rattling up and
down the bores. But the crank won’t turn
completely. It’ll go so far in each direction,
but then stop. Aaargh!
I can’t understand it – the crank was
spinning fine before. But Sean thinks he
knows the problem: “It would turn before
because the pistons weren’t holding the
con rods in place. I bet one of the con rod
bolt heads is fouling the crankcases.”
There was nothing for it but to split
the crankcases again. We left the barrels
in place, unbolted the cases, flipped the
92 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Piston rings being put in place.
Fitting the first piston circlips.
Spacer baseplate gets spray-on gasket
sticky stuff.
And this be it.
engine over, and took the bottom case off.
Sure enough, there was a small witness
mark, where the taller, thicker big-end
bolt head on number one cylinder was
touching the inner crankcase. I’m pretty
peeved, but Sean is confident he can sort
it. There’s enough material in the cases to
let us gently remove some ally, and give
enough clearance for the bolt head.
Three steps forward then, and one
step back. Ah well. If this stuff was
easy, everyone would be doing it all the
time, eh?
We’re within touching distance of a
finished motor though, I can feel it in my
water! cmm
Spacer baseplate in and we're ready to
slide the head on.
Rex Rampant!
We touched upon the ZRX a
few months back, so here’s
a refresher. Three versions
made it out there: a naked,
round-headlight ‘N’ version,
a half-faired ‘S’ launched
in 2001 (more of a sports
tourer) and the ZRX1100R,
which was launched in 1997.
All models used the
water-cooled 1052cc
motor from the ZZ-R1100
and detuned it to around
100-110bhp, placing it in a
tubular frame, with a braced
swingarm and twin Kayaba
piggy-back reservoir shocks.
In the R version it really
looked the business and
it’s mainly this model that
served to seal the bike’s
popularity. For 2001 the
engine capacity went up
to 1164cc.
There is something about
the ZRX that gives people
almost a ‘blank canvas’
feeling, so it’s little wonder
that the healthy owners
clubs have a wide array
of specials modified in a
number of different ways.
The engine is able
to handle a lot more
horsepower (100-120bhp
as standard) and can go to
upwards of 150bhp or more
depending on whether you
want to go with normally
aspirated or Al’s route with
a turbo or a blower.
As a rule of thumb a
full-on stage one tune of air
filter, jetting changes and a
free-flowing pipe should see
you with 130bhp and 80ft-lb
of torque. That’s a nice very
reliable tune.
Others go with ZZ-R cams
on the 1100 (ZZ-R11 or 12
cams don’t fit, but there are
aftermarket alternatives)
while a big bore is also a
popular modification.
Chassis-wise you can
change suspension and
some specials go for
upside-down fork swaps
The ZRX is a great blank canvas for a good special.
and replacement of the
Kayaba twin-shocks
and/or a change from the
tubular swingarm.
Brakes are another
popular modification as
the six-pot Tokicos can feel
a bit outdated if not kept
clean. Mild brake mods
include updates to pads,
lines and the introduction
of wavy discs.
If you want to make
two important and far-
reaching mods for peanuts
to a standard 11 or 12, then
change the rear sprocket to
a 47T from 45 on the 1100
and 42 to 44T on the 1200
– the result is less top-end
and more low-down punch.
Then, spin the eccentric
chain adjusters forward
(180 degrees) get the bike
sitting up and shorten the
wheelbase a tad. Et voila!
See below for a few useful
websites.
Feeding in the pistons..
Gently does it.
Useful people!
Head oiled ready to go on.
■ www.zrxocboard.com
■ www.pdq1.com
■ www.bigccracing.com
■ www.jesterstrickbits.co.uk
■ www.kwickstand.net
The block is on. Phew!
Something clearly wasn’t right.
Here is the culprit!
Witness mark is very visible.
www.classicmechanics.com / 93
Project Yamaha RD400F part 7
Pipe
dreams!
WORDS AND PHOTOS: NIALL MACKENZIE
…are now a reality for our Niall
as he’s only gone and found
bona fide rocking horse poo!
Nice, long shiny pipes make Niall happy!
94 / classic motorcycle mechanics
C
all it cosmic ordering, patience or
simply being pure dead jammy, the
fact is, I now own a pair of
extremely rare RD400 pipes with the
coveted ‘2R9’ stamped on the inside rear.
This discovery is all the more amazing
as it came during a chance conversation
while on a ride out in the Highlands, with
old friend and one-time Niall Mac helmet
painter Ali Grant. Ali owns and runs the
very successful Bike Paints Co up in
Cupar Muir and happened to mention he
might have some old RD silencers and
downpipes gathering dust in his workshop.
He said they were far from perfect but I
was welcome to them if they helped with
the rebuild. Help with the rebuild?
I wanted to marry him!
The truth was that before the Scottish
trip I had given up pipe searching and
decided my only option was to go with
refurbishing my tatty black Codnor
expansion chambers. Personally, I’d never
heard the name before but these were
made by Codnor Light Engineering, which
was based in Long Eaton in the Nineties.
I’m sure in the grand scheme of things
they would still have looked (and sounded)
pretty good but I’m a stickler for keeping
things standard so I’m now an extremely
happy man. A few days later my boxed up
pipes from Fife arrived, and apart from
surface rust and a few light dings, I was
delighted to find that they were
reasonably intact.
I was aware Mr Whitham had some
nice ladies that do a bit of chroming
up north, but they have bulging
order books and a long
turnaround time so I went in
search of a quicker and more local
option. Another friend (and yes I have at
least two), pig farmer and all-round bike
nut Pete Elliot, led me to New Era
Restorations in Coalville, which in turn
recommended chromer Aaron Walkinshaw
Simple solutions: Tell everyone what project you have on the go: parts will come from many sources.
Sparkly and spanking.
in Coventry. For straightforward chroming
he normally needs four weeks, however,
my pipes took a few days longer as they
went via his ‘Tinnie’. For a few quid extra
this chap magically removes scuffs and
fills in dings before the shiny stuff is
applied. It is money well spent, as you can
see in the before and after pictures.
In other news I’m very excited as my
400F rebuild has officially begun. It is
early days but two-stroke addicts Dave
Yates and Tim Ward have started helping
me to reassemble my many tubs of bits.
At the moment we have a skeleton on the
bench but will slowly continue to piece
together the puzzle over the coming
weeks. I’ve already replaced anything
unsightly or obviously unusable such as
the tank cap, rear mudguard, handlebars,
indicators and seat. That said, I’ll no
doubt be visiting the very excellent
www.yambits.co.uk for odds and sods over
the coming weeks. Parts like the chain
adjusters came back cleaned up from
Redditch Shotblasters but still have a
rough appearance after a fair amount of
buffing, so they will be replaced. I’ve also
been using Norbo at rdlccrazy.co.uk who
has a decent selection of original and
patented air-cooled parts on his website.
In need of work these ones were.
His prices are competitive and while my
best find there was my aftermarket 400F
seat, we did have to return a pair of rear
shocks that didn’t quite fit.
My recent Pro-Am race flurry at
Silverstone gave me a fantastic opportunity
to test tyres for my RD. After trying out a
few brands we settled on Continental
Classic Attacks as the tyre for our
Rusty number 2R9 tells you all you need to know.
one-make series revival, so that’s what’s
now gracing my beautifully refurbed rims.
They came highly recommended by
J Whitham, who claimed he had a few
mates hooning round on them in the
Classic scene with a decent amount of
success. I first tested them on LCs at the
Donington Classic Event and then again
over the race weekend at Silverstone.
And now not so rusty! Result!
www.classicmechanics.com / 95
Simple solutions: Do your best to find all the old reference material you can before a restoration.
Blatant T-shirt plug, but the RD is coming together.
I’ll admit to having a few moments but I
soon realised the limiting factor was the
Eighties suspension and not the tyres.
Even as an ancient ex-racer (or am I
current again?) I like to push close to the
limit so I really liked the Contis, as they
gave good feel even when the suspension
had said enough is enough. The rear
hardly moved but the front would judder
as the rubber delivered more grip than the
forks could cope with. At both circuits I
lost the front on more than one occasion
but stayed on. Back in the day we hadn’t
even heard of radial motorcycle tyres so
the grip and angles of lean I can carry now
is way beyond what was possible in 1983.
The ultimate test came when the rain
arrived on race day at Silverstone. A
sighting lap and a warm-up lap were the
sum total of our wet testing before it was
time to lay things on the line for the race.
This time it was the front that didn’t move
but the rear was a bit skiddy accelerating
off the slower corners. There was still
plenty of feel and I was never close to
jumping off, so overall I’m giving them a
big thumbs up.
Next on the agenda is to sort out my
badly chipped forks stations. Big Dave is
on the case so we are expecting them to
land back from hard chromers AM Philpot
in Luton any day now. Once we have these
we can quickly have a rolling chassis on
the bench and get stuck into finishing the
job off, hopefully in time for this month’s
Stafford Show or maybe the NEC.
I’ll attempt a detailed list of costs of
this resto when she is complete, but I
already know it hasn’t been cheap. So far
including the bike, paint, chrome and
parts I’m easily up around the £3500
mark, a small price to pay for what should
become an awesome object of beauty.
I hope to see you at sunny Stafford. Can
someone lend me 50p for a coffee? cmm
96 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Frame paint beats the colour in came in!
Engine is ready and Contis sit on the rims.
One last push to get it finished: even if he’s missed Stafford!
servicesguide
To advertise in classifiedmechanics
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Call: 01507 529583
Email: sdearie@mortons.co.uk
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98 / classic motorcycle mechanics
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C
O D
:
O
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E
BUY
E
GUIDR’S
E
MIX
MATCH
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Some may have been
converted to 350. Make
sure the oil pump and
primary drive were
among the upgrades; if
not walk away.
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GUARDS
Check for
corrosion within
the mounts of the
rear unit.
EXHAUSTS
Ideally you want originals
but some will now be
running spannies. The carbs
MUST be jetted accordin .
102 / classic motorcycle mechanics
AIR
FILTER
Different years ran
different filters.
Best option now is
i u l
agei ro orss or
s ors.
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cmechanics.c m
1
What to buy and how much to pay
There’s not much on this Japanese classic. The
round tank model run is late 72-73 RD250, 74
RD250A and 75 RD250B. The final UK B model is
bright and busy but cracking eye candy. The UK
Butterfly Blue model in camera offers a timeless
appeal while the UK A model in Brigade Blue
often looks a tad restrained. Grab one from the
USA and there are a huge number of choices in
terms of colours, tank sizes, graphics and even
brakes. Yes there’s even a 1974 A model option
in Amber Brown fitted with a drum brake;
Yamaha presumably had some left over in the
warehouse! Prices have remained low for many
years mainly because many coffin tanked 250s
have become hugely valued as parts donor to
as wa t
li
bi o r lie t
zu ’s
t e
rin r
the us r . fa a r
GT
s uld
u ra d t h a
t
bottom nd en
c el ili
Styling a v
su ec e atte u e
o
argue that t 72
R 5 s
th
o er a
a thing of beau Dr
in he hr e s e ne
detailing of the Y 7 in vo o m
p
ls
lifted the bike’s profi di wit h d tion f
the smooth and organic
s
ed t en ne
cases. The petrol tank bul
u
lit a w
fitted with a locking cap yet t str ht ri ta
lower edge added a touch of cla Th D’ a
board is a thing of simple elegance m ed
h
functionality. Everything you need is t re, o i
lights for the indicators and a bulb chec
w h
was radical stuff back in the day. The new
ck
switch gear on both bars was easy to use and
ve
to be something Yamaha would continue to empl
in the coming years on a wide range of models.
Much was made of the bike’s association with the
TZ racers; RD was alleged to stand for Race Developed
and it did the sales figures no harm whatsoever.
Yamaha was riding on the crest of a wave at the time
It’s my bike: Jayne Le Noan
The latest addition to my bike collection is a Yamaha RD250 in Butterfly
Blue with 1923 miles on the clock. The story goes that the owner
purchased the bike in 1973, fell off it in 1974 and put it in his back room
where it remained until he passed away and his brother found it (his
family didn’t even know he owned a motorbike!). The bike is all original
and was complete at time of purchase but very tired from being stored
in a damp environment for 40 years. I stripped it down and parts were
sent off for chroming and powder coating, the engine was stripped
down and the only thing that needed attention was the crank which
was a bit notchy from being stood so long. The paintwork needed
refreshing so it was stripped back to bare metal, etched, primed and
repainted by myself in its original colour of Butterfly Blue with White
and Black striping (no decals). Things were progressing fine until a
phone call from the chromers to say the exhausts had rotted from
the inside and the front mudguard had developed holes so I had to
source replacements which was a challenge I wasn’t expecting. Finally
all the parts came back, it was reassembled and was deemed ready
for Stafford Show. At the moment, due to the fact that there was no
paperwork with the bike and DVLA having no records due to a fire, I
am in the process of gathering information from Central Records in
Manchester to try and keep the original registration number and am
hoping to have the bike on the road soon.
104 / classic motorcycle mechanics
400s. The earliest examples had different clocks,
minimalist switch gear, thinner seats and no
embossing on the outer engine cases. That said
Yamaha used a fairly random approach to stock
management so hybrids are not unknown. It’s
still possible to find a complete one for as little
as £500. Examples missing key items are best
avoided; spares are not as plentiful compared to
later models. £1200-1500 will realise a perfectly
usable example that’ll pass an MoT with little
hassle and £2500 should get you a very tidy
specimen. At £3500 from a dealer you should be
buying an extremely clean and sorted machine.
Anything north of this would have to be early
and extremely good bordering on show quality.
nd e m h a n
a e
su es
gh pr te TZ. c ai
n
ap nst e at e c k e an e
unt
po s. e
2 ’s m a n
l
a ro goi ver n t TZ’ it o s n
Constr ion Us e la
s a p ba
d
of a lower ade eel t
ti an d tt th
anything the pos on
. it
me ec t es,
and a set of per
Gi g s c or oni
y w e
rich) Yamaha’s RD 0 w pre
c nto ha
as a 250 and capable su isin bi r
ch ry.
The only bike to offer it a hal
e
u t
wis s
would be the super rare an
pe ive ne 2 ut
fragility and a lack of top end
ld ner
s t
RD come out on top. If the bike w t a han e
well then it stopped even better. The st n t
piston hydraulic caliper was a heavywei
ve on
the unit fitted to the GP machines and, for e p od,
offered strong and predictable retardation. A in a
rod operated rear anchor with bags of feel and t bik
offered a stunningly capable, all round competent,
learner legal, package.
More than 40 years on, the round tanked RD250
continues to live in the shadow of the later coffin
tanked 250s and 400s which marginalises their true
value. If you were a fan of Saarinen, Read, Ago and
the like then you’ll recall just how important the early
RDs were. But if it’s the likes of Roberts that inspired
you these early reed valved machine possibly look
a little dated which is a shame. The round tanked
RDs had a short lifespan yet they heralded the start
of a new era for two-strokes. If you get the chance
ride an early RD250; you are very likely to walk away
struggling to grasp just how good it is. cmm
SPECIFICATION
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THE TOP BRANDS,
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BIMOTA DB2SR 1995, Martini
racing colours, 904cc, 5695
miles, MoT August 2016,
original SS cylinder studs
replaced with HTS, vgc, £9850
ono Tel. 07763 012780; 01425
478045. Hampshire
BMW K100RS blue/white
Special Edition, 50k on clock,
none ABS, tested to May 2016,
good condition for age, some
paint peeling to side panels,
£1200 ono Tel. 07708 662521.
East Yorks
BMW R1000 1979, Cafe Racer,
totally immaculate condition,
loads of history, low mileage,
Siebenrock 1000cc conversion,
Mikuni carbs, £5250 Tel. Paul
01914 561652.
BMW R100R Classic, 1996,
40,000 miles, BMW panniers,
screen, MoT Aug 2016, £2950
Tel. 07724 322198 9am-1pm.
Leics
BMW R100RT 28,000 miles, full
luggage, full MoT, excellent
condition, £3600 Tel. 01923
461289. Herts
BMW R1150GS 2003, 47,800
miles, MoT March 2016, service
history, two keys, vgc for year,
Boxster stainless exhaust &
chip, £2750 ono, p/x SR500
Tel. 07472 583835. Lothian
BRIDGESTONE MK2SS 200cc,
1969, near concours restoration
to orig spec, UK reg, with MoT
8/2016, superb example of
Bridgestone’s high performance
rotary valve 2T, £4250 ono Tel.
01474 746930. Kent
BSA D14 1968, 8500 miles
only, this is a very nice bike,
recent MoT, V5 etc, photos if
required £1850 Tel. 07925
896698. Cheshire
BSA ROYAL STAR resprayed,
frame, wheels rebuilt, new
tyres, new pistons smalls ends
starts & runs well, £3450 ono
Tel. 01621 786100. Essex
DUCATI 750SS 1994, excellent
low 7400 mile example, last 15
MoTs, original owners manual,
bills etc, recent major service
with belts & valve clearances,
£2500 Tel. 07977 984089.
Gwynedd
DUCATI SEBRING 12V,
electrics Boyer Bransden
ignition, good reliable bike,
£3600 Tel. 01322 275022. Kent
HARLEY CHOP project, new
Hushboys rigid frame, 89” evo
motor on Delkrun cases, many
new parts, V5 logbook, £5300
ono Tel. Steve 07970 638403.
South Wirral
HARLEY DAVIDSON SX250
1976, fantastic condition, really
fine example of this very rare
trail bike, £4695 ono Tel. 07887
711216 for more details. Hants
HARLEY DAVIDSON XLCH
1000 Ironhead, 1979, beautifully
rebuilt & re-registered in 2001
on Q plate, 4900 miles, 11
months MoT, £3950 Tel. 07754
839859. Highland
HONDA 175 1967, Sloper runs
& rides perfect starts first kick,
needs nothing, English reg,
have all paperwork, £1700 Tel.
08767 45790. Eire
HONDA 500/4 1971, K0,
19,000 miles, not been
restored, starts easily ticks over
very smoothly, no rattles or
knocks, chrome/paint is good,
£4995 Tel. 07710 757007.
Durham
HONDA 750 Dick Mann Race
Replica, new build to very high
standards, eligible for race or
parade, could be shown due to
standard of finish, £14,500 ono
Tel. Barry 07792 517466. North
Yorkshire
HONDA BROS 650/HAWK GT
Mods: Fuel exhaust, Velocity
foam filters, VFR 400 f/end, VFR
750 rear wheel, Fireblade r/
sets, 32k, recent chain,
sprockets, battery, £1245 ono
Tel. 07564 930999. Leics
HONDA C200-90 MoT, good
condition, plus spares, ready to
ride, £1000 ono Tel. 01670
717401. Northumberland
HONDA C72 1964 restored,
powder coated frame, lovely
runner, many new parts, £2450
Tel. Mike 01386 48007. Worcs
HONDA C90E 1984, 22,000
miles, MoT, good tyres, new
exhaust, battery, rack, £300
Tel. 01634 722244; 07703
287978. Kent
HONDA CB-1 400cc, 1989,
MoT June 2016, excellent
condition, history, reducing
collection, £1150 ovno Tel.
01584 890605. Shrops
HONDA CB125S fitted with
CGKI engine, refurbished, lots
of new genuine parts fitted, too
much to list, pictures and list
available, on Sorn, will MoT,
£1400 Tel. 0191 5860331.
Durham
HONDA CB250 Superdream,
1980, MoT, very low mileage,
£1700 ovno Tel. 07711 268878.
Cheshire
HONDA CB250N 1978, new
S/S exhaust pipe, Rex’s cdi
new tyres & chain sprockets
etc, £1050 Tel. Bob 07712
971468. Leics
HONDA CB360 USA import,
not reg yet, no MoT, all relevant
docs to make you the first
owner in UK, lots spent, starts
and runs, only 5900 miles, too
many new parts to list, £2000
Tel. 07783 599166. Gtr Man
HONDA CB400/4 1976, good
condition, owned since 1988,
new front mudguard, coils, right
handlebar switch, seat,
replacement exhaust, MoT Feb
2016, runs well, £2500 ono Tel.
07801 067396. West Sussex
HONDA CB450K5 1973, under
10,000 miles, very good
condition, to heavy for me now,
offers over, £4400 Tel. 01935
840818. Somerset
HONDA CB650Z 1980, in good
unrestored condition, has
current MoT, starts & runs well,
Motad four into one exhaust,
recent service, £1750 ono Tel.
Ken 01284 702011. Suffolk
108 / classic motorcycle mechanics
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HONDA CB72 1964, good
condition, previous restoration,
MoT ready to ride, £3350 ono
Tel.
01670
717401.
Northumberland
HONDA CB750 KZ 1979, many
reconditioned parts, additional
powder coated frame, wheels
resprayed tank, panels, new
silencers pipes, £2500 spent on
parts looking for £950 ovno Tel.
Tony 01559 363693. Wales
HONDA CB750KS US import,
13,00 miles, lots of new parts,
UK reg, MoT, excellent all round
running condition, £6300 Tel.
01255 553865. Essex
HONDA CB77 race K4 forks,
race 350 pistons, Joy Somerton
cam, Amal 30” MK IIs Swarbrick
pipes, alloy rims 18” oil cooler,
V5, £3000 Tel. 01614 432492.
Cheshire
HONDA CB900F good overall
condition, 1982, 53,000 miles,
MoT May 2016, Marzocchis,
Marshall exhaust, recent
service, starts, runs rides fine,
Tel. 07739 710275. Cambs
HONDA CBR600F 2000,
49,800 miles, MoT 2016, new
tyres, reliable, fsh, £1250 Tel.
07925 128612; 01865 513531.
Oxon
HONDA CL175 1970, electric
and kick-start, twin carbs, full
MoT, runs very well, £2250 Tel.
01535 611181. West Yorks
HONDA CL175 1970, 8000
miles, MoT, street scrambler
rides great, new tyres, points
etc imported three years ago,
dry stored 40 years in USA,
£1950 Tel. 07770 115727.
Surrey
HONDA CL350 long MoT, tax
exempt, runs and rides fine,
£2500 Tel. Dave 07792 835486.
Ross-on-Wye
HONDA CX650 Eurosport,
31,000 miles, MoT July 2016,
stunning original condition,
numerous spares, fairing &
frame etc, £2995 ono Tel.
07702 379084. South Wales
HONDA GB500TT 1988,
21,000 miles, vgc, VMCC
eligible, your chance to own a
rare classic, £2800 Tel. 01509
560392. Leics
HONDA H100S11 1989, 17,000
miles, MoT, part history, original
condition, good runner, £1000
Tel. 07974 960906. Lincs
HONDA HORNET 600cc, vgc,
new battery, 14,000 miles,
Sorn, will MoT, garaged last
two years, reg 2001, £1900 ono
Tel. 01900 814767. Cumbria
HONDA HORNET 600cc, 2011
years, 2280 miles, MoT, lovely
condition, £3900 Tel. 01781
2562009. Southampton
HONDA HORNET 600 good
condition, 18,700 miles,
radiator guard, Goodridge
brake lines, hugger, MoT to
March 2016, £1625 ono Tel.
07510 854868. Northern Ireland
HONDA HORNET CB250
1997, lots of new parts fitted
just been serviced, runs well, 12
months MoT, rare bike, £1700
Tel. 07904 296932. North
London
HONDA PC800 1990, 47k
miles, completely refurbished,
lovely condition, just tested,
superbly
comfortable
commuter, unique huge boot,
Japanese import, £1600 Tel.
01484 862470. West Yorks
HONDA REBEL 250 2001,
excellent condition, 9000 miles,
12 months MoT, ideal
commuter bike, £1200 ono Tel.
01767 448575. Bedfordshire
HONDA REPSOL reg 2013,
110m, ABS, 250cc, very good
condition,
still
under
manufacturer’s warranty £3100
ono Tel. 01900 814767.
Cumbria
HONDA ST1100 year 2000,
genuine 22,568 miles, MoT
April 2016, vgc, £2800 Tel.
01227 365443. Kent
HONDA VFR 750 1989, red,
59,278 miles, MoT 27 Feb
2016, good starter, £800 ono
Tel. 01536 373015. Northants
HONDA VT500E 1988, MoT
July 16, good condition, part
restored, good runner, £595
ono Tel. 07746 407321. Kent
HONDA XBR500 1985, 48k
miles, superb, frame, engine
and bodywork resprayed, new
centre stand, fork seals, long
MoT, C&S, battery, serviced,
runs beautifully, £995 Tel.
07982 466727. London
HONDA XL185 classic trail,
new tyres, shocks, runs fine, full
V5, known history bargain,
£1450 Tel. 07434 040520.
Manchester
HONDA XL50 1971, very rare
model in UK, could be only one
here, fully renovated new rims
and tyres five speed Gera box,
£1850 Tel. 01516 090404.
Merseyside
JAVELIN S/SEAT s/car, fair
condition, some fittings, 10”
wheel, screen scratched, £350
ono Tel. Alan 07946 485404.
Newark
KAWASAKI 1100 SPECTRE
vgc, 99% original, good engine,
50k miles, needs registering, all
paperwork supplied, £1150 Tel.
0161 7666353. Lancs
KAWASAKI 550 LTD C3 1982,
US version, vgc, MoT, new
chain, sprockets, swinging arm
bearings, good tyres, Motad
stainless exhaust, reliable, runs
well, £995 ono Tel. 07939
066802. Somerset
KAWASAKI GPX600R 1995,
red, 53k miles, drives perfectly,
a few minor scratches, up to
date photos, s/h available,
selling as finishing short
motorcycle career, £1250 ono
Tel. 07527 578719. B’ham
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KAWASAKI GPZ900 A2, 1985,
32,500 miles, good original
condition, starts & runs perfectly,
new MoT, new battery, new rear
tyre, reluctant sale, £3500 Tel.
Tim on 01432 850453 (day)
01432 355951 (eves).
KAWASAKI GT750 P4 1985,
sound runner, many parts
recently replaced, currently
Sorn, collect from Coalville,
£1100 ono Tel. Shane 07905
188744 after 6pm weekdays,
any time weekends. Leics
KAWASAKI GTR 1000 1994,
factory fitted panniers, recent
rear disc, monoshock bushes,
Goodridge hoses, new battery
just fitted, owned since 2000,
32,541 miles, gc, £1350 Tel.
07434 129349. Derbys
KAWASAKI
KR1 1988,
imported, 1995, with KR1S
paintwork, unmolested original
condition, new MoT, ready to
ride or restore, £2250 Tel.
07765 230730. Hants
KAWASAKI S1A 250 1973, rare
2-stroke triple, fully restored
including top engine rebuild,
matching engine and frame
nos, correctly set up and runs
beautifully, £5750 ovno Tel.
01280 823322. Bucks
KAWASAKI VERSYS 2010,
only 3016 on the clock, lovely
clean bike, been in garage
when not ridden, years MoT,
new brake discs, new pads,
new tyres. Tel. 07967 002762.
Kent
KAWASAKI VN750 1994, reg
No M734 XER, owned 19 years,
2444 miles, not run for 18 years,
good general condition but
carbs, requires attention, £2125
ovno Tel. Alan 01733 576554;
07932 655345. Cambs
KAWASAKI W650 2002,
fantastic condition, doubt you
would find better, needs
nothing just tax it and go, £3250
Tel. 07817 257889. Leics
KAWASAKI W650 2001, vgc,
16,273 miles, Hepco & Becker
bespoke detachable luggage,
years MoT, many extras, new
Avon Road Rider tyres, new
battery etc, £3600 ono Tel.
01507 609207. Lincs
KAWASAKI Z1000R2 1982,
excellent condition, reluctant
sale, £4200 Tel. 07801 061976.
Hampshire
KAWASAKI Z1A 1974, lovely
condition, engine rebuilt, new
paintwork, spokes, rims, tyres
and new standard exhausts,
superb classic must be seen,
£12,500 ono Tel. 07786
162917. West Midlands
KAWASAKI Z250 B1 1981,
Rickman Tempest fairing, QD
panniers, superb unrestored
condition, some spares, 5465
miles, £1800 ono, cash on
collection Tel. 01964 537046.
East Yorkshire
KAWASAKI Z750E 1981, 22k,
v orig, Yoshi 4-1, nos seat and
tacho, MoT, recent brakes, carb
diaphragms (need balancing),
regular use until recently, easy
project or ride as is. Tel. 07764
377519. Surrey
KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 550
1991, MoT Aug 2016, V5,
recent respray, brand new
piggy back shocks, recent
brake pads, fork seals &
service, 40,000 miles, £900 ono
Tel. 07980 350031. Borders
KAWASAKI ZR750 2001, only
5500 miles, lovely condition, 10
months MoT, good tyres &
chain etc, Classic Insurance
from next July, £1495 ono Tel.
07817 257889. Leics
KAWASAKI ZZR1100 1991,
fitted with a low mileage 2003
ZZR1200, 160bhp engine, lots
of new parts, just been
serviced, MoT, requires minor
tidying, £2000 Tel. 07904
296932. North London
MONTESA IMPALA 175cc,
1964, lightweight sports bike,
genuine Spanish model,
sympathetically restored,
£2300 Tel. Mike 01386 48007.
Worcs
MOTO GUZZI V35 Mk1, 1977,
red in lovely condition, 15,000
miles, £1750 ono; also V65 for
sale. Tel. 01612 803017. Lancs
MOTO GUZZI ZIGOLOS two,
both with V5C registration
documents, 110cc tax & MoT
expired in July and incomplete
98cc, £2050 ono Tel. 07840
251105. Lancs
NSU SUPERMAX SPECIAL
1958, 250cc, nice clean bike,
starts & rides well, all frame &
cycle parts recently powder/
coated, wheels rebuilt with
stainless spokes, £4250 may
p/x Tel. 01328 700711. Norfolk
ROYAL ENFIELD Bullet, MoT
Sept 16, new cables & spare set
leather Enfield panniers and
tool roll, used regularly, very
low miles, garaged, £1300 ono
Tel.
07788
587264.
Warwickshire
SUNBEAM S7 1951, 500cc,
sorted, appreciating & rare
classic, ready to go, one of the
best around, £8200 Tel. Will
07872 998963. Oxfordshire
SUZUKI 25 WOLF 1993, full
restoration, frame powder
coated, racing fern, newly
painted bodywork, digital
speedo, braided hoses, new
pads, 12 months’ MoT, £1200
Tel. 077520 56580. Co Derry
SUZUKI B120 1995, 8145
miles, dry stored last 13 years,
some runs, runs ok, V5C,
workshop manual, new battery/
charger, £550 Tel. 01566
782409. Cornwall
SUZUKI BANDIT 600 Custom
bike, good condition, day time
MoT, £1400 ono Tel. 07429
447452. Kent
SUZUKI BURGMAN 400 2010,
vgc, alloy wheels, new Michelin
tyres, 10,000 miles, MoT Sept
2016, heated grips, service
history, 70mpg, £2550 Tel.
01912 375555. Tyne & Wear
SUZUKI DRZ440 S retro street
scrambler, 2001, 16,750 miles,
many mods & new parts
including rear tyre, lowered
seat, Ram Air filter & brake
pads. Tel. 01617 991829. Grt
Manchester
SUZUKI GS1000E classic bike,
full MoT only 18,000 miles,
good condition, worth a look,
£2250 Tel. Pete 07702 434407.
West Mids
SUZUKI GS1000S original,
1980, blue/white Coolley
Replica in great condition,
£7500 Tel. 01364 631119.
Devon
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SUZUKI GS250 twin, 1980, low
mileage, new battery, good
tyres, bright chrome & alloy
deep black paintwork a clean
classic, £850 Tel. Ernie 01286
881644. Gwynedd
SUZUKI GS850G 1981, shaft
drive, new tyres & exhaust,
25,000 miles, goes & looks well,
£1200 ono Tel. 01472 841226.
Lincs
SUZUKI GSF1200 Bandit, W
reg, 2000 model, as new
immaculate original standard
condition, only done 2300
miles, Sorn, £3250 ono Tel.
07765 507232. West Yorkshire
SUZUKI GSX 250 1980, p/
coated frame, new tyres, carbs,
cleaned, new jets, full service,
full MoT, very rare, £600 ono
Tel. 07737 612159. Northants
SUZUKI GSX1100 Naked
Katana, excellent condition,
£2500 Tel. 07903 777252.
Cumbria
SUZUKI GSX1100 ESD, 1983,
38,000 miles, 95% original, top
end and cosmetic rebuilt, MoT
needed, £1900 Tel. 07570
819010. Wiltshire
SUZUKI
GSX1100F
powerscreen, 1994, 39,000
miles, had major resto 2011,
over £7000 spent, loads of new
parts full engine rebuild, MoT
Aug 2016, £2000 ono Tel.
07522 631931. Notts
SUZUKI GSX550E classic,
1986, original showroom/
collectors condition, 20,000
miles, good service history, new
MoT, new tyres, plugs etc,
£1850 ovno Tel. 01573 420520.
Scottish Borders
SUZUKI GSX750 ESD, 1983,
recent tyres, recent O ring chain
& sprockets, 4 into 1 exhaust,
same owner for last 17 years,
53,000 miles, original bike,
£900 ono Tel. 01249 657555.
Wiltshire
SUZUKI GSXF750 tested,
good condition, 1989 model,
23,000 miles, everything
working, £650 Tel. 01207
504362. Co Durham
SUZUKI GSXR750SP stunning,
1994, never raced, 3000kms
from new, fantastic condition,
£9995 Tel. 01364 631119.
SUZUKI GT250 X7, first
registered 1984, full restoration
with all new genuine parts,
owned five years, needs
nothing, £3250 Tel. 07581
008210. South Yorkshire
SUZUKI GT250 X7 1982, all
speeds, K/N braided line, filters,
fork brace, s/damper 29,700
miles, good runner, £1500 Tel.
+35386 8736636. Eire, Ireland
SUZUKI GT750/GT550 both
MoT, vgc, many new parts not
show bikes, classic two strokes,
plus spares, £8000 pair Tel.
07833 582342. Kent
SUZUKI GT750J 1972, pink,
owned 10 years, in very nice
condition but too big for me,
Tel. 01278 732853. Devon
SUZUKI GT750L 1974, MoT
July 2016, 52,800 miles, good
condition, go not show, many
new parts, starts first time on
button, £4950 ono Tel. 07833
582342. Kent
SUZUKI GW250 2014, 1424
miles, £2500 Tel. 07479
453553. West Sussex
SUZUKI LS650 Savage, 1990,
7683 miles, as new tyres, new
battery, on Sorn, will MoT, £980
ono Tel. 01733 761496. Cambs
SUZUKI RL250 1974/75
Beamish, silver, engine trials
bike, good runner, good fun
bike, new piston 2 years ago,
slight weep on fuel tank due to
ethanol problems, £1000 ono
Tel. 07708 562885. W Sussex
SUZUKI SP400 1982, good old
thumper, new adjustable Hagon
shocks, recent tyres, £1300 Tel.
07429 447452. Kent
SUZUKI SP400 1980, fully
restored, owned for over four
years, MoT until June 2016,
ready to show or ride for just,
£2595 Tel. 07801 452114.
Bucks
SUZUKI SP400 1982, good old
thumper, new adjustable Hagon
Shocks, recent tyres, £1300
Tel. 07429 447452. Kent
SUZUKI SV1000K3 20,000 dry
miles, nice condition, tank
cover, new tyres, recent
battery, Sorn Nov 1st 2015,
MoT May 2016, quick sale
£2000 Tel. 07766 133748.
Cleveland
SUZUKI T20 basket case,
1968, with half extra bike as
spares, not running, needs work,
material for a wonderful & fun
fast classic motorcycle, in
Denmark, £1000 Tel. 45281
09517. racmeister@gmail.com
SUZUKI T500 J, 1972,
imported from USA, V5C, MoT
July 2016, matching numbers
not restored, £2500 Tel. 01274
875853. West Yorkshire
SUZUKI TL 1000S 1997, 31k
miles, Yoshi exhaust, PC
Commander, genuine 125 bhp,
MoT, lots of extras, owned for
last five years, good clean
example, first to see will buy,
£2200 ovno Tel. 0785 9011863.
SUZUKI TS125J 1973, fully
restored, engine rebuilt, too
much Nos to list, looks
stunning, a rare bike even rarer
in this condition, £2995 Tel.
07810 603633. Devon
SUZUKI TS50 Hustler ER,
1985, Japanese import, UK reg,
good condition, used regularly
till Sorn, unrestricted engine,
some minor rust areas, rare
model in UK, £750 Tel. 07859
013452. Mid Wales
TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T100
2009, only 3400 dry miles, as
new condition, just serviced &
MoT, chrome rack, £4850 Tel.
01384 359720. West Midlands
Classic Bike
insurance
0800 458 2530
Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd
is authorised and regulated by the
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TRIUMPH DAYTONA 1995,
immaculate, totally original
condition, loads of history, very
low mileage, mint example in
everyway, £3200 Tel. Paul
01914 561652. Tyne & Wear
TRIUMPH DAYTONA 955I
2006, fantastic condition,
£10,000 miles, very good tyres,
recently serviced, possibly an
appreciating classic, lovely
condition, £3150 Tel. 07717
712896. West Sussex
TRIUMPH T140V American
Model, original excellent show
condition bike, as featured in
Real Classics Magazine,
unrestored bike, sensible offers
considered towards £6995 Tel.
07752 969630. West Mids
TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD
Sport, 2001, 23,350 miles, MoT
Apr 16, s/h, fitted Vonzetti
single seat, Lucas style rear
light, bar end mirrors, front
fairing, tyres, chrome, £4600
Tel. 01323 892694. E Sussex
TRIUMPH TR7V Tiger 750,
1976, beautifully restored inc
upgrades (unleaded head,
Mikuni carb stainless steel rims
& spokes electronic ign), £5395
ono Tel. 07817 257889. Leics
VELOREX SIDECAR new
body, new mudguard with
lights,
braked
wheel,
handbrake, new handbrake
cable, seat, excellent frame,
fittings, £525 Tel. 01617
666353. Lancs
YAMAHA 600S 1997, green/
blue, low mileage, good
condition for year, new tyres,
chain and sprockets, £900 Tel.
07707 445210. Leics
YAMAHA DIVERSION XJ900S
super condition, fsh, full
luggage, heated grips, fsh,
immobiliser, 31,002 miles, MoT
July 2016, Tel. 01493 751613.
Norfolk
YAMAHA DS7 1972, vgc, 5k
since full rest, Electrex ign
system fitted, goes as it should,
show or ride, buy and ride
away, £4250 or make me an
offer, buyer collects. Tel. 01823
430198. Somerset
YAMAHA DT175MX 1981,
mostly original spec, older
restoration for riding rather than
showing, starts & runs well,
16,700 miles, MoT to July 2016,
£1950 Tel. 07816 126365.
Cornwall
YAMAHA FJ1200 ABS, 1992, K
reg, lots of service history,
engine bars & Scottoiler fitted,
topbox not included in sale,
currently on Sorn, MoT, £1700
ono Tel. 01269 594508. Dyfed
YAMAHA FZR1000 1988, 250
miles since rebuild, fair
condition, nine half months
MoT, contact for details Tel.
07443 526384. Dorset
YAMAHA FZS600SP one
owner, 11,000 miles only, new
tyres, MoT, top box, regularly
serviced, new battery, £2000
Tel. 07821 621124. Essex
YAMAHA GPZ900R A2, 1985,
44,000 miles, MoT till mid June
2016, good condition, runs &
rides well, good chrome
exhausts, £1000 ono Tel. Mike
07880 878835. Northants
YAMAHA R1 1998, only 15k
miles, full s/h, the best available
fast appreciating classic, £3350
Tel. 07801 315558. West Mids
YAMAHA RD350 YPVS, 1984,
23,000 miles, matching
numbers, lots of work done,
£3500 Tel. 00353 868797963.
Cork, Ireland
YAMAHA RD350 YPVS, 1989,
matching numbers and one key
fits all the locks, owned for the
last seven years, HEL lines,
£2200 Tel. 07977 984089.
Gwynedd
YAMAHA RD350LC YPVS,
1983, MoT Nov matching
numbers, Pro AM colours, vgc
but not mint, £2650 Tel. 07986
857259. Derbyshire
YAMAHA RD400 to restore,
engine running, standard trim,
correct exhausts etc, matching
numbers, red/white colours,
£2250 Tel. 01874 712265 after
6pm. Powys
YAMAHA RXS100 in nice
condition, new chain, sprockets
and battery, MoT till March
2016, £700 ono Tel. 07929
829256. Lancs
YAMAHA RZ250RR YPVS,
1985, imported 1991, 99%
restored in amazing condition,
new MoT, £2950 ono Tel. Craig
07765 230730 . Hants
YAMAHA SR125 1992, very
low mileage & very good
condition, eligible for classic
insurance, £1550 Tel. Dennis
01227 740909. Kent
YAMAHA TY320 Majesty trials
bike, nickel frame, all new
wheels, tyres, parts, Yamaha
alloy tank, elec ign, runs/rides
well, very good condition,
£5250 ono Tel. Wayne 077811
19148. Guernsey
YAMAHA TZR250 3MA, 1989,
owned since 1998, stored in a
heated garage for 10 years,
prior to recent refurbishment &
MoT, £4000 Tel. 01732 823318.
Kent
YAMAHA VIRAGO XV250S
1996, 11,500 miles, vgc, garage
stored avoided rain, newish
tyres, exhaust lots of extras, no
rust, no bumps, all working
beautifully, MoT, £1600 Tel.
0113 3188531. West Yorks
YAMAHA XJR1300, 2000
model, not SP, 28,000 dry
miles, vgc original, garaged,
worked, service history, extras,
£2950 ovno Tel. Richie 07950
914959. Merseyside
YAMAHA XS650 1980, custom
build, very tidy, MoT, would p/x
Tel. James 07544 267110;
01250 872333. Tayside
YAMAHA YCS1/CS1 1967,
2500 miles, original unrestored,
runs/rides great, UK reg/tax
free, £1850 Tel. 07927 553187.
Worcs
YAMAHA YFZR1 1999, T, full
MoT, new battery, tyre, custom
seats, £3000 Tel. 07775
902706. North Yorkshire
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FOR SALE
BULTACO 250 Persang,
very good condition, new
tank, respoked wheels new
chain sprocket, new tyres,
matching frame engine
numbers, new cables, runs
lovely, 1976, £2100 Tel.
07932 527300. Essex.
D7 BANTAM SUPER
DELUXE 1966, perfect
restoration project for which
I have no time, £300 spent
on engine rebuild with new
cylinder - just the frame to do
now, bike complete except
battery and tool kit, more
pics available, £650 ovno
Tel. 01260 227247; 07860
554663. Cheshire.
GARAGE CLEARANCE
Honda CB900F, 1979,
Honda C50 1975, Honda
400-4 FZN 1997, Suzuki 600
Bandit 1997, Suzuki GS500 E
1997, all with V5s, best offer
secures. Tel. 07835 709412.
Devon.
GARAGE
CLEAROUT
Honda CBR1000R, D reg;
Yamaha Thuderace N reg;
Kawasaki ZXR900 all have
MoT and can be ridden away
swop the lot for GSXR1000
K5 and cash. Tel. 07786
151797. Gwent.
HARLEY 883 N/14 converted
to 1200 by Sycamore HD
Screaming Eagle RSD, 2-in-1
carbon ops, selling due to
bad back, £9200 Tel. 01733
341966. Cambs.
HONDA CB125 TDC
Superdream, 1983, silver,
MoT March 2016, new
battery, Comstar, all wheels,
e/start, flyscreen, reluctant
sale of very tidy collectable
classic due to family health
issues, £950 ono Tel. 01872
240206 after 5pm; 07812
457484 (no texts). Cornwall.
HONDA CB160 engine parts
required. Tel. Dave 07761
247732. Merseyside.
HONDA CB250 51 plate,
long MoT, red, long MoT,
vgc, £6950 ono Tel. 07922
600251 between 6.30pm &
8.30pm. Hampshire.
HONDA CB250RS 1985,
MoT till Nov 2015, clean bike
good runner, 38,000 miles,
black/blue, new tyres new
downpipes, classic bike,
£400 Tel. 07971 428275.
Surrey.
HONDA CB450 1971 K3
spares: tank, seat, clocks,
side panels, good original
exhaust system, clean
carbs, air filter unit, both
mudguards, starter motor,
electrics, frame, etc, US
spec bike so parts are in
good original condition for
their age. Tel. Barry 07792
517466. North Yorkshire.
HONDA CB750 F2N
32,000 miles, years MoT,
Givi luggage, new Hagons,
clutch, battery, chain, oil,
photos available. £1150 Tel.
07788 981908. Bristol.
HONDA CBR600 1991
on Sorn, £500 Tel. 01529
413579. Lincs.
HONDA CB450DX 1987,
good condition, start and
runs fine, seat, exhausts,
tyres all good, reliable, 12
months MoT, regretable sale
not being used, £800 Tel.
02920 883315. Caerphilly.
HONDA CB600 immaculate
Hornet with less than 8000
dry miles, Beowulf exhaust
and original with sale, £2400
Tel. 01433 620855. North
Derbyshire.
HONDA CUB 90 1993,
well loved, excellent runner/
condition, red, 27,700
miles, electric start, will
MoT if required, £750 ono
Tel. 07714 954382; 07857
311569. Lancs.
HONDA
DEAUVILLE
NT650V, 1999, MoT July
2016, heated grips, QD top
box, no dents, red, 37,000
miles, ride it home, £850 Tel.
01767 691209. Beds.
HONDA NTV 650cc, 1997,
V/twin, black small screen,
good bodywork & tyres,
shaft drive, £400 ono Tel.
Paul 02083 046610. Greater
London.
HONDA PAN EUROPEAN
1998, ST1100 ex police,
84,500 miles, good condition,
burgundy, serviced, new fork
seals, stainless exhaust, new
tyres, wax oiled, swinging
arm, MoT until August 2016,
big fast comfortable bike,
£1400 Tel. 01516 788883.
Wirral.
HONDA PCXS 125 Super
stylish with idle stop,
£500 extras, Oct 14, just
1500 miles, spotless, mint
condition, mature rider, sorry
to let go but ill health sale,
£2395 ovno Tel. 077890
61218 (no text messages
please) for details. Yorks.
HONDA VFR800 VTEC
2011, (A9) bagster tank
cover, b/w, £60; zero gravity
dark tint screen, £40; Dynojet
Power Commander, ref.
16-005, £150 Tel. 01606
854762. Gtr Man.
HONDA VTR Firestorm, red,
1998, 25,000 miles, good
condition, MoT
March
2016, Tel. Andy 01277
658670; mobile 07941
612139. Essex.
HONDA XBR500 1985,
black, 47,900 miles, superb
condition, frame, engine
& bodywork stripped &
resprayed, new centre stand,
fork seals, chain & sprockets,
battery, fully serviced, MoT
March 2016, workshop
manual, runs perfectly,
£1150 Tel. 07982 466727.
East London.
KAWASAKI E500 very good
engine and runner, black
project bike, to restore only
needs front tyres, fork seals
and a good clean easy winter
project, MoT, £500 ono Tel.
02920 883315. Caerphilly.
KAWASAKI GPZ750R 1985,
on Sorn, £895 ono Tel. 07779
677137. Cornwall.
KAWASAKI GPZ900R A7,
1990, first super bike, red,
36,800 miles, great runner,
immaculate
condition,
original bars & footrests with
it, £2200 ono Tel. 07714
954382. Lancs.
KAWASAKI GTR1000 1994,
32,500 miles, burgundy,
Goodridge hoses to front,
Michelin tyres as new to
front + rear, recent rear disc,
new monoshock bushes,
new battery just fitted, reqs
new screen cracked, plus
MoT will pass ok, £1375 Tel.
07434 129349. Derbyshire.
KAWASAKI KH250 B2,
1977, 100% there plus
spares work needed some
done, matching numbers,
highest offer secures. Tel.
01695 570652. Lancs.
KAWASAKI KH350 Zephyr,
originally 1979, KH250, now
fitted with front and rear end
of a 550 Zephyr top end of a
350 rebored carbs, cleaned
brakes, rebuilt Allspeed
chambers, looks and sounds
great, MoT September 2016,
call for details, £3450 ono
Tel. 07847 225624. Surrey.
KAWASAKI KM100 1980, V
reg, 87 miles from new, rusty,
breaking for spares, may
sell complete. Tel. 01246
827179; 07400 576641.
Derbys.
KAWASAKI S2A 350 1972,
rare two stroke triple, fully
restored including full engine
rebuild, matching engine &
frame numbers, correctly set
up & runs beautifully, £6250
ovno Tel. 01280 823322.
Bucks.
KAWASAKI Z1 900 1976,
candy blue, lovely condition,
long MoT, standard original
bike, very well kept 40k miles,
lovely 70s classic can only go
up in value, good investment,
pictures upon request, £7995
Tel. 07762 437521. Essex.
KAWASAKI Z200 1980,
11,000 miles, nice tidy bike,
sell/swop for British bike, any
condition, bike kept garaged
at Daventry, £500 Tel. 07934
114301. South Wales.
KAWASAKI Z650 1979,
MoT till Dec, runs well, good
condition, good tyres, chain
sprockets, exhaust, £1650
Tel. 01244 332435; 07564
960647. Cheshire.
KAWASAKI Z650 1979, MoT
December, good condition,
tyres, exhaust etc, £1650
Tel. 01244 332435; 07564
960647. Cheshire.
KAWASAKI ZZR1100 D7
long MoT, side panniers, top
box, new back tyre, some
stone chips on front end,
overall good condition, £1350
ovno Tel. 07811 980330.
KAWAZAKI ZX12R used,
MoT, regularly serviced, few
marks, 47,000 miles, £1800
ono Tel. 07747 403666.
MOTO GUZZI V50 being SUZUKI INTRUDER 1800cc,
built as cafe racer, re- 2012 reg, crash bars, screen,
enamelled, red, needs little new tyres, sissy bar, rack and
work to complete, (mainly panniers, 9,600 miles approx,
electrics), new Avon tyres, MoT, immaculate, £7650 ono
£1250 Tel. 01978 842668. Tel. 0789 4078815. Notts.
Clwyd.
SUZUKI SV650 SPORT
REDUCING COLLECTION: blue, silver, full fairing, MoT,
Suzuki GSX 250cc, 1984, good condition, £1400 ono
blue, nearly restored, £795. Tel. 07976 752528. West
Yamaha RS 200cc, two Midlands.
stroke, engine & clutch SUZUKI SV650S Sport,
rebuilt, blue, £695, all the 2009, blue/white, vgc, lots of
dirty work done. Tel. Gordon extras, paddock stand, cover
01454 324334; 07792 etc, 9,400 miles, £2500 ono
272041. Bristol.
Tel. 01446 404669; 07825
REDUCING COLLECTION: 163407. Glam.
Yamaha RXS 100cc, 1983, SUZUKI SV650SK1 650cc,
blue, restored, £695; Suzuki MoT April, 12,000 miles,
GSX 250cc, 1984, blue, vgc, blue, new battery, tyres,
nearly restored, £795; chain sprockets, all standard,
Yamaha RS 200cc, 1979, year 2001, £2000 ono Tel.
blue, nearly restored, £695; 07773 455964. Notts.
Yamaha Dragster cruiser, YAMAHA 900 Diversion,
650cc, 2003, silver, one excellent, running, unused
owner, mint condition, 2014/15, swap for small
many chrome extras, 125cc/200cc running Honda
£2500; fantastic bargains. twin, no need for MoT or
Tel. Gordon 01454 324334; docs, Diversion too heavy,
07792 272041. Bristol.
£595 ono Tel. 01525 378332.
SQUIRE ST2 single seat side Beds.
car, red, Universal fittings, YAMAHA IT175 1983, MoT
removable hood, lockable January 2016, average
boot and key, sensible condition for year, £1200 Tel.
offers Tel. 01278 425315. 07999 884472. West Sussex.
Somerset.
YAMAHA RD250LC restored
SUZUKI GT 250cc, 1975, by Classic and Modern
MoT, excellent condition, Bikes, mint condition, no tax,
£3000 ono. Yamaha Majesty, MoT on sale, has featured
250cc, MoT, very clean in Classic Motorcycle
condition, £850 ono or p/x Mechanics 2010 September,
for Yamaha RX 100cc Tel. £3995 Tel. 01905 779197.
01270 256208. Cheshire.
YAMAHA SR125 good
SUZUKI GP100 red, 1992, condition, 1993, mileage
new tyres, new battery, 33,000, garaged, economical
tidy for age, £550 ono Tel. lightweight, five gears, runs
01278 684979 after 6pm. very well, MoT June 2016,
Somerset.
£600 Tel. 01453 756524.
SUZUKI GS500 1994, 26k Glos.
miles, non runner, currently YAMAHA TR1 XV1000
on Sorn, bought last year 1983, customised with an
as a retirement project but old classic Vee Twin in mind,
now unable to start due to main customised features
ill health. Tel. 07910 127257. include, SU Carb, bespoke
battery box, centrally
Devon.
SUZUKI GSF1200 2005, mounted clock/display,
10,000 miles, year’s MoT, extendable/retractable back
metallic grey paintwork, fly rail, can ship to England
screen, very good condition, (£150?) £3500 ono Tel.
£2850 ono Tel. 079644 Sean 07716 791249. County
Down.
82455. Berks.
SUZUKI GSX750 T reg, YAMAHA XJ600N 2003,
1999, MoT 30th Sept, 37,377 miles, over £300
Sorned, crash bars, classic worth brand new, genuine
insurance, excellent runner, Yamaha parts, MoT Feb
£1100 ono Tel. 01286 2016, complete bike, dark
green, spares or repair, £700
882776. North Wales.
SUZUKI GT250 excellent no offers, cash only Tel.
condition, MoT, must be 07581 751375. Cheshire.
viewed, £3450 ono; Yamaha YAMAHA XJ900 Diversion,
Majesty, 250cc scooter, 1997, green, MoT July
MoT, excellent condition, 2016, 35,000 miles, runs &
£1250 ono Tel. 01270 rides, superb good overall
condition, original exhausts,
256208. Cheshire.
SUZUKI
HAYABUSA Kappa luggage, engine
1340CC, LO/2010 one bars, Fenda extenda, great
owner, black/red, 22,000 commuter tourer, £1650 ono
miles, £5500 Tel. 07801 Tel. 07847 225624. Surrey.
YAMAHA XV1100 Virago,
298132. Dumfries, Scotland.
SUZUKI HAYABUSA 1300R fantastic condition, black/
black & red, 1999, model burgundy original paintwork,
restricted, two owners, 14,000 newish MoT, new front
miles, MoT, vgc, £3000 ono tyre new rear brake shoes,
Tel. 07976 752528. West original exhaust, £2250 Tel.
07939 816318. West Sussex.
Midlands.
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HONDA CBR 1000RR Prolink Special Performance,
1000cc, brand new, never
used, offers over £600 Tel.
Richard 07916 328736.
Leeds, West Yorks.
HONDA CBR250R MC19,
1990, RVF250 front end most
parts except motor+wiring.
Tel.
07811
698505.
Hampshire.
HONDA CBR250R MC19
1990, frame c/w S/A with
V5 rear wheel/brake, seats,
plastics, petrol tank, sensible
PARTS FOR SALE
prices will split. Tel. Chris
07811 698505. Hampshire.
ALLOY MOTORCYCLE HONDA CBX750 starter
PARTS restored and motor, good working order
polished, Heathrow/Surrey plus starter gear, £60 can
area, Tel. Zed 07590 53223. post no problem Tel. 07984
Middx.
706372. Greater Manchester.
AVON AM18 120/80 V18 HONDA CBX750 CB700SC
Super Venom, no miles as alternator starter chain,
new, was on bike I bought second hand but good to
but over size for heel, £50 go, obsolete part now from
Tel. 01617 553980. Lancs.
Honda, £70, breaking two
BEOWULF EXHAUSTS pair, engines lots of parts Tel.
black, s/steel, £120. Nitron full 07984 706372. Greater
spec rear shock £300, Gilles Manchester.
chain adjusters £80, all to fit HONDA DEAUVILLE NT700
Suzuki GSX R1000 K7/8, all genuine Honda screen, very
in good condition. Tel. 07859 little use with no scratches,
011863. Birmingham.
£45, buyer to collect or plus
BSA A10 GOLDSTAR etc, p&p. Tel. 01243 867779.
gearbox for sale, wanted West Sussex.
M20 or earlier gearbox poss, HONDA FIREBLADE 2007,
exchange cash either way body work, tank cover, red,
WHY? Tel. Gareth 07811 black, vgc, ask for details,
271702. Mid Glamorgan.
can send pics. Tel. 07951
CONTINENTAL ROAD 818730.
ATTACK front 100/90R 18, HONDA
FIREBLADE
rear 130/80R 18, minimal use 900RR front wheel standard,
on rear front unused, came 16” good condition, £35,
with race bike but not fitted, bottom yoke, £15. Tel. 07510
£85 Tel. 01617 553980. 674950. West Midlands.
Lancs.
HONDA NTV700 Deauville,
CRASH BARS front & back, Haynes workshop manual,
came off AJS 650cc twin, as new, £15. Hiflow air filter
good chrome, bargain £35 HFA1713, new, £15. NGK
plus p&p at cost; also top spark plugs x2, new, £8. Tel.
box, £20. Tel. 07443 642408. Clive 01302 846682. South
West Yorks.
Yorkshire.
HONDA 400 F1 1976, new HONDA VFR unused
indicator bracket, tools brake and clutch lines, £30.
and box, rear brake, front Speedometer, £45. Honda
reservoir and lever, caliper 400-4 rear Fender original
bracket, casings, disc spat, two sets, rear shocks, £25.
headlight co9ver, CB750 Original pipes rechromed,
SOHC, clocks, wiring not mint, £60 Tel. 01252
harness, Tel. 01507 578146. 616192. Hampshire.
HONDA VFR1200FA 2010,
Lincs.
HONDA
BLACKBIRD pair passenger grab handles,
stubby cans, £110 Tel. 07880 £35 Tel. 07900 371020.
Northumberland.
977343. Wales.
HONDA
BLACKBIRD HONDA VFR800 FI, front
genuine, rh silencer off 99 screen, used and a pair
FI bike, only been on for one of replacement mirrors,
year, no damage, perfect, new, from a 1999 bike, £40
looks brand new, half new Tel. 07505 464654. West
price, £150 ono Tel. 01289 Midlands.
HONDA XL250 SPARES two
381140. Northumberland.
HONDA CB160 1965, engines, twin port, 2 cylinder
large quantity engine parts, heads, rocker covers, barrel,
crankcases barrel cylinder 4 carbs, lots more, engines,
head gears starter motor and £180 each; collection only
more, call for details, £60 Tel. Tel. 074340 40520. Lancs.
KAWASAKI W800 two sets
01635 579115. Berkshire.
HONDA CB400-4F 1975, unused exhaust/silencers,
spare parts left over from £300 Tel. 01661 853032.
project build, this bike had Northumberland.
the rear pillion foot rests KAWASAKI Z1000SX 2014
mounted on the swingarm. radiator protector, Beowulf,
Tel. Ski 07999 884472. West black, as new, £25 Tel. 01625
531109. Cheshire
Sussex.
114 / classic motorcycle mechanics
YAMAHA YZFR1 1000cc,
red & silver, mint condition,
26,000 miles, new tyres +
new flu exhaust system,
+ battery, alarm and
immobiliser, datatagged,
MoT, two keys, £2300 ono
Tel. 07925 340627. Bristol.
YAMASAKI YM125 2012
reg, first new MoT till 2016
August, tidy bike, reason for
selling need space in shed,
£475 ono Tel. 01872 240206.
Cornwall.
HONDA XL250 twin port,
garage clearance, briefly
two full engines, two cylinder
heads, rocker covers, four
carbs, lots more £350 Tel.
07434 040520. Lancs.
KAWASAKI 1400ZZR light
tint double bubble screen,
brand new, £50 plus p&p.
Almost new Kawasaki
1400ZZR, smoked tint
spoiler screen, £50 plus p&p.
Hyperpro (RSC) type steering
damper off 1400ZZR, will fit
most bikes with correct fitting
kit & have ZZR kit, £125 plus
p&p (Damper only). Tel.
01805 623310. Devon.
KAWASAKI DECALS for
KH250/KH400 old style logo
unused as new, £10 pair free
postage Tel. 01803 607265;
01364 653515. Torquay.
KAWASAKI GPZ500S N reg
rolling chassis with docs,
could split, £150 ono Tel.
01484 384128 after 6pm.
West Yorkshire.
MOORE & WRIGHT 0-1
micrometer assy, new, £30;
O-25 micrometer, £18; hardly
used carbide face 12” files
for alloy meters, slight rust,
6 of, £30. Tel. 0208 6414238.
Surrey.
R&G
AERO
CRASH
PROTECTORS complete
with all fittings/teardrop
shaped bobbins for Suzuki
GSF1250 GT, faired version,
£75 ono Tel. 07894 078815.
Nottingham.
RIEJU 50 engine, frame,
forks, good wheels, V5,
£180. Aprilia 50 engine,
complete, £75. Solo 100cc
kart engine, £45. Tel. 07775
558399. Surrey.
SUZUKI BANDIT 600SY
Mk2, good seat and
flipscreen, £25 Tel. 01200
426585. Lancs.
SUZUKI GN250 seat, new,
£50; Benelli ZC fuel tank, £60;
Yamaha XJ650 front guard,
£30; tailpiece, £10; l/h side
panel, £10; Honda CB750
DOHC clocks, £20; Enfield
Electra X fuel tank, £35; front
guard, £20; rear guard, £20.
Tel. 07771 770868. Milton
Keynes.
SUZUKI GS650G Katana
spares, tank, engine bars,
carbs, rear wheel and disc,
seat, £125 the lot Tel. 07874
231738. East Sussex.
SUZUKI GSX1400 K1-K4
fuel round stainless midi
silencers and link pipes,
£90. K&N airfilter, £20. Blue
powder bronze screen,
£35. Haynes manual, £10.
Tel. 01642 280530; 07816
340143. North Yorkshire.
SUZUKI GSX1400 standard
cans, £80 pair. Tel. 07880
977343. Wales.
SUZUKI GT750 petrol tank,
front wheel and brake discs,
rear wheel and cush drive,
in need of restoration, ie,
spokes and repainting, £100
can split. Tel. Jim 07984
056636. Tyne & Wear.
SUZUKI RGV250 VM22 front
end including forks yokes f/
wheel c/w discs, calipers,
slight pitting on stations,
£200 ono Tel. Chris 07811
698505. Hampshire.
SUZUKI SV650 K3, rear steel
subframe, good condition,
not damaged at all, £40 Tel.
07545 802250. W Midlands.
SUZUKI SV650S headlamps
for sale, backing broken but
reflectors and glass ok, £10
also tool kit from the same
bike complete, £5. Tel. 0161
3711960; 07733 288008.
Greater Manchester.
SUZUKI TS400 parts
wanted, maybe complete or
incomplete bike. Tel. 01305
826670. Dorset.
TRIUMPH 1050 TIGER
standard silencer, £20.
Screen, £20. Tel. 01642
280530; 07816 340143.
North Yorkshire.
TRIUMPH TRIDENT Sprint
900, 1995, breaking, parts
available. Tel. 07789 801540.
Wiltshire.
TWO BROTHERS carbon
endcan plus link-pipe with
bracket for heel guard, as
new 50 miles use only, to
fit Yamaha FZ8 Fazer 2012,
£150 only, cost over £300.
Tel. 07974 024893. North
Yorkshire.
UNFINISHED PROJECT Y
reg Z1000, many new parts
including 4 into 1 Harris
magnum, tyres, chainset,
master cylinder, K&Ns just
needs some work on electrics
to finish. £950 ono Tel. 07877
745547. Derbyshire.
YAMAHA XJR1300 07 on
fuel, round stainless midi
silencer and link pipe, £60.
Hagon progressive fork
springs, £35. K&N airfilter,
£20. Tel. 01642 280530;
07816 340143. North Yorks.
YAMAHA FJR1300 parts,
rear rack, footrest hanger,
rear light, shock, rear light
and other bits. Tel. Mark
07815 084533. Cheshire.
YAMAHA RD AIRCOOLED
and LC new and used spares,
some spares for all twin
cylinder models from 125cc
to 400cc, all prices include
UK p&p. Please phone or
text for details. Tel. 07540
784259. Gloucestershire.
YAMAHA VMAX engine
bars, Alloy fork brace,
fork springs, £25 the lot.
Tel. 01291 689497; 07803
965649. Monmouthshire.
YAMAHA
XJR1300
WHEELS highly polished, in
excellent condition, £150 the
pair. Tel. 01803 607265 or
01364 653515. Torquay.
YAMMAHA FZ600 spares,
will post, Tel. Craig 07770
987038. Suffolk.
WANTED
3 BIKE TRAILER wanted.
Tel. Bob 01524 735039;
079190 64123. N Lancs.
ANY MAKE or size classic
motorcycle wanted in any
condition, cash waiting. Tel.
07548 801403. Notts.
BENELLI 750 SEI wanted
by private buyer, Benelli
750 SEI, in good standard
condition and road running
order. Tel. 01603 873143.
Norwich.
CB900F FRAME or parts
bike wanted, project or non
runner considered must have
log book. Tel. 07745 645013.
South Yorkshire.
CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE
wanted any make or size,
anything considered and in
any condition. Tel. 07548
801403. Notts.
DMW LEDA front wheel
nuts, for Earles Forks model.
£20 Tel. 01684 573789.
Worcestershire.
EXHAUST SYSTEM for
1992, Yamaha 400/600
Diversion. Tel. Bob 01634
846335 after 5pm. .
HAYNES WORKSHOP
MANUAL on Yamaha XJ650,
in line four cylinder shaft
drive, 1980/82. Also required
an official Yamaha Owners
Manual for the Yamaha
XJ650 (1980/82). Tel. 07922
600251 between 6.30pm and
8.30pm. Hampshire.
HONDA CB900/750 dohc
frame or project bike. Tel.
07745 645013. South
Yorkshire.
HONDA CB900F frame,
spares or project bike must
have log book, Yorks/Lancs
areas. Tel. 07745 645013.
South Yorkshire.
HONDA CD175A Sloper,
centre stand. Tel. 01978
290123. Clwyd.
HONDA CD175A front brake
cable and clutch cable. Tel.
01978 290123. Clwyd.
HONDA CUB wanted, 50,
70, 90, 100 any condition
considered, good or bad.
Tel. 07867 904777 or 01159
303677. Derbyshire.
HONDA CX500A black,
PGO 456V, looking for bike,
frame or V5, am a previous
owner. Tel. Kevin 07745
825082, leave message.
Hertfordshire.
HONDA
GOLDWING
1800cc wanted Insta trike
towpac bolt on kit for my
2004 Honda Goldwing, any
condition, cash waiting.
Tel. Paul 01516 788883.
Wirral.
HONDA VF1000R seat
hump, must be in good
condition with no cracks.
Honda CB600F left hand
side panel, again no cracks.
Kawasaki Eddie Lawson
replica 1000R or 1100R,
must be in good condition.
Tel. Paul 01914 561652.
Tyne & Wear.
HONDA VT250 useable
exhaust wanted for resto
project, also spares, will buy
complete bike if cheap. Tel.
01625 576013. Cheshire.
readersbikes&bits
BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online www.classicmechanics.com post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 107 email freeads@classicmechanics.com
HONDA CB900F’S wanted,
barn/shed finds, abandoned
projects, anything CB900F
considered, cash waiting. Tel.
Mike 07973 989277. Kent.
HONDA 400/4 PARTS I am
selling my stock of parts from
frames with engines to some
original Honda parts, too many
to list, contact me with any
enquiry for details & photos
Tel. 01773 823281. Derbyshire.
HONDA XBR500 wanted by
private cash buyer, anything
considered. Tel. Pete 07881
933596. Oxfordshire.
KAWASAKI H2 750 TRIPLE
1971/1972 in blue wanted,
cash waiting private buyer can
renovate if required will travel
please contact me if you are
considering selling a blue H2.
Tel. 07585 973051. Kent.
KAWASAKI KZ750 B2 1977,
twin wanted front mounted
engine crash bars. Tel. Mike
07511 688088. Birmingham.
LE VELOCETTE (Noddy
Bike) by ‘old un’ wanting
to keep his hand in by
rebuilding or perfecting, price
must reflect condition. Tel.
01772 436944. Lancs.
LOOKING FOR A BIKE
model I had years ago.
Honda XL250/XL500, Suzuki
TS250ER, or similar, to
regain my mouth, runner
or project. Have cash, will
travel. Tel. 07984 950257.
Derbys.
LOOKING FOR RG500 to
restore back to its former
glory, if you have a barn
or garage find or crash
damaged bike then please
contact me. Tel. 07944
404152. Worcestershire.
LOOKING FOR HONDA
CB72 512 PF my bike, new
1963, any info. Tel. 07971
531381. Hants.
MOTO GUZZI Le Mans
II, 1978 onwards, must be
100% Tel. 01642 484073
after 6pm. Cleveland.
ROCKET THREE workshop
manual wanted. Tel. 07828
103437.
SILENCERS WANTED
for 1992 Yamaha 400cc
Diversion, Tel. Bob 07634
846335 after 5pm. Chatham.
SINGLE SEAT SIDECAR
and chassis, coach built. Tel.
01535 611181. West Yorks.
SUZUKI AP50 spares
wanted bike or parts exhaust
pipe and pedal gear, Tel.
Dave 07752 137780; 01612
828728. Cheshire.
SUZUKI DR500 parts
wanted, maybe complete/
incomplete machine. Tel.
01305 826670. Dorset.
SUZUKI GS1100G 1982,
shaft drive, good condition
engine or bottom end
required for bike rebuild,
complete bike considered,
cash waiting. Tel. Colin
01935 478050. Somerset.
SUZUKI GT 250 X7 wanted
for restoration anything
considered. Tel. Mark 07971
725179. Notts.
SUZUKI GT750A must be in
good original condition or well
restored with good original
three into four exhaust. Tel.
01323 740011. E Sussex.
SUZUKI GT550 lower right
exhaust wanted for a running
bike not a show bike, clean &
rust free please. Tel. 07828
909136. Lincs.
SUZUKI RE5M rotary, globe
type turn signals/indicators
wanted, please phone if you
have some for sale! Tel. Allan
07846 525663. Somerset.
SUZUKI RGV250 VJ21 lower
centre part of fairing at front
under radiator, joins side
halves together. Tel. 01455
446415. Leics.
SUZUKI T500 side panel
wanted for my T500K the
badge would be nice but
it’s not important. Tel. 07756
695628. Cheshire.
WANTED FOR 1977
Kawasaki KZ750 B2 twin,
fully working & in very good
condition a starter motor.
Tel. Mike 07511 688088.
Birmingham.
WANTED FOR A Yamaha
DT50MX, 1988 a carb, rubber
airbox connector, heat shield
for the front of the exhaust,
harness Tel. 07717 893114.
Gloucestershire.
WANTED FOR KAWASAKI
KZ750 1977, B2 twin a
working good condition
starter motor. Tel. Mike
07551 688088. Birmingham.
WANTED LIGHTWEIGHT
BIKE yours too heavy,
possible exchange Yamaha
two stroke great condition,
sound investment, viewing
essential, why? Tel. Al 01935
472584. Somerset.
WANTED SET OF CARB’S
for 1994 Suzuki GSX600F.
Tel. 07972 840868. Staffs.
WANTED SUZUKI GT380
or 550 for project other
triples considered. Tel. 07588
776055; 01928 571026.
Cheshire.
WANTED SUZUKI GT750A
must be in good original
condition or well restored
with good original three into
four exhaust. Tel. 01323
740011. East Sussex.
WANTED TESTI OR
GITANE Champion Veloce
cantilever for restoration
circa 1977, can collect. Tel.
07802 207987. Leics.
WANTED YAMAHA XJ650
Maxim spares, seat lock, rera
indicators, n/s tank badge,
o/s exhaust cover/deflector
and ignition switch, why?
Tel. 01364 653515; 01803
607265. Torquay, Devon.
WORKSHOP MANUALS
wanted for the following:
Cossack 175cc, Voskhod
electronic ignition models,
Puch Magnum child’s
scrambler, Suzuki LT50,
child’s quad and anything on
Minsk Tula’s or WSK 175cc,
buy photocopy. Tel. 01685
871243. Mid Glam.
YAMAHA DS6 1969, kick
start shaft or complete
engine, pillion footrests,
will collect Tel. Les 01594
836552. Gloucester.
YAMAHA XS650/XS400/
TR1 OR SR500 wanted,
runner or project, have cash,
will travel. Tel. 07984 950257.
Derbys.
MISCELLANEOUS
20 LITRES DRUM ‘Optima’
racing 2/stroke oil, Specs,
JASO, FD. ISO, EGD. API,
TC, situated two miles from
Donington Park, £100 ovno,
buyer collects Tel. 07979
558308. Derbyshire.
ABBA STAND for use with
m/cycle, not fitted with
centre set and, enables work
carried out where only side
stand fitted, easily fitted, £50
Tel. 02920 561669. S Glam.
BELL HELMET open-face,
matt black, as new, only
worn twice, c/w ‘Bell’ bag,
£120 ono Tel. 01209 214457.
Cornwall.
BELL OPEN FACE matt
black helmet, as new, only
worn twice, complete with
original Bell bag, medium,
£95 Tel. 01209 214457.
Cornwall.
BOOK Soft Science of
Motorcycle Racing by Keith
Code, £10. Tel. 07852
921265. Powys.
CHERISHED PLATE R6
FRD, attention all Yamaha
R6 owners, all reasonable
offers considered. Tel. 07583
242529. Brighton.
FACTORY
SUZUKI
RG400/500 service manual,
good condition, £25 ono plus
postage Tel. 01253 765414
or 07710 467529. Lancs.
FAIRING WANTED for
Honda CD250U Rickman or
similar, Tel. 01489 877516.
Hants.
HARLEY
DAVIDSON
BACKREST to fit 2006
Streetbob, good condition,
£80; Harley Davidson clutch
cable for Streetbob, as new,
£75; Harley Davidson bike
jacket, £50; ladies black bike
jacket, £50; Clutchmaster,
will fit VTR 1000 Bandit 1200
and other bikes, £40. Tel.
07790 9344835. Staffs.
HAYNES MANUALS Suzuki
GSX1400 Honda C50, C70,
C90, Yamaha YPVS 350,
Yamaha XJ650/750 fours
Harley Davidson Sportster,
£10 each plus £2 p&p Tel.
01642 280530; 07816
340143. North Yorkshire.
HAYNES
MANUALS
Yamaha Fazer 1000,
VFR750, VTR1000, all as
new, £10 each plus p&p;
rear caliper GSF, GSXR,
600, £25 Tel. 01432 265726.
Hereford.
HJC FULL FACE HELMET
red/black, Large, first £8,
collect only no post. Tel.
07471 739455. Leeds, Yorks
HARLEY SOFTAIL TANK MAGAZINES: Practical
Dash panel part no 71283- Sportsbike, issues 1-50
01, new £20. Detachable inclusive, good condition,
side plates chrome part no
£100 Tel. 07899 770367.
53810-00B with padded Devon.
back rest new, £50. Tel. MOTO GUZZI V7 classic
07732 125886. Lincs.
Helmet, size small red/
HONDA
BLACKBIRD white/black, matches bike
Baglux tank bag with harness
open face with Integral visor
in blue, £45; Powerbronze d/
unused, £30 ono. Tel. 01604
bubble screen and tinted 831349. Northants.
flip-up screen, £20 pair; Held MYFORD ML7 precision
blue magnetic tank bag. £15 model engineering lathe, top
Tel. 07979 336335. North quality condition, complete
Lincs.
with tooling change gears
HONDA CBF 1000F/FA/ etc, photos available, £650
FT/FS, brand new owners
Tel. 07765 507232. West
manual, £10 plus p&p; Yorkshire.
Honda CBF 1000F/FA/ O F F I C I A L
HARLEY
FT/FS, brand new tool kit, D A V I D S O N
Service
£15 plus p&p; brand new
Manual, XLH models,
Kawasaki 1400ZZR light tint
1998, £20. Harley Davidson
d/bubble screen, £50 plus
Performance handbook
p&p; almost new Kawasaki
(Buzzeli), £12. Haynes Harley
1400ZZR smoked tint
spoiler screen, £50 plus p&p; Davidson Sportsters, £10
Hyperpro (RSC) type steering or £35 for all. Tel. 01642
damper off 1400 ZZR, will 280530; 07816 340143.
fit most bikes with correct North Yorkshire.
fitting kit and have ZZR kit, R1200GS 2004-2011 front
and rear sergeant seats,
£125 plus p&p (damper only).
black with silver piping,
Tel. 01805 623310. Devon.
HONDA M/C top end gasket (rider’s seat low version),
£250; Givi Trekker 52ltr
sets, XL250, £20; CB250/G/
mono-key top box (takes
T/S, £25; CB/CL 200, £25;
CD/CM185, £25; XR75, 2 full-face lids) + complete
fitting kit for GS, £220;
£20; Honda SL125 K1 parts
all in spotless condition
list, manual, £12. Tel. 01484
(selling due to RT purchase).
663007. W Yorks.
Tel.
01224
277418.
HONDA VFR1200 FA inner
pannier bags, free but must Aberdeenshire.
OWNERS
collect or pay postage. Tel. S U Z U K I
HANDBOOKS
1990
07728 274552. Lincs.
HONDA VFR1200FA 2010
GSXR750, 1997 GSXR600,
Bazzaz Z Bomb, eliminates 1979 RM250 Motocross,
performance restrictions,
£5 each + p&p Tel. 01343
with fitting instructions,
544528. Morayshire.
£30 Tel. 07900 371020. TOOL KIT Honda CBF1000F/
Northumberland.
FA/FT/FS, brand new, £15
HONDA VFR1200FA 2010,
Tel. 01805 623310. Devon.
Baglux tank cover, black & V-STROM
LUGGAGE
red, as new, £50 Tel. 07900
genuine Suzuki, fitted at the
371020. Northumberland.
moment to my 2009 bike but
HONDA VFR800 V-Tec
I’m changing it, for sale is the
2002, full years MoT, Givi
panniers, pannier mounting
luggage, Scottoiler, alarm, rails and top box, £300 Tel.
new tyres and front pads, 075900 10235 or send a
owned for six years, selling
message. Lancs.
because bike is to heavy for YAMAHA XJ900 Shaftie,
me now, £2000 Tel. 07752 in very nice condition,
459539. Greater London.
occasional second gear
LADIES FRANK THOMAS spin, otherwise ideal, reliable
leather jeans size 12, 43”
winter inexpensive transport,
long from waist, hardly worn,
only £475 or swap Honda
£45 postage extra. Tel.
Twin 125/200. Tel. 01525
02380 227458.
378332. South Beds.
MAGAZINES: full set of
1970s On Two Wheels YAMAHA XJR1300 Beowulf
magazines including original stainless steel, oil cooler
radiator cover new, unused,
free poster, £25 + post.
Also full years or individual £25 Tel. 07732 125886.
Lincs.
copies of classic mechanics
magazines all as new
condition, ring with you
requirements. Tel. 07986
754713. Derbyshire.
MERCEDES 320SL which
I would like to swap or part
exchange for a classic
motorcycle, preferably 70s
80s Japanese!! Contact
for further details (pics etc)
£3995 Tel. 07712 839727
Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd
texts please. County
is authorised and regulated by the
Financial Conduct Authority.
Down.
www.classicmechanics.com / 115
Classic Bike
insurance
0800 458 2530
Oil be alright!
We take a sideways look at the ubiquitous two-stroke
oil injection system. What could possibly go wrong?
1
WORDS AND PHOTOS: STEVE COOPER
W
hen the Japanese
embraced
two-strokes with
open arms they did so for one
reason and one reason only...
simplicity. Cheap and easy to make
accurately, the humble stinkwheels rapidly
became a cash cow.
With the advent of tuned exhaust
systems, disc valve induction, squish band
cylinder head technology and optimised
porting the bikes just got better and better.
Yet perhaps the most significant
development or enhancement in terms of
owner/rider benefit was the fitment of oil
injection pumps.
Each manufacturer made huge capital of
this quantum leap for the humble stroker
and to all intents and purposes it removed
the last genuine objection to owning a
two-stroke. With no messy premix to muck
116 / classic motorcycle mechanics
about with, all the owner had to do was
make sure the oil tank wasn’t running low
and then the road was theirs for the taking.
With oil consumption levels better than
many British four-strokes, there really was
no logical reason to complain about
practicality either. Posi-Force, CCI,
Autolube, Superlube, Oil Injection – the
main players each had a different name
for what amounted to the same thing and
many of CMM’s demographic have come to
depend upon these systems.
We may take automatic oiling for
granted but occasionally things can and do
go wrong. We’ve previously looked inside a
Yamaha pump which is the heart of any
two-stroke lubrication system but what
about the peripherals? Do they fail? What
are the tell-tale signs? Can they be fixed
and if so how? Read on for a snapshot of
two-stroke oiling issues and possible fixes.
2
1/ Yes it could well be the oil pump itself
leaking but equally it could be the outlet
union or even the gasket behind the bleed
screw. All should be thoroughly
investigated. 2/ At the delivery end up at
the point of injection into the inlet track
there’s evidence of another leak. It might
just be a loose union, but equally it could
be a cracked pipe.
Simple solutions: Don’t over tighten bolts or cables used on injector systems.
3
4
5
3/ A puddle of oil on a crankcase should always ring alarm bells. If oil’s leaking out the engine’s being deprived of vital lubrication. 4/ You’ll
struggle now to find the OEM washers used on oil line banjos. On alloy or steel unions you can use a soft copper washer but fibre ones are
normally kinder to the gasket faces. 5/ Ensure replacements are the same diameters internally and externally. Thickness isn’t generally an
issue as long as the oil feed hole is not obscured. Use the correct spanner and don’t over tighten!
Gluing rigid oil pipes
The pre-formed oil pipes found on
numerous older Japanese strokers are
made from rigid plastics such as
polypropylene or polyethylene. They
are referred to as low surface energy
materials and generally don’t take
kindly to being glued. Before broken
joints, such as we’ve seen in the
article, can be repaired they need to
be totally free of grease and oil.
Careful cleaning using a lint free
cloth with carb cleaner or similar
followed by acetone should do the job
perfectly. If your oil pipe or union feels
sticky after cleaning then the cleaning
solvents have permeated the plastic.
Allow the solvent to fully evaporate
6
then carry on. Before the two parts
can be reunited both need to be
suitably primed; if not the adhesive
bond will fail pretty much straight
away. Those fussy plastics come under
the heading of polyolefins and are
similar to your household washing up
bowl i.e. slightly oily to the touch.
Both the internal collar of the fitting
and the external neck of the pipe
should be carefully coated with a
polyolefin primer/activator such as
Three Bond 1796, Loctite 770, 3M AC11
Scotch-Weld or similar. Apply and
allow to dry, as per the manufacturer’s
specific instructions. Now apply a thin
coat of low viscosity, non-gelled, super
glue to the outside of the oil supply
pipe ONLY and carefully fit it into the
primed socket. You only get one shot
at this and in order to get the correct
orientation it’s best to have the socket
end loosely in place on the pump end
via its banjo bolt and to keep the
supply end loose at the crankcase,
carb or barrel.
If there’s any doubt about fitment,
ease of access or alignment try a dry
run beforehand; once superglue has
bonded there’s no getting the
components apart. Allow the glue to
properly cure overnight and then
prime the oil. You should find it is oil
and airtight ready for use.
7
6/ The black rubber washers are aftermarket tat and Yamaha’s listed replacements are copper, which will damage the hard plastic banjos.
Fibre washers are probably the only viable option four decades on. 7/ Air bubbles in an oil line are never good news. If it’s not the sealing
washers under the banjo unions then it’s unlikely to be a straightforward fix. Whatever the cause, rectification is vital.
www.classicmechanics.com / 117
Flexible lines
The oil lines used on later strokers
are normally flexible opaque tubing
secured at either end with some
form of metal clip. Although the
metal clips don’t physically seal the
pipe to the oil tank, pump, banjo
bolt etc. they perform a vital role
despite their diminutive appearance.
Look carefully and the pipe will
be pushed over a larger diameter
collar integral with the fitting. This
collar stretches the pipe as it’s
pushed over and forms the seal.
The pipe’s natural elasticity grasps
the pipe above and below the collar
thereby effecting an oil-tight seal.
The metal clip, either contracting
wire or roll spring, sits above the
collar and prevents the pipe being
accidentally wrenched from the
fitting. Road debris, vibration or
rough maintenance can all subtly
and gradually work an oil pipe off
its fitting. Those apparently
primitive clips perform a vital job;
omit them at your peril!
8
8/ A gentle wiggle of the pipe at the other end and this is what happens. The main pipe was
a heat-formed swaging when new but the joint has failed over time with heat, stress and
vibration, allowing air into the pipe.
9
10
11
12
9/ The plastic pipes are hard to find and expensive, so we’re going to repair them using a bit of lateral thought and some clever chemistry. The
pipe needs to be degreased, primed and glued using these materials. 10/ And there we have a perfectly working, viable, long-term repair that
has cost less than sourcing an NOS replacement. One year on our adhesive repair is still functioning as intended. 11/ On a Yamaha this is would
be a simple pipe secured on a spigot by a clip. On a Suzuki there’s a total of five jointing faces with seals and gaskets plus a non-return valve.
The black crud indicates at least one of them is leaking. 12/ If your bike runs black oil lines and you think there may be an issue, install clear
tubing to check for aeration. This dodge should work for any stroker if you fit oil feed unions and banjo bolts of the correct dimensions. cmm
118 / classic motorcycle mechanics
COMING CLASSICS
Kawasaki
ZX-7R
SPECIFICATION
Kawasaki
YEARS AVAILABLE
1996-2003
MAJOR CHANGES
None, only colour changes
PRICE NEW
£9120 at launch in 1996
VALUES NOW
£1300-£3500
VERDICT
A great piece of superbike
history and pretty good
value too!
FOR: gorgeous looks
and plenty around
AGAINST: some tacky
ones around, rotting
exhausts.
T
he Kawasaki ZX-7R has been around for
nearly 20 years and it still looks fast even
when standing still. While Suzuki was
trimming down with the SRAD 750 (179 kilos)
Kawasaki entered the market with the 7R weighing
in at nearly 25kg more, kicking out around the same
sort of horsepower. In the 750 class Honda had
its own take on the market with the sports-touring
VFR750FS and Yamaha’s YZF750 was a bit long in
the tooth.
On paper the Kawasaki shouldn’t have been in
the hunt with the SRAD, but both sold well. For
the ZX-7R its extra bulk and top notch front-end
evened things up out in the real world and while the
SRAD then and now is a little manic and demanding
(which is okay if you’re in the mood) the Kawasaki is
somewhat more composed.
Where the SRAD flaps and slaps, the ZX just
ploughs through unaffected. Not that the Kawasaki
isn’t sharp and precise – it is just that, it’s just not
as sharp as the more focused Suzuki that, for many
people, will make it a better prospect all round. This
is shown as it also seems to have attracted more
sensible owners who don’t go for quite the same
amount of bolt-on tat as Suzuki owners. Remember
when you buy that some bits, such as quality
exhausts like Akrapovic, are worthy additions, after
all, the original is heavy and restrictive – if desirable
for the collector.
Of the two ZX-7R’s I’ve ridden both sounded
rather harsh motor-wise but apparently this isn’t a
sign of any impending mechanical mischief. Some
were just a bit noisier than others, so I’ve heard. The
motor is a bigger bore and shorter stroke than the
ZXR it replaced and is very reliable by all accounts.
ASK ANDY
Andy Bolas knows a
thing or two about
finding the classics of
the future – he owns
plenty! He knows
what you need to tuck away for
the future – and this is a good
bet, the Kawasaki ZX-7R.
A few common problems were carb icing in winter
– this can be helped by using a fuel additive like
Silkolene Pro FST or similar, head bearings which
were only threatened with grease at the factory,
early models warped their discs and the six-pot
Tokico callipers can go off quickly if they are not
well maintained. A friend of mine recently rebuilt
the front brakes on his and is still in shock over the
price of the genuine seals and pistons.
You need to be on the look out for the usual stuff
rotting, so that means downpipes, warped discs,
badly repaired bodywork – do be aware on these
modern classic sportsbikes that consumables can
cost you a huge amount. So, a bike needing new
tyres, chain and sprockets can easily cost you
another £400.
Recently, there have been a few very low-mileage
bikes for sale at £3k plus, I think if you are looking
for an investment, you shouldn’t lose out if you
need to move the bike on. On the other hand if you
just want a decent user £1500 should get you a
reasonable bike. Go for it! cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 119
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120 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Next month
ULTIMATE TWO-STROKE: Stan Stephens finishes the RD1200LC, V6
– but where will it go?
KAWASAKI W1: Steve Cooper throws a leg over a very classic Kawasaki.
SUZUKI GSX1100E: John Nutting rides a super-cool special.
RACE READY: Chris Moss tells us about a Phase One endurance race Suzuki GSX1100E.
SUZUKI GSX-R750F: The Suzuki GB project is built up at the Motorcycle Live stand.
Bert makes the tea…
PLUS!
WORKSHOP: How to make brake hoses, more on electrics and more tips, hints and
cheats in the workshop.
JANUARY PROJECT BIKES: Bertie strips his Kawasaki GPz900R and finds out a few
things, some not so good. Ella Middleton finishes her Yamaha TDR250 and James
Whitham is close to finishing his Suzuki X7.
AND MUCH MORE! DON’T MISS IT!*
ON SALE: DECEMBER 16
*The editor reserves the
right to completely mess
up the above list in a bid
to give you the best mix
of 1960s, 1970s, 1980s
and 1990s machines and
fettling tips!
www.classicmechanics.com / 121
Parting shot
Daytona Dreaming
Honda had to go racing with their
new CB750, because if they didn’t
someone else would and maybe not as
successfully.
Could you imagine some Honda
dealer racing a converted CB750
themselves and (perish the thought)
the thing expiring, or – maybe even
worse – they won?
US Honda dealers were keen for
Honda to try their luck in the 1970
Daytona 200 – the premier event in
the bike racing calendar over there
122 / classic motorcycle mechanics
– and the CB750 Racing Type was
ridden by Tommy Robb, Ralph Bryans,
Bill Smith and Dick Mann. Mann was
able to coax his CB750 to the flag and
victory after the others were sidelined
with technical issues in a race where
legends such as Mike Hailwood and
Gary Nixon took part.
After the win, racing continued for
Honda and the CB750. This shot is from
1973 where the RSC machine of Morio
Sumiya (on right) took sixth place in the
Daytona 200 race.
What was the shape of things to
come was the now famous Honda
tricolour design of red, white and blue.
These colours have taken 500cc Grand
Prix wins and championships with the
like of Freddie Spencer, we’ve had them
on road bikes, including Honda’s NS and
VF machines and it’s still seen today on
Honda’s road-going Grand Prix replica
the RC213V.
● If you want to check out the amazing
shots in Morton’s Archive then go to:
www.mortonsarchive.com cmm
www.classicmechanics.com / 123
124 / classic motorcycle mechanics