Page 1


Ridden & rated!


KAWASAKII Z1A Buyer’s guide




YAMAHA YZFHow to buy and improve Yamaha’s peerless sportsbike!


eap, h c e h t on t ikes! i g n i Do db on ol


Sorting old forks. forks 90 90s: Honda CBR1000F CBR1000F, Aprilia RS250 resto. 80s: Suzuki GSX-R1100G, Yamaha FZR600. 70s: Yamaha CS3C, Kawasaki Z1300 and Z1325 Special. Also: Allen Millyard column, Q&A: Your questions answered, your bikes and your memories!

Years of CMM know-how at your fingertips!

September 2018 Issue 371

September 2018 Issue 371 Publisher: Dan Savage, Contributors: Kev Larkins, Joe Dick, Kris Jones, Alan Turner Art editor: Justin Blackamore Picture Desk: Paul Fincham, Jonathan Schofield Production editor: Dan Sharp Divisional advertising manager: Zoe Thurling Tel: 01507 529412 Advertising: Robert Bee Tel: 01507 529575 Subscription manager: Paul Deacon Circulation manager: Steven O’Hara Marketing manager: Charlotte Park Commercial director: Nigel Hole Editorial address: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR Website: General enquiries and back issues: Tel: 01507 529529 24-hour answer phone Archivist: Jane Skayman 01507 529423 Subscription: Full subscription rates (but see page 40 for offer): (12 months 12 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £51.60. Export rates are also available – see page 40 for more details. UK subscriptions are zero-rated for the purposes of Value Added Tax. Customer services: Tel: 01507 529529 Lines are open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-7pm Saturday 8.30am-12:30pm Distribution: Marketforce UK Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU. Tel: 0203 787 9001 Subscription agents: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR Printed: William Gibbons & Sons, Wolverhampton Published date: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE is published on the third Wednesday of every month Next issue: September 19, 2018 Advertising deadline: August 30, 2018 © Mortons Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the 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

Doesn’t time fly by? Looking at the content of this issue I cannot believe that the Yamaha YZF-R1 is 20 years old this year. I still recall my first ride on one: a brand-new red and white 4XV test bike from Yamaha. I couldn’t get my head around just how fast it was and how quickly those numbers on the oh-so-cool LCD speedo would rise at the merest whiff of your right wrist. Little wonder then that Yamaha has lots planned for this year to celebrate and the fact the 4XV is ridden and dissected over many pages in this month’s CMM. Hell, even Niall Mackenzie wants to buy one as a project… We’re also looking at track-days on classics, with Mark Forsyth saying how to do it on the


Ralph Ferrand

Mark Haycock

Scoop is the engine room of CMM! He’s given us a Z1A guide, sorted his forks on the CS3C and reckons he’s nearly there!

Ralph gives us two Zed helpings this month, with the Z1300 and the project Z1325. He also pops his track-day cherry!

Mark will be back with his projects next issue, but for now he’s answering Q&As for the benefit of you all.

Older, nicer bikes editor

As we write this, he’s off to the Salon Prive but in the meantime, read on about the amazing RC374 build.

Pip Higham

The man, the legend… Pip rides the Banbury Run on a 1929 Prester, watched by proud brother Bill. Rest in peace Bill, from all at CMM.

Having trouble finding a copy of this magazine? Why not Just Ask your local newsagent to reserve you a copy each month?

Steve Cooper

Engineer extraordinaire!

The Professional Publishers Association


Allen Millyard

Independent publisher since 1885

cheap and Ralph Ferrand doing it for the first time on his road bike. Pictured above is me on my old ZX-7R back in 2001. I used to do lots of track-days back then and the old Kwak was a cost-effective way of doing it. It looked like a British Superbike, but was just dressed in ex-Steve Plater bodywork – it even had a side-stand! Recently, this bike (more battered and bruised than ever) has come back into my life. What should I do with it, I wonder?

Big Zed lover

Mark Forsyth

Q&A king


Professional Cumbrian What can be said about the legend that is MF that hasn’t already been said in a court of law? Lord MF is a top-level former racer (Battle of the Twins champ), ex-Performance Bikes editor and master of ‘the Cumbrian ring’ where you ring someone long enough for them to see it’s you calling, then ring off, allowing them to call you back at their expense.

Olly Crick

R1 4XV expert

We’re proud to get Olly’s expertise on making Yamaha’s R1 even better. He’s owned and modded his for years. Page 56.

Jeff Ware

Two-stroke lover! Jeff finishes the Aprilia RS250 this month but the smell of two-stroke oil is soon replaced with that of nappies. Page 122.

Scott Redmond

Robert Bee

Martin Child

Does our Scottie actually have a soft spot for Yamaha’s YZF-R1? Will he break his, or will he ride it?

Big Bad Bob is the main man to book YOUR advert in CMM. He’s a lovely chap, so ring him and say ‘hi!’

Dare we say that this curious mix of 2008 GSX-R and 1986 GSX-R1100 is starting to take shape? Page 114.

Breaker, breaker…


Cupid Stunt rider / 3

Insurance solutions* for classics and more. Did you know with FJ+ you can tailor your policy from a range of cover options, including; breakdown, agreed value and salvage retention?

Call our friendly UK team for a quote.

0333 207 6029

or visit: *All cover is subject to insurer’s terms and conditions, which are available upon request. Footman James is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Telephone calls may be monitored or recorded. FP ADGE.1084.5.18


❙ Q&A












Mark Haycock with a page of tips.

Ralph Ferrand gets on a lathe… Scoop reckons it’s on its way!

This month Allen gets frame building!

CMM reader Dave Brooking is blessed from above.





Dave Jefferies and the R1 at the 1999 TT.

What’s hot to trot with 1990s sportsbikes?

40 42


Subscribe and save cash!


Subscribe and have 10 million CMM words at your fingertips!

10 12 14





110 ❙ KAWASAKI Z1300





114 ❙ SUZUKI GSX-R1100G









Scoop tackles both his Yammy’s gammy legs.


Paul Brookes on cutting and shutting his racing homage!


Steve’s guide to buying this Kawasaki classic! Ralph gets further on with the mighty six. Wildy puts pen to paper to sort his rear-end out!


Niall Mackenzie returns and he’s looking for an R1 project.

122 ❙ APRILIA RS250

Jeff Ware gets the two-stroke finished.

Subscribe & have 10 million CMM words at your fingertips!


New kit, tools, tyres and stuff.

CMM TESTED We try stuff out.

Events, news and what’s happening. WIN Bridgestone tyres for our star letter! WIN S-Doc cleaning kit and Tamiya kits! Steve Cooper falls in love with a little gem!



Mark Forsyth on the 20-year-old sports legend. Scott Redmond on what to look out for. Olly Crick on how to improve the 4XV.


Suzuki’s GSX1000 Katana…

What’s happening in the October CMM?


Pip has a mountain to climb in honour of brother Bill.

How to do it on a very tight budget!


Ralph Ferrand pops his track cherry on a road classic!

PAGE 42 / 5

6 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Dave Jefferies

and the R1

Allan David Jefferies 18 September 1972 – 29 May 2003



his may seem a bold claim, but it could be argued that the talents of just one man and the prowess of a new sportsbike combined to destroy the Honda V4’s grip on the big Isle of Man TT races. Even in its recalcitrant RC45 form, the Honda V4 was almost unbeatable around the island, until Big DJ’s skill was combined with the tuning talents of Jack Valentine and Steve Mellor at V&M Racing. The time was ripe for change. Firstly, this would be the last TT of the millennium and secondly, V&M had previously worked closely with Honda and split with them at the end of 1998. With Yamaha UK also wanting to big-up their new flagship sportsbike, the scene was set. DJ was ready to win – he’d debuted on the Island in 1996 – so many thought a win was coming and come it did. He won the Formula 1 race at the fastest-ever average speed: 121.35mph – by 15.8 seconds from Joey Dunlop. The Production TT turned into a Yamaha

R1 battle between Iain Duffus, DJ and Phillip McCallen – also R1-mounted. Jefferies would take the win when Duffus’ race ended prematurely in retirement. The Senior TT showed some positives for the Honda RC45, when Jim Moodie destroyed the sevenyear-old absolute lap record from a standing start in 18m 11.4s – 124.45mph on the opening lap. But the tyre cried enough on lap two and DJ’s second lap at 123.69mph gave him the lead. He would win the race, becoming one of the few riders to win three TT Races in a week. Interestingly the V&M Racing R1 was about 170bhp – just 20 up on stock – and retained many road parts, including the forks. The bike itself cost around £20,000 all-in, compared to the ultra-exotic RC45s rumoured to be worth £400,000… The following year Honda would go to the TT with a FireBlade and a modified SP-1 twin. Moodie would slate the Blade while Joey Dunlop would score his final and perhaps best TT win on the Honda VTR. / 7



1990s sportsbikes

As the YZF-R1 turns 20, we check out why 1990s sports machines offer plenty of bang for your buck. Scott Redmond shows you what is available.


decade ago the thought of discussing 1990s motorcycles within CMM wouldn’t have gone down too well, but these machines offer some real bang for our buck and now some are marked as bona fide classics. Britain was sportsbike mad in the 1990s and they were the big sellers, which means if you are looking for one now, there’s no shortage still on the used market. Some will be official UK bikes and some will be ‘parallel imports’ from other countries, which at the time were much cheaper than UK bikes. On the surface they looked identical, other than a headlight that dipped the wrong way and a km/h speedo, but some produced less power than UK-spec bikes. In the end UK importers had to reduce their asking prices and parallel dealers almost disappeared, but fast-forward to 2018 and the parallel issue is back in play. Buyers at the top end of the 1990s classic market are mostly focused on pukka UK machines and these set the benchmark for prices. The kings of the Nineties Japanese sportsbike pack are the CBR900RR FireBlade and the Yamaha R1. To complicate matters prices then get model sensitive, a 1992 RR-N Blade can command price tags of over £7000 if bog standard and point perfect, yet the first thing we did back in the day was to fit a Micron can, Dynojet kit and tinted screen, so finding a minter is hard. Later models (like the RR-W and RR-X model of 1998-99) are superior machines to the 1992 original in every way but not as ‘wanted’ and can be had for less than £2000.

8 / classic motorcycle mechanics

20 years on and its still a looker.

Strangely, the 1994 second-generation Blade CBR900RR-S ‘Foxeye’ is highly desirable, but only if they are finished in beige! Yup, the Urban Tiger is a cult bike. Good Tigers are rare, minters are non-existent and prices boil down to what someone will pay for one. The prices for 4XV R1s are leaping up, but if you want a red and white 1998 R1 you will pay a premium over exactly the same bike that’s finished in blue. And beware if you want a red/white one. The lovely metallic white paint used by Yamaha is hard to copy – that’s why a fair few that I’ve seen of late are finished in a flat gloss white. So, go and look at the bike you’re buying – not just at a picture. When a mate was looking for a 4XV in red/white, our own Andy Bolas had some wise words, suggesting he was better off buying a 1999 model in blue! Why? There are more about and for less money… Another Yamaha from the Nineties that falls into this honey trap is the YZF750. An original model in pink and white is a highly prized find (around the £3000 mark) yet a later model with its better suspension and bigger radiator can be snapped up for around £2000. The 1990s is the last decade to offer us genuine bargains on emerging classic bikes. Everything from disposed kings of speed like the Kawasaki ZZR1100, Honda Blackbird and Suzuki Hayabusa were ‘hot’ back in the day, but not-so-popular bikes now make bargains. Bikes like the mighty ZX-9R. 1994-1997’s B model hasn’t aged too well, a mix of iffy build quality and not much of a following, yet the 1998 C model is a cracking bike. Prices for either the B or C are very sensible, with plenty of choice from around £1500. It would be rude not to remind you that the YZF1000 Thunderace uses the best bits from the FZR1000 EXUP (engine) and a YZF750-ish chassis. It’s looks have never been its strong point, but there’s plenty of choice and good honest machines out there for around £2000. So what about Suzuki? Let’s look at the GSX-R750WT SRAD: some people hate the looks, while others love them. Maybe that’s why prices are still pinned back on the whole. Fancy a twin? Due to the success of Ducati’s 916, the Japanese briefly flirted with twin-pot race-reps towards the end of the decade. The Honda VTR1000 FireStorm was a bit plain and it wasn’t until the SP-1 was born that anyone took Honda too seriously. Prices for the 916 clan are only going one way. It’s not a bike that everyone can afford or live with, but it's desirable. Prices are dependent on spec/history. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s TL1000S (and the uniquelooking R) and Storm are residents of the bargain basement, selling for less than £2000. cmm


ur Andy is a serial bike-buyer and has an eye for a good bike and a great deal. He doesn’t want to lose money on a bike, so here are his top tips.

attention. If an owner claims to have spent money on servicing or restoration work without a receipt it’s hard to believe them. Old MoTs and even out-of-date tax discs show that the right kind of person owned it in the past.

■ Originality: An original bike is always a good starting point – it doesn’t have to be in stunning condition, it’s more about it being complete and unmessed with.

■ Avoid the obvious models: Bikes like the CBR600F are a great example. For over 10 years Honda improved the original F-H model into the last steel-framed F-W model. They all appeal to different people. Buy the model that you maybe wanted but never got. If it isn’t the earliest or latest so what? It’s YOUR money!

■ Must-haves: The very things we might have changed in our youth are the parts that help to make a tidy classic. Items like original indicators, screen and an uncut rear mudguard. These parts can be found for sale but more often than not finding NOS items can be time consuming – you’d be amazed how many screens are no longer available direct from the manufacturer. ■ Mileage: Finding low mileage bikes gets tougher with every year, but they do appear. Always check the MoT history to find out if it’s correct. ■ Paperwork/history: A brimming file of receipts and paperwork always gets my

Buy Now Buy Now

■ Alarms: I’m not a fan! Though lots of Nineties bikes had them fitted to satisfy insurance companies’ needs. Old alarms are a pain in the chuff and removing them isn’t much fun either. Budget to have one removed before doing any deal.

■ UK origin: On the whole a UK bike is more desirable when you’re talking about immaculate examples, sadly our climate means most UK bikes end up looking pretty average. I was recently offered just shy of £10,000 for my show-winning UK Honda VFR400R NC30. Obviously I declined! ■ Grey imports: Japanese grey imports are the only way to get your hands on desirable models that we never got officially and even now many shops specialise in shipping bikes from Japan. I always try to buy anything I’m interested in when it first arrives. It allows me to see the bike before workshops get to work.

■ Datatag: Another (not so) great idea! Etch all panels with a code and ruin your bike! Some bikes carry more than one unique code if they’ve been fixed with breaker’s yard parts from another Datatagged machine. It looks ugly and adds little.

■ Parts availability: We assume that you can buy any part new over the counter – wrong! Recently, I went to buy a stunning R1. The only flaw was some brake fluid stain on the screen – otherwise it was a pristine bike. The dealer agreed to supply a new genuine Yamaha screen, but within a few days he called to say he couldn’t find one anywhere for sale and even Yamaha had stopped making them! Always check availability of parts before you buy! cmm

Buy Buy Now

Buy Now Buy Now

Some 1990s machines are still cheap: but not an Urban Tiger! / 9



The latest riding kit, top tools, tyres, retro clothing and more! METZELER ROADTEC Z8 INTERACT TYRES


Available as a full gauntlet-style sport riding glove (RP-2) or shorty glove (RP-3) these have a full leather palm with floating carbon knuckle to allow your hand to articulate freely when riding. Tough and comfy, these come in three colourways in sizes small to 3XL. The prices are the same for shorty or gauntlet-style gloves.


If you’ve got a 1990s or early 2000s sports-tourer then these tyres are for you. No, they’re not the latest Roadtec 01s from Metz, as these were launched back in 2012, but that means they will be cheaper and are still top-notch performers and they come in a wide range of sizes to suit bikes of ‘our’ era, from 110 fronts (in 17in and 18in) 120 fronts (17s and 18s) and rears from 140 up to 190 rear section. For prices check your local dealership or tyre merchant.


HJC CS-15 STORMTROOPER HELMET If you like Star Wars and love a well-priced feature-packed lid, then the HJC CS-15 helmet is for you. The CS-15 uses HJC’s Advanced Channelling System to direct air around the skull for maximum cooling, which is backed up by a machine-washable, removable comfort liner. Micro-buckle adjustment one colour (evil Empire white) only and sizes XS-2XL.


ELECTRIC CABLING Connect Workshop Consumables has recently introduced a new range of mini reels of high-quality cable in a variety of colours and capacities from 5 amp up to 27 amp. Three varieties of speaker cable are also included in the mini reel range. These are general purpose low voltage cables manufactured to BS 6862, suitable for use in automotive and marine applications in temperatures up to 70°C.


£5.40 per roll and

The SP Master GORE-TEX is a sporty, versatile boot suitable for all-weather riding. They are comfy and for protection, the boots benefit from a Polyurethane Ankle Retention System, heel guard, ergonomic shin plate with iron mesh air intakes and a PU shift pad integrated into the upper section of the boots. Toe-sliders and foot-beds are also replaceable. They comes in black and black/ yellow fluo in sizes 38-49 for £229.99, or choose the SP Master Waterproof, which ditches the GORE-TEX in favour of a different waterproof liner for just £189.99.

10 / classic motorcycle mechanics


£349.95 (trousers)

£399.95 (jacket)


The Racing 3 is an iconic jacket with cowhide leather, replaceable aluminium shoulder plates and composite protectors. Pockets for the double chest protector, G1 and G2 back protectors are included, while two outer pockets make sure your valuables stay safe while on the move. Available in five colours (white/black/red, black/fluo-red, red/black/white, /black/fluo-

yellow and black), and in UK sizes 34-54 (sizes 8-22 for women.) The jacket can be fastened to any leather trousers in Dainese’s range, including these Delta 3 pants, available in UK sizes 28-48 (sizes 6-22 for women) and in four different colours (black/white/red, black/white, black/ fluo-yellow and black/fluo-red).

SEALEY 7 DRAWER ROLLCAB WITH 156PC TOOL KIT Brand new and available in four colours (orange, red, black or blue) the Sealey 7 Drawer Superline Pro Rollcab with 156-piece tool kit has a strong, well made rollcab constructed from heavy gauged steel with heavy-duty 45mm ball bearing drawer slides. The 156pc tool kit package includes: tool trays with 6pc prybar, hammer and hacksaw

set; 55pc socket set, 3⁄8in and 1/2in square drive; 13pc Metric combination spanner; 6pc screwdriver set; 4pc locking pliers and adjustable wrench set; 60pc security TRX-Star/hex/ribe/spline bit set; 4pc pliers set and 8pc T-handle ball-end hex key set.




Sealey’s 16-page Hand Tool Promotion has nearly 200 products on offer inside, more than 20 of which are new. It also contains products with up to 52% discount off the list price and is valid to September 30, 2018. This promotion features the growing range of Premier Black Hand Tools, which sees torque wrenches, socket bit sets and breaker bars added to this popular series. Other new products include a range of multi-coloured socket sets that are colour coded to match the sizes in the existing spanner sets. For more go to or call 01284 757500. / 11



Riding kit worn, tools twirled & tyres turned TCX S-SPORT BOOTS

My TCX boots have been with me now for nine years. They really are my ‘sole’ mate, but despite my best attempts to ignore the fact they’re nearing the end of their natural life, I still pull them on my trotters on a daily basis. They are so comfortable I’d often slip them on to nip to the shops even when I wasn’t taking the bike! They aren’t the lairiest looking boots in the world, and that’s another reason why we get on so well. They offer me weather protection in winter months yet cause me no discomfort on those rare hot and balmy days: they’ve been the perfect all-rounder. The black leather uppers have lasted well, and despite me never treating them to the array of weather eather protective products out there, they’ve alwa ays looked smart. In the last few weeks tho ough I’ve become aware of the odd crack c in the leather, and I’ve had the odd o soggy sock as a result when outt riding in the rain. There’s a part of my brain that wants to blank it out, but I have to face facts, my boots are dying. The soles are still good despitte the many miles I’ve walked on them. The moulded pattern on the oil and petrol resistant sole is now smooth to the touch in places, and it’s only a matter of time before another leak zone he emerges. I must have yanked th zips a zillion times over the last seven years, which is g kit. These zips still often a weak spot on any biking still clings operate perfectly; likewise the velcro v together. I’ve worn these boots in all weathers and have ridden all sorts of bikes in them. From the thousands of miles me

DRAPER DRAP CIRCLIP PLIERS I’ve had similar sets of multi-head circlip pliers, but these Draper circlip pliers (19735) far surpass them! Both internal and external circlips are catered for and the various pairs of jaws cater for pretty much every eventuality. In fact this set often succeeds where other, single purpose, circlip pliers seem to fail. They’re well-made and have seen me through numerous projects without fail. Cheap as chips and ideal for the home garage fettler. From

£29.99 12 / classic motorcycle mechanics



for the latest versions

and m my CBR1000F clocked up to riding exotic c bikes like the Honda NR750, or more recently the Kawasaki supercharged H2 for magazzine articles, it’s always been my TCX footwe ear resting on the pegs and tapping away on the gear lever. Im might be able to get the rest of the sum mmer from them, but when autumn arrrives I know I’ll have to retire them. It’’s a no brainer on what I’ll get to re eplace them, and I look forward to w writing a review in 2023 about how bootiful my new boots were. ■S Scott Redmond www n




Every workshop needs a tube of this stuff on hand! Sticks like the proverbial and works where other glues fail. From an annoying nick in a seat cover, loose footrests and gluing headlamp lenses to their reflector bowls this stuff is the business. Best of all it’s a ‘neutral cure’ product so there’s no chemicals being liberated as it goes off so no damage or staining to surrounding areas. A small blob has the most amazing adhesive power so a tube will last for ages. It even works on glass! ■ Steve Cooper or try eBay/ Amazon / 13



Bennetts launch new classic insurance! Motorcycle specialist Bennetts has launched insurance for classic bikes! They can now offer owners of modern classic and vintage machinery individually tailored, ‘5 Star Defaqto-rated coverage’ for their pride and joy. The experts at Bennetts have designed the classic motorcycles package to make it as easy as possible for owners to customise and modify their bikes. The policy includes 16 common modifications covered as standard ( customer/help-advice/ modifications/standard) and – for the many classic bike owners whose machinery is an ongoing project – if any of those 16 modifications are made after taking out the policy, they do not need to be declared to

Bennetts. For nonstandard modifications to the bike, there is no administration fee to amend the policy to include these changes. Bennetts insurance for classic motorcycles also includes optional agreed value, making sure each unique bike is insured to the correct price. Should the worst happen and the bike is written off, the salvage retention options allow owners to buy back their bike and recover any parts. For those who want to show off their prized possession to fellow enthusiasts, the policy includes show and events cover. Many CMM readers own modern and classic bikes, so Bennetts offers insurance for these on one multi-bike policy (up to four bikes), so owners who have more than one type of machine in their garage

Bennetts can cover your classic.

do not need to insure each one on separate policies. “At Bennetts, we understand that owning a classic bike is about much more than just riding,” explains Bennetts’ head of commercial, Brady Hoines. “It’s about tinkering, polishing and

ever-improving your pride and joy and showing it off to like-minded people who appreciate the work you have put in. That’s why when it comes to insurance for classic motorcycles, we have created a package that takes all those things into account.

Classic Suzukis to hit the track! In this issue of CMM we wax lyrical about the enjoyment to be found track-daying your classics – so why not give this event a go? The very first classic Suzuki-themed track-day takes place at Cadwell Park on Thursday, September 13, in partnership with the Suzuki Vintage Parts Programme. The day will be open to all Suzuki machinery manufactured before 2000, with riders able to book into one of four groups; Novice, Two-Strokes, Up-to 750cc and Over-750cc – with each group enjoying six 14 / classic motorcycle mechanics

sessions throughout the day. There will also be a host of other on-track activity, including parade laps of classic race bikes and owners’ clubs. Special guests present on the day will include three-time British Superbike champion John Reynolds, Steve Parrish, Guy Martin, Pete Boast, James Whitham and Phil Read. Away from the track action the Cadwell Park paddock will be turned into a hive of classic Suzuki activity so pop along even if you’re not going on track. Attractions will

“The fact that we are also able to insure both modern and classic machinery on the same multi-bike policy means that it’s easier than ever to protect your bikes.” ■ motorbike-insurance/ classic-bikes

Pete Boast and an XR69.

include Team Classic Suzuki’s Katana and XR69s as well as Suzuki-powered drag bikes, customs and dirt bikes, and displays of iconic race bikes

such as Kevin Schwantz’s and Kenny Roberts Jr’s RGV500s. ■ For more information go to:


MODERN GOES CLASSIC Team Classic Suzuki has applied its eye-catching retro livery to the latest in Suzuki superbikes, creating a replica GSX-R1000R. We like it, as the GSX-R1000R Team Classic Suzuki replica gets the same livery and sponsor graphics on the fairings as their own classic racers, including title sponsor Suzuki Vintage Parts, which itself supports owners of older GSX-Rs from the range’s 33-year history. It’s also fitted

with a number of items from Suzuki’s genuine accessory range, including brake and clutch lever guards, engine case savers, carbon frame cover, pillion seat cowl, fuel cap trim, carbon air intakes, double bubble screen, axle sliders and paddock stand bobbins. While we love the nod to Suzukis of old here, we did something ourselves with the new GSX-R1000… go check out our Retro Reboot Katana on page 60… We think you’ll love it.

Nice colours, shame it's modern!

MV Agusta returns to grands prix This is what the new MV Agusta Moto2 machine will look like when it joins the grid next year. It’s been 42 years since the famous classic manufacturer last appeared on a grand prix bike racing grid, after dominating for many years in the 60s and 70s. MV Agusta was originally formed in 1907 by Count Giovanni Agusta and the first bike was prooduced in 1945. For 2019 the com mpany will be joining forces with Forrward Racing, which has built a machine around the new Moto2 th hreecylinder motor from Trium mph. MV Agusta markets its ow wn three-cylinder machines, so it’s a good fit. Since 1992 MV ownersship has – largely – been in th he hands of the Castiglioni family, f originally with Claudio an nd today with his son Giovan nni at the helm. While MV has returned r 16 / classic motorcycle mechanics

to World Superbike and Supersport tracks, this is the first time in decades that an MV will be seen in GPs. Castiglioni says: “I’m proud to see the dream to rejoin the motorcycling world championship come true. Of course there is still a lot of work ahead of us, but step by step we will improve our competitiveness.”

MV returns to GPs.

The sunny side of the classic world, with the VJMC’s Steve Cooper

The trouble with experts is they think they know everything,” opined my mate Andy. He’s an ex-Norfolk boy with a dry (if blunt) sense of humour and says it as he sees it; he may be brutal with his words at times but there’s no denying he’s generally right. He’s also a lifelong fettler of anything with an engine and has had his hands in everything from 1900s trembler coil ignition tricycles through strange post-war German split-single strokers through to modern sports bikes. He’s good at what he does but never claims to be an expert, simply because he recognises one immutable fact – when it comes to old motorcycles you never stop learning. Self-proclaimed experts have an unnerving habit of supposedly knowing everything and are generally unhappy to acknowledge any new facts that they themselves haven’t discovered. The true experts out there are inevitably the ones who never stop learning. If someone insists newly discovered information is automatically wrong you can generally bet their mindset is closed to novel ideas, thoughts, concepts or facts. In fact the real experts generally hate such grandiose titles; these people are often quietly spoken, self-effacing, studious characters who are only too happy to help and learn. Back with Andy, he’s recently relocated from the Home Counties back to East Anglia, where life goes by at a more convivial and genial pace. While still embroiled in the urban rat-race he ran a low-key restoration business for a fair old while and concluded that the so-called experts he often ended up working for were often anything but. In his words: “They knew two things, nothing and bugger-all but hell they were good at spin.” A large proportion of his customers were cash-rich/time-poor would-be classic experts who generally spouted a veritable casserole of nonsense and believed every word. Andy on th the other hand knows his limitations and regularly c called in real experts who know how tasks are d done rather than telling others how they are empha atically doing them wrong. Les in the next-door unit is a supremely skilled panel beater whose wo ork with perforated mudguards and rusty silencers h had to be seen to be believed. And ‘Uncle’ Tim m, an elderly gent with a genius for wiring and d engines, could fault-find stuff that would take e mere mortals days to sort. Ultimately the experts we need for our old bikes are frequently the most unlikely people and often the most elusive of characters. The people making all the noise are often the ones with the least knowledge; it’s the quiet ones you really need to sort out whatever ails your current classic. ❙ 01324 410519

cmm / 17



SEE YOU THERE! September 2018

MAD FOR A MONKEY! The world is going mad for Honda’s Monkey Bike again – and we love it! This retro-classic will be available from £3699 in Honda Motorcycle dealerships across the UK or on PCP for just £65 a month! The Honda Monkey bike was an icon of the 1970s, but it first came on to the scene in 1961. Originally developed as a 49cc child’s plaything for Tama Tech, an amusement park in

Tokyo, it proved so popular that a roadgoing version was developed, which was initially exported to America and Europe in 1963, with a distinctive chrome tank, folding handlebars and five-inch diameter rigidly mounted wheels. Following introduction, the machine was developed further over the years so that by the mid-1970s it saw widespread use anchored on the rear of ‘RVs’ or ‘recreational


VJMC Bike Day, Ace Cafe,

vehicles’ for transport when parked up. With its cute looks, tear-drop tank and chunky tyres, the Monkey has stayed in our hearts since then and now here’s the new version! The looks draw heavily on the original but at its heart is a 125cc air-cooled fuel-injected motor, pumping out just under 10bhp through a four-speed ‘box. You’ve got a steel frame, inverted forks, twin shocks (naturally) and modern LED lights as well as a 5.6-litre tank proudly displaying the old Honda Wing logo in glorious 3D! The colours are lovely too: Banana Yellow/Ross White, Pearl Nebula Red/Ross White, Pearl Shining Black/ Ross White.


Festival of 1000 Cars inc. the NW Classic Motorcycle Show. Cholmondeley Castle: www.


Garstang Autojumble.


VMCC (Essex section) End of Summer Run. Tesco car park. Tel 01621 893450.


Brighton Burn Up! Ace Cafe,

■ For more head to your local Honda dealership.

Banana yellow, naturally...

18 / classic motorcycle mechanics

10-16 Benelli Week.

Pesaro, Italy.


Kempton Park Motorcycle Autojumble.


Blue-Haze – Fantic & Fizzy Frenzy & Two-Strokes. Ace Cafe, NW10 7UD




Normous Newark Autojumble.


Leighton Hall Motorcycle Hill Climb. www.leightonhallmotorcyclehillclimb.


59 Club Day + BSA Bantam Meet. Ace Cafe,


Sand and Motorcycles. Leighton Buzzard. SandAndMotorcycles / 19

Post to Mechanics, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ Z or email your pictures to m



Every month we’re giving away a pair of Bridgestone tyres to the writer of the best submitted letter we receive. You can choose between Bridgestone’s BT-016 Pros, BT-023s or BT-45s! No cash alternative, before you ask! Simply get in touch by sending emails to: or post yourr letters to the normal address, giving contact details just in case you are that lucky winner.

**Priz ze winner* i ****** Mega Milly yard!

She sells Sanctuary!

And another Pip!

Hi Bertie and all at CMM… regarding the AC Sanctuary Kawasaki found in the April 2018 issue… well, I loved the punchy write-up and the two-page spread and found myself reading it time and time again and studying the pics – a great addition! Cheers! Pip Davidson

Retro touring!

Having read the article in the August issue on ‘Living with the Kawasaki Z900RS’, I would like to respond about the practicality of the fact that you also ‘don’t want to stick luggage on it!’ My wife and I have recently returned from a trip to Bruges on my Z900RS complete with Oxford Lifetime panniers and tank bag. The luggage fitted brilliantly to the bike and was well clear of the exhaust pipe. Kawasaki Z900RS...

20 / classic motorcycle mechanics

I just want to congratulatee all at CMM for a corking issue last time ou ut. I have to say, I love the bikes that Allen Millyard M builds, so to get a road test on tw wo of them and get a spread of pics of hiss bikes as well as his regular column, it wass well worth the £4.30 asking fee alon ne. I’ve seen his bikes at vaarious shows and the attention to o detail is amazing. The big thing for me is how he makes the bikess look almost – well – ‘factory’ fo or want of a better word. It’s as if the bikes had rolled off of Kawasaki’s production line… I’m now wondering – ass he’s built a V12 with two Kawaasaki Z1300 lumps – whether h he’s ever My wife said she had plenty of room to sit and her boots remained snug on the rear footpegs. Yes, the seat is small compared to other bikes, but she also said that having been touring with me round Europe on my Suzuki GSX1400 (I part-exchanged it for the Z900RS) the Kawasaki was far more comfortable and she felt she could sit all day on the back. It handles really well two-up with luggage and is

considered using TW WO Suzuki GT750 Kettle motors? Hmmmm m the thought of what a V6 two-stroke Kettlee would look, go and sound like is almost too o much to comprehend. Perhaps we sho ould ‘crowd-fund’ one? Keep up the e good work! Doug Brown

Bertie e says: “You’re most welcom me Doug! Glad you liked the issue i – in fact, we hope you like e this one, as you’re going to o win a lovely set of Bridgestone B hoops for your bike. b As to a V6 Kettle, well, we who knows what’s goiing through Millyard’s mind for the next machine!” m

effortless to ride. Please tell your readers not to be put off from touring on this great machine as it’s a joy to ride long-distance. Guy Taylor

Bertie says: “Fair play to you and the wife, Guy! My feeling is that it’s just a shame to mar those beautiful lines with luggage, but it’s good to hear that you think it’s a fine touring machine.” can be done!

Eddy’s back!

I have received the latest CMM and I have seen my letter that you printed and your reply. The thought has occurred to me that maybe Royal Mail never delivered the photos I sent – it was a while ago now! What you may not know is I also had a Suzuki Stinger as well. I didn’t keep it long, as I am not keen on two-strokes due to the probability of me forgetting to put oil in the tank! You tell me you construct model kits, well I have had every motorcycle kit from Hiro. They are doing a lot of V-twins for before the Second World War and they are quite pricey (£510 including p&p) but you can get them from 01295 278070. Anyway, keep up the good work. I do enjoy Allen Millyard’s projects. He definitely has the skill and know-how to construct



Super Scooper!

Enough to drive a sane man Scoop...

motorcycles like no one else does. Eddy Tomblinson

Bertie says: “Eddy! You’ll see that we had a special on Allen’s bikes last month. As to the Stinger… well, I think that Scoop is still having nightmares.”

You’ve gone up!

I know this is a little bit ‘after the fact’ but I wanted to ask a question. The question is: “Why have you put the price up of my favourite magazine?” This year it’s gone up by 10p and I wanted to know why. Please don’t put it down to Brexit! Ha! I have to say that my favourite part of the magazine is the back section where we see all the project bikes and the like. Although all I do is mainly RIDE my bikes, I do rather like watching other people tinker with stuff and I do enjoy Ralph Ferrand’s turn of phrase. Is it Ralph’s wages that have forced the cover price up?

that has to happen at some point. What I would say though is this: I’m a mad-keen serial magazine buyer in my other chosen hobbies (model making, model flying, retro computer games, etc.) and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that CMM knocks the mags I buy into a cocked hat when it comes to value for money/pagination. Best thing you can do Kev is subscribe! See page 40 for details. You’ll get the mag BEFORE it hits the shelves and save cash.”

Up the Ace!

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy CMM and the fact that it’s not always about the top-notch classics: I mean, who could really afford a mint, original late 1972 Z1 now eh? Me? I’m happy with my pretty damn clean Honda

Kev Barnes

Bertie says: “Ahhh Kev. Yes, the cover price has gone up and sadly it’s not down to Ralph’s beer/bar bill coming through as expenses. I’m not going to put the cover price increase down to Brexit, or the phase of the moon, but it’s just one of those things sir

Another corking issue was August’s and I loved the test by Steve Cooper on the K100 RS. It took me back to the one I owned in the 1990s. Like Karl, the owner of the bike tested, I took mine all over Europe from southern Spain, the south of France, Italy and ‘back home’ to Germany. Often I’d take the late wife on the back and we enjoyed some cracking trips and met many new friends – the sort you only meet when out and touring on two wheels. In around 30,000 miles on that bike I can recall only three major issues – and all were punctures when rushing to catch a boat: more haste, less speed, as my dear old mum used to say! The two-up trips became

less frequent when Wendy, the wife, became ill, but I still went out myself on the bike and found that it did all I wanted of a bike: it could hustle (a bit) and do distance. I found it supremely comfortable and the Krauser luggage I would use meant we could pack for a good week or so away. Eventually, in the mid-2000s, I sold her but Steve’s article has really whetted my appetite to get another – but I think at my age (70) I should stick to something a little smaller and lighter, so the Honda CB500 twin that I have fits the bill! Okay, so it means jaunts to the continent are a little harder to make in comfort, but I can still pop over to mainland Europe and see all the old friends Wendy and I made more than 20-odd years ago. Bikes help make memories, don’t they? Tony Smith

Scoop and BM...

CB400 Four, my very straight Kawasaki GPz900R A1 and a ropey Thunderace. Yes, a Chunderace. Now, being my main bike for most of the year (I’m a bit old school and leave the wife to the car apart from weekends/

Bertie says: “Tony, you’re spot on sir. We are a strange bunch, us bikers, but we’re also a loyal lot! Glad it stirred some great memories for you.” tip runs) the Ace gets plenty of miles on the clock – around 39,000 at last check. It’s a great machine – it goes well, it stops well, it handles well and – while it’s not a looker – I do look after it and keep on top of it maintenance-wise, as I am pretty good like that. Unlike with my new phone… I tried to take a pic of the Ace for you, but it’s got me stumped! I’ll wait until my daughter pops round… Dave Sykes

Thunderaces can rock!

Bertie says: “Dave, you’re right to love the Ace – it’s a great bike and you – like many readers – have more than one classic in your stable. As to the phone trouble, have you tried turning it off and on again mate?” cmm / 21

u can d joy in our pages, so yo an ide pr UR YO e se to We want rs. restore with fellow reade share what you ride and or mail to bsimmonds@mortons Email your hi-res shots mag. Let us know dress at the front of the in some photos to the ad d after ne it and send before an do e u’v yo w ho d an ne what you’ve do in touch. Bertie. shots if you can. Do get

We’ve teamed up with SDoc100 ( which manufactures some of the best bike cleaning kit in the business! So, send in your pictures of your bikes and you could win an SDoc100 cleaning kit worth £50! Remember to send your name and address on each submission so we know where to post the kit.

Tom Garland’s 1975 Honda CB175 K-6 This little twin has been the focus of all my attention over the last two winters. A house move in the middle added to everything living in an assortment of boxes until I finally got around to piecing it all back together. I took this little bike as my first go at a resto, mainly to try to keep costs down (ha, ha) and knowing I’d have to source a lot of new parts, in particular all the bodged and rusted fastenings as well as all the usual oil seals, gaskets and springs. CMM was a key player in the successful restoration thanks to all the small ads and info. The bike was pretty much a wreck when it turned up out of the back of a Transit. I did think maybe this was a wreck too far, but I like a challenge and slowly but surely after a gruelling dismantling stage I found some parts beyond repair and eaten away by corrosion but (and this is testament to Honda’s engineering quality) all the engine components were in tolerances and the gearbox showed no signs of wear. It had 20K+ miles on it and had lain unused for probably 30 years in a barn: four previous owners since 1975 with the DVLA saying it was last taxed in 1979! Thanks have to go to all the speciality guys out there who operate out of the small workshops up and down the country. In particular – Central Wheel

22 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Components, AM Philpot, FJ Vapour blasting, Triple S and Steve at MTS for a cracking colour match on the Candy Gold. It sounds ace for such a little bike kicking out circa 20bhp and although I’ve probably spent as much as it’s now worth the whole process has been worth it Hope you all agree! it.


Ryan Ashall’s Yamaha XS750 Cafe Racer Hi I’ve just finished restoring a Yamaha XS750 into a cafe racer and think it’s good enough for a feature in your magazine. II’ve ve attached a few pics for you to look at.

Neil Bell’s 1982 Suzuki GSX750 Katana Here are some pictures of my 1982 Suzuki Katana 750 with modern tyres, Gsx wheels and brakes. It handles so well!

Lasse Sandström’s 1975 Yamaha XS650B This is my XS650B from 1975. The list of what I’ve done is long. I changed to the correct fuel tank (bought a used one from UK, imported from the USA). I stripped all paint and painted everything using a spray

gun (mending the tank – big dent) using lead filler. I sent the OEM exhaust pipes for a re-chrome, new saddle cover, front mudguard, tail lamp (Lucas copy), mufflers etc. The engine was renovated with lots of new stuff (new pistons, valves etc.) but most importantly the crank was rebuilt by XS-shop in Germany. We fabricated new front mudguard stays to mimic an old British bike. Many small parts were re-plated (zincnickel) using a Caswell kit in my workshop. Wheels rebuilt by me with new aluminium rims (18-inch both) and stainless spokes. Clocks came from a jumble, fitted to a home-made console with idiot lights.

A new main master cylinder (with smaller piston) for the disc brakes improved it a lot! I also made sure it had new bearings and seals in both wheels, new tapered steering head bearings and recommissioned bushings and new seals in the swingarm. Oh, and a new wiring loom, progressive fork springs and bespoke NJB rear shocks. Controls are from a TR1, brake pump from an XZ550. Hardest thing to do: fitting the decals on the tank before the lacquer coat!

John Webley’s collection These are my regular rides! The CB500 I have owned since 1977, it is used regularly to go to biker nights and various other venues. It is cleaned a couple of times a year, whether it needs it or not! It has nearly 70K miles on it so it’s typical Honda longevity. It has a few basic mods, including the extra disc and electronic ignition, plus Halogen

headlamp. My second is an early Yamaha RD125, purchased as a wreck just over two years ago. It now runs well and screams as it should do. I ride it to the closer bike meets or just for a little potter around. The Honda CB200 is a recent acquisition so hopefully in due course it will look much better, but it is in need of lots of TLC! / 23

The way

we were… back in the day Send us your nostalgic snaps of you at bsimmonds@ with your steed! Either send to me ebook page. C’mon! or via our vibrant Fac


Damon Hall says: “Here are some memories! My first ride at around 11 years of age on my uncle’s grass tracker, through to happy days on my Fizzy in the summer of 1988, and then going proper legit on a year-old AR50 in the autumn of 1988. “I’ve moved on a bit now and have a lovely collection of bikes, and love my Swan Yamaha R1 replica that I recently went to the Isle of Man TT on. There have been plenty of thrills and spills over my 35 years of biking and I now have some truly awesome mates I’ve picked up along the way who share the

Garry Williams says: “I’m from Ohio in the US of A and grew up racing two-cylinder, two-stroke outboard powered hydroplanes and have been a two-stroke nut ever since. I had a torrid love affair with an RZ350 which I finally owned in 1985: it could hit 130mph with me lying in the tank. After several close calls with the law, I knew it had to go or I’d be in jail… “I’ve got lots of ‘almost jailed’ stories (which we sadly have to cut: Bertie) including one where the cop sees it’s a 350 and figures that it can’t do more than 55mph… I have since owned a

same passion. Biking is a way of life non-bikers cannot understand and I wouldn’t change it for anything!”

Derek Allen says: “The importance of proper rider training cannot be underestimated. This is me trying to get to grips with my first ‘proper’ bike, a CB 400 F1. “It was a fantastic machine with a Bill Roberts race faring and Two-Four seat. Once I’d learned which way to sit on it, we had three great years together until a builder’s van with no mirrors took it out. Sigh.” Roger Lovell supplied some Italian exotica. Roger spills the beans on this snap from the Lovell archives. “It’s 1985, I was off to a track-day at Mallory Park on my MV350S. “The day didn’t go too well, I was banned because the bike was too noisy. I wish I still had the MV, but I miss my old Morini more, that’s the bike I bought after selling this one. It was by far a better bike.”

1995 GPZ 1100 and a 1990 Honda Hurricane 1000 and both felt like slow pigs compared to the RZ. Absolutely love your mag and all the two-stroke stories. No one over here cares about them any more. “Oh, I own a boat repair business named Two-Stroke Only. My hobby is modding 200bhp, 5500rpm Evinrude Outboards into 400bhp 8000rpm lake rockets!” 24 / classic motorcycle mechanics

( which We've teamed up with The Hobby Company our ou favourite iya plastic motorcycle kits in the UK to give di t ib ttes TTamiya distribu in miniature. So, send in restoration one of its amazing motorcycles to the chance indulge in a your pictures of your bikes and you could win Remember to send your name miniature motorcycle restoration of your own. where to post the kit. and address on each submission so we know

26 / classic motorcycle mechanics


Little Scoop samples a cute little Kawasaki B8S and comes away most impressed. WORDS: STEVE COOPER PHOTOS: GARY D CHAPMAN / 27



f you are of a certain age and still riding, chances are you first saddled up out of necessity. From the mid-1960s through to the end of the 80s, socio-economic circumstances meant cars were financially beyond the reach of most of the working youth so it was either shanks’s pony, a push bike or a commuter motorcycle. It’s my contention that if the kids of the period had been able to access machines such as this month’s subject matter, Kawasaki would have had a much larger fan base and significantly earlier than it did. In camera we have an exquisite example of what the Japanese factories were offering en masse to the average commuter of SE Asia and sporadically to the USA. It’s simply light years ahead of anything being offered in Europe at the time with the possible exception of more expensive machines from Italy and Germany. Possibly a supreme irony of postSecond World War reparation was the fact that the Allies ’profited’ from bikes derived from DKW’s pre-war RT125 while the defeated countries sought to design new motorcycles from scratch. These latter machines tended to be up to date and modern. Our Kawasaki B8S Super 150 came with full-on 12V

28 / classic motorcycle mechanics

ABOVE: Why didn’t the British bike firms make something similar?

“The very nature of the division’s previous purpose, aircraft production, meant that everything had to be subtly over engineered.”

electrics, indicators, effective full width waterresistant drum brakes and even an electric start: compare this specification to ‘home grown’ machines of the time. The humble little Kawasaki was conceived, designed and built to offer near flawless commuter transport and to run faithfully for years. In contrast the combined, moribund, offerings of BSA, AMC, Norman, Velocette et al were made as cheaply as possible with little real thought to customer satisfaction let alone enjoyment! Walk up to the B8S and it almost appears to be a three quarter scale model it looks that small. Much of this is due to the 16in wheels that were doubtless chosen to ensure even the shortest rider could sit with both feet flat on the ground. The pressed steel frame is of similarly modest dimensions, no doubt to assist the smaller rider. That T-bone frame was a cost effective method of creating a decent, rigid, chassis and was a format that almost every Japanese manufacturer followed; in fact Yamaha would still be using a similar layout well into the early 1980s. The Kawasaki’s piston-ported motor sits in the frame grasped by plates at the rear of gearbox with a

ABOVE: Just so easy to use... AND enjoy!

RIGHT: Built up to a standard and not down to a price.



148cc air-cooled, twostroke, single, piston-ported BORE AND STROKE

58 x 56mm

bolted-in front down tube running from behind the headstock to another set of engine plates that fit to the lower front of the crankcases. Suspension is taken care of front and rear via enclosed and shrouded units. The rear swingarm is once again a pressed steel item just like so many of its peers. Perhaps the only surprise on a self-professed commuter machine is the fact that the drive chain isn’t enclosed but doubtless Kawasaki probably offered one as an option. Otherwise, fully specified the bike offers genuine pillion accommodation with a decent dual seat, a rack and, of course, a heel-and-toe rocking gear pedal. Originally this form of gear selection was said to be an Italian affectation that saved style-conscious Latins from damage their suede loafers. In the world of 1960s Asian commuters the pedal had a more profound purpose; it accommodated the basic footwear, flip-flops or even bare feet, common among period riders! Up at the front end both the bars and the clock are simple, uncluttered and purposeful. On the left there’s a horn and the indicator switch which mercifully operates on a horizontal plane unlike some of the period Yamahas I’ve owned. On the


12.5bhp @ 6500rpm


10lb-ft @ 4500rpm


4-speed, rotary shift, chain final drive





3.00 x 16 (F&R) FUEL CAPACITY

2.2 gallons (10 litres) FUEL:OIL RATIO




1900mm (74.8in)


680mm (26.8in)


980mm (26.8in) WHEELBASE

1255mm (49.4in) DRY WEIGHT

116kg (256lb)

opposite side there’s a hi-lo beam switch and the starter button for the electric foot. The clock sits in a casquette style headlight unit and offers three idiot lights; charge, neutral and turn. Very much of the period, the ignition switch sits on the side of the headlamp. Unique to similar period Kawasakis the indicators illuminate both fore and aft thereby offering motorists little excuse for not seeing them. And check out that rear light. Isn’t that the funkiest period unit you’ve ever seen? And even better, when you apply the rear brake that outer chrome ring comes up as a red halo; form and function in one elegant package. So much for detail, what about the riding experience? Fuel tap and choke are exactly where you’d expect them and for a laugh I’m trying the electric start facility. Of course it’s Japanese and a Kawasaki so it will work perfectly. The engine fires up instantly and almost immediately I can knock off the choke. The exhaust note is deep and not at all muted; blipping the throttle the silencer delivers a deep sonorous tone that only amplifies when the engine is worked harder. Neutral sits at the top of the box with four ratios accessed by tapping / 29

CLASSIC RIDE downwards with the front half of the pedal. Working down the gears requires the rider to concentrate and perform an unusual action, pushing down with the heel. Initially it’s an odd and slightly ungainly manoeuvre yet you quickly adapt. Well, until you inadvertently tap through neutral and find yourself in first gear with a frantically screaming motor. Yes, for reasons we Europeans could never fathom the bike is equipped with a rotary gearbox allowing you to go from fourth, through neutral and back into first again. It’s an error you only tend to make the once as the result of such a crass error certainly focuses the mind! The bike seems to possess a disproportionate amount of torque and pulls with a lusty enthusiasm BSA Bantam owners could only dream about. Ease of use and flexibility is what the motor is all about. First gear takes us to 12mph, second to 20, third to 30 or just over and top (fourth) gets the B8S into its comfort zone of 40 and above. The bike will happily exceed 50 and would probably breast 60mph but it’s happiest cruising between 45-50 and, after all, it was designed as a commuter not a sports bike. And for a commuter it has a stunning pair of brakes. Both are ’only’ single leading shoe units but they offer fantastic feel and retardation. You can just see numerous B8s being hustled around the urban streets of 1960s Japan or being worked hard along the various dirt roads of SE Asia. Handling-wise the bike does everything you might

The owner’s tale: Grahame Peters I brought the B8 ES 150 off eBay in April 2009 for £386 and put it on the road in the June of the same year. After riding it for a bit, I restored it to its current condition in 2014. I rechromed all the various parts and re-trimmed/re-spoked the wheels. I have re-covered the seat and also got the shock absorbers overhauled. These parts are very scarce for these bikes and mainly sourced from the USA which

means expensive shipping plus the added costs of import duty, VAT and handling fees which makes even cheap parts pricey. I have learnt that you buy the parts when you see them not when you need them off eBay. The rarer the part the less likely it is you’ll see another one of them anytime soon! It’s one of my favourite bikes for riding around country lanes as it’s

30 / classic motorcycle mechanics

just so much fun and so easy to ride. As far as I’ve been able to ascertain it’s one of just three examples known to exist in this country!”

ask of it and then some. The box-section steel frame may not be as light as a set of tubes but it’s strong and pretty resistant to flexing. The guys back at the factory knew exactly what sort of life the B8S and its kin would be living; hard work with several members of one family aboard or possibly loaded to the gunnels and beyond with produce destined for the local market. The suspension is basic yet still fulfils its purpose more than half a century later. The porting of the cast iron barrel delivers instant drive in pretty much any gear unless you try pulling away in top. With no rev counter it’s not possible to give engine speed figures but gut feeling suggests the 150cc motor gets into its stride by 2000rpm and providing the revs don’t drop below that it’ll do whatever you ask of it within the constraints of its design brief. And it’s that one word – design – that is key to the bike’s undoubted success. This is not a motorcycle designed by a group of hog-tied motorcycle engineers working to a bean counter’s restrictions. What we have here is a machine drafted by a team of ex-aircraft engineers. Study those ultra-rare and expensive tank badges and read what they say; this is a machine researched, designed, prototyped and built by an entire workforce trained and educated to produce aeroplanes. The very nature of the division’s previous purpose, aircraft production, meant that everything had to be subtly over engineered quite simply because as an aeroplane manufacturer you can’t afford to have your products falling out of the skies! Everything on a plane must fulfil its function whilst retaining a safety factor. That same ethos was carried into all of the company’s early two-wheeled products and it shows in bikes such as the B8S here. They had to live up to their primary purpose as reliable and consistent commuters and then some; there was no room for foibles perpetuated via poor design or starting/ running issues instigated by penny pinching. For far too long the Japanese classic scene has pretty much studiously avoided commuter machinery other than Honda’s ever-present step-throughs. The likes of Yamaha’s YB series, Suzuki’s utilitarian A range and even Kawasaki’s sublime GA models have had little coverage yet things may be about to change. Firstly the once apparently limitless ocean

of old Japanese iron is rapidly becoming a smallish lake; secondly the demographic is aging. For some, big bikes will simply be too weighty to manhandle and/ride or possibly even kick start. Suddenly an older Japanese classic with an electric foot becomes hugely attractive. With the likes of Honda’s iconic CB92 Benly heading north of £10k for a prime example cute little commuters such as the Kawasaki B8S allow an ageing rider to still ’keep their hand in’ without breaking the bank. As the saying goes – it ain’t what you ride, it’s how you ride it. And you don’t have to be an old codger just to enjoy the B8S; it’s packed with character, pretty as a picture and as reliable as anything several decades younger. How many more reasons do you need to buy one? cmm

ABOVE: Scoop must be impressed... he’s actually smiling!

History of small Kawasaki singles It’s really not until you pick up one of those rare Kawasaki Motorcycle Recognition Manuals that you truly appreciate just how many sub 200cc models the company offered. The J series based around an 85cc disc-valve single came in 12 facsimiles over just four model years. The subsequent G series (90cc – 100cc) offered some 34 variations over seven years but then the bikes renamed as KEs, KHs, KDs and KCs

almost treble the model count. The B series to which our test bike belongs ran from 1963 through to the late 1970s in numerous guises and spawned a bigger brother via the F-series 175cc versions that would ultimately evolve into the famous trail bike family which in turn would then become the KE series. The key to such success and model proliferation was in the attention to detail of the original design, the robust

nature of the bike’s construction and, crucially, an almost pathologically rigorous quality control department. Kawasaki’s senior management were smart, recognising that every bike mattered regardless of engine size. A humble 50cc commuter carried the same level of importance to its end user (aka the customer) as did the hairy chested A7 Avenger to the guy who was going to race it; both had to run

faultlessly. Still made as a mass produced item, the Kawasaki singles were made up to a standard not down to a price. That doyen of the British motorcycled industry Edward Turner reckoned Blighty’s bike manufacturers had nothing to fear from the Japanese. After all they could only turn out small capacity machine and what value did they have? History shows the answer to be… ’more than you can possibly imagine!’ / 31


b u l C t h g i T S: WORD











n time i . a s e m ch ere co atch that it h t , t s fa cr bikes days will s ay bikes… g n i d track like ri rack d If you where only ake great t m fe your li d old bikes An

32 / classic motorcycle mechanics

That’ll be £920 all in... apart from the dog.


et’s face it, speeding – proper speeding – has become about as socially acceptable as drink driving. Get caught and you’re not going to just get a ticking off and you’re not going to hear the phrase, ‘oo d’you think you are, Barry Sheene?’ any more. Nope, get caught speeding properly and you’re going to prison. And on modern sportsbikes, you don’t have to be trying particularly hard before you get your collar felt. Short shift through the gears of a Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 – and even on part throttle you’re deep into three figure speeds quicker than you can deliver your mitigating circumstances. There’s a bunch of us who have had enough of this risk. Well, a bunch of us with little or no willpower who find it impossible to ride at legal speeds on the roads who have all taken the track day plunge and bought (old) bikes just for this purpose. People treat track days very differently. We’re just in it for a good time with minimal fuss, bother and spannering on the day. We just want to put fuel in and ride. We don’t want to be fannying around with tyre warmers, paddock stands, generators, GoPros, transponders and laptops. We want to be drinking tea, taking the piss out of each other and having a laugh. But doing it all as cheaply as possible has turned out to be more competitive and nearly as much fun as being out on track. A mate and myself started the ball rolling three or four years ago on our road bikes. He (Adam) had never done a track day before so we both booked in to a Donington Park event (£100 each). Adam owns a fairly new ZX-10 Kawasaki and is a rapid road rider. Seven 20-minute sessions was enough for the bug to bite. Honestly, if you’ve never done it before it’s hard to explain. But imagine the best road you know and imagine it as one-way, with marshals sweeping any little bit of debris off the racing line. Imagine no side roads, no spilled diesel, no speed cameras and no unmarked cop cars. The screaming high rev drop down Hollywood through Craner Curves on hot, sticky tyres is a feeling that’s as close to euphoria as I presume is possible.

Adam, well and truly hooked, ended up buying a 2004 CBR600RR for £1700 that came with wets on wheels, a V5, a few sprockets and some paddock stands. Bargain. So I didn’t have to sacrifice my mint, original SP-1 Honda, I went crazy and bought an old steel framed CBR600F2 for the princely sum of £500 – a quarter of the value of my helmet, leathers, boots and gloves. This less than cosmetically perfect munter had previously been owned by a scaffolder so every nut and bolt was tightened to 150Nm. Nothing fell off it. Not even me. Another mate – who also happens to be a British Superbike crew chief – went mad and spent a whole £1000 on a really, really sorted, ex-race CBR600 Steelie. Mick, having heard our tales of track action also wanted to join our track day party but – quite rightly – didn’t want to risk his very tidy Aprilia Tuono. Refreshed by a few glasses of Budgens’ finest Rose, he hit the Bay in earnest. And this is what he turned up. For £800 (including delivery from Darlington) his (1997, we think) Kawasaki ZX-6R was something of a bargain: wets on wheels with discs – even a paddock stand. Not satisfied by beating us all to pole position for the hallowed tight-arse title, he then scored a very rubbish diesel Peugeot van for £120 that cost him / 33

CLASSICS ON TRACK £30 to get through its MOT. Bosh: a full track day package for under a grand, but an £800 track day bike can’t be any good can it? That’s C90 money, after all. To be honest, we were all pretty gutted at just how good Mick’s new bike was. My ’orrible ’onda wouldn’t even get a sniff of it along Cadwell Park’s long bottom straight. After my bike rodded itself in the first afternoon session (that’s a tale for another day), I flipped through Cadwell’s woodland section in my flops to watch everyone else through this notoriously tricky section. Mick’s ZX-6R sounded disgustingly crisp with a real high-compression crack to the exhaust note under load and sharp, finely metered fuelling on pick up. There’s no doubt about it, he’d won. Pleasingly (for us) not everything was perfect. His exhaust bracket snapped (quickly fixed with a battery drill and a new M6 Allen bolt) and the seat unit only appeared to be held on by cosmic guidance, boasting several inches of movement in three different astral planes. True to tight-arse form, this was fixed by a piece of roofing batten and two self-tappers. Cost: zero. The late, great John Robinson, the author of some of the best technical writing motorcycle journalism I’m ever likely to see, once said to me: “All you need is 100bhp to enjoy yourself.” His rhetorical argument was that if you were getting overtaken you weren’t riding well enough. And here, late 90s/early Noughties 600 supersport bikes come into their own. Light and nimble with rims the right sizes to run modern rubber and brakes powerful enough to easily lock a front if you’re being ham-fisted, they offer the tight-fisted track-dayer unrivalled value for money. For the sort of money some track day riders would normally spend on a shock or a pair of wheels, we’ve all got bikes capable of lapping Brands Indy in 50 dead. Well, the bikes are capable of that… I got a chance to ride Mick’s ZX-6R at Rockingham: it’s massive compared to modern 600s with a huge amount of distance between the seat and wide-spaced handlebars, and the seat and footrests, making it perfect for the larger framed, bigger-boned chap that he is. The engine is pretty astonishing with really strong mid-range pull and a wide, and readily accessible powerband. Fuelling is near-perfect, as too is the gearbox. Not quite so perfect was the front end on Mick’s steed. With minimal initial bite, the front brake lever needed all four digits (and possibly help from the left hand, too) to haul the bike up into turns. This issue was also hampered by the road-drill effect caused, not by warped front discs, but by massively worn out front fork bushes. A man in Louth, Lincolnshire is currently fixing this issue for a mere £130 all in. The chain run needs a bit of attention too, as it’s acting as a greasy buzz saw on the near side of the rear tyre. But frankly, as a proud and self-proclaimed Cumbrian tight-arse, I have to concede Mick’s victory. His ZX-6R might be over two decades old but it’s still fast enough to claim the position of third or fourth quickest bike in the ‘Fast Group’ at that Rockingham bash. And for £800, I reckon that warrants some kind of special award. In fact, I have just such a prize in mind: Mick, it’s your round. cmm 34 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Buying a track day snotter? Fancy joining our cheapskate track day scene? There’s a good FaceBook group, Trackday Addicts, with lots of bikes and parts appearing for sale. Other than that, popular online auction sites and actual events themselves are also good places to source sorted bikes. Don’t be afraid of Cat C or D write-offs – judge for yourself whether the resto’ work has been carried out properly. In fact, the vendor’s garage/house/front garden will probably tell you more about their personal standards than looking at the bike itself. And more importantly don’t be afraid of doing a track day. So many people are – needlessly. There are usually three groups: Fast, Intermediate, Novice and if you’re super-scared, my advice would be to enter the novice group and go out at the back. Instructors are normally on-hand to give advice if you’re feeling absolutely lost at sea but, if you consider yourself a swift and safe road rider I’m confident that feeling will evaporate after the first 20 minute session. Evening track days are nice and chilled and generally cost around £45. A full mid-week day somewhere like Cadwell Park will rush you around £90 (plus a day off

work) and weekends are normally around £140-£150 per day. Late 1990s/early 2000 600s are our choice: like a TZ250, there’s a lovely balance between power and grip where you find yourself spending a lot of time on full throttle at peak revs and peak lean: very satisfying when it (occasionally) comes together. Steel-framed Honda CBR600s are cheap to buy, nice to work on and cheap to fix. Budget £500 to £1500 – the later F3s had ram-air, a wider rear wheel, better front brakes and slightly more power. Again the Steelie has its own Facebook group which is stuffed with advice, good humoured piss-taking, bikes and parts. Yamaha’s R6 is also still a sweet bike to ride and if you opt for pre-injection models will cost you less than a grand. S-RAD Suzuki 600s also tick the sub-£1000 box but, there again, so too does the 750 version which is probably a better option. You could also go the twin option. There’s plenty of ex-MiniTwins Suzuki SV650s... Whatever you buy, if it comes with a V5 you can get a daytime MOT on it with little more than a number plate, a horn and the sort of prep you’d demand of anything that’s going to keep you safe on track. Come join Tight Club!

From road to track: a guide! There’s no scrutineering at track days so it’s up to you to make sure everything’s safe and secure on your bike. Here are some to-dos…


You want a throttle that snaps shut like Bertie’s wallet and it needs to do this on full left and right lock. Any cables that foul or snag need either re-routing or a cable tie or two to keep them in place. A squirt of silicon spray (on the outside) helps a cable glide nicely.



It pays to change your fluid regularly – perhaps once a season as it’s hygroscopic: it absorbs water over time. Check the forums for what pads work best and do invest in braided lines, but don’t go for the ones that loop over the mudguard: lose that, you lose your brakes.


Wheel alignment is always a good thing. If you’re on the tight spectrum like us the next time you adjust your chain you could use two strip light bulbs (gun-shot straight) and hold them against either side of the rear tyre and measure the distance between them and the front tyre on both sides. Chain adjuster marks are not to be trusted.


Change your oil as often as you can afford it. Some say that 100 track miles is the equivalent to 1000 road miles. Keep air-filters/boxes clear – especially post gravel-trap visit!




7 5


Brake and clutch levers need to be in line with your arms so your fingers create a straight line from your forearm when you rest your pinkies on top of the levers. This is the best way to avoid arm-pump.









Stick to road legal tread depths. For £50 I bought a bead breaker, balancer, rim protectors and levers and now do all my own tyre changing (local shop wanted £25 per wheel) you do get quick at it with practice. Pressures: ask whoever you buy them off. Every manufacturer is different. Measure and adjust the pressures from cold at the start of the day.

While everyone loves the sound of the current MotoGP bikes and the 1960s Honda sixes, this may not win you friends at certain race tracks. Many have quite stringent decibel/noise levels and your bike must hit these. On this SV we’ve got a standard can, but many aftermarket cans come with removable baffles for more/less noise.


Also... TOOLS

Needs to be in good order, be it stock or uprated: if you don’t understand it enlist the help of experts. If you do, keep notes and only make one change at a time.


You want a bike that’s comfortable: don’t worry about hi-rise foot-rests just yet. Tank grips make a huge difference in braking zones as it allows you to take some pressure off your old, emaciated arms.


Cheap and better than crashing in (often rare/pricey) 1990s fairings.

Buy a torque wrench to avoid those ‘did I tighten them enough?’ moments.


You can go mental and lock wire everything but, to be honest, you’re just making stuff difficult for yourself. Same with thread glue. If it rarely gets taken off the bike for routine maintenance, apply a dab of Loctite to the threads. If it’s on and off, just torque it to factory settings. There’s no need to lockwire sump-plugs unless you’re going racing: just refer to that workshop manual and use your torque-wrench. DO lockwire both handlebar grips: avoids that horrible ‘two throttles’ feeling. / 35


n i g r Vi

e h t n o

s u o l u c ridi n lay you ca t u o le t t li ry ur how for ve bike: meanwhile o n e e s e ’v u Yo ted track rry on a road bike. a ic d e d a e buy at gives? ped his ch h p o w p o h S lp a R



ou may recall last year I sorted and fettled an original Yamaha YZF-R6. I fitted braided lines, refitted and sorted the calipers and synchronised the carbs on my little classic crutch rocket: now it was time to see how all this worked. My first impression of the R6 was that she was deeply uncomfortable. I am not bendy any more and my gut and the petrol tank were vying for space; with my blubber losing the battle. My neck started to ache after a few miles as did many of my joints unused to the crouched seating position. On an open road with bends I could see around, I was beginning to ‘get’ the little Yam; she handled like a dream until we hit congested roads. This bike soon proved to me that she was not suitable for clogged-up modern public roads: what this bike needs is a race track. I live 25 miles away from the famous Castle Combe Racing Circuit that has a couple of bike track days a month. The circuit has stringent noise regulations and is only allowed a dozen bikes at a time on the circuit for track days, which is fine by me. I’m told that at Silverstone they have as many as 50 bikes on the track at once, which I have to say is a pretty scary thought. The circuit is 1.85 miles long, is bumpy and is known as one of the fastest tracks in the UK. I coughed up £130 for my place, plus a £2.49 booking fee, which I confess I resented though I suppose ’tis small beer. After an early start I got to the track and got a form to take to the noise check area. Seventy-two bikes queued up to have their noise measured at three quarters of the red line from half a metre behind the exhaust; that’s 12,000 revs on the R6! Some stock bikes won’t pass the noise checks!

36 / classic motorcycle mechanics

We were then each allocated one of six groups of 12 to join, given a sticker for the bike showing the group and ushered off to a briefing, one of two. I chose the group for complete newbies even though I had been on the track a few years ago. There were bibs available for those who wanted to let others know they were new to the circuit, but I decided not to. The briefing was informative, explaining circuit etiquette, rules, hazards and the like. The meaning of the various flags was explained. A yellow flag indicates danger at that point of the track, often on corners, and indicates that you should reduce speed, not overtake and proceed with caution. If you don’t see another past the flagged section, then you can return to as fast as you dare. A red flag is the one nobody wants to see as it usually means someone has exceeded their skill level and launched their bike in such a way as it will affect other riders. Once the red flag is seen, then it is game over for that session and you must slow down and cautiously make your way back to the pits. Anyone contravening this important safety flag may well be sent home. On a track day a black flag is usually accompanied by a pointing at a specific rider by a marshal. It can mean one of two things; either you have something wrong with your bike or race control or an instructor feels you are not behaving safely. Either way you have to return to the pits immediately. A red and yellow striped flag used to be known as an oil flag in racing years ago, but now is known as a lack of adhesion flag.





Castle Coms be

11 10

Does my bum look big on this bike?


1.85 mile






1/ Folly 2/ Avon Rise 3/ Quarry 4/ The Esses 5/ Old Paddock 6/ Hammerdown 7/ Tower 8/ Bobbies 9/ Westway 10/ Bybrook chicane 11/ Exit 12/ Camp / 37


ABOVE: Queuing up to have our exhausts listened to.

BELOW: My bike’s younger sibling having his volume checked.

It can be shown at a point in the track to indicate oil or fluids, or it may be that rain has started at this part of the track and you would be well advised to slow down to ensure they don’t have to use the yellow or red flags as well! At the end of the start-finish a chequered flag will be waved indicating that your session is over and you need to leave the track when you reach the exit. Questions were invited, before we newbies were taken on three very slow sighting laps where we could see how the coloured cones laid out for us worked in practice. The orange ones are suggested braking points, though most agreed these were the least useful because braking points are dependent on many factors. The red cones indicated where one should turn into a corner and the light blue ones denoted the all-important apex of the bend. The last

38 / classic motorcycle mechanics

tip was to point the bike mirrors down to stop the temptation to look in them – At speed you really don’t have time to look behind you and you really don’t need to know what’s there! One thing about track days in the summer: we were warned in the briefing to constantly drink water throughout the day. The temperature reached 34°C: too hot for those of us with Scottish ancestry! On my first proper session I gradually built up the speed and the little Yamaha thrived on the abuse for a while, but once I was confident enough to start opening the taps really wide for lengthy stretches she started coughing and gasping for more unleaded. Clearly there was a fuelling problem. Luckily for me I had made friends with a racer parked next to me in the paddock who was also riding a pre-injection R6. When I relayed my tale of woe he said, “I’ll bet the fuel filter’s blocked” and dived into the back of his van, reappearing shortly afterwards with a brand-new filter and a big smile. I had hardly brought any tools so he lent me a 5mm ball-ended Allen key to get my tank and front seat off. Next session out and all was fine until I had completed a couple of laps and was really flying when she not only coughed, but died altogether just before Tower bend. When ODing on adrenalin you tend to think quickly and I soon realised that it must be fuel starvation to all the carbs so there weren’t many things that could cause it. I stuffed the key into the petrol filler and opened it – there was an almighty gasp like a drowning man, which told me all I needed to know! Back at the paddock I borrowed my new friend’s 5mm hex key and whipped the tank off again and dragged out the breather pipes, blew down them and then re-routed them under the seat, where I could

see they would definitely not get squashed again. After that there were no more problems and despite annoying the rev limiter several times during the day, she never missed a beat. For an 18-year-old bike with fairly basic suspension, compared with the modern tackle, carrying a big fatty, her handling was astonishingly good and quite forgiving of my errors. A warning though – even for me things became competitive. At one point a chap on a very modern Triumph Daytona 675 had the audacity to overtake me on the straight just before Bobbies Chicane, which triggered the bad bit of my brain that instantly went into mega race mode. He actually tied himself in knots and had to go straight on through the tyres at Bobbies, but still came out in front of me. I then left the braking very late going into Bybrook Chicane so I got through before him and then absolutely nailed it though Camp and onto the start-finish straight, taking the bike to the far left of the track so that I could keep the taps open through Folly and left the braking quite late for Quarry. At the end of the grid we got the chequered flag, but it barely registered, “I must, must not be re-overtaken”… “I know it’s not a race!” … “But it is on a race track!” I even had a bit of rear end sliding at Tower where the Tarmac was so hot and my road tyres were really at their limit. Time to head back to the pits. I then rapidly removed my lid and leathers and headed for the restaurant to buy yet more chilled water to put back

ABOVE LEFT: With the stock can ruining the looks of my little Yammy we got the green light to hoon! ABOVE: Our instructor showing us the do’s and don’ts of a track day.

BELOW: Our Ralph got smoother as the day progressed.

some of the litres sweated out on the track. It was then that my erstwhile competitor came and said hello. It seems my adversary was extremely impressed by my riding and admitted he did everything in his power to catch me, but was unable to. I cannot deny that I really enjoyed the scrap, but then decided to ask the very competent lady instructor, Shelley, if I could have a one-to-one with her on the track. On my next session she followed me for a while and then overtook me to give me the opportunity to learn from her lines. She certainly didn’t hang about! After the chequered flag we left the circuit and she gave me a debrief. She confirmed my suspicion that I had been braking too aggressively and late going into corners still braking, which is fine when you’re a racer with years of track history, but not so good in my case. I thought I was being complimented when she said that I was ‘getting a good angle of lean’. She then went on to tell me that I would do better to move my body off the side of the bike to be able to go around the bends quicker with more rubber on the deck. On my next outing I slowly built up my speed while practicing the skill of hanging my corpulent backside off the seat as I did in my youth, when I was more supple. It paid dividends and I was soon flying around the circuit faster than ever. Sadly none of the photos were taken after this point of improvement. Although the sessions are only 10 minutes, by the time you’ve done 10 minutes of trying as hard as you can, fuelled by huge doses of adrenalin, the exit is most welcome. I was totally exhausted by the end of the last session and by the time I had popped the little blue pocket rocket back in the van, I was starting to suffer very badly from the heat. I had to drink two litres of cold water before I felt well enough to drive the van home. In conclusion, I would say that if you’re middle aged with a prosperity bulge, I would not recommend an R6, or any other sports bike for that matter, for the public roads, but as a track day bike it was so much fun and while it’s not the quickest bike in the paddock, it was plenty fast enough to have some serious fun on. If you’ve never done a track day, you really don’t know what you’re missing and I have already booked the R6 in for another! cmm / 39


£28 “When you subscribe to CMM, you’re making a huge saving over buying each issue in the shops, and ensuring that you get your issue BEFORE it hits the shelves. This means that you’ll get all the very best in modern classic motorcycling, such as road tests and workshop articles and buying advice delivered directly to your door, AND it means you can access CMM EXTRA, which gives you 13 years’ worth of back issues, accessible on your computer or tablet!”

Bertie Simmonds Editor

CALL 01507 529529 ONLINE

LINES OPEN: 8.30am-7pm (Mon-Fri) 8.30am-12.30pm (Sat). Quote ref: CMMDPS




6thenissues FOR £20 £20 every six months Direct Debit bi » 12 issues FOR £43 Credit/debit card » 24 issues FOR £80 Credit/debit card »


6Credit/debit issues FOR £15.99 card » 12 issues FOR £28.99 Credit/debit card » TERMS & CONDITIONS: Rates are based on UK orders only – for overseas please visit Sub bscriptions will start with the next available issue. Offer closes 20/07/18. Direct debit payments will continue at the price you paid, on this offer, every 6 months thereafter unless you tell us otherwise. Full terrms and conditions can be found at Quoted savings are based on a 12 issue digital subscription when compared to the cost of 12 full price printed issues

Info at yo our fingertips w with...


ant access to issues of CMM going back to 2005? Want to find that t road test before putting down yourr hard-earned cash, or perhaps you’re afte er a particular workshop article to help in th he restoration of your latest project? Then CMM C EXTRA can help! If you’re a subscriber you can have all of the last 210 issues of CMM at your very fing gertips… Roughly, we reckon that’s 10.5 million w words at your beck and call and around two thoussand tests p guides with around 2500 step-by-step workshop dered. or project bike articles ready to be plund ught of Want to know what Niall Mackenzie thou his restored RD350LC? Dead simple: enter 350LC into the search engine and every issue an search it’s mentioned in will pop up – so you ca through EVERY issue where the legendarry 350LC crops up. Want to find out how Steve Coooper re-spoked a wheel? Simply enter the worrds into the search engine and up it will pop. If we’ve w done it in the last 13 years – it’s on there. Not only that, but we will be adding more m issues onto this priceless database over time. t We think CMM EXTRA could be as handyy a tool as your favourite spanner… And all you y need to do is SUBSCRIBE! See pages 40 0-41 for how to do that. cmm

42 / classic motorcycle mechanics / 43


44 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Maark Forsyth samples the sublim me 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1 and asks the question: when did sportsbike design start going backwards? WORDS: MARK FORSYTH PHOTO O OS: GARY D CHAPMAN, MORTONS ARCHIVE


Mark and editor Bert both tried the 2018 R1 too... and each preferred the 20-year-old one.

acing, so they say, improves the breed and back in 1998 this cliché was certainly true. So was ‘race it Sunday sell it on Monday’. Exactly 20 years ago, Yamaha’s mighty R1 screwed up the rule book, burned all the evidence and wrote a totally new edition. Compared to the long, heavy and unwieldy Thunderace that preceded it, the 1998 R1 was inexplicably light, lithe and incredibly powerful. The R1 pretty much dominated production-based pure road and circuit racing for the next couple of years, proving its adaptability as not only a potent track tool but also as a bike equally adept at tackling the uneven surfaces of real roads. Time has been kind to this original R1 4XV: kind in terms of its looks, certainly. If it wasn’t for the very ‘1990s’ font of the YZF graphic on the fairing side panels and obviously the date related registration plate, it’d be hard for the untrained eye to spot that it’s as old as it is. And that Yamaha Motor France trademark blue paint, I think, sets off the shiny alloy parts with better contrast than the alternative red-white, slightly shell-suity option. Eye of the beholder, I suppose, as I hear Niall Mackenzie actually wants a red and white one (see page 118.) Time has also been kind in the way this 20-yearold superbike rides and feels on the road. As the last of the carburetor generation, the 4XV’s bank of four CV carbs give an uncannily direct connection between the rider’s right wrist and the 180 section Pirelli rear tyre. Strange though that Yamaha didn’t take a leaf out of Kawasaki’s book and treat it to a pressurised air-box? But, the R1 just feels alive. Snappy. Eager. The throttle response, even from lowly revs, is urging, accurate and consistent, the total opposite of any fuel-injected bike. I have to admit, the experience was a bit of an eye opener. Having ridden almost / 45




998cc, water-cooled, 20 valve DOHC four-cylinder four-stroke BORE X STROKE

74 x 58mm




40mm downdraft Mikuni carburettors TRANSMISSION

Six-speed, wet multiplate clutch FRAME

Deltabox II aluminium twin spar WEIGHT



1395mm TYRES

120/70-17, 190/50-17 FUEL CAPACITY

18 litres POWER

150bhp @ 10,000rpm TOP SPEED


BELOW: Mark’s still got it, so’s the bike...

nothing but fuel-injected bikes for the past 18 years, I really had forgotten just how good a well-carburated bike can actually feel. Emission regulations might be improving air quality but they’re not benefiting our riding experience. Another knock-out first-impression sensation is the weight, or lack of it. As soon as you cant the bike upright off its side-stand, you find yourself raising an eyebrow in surprise. It is ridiculously light. Lighter than most current 600s. For the previous week I’d been tooling around on a 2018 R1 and the difference in weight is marked between the two. The price of technical advancement, noise, safety and emissions regulations has added a whopping 25kg to Yamaha’s flagship superbike. That equates to half a (soon to be retiring) Dani Pedrosa. That’s not the kind of progress I want. The more you study the old ’98 R1 it becomes clear that Yamaha were hell bent on saving grammes wherever they could. Hollow wheel and swingarm spindles (and even hollow caliper bolts) and every fastener wasted away to the bare minimum, displays this hunger to shed flab: even though the wheels are cast, not forged, their hollowed out spokes and hubs

46 / classic motorcycle mechanics

result in what was at the time a class-leading lack of unsprung weight. The engine weighs just 65kg. On the road this lack of cake manifests itself in the ability to run seemingly very light springing and damping front and rear. Even when you’re, ahem, pressing on a bit, the R1 seems to float over bumps as the fast-acting suspension soaks up the imperfections without feeding them back to the rider through the bars, pegs or seat. With around five inches of suspension travel front and rear, there’s quite a pronounced weight shift, too. Under hard throttle loadings the rear squats markedly and the same is true when using the front brakes as the makers intended. This pitch is beneficial, weighting the rear tyre when it needs all the help it can get and – up front – steepening rake and trail on your approach to a corner. This, a really roomy riding position and a flat, spongy seat pad make this old R1 a really easy and very comfortable way to ride quickly with minimal physical effort. The engine plays a similar tune, seemingly perfectly matched for the chassis’ characteristics. The 20-valve motor has a massive amount of low and particularly EXUP-liberated mid-range torque, allowing the rider to pretty much leave it in a high gear and just use the sweet throttle response to roll on and off the power. It’s hardly slow, either. With 150bhp and 80lb-ft of torque driving 175kg there’s more than enough acceleration on tap to make warp speed child’s play. The final kick in the power range is above 9000rpm – an area you hardly ever have to visit on the road but that last 1500rpm is perfect, I guess, if you’re attending a track day and need to stretch a gear out between corners. Peak power is made at 10,000rpm, peak torque at 8500 and the rev limiter made use of at 11,750rpm. But screaming revs is not the best way to ride the ’98 R1 on the road. Just by using your ears and intuition means you never have to peek at the analogue rev counter. Clutchlessly short shifting up through the ’box and riding the torque curve means you can spend your time looking far ahead. The riding position is nowhere near as extreme as modern superbikes with a much more ‘sit in’ rather than ‘sit on’ ergonomic. The 18-litre fuel tank is wide and high at the back, the seat pad broad and


the low-wide bars quite a stretch away ahead. The pegs seem low by today’s standards too so the whole bike really doesn’t feel cramped at all. This is a sports bike you could happily go touring on. There’s just about room for a wallet and a packet of fags under the pillion seat. Efficient layout is key to the R1’s original design. In their efforts to create as short an engine as possible, Yamaha’s engineers cleverly stacked the gearbox shafts on top of each other to allow the optimum location of the engine in the chassis. Mass centralisation in action there... The short, compact engine also allowed the designers to achieve their goal of creating a 600mm distance between swingarm and rear wheel spindle – possibly one of the longest swingarms on the market at the time, coming off what Yamaha learned from their two-stroke YZR500 GP bike. The brakes are about as good as things got in the

90s with Yamaha’s fabled one piece, four-piston blue spot calipers biting onto a pair of floating 298mm discs. The feel at the lever, even by today’s standards, is a beautiful balance between sensitive first-touch application and progressive power as heat and pressure builds. I am usually a two-fingered braker and this ’98 R1 easily allowed me that luxury. Once there’s some heat in the tyres, there’s enough power to easily lift the rear wheel with two-fingers. In terms of handling, the geometry is sharp steering and pretty frisky. This ’98 R1 is at its best in rapid direction changes and pinpoint apexclipping. The sub 1400mm wheelbase, 24º head angle and 91mm trail dimensions tell the story. Most owners fitted an aftermarket steering damper for good reason because the R1 could get a bit head-shaky on bumpier surfaces when it was treated to plenty of throttle and the front end’s un-weighted. But modern rubber (this bike was

“It’s hardly slow: that final kick in the power range is above 9000rpm – an area you’re hardly likely to visit out on the road. Handling is still sharp and frisky!” / 47

TIMELINE We’ve decided to trace the earlier family members of the R1’s bloodline and the R1 models up to and including the VJMC’s 15-year rule, so you know what’s covered by the term ‘classic’. Their rules, not ours…


Yamaha FZR1000 Genesis

The daddy of the R1 from a decade before and suitably called ‘Genesis’. This was a revelation. The frame was a beefy Deltabox ally item, with a wide (for the time) 160-rear section tyre. The 989cc motor was angled 45º forward so the carbs could breathe better and the end result was around 110-120bhp. Interestingly it had five-valves per cylinder (Yamaha’s F1 cars did the same). It handled better than any GSX-R1100 ever could…


Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP

The next generation saw the introduction of the EXUP (EXhaust Ultimate Powervalve) which boosted the mid-range torque by 30-40%. The Deltabox frame was more contoured, the headlights faired-in and the engine hung at a 35º angle for a shorter wheelbase. 17in wheels, 170-rear section tyre and a higher-compression, 1002cc motor.


Yamaha FZR1000 EXU UP RU

Further refinement of the EXUP brought in upside-down front forks and a tra apezoidal headlight cluster (with a projectorr beam in some markets.) By now the bike was the best-handling litre-class sportsbike… but the Honda CBR900RR FireB Blade was just a year away…

48 / classic motorcycle mechanics

YAMAHA fitted with Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso 111 street rubber) does a much better job of calming this slappy tendency down due, I guess, to a more pliant, deformable sidewall construction than rubber-wear from two decades ago. I remember R1s feeling decidedly flightier than this one but it’s entirely possible, with my advancing years, I’m a good deal slower at 53 than I was at 33. Steering is balanced, accurate and pleasingly intuitive – it certainly doesn’t feel like it is two decades old. A series of quick switchback bends really highlights the old R1’s agility. The lack of weight really works in your favour as you throw it from one bank angle to the opposite. I’ve ridden scooters heavier than this and when you’re muscling it around that’s a real tangible benefit. Compared to its direct opposition of the day the R1 is a miniscule toy: an anorexic waif. The rider’s eye view is a reminder of times gone by. The instruments are basic but only the rev counter is analogue – speed, mileage info and temp readings are bang-up-to-date digital. This particular bike was fitted with a red-LED Datatool digital gear indicator: a period mod if ever there was one. But what’s that on the left-hand handlebar, next to the Bowden cable-pulling clutch lever? Yes, it’s a manual choke. Remember them? It took me a while to reacquaint myself. From cold start-up you need to be quick to react with this choke lever to prevent the revs from racing: never ideal on cold oil. I guess CMM readers are still au fait with choke operation? The R-1’s clutch and gearbox were never the bike’s strong point even when new and this twodecade old example is no exception. Gear selection and engagement is near perfect with no noises or imprecision but the clutch actuation takes a bit of getting used to with a grabby, juddery bite point when engaged gently at low revs. New basket and plates needed, I think. For a 20k plus mileage and with 20 years under its belt, one obvious (and expected) fault is not a bad health check report, though. R-1 clutches were always a consumable item like pads, tyres and chains and the passage of time has changed nothing. Back in the day, it never ceased to amaze me why Yamaha didn’t pull a Suzuki GSX-R transmission to pieces and just copy it lock stock and barrel. In the 1990s GSX-R clutches and precision. gearboxes were the absolute benchmark of precision After a day of thrashing around some of the best roads in Northamptonshire, I came away distinctly impressed with this old R1. When it arrived in the


Yam maha FZR1000 EXUP

New clo othes for an old favourite saw the t YZF750/FZR600RR ‘foxeye e’ headlights placed on the EXU UP and that was pretty much it. The last 3LG7s were sold in 1996, by which time it had been replaced by…


Yamaha FZR10 000 Thunderace

A stopgap in the taking on of nderace, Honda’s FireBlade, the Thun ame and despite using a YZF-750 fra cc EXUP housing an updated 1002c motor, wasn’t really playing the hanks to same game as the Blade th 198kg vs the Blade’s 182 kilos… / 49


Yamaha YZF-R1 4XV 4

The first and many consid der the best. Developed around the same time as the Thunderace, Kunihiko Miwa produced a masterrpiece which not only had Lupine beauty, but was a no-holds barrred race-replica. 998cc, 150bhp p, 176kg ended the Honda FireBlade e’s reign as king of the sportsbik kes.


summer of ’98 I remember the first time I rode one it absolutely blew my socks off. To make a FireBlade feel fat and slow was quite an achievement... But you know what, as a road bike, even today, the R1 still serves up just the same delicious mix of accessible power and torque, exotic lightweight, comfort and synaptic connectivity that’s a hard combination to better. It might not have blown my socks off this time round but it was fantastic fun. There will always be people who want the latest tech. Me? I feel humbled by today’s crop of modern superbikes but I just don’t have the skills to even get near the true capabilities of a Panigale or an S1000RR and that frustrates rather than impresses me. Riding this R1 has made me wonder when in our recent biking history we started to go backwards. What more do you want than a supremely light, fast bike that’s comfortable and easy to ride quickly with great suspension and brakes? Racing in 2018 has improved the breed for racing but not for the road, I would argue. This theory is backed up by today’s adage of ‘race it on a Sunday, buy an Adventure bike/Triumph Bonneville on a Monday’ So does this 1998 R1 signify the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? cmm

Yamaha YZF-R1 5JJ

The h R1 was still ill on top but b Yamaha h changed h d 150 details. Carbs were tweaked and the gearbox improved. Calipers were changed: titanium-look can replaced the carbon-look one. Suspension improved and chassis made more rigid still and now ffront-end t d biased. bi d H Heell plates l t d drilled. ill d

BELOW: Buy one now: prices are going north...


Yamaha YZF-R1 5PW

Perhaps the best looking bike from Japan? The R1 was now fuel-injected and the 5PW had a new, updated frame. Power was now just up on the original to around 152bhp @ 10,500rpm.


Yamaha YZF-R1 5VY

A ground-up redesign that aimed at the more mature rider. 160bhp motor had under-seat pipes and a bigger bore/shorter stroke. Still a five-valve head, the original ‘claim’ was 172bhp for 172 kilos to give a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. Chunky braced swingarm and radial brakes completes the look.

50 / classic motorcycle mechanics / 51


BELOW: An original 4XV in red/white: you’ll pay a premium for one...

Buying a


If you’re after a 4XV or a 5JJ what do you need to look for? And what do they cost? Scott Redmond has some info…

52 / classic motorcycle mechanics

1999 bike with aftermarket can.


BELOW: The 2000 5JJ model had 150 changes and a titanium can.

ow on earth can the Yamaha R1 be 20 years old? Doesn’t time fly! In the 1990s I loved the race reputation, but often found my everyday needs required a less radical riding position and maybe not quite so much bhp. Then, when fuel-injection replaced carbs, I kinda lost interest in new bikes for a while – so that means that the first R1 (yup, with carbs) was the last big sports bike that got my attention. I fancied owning one, but the price tag was nudging £9000 back then, so I stuck to the older and more interesting stuff – but now… Prices for the 4XV R1 have been climbing steadily recently – they’ve rarely ever ended up below £2000 other than if they have been crashed or required lots of work. The demise of the two-stroke led to prices perking up for everything from an AR50 to an RG500 and one day that same historical sense will apply to bikes with carbs. What finer carb fed bike is there than the last Japanese litre sports bike from the last century that arrived wearing a bank of

Mikuni’s finest? The R1 is coming of age, which means their worth will increase. Sure, dealers litter eBay with classified adverts for early R1 models (plus most other models) with asking prices of £4000 to £5000 and higher, but do they ever sell? The odd PPI payout might help one or two on their way to new owners, but other than that the same bikes appear if you search eBay on a regular basis. Bikes that appear for auction often vanish before the auction end, with deals done outside of the auction site, which makes perfect sense – when you’re buying any used bike you really should get off your arse and go and see the bike and the seller before agreeing to abide by the eBay rulebook. All of this nonsense leads me to tell you about this R1 that I purchased. A friend of mine got in touch to tell me he was selling his 1999 R1 and a few texts later I had put my name on it. He bought the bike back in 2007 and had owned it ever since. The previous owner was his wife! The ‘keep it in the family’ R1 was now surplus to requirements, as he’d bought a 2005 ZX-10R and spends his spare time and cash on his Ducati race bike. The cash would help to keep his racer on the track and the extra space was earmarked for more crash-damaged Ducati panels! His words, not mine. All I had to go on was a few phone pictures and a distant memory of seeing the bike back in 2009. It was more than enough for me. A few days later I was standing in his kitchen nattering about bikes and counting out £2750 in used notes. At this point I hadn’t even seen the bike. After emptying his shed of anything that was a R1 spare I finally clapped eyes on the Yammy. I was well chuffed. It was a smile out loud moment. The only non-standard parts were an old Micron alloy slip-on can and thankfully the spares package contained not one, but two standard Yamaha silencers! I knew what I’d be doing once I got back home. The screen fitted isn’t standard and worse still the original one wasn’t among the stash of parts (and / 53

BUYING ADVICE original screens are wanted… just ask Mark Forsyth, the owner of our road test 4XV.) Beyond those pair of aftermarket add-ons the R1 was pretty stock, except for some braided brake lines. Condition-wise it’s way above average for a 19-year-old bike that’s covered 27,000 miles. The mileage is genuine, it’s backed up by wads of service history, old MoT certificates and various other bits of paper that have been lovingly kept inside the Motorcycle City wallet. It’s touches like this that will help if I opt to sell this UK-spec bike on in the future. The only downer is a ding to the top of the petrol tank, which happened at 0mph inside a shed – a nasty moment that involved an overloaded shelf that was above the R1, bugger! A large sticker would hide it, or a second-hand tank could be sourced… With the standard can fitted I even recouped £75 for the Micron can. In a strange twist of fate our very own lover of all things standard Andy Bolas spotted my advert online and requested my PayPal details! Cheers Andy. I’ve also sold off the bulk of the spares, mostly on eBay to hungry R1 owners, who snapped up over £500 worth of parts within a few weeks of me listing them – that should take the sting out of buying a replacement fuel tank! The bike now stands me in just over £2000. Do I stick a few more miles on it and leave it in my garage, or chance my arm and try to sell it on for a profit? I’m pretty torn – my heart says keep, my head shouts sell. I’m going to use it – that’s the thing with emerging classics – they’ve done their depreciating, which means they make great sense. cmm


The 4XV R1 engine is still a jewel, but there are a few things to check. The R1 had a recall to change the clutch basket and I would have thought that all bikes would have been upgraded by now. If there’s a chattering feel from the clutch in slow traffic then you might have one that slipped through the net – check with Yamaha UK. The R1 sold like hot cakes, officially imported bikes

54 / classic motorcycle mechanics

The R1 was a big seller in its day and this means that there are plenty of them to choose from. Some bikes will have led a pampered life, while others might have been track bikes, involved in accidents or rebuilt with the best bits from several bikes! It’s always a case of ‘buyer beware’ when shopping for a used motorcycle – here are a few things you should check before handing over your cash.


The R1 had big power and light weight and helping to save a few pounds here and there was the use of pretty flimsy plastics. The fairing panels are prone to losing the odd locating lug, so too is the seat unit. If the bike is fitted with an aftermarket under tray, enquire to see if the original rear mudguard assembly is available. It makes the bike look better and adds value. Tanks are getting harder to find in excellent condition, not just externally, but internally too. Rusty insides are common on any tanks that have been stored poorly. There are plenty of aftermarket fairing options, ranging from your flat white track day full fairing through to Chinese fairing kits that even come in a range of colour options. Quality

lined up against parallel imports on the showroom floor in the late Nineties and not all of these non-UK bikes had a full stable of horses. French bikes only had 100bhp. They were choked from the full quota by crude restrictors in the carbs. Some R1s drink oil, while others don’t. It’s just the luck of the draw – don’t be too alarmed if a seller offers up this information. The


Full aftermarket systems allow you to ditch the EXUP and this will result in a loss of power in the lower rev range in return for a bulge higher up the rev counter. With the R1 now entering classic territory, for some only a full standard system will do. The EXUP valve only seizes if you fail to maintain it – keep it serviced and clean and you’ll be okay. The genuine headers are fairly robust, but even better

R1 Top Tips

decent used sets can be snapped up for less than £100. Standard cans are getting tougher to find in excellent condition, even cans that were removed in perfect condition will pick up storage damage if they aren’t wrapped up well. The 5JJ came with a titanium silencer and these are even easier to pick up. Quality aftermarket silencers add power and kerbside kudos, cheapo ones do the complete opposite.

isn’t that great when compared to genuine panels, but you get what you pay for right? The red saddles on the 1998 model will fade over time, but recovering is inexpensive and fairly easy if you have the correct parts and are patient. Oh, and the microfibre sponges that V2 do to clean visors? They clean dirty red seats, as well…

second generation of the R1 is known by its 5JJ prefix. The bike had 150 changes from the 4XV. Most of these are confined to the top half of the engine. Everything from oil ways to camshafts were changed. Downstairs the biggest difference was a lower geared first gear. Talking about the gearbox, this really isn’t the R1’s strongest point, they’re pretty clunky.

Dyno shows if it’s full power.

Original 4XV cans are desirable.


■ Yamaha UK (new parts still stocked) 01932 358000 ■ R1 owners forum International website / 55


? D E E R B BEST OF k tells us of his 4XV ic Cr ly Ol er ttl fe ne hi ac Bike journo and top m s original YZF-R1. a’ ah m Ya ed ov pr im ’s love affair and how heWORDS AND PHOTOS: OLLY CRICK


riginally this was a project bike for another magazine back in 2005. On loan from a dealer while I sorted everything out, I fell in love with it and bought it. The £3500 I paid at the time taught me that I should have negotiated the asking price before the alterations and upgrades were carried out. I still have it and four years after the first upgrade I put it through another, more extreme transformation. This one included a major engine overhaul with a new, lighter crankshaft giving 2mm further throw each way – 4mm on the piston stroke, also being re-bored, the result is 1155cc. Allied to a set of Keihin FCR flat-slide carbs, the engine produced just over 200bhp at the time. It’s still ferocious today! Over the years I’ve loved it every time I’ve ridden or even just looked at it, but I’ve hated it at times too. I hated it four years ago when it high-sided me on a roundabout – that was a low point. I broke most of my left ribs, left clavicle and left shoulder blade. The 4XV didn’t come off too badly and it was only my wife who stopped me from selling it. Since then

Looks standard-ish, doesn’t it?

I’ve repaired it and the love-affair has re-ignited (with the bike!). I’ve had this bike in pieces more times than I care to remember, not through breakdowns, rather modifications or just with general tinkering. The current fairing is Chinese and its a little more orange than red because good original fairings, particularly in these colours, are as rare as hen’s teeth. It fitted better than I thought it would, but obviously not as well as the original equipment. When my boat comes in I’ll get some OEM plastics. You may have noticed the little vents in the top-rear of each side of the belly-pan – those vents weren’t actually introduced by Yamaha until the following 5JJ model. The one thing I dislike about this R1 model is its welded rear (seat) sub-frame. Why Yamaha couldn’t have designed a bolted-on version is a mystery to me. Lots of otherwise good frames must have been scrapped over the years due to this. 4XVs don’t suffer with many issues other than you would have for any motorcycle. Most problems the / 57

MODDED CLASSICS 4XV did have were dealt with by Yamaha years ago. Such was the initial demand, the first few bikes in the country were unofficial imports from Europe and were restricted to 100bhp. Then there were the official recalls for the clutch basket and the engine coolant clamp, and later the brake pads (the lining material coming away from the backing plate) and the sidestand switch screws vibrating loose. Unless your bike was mothballed, all these issues will have been sorted out long ago. EXUP valves can seize – usually the mechanical flap just below the header pipes and on R1s I’ve owned I’ve simply taken them apart, unseized them, lubed them up and put them back together. When 4XVs reached their third birthday and it came to their first MoT, more than a few failed on the rear wheel bearing – they required re-greasing and MoT stations soon became used to the fact that nothing was seriously amiss. There was much forum discussion about 4XVs dropping out of first or second gear, or the change between first and second being awkward due to the bikes being wheelied ham-fistedly. While I don’t doubt that some bikes may have suffered, over the years I’ve owned five 4XVs and this hasn’t been an issue on any of them, so have I just been lucky? My bike is heavily modified, and with that comes the need for more maintenance, more things to keep an eye on and check-over, a price I was more keen to pay 10 years ago than now, but my bones have healed, the R1’s repaired and the love affair’s back on. Once again it’d take a lot for me to sell it. cmm

13 9 3 8 12




Modified 1155cc, 200bhp with Piper high-lift camshafts, Sigma slipper-clutch and Nova racing gearbox. 2 KEIHIN FCR FLAT-SLIDE CARBS

With smooth bores, they ensure maximum air-flow and the flat-slides give great throttle response and flow control.


I ditched the EXUP valve in favour of a more free-flowing exhaust. The EXUP control unit remains in place, otherwise the tacho shows error codes.


The original motor is standard-ish.

58 / classic motorcycle mechanics

A useful upgrade to the 4XVs original four-piston, 298mm set-up: fantastic initial bite is achieved from the six-pad design,

5 10



14 6 1 4


allowing six leading edges in each caliper to bite into the disc. The caliper mounting brackets had to be specially made at enormous cost. 5 ISR 17.5MM RADIAL MASTER CYLINDER

Adjustable for both span and pump-ratio (soft/firm feel). The 17.5mm bore size copes with the larger fluid requirement of the six-piston calipers. 6


Purchased second-hand along with the Spondon swingarm and Dymag wheels because it was a deal I couldn’t refuse at the time. Before the Öhlins I had the stock forks overhauled by K-Tech and they were great too. 7


Originally powder-coated V&M yellow, they were reworked black by Dymag.



Purchased along with the Ohlins forks and Dymag wheels. It’s widened, braced, huge and features a quick-release rear wheel system. Completely unnecessary, but I like how it makes the rear of the bike look. 9 K-TECH REAR SHOCK OVERHAUL

This unit was overhauled by K-Tech 13 years ago and is still doing the job. 10 SPRINT STEERING DAMPER 11


Lower than standard bars, they make the bike feel more purposeful, but they make your wrists ache sooner. 12


QB Carbon ram airbox (minus the lid). Made from carbon, it uses a foam

minimalist filter. The lid was removed as it wouldn’t allow the engine to suck in enough air, only revving to 9000rpm with it in place. 13


The standard item wouldn’t fit the Spondon widened swingarm. To keep the bike’s original good looks, I bought a second-hand hugger, slit it down the middle, widened it with fibreglass and had a local paint shop spray it up for me. 14 ORIGINAL ENGINE AND CARBS

Stored under a poly sheet in the garage. The original (mildly tuned to 155BHP) engine that came with the bike with carbs jetted to suit. Saved for if/when the 1155cc version finally says enough is enough. It has a starter motor fitted to enable me to spin it over on a battery every once in a while. / 59


Suzuki GSX-R

1000 Katana This could be a reality tomorrow, would you want it?



uzuki’s love affair with the Katana and its distinctive styling runs deep, and far beyond the stop-start nature of its 21-year lifespan. Launched to mixed reaction in 1980, the Target-designed prototype from the year before had been tempered slightly but the GSX1100 Katana was unmistakably different to anything that had gone before. While it spawned four-cylinder clones in different capacities including the 1000 and 750, the Katana DNA was also extended in diluted form to a shaft-drive 650, 550, 400 along with a parallel twin 250 and single-cylinder 125. It’s impossible to underestimate how much influence the Katana has had on the Suzuki range. Incredibly, the last 1100 Katana (Japanese home market only) rolled off the production line in 2001. Even today, the Katana lines can still be seen in places on the flagship 175bhp GSX-R1000. Which got us thinking: forget traces of Katana styling here and there, how about replicating it directly but using a GSX-R rolling chassis? It’s so mind-bogglingly obvious we’ve rebooted it in exactly that fashion. We think Suzuki has missed a trick here – do you agree?

60 / classic motorcycle mechanics


Suzuki claims 199bhp for the 2018 GSX-R and while a more honest figure of 175bhp is what you actually get at the back wheel it is still delivered in a heady fashion. However, we’d happily lose a bit more of the pub-bragging final figure from the VVT engine for more real-world torque and midrange grunt. Remember, we want usable, flexible power not outright top-end! Either way, it dwarfs the performance from the original bike’s true 97bhp.


The GSX-R chassis could barely be more different from the original Katana – unsurprising given the technology advances in almost four decades. Everything is lighter and stronger from the alloy twin spar frame to the fully-adjustable single rear shock which is just as well as it’s coping with almost double the power. We’ve made slight modifications to cater for the Katana bodywork, but otherwise we’ve been as faithful as we can be to the original ‘look’.


Unlike some concepts – more recently the GSX-S1000-based version shown at last year’s Tokyo show – we reckon the styling should remain more faithful to the original to make it as pure as can be. There are minor revisions to the screen, headlight, front mudguard and tail unit but we’ve kept ours 95% as it was in 1981 for that perfect retro fusion of old and new. If Kawasaki can make a viable Z900 for the 21st century, surely it’s time for Suzuki to do the same with the big Kat.


What do you think? Reckon a stripped-down GSX-R-based Kat would work? Let us know! / 61


Our very own wizzened sages, Messrs Maark Haycock and Stevve Cooper are here to answer all of your woes, Honda MTX200


I am the owner of a Honda MTX200 RII, which is a Japanese import but essentially the same as the 125 model. When I bought the bike, despite buying from a dealer who said he had serviced it, the brake fluid in the master cylinder was like jelly, so I bought a rebuild kit for the master cylinder and the front caliper. The bike has a twin piston front caliper of a sliding design with two pistons on one side. The pistons are made of plastic. The caliper had a little corrosion in the seal grooves, which I cleaned out and replaced the seals, painting on a little corrosion block grease in the grooves as per the advice from Ralph Ferrand in the magazine. After rebuilding the brakes and bleeding them, I now find they bind slightly to the extent that if I ride up the road and don’t use the front brake at all, after around half a mile the disc is too hot to touch. Following this I rebuilt the caliper again, double checking everything and using new seals of OE quality from David Silver spares. I cleaned out the grooves again but without any corrosion block grease. It’s exactly the same and I can’t see why its binding. The pistons are quite tight to get back in their bores, but the small amount of

corrosion in the seal groove on one piston has never been an issue on other bikes I have worked on. A new caliper body is unavailable new (even if I could afford it) and a second-hand one is likely to be the same as mine. Would you suggest buying new pistons? Or is there someone who can refurb my caliper? James Robbins


I think the issue you are facing is probably not being caused by the pistons but instead to do with the sliding mechanism. I say mechanism, but all it consists of is a couple of pins screwed into the mounting bracket, one of which slides directly within the caliper body with the other sliding within a bush that, in turn, fits in a hole in the caliper. You need to dismantle this to check for corrosion and if you find any, simply replace all the parts, except the caliper body, as they are quite cheap. Use your anti-corrosion grease (though I must say I always get good service from ordinary silicone grease) to ensure that the mechanism does not stick again. There is one other possibility and that is that something might have gone wrong with the master cylinder, to the extent that it is holding pressure within the hydraulic system even though the lever has been released. You did not mention the master cylinder other than to say it contained jelly rather than fluid, so I assume you have overhauled it? If not, a genuine Honda overhaul kit (part number 45530-kj1702i) is available, though rather expensive at around £60.

2004 Triumph Bonneville/Thruxton


I have a 2004 Thruxton/Triumph Bonneville and I have a problem of engine oil in the air-box. The oil level is okay, not over-filled, the baffle plate in air-box removed and a K&N air filter fitted. The ignition is at stage one, tuned by Triumph Twin Power. The bike goes well, no blue smoke and doesn’t burn oil. I have had the clutch cover off (I fitted a Barnet clutch plate and springs). I read on a forum about a seal in the clutch cover, possibly being troublesome, also on another forum because of the mods done and you should reroute the breather away from the air-box and fit a separate filter. The bike has about 14,000 miles on it and is usually ridden sprightly. I would be grateful for any advice/opinions or if you have heard of this happening elsewhere. Ian Grieves


That model in its early form did suffer from problems with the breather, which was caused by an issue with a seal and oil slinger, though this should have been fixed on yours by now. Hinckley Triumph later increased the diameter of breather pipes to reduce problems in this area. It would be a good idea to carry out a compression test to ensure that the blow-by is not excessive, as this is the main source of the gas that needs to be removed via the breather. One cause of excess oil in the breather is over-filling with oil and the level should be no more than halfway up the sight glass with the bike on level ground. You can also fit a filter at the air-box end of the pipe to trap the oil. The engine layout (360º twin) will always cause substantial regular intermittent crankcase pressurisation and this, combined with inadequate crankcase breathers, was probably at least one of the sources of inevitable oil leaks on old British bikes. cmm

Send your queries to: or write to Problem Solver, CMM, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ 62 / classic motorcycle mechanics



2 4

5 6

10 10 12

13 11


Project Kawasaki Z1325 part 11


Lathe-ing around Our Ralph gets on the lathe – and gives us some basics along the way.


his month before describing what I did on the lathe, I feel it would be sensible not to assume that all the readers of CMM have lathes and know how to use them. I thought that it might be worthwhile providing a brief description of the anatomy of a metal turning lathe and some basics in use, which may inspire you to have a go at light engineering: if you haven’t already, of course. A lathe is a truly wonderful machine, which, with a bit of imagination, can be 64 / classic motorcycle mechanics

used to make all manner of parts for projects. I had initially learned to use a lathe at school and then was taught how to use one with more finesse when I served my apprenticeship at British Aerospace in the early 80s. Some years ago I bought the machine I have now, a low mileage Harrison M300, which came from a school. Never before have machine tools for the home been so readily available, even for the shallowest of pockets. Not only are there lots of machines on the used market, but there are lots of cheap Far East machines available at knock down

prices. If you can only run to a cheap Chinese machine you just have to accept the limitations and take lighter cuts and more of them. You’ll still get there eventually. I did some cracking work on my old Chinese lathe, but I had to be patient. I have photographed my lathe and labelled up the main parts so that you will have an idea about what I am alluding to. With most cutting tools the work piece stays still and the cutting tool moves to remove material e.g. when drilling the part is fixed and the drill’s cutting edges rotate. When turning (machining using a lathe)


8 7

Three-Jaw self-centring lathe chuck.

Removing the lathe chuck, carefully.

A piece of wood held in a four jaw chuck with the jaws reversed.

A live centre-mounted on the headstock spindle with a driving plate.


16 15

The Main Parts of the Centre Lathe 1/ Chuck key 2/ Headstock 3/ Motor controls 4/ Three jaw chuck 5/ Tool post 6/ Top side 7/ Tailstock centre 8/ Tailstock chuck

9/ Tailstock 10/ Bed ways 11/ Lead screw and feed gearbox 12/ Cross slide 13/ Apron 14/ Manual feed wheel 15/ Feed shaft 16/ Lead screw A piece of wood clamped to the face plate by way of demonstration.

the workpiece is moved and the tool stays still. The most common and basic method of holding a work piece is to grip it in a three-jaw self-centring chuck. This is similar, but on a grander scale, to the three-jaw chuck on your electric drill. This is by no means the only way of holding a workpiece on a lathe and while quick and convenient for round things a three-jaw chuck does have its limitations. For high precision work the accuracy is not one hundred percent and if you are holding anything that isn’t round or hexagonal it really will not work. Most lathes will come with a four-jaw chuck where the jaws all work independently of one another. This not only allows you to hold square, oval and rectangular section items, but it also facilitates holding circular workpieces off-centre which is often useful for making eccentrics. Setting up work in a four-jaw chuck can take quite a bit of time but is easier with experience. If you have

something very irregular to machine it can be bolted to a face plate; this is a flat plate with slots milled in it so that you can bolt irregular items to it. In the photo I have just quickly clamped a piece of wood to it to show how it works. In reality something as regular as a cube would be held in a four-jaw chuck as shown in the accompanying photo. Getting a workpiece in exactly the correct position on a face plate takes quite a bit of skill; you have to tighten the clamps just the right amount so that you can move the workpiece by tapping it with a soft hammer, but not too loose. The last common method of holding work pieces is ‘between centres’. You centre drill both ends of a work piece and fit a ‘live’ centre into the headstock spindle, a driving plate and then a centre in the morse taper of the tailstock. You fit the centre drilled hole of one end of the workpiece on the live centre and support the other end with the centre in the

tailstock. A ‘driving dog’ is attached to the live end so that the driving plate makes the workpiece turn. This method is usually employed when a very accurate long piece is to be turned, where the accuracy of the three-jaw chuck might not be exacting enough. If I am making one-off wheel spindles I will usually turn them between centres to ensure that they are perfectly parallel. Different lathes have varying methods of locking workpiece-holding devices such as chucks to the headstock spindle. Mine uses three cam locks to hold the chuck tight against the spindle’s taper. One must be very careful changing chucks on any but the smallest machines as they tend to be heavy, particularly four-jaw chucks. You should always protect the precision bed ways with a piece of gash timber. Fingers make a very soft landing for a heavy chuck, but the owner of the fingers usually finds wood a preferable damper. If you are to turn a long piece of metal, the end will / 65


Facing off a piece of bar.


Using the centre drill.

Revolving centre pushed into the hole to support the bar.

need to be supported by a ‘running’ centre in the tailstock. Firstly, you grip the bar with only a short length sticking out of the three-jaw chuck and face it off with a knife tool, as I have shown in the photograph, assuming you are starting with a sawn-off piece of bar. You will notice that the tool in the photograph differs from the basic tool I have drawn in the diagram. Early tools were just like the ones in the diagram, but these days many of us use what are now referred to as indexable tools, previously known as throwaway tips. The body of the tool is made from steel,

Drilled hole ready for the centre.

Bar supported with tailstock centre, for turning.

but the removable tip is manufactured from tungsten carbide with is extremely hard. They have the advantage that they are easy to use and formed very accurately, but once they lose their edge or chip they are binned. The one in the photo has two cutting faces so once one side is buggered then you turn it around for another bite of the hardened cherry. The first tungsten carbide tipped tools had relatively large tips silver soldered or brazed in place. These could be re-sharpened many time on a bench grinder, but were difficult to sharpen and

Basic lathe tools Round nose tool for finishing

Boring bar for boring

Centre drill

Thread cutting tool

66 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Parting tool for parting off


Knife tool for facing off and turning down

never as accurate as the modern tip. One then fits a drill type chuck into the tailstock and tightens a centre drill into it. I prefer to use keyless chucks as they are quicker to use and generally grip better than the traditional Jacobs chucks The spindle is run up to a suitable speed and the centre drills is wound into the workpiece using the hand wheel on the back of the tailstock. The chuck is released and the amount of material to be machined is pulled out and the chuck re-tightened. Only the amount needed to be machined plus a bit for clearance is taken out because the longer the length the more opportunity there is for it to flex when cutting. The chuck is removed from the tail stock and replaced with a revolving centre. The tail stock is locked in place and then the hand wheel will drive the centre into the centre-drilled hole and that is also locked off. At this point the lathe saddle is moved back and forth to ensure that there is clearance for it to do so without obstruction. Sometimes the tailstock will need to be moved back further and its spindle extended out with the hand wheel go get enough clearance to allow the tool to cut all the required area of the workpiece. Better lathes tend to have an automatic feed system to make machining less arduous. You can set the feed speed to suit the job you are doing. If you are removing a lot of material, you will use a faster speed and a deeper cut. This will


Drilling a twist drill: boring bar should thus fit hole.

Drills larger than 13mm tend to have Morse tapers.

Machining the outside diameter.

Bore set-to with a modded knife tool.

Measuring the bore with a bore gauge.

not give a great finish, so, as you get closer to the finished size, the feed rate is reduced as is the depth of cut. My lathe would originally have been fitted with a suds pump. Suds is an engineering term for a soluble cutting oil that also doubles as a coolant. For me this wasn’t practical given that space is at a premium in my workshop and the machine would have needed its original splash guard, massively increasing the machine’s footprint. When I am machining I use Rocol RTD cutting fluid or paste on the cutting tools which doubles their life and improves the finish massively. To machine the spacing collars for the headlight ears of the bike, a big lump of aluminium would be mostly converted to swarf. The job started with my facing off the end of the bar using a knife tool with the cross slide. I centre-drilled the end face. It is important to centre-drill before drilling because a twist drill will wander and not produce the hole bang in the

middle, where it needs to be. I then used a succession of pilot drills gradually opening out the hole in the middle. Drills larger than 13mm tend to have Morse tapers, rather than the straight shank of smaller drills designed to be gripped by a drill chuck. Larger drills take more torque so need a better grip. There is a tang at the end of the taper that prevents slippage even if the taper loses grip. The smaller drills have a smaller taper that requires the use of Morse taper sleeves to bring them up to the size of the taper in the tailstock. Mine has a No.3 Morse taper; the drill in the first photograph has a No.1 taper and so needs two sleeves. The biggest one is No.3 and so fits straight into the tail stock spindle. Once I had used the biggest drill I own, I turned down the outside diameter to the final size i.e. the diameter of the lower part of the lower section of the leg. The hand wheels have scales, usually in either metric or imperial. Normally if you wind on a cut of 0.1mm

on the cross slide, the tool will move in by 0.1mm and 0.2mm will be removed from the diameter. I am lucky because my lathe has both imperial and metric scales and the cross slide scales are set at the total removed from the diameter; most lathes don’t have this feature. Keep checking the measurements, particularly as you get closer to the final size. As the hole was bigger than the hole in my chuck I used a small knife tool that was originally for my little lathe. I have ground down the underside so that it can be used to open up large holes. To measure the bore I used ‘T’ type bore gauges. You insert the gauge into the bore and lock it when the handle is parallel with the bore and remove it and measure the anvils with a micrometer screw gauge. When cutting any material always remember the mantra “Measure Twice, Cut Once”. Next month it’s front fork time! cmm

Measuring the bore gauge with a micrometer screw gauge.

Machined spacer ready to be fitted in the clamp and have a slot milled into it.

Both machined sleeves fitted in place in the clamps.

■ / 67



Project Yamaha CS3C part 5

Fettle and finish

It is reassembly time and things are going suspiciously rather well!


’ve now reached the stage in any rebuild where, hopefully at least, the positives have begun to outweigh the negatives. The bike is slowly being reassembled or at least I’m building sub-assemblies ready to reinstall. Everyone has their own sequence of rebuilding but mine generally commences as follows. Install the centrestand with its associated fittings i.e. the spring, the C-shaped centre stand link, and, if applicable, the rear brake arm. Over the years I’ve been frittering away my life on old bikes it’s become obvious that if the stand and its gubbins don’t go on first they’ll be a pig to do later. It’s almost as if the bike is built around it, not unlike a French car of the 1970s where the entire vehicle is constructed around the cigarette lighter… if you’ve been there you’ll know exactly what I mean! The original centrestand pin wasn’t in the best of health when I first looked at it 68 / classic motorcycle mechanics

One stand pin!

and the percussive persuasion needed to evict it didn’t help. My NOS and recycled spares yielded several likely pins but they were all too thin; the CS3C’s pin is unique to the pre-1972 bikes and, of course, is no longer available. The groove that locates the retaining E-clip didn’t look healthy so it should have been either a replacement, or re-manufacture job but my mate Bob came up with an effective and ingenious repair which I think does the job fine. The remains of the retaining shoulder were

machined off, a 6mm hole drilled and tapped then a stainless steel penny washer machined to suit as a retainer; I seriously doubt it’ll stand out once the bike is back together. Next up was the suspension, both ends having been cosmetically refreshed and/or rebuilt. The fork legs unfortunately yet predictably bore Stilson scars (other pipe wrenches are also available) so they went off to A M Philpots for fresh hard chrome. The rear shocks were variously rusty and covered in rattle can silver so they were stripped, re-chromed and rebuilt. The most labour intensive part was fettling the grey inner shrouds that supposedly protect the damper rod and seal when the bike is ridden off-road… yeah, right! Hideously scarred and spectacularly stained with rust from the springs, a whole afternoon was squandered on two plastic tubes. Sand paper, wet ‘n’ dry, kitchen cleaner and plastic headlight polish finally got them back to being reasonably tidy.


Time to check the clocks!



Stripping the hub: literally!

New wheel bearings.

The bottom yoke received a full complement of consumables, bearing races, balls, top nut and cover courtesy of Yambits, ready to receive the fork legs. Swingarm back in place with new bushes the shocks were similarly rehomed, finally giving the bike some semblance of order. Of course there had to be a curveball or it wouldn’t be one of my projects. The rubber fork gaiters are supported and centralised at the top by a device called spring retainer, upper or some such moniker. When the bike arrived from Canada the entire front-end was already off but I recall a pair of wickedly lethal steel pressings sitting in the gaiters. Of course these had vaporised into thin air come rebuild time which caused some consternation. However, despite the parts book diagram indicating something vaguely similar and sharp the images of said items on eBay were totally different and clearly moulded plastic discs. On the basis that the latter looked correct, Bob and his lathe were once again pressganged to knock up something similar. Still naively telling myself that this is not a full restoration, the brake hubs received some attention courtesy of my dwindling stock of old-style (read: actually works) paint stripper. The original lacquer on the brake plates was stripped off and the bare alloy buffed up to an acceptable level but not overly blinged; note to self, don’t wear decent clothes next time you get the polishing stuff out.

Kit needed to polish the hubs.

Despite checking them before and pronouncing them okay, I found the wheel bearings were now notchy so some new bearings were installed. I chose to use the double shielded type as they are literally only pennies more than the single shielded versions but infinitely better protected. And of course while I was dealing with brake plates and wheels it would have been foolish in the extreme not to have fitted new brake shoes. I know I bang on about this far too often but you really shouldn’t be assuming a set of linings are okay after almost 50 years. There’s a well-documented issue whereby, over time, the adhesives used to bond the friction material to the alloy casting begins to fail. At best your brake will suddenly come on as the liner fractures and breaks up. At worst you may find yourself dumped on your ear as one or both wheels locks up. For that reason if no other the OEM shoes were dumped in favour of EBC’s finest which fitted like dream.

Brake shoes in.

Repairing and masking the clocks. / 69


What you need to polish plastic.

Moving away from the chassis I’d notice the tacho or speedo had some gravel rash to its case. Fearing the worst in terms of internal damage, I connected it to my cordless drill and via a square drive adapter span the gauge up using the anti-clockwise setting. Amazingly, the needle rotated as it should and didn’t flutter. The cracked mounting pin’s base was sorted with some Supa-Fix and the

Refurbish don’t just replace My original plan had been to carry out a general mechanical and cosmetic refresh of the CS3C but as you’ll have notice that’s not happened. Paint, chrome and zincing have all been redone simply because what was there was bordering on dog rough. It would be tempting to go the whole hog and carry out a full resto with new or re-plated spokes and rims but what in all honesty does it add other than cost? This is not going to be a show bike as I only ever want a tidy rider. If, at some point in the future, I feel the need to go further I can. I’ve not had items such as the gear or kick start levers re-chromed because, with a bit of TLC, they’ll come up fine. Only the truly appalling has been refinished; on this particular bike I’m refusing to spend money unnecessarily. I reckon this job is best described not as a restoration but a renovation. Why slavishly bolt on NOS when a good fettle will do the job just as well?

The Yamaha’s yoke/stem.

scars filled in with some plastic metal. Thankfully the CS3C runs painted clock cases so there was no need to get these replated. Some judicious masking and a few crafty coats of crackle black had both gauges back almost like new… result and no stupidly expensive outlay either! Fitting the rebuilt forks should be a straightforward task but with external springs you have to push or pull the whole assembled leg up through the lower yoke to fit the newly painted headlamp brackets. With the forks nipped up at the lower yoke, and various collars, damper rubbers, painted parts, top yoke, fork nuts and washers loosely in place everything is then lined up. Gently slackening the lower yoke pinch bolts sees the fork springs pull the whole assembly into place ready to be tweaked and tightened later. And I didn’t even manage to mark the paint!

Shock rebuild time. 70 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Moving ahead, all of my chrome plating is back and although it’s never cheap it’s great to be able to tick another key task off the list. Knowing how rare guards are for the street scrambler I’ll be applying some serious protection to their undersides by way of an insurance policy. The front blade bolts to its tubular cradle via four U-clips that carry no Yamaha part number utilising no fewer that 14 bolts, 14 spring washers and 14 nuts… now what could possibly go wrong? cmm

Thanks this month to:

■ Yambits: I’d not be finding this easy without their vast range of parts. ■ Frost Restoration: Their VHT crackle black is the business. ■ EBC: Brake shoes that make the NOS stuff look like hardboard. ■ A M Philpots: As always: top quality job. / 71


Allen Mil l lyard Award-winning motorcyccle engineer!

The frame game...

By the time you read this, the beauty pictured above will be at Salon Prive; but how was the frame made? Allen tells all...


had recently finished making the six-cylinder engine and wheels for my RC374 and I was really looking forward to getting on with the frame. Before I could start making it, I needed to finish modifying the forks, machine up a headstock and make a swingarm. The lower fork modifications were completed when I trial fitted the hub which involved welding on new brake anchor points, removing the lower mudguard mounting lugs and reducing the length of the fork seal holders, so I just needed to shorten

72 / classic motorcycle mechanics

the fork tubes to make them the right length. To do this I cut 40mm off the top of each fork leg, but in doing so, also removed the internal threaded portion that is used to secure the forks to the top yoke. I was able to re-use the two bits of fork tube with the internal thread by machining down the outer diameter until they were a push fit back into the top of the fork tubes then I welded them in place. The bottom yoke was cleaned up to remove unwanted casting ridges, lugs and the steering lock. I then cut off the raised

handlebar mounting lugs from the aluminium top yoke and welded up the two holes that were left behind. Finally I dressed the surface with my Dremel and rotary burrs to produce an ‘as-cast’ looking finish. The next job was to make the headstock for the frame so I ordered a piece of thick wall steel tube and machined it on my lathe to Honda CB77 internal dimensions and overall length but to look similar to the RC174 on the outside. Once the headstock machining was complete the CB77 bearings were pressed

Cutting down the fork tubes.

Cutting/reshaping a CB77 swingarm.

Swingarm with new torque arm anchor welded in place.

into the headstock and then assembled in the yokes. The forks were then placed into the yokes followed by the front wheel, to complete the front-end sub-assembly. The next job was to make a swingarm. My initial thoughts were to make one from scratch, but looking at the CB77 swingarm I could see that is was similar in many ways and could easily be modified. The main difference was that the pivot points were designed to fit on the outside of the CB77 spine frame so I cut the swingarm in half, reshaped the halves, then cut a

Swingarm parts.

Cardboard template and pressed-up side-plates.

portion out of the cross brace to reduce the width at the pivot end. The two halves were welded back together with a new one-piece bearing pivot tube and the plates were then welded on the top and bottom for added strength. The shock mounting points will need to be modified as well but I can do that later while making the frame so that I can position the shocks at the correct angle. I trial fitted the rear wheel in the swingarm, reduced the length of the wheel’s spindle and machined new spacers to centralise

the wheel, I then positioned the brake plate, attached the torque arm and welded a new anchor point onto the underside of the swinging arm. With this complete I now had the front and rear sub-assemblies ready to make the main frame. The frame for my RC374 would be an open type frame with the engine suspended underneath as a stressed member, but due to the design of the FZR engine it was not possible to stress the cylinder head as part of the frame like on the original RC174. I would have to / 73


Allen n Millyard

Award-winning motorcycle engineer!

Lower frame assembly.

Frame jig.

Rear sub-assembly.

extend the frame discreetly down the front of the engine to meet the crankcases where there were two lugs strong enough to take the load. With this in mind I decided to make the frame from T45 chrome manganese steel because of its high tensile strength. This material was used to construct the airframe for Spitfires due to its excellent strength to weight ratio, and importantly for me it can be TIG welded without any need for further heat treatment. I worked out how much tube I would need and placed an order with Tube Bender Ltd in Rugby. While I was waiting for the tube to arrive I started to link up my sub-assemblies ready to make the frame. I used a spare set of standard FZR250 crankcases as a jig: I set about making the lower frame assembly that would join the rear of the engine to the swingarm. I worked out the dimension from the gearbox sprocket centre line to the swingarm pivot using the side view photo in my reference book, then cut out cardboard templates that would link them together maintaining this dimension. These templates were then trimmed and shaped to look as close to original Honda as possible while still mounting to my 74 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Front and rear sub-assemblies mounted on frame jig.

“To make the frame, I made a jig to hold the sub-assemblies in alignment, perfectly fitting the 55.5in wheelbase.” six-cylinder engine. When I was happy with the shape I cut out four identical pieces from 2mm thick steel sheet using my angle grinder fitted with 1mm cut off discs. After deburring with a file I set up the four pieces on my milling machine to drill three holes for the cross tubes and mounting bolt internal support tubes. I then machined internal support tubes and cross tubes on my lathe, making them stepped at each end to ensure correct linear alignment, and also a tight fit in the side plate holes. The parts were then pressed together and bolted to the engine and swinging arm, checking that the centre line of the engine matched the centre line of the swingarm while I tack welded all the joints. The lower frame assembly was then removed to finish the welds. I fitted a spare output shaft and front sprocket into the crankcases so that I could trial fit the chain later on, then I bolted the lower frame assembly to the rear of the crankcases followed by the swingarm and rear wheel. The alignment

was checked with a straight edge and spirit level to ensure that the wheel was in the middle of the engine and vertical in relation to the base of the crankcases. I was also pleased to see the wheel span freely and the front and rear sprockets aligned perfectly. I put on the chain and set the tension, then checked to see that the chain cleared the lower frame cross tubes at the upper and lower limit of the rear suspension travel. The next job to do was to make a frame jig to locate and hold the front and rear sub-assemblies in alignment while I made the main frame. I bought some box-section steel long enough for both wheels to sit on and be held at a 55.5in wheelbase, and the forks at the required angle. Several locating points were then welded onto the main spar of the jig to locate the crankcases bolting points and headstock. The front and rear sub-assemblies were then bolted on to the frame jig and final alignment was checked using a piece of string and a spirit level to ensure both wheels were aligned and vertical. cmm / 75


‘Bless you my son!’ Bike and rider blessed and rosary beads given!

Project Honda CBR1000F part 1

Saints be praised! A 21-year-old range-topping sports-tourer for little more than a bag of sand? Heavens above!

Beads and heated grips! 76 / classic motorcycle mechanics

The sale was being handled by a friend of the owner… sometimes this should rightly set off alarm bells, but not this time: a higher force was at work. “It seemed as if the seller wasn’t that au-fait with eBay,” explained Dave. “And while the person selling the bike for the owner had a few offers, none had been accepted yet. Thankfully I was put in touch with the owner – one ‘Father’ Valmor – a Brazilian missionary living and working in the Bedford area! I tried to go and see the bike first, but the Father and I couldn’t get a mutually acceptable date, so instead I sent a friend with £100 deposit to go

and look at it for me. He’s someone who buys and sells bikes so I would trust his judgement.” The bike was good, so pretty soon Dave took the trip down in his van to pick it up and meet Father Valmor himself. He says: “Father Valmor was very forthcoming about the bike and he admitted that in the last few years it’s only done around 600 miles. I think he may have been a little wary of it. The bike itself was pretty ‘clean’ but also it was suffering from a lack of TLC. There’s little things like some rust on the crosshatching on the rear brake pedal– it’s in need of a good, deep clean.”



t’s not the most normal ‘extra’ given away free with a bike, but Dave Brooking took it anyways. Y’see, he bought this rather tidy 1997 Honda CBR1000F from a man of the cloth, and – rather than nab any spares or end cans or the like, Dave received something a little bit more spiritual, rather than ‘actual’. But let’s start at the very beginning… Dave has been in CMM a few times. He’s a former racer (tricked-up Yamaha TRX850 in Sound of Thunder in the 1990s) he’s (still) got a GSX1100 EFE in bits that he (still) doesn’t quite know what to do with. He also bought a lovely, cheap-as-chips Kawasaki ZX-10 a few years back and – in the pages of the magazine – took it on an Irish tour with his son Niall on the back. Dave’s got some Irish roots, you see? He’s still got the 10, but wants something newer for another trip he’s got lined up later this year: to the Manx Grand Prix. He says: “Initially I was looking for another ZX-10 for some reason and I’d seen one on eBay, but it looked a little ropey and a mate put me off it. Then I saw this – and yes I hasten to add there were a couple of pints of Guinness involved. With the prospect of a big road trip to the Isle of Man looming, I wanted something big and comfy and this 1997 CBR1000F R-plater fitted the bill. It had not much more than 13,000 on the clock and this all checked out on the MoT database and the mileage was confirmed.”


Cockpit is well appointed.

Simple solutions: Be polite and honest when buying or selling.

1990s Honda colour schemes weren’t the best!

Does look a little scabby!

Brakes felt okay...

Some surface rust evident.

With a private road nearby, Dave had a quick spin to find: “…it feels supersmooth: what a great motor! I was really surprised how smooth it was, no carb issues at all, considering it’s been stood for a while. Handling-wise it rolls into the bends lovely and you seem to lose the weight of the bike somewhere along the line. It all feels pretty neutral to me and you can feel the difference in development over my normal ride, the ZX-10. I guess that’s almost a decade of development for you. One thing I was worried about was the much-maligned (at the time) Dual Combined Braking System or CBS. With the front lever it operates the front brakes and also operates a piston on the rear while the rear lever operates the rear and a bit on the front. Or something like that… either way, I was worried about what I may experience as it was my first time on a CBS bike but I didn’t feel anything untoward really, which was a surprise.” Dave was very pleased. Especially with the price: £1100 plus a £50 ‘donation’ to St Martin’s church funds… £1150 all in for a super-fast, comfy sports tourer with

so few miles on the clocks? That’s classic biking at its best. “It didn’t come with any spares,” explains Dave. “But the father did give me a helmet sized 4XL – I didn’t know they went that big? Best of all, when he gave me the keys he then gave me and the bike a blessing, also giving me some rosary beads to keep with the bike. He also said that Saint Martin would protect Niall and I during our trip! That’s worth £50 in itself…” Sounds to us like this bike just HAS to be called Martin, as a result… If there’s one thing that rankles it’s the fact that – for such low miles – it’s had no fewer than six owners. Which seems a little strange: but for Dave this bike will be a keeper. “It needs some work doing to it: tyres are mismatched, chain and sprockets, brake pads and lines need doing,” says Dave, “but the main thing is it needs a good clean and a service and some luggage for the trip.” You’ll hear about the Ireland/Isle of Man/ Manx GP trip on this £1100 sports-tourer in a later issue of CMM… cmm

Original end-cans: rare!

Chain and sprockets may get changed.

Twenty-one years old for £1100! / 77


Fork fings

Scoop looks at old style forks and shows us how to refurbish them.


efore Ceriani came up with the idea of placing springs inside fork tubes the shock absorbing element of the front suspension sat outside of the stanchions. Due to the questionable aesthetics of coiled steel and its propensity for rusting, the fork leg and spring were generally covered by some form of shroud, steel tubing or concertinaed rubber boot being the normal options. Post Second World War telescopic motorcycle forks began to feature genuine hydraulic damping which necessitated some form of seal. Almost without exception this seal was contained in a standalone, screw on, device that was known by the highly novel term ‘seal holder’. No one today makes bike suspension with seal holder forks and for good reason – see our boxout on p81. However, in our classic world seal holder forks turn up with annoying regularity and especially so if your chosen steeds are pre 1975. All the Japanese players ran this set up at one time or another and it took the manufacturers quite some time to obsolete 78 / classic motorcycle mechanics

their older machines and move on to what we’d see as more conventional forks. Up on the ‘Workbench of Opportunity’ this month; are the forks from our Yamaha CS3C street scrambler. All signs to date indicate the 200cc twin led a short but hard life and I’ve little doubt as to when

the fork oil was last changed – probably never. Not wanting to entrust my latter years to someone else’s potential bodges I’m stripping the forks down to their basic elements and rebuilding them. The MO may be a little more convoluted than many might be used to with more modern

1 1/ The gaiters simply pull off the lower leg along with the spring to reveal the lower and upper portions of the fork leg. The oily rust tells us action is definitely needed.


Simple solutions: Wear the appropriate safety gear for every job!


3 2/ Closer examination of the thinner tube (the fork stanchion) shows evidence of stone/grit/ sand damage by way of the long scar running up the chrome plating. Above this there are signs of some stunt monkey damage with a pipe wrench. The black plastic moulding is the lower spring seating bush. 3/ It might look mad but it works! Tapping the seal holder hard with a plastic mallet loosens up the threads inside. If there’s rust etc. heat and/or easing fluid may be needed before attempting the next stage.

machines but the principles are still the same: check for wear/damage, replace worn parts, fit new seals and keep everything clean. With a hammer and some duct tape to hand, no seriously, we’re stripping down a pair of forks that haven’t been apart since the latter portions of 1969!




4/ It’s not as barbarous as it looks, honestly! Four or five turns of good quality duct tape will protect the chrome perfectly well. A decent, bench mounted, vice makes what’s coming next so much easier. 5/ Inserting a suitable lever into the wheel spindle mount the lower fork leg can be unscrewed from the seal holder. Manuals may suggest using a chain wrench on the seal holder but I’ve found it’s not that effective: this way you can add some serious leverage if necessary.


6/ Once free, the lower fork leg is turned off the seal holder; it’s a long, fine, thread so will take some time to undo. Make notes and/or take pictures of how each component fits ready for the rebuild. 7/ This is the upper fork bush and officially a service item. It will need checking for wear and damage. Fortunately it’s something a decent machinist can knock up if you need a replacement and no one can supply one. / 79




8/ And here’s one fork leg broken down to its individual components. Now is the time to clean, inspect and farm out repair work as necessary. 9/ No doubt about it; the fork legs will have to be professionally hard chromed. Damage such as this will leak immediately if reused ‘as-is’ and will inevitably slice up new fork seals. No one ever said working on old bikes was cheap!




10/ Before sending off the stanchions remove any seals such as these at the top. But don’t remove the snap ring at the lower end of the leg (see Pic 8 again) as your hard chrome plater will work around it. 11/ The lower legs feel like rasps so they’re going to be rechromed. The drain screws and their washers should be removed and replaced as they’re usually damaged anyway. 12/ Inside the seal holder there’s a hydraulic seal and this O-ring. The former seals the stanchion to the seal holder and the latter seals the holder to the lower leg. Remove the O-ring with care.

13 80 / classic motorcycle mechanics

13/ Knock the seal out with a suitably sized drift, taking care not to damage the threads. Here one seal is already out and the other is just emerging from the bottom of the holder.




14/ Everything has been refurbished ready for reassembly. Always stress to your chrome plater that both the threads of the seal holders and the lower legs must not be chromed and you’ll never get the two screwed together again! 15/ Use some rubber grease (or seal grease if provided) and fit the seals. A seal driver is the preferred tool but a suitably sized socket will also do the job. Ensure you start the seals off square in their holders. Don’t forget to refit the O-rings.




16/ Fit the upper bush to the stanchion then apply one turn only of quality insulating tape to the top of the stanchion. This will protect the new seal. Use rubber or seal grease then gently but firmly pull the seal holder down on the rechromed leg. 17/ I’ve had mixed results with the O-ring seals in the past so now I also add some non-setting pipe jointing compound to seal the threads. It also prevents rust. 18/ Fit new drain screws and washers before the legs are refitted to the bike. It’s infinitely easier to do on the bench now and you’re guaranteed you won’t be creating a puddle of fork oil later. No of course I’ve never overlooked a drain screw… as if!

Basic telescopic fork seal evolution The earliest telescopic forks had minimal damping and the crudest of the breed relied on grease impregnated felt rings to keep the elements out. Post-war, reliable fork damping was introduced by only worked in compression not on rebound. The use of screw-on fork seal holders was essentially little more than a development of a gland nut half-inched from Victorian steam technology. When someone smart looked at fork leg designs (supposedly Ceriani but doubtless others were on to it as well) it was obvious the concept could be upgraded. Fitting the fork seal into the top of the lower leg not only reduced production line build times it also axed several expensive machining costs and neatly removed seal holders from the parts lists. The integral fork seal has been an intrinsic part of motorcycle technology since the early 1970s and even with the advent of USD (upside-down) or inverted forks the basics haven’t changed. And unless there’s a sudden switch to alternative front suspension systems they’re likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.

19 19/ The seal holders are retightened as per the duct tape/vice/ tommy bar method and refitted with the various spring seats and springs. Reinstall it on the bike and the job’s done. cmm / 81



Brookie on his FZR in his championship year.

Yamaha FZR600 Racer part 2

Cut and shut It’s carb fiddling and plastic cutting for our mate Brooksie with his FZR600 ‘homage’ racer!


ello again! First off, I hope you liked my first article a few issues ago, where this aging racer has decided to relive times way-back-when! To recap, I won the 1989 British Supersport Championship on a Yamaha FZR600 and want to build a – well – ’homage’ I suppose is the best thing to call it. It’s going to be fairly faithful to the original but have some upgraded/better parts. So, what’s occurring this month? Well, the tiny lithium-ion battery worked a treat once it was charged. I figured I’d give the old girl a go, so I changed the plugs for some new ones and tried starting the engine. I made sure the carbs were full and blow me if the little old thing started second touch of the button! Blimey, I didn’t expect that at all but was made up. Okay, so it ran a bit lumpy but it was still with the standard carb settings, so that can be sorted.

82 / classic motorcycle mechanics

To that end a Dynojet kit was ordered for the carbs and when it arrived I set about fitting that. Well, what a trip down memory lane that was: it’d been about 28 years since I last fitted one of these and going the right way about it had long since been erased from my tiny brain. So after a chat with Ashley Law again to ensure I didn’t screw it up (ahem), the job was done. While the carbs were off, I got around to fitting the heat-shield cloth. This had been purchased at ’Normous Newark auto jumble (brilliant place to go if you’re after owt like old parts) at a bargain £7 and had been sat around for a while. I made a template out of an old tea-towel I had lying around. I made this a real good fit as – when fitted – it keeps the hot air from the engine diluting the colder air from the ’Hoover-pipes’ that I’m gonna fit through the plastic ’dummy’ fuel tank. These give more of a ram-air affect, as the original

Brooksie found...

...some things had been forgotten!


Attacking the wiring loom.

ones that go through the frame are tiny and don’t really do a lot. Back when I was racing, these made a big difference to power, as when a motor gets too hot it loses power. Feeding good cold air to the carbs helps no end. Other teams and riders soon copied these – just think back to Team Grant (Mick) who ran James Whitham on a Suzuki GSX-R750. If I recall, his 1991 machine had two huge ’hoover’ scoops/pipes going from the top of the screen! Me? I had already used these on a FZ750 that I had raced in superbikes two years before my supersport title win. It works! As for the new bike, I thought I would thin out the wiring harness. It was just a case of taking the road stuff off, which meant the lights, indicators, flasher relay, clocks, horn and radiator fan were removed. When sorted, the amount of wire and other bits that you have spare is surprisingly lots. All saves weight! I got all the bodywork back from the paint shop, but then found a single race seat on eBay for £70. This was going to save weight and be in one piece rather than the five pieces I had with all the original bits. This was in Germany and was with me within a week so I then forwarded it to the paint shop for painting. I realised that this was going to have to require me making or altering the sub-frame to make it fit. Thankfully I had some alloy strips lying around and a new rivet-nut gun that I had bought a while back as I knew I would use it one day! Now was its time. We can never have enough tools, can we? Fitting the fairing turned out to be a bit of a pain: not that it was wrong in any way. It was the fault of the exhaust. The headers were a lot wider at the bottom where it met up with the collector-box. So the fairing lowers needed a fettle with an angle grinder and heat shield cloth applying on the inside and the job was a good ’un!


Removing what’s not essential...


...saw this lot chopped off!

Bodywork looked lovely.

The top nose fairing was gonna need a bit of a Brookie fettling of course. The Hoover-pipes that I had purchased, again from eBay, were just a bit too big in diameter. Looking at the pics I think it’s the holes in the fairing that are not round. So marked out with a sharpie and out with the round file: bingo! Next up was the bit I had been dreading. I needed to

drill a pair of 2in holes in the dummy tank. This is where my OCD was going to kick in. Anyway I measured it out, taped it up and re-measured a few more times and set about with the Milwaukee and a 2in hole cutter. When it was done it looked mega: factory, even. I’m well chuffed with it and looks a lot neater than the race bike was. / 83


Bodywork snags pipes!

Heat protection needed.

Time to make the holes in the tank.

Maybe a larger hole?

Bertie put me on to Steve Smith at Avon Tyres. These were the tyres of choice back in the late 80s/90s and I won loads of club races and won the British championship with these sticky little beauties. So with AM22/AM23 fitted I have no worries at all now about any knee down action that’s coming my way. The bike was strapped in the van and taken to Swinton Performance Centre for a run on the dyno. This went well: no oil or water leaks, just needs fine tuning on a race track now. I’ve got a couple of things to do before all that though. The thing I am really going to struggle to find now are the Astralite wheels. The bike was run under Team Astralite Yamaha, but these have long since disappeared from the little unit on Penistone Road, Sheffield. The same unit is Crown Paints now and I still visit once a week as I’m still a painter and decorator, how weird is that? So if someone has an old pair from for an FZR lying around and 84 / classic motorcycle mechanics

It’s a tad too snug!

Holes done!

More needs to come off!

is willing to sell them then get in touch So next month the old girl will be having her throttle cables stretched around the best race track in the world: yup, that’s right: Cadwell Park! cmm

This used to work in the 80s/90s!

86 / classic motorcycle mechanics


To advertise in classiďŹ edmechanics contact Rob Call: 01507 529575 Email: BLAST CLEANING



88 / classic motorcycle mechanics

servicesguide CHROMING





servicesguide DEALER DIRECTORY






90 / classic motorcycle mechanics


servicesguide PETROL TANKS





servicesguide RESTORATION










92 / classic motorcycle mechanics

servicesguide TRAILERS



Newark Autojumble

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Also: Oct 21, Nov 18, Dec 9

BIGGEST AND BEST ONE DAY AUTOJUMBLE IN UK Newark Showground, Newark-on-Trent, Notts NG24 2NY

• Indoor & outdoor plots • Free parking • Classic vehicle display • Early Bird Admission from 8am, £10 • General Admission from 10am, £7 Classic drivers save £2

ONE MAN’S JUMBLE IS ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE... Trade plots from £18 FREE Saturday night camping for traders

For more information: Visit Call 01507 529593 Email / 93




Some pattern systems run the more restrictive Z900 baffles but details on how to convert to Z1 spec are in the public domain.


Pattern parts are available but for many only OEM will do… you will pay for these!



Renew headstock bearings; taper roller sets are popular. Swingarm bearings are also worth changing.


If you have the engine in If the engine is an unknown pieces or out of the frame quantity figure on a tear treat it to a new cam-chain down to replace gaskets tensioner and rollers. and seals just to be safe.

It may not be the Cinderella of the family but Z1As aren’t exactly common. Would you like to go to the ball? 94 / classic motorcycle mechanics


Expect bikes that have sat in hot American States to have brittle wiring.


Factor in a complete carb rebuild for any machine that’s sat for decades with old fuel in the bowls.


ssuming you are actually into classic motorcycles then we’ll hijack a period catch phrase from a certain DJ, “and baby if this don’t turn you on then you ain’t got nooooo switches!” Okay so Emperor Roscoe was probably talking about the then-new reggae sound that was emerging into mainstream culture but he could just as well have been advertising Kawasaki’s Z1A. If this bike didn’t quicken your pulse you weren’t a biker. The Z1A was launched as the successor to the ground-breaking Z1 and supposedly manufactured as the 1974 model even if the bikes were rolling off the production lines towards the end of the previous summer. The most obvious change was the finish of the engine which was now plain alloy casting as opposed to the satin black finish of the original Z1. More a result of expediency than one of style Kawasaki dropped the painted block/head/cases look due to a myriad of warranty claims where the satin black coating peeled away from the alloy. That said the company wasn’t about to throw perfectly good Z1 blocks away and some of the earliest Z1As sported black motors as Kawasaki used up old stock and presumably picked up the warranty claims again. The next most obvious change was the paint scheme which saw the Z1A arrive in either: Candy Tone Green / Yellow or Candy Tone Brown / Orange. Just which is the better remains, to this day, a subject of heated debate in Z circles but if you look just a little deeper it is apparent Kawasaki was keen not to deviate too far too soon from the iconic


Change brake lines, seals, pads and shoes as a matter of course. Many prefer silicone brake fluid for machines that are built as show bikes. / 95

What to buy and how much to pay


Dave Orritt A few years ago a guy came up to me on the Kawasaki stand at Stafford asking if I was interested in a Z1A. His pictures showed an American style chopper with overlength forks and a peanut tank so not exactly your standard Z1A. However, it was a genuine UK bike and had matching numbers, V5C etc. so I gave him £1300 for it. I registered the bike in my name, declared it SORN then promptly forgot about it. Come February 2017 I carried out a nut and bolt restoration to produce what you see here. I had to track down a full body kit as all the panels were missing. The fitted 4-2 exhaust went in the bin as did the chopper fork legs. Oh, and I had to find two guards as well which meant hunting down one of the rare European long length rears. In the very best restoration tradition the bike was finished the day before the October 2017 Stafford show. I’m really pleased with how it turned out as UK Z1As are pretty rare now.

Any form of Kawasaki 900 four is prime anorak territory. Whether period accurate parts are important to you or not is actually totally irrelevant; it’s the next potential owner who may be thus fixated. Therefore we’d strongly recommend expert input into anything Z1/Z1A/Z1B that purports to be 100% authentic. For those who were unaware it’s not only the engine and chassis that carry identification numbers. Deceptively, items such the swingarm, rear brake torsion bar, switch-gear and wheel rims all carry date codes. For many with just a desire to own any Z1 this may not be of any significance whatsoever but for the truly dedicated (obsessed?) these details may very well be a deal breaker and for this, if for no other reason, we’d staunchly urge getting a high-end Zed authenticated to justify the asking price. Most classic fans probably know that USA market bikes ran short stubby rear mudguards while UK models had a longer more obvious chromed blade but what about footrests? American machines ran front pegs that folded while our own market stayed with solid, fixed, pegs. Why? American legislators perceived folding pegs to be less likely to send a dropped bike spinning across a carriageway. Here in Blighty there was no such requirement so Kawasaki went for the cheapest option, which is yet another reason as to why you really don’t want to buy a mix-nmatch Z1A. Prices are best described as full-bodied! You may see dealers asking for £26,000 to £30,000 but this is almost certainly cloud cuckoo land. Project bikes that are there or thereabouts we’re talking north of £5000. A machine with patina and essentially untouched figure on £12,000 and for 100 point perfect you’re into £20,000 to £22,000 territory.

original cosmetics. The Z1A retains those key elements of red on brown or yellow on green that so successfully delineated the Z1 from any of its peers. Other cosmetic changes included the nomenclature to the left hand side cover of the engine and subtle changes to the dash. Elsewhere Kawasaki and its suppliers were getting to grips with both the success of the Super Four and the feedback received from dealers. Even though the original prototypes and preproduction machines had received seriously punishing beastings both in Japan and America, subtle issues were apparent on the original Z1s. The four VM28SC Mikunis used on the Zed had borrowed heavily from various Keihin carbs as used on numerous iterations of Honda’s fours. For example strengthening ribs would be latterly added to the carb bodies above the inlets, choke mechanisms would be refined, ditto carburettor synchronising systems mechanisms. The chain lubrication system was slightly tweaked to improve operation and the drive chain adjusters upgraded from 8mm to 10mm. The Z1A and the subsequent Z1B remained very much ‘work in progress’ throughout their lives as Kawasaki sought to improve, hone and revise their first big four-stroke designed totally in house. It’s easy now, almost half

Those classic clocks. 96 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Majestic, masterful mill...

a century on, to nit-pick and identify apparent intra-model differences and discrepancies yet back in the early 1970s Kawasaki’s motorcycle engineers were essentially in uncharted territory having previously only worked on two-strokes. So why would you want a Z1A now? Well looks and styling have to be a huge motivator as does the bike’s reputation; they are seriously reliable machines and capable of withstanding severe abuse and/or being extensively tuned. They are also surprisingly rare machines for a series production motorcycle; experts suggest the subsequent Z1B easily outstripped the Z1A in terms of numbers by at least a factor of two. Moreover, the Z1A marks the end of an era, as from here on in the big Zeds were being tamed and gradually stripped of their wilder excesses. By the time the Z900 and then the Z1000 arrived although they were still forces to be reckoned with folk were already lamenting the passing of the hairy chested originals. Many who love the period will have already invested heavily in the initial Z1 leaving others to pay top dollar on the far more easily obtainable Z1B. If you really fancy a Z1 but find the ’72-’73 examples out of reach then perhaps a Z1A might very well be the bike of choice. It obviously won’t be cheap but then class never is. And just because most seem to favour the brown/orange version we’d be opting for the green/yellow option. But regardless of colour we all know that the good times still roll… and yes, the Z1A does still flick the switches. cmm



Air-cooled, 903cc, DOHC, four-stroke, four-cylinder BORE AND STROKE

66mm x 66mm


82bhp @ 8500rpm


54.2lb-ft @ 7000rpm IGNITION






USEFUL CONTACTS ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

4 x Mikuni VM 28 SC TYRES

Front: 3.25 -19 Rear: 4.00-18 BRAKES

Front: 296mm single disc Rear: 200mm drum FUEL CAPACITY

18.7 litres (4.75 gallons) OVERALL LENGTH

2209.8mm (87in)


818mm (31.2in)


1170mm (41.6in) WHEELBASE

1498.6mm (59in) DRY WEIGHT

230kg (507lb) / 97

readersbikes&bits Upload your free advert today – There is no other medium so effective as ClassicMotorcycleMechanics’ ReadersBikesandBits– sowhynot take advantage of them right now? Simply complete the form below and send it as soon as possible to: Classic


All private adverts are FREE!

Upload your advert at Post the coupon below We cannot accept Reader Adverts over the phone

Motorcycle Mechanics Bikes and Bits , PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6LZ It is our policy at Classic Motorcycle Mechanics not to

accept private adverts from traders. If, whilst looking for a bike in Mechanics, you experience a trader advertising as a private seller, please call us on 01507 529529 and we will take appropriate action. Advertisements can be accepted on this form, photocopy or internet.

If you are a trader, give our advertising department a call on 01507 524004 for our latest display ad rates.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Reader Adverts Choose a section Make Model Year For Publishing


Bikes for sale



Photo enclosed

Spares Name: ............................................................................................................... Address:........................................................................................................ .....................................................................................................................................


Area/County:.................................................................................................. Telephone:........................................................................................................ Email: ..................................................................................................................... County Tel Terms and conditions for private advertisers 1. The advert provided by the customer must be legal, decent, honest and truthful and comply with the code of the Advertising Standards Authority ( Mortons Media Group may amend the advertisement to comply with these requirements. 2. Mortons Media Group is not able to verify

Email the truthfulness of any statements made by a customer in the advert copy. Accordingly, the customer will be responsible for any losses, expenses or other costs incurred by Mortons Media Group which are caused by an untrue statement made deliberately. 3. Mortons Media Group reserves the right to edit an advert to fit the allotted space and can

Signature: ....................................................................................................... I confirm that I am not a dealer

Date: ........................................................................................................................ OFFICE USE ONLY MONTH

only accept one advert per coupon. 4. Whilst every effort is made to include your free advert correctly, we are unable to take telephone calls should an error occur. 5. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you would like your photograph to be returned. 6. The publisher reserves the right to place this


advert free of charge in other Mortons Media related publications. DATA: Protection of your personal data is important to us. Personal data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purpose of processing the advertisement. Data will be stored for a period of 6 months and then destroyed.

readersbikes&bits BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 99 email

APRILIA RS50 full restoration, nos bodywork, 12,500 miles, fantastic condition, £1995 Tel. 07776 172708. Stirling

APRILIA RSV Mille, V reg, 29,080 kilometres, needs a service and battery been stood for a couple of years, nice bike, £3500 ono Tel. 07818 518582 after 6pm. Notts

BMW K75S 1986, 56,000 miles, bought as a non runner, failed clutch plate replaced, starts and runs as it should, new battery, MoT July 2019, £1750 ono Tel. 01779 471367. Aberdeenshire

BMW R100RT 1991, 43,000 miles, high & standard screens, Krausers, vgc, two owners, MoT, original tool kit & hand books, £4000 ono Tel. 07761 951298. Lymington

BSA A7 not your usual A7, bike in Nottinghamshire, £5000 Tel. 07818 518582 leave message I will get back to you.

BSA ARIEL 3 1972, good condition for year, MoT 4th April 2019, £600 ono Tel. Mike 01179 694024. Bristol

BSA GOLDSTAR ZB, 350cc, 1949, bike starts & runs well, a beautifully restored machine, loads of money spent on restoration, £6500 ono Tel. 07817 256283.

DUCATI Mike Hailwood paint, powder coated frame, Alfs Motorcycles top end rebuild, MoT April 2019, 27,000 miles Tel. 07835 807285. West Sussex

FANTIC CABELLERO TX94, Sports moped, 1972, all original, all 100% complete, everything works as it should, only four owners, imported in 2009, V5, £2500 Tel. 07990 720765. Gwent

HARLEY XLH883 1998, 883cc, blue, 7000 miles, one owner, very nice, £4500 ono Tel. 075463 943640.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON 883 Sportster, 2006, one owner, only 5700 miles, 12 months MoT, £4750 ono Tel. 07944 634188. Essex

HONDA C90 Cafe Racer, 1968, built & imported from Vietnam, comes with all paperwork ready to register, free from road tax & MoT, lovely condition, £1950 Tel. 07803 988875. Staffs

0800 458 2530

HONDA CB-1 400cc, 36,000km, good condition, rides well, new tyres, battery, fuel pump, £900 Tel. 01228 530329. Cumbria

HONDA CB125 Superdream, 1982, MoT Jan 19, two new Pirellis, starts on the button & runs well, less than 6000 recorded miles from new, use as is or restoration, £1250 Tel. 07525 911600. Somerset

HONDA CB350/4 really nice unmessed with example, MoT April 2019, approx 18,000 miles, spare set of DSS exhausts, new original handbook, £3500 ono Tel. 01469 518557. Lincs

HONDA CB400F1 1976, has been fully restored to a high standard, new suspension all around, rebuilt/new front & rear wheels & tyres, rebuilt engine & clutch, £4700 Tel. 07834 912891. Kent

HONDA CB500RS vgc, Honda XL500 engine with powder coated CB250RS cycle parts, professional build (Red Rose Retrobikes), NOS parts, stainless steel etc, Sorn, buyer collect, £2900 ono Tel. 07392 487353 after 6pm. Lancs

HONDA CB750 K2 1972, new seat, new handlebars, new clutch, new paint, new battery, honest example of this model, £5850 ono Tel. 07968 089939. North Yorkshire

HONDA CB750F 1978 Cafe Racer, alloy tank, electronic ignition, powder coated frame, plus many new parts, vgc, £5000 Tel. 07811 170592. South Devon

HONDA CB750FB 1981, very good condition, completely standard bike except for fly screen, showing 28,000mls miles, £2950 firm Tel. 07890 570990. West Midlands

HONDA CB750KZ 1981, bike is Euro spec, was purchased in the UK, mileage 17,500, V5 present, MoT, bought bike in August 2017 Tel. 07735 592497. Lincs

HONDA CB900F fully restored, V reg, 12 months MoT, V5 in my name, complete engine rebuild by the UK expert includes Vince & Hyde tensioner, everything new, £4250 Tel. Mike 07767 062543. Hants

HONDA CB900F W reg, 38,000 miles approx, needs a battery, carbs need looking at nice bike needs a service, no MoT on Sorn, £3000 ono Tel. 07818 518582 after 6pm. Notts

HONDA CBR954 Fireblade model 2003, 44,000 miles, excellent condition, £2600 Tel. 07939 873116. West Yorkshire

HONDA CM400C 1981, W reg, 13,582 miles, fully restored, powder coated frame & other bits, all new chrome, tyres, battery everything, £3950 Tel. 07956 555626. Hants

HONDA CUB 90 tidy commuter, on Sorn, £700 Tel. 01484 318160. West Yorkshire

HONDA CX500 Tracker, 1981, professional engine rebuild, receipts for over £1100 in genuine Honda parts plus bespoke custom parts, £2450 ono Tel. 07932 073571. South Yorkshire

HONDA CX500 restored, stripped down & rebuilt with new powder coating, chrome, paint, tyres, seat wheel bearings, cables plus lots more, MoT, £1750 Tel. Mike 07511 688088. Birmingham

HONDA DEAUVILLE NT100A-7, 17,000 miles, MoT Oct 18, ABS heated grips, screen, back box, two keys, £3250 ono Tel. 01704 534510. Lancs

100 / classic motorcycle mechanics


INSURANCE Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

readersbikes&bits BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 99 email

HONDA GBTT500 Super single, only 13,000 miles, MPH clocks, 1992, electric start, auto decompression, very rare beautiful classic bike, £5500 Tel. 07870 145033. Lancs

HONDA GL1200 Aspencade Goldwing, 1984, new Gel battery, new starter, alternator conversion, tyres good, 75,000 miles, £1600 Tel. 01989 762429. Ross-on-Wye

HONDA H100S-J 1989, good reliable runner, topbox, good tyres + spare front wheel, £650 Tel. 07720 718585. Surrey

HONDA NIGHTHAWK 650cc, 1985, MoT, steering head stripped cleaned, new fork seals, back tyre, HT leads plugs, brake seals, £1600 Tel. 07434 483039. Warks

HONDA VF500F2 1985, restored & rebuild with many new parts including brakes, tyres, fuel pump, air filter, £1800 ono Tel. Ade 07954 586501.

HONDA VFR400R NC30, 1994, excellent original condition, 21,000 miles, new tyres, datatool, alarm, currently Sorn, £6000 Tel. 07801 932127. Bucks

HONDA VFR400Z 1989, rare Z model, unfaired street bike, twin headlamp, good original condition, low mileage, exhaust solid, £1250 Tel. Paul 07847 454234. Hull

HONDA VFR750FV 1997, 34,000 miles, only three owners, lots of history, recent new tyres, higher screen, uprated regulator, not used in winter, vgc, £2200 ono Tel. 07968 389913. East Yorks

HONDA VFR800FI W, 1998, 28,074 miles, R reg, good original condition, plus heated grips, Spyball alarm & Scottoiler, on Sorn, £1500 ono Tel. 07968 752507. West Yorkshire

IZH PLANETA Sport 350, 32BHP, 9840km, recent tyres, tubes, battery, crank seals, MoT June 2019, interesting rare classic, £1000 ono Tel. 01159 556145. Notts

KAWASAKI AR50 C10, stunning, 1995, lovely little bike, covered just 5867 miles, MoT, Haynes workshop manual & owners handbook, £2850 Tel. Jon 07768 365974. Oxfordshire

KAWASAKI F11 Samurai, 1973, UK registered, US import with a UK age related plate, daylight MoT, £2550 ono Tel. 01952 461143. Shropshire

KAWASAKI GPZ750R 1987, full MoT, 30,000 miles, brand new paintwork by Motorcycle FX,fully serviced, a lot of bike for not a lot of money Tel. 07903 500999. Lancashire

KAWASAKI GPZ1100E2 1996, includes Givi panniers & top box, Bagster harness & tank bag plus loads of spares, full history, 12 months MoT, £1350 ono Tel. Phil 07967 734679. Middlesex

KAWASAKI KH250BS 1981, full working order, matching numbers, 16,500 miles, good condition, all standard, electronic ignition, Sorn, £3500 Tel. 07773 633560. North Yorks

KAWASAKI KH400 A4 A4, 1977, UK bike, excellent condition in Royal Candy Purple, 24,000 genuine miles, £7950 ono Tel. 07889 815460. Devon

KAWASAKI W650 vgc, only 5400 miles, MoT April 2019, new battery, T reg 2001, one of the best for year in UK, £3000 Tel. 07960 504451. Essex

KAWASAKI ZX-9R 1999, 21,905 miles, vgc, MoT March 2019, full Maxton suspension, all original parts with it, new tyres, £2650 Tel. 01780 450242.

KAWASAKI ZXR750 H2, 1990, complete restoration, vgc, all documentation & receipts available, MoT until May 2019, £4750 Tel. 07813 342329. Kent

KAWASAKI ZXR750H2 1990, superb condition, Endurance colours from new, dynojet carb kit, Maxton shock, Brembo floating discs HP1 clear, MoT, Tel. 07739 710275. Cambs

MONTESA COTA 247 1973, one previous owner, V5C in my name, new cables, kickstart, fork seals, fresh oil, good working order, £1500 Tel. 01767 650049. Cambs/Beds

NORTON DOMINATOR 1956, not pristine but not oily rag condition, bike is in Nottinghamshire, £5000 Tel. 07818 518582 leave message I will get back to you. Notts

SUZUKI needs back tyre for MoT, new main wiring loom fitted & side panels, flashers only work properly when lights on, £800 Tel. 07957 223180. Lincs

SUZUKI 250GS 1981, 17,700 miles, MoT, ready to go, £725 Tel. 01698 305761. North Lanarkshire

SUZUKI B120 1976, MoT June 2019, owned 38 years, good tyres, rack manual, £1150 ono Tel. 07596 108060. Essex

SUZUKI BANDIT 400 V-tec, 1992, Japanese import, new MoT, recently serviced, new Michelin front tyre, battery, brake lines, disc & back brake pads, £1300 ono Tel. 01424 812057.

SUZUKI BANDIT 600 1998, MoT 11 months, excellent runner & totally reliable, good tyres, chain & sprockets etc, £1395 ono Tel. 07759 412908. Wiltshire

SUZUKI GP100 manufactured 1984 & reg’d in the UK 1984, starts easily & runs great but needs a little tune-up, rims & tyres, forks, shockers very good, £750 ono Tel. 07470 932279.

SUZUKI GS500EW 1998, MoT November, vgc, buyer collects, sensible offers, £1800 ono Tel. 07909 080174. Bucks



0800 458 2530 Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. / 101

readersbikes&bits BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 99 email

SUZUKI GSX600F 1990, vgc, 32,000 miles, new brake calipers & disc pads, new battery, new tyres & steering head bearings last year, £1250 Tel. 01286 881644. Gwynedd

SUZUKI GT200 1982, lovely condition, lots of new chrome, new tyres, new seat, just been rebuilt, lovely sounding engine, really nice classic bike, £3500 Tel. 07583 069656.

SUZUKI GT500 1978, fully documented restoration, lovely condition, £5000 Tel. 07505 881489. Buckinghamshire

SUZUKI GT550 1976, tax & MoT exempt, please ring for details Tel. 01933 311605. Northants

SUZUKI GT750M 1974, great condition, great fun, MoT exempt, a great investment at £7250 Tel. 07788 960426. Kent

SUZUKI SV650S 2002, one owner, 90,000 miles, MoT, good condition, sweet runner, well serviced, too big for me, £1250 Tel. 07900 923601. Herts

SUZUKI VS750 Intruder, 31,666km, good condition, 1997 hard to find, all original except for air adjust rear shocks, £1750 Tel. 07939 054392. Suffolk

TRIUMPH SPRINT RS, 2002, 2nd owner since 2008, MoT till October, 9000 miles, £1600 Tel. John 02086 512102. Croydon

TRIUMPH T140 Jubilee Bonneville, 1978, S reg, extensive work done on the bike, ready to ride or investment, £7100 Tel. 01706 852775. Lancs

TRIUMPH THRUXTON 2008, 7810 miles, MoT Oct, runs & rides great, alloy is cosmetically challenged, loads of extras sold separately if wanted Tel. 07752 502447. Lincs

TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 900 1996, good condition, 23,500 miles, MoT October 2018, £3800 Tel. 07518 925786 evenings. Northumberland

TRIUMPH TRIDENT 900 1994, 31,265 miles, new battery, tyres, brake pads, rear suspension unit, Cobra seat, MoT May 2019, rides, looks & sounds great, £2750 Tel. 07754 460874. Surrey

YAMAHA 250 Exciter, 1980, rare bike, removable back, box rear seat with bike, excellent condition, 5170 miles from new, £1495 Tel. 01623 743353; 07974 314275.

YAMAHA FJ1100 1985, MoT, engine bars, Hagon shock, recent tyres, two year old Delkevic stainless system, very good runner, ready to ride, £1200 ono Tel. 01208 368193 after 4pm. Cornwall

YAMAHA FS1E DX original & unrestored 1977 Fizzy, owned for many years bought it from its first owner, 11,000 miles, £4750 ono Tel. 07404 486092.

YAMAHA FZ750 1FN, 1985 Race earlystocks spec, ready to race, full Black Widow system, on Sorn, open to offers Tel. 07752 659105; 01394 387319 evenings.

YAMAHA R5 (Y) 350cc, 2 stroke, clean unrestored, 1971 historic vehicle with 8700 miles only, electronic ignition & reg/ rect fitted, £3500 firm Tel. 07891 389663. Preston

YAMAHA RD/RZ350 vgc, never been restored, Goodridge brakelines, new tyres, chain & sprockets, runs well, MoT, £3200 Tel. 07870 777523. Manchester

YAMAHA RD250A 1973, pre disc brake 90% original, 17,456 miles, still on original foot peg rubbers, starts first time, rides lovely, £3995 Tel. 07792 492986. West Yorkshire

YAMAHA RD350LC superb bike in unique & sought after RZ Japanese red, UK reg bike with matching 4LO numbers, Micron fork brace, numerous NOS parts fitted, £8200 ono Tel. 07889 815460. Devon

YAMAHA RD400 classic 1977, professionally restored 4 years ago with no expense spared (receipts to prove), all original parts, full engine rebuild with only 4230 miles, £7000 Tel. 07592 908218. Wolverhampton

YAMAHA RS200 1981, 12V electrics, electric & manual kickstart, vgc, one years MoT, new battery & front tyre, runs & rides well, £1850 Tel. 01227 740909. Kent

YAMAHA SJS6 Diversion, panniers, carrier, very clean, 2011, 8400 miles, swap for good CB600F Hornet with low miles, £4000 ono Tel. 01709 579556. South Yorks

YAMAHA TR1 XV1000, 1983, 12,000 miles, matching numbers, later model, refurbished resprayed rechroming, many new parts, rare bike, superb condition, £3250 ono Tel. 01246 200842; 07935 175649. Derbys

YAMAHA XJ600 custom cruiser, 12 months MoT, new battery, runs well, £895 Tel. 07922 584298. Somerset

YAMAHA XJ600 Pre Diversion, J reg, 29,000 miles, MoT April 2019, Guy Martin signature (genuine) on tank, runs well, £700 ono Tel. 07715 426072. East Yorks

YAMAHA XS650SE Heritage Special, 1983, good original condition though exhausts need chrome but are solid, new MoT, excellent runner, £1750 Tel. 01280 706351. Northants

YAMAHA XT600E 2003, jacked up suspension, bar risers, Scottoiler, 28,000 miles, registered as category ‘C’ but presently runs & rides without fault, £1195 Tel. 01784 461961. Surrey

YAMAHA YZF750R 1994, original ‘Pinky’, stunning showroom condition, full power 4HD model, 29,000 miles, MoT, HPI clear, £3250 Tel. 07739 710275. Cambs

102 / classic motorcycle mechanics



0800 458 2530 Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

readersbikes&bits BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 99 email For Sale

APRILIA RS125 1996, Chesterfield model full power, runs well, 8500 miles, £950 ono. Tel. Richard 01243 948518. Bognor. BULTACO PERSANG 1976, excellent condition, new alloy tank, new tyres, spokes, chain sprockets, new suspension units, new mudguards brakes, relined, original exhaust, if seen will buy, £2500. Tel. 07932 527300. DUCATI 996 original lovely condition, rideable investment, on Sorn, £8000 ono. Tel. 07845 798073. North Wiltshire. GARAGE CLEAR OUT XJ650 engine 1981, XJR forks complete, GL1000 complete set of forks, pair of wheels, one engine and one engine stripped for spares, rad, swinging arm, too many GL1000 parts to list, please phone for your requirements, also pair of XJ750 power valve style wheels, 1983. Tel. Martin 02392 433919 or 07955 423436. Portsmouth. HAYABUSA 1300R unrestricted, 99 model, 14,000 miles, two owners, £3250 ono. Tel. 07976 752528. W Mids. HONDA 250N Superdream, W reg, black, lovely condition chrome is great, only three owners, original plate, manual, two keys, currently Sorn, must be seen, £1600. Tel. 07913 249232. Derbyshire. HONDA 400/4 1976, full rebuild frame resprayed also tank and sidepanels, engine rebuilt with new cam chain, handlebars rechromed, new battery and exhaust, £3500. Tel. 07583 427819. Derbyshire. HONDA 400/4 408cc, 1976, tax, MoT exempt, Motad exhaust, seat recovered, new battery, chain sprockets, tidy Sorn, carbs require work, green paintwork, repainted frame, s/arm, health forces sale, V5C, £1200 ovno. Tel. 07824 647202. Dudley, West Midlands. HONDA CB200 restored, excellent original tank & panels, red powder black frame, Honda pipes, originals, a great bike, sensible interest, £1850 ono. Tel. 01287 640472. North Yorkshire. HONDA CB200 1978, S reg, low mileage (less than 15000 miles), currently a non runner and no MoT, bodywork etc in very good condition, reason for sale too expensive to take the full bike test above 125cc so don’t want to get the bike in a running state now, £850 repair or good spares, photos can be provided on request. Tel. 07523 703424. Cumbria. HONDA CB750F2 original bike exhausts, original looks great, runs beautiful, 21,000 miles, history marks to show age, white and blue, new tyres, too big for me now, £3250. Tel. 01287 640472. North Yorkshire. HONDA CD200 one year MoT, not original, very good condition, reliable £550. Tel. 01202 773726. Dorset.

HONDA CBF600N excellent condition, MoT, metallic red, engine bars, rear rack 08, 8800 miles, only rode few times, to heavy now, need smaller bike, RV200. Tel. 07847 701980. West Yorkshire. HONDA CBR400RR 1991, well maintained machine, original fairings, Art exhaust, £2500. Tel. 01433 620855. North Derbyshire. HONDA CBR1100XX Blackbird, silver, 2001, 21,000 miles, recent forks refresh, new rear shock and discs/ pads, Werx pipes and also standards, service history, lots of receipts and mechanically sounds, fairing scratched and small piece missing around mirror, damaged in the garage, Kappa top box and panniers, great opportunity to own this classic, reflecting the fairing condition, on Sorn, £2550. Tel. 07823 526354. Cambridge. HONDA CBR600F4I HRC colours, excellent bike, runs well, few extras, 19,000 miles, £1800. Tel. 07873 354824. Northern Ireland. HONDA CBR600FL 1990, 44,000 miles, good tyres, soft panniers, cover, carbs overhauled, one off auto chain oiler, no problems, just rather tatty, owned for the past 18 years, just don’t use enough, full MoT, £900 ono. Tel. Nick 07890 981670. Worcs. HONDA DEAUVILLE 2005, 21k miles, one previous owner, excellent condition, some extras, £2000. Tel. 01924 823333. Wakefield. HONDA DEAUVILLE NT700 ABS, black, 13,400 miles, just had MoT, c/w Honda top box, well cared for by mature owner, oil & filter changed regularly, new Bridgestone rear tyre and rear brake pad, £3000. Tel. 07716 497963. West Dunbartonshire. HONDA H100 S-J 1989, 38,000 miles, good reliable runner, good tyres, top box, £650. Tel. 07720 718585. South London. HONDA PC50 re d , petrol, PC5OY-1000530 PC50E-A00544 23/10/79 complete bike, spares or repair, not seized, some good plastic. Tel. 07776 173161. Lincs. HONDA PCX’S 125 Super bike, with extras, 64 reg, low mileage, this Honda is in mint condition, save £400 on dealer price, mature 70 year old rider, £1500. Tel. 07852 650477. Yorks. HONDA VF400 1983 on Sorn, no MoT, new battery and rear tyre, needs little tlc, unfinished project, converted to a single seat naked, starts and runs, £700 ono. Tel. 07812 457484. Cornwall. HONDA VFR750FT 46,106 miles, panniers, Baglux cover and bag, Maxton forks, stainless exhaust system, new chain and sprockets, £2000. Tel. Jim 01617 614556. Lancashire. KAWASAKI 500 H1B 1972, fully restored, ring for details, £7000. Tel. 07842 345734. Lincs.

KAWASAKI KH250B1 1976 for restoration it’s had frame yokes swinging arm powder coated this is a mega early registered bike frame number in first two dozen to roll off production line KH250B0000XX, engine stripped, crank looks good pistons bores all good, heads and barrels just been vapour blasted includes gasket set to build up brand new side panels and mint inside tank all panels just been primed waiting for top coat applying was originally red, needs wheels sorting exhausts sorting, front pipes are good and would clean up parts missing are front mudguard airbox headlight ears everything else there make an excellent project, all bolts re-zinked and new fork seals and fresh fork oil would deal with a X7 or SS50 5 speed in similar condition or sell £2000. Tel. 07765 345008. South Yorkshire. HONDA VFR800 F1 2000, only 737 miles from new, mint condition, blue, on Sorn, £4000 ono. Tel. 01609 776996 for more details. North Yorkshire. KAWASAKI ZRX1200S 56 reg, 15,500 miles, vgc, rides as it should, new rear tyre, top quality top box & panniers (detachable), £2500. Tel. 07985 717456. Wigan. KAWASAKI Z1000 A2H, 2004, MoT May 2019, red, only 5500 miles, needs nothing, std exhaust, not been messed with just needs to be used, some paint flaking off engine and small amount of lacquer off wheels, £3850 ono. Tel. 07847 225624. Derbyshire. KAWASAKI ZZR1400 up to 2018, two sets clutch and brake levers, short, dark green, long, light green, fully adjustable CNC, top quality, £45 per set; can post at cost. Tel. 07903 380308. N London. KAWASAKI ZZR600 21,000 miles, 1995, serviced not mint, but good clean bike, £850 ono. Tel. 07522 732797. Bucks. SPARE PARTS for Honda Superdream 250 and Suzuki GS500, rebuilt engine for Suzuki GS500, must collect, £450. Tel. 01299 210758. Worcs. SUZUKI GSF600 Bandit, new oil cooler radiator, £60. Tel. 07963 787894. Armagh. SUZUKI GT185 lots of work done, many new parts, frame powder coated, some parts rechromed, some spare parts, £1200 ono. Tel. 01282 838231. Lancs. SUZUKI GT380J 1972, this is the first model with front drum brake, very good condition, starts & rides well, £3450 ono. Tel. Paul 07857 270673. Northern Ireland. SUZUKI RF900R very good condition, 22,000 miles, MoT, good tyres, brakes C&S etc, dark green lovely runner, 1997, not used enough, £1375. Tel. 07968 257232. Warks. SUZUKI VAN VAN 125 2012, white, 5500 miles only, heated grips, chain oiler, Learner-legal, immaculate, £1550 ono. Tel. 01543 682946. Staffs.

SUZUKI XF650 Freewind, 650cc single, 53,000 miles, reliable, tidy condition, recent front disc pads, MoT August, good tyres, C&S GPR silencer, £800. Tel. 07958 795335. Teesside. TRIUMPH SPRINT RS 2002, 9000 miles, 2nd owner, MoT till October, £1600. Tel. John 02086 512102. Croydon. TRIUMPH TIGER 100 1967, new battery, Pazon ignition, Siamese exhausts + plus originals, TLSFB with new rim + original wheel, oil filter, very tidy, good runner, historic tax class, MoT August, £4250. Tel. 01474 746854; 07789 260740. Kent. YAMAHA RD400 1977, only 8500 miles, matching engine and frame number bike, in very good condition, starts and rides like new, £4950 ono. Tel. Paul 07857 270673. Northern Ireland. YAMAHA RS200 200cc, 1981, one year’s MoT, very good condition inside and out, very original, eligible for classic insurance, £1850 bargain. Tel. 01227 740909; 01227 40909. Kent. YAMAHA FZR EX-UP 1000 1989, red/white, 27k miles, vgc, standard can, seat cowl, runs well, on Sorn, £2100 ono. Tel. 01945 581440 anytime. Cambs. YAMAHA TZR125 1994, white/blue, MoT, lots new parts, good condition for year, 25,300 miles, excellent tyres, £1075 ono. Tel. 07761 734520. Notts. YAMAHA XJR1300 2005, excellent condition, MoT April 2019, 24k miles, £3500, no offers. Blue also Yamaha FJ1200, 1991, 3XW, with Watsonian sidecar, 60,000 miles, MoT, £4250. £3500 no offers. Tel. 01202 518284. Bournemouth. YAMAHA XS250 red, 1980, MoT April 2019, new cam chain, new carburettor inlet rubbers, points, condensers Iridium plugs, air filters, fuse box, seat recovered, £1095 ono. Tel. 07490 114629. West Sussex.

Parts For Sale AMAL 376/216 CARBURETTOR 15/16” size £30 inc postage. Tel. 01522 794711. Lincs. FRONT PANELS from a Yamaha 600, partly scratched but serviceable which I want to give away. Tel. Robert 01708 556465. Essex. HARLEY DAVIDSON 1973, FLH Electraglide, matching numbers, totally original, recent restoration and serviced, starts and runs like a champ, panniers and top box included. Any questions, get in touch, £12,950. Tel. 0742 7008163. London. HONDA C90 ENGINE with gearbox, 1977, turns over, shed find, good compression, £80. Honda C90, two mirrors + legshields, (useable), £20. Honda C90 headlight, £5. Tel. 01622 676324. Kent.

HONDA CB200 1974, engine rebuilt, lovely condition, was low miles, originally American spare to me, untested but correctly built and excellent, surplus to restorations now as not doing anymore, £400 ono. Tel. 01287 640472. HONDA CB250RS engine x 1, 1980, £100. Honda CB250RS engine x 1, 1980, £75 (complete but head off), Keihin carburettor x 1, £10. Mikuni carburettor for GP100 x 1, £20. VTS 3.00x20” Universal tyre (new) and inner tube x 1, £40. Tel. 01543 275022. Staffs. HONDA CBR400RR 1988, on Sorn, was rideable two years ago, spares or repair, £600 ono or exchange for running 125cc. Tel. 01903 533443. Sussex. KAWASAKI KR1 crankcases, £95. Crank both good condition, Oil pump case, £20. Oil pump, £20, other parts available. Tel. 01442 397790. Herts. HONDA CD175 1973, dismantled blue, whole bike, some new parts, £700 ovno. Honda 400 NC31 Super 4, forks & wheels, £100. Tel. 07775 994087. Berks. HONDA CD175 1973, blue, some new parts, 17,000 miles, engine whole. Tel. 07775 994087. Berks. HONDA CX160 ENGINE 5.5HP good condition, £80. Honda GX100 engine, good condition, £45. 3HP 240V, electric motor ideal for lathe or compressor. Tel. 01209 831969 after 6pm. Cornwall. HONDA DEAUVILLE SEAT 650, very good condition, £60; Honda CB250F, not Superdream seat, 1980, good condition, £70. Tel. 01299 210758. Worcs. HONDA HORNET 600 exhaust 2003 removed from bike at 900 miles when complete Scorpion system was fitted to include downpipes and silencer, very nice condition, £120. Tel. 01723 515546. North Yorkshire. HONDA MBX125 83/84 model, parts MTX 125, 83/84/85/86 parts, NSR125 JO20 89/90 model parts, Honda CB550 rear drum wheel, complete, £150 plus postage; CB650Z 81 model parts, Honda VTR1000 Scorpion, stainless cans and link pipes, £175; small grab handle, £35. Tel. John 07858 134475. Durham. HONDA VT500 Eurosport type parts for sale, including: complete engine, carbs, frame with logbook, wheels/tyres, part engine, other bits, £150. Tel. 07790 324952. KAWASAKI PARTS:- Top box, green inserts and back rest, takes flu face and waterproofs with mounting plate off Versy, will fit others, new condition, £50. Tel. 07903 380308. North London. KAWASAKI Z200 front mudguard, seat, carb and clutch basket also GPZ305 clutch basket with KZ305 clutch engine cover. Tel. 07425 716876. West Yorkshire. / 103

readersbikes&bits BOOK YOUR AD NOW! online post/fax Fill in the coupon on page 99 email MOTO GUZZI Nuovo parts: frame (Deluged) sprayed, forks, wheels (spoked) with new Avon tyres, offers for the lot (was to be built as Bobby or Cafe Racer). Tel. 01978 842668. Clwyd. SCREEN FOR AVON Streamliner, £100. BTH type DC2-AC9 mag casing, no armature, £40. Triumph T140 headlamp brackets good chrome, £30 pair. BSA A&B model rear m/guard bracket, £30 pair, £650. Left side panel, £20. Yamaha chrome headlamp complete, £25. Tel. 01655 331721. Ayrshire. SUZUKI GS650 forks, £100; nice condition, petrol tank, £15 plus p&p; need repair/ paint Kawasaki GPZ600R petrol tank, £75 ono; needs painting, radiator, £35; Yamaha TDR250 side stand, £25; kick-start, £35; idiot lights, high, neutral, indicators, £25; CB1500 Hornet ABS. Tel. 07858 134475. Durham. SUZUKI GS850N genuine Suzuki part (new) r/hand exhaust pipe and silencer for 1980 shaft drive, still in original wrapping. Tel. 01295 770464. Warwickshire. SUZUKI GSF1250 ABS pump from year 2008, from my own bike as I did not want ABS any more, £60. Tel. 07969 457727. Manchester. SUZUKI GSXR250/400 1990, import, black petrol tank, alloy swing arm/chain guard, £35; GS550E gold rear wheel, £30; GS1100E forks/yokes, BTM dial adjuster type, £100; GS850 front wheel, tyre, discs, £75; GS500E mid 90s model, silver engine parts. Tel. 07858 134475. Durham. SUZUKI GSXR600 2003, K3 original silencer + set of rear indicators £60. Tel. 07977 227321. Portsmouth. YAMAHA F800GT 2013, Ztechnick ‘V-Strom’, tall touring screen, Z2478, as new, £75; Motorad tank, rucksack, used 3 times, exc cond, £70; Motorad battery charger, used twice, bus plug type, £55. Tel. 01483 284652. Surrey. YAMAHA MT09 850cc, Rentec grab rail, as new condition, instructions and all fittings, £40 or £55 with postage, a must if you carry a pillion. Tel. 01706 215436. Rossendale, Lancashire. YAMAHA RD250/400 E/F exhaust, one pair, £200. Down pipes, one pair, stainless, £80. Wheels one pair have been refurbed, new bearings, £240. Front mudguard, £20. Tel. 01925 730068. Cheshire. YAMAHA RD250/400EF gear box to fit RD250 or 400 E/F £150. Tel. 01925 730068. Cheshire. YAMAHA VIRAGO Mustang aftermarket seat not perfect but very useable, offers. Also two PRS Virago rear shocks, two rear wheels, one wire, one mag with tyre & diff, also swinging arm. Tel. 01993 830079. Oxfordshire. YAMAHA XJR1300 2009, muffer genuine Yamaha, new in box, £125. Tel. Alan 01494 449701. Bucks.

SUZUKI SV650 SX/Y 99-01 curvy, std silencer, vgc & cut down/cut off silencer, £35; starter solonoid & positive battery lead, £10. Tel. 07780 945601. Hants. YAMAHA VIRAGO 750 PARTS: two rear wheels one spoked other mag complete with tyres and diffs, two pairs Virago 750 rear shacks, offers on any or all. Tel. 01993 830079. Oxfordshire. YAMAHA YZF750 Thunderace and maybe other models, Aerospace/Aircraft grade chain adjuster blocks, both are the same length and have more adjuster lines, £70 inc recorded delivery. Tel. Graham 07488 352630. London.

Wanted ANY MAKE OR SIZE classic motorcycle wanted in any condition from a basket case to one in nice condition, cash waiting. Tel. 07811 189755. Staffs. BSA BANTAM engine wanted or incomplete bike for spares, anything considered. Tel. 07986 080118. West Midlands. BSA ENTHUSIAST looking for C15, 250cc engine and body parts, road/trials anything serviceable, would also buy complete unwanted BSA single. Tel. 01935 472584. Somerset. CHOPPER wanted in any condition with British or Japanese engine, will consider just chassis. Tel. 07984 950257. Derbyshire. HONDA C90 wanted wiring diagram for 1996, electric start model, coloured preferred, any assistance welcome. Tel. Johnathan 07710 872166. Oxfordshire. HONDA CB250 1973, looking for my 1973 gold Honda reg ECG 54K, last seen Eastleigh Hants, or any CB250/350K. Tel. 02380 694806. Hants. HONDA CB250RSD-Z 1981-84, wanted nos parts for engine, also Rickman RS accessories. Tel. 07717 075814. West Yorkshire. HONDA CB77 or CB72, 1960s model for restoring, any basket case condition. Tel. 01978 842668. Clwyd. HONDA H100S 1990, rear carrier, with all fittings. Tel. 07847 830078. Kent. HONDA H100SJ HANDBOOK wanted in clean condition, also rear carrier with all fittings. Tel. 07847 830078. Kent. HONDA SS50 1974, petrol tank and rubber for right hand paddle arm. Honda CD175A pair of 1967-69 Sloper silencers. Tel. 01633 838757. Wales. HONDA WANTED old pre 1970s model, CB72 or CB77 for restoring, any basket case, stood for years, rusty condition. Tel. 01978 842668 leave message if no answer. Clwyd. KAWASAKI ER5 03, Haynes manual wanted. Tel. 07753 247689. Whickham.

104 / classic motorcycle mechanics

KAWASAKI GPZ1100 B1 or B2 Giuliari sports seat, Micron alloy fork brace and a short racing style plastic front mudguard. Tel. 07896 871451. Cleveland. KAWASAKI KLR600 parts required. Tel. 01978 821519. Wrexham. KAWASAKI KMX200 ENGINE wanted or just a complete bottom end with no damage to crankcases. Tel. Steve 01562 861980. Worcs. LEWIS LEATHERS/D LEWIS /Aviakit leather jacket wanted, any size, any colour, check the back of your wardrobe? £100 plus post, maybe more. Tel. 01223 350289 or 07788 636027. Cambs. ROYAL ENFIELD 500T or 350T road trials version wanted, mark condition not important. Tel. 07752 502447. Lincolnshire. SUZUKI DR/SP500 PARTS wanted anything considered, including complete/incomplete non runner/runner. Tel. 01305 826670. Dorset. SUZUKI DR400S twin shock parts wanted, anything considered including complete/ non complete, non runner/ runner. Tel. 01305 826670. Dorset. SUZUKI TC185 parts wanted complete/incomplete bike considered non runner/or runner. Tel. 01305 826670. Dorset. SUZUKI TS250 1969/70, Savage parts wanted, anything considered including complete/incomplete, non runner/runner. Tel. 01305 826670. Dorset. SUZUKI X7 1979, downpipes wanted, nice condition, pair please. Tel. Johnathan 07710 872166. Oxfordshire. TRIUMPH/BSA CHOPPER Bobber wanted running but in need of tidy up £2-£3000 cash waiting why? Tel. 07766 798358. Huddersfield. TRAIL BIKE WANTED for green laning, anything pre 1990, British or Japanese, any condition, eg Honda XL, Yamaha DT/SR, Suzuki TS/SP or similar. Tel. 07984 950257. Derbyshire. WANTED A CDI unrestricted for a Suzuki PR650SE 2004 model, from 1998 to present day, CDI will fit my bike as long as it is 644cc engine, willing to pay £200 cash, will travel anywhere in UK. Tel. 01619 500953. Manchester. WANTED BLUE TANK for ER500 Kawasaki, 2006 reg. Tel. 01474 359968; 07986 465088. WANTED NSU QUICKLY and Cyclemasters or just parts. Tel. 07790 168224. Warwickshire. WANTED TO SWAP I have a RD350 YPVS, excellent condition, just serviced, 12 months MoT, brand new GP race pipes, tyres, got original pipes to go with it, brakes etc, ready for the road, swap for TY50, FS1E DX yellow or AP50 got to be excellent condition, why? Tel. 07810 030309. Lancs.

WANTED UK RG500 to restore back to its former glory, crash damaged, barn or garage find, anything considered, cash waiting for the right bike. Tel. 07944 404152. Worcestershire. YAMAHA AS3 125 twin wanted, 1972, preferably red, very good or restored condition. Tel. David 01953 483161. Norfolk. YAMAHA RD250E wanted, rear mudguard, rear light, seat tail piece, Allspeed exhausts, seat lock etc. Tel. 07946 331428. West Yorkshire. YAMAHA RD250E WANTED seat, rear light and bracket plus mudguard tail piece etc, plus Allspeed exhausts, will travel. Tel. 07946 331428. West Yorks. YAMAHA RS125 engine casing, undamaged or complete engine, also wanted twin leading shoe, front brake for small bike. Tel. 01692 405774. Norfolk. YAMAHA SR125 1992, right hand side panel that fits over battery housing, held in place by single screw. Tel. 01612 811917. Manchester. YAMAHA YZF750R/SP cylinder head or whole engine, also anything considered. Honda CBR600F 2000 on, silver nose cone. Tel. Graham 07488 352630. West London.

Miscellaneous 60 MIXED SPROCKETS MM/ AF 1/2 & 3/8 drive various makes, good condition, £60. Moore & Wright 0-1 micrometer old model in spectacle case new never used, £30. Mitutoyo 0-25 micrometer, nice condition, £25. Tel. 02086 414238. Surrey. ARMSTRONG BOMBARDIER 1987, Rotax 500cc, nonrunner, purpose built single bike trailer, Indies Mini wheels, Krauser luggage racks, K1 type, Arrowbags soft sports bike, soft luggage, Norvil production racer, fairings rear sets etc. Tel. 01740 630033 for details. Stockton-on-Tees. BOOKS/MANUALS Honda CBR600RR (Haynes); Suzuki GS650 British bikes of Thirties (Bacon); Honda Goldwing (I Fallon); Norton Motorcycles (Bacon); Harley-Davidson (Large). Tel. 01772 783774. Lancs. BOOTS Forma Adventure Low Style, size 44, UK 9, new, light brown, never worn, a bargain at £50 can post. Tel. 07919 158173. Hants. geoffrey. DAINESE LEATHER JACKET ladies, Euro size 44, black and cream with gold piping, vgc, will zip to leather trousers, £220 ovno. Tel. 07967 022526. Huddersfield. EXCHANGE 1998 Honda CBR600 in Rothmans Livery, runs and nearly ready for MoT, rideable for any Honda CB400/500/550 four project available, have new silencer ready to fit, plus other bits. Tel. Peter 07786 284863. Newbury.

HONDA CB750/4 KZ 1979, serviced, genuine 7k miles, new: tyres, battery, hoses, MoT 2/19, BMW K1200RS, 2001, serviced, 38k miles, h/ panniers, tool kit, vgc, £5650, £1950 resp. New: Buffalo l/r/ suit, 5ft 10”, 44” chest, £165; used: Alpinestar l/boots, 10/44, £50; Used: fabric, lined jacket, 44” chest, £25. Tel. 07759 607498. Berks. HONDA LEATHER PANNIERS 50cm long, 30cm high, 16cm deep, buckle closures from Honda Shadow VT750 C5, can be adapted, vgc, £40. Tel. 01244 810166. Flints. HONDA THE WINNING YEARS by Peter Kneale/ Bill Snelling/Joey Dunlop, £15; 50 Years Honda World Championship Racing TT Racers, new, £23; I.O.M. TT History, 1907-80 by Matthew Freudenberg, £10. Tel. 01484 663007. W Yorks. HONDA VT500E factory works manual, genuine, 1983, vgc, £30; Haynes manuals; Passola, CB Rizer, ST1100, Pan European, MZ 150/250, CB750/900 (45), ladies leather jeans, size 30W, 32” leg, good condition, Sportex Frontier, £20. Tel. 07891 076778. Hants. HYDRAULIC BIKE LIFT near new condition, wheel clamp ramp, pull out wheel removal section L1800 x W600 lift 800 easily moved, £220. Tel. 01908 583115; 07892 939675. Milton Keynes. LADIES HEIN GERICKE motorcycle leathers matching jacket and trousers, black size 12 as new, £90 the pair. Tel. 01778 343035. Peterborough. LUGGAGE KAPPA Q/D panniers, topbox, carrier system, excellent condition, large capacity black, also large topbox, new condition, black, £40. Tel. 07502 468319. West Yorks. MENS RIDEA-TEC motorcycle jacket, 54” chest, worn only once, purchased from Bikers Paradise, has shoulder and elbow protection, cost £369 accept £250 plus postage. Tel. 01924 262384. West Yorkshire. OXFORD SPORTS PANNIERS red, 50cm long, 20cm high, 20-35cm deep, expandable handles, velcro fastening, expansion straps, external pockets, vgc, £40. Tel. 01244 810166. Flints. POLISTIL BIKE MODELS small scale approx 3” long. Honda 750-4, Kawasaki HZ750, Norton Commando, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Harley Chopper, very good condition, £15 each. Tel. 07504 327299. SELECTION OF LEATHER motorbike jackets, leather, £40 each; selection of motorbike helmets, £10 upward. Tel. Kev 07710 949799. Wirral. WEISE DYNASTAR textile jacket, size XL in good condition used for a few years it’s only being sold as I’ve bought a new one, never been in a spill, £50 can post if needed. Tel. 07969 457727. Manchester / 105 / 109


Slick S c six s

Time to get all six of those mighty pistons back in their respective homes, eh Ralph? Six go swimming.

Project Kawasaki Z1300 part 6


ime to get six big pistons in their rightful home: and let’s face it, fours can be awkward enough! More of that later: first up I removed the oil restrictor jet from just behind No. 4 crankcase mouth to ensure that it was clear and without debris. It’s a curious little chap, but I washed it with brake cleaner and blew it through with my airline (while wearing safety glasses/mask of course). My tip if you’re new to tools: Google the safe use of such items before you become a further burden to the NHS. Next job was to clean up the pistons which had the usual cloak of carbon over the crown. The easiest way to remove this crud is with a rotary multi tool such as a

Oil restrictor jet removed for cleaning. 110 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Dremel with a little wire wheel. The only down side I have found with this method is that the wheels seem to moult and you find yourself being stabbed by the disembodied wires that have become embedded in your clothing. Once the crowns were freed from their carbon prison, I gave all six pistons a swim in the ultrasonic cleaning tank, which removed the remaining filth. I then broke out the genuine Kawasaki piston rings. Firstly, I fitted the oil control spreader ring that keeps the two oil control slider rings in

Cleaning a piston crown while simultaneously creating automatic acupuncture clothing.


position which I fitted next. Lastly I fitted the compression rings being mindful to ensure they were the right way up. Now it was time to fit the part that caused all the trouble in the first place, the water pump drive plastic bevel gear. After lubricating the bearing surfaces, I installed the gear into the block. These gears have been unavailable from Kawasaki Heavy Industries for many years, which is very annoying considering what a short life they seem to have. Any NOS (New Old Stock) gears were snapped up


Only £57.52 per piston…


…and look what you get!


The first oil control ring.

Fitting the compression rings with piston ring expander pliers.

The villain of the peace – the sole reason for this whole rebuild!

The plastic driving bevel gear in position and the water pump shaft with gear attached and nut started.

many moons ago and there are no pattern ones available in the UK. I thoroughly investigated getting some made, but discovered that those with the ability to cut bevel gears are very thin on the ground and those that are kitted up, charge like a wounded rhino for the benefit of their skills. From my own researching, there is only one place in the world that can help out with this part and that is They are available as an exchange item where you send them what’s left of your bevel gear and they bond a new plastic bevel gear to the hardened steel part. As we are still in the EU I had to pay the full €189 and probably a bit of carriage. Cheap these parts are not, but the quality is first rate and the despatch is brisk, though they will not send out your new one until they have received the duff one. I fitted a new oil seal into the block for the

water pump shaft and carefully fitted the shaft from the front and replaced the drive pin. I then installed the steel bevel gear, engaging it with both the plastic gear and the drive pin on the shaft. There are suitable flats on the shaft to attach an opened spanner to prevent the shaft turning while you reattach the securing nut and tighten it up. I torqued it up to the prescribed setting of 14.5lb-ft. I slid the drive shaft in from the left-hand side, engaging the male shaft spline in the corresponding female in the gear. I then fitted the securing bolt through the round window on the right hand side of the block. The remainder of the coolant pump drive system is fitted once the block is fitted back on the crankcases. All these bolts were given a dab of thread lock and seal to prevent them from abandoning their posts without leave and causing horrific engine damage.

I was now at the stage I had really not been looking forward to – installing six pistons in their barrels; to this end I thought I would minimise the potential for misery by getting myself kitted out properly before starting. I can tell you from years of experience that there is only one safe way to fit rings and that is the right way, using proper ring clamps; they’re not even especially expensive! There was no way my normal home brewed tools for holding pistons at TDC (Top Dead Centre) were going to work on a six, so I breathed in hard and sourced the proper Kawasaki factory special tools which were difficult to trace and at a not inconsiderable cost, particularly with several lots of international carriage involved. Believe you me though, when I came to doing the job I was hugely relieved that I had been able to overcome my natural miserliness! / 111


Gently doing up the nut with a cranked ring spanner before torqueing up.

I fitted the special tools as specified in the manual with Nos 3 and 4 at TDC. I fitted ring clamps to 3 and 4 as they would be first to dive into their requisite tunnels of love. I buttered up the mating surface at the bottom of the block with Wellseal and also the bottom of the base gasket as I didn’t want to risk any leaks. I attached cords to both the cam-chain and the water pump drive chain. It’s a right old faff trying to keep the cam-chain in the correct position as it has a tendency to get itself in the wrong place. If you do one of these, you’ll know what I mean. I stuck the base gasket to the underside of the block out of the way and employed the services of SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) to help me get the block in position and drop it down on the waiting and eager pistons. The first two slid into their bores with relative ease and I removed their ring clamps and attached them to 2 and 5. I only have two sets of ring clamps in my workshop because until you work on a six, that’s as many as you need! Luckily I have a tool business so was able to rob another two sets from stock! I added clamps to 1 and 6 and we were ready to roll. We gently eased the block down over the four remaining pistons simultaneously keeping it level at all times, little by little tapping each end of the block with ultralight blows with our hands as the liners slid the ring clamps down as the rings entered the bores. Using the factory tools, the job was actually far easier than I expected and before long we were dismantling the clamps and pushing the cylinders down into the crankcase mouths.

A genuine set of Kawasaki special tools to fit the pistons in the bores. 112 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Pushing in the drive shaft through the replacement plastic bevel gear.

Doing up the bolt securing the drive shaft to the gear.

Tightening up the bolt with a torque wrench. Note: I did not actually rest the spanner on the machined face while tightening as this could cause damage, but I needed a free hand for the camera.

All the pistons lined up facing north ready to dive into the block.


Painting the block mating surface with Wellseal.

Pistons 3 and 4 are in and the ring clamps removed. Applying Wellseal with a cheapo ‘artists’ paint brush.

Applying Wellseall to the bottom side of the base gasket.

Attaching a ring clamp to piston number 2. Steady as she goes...

All the pistons are now safely in their bores. At long last!

I engaged the water pump drive sprocket with its chain and slipped the sprocket over the end of the shaft, securing it with a bolt. I made sure that the cam-chain was again in the correct alignment. I coated the top of the cylinder block and the bottom of the head with Wellseal, fitted the head gasket and then dropped the head on after checking all the dowels were in their correct places.

I fitted new copper washers where required and stock steel washers where applicable, followed by the main cylinder head nuts and the remaining M6 bolts. All fasteners were torqued down in stages, in the prescribed sequence shown in the diagram in the factory workshop manual. I tend to do more small increases in torque than specified in the factory manual to ensure that such a long casting is never stressed; it might not be essential, but given the rarity and expense of major parts on classic bikes I’d rather be over cautious than sorry. Even when I reach the final torque I still keep torqueing them as the head gasket does tend to compress and a few laps with the torque wrench is essential until the final torque is achieved. Next month I’ll start playing with cams and tensioners. cmm ■

Head gasket in place, cam chain idler sprocket in place and wrangling the cam-chain into the correct position before dropping the head on.

The cylinder head back on its throne awaiting the torqueing down sequence. / 113

Gaffer tape and zip-ties help visualise the overall direction.

Project Suzuki GSX-R1100G part 3

Armed & dangerous! With the GSX-R1100 freshly reduced to its sum of parts, it’s now time to get technical and see just what’s needed to bring the old girl bang up to date. Pen, paper and a cup of tea to the ready…


ith the buying and stripping of the GSX-R11 completed, it’s now the moment of truth to see whether (or not) my dream of getting her rebuilt with modern suspension, wheels and brakes, is just that, or can I drag her into the murky world of reality and create something that’s as much show as go? Before I started to strip the bike, I placed the 1100 and the rolling chassis of the GSX-R1000 side by side and got the trusty tape measure out – those figures don’t lie. I’m hoping the fact that they’re both from the Big S will work in my favour here and that I’m not creating some evil-handling Frankenstein’s monster that tries to kill me unless there’s a full moon and I’ve dropped three vials of virgin’s blood in the tank. So let’s start with the easy stuff first. Wheelbases (as the bikes were bought) 114 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Two hours after this photo was taken I could see the floor...




The pen is mightier than the spanner.

Gixer Thou front-end in, rear still at the head-scratching stage. This mimics that of the donor bike’s.

The battery needs shifting.

Tie-downs to a ceiling mount help to measure the rear shock leverage ratio.

vary by 40mm, the newer bike being the shorter. I say ‘as bought’ because the Thou K8’s rear wheel axle is tight against the new chain end of adjustment and the 11’s isn’t. Other factors in this wheelbase discrepancy are the Thou’s 10mm shorter swingarm and forks that are (in the Queen’s English) 50mm less long. So hopefully no dramas there. And the good news continues with the triple clamps looking pretty equal in length at 200mm between faces. It’s about now I’m feeling pretty confident that the front-end swap isn’t gonna throw-up too many dramas. The rear, on the other ‘you-look-likeyou’re-gonna-be-a-right-bitch’ hand, appears mucho harder. The difference in overall length isn’t concerning me, but the ‘nose’ of the arm where it fits does, along with the longer shock. So now I’m into the strip-down of the Thou and something is becoming very apparent. Namely, this is the state to buy parts in. It’s a complete rolling chassis, so I remove the entire front-end from the frame and see what I’ve got. As I’m

looking at the bare bones of the Thou, it’s at this point that I’m glad I didn’t try to buy these components individually. The simple front-end consists of so many parts – fork legs, tyre, wheel, discs, disc bolts, axle, axle nut, spacers, calipers, caliper bolts, brake pads, brake hoses, mudguard, bottom clamp, top clamp, clip-ons, switchgear, master cylinders for brake and clutch, levers, ignition, ignition cover. Phew. Try buying that lot piecemeal and you’ll spend plenty more bucks getting nowhere slowly. With the venier out, it’s clear that the two bikes share the same bottom headstock bearing. So that means I can just slip the new front-end into the slabsided Gixer’s frame: lovely! But the top bearing isn’t going to be that easy. The later bike’s steering head tube is of a much larger diameter than that of the tapered original. It’s clear that there’s not going to be room for a taper bearing there, so I manage to hunt down a thrust bearing (like a sandwich of a roller race between top and bottom plates). With a little bit of

Slab shock was too long for new ’arm.

clever spacing, the top yoke goes on and looks like it was meant to be there. Well, until I try to turn the bars, that is. The steering lock is, well, locked. The bottom clamp’s lock-stops have to be lobed-off and the ignition barrel is ground down to allow free movement around the headstock. But, all in all, it’s turned out well and as I’ve fitted the complete front end from the Thou, I’ve not even had to bleed the brakes. Result! What could possibly go wrong with trying to fit a massively-braced swingarm, six-inch wheel and 190-section tyre into the space previously occupied by a skinny arm, 18in flexi-wheel and 4.5in rim? Okay, then throw in the chain-run dilemma, bodywork that covers the area of movement of the new arm, and the / 115


Bandit 12 shock/linkage was tried.

The massively-braced swingarm kind of looks MotoGP-inspired, the block of wood holding it up less so... The final set-up.

banana-like suspension link of the original bike, and I can’t see a single problem. That’s probably because I see plenty. Luckily, the swingarm pivot of the new arm is shorter and fits within the frame rails of the 1986 bike. What’s not so hot is the fact that it’s supposed to be slightly further to the right by a couple of mil. So that needs spacing at the final assembly. Also, the swingarm pivot spindle itself is much thicker than the 1100’s, so I’ll have to use the older bike’s smaller spindle and space it out. This is where my local bearing shop comes in handy. I head down, get on the right side of the lady behind the counter (she loves Staffies and my little fella,

From below. 116 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Oscar, is pretty-much cute-squared). The brochures start to pile-up on the desk and, after about 10 books have been discarded and Oscar’s done 15 flying laps of the office, talk turns to getting the bushes machined. But we’ve nearly found the answer in the brochures and I’ve got the scent of success in my nostrils. “What about top-hat bushes, have you got any of those?” I ask. A dust-laden tome gets dragged-out from the depths of a little-used cupboard and a dragging finger suddenly stops and taps against a list of specs. Right inner diameter, right outer diameter, right length. Right you are then, you little beauties! The next day, armed with my freshly delivered bushes, I assembly the arm into the frame. It’s a tight fit, but a fit nevertheless. 1100 spindle, 1100 bearing, shop bush, 1000 bearing, 1000 arm. So that’s twice the bearing surface of any other Gixer on the planet – at least it won’t seize! With the arm in, it’s now time to get the shock sorted. Between the two GSX-Rs, Bandit, a random shock I had in the shed and various suspension linkages and dog bones, I have a puzzle that takes a fair bit of head-scratching to unravel. With just the linkages and no shock in place, I move the rear of the bike through its suspension travel and record the movement at the rear of the bike against the movement when the shock will sit. I perform this exercise with various link and bones combos and the measured values give me the leverage ratio of the rear suspension. Ideally, these figures are plotted on a graph that starts high and curves down. In basic terms, that

means the shock starts soft and then firms as the back of the bike compresses. It’s important to work this out, as many of the combinations actually fit and can be bolted up, fooling you into thinking that it will do. On the most unsuitable of the set-up combinations I tried, there would have been much initial resistance before the shock falling through its stroke to bottom out like a drunk on a stag-do. And that’s not conclusive to smooth riding or monster wheelies… In the end, I use the 1000’s linkage and shock and made my own adjustable dog bones. This gives me the added advantage of being able to set my own ride height. Only the final road testing will let me know about the spring rates etc, but I’m happy with how the ends have bolted up with no frame mods or outside help – it’s still on track to be shed-built by me! As with the front-end, the rear brake hasn’t been disconnected so I’ve now got a rolling chassis with brakes, suspension and steering. That’s makes it much easier to move about. However, the next step is to strip it down again as the frame’s turning black as I drag the feel of the bike towards the 21st century. So three weeks into the build and I’ve already conquered what I’d imagined to be the hardest part – the swingarm conversion. I now have a unique-looking chassis in front of me – the trademark up-and-over frame of the early slabside Suzuki coupled with beefy inverted forks, monster radial brakes and a hugely braced swingarm. It’s looking ‘cool as’ and I am confident moving forward. I will tackle the motor next! cmm / 117



Now we He loves his Yams, does three-times British Superbike champ Niall Mackenzie. Now he’s after an R1 to restore.


guess collecting iconic Yamahas is like any other addiction: you’re hooked and before you know it, it is very difficult to stop. I already have an FS1-E Fizzy, a Pro-Am replica RD250LC, a road-going mint RD350LC and (ahem) a YZF-R7 but I still have voices telling me I need to balance things up with another four-stroke. And it is Yamaha’s fault (addictions are always some else’s fault) as in 2018 they are telling us to celebrate 20 years of the ground breaking 1998 YZF-R1. My youngest son Tarran has also just ridden his McAMS Yamaha Superbike at the Brands Hatch BSB event in the gorgeous ’anniversary’ white and red livery so I’m even more motivated to have one of the originals. Mid-way through 1997 I was 35 years old, riding in an absolute purple patch of my career and comfortably en route to landing my second British Superbike Championship title. During that same summer the Yamaha UK press boss, Jeff Turner, showed me some top secret images of a new red and white 1000cc sports bike. I was told this compact machine brimming with new technology was about to overturn the past six years of FireBlade domination. It certainly looked the business but I soon became even more excited when Yamaha Motor UK sent me 118 / classic motorcycle mechanics

an invitation to the upcoming Spanish press launch. The itinerary said we would be flying to Alicante for a presentation before a road ride on the new bikes across Spain to a circuit I’d never heard of called Cartagena. Now, an all inclusive, all expenses paid Iberian mini-break was a nice championship bonus but I have to admit it was the bike turned out to be the

This was a very cold day, hence the jacket.


The utterly beautiful original 4XV in all her red and white glory.

highlight of the trip. Incidentally, my second ever press launch was exactly one year later when I was sent to Australia to ride the brand new R6. This was an altogether more lavish affair where I was put in charge of late night entertainment for the journalists in Melbourne. Now that is an interesting tale but I’ll have to save it for another day! So it was fine dining with not too much wining and a presentation before we were allocated our bikes the following morning, ahead of a few hours of road riding around the Costa Blanca. Nearly everyone agreed the white and red version looked the fastest while the deep blue looked the classiest. At the first coffee stop and

without exception, the journos chatted about how they were blown away with every aspect of this machine. At the time the British press were renowned for being the most rowdy on bike launches so it was no surprise many spent the majority of the trip on the rear wheel. Even the less skilled were getting some air, which was a compliment to the bike. All riders feel good doing wheelies so if that makes a journalist smile then he’ll write good things, job done. After initially setting off though, I do remember there were a few machines with gearshift problems, however, Yamaha staff were instantly on hand to assist and no further niggles were reported. My first

riding impressions were the nice fit for my size and shape, and the clean sharp feel of the motor but what made me grin the most was I was finally on a road bike that delivered a properly planted front-end feel. On arrival at the Cartagena Circuit (which appeared and still does, to have been built in the middle of a municipal tip) I was quite underwhelmed with what looked like a very tight and twisty affair, totally unsuitable for the world’s latest superbike. Little did I know it had been carefully selected for that very reason. While the press hacks lunched on tapas and tortilla followed by cafe con leche I was handed a trusty ol’ parallel twin TRX 850 to do some exploratory laps on what / 119

Simple solutions: Research your model history before buying a project!


Robert the Bruce and Niall!

felt like a double length Three Sisters circuit up there in Wigan. Considering I once enjoyed owning a TRX that I spent a fair few track days on, I can’t say that I particularly felt the same love for the trellis framed bike round Cartagena, which was a little strange… After lunch the track sessions on new R1 were a completely different story as this great bike opened our eyes even further, revealing it could be as nimble as the best 600 machine on the market while utilising 140bhp along the way. I remember some of the press were critical of whatever model Pirelli tyres were fitted, but I think that was more down to a lack of riding ability than a lack of grip. In fact without naming names, I know that was the case. So 20 years have passed and these great memories are still fresh in my noggin. Now that span of time is also widely regarded as the point when material items in our life can go from being old fashioned and uninteresting to cool and collectable. That was certainly the case with my C70, Fizzy, LCs and RD 400 so I obviously need one of these fine machines in my life. Justification in place (well almost, haven’t told the wife yet) that clears the way nicely for me to finding my Classic Motorcycle Mechanics project number six. My criteria is simple and as the eternal optimist I hope very achievable. She has to be a red/white 1998 model 4XV. I don’t mind rough paintwork or the wrong colour wheels but she must be straight, be legal and have a sound engine. I’m told by R1 specialists that three grand should still buy me something reasonable, however, decent examples are declining by the month and prices are inevitably rising. Mentioning my latest plan to best mate 120 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Future British Supersport 600 champ Tarran Mackenzie looks the same size today on his 2018 McAMS machine...

and fellow CMM restorer James Whitham was greeted with a frown. His opinion was that moving away from simple, steel framed two-strokes, to aluminium-framed ’diesels’ will surely involve a lot more work and expense. I guess researching carefully and choosing something that’s had some decent TLC will be key: being pre-fuel injection things are slightly more basic plus I’m friends with some good engine builders up at Raceways Yamaha in Fleetwood so they’ll keep me on the straight and narrow. Bertie has been telling me a bit about what is in this issue about the R1’s 20th anniversary – including how to improve one, but – for me – I want a bike that (at the end) will be bog-stock standard.

Just the way I like my project Yamahas, save for the Pro-Am 250 of course. What does worry me slightly (I am Scottish, after all) is that – according to buying gurus Scott Redmond and Andy Bolas – you pay a premium for the model AND colour I’m looking for. And with horror stories of dodgy white paint jobs I will make sure I check that the paint is ’proper’ pearly Yamaha white rather than some bodged ’matt emulsion’. Well, unless the price is right, of course! As always I’m starting with the ‘Bay’, but – recalling how we got a great RD350LC from a reader for my first project – if you have or know anyone with a half-decent original R1, you can get to me via Bertie at the magazine. Fingers crossed and talk to you next month! cmm / 121



Project Aprilia RS250 part 2

Harada and faster! Last issue we got the rolling chassis and the engine fitted and plumbed up. Now it’s time to get the RS on the road…


o now my RS was looking good and I felt great about the effort I was putting in to the project to make it up to my high standards mechanically. It’s hard to fill you in on exactly how a restoration goes – as you know, it’d take every page of every issue to give a day-by-day, beer-by-beer, nut-and-bolt commentary but in short, with this bike, not a fastener went on that wasn’t cleaned and torqued to spec, lubed or Loctited where required, and nothing was rushed. Every fastener was shagged and 90% were replaced with either OEM ones I 122 / classic motorcycle mechanics

luckily had on hand, or good quality stainless or alloy ones. It was during this final assembly that I wire-wheeled and then resprayed all black chassis parts, like the sidestand and bracket, fairing brackets, reservoir brackets, pillion peg and exhaust hangers, basically everything black was re-painted. Painted silver parts were also resprayed and bare alloy was polished up, which was a slow and tedious process. I could not get all the corrosion marks off the frame as I did not want to cut through the clearcoat on the frame rails. Black plastic parts were cleaned up and treated with a rejuvenation gel, which was

fantastic, and a new battery went in, along with a new air filter and fuel filter. The fuel tap was rebuilt and, as I was on a budget, I really skimped here and rattle can-sprayed the tank, then fitted some random Aprilia decals I had at hand. It looks okay to me and still a little ‘Tetsuya Harada’-esque! The fuel cap was cleaned, stripped and resprayed and a new OEM chainguard was fitted along with chain and sprockets. I bought an RS250 fairing fastener kit online and, after spending a full day polishing and cutting back the fairing panels and top fairing, I was satisfied I didn’t need to get the panels repainted


The forks were rebuilt, along with the steering head bearings.

The swingarm bearings and seals were serviced and the marks polished out.

New battery and wiring tidied up.

New air filter and rebuilt carbs.

The original fairings polished up okay, so they didn’t need painting.

A final check-over before covering up.

and could keep it as original as possible, these were then wrapped up and set aside. Next a new set of OEM grips went on, along with levers, gear lever rubber and rear brake rubber, indicator lenses and then came the hard one – I needed a right-hand switch-block and could not find one anywhere… In the end I bought a damaged one for 100 bucks and had to make one good one out of two damaged ones. I then found and fitted some OEM bar-end weights and made a good, like-new kick-starter from three that I had. It was around this time that I stopped for a few weeks. I had been in the shed for two or three hours every night after the

thankfully, I found a used top fairing bracket. These are so rare as most production racing rules the world over require them to be retained, so they are all trashed. The one I bought was resprayed and fitted and looked good. So I thought… I rebuilt the front and rear brakes, fitted them up and then it was time to fire the bike up for the first time. With fluids in and bled where required, the RS fired after just three kicks. It was a proud moment and at no time did I doubt the engine – I have built so many VJ22 motors and did this one with extra love… After the usual leak checks, it was time to dress the bike. It was at this point I

kids went to sleep, so I gave myself a break to make sure I didn’t rush the job towards the end, as I tend to do. I sat down with a few beers and a notepad and torch and had a really good look over the bike, listing what was left to do and any parts that I needed. First on the list was a couple of master-cylinder kits, which I had forgotten to order. I also needed new brake pads and caliper pin retaining clips. Aside from that, it was just a few OEM fairing clips and rubbers, plus some missing rubber washers to go with the fastener kit, a new screen and a top fairing bracket. The new parts were ordered and, / 123


The low mileage is original.

It came up mint and cost me hardly anything to restore. Stoked!

realised the top fairing bracket was bent, as the rear two belly-pan bolts did not line up. Well, let’s just say I swore a bit and 12 beers later it all looked awesome! The very next day I registered the bike and on the following Sunday, I took it for its maiden run. The first stop was to the in-laws’ house where Heather and I re-enacted the same pic we had done in 1999. That’s a cool one to have, even if we have aged so much! We then went for a spin. The RS is not quite as comfy on the pillion perch as Heather remembered it to be when she was 20-years-young! I spent the rest of the day having an absolutely awesome time. I headed up to my local twisties and rode all the routes I did back in the day when I was almost 20 years younger. I was so slow to react to the snappy and agile RS at first, but by the end of the day I was in full swing and I realised pretty quickly that these days I’ll end up in the lock-up if I keep riding this bike on a regular basis…

Two pics pics, 20 years apart! 124 / classic motorcycle mechanics

The tank paint was rattle-canned.

I got home in the dark and sat in the shed with a few cold beers and just admired my bike. I felt true love… but not long afterwards baby four popped out, so the RS250 went as quickly as it arrived. God knows how much one will cost me

when the kids move out in (hopefully) 20-years or so! Damn kids and their need for food and education. Jeez… Anyway, I still smile about the RS250 Harada rep. I can still smell the TTS! cmm

One of the best days of riding I’ve had – so satisfying after all the hard work.

To advertise call 01507 529575

Sponsored by

Aqua Blast UK Ltd is owned and operated by father and son partnership Jonathan and Aaron Wright who have more than 50 years’ experience between them. They use aqua/vapour blasting to support their own engineering work, and offer their facilities and expertise to other firms and individuals too.

All the best names in classic Japanese tuning parts supplied and fitted in the workshop. Thirty-five years’ experience, massive stocks of Suzuki and Kawasaki used spares. Mail order worldwide. Make them your first choice! Advice is free, just email or call, full workshop facilities, tuning/servicing/engine building - give them a try today!

Powerhouse are the UK and world market leaders in motorcycle brake caliper refurbishment and offer an unrivalled range of caliper rebuild kits for the home mechanic and trade accounts. We have kits for modern and classic Japanese bikes, and a wide range of Brembo applications.

In addition to an extensive Suzuki used components range, Suzuki Performance Spares offers new parts for all major motorcycle brands, for road and race use. It specialises in supplying parts for the modern classics of the 80s and 90s as well as a range of drag race specific parts for all machines. The company has been in business for 30 years.

Tankcare offers a complete range of tank restoration products used by professional motorcycle restorers. With over 15 years’ experience Tankcare also offers full tank restoration, repairs and paint work. Friendly, expert advice is always at hand. / 125



Our Bertie this month waves a flag for the slightly saner version of the R1…


arts bin specials often make great bikes and Yamaha has made some pearlers. My favourite is the Fazer 600 – the Thundercat motor and associated odds and sods make for such a good all-round usable machine. It made sense then that Yamaha finally built a ‘grown-up’ version for the 2001 model year. Like its little brother, the FZS1000 used well-proven parts. In this case the motor was from the YZF-R1, but mildly-modded. It produced the same torque as the R1, but at 1000rpm lower in the rev-range. Different carbs and ignition and a heavier crank basically gave the motor more low to mid-range stomp, but power was still around 140 claimed bhp at 10,000rpm, even if you’d probably be best served hanging about at 7-8000rpm where the meat of that mid-range (78ft-lb) sat. And yes, there was still the EXUP valve fitted to beef-up the mid-range still further. Chassis-wise it was new. The alloy frame rails aped little brother and the right-hand rail unbolts to aid with servicing/engine removal. Forks were conventional right-way-up items and Blue-spot brakes – also from the R1 – gave the bike plenty of retardation. Riding the Fazer thou’ is a real pleasure and – unsurprisingly – the star of the show is that motor. If there’s any criticism to be levelled at the big Fazer

it’s that the suspension was on the soft-side. Normally, this wouldn’t be such a criticism, but at launch it was and here’s why. For some reason Yamaha aimed the bigger Fazer as an alternative sports machine to the R1 and priced it accordingly at £8039 on launch. In comparison the Honda X-11 (weird naked with Blackbird motor) was just £6950… Yamaha took a while to see sense, but the price did go down to £7234 towards the end of 2001 and it dropped back to £6789 in 2002. Aesthetically, the big Fazer was better looking than its smaller sibling and pointed the way to a re-styled FZS600 Fazer, with a lupine lilt to the headlights. The half-fairing did an admirable job of keeping the elements off you and the bike itself was plenty comfortable enough, even if going two-up anywhere really punishes that soft suspension. Overall then, there was a lot to love and the bike itself was adaptable. I’ve had friends who’ve used them solely for commuting, while one sorted the suspension out and took his trackdaying. You’ll also spot lots of them with a full complement of luggage… Today there are quite a few Fazer 1000s to choose from, as the bike had a good five or so-year lifespan until replaced by the FZ1 in 2006. Prices start from as low as £1500, but (as normal) it is a case of buyer beware: many of the cheaper bikes will have had a harder life and despite being an eight grand bike from new, the actual finish wasn’t the best, with paint on the engine and wheels being particularly troublesome and flaking off. Other issues are few and far between – but yes the EXUP valve often sticks… So, the Fazer 1000 is a good bike, but every time I’ve ridden one I’ve always thought there’s an even better bike in there waiting to get out. Try one, buy one and make it your own… cmm





Colours only PRICE NEW

£8039 (Dec 2000) VALUES NOW

£1500-£3000 VERDICT

Attractive and adaptable!

FOR: Practical and purposeful. AGAINST: Soft suspension. / 127

128 / classic motorcycle mechanics

Next month

HONDA CB750 AT 50: John Nutting looks back at the amazing launch of a Honda classic! YAMAHA RD350LC: Steve Cooper with our buyer’s guide! WORLD SUPERBIKE SPECIAL! ● WORLD SUPERBIKES AT 30: Bertie Simmonds looks at the 10 best bikes, racers and races from the early days of WSB! ● DUCATI 888 RACER: Mark Forsyth’s beautiful Bologna bullet! ● RUMI HONDA RC30: Fred Merkel’s WSB title-winner revealed!

WORKSHOP: Sorting drum brakes and changing brake lines. PROJECT BIKES: We welcome back young Craig Prior with his Honda VFR400R NC30, Jeff Ware gets on with his Suzuki RG500, while Martin ‘Wild’ Child moves on his Suzuki GSX-R1100G project! Ralph sorts his Kawasaki Z1300 cam timing. Mark Haycock also returns with his Honda CB750 K2 and Andy Catton has his Kawasaki GPX600.


e October issu

on sale:

9 1 R E B M E T P SE

*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!


Bridges to n e t y r e s, cleaning goodies & Tamiy a kits!



cmm mm

Pip Higham am Tuner, engineer, rider

Ride a cock horse or maybe a 1929 Prester? P

illerton Priors, Shutford, Wroxton, ring any bells? Probably not unless you’ve either watched, or possibly taken part in The Banbury Run. The Banbury is basically 500 or so blokes, and a slender smattering of ladies hooning around middle England on bikes that are a minimum of 88 years old. Yup, you read that right, bikes so old that a few have even had a telegram from the Queen. A lot of the scoots sport features unfamiliar to some of you younger chaps out there; they have retardation devices (can’t call them ‘brakes’) and hand operated levers for controlling stuff such as ignition advance, fuel mixture strength and gear selection. Some have exposed valve gear, push-rods, rockers etc. They occasionally rely on chemical sorcery to energise front and rear lights. They have many cranks, brackets and linkages to fiddle with (usually while in motion.) My connection with The Banbury stems from the fact that I was asked to ride the little bike that brother Bill had spent many moons refurbishing. Bill didn’t feel up to the ride himself and I gladly accepted on condition that he came to watch. On the day we had a full team turnout and as my start time approached I felt a wee bit concerned that I might cock up the start and then fall off at the first corner. Why so? Well, until this point I’d never ridden the bike and the combination of five levers to pull, push and generally modulate was testing both of my brain cells. Added to this was the 60-mile route through unfamiliar territory. Guidance for said route was via a pair of blue printed A4 sheets. I noticed that many of the entrants sported natty roller gadgets, handlebar mounted, on which to display the route. Not being in possession of such kit I opted for the clenched teeth method: catching the occasional glimpse of the next waypoint whenever a few moments of calm occurred. In conversation with a couple of bods clad in tweed greatcoats, one name cropped up several times: Sunrising Hill. How tough could one little incline be? With a flick of a flag I was away, the little Prester burbling along happily in first gear, I promptly set off in the wrong direction. A swift U-turn got us back on track. All went well until an unexpected incline, a sharp turn, several sheep and a moment’s indecision over which lever to pull, caught me out. I stalled the little stroker and had to do a swift about face in order to get burbling again.

130 / classic motorcycle mechanics

ABOVE: About to crest that darn hill... BELOW: A tricky moment on Sunrising with Simon and Will hot-footing it to the rescue. BELOW RIGHT: Team pic with regulation dogs in attendance.

A mile or so further along, a substantial incline came into view as I rounded the bend, ah now, this is Sunrising. With the throttle wire tighter than Jimmy Helms’ larynx on Gonna Make You An Offer. I launched around the initial curve showering sparks off the carelessly trailing right-hand pedal and there was Bill, grinning from ear to ear. Part ‘A’ mission accomplished. As the poor little bike shed its energy I dabbed for a low gear: but Sunrising is long and steep. Three quarters of the way up my inexperience caught me out and we ground to a halt. As I considered my options Bill’s lad Simon and grand-lad Will came to the rescue. A quick shove, some furious pedalling and a judicious dose of clutch slippage got the plot under way again, and, as if propelled by collective attitude zoomed up to the crest, to be met by a great roar from the assembled masses of incredulous civilians. Sunrising: 0, Prester [98cc]: 1. The whole theoretical route is about 60 miles, I reckon that with a couple of miscues, I completed about 75 miles and the little red bike didn’t miss a beat. The reception as I turned into the collection area at Gaydon was absolutely terrific: I think I caught a bit of dust in my eye when I clocked the entire team waiting for me. All credit to Bill for putting together the smallest bike to complete the 2018 run and also to Helen for her patience with the many hours Bill spent toiling in his shed in the garden. And sadly, Bill passed away on the morning of the second of July, but he saw his little bike take on Sunrising, and win. cmm

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - September 2018  
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - September 2018