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Trail blazer!

KAWASAKI K KH100 Buyer’s guide

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March 2017 Issue 365

Retrro BMW Café Racer ridden FIVE DECADES OF MODERN CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS INCLUDING: 90s:: Honda Evo Blade resto, Project GSX-R SRAD. 80s: Yamaha Pro-Am LC Replic ca. 70s: Big-Bore Z1000 project, Project CB750 K2, Laverda Jota. Also: Allen M Millyard, Q&A: Your questions answered, your bikes and your memories!

March 2018 Issue 365 Publisher: Dan Savage, Contributors: Joe Dick, Kevin Larkins, Ralph Ferrand. Art Editor: Justin Blackamore Picture Desk: Paul Fincham, Jonathan Schofield, Angie Sisestean Production Editor: Dan Sharp Divisional advertising team leader: 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 38 for offer): (12 months 12 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £51.60. Export rates are also available – see page 38 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: March 21, 2018 Advertising deadline: March 1, 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

Are you a mad Mod? Well, we’re not asking if you’re a scooterist or a Quadrophenia fan – we’re more asking if you like your bikes with a bit of modification bolted on to them. It seems to be a theme this month. First we get news that Harris pipes (well, the Harris Works Collection) are coming back and will be available to bolt onto your 80s-90s bike now. It made me go all nostalgic about 70s and 80s bikes with loud pipes with the Harris Performance logo on them… Then – of course – we also have our classic ride, where Steve Cooper rode a stock Z1A and a modded Z1B and we couldn’t stop him gabbling about it. When I think of all the bikes I’ve had, when I was younger I’d have different exhausts on, suspension mods, stickers etc. Some modifications worked, most didn’t and – when

The Professional Publishers Association


Paul Jayson

Yup, Scoop continues to work like mad: this month it’s two Z1s ridden, an XT500 and he’s waxing lyrical about the KH100.

Top ex-racer un-bolts some bits and bolts-on others. His Pro-Am spec RD250LC does look lovely!

Paul is now a permanent fixture in CMM and brings his experience at the high-end of the market to these pages.

Scott Redmond

While Paul looks at £20k bikes, Scottie asks what we could have for a tenth of that. Ain’t no grand jobs anymore…

Mark Haycock Mark is back and sorting his Honda CB750 K2’s rear wheel and he’s also answered some of your questions.

Why not Just Ask your local newsagent to reserve you a copy each month?

Niall Mackenzie

Older bikes editor

Q&A King

Having trouble finding a copy of this magazine?


Steve Cooper

The other half of Marketplace

Independent publisher since 1885

I got older and regained some form of good taste – I’ve prescribed to the notion of KISS: ‘Keep It Standard, Stupid.’ Historically, we like to tinker, but – thinking about history – our classics surely are worth more standard? This month Niall Mackenzie has finished his quick and easy transformation from very tidy, standard RD250LC into a Pro-Am replica. Road-going parts were sold off to fund the build (and he got a good price as he’s a canny Scot) but I wonder if he should have kept them? What do you think?

Un-bolt and bolt-on

Gary D Chapman

He just presses a button… Once more the cream of this issue comes to you from the finger of Gary ‘D’ Chapman. This nice, genteel character is the man who brought us most of our cover images in 2017 and this month does well with our brace of Z1s as well as our XT500 classic ride and a BWM café racer retro ride. Not EMPLOYEE OF THE only does he make us look good, he MONTH! brings a little ray of sunshine with him. Handy as we don’t ride in the rain…

Ralph Ferrand Big Zed mad-man

Ralph welds some stiffeners to the big Zed’s frame this month so it can handle the power of the pokey motor.

Allen Millyard

Engineer par excellence Allen explains how he got the inspiration for his current six-cylinder build. Seems he’s a hit with the readers too.

Pip Higham

Robert Bee

Ian Edmondson

Pip’s column reminds us all of the pain that comes with two-wheeled pleasure: wet weather and cold riding!

Big Bad Bob continues to be the main man to speak to, should you wish to advertise in this mighty organ!

Ian is a lucky so-and-so: he’s a serial Blade owner who happened to find and get restored one of the rarest!

Fair weather fiend!

Ad Contact

Reader with a rarity! / 3

Contents 62








❙ Q&A

Mark Haycock with a page of tips. Is yours in here?


Ralph Ferrand gets his welding gear out to brace the frame of the big Zed!

❙ YAMAHA RD-LC PRO-AM It’s been a simple job, but Niall Mackenzie has finished it. And doesn’t she look fit!


Allen talks about the inspiration behind his super-six creation – and where the donor engines came from.


Ralph finishes off sorting this lovely triple with some work on the chain.

❙ HONDA CB750 K2

Mark Haycock knuckles down to get his rear hoop sorted out. He hopes!

❙ SUZUKI GSX-R750 SRAD Scott Redmond on a Chinese brake swap. Adelin master cylinder anyone?


Scoop’s guide on a mighty mini Kwak.







12 14









On Any Sunday’s Bruce Brown remembered. £2000 or £20,000 – we tell you where to spend it! New kit, tools and tyres and stuff. Lovely! We try stuff out.


Events, news and what’s occurring. WIN Bridgestone tyres for our star letter! Do it! WIN S-Doc cleaning kit and Tamiya kits for TWWW!

38 40




54 60


Subscribe and save cash!


Scoop rides a standard A and a mildly-modded B.

Reader Ian Edmondson finds a very rare Blade to restore. Tokico six-pots: cool or fool?


Kar Lee’s rebooted Kawasaki AR125! We’re 17 again...


What’s happening in the April CMM? Think V-twin...


Pip talks about un-fair weather riding…

Bertie rides a Boxer twin retro cafe racer.


Steve Cooper on the daddy of the adventure bike. / 5

Brown (right) with Smith ‘on set’.



ruce Brown – who died aged 80 at the end of 2017 – created, shot, directed and narrated the best motorcycle film ever made – ‘On Any Sunday.’ Bruce Brown was born in San Francisco, California in 1937 and grew up on the beaches, becoming a keen surfer. With an interest in still and motion photography, he made his name in the 1960s with a series of surfing films, the most popular being the 1964 flick ‘The Endless Summer,’ a documentary released in 1966 that followed a group of surfers chasing the best waves in California. It was on a visit to Ascot Park that he first saw motorcycle racing and was immediately in awe of these riders and decided to make a documentary about them. During 1970, Bruce shot more than 150 hours of film covering disciplines as diverse as dirt-track, road-racing, desert racing, motocross, trials, hill-climbing and ice racing. The story follows two main characters – Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith, but it has a cast of many top US racers of the early 1970s from many disciplines and there’s also a bit-part for Hollywood legend Steve McQueen – who helped fund the film. The photography – considering the limitations of the very early 1970s, is stunning. From the slow-mo shots of a Harley XR750 going sideways at 100mph, to the aerial shots of a desert race and the head-camera shots, no film has ever come close to recreating the sheer excitement of racing on two wheels. Our main shot of Gary Nixon shows what constituted ‘helmet-cam’ technology of the day! It wasn’t popular, as it was a regular helmet, but with a camera on one side and a 4lb ‘counterweight’ on the other! Nominated for an Academy Award in 1972, it didn’t win, but on a budget of just over $300,000, the box office, video and DVD sales have seen a return of more than $25 million on that initial outlay. Brown said some years ago: “It’s great to have people come up to you and say what an effect the film had on them, or it got them into motorcycles and racing.” cmm 5

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The legendary racer Gary Nixon with one of Brown’s ‘helmet cams.’







9A / 7



Rich man, poor man Every month we take a look at the classic motorcycle market with a range of industry experts. This month, Paul Jayson from The Motorcycle Broker and our very own Scott Redmond look at what to invest in for £20,000 and what bargains are out there for £2000…


here are many classic motorcycles in the market for £20,000, but considering where best to place a one-off sum like this opens up a world of choices. The machines I’m going to talk about are either fully restored, or unrestored and in stunning condition and investment grade. I am not talking about machines which are ‘bitsas’ or need work, no matter how pretty they look. Kawasaki Z1 900 As and Bs fit the bill, BUT if you think you’ll get a proper ’72/’73 Z1 for that money you’ve missed the boat. They are out there, but they certainly are not investment grade and that is what will count when they hit six figures and beyond and are heading to China. Honda CB750 K1 onwards are available, but again due diligence is everything, as is attention to detail, but Honda built a hell of a lot of them. You would also be left with some change for a project or a mint Bultaco or Montesa! You can still buy a Suzuki GS1000Ss and have change for an RD400, which would make for an interesting place to park your money and enjoy some riding. If you could find a good one, which is a huge challenge, a Yamaha XS1100 is still great value for money. You could buy two, if you could find them. You could just about get a decent Suzuki RG500 or an RD500 and an RD250LC, but would you want to take the chance on crank case seals holding out with modern fuel? I wouldn’t.

Honda’s amazing CBX1000: Paul reckons a good one is only going one way, price-wise...

For me there is a stand out investment. The six-cylinder Honda CBX1000: it’s even more iconic now than the day it came out and is incredible fun to own and ride. Until the CBX came out, people in Britain only referred to Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki products using the un-PC and, frankly racist, term ‘Jap crap’. By 1978 those referring to such brands in that manner looked rather foolish as these new-fangled rice burners charged past them as they tried to fix their superior British made iron by the side of the road. But once that monster six-cylinder motor appeared on the roads, the dyed in the wool ‘British is best’ motorcyclists switched brands. Prices have steadily increased from around £5000 in 2010 to £20,000 to £25,000 today, and I am still finding beautiful investment grade machines at £20,000 for customers now, but not for much longer. Really good examples are getting very hard to find and UK models are some of the worst treated in the world. The reason is that at some point, due to property prices and lack of garages in homes in the UK, that machine would have spent some of its life outside and not having been looked after correctly. Those monster motors are good for 200,000 miles if you change the oil every 1000 miles and filter every 2000 miles. Valves need to be kept within serviceable limits and carbs need to be set up correctly. If these machines have been looked after, over their 40 year life, then they are great bikes to put serious mileage on. They need to be set up correctly, which most are not. Many do not have the original motor in them and to find the engine number in early ones is difficult without dropping the air-box or tilting the motor forward. There is a lot to know about these machines and there is a lot of rubbish written and spoken about them. Also, finding one with the original exhaust and rear suspension units in serviceable condition is getting super-tough, and that will make a big difference in the future. However, if you secure the right machine, I think you will see these examples easily hit six figures within the next decade, maybe even sooner. This is driven by demographics, the number of machines available and the number of people wanting them and the CBX is an icon of motorcycling and most are not investment grade. ■

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t wasn’t too long ago that you could find a decent motorcycle that could give you a classic bike fix for a paltry sum: no longer! I'm talking about a roadworthy machine upon which you could jump and ride: a Honda CBR600, Suzuki Bandit and the like. A good solid bike for £1000. Watching eBay for a month revealed that those bikes are still out there in reasonable numbers on the used bike market, but their worth is increasing. Why? New bikes get more expensive year-onyear and the initial response is a slow-down in new bike sales, this then creates a knock on effect further down the chain. Looking at the best sellers from the last 20-odd years allows us to see how prices for older bikes have now started to bounce back. The Honda CBR600 dominated the sales charts throughout the 1990s, a few years back you could pick up a decent one for around a £1000 or less. A £1000 is now pretty much entry level for a scabby CBR600 Steelie, decent bikes are edging nearer to £2000. Weirdly, if we look at Glass’s Guide, they say they’re worth buttons, but why?

A decade ago we were pillaged by traders from the continent and their currency was worth more than ours, so they came to the UK to stock up on used bikes that we didn’t want. Those are the exact bikes that we now class as emerging classics, but like every old pub that shuts down, those bikes are never coming back. Those 90s bikes hold memories for younger classic bike enthusiasts. The thing is these 90s bikes that have dwindled in numbers over the last decade are tomorrow’s bona-fide classics, the fact that they make great day to day transport is an added bonus for those of us without £20,000 to burn on an investment classic. With nothing too major appearing in my search with my virtual £1000 I double my bubble and try again with £2000. My net now contains some fresh fish, ranging from a big and bouncy Yamaha FJ1200 with an asking price of only £1295. It’s the cheapest of its kind, the other FJ1200s are all nearer the £2k limit. Big bikes can mean big running costs, not ideal for an everyday scoot, so let’s look for a VFR750 instead. These appeal to so many people their p prices ces have a e never e e fallen out of bed, so I’’m strangely pleased

to see you can buy a gem within our £2000 budget. Its smaller sibling can be found for around £1500 for a bike in original trim. Not everyone wants a bike with a sporty bias, another sure sign of advancing years! The Suzuki Bandit 600 was launched into a market full of race reps, it’s back to basics approach and sensible pricing meant it sold by the boat load. Fast forward to 2018 and you’re going to need to find around £1500 to bag yourself a decent one, its counterpart the Yamaha Fazer 600 is also on the up. The pick of my findings was a stunning year 2000 model with low mileage but a ticket price of £1995. That’s a capable bike... The £1000 hack is looking like a thing of the past; there’ll always be the exception and there’s nothing better than being in the right place at the right time to bag a bargain, but if you need to buy something in a hurry, budget on needing around £2000 to find an up and running bike. The plus side is, if you shop wisely and then look after your new old bike, you could end up with depreciation proof biking! b g There’s e e s aalways ays a pos positive t e within t every negative. cmm / 9



The latest riding kit, top tools, tyres, retro clothing and more! OFFICIAL SUZUKI DIE-CAST MODELS We like these miniature die-cast works of two-wheeled art. First up is our fave: Suzuki’s GSX1100S Katana (part number 99000-79N12-KTN) which is a faithful reproduction of a Suzuki performance legend, perfect in every detail, and this is an OFFICIAL bit of Suzuki merchandise. Also, if you like more modern tackle then how about the die-cast smaller version of the new GSX-R1000RAL7 (part number 99000-79N12-R R10)? Simply i l find fi d the h Suzuk k kii GB store on eBa ay (link below) and type in ‘die-cast’ in the e search box. www.stores.eb Suzuki-Bikes-U UK-Official


RATCHET CRIMPING TOOL This ratchet crimping tool (part numbe er 7002) from Laser Tools and the Assorted Automottive Electric Supaseal Connector kit from Connect Consumables (part number 37225) is right r up our alley! The tool is designed specifically for the Supaseal type connectors; it is supplied with two die-heads, an H2 size for 22-20 and 16 AWG(0.35-0.5mm m² and 1.5mm²) wiring and an H3 sized he ead for 17 to 18 AWG (0.75mm² and 1mm²)). Choose the correct die-head for the job in hand; then one action of the crimping tool both firmly crimps the terminal to the exposed wiire, and secures the yellow seal. In the Connect Consumables connector kit a selection of 1 pin, 2 pin, 3 pin, 4 pin, 5 pin and 6 pin male and female connectors are supplied, together with the yellow wire seals and the terminal locking tabs. The 7002 ratchet crimping tool is typically priced at £94.49; the 37225 connector kit is £95.64 (both prices includes VAT).



10 / classic motorcycle mechanics


WEISE FURY JACKET WE The new Weise Fury combines the comfort and style we love in a classic denim jacket with the reassurance of leather overlay panels and CE protection in key areas: oh, and a waterproof liner. The armour is in the shoulder, elbow and back areas, you can take out the thermal liner for summer and you can even attach the jacket via a zip to Weise trousers.



LS2 RAPID HELMET Welcome to the LS2 Rapid road-touring lid. The outer shell comes in three sizes, is a composite construction and all in weighs 1250g. You’ve got a quick-release visor (Pinlock ready), a removable and washable liner,, decent ventilation, it comes in sizes XS-XXL ((53-64cm) has 11 colourways and it’s dirtt cheap: £49.99 plain, £59.99 graphics. m


An icon nic name associated with the barking four-intto-one systems for superbikes back in the 1970s and 1980s has had new life breathed into it by brand owner Norman Hyde Ltd. Norman Hyde bought the name from the Harris b brothers, Lester and Steve, some years back and no ow the name is on a wide range of slip-on end can ns for 1980s, 1990s and 2000-on sportsbikes, na akeds, adventure bikes and trailie singles.. These are high-quality – made in n Italy – and are 100% stainless, include any link pip pes and work with no fuelling adjustments to you ur steed. They also have a decibel reducer fitted which w can be removed: all with a two year warra anty. Forty-eight fitments are available e and the range is growing. It already includes R1, R6, R CBR6, Blade, SRAD, FZR600, ZX-6R, Fazer, Speed d Triple, Busa, ZZ-R, KLR, Africa Twin, Mille, Domin nator ator, Bandit, Ba VFR (750 and 800)) and Ducati Duc 900S SS. www.norm







Yes, this is the uber-cool brand from Yamaha that has that specials-built twist. Prices are obviously going to vary and start from as little as a tenner for something like a cap, but the helmet seen here is from £180, the Western jacket is from £137, the Denali sweater from £65.60 and the gloves from £61.60. www.y yamah pparel/ index.a aspx#//








Covering 25 years of the seminal CBR900RR and 1000RR, this bookazine looks at the background, design, introduction and response to the early FireBlades through to development of the later models, CBR1000RR versions as well as a look at the Blade’s rich racing history: 132 pages and hundreds of colour photos and diagrams. product/5535 / 11



Riding kit worn, tools twirled & tyres turned RST PARAGON II SUIT Used in 2010 and every year since, this RST Paragon II suit has been brilliant. It has a waterproof, breathable membrane and detachable ‘Contour’ plus CE-approved armour and a back protector. The thermal lining in both trousers and jacket are zip-outable and there’s also a face-mask which can be zipped off the collar of the jacket. A storm flap and waterproof zip keeps the rain at bay: in summer I’ve found the zip intake and exhaust vents work well. For a big chap who yo-yos weight-wise depending on gym/McDonalds visits, the adjustable waistband is good, as are the torso adjusters to stop you flapping around at speed. You’ve also got plenty of pockets. You’ll see in the

action shot that I wear different (but also RST) trousers. The Paragon II trousers were great but I often hook them up with plainer, black trousers so I don’t look like a big beige thing, also the waist fastening was simply Velcro with a plastic loop – a metal popper would have been better. I also ditched the face mask. It needs to be done up full, otherwise the exposed Velcro fastening on the back of the collar will stick to the rear of your helmet, meaning you can’t move your head easily! Overall this has been my textile suit of choice for nearly a decade and at £159.99 for the jacket and £129.99 for the trousers a very cost-effective one at that, but it’s all change for 2018! Looking at RST’s



website, the Paragon is no more, but they do offer base-level adventure jackets// trousers (RallyE) and their Pro Series too.



■ Bertie Simmonds

AGV GT VELOCE Never crashed in but used for around 10,000 miles since 2014, this classylooking AGV helmet has served me well. First up – it looks lovely and comes in a range of different colours and styles. Mine was fitted with a Pinlock inner which keeps it fog-free. The strong composite shell is shared with AGV’s other sports lids, the Corsa and Pista GP, so it’s little wonder then that the Veloce has a five-star rating from the (admittedly divisive) SHARP government helmet ratings. The fit was

12 / classic motorcycle mechanics

good – if a little snug for the firrst few months. This is something I’ve always found with AGVs compared to the same size in Shoei or Arai. You also feel f a little tightness on your crown. However, the visor system is good, ventilatio on is excellent and I’ve never had ca ause for any complaint. The removable interior lining g was a massive benefit when I rea ally mad de a serious error. For some reason I stored the AGV upside down by the boiler in the garage just j as said boiler sprang a leak. You can guess where the water went… … Later the smelly helmet was discovered, but the damp lining was whipped out, washed and the helmet dried: all good. From what I can see this model has now been


£329.99 -£449.99 replaced by the Veloce S, which has had a hefty price increase as the model is now one of the premium sports lids in the AGV range, but online I have found older models lingering around in the shops for a fair chunk of wedge less, so have a look around. ■ Bertie Simmonds

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics March 2018  

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics 2018 preview Read more at:

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics March 2018  

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics 2018 preview Read more at: