YAMAHA HA RD500LC 80s
Rid dden & recalled!
SUZUKI B120 B Restored
Hondaâ€™s Ducati destroyer!
30 PAGES OF
FIVE DECADES O OF MODERN CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
ridden AND buy ying guide!
80s: Yamaha RD500LC ride, Yamaha DT175 restoration 70s: Honda CB360, Kawasaki H1 resto, Honda CB750K2 carb clean 60s: Suzuki B120 resto. Plus: Seat bases, electrics, Q&A and your memories!
January 2017 Issue 351
❙ WORKSHOP NEWS
It’s back, it’s bad, it's mad.
❙ YAMAHA DT175 MX
❙ STAN STEPHENS
Mark Haycock, Scoop and you with tips galore!
Ralph Ferrand spins the wheels… Stan on his Project Brooklands with ‘classic-modern’ parts.
❙ DUCATI 996
Jim Lindsay gets forked off and shocked with this Duke.
❙ WIRING: CHARGING
Ralph Ferrand on this black art.
❙ REPAIR SEAT BASES
❙ 1975 HONDA CB360
Steve Cooper shows you how.
To complement our MIRA Files this month. Thanks Scoop!
106 ❙ HONDA CB750 K2
Mark Haycock cleans carbs in part two with this project.
06 08 12
Suzuki’s gorgeous GS1000S.
1986 YAMAHA RD500LC
Andy Bolas on the Yamaha V4 big-bore two-stroke!
MOTO GUZZI CALIFORNIA
2000 HONDA VTR1000 SP-1
Events, reports and what’s happening in our world.
Steve Cooper on the quirky 1970s cruiser.
Mark Forsyth rides this big V-twin Ducati destroyer.
Birthday boy Bill restores a Suzook classic!
19 20 22
SHOW US YOURS
114 NEXT MONTH
Happy New Year!
We love to hear from you! With added nostalgia! Check out ‘The Way We Were!’ Check out this amazing first-timer reader resto!
108 ❙ YAMAHA TX500
Mark (again) with part one of servicing this twin.
1976 HONDA CB360 John Nutting rides with a rose-tinted visor.
Yamaha’s TDR250, recreated as a 350!
test Kawasaki H1 main test, Yamaha XSR Retro, Honda CBR600F-X, Yamaha RD350LC special, Kawasaki KR-1/S and more.
111 ❙ MAKE OR BREAK?
Scott Redmond revisits these: what’s happened to prices?
SUBSCRIBE! & save cash!
www.classicmechanics.com / 5
The most useful gear we’ve found this month
KUSHITANI STEM JACKET
This is a very pricey, bu ut beautiful jacket with a minimalistic style – harking back to the era of the cafe racer. It costs a whopping £549 and watch the sizes, as a Japan Large is a UK Medium and a Japan XL is a UK Large! You have been warned! Go to: www.kushitani-uk.co.uk
HJC SUPERHERO LIDS H
Can’t beat a bit of Bazza...
Motorcycle Live classics! Motorcycle Live at Brum’s NEC once again proved to be one of Britain’s biggest biking events and – once more – classic and retro machinery was at the very heart of the show. The nine-day event featured 43 of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers who displayed their new models but often it was the older bikes or ‘retro’ machines that were the focus of attention.
Suzuki won our ‘best stand in show!’ 12 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Starring on the Suzuki Vintage Parts stand were a bevvy of Barry Sheene race bikes, including his 1976 and ’77 title-winning RG500s. Best of all was the show-long live build of the Katana race bike that will be raced in the 4-Hour Endurance event next May. Nathan Colombi and Tom Crooks built TWO of these amazing machines as astonished show-goers looked on. Also ‘almost’ finished was the 1989 GSX-R1100L as seen in CMM’s pages, restored by the Suzuki Apprentices. More on this next issue! Other classic delights included Steve Parrish’s FZ: now in a different standard livery that he raced in 1985, a Pro-Am LC, some landmark FireBlades on the Honda stand and some specials on Kawasaki’s stand. Also in evidence was a wide-range of retro machines available ‘new’ including our pick of the bunch, Honda’s drool-worthy CB1100RS. With more people (113,172 – 2.4% up) through the doors than 2015 the show was a rip-roaring success. Unless you travelled by car and got ripped off by the £12 parking fee, of course.
■ Motorcycle Live 2017, at The NEC, Birmingham from November 18-26.
W We’re all superheroes as we ride and rrestore bikes, but now you can look like one. Should you wish. The following are available from HJC helmets: Iron a Man on the IS-17 (from £199.99) Spiderman on the RPHA (from £469.99) Venom on o tthe RPHA for the ssame price and Th he Punisher on the FG P G ST lid ffrom £229.99. Forr more, head tto www.oxfordproducts.com
OFFICIAL MOTOGP SEASON REVIEW 2016
Now in its 13th year this all-colour hardback provides comprehensive coverage of the 18-race MotoGP World Championship season of motorcycle racing from commentator Julian Ryder and superb photography by Andrew Northcott. The book costs £35 from: www.evropublishing.com
EDZ BASE LAYERS
Editor Bert has just got himself some new base layers to stave off the chill. Both items are made from 100% Merino wool w in 200g and are Graphite G Grey in colour (other ( colours availab ble). They are available in n sizes XS-XXXL and are £49.99 each. They can be bought online at a www.edzdirec ct. com. Bert will let you know what they are like in a few issues’ time!
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 .co.uk 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 The Hobby Company www.hobbyco.net which distributes Tamiya plastic motorcycle kits in the UK to give our favourite restoration one of its amazing motorcycles in miniature. So, send in your pictures of your bikes and you could win the chance to indulge in a miniature motorcycle restoration of your own. Remember to send your name and address on each submission so we know where to post the kit.
Sarah Dalby’s collection Hope these pics are of interest for the Show Us Yours page, just a few photos of my stable ‘as-was’ and ‘as-is’ now! I purchased the red 1100FD in 2013 needing a restoration, the blue 1100FD in 2014 needing an engine rebuild, and the 1100RC in 2015 having already been completely restored. The blue FD was restored and back on the road by the end of 2014 so I had the choice of the blue 1100FD or the 1100RC during the summer of 2015. I enjoyed owning these bikes immensely until last Christmas when I was struck down with a medical condition that meant I was now out of work and with the
22 / classic motorcycle mechanics
prognosis that I will never regain enough fitness to ride again. So now the RC and the blue FD have been sold and the red F is finally stripped and in storage waiting for the day I can physically work on it and afford to restore it to factory condition. When I knew I had to sell up I just couldn’t bear to part with the red one as it was my first 1100 and I have been collecting many rare new old stock parts for its restoration for many years now. In the meantime I have a new project picked up from eBay on a whim: it’s the proverbial ‘barn find’ bike from France and having only done what appears to be a genuine 1100km and is totally original. I had a white
KIT WINNER MB50 as my fi firstt bik bike many years ago so I just couldn’t resist this white MB80. It will be getting a sympathetic restoration over the next year
by which time I hope to be recovered enough to ride it. It’s smaller than I’m used to but at least it will mean I can get back on two wheels!
30 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Scoop tries a Moto Guzzi 1977 T3 California cruiser for size but does it spin his crank? Oo-er missus! WORDS: STEVE COOPER PHOTOS: GARY ‘D’ CHAPMAN
oday’s ride is going to be totally alien to me but let’s see how I get on. I’ll state the obvious first, in the hope that you may get a flavour of my level of trepidation. Firstly we have a transverse V-twin engine that dominates this bike from any angle. Next up there’s a shaft drive that’s linked to an engine speed clutch. Either in isolation would be ‘comfort zone challenging’ if UJMs or stroker twins are your norm but add the two together and smooth gear changes are likely to be a big ask. Next up is the fact that the perfectly sensible foot pegs have been replaced with huge (and I mean huge) foot boards. They look simply massive and were doubtless based around some clown’s comedy size 26 foot wear. Oh and to add in a little spice, as if the whole thing wasn’t already challenging, there’s a heel-and-toe gear pedal to deal with. O the On th plus l siide the controls look fairly conventional but hang on, there’s the legendary Moto Guzzi linkeed brake system to take into consideration. T This means the front brake lever only actuates one dissc; the other comes in when you apply the rear brake and apportions retardation that minimises fork d dive (supposedly) and makes for safer stopping: w we’ll see how this pans out. At least the clocks look cconventional but of course we have the obligatory an nd alternative Latin take on idiot lights. On this occasion they are long thin coloured slots that still on nly have one weak bulb glowing behind them. Ou ut of my comfort zone? If your background is Jaapanese iron, who wouldn’t be? So, respect, ccare and due diligence are the watchwords of th he day please. Thankfully the chaps from North Leicester Motorcycles have shown me where the ignitioon key lives or I’d look like an even bigger chump th han I already feel. The key itself looks like a largee lump of black liquorice with a metal bar in it. T The bar flips out to become a key shaft and this iss then inserted into the switch which sits behind the ttop yoke and in front of the tank… obviously! The sswitch body looks like an even bigger piece of liquoricce. You see what I mean about Guzzi doing things theeir own way? Thankfully I’m m sitting in probably one of the most comfortable mottorcycle saddles ever made and I’m being lured into a false sense of security. Taking my courage in both hands (but the starter button in just one) I attempt too fire up the big V-twin beneath me. If Japanese soph histication is your benchmark then what happens next is a massive culture shock. Imagine shovingg a cattle prod into the butt of a sleeping woolly mammoth. The beast opens a torpid eye, vaguely ackknowledges your presence then gives a huge shrug as it awakens. At the same time the beast breaks win nd to let everyone know it’s awake and then gets on n with the day. Sorry but I’m not www.classicmechanics.com / 31
Yamaha TDR350 If there’s one bike that would be a guaranteed laugh if it was built today, it would be this. Here’s what it could look like. WORDS AND IMAGES: KAR LEE @ KARDESIGN
60 / classic motorcycle mechanics
L INA RIG O THE
While the original 250cc parallel twin was a retuned TZR250 with lower gearing, the truth is that despite the wonders of YPVS broadening the powerband it was still a peaky engine with not a lot going on below 6000rpm: which is why we’vve turned to our re-booted 350 Powervalve variant. From a true 45bhp to a reliable fuel-injected 70bhp in one move, the torque figure is up too so it’ll pull from lower doown the rev range. Speaking of which, we’ve moved the tacho from the original ludiccrous positioning on the fuel tank to the usual place in front of the handlebars. In 1988 the TDR used a cradle frame that was a halfway house between off-road and road-based. With chassis technology so much furtherr ahead we’ve upgraded everything from the frame to the suspension and brakes to handle the extra power. The cradle frame is now box-section, wheels are caast alloy, forks are adjustable USD items and there’s now a twin-disc radial set-up in place of the single. There are pillion pegs but the short seat on the TD DR remains – we don’t really want to encourage passengers in all honesty.
f there’s anything that Yamaha know how to build it is two-strokes, and back in the 1980s they were on a roll. From the legendary LC to the TZR series, the marque represented by the tuning fork were the experts in all things stinkwheel. Where they led, others followed. High on sales success, Yamaha popped an acid tab and gave the world the TDR250 – essentially a geared-down TZR 250 with wide bars – and called it the ‘Ultimate Dual’ to give it the impression it could go off-road. It was every bit as bonkers as it sounded and lasted a full five years before production finished in 1993. We’ve brought it back. Oh please, can’t someone build it?
The TDR’s minimal bodywork is retained – it was sturdy enough in a crash which is a big advantage when riding an ecccentric, high-powered stroker. The main upgrade here is in the headlightt: the previous item was notoriously feeble so we’ve installed a twin-light array which automatically dips when the front wheel rises, which we expect it will do. A lot! Colour schemes will – of course – be a mix of majestically modern and classic cool. cmm
What do you think? Would Yamaha repackage their ‘Ultimate Dual’ this way? Let us know! www.classicmechanics.com / 61
WORDS AND PHOTOS: RALPH FERRAND
Two like-new wheels in someone else’s shit pit of a workshop – honest guv!
Project Yamaha DT175 MX part 4
Knitting the Dee Tee’s wheels Ralph gets down to it with the DT and sorts out the wire wheels.
ast month we delved into the dark art of powdercoating and this month I shall be lacing new rims to the freshly refurbished hubs. In my experience most folk shy away from wheel building as being something only specialists can do. Professional wheel building where custom spokes are required is a pretty tricky affair that I certainly wouldn’t take on. In the case of my little ring-dinger, however, Yamaha still supplies genuine wheel rims and spoke sets, for a price, so it’s only really a case of fitting the spokes and truing-up the wheel. I am not a trained wheel builder, but have managed 66 / classic motorcycle mechanics
successfully to build a good number to date, that haven’t collapsed or wobbled. As with all things two-wheeled, take your time and be methodical. It’s easy to lace them up wrong, as I did with my first attempt, but it’s no big deal to take them apart and start again! The first thing to do, before you even think about stripping the wheel, is to measure the offset. That is the distance from the edge of the hub to the rim (see the diagram). The second job is to take good detailed photographs of the wheels from both sides to record the spoke patterns and to measure the lengths of the spokes and where they go. There are
usually two different types on each side of the wheel. Hands up; I forgot to do both of these tasks and had to beg the relevant information from the lads on the DT forum (thanks Airhead), who I have to say were extremely helpful. The DT forum is to be found at http://yamahadtclub.proboards. com. As with most forums, it is home to some very helpful people who are happy to trade parts as well as useful technical insights into quirks and foibles of their chosen marque. Thankfully, the DT forum was pretty free from people who talk a good game but clearly don’t know what they are doing, but do be careful when it comes to seeking internet advice.
01706 658619 Shrewd bugger Jim built the 996 trolley himself.
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Project Ducati 996 part 4
WORDS AND PHOTOS: JIM LINDSAY
o we start this month with the 996 looking a bit like a madman’s 1970s hostess trolley on its red cradle with blue castors. All it needs is a wood effect Formica sheeted top and I’ll be serving authentic synthetic cream snacks round at the lock-up! I’m not taking any more parts off the main assembly. The swingarm bearings and the stub axle and bearings are all in good order. The steering head bearings work smoothly, no play and no tight spots. No point disturbing all those bits when just cosmetic attention is needed. I’ll make a start on that next month. This month I’ve been sorting out the bits that need to go off for repair and refinishing. As the lead time at my chosen sprayer, KAS Racepaint in Kettering, Northants is eight weeks, I decided to start there. Aaagh! Cheap Chinese bodywork! I hadn’t noticed it when I was pulling the bike apart. I’d stuffed all the bits in large plastic bags, including the damaged nose cone. Now when I came to clean the panels up before delivering them to KAS, I realised that the only genuine stuff was the seat unit and the two right-hand fairingg p panels which I had replaced affter my collarbone snapping crash in 20 014. Luckily, the job-lot of bodywork I bought off eBay to fix the crash damage inc cluded the left-hand fairing panels and d the lower section which mounts in front of the oil cooler, none of which I had used. I had eve erything except the nose cone. With a heavy heart and an aching wallet, w I tracked dow wn an excellent used u one for £220. The Chinese junk is goin ng in the bin: it’s not eveen worth putting on eBay. Grrr! But at least I’ve got all prop per Ducati panels now. The tank is in excellent e condition – no dents and no rust inside. The fuel pump was stuck firmly in place after 17 undisturbed years. Some things are designed with w dismantling in mind. The pump flangge has three M6 threaded holes that so you u can insert some bolts and wind the pump ooff its seat without resorting to brutality. Ten T scored, Ducati. I came across a the work of KAS Racepaint at a trade show earlier this year. It was on a Lambretta into which somebody had put a Kawasaki motocross
Trollllley Dollllly!! Our Jim is delivering all the bits to the various specialists as he carries on with his Ducati refresh.
Yeah, this needs sorting out!
WORDS AND PHOTOS: STEVE COOPER
Restoring rusty seat bases
Rusty seat pan? It’s time to hone and upgrade those Blue Peter skills, says Scoop!
he classic world is forever changing and as NOS (New Old Stock) dries up enterprising companies and individuals are replicating parts that have become impossible to obtain. Reproduction exhausts for Z1s, H1s and H2s are now on offer, ditto the plastic section of a Yamaha LC’s rear guard. Occasionally businesses, groups or clubs get together and commission a small run of rare components; the late lamented Granby Motors once fronted up a batch of RD400 rear chrome guards. All of which is great if your bike is popular enough or your part is in sufficient demand but if it isn’t, what then? If you’re feeling flush then perhaps you might commission a one-off side-panel but few of us have that sort of money. Metal panels normally require huge investment in press tools and even then if they aren’t 100% the end product may not be marketable. 90 / classic motorcycle mechanics
Look at some of the pattern tanks coming out of Asia; living proof that for many of us near enough is not good enough. So if you’re stuck with, say, a rusty seat pan what options do you have? The age-old fix has been to make-doand-mend with that zenith of the bodgers’ art, GRP, or glass reinforced plastic, also known as fibreglass. Many a bike has had its seat salvaged by the application of some slap-dash resin and matting but in general terms it’s very often a stopgap at best. Applied over paint and rust the repair is never going to last so is there really another way? Faced with a crumbling seat off a 1968 Yamaha AS1 rescued from a wet Welsh coal cellar most sensible people would have walked away… but that’s not what I do! Second-hand bases are scarce and often no good; decent ones are mega money and rarer than honest politicians so I’m stuck with making the best of what I have. What follows is an unorthodox
approach to repairing what many might consider total scrap. Alternatively it’s restoration taken to the umpteenth degree but we’ll let CMM’s informed readers make that call. After all: our restoration, our judgement, our time, eh?
1 1/ We begin by removing the seat cover, carefully prising the metal clips off. The aim here is to preserve without damage as much of the original seat pan as possible, allied to minimum of distortion.
Project Honda CB750K2 part 2
aving been told that the K2’s engine did run but only using Easy-Start, I knew the carbs had to come off. CB750 carbs are very simple and pretty easy to work on: we start by taking off the fuel tank (Photo 1) and disconnecting the throttle cables or, in my case, cable. The model previous to mine, the K1, had an improved throttle linkage employing separate opening and closing cables operating a proper mechanical linkage rather than the primitive one-into-four opening cable splitter on the early bikes. But mine has no closing cable, despite having the correct two-cable handlebar throttle control. A CB750 I owned years ago used the early type throttle with the later carbs which usually worked okay, but the throttles did tend to stay open when they were shut quickly at high engine speeds. This would happen because the very high engine vacuum pulled the throttle slides strongly, thus increasing friction. The fix was to fit a much stronger closing spring but I do not recommend this as it becomes a real chore keeping the throttle open for any length of time. Before getting the carbs off we need to take off the air-cleaner case and I was pleased to see a new filter had been fitted (Photo 2) though it is not a genuine Honda one. Now we lever the carb assembly off the ‘insulators’ (connection hoses) and block them with rags or paper towels (Photo 3). Taking a look at what we now have (Photo 4) we can see brown goo which has been disturbed by the EasyStart and that spring in the middle does not look right. We can now separate the carbs by taking off the tiny split pins and washers which connect the choke linkage and undoing the four pairs of countersunk 1
Fuel tank off, disconnect the cables and we’re off! 106 / classic motorcycle mechanics
WORDS AND PHOTOS: MARK HAYCOCK
Carb cleaning! Mark strips the carbs on his CB750 and begins the process of cleaning them. What will he find? screws. Turning the linkage assembly over we see another incorrect spring and two screws which are not metric, are far too long and definitely not original (Photo 5). We can see what we are up against when we see the goo has completely blocked a hole in the air side of one carb (Photo 6). The individual carbs are easily separated and we can take them to bits, which does not take long. As far as keeping bits together is concerned, that only matters for parts which wear against each other such as throttle slides and bodies, jets and needles but you will still find that it makes sense to simply deal with the carbs separately. I just put everything into my ultrasonic cleaner (Photo 7) which made a pretty good job 2
Air-filter has to come out too: no, it’s not OE.
of it. So now we have a set of relatively clean bits to check through (Photo 8). The obvious things to examine are the jets and Photo 9 shows the three removable ones. On the left is the main jet, which as you probably know regulates fuel flow at very large throttle openings. Top right is the pilot or slow running jet, which does the same thing at small throttle openings. Lower right is the needle jet holder which, along with the needle and its corresponding jet, takes care of medium-throttle mixtures. You will notice that the two latter components have holes drilled across the main axes. These holes are to allow air in to mix with fuel to form a sort of foam, usually referred to as an emulsion. 3
Carb connector hoses get a good block up with rags.