Classic Motorcycles

Rocky

Still Rocking
Riding for 27 Years
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2006 T100 Bonneville
I am right there with you!!!
Same for me. This thread could use a better name. I don't see anything classic about them now, but maybe in 20 - 30 years.
Being the vintage bike fan that I am, it's the bikes from the 40's - 60's into the 70's that are the classics.
 

DaveM

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Yamaha Fazer 1000 – A Tyre Kickers Guide

We called out the Fazer 1000 as an ‘hmmm’ bike, back in January. But feedback from you says you like it. So here is some info on the bike as a used buy.

As mentioned on CB-Net in Jan, when it was launched back in 2001, the Fazer 1000 was being touted as an alternative to a sports bike.

In reality, the only similar thing to a sportsbike the machine had was price – a whopping £8100 – nearly £1900 dearer than the Bandit 1200! At the time an R1 was only a grand dearer. What was Yamaha thinking?

Not clearly, as a year later and Yamaha finally took the hint: the British public saw it as a Bandit/naked litre bike competitor (albeit a much higher spec one) and they saw sense to lower the price to a ‘mere’ £7234. At this price, it made more sense and the bike began to attract a good following. It was still pricier than the likes of the Suzuki Bandit, but it was more modern and higher-spec. It also offered a few more creature comforts than the Honda Hornet 900. It was never really an alternative to a sports bike – the Fazer was always a bit too softly suspended to be that.

Prices are variable: this was a bike that was often used for various things – commuting, touring, scratching… therefore you will get high-milers in bad condition, bikes with luggage/heated grips and tuned-up hot-rods.

Yamaha FZS1000 Fazer
Rough ones will start around a grand… but a good one should sit around £2k, with the early models with low miles going for around £2500-£3000…Whether you get one tooled-up for touring or sorted for scratching is up to you!

BRAKES: Not quite as good as on the R1. Why? Smaller master cylinder, different pad compound. Blue-Spot/Sumitomo calipers also suffer from neglect. Regular cleaning and stripping ensures better performance, as do softer pads and braided hoses.

SUSPENSION: The front is way too soft and the rear shocks lose their damping qualities and feel tired after as little as 6-8000 miles. Spend money here: either go for a spring suited to your weight or re-valve/service the shock. Many two-up Fazer owners think rear suspension work is vital. At the front owners drop the front forks through the yokes between 5-10mm to quicken up steering and also go for new fork springs and different fork oil to change the front’s traditionally soggy characteristics.

MOTOR: This is probably one of the finest carburated motors ever. You’ve got a rear-wheel figure of around 120bhp. With a top-end of around 160mph, the big Fazer is easily tuneable to around 130-140bhp without any reliability problems. The engine does have a smaller radiator than the R1, which means that in very hot conditions the fan can be on for prolonged periods.

CLUTCH: The beefy R1 clutch didn’t come with the original donor motor, which means that even mildly-tuned Fazers can burn clutches out quickly.

OIL CONSUMPTION: Like older Yamaha motors, consumption can be an issue – but not a problem. This is

EXUP VALVES: Typically, these will stick if neglected and not cleaned.

EXHAUSTS: A number of early 2001-2002 machines had poor-quality header pipes, which led to premature ‘blueing’ of the downpipes. Yamaha replaced them under warranty, but only on the owner’s request.

BUILD QUALITY: Engine paint can flake and many owners had engine re-painted under warranty. Paint is also known to flake off the frame rails too. Wheel paint is also soft and we’ve mentioned the pipes!

Yamaha FZS1000 Fazer (2001-2005)

Colours:
Red, black, silver, yellow, blue, yellow/black, red/black

Price new: £8100 (2001)

Comments: R1 engine and brakes meets a tubular chassis, Thunderace swingarm and soft but adjustable suspension.

Yamaha FZ1 (2006-on)

Colours:
Yellow, silver

Price new: £7199

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer 1000 (2006-on)

Colours:
Silver, blue, black, red

Price new: £7600

Websites: www.foc-u.co.uk/

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DaveM

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Modern classics from Weise

Weise Outlaw retro textile jacket
New for 2019, the Weise Outlaw retro textile jacket and Tundra jeans blend classic styling with thoroughly modern materials, protection and practicality.

The Outlaw Jacket has a tough 600 Denier textile outer shell and removable CE approved shoulder, elbow and back armour.

A breathable, waterproof and windproof lining keeps the rain out and a removable 120-gram quilted thermal liner keeps the warmth in.

Adjustable Neoprene®-trimmed collar, waist and cuffs – all secured with Velcro® – allow a snug fit and there are plenty of pockets, inside and out.

The Outlaw retails at £149.99 including vat, in sizes S-3XL and comes in Black or Grey.

Tough riding jeans built for day-long comfort, the Tundra feature stretch denim construction, reinforced with a 250gms Aramid Fibre lining.

Outlaw Retro Tundra motorcycle jeans
Double-stitched main seams offer added strength and removable CE approved knee armour comes as standard. For extra safety, there are interior pockets for additional CE approved Hip Protectors (available separately for £12.99).

They have a classic fit with a semi-boot cut and a short leg version is also available.

Available in traditional Black or Blue denim, sizes S-4XL, Tundra Jeans sell in the shops for £99.99 including vat.

For further information on the full range of Weise motorcycle clothing and accessories call 0117 9719200 or visit www.thekeycollection.co.uk.

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DaveM

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Bristol Bike Nights are back

The popular event runs from May to September and provides an opportunity for riders to meet and relax at the end of the week

Attractions for the season opening meeting include the Triumph Show Truck, featuring a Moto 2 bike and a Triumph Factory Custom Thruxton, a pre-production example of a limited edition model, with only 750 bikes being built and offered for sale worldwide.

Husqvarna will be attending too, displaying their exciting range of 2019 models, with staff on hand to answer any questions, and Muc-Off will be bringing a selection of their distinctive products to clean, protect and lube your motorcycle, with plenty of free advice on bike care.

Bristol Bike Night
Rocking sounds will be provided by DJ Chunky, with a BBQ in the car park for visitors to grab food on the go, while Harry’s Cafe will be serving freshly-prepared food throughout the evening, for those who wish to sit down for a more leisurely meal indoors.

There will be opportunities to talk to volunteers from Freewheelers ‘blood bikes’ service and to find out more about advance training and riding skills from the IAM. Local special traders SaddleSoreTed – the replacement seat service – and Badge Man will also be there.

The Bike of the Night award is back by popular demand, recognising interesting or unusual bikes ridden to the event.

Bristol Bike Night is at Fowlers Motorcycles from 5.30-8.30 pm on Friday 10th May, and then on on the first Friday of every month June-September. Entry is free and everyone is welcome, whatever they ride.

Fowlers is conveniently located at 2-12 Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3DR, on the A38 inner ring road and within a 5-minute walk of Temple Meads mainline railway station. Find out more by calling Fowlers on 0117 977 0466 or visiting www.fowlers.co.uk.

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DaveM

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Triumph Daytona T595/955i – A Tyre Kickers Guide

Now then… this was a real game-changer for people who loved British bikes – which was lots of us back in the late 1990s.

Looking back it could be argued that the original wasn’t quite the bike it was hyped to be: let’s just say that the weekly newspaper who broached early pics of the bike made it into some sort of FireBlade beater. It wasn’t… nor ever was. So, while the Honda FireBlade and Yamaha R1 went off in much sportier directions, Triumph quietly went about slowly refining the original T595 and ironing out the early problems to make it a fine road-biased sports machine.

It has to be said that riding the T595/955 was never as silky-smooth as swinging a leg over a Jap four-cylinder, but it had its own charms. OK, the clutch can be heavy, yes your wrists can ache on the early models, sure she runs hot, but it’s a visceral and involving ride.

There have been many changes to the family under the fairing panels of the original machine, with three major models being easily identifiable thanks to aesthetic changes. The general rule of thumb is that the bike has improved with age – remember that while buying (although the first models may have a cachet all of their own…)

WHAT GOES WRONG?

FRAMES:
Subject of an early recall on the first T595 model. Two types of frame weld were initially used and a few snapped: despite this, the factory acted quickly to recall and replace early frames leaving the owners happy with the way they had been treated. This recall was in 1997 and included recalls for ignition leads issues and a fuel pump problem. In 2001 potential problems with clutch cables fraying on 955s and other models led to a recall and in 2004 another recall thanks to the possibility of some male connectors fracturing in the wiring loom.

Triumph Daytona 955i
FUEL-INJECTION/ENGINE MANAGEMENT LIGHT:
The T595 used the Sagem FI system and this was modern stuff for the day. Often, the engine management light would come on for a number of different reasons. Any problems are soon sorted with a trip to your local dealer whose diagnostic equipment can find out the relevant fault code and solve the problem. Owners of later machines (Daytona 955i – 2002-on) have reported some problems with the light coming on just before the fuel light when the tank is running dry, or when the tank has just been filled.

BRAKES: Good as they came from the factory – need TLC to work well.

FORKS: Suspension is good, but externally the forks can suffer from pitting.

ELECTRICS: Clocks and speedos can die/have a mind of their own. Connectors/sensors are often the issue. Batteries that are nearly flat mean that the bike sometimes won’t start while the rest of the electrics will work. Sometimes, you’ll thumb the starter to hear nothing but a click, then you’ll do it again and it will start. Don’t upset the fuel-injection/engine management system by starting with an open throttle, either. Keep it closed when turning the engine over.

ENGINE: Issues are few and far between: some owners reported faulty camshaft position sensors. Do check behind the oil cooler and check that there’s plenty of clearance between the cooler itself and the two oil pipes themselves, if not slacken them off a tad, re-route them and then re-tighten them. This could save you a new oil-cooler. Oil leaks aren’t uncommon on early machines.

EXHAUSTS: End cans can be ‘leaky’ so watch the joins.

GEARBOX/CLUTCH: Early T595 owners have had fourth gear implode. Gear-change can feel sloppy but post-1998 bikes had a ‘direct-to-lever’ gear lever which made things better.

SHOCK: Finish can suffer big time but they last well. DO keep that single-sided adjuster hub lubed!

BUILD QUALITY: Varying on early bikes much improved on later machines. Original T595 and T509 machines had some very exposed electrical connectors which would fail at the first sniff of rain.

AFTERMARKET PARTS: If buying, try and get the parts with the bike if end-cans have been swopped. Premium can be paid for any Triumph-badged goodies.

Triumph T595 (1997-1998)

Colours:
yellow, silver, black, red

Price new: £9999

Comments: Early problems with weak frame welds and poor gearboxes soon forgotten as the bike sail past the FireBlade in outright sales for a little while.

Triumph Daytona 955i (1997-1999)

Colours:
yellow, silver, black, red

Price new: £9999

Comments: In 1998 the T595 name is dropped to avoid confusion with the on-coming TT600 and the bike is re-named 955i. 1999 sees new graphics, a new rear shock and lighter engine internals in an otherwise identical motor.

Triumph Daytona 955i (2000-2001)

Colours:
silver, blue, black, yellow

Price new: £8599

Comments: Wheelbase reduced by 15mm.

Triumph Daytona 955i (2001-2003)

Price new: £8599

Colours: Blue, silver, red, yellow

Comments: The first major aesthetic change sees a lighter, shorter dual-arm swinger, bigger fuel tank, updated front fairing, headlights, bodywork and digital clocks. Frame is the same, but with a steeper head angle. The motor benefits from an extra 19bhp thanks to some work on the cylinder head and an increase in compression ratio from 11.2:1 to 12:1. Lighter con-rods, re-shaped air-box helps the bike find an extra 1500 revs. Lighter front-wheel from the TT600 also helps speed up steering a tad.

Triumph Daytona 955i (2003-on)

Price new:
£7649

Colours: Red, silver, black, yellow

Comments: Return to a single-sided swingarm and smoother looks.

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DaveM

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Kawasaki ZXR1200 – A Tyre Kickers Guide

Well I never, do you know the ZRX series has been with us for 22 years? And it’s surging ahead, used-value-wise…

Let’s set our stall out early doors – this article looks at both the Eddie Lawson replica ZRX1200R and the half-faired oddity the S model. And – of course – that rarer than rare model the fully naked ZRX1200…

The model first came along in 1997 in 1100cc format, sporting a retro square headlight and looks that were a mix of Eddie’s AMA Superbike ‘ELR’ (Eddie Lawson Replica) and the Z1-R from the 1980s. With an increase in capacity engine-wise for 2001 came another two models – the half-faired S and the round-light naked model which both joined the bikini-faired Eddie-rep R model. All of them had the reliable ZZ-R1100 motor at their heart, along with old-fashioned carbs, analogue clocks and fuel-tap (remember those?)

Performance wise and in the back-to-back tests of the day the 1100 and 1200 did well – especially the ‘R’ version, which really looked the part and stirred the soul. The big Kwak both handled and had more grunt than the likes of the Yamaha XJR, Bandit 12 or CB1000 and handled far better than the Suzuki GSX1400: it was only when the CB1300 came out in 2003 that it really had any big competition.

Kawasaki ZRX1200
Prices today have strengthened madly… people want these bikes. Six or seven years back you could find a rough one for £1000-£1500, now it’s the unfancied S-version that sits lowest at around £2000-£2500 for a high-miler (they’re comfy and often used for touring) rising to around £3000 – daft, really. OK, so now the fancied R-version often with the Eddie Lawson green paint (even if it’s the wrong shade and metallic) is at daft prices. Sit down when we tell you that these start now at around £3500 for half-decent bikes and that low-milers can go as high as £8000 with one 2008 three-miler (currently) going up for £15,000. Crazy, mad, plain daft: but, little wonder that Dave Marsden from Kawasaki parts specialists Z-Power bought/kept one of the last green 1200Rs sold in the UK…Amazing to think the last list price was just £6475!

BRAKES: Good and bad to report here: as original the six-pot Tokicos were great but time hasn’t (often) been kind so get them cleaned up properly (www.powerhouse.uk) know just what makes these calipers work well. Pad-wise, Carbone Lorraine, EBC HH and Bendix pads work.

ENGINE: The revvy nature of the ZRX was often at odds with its image, but (in traditional Kawasaki form) it was the most power in class of the day: around 120bhp claimed at 8500rpm. Many owners do go one tooth down at the front and one up on the back for better acceleration. Some also go the ZZ-R cam route, with correct jetting etc. (www.pdq1.com) PDQ tuners are good at this…

BUILD QUALITY: Not badly finished, but some bolts/hangers can deteriorate/lose paint over time. Things like pillion foot-pegs: one year they were polished, the next painted black. Sadly the paint finish isn’t too good on these, with moisture getting under them and breaking up the paint. It can be the same on the engine. Some owners have reported successful warranty claims to get replacement parts. On hangers it’s easy enough to strip back and re-spray.

SUSPENSION: The best suspension providers do progressive fork springs and rear-shocks for the ZRX, with Ohlins, WP and Hagon being the most popular. They do help as the original Kayabas can go off after 20-30K: understandably…

RECALLS: In September 2001, a recall was issued over the incorrect routing of wiring on the 1200R which could lead to a the indicators and instrument lights not working: you have been warned!

Kawasaki ZRX1100 (1997-2000)

Colours:
Purple, silver, candy-green, black, red.

Price new: £7545 (1998)

Comments: With a 1052cc engine coming from the ZZ-R1100 of the 1990s, the bike was de-tuned to around 100bhp, but with a chassis and aesthetics from way before.

Kawasaki ZRX1200R (2001-2006)

Colours:
candy-green with racing stripes, silver with stripes, red with black stripes, blue with stripes, lime-green with stripes (2006),

Price new: £6395 (2001) £6745 (2006)

Comments: In came a bigger motor (1164cc) and more power (around 115bhp.) Colours changed marginally over the years – Eddie Lawson green still the favourite.

Kawasaki ZRX1200S (2001-2003)

Colours:
blue, red, grey

Price new: £6595 (2001)

Comments: The ‘S’ is the same as the other models save for a much more practical half-fairing. This made the bike a better proposition for distance and the result was a machine which was a very under-rated mile-muncher.

Website:

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grandpaul

Old Bike Lover
Riding for 49 Years
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Legend 900 Triple
Oh heck yes...
43934

Still have the 1200R!
 
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DaveM

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Stratford Autojumble – This Weekend!

It’s a brand new event but Stratford Autojumble offers the chance for a good old-fashioned rummage! This year, May 12 and September 15 are the dates to pencil into your diary for lazy Sundays browsing for bits and bobs – or maybe bolts and belts –for your unfinished automotive project.
It’s just how Sundays should be!

The event takes pride of place in the centre ring of Stratford Racecourse, where you will find stalls packed from pillar to post with everything for your car/bike/bus/anything on wheels. Specialist and general trade stands will be aiming to tickle your fancy with items to fill that special spot in your shed!



Event opens from 9.30am.

Location;

Stratford Racecourse
Luddington Road
Warwickshire
CV37 9SE

Click here for tickets.

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DaveM

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Back to the 80s!

We love a good/mad collector, so meet Eduardo Sanz who has more than a few motorcycles from his favourite decade.

OK let’s set our stall out now… we know we said ‘Back to the 80s’ but Eduardo Sanz also has a few machines from other decades too… mainly the later decade, some from the previous one, but you’ll see why when you read on. Collecting, it seems, can be addictive…

classic bike collection
Our friend Eduardo recalls: “I remember that back in 1980 I was 16 and here in Spain something new was beginning in the motorcycle world. Just a few short years later – in around 1982 – I saw my first Japanese motorcycle, which was the Honda VF750. It was a revelation to me and for me this started modern motorcycling I will never forget the moment. The wheels were 16-inches at both ends, it had a square cross-section frame, not tubular like all the other bikes you’d see at the time and – best of all – the motor inside that frame was liquid-cooled. I was 17-18 at the time and I was interested in bike racing and the machines coming out in the early 1980s were looking more and more like those race machines that I loved. I was so very passionate about the Honda at the time but was too young and had no money to buy one as I was studying hard. Of course then came other machines, that were even more sporty and in some cases looked identical to race bikes, machines such as 1984’s Kawasaki GPz900R and (a year later) Suzuki’s GSX-R750 and Yamaha’s FZ750.

“When I started my collection in 1995 it was this that was in my head: I wanted to find these amazing machines which changed things so much for me and biking at the time. So, I began my collection when I started with the Yamaha FZ750, it was in 1995 that I bought it so it was a decade old even then, but it cost something like 20% of the original value – it was a bargain in my eyes! I had always loved the FZ so figured it would be a good bet as a future classic. Soon my collection grew with an original VFR750, Suzuki Katana and I bought a Kawasaki GPZ900R. From my original four I began to collect around two bikes a year. Some – like the Honda CBX1000 six-cylinder – were naked, old-fashioned machines, but most were sportsbikes. In the early 1980s – about 1983/4 I was studying in the United States and I used to love reading Cycle World, so you’d see the CX500 Turbo and the turbo bikes really made a hit with me. Over the years I’ve had to collect them all: so I have the Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo, I have the CX500 and the Yamaha XJ650 Turbo so I want the Suzuki XN85 and maybe the CX650 Turbo…Maybe, one day!

“I work in advertising and the media, so while I’m lucky to work in an environment I love, it is great as it means weekends are for the bikes and I’m running out of space and finding it difficult to keep them all going – you cannot, not use these machines can you? Therefore, I ride them all regularly, if not they start losing oil, liquids and the brakes get stuck so I have a rota system and ride five one weekend and then the next five the week after…

Eduardo Sanz classic bike collection
“I also had a web-page carrying many of the classic Spanish road tests of the time from Dennis Noyes. Dennis is so much a part of my passion for sports bikes. He is a very special writer and he lives in Spain. The website focuses on 1980s sports bikes and has a tribute to Dennis too. I love to share my bikes with people and to hear people say ‘wow’ and ask me questions about the various models and I think maybe one day when I’m retired I will dedicate myself to my collection. Although it needs updating after some years dormant, it is at: www.classiceightiesmotorbikes.com

“I’m often asked to bring one or more of my collection to an event or test of the latest version. It happened when the new VFR was launched and it was interesting to see how the machine had developed over the years, this was with Motos 1000 in Spain. They had four TV programmes all about my collection. I was also lucky to go to the GP Legends event in Jerez. I went as a journalist and it was amazing interviewing my heroes such as Kevin Schwantz, ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer and Phil Read.

“With my love of racing I do look at my collection and see what influence this had on the sportsbikes of the time. And also it’s a reminder of what amazing racing we had back then – the two-strokes were so hard to ride. We now have many Spaniards racing and winning such as Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and before Dani Pedrosa but back then we only had Alex Criville as champion and he really only won as Mick Doohan was forced to retire. Sure we previously had Sito Pons and Juan Garriga but all others found it hard in 500s against the Australians and Americans so the best they could hope for was sixth, seventh or eighth, apart from Alex who was close to Mick Doohan.

classic bikes
“If you want to collect, my advice is: keep it standard. All my bikes are standard; standard exhausts, standard indicators, paint: everything. I often have to change parts myself but it is worth it as I want a bike that’s as if it has come off the production line. I look for places to get parts. For example, the Honda CBR600F from 1994 I have had its wheels painted a different colour, the screen was different and the rear licence plate guard was cut down. I had to make the changes to standard myself which took time and money. Sometimes it’s cheaper to find a bike standard as it can cost making these changes but the best investment is a standard bike.

“Sometimes I am lucky and get the right bike for a good price: such as the Yamaha FZR750R: the bike before the OW-01. This was a very limited-edition model and was brought to Spain for homologation for racing to sell – but many didn’t. In Spain they sold the 600cc and 1000cc models. A dealer in Spain went to the factory in Japan and saw six or seven of the 750cc machines there and ordered two. Back in Spain he put a licence plate from an EXUP on one and rode it, the other he didn’t touch. A year ago I found he was selling the two bikes as ‘classic Yamahas’ so I called him and had the bike which had little use – just three kilometres on the clocks – all for 6500 Euros. A bargain as it is worth so much more as it is such a rare machine.

“I would say my favourite ride has to be the RC30 as it rides so well and it means so much… it’s like a racing bike, it is so small and the engine is so good. OK, it is not so powerful but it makes good torque and like is like a racing bike compared to the ‘big camel’ which is the EXUP! And there is so much history with the model, it won the first two World Superbike championships and it is an icon, one of the most important bikes of the 1980s in my opinion.

classic bikes
“I do love 80s bikes, but 1990s ones too as this was when I started my collection in 1995 so this was this that was in my head and after all the RC30 spans both decades. This is why I have a few 1990s bikes in my collection too. The 1992 Honda FireBlade was such a big change to the EXUP that I had to have that in my collection – the Suzuki GSX-R750WT SRAD of 1996 too and the 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1. These and the likes of the Ducati 916 changed biking in the 1990s. I also have a YZF750R – but I wish it was the SP version, but maybe one day!”

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DaveM

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Barry Sheene tribute Suzuki GSX-R

Check out this Barry Sheene tribute Suzuki GSX-R which can pump out 10.2 second quarter mile times! Karl Webster tells all!

It was way back in 2011/2012 that I decided I was going to build a stock standard 1985 GSX-R750 slab-sider in blue and white with a nice single seat.

I’ve always loved them from the time I was 16. This was when the guy down the road took his to work every day and parked it outside until he put it away that night. I think he did it just to tease me and my mate as we walked home from school. It was mega!

1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 Slabside Barry Sheene Replica
Years later I bought one that was standard but had fairing damage, but it seemed to be all there as a good ground-up restoration. However, after stripping it down I found a part that needed TIG-welding properly so took it to an engineer friend who asked what the part was from: when I told him, he said he had the very same bike in his shed, hidden under some blankets. After removing the covers there sat a 1986 GSX-R1100 in race trim! The first questions from me were ‘is it for sale’ followed by ‘does it work?’ A yes to both soon saw the bike in my grubby mitts – and all for a great price!

So it was that the 750 was cast aside into the corner of the garage as I knew straight away what I was going to do with this beast. For me this was going to become a visual feast. And with this in mind I began to send a lot of time trawling the internet to see any GSX-Rs I liked the look of. During my many hours online, I found a picture of a bike that I couldn’t get out of my head. It was a GSX-R1100 1986 model, like mine, that someone had made a brilliant version of a Barry Sheene replica, based loosely on his title-winning RG500. What did it was the stunning rear-end that looked just like the RG500 from the 1970s. From the pictures I could see ‘HMR’ on the bike, so a Google or two later and I tracked down the guy and he also lived in Australia, in Queensland. Soon me and Jim from Hand Made Racers were firm friends. He is an accomplished specials builder and builds race replicas and performance engines. I bought an RG500 GP tail piece from him and had the holes filled in, then cut and shut it and extended the front and also moulded a seat base with the help of Todd my own fibreglass friend. Jim’s 1100 looked different and I couldn’t work out why it looked racier than normal! Then it fell into place when he told me to put my 750 tank on the bike. I did and it just looked so right.

Now it was off to see John Wilkinson – my partner in crime and the man who could diagnose all the mechanical problems we had and put together a parts list for me to track down. We also spent many hours looking at pictures of Barry Sheene’s title winning bikes along with Jim’s example, so we had a plan to set rolling.

Suzuki GSXR750 Slabside Barry Sheene Replica
I had the tail piece and all the standard fairing originals so we did a dry fit where we found we needed to fit a second sub-frame to position the RG ducktail into the perfect position. This had to be made by John, who made one from cardboard and it was almost perfect so we went to work made some adjustments then cut and welded one from aluminium: it looked and worked great. Meanwhile I kept pestering my new friend Jim from HMR for all the short-cuts and mods he made to save us with trial and error.

The bike got stripped to the bone and John gave me my list of parts to find and jobs for me to source outside of his workshop: like having the rims stripped and powder-coated. The motor came apart to assess the damage and gearbox problem. New parts were needed for the gearbox including selector forks, second gear and so on. I’m glad that the bike had the problem in the end because whoever had it apart before had taken some shocking short cuts that would have been very messy if we didn’t find them earlier.

Suspension was next: the forks came apart, the shock came apart and the swingarm had a brace engineered for it, so now things were really rolling. We gave the frame a light etch with the sand blaster, including the fork legs and all these parts got a coat of two-pack paint then a clear coat with a matting agent for a great satin finish overall. I left John in peace to put it back together as a rolling chassis then he assembled the motor and fitted it in with some race headers. We also blasted and repainted the calipers in Brembo gold with a logo that looked cool so we turned the front callipers around to give it that period look and to hide the anti-dive cylinders.

Being a former sign-writer, I was left to re-draw all the graphics that Barry wore on his bike. It was very time consuming, finding, drawing and making the decals to size but it’s a great feeling seeing them rolling out of the digital printer. The hard part is the three colours: black yellow and red all have to be painted so there are hours of pin-stripe masking in between colours, which takes up so much time and patience. I sat the decals on my 750 between each colour to make every panel, including the hard-to-do striping lined up. With all the decals cleared and laid out on John’s billiard table, I was now waiting for him to do his magic by getting this thing to run.

Suzuki GSXR750 Slabby
The bike came with 750 flat-slides so we left them on as they are easier to tune according to John. When we opened up the exhaust like we did I found it was a Yoshimura Cyclone muffler. So, we stripped the fake carbon wrap off it. I polished it myself and it looked like one straight out of the box in the end. The dash I made that contained the old instruments were fitted to the old ignition mount points and John then wired it back into the loom. After connecting the speedo we realised turning the forks and calipers around the speedo would not work so we made up a new spacer and turned the wheel around – problem solved! By now it was really coming together I was replacing every bolt I could see for that new look. I mounted a 6mm fork brace plate I made on the CNC router with a Yoshi logo and John mounted the battery under the petrol tank where the air-box once lived. We mounted a new ignition under the seat unit and left it hidden to keep it racy.

When we fired it up for the first time it was all about loud flames and adrenalin for both of us! Then it was fairing time and piece by piece this thing just came to life in that amazing and unique colour scheme which really summed up the 1970s. The excitement of all those hours spent in the workshop, paint booth and on the internet now seemed so worth it. I simply fitted the new screen, then the grips and there it stood: the beast was ready to ride. After riding we noticed a few teething problems, which is never unusually in a project like this. As soon as we sorted the jetting and put a big Renthal sprocket on the back, the thing was pulling like a train.

I entered it in the Geelong Revival were people drag their classic and period motorcycles and cars on a quarter-mile timed bit of bitumen along the beach front. The real catch is that the quarter-mile has a fairly sharp bend in it! The Old Bull pulled a 10.2 second flat and won the road registered class and second place outright in all the classes, which made it a great day with a great bike!

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DaveM

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Success for Stratford Autojumble!

Stratford Racecourse is renowned as the home of horsepower and last weekend was no exception as the very first Stratford Autojumble was filled with the sound of cars, motorbikes and visitors.

Stratford Autojumble
May 12 saw the start of the jumble season in Warwickshire with the Stratford Autojumble. Sponsored by RH Insurance, the Autojumble gave punters the chance to have a good old-fashioned rummage for those elusive bits and bobs, with perfect weather bringing the jumblers out in their masses.

Whether it was to find that missing piece of the automotive jigsaw or restocking on essentials, the crowd spent hours browsing hundreds of stalls. From vintage petrol tanks to chrome bumpers, Stratford’s first Autojumble had it all.

Stratford Autojumble
Event organiser Andy Catton said: “It was a brilliant first event for traders and visitors alike. The feedback we have received has been truly amazing; we can’t wait to make our September jumble bigger and better.”

Keep up to date on all things Stratford Autojumble by following their social accounts at @StratfordAutojumble and @AutojumbleUK

Attention for the organisers now turns to the September event which will be held on September 15, 2019. Tickets can be purchased in advance which allows customers to beat the queues. Go to www.stratfordautojumble.co.uk for more information or call 01507 529430 for all trade enquiries.

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DaveM

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More bikes on the box

More episodes of The Motorbike Show, Series 8, are scheduled for May.
In Episode 4 of this brand new series, Henry Cole rides through Andalucia in Spain, meets Zef Eisenberg – one of the fastest men on two wheels – and visits a specialist workshop where they restore vintage speedometers.

Episode 5 is the penultimate of the series; Henry goes motorcycling in the stunning Yorkshire Dales, tells the story of Indian – one of America’s most venerable motorbike brands – and begins the rebuild of his vintage BSA Gold Star.

The Motorbike Show, Series 8, Episode 4, is on ITV4 at 9pm on Thursday 23rd May and Episode 5 on Thrsday 30th May at the slightly later time of 10pm .

Details on the ITV4 website at www.itv.com/hub/the-motorbike-show/1a9745

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DaveM

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Igor Akrapovic

If you’re into your performance exhausts, you’ll know the name: Igor Akrapovic formed Skorpion exhausts in 1990 and they soon became the biggest name in performance exhausts.

Following a name clash between themselves and a car exhaust manufacturer, Skorpion became Akrapovic in 1997. Based in Slovenia – a part of the former Yugoslavia – they’ve helped power some of the top race teams around the globe and sold hundreds of thousands of road systems for our favourite modern classics.

Igor started out making injection-moulded plastic goods in his dad’s factory:

“It’s true! But in my spare time I worked on engines and tuned them in between racing a little myself from 1977. I realised that the main thing that was missing were high-performance exhaust systems made to a very high quality. We built an exhaust, allowed a German superbike team to test it and they found it was better than the factory system. The first exhausts were built in 1990, we later had around six staff: we built 2500 in 1994, 5000 in 1995 and – in 1999 – my proudest moment when our exhausts were used by every single one of the Japanese factory teams in World Superbike. By the mid-2000s we were building 40,000 exhausts a year, making us one of Slovenia’s big success stories, getting through up to 100 tons of titanium a year! Today we employ around 450 people.”

Racing drove the firm forward:

Igor Akrapovic
“We started in the German national class – Pro Superbike – then the World Superbike class and our superbike activity grew. In MotoGP we worked with the Kawasaki factory team and sometimes other manufacturers – but not officially. (Rumour has it Rossi’s 2003 MotoGP Honda ran an Akra badged as something else…)

Popular products in the ‘modern classic’ area include:

“Ones for the most popular machines, such as the Yamaha YZF-R1 or Suzuki GSX-R1000: the exhausts with the most variations over the years must be for the Kawasaki ZX-7RR and Honda’s SP-1 and SP-2 race machine. We all know that the Kawasaki was racing for so long it changed many times, while we had to match the exhaust to Honda’s changes to their WSB twin. These two machines had many different variations and our changes we like to think helped them win the 2002 title.”

Under-seat exhausts:

“The under-seat exhaust had more to do with aesthetic design, than performance. For us, the ‘standard’ position of a can was either on the left or the right was always best for performance and our logo could easily be seen! With under-seat exhausts you also had weight high-up and on the rear of the bike, which is also not good.”

From the late 1990s into the 2000s the biggest changes were:

“Noise and emissions regulations: they were and are the biggest challenges we face in our business. We have motorcycles from different manufacturers and different regulations covering the World, so sometimes it was difficult to make exhausts that can be approved for road use.”

Akrapovic is best because:

“Over the years we’ve re-invested all the money into new technical equipment, into development and into new machinery for the factory. We also offer our customers the same product that our race teams use: that’s our philosophy. All the staff is also 100% dedicated: everybody has to be committed to the product. Not just the engineers, or development staff, welders, production or any one section. It’s ALL the staff. Everybody has to do a perfect job and this commitment is very important to us. This is why historically we pay so much more than the average Slovenian wage.”

It’s not just bikes:

“We have had to diversify over the years: we’ve made motocross exhausts, all-terrain vehicle exhausts and we’ve also worked in Formula 1 and had small projects, which have been interesting. Over the years we’ve worked with partners such as Porsche, BMW, Audi as well as motorcycle manufacturers and joined forces with many different alloy suppliers to develop new systems. We always wanted to develop new products and use the latest materials and be the very best.”

The name is pronounced:

A-krap-o-vich.”

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DaveM

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MX-GP of Assen To Star at Stafford!

IDBSLOGO - IMAGE-CREDIT-MORTONS-MEDIA-GROUP

IDBS logo – image credit Mortons Media Group

The International Dirt Bike Show moves to Stafford Showground this autumn and the new dates of September 28-29 have already proved a hit with traders. Organisers Mortons Media Group Ltd can now officially announce that there will also be live streaming of the MX-GP which race fans can watch on huge screens throughout the weekend – meaning visitors will certainly get the best of both worlds – enjoying a top class event full of the newest bikes, latest kit and parts – whilst not missing the much anticipated Motocross of Nations at Assen!

With Yamaha and Kawasaki having already confirmed their attendance, along with a long list of core dirt bike traders, the event will certainly be kicking off in its new home in style.

Visitors can enjoy the weekend of action – on and off screen – by camping at the show for only £20 plus their gate entry. Visit www.dirtbikeshow.co.uk for more information.

For more information about trading at The International Dirt Bike Show, please contact Andy Catton on 01507 529594

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DaveM

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Stealthy streetwear from Weise

New from Weise, the Stealth looks like a classic black hoodie on the outside, but inside it is fitted with CE-armour and a tough aramid lining, so you can move from bike to street with style.

Ideal for urban rides, the Stealth is made from heavy-duty cotton, lined with aramid fibre throughout. A mesh overlay adds to comfort in hot weather and makes it easier to put on/take off.

Weise stealth hoody
CE-approved shoulder, elbow and back protection comes as standard and can be removed, so the jacket can be worn casually.

The hood has drawstring adjustment, to help seal out the cold on chilly days, and is also removable, creating a ‘sweatshirt’ style.

Elasticated and ribbed ribbed hem and cuffs seal out drafts and and there’s a short connection zip, which can be attached to Weise motorcycle trousers. Both external pockets have zipper closure, to keep contents safe on the move, and additional internal pockets provide space for valuables.

The Weise® Stealth Hoodie comes in sizes Small to 5XL in black, is covered by a two-year warranty, and retails at £119.99 including VAT.

For further information on the full range of Weise motorcycle clothing and accessories call 0117 9719200 or visit www.thekeycollection.co.uk.

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DaveM

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Degrease with Diamondbrite

Diamondbrite Degreaser strips built-up oil and grease from a multitude of bike parts, including wheels, chain and sprocket, for quick and easy cleaning.

Grease, oil, chain lube and general road grime can be amongst the most stubborn contaminants to remove from a motorcycle, and act like a magnet for dirt and dust particles.

Specially formulated to be tough on grease but gentle on the variety of metals and other surfaces found on motorcycles, Diamondbrite Degreaser takes off lubricants – and the dirt they attract – without the need for scrubbing; it will even tackle stubborn chain lube residue found around the back wheel.

Degrease with Diamondbrite
Quick and easy to apply, it uses a spray-on-rinse-off formula, so there is no need for brushes and sponges or complicated pre-treatments. Once it’s done its job, it simply washes away, leaving all parts completely clean and ready for the re-application of lubricants where necessary.

Diamondbrite Degreaser comes in a 500ml spray bottle for easy application and is priced £9.95 including VAT.

It’s part of the complete range of Diamondbrite motorcycle specific aftercare products, which are all meticulously blended and bottled within the company’s ISO accredited UK factory.

Visit www.jewelultra.com for more information.

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Rocky

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2006 T100 Bonneville
Looks like a good product, but not available here.
I use WD40 on my rear wheels to dissolve dirt and grime.
 

DaveM

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Rumble in the autojumble at ‘Normous Newark

What – ‘Normous Newark Autojumble

When – June 2, 2019

Where – Newark Showground, Winthorpe, Coddington, Newark NG24 2NY

Newark motorcycle autojumble
With Summer starting to come our way, it’s time to get out and about and find yourself a hidden treasure to help with that project bike or something just to fill that empty space in the garden shed. ‘Normous Newark is the perfect place to be. Spanning 10 separate Sundays throughout the year, ‘Normous Newark Autojumble is hailed as the go-to event for all things car and motorbike related. Showgoers can revel in the vast array of parts, restoration services and related products for all things automotive.

Each ‘Normous Newark Autojumble sees Newark Showground filled with hundreds of inside and outside trade plots, as well as a classic car and bike display area. On-site catering units are available, as well as an inside cafeteria.

Run by a friendly and experienced team of event staff from Mortons Media, each ‘Normous Newark Autojumble attracts a large number of visitors from across the UK in search of the great finds and bargains on offer.

Kawasaki KR-1
Newark Showground is situated just off the A1/A46 and A47 junction, and offers easy access from Newark, Lincoln and Nottingham. Early bird admission (from 8am) is £10 per person, standard admission (from 10am) is just £7 per person, with under-12s allowed in free of charge. Free trade newspapers are available for guests at the visitor gate, with friendly dogs welcomed as long as they are on a lead.

“‘Normous is always a go-to event for the patrons that want to find something a little special, and it’s always guaranteed to be a great day out,” said event planner, Nick Mowbray.

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