Wednesday 22 June 2016

XS400 to 450 Project (part 2) - Removing cylinder liners

Now this is my very personal recipe for crepe รก la performance: Take a well aged cylinder block, put it on some stands and gently heat it in the oven to two-hundred degrees for thirty minutes.

Some weight atop the liners does speed up the process.

Wait for the noise...

The press-fit of the liners in the block is just a mere 0.05 to 0.10mm. (This will become quite important later.)

Saturday 18 June 2016

XS400 to 450 Project (part 1) - Introduction

In classic bike racing 400cc is a nasty displacement: Too big for the 350cc class and just not beefy enough for the 500cc.

So what's the most logical thing? Go big. Unfortunately the XS400 series started out as an XS360 and was bored out to be more competitive. That said, a 15mm gudgeon pin is definitely lightweight, but not exactly durable and the conrod's small end is a bit flimsy to put it mildly and has a distinct tendency towards deformation.

Luckily a bit of research yielded some very, very interesting results. Now Suzuki's GS500 E is a pretty awesome parts donor, its 74mm diameter pistons being a nice upgrade over the stock 69mm items. With bore and stroke being rather close 52.4mm on the XS and 56.6mm on the GS500 E the pistons are actually pretty close in their overall dimensions.

Now a bit more internet research yielded an interesting result in the shape of FJ1100/1200 and XJR1200/1300 conrods to lower the pistons as the compression height of GS500 pistons is a tad higher than the stock XS400 items.

XS400 cylinders in the back, GS500 in the front.

An otherwise stock XS400 crank and two XJR1200 conrods in the front.

The money shot: The new piston is almost bigger than the bore in the cylinder, with the sleeve removed!

The XJR1200 conrod on the crank.

... and installed.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

The XS400 RatRacer (part 6) - Finishing touches (For Sale)

 Right, there wasn't much left to do in order to get the XS400 RatRacer into presentable shape.

Polished all the shiny bits

Finished off the heat-shields! (They are now welded on properly, and if I may very humbly say so, they look the part, I think.)

Proper brakes - everything new: new pistons, seals, brake-pads, steel-braided brakehose

The workplace: Bare essentials.

You think this bike's cool? Drop me a line and let's have a chat about it. It's gotta go as I have an aircooled RD Racer waiting...

Saturday 11 June 2016

The XV750 CafeRacerProject: The fuel tank

So my friend Andi has asked me to help him with his XV750 CafeRacerProject and wave my magic blue-glue stick over some of the parts on the bike.

Now if there's one thing that has become a bit of an ugly stereotype with Virago caferacers, it has to be the Benelli Mojave tank. Luckily Andi has shown some taste and decided to alter the stock XV750 fuel tank.

The first step was to remove the rear lip and then weld in a plate to raise the back of the fuel tank.

 Bit of grinding later

 The tank mount is a generic Chinese (AliExpress) item, but it looks pretty awesome.

And that's the mount on the frame.

And while we were at it, I quickly knocked up a mount for the K&N airfilter.

(No worries, this one of the projects I am working on at the moment, so there's more to come...)

Wednesday 8 June 2016

The Turbo TR1 (part 13) - First ride 'n' rejet and thousands of small things

I admit I was more than cautious, when it came to jetting the Turbo TR1. So the last few days (and test-runs) were mostly spent with leaning out the carb starting at a #310 mainjet and now being down to a #220. The old girl is still running overly rich and isn't coming on boost right, so she tops at around 2-3PSI, but the results are staggering.

Torque, TORQUE and even more T-O-R-Q-U-E. But the power comes on so smooth that after my first ride I was honestly disappointed, because I thought it didn't work at all. Only after switching back to my Everyday TR1 I figured HOW MUCH MORE POWERFUL the Turbo really is.

Back enough of my gibberish, I guess you would much rather see some footage of the Turbo in action:

In order to get to that point a little battery box had to be built, which brings to another VERY cool item: LiFePo-batteries.