Tuesday 26 October 2021

The SR500 sidecar build - solution to the clutch conundrum (part 4)

 In the post on engine assembly, I reported that the clutch isn't working correctly. After searching far and wide, I found out that with another clutch basket I had in the parts bin, it worked flawlessly. The reason for it not working can be seen below - the gasket's bushing doesn't protrude past the surface of the outer clutch hub, effectively locking the inner and outer clutch hub together.

As you can see, the gear on the back can be fitted in two orientations. Now if it's done as on the right, with the lip facing outwards, the clutch basket will never fully engage...

Sunday 24 October 2021

The SR500 sidecar build - you can have it any colour you want, as long as it's black (part 3)

At some point down the line, with an old bike with completely shot paint there's always the question: what about the paint. Now there's a lot of things to say about ol' Henry Ford (and not all of them are nice ones), but his colour palette for the Model T - on point. (Little side note here: if you want to burn off stickers, make sure the tank's really well vented. Also, if you don't care about the paint underneath, this is a brilliant technique. Just needs a few touch ups here and there and you end up with a really nice tank afterwards.)

A bare metal would probably look dead nuts cool too, but even with a good 2K-clear I am not sure it would last through a single Winter and Winter-use is where it's going to be at with this bike.

 As I am not a huge fan of watching paint dry and the list was still well long enough with technical bits that needed to be tackled. First on the list was a grease nipple on the swingarm bolt and two outlets as those bolts have the unpleasant habit of seizing in the bushing they ride in.

There was a good (used) chain on the bike, but it turned out to be only moderately more expensive to get a new (super-cheap) chain instead. Unfortunately it was of the rivet-type, but as I do not expect it to last much more than a single Winter anyway...

And then lastly there was the need for a mighty silencer, because a) not pissing off the neighbours too much is cool and b) lots of room is the basis for making good power. (Also I had exactly the same setup on the first SR500 sidecar and it performed VERY well.)

Now, if you want a new ignition lock, you can buy the original replacement part from your Yamaha-dealer for around 80-90 Euros or you get a cheap knock-off copy for an RD350 and then make an adapter plug. (Check the pin-out yourself, but the layout in the picture below works for me.)

A set of new brake shoes for the rear, a bit of lube on the cam and a new cleanup of the rear drum should sort out the brakes on this end just fine.

Aside from the fact that the rear brake lever linking pin got lost - all new and shiny in stainless now and the foot brake lever got another grease nipple, because of it's intended future use.

Fitting the rear spring is the most annoying job on the whole bike and yes, I forgot the stopper/adjuster bolt and yes again, I'll fit one.

I am not running some personal vendetta against vacuum operated petcocks, but I do run a personal vendetta... No seriously, those Guzzi petcocks for 8 Euros are cheaper than the repair kit for a stocker and just plain work. You do need to make an M16x1 to 47mm hole-spacing adapter. Nothing one can't knock up in an hour or so on a lathe and with a pillar drill.

And there she is - looking all sexy in black.

So at this point it was about time to turn my attention to some of the remaining inner values, i.e a few bits on the loom which where exceptionally shoddy and then have a look at the Velorex I bought and find out how good or bad it actually was.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Long range touring mods Mk.2

Just like any good idea, the basic idea behind my long range touring forwards controls was sound, but the implementation left room for some improvements.

 A bit of CAD-work...

... and quite a bit of manual work.

And the first side looks rather promising.

Aside from being too long. (220mm forwards are just too much and there would be no room for the shift lever.) Trimmed off 20mm and now everything clears...

The rear brake lever was not quite so lucky. 

So a quick verdict: The shift lever is a tad too long (I can *just* reach it with my toes, when shifting up) and the rear brake lever needs to be lowered. These are all just minor details that have to be addressed, nothing serious really. The elephant in the room is the fact that the current bars are too low and as a result the seating position is not quite what I had in mind for this bike. I'll do the mods and then probably try it out at a later date to find out, whether it's comfy enough then, but to be honest, for daily use, I'll revert to the stock footpegs.

Thursday 7 October 2021

The SR500 sidecar build - a motorcycle can't be single cylindrical and four-strokey enough (part 2)

 So this little SR500-gem came back to me, because it had developed a nasty gearbox issue or in other words: it wouldn't shift. Aside from that the engine had to be taken apart as it was left open for a while and lots and lots of saw dust found its way inside. In the parts bin also was a "new" cylinder and piston, which had some marks in the liner. (Which after a quick up and down with the hone were only cosmetical.) Also that new cylinder has got a full-blown strain-relief setup in place, which should help with reliability a bit.

Time to tear the engine down. (It was stored like this w.o. a sidecover for a while.)

Piston looking rather good. (Standard-size)

The clutch lever needle bearing wanted a good clean, some grease and a new seal.

Stripping down those old Yamaha singles is truly a breeze.

So the shift drum selector finger was the culprit - one could have done that without splitting the cases, but considering the amount of dirt that was inside...

Lower clutch lever was well mangled, welded up the hole with some stainless filler and then ground it back with a finger sander. Let's see how long this fix lasts.

5th gear looks pretty terrible, so I guess this one will be replaced rather sooner than later. 

Oil-pan got a goooooooooood cleaning and was sanded flat on glass as it was "contoured" like a 3d map of the Andes. 

Bit of gasket goo ...

... bit of clutch ...(I may have installed the oil-pump drive sprocket the wrong way round - still have to investigate on that one.)

 ... and a bit of sidecover. And there's a shortblock.

A bit of paint slathered on the flywheel, which is later removed and only stays in the grooves, makes checking timing a lot easier. 

The fact that TR1/XV11 engines and SR500s share the same valves, meant that I could just quickly sneak in new valves.

Now one wouldn't put them in, without polishing them up to a mirror finish, right?

Bit of a touchup on the ports - nothing fancy, because we're not building a race bike. Just a bit of love to remove casting flaws.

Black shmoo, because style matters.

Aside from a massive oil-leak (it does help, if you tighten the oil-feed to the cams), the old girl burst into live and made a beautiful racket. 


The oil-leak was an easy fix, but the clutch issue (not disengaging), still persists and I have to dig into that one. Aside from that the following posts will mostly deal with appearance matters, until we can finally dig into fitting the actual sidecar to the bike.