Tuesday, 29 January 2008

I'm as excited as a VERY excited thing, me!!!

I can sense a David Attenborough moment coming, ie. the mounting of one part with another!

I'll get my coat...............

Monday, 28 January 2008

Notes from the Solar Shed

Boyd has obviously been running around like the proverbial insect with a colourful bottom, so here's a little update on the motor:

I've got the new tappets, 4 new valves (at great expense for a scotsman), and a whole load of stuff from the lovely folks at Kedo .

Plugs, gaskets, a cam-chain, studs, seals, o-rings and various other essentials for the build.

Just like christmas. But better, as there is no hideous mariah carey or cliff oozing out of every speaker in the land...

Some vinyls I do like though are those I received in the post courtesy of motorbike-crazy.com. These will look great on the fairing.
Team Thumper is ever-grateful for their support!
Chatting to Bill , I've decided to plumb the top end oil line up the outside like the XTZ motor. The XT/SRX aircooled motor has a passageway up inside the barrel and head castings.

He very kindly supplied me with a beautifully made camshaft endplate, which has been tapped to accept an M10x1 banjo bolt. In this case a nice ally Poggipolini item. They also supply the reduced head ally allen screw.

Apologies for the very poor image- it doesn't do it any justice.

And as I am not using the internal oilways, I've had plugs made up in stainless. Thanks to local guys SpacesaversPlus for their help with them.

In the middle is the hollow Yamaha tube which sits between the cases and the barrel, and the barrel and the head. This forms the oilway, with a rubber gasket round the outside. Either side are the blanks, which will plug the obselete oilway. I'm hoping this will keep the oil where its mean to be, and not smeared over the outside of the motor.
Which will look like this:
Its just placed together so I could get an idea of how I could route the oilway. This will be replaced by a goodridge line before the start of the season. However, its unlikey to run without a piston, valves, cam or.... a chassis. So we're looking at a beautiful union sometime mid February.

Watch this space!

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?

Another weekend of pi**ing about, but thankfully with some positive results. The rear wheel business, ie. two similar wheels but with different positioning for the brake disc, has finally been resolved. They are the same wheel, FZR400RR, but one has been machined to move the disc inboard of the wheel rim. This obviously meant that when the need arose to swop quickly from wets to slicks it was going to be a right pain, what with different spacers etc. It now seems, after much careful measuring, that is I get some spacers made to move the disc back to its original position we can swap wheels relatively easily. This is one major problem solved.

Next item was the fuel tank. As far as I was concerned we didn't have a tank to fit under the dummy tank. I therefore set-out to source a suitable tank from a KR1S or RGV as they, superficially, looked as if they would fit. I took careful measurements, made paper templates, bought a KR1S tank locally, and we still didn't have a tank. The fit between the tank, chassis rails and seat unit was just not close enough, so it was back to the drawing board (and this was on top of breaking down on the first attempt to collect the tank and being recovered by the AA, and then sitting in a massive tail-back due to and accident at the second attempt - I should have seen the omens!). After much head scratching and advanced looking I realised that the battered old alloy tank, that I thought a) was an oil tank, and b) was too big to fit under the dummy cover, was in fact the fuel tank I was seeking. What a numpty!?! It sort of fits, in places, and will need some brackets making, but we finally have a tank - which fits, and utilises the nice dummy cover. My only concern is if it has a large enough capacity. I think we will struggle to get more than one and a half gallons of fuel into it yet the races are now over twenty five five laps of circuits that can be up to three miles long. As I have no idea what the mpg of a Tigcraft/SRX hybrid is likely to be we may not be out to the woods yet. As I've said previously two steps forward, one step back, again!


Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Have been offered a KR1S tank for £30, which I'm picking up at the weekend. It will probably need some percussive engineering to make it fit perfectly as it will need to accommodate the Tigcraft's oil-in-frame filler. Will try and post some before and after pictures.


Monday, 21 January 2008

Two steps forward, one step back.........

Another slightly frustrating weekend. Off-side front brake caliper decided not to play ball as the pistons of one half refused to come out. Tried all sorts of cunning manoeuvres, and even resorted to impact engineering at one point, but sadly to no avail. A quick scout around on eBay soon located a guy in Stoke selling two race preped. KR1S with a shed load of spares. Spoke to him on the phone and he was able to find a replacement caliper and a left handlebar for £30, which I collected on Saturday morning. Whilst I was there I took the opportunity to measure the KR1S tank to see if it was a possibility for our tank less chassis. Having taken a template with me it appears to be a usable alternative. He had one in his eBay haul that, if the winner didn't want, he would get back to me about. Haven't heard anything yet so that's another item to add to the list.

So having acquired a replacement caliper I decided to force the calipers out using hydraulic pressure. That was the plan anyway! So now it's the turn of front master cylinder not to play ball - I'm detecting a trend here. Started to strip the master cylinder, but couldn't find anything amiss; piston seemed free, fluid was moving in and out of the reservoir holes, it just wasn't coming through into the brake hose. Eventually, after much blood, sweat and tears, and needing to drill-out the bolt holding the lever in place, I decided that it was also f**cked. If I charged myself out at £10 and hour it was an expensive way of getting nowhere fast. Admitted defeat and e-mailed John Goode to see if his auto-jumble like garages could provide an alternative. Luckily he thinks we should be able to find something suitable, which hopefully means the front end can get finished.

So ended a frustrating, but perversely enjoyable, spannering weekend!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Spring has sprung! Hasn't it?

How dare you? I'll have you know that mechanical work needs a lot of thinking about. My perceived meditative condition was actually an advanced thinking state. Now that the parts have arrived from Alan Stringer* I've swung into action.

Front and rear suspension fitted to chassis, footrests sorted, wheels on and front brakes refurbished.

I 've even worked out how the front engine hanger works, and its very different from any of the other Tigcraft/SRX combo's that I've seen. That's all the good news!

The less happy (so not REALLY bad) news is that we have three 'pairs' of wheels, all the fronts are the same but all the rears are different. Will have to either source another wheel to match the rear we already have, or produce a different set of spacers fro each wheel. For ease of wheel changes during a race meeting I would prefer the former. Also don't have a suitable rear brake hanger and this will be dictated by which wheel(s) we go for. Not really any insurmountable problem but just little jobs which need sorting.

And whilst all this fervent tinkering was going on I nearly burnt the house down, having stupidly used a wooden lintel above the wood burning stove. Right bl**dy mess, but lucky SWMBO noticed the flames before they took hold. Mostly cosmetic damage but could have been much worse!!!!

Ah, Happy Days.............................


* Thanks Alan, they fitted perfectly!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Begged, borrowed..... no theft yet!

Well, seeing as Boyd has clearly been lazing around having a nice break, I thought I'd finally get round to updating from my end.

The (unconfirmed) 2008 race dates are out : here This means that we need to be ready for April. Testing in March. Engine in by early February...

However, I've been getting loads of help- must be the festive spirit! First of all, Bill Jurgenson has been giving me loads of advice. More than that however, he has kindly loaned me a Silent Hektik ignition system, meaning I can ditch the OEM rotor. He's also included a beautifully made, CNC-milled engine cover. And some plugs, a coil and new HT lead. So the motor will have a top ignition system giving good sparks, should spin up quicker, and really looks the business! (Although I am trying not to get too concerned with cosmetics). I'll post a link to his blog here when I get it: He's also on the case sourcing me some valve springs. Cheers Bill.

I went out to see my good friends Mike Avery and Barry Johnson in Slough at the weekend. It was well worth the ride (even if the DR wasn't happy in the cold weather).

One of the M6 threads had stripped out in the head and we (ie. Mike!) put in a helicoil. He then helped me clean up the threads, take off any highpoints, and generally flowed forth with his engineering pearls of wisdom. Cheers Mike, you've saved me some good cash there! Thanks too for the bed, and the beer. Unfortunately, Mike also laughed at my flattened tappets, so any saving has been gobbled up by 4 new tappets and locknuts. Back on the interweb to Kedo then...

Then on Sunday Barry took pity on me and lent me his impact gun. I had been swithering on buying one, but he's come good again and saved me more cash, which can go on things like gaskets, valves, tappets, oil, entries.....

Another thing I didn't fancy buying was a rotor puller. So I called on Bill Rayner, a ThumperClub regular, who very kindly sorted me out with his puller. Being a gent, he wouldn't even accept the postage. Thanks to another Bill!

In two flicks of a Lam's tail, the rotor nut was off, my itty-bitty trigger was on, and just for effect, so was the bling of the ally engine cover.

Isn't it just a thing of beauty??

Now I've also got other barrrel studs out, and cleaned up the threads. So, hopefully, I'll get some gaskets and the like from Kedo and I can get on with getting the piston and barrel on.

Then the head.

Then I can go see Boyd, and we can get the engine into his BEAUTIFULLY PREPARED CHASSIS!!! Ahem!!

Will get some more photos soon, cheers for now, and thanks a lot to everyone who has helped out, not all of whom are named here.


Monday, 7 January 2008



I think for both myself and Andy it's been a few weeks off from the Team Thumper project. I have to admit to not doing much at all with the chassis, apart from moving bits around the garage and 'thinking' about things a lot. All the major components are in-hand and as soon as some spacers I'm having made (by Alan Stringer) arrive the bike should start to take shape fairly quickly.

The British SuperMono Championship has, after much negotiation with different race organisers, got dates for the 2008 season. The first race will be at Cadwell Park in early April, so at least we start at a circuit Andy already knows! All we need now is the bike.