ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Racing
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-27-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
Nemosengineer OP
Hair Ball
 
Nemosengineer's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 859
They Called Them Superbikes...

The early days of Superbike racing from 1975 through 1984 was an amazing time, Moto-Guzzi, BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Leverda, Triumph and Norton all duking it out on "production machines", the good the bad and the ugly, all there, from works bikes to machine shop specials. It was a time of legends and gods...
In 1979 I had the good fortune to work at Racecrafters in the San Fernando Valley, I spent some time volunteering in support of the Racecrafters Superbike effort. Harry Mallet had taken over the tuning from Pierre Des Roaches, the folks logging saddle time were such notables as Steve McLaughlin, Harry Klinzmann, and Eddie Lawson. I was changing oil and cleaning parts...
Please post your photos and personal stories of early Superbike racing for all to enjoy

Name:  klinz82.jpg
Views: 8476
Size:  118.1 KB

: Mike
__________________
"An ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole."

Nemosengineer screwed with this post 08-27-2009 at 08:47 PM
Nemosengineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
Bald Kirk
Dances with Dirt Bikes
 
Bald Kirk's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Aloha
Oddometer: 726
God bless bikes with great thrust and awful handling! I loved my Z1!

Let's see the old girls in race prep!

__________________
Kawasaki Lover
Bald Kirk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
latigid
Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Oddometer: 78
the heel on his riding boot is crazy!
__________________
a rally cry to common courtesy
latigid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #4
Tripped1
Likely Lost.
 
Tripped1's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Sandy Eggo
Oddometer: 6,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by latigid
the heel on his riding boot is crazy!
Notice the leathers...

No knee pucks. I'd feel nekkid.
Tripped1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
ag_streak
Tiene Ruta Cuarenta?
 
ag_streak's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: At the pointy ends of the bell curve (33702)
Oddometer: 3,065
Bell helmets! The apogee of noggin protection technology in the 1970's!

Bias-ply tires, no doubt!

Solid disk brakes! (EDIT: and single piston!)

What are those, like, 37mm fork tubes?
__________________
2013 Triumph Tiger 800 - 2007 Harley XL1200R (Roadster) Sidecar Rig - 2012 Suzuki DR650 - 2004 Yamaha FZ-1 "Skunk"
BC, Canada Ride Report - Nova Scotia, Canada Ride Report
He was a man of few words... and even that was too many.
Improve your cosmic karma here!
ag_streak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
Pantah
Red Sox Nation
 
Pantah's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 9,715
That's Klinzmann in that pic, right? #31. Whatever happened to him?
__________________
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013
Pantah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
Jinx
Call me Renzo
 
Jinx's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Rearranging the deck-chairs on the iceberg
Oddometer: 10,838
Very, very cool


I was working on a Kawi Superbike team here in the PNW back then, and we ran enough California tracks (when we could afford to) that we probably have seen each other. Mostly we ran SIR, Portland, and Westwood up in BC. We loved Westwood because it paid better. We had pretty good sponsorship (Yoshimura, Fox, Kerker, Megacycle, D.I.D, MDS ignitions), and the local Kawasaki shop's van was our "transporter". It had only two seats. The rest of us had to sit on a bare metal floor in back with our legs under the bike and huffing gas fumes from the jerry cans.

Typical mongrel from the day. Our bike was originally built by Krauser, and they threw a bunch of money at it. But all it did was blow the fuck up on them (which takes some real talent with a Z1), so we bought it in 1980. Over the next year we changed damn near everything but the gas tank...and we re-painted that (which put Krauser's nose out of joint, but our attitude was: "Want that paint job to stay? Pay us")

The frame was classic "cheat like hell": About 80% of the stock tubes were replaced with thinner wall cro-mo. It had some hideous solid aluminum disc wheels when we bought it (geez, remember those?), which we replaced with morris and then dymag.

We re-designed the rear suspension to move the shocks up on the swingarm and lay them down 34 degrees. I was really happy with the way that worked out.

We had a trick set of genuine Yoshimura racing forks, but they had thin wall 36mm tubes and were shite. We built up a set of GS1000 forks (beefy 37mm tubes ), ran S&W springs from a Goldwing, and modified the dampers. We ran triple clamps from a Suzuki cruiser, because they had an extra set of bolts in the lower clamp and a lot more clamping area, and had a lot less offset than stock. They worked pretty well.

We had Fox remote reservoir shox, and we set up the low speed compression and rebound damping "medium", the high speed compression damping "fuck-all", the high speed rebound damping 'firm". We ran as little pre-load on both ends as possible, and changed spring rates when needed. To this day I hate pre-load. It just screws things up. Generally, if you could get a bike to handle well at Westwood (and ours did), it would handle well anywhere (OK, except Daytona, but Daytona is a freak show with banking). We probably ran more suspension travel at both ends than just about anyone, but that really helped to not overload those flexi-flyers. Those beasts were just not stiff enough to run short travel suspension with firm spring rates.

We ran Lockheed calipers and 13" rotors.

The crankshaft was a welded stocker (bomb proof, but heavy, I always wanted to build up a lighter crank but we never had the scratch), We ran Yosh single ring high-silicon cast (yeah, that's right) pistons. Those pistons were wonders: Bullet proof at high rpm and sealed perfectly every time. The heads were from Yoshimura, Branch, and later we got one from Kenny Augustine (but never raced it). Augustine's stuff impressed the hell out of me. The Yosh heads were all top end. The Branch heads were really nice all-around. We never ran more than 11:1 CR, as it killed the combustion burn (and top end power) above that. 11:1 was a good match to the cams. Squish clearances were 1.0 mm

We started with Yosh cams, but switched to Megacycle (they still list the #470-65A we ran) and they made power everywhere with 110 degree lobe centers. Yosh gave us inverted buckets that were much lighter than the KZ-650 stuff everyone else ran. The valve springs and Ti keepers were S&W from Branch. We had a racing D.I.D camchain from Japan (Yosh again), and the camchain tensioner was mechanical.

We got the bike with two sets of Yoshimura CR transmissions (really nice stuff), and the clutch was banded and had Barnett plates and stronger springs.

We had a "real" Kerker racing exhaust (the one they gave you that you had to weld up, not the one he sold). You knew you had arrived when Kerker gave you the good stuff (Same one he gave Muzzy and others)

As far as I know, we ran the first prototype MSD ignition for a motorcycle, and if someone else had a rev-limiter before we did, I never heard about it. We never needed more than 28-30 degrees of advance with single plugs.

We ran nothing but Castrol R (ahhhh, I love the smell of bean oil), and would change it twice on a weekend. We ran an MG oil cooler with AN fittings welded on.

We ran Goodyear slicks. We tried Michelins and Dunlops, but Goodies worked best.

The whole thing weighed 388 lbs (with gas), and made @135-140 BHP. It was as reliable as a pile of bricks with the following exceptions:
  • Never let a flat rate mechanic tighten anything smaller than an axle nut. We had a guy helping (he was no dunce) that was the service manager for the local Kawasaki shop. His specialty was stripping cam bearing bolts.

  • Those CR 31 Smoothbores were very weak in the main jet boss area. Over tighten a main jet, and you would crack the boss. That little crack would allow enough air to pass to weaken the main jet delivery. One cylinder goes lean...Engine goes poof. We found this early and used the spare set we had. We also think this is why the Krauser bike kept blowing up...they ran a whole season with a cracked carb body. Ours didn't blow up, and we were making a lot more power than they did. After the first year we were running Sparky's "Blue" carbs (from Branch) which were 34mm bodies with the AMA mandated 31mm restrictors, some really nice transition pieces between the carbs and the head that Jerry Branch gave us the dimensions for that made the motor believe that there was no carb restriction, so it was a moot point after we made the change.

  • Never let an idiot grind the lifter bores for cam lobe clearance. I used to set them up with about .020"-.040" clearance (the cams did walk around a little at 10K+ RPM). Idiot decided we needed more. Modified it on his own without telling us. Removed half the support for the lifter. RH exhaust lifter blew right out of the engine at Laguna when we were running top 6 or 7 (took a good chunk of the valve cover with it). The engine still ran five more laps to the flag, dousing the rider (and God knows who else) in Castro R firing on three cylinders. I think we wound up 13th or 14th, which was impressive for a 750cc triple

Other than that, it was completely reliable. We would do the top end every race (lap the valves and re-shim the springs, if needed, to get the seating pressures back where we needed). Cam chains, valve springs, and pistons every three races, new drive chain every two (hey, they were free)

We won a bunch of races (and a few track championships) in '81 and '82. Those were very good years, and the purses more than covered the expenses.

The AMA pretty much fucked us when they switched the class to 750's, and chose to do so in the middle of a recession (We had a deal lined up for Bardhal to sponsor the whole show for about $60K/ year...my how times have changed...but they pulled out when the economy tanked). We had no resources to build a brand new 750, and had no interest in running a warmed-over stocker mid pack. The rider moved onto BOTT, and I had to go to either Hell or Texas. I chose Texas. But we all had a hell of a good time for a few years. I love that era in racing.

PS - Wish I could find some pics. It was a 1979 Mk-II with a black tank and silver knee panels. Big ass Yoshimura sticker on the tank. Maybe mom knows where they went. Hell, I would love to know where the bike went (it was sold off as club racer, and last I heard succeeded in scaring the living shit out of the new owner...no, you can't buy wins), or maybe I don't. Old racing bikes rarely have happy endings.
__________________
- Jinx

"You remind me of the monkey with the jerk-off button, starving to death at the switch." - Chopperman

"I didn't know how many assholes it was going to take to piss me off, but I knew how many they were going to use" - collaboratori

Jinx screwed with this post 08-28-2009 at 04:27 PM
Jinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 12:39 PM   #8
JNRobert
Breaking Wind
 
JNRobert's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Bay Area, California
Oddometer: 9,221
I love it when Jinx gets technical on our ass
JNRobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
JNRobert
Breaking Wind
 
JNRobert's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Bay Area, California
Oddometer: 9,221
The original #34

Wes Cooley



The bike Lawson is still pissed about.
JNRobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 01:25 PM   #10
Mr Head
PowerPoint ADV
 
Mr Head's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Yorba Linda, The outskirts of the OC.
Oddometer: 5,884
Great write up Jinx.

All my old racing pictures are crappy scans now.

This is local racing in Colorado early 70's

Adams County Fair Grounds I think this is an XS 650 Yamaha, I think this is Bruce Sass, can't remember for sure.


This is a Suzuki same race, and yes western boots, I think this fellow raced Daytona with this.

__________________
...Dick
"...the road goes on forever and the party never ends..." - Robert Earl Keen
Mr Head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 01:45 PM   #11
stteve
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Below sealevel
Oddometer: 342
Who cares about the weight, no need to remove the luggage-rack ...
__________________
Now-1977 YAMAHA XT500 - 1996 HONDA XR400R - 1991 YAMAHA XTZ660
Sold-1983 XT250/1991 TT350/1996 TT600E/1985 XT350/1999 TT600R/2002 TT600R
stteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 01:56 PM   #12
Doscholiday
Doscholiday
 
Doscholiday's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Whittier
Oddometer: 2
Memories

I purchased my first motorycycle in 1987, it was a 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000 MKII (I was 16 years old at the time). Bought it of an older guy up my block who used to race in his prime. It needed some work (he had it sitting for years), had a bald rear tire, no front brakes and it took me awhile to get it started (changed the oil, new plugs, filter, etc) and finally got the ole girl to kick over. "Oh boy", I used to fly down residential streets (note to everyone, not a smart thing to do) at 80 miles an hour and brake so hard that I would fish tail her at every stop (LOL). I've had a lot of speed bikes until now and just purchased my first BMW Sport Tourer, but i'll tell ya, i sure miss that ole Kawi. Every so often I see if I can hunt a MKII down but they seem to be either non existent anymore or of musuem quality with a musuem price to match! Maybe one day i'll put er back in my stable, maybe one day...
Doscholiday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #13
Pantah
Red Sox Nation
 
Pantah's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 9,715
Jinx - That really was a great post. I didn't realize there was so much hot rodding of those old beasts. I hope you can post some more of your experiences here. Really fun read.

-P
__________________
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013
Pantah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 02:12 PM   #14
mdubya
Right Brigade
 
mdubya's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: western, MD
Oddometer: 6,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMo
Wes Cooley



The bike Lawson is still pissed about.
This bike was the stylistic inspiration for my '82 Seca 550; cut down seat, Spec II rear sets and header, air box and side covers removed so you could see right through the bike. I had Marzocchi shocks, Progessive fork springs, and the the big upgrade from nylon! to brass swing arm bushings. Jetting was set up by Scotty Beach who went on to be crew chief for Kinko's Kawasaki and Harley's US Superbike effort. With the jetting and the ratty Spec II pipe, it could smoke a Ninja 600. Sportbikes were so cool in those days (early and mid 80's) because you had to build your own.
__________________
+0

2002 KTM 520 EXC for sale
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=926379
mdubya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #15
Mr Head
PowerPoint ADV
 
Mr Head's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Yorba Linda, The outskirts of the OC.
Oddometer: 5,884
I rescued this 1983 GPz 550 from a software engineer. I got it for free, and dumped nearer 2 grand into it for parts, and my labor to bring it back. The idea going in was a trackday toy and sometimes racebike. I got bored with the wobbling thing and sold it. I had upgraded the fork internals along with a complete rebuild at that end including wheel and steering bearings, brake pads and steel overbraided lines.
The motor was stock save for a re-jet and freshened cam chain, tensioner, new clutch, sprockets and drive chain. Sealing the thing all back up and getitng the carbs sorted took the longest.
A friend had offered me a Basani headed for free, that was in good shape. I considered it, but went with the stock for the looks.
The rear shock was custom from Works Performance. Swinging arm bearings/bushings, helped but it still flexed a lot with modern rubber sticking it to the road.
The tank was dented on all sides, but held fuel. Smaller Ducati turn signals looked a whole lot better.

__________________
...Dick
"...the road goes on forever and the party never ends..." - Robert Earl Keen
Mr Head is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014