Four Dudes, a vintage Honda Twin, and the 2012 Mexican 1000

Discussion in 'Racing' started by oregoncoast, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. ric678

    ric678 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    892
    Location:
    WNY, where it no longer snows
    If I had discovered this great adventure before last week I would be trying to figure out how to do this with my "semi" classic 89 Transalp...But I'll follow along .. :)
    #21
  2. Motomuffin

    Motomuffin CSMC

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    549
    Yeah you right!

    Can't wait!
    #22
  3. nobrakes

    nobrakes Long timer

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    North Carolina
    Good luck, fellas! :thumb
    #23
  4. Wulfpack Dad

    Wulfpack Dad n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
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    Central Orygun
    Actually just wanted to post and wish you guys good luck!!! Looks like I wont see you at China Hat this year. Are either you or Luke going to be XC racing?
    #24
  5. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,487
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR

    I'm in it for points again, if we pester paul persuasively we might be able to get him out for a race or two.
    #25
  6. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Racing Like a Noob

    Joined:
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    Duh!
    Well, I had hoped that the team would start chiming in with some of their racing thoughts by now....I guess here's a little push for them :bash

    Today I went down and picked up the motor from Gary the local Honda master technician, who did me a solid and rebuilt the motor off the books in his home shop, thus saving me tons of money. I provided the parts, and he did the rest. The motor was in good company inside Gary's tiny shop, as an old TL250 waiting patiently for some of Gary's attention.

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    I then drove over to Lonnie's shop. My goal was to get the motor in the bike so that we could move on to other things. We got some snow over here on the coast, and more on the mountain pass, so no riding/training for us this weekend. But Ray called me this morning and said the swingarm is ready to mock up so we can finalize our chain tensioner solution. :freaky

    I guess it would be good to start with our plan for the bike.

    The motor had sustained some serious damage during the last season of racing but was miraculously still running decently when it was torn down.

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    It was rebuilt 1mm over stock. The carbs will be rebuilt and then any other issues that need to be addressed will be as needed. I foresee some new coils and wires, but otherwise, mechanically, the bike will be pretty much stock.


    Alex from Konflict Motorsports stepped up last year and did an amazing job with our vintage SL/MR forks. They were about as good as they could be considering their inherent limitations. I had purchased YSS shocks from Klaus at EPM last year and they worked out great. This year we are making some improvements to the suspension and I had hoped that YSS would be able to step up their support as the shocks we needed were going to be damn expensive. They never got back to me. But Alex did.

    [​IMG]


    I bought a set of vintage 1985 XR600 forks and front wheel combo and brought them to Alex to set up for us. He worked some magic, adjusted the height to fit the dimensions of the SL and swore me to secrecy on any other details...:lol3


    The good news is that this gives us a vintage disc brake in the front. After more than one close call during a transit section last year's M1K, I will be happy to have some real brakes up front. A rider was hit by a truck last year riding a transit through a small town...the police wave you through an intersection, but cross traffic does not stop :eek1 Will be nice to be able to at least slow down in a reasonable amount of time.

    [​IMG]

    (trust me, you won't recognize those forks when Lonnie gets done with them)



    As you can see from last year's start, that double leading drum sure is cool and vintage looking, but throwing out a bag of rocks on a rope would've stop the bike faster than they did.

    [​IMG]

    Alex also agreed to help us get our rear suspension set up with some sweet, custom-made shocks from Race Tech. He promises me that these will be works of art, and by the sounds of them, I am sure they will be. It'll be about 3 -4 weeks for these puppies to get on the bike...so we'll all just have to patiently wait :baldy

    [​IMG]


    We are going to add about 2 inches of travel to the rear and are extending the stock swingarm about two inches to help accommodate this. Ray is welding up a masterpiece and once it is powder coated, you would have to really know SL's to recognize it as anything but stock. We will be running the stock rear SL350 wheel and brakes. I will not be able to run the bike in any AHRMA events after this...but I decided that the safety advantages of the modifications outweighed that. Plus, I plan on getting a vintage trials bike for AHRMA events!

    Back to today. So it was just me and Lonnie today. We pulled off a sidecover from one of Rick's spare motors to use on the race bike. The oil pump cover bolt holes were stripped out on the original one, so we are just going to clean this spare one and use it. Lonnie will do wonders and it will look amazing as always!

    [​IMG]


    I mounted the old swingarm and one of the struts so we could wheel the bike around as we wanted to clean it up while the motor was out.

    [​IMG]


    Then back in the shop and we man handled the race motor back into the bike :clap Damn that twin is heavy!! :eek1

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    We decided to leave the stator cover from last year on the bike since it has its own story to tell. That cool anodized looking gold patina was caused by the motor being super over heated during the first day in soft sand. It started out as silver as the side cover :deal

    [​IMG]

    I buttoned it all up and mounted the tank and seat up just to stand back and look at it. The plastic front white fender is one from a MR250 and might be used for training/prep rides. The stock aluminum one will be the one on the bike for the race. This makes Lonnie cry because the MR is a bolt up to the new forks and the SL fender will require some modifications to work.

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    Imagine what a mono-shock SL350 would look like ....:D

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    I have also decided that we will probably run the stock tank and have auxiliary fuel cell options. I just love the way the bike looks with the stock SL tank that I cannot see running anything else on there. I just love the looks of this damn bike and I think it is going to even look better with the new swingarm and shocks!

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    Also, since we got to keep our same number, I'm going to keep the last year's custom side covers and numbers that Lonnie made.

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    Tomorrow: Luke is coming down and Ray is coming over and they will be finalizing the swingarm and chain tensioner/guard mod and then Ray will finish welding it up and then its off to the powder-coater. Hopefully the "collar" we are having machined will be done early this week. It will allow us to use a standard XR600 tapered bearing in the bottom of the stearing head. The top tapered bearing that fits the stock SL stem also works for the XR stem so we will just be using that.



    Bonus tip:
    I ran grip puppies last year and I would not race a vintage twin without them. These bikes vibrate and 1000 miles is a long way to hold them handlebars. Might also work for them fancy modern KTM-moter sickles too:wink:

    [​IMG]


    Teaser Pix:
    Just what is in Luke's silver box...

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Good call on the front disc brake. A 100% original bike is cool, but not so cool when it and it's rider go flying over a cliff :eek1

    Bike is looking good. Do you plan on mounting a roadbook holder on for navigation? That has been my project for the last month or so on my DRZ. Seemed simple at first but the project keeps getting more complicated since I am designing as I build.
    #27
  8. Marco Moto

    Marco Moto Voyager

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    Nov 14, 2008
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    surrounded by the Great Lakes
    Totally subscribed! :clap


    Keep up the good work guys!
    #28
  9. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    950
    Location:
    Columbia County
    My first update to the new OSR thread;

    While Paul & Lonnie were thrashing on the race bike, I was home working on Paul's CL350 Scrambler, a bike we are making into a runner to sell for MK1 funds. The bike has not ran for a long time, you can read about it and other stuff semi related to the OSR race team efforts here; http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=17763734#post17763734

    In addition to working on the Scrambler, I spent part of the weekend putting a parts list together to send to a prospective parts sponsor and also attempting to organize, on paper, some of the large amounts of information and to-do lists that will be part of the OSR 2012 MK1 process. I've also begun working out daily, as Paul has pointed out to me that sheer will power will not be enought to get me thru my stints at the handlebars and I do take what he says about conditioning, preparation and readiness seriously.

    On the OSR bike prep side of things, my plan is to head down next Sunday and rebuild the stock Keihin carbs and then to assist Paul and the team in whatever way neccessary to get her running and ready for the upcoming bike show.
    #29
  10. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
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    994
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    The Netherlands, Europe
    Subbed, this looks great already :thumb
    #30
  11. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    Location:
    Drinking from the Stanley Cup!
    In... this year I will send YOU a pic of ME enjoying tequila :ksteve

    Maybe I'll get a big ol pocket tee shirt and a crayon... then I can send you an empty bottle and a broken crayon :lol3

    Go get em boys and girls.... you are gonna have a blast!
    #31
  12. pchGS

    pchGS Mark

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Nice stuff, did not see last years but with the new suspension and brakes should be a 'little' easier on ya! Good luck, and subscribed!
    #32
  13. papaduc

    papaduc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    394
    Location:
    Beaverton Oregon


    Um, I think you may have overpaid for that "MONO" shock.....
    :rofl

    But, I really hope you and your team enjoy this years events as much as you did last years. :clap
    #33
  14. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Racing Like a Noob

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,586
    Location:
    Duh!
    Today, Luke and Allan braved the ice and snow and came down to work on the bike.

    I slipped and slided away to Ray's shop to pick up the swingarm...looked real good! :clap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Gonna look sweet when its powdercoated.

    I then met up with the boys at Lonnie's and we got to work. Today's mission was to get the swingarm and chain tensioner squared away...and since Luke is the lead on that project, I am going to respectfully bow out and wait for him to post his report, because secretly I hope he can explain what it is we just did! :lol3




    :lurk


    #34
  15. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
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    4,487
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    A little tech interlude:



    So we wanted more suspension travel in the back. No problem, right? Just buy longer shocks and bolt them on.

    Except, we want a longer swingarm too. For several reasons. There isn't much room to make the current shocks longer travel. Lengthening the swingarm gives more room to fit all the shock parts between the eyes. A longer swingarm also makes the bike more stable by making the swingarm longer. Finally, the front wheel is further forward due to the longer forks, so pushing the rear wheel back keeps the weight balance near where it was before.

    So that's no problem, we'll have Ray extend the swingarm, then we just need to extend the brake stay and the brake cable, and the chain. Oh yeah, speaking of the chain, the extra travel means we will have much more chain slack so we'll need some sort of tensioning system.

    This is getting complicated. So when Ray brought the unfinished swingarm by to test fit it, we started looking at the other things that needed to be done. Today, with the swingarm mostly done it was time to get to work. Allan and I drove over in the morning, and met Paul and Lonnie at Lonnie's shop.



    First up, the chain guide. The bike didn't have one, but we figured it needed one now. We had a guide from an XRsomething, and Ray had added a fin to the swingarm that it could be bolted to. We drilled mounting holes in the fin, made some spacers, and bolted it up.

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    So that's one down, lots to go.

    On to the chain.

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    We test-fit the chain, it turned out fairly well. There was less slack than expected, we will attach a roller to the frame just behind the front sprocket to take up most of it.

    Not mentioned yet, but quite obvious is the need to move the rear fender.

    [​IMG]



    So on to the brake.

    It took nearly three hours of messing around to get the brake right. Just a whole lot of 'maybe this will reach' trying different ways of hooking up a cable that would work. In the end, a cable from an MR250 that had been pack-ratted away last year saved the day. It was almost a bolt-up that will require a bit of welding on a clevis part, but no frame or cable mods.

    In process:
    [​IMG]

    Success!
    [​IMG]




    This was actually going pretty well. Last up was the brake stay. We just screwed on some angle strut like the shocks and called it a day. :lol3


    So that was our work day in a nutshell. About 6 hours to go from not knowing how it was going to work at all, to having some of the work done and a good idea of how the rest needs to go. Well, for the swingarm at least.
    #35
  16. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    Location:
    Drinking from the Stanley Cup!
    :thumb :lurk
    #36
  17. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Racing Like a Noob

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,586
    Location:
    Duh!
    [​IMG]

    You'll also notice that the front end is removed. While we are waiting for the machine shop to finish the lower stearing head "collar," (and bronze swingarm bushings) we took this opportunity to get the forks, triples and wheel squared away. This week they will be getting cleaned and painted where needed.



    Indeed. This was one of those things that kept nagging at me. I kept forgetting to bring it up, but I know that we would have to find a solution to replace the stock rear brake cable (since we stretched the swingarm 2" ) and we weren't sure whether that would be another cable, a rod, or maybe upgrade the rear brakes entirely.

    My goals for this bike has always been reliability, the ability to fix things when/if they break in Mexico, and to keep it as close to stock as feasible. There was lots of discussion about adapting an XR rear wheel to work or using an old Yamaha TT rear wheel like Rick has on his race SL350. We realized that there wasn't that much of a difference in weight over stock. Also, we have several stock rear wheels to serve as spares and by staying with the stock swingarm and wheel, no need to change spacers, adjusters or mounting hardware...that just saves time and money.

    While Luke was in the middle of fabbing up a doohickey to lengthen the clevis that attaches the cable to the brake lever, I found that a cable from Lonnie's XL500 was a little bit longer (but not long enough), and had the Honda specific fittings on each end to fit in the molds in the wheel and the frame. Then I spotted some cables stored in a cardboard tube.

    "Hey Lonnie, what are these cables from?"

    "SL and MR parts."

    Last year I bought 2 SL350 and 2 MR250 parts bikes and we tore them down and saved most of the usable parts. This in addition to a XL350 that someone gave Lonnie. The great things about old Hondas is that many of the parts are interchangeable, even though they may have changed slightly over the years. This is great for a motorcycle builder and on our SL you'll find stock Honda parts from several different models that simply bolt up. Buying those Craiglists parts bike proved to be a very smart move.


    I pulled out a black rear brake cable in great shape...from the MR250. It had the proper Honda fittings and was about two inches longer than the SL cable, in the right place, and bolted right up! As Luke stated, the only mod necessary was to notch the clevis to get it off the SL Cable, and now to just weld the notch back up so the MR cable will stay on it. I admit, I dance a little jig when I saw that this cable solved our brake cable problems. And I had two of them, so we now have a spare! :clap


    [​IMG]

    Luke and Allan worked the swingarm through its full motion and the brake cable looks like it will work. The XR650R chain guide that Rick bought off Ebay and the roller also worked like charm. We'll be testing these components hard because the chain length and swingarm mod are the biggest unknown on the bike right now. But it looks like the boys have come up with a simple, strong solution using existing Honda parts where possible, and keeping it as close to stock in appearance as possible!

    It really was a great build day :freaky
    #37
  18. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    950
    Location:
    Columbia County
    Well done!
    #38
  19. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    Nov 6, 2005
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    12,425
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    I was just showing this thread to a friend and as I scrolled through I notice there sure are a lot of pictures of Luke. It's a good thing he's such a handsome devil. :lol3

    Keep up the good work guys and keep the pictures coming.
    #39
  20. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
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    7,782
    Location:
    THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
    If you guys need any cables motion pro can custom fab them for you.. Nice work!
    #40