Author Topic: Nigel's Racer March 2013  (Read 10366 times)

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Offline berniebee

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Nigel's Racer March 2013
« on: April 10, 2013, 10:19:18 PM »
They said it was slow. They said it was heavy.  Race an XS500? If you read magazine reviews back in the seventies, you wouldn't enter the Yamaha 500 twin in a tricycle race.
But someone forgot to send the memo to Nigel Collier. With an ingenuous mix n' match of parts from different machines and discarding of XS weight,  Nige has fabbed a light, fast rocket. A lot of racers will be seeing his rear end this season. In a good way.
His story:

After three seasons of racing a Yamaha RD400 with some success in the Classic Racing Motorcycle post classic (up to 1982) championship for air cooled bikes up to 500cc, I decided to look round for a machine that would be a bit unusual. After some research I came up with the XS500. As far as I knew, nobody had raced one seriously before in the U.K., but on the minus side, it's a machine I knew little about! What really swayed it was the fact that it was a 180 degree twin, similar to the classic Honda 350 k4 that I had already raced and which are super competitive. In September 2011 I bid for a '77 non runner on eBay and won it for 300. (About $450 USA -Bernie)


Since then I've acquired a further 2 spare motors for around 50 each.  As soon as I got the bike home I pulled it apart to start the build, the engine was put to one side as I decided to build the chassis up first, the main priority being weight loss.


 The frame was sand blasted and de lugged to make ready for painting, the forks were re-chromed, new seals were fitted and built up using emulators in an attempt to improve the handling.  At the moment the swing arm is standard apart from needle rollers, but I'll be fitting a box section one at some point.
Next were the wheels.  An RD 250 hub was obtained for the front and Alf Hagon  laced it to a new 185 alloy rim. 
(http://www.trakbytes.co.uk/hofaha.html -Bernie)
For the rear I got hold of a super light complete rear wheel from an XT125.

 
 Next came the brakes.  The front has a 300 mm floating rotor from a TX850 and a Brembo caliper. I tried to use the standard XS master cylinder but it turned out to have a rock solid feel so after some research I ended up with one with the correct ratio from a Honda Revere (Similar to the '88 -'91 Honda Hawk GT, more info here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_NT650 -Bernie) which is perfect, giving lots of feedback. The rear uses a tiny XT125 caliper and master cylinder, the disc is home made from alloy & hard anodized, the rear shock absorbers are an adjustable damping type specially built & supplied by Alf.  Clip on handle bars are alloy, the petrol tank is standard XS fitted with a Monza cap.  The seat is XR750, but  I will be changing it for one from a Norvil production racer.  Things like rear sets & engine plates are cut from alloy plate.  All the spacers , foot pegs, etc are turned from alloy bar on my small lathe.



Next up was the motor, a real eye opener! Never seen a motor so over engineered, heavy and over complicated! (I firmly believe that an engine can never have too many chains!   -Bernie)  First to go was the starter motor, kick shaft assembly, balance shaft & related junk , once that lot was chucked the engine already felt much lighter. The motor was then taken to Phil Joy to sort out new profiles for the camshafts.  Phil has been working on race cams for around 35 years and really knows his stuff.  (http://www.motorcyclewebsite.com/joy-engineering-camshaft-specialist -Bernie)
As race pistons dont exist for the XS500, I took some advice from Jimmer and obtained some late XS ones which have a higher compression.  The head was skimmed to bring this up a tad higher.  Because the XS motors can suffer from overheating at the cylinder head, I had a copper head gasket made which helps regarding heat dispersion.  The valves are standard but fitted with race valve springs from a Honda Fireblade,
The clutch looked pretty strong so I just fitted EBC plates & stronger springs. At first the ignition was taken care of with a Newtronic system but this gave problems at the first race meeting at Mallory Park when the rotor came apart!
(More info about the rotor issue here Berniehttp://www.xs500forum.com/index.php?topic=658.0
Colin Western of Western Road Race Ignitions suggested I try a new crankshaft mounted self generating system and this was supplied by Colin for me to develop.  The end of the crank was machined to take the rotor & a side cover with an oil seal made up to take the unit.


The carburetors are Mikuni 36mm VM as used on the TZ racers.  The exhaust system was the last thing to get the project running.  Initially I was going to have one built professionally but this would be expensive so I decided to build one myself.  Glad I did in the end as it looks quite good and works well. Other features on the bike are Scitsu electronic rev counter & oil pressure gauge to keep a check on the motor. 
(http://www.scitsu.co.uk/docs/main.htm  -Bernie)


All up the bike weighs in at approx 132kg ( =291 lbs! - Geez, I gotta go on a diet. -Bernie) which is a huge saving on the standard machine.  Must say thanks to forum member Jimmer for his advice during the build,  having 35 years experience with the XS.
Since the the build was completed I've been lucky enough to obtain a brand new complete round port motor from the son of Geoff Monty who was a well known motor cycle dealer up to the mid 80s. (http://www.manxgrandprix.org/News/News45.html -Bernie) I reckon it must be the only new engine in existence & still has the quality control tag from the factory attached ! This will be used in the bike later this season.


« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 04:50:41 PM by CrouchyUK »

Offline jimmer

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 10:20:00 PM »
Very good indeed. Now get that scoop back on the cylinder head! I hope you have a highly successful season.Lots to like about this bike.


Offline guylr

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 10:20:58 PM »
Nice work Nigel. I reckon you have the four stroke equivalent to an RD350 racer, just faster. You can see the close resemblance between the XS and RD frames. Yamaha liked to re-use what they knew was good. I notice the R5/DS7 generator cover, a good re-use of a Yamaha on your part too. Does your racing organization require an oil catch pan under the engine? Over here AHRMA make you install a pan that will hold the full oil capacity of the engine.

Keep us up to date on your progress. How about a dyno run? That would be interesting to see how much the old girl is pumping.

Guy

Now Retired Yamaha guy. Cut me and I bleed "Cinquasia Red"

Offline deadpresident

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »
That bike is supremely bad ass.... That ignition alone is mouthwatering! And you made that exhaust system yourself?! Killer.... just killer.


Offline CrouchyUK

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 10:21:51 PM »
Love the curves on those LHS alloy plates Nige!

What does the slot in the old points cover do?

1975 Honda CB200T (2) - 1975 Yamaha XS500B (2) - 1976 Yamaha XS500C
1977 Yamaha RD400D - 1977 Yamaha XS500D - 1978 Honda CB550K - 1980 Honda CB400N
1980 Honda CB900FA - 2000 Kawasaki ZX6-RG2 - 2002 Suzuki GSX-R1000K2

Offline jimmer

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 10:22:20 PM »
was sworn to secrecy,but I can't hold it in any longer.That is the supercharger intake.............................


Offline rundownfid

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 10:26:47 PM »
Very nice, we'll all be waiting for some results, hopefully with you at the top.


Offline Guest1

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 10:27:18 PM »
Where did you get the gas cap for the xs500? I gotta have one.


Offline Guest1

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 10:28:36 PM »
Did you have to do much modification to the tank? Thanks for the info. I totally dig the bike I have a 76 xs500 cafe.


Offline nigecollier

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 10:04:48 PM »
The first meeting at Darley Moor did not go to plan with the crank mounted ignition destroying itself  :-\ although it
did manage to finish the race,  :) its back to the drawing board & the crank mounting has been scrapped, have also made some more upgrades, all will be good to go for next race in two weeks, will post more pics later
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 10:08:24 PM by nigecollier »

Offline nigecollier

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 08:32:16 AM »
Sorry there are no longer any answers to any questions, all my posts seem to have disapeared in the change over  ::) lol,


Offline nigecollier

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 09:31:08 PM »
now fitted with ram air scoop  ;D

Offline dean

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 07:47:28 PM »
oy Nigel ! 

tell us more about your custom ram air scoop ...    I was looking at my little TX scoop vs. the later and larger scoop off my '78 XS and was trying to figure out how to mod a larger scoop to fit my valve cover ( the fastener pattern is much wider to match the scoop on the later bikes )

...... or if I should find a spare  valve cover off a later bike, polish and install that with the larger scoop.  ....

 

I was looking at my GT550 with the cast ram air shroud.... and then I vaguely  remembered someone with a custom scoop here...  ( I mean a SCOOP ) 

Offline nigecollier

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 08:08:58 PM »
mine was simple to fabricate from a sheet of alloy, made a template from cardboard, bolted to original holes using alloy tube spacers which I  welded  in place but not nesersary, you must allow some air to pass out the back or it will get hotter than not having one  :)

Offline nigecollier

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Re: Nigel's Racer March 2013
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2013, 08:22:56 PM »
the XS is finally getting out to another race meeting after the false start earlier in the year, will be racing at Aberdare Park a road circuit in Wales on the 27/28 July , Ive been out a few times already this season on my 1972 350 Honda twin so will be good to give the XS a run  :D this pic is from my second of three visits to the valleys this year , the first being Trac Mon Anglesey.
ps, ime the one with the grey silver hair lol
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 08:25:55 PM by nigecollier »