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Monday, November 29, 2010

Kawasaki zxr750 k

well updates are that unfortunatly some of the gear that I picked up isn't as good as condition as it was I've had to try and bend some stuff to fit and its been pretty frustrating to say the least.
Suffice to say its time to refit the engine and get on with it.

Sleipner lives on!

The sliepner number one racing chassis has turned up in New mexico and the owner has been in contact asking me for any info.
Great news indeed that she has landed in good hands and despite the first buyer trying to squeeze an evo into her, she will now get an xr engine when it should be! I'll be updating about the guys project!
Here she is in full flight when I owned her!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Murphys law..

The plan this weekend was to start the serious rebuild of the K.
A took the swinging arm over to a mates and had it tig welded. As the rip was underneath the arm I was more concerned about strength than looks and I told him so. Just make sure it works out strong!
It was good to finally have a swing , back in one piece and a k frame.
Next was to unpack the P rocker and L dog arms and fit them up to the frame. Before this the idea was to get the forks off to make the switch..then came Murphys law. The right clip-on screw was stripped, thats the screw/bolt that goes into the top of the triple tree. Took a while , but once again the old chisel/hammer special tool had it off and in the bucket.
Next job is to remove the ruined ignition switch, which once again is a pain in the ass job, having to remove the shear bolts fitted for security by the factory and replacing them with allen bolts.
Top gear made in Germany.As you'd expect of course.

The P rocker and L arms (18,5cm eye to eye bolt holes are the same length as race-kit). The ride height and the pre-load numbers will be dialed in and copied from somebody who has been using the same.
meanwhile, back at the ranch though, and the work continues with the Aprilia swing conversion , using the now disgarded frame as a dummy.
It's feeling good to have a replacement K frame for the bike which was of course a mint example. The plan is to have everything together by next weekend. We shall's always a case of Murphys Law if you start planning the end results..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle...

Strange how things work out.Went to the Post office today to ask about a rather strange reminder that I got only to be told that they couldn't find the package that I received a reminder about but that I had another package that was so large it had been left in a different area..could only be one thing, and right enough it was the K frame arrived from Germany.

Wasn't the easiest to carry up to the bus and home...but worth it.
Under the frame was a box which of course had the Rairotec rear sets. Incredible quality and understandable that the retain cost new is 4 times more than I paid.

So, now everything is almost in place except a ripped original swinger and an Aprilia that requires some engineering to fit. Gotta make some decisions , but what I feel will be the decider will be the fact that to get the bike a swedish number plate due to the German frame,I'll have to rebuild the bike to stock and go through the paperwork. I can still use the rear-sets,  carbon fibre mudguard, 6 pots and muzzy headers.
Hopefully this weekend the rebuild can begin in earnest.

The real thing by all accounts....

...found these pics out on the cyber in a forum about zx swining arms and stuff.
By all accounts this is the real thing, WSB or likewise..

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Checking out the new arm and deciding on the old one

So tonight I thought I'd go down and remove the zxr swing arm and temp mount up the Aprilia 2008 arm.
Removing the zxr arm was easy enough , as was fitting the 20 mm spindle of the Aprilia arm in the 25mm spindle holes of the kawasaki's.

Whats really surprising is the fact that despite the size of the Aprilia arm, it is in fact lighter.I checked the length and they are very similar in length, almost exactly the same.
Now then, back to the questions of fitting the arm. As I checked them back to back it's fairly obvious there is a difference in the rocker linkage systems, however the actual pivots on both swingers are almost in the same place and at the same height, which helps. The only worry is in the length of the sleeves holding the parts together. This is where an outrigger may help.

Heres a pic from another angle. The question is, if the triangular setup used by Aprilia is a necessity to strengthen up this area. And the other question is if this would work using a kawasaki sleeve without an outrigger. I'd feel safer knowing the answers...

To make the arm fit will require the rotor to be turned down to 220mm for the Brembo rear caliper.
Even more weight removed. I'll be staying with the standard Kawasaki wheels for the moment due to the costs of getting lighter wheels, although it may be worth while looking for more modern street wheels as they'll be lighter for a start.

Now , finally with the ZXR arm off I could check out the damage caused by the crash.
Read a few lines on forums and the real question is if it's safe to weld this back (TIG) or time to get a spare one. Haven't really decided.

As has been the case after the crash, small question marks turn to serious question marks! The weld has held but ripped the swinger open like a can opener.

Monday, November 15, 2010

bit a carbon....

Decided not to go with the carbon clip-ons, but when this came up I went for it.
Unfortunatly the original on the ZXR is what better than a replacement in carbon fibre which isn't just for a racer but for a road bike (difference is in the fittings and thickness).
Postman delivered the Muzzy Race headers today as well as the Aprilia 2008 swinging arm.
I have to say the headers are classic race headers, beautifully hand crafted in stainless with class welds and of course the usual springs and seperate headers coming out of the cylinder head. Akropovic are of course the modern wonder pipe, but at a price well over 1000€ I'd rather take an original Muzzy race header as he was the guru, following on kawasaki tuning traditions from Moriwaki.
The ad said the pipes apparently came of Scott Russells Supersport Championship bike. Looking at them it wouldn't surprise me at all.

So, after that box was looked into, I opened up the candy box with the Aprilia swinger. Bloody hell...quality part! I was fortunate enough to get everything included , which saves me a lot of money and time.
But, I'm still thinking of how to look at fitting this arm so the suspension works as it should. The original Aprilia linkage is completely different and the question is how the reworked set up used by others on this arm will effect the handling. No point in having something that looks good if the handling isn't good.
The best way around this is to take the smashed frame and use it to set up the Aprilia arm in the best possible way. Meanwhile I can use the stock parts I have including the up to date rocker and L dog bones.
Basically, I have pretty much everything to rebuild the stock K except perhaps for the plastics and cosmetics.

Looking at another website of  guy who has fitted the same arm, I noticed he has cut back the linkage holes to fit and used a setup I'm dubious about.

Has to be said its a work of art and if possible I will try and fit it as soon as possible!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Today the cheapo version of kawasakis' special tool arrived, so off I went to the bike to see if it would work.
To be fair, it's not too bad an attempt, but imo it could be better.I feel it could be milled deeper..
Anyway, as everybody knows, it's never that easy on your own and even with the special wrench , at the end of the day I fetched a crow bar and applied some pressure on the left hand spacer above the engine which had her dropping down on the kindle wood box I had underneath, which, as it should, collapsed slightly under the strain but still kept the engine off the concrete!

It was a relief to finally have an almost skeleton bike , with only the front end to remove and swing-arm.
Obviously now come the serious questions as to which direction I go when all the parts arrive.
The zxr swinging-arm will have to be looked at anyway as one of the paddock bobbins has bent off. This of course gives me the perfect excuse to fit the Aprilia sa.
I've been slightly bugged about another setup I've read with regards the Aprilia/kwacker mix, and I think the answer I'll be happy with will be to add some outriggers on the Aprilia swinger OR make some special dog bones for the linkage.
One thing I really don't want to do is have something unfinished and lying around, so I have to decide soon and start looking at the swingarm pivot mods that have to be done to get a 20mm into a 25mm.
Except for some fiberglass work,the shopping list is pretty well done and dusted.

Now it's down to postman pat to stop feeding his cat and get on with the deliveries.
IF, the Aprilia arm goes on, its a case of also getting the rear disc taken down to 220mm to fit the brembo rear which is from the Aprilia Mille. Apparently things line up well once it's all bolted together. However, I'm not sure just how much effort has been put into the suspension setup and variables.The Aprilia has a very different setup in the rocker linkage. I'm thinking of taking the safe option and buying a spare swinging arm pivot so I can still put the zxr back on.

Here's the reason all this started;

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

wish list

APE manual chain adjuster.
Always a good thing to have on any race engine. These aren't too costly and I believe worth the investment at some point.
Now then, I have found a set of single race kit valves which may be a necessity if the inner springs have cracked which may be the reason she choked around the 8000/9000 rpm mark, and the cost was 1600skr.
If they don't still have them in stock, here is a complete set complete with titanium retainers.At 475 dollars they aren't cheap.

Everyone should experience an Xr500r Honda.

Here is a bike that I feel everybody should experience at least once in a lifetime.
Had to rebuild her and source parts Globally, but everytime she burst into life she was worth it.
Wonderful grunt in the engine which I'm not sure is available in any other XR Honda.
They ooze character and the only reason she had to go was due to a partial tear in my ACL due to rugby which basically meant fear everytime it came to starting her up.
Definitly worth a mention here , now that I'm back into it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jimmy and the Black Crowes

If there is a concert I wish I'd seen, it wouldn't have been the Led Zepp reunion, but Jimmy Page and his touring with the Black Crowes! He played like a young buck as can be heard "live at the Greeks". Brilliance!

Sleipner, My racing bike and project!

Here she is. A project that took me four years to complete and a lot of contact to Mert lawwill in the states, to phoning around , buying blue prints, talking to some of the greatest Harley racers and designers, getting back door to HD racing and development was a great mission and project and the result you can see above.
At the time the only Harleys leaving their mark were Lucifers Hammer and the Buell, which we termed the Mule as the wheelbase was around 61 inches and the design had faults.
So, Lawwills "flying shark" blueprints were purchased, and after a few ideas and phone calls to some of the best frame builders, I decided to take my design and ideas to Spondon Engineering in England to get their ideas and a rolling chassis.
The Engine had a story on its own. I'd read about a guy in grass valley, california, who'd built alloy heads and barrels to a stock block but made it xr style with two carbs.I called up the guy and asked him about these parts and he offered me his 002 engine, which he'd taken records at Bonneville salt lakes. It was stuck in a box and shipped over to Sweden. It was running at approx 1280 cc. We added some interesting parts, including carbon fibre pushrods which I always thought trick! and  after a few more calls we had what I considered the most up to date and modern HD racer ever built.
We took her over to England and had the pro racer who had raced the Buell a shot at Donnington. He was very impressed.Who wouldn't be to be honest, she was the size of a 250 yamaha due to the bimota stale co-axial swinging arm and weighed in at around 160Kg with an engine running 100ft lbs torque at 3500 revs and 100 hp at 6500 revs!! Our performance bikes test had the guy mentioning she sounded like a Focke Wulf tri.plane on tickover but with a power curve of a steam train!

Shes sold now, rolling chassis to the USA (the guy who just purchased her again contacted me with questions) and the engine to Germany.
Good times indeed and a project to be proud of!

Sputhe XR1280

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hats off to the Vincent Black Lightning!

With my background having solid foundations in the Classic Bike era, I still sometimes turn back the cyber pages and look at pictures from the past.
Having designed, built and raced my Spondon Harley, the roots of that beast which can be found elsewhere on the blog, go back to the likes of Rollie Free running his Vincent at the salt lakes in speedos!And why not! He did actually break the records...
The supercharged Vincent embraces everything about being a petrol head, regardless of model or country, its about the smells and sounds and the souls of these specials! Winter in Sweden suddenly became a lot more interesting!

30% of a friends private Superbike collection....

all tricked out...

Been looking around for clip-ons .
So far we're looking at a very tricked out Bike X as well as a fairly standardised K series Bike.
or not...
I look at the R / K series as having some adequate front and rear suspension units. Sure an Öhlins would be nice, but the cost is prohibitive. I have borrowed some ideas from others who found that using a later rocker linkage and race-kit length linkages , really sorted out the initial issues faced with the early models. Those parts are already sourced and ready to drop in.
Now, with the Aprilia swing on the way, my first thoughts are to look at retaining the zxr swing pivot and look at changing the innards of the Aprilia to 25mm , from 20 mm. This may or not be possible, until I have the parts I can't tell. If that is the case , I then have the option of either using a bush from a zx12/zx9 to widen the Aprilia bush to Kwacker size, Or look at cutting back the kwacker rocker to the same width as the Aprilia. Updates will follow.

I'm currently in the worst part of the project, which is the waiting time as everything goes through local post offices.
But the scribble pad is out and by all accounts the idea is as follows:

91/92 frame running 2008 aprilia banana swing , running aprilia brembo rear brake set up on kawasaki stock rear wheel with a kawasaki rear 230mm disc taken down to 220mm.Aprilia chain adjusters and bolt used.
Rairotec rear-sets
Gsxr1000 front 6 pots (gold)
Carbon fibre black front mudguard
Carbon fibre black rear hugger guard on aprilia swing
Std alloy zxrr tank
Full muzzy race exhaust
Adjustable billet triple-trees

Fairings and seat , well, still uncertain.

Engine is going to remain standard except for APE single race valve springs as I believe the current inner springs are broken.
The idea of having a ram air system using the airtech setup is on my mind, but as it is, the full power jap engine runs well as it is with the stock airbox, so I'll leave it as it is for the moment.But, you never know, the idea of running a ram system is appealing despite the fact that she'll be a pig with knickers in normal traffic, but to be honest, if that was an issue I'd buy a standard bike and be happy with that.

Oh, where did we start, the clip-ons! carbon fibre....

Wanted and Found

Since I noticed a rather nice carbon fibre Aprilia rear mudguard for the swinger, I thought it would probably match a carbon fibre one up front. Couldn't find one, until now that is. With the 6 pot golds up front, kayabasa Gold forks as well, I reckon a black front mudguard would look good and its the same price as a standard black one I found on ebay.

The Beginning...

Here's a real classic bike , basically the Endurance kawasaki that was built around the H to K models.