Chris Bradley builds a T500 racer - Chapter 4

Another trip to see Alex got me a pair of GT500 forks which would prove better than the older T500 ones. Then I went in search for some wheels.

Stafford bike show was coming up and I was told I would surely get fixed up with something there. I had never been to Stafford but I can honestly say It was the best day out ever. My pal had to drag me away at 4.30 just so we could get home at a reasonable time. And guess what ? ...I got a superb pair of flanged alloy rims for 19 each. They were brand new shop soiled Yamaha rims already drilled but I gambled on the drillings being about right.. ( they were perfect).

Talking to Graham Boothby from TGA Racing one day got me the front brake I had wanted. Graham told me he had just brought five new GT750 front brakes in from France, which had been forgotten about. 250 got me the brake and twin lever, and the whole lot polished up real nice. I later got my fairing from TGA for 100. Its good quality and I can recommend it to anyone.

One of the first jobs was to junk the old cup & cone steering bearings and replace them with taper rollers. I came by a set of yokes with a good strong feel to them and about the right offset and width. (They could well be Suzuki) A little engineering saw them accept a pair of bearings and later I spent some time removing the excess weight from the bottom yoke which also improved the looks.

One evening totally out of the blue I received a call from a fellow called Mike Thomas. Mike was racing Honda K4's and was thinking of using a Suzuki T500 front brake on his Honda. It turned out he had been speaking to Alex Clapson who had told him I had one for sale. Mike was also working on restoring a Robinson 4ls front brake but it needed some real work to get it back to original. While we spoke Mike told me about a friend in Mid-Glamorgan who was also interested in T500 Suzuki's. Chap named Rob Greenhill. I never gave it another thought and then a couple of weeks later I received another phone call. ( Thank goodness) from Rob Greenhill. Motorcycle Racer and Engineer, also Expert on many things including T500 Suzuki's .

After several exchanges of kindness and urine taking Rob introduced me into the world of the Two Stroke Tuner. Everything from Graham Alexander Bells theory on expansion pipe lengths to machining the squish on cylinder heads. Rob is a real perfectionist and when he offered to make me some crankcase stuffers and machine my crankcases I wasn't going to say no. Later we got onto cylinder heads and how we needed to locate a welder who could fill up our combustion chambers with aluminium at a reasonable cost. My old mate Roger new just the man to do the work and so we commissioned him to weld my heads first, and then when Rob saw the work he sent me a pair of his heads to have the same done. Fitting crankcase stuffers is of course to replace the volume of any material removed when lightening a crankshaft. Embarrassed as I was, I had to ask Roger if he would do the job (again). He's a real mate and he agreed to lighten and rebuild my crank once more.

Squish heads increase the compression and combustion therefore making for more power. Extra weld on the topside of the head is required to retain the wall thickness and I hope will also add strength. I remember cracking a cylinder head when I owned my standard T500. It seems to be a common fault on this engine.

There has been some recent theories on the subject of crank stuffers. Some would say that they are not needed, and the signal from the engine and the expansion pipe dimensions control the power. Others say that only partial stuffing is required if you can get the volume in the crankcase exact. Wherever exact is. Me, I decided to go with the tried and tested, Rob made the stuffers and machined my crank cases to accept them.

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