Chris Bradley builds a T500 racer - Chapter 6

If you can afford it a close ratio gearbox and straight cut primary gears are also an advantage. Murray's Web site has loads more info on this subject, and loads of great photographs.

Once I had all the components together I could begin assembly. It was important to bolt everything together before painting just in case something needed to be changed to fit.

I ordered my fairing from TGA racing and the front mudguard was ordered from MPS. TZ. Tank mounting rubbers and twistgrips came from Padgett's at Batley West York's, as did the final drive chain. Time came to plan a colour scheme.

I did like the colours of the original team Suzuki's and using Murray's Web Site I scanned the images until I came up with a scheme of red and white. ( very imaginative ) but effective.

Although I am a fair old hand with a spray gun I asked my pal Roy if we could paint in his garage as my wife is not keen on the smell of thinners. Nor is she keen on the over spray which once found its way upstairs and settled on the skirting boards.

We painted the frame first and graphics were ordered for the tank & fairing. I then matched the red paint to the graphics to make it look that bit more professional.

I made some rear set footrest brackets from Dural. A tip for anyone trying to cut this stuff is :- Use a jigsaw and the coarsest blade you can find. I use a Bosch and choose the yellow painted blades, together with some light oil for lubricant. This will turn an almost impossible task into a breeze.

Roger made me a stainless steel outer cable arrester for the rear brake, and I shortened the cable to fit. The brackets attach to the frame by two m8 bolts that screw into top hats which are tig welded into the frame tubing. The coils attach in a similar way near the headstock.

Footrests were also turned by Roger from aluminium and display some fine knurling. The rear brake and gear levers came from a set designed to fit a K series BMW I got second hand. I think they are available from M&P.

Crooks Suzuki supplied the front brake cables ( already shortened to accommodate the different handlebar height.

I decided to take advice from Murray on shocks and fitted Koni's. Tyres are Avon AM22 race compound. Again recommended by Murray.

A visit once again to the Stafford bike show in September 97 was a bit of a get together. Mike Thomas, Rob Greenhill, Alex Clapson, Martin Crooks and yours truly. Rob picked up a pair of barrels for 15 and also a pair of standard pistons for 35. and I got some 34mm racing Carb's which turned out to be a mistake. Some more advice. Never buy second hand carbs unless you know where they came from, and what they will cost to re-jet. I paid 80 and then spent another 70 for bits. A new pair already set up would have been 180.

Rob gave me the settings for his carb's which were confirmed as OK by Allens. If your interested.... Pilot jet 60 Main jet 250 Slides No.2 Needles 6D16 Needle jet - Q-O. The Factory Racers ran much leaner than this, but then they could afford to.

Perhaps next year we could increase the gatherings with other devotees of the T500. Les Trotter, Don Leeson, Dave Evans, and there must be more out there.

Just to finish the job off with a real touch of professionalism, my best friend of some thirty odd years Clive Dickinson, who is a top advertising photographer in Newcastle Upon Tyne, offered to do some studio shots of my bike.( Image Photographic) .....WOW. A real nice way to compliment 18 months graft.

It has been a strange set of circumstances which have brought me to the present day. I have always believed that if you really want something to happen and apply all of your energies to it, then it will happen. Henry Ford once said " Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't ...Your Right" But somehow I feel as if I have had some kind of guiding hand. Rob Greenhill suggested that I call the bike Serendipity. And you know I think I just might, when I find out what it means.

It has been a tremendous learning curve for me, and I have met some great people during this adventure, to whom I am eternally grateful.

All I have to do now is to learn to ride the thing and find some dosh to go racing. This will be the start of another learning curve for me, and perhaps the financial ruination of me too. However I am looking forward to the future and having some good fun.

Murray has just told me that Ray Battersby writer of " Team Suzuki" has recently been in touch with him. Also Frank Whiteway who won the production race at the Isle of Man in 1970 on a T500.

I think we may see a new era dawning for the T500 Suzuki, I built my TR Look alike for about 2,000 although I dad a lot of help from friends. You can still build a budget racer for around that and get good performance at low maintenance costs. You never know! This could be the dawning of a T500 revival and with enough of them around perhaps a class race could be developed, and Les Trotter might get to ride a T500 around the TT circuit after all. Remember Henry Ford !

My thanks go to the following useful contacts.

Roger Bennett ... Engineer....Crank Rebuilds....Special Parts 01422 341862
Rob Greenhill... Engineer...Stuffers..Heads.....Special Parts 01443 431198
Tony Baker Engineer...Frame Builder....Special Parts 01768 881653
Peter Keyte Fuel Tanks Seats (aluminium) 01386 554136
Crooks Suzuki New & Used Suzuki Parts.....Advice 01229 822342
Alex Clapson Suzuki parts T500....X7..... 01554 758145
IMAGE Photographic ( Clive Dickinson) 0191 2688000

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