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Australian Restoration

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jeff Gascoyne is located in Kangaroo Flat, Australia (about 150 km north of Melbourne) where they have an active group of early Japanese bike enthusiasts. Above is Jeff's bike, and below is something Jeff wrote for the vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Inc (Australian Branch), Central Victorian Region newsletter called Jap Torque:

I have recently completed a full restoration of a 1972 Yamaha R5C that I have owned since around 1978. It was used daily, mainly as a commuter, until the EPA sent me a letter in 1995 informing me that it was emitting excessive smoke, which it was. The bike has been a project bike since then with progress being very slow until quite recently.

The R5C was the forerunner to the RD models and in its day was quite a quick machine. Yamaha claim a top speed of 160 km/h plus. The engine is a 2 stroke air cooled, 5 port, parallel twin cylinder with a capacity of 350cc. The net weight of the bike is 141kg and the maximum output of the engine is 36 BHP @ 7000rpm. Maximum torque is 28.0 ft lb @ 6500 rpm. The braking system uses drum brakes front and rear. The fuel tank has a capacity of 12litres and the bike has a 5 speed gearbox. The bike was finished in mandarin orange.

The bike has been completely disassembled. The frame, swing arm, tail light bracket and some other parts have been powder coated. New swing arm bushes have been fitted, as well as front and rear wheel bearings and seals, steering head bearings and brake shoes.

The front fork legs were pitted and I sent them to Queensland, Rad Hard Chroming, for repair. They were great to deal with and did a terrific job. The forks have new seals and the aluminium outers have been polished and have been assembled ready to be fitted to the bike.

Most of the chromed pieces, i.e. mudguards, brake levers, chain guard, mufflers and various other pieces have been rechromed. I have used the local electroplater and have been pleased with their work.

The seat frame was very badly rusted with sections eaten away. I rebuilt the frame using sheetmetal and then encased the frame with fibreglass matting. I then sprayed it black with epoxy paint. It looks like it will do the job very well. I purchased a new seat foam and cover from HVC Cycle and had it fitted by a motor trimmer..

Nearly all of the fasteners have been replaced with stainless and any Phillips head screws have been replaced by socket screws. I know that this is not original but I hate Phillips head screws.

The engine has been fully dismantled and the cylinders rebored and fitted with new pistons and rings. The crankshaft and gearbox were inspected and found to be ok.

I have bought new sprockets that will suit an o ring chain (530) as the original chain is a 525 which is not available in an o ring chain. I have kept the same ratio, 40:15.

Obtaining parts has not been the problem I thought it would be. Richard Penna (a local motorcycle dealer) has been particularly helpful and it is surprising the stock he has. I have purchased parts from overseas from two places, HVC Cycles (www.hvccycle.com) in the USA have been excellent as have CMS (www.cmsnl.com) based in the Netherlands. Most parts I have been able to obtain are genuine Yamaha (i.e. handlebars, seals, petrol and oil hoses, etc.).

Painting was done locally and I have been very pleased with the result. I was not able to find the original paint code (mandarin orange and black) as I intended to keep the paint as close as possible to the original.

The bike runs perfectly, is registered and on club plates and I have recently joined the VJMC and have enjoyed catching up with like minded enthusiasts. I would be pleased to hear from anyone in regard to my project and would value advice and opinions given.

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Yahoo! Yamaha R5 Group Bike of the Month

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Unless they're fooling with me (it is the first of April after all), my bike has been crowned Bike of the Month for April 2008 on the newly renovated Yahoo! Yamaha R5 Group.

For the unaware, this Yahoo! group is populated with folks who are most knowledgeable in all things vintage Yamaha. Without their help many of the problems with and parts missing from my R5 would never have been sorted. I thank them very much!

Be sure to check them out, and to sign up if you haven't already!


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1970 Cycle Magazine 350 Review

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Here's a great comparison test of all the "hot new superbike" 350s from December of 1970! Each page is individually scanned, so you have to download each one separately, but it's definitely a good read. I don't think you'll be too surprised when you discover which bike won the top honors in the review...

1970 Cycle Magazine 350 Review


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The German Roots of Yamaha Motorcycles

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good article over on the Kneeslider about the German roots of early Yamaha motorcycles.

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Joys of Motorcycle Repair

Friday, July 28, 2006

I thought this article well-timed after having to stop twice on my last ride to switch out fouled plugs. The Kneeslider has a good article summing up why some of us are compelled to keep our ol' bucket of bolts running, and doing it ourselves:

Buying an old motorcycle may not make complete economic sense when some new or relatively recent bikes are available, but the promise of getting that old bike running again as it was designed to do and once did, hearing an engine that hasn't made a sound in decades come to life, you just can’t buy that kind of happiness.


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Some hard earned knowledge of the DS7

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I came across this DS7 page while helping out Nate, who recently picked up a DS7. There's a good section at the bottom that offers some tips that could be of some use for later Yamaha 2-stroke riders:
Riding technique is important. If you are not in the power band (6000 rpm up), twisting the grip to full throttle is not useful, and actually just helps foul the plugs. Be very patient and wait, or shift gears, until the engine gets to at least 5000 before hitting wide open. Otherwise you are just dumping extra oil into the cylinders and ruining your plugs.

The mufflers are too restrictive even when absolutely clean. They rapidly strangle the machine as they plug up with oily soot. So you need to drill a couple of holes about one eighth or 3/16 of an inch in diameter in the end of each baffle so some exhaust gas can bypass the baffle. It's best to not drill in the chrome area, just beside the exit hole is OK. Then you have to keep the baffles pretty clean, and maybe make a scraping tool to clean them out without always having to remove them. A long screw was what I used. (about 10 inches) I used it kind of like a little rake to scrape out the baffle.

Metallic ash can foul the spark plugs. There are two sources of this, one is leaded gas, which you can't find any more so no worries there. The second source is the 2 stroke oil. Yamaha says use oil "BIA Certified for service TC-W" I don't even need to look that up, 20 years later it's still engraved in my memory. Actually, you sometimes can't find this stuff but what you are looking for is "Ash free" oil. You can check the label. The DS7 ran with lots of oil, and that what partly contributed to fouling but also made the engine last a long time under severe use.

More information and plenty of pictures here.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Found some good info on motorcycle anti-theft: a site by a guy who lost his bike to theft, and a comprehensive article from Motorcycle Cruiser magazine... good to know, as I’ll be parking on-street or in an open parking lot...

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