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Excellent Seat Mod

Monday, January 04, 2010

Via Arkitip.


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New Lightcycles from TRON Sequel

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not a Yamaha, and DEFINITELY not vintage, but I just had to post this tidbit about one of the baddest "motorcycles" ever, and how it is going to be revisited. Disney surprised everyone by premiering a teaser trailer for a TRON sequel at last year's Comic Con. That teaser trailer is below:

Well, today, a full-size physical model of the lightcycle from the new movie was unveiled at this year's Comic Con. Footage of the the model, as well as a glimpse of some concept sketches, can be seen here.

Far cry from the original 80s version seen below:

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TZ250 on Ebay!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A friend passed this to me this morning:

Highly collectible Yamaha TZ250A fully restored to original specifications. Motor and transmission rebuilt with good crank.Transmission checked and shimmed. All new gaskets and seals. New barrels were stripped on the original chrome because original chrome tends to flake, and were re-plated by Millenium Technologies with modern longer lasting plating.

Complete T1A Hitachi race CDI ignition. The ignition was checked on a test bed, and the slow speed coil was rewound to original specs by Motorcycle Electrics in Colorado. Now has a big fat blue spark from very low revs. Carbs are correct including the phenolic resin spacers and brass clamps. The tacho is mounted on a set of NOS rubber dampers that I have had for years just waiting for the right project.

The frame is in great condition with none of those annoying cracks that TZ's are often afflicted with. Swingarm is OEM and I had to get new bottom bolts fabricated to the original design out of stainless steel. Hardware was replated in bright zinc where necessary.

This bike is 99% original and needs only the correct front fender to be perfect. Reproduction fenders recently became available from Meed Speed in the UK. It even has the correct forks with the gull top triple clamp and double diameter staunchions and big drum brakes along with those fiunky sping mounted exhausts. The bike had been retrofitted with later type mufflers, and they were removed and the pipes professionally repaired to orginal.

Paint on the frame, swingarm and bodywork is better than original Yamaha race type piant but it was not over restored. This bike would look great in your collection or private museum or take it out for a track day, but I would swap out the pipes if you don't want to damage your hearing.

The seat has been recovered with a Meed Speed cover and it's really hard to get the shape right. I think it looks fine, and it replicates the stock slight step in the foam. Fairing is the US style used by Saarinen, Roberts and Carruthers at Daytona. It is fitted with the optional left brake - right gearshift favored by British. The brake and gear shift veres can be swapped to the "normal" side in about 2 minutes.

It is fitted with two new/almost new AVON race tires, but they are already a few years old and I would strongly recommend new rubber if yu want to run it round the track. I have the 3.00x18 Dunlop Triangular KR76 front tire if you want it for museum display. There are two sets of footpegs with teh bike. A nice looking afytermarket set and aless pretty original set of pegs.

This is not some hastily cobbled together bunch of worn out parts or modified street bike bits. It's all TZ and i built this one to replace the one I sold a few years ago. As usual, when I finish a project I take lots of pictures and then start the next project. I'm an engineer not a collector, so it's time for it to go to a new home. It is a race bike and was manufactured by Yamaha as a race bike. It is not titled and cannot be titled. A bil of sale will be provided. It cannot legally be used on the street and is push started.

See it here.

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Steve McQueen's License

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Steve McQueen's international motorcycle license. Too neat, had to post.

Via welovetypography.com

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I Love Cafe Racers!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Came across this great blog covering cafe racers of all sorts. Very interesting to browse through. Enjoy!


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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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Concept Renderings

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Brian forwarded me this great portfolio of vehicle designer Heikki Naulapää. I've seen his work before in the very interesting Aprilia Magnet 3-wheeler. I also found this great Aprilia RAM concept concept pictured above.

Dig the reverse grips and levers, front swingarm, seamlessly blended multiple exhaust, and aggressive helmet-forward riding position. I'm gonna have to keep an eye on this guy...

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RD Compilation

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Compilation of various Yamaha advertising for their RD models over the years. Gotta love the "soundtrack"!

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More RD350 Videos

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chris has been posting a lot of videos of his RD (from a few posts back) up on YouTube. You know how the kids love the YouTube these days! I really got to get some video of my bucket of bolts up on there... Anyways, here is a great video walkaround of the bike:

And here it is making that sweet two-stroke music:

And, finally, the moment you have all been waiting for - the burnout:

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Monday, December 18, 2006

My friend Russ just sent over an interesting vehicle offered up for sale on eBay - a 1968 Velorex 16/350. This crazy Czechoslovakian wonder is powered by (you guessed it) a two-stroke 350cc motorcycle engine. Check out those body panels... made of vinyl! And check out the crazy tubular chassis (and motorcycle gas tank) with the vinyl removed:


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On Track and On Board an RD350

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

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Chris' RD350 Progress

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chris wrote to me back in October of 2005 showing me his newly acquired 1973 RD350 (see here for post and "before" pictures). Well, over a year has passed, and he's made quite a lot of progress on his machine. Let's see what he's done:

  • Newtronics ignition (I would recommend installing this, worth the money)
  • New Wiseco pistons (lucky that the stock bore just needed honing after finding that one of the lead counterweights let loose off of the crank and went whizzing through the rest of the motor)
  • Used crank from another R5 motor I purchased as scrap from local motorcycle shop (50 bucks! score)
  • Polished all the aluminum I could on the motor before re-installing
  • New stock seat cover (Ebay not cheap)
  • All new black paint job
  • New stock hand grips
  • Rebuilt carbs (found the piece you posted quite informative)
  • As the cold weather approaches, the next task to tackle is chrome spokes on some aluminum rims
I almost sold it on Ebay but, was able to feel out how much I could get for it. I couldn't bring myself to part with. Anyways, keep the website up. It seems that there is resurgence in popularity in these bikes.

I agree, there has been a resurgence in these bikes. They're cheap, simple, fun and good-looking. Good to see such interest in getting these guys back on the road, and in such good style as Chris' ride. Just take a look at this engine:

For those interested in the carb article that Chris mentioned, see my Mikuni tuning post here.

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Entirely CNC-Machined Cycle

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another crazy O'Toole (no relation... ?) has just completed the RV100, a machine where all parts were designed on the computer, milled using a CNC machine, and where the only welds occur in the fuel tank:

The concept behind the bike is to eliminate the paradigm of the welded tubular frame. Welded tube frame are labor intensive, require expensive jigs and fixturing, and the quality of the weld is very much dependant on the quality of the welder. In contrast, the RV100 frame components are cut on a numerically controlled machine (CNC). This makes the production of parts very repeatable, and makes the production of unique parts routine.

Very, very interesting technique, and also pretty interesting to look at, even for a test mule.


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Ebay find - Speedway Racer!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spied this beaut up for auction on eBay. From the description:
Up for auction is a Jawa Speedway racer ! This is a alcohol burning 90 HP 500cc bike with no brakes! What a trip to ride! The bike is complete, runs and is very good condition with no damage . The tires are in very good condition. Study the pictures if interested, what you see is what you get.

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Return of MV Agusta to racing in America

Friday, November 10, 2006

From MV Agusta USA:

The return of MV Agusta to racing in America is a reality. Using the F41000R in Superstock trim, Eraldo Ferracci brought the rudiments of his team and a pair of young riders to Jennings GP for a private two-day test using Pirelli tires on November 8 and 9, 2006.

Italian Superstock champion Luca Scassa (age 23) and American Matt Lynn (age 22) turned laps under mostly favorable conditions at the Florida track looking for basic setup information and a shakedown for the nearly stock motorcycles.

Scassa is well acquainted with the MV Agusta motorcycle and brought his suspension settings with him to an unfamiliar track. Lynn has raced at Jennings GP but started from scratch on a bike he had never seen or ridden. Both worked through the challenges diligently to arrive at a point where they could begin fine-tuning and offering feedback to keep the MV Agusta technicians heading in the direction of fielding a competitive machine for the US Superbike series.

By afternoon on the first day, both riders were already tantalizingly close to the track record of 1:15:444 of Canadian champion Pascal Picotte set earlier this spring at a joint test of all the Canadian Superbike teams. Just before lunch on day two, Scassa went 1:15.448 and Lynn 1:15.545 hand-timed.

Under sunny skies and with track temperatures climbing nicely, Scassa smashed the record in the mid-afternoon with a 1:14:81 and backed it up a lap later with a 1:14:85 on spec Pirelli tires identical to those used in the Canadian Superbike Championship. Lynn's best of 1:15.2 was also under the old track record and two seconds faster than he had ever been at Jennings GP.

Scassa said, "It's cool being in America, but for sure I came here to do a job and we did some good work. We have much more to do to make the MV Agusta into a superbike but the bike is good and work is OK for me. I'm excited to do this."

"I'm really excited," Lynn added. "We came here with a blank sheet of paper and went to work. It was a lot different from what I have been riding, but once we got the MV basically set up it was really fun. Eraldo knows what he's doing and what he wants. We just kept at it and that's what we need to do. I can't wait to ride it some more. It's fast!"

Ferracci will now travel to Italy to consult with the factory again, delivering information from the test and input from the riders and technicians. The next outing for the Fast by Ferracci MV Agusta F4 1000R will be at the Daytona tire test in December, after which the team will prepare in earnest for the 2007 AMA Superbike Championship.

For sponsorship inquiries, please e-mail mvracing@cagivausa.com.


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

J.T. Nesbitt and former Confederate employee Dave Hargreaves have begun a new design company located in the French Quarter of New Orleans called Bienville, and they've got some conceptual work on display. Mostly hand-drawn, which I find interesting. Their QuadRacer concept is particularly appealling. Stop on by and check them out.


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Confederate strikes again

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Again, going a little off-topic, but this one is just too good to not post about. Confederate is back with a striking new design called the Renovatio:

Conceived by the leader of our conceptual design team, Mr. Ed Jacobs, the motorcycle is at once primitive, bohemian, and yet highly technical. She is skeletal, i.e. she showcases human crafts work. The machine is minimal ; using the fewest pieces, moving parts and systems to accomplish her dynamic mission. She is uncompromised, light weight, possesses enormous torque, is capable of extreme performance, yet has maximum real world streetable active safety. She is graceful in motion, yet potentially brutal. She exudes inner beauty through absolute follow through of truth of concept. She has great proportions, holistic brand gestalt, is original, impactful, alluring and elegant. The Driving concept was the creation of a conceptually flexible foundation to allow a place for growth and further iteration. A utilitarian modular flexible foundation.



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MV Agusta Sets Bonneville Land Speed Record

Monday, August 21, 2006

I know this isn't really about Yamaha, or 2-strokes, or vintage bikes, but it's cool, and they're local. From a press release by MV Agusta USA, here in PA:
The 2007 MV Agusta F4-1000R raced across the salt flats during the 58th Annual Bonneville National Speedweek land speed trials (August 12-18, 2006) and into the Southern California Timing Association record books as the fastest production class 1000cc motorcycle in the world with an average combined speed of 185.882 MPH (299.148 KPH) and a highest single speed of 187.726 MPH (302.116 KPH).

A collaboration between Team Manager, Bob Leppan of TT Motorcycles, Rider Roosevelt ‘Rosey’ Lackey, Tuner Eraldo Ferracci of Fast By Ferracci Racing Products, Primary Sponsor, Gary Kohs, of Fine Art Models, and Matthew Stutzman, MV Agusta GM, the group focused their efforts on attaining the Land Speed Record for the 1000cc Production Engine / Production Frame (P-P) class previously set at 182.759 MPH. The 1000cc “P-P” record is particularly desirable as it based upon unmodified “showroom stock” production models available at any authorized dealer.

Throughout the qualifying runs, the F4-1000R showcased its renowned high speed stability while delivering a factory rated 174 HP and 81.8 ft./lb. of torque to the Utah Salt Flats, propelling the motorcycle unerringly to the very limits of traction and aerodynamics. Veteran rider Roosevelt 'Rosey' Lackey, who piloted the F4-1000R on its record run said that “the bike is so beautiful, it does everything you could want for it to do, with nothing ill at all in any way shape or form, no hiccups anywhere. I love that motorcycle just the way it is.”

The Bonneville effort is yet another step in the contemporary MV Agusta brand’s return to organized racing and complements emerging efforts in both Europe and the United States. Cagiva USA, Inc., the official North American importer of MV Agusta, has set its sights on AMA homologation for Superstock in 2007, and CEO Larry Ferracci notes that “with a performance like this at its Bonneville debut, the MV Agusta F4-1000R is proving to be the platform that will bring MV Agusta’s historic championship-winning success to US racetracks in the very near future.”

For more information and photographs, please contact Matthew Stutzman via e-mail at mvracing@cagivausa.com or by telephone at 215-830-3300 ext.160.


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Slick Tank/Seat Combination

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cobra makes aftermarket parts for metric cruisers and Harleys. They also create show bikes. I'm not usually one for Harley customs, but the special all-in-one seat and tank on their "Trakker" showbike (above) really caught my attention.

I'd love a solution like this for the R5. An all-in-one gas tank, oil tank, battery holder, taillight, turnsignals, plateholder and seat. If the seat above were a little deeper, and had the standard cafe-racer-like bumstop bulge behind it, it would be spot on. Imagine it made of aluminum...

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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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What the heck is this?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Yet another interesting auction on eBay:


Gotta love the piston steering cap and hood ornament. And to think, it's one of twenty!

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Do we really need that much coverage of cars turning left?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE sign this petition to increase the broadcast of non-NASCAR related programming on SPEED. There's so much more to motorsports than just 300+ miles of sponsor-stickered cars turning left. And a hundred shows about the process and drama of 300+ miles of sponsor-stickered cars turning left. And a hundred shows with people talking and analyzing the process and drama of 300+ miles of sponsor-stickered cars turning left.

I want to see more Superbike; More Dakar and WRC, instead of news clips; more F1, Champ Car, and other open wheel racing; coverage of marque-specific racing (Cooper Challenge, Spec Miatas, etc); more GrandAm, LeMans series stuff, BTC, DTM, V8 Supercar and other road racing; more shows like Victory By Design and Two Wheel Tuesday...

20364 signatures so far...

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Moment of Zen

Friday, April 28, 2006

I know it's not a Yamaha, but just listen to this Honda RC174 replica...

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YSR Jet Bike

Monday, October 31, 2005

Um, yeah, that's not a typo - a jet-powered Yamaha YSR pocketbike.

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Photoshop Wrenching

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

After looking more at the TR3 versus streetfighter R5 I was talking about a few days ago (June 5th), I started thinking... I like that bike because it's so stripped down... why not strip it a bit more?

Using Photoshop I "modded" the original bike and deleted the mirror and the tail light. I know to be street legal you'd need them, but they can be incorporated somehow else (french the taillight into the seat section, and figure out some way to mount mirrors in more discreet locations). I also removed the Yammy logo for kicks, just to keep them scratching their heads. Finally, the rev counter looked so lonely to me perched up there all by itself, so I took it off too. Why not? Just listen and you'll know when to row a gear or two...

Here's the before and after...

Anyways, again, much props to the Go-Getters for this amazing machine. The bike is great as-is... I'm just messing around...

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Yamaha related stuff... sorta...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

OMG OMG I must have one of these... a Yamaha R1-powered classic Mini...


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Non-Yamaha related stuff

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Crazy bimota Tesi 2D... rear and front swingarms? Which way is this thing facing?

Check out the Rokon Ranger, a 2-wheel-drive bike that leaves a track lighter than a man's footprint, is the quietest gas powered all terrain vehicle on the planet, and floats.

Also, check out American Cafe Racers... somewhat cool...

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Sometimes you do it because you can...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Company that makes chainsaws decides to build a motorcycle powered by 24 chainsaw engines.


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Extreme Vespism!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I know this is in no way related to Yamahas or R5s (other than smelly 2-strokes), but it's cool nonetheless... pop that wheelie! (QuickTime)

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Yammy Causes Hit-and-Run!

Monday, April 11, 2005

This weekend, I had parked the R5 at Brian and Michelle's house, while Brian and I went to oogle Russ' new Mini. While we were there, apparently some guy in a primer-grey pickup with a snow-plow was driving down the street, and the driver was oogling my bike. Oogling so much that he hit a car parked on the opposite side of the street. So the driver gets out, surveys the damage, and - get this - gets back in the truck and drives away! While witnesses look on! Nice one, tool!

Yet another person that should be locked in a Port-a-Potty, set on fire and pushed off a cliff.

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Back from holiday

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Back from down under! Since it was nearing the end of summer there, as you can imagine, bikes were everywhere. Perhaps because we stayed mostly in and around big metropolitan areas, I saw pretty much nothing but modern sportbikes. But they were everywhere! Much more a part of everyday life than here.

The best of all? Not a single one was chained to a pole or railing. Not one! They were parked anywhere, usually just casually on a curb, and that's it! Says a lot...

I'll be posting pics once I get throught them all.


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Monday, January 24, 2005

A coworker forwarded on to me this morning a PowerPoint document comparing the sounds of a HD to a Honda... of course the HD was all rumbly potato-potato, and the Honda was, well, not... but the funniest thing is I describe the sound of my bike almost exactly like this! Have a listen:

[728k WAV]

UPDATE: After having heard the sound once again, from online ads touting it as a cellphone ringtone to a wierd animation of a frog imitating a motorcycle, I followed the link to annoyingthing.net and actually discovered the origin of the sound from an interview conducted by Newtek Europe with Erik Wernquist, the creator of The Annoying Thing:

A little more than a month after I had put the animation up I got a phone call from a somewhat confused person claiming he recognised the sound in my animation as his own creation. His name was Daniel Malmedahl and he said he had been contacted by a friend of his telling him to check out my website. I was a little uncertain at first but when he gave me the "proof" of performing the sound live on the phone there was no doubt he was the guy I was looking for. Apparently he was oblivious to the fact that his sound had spread around the internet, even before the Annoying Thing. He told me the he didn't actually make that sound as a joke at first, but as a serious attempt to imitate the 2-stroke engine of a moped of his. He has a talent and interest in imitating the sound of engines. This was about six years ago, and it wasn't until a friend of his put the sound on a CD that they used to play at parties he realised the hilarious quality of the noise. From that CD, the sound somehow found its way to the internet and eventually ended up in my mailbox...


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