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R5 Site Featured on BikeEXIF

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cole Sugg's 1972 R5 (recently featured on this site) has been profiled on the excellent bike blog BikeEXIF. Here's the writeup:

There seems to be a growing appreciation of super-quick two-strokes from the 1970s. Yamaha's more recent SR400 has long been the weapon of choice for most Japanese custom shops, but in the west we’re seeing more and more vintage oil-burning Yammys such as the RD400 and R5 coming out of hibernation. The 1970-72 R5 was the direct descendant of the factory TR production racers, and offered incendiary performance. Cole Suggs' restored 1972 R5C is a good-looking example: the engine has been rebuilt and bored out, a new DG exhaust and seat fitted, and the rear fender bobbed. Lawrence O'Toole's R5 tribute site has all the details. Lawrence says the R5 was "Dirty, loud, crazy quick and relatively affordable when new (and more so now!). It was, and still is, a giant-killer." We’re sold.

See the article in it's entirety here.


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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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Motorcycle Classifieds Site Mash

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This cool website combines classified and auction listings from various sites around the internet and displays them chronologically with photos, location and price. In order to actually see anything, select a motorcycle from the text cloud or pull-down. Want something added? Email the administrator.

BTW there's one for cars too...

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AMD World Championships

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm not much for Harleys and the whole billet-chrome-crazed chopper scene, but I must say there's been some interesting stuff happening in the custom world lately, as things get less OCC and more creative. Check out the AMD World Championships of Custom Bike Building, especially the latest Euro Finalists. Some good stuff here, like the hot-rod Rock 'N Bike from Art of Racer in France. Not a vintage asian two-stroke, but sweet nonetheless.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

I had written a long time ago about Steve Carpenter and his awesome Honda cafe conversions... well, he's back with an updated site, chock full of video and imagery of all manner of interesting bikes. Check it out.

BTW, I've updated my links to correct his link.


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Alex Fry's RD Site

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Alex wrote in last week to let me know about his RD blog called DOUBLEULTRA. Great looking site with some interesting stuff. Looks like he already has a winner of an RD, with some big plans for it.

Alex also wanted to give a shout out for his local shop Deus Ex Machina. Even more great stuff and a great site. Check 'em out.


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1972 YR5 Renovation Project

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Paul Watts wrote in to let me know about Stephan Morris' just-started teardown and restoration of his R5 in the UK. The level of detail in this article is excellent, going step-by-step and photographing everything.

I for one am going to be paying very close attention to this restoration as it progresses, so that I might pick up a thing or two - for the rest of you I'm sure this information will be invaluable as well. Thanks for sharing, Paul!


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

I was challenged on Motortopia by a 1976 AMF Harley. We tied. It doesn't even run. Sheesh.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Motortopia has launched - a cool, MySpace-like site for cars, bike, planes and boats. The site is really well-designed, and lets you upload photo albums, make friends and challenge other owners in style, performance and overall coolness. Check it out... there aren't a lot of bikes on there yet, so get posting!

My R5 can be found here:

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Kneeslider strikes again!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Last week, the Kneeslider posted an article about the beauty of Ron Wood's dirt track motorcycles. There was mention in the article that no one was building these for the street. I posted in the comments that, with a little help from Moto Carrera, you can turn a Yamaha R5/RD350/400/RZ350 into a "street tracker", combining the sleekness of a dirt track racer with the practicality of a street-legal road bike.

So they then went a did a little write up about it. Thanks for the shout-out guys!

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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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World's Fastest Indian T-shirt!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Paul Crowe from The Kneeslider just wrote to inform me that I'd won one of the shirts from their World's Fastest Indian-t-shirt giveaway... pretty swank! The shirt also has "I'm fast" emblazoned on the back. Excellent!

Thanks Paul! Keep up the good work over at The Kneeslider!

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Yamaha R5 Owners Map!

Monday, December 05, 2005


I've set up a Frappr! Map to help locate all the R5 owners out there... follow the link above and get yourself on there!

From now on, there will be a mini-map located just before these blog entries, so that you can browse around and not have to leave this site...

This stuff is pretty neat!


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"All my life I've wanted to do something big."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Unlike Supercross, and Biker Boyz, and Torque, which all pretty much sucked, this looks like a good motorcycle movie. Anthony Hopkins isn't the type to do crap films, and director Roger Donaldson has good stuff (The Recruit and Thirteen Days) before.

A full website is coming soon, but here's a short synopsis:

Anthony Hopkins stars as Burt Munro, a man who never let the dreams of youth fade. After a lifetime of perfecting his classic Indian motorcycle, Burt set off from the bottom of the world to test his bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With all the odds against him, he set a new speed record and captured the spirit of his times. Burt Munro’s 1967 world record remains unbroken and his legend lives on today.

Here’s also a website about Bert Munro, subject of the film.

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Yamaha Racing 50th Anniversary Microsite

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hadn't posted this before, but Yamaha Factory Racing has put up a microsite with lots of good images of the days of racing glory past. Check it out here.


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Yamaha Paper Models

Monday, August 01, 2005

OK, not really news, but cool stuff nonetheless. Yamaha's popular motorcyles have been realistically captured into downloadable paper models. Apparently, "the challenge level and your satisfaction guaranteed!" They even include the YZR M1 US 50th Anniverary Edition with the paint scheme discussed in my post on Friday, July 08, 2005.


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Good conversation

Monday, June 20, 2005

There's been some good newbie discussion going on the "r5yamaha" Yahoo! Group lately. Mel from Seattle wrote in with these good questions:

Hi, I recently purchased a 1972 R5, until my owner's manual arrives I have some basic questions:

1. What do most of you have for tire air pressure on stock size tires?
2. What fuel do you run? Is there a need for premium (92 octane) with compression only being 6.9:1? (forgive me but I am new in 2-stroke world).
3. Shop manual, any recommnedations?
4. Basic setup, where do I learn about air/fuel mixture setup, carb sync, idle speed, etc?

1. Engine runs strong, it has less than 8,000 miles. It accelerates really well (at least that is how it feels to me) however at coasting or compression braking (throttle closed) I get a lot of bucking and surging. Any ideas?

There have been some responses, this latest one from Ed:

Hey Mel,

Run premium fuel ALWAYS! You are running too lean and that's what you are hearing when you are cruising along at speed at part throttle.

The way to tune these is to make it rich to the point where it 4 strokes and then back it down to the point where it no longer does this. You want it as rich as possible to keep it cool. Never run anything less than a 120 main(I run 130)

keep the needles near the middle, set the float height at exactly (this is critical) 15mm, use a 30 or 40 pilot jet and play with the air screw some (start at about 1 3/4 turns out and go in from there till it runs smooth but doesn't make any clicking noises at about 60 mph for about 10 minutes). Run a STOCK air filter and baffles in the exhaust. Using a dial indicator and volt ohm meter (this is a must) set the timing at 2mm before TDC. At this point the points should just begin to open. You can tell this by the needle just starting to flutter on the vom. The points need to be set first. Do this at TDC and set them at 13 thou.

R5s are bullet proof, but until you get them set up right they can be difficult. It is extremely important that everything be correct for them to run right and be dependable. Once there they stay there with little work so take the time and set it up right now.

Hmmm... I have a bit of that bucking, so perhaps my timing is off... It's been about a year so I'm sure things need to be checked and reset.

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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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Seriously SWEET Café Racers

Monday, April 18, 2005

Like the title says... take a look for yourself... This is the attitude I want the R5 to have...

UPDATE: New site here, with videos and stuff. Damn, the R5 needs to look like the "black whale"...

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A Short History of Irony

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The history and origin of irony, as recorded by the author of another motorcycle blog.


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OBB's Reader Ride

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I recently submitted the R5 to the Reader's Rides section of the Old Bike Barn, a purveyor of all things motorcyclic... and was accepted. You can see the old girl in all her glory here.

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Want to convert an R5 into a TR3 replica?

Monday, January 10, 2005

I had already linked to another R5-TR3 conversion, but the parts listed were from Yamaha, and most are no longer available. Well, Jamie Linxwiler put together an up-to-date article on building a TR3 Replica R5/RD350, using parts and resources that are currently available. It seems like it's remarkably simple and straightforward process... and making a hybrid, street-legal version with the TR3 tank and seat could be very interesting... time to start saving sheckles...

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Old Brit Blog

Friday, December 10, 2004

Dr. Laverda writes about the joys and woes of vintage motorcycles... some damn funny writing here. This is a must-read!


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Cool café mods

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I had come across James Franzen’s unbelievably cool café Bimmer in my search for cool bikes. The Bimmer has a great one-off solo seat - I emailed him to inquire about it, as to how to go about making or finding a similar one. Here is his response:

The seat was a one-off unit made by a guy that designs stuff like this for a
living - so the unfortunate thing is he's the one with the fiberglass tricks
and not me.

From your site I can tell you've seen "Glass from the Past."
You might want to look at airtech's offerings:
But their server appears to be down this morning.

I am considering some of this guy's offerings on an old Ducati single I'm
building up:
It's in Australia but the US dollar goes farther there.

Because I want to run the old Ducati single with a bumstop seat and no rear
fender on the street, I'm designing a tail light/ brake light/ turn signal
unit that is ultra small - only 1/2" extension beyond the license plate and
super bright - with license plate illumination included. I only have
photographs of the prototype as the refined product is in fabrication now:

One last thing - a guy that saw my seat tried to make his own copy and
documented it on a website:

That R5 will make a sweet café racer! Good luck to you!

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Big Yama logo

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Googled for a Yama logo the other day, came across this really large JPEG image, could prove useful...

UPDATE - Found some EPS artwork that could prove even more useful, via brandsoftheworld.com... here's the whole list, and there's a few gems in there, including the full tuning-fork logo and even Yamalube... I've added a "Graphics" section to the links on the left. Check it out!

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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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