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Parts 8 to 14

The R5 is a complete redesign from the previous R3 model, with very few common parts, and the last model before reed valves and disc brakes were introduced on the RD350A model in 1973. Many R5 design features went through all subsequent air cooled models until the LC in 1980 such as the frame and swing arm design, oil tank as side panel, crankshaft and crankcase design. Even the LC models still used the same base gaskets as the R5 demonstrating similar crankcase design, and it was not until the powervalve (YPVS) models came out in 1983 that 5 cylinder studs were used instead of 4.

Part 20-23

APRIL 2007 -PART 8
Right then are you paying attention? Just because I have not updated this project for a few weeks it does not mean you can go to sleep! Paul came to sunny Quadring this weekend and threatened to push me into the Irish sea off the Isle of Man ferry unless I did some work. Well I have been working. I accepted delivery of a package weighing 150kg (no, not Paul's groceries!). It was a motorcycle workstand. I had to assemble that and then persuade the XS1100 onto it - not the easiest task with R5 bits cluttering up the garage. The XS1100 hibernation period also came to an end. This was achieved by switching on the ignition and starting the engine. First time on the button with stale petrol after 6 months inactivity so that was nice. Last autumn I hadn't even drained the float bowls or switched off the petrol taps! Anyway we are restoring an R5 here, not eulogising XS1100's.

I have been doing some tedious stuff with the bags of bits I now have everywhere. I went through each lot of parts (organised into sets according to parts book diagrams if you recall) and identified those to be replaced, those to be used as patterns for stainless steel parts, those to be chromed, those to be painted, those to be powder coated and those to be rebuilt with stainless spokes and rims (those would be the wheels then...)! I then wrote out cards for each set of parts to identify what was happening to each of the part numbers not present in the set. Using this method, I can locate any part quickly by looking in that set of parts or reading the card. A foolproof system? Well, no actually! Could I find the rear shocks that I wanted to show Paul when he was here? Could I hell! That was because the idiot who is using the system (me) forgot what it was, and did not realise that the shocks would be with the parts to be replaced, not the parts to be chromed!

I also found an RD350 seat on American ebay I just need the seat base from this and will get it rebuilt to the unique R5 design by R.K. Leighton in Birmingham. The seat and carriage was £55, and the rebuild will be £75. (For God's sake do not let my wife see this website Paul! Can you bar her e-mail address or something?)

So all that's a bit boring really, and tolerant as I know my reader is, he or she would not want to see a photo of a man with a pen, however much he may also need reconstructing! So here are some photos of more interesting things.

This is the oil tank, which doubles as a left hand side panel and has a sight glass in the side. Here it is removed from the hole. As you can see from the marks on the rim, it did not want to come out. Having established this, I went onto American ebay and purchased two NOS replacements conveniently on offer in a "buy it now" auction. A snip at $30. I could now take more risks with this one. The evidence before you is that of two hours increasingly frustrated use of a screwdriver to persuade it to move!
As in many such cases, if I had paused and tried some lateral thinking instead of feverishly poking about with the wrong tool, I would have saved time and stress. It would not come out so what do you do? You push it in of course! Sadly, I only learned this because my cack handed attempts to extract it had the opposite result!
Here is the wiring loom I bought from Tony Rackelin in Texas. It is in very good condition for something almost as old as Paul, although considerably more wiry!
The steering damper assembly I bought from Tony. I think that he had restored this because it is in great nick. These are very rare, this design was only fitted to the R5/DS7 model, so I am delighted with it.
Rear fender from Tony on the right. I will get this rechromed. As explained above, mine was modified by a lady in a car.
You will recall that one of the rear sprocket mounting bolts had sheared when I tried to remove it. It was time to do something about it. The 10mm bolt screws into a steel insert in the aluminium hub. I started to drill it out. How the drilling starts is crucial because you want it to be as central as possible...
…so this looked OK ...
Until I turned it over to see how off-centre it really was!
I used round files and more drills to try to regain concentricity...
...and was ultimately successful.

Drill it out with the specially sized helicoil drill
(this one is rotating although it is difficult to see).

Tap it out with the specially sized tap...
...and there neatly sits the 10mm helicoil
The rear wheel brake plate and the helicoiled sprocket carrier from the photos above now needed an application of elbow grease to clean them up.
This was done with succeeding grades of wet and dry abrasive paper culminating in 400 grit. I did not really want a more polished appearance - if you go up to 1500 grit it gives a finish just slightly less smooth than a mildly abrasive polish such as T-cut.

Sad old git that I am I started removing some of the carbon from the exhaust baffle with my wire wheel and could not stop for about two hours until it looked like this! Half of this was with a smaller wire brush on my Dremel. So then I had to do the other one didn't I! No wonder I haven't updated these reports recently.

Time to stop this one now and get into the garage to clean up the centre stand ready for powder coating. Watch this space!

APRIL 2007 -PART 9
I have spent the last 4 weeks in the UK which is an unusually long time for me, so I have made some reasonable progress with this restoration. I have made lists of the various parts that need some further attention of one kind or another. I have previously listed these (I like lists!) in this write-up as including:

1. Parts to be replaced by manufactured stainless steel items, including the wheel assemblies. The wheels will go to Leicester Wheel and Brake Restoration. (07947 822940). This is a small business that will clean the wheel hubs, skim the drums, refit the tyres that I can't do etc. I spoke to larger businesses that were slightly cheaper, but to them, cleaning the wheel hubs, which is impossible with the spokes in place, meant shotblasting and lacquering at a cost of £35 per hub. I have had a lot of stainless steel parts manufactured in the UK for my XS1100. They are high quality, but very expensive. I now have about 75 different parts that I want in stainless steel for this rebuild, and I reckon that is about £1000 at UK prices. These are items such as the rear brake rod, the front footrest pivot bolts, the wheel spindles, the swing arm pivot. The complete list would be boring. Solution? Get them made in Egypt! I went there in February for a holiday, and found a shop from which I bought some stainless steel fasteners. I wanted some studs the correct size with the centre portion unthreaded, but they didn't have them. They would be available the next day. "No thanks" I said. Later I realised that they would not have gone somewhere to buy them, they would have made them, and that if they can make those, they can make other parts as well. I am going there again next month on business and I will take my 75 parts as patterns for them to be made. I work in the food industry, so I will get them made at one of our existing suppliers of stainless steel equipment.

2. Fasteners to be replaced with off-the-shelf stainless steel items. I already have a lot of stainless steel fasteners and I have now inspected my sets of R5 parts to see what others I may need to order. I will place a small order with Custom Fasteners (01686 622620) for these.

3. Parts to be chromed. Fenders, fork stanchions, mufflers, brake levers on wheels etc. I will choose a specialist from Classic Bike for the fork stanchions, because they will need to be reground to size after chroming. I will check with my local chromers if they will do the mufflers, but I don't think that they will - the oil and carbon inside contaminates their tanks of chemicals - so I may have to take all the chroming elsewhere.

4. Parts to be painted. Tank, oil tank, side panel, headlight brackets and shell, oil tank and side panel inserts. I have to get the chroming done first because the oil tank and side panel inserts are part Mandarin Orange paint, and part chrome. Dream Machine in Long Eaton near Nottingham (0115 9736615) will do the paintwork.

5. Parts to be replaced. Paul kindly checked with Fowlers in Bristol (0117 9770466) what was available from the first list I wrote. Surprisingly, they had more in stock or available than discontinued, so there are some parts I thought that I would have to scratch around for that can simply be bought new, and most of them are less than £1.00! These are mainly service items such as cables, clips, seals and rubbers that cannot be restored or replaced with stainless. There will be further lists to go to Fowlers because I will always look to get original parts first.

6. Parts to be powder coated. Frame, swingarm, cylinders, bottom yoke, centre stand etc. I have used Triple S near Bradford (01274 562474) several times in the past and they do a great job. They will get my business again.

OK, so is everything hunky dory? No, it is not. Where would I get the parts that Fowlers did not have? Shocks, flashers, lower throttle cables? I am not going far on this bike without such items. How am I going to find a spare frame that has a sidestand lug still attached, and when I have got it, do I get it powder coated and ignore the different engine and frame numbers, or can I use it as a pattern to fix my frame?

Last night I spoke to Nigel Willoughby and Geoff Newton. They had advertised spare parts in a magazine Paul had picked up at the Shepton Mallet show, and I wrote down their telephone numbers last time I was in Shebbear. Both incredibly knowledgeable chaps about many things, including Yamaha R5 motorcycles, and both extremely helpful. I thought that I knew a bit about my bike, having owned it for 27 years, but they knew more than I did! So Nigel is going to lend me a frame as a pattern for the positioning of the sidestand lug, purely motivated by his revulsion at non-matching engine and frame numbers! He also said that his friend would rebuild and rechrome my shocks. Fantastic! I then rang Geoff and said about some of the other bits I am looking for. He knew exactly what I wanted, and why, and knew where to get quite a few of them!

I am writing this in a plane above the Sahara on my way to Ghana and then South Africa after a few days. Work does intrude in my life occasionally, but at least it is a break from long hours in the garage! I am feeling optimistic about progress on this project having talked to Nigel and Geoff.

I have been going through all the parts that I have put by for sending away to make sure that they go in the right condition to be returned how I want them.

Here is the swingarm prepared for powder coating. One of the photos above showed the damage done to this part of the swingarm by the chain at some point in its life, now when it is powder coated, that won’t show.
The frame had various weld blobs and spatters from untidy welding in Japan 35 years ago. When previously powder coated, these had been ignored, but this time I have removed the worst of them.
Another one here…
Here are the cylinder heads with one of them cleaned up ready to go…
…and the same with the cylinders
I got hold of the centre stand to check that it was OK to send and I started to tidy up the bosses at the side of the stand where the pivot shaft goes through. The pivot shaft was not as welded to the stand as I previously thought. (See past instalments). I decided that I would try to remove it after all. Here I set up my pillar drill to drill right through to the other side, but after a minute or so I became worried when I realised that the pivot shaft had completely worn or rusted away on one side, and that I risked making and oversize or oval hole.
I decided that it may be best to use a bit of heat and a punch to see if it would shift, and fortunately it did. Here it is halfway out…
…and here it has been completely removed. The only problem now is finding another one!
Next were the exhaust pipes. They had rusted quite badly where they are clamped to the cylinders as you can see. I have learned from past experience that if you send parts in this condition to chromers, they come back with the same surface texture, only chromed, and it looks completely naff…
…so I ground off all the rust with the trusty Dremel and then sanded the surface to something reasonably smooth as you see here. I hope that the chemical process used for stripping off the remaining chrome does not make this surface deteriorate too much…
This is a similar story with the rear fender that I bought off Tony Rackelin in Texas. This damage had been caused by battery acid, and obviously was not suitable for obtaining a decent chrome finish.
I used the grinding stone on the Dremel and then abrasive paper to get this smoother surface that will hopefully chrome up OK.
So here are the parts to be sent for powder coating all wrapped up and ready to go.
This is how my garage now looks with various boxes of bits to be taken away. The frame and exhausts are too big to be boxed.
Here is the stainless steel 10mm bolt that I will use as a sidestand pivot bolt. The unthreaded portion is just the right length for the sidestand to pivot, but it needs drilling for the cotter pin. I used the castle nut so that I could grip the assembly effectively in the vice without marking the bolt.
It was not too easy to get this hole to be central because the drill wanted to slide off the high portion of the bolt diameter, but a carefully positioned punch finally made an indentation that the drill was happy to accept…

…and the finished job looks the business.

Finally, here are some photos of the petrol tank in its condition before painting. Soon to be transformed I hope! Bye for now…

MAY 2007 -PART 10
The nice weather is here so I got on the XS1100 to the International Classic Bike Show at Stafford on 28th April. There was not much there apart from British bikes, hardly anything Japanese, no Yamahas. Virtually nothing at the autojumbles, and what was there was going for silly prices. Pattern flashers for £30 each, a rusty, ripped seat for £100, and an R5 rear fender in worse condition than the one I am replacing on my bike for £100! The rear fender had the tail light wire still attached and the vendor wanted £5 just for that! Thank God for ebay! Fortunately it was a nice ride there and back, but there was little reason to go otherwise.

I also took all the items that I need chroming down to Central Engineering Design (01303 266505) in West Hythe, Kent, right next to the English Channel in a lovely little village. I saw a small advertisement of theirs in Classic Bike, and they can do fork stanchion chroming and regrinding to size, exhausts (some chromers won’t do these) and repair of minor dings before chroming. Just what I need. I think that there are only some parts of Cornwall that are further from me than West Hythe and still in England, but if they do a good job then that is OK. Of course I would have to pay them as well, and the bad news there is that it came to over £1200! The very knowledgeable Ken did question me about chroming things such as handlebars that may be obtained new at a cheaper cost, so I said that I did not think that they were available, but I would let him know. In fact Fowlers said that the handlebars, the kickstart lever and the rear brake lever that goes on the hub were available from the Yamaha European spares warehouse in Holland near Schiphol airport, so Paul has now ordered these for me. The handlebars are about £35 new, but £70 to rechrome. I have also seen a very nice grab rail on ebay in the US that should be cheaper than rechroming mine so I will bid for that as well. The vendor emailed to say it does not need rechroming, so I hope that his assessment matches mine if and when I receive it! I know that Paul has been to see several XS1100s described as “immaculate” to see perforated rubber boots, rusty frames, misfiring engines, damaged paintwork! I said to him the other day that I would not even describe mine as immaculate because it has a few minor faults, so one person’s “showroom condition” is another’s “corroded scraped-up MOT failure”

If I were to decline the irregular verb “ to work on motorcycles” the first, second and third persons singular would be:

I lovingly restore

You scrape an MOT pass

He knocks together a field bike

Front brake hub before receiving attention - does not look too bad actually, but it was looking very dull and greyish before my flash went off.
These few photos show how I used different grades of wet and dry and lots of elbow grease to improve the appearance of this part. This one is 80 grade...
...120 grade...
...180 grade...
...240 grade...
...320 grade...
...and finally 400 grade. That took me about 4 hours. The photos don't show the improvement as I had hoped so you will just have to believe me that it was worth it!
This is one of the two 6mm diameter pivot pins for the brake levers that mount to the front hub pictured above. The other one I had put by to take to Egypt as a pattern for a pair of stainless steel replicas. The problem here is that even if these pins are replicated in stainless steel, I would still have to use these rusty E clips, or at least ones that would rust again pretty quickly. I can get a complete set of stainless steel E clips for about £65, but I don’t need that many!
So what I did was to make a couple of these pins from 6mm socket cap bolts that had the correct length unthreaded.
Cut off the socket cap and the thread, then use wet and dry to give the right finish, and drill some small holes so that I could use stainless steel R clips instead of mild steel E clips.
…and Bob’s your uncle!
This is one of the sets of piston rings…
…and piston before cleaning
There was a lot of carbon build up to remove from the outside …
…and inside of the piston, and especially the grooves where the piston rings seat. These grooves must be very clean or the rings won’t work too well.
The rings themselves must also be nice and clean as you see here.
Here is a problem that I did not see on disassembly of the petrol tank. The main petrol feed pipe on the petrol tap is cracked. This means that there will be little petrol left when switching to reserve.
Fortunately I have two petrol taps – this one that was on the bike…
…and this one that was on a spare petrol tank that was generally in much better condition…
…except for the filter that was damaged – the one on the top in this photograph.
So I was able to make one good petrol tap from the two that I had as shown here. Another job done!
Here is a picture of the base of the RD350 seat I bought from the US. It is similar to the R5 seat base, although not exactly the same. It is a bit rusty, but not perforated as is my current seat. I have taken some photos of the slightly different looking R5 seat to give to the restorers to make sure that they give me back an R5 seat, not an RD350 seat! I will show a photo of the restored item later this year. Don’t go away!

July 2007 -PART 11
Well it has been a bit quiet on the R5 weblog the past few weeks because I went to the centenary TT in the Isle of Man with Paul and other friends, and then I went to Ghana and South Africa to do some work. Now back in the land of the subjugated and I can get on with what I want to do.

This shows the right hand carburettor stripped for cleaning…

Close up of the float pivot and main jet showing the same green crud…
…as the inside of the float bowl which I think is a residue from the petrol so those surfaces needed cleaning.
The carburettor on the left is clean here and the one on the right has not yet been done, although I have failed to show much of a difference in the photo! The lever on top of the right carburettor is for the choke that acts on the other carburettor by a hose about an inch long that connects the two.
The next assembly to tackle is the forks. This was quite daunting because there was a lot to do. Let’s start in a small way then. Here are the plastic spacers that sit between the side mounted reflectors and the chrome bottom yoke shrouds. This was a bike that was built when the Japanese made little differentiation between models for the US and Europe, so we got the reflectors just like the yanks. Amazingly, the one on the left was the standard finish for these parts, albeit now a little dirtier. It cleaned up OK with a little wet and dry and some solvent.

This is it fitted where it is supposed to be.
Now for the hard work. The lacquer on the outside of the aluminium sliders was flaking badly and looked a cosmetic disaster. As with the wheel hubs above, this meant a lot of work by hand with succeeding grades of wet and dry to get to an acceptable finish…

This was how they looked after the lacquer had been removed using 120 grit.
The handlebars I had ordered from Fowlers by the original part number of 278 26111 00 turned up to give me a break from all that rubbing. The 278 bars are in front and the 2L0 bars that Fowlers sent as a substitute are at the back. They are not exactly the same shape, and contain lead in the ends to combat vibration. As well as that the knurled sections for the handlebar clamps are slightly wider on the 2L0 bars. I may get my original 278 ones rechromed after all.

Here are the sliders after all the rubbing and polishing…
…and an “after” photo to compare to the “before” one above. I will leave this finish as it is now without lacquering.
Here is the inside of the switch. There is only a left hand switch on the R5, nothing on the right. This looks a bit of a mess. The grease I put in there years back has accumulated a lot of grime…

…and the horn button has fallen off.

Amazing how many little bitties and bobbies are in there when you take it apart.
This is the outside of the finished switch. I had saved a horn button from an XS1100 switch which fitted fine. I used some red paint, a small brush and a razor blade to remove excess paint to restore the “L” and “H” markings.

This is inside the bottom half of the restored switch.

This is the top half.
This is the wiring loom before restoration. It shows all the dirt, but not the many parts of the loom that had been repaired, some more successfully than others, and some parts that had been damaged, such as melted block connectors. I bought a loom from Tony Rackelin in the US earlier this year, and it was better than the one which was on the bike, so I decided to restore that one. I also had another R5 loom in quite bad condition, and an RD350A loom which were both OK to use for some spare bits.
This is what a wiring loom looks like when the insulating tape is removed and the wires cleaned up with WD40.

Halfway through the restoration – will I ever remember how it all goes back together?
Strangely, I discovered that single wires had been connected to double wires just using a small brass connector and some insulating tape that I had removed for this photo. This seemed to be a standard technique because there were several of them. I decided that it would be a better job to use some small diameter heatshrink tubing for insulation. This was quite difficult because I had to completely remove the wire from the loom and then remove a connector from one end to enable the heatshrink tubing to fit over the outside as you can see here.

After a bit of heat the job is much neater

Nice clean new insulating tape on the restored loom…

…and all connectors cleaned up or replaced.
The part number tag from my original loom was cleaned and transferred to the US one. The only difference I found between the two was that there were bullet connectors for the horn instead of spade connectors. These are the pink and brown wires you see here.
This is now a turning point in the rebuild. I have completed my work on all the parts that I have kept for restoration. My thoughts now turn to the work to be done on parts that I have sent or will send to other people.

1. The shocks are being rebuilt by a friend of Nigel Willoughby.

2. Nigel lent me a frame to use as a pattern to fabricate the sidestand pivot. This looks a little difficult to do, so I am trying to find an old RD250 frame on ebay so that I can simply cut the sidestand pivot off and weld it to my frame. It is still useful to have Nigel’s frame to see how it should be.

3. The wheels have been taken to Leicester Wheel and Brake as mentioned above. When I dropped them off the place was closed and I left the wheels with a neighbour. Unfortunately this firm have not responded to any messages I have left regarding my wheels. I now must go there again to retrieve them and take them elsewhere.

4. The chrome should be almost ready now, so I will collect that soon.

5. I need the chromed side panel flashes to put with the rest of the items to be painted by Dream Machine.

6. The items to be powder coated need to be taken to Triple S.

7. I must fetch the parts being fabricated in stainless steel from Egypt.

8. I took the RD350 seat to R. K. Leighton in Birmingham this week to be made into an R5 seat.

I am targeting spring 2008 to be on the road, unless Ben comes to help me do it any quicker.

There may now be an a little more time between instalments while other people do the hard work and I will just be making phone calls and fetching and carrying, but now you have got this far, I am sure that you will want to read until the end!

November 2007 -PART 12
Thank you for your patience dear reader. I know that you have spent the whole summer logging on to read the next instalment in vain. Not a lot has happened on this project during the period when the rain was warmer, but now as winter nears, nocturnal activity in the garage resumes. I write this without reference to the previous instalment marooned as I am offline at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg as I wait for my KLM flight to Amsterdam . I seem to recall that I summarised what parts had been sent to whom and for what purpose. I will now bring you up to date...

1. Seat sent to RK Leighton in Birmingham . I went to collect this recently but I was not happy with the finished article. The seat cover was sticking out from the seat base where it had not been glued successfully, the chromed seat trim was damaged, and the height of the seat was too high, as for and RD350, not an R5. I have a seat previously restored by RK Leighton which is perfect apart from the seat base. My plan now is to take that one back there and ask them to make one good one out of the two.

2. Painted items including oil tank, petrol tank, side cover, oil tank and side cover flashes, oil tank and side cover emblems, headlight brackets and headlight shell have been taken to Dream Machine. Not yet finished.

3. Shocks taken to Nigel Willoughby to be restored by a friend of his. Not yet finished.

4. Items for powder coating not yet taken to Triple S due to sidestand bracket repair to frame discussed below.

5. Wheels taken to Leicester Wheel and Brake Restoration. They have since not responded to phone messages, emails, nor letters and were not there when I visited. I have purchased two more wheels off eBay that I will collect from up north when I go to Triple S, hopefully next week.

6. Chromed items now returned from Central Engineering Design and looking good. Photos and descriptions below.

7. Some stainless steel items collected from Egypt with the remainder to be collected later this month. Some photos below.

This is the rechromed inside of the rear flasher mounting bracket/grab rail. It is normally an area that rapidly rusts, but has been beautifully finished as you can see.
These are what I call the oil tank and side panel flashes. The top one in the photo has the outer surface upwards, and the bottom one has the inner surface upwards. These have now gone to Dream Machine to have the flat quadrilateral that surrounds the emblem mounting holes painted mandarin Orange.
Small chromed items…
Fork stanchions chromed and reground to size. Now look better than new.
End of exhaust mufflers where the baffles will be inserted.
Shiny headers.
New R5 mufflers are available on eBay from Singapore for about £250 plus postage, but my old ones have rechromed very well.
Mufflers showing mounting brackets. These are also normally a rust trap. Of course in use they get very hot, and so it is not practical to protect them from rusting in future by coating with grease. The method that I have used successfully on my XS1100 mufflers is to remove them every winter and paint the vulnerable surfaces with heat resistant silver paint. I have already done these ones.
The header clamp is shown here having moved down the header pipe to the header/muffler junction. For the first RD350 in 1973, Yamaha used a flexible rubber joint at this junction to isolate the muffler from engine vibrations. It is probably a better design than the one piece R5 system because it was used on all RD250, RD350 and RD400 models until the LC models in 1980, but it was a service item and very expensive to replace. LC models had rubber mounted engines (if I recall correctly) and did not need this rubber joint, so they reverted to one piece exhaust systems.
Underside of muffler showing original welding indentations.
Header with header clamp in normal position. When suspended in the chromium plating tank, the clamp was in this position. This means that the very end of the header near the cylinder receives very little chromium plating. This is also true of the original mufflers chromed in Japan . The resulting rust is shown in photos in an earlier instalment. I have now used the heat resistant silver paint on this area to delay recurrence.
The sidestand bracket had broken off my original frame. I wanted to keep the frame because it has the same number as the engine, so a repair was needed. I cut the right size piece of steel from some 3/8 plate that I had that was a really good fit in the sidestand. I then had to bend it about 35 degrees to make sure that the sidestand propped the bike at the right angle. This required a lot of brute force with a large hammer but the result was near enough. I chose a 10mm bolt to convert to the sidestand spring post. The photo shows the decapitated bolt.
I put the bolt in my pillar drill and cut the groove for the spring using a small cutting tool on my Dremel while the bolt was rotating in the drill.
I then drilled and tapped the bracket in the correct position for the spring post, and mounted it with a 10mm nut for easier welding. I also made the strengthening bracket you can see in position from some thinner plate steel. I drilled the bracket to accept the sidestand pivot bolt and shaped it as required for the pivot arc. As you can see it now almost matches the bracket on a pattern frame I borrowed from Nigel Willoughby in both form and function, and is ready for welding.
Stainless steel front wheel axle nut made in Egypt . The finish was unsightly as you can see. It was also 24mm hexagon instead of 22mm.
I removed 1mm from each face to give a better appearance and the correct size.
Machining marks on the SS rear wheel spindle…
Oh dear! The rear brake torque arm was badly finished, scratched, twisted, and both ends had the mounting bolt holes 4mm too large! The original arm is on the right in this photo. I had to grind down these 12mm SS nuts to make sleeves so that I could use the correct size bolts.
Poor finish of torque arm can be seen…
Here as well.
This shows the sleeve I made from the 12mm SS nut to achieve the correct size, and the improved finish. The original torque arm was a V section. This confused me initially because I thought that it was made that way to give the arm strength in compression, but in fact the arm works in extension, so the flat bar you can see will be more than strong enough.
November 2007 -PART 13

A quick update on recent events...

The frame, swingarm and all other bitties painted black except the brake pedal which is cosmetically OK were taken to Triple S in Bingley near Bradford for powder coating satin black. I also took the tail light base and licence bracket for powder coating silver.

On the way I went to Steve Chapman's house near Leeds because I had bought a pair of wheels off eBay from him. There are some photos below. You will recall that my original wheels were left for conversion to stainless steel with a business that apparently then went under, and I never saw them again...

I also took my R5 seat with the poor condition base but good seat trim and cover to R K Leighton in Birmingham to make one good seat from that one and the one they recently did for me that has a poor cover and damaged seat trim.

I am off to Egypt tomorrow, where I hope to collect all the items that I asked to be made from stainless steel. Somehow I suspect that only some of the parts will be ready, knowing how Egyptians work...

This is the sidestrand bracket that I made some time ago.

A local fabrication company made a good job of welding
the spring hook and strengthening piece in place,
then welding the assembly to the underside of the frame.

I left Nigel Willoughby's frame with them as a pattern.

...another view.
Front wheel inside rim and spokes
Front wheel brake lining
Inside front wheel hub
Outside front wheel hub
Front wheel outside rim
Rear wheel inside rim
Outside rear wheel hub showing four compartments for the rear wheel transmission dampers
Rear wheel spokes
Rear wheel brake lining
The only parts of these wheels that I will use are the hubs. Obviously the spokes and rims are beyond help. The hubs will need bead blasting before lacing them to stainless steel rims with stainless steel spokes.

January 2008 -PART 14
Happy New Year reader!

Here we are in 2008 already. I started this in 2006 and all I have is a pile of bits in my garage that is a bit cleaner than the pile I had 15 months ago. Sometimes it is a bit daunting when I think of how much work there is still to do, and how much money there is to spend!

Today I have received a few parts that I am very pleased to have found. I put an unobtainable part number into Google and there amongst all the statistics and commodity prices websites was a listing saying “Old Yamaha Spares”. I opened it up and saw a list of Yamaha spares the Norwegian Yamaha importer had written in 1999. I sent off a speculative email asking for the parts that I wanted, and to my surprise received a very quick reply, but only to say that they had sold the entire stock to the Swedish Kawasaki importer in 2002! Anyway they gave me their email address, so I emailed the Swedes with the same list. Very soon, I received an email back saying that they had 7 out of the 10 parts that I wanted! I sent them the money by PayPal and got parts that I thought that I would never see again! These were the clutch pushrod, the timing pointer, the right hand chain puller, the battery box stay, the sidestand damper and the centre stand pivot shaft. There is a photo below.

When placing these parts in their designated places within my pile of bits I could not help noticing that some of the parts that I had previously decided were in a good enough condition to use were now perhaps not. Either they have deteriorated in condition whilst being stored, or my self-imposed quality standard has changed. I suspect myself of the latter – an insidious form of mission-creep. I now find myself trying to source further new parts to reach my new standard.

I am off to the USA next month to attend the wedding of a friend. My daughter and grandson will come with me. It is also my opportunity to collect the many parts that I have sent to my friend’s house having bought them off eBay in the US . I have completely lost track of what is there for the R5, but also for the XS1100, so that will be fun! I hope that I have the luggage allowance to get it all back home and that I don’t have to pay any import duty!

The powder coated items are ready to collect, and the painted items cannot be too far behind. I think that I will need to call Dream Machine soon if they don’t call me to tell me that they are ready.

These are the new parts that I found at the Swedish Kawasaki importer.
This is the nut for the centre stand pivot bolt that was made in Egypt . They must have a special type of mouse in Egypt that eats stainless steel hexagon bar! The holes that you can see were about 1.5mm deep. I had to remove 1.5mm from each face of this nut to obtain the result that I was happy with in the photo below. So it is now a 21mm nut instead of 24mm. The first face took me about an hour to do by holding it to the horizontal spinning wheel of a 4” angle grinder, and then finishing with 120 grit wet and dry. “Five to go” I thought, and even I found that difficult to contemplate, so I took the nut to the local stainless steel stockist and said that I don’t know what thread it is, except that it isn’t metric, but can I please have one? Well they could not identify the thread either, and they did not have any bolt off the shelf that would substitute, so I went back home resigned to keeping my nose to the grindstone for hours. My engineer father later confirmed that it must be a unique thread cut on some Egyptian’s lathe just to fit the bolt that they also made. The nut did not even fit the pattern bolt that I sent to Egypt . The only threads that it might have been were UNC or Whitworth, but the angle of the thread was completely wrong.
This is the finished nut ground down from 24mm to 21mm across the flats.
Here is the other end of the assembly showing the typical thoughtlessness of this fabricator leaving the marks from the lathe chuck on the hexagon flats
Only 0.5mm off each flat his time to give a 23mm bolt head
Here is the finished article
Here is the footrest made by the same people. It is supposed to be a solid casting with a hole for the pivot bolt. Oh well, I thought, I will just get my dad to fill in the holes with stainless steel weld. So he welded and I ground it to size, he welded the pinholes and I ground it to size, he welded the cavities where the carbon had accumulated and I ground it to size, he welded the new pinholes and I ground it to size… I gave up first. I have two different plans for the front footrests now, I will let you know which one works out and why!
This is the rear brake rod where it attaches to the rear brake pivot. Cosmetically appalling, but at least it was possible to tart it up…
…as you see here
I have tried to show the small dent in the headlight rim here, it is at about 12 o’clock in the photo
Left to me, I would have fetched a punch and a hammer and made a real mess of trying to bang out the dent from the inside. An older head (yes, him again) suggested this method: Cut a piece of wood about the width of the headlight rim to leave a flat about ¼ inch wide…
Sand it to a smooth finish, being careful to replicate the curve of the headlight rim across the surface as you can see here…
Place the headlight rim on a bag of cement (or sand – any powder) and move the prepared wooden surface back and forth under pressure to remove the dent that you can see in this photo level with the “O” of “ Portland ”.
Sometimes you have to acknowledge that your parents are right!
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