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Slow burn 5th gen build - old skool kool!


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Hello All, 


I’ve been dreaming up this build for a few years and despite that still don’t have a clear picture of where it’s going to end up. 

With family and work commitments I get very little wrenching time (couple hours per moth if I’m lucky - seriously) so don’t expect regular updates. 

Anyway, the idea is to build an ultimate 5th gen that’s lighter, faster, nimbler and cool (the latter is subjective, of course). 

Inspiration comes from endurance racers of the ‘70s and ‘80s although the final look is still in the air. The central theme is the bike has to work first and look good second. But still has to look good...um...you know what I mean. Endurance racers have that wonderful utilitarian look. Every part of them has to function properly and there’s nothing on it that doesn’t need to be there. 

Hopefully I’ll finish this someday and I’ll post bits and pieces here as she progresses. Some parts of this build feature in other threads so I’ll try to summarise here to keep everything in one place. 

Finally, I’d like to thank the fantastic membership here for their help with modifications and upgrades etc. This build is an homage to all of you and would not have been possible without your ingenuity. 




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Hello All, 


Got me a lowish mileage 5th gen motor (10,000 miles) on the bench and just starting to get at her. 

I wanted to clean the crud off before opening her up to keep dirt out of the bits I upgrade. Bit of brake cleaner and a toothbrush never hurt anyone...


Whilst scrubbing I noticed some scribe marks appear from under the the grime. Serves me right for removing her protective film! 



The cylinder heads have codes scribed on either side by hand, at the top just under the cover gasket. Looked at the other 2 engines in the shed and they’re the same - never noticed this before! 

Here are a few pics: 



Looks like DZ35


Looks like DY54

Looks like 1099. Also two interesting round stamps with codes on. 

Any idea what these are from? Are they production line control numbers or do they relate to some machining tolerance or set of camshafts, for example? 

Got me curious! 

Also, I noticed some cracks in the casting surfaces. Really crummy casting in places. At first I thought they might be stress fractures but these appear in unstressed places too. Plus engine is low mileage. 

Here are some pics: 



They’re quite pronounced on the PAIR section and even the spark plug holes. Odd, as these aren’t stress areas. I’m going to swap a different set of covers on but it did surprise me. 


Closeup of the PAIR tower. 



Some small ones near the swingarm mount section of the lower engine cases (look at the two little bolts under engine number). In fact there are little ones everywhere. 

Really poor casting or poor alloying? 

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Last weekend I installed the Factory Pro shift star kit from the group buy I organised on here a couple years ago. 

Told you this was a slow project! 

Started by removing sprocket cover and shifter cover to access the star. Bit of chain grease, anyone? C98E7334-361F-457E-BE97-4A230165A015.thumb.jpeg.e5ef5a8530b7cb7e78aa98d2991d530e.jpeg
Nothing a bit of spray oil, brake cleaner and toothbrush can’t fix! 



Now the joy of gasket-scraping the shifter cover...



Razor blade and patience to the rescue. 

Everything smooth so far...until that b@stard shift star bolt. Jesus that thing hates me! I used a brand new Bondhus hex key (best in the world), applied very smooth pressure and it still stripped. Then came the pain...

Forced a hardened star key into the stripped hex with a hammer and cranked...no joy. 


Put a butane torch on its @$$ for a good while (forgot take pics as was “fuming” - ha ha ha!)...no joy

Broke our the lump hammer and bolt extractor and went to town on it...no joy


I was having visions of drilling off the head and using a stud extractor on the remainder. Getting quite angry now!!! 

So I reached for an old set of easy-outs as a last resort and mercifully the bolt gave way. Old OEM shift star in my hand next to the mangled bolt. 


Adding insult to injury, when ordering a new bolt I entered the wrong part number and got a sprocket bolt instead (I’ve already got 4 of those!). Anyway, it’s just a standard thread M8 bolt so I got a Ti one out the box, applied some thread lock and called it good. 


Comparison of OEM and Factory Pro shift stars below. Factory pro has rounded profiles and a little tab on the back so you can’t install it wrong. 


Comparison of OEM (top) vs Factory Pro (bottom) shift arm and spring. Springs look about the same but you’ll notice the FP has a ceramic bearing on the end instead of a plain bearing. Should make shifting smoother. 


All installed with Ti bolt, Loctite and a smear of grease. 


Time to replace all seals and bearings in this area whilst we’re here. New bearing and seal for shifter (pressed into shifter cover), new clutch push rod seal, new water pump o ring...and then it all went wrong when I changed the countershaft/sprocket seal. 


Socket used to drive bearing and seal home in shifter cover. Old bearing on the side fir reference - had to be smashed out with cold chisel and hammer.  ED3FEFE7-F6C2-470A-8CF0-A001B6BC31E9.thumb.jpeg.3e057e428e770d74cf3557e09b795723.jpeg

New o-ring for water pump. 



New clutch pushrod seal. 



My pain with the sprocket shaft seal is documented in another thread. The forum helped save this engine! 

If you’ve missed that thread the seal in question has an inner lip that can’t be pressed in from the outside. You need to split the cases and fit it from the inside - CRAZY! 

Don’t replace this sea unless you HAVE to. It’s not suitable for preventative maintenance. If you HAVE to get it out, drill a 3mm hole into the top (careful not to drill the bearing behind it - there’s about 10mm of space), twist a drywall screw into the hole and pull the seal out. 




I drilled two holes as the seal was tough to pull out. 




By pull I mean HEAVE like you’ve never heaved before. That lip makes it a real b@stard to remove. 

This pic shows a new seal on the left vs the seal I just tried to install from the right without removing the lip. Lip catches in the bore and peels backwards, ripping the outer part of the seal off as you drive it in. 



If you’re fitting this seal from the outside just trim the lip off with a sharp blade and press it in with some 3 bond to seal the outside bore.




Or go one better and buy an aftermarket seal without a lip as it will slide in stronger without trying to peel off at the edges. 


Drive the seal in as square as possible to stop the outside pealing away. The 3 bond helps lubricate it for smooth entry.  



Used my wife’s water bottle as a driver. 


Seal seated with a sliver of 3 bond showing around the outside. Try to install the seal so it misses the wear marks made on the shaft by the previous seal. 



Then give it a smear of 3 bond on the outside to help seal it better. Ugly but it works and the sprocket will cover it anyway. 

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Time to cut down the sprocket cover. 

Had a spare in the shed and wanted to have a bit of fun tickling it with the angle grinder. 


Grinder got excited and tickled it too much - ended up taking off rather a lot more than intended. 





Not sure how it’s going to look on the bike but it is less than half the weight of an OEM. Was going to cut some of the central section away as per triangles marked out with sharpie but concerned about chain spatter so left it closed. 

Initial thought was to allow sprocket changes without removing the cover but position of speedo drive makes that impossible.

Might go back to stock if I don’t like it. Let’s see...

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This is the exhaust side of the front head on my 5th gen. These sort of look machine made but as pointed out, some look hand done.  I can't guess what "K053" means.   In one of the round marks on yours it has "00 | 12" .  I wonder if that's indicating that the head was cast in December of 2000.   From what I've seen of VIN plates on these bikes, most were assembled in Sept / Oct.  Is this motor from an '01?


I don't have anything like the cracks you have around the PAIR ports.  I've never seen anything like that.  

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I would hazard a wild ass guess that the scribed number on the heads relate to a height tolerance on the cam journals. Perhaps the cam gears are toleranced as sets and selected based on those numbers to get optimum total backlash. Or it could be the employee number of the person who checked them...

The circular numbers are die codes, usually they give the die number and date/shift the casting was made. I've seen marks like the 'cracks' in the cover in parts that are high pressure die cast and are more like flow marks, maybe due to a die not fully warmed up. If you sanded them smooth I doubt there would be any depth to them, although it does look shabby.

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Thanks for the input, gents. Every day is a school day. Amazing how a build lets you get to know your engine better! 

Forgot to say I buffed the pitting out of the chain guide flange thingy (what’s this thing called?). Used a soft wheel on the drill and some fine compound to avoid burning through what’s left of the zinc coating. 


After (it’s not the same - I promise!): 



Still looks rough but at least it’s smooth so the cases can mate together flush. 

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Hello Folks, 


Got a bit more done today - valve shims adjusted and buttoned up. More on that below. 

First, an update on some of the engine case markings. The ones that look like they were made by machine match the camshaft clamp numbers inside. Funny how I’ve never noticed before (although my engine has never been clean enough to make them out before!). 

Markings on outside of cylinder head (facing throttle bodies)...



...matching camshaft clamp.



Different code in front and rear cylinders and they both match their respective clamps. Must be paired up at the factory. 


Also, that “stress cracking” described earlier is all over these engines. Inside and out. Even the cam clamp has some. I opened up one of my scrap engines to harvest the shims and that one had crazing all over too. Must be a casting flaw as Dangeruss says. 

Anyway, on to the valve adjustment. 

First thing is to spin the engine with a 14mm socket on the crank until cylinder 1 T mark lines up with the cutout on the clutch cover (no photos of this - sorry!). The gear markings must be facing away from each other and parallel to the cylinder head. If they don’t, spin another 360* until they do. 

You’ll have to spin the engine separately to measure each cylinder as per the manual. It’s simpler if you go 1, 3, 2 then 4. This helps keep the lobes properly aligned and you can separate the front and rear cylinder heads. 

Fit the feeler gauges between the cam lobe and shin bucket to measure clearances. Intake is 0.16mm and Exhaust is 0.30mm with a tolerance of 0.03 on both. 

Any shims out of spec must be removed, measured and replaced with an appropriate size to bring the gap back into spec. 

With only 10k miles I didn’t expect much to be wrong but there were some that required attention. One of the intake valves in cylinder 3 was on the very edge of spec at 0.13. 

Here are my notes: 


Had a few old shims from another engine so I stuck them on a strip of double-sided tape along with micrometer measurement in case they could be reused. 

Initially, I planned on getting everything exactly in the centre of spec but even with playing “shim shimmy” that was impossible. I’d have to settle for good enough. 

Once measured the head would need taking apart so the shins can be accessed and swapped. Before undoing any bolts I like to mark the cams with sharpie and a ruler so they can go back in exactly the same way. Also I colour in the teeth where cam gears meet for extra precision. 



Undo cam holder bolts in a crisis-cross pattern about 1/2 a turn at a time until loose. This helps the clamp rise true and not warp. If the cam clamp binds on one side it can start rising skew - just tickle it with a rubber mallet to keep it flat. 


If you’re struggling to remove cam gear clamps try sticking some close-fitting tools in the hole so you can wiggle them free. I used some chisels but screwdrivers will do. Just avoid going deep enough to damage the bolt threads. Wiggling and judicious application of a rubber mallet will have it all apart briskly! 





I like to keep bolts in the same holes just in case there are any minor variations. Best not to mix up your hardware. 

Good chance to give the PAIR and spark plug dowels a good clean. My o-rings looked OK so they got reused. 


Now use a magnet to pull out the shim bucket so we can remove the shim under it.



Careful: sometimes the shim comes out with the bucket and can roll free. I spent 15 minutes hunting one on the floor and another 15 minutes fishing one out of the engine with the magnet...





Here’s the little shim: 7.48mm diameter. Tiny little things! 




They don’t seem to have a way up as they’re factory fitted with their size markings facing both up and down. I noticed where they meet the valve they develop a small circular wear mark. The side meeting the bucket has a bigger circular wear mark. This, along with minor swirls on the buckets suggests these spin as the camshaft lobes hammer them. Interesting design...


Another observation: virtually none of the size markings are exactly right. The micrometer found most markings were wrong - only two on the whole engine were bang on! 

Here’s an example: shim is marked 182 but micrometer says it’s 183. 




All measurements finally finished. 




I was planning to get everything to exact spec (0.16 intake and 0.30 exhaust) but shins are only available in 0.05 increments (or 0.025 from dealer at eye watering prices, so I couldn’t get it bang on no matter what I did. 

Then I read the KevCarver has had success with sanding his shims to the exact size he needs, so I thought let’s give it a go! 

Got a piece of flat glass, some worn 400grit wet-and-dry paper, duct take and a drop of dish soap. 245A4811-D098-49BA-87F1-784190B7F1C9.thumb.jpeg.bc55d09caf1370ab9e60a32020f5c1d2.jpeg


Experimented on the slightly tight exhaust valve that only needed 5 hundredths of a mm (mm, not inch!) removed. Took measurements before sanding. Was 173...


...and after sanding (now 1725). 


Sanding is done in a figure 8, measuring every few strokes and turning the admin 90* every now and then to keep the cutting even. 


Within about 5 mins I’d rubbed off the 5 hundredths and the rubber side was smooooth! 

But upon inspection of the shim it seems the side I sanded now had chamfered edges and the face was ever so slightly domed where I probably rocked the shim with my finger whilst sanding. 

Compare the straight reflection on the original face...


...with the slightly domed reflection on the sanded face. 

See how it’s rounded on the edges? Probably from rocking when rubbed and possibly where water made the sandpaper warp. Very hard to hold these shims flat as they’re so small. Might work better with shims of a bigger diameter (like on my Yamaha) but these are just too small so I decided not to sand any more of the VFR ones. 

Time to swap the two shims I could service and button everything back up. For this I’d need my own home-made camshaft moonshine to keep things smooth on first startup when there’s no oil. 

For that we need equal measures of engine oil and WS2 grease, with a pinch of WS2 powder to taste. Similar sort of thing to molly EP grease only slightly more slippery (and a bit more expensive!). All thrown into a sriracha sauce bottle with 3 old bolts to help mix things up. 



Give the bottle a good shake and let the bolts mix everything together nicely. 



It’s a homemade engine assembly paste, I suppose. With a bit of luck the WS2 will burnish into the cam lobes and journals to help reduce wear. 


This special sauce is then dropped on the shims, buckets and most importantly on the cam bearing surfaces. A paintbrush helps achieve good coverage. 



Also brushed this sauce on the cam gears and cam journals to minimise damage on first startup. 


At last everything is back in position and properly greased up. 

With everything in place it pays to spin the motor a few times and recheck valve clearances. On the rear bank I found some of my clearances had shrunk by 0.005. 

Much swearing ensued!!!

Upon inspection I realised my torque wrench was set to 13Nm instead of the specified 12Nm. So I loosened all the bolts and redid them at 12Nm, at which point my clearances were fine again. 

You MUST use a torque wrench for this procedure as just a bit too much could wear your camshaft bearing surfaces and mess up your valve timing!  

Hope this helps someone on the same journey. 


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Any advice on where to pour a bit of engine oil to aid first startup? Do I drop some down the spark plug hole? Drizzle a bit over the open area under the camshafts? 

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The spinning of the buckets is similar to how pushrod motors spin the lifters and pushrods. The cam grind and bucket lifter profiles are done in such a way to make that happen.  Keeps the wear even.  They wouldn't last long otherwise! 

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1 hour ago, Stray said:

Any advice on where to pour a bit of engine oil to aid first startup? Do I drop some down the spark plug hole? Drizzle a bit over the open area under the camshafts? 

I use engine assembly lube for that purpose, interesting idea with your own lube. Oil is fine if you are ready to put an engine into service right away. Not from this company but bird is fine



“Also, that “stress cracking” described earlier is all over these engines. Inside and out. Even the cam clamp has some. I opened up one of my scrap engines to harvest the shims and that one had crazing all over too. Must be a casting flaw as Dangeruss says.”


Nothing to worry about those “turtle cracks”, just cosmetics and quite normal for aluminum die casted parts. Those veins are cracks fills - cracks that appears in the molds, not in the casted  part. You could clean them up with a Dremel tool if you fancy....

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Hello All, 


Been toying with the idea of using an 8th gen cushion to mount different rearsets and possibly a slightly longer swingarm on my 5th gen (6th/8th gen swingers are slightly longer than 5th gen). 


For those of you wanting to swap cushions across the 5th, 6th and 8th gen bikes, here are some comparison pics.

First off, they’re not a straight swap and they’re quite different in size! 

In this pic the 8th gen cushion is on the left and 5th gen is on the right. 


Note how the 5th gen item is narrower overall as the rearsets on that model make up the difference. 5th gen engine mounting gap, however, is much wider than the 8th gen. 


Here you can see the swingarm mounting points aren’t the same on both cushions. Note the centre lug is thicker in the 8th gen. I “believe” 6th gen cushions have the same spacing as 8th but please correct me if wrong. 



The above pic shows how much more substantial the 8th gen item is. 

5th gen cushion is 1.264kg. 8th gen is a whopping 2.161kg - nearly double!!!


Edit: the 8thbgen item has a little extra weight from the broken centre stand bolt stud stuck in its lug. Few grams maybe? 


I’ve decided to remain stock and keep weight down. Not sure how much more the 5th gen setup weighs with its rearsets (these form part of the cushion) but can’t imagine it adds up to the same as an 8th gen. 

Also curious how Seb’s rearset adaptors compare for weight. Can’t be very much (and they look sooooo cool!). 


Also not sure how the 6th gen cushion compares. I believe the mounting spaces are same as 8th gen but shape for rearsets is different. 

Just some info for anyone wanting to do these mods. 




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Good info! Interesting comparison, I just ordered one of these on Ebay the other day for the same reason. I would have bought Sebs 5th gen mounts but he's not making them at the moment so I gave this a look. In your middle pic you have the 5th gen flipped compared to the 8th, the suspension link mounting width should be the same because the same part number is used across all generations. The 6th and 8th gen also share the same part number for the cushion bracket itself. The broken bolt in yours is likely the notorious right side left hand threaded centerstand bolt (versus right hand thread on the 5th gen), this is one of the extra parts needed for the swap. The cross bolts that fasten this through the engine case have different part numbers as well, although the lengths are the same between 5th and 6/8th. Possibly the head is different on the later one since it is clamped in the bracket. You also need to replace the centerstand pivot bolt and nut as it is more like a front axle and clamped on both ends in the late model bracket.

Centerstands and sidestands have different numbers but apparently centerstands interchange, side stands likely do as well.

Installing this will be a fun since the swingarm needs to come off and so does the centerstand, part of the job if you are changing engines. A good time to replace seals and lube swingarm and link bearings.

Also resets 6th to 8th gen look similar except for a plugged hole on the left side but have different part #s. They should interchange since the bracket itself is the same part. The extra hole on the 8th gen looks like it might be for a footrest mounted shift lever, but these don't cross reference to any other bikes, so who knows?

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  • 11 months later...
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Have you ever seen a thing more terrifying? 

Took me all day to get the loom out. Bet it’ll take me a week of swearing to get it back in...


Left myself some notes on positioning with masking tape but they’re nothing close to comprehensive. 

God, I hate wiring! 

Also, the loom weighs a tonne. Got speaking to a guy who built his bike with a Motogadget Blue unit - this replaces all your wiring (except the ECU) with a tiny little gizmo that controls everything (lights, ignition, sensors etc). If it was guaranteed to work on the 5th gen I’d buy one but Motogadget can’t confirm. They did say it won’t work for HISS models though. 


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So folks, have I gone crazy? Do you like any of the below or am I barking mad? 

You’ve got to try imagine it properly fitted and painted, which I’ll agree is difficult. 

For any new visitors, this is 5th gen that I’m building into a retro road racer. It’s remit will be fast road use, touring and track days. Going for the 80’s endurance racer vibe. 



VF400 front cowl with VFR400 tail (NC24 or something?)4B9712BE-3636-409E-BAD4-7FD288B8759F.thumb.jpeg.a7c8bfd231020ced54bd5c1d4a704c34.jpeg306A84B6-FD85-4866-A97A-6AC9A7E06C1D.thumb.jpeg.6ae39927f961e6c5fdd7f57974afc2f7.jpeg58803A07-EBAE-4A50-BEC1-168A0966C027.thumb.jpeg.39527ff71982c38e036ece32f0e39223.jpeg



Standard VFR800 seat with VFR400 rear cowl just for silhouette. 77A1D1F1-B975-4D25-B0AD-197DF1112B44.thumb.jpeg.45983867b8ce8be30bc923de1cfffa05.jpeg82862C4B-67DE-4C4B-BCA3-DB59427FAE55.thumb.jpeg.86f3e0729d1d75fb3c49c3e5f76ff96a.jpeg27CB682E-3615-44A8-B086-0A5F92B0D411.thumb.jpeg.b30b7343e2d1062b0fb43dce20362664.jpeg


Suzuki GS550 tail (I liked the ducktail little wings!)





CBR600 2016 seat (not sure it works with the classic styling of the other bits but it’s SO light!)



A cafe racer hump I had on the shelf just for giggles and ideas. Maybe a bigger one would work but I think it needs to be a boxy tail from the 80’s instead of a hump from the 60’s...



Now the VFR800 standard seat on its own. Imagine a tail fairing that made up the pillion seat section and ended where the seat does. That’s a good 5 inches shorter than the original fairing and quite slim. I think it looks good (ignore the 5th gen side fairing for now).901BE86F-73F3-4D7B-B983-309B6F1B08DE.thumb.jpeg.a0c303ac79df4bf8f4f8501f9ec7973e.jpeg


Trying out a half-naked look with headlight fairing and chin spoiler (I think it’s off a half-naked VF400). No side fairings. 


Got an SP1 race tail to try tomorrow but it’s HUGE and might spoil the look. Will post pic ASAP. 

I’m desperate to try an NSR250 (MC21) and NC35 (VFR400) Seat but can’t keep buying fairings as money’s tight and I’ve got a whole bunch already. Also, a VF1000 or VF750 seat might be nice to try. If anyone in the Midlands (England) has any I could borrow that would really help. 

Let me know what you think! 




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If you squint the last 2 look the most natural (least unnatural?). I think the newer tank throws off the vibe a bit, but clever use of paint could offset that. I get what you are trying to do as I've gone down a similar rabbit hole before with my RZ350. Remember, 'Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music'. I can't name the tune, but I can hear it. 😉 FWIW I'm almost done installing an SP2 tail on mine, stay tuned.

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Thanks for your input, Dangeruss! 

It’s good to know you’re in this rabbit hole with me. Can’t wait to see yours with the SP2 tail. Please post ASAP! 

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Will do, SP1 subframe is modified and on the bike and I'm picking the plastics up from a friend who's painting the trunk lid to match the tail this weekend. I'm really happy with the way it turned out, main tasks remaining are to make a flat under tray and battery box.

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I like stock best...lut of those. But, the middle naked looks best to me. I'm a lover of that style overall. FJ1200. VTR250. GS700ES. 

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8 hours ago, bmart said:

I like stock best...lut of those. But, the middle naked looks best to me. I'm a lover of that style overall. FJ1200. VTR250. GS700ES. 

Thanks bmart! 

Do you mean the half-naked without the lower fairings? The one with a chin spoiler? 

Love the FJ, by the way. One of the greatest bikes ever made. Really solid air cooled engines! 

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Pics of the SP1 race tail as promised. 

Got the rear wheel and front fairings off so it’s hard to picture. Will need some trimming at the tank. 

Not really the period look but not bad. 

Any good? Compared to the previous ones? 





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Nice project, I have to get back on mine soon! ( It looks like I am coming up on 1 year of no activity 😨 )


I like the last two with the rear VFR400 Rothmans fairing, and the old school fairing up front.


Maybe could find a nice LED front rectangle light to fit, you will have a retro-modern bike! LED's are super light, as they have plastic housings.


I will be watching this thread, and looking forward to your final creation! 


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Minor bit of progress, but an important step made this weekend: got rear brake bracket welded for 848 wheel/caliper conversion. 

The 848 brake torque arm is a cast & forged aluminium piece fixed with a 12mm lug in the swingarm. The 5th gen equivalent uses a bracket and a dogbone fixed with a 10mm bolt that’s about 47mm too far for the 848 bracket to reach (depending on how the eccentric is situated). 

I tried making various brackets and bolts but there isn’t enough clearance. 

So I extended the 848 bracket with a piece from another 848 bracket. Traced it on paper and drew out the design crudely in pencil. 


Then cut out the piece to add as a stencil and traced it on the donor part. After that, a tiresome couple hours of cutting, grinding, filing and shaping to make it match the profile of the other part for welding. It’s a thin piece of aluminium with lots of complex angles so had to make sure the welding gap was minimal. 


Then bevel the edges and get welding. Came out quite nice in the end with minimal distortion. Hope you like my plait welds! 



Not the prettiest job but it’ll hold. Maybe some paint to smarten it up...


Few notes: the internet is so full of sh1t and misinformation it gets me every time. Every source I’ve read (including dedicated welding sites) say cast aluminium wants 4043 filler rod because of its ductility to avoid stress cracking as it cools. They also say 5356 is unsuitable for cast because it’s prone to cracking and difficult to work with. They also say to never mix the two rod types: if you apply one and then decide to apply another the first should be completely ground off first. 

Well, that’s all horse sh1t. 

I started with 4043 and it cracked before my eyes. So I tried the 5356 over the cracks and that went on a dream. So I went over the whole thing again with 5356 (no grinding) and used the side-to-side method to cover more area and deposit more rod volume. That’s why it looks like a plait. 

In short, it was EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what the welding forums were saying. So don’t believe what you read on the internet. Don’t even believe me! Get proper professional opinions and make up your own mind. 

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