Sunday, February 26, 2023

Yamaha FZ750 Restoration - Clip-ons (handlebars)

 I got a bent one!

So the left clip-on has taken a bruising at some stage, not to mention the rust. I initially thought it might be able to be straightened but it had flattened the tube where it was bent and would never be right however much you looked at it. Secondhand ones are few and far between, and expensive, and I didn't want to risk getting another bent one.

On closer inspection of the offending item, you can see where they are originally welded to the cast clamp. With a bit of careful drilling and jiggery-pokery, we should be able to get the old steel tube off the clamp itself. It was pretty solid but gave way in the end. 

I cut off the bad section and placed what was left in the lathe to take the outer diameter down enough to remove the threaded section that holds the bar end weights. Eureka!

All that was left to do was to go to the steel shop and pick up a length of 22mm pipe with a 2mm wall thickness. Pretty common, one would hope. Not in Australia it would seem, it's no longer available.

I then ordered some "Pipe Furniture" sections which were supposed to be 22mm O.D., but even they turned out to be 21mm. Bridgey pointed out the old handlebars on the ZXR project bike (more on that later) and it gave me an idea. A set of straight drag bars should give me the dimensions I needed. Then I remembered a load of factory-seconds bars I bought and stored a while ago. I already had the correct material in stock!

So this is how it looked. The end is pitted with rust because Yamaha didn't paint them right to the end. For obvious reasons on the throttle side, I guess, and then they just wanted them to look the same.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Yamaha FZ750 Restoration - Burleigh Powder Coating.

The Frame is Back!

True to their word, less than a fortnight later and I got the call that it was ready to pick up. I was slightly apprehensive due to the fact that the rust was pretty bad, with heavy pitting. When you don't get to see what's left after blasting, it's always a worry. It's not cheap either. 

Would I have been better off with a wire brush in a drill and using aerosols? 😟 That would have taken forever as it's a big, complex frame. And the results are never the same when spraying a frame, overspray always dulling one side etc.

The powder coating on the BSA frame is still superb after thirty years, so I'd pretty much made my choice.

First, a wee recap. She was looking a little worse for wear...

The photos actually make it look far better than it was. Brake fluid had taken paint off in some places, rust had started taking over everywhere else. The centre stand looked like it had been dragged up from the Titanic.

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Yamaha FZ750 Restoration.

Blown away...

Carlsberg don't do projects, but if they did, they'd probably be the best projects in the world. Quite frankly, if a restoration project could be ideal, this one could well be it. Admittedly, the plastics are a bit rough, but mechanically she's proving to be pretty good.

After getting the engine running, the bike was quickly stripped and put into boxes. From here I will take pics, and start on individual components. If I get a bit fed up with doing one thing for too long, I'll move on to something else to break up the monotony. It's easy to get overwhelmed when stuck on a time-consuming part.

Anyone who has pulled old machines apart would be familiar with stripped heads on screws and bolts, especially when some of the bike is as rusty as this one. But, as corroded as every fastener is, everything came apart like it was put together last week! It's been surreal.

I had noticed play in the front wheel during the strip-down and was pretty shocked to find this. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

1985 Yamaha FZ750 - The Start Of A Restoration.

Honest, it followed me home...

There are still quite a few bikes that I want to own one day, mainly nineties sports bikes, a few really old bikes, and quite a few other odd ones that might just happen one day. One I've been after for quite a while, especially since seeing a lot of restomods on them, is the FZ750 - the half-faired, original version. To me, that thing is sheer beauty. 

When one popped up at my favourite bike breakers - Motogenn, in Burleigh, Gold Coast - I sent Paulo a text "Put my name on it! I'll take it."

Paulo insisted, "Come and have a look first."

"I'll take it!"

For those who don't know Paulo, he is an absolute gentleman, extremely helpful and who deals in mostly modern motorbikes. I've had several parts from him for the R1, amongst other projects, and his prices are the fairest around. Anyway, I popped over for a look, said yes I'll grab it, and came back with the money a few days later. She's gonna be awesome!

Loading it in the van was easy, Paulo had a decent ramp to get it in. It took two of us to push it in (it has no working brakes) and it just needed a good, confident shove. 

When I got it home, I had no such luxuries. I found a shitty old pallet that was nowhere near long enough and got ready to launch it on my own. Figuring this would end in disaster, I asked a neighbour to help me. She quickly, and quite rightly, declined but said her housemate, Corey, would love to. So, out comes old mate, barefoot and looking somewhat bewildered. I told him to jump in the van and hang onto the handlebars, and I would hold the back as it rolled down the pallet.
This would have been ok, had the pallet not given way under the weight of the back wheel which then left the bike jammed on its exhaust and on the edge of the van. Bugger! It just needed a good pull backwards to free it and, sure enough, with a good tug, we were mobile once more. 
And this is when things got exciting for old Corey. I didn't have much control after getting it moving and the bike shot out at great speed with Corey hanging on for grim death, straddling the front wheel, barefoot and quickstepping on a very steep, rough pallet. All I could think was we are going to drop this bike, but no, Corey hung on well and it stayed upright. He was bloody marvellous to be fair and, legend has it, he even had most of the splinters out of his feet by the morning.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Replacing Brake Seals on Triumph T150V Lockheed Caliper.

She is heavy, and she ain't my brother...

Ye olde Tridents were heavy. There's no way to sugarcoat it, modern bikes are an absolute joy to move around compared to the bikes of the seventies and eighties. I really feel for the older riders having to sell their old 750's and 1000's due to weight, but completely understand why they have to do it.

But it's not just the struggle onto the centre-stand, or moving it out of the garage. You sort of rely, quite heavily (oof is that a pun?), on the brakes to haul all of that extra weight up. And a fixed, two-piston caliper, on a small solid disc, needs to be in pretty good condition to do the job. 

Well this bike is a 1974 model... and it is now 2022, and this is probably its first seal kit. It's done well! Not that it was leaking or anything. The pads weren't binding on the disc either, in fact, everything was pretty good. But the old seals were pulling the pistons back further than they ought to which, to the rider, means much more lever travel before retardation takes place.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Repacking Your Can, Exhaust, Silencer or Muffler.

Shut it! I can't...

Before I start, I love quiet pipes, and wish I had the standard can for the R1. Better for my ears and attracts a lot less attention when you're bouncing off the limiter. The Bandit has quite a nice deep tone with its db killer in, but the R1 was a little more raucous. Time to repack it.

With a little research done, I've been hearing good things about Acousta-fil fibreglass packing. Not cheap, but worth it if it lasts a few years.

Here's the Australian-made Screaming Demon can that was fitted to the bike when I bought it. A little long by modern standards, and takes me back to the Hindle pipes of the nineties. It's good quality, but I want rid of the main badge and will rotate the can so the small maker's badge at the bottom is hidden around the back.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

'02 - '03 Yamaha R1 Fuel Light Flashing Eight Times

How to fix...

There are a lot of opinions out there regarding this fault, and some would have you believe it's an engine management issue. But this is down to the fuel sensor circuit only.