2moto

Innovation on 2 wheels

Norick Abe YZR-500 Replica

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The spiritual successor to the RD-350

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95Racer: 95bhp and 95kg

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Norick Abe YZR-500 Replica

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The spiritual successor to the RD-350

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YZR-500 Frame Kit

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The spiritual successor to the RD-350

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Construction commences

Having virtually no machining or fabrication capabilities ourselves, finding the right fabricator and CNC machine shop was probably the most single difficult task in the project. Many of the well known frame fabricators in England, for instance, do not really want to build something entirely new based on someone else’s (our) design. For entirely sensible reasons they prefer to stick to what they have done in the past. Most were willing to take the engine, front fork, wheels, etc. and build a one-off chassis based on what they know how to build. The other criteria was to find someone that was not an unduly distance away, for obvious reasons.

After a false start, an ideal partner for everything but CNC work was found very local to me, less than 3 miles as the crow flies. CNC work was done by a friend of mine, mainly in his spare time. Paying going rates for commercial CNC work was simply not an option for our relatively meager budget.

Mainly for reasons of simplicity, we decided to use tubular frame. Of course, the Ducati influence also played a role as they have proven very spectacularly that such a design can be extremely successful at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.

For the construction of the swinging arm, we decided on a similar approach, using a tubular structure that was reinforced with sheet plating on all peripheral surfaces. A separate swinging arm jig was built for this purpose.

The front suspension came from a 2005 Yamaha R-6. The choice after consulting experts like K-Tech and Maxton was narrowed down to 2005 or newer R-6 and Honda CBR 600-RR. It is apparently very difficult to build a better and lighter fork than these two production bikes. Further fettling yielded extremely good performance for the money.

From the ER-6 donor bike, besides the engine, we retained the ECU, the radiator (this was later to be found inadequate), the injection system and airbox, the wiring loom (although heavily modified), and a few other small components. This also meant a new tank had to be built, which was done by the same fabricator.

Rear suspension came courtesy of a custom-built Maxton mono-shock.

The bodywork was probably the easiest decision and an entirely personal one: An RS-250RW body kit made by Speedfibre in Spain, who also supply the same kit to GP teams.