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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YZR-500 Project Is Complete!

Well, it's taken a bit longer than originally planned, but then these types of projects always throw up an unexpected turn or two. In the case of the YZR-500, it was the paintwork that proved to be the biggest delay, but customer's preferences must be obliged.

The performance of the chassis was head-and-shoulders above the TZR-250 based conversion straight out of the box, and cured all the ills of the former chassis. This is what we set out to do, and having achieved this without any drama, is extremely pleasing to us. It validates the approach we took in spending an extraodinary amount of time in the design phase before machining the first part and bending the first sheet.

And here is the final result (all pictures courtesy of Cope Images). If you interested in one of these frame kits, read the YZR-500 Replica Frame Kits section, and get in touch about how gets yours.

And here is the full gallery:

Final build has started!

After a complete strip down once the dry build was complete, we've now started the final build. The frame and swinging arm are back from powder coating, and have been re-united. This is now the phase where final fit and function of every part is checked.  Once all the part are back on and the wiring is fitted, the all important start-up will take place. And then...it's road testing time!!


And just as a reminder, this is what it will eventually look like:

Dry build complete!

The artisans have been busy lately, and the dry build is now complete. This means the exhausts are now complete, rearsets fabricated, all plumbing sorted out. So, here are a couple of pictures before we'll tear it all down and finish off the individual components with paint, anodising, or whatever other method, sort out the various fasteners, etc. and, of course, the electrics. Then, in another week or so, we'll begin the finish build before the first road test.

More progress on the YZR-500 replica

It's been a busy time in the workshop, but progress is continuing at a good pace. The frame is now complete, the rear suspension is fully assembled, the rear subframe is complete, and bespoke rear-sets fitted. We're using a bigger tank to increase the fuel range with a modified underside. All the bodywork mounts are complete and a minor adjustment to the seat unit around the base of the tank will be needed.

There is of course, still plenty to do with the major items being the exhausts and the electrics. Here are a few more pictures of the current state of the build. Just 4 weeks to first road test!

It starts to look like a real bike

It's always an exciting time when a newly fabricated chassis can be put on its own two wheels. After a month of serious work, the moment has again arrived. And this is what it looks like today:

The frame is only missing a few mounts for various bits, e.g. the fairing. The new Ohlins TTX rear shock absorber is on its way to us and the suspension linkage is being machined. Other than, that she would bounce under its own weight.

We've taken all the important chassis measurements, and was we've come to expect these days, the exactly match the CAE design specification. There is, of course, still plenty to get on with but so far we are very pleased with the outcome so far.

One of the important design consideration from the customer's point of view was that the fairing can be retained. We therefore design the chassis that this would indeed be the case. The initial fairing fitting confirms that the existing fairing now actually fist the bike, which was not the case with the original frame.

Right, back to the workshop...

A new frame is required

As we detailed in the previous post, the chassis had quite a few shortcoming, some of which would be fairly straightforward to rectify, while others were not so. After a fair bit of considerations and discussions with our customer, it was decided building a new, bespoke frame was the only sensible way to get a satisfactory end product: A bike fit for the Isle of Man.

So, we spent the last couple of months:

  1. putting a comprehensive design together
  2. performing CAE chassis analysis with regards to engine position, weight distribution, and suspension behaviour
  3. creating a complete CAD model

The result is that we are confident in our design work to begin the metal fabrication process. Of course, being a YZR500 Replica, it needs a twin-spar beam frame fabricated from aluminium. Our Moto-2 bikes have been steel trellis frames in comparison.

And, after a bit of work, here is the initial result of fabricating a twin-spar beam frame from aluminium sheet. So far, it's been a rewarding phase of fabrication. Stay tuned to see if we can continue this way!

A more detailed assessment

With the engine having been adequately dialed in for now, it was time to see how it rode. Our customer came to visit us to get a first hand impression on how the bike currently rides. We had a brief ride ourselves as well and we agreed with the customer that it needed just a bit more work to get it to even an acceptable level. One of the goals our customer has, is to ride it around the Isle of Man at this year's TT. Although not as part of a race, the bike still needs to instill confidence before a run around the island.

Read more: A more detailed assessment

First dyno runs

After discussions with the customer it was agreed that the first order of business was to see if the engine ran well before tackling any of the other issues previously identified. After a bit of fettling, the engine started up fairly easily. Then it was off to the dyno. As we don't have our own in-house dyno, we frequently use HB Motorcycles in Dewsbury. Its proprietor, Don Carcas understands 2-stroke well, and has always provided a great service. He uses a DynaPro dyno which we prefer over the ubiquitous Dynojet 200.

And, the results are in...


Read more: First dyno runs

The start of another interesting project

Well, it has happened! A customer brought us a bike he recently bought off Ebay. It is a YZR500 replica using a TZR250-3MA frame, TZR250-3XV swinging arm, and an RD500 motor. Reportedly, about 12 of these were built, and judging by this one, I doubt any of them see any serious tarmac time. More likely, they'll be sitting in people's living rooms or other coveted, dry locations. They certainly look pretty with replica Max Biaggi bodywork.

Read more: The start of another interesting project