See ya later gen­er­a­tor

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

I have al­ways had a pas­sion for sin­gle cylin­der mo­tor­cy­cles hav­ing been brought up in a bik­ing fam­ily where given the chance my fa­ther would tell all about how good his BSA Em­pire Star was. So imag­ine my de­light when Yamaha in­tro­duced the SR500 back in 1978. At the time I was com­mut­ing over 30km each way to work on a tired ex-po­lice Kawasaki WR1. I yearned for a Ve­lo­cette but they were and still are thin on the ground here in WA. OBA 73 brought back a few mem­o­ries start­ing with the monthly visit to my lo­cal newsagent to pick up my monthly copy of Two Wheels (Au­gust 1978). The front cover was a SR 500 and a Ve­lo­cette Thrux­ton. It was meant to be. Un­able to find a Velo I bought from Brian Cull’s deal­er­ship then in Os­borne Park a SR500 Yamaha. Well, hav­ing read your fea­ture about the SR500 to­day I am firmly of the opin­ion that as we get older we for­give the sins of our bikes. I would com­mute the 30km rain or shine and af­ter learn­ing how to start the bike I found it a ca­pa­ble com­muter then one day as I went to travel home it failed to start. The HT wind­ing in the gen­er­a­tor had failed and no spark was forth­com­ing, I was un­able to af­ford a gen­uine re­place­ment but was able to find a com­pany that could rewind the coils. Their rea­son for fail­ure was vi­bra­tion, did I men­tion it did suf­fer in this area. Duly re­paired the daily com­mute re­sumed un­til about 6 months later a re­peat of the wind­ing fail­ure. I was not alone in this as hav­ing seen my SR500, my brother in law also bought one from Brian Cull, he also suf­fered from HT fail­ure. An­other nasty habit of the SR was the ex­haust valve would seize in the open po­si­tion, no com­pres­sion. No go. You had to wait for it to cool and free up. A com­mon mod­i­fi­ca­tion avail­able was an al­ter­na­tive oil feed that fed the oil di­rect to the ex­haust valve rocker in­stead of just flood­ing the head from the rear. This mod did go a long way to solv­ing the sticky valve. When the HT failed for the third time I re­paired then sold the bike. What is in my shed now? A Ve­lo­cette Club­man of course! Paul Bar­foot WA

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