FAST BERK TZR250

The re­build of the rac­ing 2MA comes to a close, just test­ing and rac­ing left then!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - cmm

Char­lie Oak­man is on the fin­ish­ing straight!

With the clock tick­ing rapidly to­ward an omi­nous dead­line, I am pleased to say that the first of the three stages of my TZR project is just about com­plete. The first stage was the build of a 1988 TZR250 2MA out of a va­ri­ety of boxes of parts ly­ing around our work­shop and the rolling frame of a sim­i­lar project that started and stopped some five years ago. We are miss­ing only one cru­cial part cur­rently in de­vel­op­ment – a be­spoke ra­di­a­tor hose from Samco, which is in the post, so we can now start plan­ning for stage two and three, the lat­ter be­ing a race with the Yamaha Past Masters (YPMS) around Snet­ter­ton 300 in Oc­to­ber. Get­ting to this point has been a long road of sourc­ing new parts, clean­ing and ser­vic­ing old ones and call­ing in favours. The big­gest thus far (apart from get­ting the green light from Fast Bikes staffer Ben­jamin Kubas-cronin to build and race his bike) was get­ting a pack­age from Jer­sey where a 2MA tank was loaned from a pri­vate Yamaha col­lec­tor for the term of this project. Not only did they give me per­mis­sion to use it, but also paint it – mean­ing the clean white race bike pic­tured here did not have to come com­plete with a yel­low and red retro style tank! I have to ad­mit to be­ing very ex­cited by this; it looks stun­ning and has come a long way over the past six is­sues since the rolling frame, com­plete with up­graded Max­ton sus­pen­sion and re­built engine (which is as far as Ben­jamin had got), was rolled into Phoenix Yamaha’s van. Phoenix is the Trow­bridge based deal­er­ship that not only al­lowed me a spare bench but also the ser­vices of chief me­chanic Wayne Philips to aid me on the build. I am ex­ceed­ingly thank­ful for this, hav­ing learnt so much across the build, get­ting my hands dirty on oc­ca­sion, sourc­ing and sup­ply­ing re­place­ment parts, de­spite a cer­tain amount of abuse for not putting the milk in the tea be­fore the hot wa­ter! With the ex­cep­tion of the hose link­ing the

engine to the new GPI Alu­minium ra­di­a­tor all else was fin­ished off last week. A hose could be fash­ioned of course but Samco said they would make me one and given the fact that most of the YPM pad­dock uses this up­graded ra­di­a­tor it’s a very small le­gacy that I can leave be­hind at the end of this project. Wayne, hav­ing re­turned from his hol­i­days was met with a ser­vice sched­ule with ‘TZR day’ writ­ten in. In the cor­ner of the work­shop he was greeted by all of the nec­es­sary parts for the fi­nal push and what I am sure was the equally wel­com­ing sight of me for the day, tak­ing pic­tures, ask­ing ‘what’s that?’ and mak­ing plenty of tea – milk first, nat­u­rally. The fair­ing prep had been down to me. As stated in the last is­sue, with the help of fel­low YPM’ER Gary But­ton we had cut the race fair­ing from Bard­ney Rac­ing in half, hing­ing it for ease of ac­cess. The sides had come com­plete with Dzus fas­ten­ings to the cock­pit – leav­ing only the seat unit to be strength­ened with 3mm alu­minium plates at the rear and un­der the seat so that it won’t flex when rid­ing. A seat pad was pinched from JHS Rac­ing based in Keyn­sham and glued into po­si­tion, two holes burnt through the seat by heat­ing a cop­per pipe and melt­ing through the foam to pro­duce two per­fect holes al­low­ing ac­cess to the bolts that se­cure the unit into po­si­tion on the pur­pose built brack­ets. The brack­ets were again down to me, with some guid­ance from see­ing how the more sea­soned TZR rac­ers had gone about the job. The front bracket was taken from a right-an­gled alu­minium strip, cut in half and then joined to­gether with two bolts on a slid­ing scale al­low­ing for height ad­just­ment. The rear was again via 3mm alu­minium, pop-riv­eted to­gether us­ing brack­ets pur­chased from a DIY store, drilled at the top with a Dzus fas­tener added to the cen­tral beam al­low­ing one fas­tener to hold the back in place. It’s my own work (messy and prim­i­tive it may be) but it is ef­fec­tive. Fi­nally the two-stroke green num­ber boards fore and aft were sprayed on us­ing Hal­fords spray paint and a fi­nal layer of lac­quer

to pro­tect the paint from the po­ten­tial of peel­ing with the ap­pli­ca­tion and more ap­pro­pri­ately re­moval of race num­bers. I also had some pa­per­work to do, get­ting my race ap­pli­ca­tion in and get­ting my race num­ber for the fi­nale of this project: #99 has been al­lo­cated, which led to much hi­lar­ity in the work­shop with the ex­pectancy that it would read as #66 once I am on track, or more cor­rectly off it. Ha-bloody-ha! So back in Trow­bridge we were ready to get things fin­ished. First job was to fit the chain al­low­ing us to run through the gear­box pro­fi­ciently enough to make sure we had them all. The SES rear-sets are su­perb, giv­ing a lot of feel through this near 30-year-old gear­ing, the side-stand is in the way of course but that is only still in place for ease in the work­shop. We had a slight is­sue with the rear caliper, fresh from ebay/hong Kong, but a tight­en­ing of the bolts and bleed from both nip­ples re­leased the air and built up the pres­sure. Once done a hose re­placed the reser­voir and the rear brake was fin­ished. Mov­ing for­ward the oil pump was dis­con­nected from the throt­tle and the feeder pipes dou­bled back to cre­ate a seal so that no air could be sucked into the carbs. All that is left now is the afore­men­tioned ra­di­a­tor hose and we are ready to run. Fit­ting the fair­ing took some time. With no pre-sup­plied brack­ets we man­aged to find a few in the Phoenix Yamaha spares box which given some fil­ing, drilling and ma­nip­u­la­tion al­lowed the fair­ing to all come to­gether, tight to the frame of the bike and fit­ting beau­ti­fully. You may re­mem­ber that this fair­ing had come from Bard­ney Rac­ing, pre­pared from a cast pro­vided by a mem­ber of the YPM faith­ful so I had no doubt it would fit well, but gen­uinely it’s per­fect. While all of this was go­ing on the man­ager of the deal­er­ship – Barry Bear – was get­ting in­volved, hav­ing of­fered to pre­pare the tank for me. There were rust spots that he treated, sanded, filled and sanded again. Then pro­ceeded to spray the unit white, thus fin­ish­ing off per­fectly what you see here. This is a bike that I am im­mensely proud of and I can­not wait to move into stage two, the test­ing. With a track-day booked at Cas­tle Combe I will have plenty of op­por­tu­nity to run the bike in and test its ca­pa­bil­i­ties though this will only leave one month to get it finely tuned and race ready be­fore Snet­ter­ton. Okay then, so far so good, but there are quite a few bridges to cross be­fore the rac­ing. Look­ing good is one thing, per­form­ing well will be a another con­sid­er­ing that I will be grid­ding against 32 other TZRS that pretty much have a full sea­son be­hind them. With all the in­vest­ment, time and gen­eros­ity shown to me for this project, stage two is cru­cial. Phoenix helped me to build a run­ner, I am ask­ing JHS Rac­ing to make it a racer and when the red lights go out at Snet­ter­ton it will be down to me to bring all of these things to­gether. Deep breaths Char­lie, deep breaths.

WORDS AND PHO­TOS: CHAR­LIE OAK­MAN

Some hose work go­ing on here.

Rear end fi­nally com­plete.

Char­lie was al­lowed to at­tach the screen!

Even with the fair­ing, it’s nar­row!.

Samco’s be­spoke mould.

Home-made spray booth!

Tacho only is needed.

Check­ing for the chain re­ac­tion.

Re­in­forced: just in case!

Stand could come off...

Oil feed looped off.

Ef­fec­tive, not pretty!

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