Bruce’s two-stroke restoration is turning into an obsession
Did I say this wasn’t going to be a nut-and-bolt restoration? I might’ve been kidding myself. Having stripped the SDR down, I found myself boxing up various chassis parts, such as wheels, subframes and brackets, and taking them off to my local powdercoaters for refinishing. When they returned it was like the past 30 years had been rolled away, as they looked just like new. This started a bit of a chain reaction; the freshly powdercoated parts only served to highlight just how scabby some of the metal bolts and fasteners had become.
It was by chance that I then stumbled across a chap called Mike, who runs Mike’s Polishing Shop in Bristol (0117 939 5372). He can refinish old nuts and bolts to the desired spec, and repair any damage, so I sent him all of the engine bolts, wheel spindles and spacers, fork caps, and much more. When they came back everything was just like Yamaha has made them 30 years ago. Mike charged £80 for this service; a bargain when you consider that a lot of the parts he plated are no longer available.
While the chassis parts were away, I turned my attention to the engine. I managed to source many of the required re-build bits direct from Yamaha as original parts, but there seemed to be no availability of a piston and conrod. So I engaged the services of an old mate, Roland from Hardcore Racing (www.motocrossdirect.co.uk). He was able to measure up the original conrod and piston and locate suitable pattern replacements. Roland also offers an aquablasting service, which is ideal for cleaning aluminium parts, so I left pretty much all of the engine with him for a few days. On collection it was like he had worked a miracle! The crankcases, sidecases, and covers looked like new. Hardcore had even taken care of the cylinder and rebored it, and the crank had been fully rebuilt with a new conrod kit.
With a free weekend, I eagerly bolted the engine back together and refitted it in the chassis. With its freshly restored components, the SDR’S starting to look pretty tasty. Now all I need to do is source some clip-on handlebars to replace the non-standard flat bars the bike came with, and decide what colour I’m going to spray it.