Mark Gra­ham 2002 Kawasaki 250TR

Sparks fly as our man in the dun­ga­rees cuts down a can

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - In Our Shed -

JIM WAS ADAMANT. “No mate,” he im­plored. “Keep the stock pipe and make some­thing else fit.” Alan pointed out if I kept the orig­i­nal pipe in­tact I’d only end up giv­ing it away to a new owner if I ever sold the lit­tle TR. I wanted to bas­tardise the big, heavy (3kg) orig­i­nal.

So, at the risk of con­firm­ing the ed­i­tor’s worst fears that he’d hired a mup­pet of Gonzo-es­que pro­por­tions, me and Alan set about trans­form­ing a vast stran­gu­lat­ing drain­pipe into a stubby, free-breath­ing exit that looked tidy and let spent mix­ture out with ease.

It be­gan badly when af­ter work­ing the mini-air-disc-cut­ter on the re­verse cone at the end, we re­alised there was so much in­ter­nal gub­bins it wouldn’t drop off with­out re­course to rub­ber-mal­let blows. Me be­ing in charge of the blunt in­stru­ment led to the not very del­i­cate metal form as­sum­ing the shape of a Cor­nish pasty within sec­onds.

Un­de­terred we then cut through the thing fur­ther down, close to the mount­ing point. There we found per­fo­rated baf­fles, some ab­sorp­tion ma­te­rial and lit­tle else. We were in busi­ness.

Af­ter form­ing the re­verse cone into some­thing re­sem­bling a cir­cu­lar shape again we stitch-drilled around the measly exit hole (about half an inch) to pro­vide a more sport­ing inch and three-quar­ter out­let and dressed it nicely.

Now came the cut­ting of the re­verse cone to match the new 89mm out­side di­am­e­ter of the main pipe.

Pete O’dell, who had done sim­i­lar work dur­ing the war, showed us his amaz­ing height gauge – a scribe mounted on a ver­ti­cal ruler which, with the re­verse cone laid on a flat sur­face (a bench with a lunar sur­face), al­lowed us to mark where the cut needed to be to match the new stubby pipe. Or at least as close as we could get to

where the cut needed to be. Af­ter dress­ing both mat­ing sur­faces to get rid of paint, it was weld­ing time. Alan’s MIG promptly ran out of wire and we were left with a semi-tacked SUB-GSCE met­al­work piece un­fit for a skip. We sought help from welder Paul two units up from the PS span­ner palace.

“I’ve only got the stick-welder to­day,” he said. He could have had a Zippo lighter and done a bet­ter job than we’d man­aged thus far. Half an hour later he emerged from his lair with what can only be de­scribed as a fac­tory short re­verse-cone mega.

Af­ter blow­ing it over with 600-de­gree Ham­merite, it was of­fered up, fit­ted like Cin­derella’s glass slip­per, and next month you will know just how it works.


MP Weld­ing 01733 579742

“Paul the welder could have had a Zippo lighter and done a bet­ter job than we’d man­aged thus far”

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What hap­pens when you in­volve a proper welder

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