Mark Graham 2002 Kawasaki 250TR
Sparks fly as our man in the dungarees cuts down a can
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”
He’ll be wishing for long sleeves in a minute
Chopped can gives factory tracker style
What happens when you involve a proper welder