An­other chain-drive XS11

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Richard Scoular told me you have done an ar­ti­cle on the XS11 chain drive su­per­bike build up that was raced in Aus­tralia in the ‘80s. He sug­gested you might fol­low up with some­thing on the Bakker framed one I raced in South Africa for a sea­son in ’83. The dis­trib­u­tors – Char­lie Young Yamaha – orig­i­nally built a bike based on the street frame us­ing the Yamaha kit, a la the Aussie one, on which Rod­ney Gray won the For­mula 1 (as they called it) ti­tle in ’82. I rode this in a race at the Kil­lar­ney cir­cuit in Capetown dur­ing a visit there for an In­ter­na­tional Pro­duc­tion bike se­ries in ’82 and as a re­sult formed a deal to race it for a sea­son the next year, with a few up­grades. By the time I rode the street fighter model there was not much if any of the kit in­stalled (I re­mem­ber see­ing those crazy side draft Solex carbs and a head sit­ting gath­er­ing dust) and the spec. was smooth bore Miku­nis, Nor­ris drag race cams, Wiseco pis­tons that took it to about 1200cc and a head they worked them­selves, plus a mod­i­fied Bas­sani pipe. ‚

They had even made their own sprocket car­rier/ bear­ing as­sem­bly. They at­tempted to sta­bi­lize those rather slen­der stan­dard forks by weld­ing a se­cond steer­ing stem and yoke to the bot­tom of the stan­dard setup with the se­cond set of clamps a cou­ple of inches fur­ther down the stan­chions. Not a bad idea but un­for­tu­nately the front end would get into a hor­ren­dous sort of flex/chat­ter ap­proach­ing slow cor­ners from time to time and you al­most had to come to a stop to bring it un­der con­trol. Apart from that, it was a pretty cool ride though. The new frame and com­po­nents ad­dressed a few is­sues but I think I might have pre­ferred the more sit up style of the old bike and it took us a while to iron out the new set up – like get­ting rid of the 16 inch front tyre which seemed to only want to tuck the front end as soon as you re­leased the brakes and rolled into the throt­tle. The engine was very flex­i­ble but ul­ti­mately couldn’t match the ac­cel­er­a­tion of the newer Suzuki and Kawasaki en­gines, and I also felt the power unit was prob­a­bly a bit heavy in com­par­i­son. We got some good re­sults later in the sea­son and I en­joyed the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the rid­ers there. I have at­tached some photo’s you might want to in­clude of the Bakker model along­side Gray (Kawasaki) and Dave Peter­son (Honda). Yamaha RSA ac­tu­ally mod­i­fied five or six new XS1100s to a chain drive spec sim­i­lar to the first bike they built, but with a milder mo­tor, and sold them as street bikes. Pe­ter Flem­ing Welling­ton, NZ

Pe­ter Flem­ing on the Nico Bakker chain-drive XS11. Flem­ing leads Rod­ney Gray’s Kawasaki in a South African F1 round.

Ray Cur­tis du­elling in the dirt with fel­low le­gend Herb Jef­fer­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.