YAMAHA FZR600

It’s carb fid­dling and plas­tic cut­ting for our mate Brook­sie with his FZR600 ‘homage’ racer!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

Paul Brookes on cut­ting and shut­ting his rac­ing homage!

Hello again! First off, I hope you liked my first ar­ti­cle a few is­sues ago, where this ag­ing racer has de­cided to relive times way-back-when! To re­cap, I won the 1989 Bri­tish Su­pers­port Cham­pi­onship on a Yamaha FZR600 and want to build a – well – ’homage’ I sup­pose is the best thing to call it. It’s go­ing to be fairly faith­ful to the orig­i­nal but have some up­graded/bet­ter parts. So, what’s oc­cur­ring this month? Well, the tiny lithium-ion battery worked a treat once it was charged. I fig­ured I’d give the old girl a go, so I changed the plugs for some new ones and tried start­ing the en­gine. I made sure the carbs were full and blow me if the lit­tle old thing started sec­ond touch of the but­ton! Blimey, I didn’t ex­pect that at all but was made up. Okay, so it ran a bit lumpy but it was still with the stan­dard carb set­tings, so that can be sorted. To that end a Dyno­jet kit was or­dered for the carbs and when it ar­rived I set about fit­ting that. Well, what a trip down mem­ory lane that was: it’d been about 28 years since I last fit­ted one of th­ese and go­ing the right way about it had long since been erased from my tiny brain. So after a chat with Ash­ley Law again to en­sure I didn’t screw it up (ahem), the job was done. While the carbs were off, I got around to fit­ting the heat-shield cloth. This had been pur­chased at ’Nor­mous Ne­wark auto jumble (bril­liant place to go if you’re after owt like old parts) at a bar­gain £7 and had been sat around for a while. I made a tem­plate out of an old tea-towel I had ly­ing around. I made this a real good fit as – when fit­ted – it keeps the hot air from the en­gine di­lut­ing the colder air from the ’Hoover-pipes’ that I’m gonna fit through the plas­tic ’dummy’ fuel tank. Th­ese give more of a ram-air af­fect, as the orig­i­nal

ones that go through the frame are tiny and don’t re­ally do a lot. Back when I was rac­ing, th­ese made a big dif­fer­ence to power, as when a mo­tor gets too hot it loses power. Feed­ing good cold air to the carbs helps no end. Other teams and rid­ers soon copied th­ese – just think back to Team Grant (Mick) who ran James Whitham on a Suzuki GSX-R750. If I re­call, his 1991 ma­chine had two huge ’hoover’ scoops/pipes go­ing from the top of the screen! Me? I had al­ready used th­ese on a FZ750 that I had raced in su­per­bikes two years be­fore my su­pers­port ti­tle win. It works! As for the new bike, I thought I would thin out the wiring har­ness. It was just a case of taking the road stuff off, which meant the lights, in­di­ca­tors, flasher re­lay, clocks, horn and ra­di­a­tor fan were re­moved. When sorted, the amount of wire and other bits that you have spare is sur­pris­ingly lots. All saves weight! I got all the body­work back from the paint shop, but then found a sin­gle race seat on ebay for £70. This was go­ing to save weight and be in one piece rather than the five pieces I had with all the orig­i­nal bits. This was in Ger­many and was with me within a week so I then for­warded it to the paint shop for paint­ing. I re­alised that this was go­ing to have to re­quire me mak­ing or al­ter­ing the sub-frame to make it fit. Thank­fully I had some al­loy strips ly­ing around and a new rivet-nut gun that I had bought a while back as I knew I would use it one day! Now was its time. We can never have enough tools, can we? Fit­ting the fair­ing turned out to be a bit of a pain: not that it was wrong in any way. It was the fault of the ex­haust. The head­ers were a lot wider at the bot­tom where it met up with the col­lec­tor-box. So the fair­ing low­ers needed a fet­tle with an an­gle grinder and heat shield cloth ap­ply­ing on the in­side and the job was a good ’un! The top nose fair­ing was gonna need a bit of a Brookie fet­tling of course. The Hoover-pipes that I had pur­chased, again from ebay, were just a bit too big in di­am­e­ter. Look­ing at the pics I think it’s the holes in the fair­ing that are not round. So marked out with a sharpie and out with the round file: bingo! Next up was the bit I had been dread­ing. I needed to drill a pair of 2in holes in the dummy tank. This is where my OCD was go­ing to kick in. Any­way I mea­sured it out, taped it up and re-mea­sured a few more times and set about with the Mil­wau­kee and a 2in hole cut­ter. When it was done it looked mega: fac­tory, even. I’m well chuffed with it and looks a lot neater than the race bike was.

Bertie put me on to Steve Smith at Avon Tyres. Th­ese were the tyres of choice back in the late 80s/90s and I won loads of club races and won the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship with th­ese sticky lit­tle beauties. So with AM22/AM23 fit­ted I have no wor­ries at all now about any knee down ac­tion that’s com­ing my way. The bike was strapped in the van and taken to Swin­ton Per­for­mance Cen­tre for a run on the dyno. This went well: no oil or wa­ter leaks, just needs fine tun­ing on a race track now. I’ve got a cou­ple of things to do be­fore all that though. The thing I am re­ally go­ing to strug­gle to find now are the As­tralite wheels. The bike was run un­der Team As­tralite Yamaha, but th­ese have long since dis­ap­peared from the lit­tle unit on Peni­s­tone Road, Sh­effield. The same unit is Crown Paints now and I still visit once a week as I’m still a painter and dec­o­ra­tor, how weird is that? So if some­one has an old pair from for an FZR ly­ing around and is will­ing to sell them then get in touch brookie89@hot­mail.co.uk. So next month the old girl will be hav­ing her throt­tle ca­bles stretched around the best race track in the world: yup, that’s right: Cad­well Park!

Brookie on his FZR in his cham­pi­onship year.

Brook­sie found...

...some things had been for­got­ten!

Body­work looked lovely.

At­tack­ing the wiring loom.

...saw this lot chopped off!

Re­mov­ing what’s not es­sen­tial...

Time to make the holes in the tank.

Holes done!

Body­work snags pipes!

Maybe a larger hole?

It’s a tad too snug!

Heat pro­tec­tion needed.

More needs to come off!

This used to work in the 80s/90s!

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