Top rider, top machine and with those boxes ticked it was time to understand the effort of the development process and the needs of a very good rider to coax the best from a classic Yamaha Majesty. Now the new owner of the Majesty brand, we take a look at
When you watch a good rider such as Steve Martin effortlessly clean an ‘International’ category classic trial section on a super clean example of a Yamaha Majesty TY270cc, you wonder how much of the performance is assisted by the machine. The machine on first inspection looks like a stock version of the Mick Andrews, John Shirt collaboration of the early 1980’s, but as they say, the looks are only skin deep.
I have known Steve for a few years now meeting up at classic events such as Aywaille at Easter time and Joel Corroy’s Arbecey trial in late summer. He started riding the Majesty a few years ago and the machine has been in constant evolution ever since. I have often joked that he is obsessed with having a ‘bling’ machine and he would also admit this is the case, but are the changes more than superficial? I also wanted to test a regularly ridden machine, ridden by a top rider as it is almost certain that the machine will be as good as it gets and not just built as a showpiece. It is the fine tuning and attention to detail that separates these motorcycles from the more regular run of the mill ones. I tested this Majesty at Arbecey a while before I got an email from him telling me he had bought the Majesty brand from Craig Mawlam just before Christmas. As the advert for the razor says,
“I liked the product so much I bought the company.” So what you have here is the machine which has taken obsession to a new level for me.
The key component of any Majesty is the frame itself. Originally after the converted TY ones that were used, they were made by Don Godden from certified aircraft quality MIG welded chrome moly steel in a purpose made jig which used Mick Andrews factory machine as the reference.
When Craig bought the Majesty brand from John Shirt this jig was part of the deal. Craig wanted to refabricate some new frames to original dimensions and entrusted the legendary welder Mick Whitlock to create a batch of 20 frames. Mick found that the frame jig was not totally straight and with Craig’s agreement built a new perfectly square jig for the new batch. Mick then bronze welded together the tubing with his customary amazingly high standard of finish to create a superb copy of the original frame. As was the tradition with Whitehawk and Beamish frames also produced by Mick, a dip in the nickel plate bath was in order to finish what you see here. The quality of the construction has to be seen to be believed.
The only real change from the original frame is the suppression of the full rear frame loop and the substitution of short ears to connect the rear mudguard. Engine protection comes from the substantial Majesty sump guard which unlike the standard TY version allows the removal of the clutch and ignition covers for servicing without dismantling the engine protection, small improvements with major benefits!
Next a 270cc version of the robust five speed TY Twinshock engine was fitted; the increase in capacity comes from the use of a 2mm oversize piston.
In the ‘80’s a full 320cc version was also available from the Shirt emporium but Steve deemed this not necessary as today’s sections are more technical and do not have the mega hill climbs of yesteryear. Carburation is taken care of by a modern Dell’Orto carburettor which is easily available and quite easy to tune, it breathes through a high capacity modern design air filter box using a genuine Yamaha filter which gives a nice straight uninterrupted airflow into the carburettor. The reed cage is standard and fitted with standard Yamaha reeds.
The stainless steel exhaust system bears more than a passing resemblance to an early Ossa MAR front pipe which passes between the twin front engine mount tubes from the central exhaust port, this is obviously much less vulnerable than the standard design and the shorter pipe length aids top end performance.
The front pipe exits into a pretty common and much lighter WES middle and tail pipe, the middle box is standard but the tailpipe has a much larger - 25mm - exit to aid gas removal, the internal perforated tube is also modified to match the new outlet. Happily there is a carbon fibre heat guard
Old meet Older! – The Majesty at the front and Matts Mono-Shock at the rear
Power delivery gave you time to think
The controls and brakes were very good