MAJESTY 270cc

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

Classic Trial - - FRONT PAGE - Words: Matt Hep­ple­ston • Pic­tures: Steve and Matt

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 Frame

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!

Power Plant

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

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