YAMAHA XT525

Hill­climb­ing am­bi­tions gave Glenn the in­cen­tive to trans­form his tired but faith­ful XT into a tight re­worked weapon for rapid up­ward move­ment

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Special Build of the Year 2018 - Glenn Bart­ley

Acom­mon trait among the fi­nal 10 con­tes­tants for Spe­cial Build of the Year is an at­ten­tion to de­tail. Glenn Bart­ley’s ex­ac­ti­tude as seen in his bike is also a virtue that serves him well as a se­nior book­binder atwind­sor Cas­tle no less.

Glenn’s 1977 Yamaha XT500D has been in his own­er­ship for decades. Once a faith­ful com­muter it was con­signed to the shed for a num­ber of years. In 2006 Glenn saw an ar­ti­cle on hill­climb­ing, thought it sounded like some­thing he might have a crack at and that the XT lan­guish­ing in the shed might just be the tool for the job.the bike evolved over a num­ber of years of com­pe­ti­tion and was com­pleted in its cur­rent in­car­na­tion in Jan­uary of this year.

When Glenn first went hill­climb­ing, he was ham­pered by two things; the bike’s 21in front wheel with its drum brake and a rather tired en­gine.those is­sues are well and truly sorted now.a 18 x 2.5in Mo­rad front rim car­ries a 320mm Talon float­ing disc. Glenn has a use­ful friend in David Miles, an F1 en­gi­neer who welded a bracket onto the orig­i­nal right fork leg to carry a Nissin two-pis­ton caliper. Rear wheel is a 18 x 3.5in Mo­rad rim laced to the orig­i­nal sin­gle­lead­ing shoe drum.

The en­gine now dis­places 525cc and has a Wiseco 10:1 CR forged pis­ton atop a Car­illo con­rod on a bal­anced crank.a Me­ga­cy­cle 251-30 camshaft lurks in a ported cylin­der head con­tain­ing valves that are pulled back to their seats by R/D springs.a Jagg oil-cooler helps dis­si­pate the heat from the ad­di­tional per­for­mance.these com­po­nents are key to hik­ing power from the stock 28.8bhp to 47.8bhp.torque is a healthy 39.8lb.ft. No won­der Glenn’s hill­climb times have tum­bled.

Some sus­pen­sion good­ness has made the bike the de­light that it is.the forks carry Racetech em­u­la­tors, mod­i­fied damper rods, springs cal­i­brated to Glenn’s spec and 15W oil.these are com­ple­mented at the rear by Max­ton gas/oil shocks.a steer­ing damper and Tarozzi fork brace com­plete the front.

A weight re­duc­tion pro­gramme to re­move spu­ri­ous OE equip­ment, re­plac­ing it with lighter kit where re­quired has seen the XT’S dry weight tum­ble to 130kg from 140 stock.

“The key is bal­ance,” says Glenn. “The tuned en­gine is now equal to the chas­sis. The bal­ance be­tween per­for­mance and aes­thet­ics is im­por­tant to me too.”

Time­less early XT graph­ics. They never get old

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