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