SPE­CIAL BREW

Dave Green­wood has history with PS. We thought he’d gone away to live qui­etly with his Tzr-en­gined Fizzie... But no, he’d been bolt­ing a 350YPVS into this SDR

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Words: Mark Gra­ham

Dave Green­wood heard a 350 YPVS wouldn’t fit in an SDR200 chas­sis. So he went and did it

Ne­ces­sity, they say, is the mother of in­ven­tion.and here’s a case that proves in­ven­tion is the mother of all hot rods. Dave Green­wood, not un­rea­son­ably, imag­ined he could build a Yamaha SDR200 from scrounged parts. He got hold of a frame, seat, tank and air­box on ebay, then set about find­ing the rest. “I just couldn’t turn much stuff up at all, it just wasn’t out there,” he says. “But I did have a YPVS en­gine.”

Dave’s got form when it comes to skinny chas­sis and big (or at least big­ger) en­gines. His name might be fa­mil­iar to any­one who saw histzr125-en­gined Fizzie (PS is­sue 66, April 2016). His hand­i­work might look equally fa­mil­iar too. “Things are built to be used and abused,” he says. “Once some­thing’s to­gether and it works, I don’t see the point of tear­ing it all down again to make it look brand new.” HISTZR Fizzie was a prod­uct of pre­cisely that phi­los­o­phy – and so is his lat­est cre­ation.

“There was a French guy who put a Yama­hayz250 mo­tocross en­gine in an SDR,” says Dave. “And he said he thought about putting a 350 twin in it but it wouldn’t fit, and I just thought ‘Yeah, it will’. So, I cut all the SDR en­gine mounts out and of­fered-up THEYPVS mo­tor as far back as it would go in the frame.and it was tight.then I made a cra­dle for it, I think it was an FZR400 piece chopped and welded to suit.

“Now that it’s in, the clear­ance be­tween the down­pipes and the front wheel is re­ally tight.”tight to the ex­tent that Mick­abbey, who hand-made the span­nies, had to tai­lor them twice to get both the right sec­tions and bends – and ad­e­quate clear­ance. “I can’t speak highly enough of Mick,” says Dave.

“He built the en­gine in a ‘fast road’ tune and as it stands it’s do­ing 70bhp at the back wheel on the dyno.we’ve still got to fine tune it, but as a base­line you can imag­ine what that feels like in an SDR.”WELL, yes.

The stock SDR is a 30bhp bike cry­ing out for 40 or 50 ponies. It weighs 113kg (250lbs). Dave’s not had his ma­chine on the scales, but es­ti­mates it can’t weigh more than an ex­tra 20 or 30kg over the stocker.

So, if we set­tle on a fig­ure of 25 ki­los heav­ier, that gives us a real 70bhp pro­pel­ling 138kg. El­e­men­tary math­e­mat­ics (as a rough mea­sure of its gen­eral live­li­ness) tells us that’s a power to weight ra­tio of 0.50bhp/kg. A Motogp bike is around 1.50bhp/kg, a Kawasaki ZX-10R 1bhp/kg. It’s not in the up­per realms of mad­ness, but it’s no slouch. And in the great scheme of things, it should al­ways be more about how fast some­thing feels, than how fast it ac­tu­ally is.

“I haven’t been on the road with it yet,” says Dave. “I’ve been on some ‘pri­vate’ roads and it’s ex­plo­sive. It’s not reg­is­tered yet, but I’ll be do­ing some track­days on it, and it should be a bit of fun. It han­dles nicely and it’s prob­a­bly good for 130mph, but I wouldn’t want to be on it at that speed.the ac­cel­er­a­tion is epic though.”

Dave be­gan this job five years ago.when he re­al­ized SDR parts were so thin on the ground, he turned to the most read­ily avail­able equiv­a­lents. “A lot of it’s YZF125R,” says Dave. “The wheels and forks, front mud­guard, rear hug­ger… the forks went in fine, the wheels were OK with a few spac­ers, I made a stain­less steel chain­guard, then I had a rolling chas­sis.”

That’s when his mix and match, fits where it touches at­ti­tude paid mas­sive div­i­dends. “I knew it needed a fair­ing and I was look­ing at the sort of univer­sal stuff on ebay, and it all looked rub­bish.the I found a Du­cati 1098 item and it looked re­ally small and sexy, so I bought it and it looked so right I went and got the two side pan­els, cut them down a bit and they looked ab­so­lutely made for it. I was very pleased with that.”

You’ll no­tice the fair­ing low­ers carry the num­ber 49. “Yeah, the num­bers were on there and I didn’t see any rea­son to start re­paint­ing things so that’s where they’ll stay,” says Dave. “They look al­right.”

They do look al­right.the whole thing looks al­right, much to do with the sinewy SDR look­ing al­right to be­gin with.the skele­tal trel­lis is key in the way that un­less the angles are all wrong and the weld­ing gash, a steel space­frame is usu­ally a thing of beauty. It makes a bike look light and ag­ile. Dave has ca­su­ally but ef­fec­tively en­hanced this look.

“The front brake’s still a YZF, the seat’s SDR, Koso clock, all small, neat stuff,” he says. “I couldn’t find a rear sub­frame any­where, so I made one, and a tri­an­gu­lar air­box and bat­tery box to keep the Zeel­tronic ig­ni­tion in, I also fit­ted an oil tank in there too, it might even be an old Fizzie one.”this tight pack­ag­ing keeps the slim looks and en­sures there are no rats’ nests of plumb­ing and wiring to spoil the aes­thetic.

“I did have cool­ing is­sues and af­ter a bit of thought a mate sug­gested a Honda CBR600RR rad be­cause it’s curved and was about the only thing that would squeeze in that tight spot be­tween the front wheel and ex­hausts,” Dave says.

Dave also rides a ZX-12R and is look­ing at find­ing, wait for it, a BMW R1200GS.THE Kawasaki’s ac­tu­ally quite cramped for a big bike, and I’m not go­ing to ride the spe­cial on the road much, it’s re­ally a track bike. Some­thing that comes on the power at 6000rpm and doesn’t fall off un­til around 10,500 is hard work on the road. But when you wheel it around it feels like a moped, you know you’re the boss.and it doesn’t wheelie that vi­o­lently ei­ther. Even with a short wheel­base (1335mm) there’s so much of your weight over the front it ac­tu­ally be­haves it­self.

It’s a blind­ingly neat lit­tle bike, with a big sting and Dave knows he’s for­mu­lated some­thing nice and nuts with­out it be­ing too overblown. “There’s al­ways a com­pro­mise with any spe­cial – but this one seems to have ab­so­lutely nailed it.a lot of its ap­peal is the look, but that Mick Abbey YPVS en­gine is killer. I don’t know how I’m go­ing to top this, and it’s prob­a­bly my last spe­cial… but you should never say never.” Never.

“IT’S PROB­A­BLY GOOD FOR 130MPH, BUT I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE ON IT AT THAT SPEED”

Pic­tures: Stu­art Collins

Dave’s plainly in the habit of do­ing this sort of thing. That’s him in your PS 2016

Tyre earns its corn with so much torque killing it

4 4You’d never call this ma­chine im­macualte that’s not Dave’s style. It’s built to be me­chan­i­cally pitch-per­fect and cos­met­i­cally pass­able

Sin­gle Koso clock with ana­logue tacho and digi-speedo. Any­thing else would look clumsy. This bike is petite to a fault 3

Du­cati 1098 fair­ing looks like it was made for the lit­tle SDR. The num­ber 49 came with fair­ing and Dave won’t be re­paint­ing any­thing 2 2

The sort of skinny, an­gualr bike where a pe­tal rear disc looks ab­so­lutely spot-on. Not al­ways the case

Mick Abbey had to cut and shut those race pipes (a lot) to fit

Happy with his work – and with ev­ery rea­son to be

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