Kicking Off, Looking Good

ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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I've been laying low since the Big Freeze hit Texas. I think I've finally thawed out. lol That's a story in itself and all I have to say is try standing in water up to your ankles and brooming the cascading stuff from a garage for 8 hours. That's with the temps falling into the mid-20s * F and the water icing over as it hits the driveway.

Anyway, the report here involves a long-time desire to own, or build, a TZ750 dirt tracker. I mean come 'on, who wouldn't want to have one ?

Sometime in 2015 I stumbled upon news of Yamaha TZ cases being reproduced. Original 700 & 750 racers available will often have suspect blocks with worn tolerances and repairs. Kind of adds too much worry to an expensive proposition.

I figured I'd start with a fresh block and build from there. At the same time I'd learned CMR had built a few special frames for the project I envisioned. Their rep for road race apps was solid.

Following articles showing the case patterns being produced was amazing. The company was Kelgrif out of Australia. Those guys have amazing talents. In accordance, the finished sets were going to be expensive. I figured in the least I'd end up with a unique piece of mechanical art.

Moving along, it became obvious that acquiring the many additional parts to complete a motor was not going to be feasible. OEM items were becoming too " dear ". I figured as much, but what else can a guy do ?

The market is always funny. Just when things seem few & far between, a pair of complete racers popped up. One motorcycle in particular had been reworked with a set of new factory cases which were from Yamaha's final run. The parts are sand cast using a magnesium alloy. Those are the ultimate. The reign of racing TZ750s was over but the factory ran aprox 20 + sets to satisfy the needs of sidecar racers. I do not know the exact number produced.

Long story short became why part-out the cycle which is documented as Yamaha's prototype with frame bearing serial number 001. It's restored to museum quality and the seller cringed at the thought of damaging the " hen's teeth " cases. I understood & agreed, but I wondered if he didn't trust his own work. Hmmm...,. nothing ventured, nothing gained. The solution was buying both cycles. One for Show, & one for Go. The second bike is no slouch. It's ex-Don Vesco / Gene Romero with highly credible history. Gene placed on the podium at a string of AMA Formula 750 events during 1979 at Laconia, Sears Point, and Laguna Seca. Vesco set a record at El Mirage Dry Lake running over 189 MPH.

The Bottom Line is I've left the bikes as they are. The original goal hasn't gone away, but I feel maintaining status quo is the best plan of action.

Here's a quick look :

The special motor in # 001 -

Yamaha TZ750, #001, 2.jpg

The complete bike # 001 -


Yamaha TZ750, #001, 1.jpg

The Vesco / Romero machine, TZ750D -

Yamaha TZ750-D, Romero, 1.jpg


Yamaha TZ750-D, Romero, 4.jpg

Gene was something else ! RIP.
 
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AHRMA92

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Dec 9, 2020
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Another shot of Gene on the Busch Beer / Vesco sponsored TZ, that I have on a 35mm slide. The other is a file photo of Don & his TZ in backdrop when it was on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum circa 1996. Godspeed to both, RIP.

The last I heard of the Busch TZ, was that it's in a collection near Vancouver, Canada when the owner tried to sell it on ebay & the reserve was not met, a few years ago.
 

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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Great photo of Don V.

That is the machine.

Wish I had the shirt !

Gene's pit board w/ # 3 was included.
 
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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Here's a definitive " they're only original once " Ducati 250 SCR.

It's from 1967, one owner.

These came from Ducati with rear struts in case the new owner felt the need to do any short-tracking.

The strut set contains bushings & hardware. Several extra sprockets were included. The parts remain in the factory's original wrapping.

This one had my name on it.

That shorty muffler is an add-on, but the pipe has not been cut. The seat is in perfect condition and proves the careful use.

It came out of LA, So Cal.



Ducati, 1967, SCR 250, 1.jpg


Ducati, 1967, SCR 250, 2.jpg
 
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rats

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Dec 14, 2020
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I bet the sound is a wonderful thing.

Visually, your new bike is a fine example of that '60s "God, that's beautiful"/"What were they THINKING?!" look. Me = envious.
 

ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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When it comes to style and pleasing lines, the Italians are rarely found lacking.

The cycle does run as it should. Its tune is mellow, but not quite like a more cammed-up motor running a megaphone.

I'll tell you, I searched for years to find the right one. It's a pleasure to be able to show it and have others appreciate the style and function.

You have my word I'll do everything possible to keep it right.

Thank you !!
 

ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Vintage Iron, cont'd...

This one has a few years under its tank & Smith's tach. I've now owned it for more than half of 'em.

The motorcycle is a 1964 Sportster XLCH with the top mods from the day.

It runs Doc Dytch nitro spec cylinders with 3.250 " bores and 5 " stroker flywheels bringing the displacement to 83 cubic inches.

The heads are ported and fitted with XLR valves. Sifton's minus~minus cams provide the valve timing.

A standard Fairbanks-Morse magneto, Linkert DC carb, XLR exhausts, and careful assembly completes the package.

The bike has extensive history at North Texas' early drag strips such as Caddo Mills and the usual street action.

Quarter-mile times could drop into the high-11 second range.

Harley, 1964, XLCH, 1.JPG

Harley, 1964, XLCH, 2.JPG
 
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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Here's another one from the vault....

It's a Sonicweld rig running a Suzuki X6 motor ( c. 1967 )

Number 55 should be familiar to most of you around the West Coast.

The mods are typical :

28 mm Mikuni carbs, Cylinder porting, Heads with compression releases, Custom exhausts, Right side shifting, ARD magneto, and No Brakes. The rear hub is a Triumph item.

The cycle is a quality build, runs fair enough, but not as fast as it should be. The ARD pointless mag is a single fire unit. For single fire ignition, the OE 180 * crank had been rearranged to run as a single. Later, the Sonic's crank was serviced and returned to OE specs with 180 * firing. Modify & Match works better than Modify & Mix. A factory-original, completely stock Suzuki TC250 is faster and turbine smooth. Those 6-Speed cycles were definitely quick for the times.



1624477448194.png

1624477840273.png


1624478170943.png

1624478702199.png


Here's an original, one-owner TC250 :

It still has its factory tires mounted.

1624478311071.png

The motorcycle was purchased new at " Iron Man " Kretz's dealership :


1624478574860.png
 
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AHRMA92

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Horton's 'ol Rigid is very nice & I've seen it in action. I built this "big brother" Sonicweld T500 version a few years back.
 

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AHRMA92

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A VanTech x6 & another T500 framer -both dragbikes that are up in the mezzanine. I've been a Suzuki 2-stroke twin racebike fan for decades.
 

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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Horton's 'ol Rigid is very nice & I've seen it in action. I built this "big brother" Sonicweld T500 version a few years back.


Heavy Duty !!

Looks great.

Show the right side w/ pipes .

Has it seen any track time ?
 
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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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A VanTech x6 & another T500 framer -both dragbikes that are up in the mezzanine. I've been a Suzuki 2-stroke twin racebike fan for decades.

So we see !

All good.

How 'bout an X6 with the GP body work ?

Unfortunately, this one was repainted and they missed the color.

But it's solid with correct brackets & the upholstery is excellent.

The air pump was included. Doesn't work, but that's expected.

And, its price was right.

BTW, that's not my place. It's somewhere in the mid-West.

Suzuki, 1969 X6, GP Kit.jpg
 
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AHRMA92

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Yeah, I have some of the GP bodywork. The same metalflake stuff that has the U.S. Suzuki card laminated onto the bottom of it. The Sonicweld Titan chassis is OIF storage only, with only a drain line feed to the injector (kinda rare). It's seen some practice laps only at the Milestone Park track in Riverside back in 2018.

Pipes are spec built with rebuildable NOS Bassani silencers fitted.
 

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AHRMA92

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This is the "blank slate" that I started with. Came from ebay -circa 2008/9 ish.
 

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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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Nothing lacking with your tracker. It's super cool, unique, and has fine construction.

More motor is always more better !

How many frames like that do you think he built ? You might have the only one ?

The X6 Sonic has the same reservoir for motor oil, but they'd removed the pump.

You're right about the business card being laminated. More minutiae most would not know or care about.

I have another set of GP glass in the original metal flake blue.

Oddly enough I've not pulled the funky red tank. I don't think the card was painted over.

That tank & tail needs a proper redo by somebody like Paul Miller. Maybe one day ? The cycle is worthy.

Must have been 8 years ago, Miller, himself, told me he hadn't seen any GP sets in several years.

The Kretz TC came with a package of related papers & documents. The owner kept meticulous records.

This following ad was included. Since we were talking about frames, I figured she qualified.




Suzuki ad, Bikini.jpg
 
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AHRMA92

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Thanks for the compliment. It was a bucket list build & I tried to keep the theme true to the late 60's. The exceptions were the modern day Maxxis tires & the wider Marzocchi (think -late 70's Ducati) triple trees, that would retain the 35mm Ceriani GP forks. Keeping a low CG was critical too, in which I try to keep the front & rear axles aligned with the center of the crankshaft. The original rear alloy axle plates were MIA when I got the frame, so the engineering to meet this requirement was pretty straight forward.

As far as what Ray Hensley or Kenny Watkins produced for the 2-stroke OIF injector frames -that's an unknown for me. Over the years -decades, I've seen a few & this is the only one that I own.
The Suzuki Scrambler fiberglass is of high quality -thick & solid, which is something lacking in other period made aftermarket fiberglass.

Chassis looks good too, heck this might be her older / bigger sister :)
 

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ambike

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Dec 10, 2020
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The photo proves your talents. Super job with all brackets, mounts, & hardware.

A guy doesn't find that on every corner !

Is that full-time work ?

You probably know who knows everything about every dirt tracker ever built or run. lol Oh yeah, he'd know if there was another Sonicweld like yours.

If there is, it's safe to say it won't be as tidy.

Several years ago I think I saw a T500 in a Trackmaster swing arm frame.

Too ratty & corroded for me.

The Sonic X6 does ride on rails. I needed that geometry on another bike I often ran at a Texas Cow Barn place. Long ago now, but never forgotten.

Age-wise, I'm getting there but still going strong.

Today's X6 post opened-up your interesting content. It's all good !!
 
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AHRMA92

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Just a hobbyshop-workshop vintage-racebike pastime for me since around '86 or so. I've seen a few of the later Trackmaster (Sonicweld) swingarm versions over the years too. Jeff Lessley has a real good one that he's raced at Perris with & a friend found the old alleged Don Greene-Jeff Sperry-Devon Sowell swingarm framed T500, that was modded to be a cafe bike, from it's old Class C glory days.

Agreed -It's been a been a great thread, all things Suzuki 2-strokes twins !
 

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ambike

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Your hobbyshop-workshop is a clean one. That's the way to do it.

More good photos, too.

Good job. Thanks !!
 
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