Sunday, October 26, 2008


While I have been waiting for parts, or holding off due to budgetary constraints, I have been trolling the 'net trying to get photos and/or information about the completed Muz bikes Dave built for supermono competition. Most of what I have found are general shots, with little detail available. I'm trying to get an idea of appropriate bodywork, fuel tank design, and just a picture in my mind's eye about what the completed bike should look like. This is what I have found so far...

This is a typical Tigcraft-Yamaha being sold on eBay.UK -- albeit with a blown engine. From what the poster indicated, it has an RS250 tail section, TZ250 fuel tank, and Cagiva Mito race bodywork. Nice looking bike.

Obviously the Mito bodywork is wide enough for the frame rails -- note in the picture above how the trailing edge of the lower fairing matches the frame downtube as well --- looks very neat!

This is a "true" MZ/MuZ tigcraft. Still powered by the same Yamaha 660 engine, but badged as a Muz supermono. Dave built this frame as well -- the stock factory Muz frames had glued lugs around the swingarm pivot point. Steel tubes glued and pinned into alloy extrusions. Saved production time dramatically (I assume). This one has been upgraded with lighter wheels, but I think still runs the KR1S swingarm.

This is an RZ350 with an RZ500-inspired kit from Airtech. Looks pretty neat, and also comes with a headlight and tailights. Expensive at nearly $800 US, but aside from the tank is complete. Some others I have seen seem to have a sagging rear tail section, but I have the freedom to orient it as I see fit (up/down). Based on comparisons with other pictures, I think this guy has done so as well... jacked up the rear for comfort/weight distribution.
A totally different idea would be to go all "retro" and use a vintage-style fairing. These are actually cheaper than some of the other ones, although something to factor with the kit at the left is that I can count on another $100 for the gustaffson windscreen to make it work. A profile like this "makes sense" if I'm thinking Gulf Oil livery, but it would also work with the early 90s shape of the kit above.

Monday, October 13, 2008

His and Hers TTRs

This past winter Wilson told me of a 2004 TTR125 a guy in Killarney was selling for $200. Aside from missing a rear rimlock, it also had a blown engine. He thought at first it was just a seized top end, but when I got there, I noticed that the exhaust pipe was shot, and the cases were also damaged. Despite this, the price was too good to pass up, and I took it home. I spent the remainder of the winter of 2007-08 rebuilding the engine with some help from some students at school. Essentially all that could be salvaged from the engine was the transmission parts and the cylinder head, valves, etc. The cylinder was cracked, the cases were damaged, the crank seized, balancer shaft bent, etc. etc.

I got the engine rebuilt before the end of the school year, and installed in the bike, but it was never fired up prior to our trip because I mistakenly ordered new cases that had a provision (read: gaping hole) for a starter. So I had to wait until a used (read cheap) starter came up on ebay, as I had already sunk some considerable cash into refreshing the engine. Along with a new set of matched cases and crank came a BBR 150cc kit, with a performance cam. When I got back from Europe I plugged the hole with an ebay starter, and kicked the bike to life. While it didn't want to idle very well, after heat-cycling the engine 3-4 times, I took it out to give it a try. Considering the 30% hp increase (to a staggering 10 or so), it sure was a noticeable improvement over the stock TTR in the garage. I also too the time to do a jetting mod to richen up the jets, but also did a considerable amount of housecleaning on the intake side, opening up the airbox to gain some more oomph. What I did notice was that the new engine seemed to need so much more fuel that it would drain the floats at any length of time at full throttle. I began to understand why BBR also recommends the upgraded carb to supply the neccessary gas to keep the engine running at its peak.

Despite some erratic running and stubborn starting (I did the same jetting mods to K8's bike, and now it starts far more easily), we took both bikes out to the field where we ride to have some fun. Kate was ripping around like a champ, and I kept my bike at lower RPM to avoid fuel starvation. We had a blast!

Unfortunately, on her "one last ride", Kate low-sided over some ruts and broke a rib! The toughie didn't even go to the doctor till the next day, thinking she just bruised it or knocked the wind out of herself. She even rode the bike back to the trailer! Her 6 weeks off for healing means she won't be on a bike until the spring, but I can't wait until we both hit the trails together on our matching bikes!