So… what’s been happening in TZRland since the last installment? Well, quite a lot actually. So I may as well start with a photo:


Yup. Project TZR, phase one, is done. It runs. All the electrics work. The brakes work. All in all, I’m a Very Happy Bunny. Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing. The electrics turned into a bit of a chore because of the daft little differences between the 1KT model (which I have) and the 2MA model (which I have the manual for). If you believe eBay, the two models are identical, as everything there is advertised as being for a 1KT/2MA. And while the two bikes are mainly the same, there’s enough differences in the wiring to make it a bit of a pain in the neck. In particular, the CDI and YPVS units have different connectors. Not insurmountable, but something to be aware of when buying second-hand stuff. The bodywork was a simple enough job really – it just all needed a really good cleanup. And while it would be nice to send it away to be painted to look new again, I don’t want to. Two reasons mainly – the money that I save by not doing this will go to a new pair of pipes (more on this later…) and also, I’d be frightened to crash it. I mean, i don’t *want* to crash it anyway, but I’m pretty certain that it’s going to spend some time in a gravel trap up at Cadwell later in the year. The forks have turned into a bit of a saga. Remember earlier I said that I didn’t need to replace the seals? Well, it turns out that I did. And yes, everyone who read that and said “I bet you do…” now has every right to say “Told you so”. So currently the bike is back up on the stands with the forks in bits. And it’s apparent that it has two fork legs from two different bikes. Firstly the fork springs are different lengths, but also the damper units are completely different.


So, once the front end is back together, I’m done with the first phase of the project. Total cost: just under £1000. Which is handy, as it means that the super chaps at Practical Sportsbikes magazine (who did a feature on my ZXR750 a few months ago) also ran an article on the TZR rebuild as part of their sub-£1000 restorations feature.

So, what of Phase Two? There’s a few things that I’d like to play around with. Firstly, my friend Rik has sent me a programmable YPVS controller to play with on the dyno. Which is way cool. But remember what I said earlier about 1KT and 2MA electrics? Of course, Rik’s unit is 2MA, so I’ve had to bodge up some connectors to fit it to the 1KT loom. Secondly, I want to play with some lighter and less restrictive exhaust pipes. There’s a few to choose from, but they’re not cheap! But something like a pair of Jolly-Moto or Swarbrick pipes will fit the bill. And finally, if I’m going to do that, I may also look at a programmable CDI from someone like Ignitech or Zeeltronic. None of these things are particularly complex in their own right, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can be made to work together. And I suppose if I’m going to do that lot, I should probably try to get the forks set up properly… But all of this is in the future. For now, it’s going to get an MOT, and a good seeing to up at Cadwell Park in a few months. It may well need a new pair of tyres for this – the current pair, Bridgestone BT090s are of an unknown vintage. Got to be at least five or six years old though.

In other news, I’ve been helping Sol with his rebuild of a manky old Katana, and I also managed to get an entry for this years Fred Whitton Challenge. Last time I tried this I ended up in hospital attached to an ECG machine. Hopefully things will go better this year.

Postscript: The tyres are from 2004. I should probably think about replacing them sooner rather than later.