Yamaha SR500 project bike, chapter two.

The first cut is the deepest, and the wonkiest.

The first cut is the deepest, and the wonkiest.

This month’s SR report is bought to you by the letter ‘G’. ‘G’ stands for grinder, kids. Apart from being an app on Chris’ mobile telephone, it’s a handy tool that I seem to have bonded with quite rapidly. Getting the motor and associated junk out of the SR and being at the stage where we could stand back and look at the thing highlighted just how much clutter there was. Little lugs for this and that were dotted all over the centre section of the frame. I’m aiming for a clean and tidy looking bike, which meant that any surplus metal had to come off.

A fair chink of weight heading for the bin.

A fair chunk of weight heading for the bin.

We started at the back, I want a shorter seat than standard, which meant cutting the rear of the bike behind the shock tops completely off. Measurements made and teeth sucked I put cutting wheel to bike and got stuck in. Ten minutes later I triumphantly stood back to admire my work, which is when I realised it was rubbish. I hadn’t cut enough out, meaning the stubby single seat plan I had in mind would have ended up being big enough for one and a half people. Clever. I put my silly safety glasses back on and jumped back in there, taking as much off as possible. The result looked pretty dramatic. A sizeable lump of metal dropped onto the bench and the bike instantly became completely useless to anyone but me.

John's 'staring until things snap off' technique finally pays off.

John’s ‘staring until things snap off’ technique finally pays off.

Up until now, Dyno Dan (who doesn’t actually work a Dyno anymore but that’s his name and I’m sticking to it) has played a brilliant supporting role. He knows what I’m like, I roll into his workshop with ideas, chocolate Hobnobs and little else. Me breaking perfectly working bikes using Dan’s tools is nothing new to either of us and he knew that I wanted to go it alone with this one. With Dan’s laughter little more than an echo from the other side of the workshop, I set about de-lugging the frame and generally looking like I knew exactly what I was doing.

Way past the point of no return.

Way past the point of no return.

I think I did a pretty convincing job as by the end of the day, there was a considerable pile of metal on the floor, the bike still looked like a bike and I hadn’t cut any holes in myself. I decided to take a break from the cutting and stuck a coat of Nitromors on the fuel tank. I’ve used it before, fairly heavy-duty slime that strips paint like a teachers’ breath. Turns out 2014 spec Nitromors is no match for 1978-spec Yamaha blue: three coats and two hours later I gave up and packed up for the day. I’ll figure that one out next time.

This paint does not want to come off.

This paint does not want to come off.

Celebrating success with a Hobnob and a coffee, I thought about what needs doing next. I’ve got a set of RWU Yamaha R6 forks to massage into the frame. That’s next month’s big push. Did I mention the box of Roland Sands parts I got in the post?

That's better.

That’s better.


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