THESE BIKES were designed by Arlen Ness exclusively for Yamaha America. I bought the bike brand new, and as you can see, 95,000 km later, it now sports some pretty impressive modifications.
The petrol tank was cut and shut for a steeper profile and to boost fuel capacity by my mate Graham Fyfe. I had a set of Burleigh Bars custom made to suit the tank mods.
The saddle got the custom treatment as well with 50 mm carved out of the rider’s seat and 50 mm added to the pillion seat to keep the lines flowing nicely with the new profile of the tank. John Moorhouse, from Ergo Seats at Capalaba, did the mods. The extra height of the pillion seat provides good lower back support which comes in handy with the added grunt the bike now has via the turbocharger.
The turbo is a TD40 off a Mitsubishi Lancer/Cordia. It has an aftermarket actuator set at 12 psi, GFB boost controller, PWR custom made intercooler, fuel pressure regulator, a custom insulated heat jacket (which is the best and cheapest investment), custom insulated heat shield, and one-off custom piping. All mandrel bends are used and all are HPC coated, including the turbo housing. All this work was done by John Camelleri at Performance Pipes.
The bike has been dyno’ed and tuned by Alex and Sam at LAE Racing to maximum output (with the stock injectors and pump) and boasts a very respectable 142 hp at 3500 rpm and 167 ft/pounds at 4200 rpm.
The internals were left stock which included a set of forged pistons and nickel seal bores as standard.
A Power Commander has been added to ensure everything goes bang when it’s supposed to.
To help cope with the boost in horsepower, the diaphragm clutch has been replaced by a Barnet six-spring conversion with 100 pound springs.
The belt drive got the flick and a DID VRM 530 chain set-up was employed which consists of talon rear sprocket, drilled to suit and spaced accordingly. The front sprocket was machined to suit the stock spline and then press-fitted, welded and balanced into a 25 tooth blank so as not upset the look of the tidy drive-side of the machine. These mods were carried out by Shifter at Andersons Custom Cycles.
As far as cosmetics go, the bike has alloy LED indicators, Kuryakyn hand grips and a flat orange paint scheme with some tasteful black graphics on the tank, side covers and the rear guard.
I didn’t build the bike to be a show pony or Easter Egg chopper. Bling wasn’t high on the agenda when it came to getting this bike to its current state. I wanted a bike that could go hard all day, stay reliable and had horsepower to burn. That’s exactly what I have achieved with the help of the above mentioned people whom I wish to thank for their input and workmanship.
All the guys involved in this project deserve a huge rap as this is the first time this has been done in Oz. Lastly thanks goes to Garry from Garry’s Motorcycle Towing for transporting the bike to and from during the build. Cheers to all.
pics by Jo; words by Randel