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Old 01-24-2008, 07:49 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying_hun
I would argue that water cooling was a big break through. It wasn't long after radiators appeared on 125's that an aircooled bike become too slow. Water cooling allowed engines to be built to generate more power because liquid did a better job of letting the engine effectively shed the heat that comes with more power. Tighter tolerances can be used by thermal expansion of dissimilar materials happens in a more controlled fashion with liquid cooling than air cooling. I still prefer the look of an aircooled motor, but power is power.

Water cooling was a hugh breakthrough. IIRC the first attempt at water cooling (~75 ) was a trick head (fox, denco ) that used passive cooling i.e; the water jacket was in the head, as the water heated it would circulate to a small radiator, be cooled and returned to the head. No pump or anything
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:50 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad

Interesting thread, to say the least. I grew up in Southern California, graduating from High School in 1970. I remember the GYT kitted Yamahas at Trojan speedway, and at Elsinore and Parris.

Fresh out of high school I got a job porting cylinders for the once famous EC Birt, owner of Precision Cycles. Precision Cycles was a small shop that sold Macio, Rickman, Hodaka and a few obscure brands like Zundap, Puch, & Carabela. EC had a reputation for speed tuning, you told him what kind of rider you were and he developed a package for you that typically included a port job, custom expansion chamber, head work, and carburetor. Long before the factories used reed valves EC had picked up on them from the kart racers. We were making tons of money converting piston port bikes to reed valves. One of the more popular reed valve conversions were for the CZs being sold up the street by Joe Kubacheck. One thing you have to remember was that most of the 2 strokes being sold were really mild in their tuning. With little effort at all in the early 70’s you could double the horsepower of a stock bike. Bikes that werent too mild were too wild (Suz 400 cyclone) there you made money by building a pipe with more center section and mellowing them out. The guys who bought our stuff thought we were magic. EC had a huge ego and somehow he figured out that magazines have no clue as to anything other than selling magazines and that they were always desperate for something to write about. EC came up with the idea of inviting a magazine into his shop so he could share his “Hot Tips” and secrets. OMG, the sales went through the roof! We were cranking out a half dozen port jobs and a dozen pipes a day.

The down side was that EC was a pain in the ass and a real jerk to work for. His main mechanic was pissed off enough and had a good enough relationship with the customers that he decided to open his own speed shop. He started in a garage he didn’t even attempt to try to pick up a dealership. I used to port for EC during the day and then at night I would go over to my friends business in the garage and port at night. Oh yeah the mechanic’s name Donny Emler. In a very short time, one of his best customers bank rolled Donny into business as Uncle Donnie’s Flying Machine Factory.

All of this happened just about the same time the Honda Elsinores took off. Honda had done their home work and the “You meet the nicest people on Honda” took motorcycles from Hells Angles to the guy next door. Southern California was exploding with motocross. You could race 4 to 5 times a week if you wanted to. The 125 Hondas were easily improved with a port job and a pipe. Uncle Donny took full advantage of EC’s magazine techniques and soon he was off and running selling all we could make via magazine exposure. The biggest thing to happen for Donny and what became FMF was that one of the riders he had sponsored as a young gun got picked up by American Honda. That young gun, Marty Smith, demanded that his bike use a FMF pipe, and as such, FMF became the first after market pipe on a “works” bike. I guess it was kind of good for sales eh?



Well, my glass of Scotch is empty and the rest is a blur anyway, so I'll leave it at that for now.
Wow! I raced with Don at Trojan!! It's been 40 years since I've seen him. It was about that time that the motocross and speedway guys split off from the flattrack/TT group. Larry Shaw's (Speedway "Lightning Larry Shaw") father used to try to get me drunk before the races at Elsinore. I was 19 or 20 at the time and he would make me wine coolers before the races started. Thought it was pretty cool drinking with him!! Then I finally realized what was happening. Larry could never beat me sober or tipsy.
Troy McKee was the fast guy in the 100cc class on a Hodaka. Can't remember who did his engines, but he had a reed valve setup on it and it Hauled A$$. Tom Berry had a fast YL1 Yamaha that had the rotary valve on the right side, but also had a second carb. Again, can't remember who built it, but It was fast when it ran...
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:16 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycactus
Here's an unlabeled bike from nachtflugs motorcycle thread, fifth page in, what year and model is it, was it any good?

Edit: I’m guessing this is late 70’s early 80’s since it still has the twin rear shocks, it’s a two stroke – obviously it’s a Kawasaki – what other features are a give away as to what it is? It’s got a low slung pipe which is odd looking. It has the older style front forks (telescopic?). I haven’t really got that figured out entirely though (difference between the forks).
someone remarked it looked like a works bike but it looks like a stocker to me. KX400 by the looks of it. Jug is too big for a 250. Pipe is stock in its routing but definitely new hand made pipe. The first KX's were pretty decent, my cousin had a 73-250 that ripped pretty good, but again, the Elsinores were a little better and their sheer numbers in riders on the starting line gave them that much of an extra edge. But the KX's were good. Fast and light.

I was very surprised at the number of this vintage KX (1973-75 ish) at the Mid Ohio Vintage Days MX this past summer. The guys I chatted with claimed parts were easy to find and cheap. There were a lot of them there and going pretty good to boot.

The KX 400 was the runt of the litter in that most people running in the open class were still running European bikes with the odd Suzuki or Yamaha thrown in.

But this could be a works bike, its hard to tell. My money is on stock KX 400.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:31 AM   #94
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and just for the Kawasaki record..

the KX's came out in 1973 with a 125-250 and 450. 1973 was the only year of the 450, as the following year it was a 400.

So a 450 KX is rare in its own right. It also did not have the shiny metal green tank with the white stripe, instead a dull green plastic tank with black lettering only.

like this one a Mid Ohio.



and the pipe was unique to that bike in that it came up and then leveled off at the back.

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Old 01-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #95
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can't resist posting another Mid Ohio pic.

nothing like a bunch of loud 2 strokes winding up!!

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Old 01-24-2008, 09:46 AM   #96
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The subframe is on top of the rear fender? How long did that last?
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:51 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycactus
obviously it’s a Kawasaki – what other features are a give away as to what it is?
low pipes pretty much put it at pre 1977ish on all jap.

Non leading axle forks were also passe' by the late 70's.

the white stripe Kawasaki's like the one you were inquiring about are mostly 1973 ish since the stripe was black on the 1974's. I think. the stripe and lettering definitely changed and that is an earlier one.

Here is a 1976 KX 400.

I believe the black fenders are correct. but I'm not sure.



not quite as "white" in the striping as the earlier ones.

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Old 01-24-2008, 09:51 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycactus
The subframe is on top of the rear fender? How long did that last?
depends how long it took you to loop it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:55 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by nachtflug
low pipes pretty much put it at pre 1977ish on all jap.
most anyway.

the CR125's stayed with the low pipe till....
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycactus
The subframe is on top of the rear fender? How long did that last?
It wasn't really a sub-frame as it was welded to the main frame.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
most anyway.

the CR125's stayed with the low pipe till....
Shit! I was waiting for the picture to load and realized I was getting a pop quiz!

1979?
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:40 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad
It wasn't really a sub-frame as it was welded to the main frame.
Okay - I wasn't sure what to call it. But did it come from the factory like that or did they guys do it for racing?
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:02 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by kittycactus
Okay - I wasn't sure what to call it. But did it come from the factory like that or did they guys do it for racing?
Naw, thats stock.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:04 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valleyrider
Wow! I raced with Don at Trojan!! It's been 40 years since I've seen him. It was about that time that the motocross and speedway guys split off from the flattrack/TT group. Larry Shaw's (Speedway "Lightning Larry Shaw") father used to try to get me drunk before the races at Elsinore. I was 19 or 20 at the time and he would make me wine coolers before the races started. Thought it was pretty cool drinking with him!! Then I finally realized what was happening. Larry could never beat me sober or tipsy.
Troy McKee was the fast guy in the 100cc class on a Hodaka. Can't remember who did his engines, but he had a reed valve setup on it and it Hauled A$$. Tom Berry had a fast YL1 Yamaha that had the rotary valve on the right side, but also had a second carb. Again, can't remember who built it, but It was fast when it ran...

I vaguely remember Mckee, the fastest Hodakas with the TT crowd in So Cal were built (IMHO) by Daryl Bazzani. Keith Miller raced a Bazzani built Hodaka at Parris and Elsinore sporting a 32mm carb, which for a standard piston ported 100cc, was outrageous. Bazzani now makes car exhaust systems for “Rice Burners” aka NOPI racers.

If you raced against Don at Trojan, it was before I met him. When I met Don he was riding a Rickman Zundap, sponsored by the Rickman importer John Steen. I think he rode a Van Tech framed Suzuki prior to that, but I’m not sure. I also seem to remember an American Eagle (Zundap motor in a knock-off Rickman frame) sponsorship in the mix too. His last real race bike he campaigned was a “Frankenbike” he put together after leaving Precision Cycle he called the “Pendap”, a 125cc Zundap motor in a Penton frame.

Many of the early 2 stroke race bikes were built by someone who made frames and they used a motor from an outside supplier. From England Villers made motors that DOT (Devoid Of Trouble), Cotton, and Greeves used. From Germany, Sachs motors were found not only in the Sachs brand but also Monark, Penton, and several other brands. Companies like Rickman used motors from Hodaka, Zundap, Triumph, BSA, and Montessa. There were also companies who took bikes like Hodakas and made upgrades/modifications like pipe, forks, and air cleaners and then sold them as a Steen’s Hodaka or Eddie Crowl Hodaka, similar to say a Roush or Saleen Mustang car today.

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:13 AM   #105
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Many (if not most) race bikes came with down pipes. It was a real problem for us desert guys. But there just wasn't room around the frames or air boxes to run a pipe. Bultaco Pursangs and Ossa Stelletos or the little Rickmans are prime examples. The pic of the Husky is a good example of an aftermarket pipe trying to use up as much room as possible before moving it's way towards the back of the bike. A friend of mine used to make pipes for Bultacos he called "snake pipes" because they came out of the motor and then wrapped around the frame in front of the bike.
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