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Old 03-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #1
azcagiva OP
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A tale of two twins in the Mexican 1000

After reading Oregoncoasts report in 2010 about his experience in the Mexican 1000 on his sl 350, I was inspired to buy a clapped out sl 350 myself. I had planned to restore it and maybe race it in the future, then life happened and the bike went into storage and was almost forgotten.
I was asked in 2011 to run the SCORE 1000 with some buddies, but due to some unexpected issues that plan was scrapped. This got me to thinking about the NORRA Mexican 1000. I had an old Husky that I figured would be great to enter in the race. Here is a pic of said husky.


Evidently I had more confidence in my bike than anyone else. I argued it would be the only one there, and the answer given was that, yes, it would be the only one there, but at the starting line and nowhere else. I would most likely end up stranded in the desert with a blown engine. I guess there is a reason there are not too many of these bikes still around. The 510’s were not known for their longevity,(and it had already blown up once before). So I guess they had a point.


Enter the old SL. “Hey John, don’t you have an old 350 twin?” I was asked by my friend Ed. “We could enter that thing like the guys on ADV did” he said. 60 days to get the old bike going, how hard could it be? "Those Oregoncoast guys could use a little competition", Ed said.


Here she is after a little disassembly.

So it turns out that this thing was really used too much when it was new. Everything was wore out, and I mean everything. After reading Oregoncoasts thread I noticed they were using a newer front end. I really liked the 450 last year that had the 50mm extremes. I have a set that I planned on putting on one of my elefants. I did some research, and since I already had one lying around I decided to run an xr650 front end. Good news is that the steering stem on the sl and the xr were very similar, the only thing that needs some fabricating is the steering stop. Front end after mock up.

More pics.

I looked into getting the race tech shocks that Paul is running and could not find the funds to get those so I had to settle for these.


They look like they should work well. We lengthened the swing arm 2” and mocked it up.

With the new shocks.

Had to make one engine out of several. New pistons and rings were installed with the good parts out of the parts engines. Here is the engine waiting on valve springs. We will be running a stock engine to try to help her survive, although the pistons look like they might be higher compression. We were able to find a cam out of a 69 so it should breathe a little better.


It is getting close to the deadline and it looks like the bike might be finished in time for the race. Still a million things to do to get her ready, I guess we will see…..

More to come

-John
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azcagiva screwed with this post 03-14-2012 at 07:40 PM Reason: found a spelling error
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
wrk2surf
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its on like donkey kong.. the SL shootout in the wild west ... Nice work!
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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Sounds like an amazing adventure!
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
HalfFast
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The cat is out of the bag.... No going back now!

I guess I had better check in since I am the other half of the silliness that is about to launch into the wilds of the Baja peninsula.

Like John said we were supposed to race the Baja 1000 in November and I was down pre-running my sections when I got the word we had to pull the plug due to health issues with our team captain. I was crushed but determined to find a way to cross this race off my bucket list. I know you only get that tap on the shoulder so many times in your life and I had been working hard since 2006 riding Baja 4-5 times a year looking for that opportunity. Little did I know then that I had met my future teammate in a hotel parking lot.

I first met John circa 2006 In the parking lot of the Hacienda Don Jesus in San Felipe. My riding buddies and I had just completed 277 miles of riding which culminated in a descent through what we termed " The Devil's Asscrack" and subsequently found out was called the mini-summit. We arrived after dark enduring about 40 straight miles of sand whoops, half of them in the dark. We must have looked quite the mess as we limped in on our beat bikes and bodies. I seem to remember a certain Aprilia was spewing oil at this point. John was there on his Elefant and we hit it off immediately. We didn't know it at the time but we had a mutual Baja friend in Winterhk of ADV.

During subsequent trips we always stayed in touch and both traveled down to support the ADV baja pit efforts. I was so jealous of him when he got the tap on the shoulder for the 2009 Baja 1000 and ended up racing and finishing well in his class. I told him then if he needed another rider I was in.

I even dragged him along with the Desert Assassins this past 1000 and he earned his crew shirt even pointing out a problem with the trophy truck that got it back in action.

Fast forward a few years and a few riding adventures in Baja to today...When we thought about doing this race in November it seemed a long ways away. Now we literally have 40 days to finish the bike and give it a thorough shakedown in preparation for the race of our lives. All my friends think we are nuts to try to flog that old bike, possibly the oldest in the race, all the way to Cabo, but that is exactly what we intend to do.

Wish us luck!
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2nd place Sportsman Moto < 2012 SCORE Baja 1000

2012 2nd place NORRA Mexican 1000
2013 1st place NORRA Mexican 1000

HalfFast screwed with this post 03-14-2012 at 04:23 PM
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #5
pigpen
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CL360xrr

This looks good! IN
sl/cl 350/650xrr fun!
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
GnarlyKarle
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
Mr Fast
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John Sr checking in.

As John's Dad I have been providing moral & yes, even some financial support. What John hasn't told you is that we have one of the best old Honda mechanics & engine builder still on this mortal coil. Owen should build a bullet proof engine that will go the distance. For you young guys info, the Honda 350 twin & tranny combo is one of the strongest & most bullet proof that Honda ever made. It's only weak point was the timimg chain & tensioner. This is easily solved by using a Tsubaki timing chain & KA Performance chain tensioner. Bore Tech in Ohio is a great company--along with Megacycle Cam in Ca providing parts & upgrades for these engines.
The other thing John Jr. didn't mention is that he's a natural born mechanical genius. Unfortunately though, sometimes it brings up memories of Gene Wilder & Marty Feldman.
A lot of our efforts have been devoted to convincing John to keep this bike in the latter 2/3's part of the 20th century where it belongs. Dang, no turbo, supercharger, warp drive, etc..... We did give in on the oil cooler though thinking it was a great idea. Jury is still out on the 650 front forks... we'll see.
One thing about it. The bike will be real purty!! Our secret gray paint on the engine, silver frame & red tank. She'll turn lots of heads in the pits!
Anyway here's wishing good luck to Jr. & the team. This attempt may be a lot of things but it sure as Hell ain't gonna be boring!
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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Yes!!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
Ladybug0048
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Oh yes, this is going to be good. I'm a bit partial to OCs SL but it's going to be fun seeing another SL out there running the Mexican 1000, unless of course you make it over the finish line faster than Outta Sight Racing.

Get that bike finished up, I want to see a picture of your pretty SL.

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Old 03-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:24 PM   #11
azcagiva OP
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Thanks guys looks like the engine will be together in the next day or so. Frame is getting prepped and ready to paint. Should have some more pics next week. I will try to get them with something other than my phone.

-John
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
oregoncoast
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Wow, XR forks and an extended swingarm on a SL350!! What a fantastic idea!!

Looks great. Welcome to the madness..and we're glad we could do all of the R & D for you guys. You'll like those YSS shocks just fine, they treated me right last year.

At least now we know who's truck we need to break into for spare parts.


See you in Mexicali!

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Old 03-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #13
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:22 PM   #14
HalfFast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregoncoast View Post
Wow, XR forks and an extended swingarm on a SL350!! What a fantastic idea!!

Looks great. Welcome to the madness..and we're glad we could do all of the R & D for you guys. You'll like those YSS shocks just fine, they treated me right last year.

At least now we know who's truck we need to break into for spare parts.


See you in Mexicali!
I don't know about looking great right now but I have faith in John to get er done! And yeah we might have copied a few ideas from your sweet SL. I'm hopeful we can button her up and get some miles under our belts in the desert before the race start.

And we were kind of eyeing your spare motor and thinking we might have to break in to a certain Tacoma for spares ourselves.

No matter what happens this is going to be a blast! It's probably been a few years since two SL350's squared off in Baja in a thousand mile race. Even if they are SL350XRR's.

See you in Mexicali.
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2nd place Sportsman Moto < 2012 SCORE Baja 1000

2012 2nd place NORRA Mexican 1000
2013 1st place NORRA Mexican 1000

HalfFast screwed with this post 03-15-2012 at 11:29 PM
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #15
Kootenai Rider
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I just got off the phone with NORRA, they're officially changing our class to the SL class.

See you in Mexicali, you won't be hard to find.
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