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#204993 - 10/12/06 9:48 pm Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
BritBike Forum
kenessex  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Good Afternoon All,
I am new here. However, I have met Malcolm at Mid-Ohio. I pitted next to him in 2005. I currently race a Honda CB350 and a Yamaha XJ550, however I am planning on going the A65 route. I know it may be heresy but I really have my CB350 chassis dialled in and have thrown a fair bit of money at it in frame bracing and suspension. I don't find anything in the AHRMA rulebook that would prevent me from putting in an A65 motor and running F750 and Bears. I am just beginning to start collecting up ideas and motor parts will be next. I will be hanging out here waiting for ideas.
Thanks,
Ken


AHRMA #412
#204994 - 10/12/06 10:27 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,059
Lannis Online content
Life member
Lannis  Online Content

Life member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,059
Central Virginia
The AMA series heroes of the 60s and 70s from Dick Mann and Gene Romero on dominated the world on A65s.

Good breathing heads, carefully set-up bottom ends, strong polished conrods, lightened alloy pushrods, and there's no reason you shouldn't be competitive just like they were against the iron and alloy of the time.

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#204995 - 10/12/06 11:02 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Mike Carter R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
You should check in with one of the Board advertisers, Jeff at BSA racing..He gets a ton o horsepower out of an A65.. He is a good guy and I am sure he can help make you more competitive.

Cheers man

and Good Luck


Mike Carter

#204996 - 10/12/06 11:06 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 430
T. Sharp Offline
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T. Sharp  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 430
Nashville, Tn.
Not sure if you could run it in BEARS with that frame, but could possibly in Formula Vintage. If you're serious, better bump it up to 750cc!!

#204997 - 10/13/06 12:05 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
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kenessex  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Bears says it runs under F750 rules. F750 says must be a period style frame, so the honda 350 frame should qualify. They allow Rickman, Seeley and Trackmaster, so I imagine the Honda should be legal since they allow Tritons and such. The only question with Bears is whether the origin is European/American or not. If I put BSA on the entry form I should be OK. If not I can run it in F3 twins. I might surprise some SV650s. I am definately going to look at making it a 750, but I am concerned about it becoming fragile, too. This is going to be a long term project for me so I will probably build 2 motors, one basically stock and reliable and one not. As you can see I am in Alaska and my bikes are in Wisconsin. I won't get a chance to even look at my frames until June. I am not in a great hurry to get this done until I am done in AK. I may still be here for a couple of years yet until I move back to GA.

Ken


AHRMA #412
#204998 - 10/13/06 10:31 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Apr 2005
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Mark Parker Offline
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Mark Parker  Offline
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Posts: 2,332
Bega NSW Australia
Hi Ken,
how are F750 rules with the A65? If they aren't too unfair and restrictive in the rule department, (eg if you are against 750 Ducatis with 40mm carbs, can you also fit that size?),I'm sure an A65 could get on terms with most anything in the class.
My son Ben has a tweaked SV650 and it is very fast, He also has an A65 we are putting back together with a 750 Cyl, and we are aiming for SV type performance. Analysing the SV's engine characteristics with his data logger shows up the fact that it keeps producing good torque up into the higher RPM 9,000+ meaning good HP figures and performance, I'm confident the 750 A65 running to 9,000 could match it if we can get a not too peaky power curve.
What's good about the A65 engine is how small and compact it is, ours are both in 250 frames, and though not eligible for F750 with stuff this modern they might allow a Rob North style frame with twin shocks, that would work very well with similar geometry, weight distribution, and swingarm length. This photo shows Bens, and you can see how far forward the engine can go, which is an advantage handling wize over an SV with its 'V' engine having to be further back with the swing arm shorter. The weight distribution is 55% front 45% rear. It is very noticable if riding this BSA fast, how excellent the handling is.

This is a video of Ben's BSA at 650cc, My BSA is 883cc with virtually the same head mods, but the bigger engine runs out of breathing at lower RPM and has a limiting longer stroke. The 650 pulled hard to 9,000. (Though in this video it has a missfire!) I think a 750 would be the best size for racing, the bigger bore I think unshrouds the valves and the shorter stroke lets it rev.

They might let you run in BEARS with one of these rolling chassis, which are quite cheap, (Suzuki RGV250)not imported to the US but went just about everywhere else. "M" models '91, are probably best.


mark
#204999 - 10/13/06 10:53 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,913
Britbodger R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Britbodger R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,913
Houston Texas
Great that you've decided to join us Ken.

Welcome aboard bigt

Also great that you are going to compete on Beeza. Wonder though why you would go to all the trouble to put it into a Honda frame though even it though has all the stiffening mods as the BSA frames both OIF and pre-OIF are known to handle well. Maybe its lighter that the BSA frame?

Was great pitting next to you at Mid-Ohio last year and meeting you and your wife. Hope to meet-up with you again at some track somewhere and sometime in the future.

beerchug

#205000 - 10/13/06 12:30 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline

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Posts: 7,812
Seattle
All right! Another beezer on the track. We're takin' over, I tells 'ya.

Dunno about the CB350 frames...not sure it's any lighter or stiffer than an OIF with some mods. I recently stiffened up my '72 lightning proddie racer around the rear suspension mount. We'll see if it makes any difference. The bike already handled REALLY well with some suspension geometry adjustments.

Good luck, man.


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
#205001 - 10/13/06 5:09 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Stone Creek OH USA
While you may have a CB350 frame dialed in, don't discount stock BSA frames. The wet frames, with some bracing at the pivot tube and getting the right combination of shock/fork length work quite well.

The dry frame needs some TLC on weight, the silentblocs in the swing arm need to be retired, but are also excellent handling frames. These frames can be found quite cheap also.

Engines can be done from mild to wild. Getting to 750 can be through bore alone or stroke alone. Both have been done. A65's do require careful assembly but work. Do a search on some A65 discussions on the BSA board. One thing about an A65, your starting out with a good cylinder head. And a transmission that is tough and can be made to shift quite nicely. CR gear sets are even available....for a price. laugh


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#205002 - 10/13/06 5:29 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
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kenessex  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Well after looking over the rules a little closer the Honda frame might be legal but probably is outside the spirit of the rules. I really don't want to go that way. So I guess I will stick with a A65 frame. I kinda like the idea of the OIF frame so I won't have to deal with a seperate oil tank. Randy Illg at Framecrafters did my Honda frame and lengthened and braced my swingarm. He has lots of experience with Brit bikes( I raced his Triton afew times for him in 85 or 86), so he can probably do a BSA for me too. I guess I will talk to him, he may even have a frame laying around, last time I was at his shop he had several frames there.

Ken


AHRMA #412
#205003 - 10/13/06 5:44 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline

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Posts: 7,812
Seattle
Not claiming to be an expert by any means...jury's still out on this modification, but FWIW, here's what I did:


The main downtube/oil tank typically takes the bulk of the load of the swing arm, so it has been gusseted to the mounting point for both the swing arm and the upper rear motor mount. This motor mount can normally flex side-to-side and eventually stress crack at the downtube. A tube has been added between the mounting plates to prevent this. This requires the rear fender mounting to be altered, but that's just a minor inconvenience...

Cheers, beerchug


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
#205004 - 10/13/06 6:34 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,082
J. Charles Smith Offline
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J. Charles Smith  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,082
Westminster, MD, USA
Alex, Justice forwarded pics of your frame mods on another thread after I enquired about OIF bracing. Your pivot bracing looks like a really slick, straightforward solution. You mention some suspension and geometry changes that also worked well. Would you mind sharing those? I am building a cafe racer, not a road racer (my roadracing days are decades gone!), but I understand that the OIF bikes benefit from some de-raking, either by fitting longer shocks or shortening the front end. I have Ceriani 35mm RR forks that are easy to adjust for length, but I think that, at 28.5" from axle center to tube top, they're already a tad shorter than the stock '73 T140 forks (which I don't have). Have you seen other OIF racers braced anywhere else?

#205005 - 10/13/06 7:24 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline

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Posts: 7,812
Seattle
Charles,

basically, for each inch of length you remove from the forks or add to the rear shocks, you reduce the rake by one degree. I've increased the length of the shocks by 1" and cut 2" off the forks. When you do this, you have to also cut the springs by an equal amount, which also stiffens them. Finally, I removed an additional 1.75" from the springs and spaced them out an equal amount. This left 0.25" between the point where they bottom out before the springs bind (which you want to avoid). The rear shocks are 13 1/2" long (1" longer than stock) and are Bitubo units from a moto guzzi. The springs are a bit stiff, so I plan on getting softer rate ones over the winter. Overall, the modifications I've made have mad a huge difference. The bike used to suffer from vast amounts of oversteer, which has been substantially abated without making it unstable. So, I'm pretty happy with it.


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
#205006 - 10/13/06 7:32 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Stone Creek OH USA
For street use, start as is with your wet frame. Your rarely going to be pushing into a corner as hard as Alex does on the track.

Do the shocks first if you do want quicker steering.

If you don't have machine tools available, get some different length spacers made instead of cutting the forks. Use the spacers between the damper rod and bottom nut. Achieves the same result as shortening the forks. When you get to a spacer you like, then shorten your springs.

But, gut feeling, on a street ridden wet frame, you probably won't do much more than lengthen shocks.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#205007 - 10/13/06 7:46 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,082
J. Charles Smith Offline
BritBike Forum member
J. Charles Smith  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,082
Westminster, MD, USA
Thanks Rich and Alex. I will try longer shocks first for sure. Since I can run the forks up through the top tree, I can easily experiment with fork length after getting the bike on the road. Getting some notion of what works on the track is always beneficial, but you are exactly right, Rich; I might run at 60% through one or two corners in an entire day's ride! eek

#205008 - 10/13/06 9:38 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,851
dave - NV Online content
BritBike Forum member
dave - NV  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,851
Elko, Nevada USA
Perhaps I'm again "trying to teach granny to suck eggs", but ...
When changing steering head angles, trail, etc., I've found it handy to accurately measure steering head angle and to have a little order in the chaos with a firm measurable value.
I use a Sears Craftsman gauge called a 'protractor' catalog # 39840, but more a 'inclinometer' seems to me. Anyhow, you merely hold it against the steering head and read out the head angle on 360 scale.

Be aware some BI yokes Do Not mount the fork tubes paralell to the steering head.

Then you can plug/play a few dims into Tony Foale's little free ware program and you will have your trail too.

click here:
http://www.tonyfoale.com/

select 'Free Ware' in the top menu and then 'Steering Geometry Calculator' in the listing.

There ya go, Bob's yer uncle.
"Have fun, don't skin yer knees".


dave - NV
#205009 - 10/14/06 12:16 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
BritBike Forum
kenessex  Offline
BritBike Forum

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Lots of good ideas so far. Thanks. I agree that loading the front wheel is a good idea, if it also suits you riding style. I really like to crowd the front wheel, but I am a big guy too and run a bigger front tire than many people do. On my 350 I am running a 110 front and a 130 on the rear. I like to raise the rear with longer shocks and keep the front raised too for the ground clearance. On my 350 I have three choices for lower shock mounts and I have about 2 inches of fork above the top clamp so I have lots of possible adjustments.
Ken


AHRMA #412
#205010 - 10/15/06 3:31 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
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kenessex Offline
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kenessex  Offline
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Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Ok so I am going to start collecting up parts. I think I will start with a cylinder head since there seem to be quite a few on eBay. That way I can start on cleaning up the ports and setting up the valve train. Now whats the deal on making it a 750? Are there piston kits available?

Ken


AHRMA #412
#205011 - 10/15/06 11:59 am Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Stone Creek OH USA
Easiest way to 750 - SRM big bore kit. A10 crank will also get you there. Check with Ed V of E & V Engineering who advertises on this site. He may have some suggestions also.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#205012 - 10/19/06 5:33 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
BritBike Forum
kenessex  Offline
BritBike Forum

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
OK, I have been doing lots of reading of old posts and it seems to me that the key to building a good A65 race motor is careful prep of the crank assembly, proper shimming of the crank in the cases, and a good oil pump. HP is found in porting the head, bigger valves, appropriate carbs and optimized pistons. Does that sound about right? That should make a good reliable starting point with more to be gained later from displacement, cam, and other really trick stuff.

Ken


AHRMA #412
#205013 - 10/19/06 5:45 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,059
Lannis Online content
Life member
Lannis  Online Content

Life member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,059
Central Virginia
Ken -

So many people start out in a new racing arena by trying to completely trick out their racebike. I've seen people weld up A65 heads to take 3 AMAL GP carbs, with wild cams, big bores, stroker cranks, exotic materials....

I think you're going exactly the right way in building the bottom end strong and right. Build an engine that will finish every race and won't break you cost-wise doing it. If you finish every race, you'll be ahead of everyone that didn't.

Then look for horsepower one proven step at a time. Good gas flow with nicely worked ports, an exhaust matched to your properly jetted carbs, and balanced pistons will only add to your reliability, won't take a thing away. There are a lot of things you can do before you get into the engine-destroying high-compression, huge cam stuff....

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#205014 - 10/19/06 6:19 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


This is true: as the Russians say "best is the enemy of good enough".
Too much "best" in a project not only stalls the budget, but commits you to parts already bought - which may not be what you want closer to D-day.
The lower end has to be done in any case, so does the chassis.

#205015 - 10/19/06 6:31 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,952
Stone Creek OH USA
Now if we could get Sonic Twin to jump in....he road races an A series unit twin with a standard bottom end. Goes pretty well too laugh . Seems to know his stuff. And it stays together.

Of course, he may not want to share secrets.......doesn't want you beating him with his own knowledge laugh .

Sure there is LOTS of ways to spend money on an A65. IMO, build a good motor, learn what it's good/bad points are then develop from that point.

I've seen people spend a fortune on a "fast" motor only to go slower. I've also seen people run "slow" motors who were amazingly fast...as in they rode the wheels off the bike. I like the latter, it teaches you how to ride the bike.....


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#205016 - 10/19/06 9:52 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
kenessex Offline
BritBike Forum
kenessex  Offline
BritBike Forum

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Hooper Bay, AK
Well I am not new to racing. Of course when I started in77 an A65 wasn't really vintage yet. I also have raced on a Triton, but it wasn't mine. I just showed up and rode it. I also worked in a shop, years ago, where we worked on Brit bikes although I wasn't the BSA guy. So this will be the first time at actually working on and racing my own BSA. I also have two or three other road race bikes already running so I am in no real hurry to get this one done or throw money at it. I think I will start slow and go from there. Does anybody have a cheap engine for sale?
Ken


AHRMA #412
#205017 - 10/23/06 1:13 pm Re: Gonna race an A65  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Seattle
Properly tuned stock A65 w. 10:1 compression can take on most of its contemporary and later 750's. Race 2 at Barber I was in the lead for 2 laps and could have stayed there had I not missed a shift...this of course only with the mighty Bodger dropping out of the race and the previous day's victorious RD350 having gone home. Finished 2nd behind a very fast BMW R75.

So, after that shameless bit of self promotion, I just want to say that even a ratty A65 like mine can stick it to the Hondas... smile


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
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