Author Topic: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike. SELLING BIKE  (Read 32837 times)

johnclemens

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Hey everyone,
I finally got some time to start my next project. My poor old racebike has been collecting dust in my office for almost 10 years now.
Its time to get it running again and make it a sunny day rider. The goal of this thread will be to entertain a few vision dudes. As well as a motivator for me to keep moving on this project. I must say at the risk of sounding like a jerk, This will not be meant as an instructional on how to do the things I end up doing. The chain drive conversion is a very expensive task. And is not something your average dude can do. If you are a machinist already I'm sure you can figure it out and I am willing to share any measurements needed. I do not have drawings and step by step instructions. Anyone interested in doing a chain conversion should just take $500 bucks and burn it! If after that your still interested, Then your certifiable!! I cannot imagine at today's machine shop prices you could have the work done for less than 1500 bucks just for the chain drive conversion. Anyway that being said I will try to address questions you have.
A little history on the bike then I'll explain what I have got started with.
Its a 82 vision motor in an Yamaha FZR400 Aluminuim chassis with 650 cc JE pistons, (the 650cc kit requires machining the cases) corrilo rods, balanced crank, Megacycle full race cams. Polished ports and Mikuni Flat slide carbs. Last time I did a dyno pull it was making around 80hp. I won lots of club races and 5 class championships in the 90's With my best year in 97 going 14 for 14 main event wins at PIR here in Portland. Nobody beat me that year in any race. The bike was untouchable!! I was racing against Honda Hawks and Kawi EX's as the SV650 was not out yet. that year I also got 2nd at a few national races and the bike ran great, Never had a motor problem in the entire time I raced it.

Anyway last time I rode it at a track day 10 years ago, the chain drive started leaking a little oil. So the first order of business is to repace all the seals and fix the leak.
If the pictures are loading?? you will see the way the chain drive system works.
There is a seal held in place by 4 bolts into the case. Then the sprocket is custom made from machining down the stock helical gear, then a outer piece was slipped over that and welded on, machined down for a seal surface. As well as a bearing on the end inside it. Then the cover piece has a post on it that goes inside the bearing/sprocket. This accepts the side load as the cases were never designed to accept this load. I know of some dudes who have done this conversion without that outer bearing but this is the way mine was done. Then that outer cover bolts to the frame as well as the motor, so it becomes part of the motor mounting system.

I have removed it all and replaced the seal. Now I just need to reinstall that stuff and it should be good.

Next I want to build a new exhaust muffler system In the last picture you will see my pipe. This is prolly the 5 or 6th exhaust I have built for this bike. This is by far the best one I built. I just am going to change the mufflers to something a little cooler looking. The header system is going to stay the same. I had a Ducati exhaust on my bench one day and saw the way they collect both the front and rear pipes into a 4 way with the pipes then coming out to each side. I decide to copy that and bingo the next race I had to drop a couple of teeth off the rear sprocket as it was way faster down the straight. With this style you really don't have to be so concerned with the length of the headers as it all comes together anyway. The small pipes are 1.25" and the larger is 1.75" diameter. I am looking into the style of mufflers now. But I like the shorty megaphones out there and will consider those.
Thats about it for now, I need to get some mufflers on order so I can finish the pipes and get those off for ceramic coating.
Next will be a 2006 GXSR upside down front fork assembly with radial brakes. I plan on fitting that maybe next week.
I'll try to keep the postings coming. If the pictures are not loading please somebody tell me how to do it.
I choose file down below, but I don't see where to add them to the post.....
Cheers!

« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 11:08:58 AM by johnclemens »

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 02:06:30 PM »
I see thepictures are loading so heres A few more of the bike in its current form.

fret not

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 07:14:45 PM »
Way cool!  Do you mind discussing your ignition system? 
What rear shock are you using?
More explanation of what you did inside the motor re. pistons, bore, head work, cooling, etc. (please)
What problems did you encounter that you didn't expect?
Were there anticipated problems that didn't happen?
Surprises?
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 07:31:43 PM »
Way cool!  Do you mind discussing your ignition system? 
Ignition is a stock CDI unit with Dyna coils.

What rear shock are you using?
Fox twin clicker. This a FZR400 chassis so it would do you any good on your stock chassis.

More explanation of what you did inside the motor re. pistons, bore, head work, cooling, etc. (please)
Pistons are custom made JE. Stroke is the same but bore is increased, I'll get back to you on the number, Cooling system is all stock including radiator. Head work is simply smoothed out the intake ports, no reshaping or anything crazy. I built the intake manifolds from the head to the carbs, Its just metal pipe welded and formed. Then smoothed inside.

What problems did you encounter that you didn't expect?
Not much, mostly pipe's cracking and stupid shit that broke. Nothing major in the motor ever broke. Everytime something broke I over engineered it and it never broke again.

Were there anticipated problems that didn't happen? None really.
Surprises? None really.

funkamongus

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 08:28:46 PM »
Very nice!!! Congrats on the great year in '97, too.   
I own:
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1982 Virago XV920J........ free
1982 Vision XZ550RJ....... 100.00
1972 BMW 75/5 W/toaster tank,  I babysit.
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look me up on facebook. ride safe!!!

Lucky

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 12:52:48 PM »
so no burned stators huh? :>
1982/3 XZ550 Touring Vison, Gold on Black

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 05:38:09 PM »
Did not use a stator. I ran a flywheel with no magnets and was turned down to just the trigger points for the ignition. Super light and let the motor rev faster.
I would charge the battery between races and run a total loss system.

I have a brand new Yamaha stator I am going to install for the streetbike so I can look forward to the same trouble as the rest of you...

fret not

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 12:19:16 AM »
Thanks for that John.  That is some inspiring stuff.  I will be very interested in your fuel economy once you get it on the street.

 Still going to run the flat slide carbs?

Did you figure what top speed your racer was capable of?
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 10:42:30 AM »

 Still going to run the flat slide carbs?

Not sure yet. I have a set of stock carbs I and going to try. But it did run very well with these carbs.

Did you figure what top speed your racer was capable of?

Our track here are PIR in Portland has almost a 3/4 mile straight. I was radared more than once at 145.
I never had a speedo on it so thats all I can go by...
When I was racing a stock framed 550 vision the fastest I was radared was 112 and the speedo was indicating 130 plus.

jasonm.

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2010, 08:09:05 PM »
John, I have had pictures of your bike on my wall for years. Nice to hear from you.  Wow...the seal actiualy seals around the sprocket. You are a brave man.
looks aren't important, if she lets you play by your rules

fret not

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2010, 09:02:22 PM »
Anyone that goes fast enough to win races is a brave person.  I used to race in AFM in club races here in California back in the 60s and early 70s before races were so fast.  It was sheer terror, and then you learn how to go fast.  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a Yamaha TR2 among other things.  It was fun/agony while it lasted.

I recall as a spectator at Laguna Seca watching Cal Rayborn and Yvon DuHamel going at it hammer and tongs, wobbling through the left hand turn below the corkscrew and turning lap times of 2:14, a new lap record (motorcycles) on the old short version of the track.  Since then they added an infield loop and lap times have been cut to well under 2 minutes.  It must be fearsome now. 
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2010, 10:23:02 PM »
I'll tell you I endurance raced an R1 with over 145hp. That was terror :o  close to 170 down the straight.....
My XZR had such nice smooth power it was a real pleasure to ride. It would be interesting to see what the Yamaha Vision would be like now if Yamaha continued to produce and develop it.

fret not

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2010, 10:33:28 PM »
The first time I saw a Vision I thought it should have been a 750.  I think Yamaha missed that one.  Then very shortly after it was introduced HD squealed and got tariffs levied on anything over 700 cc.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2010, 12:30:18 AM »
Well today I spent a couple of hours chasing that nut. Lucky for me it looks like Tiger might have one.
I also bought some super trick carbon fibre exhaust cans on ebay. So I am going to mount those up as soon as they show up....
Check em out
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140378049558&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSA:MOTORS:1123
Those are just what I need to give it that modern look...

I'm trying to do at least one thing a day for my project, either ordering parts or installing parts.

I found some old photos of me racing my old vision.
I guess around 1988 maybe.

inanecathode

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2010, 11:21:51 AM »


I'm trying to do at least one thing a day for my project, either ordering parts or installing parts.



Haha, yeah. I try that too, lemme know if it works for you ;)  :D

Nice bike, man. I'm curious on more details on the chain drive. Can you post a simplified step by step? I'm curious on how you got a rear wheel to line up, i know its a different swingarm (and frame) though.
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Brian Moffet

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2010, 01:37:01 PM »
When I rebuilt mine, it was spend at least an hour Sat and Sun on it.  Usually turned into 2 - 3 hours on one day or the other, but I made progress.

johnclemens

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2010, 02:01:34 PM »
I have had a couple of inquiries about pistons I am using...
I need to stress to you guys, The stuff on my bike will most likely not work for your bike.
While I am willing to share details about the machine. As I said at the start of this I am not creating a step by step instructional, I don't Think I could if I wanted to. You are either the type that can figure it out and have access to the machinery required to do it, or you have the mean$ to pay someone to do the machine work, in witch case he/she may do it they're own way.  With all due respect and I truly mean that. But to undertake a chain drive I cannot give you instructions. If you cannot figure out how to line up a rear wheel to the sprocket while doing a chain conversion..You may want to stick to just riding.  Just enjoy your Vision for what it is. Almost a 30 year old bike. If you want a twin with a chain, go buy a Sv650 Suzuki. Trust me you'll end up miles ahead in time and money.
Here is the info on the pistons I am using. They will not fit the stock connecting rods and the cases must be machined to accept the larger bore.
I am running Corrillo rods. I don't have the specs for those anymore. Sorry. Next time I have them out I will measure them.
Cheers

Walt_M.

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2010, 02:24:44 PM »
I think one of the most important points about the chain drive conversion was contained in the first paragraph, 'anyone thinking about doing a chain drive conversion should first take out $500 and burn it'. That will prove your commitment!
Whale oil beef hooked!

Tiffanator

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2010, 02:56:43 PM »
John, I can't speak for others, but from what I have gathered reading the responses these guys aren't asking questions about your project because they want to run out and do it to their Visions, they are genuinely interested and curious as to how you made all of this happen. Heavily engineered projects like this fascinate me and I love reading about them, does it make me want to go out and tackle something like this myself? Of course it does! Am I going to run out and try to tackle something like this myself? Heck no! I know I have to start with small stuff and learn the ropes.
I appreciate you sharing this project with us however, good luck and keep updating the thread with your progress. I have many much less complicated projects going right now, seeing someone who understands bikes so much inspires me to keep tinkering and keep learning.  ;)
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don_vanecek

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Re: Build thread on my Yamaha XZR650 racebike to a street bike.
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2010, 03:30:14 PM »
No, I'm not going to try any of these modifications but as other's have said it really interesting reading your posts about what you did do and now hope to do. Yes, what could the Vision have been if Yamaha had not given up on it!