Author Topic: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550  (Read 9378 times)

pinholenz

  • ROV Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Love the Light
Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« on: September 04, 2015, 07:40:12 AM »
I had the privilege of meeting Lee Mallet today, the guy who built the yellow racer that we admired a couple of years ago when it came up for sale.  In between customers he told me a little about the project.

He had brought an XZ550 new back in the 80's and always reckoned they would be a great bike for track modifications. This one started as a rusty wreck and over a couple of years and a couple of hundred hours it morphed into a respectable race machine.

The whole of the rear frame of the bike was chopped off, rebuilt, stiffened and lightened.

He reckoned that the biggest problem with the XZ was that the engine was badly choked by a restricted air intake and restricted exhausts. He retained the Mikuni carbs but cut away the rear half of the top of the airbox - getting rid of the flapper. The carbs then had their jets drilled until, by trial and improvement he reached an optimum performance. Alongside this the exhausts were opened up by replacing the thin twin wall sections and the collector box with siamese header pipes front and rear with a separate exhaust for each cylinder. (38mm pipework?)

Lee reckons that the mods nearly doubled the power output.

The design of the faring is based on a Buell racing machine.

On the track, clearance became a problem with the oil filter scraping on the ground. To protect the oil filter and water pump housing from injury he built a stainless steel cover which can be seen in jpg #1. The bike was mostly used for track days at Manfield where he would sometimes join up with the Whanganui based Bernard Racing Team (Yamaha). The paint and graphics are in the team colours. The hydraulic activation of the rear drum brake was another mod born of track experience. The rear set foot pegs meant that the footbrake pedal was almost at 90 degrees under heavy braking. The hydraulic setup (made from a Toyota Hilux master cylinder) meant that he could use a very short lever action to activate the braking. Note the front brakes are all original but with stainless steel braided lines.

The XZ was sold because of  too many other projects in his workshop. The new owner lives in Pukekohe, near Auckland. The photographs are from Lee's listing when he sold the XZ.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 07:44:29 AM by pinholenz »
Only one '82.5  eXtreme Zen 550

Prophet Of Doom

  • Contributing Member
  • Visionary Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 2819
  • The really perverted one amongst us
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 06:54:57 PM »
Thanks for the writeup pinhole.  It's amazing what you can do with an old rust bucket, a few years of hard work, a lifetime of skills and thousands of dollars worth of spare parts.

pinholenz

  • ROV Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
  • Love the Light
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 08:07:11 PM »
Tell me about it!! - And mine still hasn't got past the rust bucket stage.

I guess non-vintage bikes are a bit like boats. Beautiful holes in the air that you just keep pouring money in to. Then when it comes to sale time you dare not count the cost because you only get a fraction back. All that work and money was simply a breath of air.
Only one '82.5  eXtreme Zen 550

fret not

  • Contributing Member
  • Visionary Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 2369
  • Mike Lewis - Grass Valley CA
    • Michael Lewis Instruments
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 11:08:48 PM »
Reading back over this discussion and musing.  The thought occurs to me that sometimes the journey is the destination.  It seems my Life is very much that way.  Be good to yourself and remember that Life is an art form.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

livetoride21

  • ROV Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Riders of Vision .net
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2021, 12:07:57 PM »
Very cool ride!

MikeScoot

  • ROV Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
  • NSW/Qld. border, Australialand
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 06:48:46 AM »
... sometimes the journey is the destination ...

:-)  When I came back to Australia ater living in Japan for a very long time I had quite a bit of trouble slipping into good employment. So I went looking for gold instead. Also built various machines for separating gold from muck. Spent many MONTHS researching, driving, dreaming, digging, panning, experimenting, sitting all day in creeks full of cow piss, getting sunburnt, etc etc etc. But I look back on those many months with a really big smile on my face. There's nothing like heading off toward the end of a rainbow - be it a shiny motorbike or a fortune.
Luther had his dream,
But I've got my Vision.
His got him into strife,
Mine just takes me fishin'.

fret not

  • Contributing Member
  • Visionary Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 2369
  • Mike Lewis - Grass Valley CA
    • Michael Lewis Instruments
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 04:06:39 AM »
I chalk it up to the Human Condition.  We all need a reason to get up in the morning, to be doing something other than just chores or work.  We need that inspiration offered by "something special" to draw us along to the completion of the project.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

MikeScoot

  • ROV Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
  • NSW/Qld. border, Australialand
Re: Went Racing - Lee Mallet's XZ550
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2021, 07:13:08 AM »
Absolutely! Forgot to mention that I never found a damned thing (gold that is) but I'm smiling even right now just thinking about that chapter.

'Spose we're a wee bit off topic here, eh. So just to make things legit;
    I bought two RZ500's from the first shipment to Australia - for a racing effort. lololol That idea didn't end very well, but had nothing to do with riding those RZ500 buggers. That episode makes me smile too - except the bit involving a shattered kneecap, broken ribs, knackered elbow and other stuff I still haven't noticed (but probably will before too much longer) lololololololol
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 07:26:49 AM by MikeScoot »
Luther had his dream,
But I've got my Vision.
His got him into strife,
Mine just takes me fishin'.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
5 Replies
1067 Views
Last post February 09, 2005, 06:21:28 PM
by Lucky
Racing Vision

Started by Glyn Pickering Board Archives

1 Replies
948 Views
Last post February 02, 2005, 08:02:47 AM
by Blake
Going Racing

Started by Prophet Of Doom « 1 2 ... 26 27 » TechTalk

529 Replies
110270 Views
Last post March 19, 2019, 04:02:21 AM
by Prophet Of Doom
Going racing

Started by dingleberry « 1 2 » Off Topic

30 Replies
7841 Views
Last post August 31, 2015, 09:04:27 PM
by dingleberry
0 Replies
1782 Views
Last post September 04, 2015, 07:43:25 AM
by pinholenz