Monday, July 27, 2009

Chris writes in... with some questions (UPDATED)

Chris sent in this nice letter, with some questions about swapping in a 6-speed an maybe doing a dry clutch. Anyone have any tips, suggestions, etc?

Greetings from Nashville TN USA. First off thank you for your web site. Ironically I stumbled across this page a few weeks before I had acquired my R5. I have been a motorcycle enthusiast most my life. 4 or so years ago I graduated from a motorcycle institute with Harley and Yamaha factory certifications. I worked on predominately Harleys before getting hired at a vintage british specialist shop. Before this I rarely thought of vintage motorcycles, now I can't seem to get 'em out of my damn head.

Anyways, so I got a '70 R5 from a buddy for a paltry 200 dollars american (I think its equivalent to about 17 quid now LOL) only problem was no tins, and someone had sawed off the rear loop. I was going to scrap the tank and seat anyways and I'm a decent welder so no big deal. So thanks to your site I have an idea of what I'd like to get out of this project. Something similar to the TR3. If interested I will keep you posted and have taken shots of all progress up to now. I have to decide whether to pony up the 500 for the Airtech fuel tank or test my abilities with carbon fibre (with which I have made a few pieces, nothing bigger than a bread box though). I plan on pounding out a seat from aluminum and my buddy does custom seats for motorcycles so I'm sure he can help me there.

If you have any advice, beyond what you have so graciously jotted down in your blog, it would be GREATLY appreciated. I also had got a RD 6 speed trans that I was thinking of placing in the cases but I failed to realize the 6 speed uses 4 shift forks whereas the 5 speed uses only 3. And I wanted to do a dry clutch like on the GP bikes, looks like I have some machining to do to fit some oil seals in place. If you've heard of either of these modifications done successfully that would also be quite valuable.


Thank you for the site, your fellow enthusiast, Chris

P.S. check us out at

UPDATE: A reader writes in this response:

I am not sure about the dry clutch but the RD 6 speed bottom end blots in with no problems( entire gear box cases included) and the R5 covers and cylinders will fit up to it without modifications. I have done this to my R5 and I love the extra gearing.

Here is a pic of the RD case installed. Good luck.

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