Another Special

Chris

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The Lyster story reared its head in the last post, so I thought I would share this one with you.
The clue is in the title "lowboy"
Let me know your thoughts!
all the best Chris

 

L.A.B.

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grandpaul said:
Very nice 550. I miss my '75 dearly...

I think that's probably the 500?

As we didn't get the CB550 in the UK until the F1 model in '76, which had a different clutch actuation mechanism to the previous UK CB500 (K2 or K3?).

I also liked my CB550F1!
 

Chris

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Early Honda

Hi Grandpaul LAB
So far so good. Built for the 500 class with open meggas! This would have run against the TZs but being a fourstroke man what could you do at that time.
I think the Manx engine must have been replaced with the Honda.
I have been told its a very early engine as the clutch mechanism is not the one that became the standard unit. No engine numbers & unfortunately no idea who built it.
Currently a group 5 parade only machine unless I can trace more history.
I will list the other details tonight.
Thanks for the replys
Chris
 

Chris

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History

Hi Cookie
How the bike came about!
My boys 250 Honda, that he was parading failed the noise test? Same System same spec as it had been raced with the previous ten years. As it was pretty gutless anyway spending 350 quid on a race exhaust system seemed a waste of time. My friend Rob has had this bike in his loft for 20 odd years so I offered to build it. The pattena that Cookie likes came about because I had 5 weeks before the meeting at Brands Hatch! I had the everything blasted & checked. Rob re sif bronze welded a bracing strut & I then painted the frame etc. The exhaust was pretty battered & consisted of 2 2 into 1 systems ie open meggas. I cut up a set of race silencers & Rob welded these up as well.
The engine had a deep coating of Castrol R & the usual orange peel of laquer.
I flushed out the engine & carbs, replaced the filters & found the engine had been filled with oil. I checked the timing & valve gaps (its on points & coils) rewired the bike & spun it up on the rollers.
We re filled the engine & replaced the filters again & the engine ran sweet as a nut. Armed with a set of oil seals & new tyres it paraded at Brands.
The only problems we had all season were a clear jelly in the carbs. Emulsion from new fuel & vapourised old fuel? & the original kill switch catching fire at Beezumph!
David has done the Ron Haslam race school at Donnington & he says the Lowboy is the best Handling bike he has ridden. So far we have not investigated the engine but believe that it is completely standard. The cases are unmarked ie no engine number & the only thing altered is the cam box ends have been remade in alloy. Because we can not prove when the bike was raced or built or indeed who by we cant race it. To prevent Honda 500s taking over the class the way the 350 K4s have you can only run a Honda 500 with a standard frame,drum brake & four pipes ala Mike Hailwood replica.
I decided to keep it standard & select events to run it in while I wait for an article to be published in one of the bike mags. I have been told that it belonged to a Liverpool bike dealer who died in the Isle of Man. Other than the Liverpool area coming up I have no other clues.
Originally the bike ran with twin Dunstall disc front end. I have this but the caliper piston are siezed & we are going to try ulta sonic cleaning. The rear wheel is a campagnolo (mv) cotton reel hub with cable operated disc brake. It sound quaint but steadies the bike well & weighs almost nothing.
Not mine but I love it & will not alter it or falsify its history to suit. If it comes back as a post classic then I will give it a run in that class. As with most of my bikes ie garden shed specials running them as they were built makes it for me.
all the best Chris
 
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It does appear to be a genuine old race bike and one of the reasons I like it as it would be that it is truly old, not a current replica.
I do think some of the club guys get a bit cranky about a bike's history. Many of these things are traded a dozen times and finally end up in the back of somebody's shop with the engine stripped out. Most of them have no documents at all.

Sometimes this leads to funny stuff if you don't mind a car story. My wife's cousin Stewart put a Corvair engine in his type 3 VW way back in the 70s. Since he entered it in some race events back then and kept proof it is now qualifed for New Zeland historic racing. The last time I saw him was several years ago and he had dusted some genuine racing machinery with that heap.
 
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