Rebuild Seeley 500 Daytona

Chris

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I found this frame a few years ago in a deplorable state. It had been sitting in a garden gently rusting away. It is a Yamsel frame & had been fitted with a Farhon 400 Yamaha engine. That is a 350 road engine with a water cooled conversion by Fahron. The thing was raced with sit up & beg handlebars. U bolts drilled through the alloy Tickle yokes. The disc front end had been fitted to 7 inch yokes by hacksawing the bottom legs! A lovely "V" cut that was left & the front end bolted up. My friend Rob James of Pipecraft confirmed the frame was sound but bodged badly. The engine brackets were cut of with a disc cutter & welded brackets blobbed on top. A battery box, a bracing tube & radiator brackets all crudely added. Not sure how it got through scrutineering. Lots of pitting from the rust but sound.
Anyway, I got confirmation it was a Yamsel from Colin. TD2's are getting pretty rare & very expensive to build & run & as I was starting from scratch I decided to put a Dayton engine in it. With a drum front brake I can race it in group2 period 2 ie road based engine up to 72 & eligible for the ACU championship the CRMC & European events.



Chris
 

Chris

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Thanks cjandme. I was not sure for a long time.


My friend built an oil tank for me. He used my tank from the MK3 & made a former (he makes furniture) he then heated alloy sheets & beat them & shaped them over the former. He tells me that he welded the inside seam of a few of the panels!!! He also apologised for tanking so long!
One day I will make the time & learn to do this!

Dry fitting



Chris
 
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That is a lovely frame, however the oil tank is wrong. I think you need to think about what makes your bike valuable. The correct tanks might cost a bit more, however the value you are adding would be worth the cost of the genuine appearance. If you end up with something that looks really authentic, everyone including yourself will love it. Otherwise it will be just a good bike, worth riding however of little real value. I was very lucky when I built My Seeley, I got the original tanks. I don't think much of my bike, however if I take it to a race circuit, the young guys love to have a look at it. When I start it up it has a real bellow to it, and that seems to attract them too. The simple fact is that a lot of old bikes are disappearing into a pile of modern incorrect bits as we race them. It might make them faster however we are losing the experience of what they were really like. If you want to look at something really good, try and find a concours 1962 Manx Norton. You will see how it should be done. It is not a racing bike these days, but a museum piece. Like looking at the mummies in the British Museum.
What really pisses me off is when I see manxes without the conical O ring mounted tacho or the GP carb, and fitted with 18 inch wheels and the wrong seat. I know why the guys do it, however it is sacrilege.
 

Chris

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Hi Acrotel

As I said in my post,It is a Yamsel!

If you look for a period photograph you find they did not have oil tanks!
The Mk2 3 & 4 Seeleys run a square oil tank. They do not fit one another! You will also find that Mk2 tanks have a recess in the back panel (Commando) where as they don't if you run a G50 engine? The tank I have fitted to my MK3 that was copied for the Yamsel is one from the Unity Equipe catalogue. Originally for Slimline featherbeds it was also standard racewear as was a lot of fibreglassat the time. It was used on a few Seeleys because it moved the tank forward in the frame & because it was easily available.. Still period? Not original ie Mk3 but then as a Yamsel it didn't have one. I cant add value to what was basically a rotting frame because I cant afford to build it as a TD2 & don't want to own or ride one. If when my time as its keeper comes to an end it is still the basic Yamsel frame that someone who wants to can resurrect the original bike. I have just saved it & will (I hope) enjoy racing it.
Don't tale this a s criticism, Seeleys & Commandos are always worth talking about.
Photo of my Mk3 before I broke it.


all the best Chris
 
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I could not own a bike like your MK3 Commando. I'd lose my licence immediately.

I think one of the worst things about old racing bikes happens when controlling bodies pander to the noise laws. Historic racing is about the nostalgia kick and tourism. Fitting a muffler to a manx is the ultimate in stupidity. You go to historic race meetings for the experience, the noise is part of it.
 

Chris

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Rear wheel is in but I have had to "stack! the bike against the wall to get some space. Photos to follow. The wheel is a Triumph conical, it came complete with spacers for a Seeley swinging arm :D

Chris
 

Chris

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Well my friend Peter has come up trumps with some polished parts for me. Key ones are the engine plates. You may wonder why I have now fitted the engine before the front end. If you had seen my garage you would know, its a matter of space. I have none. The front end has an oil leak from the bottom bolt into the damper, So I will have to strip them & check the washers, before I can rebuild the front end. I am rebuilding the Robinson next & waiting on some new taper roller bearings for the headstock.


Chris
 

grandpaul

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acotrel said:
I think one of the worst things about old racing bikes happens when controlling bodies pander to the noise laws. Historic racing is about the nostalgia kick and tourism. Fitting a muffler to a manx is the ultimate in stupidity. You go to historic race meetings for the experience, the noise is part of it.
Interesting.

It's not so much pandering, as it is making a compromise in order to retain a historic venue. Many of the old tracks are being encroached upon by residential expansion.

That said, there will come a time when the coin will flip, and the economic value of classic racing may carry enough weight to overturn that situation.

The fact that the race track existed far from civilization for many years seems to be lost among the eco-weenies.

"If you don't like the noise, don't buy a house there" (also applies to airports, railroads, etc.)
 

Chris

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Well a slow week as far as the bike is concerned. Stripped the forks, I need new fork seals, alloy washers for the bottom bolt & I a fibre washer for the bottom of the fork slider. These are now polished. My new taper roller bearings arrived Timken 30205, for an unbelievable price of £12. So pleased with them that I have asked him to price up some Norton wheel bearing. The top yoke has had the clamps milled off & for my weekends efforts I have dremilled the casting seam of & polished the bottom yoke. It has had a 10mm hole drilled into the stem so that I can lift the front end on to a stand. Other than Fitting the new bearings & bottom yoke that's it!!! Need to recut the chamfer on the shoes & clean the steel brake liner, then the forks & hopefully I will have a roller.


Chris
 
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grandpaul said:
acotrel said:
I think one of the worst things about old racing bikes happens when controlling bodies pander to the noise laws. Historic racing is about the nostalgia kick and tourism. Fitting a muffler to a manx is the ultimate in stupidity. You go to historic race meetings for the experience, the noise is part of it.
Interesting.

It's not so much pandering, as it is making a compromise in order to retain a historic venue. Many of the old tracks are being encroached upon by residential expansion.

That said, there will come a time when the coin will flip, and the economic value of classic racing may carry enough weight to overturn that situation.

The fact that the race track existed far from civilization for many years seems to be lost among the eco-weenies.

"If you don't like the noise, don't buy a house there" (also applies to airports, railroads, etc.)
I suggest a lot depends on whether the locals recognize the value to tourism of the nostalgia kick. The historics at Goodwood must bring millions of tourist dollars to the South of England. I recognize that noise laws are important however the value of the Severn Valley railway, or the Toddington to Cheltenham railway cannot be overstated, similarly historic car and bike events. The reality is that in the old days they were noisy. Would you remove all the thatch on houses in the UK because of the fire risk ? There are environmental issues and quality of life issues, they are not always identical. Ask yourself why people visit the UK as tourists? My answer is - it is magic, so unique and lovely to see, and the nostalgia thing is done so well. At the moment it is 1.30 AM here, if my neighbor started a manx with an open megaphone right now, I would go and kiss him.
 
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When I did a track day at Snetterton, the noise limit was 101 DB at 5500 rpm, the rev limit was a bit unfair to a pushrod twin. I would hope that they have slightly more generous limits for races.
 

grandpaul

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acotrel said:
At the moment it is 1.30 AM here, if my neighbor started a manx with an open megaphone right now, I would go and kiss him.
On the mouth?
 

Chris

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Hi Charles

They are learning as they go. Classics have a different scale to modern bikes for noise testing. Something that we are still telling MSV, masters of Brands, Snetterton, Oulton, Cadwell etc after all these years. It is shown in the ACU handbook but they don't want to know. Luckily our guys are brilliant.

Let me know your bore & stroke & I will let you know what it should be.

Chris
 
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I was using a Jim cray 1070 airhead and with what I think were a set of armors silencers it failed the noise test at 107 DB. Luckily the guy running the event sent me down to his sons workshop and they made me up a couple of mutes. The mutes and putting my gloves where they would reduce the intake noise got me through the test. I di complain about the high revs for a pushrod bike, just where everything on the bike was coming together!
 
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Chris said:
Hi Charles

They are learning as they go. Classics have a different scale to modern bikes for noise testing. Something that we are still telling MSV, masters of Brands, Snetterton, Oulton, Cadwell etc after all these years. It is shown in the ACU handbook but they don't want to know. Luckily our guys are brilliant.

Let me know your bore & stroke & I will let you know what it should be.

Chris
When the noise rules were first introduced in the 70s, Motorcycling Australia decreed they would only apply to four strokes - silly stuff. In those days it was actually painful to hear most two strokes running with the bare stingers. Even today there are some guys who don't seem to know that the angle on the top edge of the exhaust port is important. I don't suggest for a moment that two strokes should be run without mufflers, however the genuine old racing four strokes should be heard in all their glory at historic meetings.
 

Chris

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finely got a bit more done! Forks on brake shoes, plates, cleaned & in. Air gap to measure.


All the way from Valencia in Spain, a really great find :D An original tank, full of repairs weld & damage. I am going to fit a new fuel tap & see if it leaks. Pretty sure its a Mk3 tank but it fits the Yamsel. I will have to make up a strap as there are no bobbins for hoover belts.


all the best Chris
 
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That is a really lovely bike - great project - though I wonder about the weight distribution if the frame was originally intended for a two stroke engine. It might be a bit light in the front and not inspire confidence.
 

Chris

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Acrotel, I am sure I will find out once its out on track. Lots of room to move the footpegs up & back & with my weight over the tank we will see. Making a set of pipes is the largest problem I have. Although I have some old 500 pipes I can cut up for now.

Chris
 

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