Hidden past…not really…Hidden treasure…more like :)

So to the lovely new purchase. Poring over the 400 odd photos on the USB stick gives a good insight into what a lovely project this turned out to be, the amount of effort, time and general dedication invested by the previous owner is just fantastic. Having done my fair share of spannering, I can well appreciate and empathise with the work put in. I did a similar full nut and bolt restoration on an old Suzuki TS50X when I was 16, which was my first proper foray into the world of bike mechanics.

So this restoration came to be, when the gentleman I purchased from was on the hunt for a project. Somewhere in St.Helens, there was a ZXR looking a bit sorry for itself sitting in a lean to. The story goes, the chap in St Helens had bought this off a mate with a gearbox problem. He sourced a spare engine, put it in, couldn’t get it to run right, removed it, whereupon the project stalled and eventually the bike was offered for sale in bits and with 2 engines, neither of which apparently worked properly. The bike as it was bought.

Looking a bit sorry for itself…

So the new owner set about trying to get her running again. Using the spare engine that the previous owner couldn’t get to run right (misfire) it turned out to be an easy fix. The plug caps were corroded, hence the misfiring. Cleaning those up cured the misfire, the project could have stopped there and then, a fully running ZXR bought for a song, looked decent, ran well.

Rob however had bigger dreams, he didn’t like green and he bought this as a project, a project it was to be!! And so the project was on!!

The inspiration was the Itoham Suzuka 8hr Endurance winning racer from 1993…

The bike was stripped and the bare frame, sub frames, forks, swingarm etc despatched off to the body shop for spray painting…

In the meantime, Rob wanted to keep the bike original, so he looked into the gearbox fault on the original engine (literally)…

A selector rod retaining bolt had come loose resulting in the selector gears not selecting second and third. A gearset was previously sourced from ebay, although as it transpired, the original set still looks ok to me, nevertheless the lower mileage gear kit was fitted. This engine was subsequently re-fitted to the bike, along with the carbs from the replacement engine since they were previously tuned with a Factory Pro Ti needle and carb set along with a 4 degree ignition advancer.

With the frame back and the wheels now painted white, the rebuild commences in earnest…

The bodywork was also sent away for paintwork…

The build culminates in a Practical Sportsbikes Magazine feature…

In addition to everything covered by the magazine article, the bike was subsequently fitted with the 4 degree ignition advancer, the spare engine carb set as referred above, new front EBC discs and a Hagon rear shock…

What’s in store for her next?…stay tuned, hopefully she’ll get to see a race track!!

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