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harris 19-08-2012 02:11 PM

Harris rebuild on Isle Of Harris
Well the project train keeps on rolling. Keeps me mentally sane-ish having a project always on the go n distresses me.

Harris`s turn at mo. Had her 13-14 years now and been evolving along the way really. Was my daily transport for many years and been on touring holidays, etc 2-up with luggage. Been everywhere really in all weathers. Few bits been updated over the years as they’ve worn out or I`ve come across them cheap, etc.

Z1B lump, 998cc overbore, raised compression, welded/balanced crank, new/old stock head with light polishing, stainless valves, kent cams, 29mm carbs, etc, etc. Pulls like a train for an old girl. Enough grunt to keep me happy anyway. Love this bike to bits n probably be buried with it. Lol.

Before strip down. Looks ok but was a bit rough close up n a lot of bits I wasn’t happy with finish of, etc. Looked like a rat-bike compared to my tubby bandit so time to pimp it up a bit. :-


Drove it onto bike bench 2 weeks or so ago n started pulling it apart. Few rusty bolts n usual crap with an all-weather bike. Got to this stage and couldn’t get last engine bolt out.:-


2` stainless bolt passing through (2x) 4” alloy frame spacers was stuck solid even though copper greased it to death last time it was out years back.:-


Got a hacksaw blade into gap between engine and frame and holding blade in my hand I could wiggle it up n down ½” at a time only. 2 evenings were spent out there on my knees sawing away at it. Lol. Chopped through it and then with a sledge hammer in one hand and a drift in the other I spent 3 hours hammering away at the 2 halves till eventually came out. Feckin solid! :-


My mate Emoe from Haydencycles knocked me up a high grade stainless replacement for when goes back together. Bike wont be seeing same winter weather nowadays so should never get as bad again.:-


harris 19-08-2012 02:11 PM

A lot of years of bare alloy engine and living 50` from sea and the engine was a mess in areas I couldn’t reach to clean normally. :-


Solid crud too. Built my own soda blaster and wouldn’t even touch it. Tried spraygun cleaner (100% solvent) and didn’t touch it. Only thing that shifts stuff between fins was a small screwdriver and lots of hours. Degreased whole lump to start with anyway. :-


Got 2 cans of Mr Muscle oven cleaner sitting here and buying a powerwasher tomorrow (which I needed anyway) so should be able to get it cleaned up and sprayed shortly.

Was over mainland other weekend on my trike getting its mot n doing a bike show. Came back with these parts for it for free off some good mates. :-


Old forks were bin fodder. Top halves were pitted to death, bottoms had cracks around seals, inside bushes, etc shot too. Useless yet bike still handled really well on these twisty mountain tracks.

Off a TZR250 reverse cylinder import model. Wasn’t sure about them seeing as theyre off a smaller bike but theyre just as big as gsxr ones and make my 80`s original ones look like toothpicks. Lol. Twice as stiff too so should be fine. Harris is a lightweight bike anyway so these should be a vast improvement over old ones. Same length too which is a bonus.

Pitting on lowers is about 5 spots this size. :-


Cant feel them and need a magnifying glass to find em so Im happy. Good change of seals n oil, etc and should be fine. Free is my favourite price.

Wheel spindle is off something else but fits threads. Needs a spacer one end as slack in fork leg end.:-


harris 19-08-2012 02:12 PM

Have some nice billet risers already on too. Was planning on clip-ons but with my t-rex stubby arms straight bars are much better option. Probably make some billety ones same as my bandit for it as really like the look/feel of them.:-


Drifted yoke stem out of old yokes yesterday and brought forks/wheel/spindle in house to get a proper measure up. :-


By pure chance the wheel spindle fits perfectly in wheel bearings which is a bonus. :-


Bit more wheel/disc clearance than old forks too.:-


Measured up for spacers for top/bottom yokes, fork leg end and wheel spacers. Got a mate sending me some bar scraps up to make them out of. Got a wee lathe in shed so should be able to turn them all up myself.

My wife spent several days with wire brush on the grinder/drill buzzing back the frame. No blasters or anything on my island. Everythings a PITA to do up here as have to do everything yourself. About 10 layers of smoothrite and aerosol paints, etc. Just chopped off the rusted in bolts and drilled/ re-tapped few holes, etc so ready to go.:-


Underneath paint is flaky nickel coating with a fair texture to it. Painted over it several times over the years with no problems so not worried about it. Main thing is getting a smooth finish this time as has always looked a bit crap in brush painted finish to hide the roughness and edges of plating. I spray for a living these days though so do it properly this time. Several layers of high build primer and smear of filler if needs be to smooth out roughest edges and should come up smooth. Planning on metalflake finish anyway so any small flaws will be lost under good 1mm+ of flake. lol

Got frame in sitting room this afternoon scraping n chipping out last of paint from corners and recesses. Thankfully my wife doesn’t mind bike bits everywhere. lol

harris 19-08-2012 02:13 PM

General plan is keep the same general look as love the way it is, just finish everything better. Go through each piece and re-work it in same way as I did with tubby bandit really. Remake most of alloy parts to a better /neater finish. Engine silver with black gloss cases. Homemade belt driven alternator up one side using some toothed belts/alloy gears I had sitting about. Sorta like this.:-


Tuck that bandit alternator I picked up into gap by carbs.:-


A matching setup on other side of bike with a belt driven mag looking setup (more to come on that). Carbon fibre guards with of some sort for them both. Few carbon fibre detailing pieces here n there.

Clutch casing on mine is cracked n knackered so going for a 80`s endurance style of lifter setup as love the look of them.:-


General red/black/silver colour scheme and detailed to death with lots of home-made parts as Im a tight-ass womble. Lol. Paintwork wise I`ve got paintscheme worked out in my head already. Lol. While away before get to that stage though. Try push the boat out n do something really wild on it.

So yeah 2 weeks in and updates to follow when get summit done really. Not in any huge rush as want the end result right. Doing an hour a day or so, so things will keep chugging along.

harris 28-08-2012 07:55 PM

My wife spent 2 days or so with wire brushes on grinder and drill taking off ½” of built up aerosol and hammerite paint off frame, along with rust patches, etc. I spent a whole week of evenings scraping into corners with a knife and screwdriver to get it spotless. Lot of hours, but no blasters or anything on my island. Finally got it to bare metal and the old nickel plating which is stuck solid. Anything loose came off with grinder and steel brush wheel. :-


Coated it all in Kurust treatment to be sure rust is neutralized. Built up several coats of high build 2K primer today in between work stuff. :-


Kept throwing it on till started to sag/run, etc. Wasn’t being fussy though tbh as only using primer as a leveler/filler of sorts to get rid of edges of nickel plating vs. steel tube. :-


Close up though and the ridges are very feint and leveling out nicely.


Going to sit and sand it back next few evenings in sitting room. Try level out things a bit more and remove overspray dust, etc. Reckon if repeat this process a few times I`ll get the tubes pretty smooth. Concentrating on outside visible faces more really. Going for metalflake finish anyway so if can get it reasonably smooth then flake will cover anything small tbh.

Ordering work paint next couple days so I`ll get some etch primer too for engine and can get that blasted n painted soon hopefully. Friggin DIY is eating all spare time at mo, but good to get some housey shit done too.

harris 02-09-2012 06:24 PM

Built some fences this weekend and spent good 10 hours or so in sitting room sanding back frame and getting tubes whipped into shape. :-


Taken sodding ages, but close up the spars are tubular and smooth. You`d never know just how rough it was before now. :-

Another couple coats of primer (lighter this time) and a light sand and stick some black basecoat on and see where we`re up to. Make the decision as to whether going with original gloss black plan, or sticking to metalflake plan if theres still visable roughness. Decisions, decisions. Getting somewhere slowly. Knew the frame/engine refurb were going to eat serious hours though.

harris 10-09-2012 07:21 PM

Getting bit sick of frame refurb now. Lol. Been bout 30-40 hours all-in so far. Put couple of coats of black basecoat on tonight though and the hard works sure as hell paid off. Nice smooth frame rails, no flaky nickel plating ridges, no rust, no dings, just proper looking! No clearcoat on it yet, just basecoat. :-


Few wee nibs to sand out n touch up, etc but looks good. Was planning on metalflake over the top, but seeing the tubes turning out so good Im tempted to revert to my original plan n go gloss black frame. Easier for touch-ups down the line from stone chips/rust, etc. too.

harris 20-09-2012 08:27 PM

Got my frame 2k clear coated. Nice n shiny gloss black.:-


Spent an evening cleaning up bearing surfaces and running tap through threaded holes, etc.

Moved onto engine bolts/plates, and the spacers, etc. Well weathered n chipped/bashed to fook. :-


Bolts cleaned up fine and the alloy parts came up well with a few evenings of sitting on doorstep enjoying the sunshine. Bit of a file, then sand paper, metal polish n some elbow grease and came up like new parts which is what Im after with it all.:-


Ordered some 6 pence each (inc delivery, lol) stainless steel washers off Egay. :-


Drilled 6 holes and a bit of a sand n polish and got myself some trickish looking washers for next to nothing. I like em anyway. :-


The 6 hole thing is something that’s going to be repeated throughout the bike on the belt drive pulleys each side, and dozens of washers on the mechanical bits n bobs throughout the bike. Made 5 so far so only another several dozen to make as I go. OCD anyone!? Hoping the attention to detail will pay off though once all together. Not much hidden on this bike once together so want all the small areas to tie in and look good.

Builds gonna be slow as shite Im afraid. Pushing with DIY stuff on house/garden, etc at mo too. Just bought a tatty 125cc supermoto/trial bike needing engine rebuild (and full cleanup rebuild) too which is not for my eldest lad when he turns 17 next year. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Busy, busy. Got my trike to rebuild and a totrod to build too down the line.

That’s the next few years of boredom sorted. lol

PeteHaddock 21-09-2012 08:22 AM

:agree: :confused:

harris 28-11-2012 08:20 PM

Updates a bit slow Im afraid but getting somewhere.

Got sidetracked as picked up a very cheap 125 m/x bike which Im secretly rebuilding for our eldests 17th next year. Rough as hell but was at the right price and local which isn’t easy up here.

Everything on it was rusted to death and fooked.:-


Engine was interesting. Wheres the other valve? :-


Ahh there it is. Lol :-


Been slogging away at it painting/greasing/rebuilding every last switch and replacing every fastener with stainless, etc. At rolling chassis now though so back to splitting time with harris build again thankfully. :-


Between that and spending couple weeks of evenings and weekends under my rat hearse to get it through its mot Ive struggled to get time at the build which has really F**ked me off tbh.

Been chipping away at it in evenings when I can though here and there.

Made a stepped spacer up to mate the harris spindle with the new bottom yoke.:-


Another couple of spacers and washers turned up saw the top yoke fitted up too.:-


harris 28-11-2012 08:21 PM

Found a shitty old diesel piston in the garage which gave me an idea. :-


Spent a whole weekend on my baby lathe turning inside of it out to fit the tacho inside. Piston was bigger than the chuck of my lathe and crown was few inches thick so took sodding hours! Lol. :-


Going to mount it in centre of yokes. Not going to run a speedo as not really needed up here. More interested in the engine revs when out for a run anyway.:-


Going to make up a big chunky set of billet bars and grips like I did with my turbo bandit (have a look if forgotten what they look like). Sorta like this.:-


harris 28-11-2012 08:21 PM

And going for single headlight too for smaller look.:-


Got some 22mm solid alloy bar off Egay other day to form the inners from. Also ground off the ignition barrel mounts, etc from top yoke and sanded yoke/risers/piston, etc ready for polishing up. :-


Need to make some spacers for central section to support piston, etc and out sections/grips, etc but chipping away at it.

Got my metal stand back from under the 125 m/x now too so can get the engine sprayed up. Only stand I had that was strong enough to take the weight of the lump and at a decent height for spraying. Lol.

Pugwash 28-11-2012 08:45 PM

Fork Stanchions - easy fix if they leak (with such tiny pits on yours i'd doubt it though) a drop of supaglue - leave it to set then dress it Gently till flush

amazingly my ol gt750 Kwak courier bike got through every MOT without problems using that , sometimes the seals lasted a whole year aswell

Yours ain't even on the noticeable scale in comparison :D

harris 30-11-2012 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by Pugwash (Post 636175)
Fork Stanchions - easy fix if they leak (with such tiny pits on yours i'd doubt it though) a drop of supaglue - leave it to set then dress it Gently till flush

amazingly my ol gt750 Kwak courier bike got through every MOT without problems using that , sometimes the seals lasted a whole year aswell

Yours ain't even on the noticeable scale in comparison :D

Good tip bud. :thumbu: Be stripping n rebuilding forks soon enough so give it a try.

harris 14-12-2012 02:14 PM

Taken a ridiculous amount of hours to finish these bars off but Im happy with the results. No expensive Italian exotica parts wise, just used parts that I already had and bout £15-20 of alloy offcuts. Cheap n cheerfull. Made the last of the spacers up and spent several evenings sanding and polishing each piece up. Was great to finally bolt the boxes of pieces together. Still need to strip the tacho and airbrush the clock face but will do that at same time as bodywork paintwork so ties in properly. :-


Made spacers up which lock into piston central section and stop it moving around. Also made a gudgeon pin spacer for through the centre to finish it off.:-


The levers were just too damn long looking so cut the ball ends off and drilled 3 little holes to match the grips and other drilled parts on bike. Also made an outer shroud up for the clutch lever perch to bulk it out a bit as was just too skinny looking diameter wise compared to rest of bars. :-


As a finishing touch my mate Emoe made me up a one-off piston-esque brake fluid reservoir to match the piston central section of bars. Cool!:-


Feels like Im getting nowhere on project but every bit helps I guess. Been flat out work wise trying to get finished for xmas. Taking 2 weeks or so off work as booked till April already, so planning on blasting and painting the engine up so I can get frame out of my bathroom and start bolting bits back onto a bike shaped object. :D

Nik 14-12-2012 05:57 PM

Lovely. :)

pastyman 14-12-2012 06:21 PM

looking good :thumbu:

harris 12-01-2013 05:58 PM

Big update as forgot to do it recently. Lol. Oops. Been busy in garage instead of on pc Im afraid.

Made this little frame bung on the lathe as original plastic/rubber one was crap. :-


Started mocking up my clutch lifter setup in finest tradition of cereal boxes. Lol. :-


Made up a little tacho block-off plate for engine. Internal o-ring so should seal fine. Original plate that was on there was weeping oil for years. Tacho on mine is electric anyway. :-


After weeks of evenings chipping away at alloy corrosion with screwdrivers and wire brushes I cracked out the oven cleaner and powerwasher. :-


Few go`s at that and some solvents and had a nice clean bare alloy block.:-


Over xmas when I was shut down work wise I sprayed the engine. Getting full coverage was a PITA as all of engine is on view in harris frame, even the sump, etc. Had to spray underneath of engine and then once hardened do the top half of engine. All got 2 coats of etch primer, 2K primer, metallic silver basecoat and, 2K clear. Came up really well I think. :-


harris 12-01-2013 05:59 PM



Soooo much better between engine fins than before! :-


Chopped out first parts of clutch setup in chunky alloy plate using my CNC machine……………just kidding. Bloody hours with my trusty cheap grinder, drill and a hand file. Slow work but gets decent results if patient enough. :-


Re-made the bracket and spacers for my idler sprocket setup. Proper turned alloy spacers instead of stacked washers. New bearing also as was a bit notchy. :-


harris 12-01-2013 06:00 PM



Unusual maybe but saved me loads of hassle. Its an idea me an Mr Yantosh came up with many moons ago. Chain was gouging swingarm on the bike and eating through any chain runner I made in days. Swingarm runs at fair angle but any lower and wheels eating into subframe. Geometry was all wrong too as chain was tightening up over bumps. I snapped (3x) 630 pitch chain links in couple of days humpback bridge jumping. lol


Not had a single chain problem in god knows how many years with new setup.

35th birthday the other day so didn’t get much done other than starting another bit of my clutch setup.

Bubblewrapped frame up today to protect it while putting it on engine.:-


Was stressing like mad as frame sits damn close to engine round front/sides of head. Thought I was going to scratch it to hell getting it on there. :-


I was stressed to hell and sweating like mad. With the bubble wrap though it took me and my wife all of 10 seconds to slip it over and get couple bolts slid through. Was just a case of pulling/cutting the bubblewrap out afterwards. Sorted! My wife said `Well that was a bit anticlimactic` in a sarcastic voice. lol . Really happy with it as all super clean. :-


harris 12-01-2013 06:00 PM



Hoping to get clutch lifter arm finished tomorrow which is last bit of clutch to make. Not far off with it now.

Front forks are stripped and just waiting on seals/oil, etc for them. :-


I`ll keep chipping away at assembling and cleaning them up. Can get front end on then along with my new bars, etc I made before. Should look nice.

After that I`ll be taking a small break from it for a week or two. Got my new headers through for my turbo bandit from Mr. Yantosh so need to fit and fettle them and get the bike up and running ready for summer thrashing. :-


Tinbasher 12-01-2013 11:01 PM

Fine work mate a credit to you, :i think the tacho nacelle is a very clever idea. :thumbu::thumbsu:

Pugwash 16-01-2013 09:41 PM

looking good but kinda think the motor needs some black highlights mate

harris 25-01-2013 07:20 PM


Originally Posted by Pugwash (Post 637585)
looking good but kinda think the motor needs some black highlights mate

There`ll be black bits on engine bud. Side casings are going gloss black. Need to mod them first though for a drive pulley each side of crank. There will be black carbon belt guards up each side too in the end.

harris 25-01-2013 07:45 PM

Progress is slow at the moment tbh. Been getting turbo bandit back together again with new headers, etc. Had to chop about few things and make up a support bracket off the head in stainless, etc. :-


Had it fired up and sounded great. Boost n fuel pressure gauges flickering upwards into positive pressure just by blipping throttle to half revs in garage. Was getting ready for road test and carbs started pissing fuel out. Started stripping em off and found the return fuel line in the tank has a split so fuel system backing up into engine. Going to have to drain and drill bottom of tank and put in new fuel line internally, etc. PITA. Got me sidetracked at minute as want a bike on road for summer.

Also managed to score a complete top end (piston to cam cover) for £100 for the 125 Im secretly building for our eldests 17th birthday. 4000km on the clock so a good result as spent over 6 months looking for a new head for it. Lot better than the £260 bill I was looking at to replace parts with new. Still at rolling chassis stage so sidetracked with that too. Lol. Got a time limit on this one though for the big day. :-


Pottering away at Harris bits when get the chance though. Sprayed up bottom yoke in 2K black and got front yokes/bars I made on. Really liking them! :-


Finished off small bits n bobs on clutch setup and connected cable to bars. :-


harris 25-01-2013 07:45 PM


Works smooth and slightly lighter weight than original setup too which is nice. Still 10x heavier than a new bike as running heaviest springs I could find to eliminate clutch slip. Used to it though. Happy with new lifter setup. Seems fine.

Dug carbs out of the parts box. Bloody filthy and covered in years of crud! :-


Spent several evenings in front of tv stripping them down and cleaning them out internally. The outside castings were quite rough but after several hours with degreaser and a fine brass brush they scrubbed up well. Used 400 grit wet and dry for the tops and bottoms to give a brushed finish. Didn’t see point in polishing parts as really rough alloy finish on them. Easy to keep clean this way too as carbs quite hidden away on complete bike. Clean and useable. :-


The bellmouths were really battered at rear edges. Looked online at mesh covers, etc but stupid money!

Had a cheap ass womble moment. Lol. Chocloate spread jar lid and a scalpel. File and sand edges. :-


Old sheet of fiberglass aluminium mesh I had lying around and some big o-ring things out of random box. :-


harris 25-01-2013 07:46 PM


Clip tightly onto bellmouth ends. Once painted up gloss black or something they should look alright I think. No-one will ever know theyre jar lids, except you lot. Lol :-


Should do the job and keep bugs out of there.

harris 23-03-2013 12:15 PM

Car oil cooler sanded/polished up, New bracket made, stainless fasteners throughout, etc. :-


Made new side billet crush sections with holes drilled to match bars, clutch lifter, etc.


Re-made my homemade oil cooler take-offs at back of head. Tight squeeze once carbs go on with clutch cable running across now too but all in there.


Polished up bellmouths and my pikey jam jar lids painted up a nice pearl red which I’ll be using for other small parts on bike such as brake disc centres, etc. Carbs cleaned up and stainless fasteners throughout them too.


Old section of a damaged carbon fibre hugger chopped up and sanded/clear coated in 2K. Better fit than original rusty chrome one and weighs nowt while looking better. Be a few carbon fibre bits n bobs on bike when done.


Where Im up to. :-


harris 23-03-2013 12:15 PM


Slow going at mo, but chipping away at it. Currently battling to tidy up swingarm and sidestand parts to get them on.

Sharing time between this, rebuilding every room of house, fitting double glazing, and of course turbo bandit on the road guff. That’s up n running n boosting fine, etc after having it apart n together dozens of times fine tuning/changing things. Wheelspinning like hell in the slippery winter weather n single track gravel roads. :-


Turbos smoking like hell though and not worth repairing. Thankfully turbo guru Dave (FBM turbo fame) came to my rescue and is sending me up a IHI VF10 turbo for it off a Subaru legacy. Be a good match if ever move up to a 1200 engine too. Waiting for that to arrive then switch back to that and alter mounts, etc to make it fit n should be on road again for summer.

Only free time saver I’ve got in my favour is my wife made us scrap our car so no working on that all the time anymore. Lot of time and money each year saved which is cool. Bikes n trike as daily transport again and couldn’t be happier!

Spent extra money on a shitload of metal roof sheeting to re-roof my shed and garage. Warm n dry building very soon. Happy days.

harris 23-09-2013 05:35 PM

Hi guys. Been a while since updated this thread. Been too busy with life, but I`ll keep updating when I do until it’s a finished bike.

Took some time out to rattle on with house renovations as felt a bit burnt out with bike building constantly. 6 months of every evening and weekend spent roofing, cementing, joinery, electrics, plumbing, decorating, etc has me sick of it and ready to build again through winter. Lol. Main benefit is I re-roofed my garage this summer so got dry workspace! YES!

Been blasting about on my turbo bandit thing all summer too. Done thousands and thousands of miles on it in all weathers. Back n forth on ferry to mainland, etc too touring with my wife. Great long distance mile muncher n going well. –


Built this 125 m/x bike for my oldest son`s 17th birthday as a surprise. As you can see he was a little bit happy when got handed the keys. Been out teaching him how to ride it last wee while. Up for his test next few weeks. –


Bought another one to do up at somepoint for my daughters 17th. TS125R with a low mileage GS125 4 stroke lump in with leccy start, etc. Got the rest of the parts for it stashed away in bathroom. Lol –


Been back onto the Harris build last few weeks doing some more.

Swingarm was chewed up in places from chains getting spat off over the years and some idiot previous owner running it without a chain slider. Loads of tool/stone dings too. –


Not the sort of swingarm I could just throw in the bin and get another of though. Lots and lots of hours of remedial work later and looks like new. –


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