Dave Ellis, from Penrith in Cumbria, has been a fan of lightweight Japanese bikes ever since he first owned an RD125B in 1977, since when he graduated up to a Honda CB250N Superdream. "But it was down hill from then," he jokes.
His biggest bike is an RD400 Daytona -the one shown on the classic Yamaha stand at Stafford this year - which he bought in Cologne, and his current collection of 17 machines includes and RD250F, an RD200DX and a DT175. Dave started getting back on FSlEs in the 1980s "before they got expensive" and still gets as much fun from small bikes as big.
Though he's a big fan of the RD200 twin, he's just bought another RD125DX. "It's a French model: the same as the UK one except for the headlamp and some small details. I paid £250 for It and It's a pile of junk, but I'd already got a tank and side panels painted the correct bright red," he says. "It's only got 7000km on the engine, though it looks like it's been used as a bowling ball." The exhaust systems and seats are getting hard to find but he says Pete Spicer is a great help, as are Granby Motors at llkestone and Motomax.
"I'm restoring it to showroom condition (see picture overleaf) and I'm realistically planning to show it at Stoneleigh next year." Read about its progress in the restoration blog on the Air-cooled RD Forum, www.aircooledrdclub.org.uk
Power was upped from 16 to 24bhp in the TA125 racer of Tom Mortimer of Mel Lemoto, who \ provided a raping-style fairing, expansion chamber pipes, rear set fcotrests and ditched a pile o| unnecessary parts, it wasn't much fester. Gearing up with an 18-tooth sprocket instead of the standard 14-tooth item only succeeded in making the bike e%n more sluggish.
There was only one %her solution: let Stan Stephens, whose fyjge reputation as a two-stroke tuner wa&no less than it is now, loose on the engine. At his shop in Sevenoaks, he shaved a millimeter from the cylinder-head faces increase the compression ratio and machined a squish band.
In the cylinders, the exhaust port height was raised by 3mm and the transfers by 1mm, and all were matched with the same angles and volumes. He removed the ►
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