In Memory of Caleb Taiki Thomason

Part Three

Welcome to Part three of Project NSR 500. This is the final part of this series. Engine was rebuilt, custom pipe fitted, custom wire harness and many more problems sorted out. How did Project NSR500 turn out? What is it like to ride? Keep on reading below.
98K - Click for full size image While Chris had the CR500 engine out again, he decided it would be a good time to rebuild the engine to freshen it up and make maximum power.

On the left is the NSR250 crank and pistons while on the right side is the massive CR500 crank and single piston.

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With the engine apart it was a perfect chance to remove the shift lever shaft. Chris then had his professional welder friend extend the shaft by 2.75 inches. This should help a lot with some of the shifting and linkage problems.

The stock CR500 carb was cleaned up and fitted with a UNI Pod filter to keep dirt and dust out. Click here to see the carb and filter installed on Project NSR500.

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87K - Click for full size image Engine back in Project NSR500 and the pipe fitted again. Next step was the electrical system. Chris picked up a few parts and also had three extra harnesses lying around. He ran an ELINE stator to a ELINE regulator, then he ran the outputs out of the ELINE regulator straight into the old plug that went to the original regulator. Finally he tapped into the tach wires and ran those down to the CR500 coil on the frame. With the wiring and electrical problems solved it was time to move on to fit the bodywork. This is where Chris was worried a bit.

After trying to install the bodywork there were some problems with the big pipe. The first problem was the front of the pipe was hitting the air scoop cowling under the radiator. Chris simply removed it, not exactly the prettiest solution but works well.

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61K - Click for full size image Another problem is the width of this pipe, it is big and also required some trimming of the under fairings as well. A spacer on the right side at the rear where the pipes exits was added as well and helps to widen things up a bit. This took care of the bodywork.
Here is the kickstarter tucked back into position while out of use. Note the extended kickstarter shaft, this length is crucial. After further testing, the shaft bent from the extreme load needed to start this beast. Another support of some kind will be needed externally. More pictures of the custom kickstarter and shaft when the kickstarter is tucked in, here is the extended view and the side view of it extended. 54K - Click for full size image
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The kickstarter on the CR500 is a monster, and you need the full motion to start a beast like this. Chris literally has to stand up and jump with all his weight on the kickstarter, so it is imperative that you need to leave lots of room for the kickstarter to have full range of travel...... or else this happens. More trimming of the bodywork was done (see below)

This is an experimental shift linkage. It uses the original Coerce backstep linkage flipped upside down. The linkage must be upside down to retain the 1 down, 5 up shift pattern. The original CR500 shift lever is used because of it's compatibility with the shift shaft protruding from the engine. The shaft is much bigger than an NSR250 shift shaft. Then a piece of angle with different height selections was added to give different leverage and travel to the touch of the shifting, for experimental purposes. Too much leverage made the travel longer and too soft, too short was too hard to shift. A piece of slippery UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) plastic was added around the shift shaft which keeps the drive chain from bouncing and hitting the shift shaft.

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65K - Click for full size image Some more trimming of the bodywork was done here.

With the bodywork out of the way and the massive pipe finished things were looking good. At least it seemed that way.....

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53K - Click for full size image A nice shot of the back shows how high the silencer comes up. There were plans for an aftermarket GP type silencer, but these plans were later canceled due to a few other problems......
Project NSR500 all finished !! It looks great and Chris really did his best. Next step was to go for another test ride and make some minor adjustments. 98K - Click for full size image
105K - Click for full size image After test riding Project NSR500, all Chris could say was "Vibration !! Vibration!! Lots of vibration!!" Chris experimented with all kinds of rubber grommets to put in place between the mounts and the engine, but this did not help.
Other problems were creeping up too with the shifting, the kickstarter and the bike was having problems with it's charging system. After several days of Chris riding Project NSR500 he felt the bike was worse than before and just felt the bike was unrideable and not practical. 94K - Click for full size image
132K - Click for full size image Some quotes from Chris "I got it out for a good ride today and it just does not seem very rideable. It vibrates extremely, extremely bad, and it just did not feel right in the turns. Even when going straight, it will not hold a steady speed, it wants to jerk and kick. It just does not run like it is supposed to be in there. The vibration is just unreal. It feels like I am holding the dang engine in my arms when it is running. Then all of that mass in the crank spinning must be affecting the handling, because it did not feel like it wanted to lean as easily. I think mostly the vibration is scaring me more than anything. I just hate to ride it very fast when it feels like every bolt in it will vibrate out in less than 2 minutes."
So there you go, would Chris recommend this conversion? No!! Sure it can get the front wheel up in third gear, even fourth, but the bike is unrideable. Future plans for this NSR will see Chris rebuild his stock MC21 engine and go with that. New bodywork will eventually be ordered and painted in the same colors plus a few other things that need to be done. The engine, pipe and the parts are all for sale, but he does not believe anybody would want them. You can decide for yourself if it is worth it? 194K - Click for full size image
Special thanks to Chris and his Family for their help and cooperation with this project

Part one - getting started
Part two - engine installation and exhaust
Part three - completion