Honda TL125 / XR200 ‘Metisse’

The frame was been modified, but done pretty well, with some decent laid down shocks and some frame mods to increase the clearance. Overall the mods do a lot to overcome some of the TL125 issues without the expense of a high-boy frame.

Honda TL / XR

The engine is from an XR200 (engine number confirms this) and pulls well (overcoming a lot of the 125 issues). First and second gears are low enough, though it hasn’t the close ratio of a TL125.

Sounds great, with a well built exhaust and goes well, with a good riding position for these bikes. The front forks have been uprated which also helps a lot for the average weight rider.

TL / XR bike

Call Malcolm on 07720 079845. A reasonable GBP 750.00. There’s a YouTube clip with the bike in action.

Why staying in bed can be good for you

The Clyro venue is usally an excellent one and being on a wooded hill, the snow fall isn’t normally a problem. However, overnight temperatures of -13 C were and everything was frozen solid.

Got there fairly early, so I could spend longer freezing in the car park at the Clyro Court Hotel, and it was Scandiwegian cold (been in Tampere, Finland at -20 C) when everything exposed just hurt. An entry of 25 or so, but amazingly quite a few observers as well (?!! why !!).

Not a Majesty,

Whilst the modern bikes were in the majority, it was an all Japanese twinshock line up, with Kevin’s Honda TL / XR hybrid and Mark Vaughan’s TLR200, complementing the 6 Yamaha’s, which included two TY175’s, a TY250, a Majesty 200, a Majesty 250 and Terry’s 200 Whitehawk. The question is would have a Montesa or Bultaco started in the cold.

The TY175 fired up reluctantly and headed over to the woods and the 14 sections. The first section set the tone, as the rocks were frozen and there wasn’t a lot of grip. A 5, on a section I can normally clean.

All the sections were hard, in both sense of the work. Rock hard. The stream sections, which are the feature ones at Clyro had seen some water flow and the waterfall here had changed a lot. Two ‘3’s here on sections I can clean (see the YouTube clip from last January) but hard work.

Snowy wastes of Clyro

Even the easy section 11 was just an ice rink, so touching the rear brake ended everything here. Not straightforward at all. Section 12 and a clean and then a new section 13 at the very bottom of the stream (see YouTube cllip below)

End of the first lap, and Kevin decided to call it at day and I also considered stopping as things weren’t getting easier, but at least managed to get through sections 1 and 2 this time. Section 3 was a lot harder and took a 5 on the normally easy bank here. Andy and a few others also saw sense in not continuing and heading back to the vans at the bottom of the hill.

Anyway, the clincher was the stream sections and a failed attempt to tackle the ice-strewn waterfall that even Chris Bonnington would have thought twice about. Ended up with the bike on top of me, which being a TY175 wasn’t too bad.

Slush and ice

Just thinking about a second attempt when someone pointed out the broken rear brake plate. Time to call it a day. In the end, the Ledbury club made the right decision and called time on the whole trial during the 2nd lap.

Half a break plate

A limited amount of video footage and even this doesn’t portray how cold it was (though notice the ice and slush on the stream sections).

Still cold at the end of the trial, but up to a balmy -3 C. And now have another bike to fix, along with the other projects in the shed. At least I’ve got some spares, having recently acquired 2.5 TY175’s from Tredegar.

SC500 Engine Strip

Top End

Firstly, as has been seen already, the piston has a chunk out of the skirt which means its not perfect. The bore isn’t too bad, and it’s not been rebored. The head does need cleaning and the barrel need honing, and have already acquired a new piston and ring [[From North West Vintage Cycle Parts, for $99.00]].

Unlike the MX250, the SC500 has a larger external rotor (and uses a standard puller). I’d had this apart already on the hunt for a spark and it was clear then that the seals were knackered and this is what prompted a complete engine strip and the need to break the cases.


The clutch doesn’t too bad and should be okay for future use. The SC500 has a balancer shaft and its removal is straightforward, though installation needs to be done carefully in order to align the balancer correctly. The 1968-77 250-500cc Clymer manual is pretty good and gives you information on the different variants and options .

The kickstart and gear selector mechanisms are the same as the MX250 and fairly straightforward to strip down (and fairly easy to put back together). You can’t detach the kickstart spring and remove the whole assembly as one, and you’ll need to remove two circlips from the shaft, and then using the kickstart lever move the shaft round anti-clockwise until it disengages from the spring.

I’ve a template made up for the crankcase bolts and this is useful if even to ensure that you’ve all the bolts removed before you try and split them. Again, split the crankcases is the same as the 250, using the two threads for the crankshaft seal retainers. Very easy split.


What was obvious straight away was that the main bearings and the primary drive bearing had a lot of corrosion, so now only were they difficult to remove from the cases (lots of heat, cold day), but will need replacing. The primary drive bearing is retained in position by a large circlip and I have a feeling finding a replacement bearing won’t be straightforward.

The seals are also slightly different from the 250; I think the rotor side is maybe the same, but not clutch side.

Big end seems okay, so no need to split and rebuild, I hope. More to come, but at now at the stage of knowing what needs to be done. Some engineering decisions to be made, whether to balance the crank (and leave the balancer out), nicosil line the barrel with the new piston etc and also what to do about the electronic ignition.

Ossa Gripper 250 1982

*its yellow, says 350 on the side panels, but is 250. Some 250’s were supplied in yellow, so we’ve been advised


The bike is road registered, on a X, and has very limited miles <500, and has all the original lighting kit and controls. The bike is immaculate, complete and engine is also excellent. Video of the bike at the Classic Experts trial. It is still in the same condition as it started and survived the rocks and streams.


For more information contact Kevin on +44 7930 180802, the bike is located in South Wales. £2300

KTM 950 Adventure Parts for sale

The bike was a black 2004 950 KTM carb model. The following parts are available

|Airbox|complete, with triangle side panels and a relatively (4k miles) new filter|£40|
|Bash plate|with plastic side panels, has small crack hence|£20|
|Brake master cylinder|With straight lever|SOLD|
|Battery box| including rubber for battery|£20|
|Battery box cover|both threads still intact|£35|
|Centre Stand|complete|SOLD|
|Console|complete with mounting frame|SOLD|
|Clutch slave cylinder|2008 replacement and improvement of original fitment|SOLD|
|Compartment Cover|for top compartment between fuel tank, some marks, not perfect|£10|
|Compartment tray|inside compartment liner|£10|
|CDI|Working and intact|SOLD|
|Engine Mounting Arms|Left and Right with bolts|£30|
|Exhaust pipe front header|some surface rust, but good condition|SOLD|
|Exhaust pipe rear| good condition|SOLD|
|Expansion tank|No leaks and complete|£20|
|Front Brake Calipers|Brembo with pads, okay condition|£30|
|Front sprocket cover|Good condition, with plenty of chain lube|£30|
|Front airduct|OK condition|£10|
|Front forks and yokes|Pair, but badly damaged, for components only|Offers|
|Fuel pump|including hoses (if needed)|SOLD|
|Fuel tank LHS|Nearside fuel tank, intact but bad scrape from crash impact|£40|
|Fuel tank RHS|Offside fuel tank, good condition|SOLD|
|Fuse Holder|Main fuse and relays|£10|
|Gear change level|Undamaged|SOLD|
|Handlebars|Renthal far bars, straight|SOLD|
|Handlebar clamps|Sorted and fine|SOLD|
|Ignition Coils/Plug Caps|Good working condition|£10|
|Number plate holder|black with reflector|£10|
|Pillion footrests|Left and Right|£15 each|
|Rear brake master cylinder|Factory replacement in 2009, warranty/recall item, with sensor and brake cable|SOLD|
|Rear brake caliper|Good condition|SOLD|
|Rear subframe|Dirty, but complete and undamaged|£50|
|Rear wheel|Complete with disk (plenty of wear), sprocket and a 50% worn Pirelli Scorpion|SOLD|
|Rear brake lever|undamaged, good condition|SOLD|
|Rear wheel spindle| with adjusters and nuts|£20|
|Regulator|working, with connectors|SOLD|
|Side Panels|Left and right, black with orange decals, 2004 model|SOLD|
|Switch gear, LH|Working|SOLD|
|Swingarm Bolt|good condition|£10|
|Swingarm|Plastic chainguard broken, but good condition|SOLD|
|Tail Light Unit|Undamaged, with lighting wires and connector|£40|
|Throttle Cable|complete|SOLD|
|Wiring Loom|complete, with fuse board, horn etc attached|SOLD|

All prices are exclusive of postage, please give me a call or email to work out delivery or collection

Gutted !

It seems that Classic Experts trials action isn’t going to make it to ITV (and there won’t be 250 quid to out drinking with).

Dear Home Video Maker


Clip Reference Number : W1976425
Clip Title : Tredegar Twinshocks in Action

Thank you for sending in your home video clip.

Unfortunately, we are unable to use your clip in our programme.

Please note, due to the very high volume of clips sent to the programme every year, I am afraid we are unable to give you a specific reason for not accepting your clip. Please don’t be put off, and if you have any other clips that you think we might be interested in, please don’t hesitate to send them to us. Remember you could receive £250 if we use your clip in one of our programmes

Thank you again for your interest in the programme and taking the time to submit your clip to us.

TY175, do I like it ?

Firstly riding the event without checking the bike out, or riding an easier trial wasn’t probably the best thing to do, but it gave me a chance to see what I think of the bike.

Yamaha TY175

The bike had a few problems with starting and running cleanly during the trial, but this is something a good check over and service wouldn’t solve. Whilst it felt like a carb / fueling issue it might have been a problem with the HT lead and plug cap.

Anyway, I’m not the first to make a list of TY175 issues and potential modifications, but thoughts so far:

– bars and controls: Amal throttle is a bit lacklustre so may change for a Domino. Clutch seems fine and the brakes need to checked as could be better. The bars have a low bend, and they need to be higher (also see footrests).
– exhaust: nothing seems to be wrong with the exhaust, but i like the look of the WES front pipe and mid-box (see Sammy Miller Products ). Terry’s Whitehawk he used at the Classic Experts had this and it looked and sounded good.
– suspension : front forks seems okay, but need to set up for my weight. Rear shocks look like Betor’s and again seem adequate.
– ignition : seems strange that my 1973 MX is CDI, when the 81 TY is points. That said, despite the raid desire to switch to electronic, the spark on the bike is good and like the SWM you just need to be careful in inspecting and checking the points. Oh, and carry a spare condensor.
– footrests : too high currently and need to modify these to get behind the bars more. The current footrests are good and a spare set of plates will make it easier to do this.
– engine, top end : okay you could go for a 200cc kit, much discussed though the debate is out on the benefits. Not a top priority for me. The bike had enough for the Classic Experts, but would struggle on some big hills for sure. I liked the idea that I had only 1 choice of gear for everything, bottom.
– swingarm : a known mod is to add an inch (30mm) to the swingarm length to give more ability of the climbs. This makes a lot of sense and given a spare swingarm, is a mod I’ll make.

No doubt I’ll thing of some more things but for now I like the bike and it does what’s required. Also unlike the MX’s I like the idea of a UK imported bike, cheap spares (piston and rings for under £40.00) and a lot of choice,

How to make a hard trial harder

The annual outing to Rhayader saw only 7 people in the Clubman twinshock class. Surely we’d have a chance, especially with one non-starter, 4 from Tredegar (Alan, Mark, Kevin and Terry), myself and Paul Cook on his very nice looking Montesa.

The talk of the Smithfields car park was Kevin’s recently acquired Ossa 350 Gripper, complete with lighting kit, pristine tank and a very little use engine. The main question was whether the bike was going to hold its value after been thrown up some mid-Wales streams.

Bright start at Smithfields

I’d decided to take the TY175 I’d bought the previous weekend, determining that the Beta fuel tank was properly screwed. It was a little difficult in starting and after going for a 25ml : 1L mix (ie 40:1) it smoked, a lot. As we set off for the 20 mile lap, Rhayader disappeared in a haze of blue smoke, with Tredegar contigent hanging well back having become used to the fresh air of a post-Thatcher, non-industrialised South Wales.


New group for the Classic Experts was first up. Managed to take a 5 about 5m into the first section of the day. Excellent start also for Kevin as the usual problems for the early starters kicked in…slippery and no grip.

The second double was also brand new section \(a nice stream) and it wasn’t easy (well when we where there it wasn’t) and it set the standard for the day. Good fun was going to be had in the streams. Decided to plunge straight in and get the feet wet early on.

A nice Saturday was emerging and a lovely run down to Llanwrthwl and then up the lane to Doliago.


Always a tough group, usually the penultimate one of the trial, it lived up to expectations. First sub was fine, but the rest were tough, with 5’s and 3’s all the way up. In the last double sub, the bike was difficult to start and then ran like a dog on the way up. Whatever bike I’d ridden up here it was going to be difficult.

The exit from the 2nd double sub was especially interesting as a new steeper exit out to the left was in place. The TY (and me) got about 5 ft in before it looped.

I’d left some fuel over at the Ashfield group and the rough running TY needed topping up before the long run down to Newbridge. Ended up being the first rider over at Crynfryn, with everyone else still looking at the Doliago sections.


Ah, no streams, but the mossy rocks in the trees and Crynfryn. One to forget for me, as I took out a marker in the last sub, nice one. Couple of 3’s here also.

However, melancholy was short lived after watching Mark’s attempt on the second double sub and the difficult first corner. After 15 minutes of pacing up and down, he ended up taking a dive off the bike. Excellent value and the laughter from the ‘supportive’ onlookers brought back memories of Dale and Alan’s mishap from a couple of years ago .

Still problems starting the bike and it became a real pain every time I stopped at gates on the off-road section across to Tycwtta. The idea of entering a bike you’d not really looked at before, let along ridden or put the spanners to wasn’t making a lot of sense.


After giving the bike a good thrashing on the road up to the Tycwtta group as it seemed to be a carb blockage, then spent 15 minutes stripping and cleaning the carb. Mark also notice the plug cap and HT lead weren’t perfect and afterwards it seemed to run a little better. Maybe it was the good kicking, but thanks to everyone who helped me….

Three double subs here, back in the streams, and with the bike performing a little better, confidence was back and there was a bit more gusto. The TY is a small bike and maybe some mods needed to get some more stability on climbs.


An excellent set of sections, with 8 subs here for 2010. The first section through the stream was good fun and managed to clean the first one (amazed myself), before struggling to get onto the alternate clubman route for the second sub.


More in the stream for the next double, before exiting up a stiff slope. Malcolm Bates had kept a good section for himself, and I fived the exit from stream with not enough pace. The final double looped around through the rocks on the top and saw a couple of guys have some nasty falls here. Managed to clean the last sub, which was nice.

Short piece of road work up the A470 to the final group at Hillgate.


Out of battery in both cameras by now, so just to worry about the sections. Clean and a 3 in the first double sub, the famous one with the step at the bottom.

The second section, and final one of the day beckoned as the day was drawing to its end. The same as last year, a really tricky, slippery and steep. After 30 minutes of looking at a series of 5’s (only spotted one 3 in the bottom sub), it was time to give it a go. Managed to get 2 feet from the end cards, but of course, it was still a 5. Then went on to 5 the last sub also, Ah well.

Short ride in the gloaming back to Rhayader and caught the last 5 minutes of the Wales game in the TV shop in town.

Finished the day sitting near the fire in the Griffin Inn in Llyswen enjoying a pint and saying how hard the trial was. No doubt the results will show otherwise. A good day out (as always) though more preparation would have been a good thing.

Note, I’ll be uploading the helmet camera footage shortly…..

Breaking a 2004 KTM Adventure 950

The front wheel didn’t make it back from Copart, though they did deliver it back as asked and requested. The main bits for breaking
– engine, around 40k miles, 1 owner from new (me) and a full service history. Serviced less that 1,000 miles before the crash and the only issue was that there was the signs of some wear in the booster clutch.
– new Fuel exhaust rear pipes, less than 2k miles. As well as new mid pipes as the hangers had corroded on the old pipes
– the fuel tanks are marked, but intact.
– plenty of other cycle parts, the front yokes are broken and the forks are only good for spares.

I’ll be listing parts on ebay and my upcoming bike parts website, but let me know if have an advanced interest. , tel 07720 079845