Raiders of the lost KnarF

Rene is on location today so he asked me to publish this article on his behalf.

Many of you will instantly recognise the name knarF and you will know the importance of the OSS build project associated with it. For those that are new to OSS, we need to provide  little bit of background.

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On the 13th of July 2006 the OSS community lost a close friend KnarF (Frank) when he died suddenly due to freak allergic reaction to something he ate while on holiday. At the time, we only learned this sad news quite a bit later when Mr7/11 (OSS site founder) was contacted by KnarF’s family to ask “what to do with all those bike bits”. Like so many of us, Frank had been collecting parts to build his dream bike for a number of years, while still always having a fairly tricked out bike on the road, it’s a familiar OSS condition.

After getting over the initial shock of loosing a close friend ,  Mr7/11 spoke with KnarF’s family and agreed it would be a fitting tribute to try to complete and realise KnarF’s dream of a  Yoshimura GS build.  Mr7/11 came back to the OSS community and asked that we all share that commitment to build Frank’s dream bike. Mr7/11 saw this is as his and the OSS community’s obligation to Frank and his family; to posthumously build the bike Frank had been dreaming of but would sadly now never  have the opportunity to complete.

Thus the  KnarF GS build began. The project  got it’s own  board on the forum and a legend was born. Parts were gathered from all over the world and the whole of OSS community  rose to the occasion lending their support  through parts, engineering, painting, powder coating, tuning, expertise , know how, encouragement and enthusiasm.

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Mr7/11 led the project, with a lot of help from many generous site members. We all watched as Frank’s dream bike took shape before our very eyes. The KnarF GS was finished in 2007 in time for the deadline and revealed to the world at Circuit Park Zandvoort .

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The bike was track tested at Assen and I still remember standing in awe as the bike went through the pit lane at onto the track to do what is was made to do. I watched with a sense of great pride as it promptly slaughtered a H#nda Fireblade on its maiden laps.

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After the KnarF GS  first appeared at Assen , it was campaigned for a good year or so as a proper classic racer by a site member Ron. After a while news  of Ron and the KnarF GS went quiet. Ron went missing and with him the Knarf.

I never gave up hope of finding the KnarF GS again and over the years I picked up  rumours and snippets of information about it’s whereabouts and it’s well being. More recently there were talks about  it being found and returned but as it so often  goes with some things, for one reason or another they were never followed through. I kept hoping  that it would one day magically turn up.

Those hopes finally  became a reality when I recently got a message from  Fred on my phone; “call this number”. When I did I found my self speaking to a guy  who I don’t personally know but who appeared to be familiar  with all things OSS. Most importantly he told  me he knew where the KnarF bike was.

In the end it turned out it ended up in the hands of a mutual friend, who was unaware of what the bike was and what it meant to a lot of people. Most importantly he agreed to return the bike to the OSS community.

So today marks the return  of a long lost friend and the story of this bike and the community of OSS, who built it continues.

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July the 13th 2016 will mark ten years since we lost our friend KnarF. It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that we will  be setting out to get the bike back to the state and specification that it was in  when it was first finished in time for that important anniversary and I hope that once again we can call upon the help  of the OSS community .

Watch this space… ” Read more here

Rene EFE.

Follow the restoration thread here

Oldskool Oldskool, the road less travelled

614982_10151073061812733_377962059_oJohn Oliver (AKA Yoshi-Johnny, AKA YJ) is a long time OSS member and Pops Yoshimura enthusiast. John is a professional bike mechanic and many will remember his iconic take on the classic Wes Cooley GS 1000. Ten years ago, when John first rolled up at an OSS gathering on his GS, for me and many others,  at the time, his bike fully embodied the true  spirit of OSS. An air-cooled 8 valve GS1000 engine and classic Wes Cooley paint job but running on modern 17″ wheels,  sporting a mono shock conversion  and a set of gold anodised upside down GSXR forks. Evolution of the species. John’s love for Suzuki’s 8 valved air-cooled GS1000 engine has never faded. We asked John to tell us a little about his dream engine build and here is what he told us.

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Oldskool Oldskool, the road less travelled. John Oliver

It’s always been a dream to own a full blown Yoshimura motor but I don’t earn enough to just go out and buy one so I am gonna have to do it the only way I know how, a p.p.p.piece from here and a p.p.p.p.iece from there. So, I am in the process of getting together for the race bike I am going to prep for myself to go racing instead of others!

Engine

Yoshi motorI got hold of an old NCK drag motor a few years ago and it has a pretty good crank and gearbox in it. Crank has Katana rods and along with being welded it has straight cut primary drive gear, along with a matched one for the clutch basket. Cases have been lightened and dipped at Ribble Technologies in Preston. So the bottom end is as good as my budget will allow for the moment. I do need a new clutch before it turns a wheel in anger and this will involve having the straight cut fitted.  Originally the NCK engine was a 1420 drag engine but on the road or track that sort of capacity would generate too much heat and quickly cook itself.

yoshi pistonsGraeme Crosby in conversation said he preferred the power and reliability of the 998cc motor as it gave enough power and was reliable, Pops and he discovered the bigger the capacity went up, the less reliable and problematic it all became. Craig Smith, my good mate in Australia who has been on here for years is a major inspiration for the build as his black “skunk” race bike is still one of the outstanding bikes on the site. He raced it to good effect in NZ and didn’t suffer with reliability issues. He went bigger and bust his crank!His motor punted out 135 rwhp and that is my aim with this… I won’t be gutted if it doesn’t get there, but it would be nice if it’s something like.

So the pistons are custom made 1100cc Wisecos and are one of only 3 sets made this particular profile I think. All the gaskets and seals will be replaced with standard (where necessary) or Cometic (where it’s ok to cheat!) and special ones (base and head).

Head

bladeThe cam chain was a weak spot on Yoshimuras race engines and the team did all sorts to try and reduce the extreme wear during races, extra jockey wheels, longer cam chain, shorter tensioner blade, POLISHED cam chain links and manual tensioner were all employed in the hunt for reliability. Most of this development actually went into the first GSXR engine. So all the above mods will be done to this engine.I have had a jockey wheel and plate made but Roger Upperton does a better version which is more like the GSXR version than the one I have. The extra jockey wheel at the back of tthe head is the reason the tensioner blade is shortened.

 

Yoshi headThe head has been checked over and overhauled from scratch. Bigger valves, seats cut to match and a tidy port job will make the gas go in quick and hopefully make it work right.

camsValvesCams are very lumpy custom profile ones from New Zealand and require cut aways for them to turn in the head! Shims will be under bucket care of Kibblewhite, buckets, retainers (titanium) and collars. Dialled in cams will be easier with Rogers version of the jockey wheel than the Smithy version. I may put a twin plug set up in as well when I actually get to the build

Carbs
Carbs will be Mikuni VM33s and are getting quite scarce, these are about as big as you should be going on a bored out GS1000 engine, anything bigger just makes them bog down when you crack the throttle open.

Jockey wheel

 

 

 

Ignition
Ignition will be taken care of by Boyer Brandsen mini digital set up until I get a self generating system organized…

Speed is all a question of money…I wanna go fast but my wallet says whoaaah.

YJ

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