Two Wheeled Stinker

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Two Wheeled Stinker


Established member
Feb 8, 2021
It was suggested that I start a thread on the trials and tribulations of my retirement project, known as the Jatalian.
The Jatalian will be the result, hopefully, of stuffing this electric start 315cc Lambordini diesel

into this pile of parts that was once known as a Suzuki GS550L.:D

Japanese bike, Italian Diesel=Jatalian.

The original plan was to use the ‘zukis 6 speed transmission even though the Suzuki in kit form was missing a lot more than I was led to believe. Not one to let things like that deter me because our motto at ‘Outhouse Engineering And Fabrication’ is “Measure Once And Hope For The Best”, I tore down what was left of the engine.

Then separated the crankcase from the transmission with long Sawzall blade.

That lead to a lot of measuring, once, and head scratching. Like how do I stuff ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag?

More to come.
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How to stuff ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag? You make a bigger bag. Or in my case, I cut the down tubes.

Fabrication isn’t my long suit. I can hillbilly something together but it won’t be pretty. So I got hold of a kid that used to work for me. He was let go during the first of many company reorganizations since 2017. That in itself is something for the grumpy thread, but, I digress. The kid comes over, takes a bunch of measurements and tells me he’ll have new tubes to extend the cradle in a week or two. Cool.

I start chasing down missing bits. I needed a shifter with linkage, rear brake pedal, front brake caliper, foot pegs, handle bar controls, all the lights, speedo, fuel tank and all the wiring.
Two weeks became a month. I knew Tim doesn’t manage time well and I am still jetting all over the US, despite the pandemic. In what spare time I have, I gather stuff and start to assemble. It’s a mish mash of bits; Kawasaki KX250 fuel tank from the eighties, Aermacchi headlight from the sixties, generic controls plus correct Suzuki bits.


The tank, under the workbench, and the headlight were finds at a motorcycle swap meet. I was looking at a rusty and beat up, but correct GS550L fuel tank that the seller was asking $175 for. Yeah, no. Wandered a bit more. I found the tank and headlight at the next stall for twenty bucks. I thought that was a good score.

Got the first of two plane rides today coming up. More later.
That Aermacchi lamp will add 10hp :p

Not that I'm even marginally biased ;)

11hp, because it's an LED headlight.:)
Every light on it is LED. What is surprising is that the horn alone draws more current than all the LEDs together. I made the wiring harness and did all the wiring over the Christmas holidays.

A couple links to my Flickr account vids of the lights. You can also see what a mess my garage is.

Front lights.[email protected]/50756082701/in/datetaken-

Rear lights. This one might make you dizzy.[email protected]/50755317908/in/datetaken-public/
Three months, still no tubes. I decide to fit the fuel tank. Ya know what? The Kawasaki tank and the Suzuki frame don't play well together.

Those two smaller tubes that run along the main tube and down to the gusset need to go. So do the Suzuki tank mounts.

Otherwise, the tank will sit like this. Not cool.

I cut the tubes and mounts off but found that the part of the small tubes that were welded to the main tube needed to be modified. Break out the BFH and the hot blue wrench. It took an afternoon, but I got the tank to fit.

As you can see, I'm contemplating either a cafe' style seat or the stock king/queen seat. I'm leaning towards the cafe' and the missus wants the other one. Which is surprising, because she doesn't like riding two up on my CX500. She prefers the Ural sidecar.

Getting close to where I am now.
So it's now been six months and I still have no tubes. Screw it, I'll get a tubing bender and do it myself. I got myself one of these. It handles 10mm(3/8") to 25mm(1")

I've never bent any thing bigger than 1/2" before so 1" should be interesting. Unlike 'Outhouse Engineering and Fabrications' motto, I measured the 1" tubes several times because these weren't Chinese 1010 hot rolled from the local hardware, but something that cost real money and four hours of my day get.

I have everything set up and start to pull on the handle. The tube doesn't budge.:confused: I stand on the other side of the handle and push. Still nothing. I'm 65 years old and 170lbs. I don't have the oomph or the mass to bend these. Time for some leverage. I scrounge around the garage and come up with a couple pieces of pipe that now give me a 6.5' handle. I again start pulling on the handle and the tube starts to bend. I give everything I have. I'm panting, my heart is hammering in my chest and I can hear blood rushing in my ears. I can see darkness at the edge of my vision. Finally, the tube is bent. I sit to recover and say to myself between panting breathes, "Damn, I have to do this once more."

I check the fit of the tube's perfect. So now the real hard part starts, make the second tube just like the first. I go through the same drama but have to stop halfway through to take a break. Recover enough and finish the tube. Kind of proud of myself as both tubes match.

This is where the project has stalled for the time being. I need argon for the TIG welder to weld the tubes in place. I also need to look into Plan B because I didn't take the width of the starter into consideration when I laid out the engines' foot print.:bang: With the starter tight against the transmission, the engine is 2" into the front tire. :mad:

Planning on using a Comet 30 CVT instead of the Suzuki transmission for now.
How about a hydrostatic drive? Make your own pipes with slow bends and clean out the motor and pump ports for minimal flow restriction.

Or use a Hardley or Norton gearbox.
How about a hydrostatic drive? Make your own pipes with slow bends and clean out the motor and pump ports for minimal flow restriction.

Or use a Hardley or Norton gearbox.

A Norton box is a near impossibility to find in these parts. I have been considering a Hardly Ableson box, though HD means High Dollar. I am not too keen on spending more on the transmission than the project itself.

Now, your suggestion to go hydrostatic may just be the new Plan B.:worship:
I work on this stuff almost daily. I'd need a pump, a motor, tank, oil cooler, and an open center directional valve. Save for the motor, the rest of the stuff can be mounted anywhere. I have the valve and access to just about everything else. Hmmm. Need to do some digging for specs, but I am liking this idea.(y)
Most hydrostatic systems are pretty terrible for efficiency. But motors/pumps are about 90% efficiency at full load so while not great not too awful either. Some careful work with a die grinder should be able to improve the fluid flow. Hard lines will be better than hoses though less convenient to make.
Once it's rolling, you won't really need the gears. See if you can arrange a direct drive that bypasses the hydraulics. Then you only need to suffer the efficiency losses when going slowly.
Another option would be to make a new case for any suitable UJM gearbox. Put the clutch on the engine and use low ratio final sprockets. That puts less torque through the gearbox. You might need a counter shaft to get the box in line with back axle. Bearings can be grease sealed making oil sealing easier.
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Well, the hydrostatic drive died between the drawing board and the calculator. Just not enough ponies in the stable to make it a worthwhile effort. I really did appreciate the suggestion though.

So i don't have this project taking up space in my garage during my retirement years, I'll go with the CVT(can have one here Monday)for the time being. I can always retrofit a box when I find one. And I'm pretty sure there's a future mini bike/go kart project for the CVT with the grandkids.

As for using UJM internals in a homemade box, I will keep that one in the back of my mind. Doable, but I don't know if I have the skill set just yet.
Epicyclic gears use straight cut gears but its quiet because one pair of teeth are always engaged and can handle considerable torque. It's a shame we can't get an upscaled hub gear like the Sturmey Archer five speed. Check out the Allen Millyard mountain bike. But it's pie in the sky because nobody makes anything big enough for an engine.

Thinking about his methods, you could cut the gearbox out of a UJM engine and weld up covers to fill the resulting holes.
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Epicyclic gears use straight cut gears but its quiet because one pair of teeth are always engaged and can handle considerable torque. It's a shame we can't get an upscaled hub gear like the Sturmey Archer five speed. Check out the Allen Millyard mountain bike. But it's pie in the sky because nobody makes anything big enough for an engine.

Thinking about his methods, you could cut the gearbox out of a UJM engine and weld up covers to fill the resulting holes.

I eat, sleep, and breathe Sturmey Archer.;) My oldest working hub is a 71 year old AM.

I am in awe of Allen Millyard and his skills. His little v-twin Honda sounds like a Harley. Actually, sounds better.

The UJM gearbox was the original plan with the Suzuki box. Alas, too big. I am still looking at my future options. Possible a parallel twin in the 200 to 400cc range. I can probably pick up a crap engine with a decent transmission for next to nothing.
What sort of workshop equipment do you have?

The German Aero engine company Zoche made an X four (or eight) two stroke. It had all four conrods on one longer crank pin. Crank case is basically a closed cylinder with four holes in the sides (one for each engine cylinder). They had a blower and a turbo but such an engine would run with a belt driven blower. Make the non drive end of the crankshaft from hollow tube. Drive side is a normal solid to take the clutch etc etc.

Cylinders, pistons and rods can be four 125cc Moto-X engines most are water cooled so that's good. Inlet ports are redundant as it's fed by a blower into the space between the crank wheels.

The Zoche was a diesel and to be fair that's unlikely to happen for a home mechanic. But you could have a compact 500 stroker with virtually zero torque vibration and absolutely zero engine vibration.

Zoche was very clever with its blowers. A small turbo (blower only) was driven off the flywheel to provide air at low speed. It also worked as a starter by blowing compressed air into the turbine. Full power air was delivered by a normal exhaust turbocharger.
The bulk of the garage tools are for repairs, not fabricating. I have welders, threading tools, saws, drills, and air tools but no mill or lathe. Basement wood shop lets me build from scratch but, geez, I'm lucky if I can cut a straight line in a board using a saw guide.:eek:
My Dad built kitchen cabinets as a hobby and probably wondered if I was his kid. Give me a board with pencil line on it and I'll cut on the wrong side and put two angles on it. I can build and true a bicycle wheel, tho.;)

Thanks for the info on the Zoche engine. Interesting design.
For serious engine work we at least need a lathe and TIG welding gear. I don't have either - my excuse for why the X four bike engine has never happened.

This is Zoche doing stop starts. Lots of prop noise and the exhaust turbo keeps spinning.

Sadly, they ran out of EU funds and faded away. Notice there's no wobble when it stops. It has a dry sump lubrication for the bottom end. Charge air does not go into the crankcase.
I have the TIG, along with stick, wire feed(not MIG), and oxy-acetylene, along with a plasma cutter, so I can melt metal with abandon. I can run a lathe and a mill have but no where to put either. My neighbor across the road has a Bridgeport in his basement that he lets me use on occasion if I can weld something up for him. I don't want to tie his stuff up for my projects, though.

I ordered the CVT Tuesday night. I was told to expect it Monday but its out for delivery today. I can't do anything with it for another week but at least it will be here.
Better equipped than me. An experimental engine crankcase would need a fair while on the lathe. ;)
This is Zoche doing stop starts. Lots of prop noise and the exhaust turbo keeps spinning.

Interesting concept, I see doing some reading around it that they may still be doing r&d work on it but by all accounts it probably a bit dead now.

One of the things with GA aircraft is any engine/aircraft has to be certified. Or it’s experimental, but even then the aircraft homebuilders can’t just slap any old engine in it has to be authorised to work with an aircraft, then comes reliability and tuning, so they tend to be massively detuned to have massive reliability. New aircraft designs are moving towards compact and light weight water cooled petrol engines, while older aircraft all use some variation of a lycoming or continental engine.

Diesel wise there are some interesting engines like diamond who use Austro engines which are lightly modified mercedes A class Diesel engines, but in the current market is there an aircraft that would make use of that engine. Weight can have a big impact, when people fit turbines to planes that are normally piston aircraft they often have to move the much lighter turbine a long way forward to keep the aircraft in balance. Just to develop a turbine for use in GA aircraft I read recently cost about £25M in developing an existing product and then it’s £120k per engine so it’s a very limited market.

Nice idea for a 2 stroke diesel but it’s likely one of those things that would be killed off by people sticking to what they know and what is known to have a proven track record of safety, rather than something completely new like that.
It was expected that Avgas would become hard to find so folks began to look seriously at diesel and jet fuelled engines. The American Delta Hawk diesel has done OK, but they have a bigger market of private pilots and small aircraft passenger services. I guess if was too costly for piston engine buyers but not powerful enough for turbo prop buyers.

Zoche had a very simple design. The starter used a rugby ball sized high pressure air tank, fed by an engine driven compressor. They said a workshop air line or even a large bicycle pump could give enough to start the engine. The four rods on one crank pin was a clever idea. It's two 90° V twins back to back so has zero primary vibration and almost no torque vibration.

Power was 150bhp from 2.5 litres at 2,500 rpm. Just scaling up the speed to car diesel rpms would make it competitive with a car diesel. It had no electronics so I guess it would not meet road engine emissions. Who knows - the two stroke's natural clean air blow down, could be extremely clean. Rotax have done it with their direct injected E-Tech 800.

I loved the simplicity. A basic square crank case with four holes in the sides for cylinders and the corners knocked off like a sort of octagon. Then four pots bolted onto each hole. A bike engine could use motocross two stroke cylinders but feed the air through a hollow crankshaft. That way air goes straight between the crank wheels and out to the cylinders. Alternatively use a reed valve on each one with plumbing to connect to the blower. It would probably run just fine once air gets flowing. Two strokes breath as much via the exhaust suction effect (and porting harmonics) as they do from crank case pumping.
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