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Coleman Suzuki TR500s - looking for photos & info


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#51 GD66

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:53

It's in the pits at Gracefield, probably 1972...Grant rode that 750 in 1971...a blue Mach 111 in the background and the TR250 has a GT750 drum front brake.

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#52 RC162

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:21

Looking through some pictures of the Festival of 1000 Bikes from 2011 on YouTube and came across this one. Just into the video at 19 seconds is a picture of a Suzuki 500 twin looking very much like the ones being discussed in this topic. Listed in the program as a TR500 Replica and being ridden by a Kevin Harland. Hope this is of interest.



#53 eglia12

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:42

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Stephen Palmer on ex Coleman/Joe Lett 500 circa 74/75.
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Stephen Palmer in 75 at Gracefield, bike has had a bit of a tidy up.
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Same bike and rider after bike having had a syyling change 1980.
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Same bike today after restoration now residing in Australia.
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It's a beautiful thing!

#54 GD66

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:41

Lovely, thanks for sharing ! Sort of a multi-tribute.... a tribute to Colemans, to the amazing Steve Roberts, to Keith Turner... can't say I've spotted it at a classic meeting over here, what state is it in ?

#55 picblanc

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:47

Nice pics thanks. :up:

#56 eglia12

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:33

Lovely, thanks for sharing ! Sort of a multi-tribute.... a tribute to Colemans, to the amazing Steve Roberts, to Keith Turner... can't say I've spotted it at a classic meeting over here, what state is it in ?


It has had a couple of outings and hope to take it down to Broadford at easter with one of it's siblings.
















#57 eglia12

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:11

Does anybody out there have any early photos of the first Roberts small framed 500s, ( later known as The Sayonara Special) John Alnutt, Mike Sinclair Stu Avant and others I believe had ties with it with Tommy Mcleary the owner. Any Information on it would be great.

#58 GD66

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:01

There are a few pics of Pat Hennen on the Sayonara Special on the Marlboro Series thread, riding letter F. It was very much Jon Allnatt's baby and was a lovely wee bike, although in some of the b&w pics of it at Pukekohe it appears to have a saggy rear end.

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Edited by GD66, 19 February 2013 - 12:12.


#59 GD66

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:53

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Found a pic of that huge, hideous fairing I mentioned above, with its' first owner Dale Wylie, pictured at Levin.



Found another, this time in white on the grid at Pukekohe in the hands of Joe Lett #15.
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Don't recall the Manx rider, but the others are brother Clive on his Trident, Mel Wrigley on the left in blue, and Don O'Connor.


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#60 philippe7

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:21

This "huge, hideous fairing" looks extremely similar to the one that was fitted on the TR500 used by Cal Rayborn on that fateful day at Pukekohe - which would make sense since his machine was said to belong to Joe Lett . I have a picture said to be of the fallen bike ( found on the web ) which I feel more appropriate to post as a link .

http://imageshack.us...ayborncras.jpg/

#61 GD66

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:31

Good spotting, Philippe ! The white fairing on Joe's 500 is from the season before, and the linked pic is of the Rayborn bike, which originally Joe had intended to race, until all the persuasiveness got Cal the ride.

#62 ged

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:21

Click fast reply,or just reply if you wish to highlight a quote from a post.

Left-click onto the little logo in the fifth box above the reply panel, this will bring up the "insert image" title

Click on the image logo, this will bring up a script prompt at the top left of the page. Type your image details from photobucket into the box and press OK.
The image details will appear in your reply, and when you press the Add Reply box below, the post will appear in the thread. Sounds clumsy, but works quite well.
I am an utter computer gumby, and for a while the ever-patient Graham (Picblanc) would post images for me that I emailed him, but after a bit of swearing I got it sorted, I reckon you will too.

Really looking forward to seeing your pics of the Coleman bikes. :)

hi glen could you message me your e mail as I am worst gumby on computers have some good pics but am flat out turning this thing on regards gwyn

#63 GD66

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 00:43

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Dale Wylie. Don't recognise the leathers, or the helmet, but certainly looks like his head.

#64 kz71

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:02

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Dale Wylie. Don't recognise the leathers, or the helmet, but certainly looks like his head.


My leathers. Dale borrowed them for (memory?) one
of his Asian trips?
I got them from Ron Grant.

#65 GD66

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 13:49

Thanks Mike, I will pm you when Ged sends more pics : you, Stu, Dave Ellis and others are in the mix apparently. I see you get plenty of mention in Kevin Cameron's new book about Classic Race Engines, nice to see quiet but earnest acknowledgement for a job well done. :up:

#66 Johnbull

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 19:16

I had the honour of meeting the great Rod Coleman many moons ago - 1992 or 93, when we rode most of the 1000 mile Milano Taranto rally together, and one week later when I hosted him and other riders on an International Old Bike rally I organised in Malta.

The Milano Taranto started at midnight in Milan's main square, and bikes were waved off in pairs at 1 minute intervals. I started at number 70 riding my 1948 HRD Meteor Series B, but the German Guzzi Dondolino rider at 71 was far to fast for my liking, on wet roads I didn't know, and in the dark, so I dropped back a minute to join Rod who was riding his Norton Inter at number 72.

I followed him all the 1000 mile route to Taranto and admit that those 4 days were my best lesson in motorcycling ever. I believe that thanks to Rod I am a much better rider now than I would have been without that wonderful experience.

#67 GD66

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:10

GED has sent a few pics of his favourite Coleman Suzuki TR500 across, here they are.


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Our own KZ71 (TR250) leading Dave Ellis at the Ruapuna hairpin in the wet.


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Same duo at the Hawkesbury roadrace, 1972, both on 500s.



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Dave Ellis at Ruapuna.



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Ged's son Ben on the same TR500, nowadays racing hard in Queensland.

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Edited by GD66, 24 July 2013 - 22:10.


#68 philippe7

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:04

Friends, currently on the french pit-lane.biz forum we are discussing the TR 500 Suzuki . A memeber who once owned one just showed us the race notes below which he says he got from someone in New Zealand who raced a TR500 in period and supplied him with lots of info about carb settings, jetting, gearing ratios etc....and I was wondering : what is this "hawkesbury" where the third race in the notes is said to have taken place ? Never heard that name for a circuit in NZ ....

Above this, I'm sure one of our experts from down under is going to identify the note's scribe, based upon the race results ( won at Pukekohe on 24/09/75, three wins at Levin on 06/10/75....)

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#69 GD66

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:00

If you look in the post above Philippe, there is a pic from Hawkesbury, which was a fairly fast, open road circuit in the Marlborough region, upper South Island.
Looks like the notes belong to Dale Wylie.
BTW that French forum has a lovely pic of TR500 with John Newbold's name on the fairing, very tasty !

#70 philippe7

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 19:52

Thank you Glen. By the way I permitted myself to copy quite a few pics from TNF ( this thread and the Marlboro Series one ) to the french forum thread about the TR500 , considering my geographical situation I feel it is my duty to add a little of what I have learnt here of the NZ/OZ racing history , to their knowledge which is otherwise quite centered on europe and the USA ( since the US races got quite a good coverage in the press, unlike the asian/pacific ones...)

Incidentally one guy in that forum apparently fell in love with the Jon Allnatt "Sayonara Special" TR500 of which there are a few B&W pics in the M.... Series thread - and is desperately looking for more . If anybody has a picture somewhere...thanks in advance ! :wave:

#71 peterd

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 21:51

Just to add to Glenn's post. The pic caption says 1972, which is about the time someone decided Hawkesbury and the surrounding countryside might be a good place to plant grapes. As you know, Philippe, Marlborough is now one of NZ's premier wine regions.

#72 picblanc

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 22:47

If you look in the post above Philippe, there is a pic from Hawkesbury, which was a fairly fast, open road circuit in the Marlborough region, upper South Island.
Looks like the notes belong to Dale Wylie.
BTW that French forum has a lovely pic of TR500 with John Newbold's name on the fairing, very tasty !


Here it is after the application of Heron Suzuki GB colours 1975.
Posted Image
Photo Copyrighted to Graham Etheridge.

Edited by picblanc, 03 August 2013 - 22:51.


#73 kz71

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 23:52

Just to add to Glenn's post. The pic caption says 1972, which is about the time someone decided Hawkesbury and the surrounding countryside might be a good place to plant grapes. As you know, Philippe, Marlborough is now one of NZ's premier wine regions.



Hawkesbury was a great circuit and a bit of a dream for us at the time as it was the only proper road circuit left.
It had been in regular use in the 50's then discontinued in the late 60s.
The local club resurrected the event in 71 and it ran for about 5 years before dying out again.
It used to get a big biker crowd and lots of partying which was part of the reason for the eventual demise of the event.
The track layout was basically a big square, down the foothills on one side of the valley, left turn, across the valley and down the other side. It had 3 bridges to cross and had a couple of blind bends and some humps to wheelie over. I loved it, scared the daylights out of me.
I have been digging out the my old notes to send GED gen on the TR500s and just came across my Hawkesbury notes.
I had the fastest lap in 72 at 3min09sec , and also in 73 at 3min 04 sec , so it was a long circuit by our standards. I think Dale W won in 72 and Joe Lett 73.
I never once managed to hold the thing flat down any of the straights due to wobbling but I guess the others were having similar problems if i got FL.
These were the days when we raced on TT100 Dunlops, which often got a bit of a wander on if they were unbalanced dynamically.
The track had a corner halfway down the pit straight which was exciting and supposed to be flat out. Lined with trees and fences, it got the old foo foo valve clenching!
I remember a nice old boy who was the club organiser and how stoked he was to have racing again at Hawkesbury.
I have a pic somewhere of us on the back of a truck which was the 'stage' with him giving me and Joe Lett the trophies.
The next few years John Woodley cleaned up on his TZ350 and Bob Haldane on his TZ700. By then the lap time was around 2min 45.
Two of the bridges were in the trees and I remember how you would plunge into the darkness after being in the sunlight on the straights. Very IOM!
Stu and I went there in '76 after we got back from the GPs. It was the first run with Tommy's new TZ 350, which I had 'Diemmed'.
I recall watching at Iron Bridge and Mel Wrigley damn near hit me even though I was behind the fence.
He did the jump over the bridge a bit off line and landed off the road in the narrow grass strip between fence and track, right where I was hanging over the fence.
Great place, shame they're all gone.
I reckon these notes shown above are more likely Steve Palmer or Joe Lett since they are '75.

#74 GD66

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:28

Good point ! With three wins at Levin, most likely Joe then, he was pretty hot round there.
Thanks for filling in the Hawkesbury details there Mike, all I would add is that John Woodley's efforts round there on his roadgoing CB750 at the first meeting in 1971 were the start of his reputation ! A pretty hairy place, and not for the faint-hearted...

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Turn one at Hawkesbury, with Bob Toomey tipping it in ahead of Glenn Williams, Vince Sharpe, Robbie Dean, Dallas Rankine and Bruce Woodley

Edited by GD66, 04 August 2013 - 01:43.


#75 philippe7

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 07:42

Thank you gentlemen - Peter, Mike and Glenn - for the details about Haweksbury and the notes . :up: And yes Peter, I do know about the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - and about the Otago Pinot Noir too :love:



Now, if anybody has got a picture of the Sayonara Special to put an admirateur fran├žais out of misery.... :blush:

#76 philippe7

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 21:05

Just an update on the "race notes" above : the french collector who posted them went back digging into his correspondence archives, and it appears that those notes ( along with a full factory documentation on the TR500 ) were graciously sent to him by... not Dale Wylie, not Joe Lett, but none other than.....John Woodley :love: ! He found the letter John ( from Motueka, NZ , does this make sense ? ) had sent along with the paperwork. :up:

#77 peterd

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 22:04

Yes, makes sense, Philippe. John was/is always methodical. Motueka was his home town. Tell your French friend that John will be riding a Manx at the Goodwood Revival meeting next month.

#78 tr250

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:19

My understanding is that the Coleman TR's used Ceriani forks and front brakes. Here are some images of a Susuki TR250 which may be a Coleman bike or a Joe Lett bike. The frame modifications include the straight tubes from the swing arm pivot up to the steering head - wheras the Crooks Suzukis had two curved tubes up to the horizontal frame tubes under the tank.

Geoff Perrys TR250 with Steve Roberts frame is currently being restored after being found in a farm barn. The frame has been identified by Steve Roberts who repaired it after the crash at Talledega.

There are another 3 TR250's that i know of that are being rebuilt - hopefully the Classic Club will see fit to include them as an important part of NZ motorcycling history.

dscf1203v.jpg

dscf1205m.jpg

dscf1214xl.jpg

dscf1215us.jpg

dscf1208k.jpg

h
ave more images if anyone is interested

Hi I have the Goeff Perry tr250 mentioned.I have been trying to find photos of it when Goeff raced it to help with the restoration and doing so this is what I have found out.

    I brought it from John Woodley and it had been sitting in an old shed at Doug Fairbothers covered in dirt for ten years. Doug took me and the bike to Steve Roberts to find

about its history. Steve knew the bike straight away and said Ron Grant had brought the Frame to him to have it repaired after the crash at tellidaga. Steve repaired the frame

jigged it and made a new frame which Ron Grant took back to the states. Steve then made 3 more frames ,1 for Tommy Mc cleary, 1 for wellington motorcycles and he thinks

the 3rd went to New Plymouth. He then stretched  the jig and made 6 500s.  Steve made a tank and seat and Rod Coleman supplied ceriani brakes and forks as well as the motor.

    I dont know any of its racing history with Goeff Perry and I have one poor quaility photo from steve with Goeff on it but it has Len Perry motorcycles written on the Fairing and the photos 

of the tr 250s on this site look similar but are not my bike which makes me think they are the 3 that Steve made from the jig 

   Any photos or imformation would be a great help  



#79 GD66

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:56

geofftr250.jpgnycv.jpg

 

 

Is this the pic ? The alloy front brake anchor arms certainly appear to be the same as on your bike.

 

 

 

Edit : By the way TR250, any news on Doug Fairbrother from the Classic Manx GP ? We heard he had clipped a wall in practice and he didn't appear in the results. Bruce Verdon struggled to lap at better than 83 mph, then retired after one lap in the race. There was some consternation about first-time visitors lapping too slowly and not qualifying, but the practice sessions were severely curtailed by wet weather. Can you shed some light ?


Edited by GD66, 28 September 2013 - 09:22.


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#80 tr250

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 21:01

geofftr250.jpgnycv.jpg

 

 

Is this the pic ? The alloy front brake anchor arms certainly appear to be the same as on your bike.

 

 

One thing I'd never twigged to with this pic is as well as Dale Wylie doing a 3-point turn on his TR500 in the background, are Rob Hinton sitting on his bike, Eric's bike alongside, and Mick Smith in between them working on Rob's bike.

 

Edit : By the way TR250, any news on Doug Fairbrother from the Classic Manx GP ? We heard he had clipped a wall in practice and he didn't appear in the results. Bruce Verdon struggled to lap at better than 83 mph, then retired after one lap in the race. There was some consternation about first-time visitors lapping too slowly and not qualifying, but the practice sessions were severely curtailed by wet weather. Can you shed some light ?

Yes that is the photo that Steve gave me. When I got the bike it had Colin lister disc brakes and suzuki forks. It was owned by a guy called Ernie Collins and last raced at the boxing day races and I was told he was killed on it testing the bike on a public road but I have heard several different stories about this. I have brought ceriani forks and front brake which is why it has taken so long to start the restiration as they are not cheap.

     Doug did about 5 laps in practice before he came off and was 7th fastest but he said the track was so busy with alot of novice riders that it was allmost impossible to put a fast lap in.He was pushed wide on a corner and hit the hay bales.He broke his collar bone and had swelling of the head which is why they kept him in hospital for 2 days.  My son Finn

loved it there and said he had never seen so many expensive and rare motorcycles.

    I leave on tuesday for Texas where we are riding to the barber muesun in Alabama to watch the classic racing at labour weekend. I will take photos and post them on this site when I get back



#81 GD66

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 22:42

Great, thanks for the update and enjoy Barber. I met him, Chuck Huneycutt and Stephen Matthews when they were in NZ in the 1990s, he is an amazing man.



#82 philippe7

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:50

Incidentally one guy in that french forum apparently fell in love with the Jon Allnatt "Sayonara Special" TR500 of which there are a few B&W pics in the M.... Series thread - and is desperately looking for more . If anybody has a picture somewhere...thanks in advance ! :wave:

 

Right . After re-reading this thread, plus exchanging some correspondence with Ray Battersby,  I applied a bit of logic, and identified and contacted the current owner of the Sayonara Special, who kindly sent me some pictures of the machine how he got it a couple of years ago:

 

zus8.jpg
 

and how it is today - almost ready for the racetrack he says, a few details left to finalize .

 

imrl.jpg
 

The owner also wrote to me  : " as I don't think I will ever find a "Harry Hunt fairing" as fitted by Jon Allnatt  (as per photos with Pat Hennen on board), I painted it in the early "Steve Roberts" colours, same as the Joe Lett 500 is today ". And since the machine is fitted with only a small "fork-head" ( as we say in french) fairing, the tiny frame is visible for all to admire.....doesn't the engine look absolutely huge in this minimal chassis ?

 

Absolutely lovely . Nice to see that Jon Allnatt's masterpiece is in good hands today.


Edited by philippe7, 29 September 2013 - 21:30.


#83 GD66

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:27

Wow, excellent detective work, Philippe ! Great to see the bike coming along. Won't be quite as it was without the natty fairing, or indeed the sexy mags, but will still make a great little racer. Somewhat ironic that three significant bikes from NZ's roadrace history are currently coming to life in Victoria !

Hats off to eglia12, tr250 and co for doing the hard yards.



#84 tr250

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 19:49

Right . After re-reading this thread, plus exchanging some correspondence with Ray Battersby,  I applied a bit of logic, and identified and contacted the current owner of the Sayonara Special, who kindly sent me some pictures of the machine how he got it a couple of years ago:

 

zus8.jpg
 

and how it is today - almost ready for the racetrack he says, a few details left to finalize .

 

imrl.jpg
 

The owner ( who, yes, is a member of this forum and a contributor to this thread  ;)  ) also wrote to me  : " as I don't think I will ever find a "Harry Hunt fairing" as fitted by Jon Allnatt  (as per photos with Pat Hennen on board), I painted it in the early "Steve Roberts" colours, same as the Joe Lett 500 is today ". And since the machine is fitted with only a small "fork-head" ( as we say in french) fairing, the tiny frame is visible for all to admire.....doesn't the engine look absolutely huge in this minimal chassis ?

 

Absolutely lovely . Nice to see that Jon Allnatt's masterpiece is in good hands today.

Hi if the fairing is the one with 37 on it and is a funny shape I know where it is,



#85 GD66

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:50

Found a crappy pic off my schoolboy camera of Geoff's 250 at a Pukekohe short circuit meeting in 1970. Chassis certainly of interest ! Jon Allnatt doing the tyre pressures at the front. 

ikq8.jpg



#86 RC162

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:19

Not a Coleman Suzuki but I wondered if our friends in NZ know anything about this bike.  The sales blurb seems to have forgotten Rob North's Triumph twin frames, the ones he built for Kenny Robert's 250 Yamaha and the BMW frames he made for the States and I'm sure there were probably more.

 

http://www.webbs.co....b-north-special



#87 GD66

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:02

Funny you should mention that !

 

Check out the details of the second TR500 for sale in this ad from a NZMCN, 1974 : :eek:

 

xcxj.jpg

 

I see the price has gone up a bit....


Edited by GD66, 19 October 2013 - 11:06.


#88 GD66

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:10

Geoff Perry at a Bay Park tuning day, 1970'

 

0v6f.jpg



#89 philippe7

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 05:25

Posted on behalf of eglia12

"There has been some activity in the Eglia toy box of late. After receiving a good photo from a friend of my Roberts Suzuki, "as ridden" by Joe Lett, it was decided that that is how it must be returned to. So after receiving an original fairing from the great Steve Roberts the transformation began, now with a little help from friends it's done. It may not be the prettiest fairing ever built (although certainly not hideous) but, now the bike is as correct and original as I can make it and I reckon it looks great!
The Sayonara too is now ready for some track time and I can't wait to get out there on it!
They will both be given an airing at the Broadford Bonanza at Easter. "

j_l_s_10.jpg

#90 GD66

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 22:25

Wow, they are fabulous ! Thanks for that, Philippe. :love:



#91 Redneb

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 20:17

That Sayonara frame is so small it makes the engine look oversize. Those are real nice restorations, :clap: would be nice to see them race here.



#92 nzrider

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 20:37

Hi, I have had this frame for about 30 years......

I bought it off a man who had at some stage converted it to road use. It was in bits when I got it.

If I recall correctly it was raced by a person from Christchurch, I think he may have tracked me down early on and spoke to me about it (or someone who knew him did).

Also if my memory serves me right it was one of the last frames Steve built as it has the cross bits at the rear of the motor?

 

Anyway, I have been sorting through all my projects I have and trying to work out what I am ever going to finish and what is most likely not going to happen.

I have picked up along the way a GT750 front drum brake, Akront rim, a motor (T500) and my thoughts were to get it together as a clubman/privateer type of machine. (I wouldn't race it).

But I have to decide what I am going to keep and if I am better to quit this now and put the money and time into something else.

Has any one got any thoughts as to its value? 

Also if anyone has anymore info on the chassis please let me know...

 

Picture%2017-M.png


Edited by nzrider, 11 May 2014 - 00:25.


#93 Russell Burrows

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 14:08

00768.jpg

Could be a TR500, not sure.