78 Darmah Restomod - It's taken a while!

OK, anyone know how to load photos? this is kicking my butt ;o)

Over 30 years ago I took my red and white off the road to fix a very elusive oil leak. After 20 odd years in boxes and crates, house moves etc etc I though it was about time I did something about it. 12 years (with various periods of inactivity) later we’re finally there as while it was apart we’ll just . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The oil leak turned out to be a crack in the engine casing near the gearbox output shaft from what appears to have been a thrown chain before I bought it which explained why all the usually things had not fixed it.

Engine is now an 883cc over-size with the heads getting twin plugs, 42/38 valves and a gentle ‘tickle’ by Paul K at DTS. Remainder of engine rebuild and mods (other than ali welding) I did myself including full flow oil system using a high flow, low resistance external cartridge filter and cooler that gives approximately an extra pint of capacity and holds a small body of oil up high so that almost instantly it fires there’s a goodly splash of oil hitting the fragile bits without waiting for the pump to play catch up after everything has drained down. 38mm carbs with Malossi type bellmouths, pumps removed and chokes rather than ticklers give a nice mid range. All external hoses made by me using Torques UK supplied hardware.

Sparks are provided by a Sasche ignition with Dyna coils taking advantage of 0 degrees advance at cranking speed that makes kick starting with a domed piston a lot easier.

It has an after-market Panigale cylinder for the clutch fed by a Brembo RCS radial master with a chunk of machining behind the face of a pattern sprocket cover and a carbon mounting plate. Revised end section of the push rod is a piece of 8mm stanless bar with a bit of attention from the lathe.

17" Dymags sport Conti 120/70 and 160/60 rubber that gives very close to the same rolling diameters of the original spec 18" rims but with more contact patch and choice of tyres. USD’s were new old stock Showa units from a late Triumph speed triple with yokes to my dimensions but keeping stock offset by Roy Martin at Billet Brain.

The swingarm was fabricated by the late, great Gav Goddard of Spondon and GIA fame from a drawing that I sent to him with all the critical dimensions and potential pinch points clearing the frame etc. Passenger peg and exhaust hanger triangles had to go to make room for the wider arm and wheels hence the new carbon exhaust brackets. A bespoke pair of Nitron R1 shocks keep the back end under control. it is a tight squeeze with 3mm either side of the chain to rear tyre and frame.

Front stoppers are generic OEM 4 pot radial Brembos with an RCS radial master and 320mm floating Brembo discs. Rear carrier plate is my design and CNC’d for me by Roy Martin.

A pair of stainless Keihan silencers are matched to a custom set of headers by Ryan Edwards Exhaust Fabrications giving a slightly higher up kick and losing the balance pipe. His work is stunning and he charges a fair hourly rate for a top level quality of work.

Instrument console and brackets fitted to the yokes I did myself and hold a pair of Daytona electronic gauges and Highsider idiot lights. The wiring loom started as a sketch in a very boring meeting with all lights being LED including brake light repeaters in the indicators. Lights are on relays with water proof fuse boxes (like its ever going to see serious rain!) and the loom is double sleeved and owes me about 90-100 hours of bad language as I did not want to use one of the cafe racer favourite plug and play systems.

The tank, seat and panels are all original. Ian Davis from ETTO motorcycles welded in the top plate for the RaceFit filler and then I had plenty of filling and sanding work ahead of applying a plain weave carbon skin over the top. The mk1 seat unit was extensively repaired then modified to take a Monster tail light and a few other cosmetic changes ahead of receiving the same carbon skin. No vinyl wrap or dipping here. Side panels were equally rotten so were repaired and skinned too.

There’s a lot of other fabrication and hours hiding in there that I did myself including learning basic MIG welding, carbon lamination, milling and turning and finally airbrush work and getting into the Zen like mind set required for what seemed like days of wet sanding and polishing.

Paint is a mixture of airbrush for the lettering and pin stripes with a cheap trick using unthinned paint and clingfilm to get the marbled cobalt blue that at certain angles shows the carbon weave underneath. Final finish is 2K clear from a rattle can done outside with appropriate (and very expensive) mask as I did not have access to an indoor booth with a clean pressure feed air helmet. There is unfortunately a little ‘gassing’ in the 2k clear but after the wet sand and polishing, overall its ok as long as you don’t look too close or know where the mistakes are. I’m sure at some point it will bug me too much and I’ll take it all back down to the carbon and do it again properly this time.

Jetting was a bit of a wet finger in the air guestimate with all the changes but it fired on the first punch of the kick start and ran fairly cleany on the 3rd. I reckon a trip to the dyno is required for final fettling but its pretty damn close.

Time in the workshop, even if just sitting with a cuppa, a good book and contemplating the next stage helped get me through lockdown without losing my marbles and after a final couple of details I am looking forward to riding it before the summer comes to an end.

And the designation WSD900? Easy, its certainly not an SD900 any more so it had to be ‘Wojjies’ SD900.