SLUK Race Novice – Kirk ports his casings | RETRO SPORT
Everyone has to start somewhere. Even the hirsute martial arts expert Chuck Norris started his physical training as a young man. He rose to receive the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master in the art of Tae Kwon Do. Hiiiyyyaaaa!
We have already established that I am no young man and I definitely don’t expect to equal Chucks level of expertise either, albeit on the race track. Yet I’m beginning the process of learning to build a highly strung tuned road/race lambretta engine as a SLUK Novice! To be honest I haven’t the foggiest but I have the will and determination to try! And believe me, if I can try then so can you.
So I received my heavily-discounted race engine kit from Casa Performance Center Rimini (an excellent deal both financially and logistically). I was supplied with every conceivable internal part of the engine in order to build a competitive streetclass scooter. From bearings, seals, clutch, gearbox… In fact the full kit and caboodle!
I began by looking at pictures of tuned lambretta casings on the internet. Obviously I’d seen such a modified casing before but I didn’t know the specifics of how to open the transfers successfully.
I started with the base gasket. Fitting it to the cylinder showed it to be a very close fit and shaped specifically to mirror the opening of the transfer ports. I transposed this to the casing gasket face and drew a line around the gasket to see how much modification to the transfer cutouts was necessary. It seemed to be a lot to remove and this would leave the gasket face thinner than a wafer thin mint.
Do I have the casing welded to widen the gasket face to compensate? SLUK that! I began to think I was getting in way over my head. I decided to err on the side of caution and reduce the marked area of alloy to be removed to a more conservative size. Thus leaving at least a 5mm wide gasket face. I felt a lot happier about this. Next was to get stuck in with a high speed brushless hand piece (very smooth running) and an array of tungsten carbide burs. Half an hour later I had created one hell of a pile of alloy filings and a pretty smooth pair (even if I say so myself) of neatly opened casing transfers.
Now the fun of the engine build can begin. I reckon my new mentor in the form of SLUK Norris was willing me on today. He whispered in my ear the first rule of the code by which he lives…
“I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.” Positive thinking people, positive thinking!
Three steps forward, four steps back
Despite the triumph of the casing transfer opening, SLUK Norris decided to teach me a lesson and take a dump on me from a great height. As it happens the chump that converted the Spanish casing from 125 to 200 didn’t bother to use any sort of guide or jig to drill and tap the new barrel stud threads. Ohhhh noooo, he was overly confident in his ability to get it right using his squinty eye and a Black and Decker hand drill. Consequently upon fitting the barrel studs, they stuck out at different angles like a cheap hookers tits after a boob job gone wrong.
Plan B: It just so happens that I have another spare engine casing knocking around the garage. The most hallowed of rare and expensive of Innocenti’s 200cc casings… The TV200! I had been collecting parts with the intention of rebuilding this engine as a totally standard factory spec motor (‘cos I was bored at the time) but now this little bastard was going to fulfill its lifelong destiny and go RACING!
To be continued…
Kirk St Moritz