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[Buying a Used] - Things to look for. (Read 4028 times)
Evripidis
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[Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
21.01.23 at 07:16:29
 
Hi all,

Looking at gathering important information before buying a used TR1.

I would like to ask if the head-gasket issue is real and whether the 2nd generations are actually better thatn the 1st. This is what I read somewhere.

Other things I should be looking for.

Regards,
Evros

 
 

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Triwinger
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #1 - 21.01.23 at 15:35:27
 
Hi Evros, hi all,

as some of you know already, a little "TR1 bike family" can be found in my bike shed. (Some of them „projects/wrecks" only, which could serve as part donators.) Most of the bikes are the early ones (code 5A8), and one bike is a late model (code 19T). Apart from the design, you can tell the difference also by the serial number on the frame and engine housing: The early models have a 5A8-00XXXX, whereas the late models have a 5A8-01XXXX.

Concerning the reliability and/or weak points of the TR1 as a second hand bike, the most important point might indeed be the cylinder head gasket topic: The cylinder head gaskets of all the TR1 bikes were quite „special“. This concerns both model years 1981 and 1982 (also sold 1983-1984) and the TR1 as well as the early XV 750 and XV 920. When Yamaha developed those head gaskets, their idea was to produce only a thin ring, containing a sandwich mix of asbest (for thermal stability) and several thin sheet metal layers (for smooth ductility which shall lead to a tight gasket that covers eventual geometrical tolerances). As the gasket ring is so thin, most of the surface between head and cylinder would be able to have a direct contact, leading to a good thermal exchange between those two aluminum parts.

So far for the „good intention“ of Yamaha. But unfortunately, the first series of the cylinders had a little „gap“ between the gasket ring recession and the vertical tunnel for the timing chain. It was that „gap“ that caused the issues: The compression pressure found its way from the combustion chamber to the timing chain tunnel.

So, the TR1 riders developed several workaround options: 1) Closing the gap by welding and machining the cylinder or 2) putting in a filling piece, similar to a tooth seal (as in the photo below), or 3) putting a slim „bow shape piece“ of sheet metal into the gasket ring slot, which will work as barrier or blocker. That sheet metal piece shall have a material thickness of 0.5...0.6 mm, a width of about 5...6 mm and a length of about 50 mm. (Suited just to fit into the gap, similar to the adjusting work that we all know so well from our dentists... Wink.)

For the late series, Yamaha tried to solve the issue by closing/leaving out the gap. They did that by modifying the shape of the casted aluminium cylinders. Yamaha also helped customers with early bikes that had shot their gaskets: Those customers got a replacement, containing cylinders of the second series.

Quite often, the blown head gaskets are affecting the rear cylinder (which gets a little bit warmer when riding), and the blow through area can be found on the timing tunnel side. Bikes that begin to blow through are sometimes making funny noises (similar to a hammer beating on a steel base plate). That noise is no deep „buff, buff“, but a more metallic and sharp „tak-tak“ noise, comparable to a worn out piston rod bearing or a valve play that is much too big.

One of my project bikes is a fine example of that kind of issue: It has a broken rear head gasket (with the area between cylinder and head all covered in oil). And, funny enough, it is just the late series model - whereas all my early model machines have tight gaskets. (Knocking on wood...).  

From the today point of view, I think there will be not much difference between the early and the late models. The gasket solution still seems quite "special" (or let's say "weird") for both models. Most aftermarket gaskets are not suiting well. And original Yamaha gaskets (NOS) are not so easy to be found today. So, the most reliable solution would be to swap the cylinders against XV 1100 cylinders (allowing to use "regular" cylinder head gaskets, which are still available at Yamaha, as they also fit for the Virago series).

 TR1-Rally_250_640_x_480.jpg   2023-0121_TR1-Zylinder_Unterschied_.jpg     Pictures below may be scaled. Click links or pictures for original size Click here for all attachments  
 

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Triwinger
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #2 - 21.01.23 at 15:46:00
 
Apart from the head gasket issue, other model differences and/or weak points between early and late models are:
  • Carburetor/manifold hose clamps: The early ones were too weak/narrow, resulting in carbs that fall off while pressing the starter button. Workaround: Installing better (=wider) hose clamps.
  • Front brake rotors: The early ones were sheer, the later ones had oblong holes/slots. Those holes shall usually improve braking in the rain. But the risk is that, over time, they get cracks at the ends of the oblong holes.
  • Chain cover housings that are not completely tight. (Both series affected.) In some cases, the machining of the chain cover housing parts lead to sharp edges on the sealing surfaces, which destroyed the corresponding O-ring gaskets. (Workaround: Reworking the sharp edges by smoothing them out.)
  • The second series had a different seat and a plastic tail cover, together with a conventional rear fender (mounted to the rear end of the frame), whereas the first series had a rear fender mounted to the rear cantilever swing arm. This design difference can probably be regarded as „more or less a matter of taste“ only. Advantage of the early series: A very massive passenger grip - and at the end of it a little luggage rack, sizewise suitable for a women's handbag. (And as we all know: In some cases, it can be of distinctive importance to have a happy lady on board...)

However - dear Evros, I wish you good luck for finding a fine bike that suits both your taste and gearhead skills... Wink

Cheers,
Triwinger

 
 

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Evripidis
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #3 - 22.01.23 at 07:55:52
 
Dear Triwinger,

This response is far more than I was hoping. Thank you very much for this, it is really appreciated. The closest I got were a couple of posts from people talking about installing xv1100 heads/cranks etc.

So, fitting xv1100 cylinders/heads/pistons would also require machining the block cases as well? The remedies that have been described do not sound too troublesome to apply other than sourcing the parts but it is something that I would like to avoid at least in the frist couple of years of ownership.

In any case; do you think that acquiring a later model would be a better solution for trouble-free riding for at least several years? Or getting a low-milegae TR1 irrespective of the year it came from? As you say, the rear cylinder can pack it in on a hot day on these v-twins.

I can find some low mileage examples for example a first generation with 14k miles. But not many second gen ones about especially with willing owners to sell remotely.

Thank you again for all your patience in writing this excellent response.

Best Regards,
Evros

 
 

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nanno
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #4 - 22.01.23 at 08:41:15
 
Hi there Evros,

the XV1100 cylinder are a straight fit. You could even run them with the stock TR1-pistons, if the clearances of the actual pistons and cylinders match. It gets tricky, when you go down the XVS1100 and BT1100 family. Those can be fitted, but you have to modify the engine case and the cam chain tensioner.

The big plus with the XV1100 setup are the more conventional headgaskets, which simply cause a lot less (read that as in no) hassle.

Whether you should go with a first or second gen TR1 is really up to you, most of the Gen1s that are still out there and running will have some sort of fix implemented (Yamaha dealer recall or one of the various fixes that private people came up) or simply have a headgasket groove machined that is the correct depth.  Smiley

And even you didn't ask: brakes and other ancilliaries are standard of the era Yamaha stuff, so there's plenty of repair kits etc. available.


 
 

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Evripidis
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #5 - 22.01.23 at 18:01:00
 
Hi Greg,

Just making a note; I have found your blog well before joining this forum. I cannot remember when or why but I did.

There is a low mileage example in the UK but the asking price I believe is a bit high. I'll ring them up and see if they have a final price for me. It is a gen 1. I think that gen 2's are definitely 80's and a bit more streamlined in their rear-end design.

So Just the cylinders off an xv1100, not even the heads? Isn't the capacity any different then?

Regards,
Evros

 
 

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nanno
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #6 - 23.01.23 at 06:56:22
 
Cylinders are 95mm bore as are the TR1 cylinders and the same deck height. There actually was a (relatively) rare XV1000 with the same cylinders, but the later headgaskets. Oh of course you can use the XV1100 cylinderheads, but this will drop the compression ratio even further. (I run a set on my Turbo TR1 exactly for this reason - the actual compression is below 8:1, which is perfect for forced induction, but makes the engine rather sluggish off boost.) If you wanted you could go the other way and install XV700/750 heads to increase the compression, but then you'll end up with smaller valves. Which is fine in its own way as this will shift the powerband down and they are still big enough... (but we're on a bit of a tangent here  Wink )

The difference in capacity between XV1000 (TR1) and XV1100 comes from the difference in stroke. Which is also why you can't mix XV1000 and XV1100 pistons as the height of the gudgeon pin is different. On a XV1100 crank, the XV1000 pistons would poke out over the top of the cylinder by quite a bit.

Cheers,
Greg

 
 

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Anja-D
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #7 - 23.01.23 at 16:22:37
 
Good Day Evros  and to all,
Here are some addresses for NEW Parts:

https://www.scheuerlein-motorentechnik.de/search?sSearch=XV1100
https://www.scheuerlein-motorentechnik.de/motorrad/yamaha/1000-1099-ccm/xv1000-tr1-81-86/

Both, for XV1000, 5A8 and XV1100, 3LP :  (Piston, Pistonrings => Piston and Piston Rings in serveral Sizes according the need of drilling out to the next Bore oversize and Piston Pin)

----------
Let we say some words to the Cylinder Head Gasket: At the late 1970th when the TR1 Projekt was scheduled, Yamaha inventors dicided to integreat the Engine as stessloaded Part of the Frame / Chassis. Therefore the Engine Componets like Housing, Cylinders and Cylinder Heads where concepted as strong as enough to fullfill that job. At that Time it was undiscovered Land for Serial Manufacturing. The Engine is shaped in V2-Concept. That means, both Cylinder Heads are Ancor Components for the Engine mounting. Therefore  the lenght between the Center of the Crank shaft and the Top of the Cylinder Heads MUST be constant. They are resulting in a geometrical triangle.  
The Cylinder Head Gasket of that Days are more slim Flat-type ones with a metal ring towarts the Compession Chamber. Those Gaskets are tending to get ccompressed when the cylinder Head ist getting be torqued.
Yamha Inventors decided to went an other way. To keep the triangle Concept intact, even when the Cylinder Head is torqued, all System Components ( Housing, Cylinder and Cylinder Head) are installed with full Flange Contact to each other. To keep this System going, they had to design a new Type of Cylinder Head Gasket. Even so with the gab between Cylinder-Head-Gasket and the Cam-Chain Channel. The new Type of  Gasket had to seal it from the compressed Gas of the Cylinder. So the spiral-type-gasket made from thin Metall stips was born. With all new Concepts, it is nearly normal to get faced with toothing problems. So the same with the early XV 1000 Models, including a few XV750 (4X7). Yamaha Europe spend a lot of Money to get this technical fault served. With the later Models XV1000 SE (23W) or the later XV 750 and XV1100 of 1993 -1996 are without of this Problem even so the more newer BT1000 Model.

Regards
Anja

 
« Last Edit: 23.01.23 at 18:29:43 by Manfred »  

TR1 seit 1982, die aktuelle seit 1988, schraube und fahre selbst
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Evripidis
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Posts: 42
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #8 - 23.01.23 at 20:10:01
 
Greg and Anja,

Thanks for the heaps of information and what is to me, historical as it seems.

The more I discover the more it seems like any tr1 generation is adequate for trouble-free riding.

What would you guys consider a "low-mileage" for this bike, assuming proper maintenance and care?

Regards,
Evros


 
 

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nanno
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Re: [Buying a Used] - Things to look for.
Reply #9 - 23.01.23 at 20:45:35
 
Expect that around 50,000km a badly maintained example may need new pistons. Either get one, which is close to that mileage and simply figure the overhaul into the costs or get one with a freshly built engine.

 
 

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