Sold to Mark Crowson in May '85, this Quasar had previously been used as a promotional machine by Malcolm Newell.
When purchased it was incomplete and a non-runner, requiring considerable work to get it on the road and registered.
It featured in the 'Top Gear' FF program and, following a complete re-build in 1998, has been seen at a variety of national events subsequently.
Photo Courtesy of Keith Eastwell
The engine has enjoyed the benefit of a series of performance camshafts. First from 'Kent Cams', then Richard Owen, a Piper Magnum camshaft, as fitted to the Voyagers, followed, and most recently a Formula 750 cam supplied by Dick Harvey. It also has lightened rockers and a cylinder head re-worked by Royce Creasey, resulting in a much sharper feel than the standard motor.
It featured on the front cover of the July 2000 edition of 'Classic Bike', which included a 10 page article on the history of the Quasar.
It was fitted with a four-branch exhaust, Weber carb, and light-weight bodyshell in preparation for it's appearance in the year 2000 'World Cabin Motor Cycle Driving Championships' in the Czech Republic in August.
Since taking part in the year 2000 'World Cup' development of the Quasar has continued in preparation for subsequent competitions . Mods made to-date include :-
Fitting lightweight Dymag wheels and Avon Azarro tyres. The front remains at 18" for maximum ground clearance, (although a 17" front was tried initially). The rear now takes a 140x17" tyre in place of the original 120x18. The front wheel is 15lbs lighter than the original Quasar wheel whilst the rear, fitted with a 140x17" Azarro, weighs 10lbs less than the original wheel and tyre.
New Drive shaft. This is slimmer in order to provide the clearance needed for the wider rear tyre and 17" rim. It's also a little lighter.
Extended front shocks. New Avo shocks, with 22-way adjustable damping, are 1" longer to increase ground clearance and re-valved to match the Quasars weight. The spring rate has been reduced from 100lbs/ft to 80 thanks to the lighter front wheel.
Revised side stand assembly. This is a single-sided unit which increases ground clearance significantly on both sides and weighs 6lbs less than the original parts. The cable enters at the front of the left-hand stand, thus eradicating the trailing cable that drags on the tarmac under hard cornering.
A modified VW Golf GTI air-box has been fitted in order to get the Weber carb performing better. Carburation has been a big problem with the K&N-type filter previously fitted.
New engine, built by Dick Harvey, (Formula 750 engine preparer). Features balanced crank, lightened pistons, new cam based on a Ford GT stage II profile, lightened valve gear, compression raised to 10:1.
Chassis modification to allow the gearbox to be changed, (or the clutch), without removing the engine.
New fuel tank to make room for a new 4:2:1exhaust system.
'Sprint' ratio Final Drive reduces the final drive ration from 3.545:1 to 4.11 :1.
(Probably the biggest limitation on performance is the excessively high final drive ratio. The standard ratio equates to 150mph at 7,000 rpm but doesn't pull past around 110mph. The high ratio makes for relaxed motorway cruising but reduces actual top speed and increases the gaps between the gears, thus reducing 'driveability'. This mod requires the manufacture of a new crown-wheel and pinion for the rear diff, which cost around £700 a set based on a batch of 6 gear sets).
New gearbox with Welsh 3 close-ratio cluster. Available at enormous cost and only suitable for use with the lowered final drive ratio. The combined effect of the two mods is to raise first and second gear, no change to third, but top gear comes down to be only around 10% higher than third.
New exhaust system. 4-2-1 with motorcycle end-can.
Vastly improved brakes. AP racing 4-pot calipers and Braided hoses with Brembo 16mm master cylinder.
Electrically-operated reverse-gear selection mechanism.
Thermostatically controlled electric cooling fan.
Conversion to a single 26" wiper that sweeps from side to side of the windscreen.
In July '05 we put the Quasar on a dyno in an attempt to get to teh bottom of the set-up problems with the Weber carb. It produced 43bhp at teh rear wheel, (currently a record for a Reliant-powered FF), and ran up to 120 mph in third gear.
A brief ride by freelance journalist Paul Blezard demonstrated that this Quasar is easily capable of exceeding 110 mph in traffic.
Last Updated 7th August '05