'The Quicker Quasar'
The goal is to retain the Quasar identity while improving power output, useability and reliability, and reducing weight wherever possible.
Power Output can be significantly improved by the following measures :-
- Gas Flow the Cylinder Head, Blend the ports
- Lighten the cam followers, rockers and valves
- Fit a Performance Camshaft
- Balance the Crankshaft
- Fit 'Luminition' Electronic Ignition
- Fit a four-branch exhaust
These mods will raise the power output from 40bhp to around 55-60bhp, allow the engine to rev to around 7,000 rpm, and gives a much crisper feel to the power delivery.
Royce Creasey did the head work for my bike. I can recommend him unreservedly as proving to be both totally competent and very professional in his approach.
Royce recommends fitting a Weber ICH down-draft carb in place of the standard SU, some of the Voyagers apparently run well with this set-up. I have struggled long and hard to achieve perfect carburation with a Weber carb, if you want to try this, contact me for the latest info on the jet sizes I'm using. A suitible Weber carb can be supplied off-the-shelf by Rebels Racing.
There is some scope for significant weight reduction :-
- We are now able to produce replica bodyshells which are around 25lbs lighter than the factory version. (Approx cost £750). This makes a big difference to how heavy the Quasar feels at rest and during manual handling.
- Dymag can provide a set of MagAlloy wheels which, in conjunction with a new (lighter) drive shaft design, allow the use of modern sports bike rubber and save around 25 lbs. Approx cost £900 pr. (NB. An 18" front wheel is preferable in order to retrain the maximum possible ground clearance).
- 4-Pot Brake Calipers AP lockheed four-pot calipers are actually lighter than the current 2-piston calipers. Cost Approx £200 each. Some machining of the caliper is necessary to fit it to the standard Quasar carrier.
Other Possible Modifications
The other areas that I see as being ripe for improvement are as follows :-
- Transmission - Simple option, Fit a lower-ratio crown-wheel & pinion for better acceleration and higher top speed, (c£725). Several owners have chosen to take this upgrade and the improvement in driveability is dramatic. If you have more money to throw at it you can also fit a close ratio gear cluster to the Reliant gearbox, (c £700). This gives excellent performance but results in a higher first gear ratio which can be inconvenient in heavy traffic in town. Extreme option, fit a MotoGuzzi 5-speed gearbox, swing-arm and live bevel box. (c £1,500-£2,000 for parts and extensive chassis modifications required).
- Wipers - I have an improved design with a single 26" wiper that works well. Using a PIAA silicone wiper blade, (available from 'Rally Design' of Kent), is a big improvement too. The blade glides smoothly across the screen without dragging and coats the screen with a layer of silicone that makes the water run off very easily, (much as 'Rain-X' is supposed to!).
- Stands - The standard arrangement has a stand on either side of the bike. This is very convenient, allowing the bike to be parked regardless of road camber and allowing easy access to either side of the bike for maintenance. The standard assembly is very heavy, though, (at around 15lbs), and limits ground clearance, so both my Quasars are fitted with lighter single-sided stand assemblies.
- Exhaust. An improved tubular exhaust is available to fit the Reliant engine from 'Rebels Racing' for around £125. Note that the pipework is substantially larger diameter than the Quasar exhaust and it'll be necessary to fabricate an exhaust to link the 4-branch manifold to the Quasar silencer.
- Belly Pan - to close that gap under the bike and keep the engine & gearbox clean
- Rear Hugger - To keep crud from the back wheel off the fuel tank, rear suspension units etc.
- Lights - The Quasar has twin Quartz-halogen Cibie headlamps. They're absolutely hopeless. As well as fitting up-rated bulbs, (Osram Silverstar bulbs ar recommended), I plan to fit Projector Headlamps under the 'Nose' for improved lighting. All headlamps should be relay-controlled so as to reduce the losses associated with running heavy currents through the switch-gear.
- Cooling System - Incorporate a thermostatically controlled electric cooling fan. A mini-cooper 3-core radiater can be fitted. This incorporates a thermal switch housing. I've successfully fitted an electric cooling fan by DaviesCraig, supplied by MAW solutions. (www.mawsolutions.com). The model used is DCSL9. This is very low-profile and just clears the front of the water pump with around 1/4" to spare.
- Heater/Demister - Ever stopped at traffic lights and had the whole screen fog over ? How do we prevent this ?
- Mirrors - Has anyone found anything with a wider viewing angle that would fit the standard console ? There is an excellent blind spot eliminator mirror, made by Summit, (part no. TVM1), and available from Halfords for £10. Believe me it's worth every penny.
- Windscreen - Is there a lighter material that would stand up to Wipers ? we're experimenting with using 4mm toughened glass in place of the 1/4" laminated glass originally used. Perspex has been tried previously without success although combining a perspex screen with teh PIAA silicone wiper might be a viable option. (Standard screen c15lbs, Perspex c5lbs).
- Switchgear - I've used Metro switchgear on the new Quasar which are much more rugged than the original Reliant stalk switches. This allows me to turn the lights on without having to reach forwards to the dash and has a hazard-light facility built in. Some variants incorporate intermittent wiper operation, (in conjunction with the appropriate control unit).
I will expand on these themes in the future and explain why and how I plan to tackle each one, incorporating any feed-back that I get from other owners.
I'm sure that other owners could suggest a range of mods that they've done to their own bikes that might benefit us all. Could we, perhaps examine each owners suggestions and consider adopting such mods more widely ?
Construction of the final Quasar has started ! It will incorporate many of these enhancements.
The engine has a balanced crank, gas-flowed head, lightened rockers, stiffer valve springs and a re-profiled camshaft. The block and head are being machined to raise the compression ration from 9.5:1 to 10.5:1.
It will be fitted with a 4:2:1 stainless exhaust, built by 'Longlife Exhausts' with a motorcycle race-can mounted above the rear wheel on the left-hand side of the bike.
The engine has been lowered in the chassis to provide a lower C. of G. and has been mated to a Moto-Guzzi 1100 Sport clutch and gearbox using a Creasey adapter plate. (As used on the 'Voyager').
The transmission consists of two standard Guzzi drive shafts welded together and fitted from the gearbox to the swing/arm pivot, where the front UJ is mounted, then another 1100 Sport drive shaft to the second UJ on the front of the 1100 sport floating bevel box. An additional support bearing for the extended drive shaft has been incorporated.
This combination of components offers a five-speed box with positive stop gearchange mechanism combined with a significant reduction in top gear ratio, (down from 11:39 to 8:33).
The gearbox is currently operated by a 'Kliktronic' push-button gear change system, although this isn't completely successful at present, and may be replaced by a mechanical linkage later.
A braced Guzzi 1100 Sport swing arm and three-spoke Marchesini alloy rear wheel, (which accommodates a 17 x 160 profile tyre), have been used. The rear brake also uses standard 1100 Sport parts with a lightweight Brembo twin-piston caliper.
We originally planned to use a WP mono-shock set-up, but have eventually settled for a conventional twin-shock arrangement in the interests of simplicity, light weight and to allow seating space to be maximised. Shocks are 15", alloy bodied units with adjustable damping, supplied by 'AVO performance suspension'. They are fully re-buildable and incorporate spherical bearings in the mountings which are more compact than conventional rubber bushes and can accomodate some mis-alignment in the shock mountings without putting any loading on the damper rod.
The new Quasar may, ultimately, be fitted with one of the new light-weight Creasey Hub-Centre Steering systems.
Handle-bar controls are from the Guzzi 1100 Sport and feature 4-way span-adjustable dog-leg levers and a Brembo brake master cylinder.
Hydraulic operation of the clutch is also planned, replacing the standard Guzzi cable operation.
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