Hi everyone, Just joined, and now I have to admit that I don't have a Spondon. I've never had a Spondon. I've ridden quite a few though. I'm a freelance journalist researching a story for Practical Sportsbikes, and I'm hoping some of you will be good enough to help out.
The story's on the cult of the special frames of the 70s, 80s and 90s - who built them, why they became popular, and why they're still relevant and sought-after in these days of traction control and 200bhp sportsbikes.
I'm keen to get as much background from owners and builders as possible - problems encountered during builds, hints and tips for anyone considering buying/building one, horror stories of good-looking bikes that were appallingly put together, and apparant lash-ups that handled and went like a dream. We'd love to see any old pics of general hooliganism, and if that includes ill-advised haircuts and non-existent safety equipment, so much the better.
Please feel free to bung me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got a tale to tell.
Thanks for reading, and just to prove that although I don't have a Spondon, I do have some idea of the trials and tribulations of building a special-framed bike, here's my most recent build:
Hi Gary, It's actually a 2005 ZX-6R 636 motor. Forks, brakes, half the subframe, seat unit and most of the exhaust are from the same bike. Wheels are early ZX-9R, discs are spiegler race full foaters which happened to come attached to the wheels (I re-shimmed them and had the centres anodised black). Rear sets are modified early R1, rear shock is a modified WP originally for a 98 Fireblade. Engine is standard but it's a very fit one - hand built at the factory as the donor bike was one of the original batch built for the press launch on the track, and then became a UK press fleet bike. It was smashed to bits after just 1500 miles and I inherited the wreck! We spent a lot of time working on the fuel injection setup - it has a race ECU with a Bike Interceptor (rather than a Power Commander) and after a lot of dynmo work it;s doing about 115bhp but with a very good power curve. With low gearing it wheelies like a mad thing!
As for the rest....The frame, swing arm, tank, yokes, clip ons, exhaust mid-section and various other bits are by Chris Hart at Silverback Manufacturing in darkest Norfolk. He's a genius with a Tig welder. Also a dab hand with a CAD programme - he designed a rear suspension layout with no linkage, which replicates a 98 Blade's rising rate ( the rest of the geometry is also based on a 98 Blade). He also designed and built his own industrial-sized CNC plasma cutter among other things. The main tubes are oval section (Chris made the roller to turn round pipes into oval as well) and the large round bosses which look as if they're milled from solid are actually fabricated from pairs of round stampings welded together and then mirror polished.
Chris built the frame, Track Electronics in Norfolk sorted the loom to the pint of getting it running, Racepaint in Nottingham did the paint. I assembled it, made everything fit, made brackets and mountings and spacers and whatever, and did a lot of the anodising and plating in my attic. especially proud of the yokes - they are a work of art anyway, but I nickel plated them myself and they're gorgeous! I'll dig out a couple of pics.
Sadly, once finished it had to be sold - it was a magazine project and owed me far too much money unfortunately. Now sitting in a centrally-heated garage in Kent, next to a 996 SPS, an MV Agusta 312R, a 900SS, an old Metisse, an 851 and a few other nice toys which I suspect never actually get ridden....
Yokes: tig brazed from cold-drawn high grade steel.
Originally intended to lacquer them and leave them raw, but we kept getting filiform corrosion (little worms) under the lacquer, so decided to nickel plate them using a kit from Gateros Plating. Nickel plate's incredibly thin, so I gave them two coats of copper first, which acts as a base coat.
It goes on much thicker and it's soft enough to rub down and get a good finish before the nickel goes on. I was advised to try the process on lost of small bits first, before launching into something as difficult as this. I ignored that and dived straight in..... Very chuffed with the results.
The only thing I wish I'd done is gone for a slightly duller finish - you have the option of whether to add a 'brightener' to the bath and I took that, but I think the finish would have been more attractive without it.
Unfortuneatly, Mine is in it's component parts. Frame hanging from ropes. Z1000 kickstart bottom end with GPZ1100 block and head waiting to go in. 38mm Smoothbore mikunis but toying with the idea of building a bespoke injection system...more pipe dream really. Supension is Ohlins front and Yacugar rear. Still need to order some THUG yokes. I have Aprilia wheels but I'm on the hunt for some carbon items. Don't hold your breath.
I'm waiting to get all the bits together before I start the build and with most items costing between £500-£1000, I'm having to buy bits sporadically.
I'm sure some of the more seasoned Spondon peeps will be along soon to assist you with your quest.
mike: Just bought a TZ350 spondon , I am looking to road register it but to get a 1976 plate i need to date it . Does anyone know whohas the spondon records of Vin Numbers and year of manufacture ??
Jun 10, 2019 11:35:43 GMT
yamaha36: hello glad to be here have 2 spondon tz yamahas
Jul 16, 2019 17:19:14 GMT
kalle250cc: Hi! Can anyone tell me the FIRST YEAR Spondon aluminium frame made of square tube for TZ 250/350 were used? And were I can read this. I have a classification dilemma in Nordic Classic Racing.
Aug 24, 2019 6:44:08 GMT
wayne: Hi everyone, TZG frame # 430-991873 in Australia. How do I find out when built.
Sept 5, 2019 10:34:34 GMT
crusty: Hi Lads I'v got a frame here that I'd like to get some info on it's a steel cradle frame that was built in 1979 I believe, the frame number is SPE/750F1/16 which is stamped on a small plate brazed on to one of the tubes close to the headstock. Thanks Mike.
Aug 7, 2021 22:30:47 GMT
crusty: I'v got photos if I can figure out how to upload them. Mike.
Aug 7, 2021 22:31:33 GMT
mathini: Hey all, a new member with questions regarding my newly acquired Spondon frame (orig purchase 2014). Can anyone tell me if the alloy frames have any coatings or anodize? I'd like to polish out some blem's, but don't want to create a maintenance nightmare
Aug 11, 2021 21:16:44 GMT
bigelsy: Dear All. Hope you are well.
Oct 14, 2021 9:00:38 GMT
bigelsy: I have obtained a Spondon Hooligan by hook or by crook. (Long Story) I am trying to find a home for it as I do not have the time or facility to do it justice. Is there anyone on here that can give me some guidance to ensure it goes to the right owner.
Oct 14, 2021 9:02:57 GMT