Rick's Redline framed XL440 AHRMA MX racer

Here it is February 13, 2000 and Daytona is but three weeks away. Seems this is the way I've always prepared for Daytona, with a mere 20 days to go, I'm still working on my race bikes.

Oh well, I think that this bike will be ready for AHRMA's 50+ class; here's what I've yet to do, besides general wrench turning;

- have my "friend" at the local auto upholstery shop stich a new seat cover,

- paint the fenders silver (leaving the white portion on the rear for the numbers), and paint the tank red,

- design and install a front fender mount,

- hope that the new nylon wrist pin buttons come-in from Venolia, the others are mangled beyond use, then I can complete the motor, I've already gone over everything, cleaned and painted the side covers and replaced a weak clutch spring, replaced a broken shifter mechanism, cleaned and calipered the clutch plates, performed a top-end job, cleaned the oil slinger and all the internal oil circuitry that can be accessed without splitting the cases, now I'm just hoping that the Powroll stroker crank and Webster gears are in the advertised condition as when I bought this engine several month back,

- wait for the new Aircone megaphone, I just ordered it last week, but it should be here in a few days, if not will just use a Supertrapp,

- and, if time allows, design and mount a new ignition system, thinking of wiring the "Y" connected stator thru a full-wave-bridge rectifier to charge a 47 microfarad capacitor, should give a super strong spark when compared to the old stand-by, running off one leg of the wye (the white lead),

- mount the 38mm Mikuni and have Chuck make a new throttle cable,

- mount fresh rubber, if they come-in, the dealer said he would ship last week to satisfy my 2-year-old $200 credit, but didn't receive the tires,

- test, test, test ride,

- check plug for jetting,

- check spoke nipples,

- generally go over nuts and fasteners,

- slap on numbers "4F",

- pack spare front and rear brake and clutch cable,

- pack spare (near stock) engine,

- mount spare XL rear and spool front hub with Pirelli flat track tires, if they get here,

hey, what am I doing on this dang computer, I out to be in the shop.

Click on thumbnails for larger prints.

Twelve days later, February 25th, the engine is together (except for the cam cover, cause it's easier to mount the engine in frame without it, got to save the old back), received the Aircones yesterday, looking cool, except got to have Kevin weld the hanger on Monday. Should be able to start the bike and do an easy loop around the track tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Tech specs:

the 1974 Honda XL350 engine is now approximately 440cc in displacement with a Powroll bottom, stroker crank, and Webster gear set, Venolia high compression over-bore piston, MegaCycle cam, 38mm Mikuni, magneto fired ignition, titanium valve spring keepers, custom bend exhaust header, Aircone 12" megaphone;

the frame is a 70's vintage Redline MX model, 4130 nickel plated tubing onto which is mounted a Betor triple tree, Honda Elsinore forks,  XL350 hubs and wheels both front and rear;

shocks are new Works Performance, the tank is a plastic Elsinore replica, center stud mounted, the seat was manufactured for a Champion frame but, with a little modification of the mounting studs, works fine on the Redline.

So here's a start on my kudos list:

Chuck Campbell at "The Company" in Hickory, NC for helping out by doing a valve job and head re-conditioning, even though he's been just as busy, building three SR500 engines, and two complete SuperMono II bikes for AHRMA road racing at Daytona;

Scott Steger for supplying the used Redline frame and the Powroll engine;

Matt Hilgenberg at Speed and Sport for finding the rear fender with integral number plates;

Jimmy Carswell at Carswell Trim for covering the seat in new vinyl;

Dale at Venolia Piston who supplies my XL350, 86mm slugs;

The same for the fine folks at Aircone for doing a rush job on the megaphone ends, at a most reasonable price;

Kevin, who owns Piedmont Body, here in Hickory, sorry Kev, but I'm gonna include you, even with the lament that your talents are not best exhibited when painting plastic (Kev does much of Don Tilley's Harley Davidson painting including Shawn Higbees Pro Thunder Buell road racer, beautiful work), the pictures don't do the colors justice, the tank is bright red, the fenders metallic silver;

Chris Huhn at VMX, for getting me a pair of Works shocks in record time;

And, of course, the understanding and beautiful wife, Susie, who only once in the past few months said "yech, you smell like motorcycles", thanks dear, it's only the aroma of vintage GoJo.

March 6, 2000 and it runs great - - at last.

First, yes, that's my new race number "4F", kind of poetic for me, at 51 years "old" I lived through that era.

Notice the torque arm on the XL350 conical hub, I'm using a set of Betor trees which increased the distance between the Elsinore sliders, the usual "tongue in grove" hub to slider wouldn't work. I'm such a great photographer, is that a tree growing out've the tank?

I like the Malcolm Robert's rear fender with the integral number plates. The Aircone megaphone looks trick.

Wanta guess the weight -- 235 lbs. wet, the same as the 400 CZ which I raced three years back; in fact, the motor reminds me somewhat of the 400, gobs of power, hits real strong, front end comes up in first three gears, the bike will spit ya off if you're not careful. Lots of thumper grunt, a real joy to ride as the motor will spool up from a docile idle and putt around with partial throttle but, whack the Gunner Gasser and things happen real fast. 

One warning though, ignition timing is critical, if it's not spot on the motor will kick back when starting the beast, better wear MX boots if you want to save your right shin bone and prevent a sprained ankle. With 165 psi of compression, this motor likes a tad of advance from the factory setting and, with full choke and no throttle will, lots of times, fire on the first kick and then settle into a steady idle. BTW, it took a #50 pilot to allow pilot screw adjustment, that's rich, but it's what it took. Notice the quick carburetor disconnect, a holdover from my road racing days, it really helps when removing the carb to get at the pilot and main jets.

My first outing on this bike was an open practice at the local supercross track, Daniel's Ridge, just up the road from my residence. For the details see the link on my home page, or click above.

April 1st at Budd's Creek, Maryland was the first time I actually rode the bike in competition. It was more a learning experience than a real good time racing, but I did achieve a 2nd place in the AHRMA 50 plus class. For details, see the Budd's Creek article link in the Picture Gallery. Or click on this thumbnail:

February 10, 2001, due to a recurring back injury, which will probably put an end to my 33 years of racing, this bike is for sale. 

Since taking of these pictures, I have replaced the Gunner Gasser with an Amal throttle, the Amal is 1/2 turn to full open, making the response much more manageable. I also had new foam cut for the seat, and the seat upholstery replaced, the seat foam was too much lower than the rear end of the tank (ouch).


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