The BevelTech Racer
pics and words by Phil Aynsley - www.philaphoto.com
The latest creation from BevelTech Engineering, Vern R has been built
for BEARS Formula 4 racing in Australia. Using the frame and 900SS motor from
his original Vern road bike (which became surplus to requirements after a
customer had Tony reconfigure Vern to take a donor Mille engine) and operating
on the time honoured principle of the less weight the better, it is photographed
in original form - before lighter wheels and slicks (made possible as a result
of rule changes) were fitted. Dry weight as seen here is 137kg.
As the idea is to keep running costs to a minimum, engine tuning modifications have been limited to fitting Imola cams and cleaning up the ports along with the use of high compression pistons from Cosworth. However, engine weight has been saved by the use of magnesium rocker covers (from Norway!), the removal of the alternator and subsequent narrowing of the engine cover and the fitting of a roundcase motor clutch cover. The heavily cut down gear selector case and fork brace were brought out from under a bench where they had resided since they last built racing bevels back in the '80s! The 860 frame has been modified to the same geometry as a 916, with the motor rotated back 8mm at the top rear engine mount. The twin shocks (as required by the race regs) are mounted as per the geometry of Barry Sheene's RG500 of 1976. To further reduce weight Titanium fasteners have been used wherever possible together with removing every bit of unnecessary metal, such as halving the size of the front mudguard mounts.
As it happens another customer had commissioned BevelTech to build a replica of the 860SS raced at Bathurst in 1975 - only with the 60º heads he had obtained from V2. Seeing the opportunity to test just how much a difference these exotic heads make to a pretty basic bevel engine Comparisons are being planned in the near future. The exhausts have been left unmuffled until after these tests are completed.