Restoring my old Shepherd 500

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Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Restoring my old Shepherd 500

Post by Stealth » Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:20 am

Hi everyone I stumbled across this site by accident the other day, I'm in the middle of a restoration project at the moment so I'll post some pics when I get chance.

In 1988/89 I raced a 500 Shepherd Honda which is based on a bored out NS400R, the bike had originally been built by Terry Shepherd for a guy called Tony Head, he was a pretty handy GP privateer and raced the bike in the Formula 1 world Championship in 1986/87 (F1 became what we know today as World Superbike) with some good top 15 finishes against the works boys on the 750 four strokes of the era.

I bought the bike from Tony and raced it until mid 1989 at club and national level with reasonable results including a couple of wins and a lap record, I then sold it to a guy down in Surrey and lost touch with it.................until amazingly 14 years later when quite by chance It turned up with Mark Hodgson in Burnley (World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgsons proud dad)

It was in a sorry state and Mark had bought it as a restoration project, I ended up buying it back with the intention of restoring it back to exactly how it was back when I last swung a leg over it in the 80s, when I got it back it was just about complete but pretty battered, corroded and looked like it had been dropped more times than a whores drawers,

The bike is now nearing completion and the plan is to maybe give it a run in the TT classic parade and/or Scarborough Gold Cup classic parade and then its going in my front room under my trophy shelf as its the last bike I raced and the bike which took me to my final win back in my youthful carefree days before I realised that I wasnt immortal and retired to more graceful pastimes!!

I certainly remember what a superb tool this thing was back in the 80s, it was as quick as most of the old GP 500s that were around in the hands of club racers at that time and had loads of bottom end drive, it handled pretty good too, its only drawback was a really fragile gearbox, it had a nasty habit of braking gears which wasnt particularly confidence inspiring particularly on road circuits like Scarborough!!

Image

Stealth

bloodnut
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:58 am
Location: New Zealand

good idea

Post by bloodnut » Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:28 pm

a bike with some history, i'd like to see some photos of the engine.

Good luck and keep us posted.

red
if all else fails - gas it

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:36 pm

The chassis is almost done, the wheels are nearly finished, Just ordered tyres this morning, (finding 18" Michelin slicks was a nightmare!!) motor should be going in within the next week so i'll take some photo's and send them to Ian for posting.

Next job is bodywork, it has a complete set (RG500 Mark 10 Fairing, RS500 Seat) but the previous owner sprayed it all yellow so it'll be going back to its original pearlescent, does anyone know where I can find a set of Honda Wing stickers for the tank like the ones in the photo?
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

stevie
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 1:01 am
Location: UK

excellent

Post by stevie » Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:22 pm

What a great read Mr Stealth :)

Thanks for such a good post. I'm frindly with Terry and his son, Richard. I'm sure he has told me about your bike on a few occasions.

Was it yours where the back cylinder seized on the Island once, and had to be replaced with a non-big bore one?

I have one of his 500 motors too - it's finding new life in an RGV chassis. Nearly there now!

Please do keep us up to date with your progress :)

Stephen

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:38 pm

Not sure if it was mine that seized, I certainly never had any problems like that but Tony Head was posted as retired at Ballaugh Bridge in 1987 Formula 1 TT so that may have been the reason, only problem I had was its appetite for gearboxes, it wrecked boxes all the time, maybe it was just my riding style, after years on TZs I was used to booting the gears in without the clutch cos the Yam boxes would stand it, the Honda would destroy itself in a couple of laps if you did that.

I'll keep you posted on progress

Stealth
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

JT
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: BLACKBURN

Post by JT » Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:12 pm

Hi,
Should be saucy when it's fettled Stealth.Check out http://www.iomtt.com for more on Tony Head.Cheers,JT

bloodnut
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:58 am
Location: New Zealand

TT

Post by bloodnut » Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:47 pm

Do you actually race the Isle of Man on the bike? If so how fast did you go? Whats the fastest an NS has got around the TT?

How many other people on here have raced (and survived) the TT?

Looking forward to the photos, if you go to your local sign writer with your biggest photo of the stickers you want they will make some up for stuff all.

Cheers
Red
if all else fails - gas it

Stroker
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Contact:

Post by Stroker » Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:57 pm

Don't know about the lap time but that NS went through the timing lights at 154mph 8)

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:35 am

I often spanner for people at the TT and Manx Grand Prix but never did the TT myself, I think Tony told me he had done about 108mph lap, which doesnt sound much by todays stsndards with the lap record now at 127mph but was pretty good for 1986.

I've certainly seen standard NS400s being raced in the production TT by Joey Dunlop and other greats during the 80s but never seen a modded one in action, if you buy the video reviews from Duke Video http://www.dukevideo.com for the 86/87 TTs there will be clips on there.
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

bloodnut
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:58 am
Location: New Zealand

TT

Post by bloodnut » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:45 am

Wow 108 mph is fast for 1986.

I raced the TT in 95 with an average of 108 mph race and 110+ fastest lap on a standard ZX6r. So I know how fast 108 is.

I did manage to get the newcommers award though.

Ill have to dig through my Duke videos for that footage, cheers

Red
if all else fails - gas it

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:16 pm

Just to update you, I put the motor in last night and did all the wiring, cabling and plumbing , just exhausts to go on and then its bodywork preparation ready for spraying, i'm having a week off from it this week cos the girlfriends over with me and for some strange reason she isnt keen on a bike being assembled in the lounge, I cant see the problem myself, and it was a trip hazard in the bedroom anyway :lol: but hey thats women for you!!

Image

Stealth
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:09 pm

Almost there now, starting bodywork soon, but having a break during the Manx Grand Prix so I think realistically it'll be mid September when I finish the job.

Image

Image

Image


Sorry that the quality is poor but they are taken on a camera phone and they dont give great results.

Stealth
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

bloodnut
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:58 am
Location: New Zealand

Post by bloodnut » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:10 pm

Great bike, it looks the business. What size is that rear slick?

Did you ever solve the gearbox failures?

Have you tried treating the gears or under-cutting them?

Did you check gear alignment as detailed in the "2nd Gear Bug" thread?

Cheers
Red
if all else fails - gas it

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:04 am

The slick is a Michelin 16/70-18, it only just goes in, It measures about 157mm across when inflated on a 3.5in rim so I had to grind a lump out of the rear brake torque arm to stop it rubbing!

The plan was to keep the bike as it was when I originally raced it, which included 18in wheels so I expected a big problem finding 18in slicks but I was lucky that a guy called Ken Inwood at Hersham Racing Services down in Surrey who I used to buy parts from back in the 1980s actually still had some new slicks from that era sitting on a shelf in the back of his garage, he found me a set of brand new Michelin slicks and as the bike is basically going to be an ornament I didnt have a problem fitting 18 year old tyres.

Incidently the wheels are Campagnolo front and Astralite rear, they seem to have survived pretty well and just needed a bead blast and respray, when I originally sold the bike it also had a spare set of wheels (Dymag front, Astralite rear) but they werent among the spares when I bought the bike back so they've either been sold or trashed at some time.

I dont intend doing anything to the gearbox for the same reason that it won't really be going anywhere, although I did strip the top end of the motor and checked it over during the restoration, the whole bike has been assembled with the same care as I would build a race bike so its ready to do some classic parades if I get chance but if I intended to race it again I would obviously spend some time in the gearbox department and would do a big list of other mods that I always wanted to do in the 80s but couldnt afford back then.

I always believed that this bike could have won 1000cc races at national level during its era with a bit more development, Tony Head's results at world level proved that, and I certainly put the cat among the pigeons with it a couple of times but really it needed a dry clutch, stronger gearbox, taller bottom gear, bigger swingarm, bigger radiator, beefier forks and a few other bits, ironically most of these bits would now be available from a breakers yard for reasonable money as the technology has filtered through to road bikes over the years, but back in the 80s it would have cost mega bucks.

I'm happy to keep it as was, faults and all, recently as its taken shape I've spent a couple of quiet moments staring at it sitting there and in my minds eye i've gone back to knee scraping tyre sliding action from the good old days, its a weird feeling which I never seem to get if I look at a photo but seeing the bike itself it seems like only yesterday.

Hopefully I will be posting a final picture in about a months time of the completed project.

Stealth
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

Stealth
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:19 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire & Isle Of Man

Post by Stealth » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:33 am

PS I bought a job lot of bits from a breaker during the early stages of the restoration, I needed things like footrest hangers and levers as the bike appeared to have been down the road a few times, I have a few bits left over which I didnt need but came with the deal:-

Complete airbox assembly

Rear Fender (Black plastic, Sits between frame rails on subframe)

Gearbox shaft complete (Cant remember if its input or output shaft without digging it out)

Ignition Stator

Spare 500cc pistons (Modified TZ Yamaha) mileage unknown

There may be a couple of other little bits and bobs kicking around too

If anyone has a requirement for any of these bits let me know and make me an offer, I'd rather they got used than sit on my bench.

Stealth
Dont buy a dwarf with learning difficulties...........it aint big and it aint clever!!!

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