A perfect addition to a Non-Reed valved Combat Wombat
It has been a year since I installed the carburetor you built for my Combat Wombat. The most notable difference between this modified 32mm and the stock 28mm is bottom end power. I have found that the engine has a much wider power producing RPM range. This means that precise shifting at exactly the correct time is not as crucial as the stock configuration. I think the venturi dividers get me as close to a reed valve as possible without being bumped out of my class.
You will notice that my full bike picture shows the old carb configuration-that is the best picture I have. Other modifications to my CW include a Penton Ceriani front end with a homemade fork brace. Due to the extended length of the forks I had to lean those Honda CR250 rear shocks forward to raise the rear end height. When I raised the rear I found that my rear wheel travel increased beyond legal limits. To shorten the shock travel I added some heavy rubber bumpers from car shocks. The rubber used on car shocks is heavy duty and does not compress over time keeping me within vintage travel limit. If you look closely you will also notice I welded a stiffener to the bottom of the swing arm. The pictures also show that I was able to keep the OEM air box and boot assembly. Keeping the classic stock look on my Hodaka is very important. The 32mm carburetor is longer than stock and since the boot is conical at that end, all I had to do was trim and it slipped right on. Happy customer!
A Fantanstic addition to a Perfect Restoration
CR250 at the AHMRA national at Unadilla
I finally got everything together and raced the AHMRA national at Unadilla NY last weekend. I was able to heat cycle the engine a few times before I left, but my first time riding the bike was the first moto. We got stuck in a thunderstorm just before practice, so they delayed practice about two hours. My race was #19, so I decided not to ride the slick, puddled track. Unadilla dries out fairly quick, and by the time my race was up, it was in great shape. I had an issue with the kick-starter jamming, and had to bump start it. I still got a top five start in the 50+ intermediate sportsman race with about 30 entries. The bike is definitely fast and easy to ride. I ran around the top five, but made some poor line choices, and ended up 9th. It was geared a little tall with 14/48. I'm going to give 13/48 a try next. The next race I'm doing is Southwick MA, a sand track.
If I were to do this again, I would look at maybe milling the intake pad on the cylinder first. I still need to make a better airbox as well.
I am very happy with the engine, so thanks again.
The Best Bike that I Ever Owned!
My name is Arie Furlong. My dad, Mike Furlong, sent my head in to you so you could port it for me. You also got me a new Weisco 85cc Piston. We have installed the head, carburetor, and the new Weisco piston and the bike is the BEST BIKE THAT I EVER OWNED! I have amazing bottom end power for climbing hills, lots of top end for all out speed, and the best mid-end power on any 85cc 2-stroke.
Thanks a whole lot for doing this for me. I couldn't be happier.
With Best Wishes,
Thank you for your expertise with helping me with your excellent cylinder, head work and carb set up for my 2-stroke - Honda NSR150sp.
I am extremely happy with the performance of my Honda. Thanks again Rich!
2 AHRMA National Championships!
Thank you for helping me with your expertise on the cylinder, head, carb and cases of my YZ250. The whole package works great. The power delivered is more everywhere in the RPM range. With this engine package, I won 2 AHRMA National Championships. You should be very proud of your accomplishments on this engine.
Thanks again Rich
Truly International - One of the "Down Under" Hodaka projects
Rich thanks for your advice and porting work on the Hodaka over the years. Your work has turned a docile trail bike into a fun MX bike and I look forward to working with you again in the future. Work that you performed included Cylinder porting , V Force reeds in a custom manifold and Carburetor vanes and jetting.
Truly International - The Spanish Bultaco Pursang
Finally recovering from my knee operation about a month ago. Got the '88 CR250 forks mounted on the Bultaco Pursang. Had to use springs for the CR125 to get it balanced out properly. Anyway, I did take it for a rip up the street last weekend and found the power was very smooth and controllable. I was able to easily hold a third gear wheelie as long as I wanted. I'm going to take it out into the dirt tomorrow to get the suspension and jetting set up.
On another subject... I just bought a Hodaka! It's pretty custom with a Combat Wombat motor mounted in a 1976 street 125 frame. I definitely want to do some motor work to it as it is completely stock and just barely makes 50 MPH.
Wicked FAST Yamaha Racers
Rich Gagnon has been doing my engine porting for about four years. I know if I don’t holeshot my motos, it not the fault of the bikes, because they are consistently the fastest bikes at the event. Rich is an expert at finding horse power in a two stroke motor. The power comes on down low and never falls flat on the top end. Rich's porting makes the bikes easy to ride with a very broad and useable power band. Whether you are a beginner or an expert Rich can build a motor to suit your riding needs. Rich runs his business professionally and does quality work in a timely manner!
David Young's Yamaha RZ350
I had to consider a lot of options when rebuilding my RZ350 after launching a ring, there are many tuners out there for 2 strokes but only a small handful know how to "taylor" the design of the port, most tuners look for peak power and have little concern for readability in most real world applications.
I am glad to report that Rich is in the small handful category, he listens and ask the right questions in order to "taylor" the power delivery to the needs of the rider and conditions the bike will run in.
I live in NYC and the last thing I need is a wheelie while I’m hunting for the power band that sends me into the back of a yellow cab, Rich’s port work, head grooving, carb-mods have transformed my RZ into a bike that feels like it has a 100cc’s more of displacement, no need to stress the crank taking it to 11 (thousand RPM), shifting at 9 grand puts me right in the meat of the torque.
Since getting the bike back from a complete rebuild by Robert Marsden in NH (a good friend of Rich’s who I strongly recommend) I’ve let a few people ride it who know these bikes and all have commented how seamless the power delivery is over the stock and tuned bikes.
Thank you Rich for your expertise and guidance.
Tim Summer's Yamaha YZ465
Rich, I finally got out to ride the YZ465. I was able to barely fit a ¼ inch reed spacer between the cylinder and reed valve. It seems to have more power “everywhere” and I really like the mid-range power. Also the top end is much stronger, however, I’m not good enough to ride it there.
Thank you for the fine porting job, if anybody asks I will recommend you for the job. I attached a few pictures but no action shot because no one was at the track when I was riding.
"The Little RD that could!"
Yamaha RD400 (2-stroke - twin) USCRA “Formula-1” Road Racing Champion
Just wanted to say thanks again for your advice, carb mods, porting changes, jetting and tuning help on the “Twins " ( Yamaha RD 400,s ) this past season which resulted in our first USCRA road racing championship on these bikes for 2013. My solo and test rider" brother Joe " (#788) has been on the bikes since 2011 and with your help putting the final pieces of the puzzle together on his main bike, he took the championship with plenty of room in points to spare against much larger displacement bikes and also ran the bike in “Formula-1” against 750cc to 1000cc bikes from Ducati’s to Honda’s to Suzuki’s etc. and won many of those races during the season.
My bike (#588/54) had a complete revamp in the chassis with Rich reworking the engine porting and carb specs to make it a bit more “ride-able” power delivery and we tested the bike in Sept of 2013 with great initial results.
Rich is the guy you want if you’re serious about getting the best results out of your bike (whatever that bike may be) and be sure that the work he performs is top notch. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.
His expertise in jetting was a great advantage to my vintage road racing program and he continues to help us along the way still to this day and certainly into the future.
I believe I have not only gained a great engine developer / tuner but also a good friend.
Bob Marsden / D.A.R. racing
Scott McKey YZ490
I have raced theYZ490 three times now. The engine that you ported for me has a smooth pull on the Bottom End and then Comes on hard but controllable Mid - to - Top-end! There is no more Vibration as well. It’s so easy to ride… I Love This Bike now!
Vintage Racer from "Down Under"
1971 Ace 100 Hodaka w/1974 Super Rat Engine (Bonneville Bike)
I wanted to thank you for all your help in the building and fine tuning of the “Bonneville Bike”. We are closing in on the Bonneville AMA land speed record for its class. This would not have been possible without you expert porting services and otherwise invaluable advice. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your services to anyone in this industry. I look forward to working with you in 2010.
Greg Watkins of California Hodaka built the motor,
which includes porting and reed induction by Rich's Taylored Porting.
Reggie Chapman with Greg Watkins
Reggie Chapman "At Speed"
I started the 2009 trials season with a fresh top end compliments of my sponsor, Charlie Robinson of Sooner Hodaka. The bike performed great and I achieved 1st place finishes in the first 3 events of the 2009 season. The next 2 events of the ITSA series were to take place in Sequatchie, TN down in the Smokey Mountains.
For these events, my sponsor, Bill Cook, called and told me that he had a Rich Gagnon ported cylinder and that he wanted me to test it on my bike. Never say no to a good sponsor. Hodaka Dave and I installed the cylinder 1 week before the trials in TN. WOW. The bike pulls like a tractor on the bottom end and the response is like a reeded engine. The timing could not have been better. I have been riding trials for 15 years and I have never ridden harder sections in my life. I finished with 1st place wins on both days. There were sections there that I was able to clean, that I truly believe I would not have been able to if not for Riches ported cylinder. I highly recommend his work to anyone who is looking for that extra edge.
I cannot say enough about Rich's porting and engine building knowledge. I was VERY particular in my engine power desires. Even though we are talking a vintage, air cooled, 125cc Hodaka (Super Combat) engine, I know that years of MX racing and riding larger displacement, modern 4-strokes have left me knowing that I didn't want a High-Horsepower (on paper) motor, with a High-RPM, "Light switch" power band. I wanted, no "Needed" more like, an engine that could rev freely but be willing to pull strong in lower RPM's when it gets late in the Moto and I "need" the help as I get tired and lazy..
Rich really listened to my concerns and not only ported my cylinder and cases to match my needs, He recommended a Harry Taylor Designed HT3 Pipe, His own proprietary, Machined alloy, intake which allows the use of a modern VForce3 reed kit, Larger carburetor (which was hard for me to believe that I wouldn't lose torque) and a larger air filter, that would all work together to make tremendous "Real World" power that not only revs freely while keeping the throttle pinned and slapping the clutch. It's Power that gets hole-shots AND helps me get up hills and over jumps even when I start to get tired and can pull like a tractor when needed.
I value his judgment in all aspects of engine tuning, not just his porting skills. For instance, he can pretty much tell you what type of premix and/or oil you have been running by just looking at the piston or valves of your motor. He has made a believer out of me in using Redline products. Rich uses Redline in all of his engines...bikes, cars, tractor you name it. If he uses Redline exclusively, so should you!
2 Nationals Championships
I have to recommend Rich Gagnon' work. I have been riding a trials bike with Rich's porting for over a year now and the bike pulls like a John Deer Tractor. Honestly you can be just above idle and roll on the throttle, the front wheel will come up to clear a log or rock or just put a smile on your face.
The Wombat based motor is dependable and stronger than a stock Hodaka Wombat in all areas. I used a stock cylinder at one trials event just to see how they compared, the power from Rich's cylinder was far superior in all situations. I couldn't wait to get my trick cylinder back on the motor.
So if you are ready for more power and a smoother, stronger motor, call Rich, he is the real deal.
This bike won 2 Nationals Championships in 2009....1. AHRMA National Trial Series. Classic Novice National Champion
2. International Twin Shock Association
This bike won 2 Regional Championships in 2009....1. AHRMA South Eastern Regional
So yes, I respect Rich and I recommend his work to anyone looking for the best in porting, give him a call.
Enclosed is a picture of the Hodaka that I won the 2-day on, after the port work that you did. You gave me the good spread of power that I was looking for. I won every race that I entered with this bike/motor.
1980 Honda 125
I never would have believed that a Hodaka could run like Rich has made mine run! His jewel like craftsmanship, combined with “Good ole' American” know how, have produced magical results. I had him do case ports, cylinder porting, matching and convert my Super Combat 125 to modern V force reed cage, as well as create split venturi plates for my 38 mm Mikuni, which took the bog out of it, yet it still has incredible top end as well. I recommend Rich's Taylor'd Porting to anyone who wants the best possible performance from their race engine!
I bet that you have never seen a "bathtub" go this fast?
After you ported the engine and made it run stronger, it pulls the "Bathtub Boat" faster than it has ever gone! Thanks again!
1974 Super Rat
I had Rich at Rich's Taylor'd Porting Service port my 1974 Super Rat cylinder and cases, had the head modified and purchased his “c-n-c” (billet) intake. I was extremely pleased with the power through-out the whole RPM range. It has more power everywhere, and even more on the top end than before! Hardly any jetting work was needed, I actually went down one jet size and that was it. I won the 100-cc Cross Country expert race on Friday, the 100-cc expert Motocross race on Saturday and the Marty Trippes Works Revenge.
Needless to say, I highly recommend Rich's work. Rich is very professional and easy to deal with. He did the work on time, as promised. I recommend him for any of your vintage, 2-stroke or modern motorcycle needs, especially Hodaka's. Thanks again!
Bruce MacFarlane, Haughton, LA
Not just street, dirt and salt-flat motors
The two sleds with the blue decals (#55) are the 440 Mod race sleds that you helped build into wicked fast machines!