"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
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.
1971 Ace 100 Hodaka w/1974 Super Rat Engine (Bonneville Bike)
Greg Watkins of California Hodaka built the motor,
which includes porting and reed induction by Rich's Taylored Porting.
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!
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.
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!
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
The two sleds with the blue decals (#55) are the 440 Mod race sleds that you helped build into wicked fast machines!