Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sotaro SV-R by Moto-R Design

We can now present to you. the Sotaro SV-R by Moto-R Design.

A design exercise to create a track focused motorcycle using the basis of an SV650 engine and GSX-R600 front end. It's lighter and smaller then the bike it's based upon and has it's own, unique style. 

This particular one, "the prototype" uses a completely standard engine from a '99 bike with standard exhaust system and an Arrow end can (off a GSX-R600). The front end is all GSX-R600 and the rear shock is off a ZX-10R. This bike has been designed with LED running lights and projector headlight, along with an LED tail light unit, so could be made road legal fairly easily, though our use will only be on track.

If you would like to commission one for your own project, then please get in touch by email. There are already more frames being made on the jig.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Finished Build

This evening the bike came off the workbench for the final time and here she is. 

The bodywork has now been fitted, some quick photos taken and loaded into the back of the van ready to head to Oulton Park. Check back soon for more pictures!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Late Night Build

 A quick update and sneak peak on how the build is going. Engine and forks are now in and the not so enjoyable task of adding the loom and connecting the wiring is underway.

With the frame and swingarm looking like new, it was time to refresh the engine. Along with the obvious servicing and checking of things, it also gained a fresh new paint job. It hasn't come out too bad from what it was looking like!

This engine is completly bog standard, gets given hell on a race track and just keeps on going, with minimal attention. Respect to Suzuki. 

Not long now until Oulton Park and we can test it. No doubt a few more late nights in between though.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Blue Trellis

After many years of waiting, the frame has it's final colour and a nice shiny powdercoat finish.

There's not much to say, so hope you enjoy the close up pictures!

And of course the rear subframe has had the same treatment, although we went with black for this piece to add some contrast, though most of this is hidden.

We now have 9 days to get the entire bike rebuilt (and still make a few parts) in readiness for a two day trackday at Oulton Park where we get to test the swingarm for the very first time. Very exciting, but lots to do.

Swingarm Gets Colour

The first of our chassis parts gets it's fresh powdercoat finish and it's the first chance to see the colour we are going for on the prototype bike. As soon as this was back from powdercoat, it was a case of running the tap through the threaded holes and pressing the bearings into place, before bolting the aluminium pieces on and seeing what we've created for the first time.

We decided to go with anodised black finish on the machined aluminium pieces and these are bolted to the steelwork.

Stainless steel hardware, black anodised aluminium and blue powercoated steelwork. The brake caliper hanger slides in place and the chain adjusters have removeable sleeves to take multiple sizes of rear axles, should you wish a different option.

It looks great mounted to the back of the frame, but you'll have to come back in a few days to see that!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Frame Building

And so it all starts again . . . 

The new jigs are working a treat. We can't wait to see the difference in weight and looks of the frame when it's built with the new smaller diameter tubing.

There are three frames lined up for production. If you want one, drop us an email.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Fuel Tank

Somewhere around two years ago we received some lasercut parts which we bent up and prepared for welding. They got sent off and after doing the rounds a bit we finally managed to get them welded by Josh @ JAF Fabrications. Two years later and what turns up is a super lightweight, fully welded aluminium fuel tank, and here's some pictures!

I did say lightweight. I weighed this at just under 2.5kg. The original steel tank on the SV is up around 4.9kg.

 It's not quite as large as the OEM tank, taking around 12 litres, mainly due to the limited space on the bike we had to work within.

Having now fitted it to the bike, the minor adjustments over the original we made have made fitment so much easier. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016


We received an email recently to say we have not only been nominated, but have won SV Of The Month on the SVRider forum. It's really nice to have been nominated, as we weren't aware of this, but even more rewarding to have won!

Here's the picture we sent in . . .

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Frame Components Arriving

The first of our parts to build some more frames have arrived. Above we have the 1 1/4" tubing along with a whole load of lasercut parts. These arrived this morning and were only ordered on Tuesday. We wern't in a rush for them, just great service!

These are the components before bending that will make up three frames and subframes. There are also some additional parts we had made to try to speed up the assembly & welding process as seen below.

This setup was first seen on a set of Pierobon jigs, where they use lateral jigs to build both sides before final assembly onto the main jig. It looks far easier to hold all the tubing and weld the bosses in place, so following the success of our lasercut swingarm jig and a few hours in Solidworks to model up some jig parts up around our frame, we came up with this setup.

The 1 1/4" tubing drops on perfectly and there are also guides for the smaller diagonals (the red tubes are our old patterns and made to fit 1 3/8 tubing). We look forward to seeing how it goes. Now to await the arrival of the bosses and order some tubing.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2016 Plans

Since last time, we have finished welding and making all the parts for the prototype swingarm. The trickiest part of this was the final step, machining (more crucially, aligning of) the bores for the pivot bearings. This was done on the lathe, with the swingarm clamped to the cross slide and a boring head mounted in the chuck. Unfortunatly, we didnt take any photos of this step, but it was very pleasing to be able to press the bearings in place and for perfect alignment on the swingarm spindle.

There was one part that we re-made - the brake caliper hanger. We made an error on the hole pitch for the caliper, so while we were re-making the piece, we altered the rear wheel spacers, thinned the part out and reduced the weight by half. All part of development.

The end of the year saw a bit of a halt on things since we were insulating/painting the workshop and organising it whilst we went along. Now everything has its place so working should become more efficient.  

The prototype bike is now undergoing a full strip-down (with a few modifications to some mounts on the frame) in order to go off for powdercoating. What colour? We don't know yet, but it's going to be better then white!

So what does 2016 bring? We've got some big plans, starting with the first production run of frames. We have started making parts for the first three frames to be manufactured. These are going to be slightly different to the prototype frame as we look to improve it in many ways and we will post more about those specifics in future posts but most importantly it will be lighter. 

Therefore there are going to be two frames up for grabs (we are building one up into a much more race orientated bike ourselves (the engine is stripped on the workbench ready for a rebuild)). We are just finalising the price and marketing material, but if you are interested (we have had many requests so far asking when . . .) then please do drop us an email at 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

SV650 - Swingarm Weld Time

This weekend we sat down with the TIG torch and got to work on welding the new swingarm and although not quite there with it (we've ran out of gas) a lot got done and we're now not far off.

From the previous post, we had the initial lower section tacked together, before test fitting it to the bike to make sure everything cleared. With this all good, we were ready to weld - but there was a change to make first.

The pivot tube made initially was 1 1/2" with a relatively thick wall. The counterbore for the bearing was machined from this, therefore creating the greater tube thickness in the middle of the tube. This created extra unnecessary weight so we changed the plan. Now we have gone with 1 5/8" x 16swg CDS tubing, but have machined bosses that are welded in either end to take the bearings. These are currently undersized, ready to be machined in line on a boring setup we are making on the lathe when the welding process has done with distorting my once straight tube.

With the lower half fully welded (and checked for distortion (the two legs pulled in 9mm!)) and re-positioned to where they should be, the top half of the swingarm could start to be tacked on. Again, it was very much a case of tacking a few bits on and checking on the bike. This was especially important to enure the shock, exhaust and chain cleared all the tubing.

You can see the large cut from the front tube that has been shaped around the shock. There is very little space between the shock and chainline.

Once popped out of the jig, access to the joints became easier to weld and it was all going so well until the Argon ran out. So this is the stage we are at, with a couple more cross braces to add and a few welds to finish off. Then we can look at machining the bores for the bearings and correcting the distortion that has occured on the top tubes where they meet the aluminium block at the the rear.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

SV650 - August Update

We had another track day booked at RAF Benson in the middle of the month, so held off stripping the back end of the bike down until this had passed to get on with welding the new swingarm.

These are all of the steel components that will go into the welded part of the swingarm. In addition to the above, there are a number of machined aluminium parts to mount the rear wheel which can be seen below.

The first tacks on the lower half of the swingarm. We thought we'd take it steady and tack a little at a time, then check it on the bike, then tack a little bit more . . . 

Here's a shot of the lower half of the swingarm on the bike with some of the CNC machined components loosely bolted in place. It gives a great impression of how its going to end up looking!