Improving a 1/12 diecast motorcycle

by Paulo Tiago de Jesus © 2006 Modeler Site

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I've been a Supermoto junkie ever since the first time I laid my eyes on a Supermoto bike. Since I bought one that just boosted the passion, it's amazing how such a simple thing can bring back the child inside.

A trip to work is no longer a pain but rather an experience that makes you sit at the desk with a huge smile in your face. So I also had to build a model Supermoto. 1:12 to combine with the other Tamyia bikes. The main challenge were the wheels, since there are no 1:12 17'' spokewheels available I had to scratchbuild them and that kept me from starting this project for a long time. Mario's article on "wire wheels" made me go.



Currently there are no modern 1:12 dirt-bikes, so I bought a couple of cheap NewRay 1:12 die-cast Suzuki DR-Z (off-road) and started to plan how I was going to do this.

A friend provided a set of Ducati wheels and tires and everything began to take shape...


- Scratchbuilt wheels

- Semi scratchbuilt front brake disc

- Semi scratchbuilt front fork (aluminium tubing)

- Scratchbuilt exhaust pipe

- Brake/clutch/breather tubes inserted

- Race trim (no lights, number plates, etc...)

- Scratchbuilt gear pedal

- Scratchbuilt swing arm suspension spring

- Scratchbuilt crankcase protection

- Scratchbuilt stand

- General touching up and detailing (engine, handlebars, etc...)


The work

Following another article, I decided to improve the ugly forks, replacing the sleeves with aluminum tubing.

Then I scratchbuilt an exhaust pipe, more according to the 'race' look I wanted...

I borrowed a front disk from a die-cast Yamaha R1 and turned it into a wave-disc, very typical of these bikes...

General work was done to the fairing to convert it to race-trim...

Then I finally started on the wheels...

Marking the hub alignment on a wooden base, I removed the original Ducati "spokes" and started scratchbuilding a new hub:


After the hub had been done, it was time to start laying the spokes, according to the drawing previously glued on the wooden base.

It took me about 6 hours to build each wheel but it was worth it.

Some other details were added (scratchbuilt), such as crankcase protection, rear spring, MX-like stand, etc...

In the end, it was a different and very rewarding project. Definitely worth doing for anyone that likes Supermoto.


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