Hi-Tac Suzuki 500

Hi-Tac’s Suzuki 500

In 1972 Peter Inchley, ex-Norvil chief, went his own way with the Hi-Tac organisation. Hi-Tac produced kits for several two-stroke machines including the T500. Peter Inchley saw the need to stabilise two-stroke engine performance by water-cooling the engines. He made no porting modifications to increase performance but sought to control the temperature of the cylinders. Having control of the of the cylinder temperature allowed for much more scope in the engine specifications. For example the Suzuki could now run at reduced piston clearances of 0.002in giving better compression and reducing blow-by of the rings. Because of the increased control of thermal loading a much higher compression ratio could be used. The water-cooled cylinder block had spun cast iron cylinders which can be removed for porting and re-lining. The Suzuki used a single 38mm Amal Concentric carburettor which gave considerable flexibility to the motor with no noticeable loss in top end performance. the kit also included expansion chambers. Hi-Tac also worked on close ratio gears for the T500, CDI ignition systems, nickel cadmium battery packs and a contact breaker trigger ignition system to replace the points setup. Used with the CDI this system gave consistent timing up to 14,000 rpm. The water-cooled conversion retailed at 318 UK pounds. Has anyone seen one, got one or some pics and will Father Xmas please send me a kit?

The full kit!

From: Peter Inchley 1 Apr 99

pic 1. Charlie Sanby, our rider, astride the bike at Jurby airfield in the Isle of Man. Poor Charlie is now dead I’m afraid. Died at quite an early age.

pic 2. Me, Dave the mechanic, and Frank Higley (my Hi-Tac partner, also now dead) at Jurby.

pic 3. my son Graham on the bike.

pic 4. Me at work on one of the motors.

pic 5. Charlie getting ready for testing at Jurby.

Let me tell you a little about the development programme. the air cooled 500 Suzuki in racing trim was producing about 60 bhp, and I was confident this could be easily improved upon with watercooling and extensive port mods. Indeed the first run on the dyno with the prototype showed 72 bhp which was a good start.

Our biggest problem was getting a reliable ignition system, and we ended up with a Krober electronic ignition. The first one was perfect, but that is always the case!! We kitted out 14 motors with stock Krober systems, and every one gave us major problems!!!!!! We were getting extra intermittent sparks at about 50 degrees before TDC, and this resulted in the pistons disintegrating into millions of pieces. During this period we lost a lot of good customers of course. Krober denied any problems, but declined an all expenses paid trip to see the problem for themselves on our dyno.

However we persevered, and corrected the problem by ourselves. Next we went to twin 1.5″ Amal GP carbs, and with further port and exhaust work we got 84 bhp. We were estatic and took the bike to the Isle of Man for the TT and Charlie got a very creditable third place, and we were at long last faster than the quick 350 Yamahas!! Bearing in mind the excess weight we were carrying we were well satisfied with that.

Copyright reserved: M Barnard and Peter Inchley 1996-99
Sad to say, since this article was prepared, Peter Inchley has passed away, I am honoured to provide this page in his memory. Vale Peter.
Murray 2004

Tam Byrne has sent us pics of his interesting Spondon framed Hi-Tac 500



Barry Sheene with the new water-cooled T500 based Seeley framed Hi-Tac Suzuki in 1971


Author: muzza

5 thoughts on “Hi-Tac Suzuki 500

  1. Nice to see Grandad’s bike back together, last time I saw this bike must have been about 4 years ago. Would love to see it running

  2. I think it was 1971, could have been 1970.
    The Hi Tech Suzuki 500, ran.without a fairing at Aintree Club I.e. hit (1 & 3/4 miles.).
    It was very fast down the back straight., passing the Yamahas.
    I know it won.easily.
    In the following WEDNESDAY paper, on next.to back page, it had a picture of the rider and bike at speed. The caption and write up.described The Peter Hinckley Hi Tech Suzuki had set a new lap record on the way to winning the 500 cc Race.
    The picture showed the Hi Tech Suzuki , without.a fairing.
    That all I remember.
    Riders around at that time were Ken Daniels, Phil Carpenter a Rider called Randal, and a couple of others rode TD 2B’s , TR 2’s for the Sponsors.
    The rest might as well have been in a different race.
    The Price Money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd was very good at £125 for first place.
    There was always a good crowd, but I think it rained that day.
    I would be interested in.some plans or something similar.
    If they are available, it seems, always nowadays, the dollar value to.get hold of things nowadays is for collectors only.
    Alternatively, some proof of someone water cooling a finned .barrel would be handy.
    I think k also Barry Sheene. Rode 500 twin at Oulton Park in 1971 at the Easter Races.
    As I remember, cause i marshalled at Old Hall, Phil Read and Rodney Gould rode 250’s , Read on his full faired TD2 and Gould on the watercolors and Read Won. There was a lot of air too third.
    There’s a lot more I could say, but it’s not relevant to Hi Tech.

  3. Great web site and resource. Love the commentary.
    Had a 68 model used bought from brother Chris in 1970 and he shipped it from Great Falls MT USA to San Diego CA as I was in the Navy then.
    Many decades later (1998?) had a 70 model here in Tacoma WA USA. A club friend bothered me for two years to sell it to him as he had one when new. I regretted letting it go.
    Just today got a 73 model with only 7k mi on it! In good original condition. A club member in KY USA did the leg work for me and now I need to ship it from Kentucky to Tacoma WA.

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