Over the years, Dave “Thumper” Newitt has been a regular star in the motorcycle media. His beautiful restorations have graced many an article and his stunning hybrid XT500 based creations never cease to turn an envy filled eye.
Dave really has made the big single-pot Yamaha his very own and, as a font of knowledge, there can be few people more conversant on the subject. If you type XT500 into any search engine Dave’s name or his many web sites will be at the top of the results sheet, he has his own site selling parts and also runs the ever popular XT500 forum at www.yamaha-xt500.co.uk. He is only to happy to take on other types however, and in recent times Dave has completed many other models, from two stroke twins, to one off specials.
While Dave is a laid back and laconic person, his attention to detail, and endless desire to get the job right, certainly isn’t and it is this drive that has seen his reputation spread immeasurably over the last few years. This ethic comes to the fore when viewing his special creations, several of which we have tested in the magazine in recent years, there is hardly a part that doesn’t come in for some modification or adaptation in the pursuit of perfection. It all began when as a youngster Dave built off road machines, converting road bikes into fast and furious scramblers, this led to him having his own ideas on what works and how things should be and he does appear to have a lot of that sort of thing right. Dave can and does turn his hand to every aspect of the restoration or customising process, whether it’s a full stem to stern clean up or just an engine rebuild he is only to happy to take the job on. He even says if you want to share the load and help out at his fully kitted out workshops then he can accommodate that too.
Dave has expert help in the engine department as, in recent times, he has been joined by Dave Rees. This second Dave is fully qualified engineer, and now an expert on the XT mill, spending most of his working days rebuilding complete engines ready to be delivered back to a client or slotted into an awaiting chassis.
It isn’t just restoration, customising and engine work, that keeps Dave busy, he can also supply parts for people carrying out their own work an his store room is well stocked with all manner of parts and consumables, mainly for the XT series but parts for just about any machine, old or new, can be located and in stock within days, often far cheaper than a conventional parts dealer too. He is also involved in manufacturing these days; many parts that are no longer available from Yamaha have been designed and created exclusively for Dave, and his ever-expanding client base ensuring that the most demanding of repair or restoration can go ahead. Dave has plans to expand this side of the business even further, and also has designs on a much bigger workshop, incorporating a bike MOT test centre, and loads more space for spares and other parts.
Dave’s latest creation is a full on supermoto XT500 that weighs less than a modern day motocrosser, some feat, but nothing out of the ordinary for a man we have come to look on and as an achiever of the near impossible. The staggering weight reductions have come about through many hours of painstaking work with the chassis and power plant, many internal parts are now formed and machined out of titanium, while the tube work that holds it all together has been modified to keep the strength, but at a much reduced impact upon the scales. It is perfectly balanced too with each end weighing just over 50kgs when placed on the scales, this is impressive but even more so when Dave adds the exact specification of the engine into the equation, hot cams, big carbs, exhaust and a programmable digital ignition, all mean the end result should produce around 60bhp, making it one of, if not the most powerful XT’s ever built.
www.motorcycle-restorations.co.ukTel 01455 246 368
Yamaha XT500 Thumper Gallery