Bitten by the speed bug - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Bitten by the speed bug

Hey WT

So I've been to a couple of track days this year on my 919, its pretty much stock except for my SS brake lines and some cafe racer style handle bars. I'm at a point now where I'm thinking of having a dedicated track bike and another bike to commute/go around town on.

As with anyone money comes into play here. I can't go out and a new track bike and finding a reasonably priced racer for the track is challenging. So I'm toying with the idea of upgrading the 919 to use it solely on the track. My basic logic is that best case scenario I can sell my 919 for about 4,500, more if I'm lucky (07 w/ 11,000km). Decent used RR's are selling for around $7,000 (for a good deal), then I'll probably be spending money to upgrade it...

I can upgrade the 919 in stages, I think that for the track the first things to improve upon would be the suspension. New springs, new rear shock and some sticky tires.

After that performance exhaust with PCIII and new air filter with a trip to the dyno.

Somewhere along the line add in a bigger sprocket for quicker acceleration maybe some pazzo levers if I feel fancy.

I'm handy enough with a wrench that I can probably do most of this work myself, and it would be a fun.

WT is this worth it? Can the 919 be turned into a decent track bike, or would it be better to cut bait on the 919 and go for a racer?

Thoughts appreciated!

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Davreece View Post
Hey WT

So I've been to a couple of track days this year on my 919, its pretty much stock except for my SS brake lines and some cafe racer style handle bars. I'm at a point now where I'm thinking of having a dedicated track bike and another bike to commute/go around town on.

As with anyone money comes into play here. I can't go out and a new track bike and finding a reasonably priced racer for the track is challenging. So I'm toying with the idea of upgrading the 919 to use it solely on the track. My basic logic is that best case scenario I can sell my 919 for about 4,500, more if I'm lucky (07 w/ 11,000km). Decent used RR's are selling for around $7,000 (for a good deal), then I'll probably be spending money to upgrade it...

I can upgrade the 919 in stages, I think that for the track the first things to improve upon would be the suspension. New springs, new rear shock and some sticky tires.

After that performance exhaust with PCIII and new air filter with a trip to the dyno.

Somewhere along the line add in a bigger sprocket for quicker acceleration maybe some pazzo levers if I feel fancy.

I'm handy enough with a wrench that I can probably do most of this work myself, and it would be a fun.

WT is this worth it? Can the 919 be turned into a decent track bike, or would it be better to cut bait on the 919 and go for a racer?

Thoughts appreciated!
It really depends on how you qualify "worth".
If you want to improve it to a reasonable upper limit, and still have it as a legit naked upright street bike good still OK for two up riding, then I'd say yes, a case can be made.
I did over 1200 kms of track day mileage last season on my 919 last year, and will end with about 600 more this season. Mine has had the front totally reworked with springs and valving, and I have a Penkse 3 way rear. Running Michelin 2CT for street and track tires. The bike is nicely sorted out, and can be hustled around at Race City here in Calgary. I get blasted every lap on the long main straight by all the 600s out. Intermediate Group rider. I reel in lesser riders in the turns. Equal or better riders get away in the turns on bone stock 600s. If you want to be in the mix with the 600s, you need to be on one. They have more power, weigh far less, have superior geometry and chassis characteristics, and are way more nimble, especially in quick transitions from side to side. 919 front geometry is not bad overall, very stable, stiffness is OK for street tires. The overall chassis does have a very significant limitation though, something that little can be done about. The swing arm angle is only about 8 degrees with rider on. The anti-squat is poor as a result, and the only possible compensation is to dial in the low speed compression damping. The ideal swing arm angle is over 12 degrees and less than 13 according to Traxxion. True, you can lengthen the shock to increase the swing arm angle, but you'd have to go too far to get the swing arm angle into the target zone. On top of this is the simple unlinked swingarm setup.
I'm really happy with what I have got my 919 developed too. But as happy as I was with it as a 919, I decided to get a dedicated track day bike. A rebuilt written off 07 GSX-R750 now sits in the garage. I still take out the 919 because I love riding it on the track and it reminds me of my ancient CB750 - aside from having way more go and handling way better.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like you've had a great summer!

Worth is subjective I guess, from what it sounds like the 919 can be made better at the track and still ride-able on the road, but the bike will always be the "fat kid in the playground" at the track.

I really would like to get away from riding my track bike on the road, speed is tempting but the price is too high to pay on the road (at best a ticket, at worst my kids needs a new daddy). Also tracking the bike takes its toll on a bike, repairs and maintenance keep it in the garage more often also the chances of wrecking go up at the track which would wipe out road riding all together.

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 02:13 PM
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Sounds like you've had a great summer!

Worth is subjective I guess, from what it sounds like the 919 can be made better at the track and still ride-able on the road, but the bike will always be the "fat kid in the playground" at the track.

I really would like to get away from riding my track bike on the road, speed is tempting but the price is too high to pay on the road (at best a ticket, at worst my kids needs a new daddy). Also tracking the bike takes its toll on a bike, repairs and maintenance keep it in the garage more often also the chances of wrecking go up at the track which would wipe out road riding all together.
Track wise, last summer was better. Next year is planned to be a big year. I'm thinking of getting a Novice Racing license and running the 750 in that. Plus, if you have a license, you can go out for the Saturday race club track sessions which are bit cheaper, and more importantly, allow you way more track time to choose from and get.

Yes, a 919 will always be the porker on the track compared to a supersport bike. It has to be muscled big time in comparison.

Track Days are not race days, so binning it at a Track Day is not part of the plan. I've only been off the pavement once (did a save but cutting across a chicane straight up) and have not yet been on the pavement. Binning my pride and joy 919 that my spouse two ups with me on is not the plan. I'm in my 50s. I'm doing 1 40 flat. Experts are doing 1 20 or high teens on 600s. Some novice racers are doing slower times on their prepped 600s than I'm doing on the 919. This all said to put it in perspective re how slow I am. A track day prepped bike will have battle damage from a get off that you can fix and tolerate as a track bike, that you wouldn't as a street bike. Track days should be easy on parts, chain lube and tires, that's it. Mistakes will consume more of course, but the idea is not to be binning it at Track Days.

I think that from everything you have said so far, getting a dedicated track day bike is what you'll end up doing, and you can't go wrong with that. And you would be amazed at the deals you can get for nicely prepped race bikes that are no longer competitive for racing, but perfect for the track.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 02:29 PM
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Davreece I started off with my 9'r on the track also and made pretty much all the suspension upgrades that could be made but then soon realized I could push it a lot harder on the track then when the tires started sliding I realized I was just on the edge of of tearing up my favorite street riding bike. So I turned my big offroad bike into a supermoto and made it my dedicated track bike. Man it was a blast and we did go sliding down the track a few times. But I didn't really care it was indestructible. If you never start sliding the tire in the turns then you never quite know what you can really do.

You can find some track bikes out there for pretty cheap sometimes probably for about the same $ you spend fixing up your 9'r and less after fixing it. Check out this site; Bikes for Sale - 13x Forums

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 02:44 PM
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If you're going to get into track days a lot then I think it's best not to be on a bike you want to street also. You get too worried about tearing up your main ride. Find an older 600 and have fun with it. If you wad it up, you wad it up. Hopefully it can be fixed, but you'll still have the
919 to ride. BTW, the first thing I would put on a bike going to the track is some good sliders and cheap bodywork.

My first trackday I was all nervous about laying down my main ride. A guy I went with looked at me and said "You don't crash on the street. What makes you think it's more likely here?" Obviously, if you want to find the edge of the envelope it's out there, but it's a lot easier to find without deer, cars, gravel, water on the road, etc.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
If you're going to get into track days a lot then I think it's best not to be on a bike you want to street also. You get too worried about tearing up your main ride. Find an older 600 and have fun with it. If you wad it up, you wad it up. Hopefully it can be fixed, but you'll still have the
919 to ride. BTW, the first thing I would put on a bike going to the track is some good sliders and cheap bodywork.

My first trackday I was all nervous about laying down my main ride. A guy I went with looked at me and said "You don't crash on the street. What makes you think it's more likely here?" Obviously, if you want to find the edge of the envelope it's out there, but it's a lot easier to find without deer, cars, gravel, water on the road, etc.
Excellent comments in every respect.

I'd add to your sliders suggestion by also urging the use of billet engine casing coversand/or protectors as well.

I'm running axle and frame sliders on the 750, as well as Woodcraft billet items for the engine casings.

I've got billet items for the 919 but have not fitted them yet. I have Sato sliders on and frame mounted them instead of using the engine mounting tab. I'm also cooking up a set of rear axle sliders and getting a set of F4i front axle sliders.

Last but not least. I upgraded my boots and gloves, and went from a back protector to an integrated back/chest protector. My hope is that all the $ spent on the "just in case" stuff will end up being like an insurance policy one makes payments on but never has to make a claim against.

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post #8 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Excellent comments in every respect.

I'd add to your sliders suggestion by also urging the use of billet engine casing coversand/or protectors as well.

I'm running axle and frame sliders on the 750, as well as Woodcraft billet items for the engine casings.

I've got billet items for the 919 but have not fitted them yet. I have Sato sliders on and frame mounted them instead of using the engine mounting tab. I'm also cooking up a set of rear axle sliders and getting a set of F4i front axle sliders.

Last but not least. I upgraded my boots and gloves, and went from a back protector to an integrated back/chest protector. My hope is that all the $ spent on the "just in case" stuff will end up being like an insurance policy one makes payments on but never has to make a claim against.
Boy mcromo44 I really envy you going with the 750! You've got the best of all worlds there. 600 weight and 750 power. I also agree with you on all the protection stuff. It's a lot better to spend a little money up front to help protect from spending a lot later. I also used an offroad chest/back/shoulder protector removed the plastic from the shoulders and wore it under my leathers.

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post #9 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 03:32 PM
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I haven't tracked the 919. Therefore, take my suggestion with a grain of salt.

IMO, you do not want to start throwing money at the 919 to make it a better track bike.

IMO, you'd be better off keeping the 919 as a fantastic street bike, and finding an already converted F3/F4 (or early R6) for cheap and you'll be much happier.

IMO, I use IMO too frequently.

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post #10 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 04:51 PM
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Boy mcromo44 I really envy you going with the 750! You've got the best of all worlds there. 600 weight and 750 power. I also agree with you on all the protection stuff. It's a lot better to spend a little money up front to help protect from spending a lot later. I also used an offroad chest/back/shoulder protector removed the plastic from the shoulders and wore it under my leathers.
The 750 is like a really torquey 600.
Quite easy to ride not wicked wide open.
To be honest, I am no where near being able to use it at all.
It's like warp drive to anything else I have ever ridden.
Plus the riding position is totally alien.
Slowly dialing it more up each time.
I took both bikes last week and switched back and forth.
I swear the 919 felt like a couch on casters after getting back on it.
Getting on the 750 after the 919 is like holding a surgeon's scalpel after holding a hammer that smashes things.

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post #11 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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You can probably pick up a used SV650 for a cheap track bike. A fun bike to ride, too.

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post #12 of 21 Old 09-06-2010, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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You can probably pick up a used SV650 for a cheap track bike. A fun bike to ride, too.
Lots of used bikes out there, just have to figure out what's right for me. Work out a time line and see whats out there!

I think no matter if I stick with the 919 or buy something sportier, fun is the goal!!!

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post #13 of 21 Old 09-07-2010, 08:03 AM
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If money is tight and you're out to just have a little fun the track, the 919 will do just fine.

But if you're going to take it up to the next level, do as the other ^ guys say.

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post #14 of 21 Old 09-07-2010, 11:20 AM
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track bikes need no insurance, no title, little maintenence, sounds like a no lose thing to me





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post #15 of 21 Old 09-07-2010, 06:05 PM
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track bikes need no insurance, no title, little maintenence, sounds like a no lose thing to me
Aye ta that !

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post #16 of 21 Old 09-07-2010, 10:40 PM
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My first track day was on a 919. All the rest of my track days have been on a theft-recovery R6 that was missing its bodywork and can never be titled. Unless you have really deep pockets don't ride anything too new or too pretty on the track. How's it go - "there are those that have crashed and those that will" ?

At Loudon I saw a guy on a fairly ratty EX500 having the time of his life.

Browse the classifieds of the trackday club forums. That's a great place to find a used trackbike, many of which have some nice suspension goodies.
Also, while browsing ebay use "salvage" in your search. Bikes with slight damage already make great trackbikes and are usually cheap.
have fun and good luck.

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post #17 of 21 Old 09-08-2010, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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My first track day was on a 919. All the rest of my track days have been on a theft-recovery R6 that was missing its bodywork and can never be titled. Unless you have really deep pockets don't ride anything too new or too pretty on the track. How's it go - "there are those that have crashed and those that will" ?

At Loudon I saw a guy on a fairly ratty EX500 having the time of his life.

Browse the classifieds of the trackday club forums. That's a great place to find a used trackbike, many of which have some nice suspension goodies.
Also, while browsing ebay use "salvage" in your search. Bikes with slight damage already make great trackbikes and are usually cheap.
have fun and good luck.
I've been skeptical about buying a used track bike, all the advice I've heard is that you should stay away from them. Any suggestions on how to approach?

Also would a high road mileage bike be OK for the track? How far can you push these bikes?

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-08-2010, 11:11 AM
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I've been skeptical about buying a used track bike, all the advice I've heard is that you should stay away from them. Any suggestions on how to approach?

Also would a high road mileage bike be OK for the track? How far can you push these bikes?
Skeptical no, careful - yes.
You want a legal frame, even if it has been written off in the system and can never be put back on the street.
You want equipment that is mechanically sound and reliable.
I'd take a cared for dedicated track bike over a miled out streetbike every time.
Take your time.
Look at my 07 GSXR750 for example.
Written off at 2,000 miles but not a ding in the tank, chassis perfect.
Rebuilt with race bodywork, suspension upgrade, yosh exhaust, ohlin steering damper, PCIII and custom mapped, plus other bits etc. There's others out there that have done the same thing. Find one. Or a now uncompetitive 600, say something 5 years old or so, that has been raced or track dayed but properly cared for and maintained. Example, a guy I know here in Calgary bought a R6 full Ohlins bike, got it for $ 3,500 !!!!!! Last year R6 with conventional forks, now uncompetitive. He only wanted it as a track day bike.
Mechanically it is perfect. Such deals exist.

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post #19 of 21 Old 09-08-2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Davreece View Post
I've been skeptical about buying a used track bike, all the advice I've heard is that you should stay away from them. Any suggestions on how to approach?

Also would a high road mileage bike be OK for the track? How far can you push these bikes?
Do you have a decent set of tank grip pads for your 919 ?
If not, see the attached. I used TechSpec Snakeskin material. The grips make a huge difference, and the upper one is particularly helpful.

Uh oh, I tried to attach the PDF templates I made plus a picture of what they look like, but it didn't work. If you want the attachments, send me an e mail address that accepts attachments and I'll send it to you from my hotmail address.

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post #20 of 21 Old 09-08-2010, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Do you have a decent set of tank grip pads for your 919 ?
If not, see the attached. I used TechSpec Snakeskin material. The grips make a huge difference, and the upper one is particularly helpful.

Uh oh, I tried to attach the PDF templates I made plus a picture of what they look like, but it didn't work. If you want the attachments, send me an e mail address that accepts attachments and I'll send it to you from my hotmail address.
Trying this attachment thing again. The picture file that shows the grip pads on the bike should now appear. It seems that the PDF file size of the templates is too big for the website to accept.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P9070107.jpg (102.2 KB, 12 views)

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post #21 of 21 Old 09-09-2010, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Trying this attachment thing again. The picture file that shows the grip pads on the bike should now appear. It seems that the PDF file size of the templates is too big for the website to accept.
PM sent with contact info!

Thanks!

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