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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default 900RR Super Commute Fighter



Hi Everyone,

Just completed working on my 1996 CBR900RR (well mostly, and when the heck are they ever done?!?). Not sure if this is the correct part of the forum to post this since I'm just about finished, but I figured I'd detail the process/progress that it took to get to this point. As far as future plans, I expect I'll be fabricating some detachable hybrid aluminum/carbon fiber hardbags to carry my gear/equipment for long roadtrips (but I'm still open to custom leather or kevlar - sky's the limit and I like to challenge myself). I also plan to shave the seat pocket, add some foam to the front passenger area and make my own leather seat cover.

Here's the bike as I bought it last year in August of 2010 (pictures from the seller on CL).



Doesn't look bad at all from this side, minor scuffs on some of the decals and on the bolt-on Yoshimura RS-3 pipe.



Left side of the bike was cleaned by the previous owner before this pic, and by the time I got it, the left fork seal was leaking quite badly and had thoroughly soaked the left brake pads as well as gunked up half the radiator. Also, the bike had been downed once or twice on the left side with slight damage to the left tail fairing and again, scuffs on some of the decals and the passenger peg and bracket had been ground down a bit. But the frame was clean, and the motor ran smoothly and shifted well, and these were just about the only pieces I really cared about because I bought it knowing I was going to "StreetFighter" it at some point.

I started collecting parts almost immediately, keeping an eye on Craigslist, eBay and various Fireblade/Honda forums. I can't stand half-assed builds and "partway" completed projects, so I decided early on to wait until I had the majority of hardware in my hands before going to town on the bike. I was using it to commute roughly 100-110 miles per day at this point, and it was quite comfortable and luxurious compared to my hot rod Buell tuber. Also, I wanted to get to know the bike before tearing it down, and during this process I figured that the direction of my build was going to be decided - wild and crazy with flames, horns, masks and dreadlocks? Or clean and simple, sanitary and sweet? As I put the miles on week after week and into months, I became more certain that this bike was going to be clean - and I started to visualize the front end package.

I wanted the bike to be strong and light, with excellent brakes and modern suspension. I didn't want it to look like anyone else's bike. It had to be something just a little bit special.

For this reason, I did not want to use an off-the-shelf headlight unit. I feel the face of the bike defines its character to a large degree, so I began experimenting with different scraps I had laying around, trying to see what I could use to form my own headlight. I am familiar with working with fiberglass and carbon fiber, but because of the gorgeous and beefy Honda frame I wanted to keep aluminum as a theme throughout the chassis of the bike (and indeed, all the suspension components I eventually used are OEM Honda). I picked up a set of Ducati 999 projectors, then found another light unit on ebay that I thought would work better, and subsequently ordered an HID kit for said light . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself here and the headlight doesn't come up until at least 6 months after I bought the bike . . . . . so the story shall continue at a later time.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 02:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter



Well, looks I'll be subbing to this one. DW!
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 11:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

First things first. In order to ride the bike comfortably, I rebuilt the stock forks on a Friday night and rode heck out of the bike on Saturday.



I managed to pick up a set of '98-'99 stainless steel headers from a 49 state bike (in California, the exhausts were all painted black and mine was showing rust at all the welds). The pipes I bought on eBay were in rough shape, but a couple hours of sanding using progressively finer grits and and using some metal polish yielded excellent results. I took my time over two evenings and did it in front of the tv. I love stainless exhausts.



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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

nice teaser shot. cant wait for updates

if at least one motorcycle wasnt irreparably harmed in the creation of the bike, its not a streetfighter!

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

I started collecting more pieces as the weeks went by, and this beat up box showed up.



The dumbass I bought it off of on eBay didn't even bother wrapping the front end at all, he just threw the entire set of forks, triple trees, clip-ons, M/C, calipers and axle straight into the box. He even had the nerve to deny it all, despite my emails showing photos of the damaged parts. Anyway.



I had also picked up a set of Ducati 999S Marchesini wheels from Craigslist, along with the rotors and rear brake caliper + bracket. I even managed to get the rear axle, though I didn't end up using it. It's always a good idea to get nice tubes of aluminum, though, since I can turn that down to make spacers and such. A quick call to a buddy meant I had access to the Mythbusters shop one evening, so I brought the forks and wheel down to start mocking things up.



I chose 2007 CBR1000RR forks because the triple tree can be drilled to accept bar risers, but mostly because the fork legs are simply aluminum with a clear anodize over them. '06-'07 Honda liter bikes also had 320mm rotors (compared to 310mm in '04-'05) and that matched the rotors that came with the 999S wheel. I did end up spacing the rotors out to center them in the calipers. I didn't have any aluminum stock with me so I cut my initial spacers from some bronze bushings laying around.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

Hell yes. Subbed. Mine's a '97 with the same paint, sans the white number plate on the back.



I'll be looking into a CBR1000RR front end myself soon.

'17 FZ-10 - Daily Commuter/Sport Tourer/Track
'09 KTM 250XC-W 2stroke - Dirt
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next time, dont spit on it, just slam it in........and then donkey punch.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftone View Post
Hell yes. Subbed. Mine's a '97 with the same paint, sans the white number plate on the back.

I'll be looking into a CBR1000RR front end myself soon.
Per Wikipedia's page on Fireblades, the '96-'97 models had the stiffest frames, which is fine for a streetbike, and particularly a Street Fighter that hops curbs, jumps San Francisco hills and throws it up on the front wheel daily.

I got my front end "smash box" deal for 5 bills, plus 50 shipping.

Cycle Gear (an accessories chain around here that carries a lot multi-brand generic stuff) was having a blow out sale on fat bars, with risers and mounting bolts for a hundred bucks, so I scooped up a set of black Easton 1 3/8" bars with offset risers (Easton no longer produces these bars iirc, and they make normal 1 1/8" Renthals look puny). I can flip the risers 180 degrees to move the bars forwards or backwards 10mm, which turned out to be pretty handy as it allows me complete access to the rebound adjuster screw on the top of the fork legs and adjusting preload is easier, too. Only issue was that the offset risers were meant to fit into a KTM top triple, and each riser had these mounting tabs.



A few quick passes on the mill and they were squared up. Actually, the table wasn't trammed up to the nth degree, so they're probably off by a 1/128th of an inch (see uneven cut in the left riser). In any event, both risers are identical at this point and that's all the matters.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

10 bucks later I nailed a pair of 999 projector beams on eBay, and paid 10 more for shipping, haha. I didn't like the overall length of the housing, and because they're ovoid, I was hesitant to trim the bucket to shorten the length. Also, I was concerned it would affect the beam spread if I moved the bulb closer to the lens. I ended up buying another set of projector lights that were a little smaller (lower light).



Yeah, Buddy! Cheap-o single LED halo-ring. It looks great at night, but it's pretty worthless by day, at least in my opinion. I'd like to get ahold of a real ccfl/BMW halo!

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

I wanted to make sure the engine was healthy, so a quick compression check, followed by a valve adjustment and then leak down test were performed.



Cleaned, re-jetted and sync'd my carbs after doing the valve adjustment. Such a simple and gorgeous machine to work on, so intuitive to take apart and reassemble I really get a kick out of the thick machined cross members that link the frame spars together above the valve cover and underneath the swingarm pivot. You can't see them, but it's nice to know they're there.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 12-02-2011, 05:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: 900RR Super Commute Fighter

One of my early headlight designs revolved around re-cycling the original muffler body, since the "end" was welded on so nicely. Ultimately, I couldn't justify the time to create a curved bucket out of CF for the rear of the light, but it was fairly straightforward and easy to cut the center steel piping out of the aluminum outer body (NOT!).



I spent some time (a lot) replacing every bolt I could with titanium or stainless, but not before I refinished them on a lathe averaging 5-6 passes to drop weight and maintain an integrated flange. Laborious and time-consuming, but worth it. This is the level of detail and finish that I wanted the bike to have. Many of these bolts were then chucked up and 1/16" holes were drilled for safety wire.

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