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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Here's a riddle to start off with... what has 54" wheel base, 21 degree rake, makes 50hp on a good day, and has accumulated boxes of road racing trophies?



Answer is an AK-1.


Here is a brief history for those who don't know what an AK-1 is. Back in the late 90s I got this idea that I wanted to get into the motorcycle business selling exotic kit-motorcycles. This business model had worked two decades earlier for Bimota.

The owner of a local motorcycle salvage had been sending me numerous EX500 to modify for his customers who wanted to get into road racing on the cheap. I did lots for fork swaps, rear wheel swaps, custom brake hangers, and stuff like that. The EX500s were popular little race bike at the time and salvage yards were full of potential donors. I just needed to design and build the right frame that everything would easily bolt onto and I'd have my kit. Thus became the AK-1 (A= A-N-D Vehicles, name of my new company; K=Kawasaki for the engine being used; 1= first model).

Over the winter of 2000-2001 two prototype frames were built. One of those frames was built into a complete bike.

[IMG]AK1.p4 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]DSCN1220 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Here is how that first bike looked at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA, December 2000.

[IMG]andbike by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Another photo taken a week after the LongBeach show (I still had hair back then)

[IMG]33108_IqWtFjliUFn74XGzoJ3VsXNoK by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 07:55 PM   #2
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

The plan was to follow the two prototype frames with a small batch of production frames that would be available for sale. To promote the business I sponsored two riders (Tom Dorsey and Shawn Reilly) with AFM (local racing club). By the first race of the 2001 season the production frames were close to being finished, but not in time for the race at Button Willow Raceway. We decided that Shawn and Tom would take turns riding the prototype in practice on Saturday, then on Sunday one would race in 500cc twins class, while the other would race in the super fast Formula 2 class.

Because of a very odd chain of events we would sit out the 500 twins class that day, which ultimately cost us the championship at the end of the year... but this thread isn't about the racing stories although there are some good ones. This thread is about that first prototype bike which is still sitting in my garage 15 years later.

One valuable bit of design feed back I got from my riders that first weekend was that the bike was too long, or at least the seat to bar distance was too long. As it turns out, the racer pitted next to us at Button Willow had two Yamaha R6s. I kept looking at the R6s, then at my prototype, and so on. Turns out the R6 is the seat and tail used on the prototype. But in trying to keep as much of the EX500 donor bike, the prototype was designed to use the EX500 tank with a fiberglass piece that fits between the tank and the R6 seat the mate them together. This made for a very long reach to the bars.

The following week I purchased two R6 tanks on eBay and re-resigned the rear sub-frame to accommodate this change. The end result was a 2" reduction in the bar to seat distance... and the R6 tank matched VERY well with the EX500 fairing. Sometimes you just get lucky. So with the new sub-frames designed, the race bike were completed and all was good... and the trophy collection began to grow

For some reason I decided to use red accent color on the race bikes...

[IMG]DSCN0081 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]DSCN0080 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]DSCN0106 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]DSCN0089 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Tom at Sonoma (Sears Point) Raceway...

[IMG]AK-1 race_2 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Shawn at Sonoma (Sears Point) Raceway...

[IMG]AK-1 race_3 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 08:34 PM   #3
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

That first year of racing went very well and the collection of trophies got very large. It was fun watch Tom and Shawn on my bikes. Tom's background was with 250 Production bikes and this his strength was in corner speed and very very smooth lines around the track. Shawn's background was complete opposite as he was also racing a 150hp GSXR in several of the superbike classes. His style is to be more physical with the bike. Both riders were equally fast on teh AK-1s, so depending on which track we were at one would have a slight advantage over the other. By the end of the season we had a firm hold on second and third place in points for the 500cc Twins class with Tom slightly ahead of Shawn. Our nemesis was a bike known as "The Gibson". It was a one-off, trellis framed, EX500 powered bike, owned and ridden by Kevin Smith. We were getting closer and closer to Kevin in points as the season went on, but because we were playing catch up having missed the first race of the season, Kevin would eventually take the championship that year.

These are the only photos I could find of The Gibson bike (built by two brothers, last name Gibson)...

[IMG]ex500gg2 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]ex500gg1 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]


In addition to AFM 500cc Twins racing, the bikes were also raced in several AHRMA events in light weight twins against SV650s. We never won any of those races, but usually managed to get on the podium for a second or third place finish. We also did something very unusual that year, Tom and Shawn talked me into let them take the bikes to Laguna Seca for World Super Bike! Of course we didn't race in World Superbike race, but on Thursday of the four-day event was the AMA ProThunder race which we did race in. This was a class dominated by 1200cc Buells and 748 Ducatis. The class also has a 600cc minimum displacement rule! The idea we had was be the only team to ever race stock EX500 powered bikes in the class. Our goal was to finish better than last place. We lied about the engine size telling the tech inspectors that the bikes had 612cc big bore kits installed which they didn't. One bike was officially a DNF with a mechanical (sand in the carb) and the other bike finished ahead of two or three other riders. It was great fun.


In 2002 I handed one of the AK-1s over to Zoran Vujasinovic and he won a nice big championship trophy in AFM 500cc Twins Class. Zoran has deep history racing SV650s. His company TWF Racing makes lots of racing accessories and does race tuning. Here is his website... http://www.twfracing.com/index.html
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 09:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

This sounds awesome man, but none of your pics are working for me


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Quote:
Originally Posted by rex_saugerty View Post
Only weak people test the engine. Real brave guys assemble the bike and then tries to start it
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 09:20 PM   #5
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Now getting to the project... the original prototype bike is no longer all nice a shinny like it was 15 years ago (see pictures in first post). A few years ago lights were added which required welding extra tabs and brackets to the rear sub-frame. It was never painted after those changes and has some rust issues now. The gas tank decided to start leaking after a few years. And the bike has spent most of the time in the back of my garage getting other motorcycles bumped into it and random stuff dropped on it.

So I've decided that its finally time to pull it out of the garage and do a complete re-fresh, including building a new sub-frame and fitting an R6 tank as was done with the production bikes.

So I guess this officially begins my new build thread. First, is to remove the old grubby sub-frame. (sorry, didn't get any pictures before starting the dis-assembly process). You can see its pretty shitty under the bodywork...

[IMG]20160528_122826 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]20160528_122723 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]20160611_123123 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Next step is to strip down to the bare frame since the R6 tank conversion requires two new tabs welded to the frame and then it will be sent out for powder coating once the new sub-frame is made. Chassis with body work removed...

[IMG]20160625_132524 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]



Here is how it looks above the engine with wires and coolant hoses crammed in place...

[IMG]20160625_133117 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]


few more items removed....

[IMG]20160625_143125 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]20160625_143150 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

In addition to being just a much better frame than the stock EX frame, I also like how easy it is to drop the engine out. Remove three bolts, and out it comes. So simple when nothing is in the way...

[IMG]20160625_145104 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]

Finally down to the rolling chassis and ready for some clean up and new fabrication...

[IMG]20160625_145538 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]20160625_145431 by andbike, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 09:25 PM   #6
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HickLife View Post
This sounds awesome man, but none of your pics are working for me


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Sorry about that, but not sure what to tell you. I use Flickr for my photo host and been doing it that way for a few years now without issues. Maybe someone else can share some knowledge as I am much better at metal fab than web / computer stuff.

cheers.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 09:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Pics work fine for me...

Hypermotard 1100S the weight-shavening.
Bandit 1200 cafe/fighter that will never get finished at this rate.
Turbo Busa v2 2017 Buildoff.
Turbo Busa V1.2 2016 Buildoff.
Turbo Busa v1.1
919 Hornet build'n'flip, lotsa electrical diagnostic info in there.
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Everything should be turbo'd, and what the fuck is a budget?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 10:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

ah I can see them on my computer but not on my phone. weird. bike looks awesome man,I love the frame, I'm definitely going to be watching this.

Fallen angel build- http://www.customfighters.com/forums...ad.php?t=78474

96 vulcan 1500- http://www.customfighters.com/forums...d.php?t=123177

Fallen Angel Build Off Thread- http://www.customfighters.com/forums...73#post2755273

Fallen Angel Build Off Discussion- http://www.customfighters.com/forums...89#post2755289

Quote:
Originally Posted by rex_saugerty View Post
Only weak people test the engine. Real brave guys assemble the bike and then tries to start it
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-26-2016, 11:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Awesome stuff! Any info on that swing arm front suspension bike in the last picture of the first post?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 06-27-2016, 12:37 AM   #10
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: AK-1 re-do... ultimate EX500 (powered)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyCafe View Post
Awesome stuff! Any info on that swing arm front suspension bike in the last picture of the first post?
Not a build thread, but more of a clean-up thread...

http://www.customfighters.com/forums...ad.php?t=62571

Also a few online articles recently, even though its an old project... started building it in 1990. Rode it for the first time around 1997 I think(?) Have done a few re-fresh on the paint over the years.

Sorry but a lot of these articles are going to be repeat photos.

Article in MotoRage (pages 28-30)...

http://motorage.hu/pdf/2016_majus/Default.html


The Biker's Garage...

https://thebikersgarage.wordpress.co...yamaha-rz-350/


This article in Worldwide Bomber Magazine has some good original photos. Note, use up / down arrows to scroll through the article (NOT left / right)...

http://www.worldwidebombermagazine.c...icle/16/page/1
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