4 months and this is what I have so far.......
FZR250-3LN/400-3EN1 front end
FZR400-3TJ rear end
XJ600 (pre diversion) frame
Suzuki marauder 125 tank
R6 shock or ZX6R, undecided at present
Blue spot calipers front and rear - hopefully
Fazer 600-5DM engine
The long version of how I got to where I'm at with this one..........
OK so I figured its time to stop lurking in the shadows and step up to the plate and share my build with you guys, not that it's going to compare in quality with some of what I've seen on here by the likes of smoker and 370Steve and , but hey it'll be mine.
Some of you may want to skip on a bit if you're only interested in the build as the next bit is a bit long winded as a bit of background on me and my stable.
I've been riding for the last 20 years, mainly sports bikes.
Around 2010 my mates ex race tuned '92 fireblade came up for grabs, a few more owners on the V5 and a few more scratches/dents on the bodywork - it was still wearing the damage from its last race on the aftermarket fairings, he literally bolted lights on it and sold it on to finance his upgrade to an R1.
So £500 changed hands I had my first 'fighter project......
Off came the fairings and courtesy of flea bay I converted them into beer tokens which were duly spent on an r1 tail piece, some fazer risers, drag bars, an aprilia scooter fairing and headlamp.
Thanks to a friend of mine pointing out an ad in the back of a weekly bike paper I also ended up spending £600 on a full akropovic exhaust system.
And that's were that project stops - a house extension project stole my time and money, so the exhaust is in my shed BNIB and the project is in a container at my uncles workshop awaiting me to drag it out having slowly been pushed further and further towards the back.
2013 saw my next attempt of custom bike ownership. Once again courtesy of flea bay I became the proud?! Owner of an FZR400 3EN2, bought blind and delivered by courier from Carlisle to London it looked great.
Then comes the thorough inspection and the "just needs cables and wiring finishing off" became a huge list - the largest item being that it needs new crankcases or an engine! Not a huge issue as I'm a hoarder and have had/still have FZR400s for the last 15 years.
Alas that project is now buried at the back of my garage.
In the meantime I've picked up restoration projects of bikes I owned when I was 16 and somehow now have 23 bikes in various states of disrepair - fortunately one is rideable, a CBR900RRX that's almost stock, just had a 17" blackbird front wheel fitted, some rearset adapters, loud pipe, k&n and stage1 dynojet to suit.
So to the here and now - a mate of mine has decided to streetfighter his thundercat and we got talking about his limitations, I'm a firm believer in it not always being what you know, but who you know, so told him to go for whatever he wanted and it could be made to happen:
Uncle is a general mechanic
Cousin tunes engines
Another mate is a welder
And google has done it all before if you just ask!?
At this point I decided to practice what I was preaching and build the bike I'd always wanted, I have a picture from an old magazine from my teens of the style bike I want so here we go.............
One '90 XJ600 frame
One shed full of 6 bikes worth of FZR400s
A cheap project???
Of course not.....
I bought two tanks before I'd even collected the frame, of course the most expensive one wasn't going to work, so that was relisted and sold on.
A full rear end of an FZR400 3TJ and a front end off an unknown FZR model were thrown on at either end and fit relatively well, the swingarm spindle is a larger diameter on the FZR than the XJ so I'll be looking to get the frame drilled out at a later date as there isn't enough room for the top hat spacers I have without milling a few mill off the swingarm width.
An old set of FZR400 1WG crankcases were balanced in the frame.
It didn't take long to realise that the angle of the barrels didn't fit right with the frame down tubes and there was going to be some clearance issues.
Whilst brainstorming with my brother (or just avoiding our respective wife's by hanging out in my shed) he suggested a Fazer engine as they are a bit more upright and as an added bonus an extra 200cc @ 599. I popped out to the scrap pile and walked in with a set of mk1 fazer crankcases and threw them in to the mix (I'm a bit of a hoarder and these were left over from a bottom end I bought when the bike I used to own had gearbox issues) the bottom rear engine mount lined up, front mount and output shaft alignment looked close enough. Top rear mount will need to be fabricated from scratch as nothing exists on the frame.
A cat D write off was found relatively locally and after a bit of haggling £200 secured the engine, loom, coils, fuel pump, cdi, carbs, switchgear and cables.
We'll see how much of a bargain it really was when I strip it down and take a closer look as its a non runner.
Also the sump doesn't fit in between the frame rails - my mock up cases didn't have one and was on closer inspection sitting on the frame rails - mr grinder will sort that out, bit for now the mock up cases are back in whilst I get the look of it all.
A rummage through the shed threw up a pair of blue spot R1 calipers that had been knocking about for some years - meant for another project but never fitted - 100mm bolt spacings, but the fork legs were 87mm, whilst searching t'internet for brackets to suit I found that FZR400 3EN1 models also had 100mm bolt spacings, time to swap front ends with one from a bike I was breaking anyway.
Trouble being that the 3EN1 steering stem is longer, so I bought a 6ton hydraulic press with the intention of pressing out and swapping the stems - nope, one stem is press fit,the other welded...... Wish I'd checked properly BEFORE I bought the press, never mind.
So fork legs from the 3EN1 were fitted into the other front end with blue spot calipers bolted straight on, will need a new mudguard bracket as I want to fit the yellow mudguard and it doesn't line up to the 3EN1 mounting points - a problem for later, first off I need the missing top yoke for this steering stem - but what is it?
I have 4 different model FZR top yokes and not one fitted.......... Google to the rescue, it's an FZR250 3LN front end, friendly auction site to the rescue and the correct top yoke was on its way.
So front and rear ends mostly sorted - attention returned to the engine.
Front and back ends were stripped off and a second hand sump fitted to the casings.
With the back mount in place and the frame upside down it was clear that one of the lower frame rails needed serious modding, mr grinder to the rescue again and an eight inch stretch was cut out ready for a plate to be welded in later, waiting on a butane torch to turn up so I can potentially persuade both lower frame rails to give me another couple of millimetres clearance at the front corners of the sump, to be confirmed once the front mount is in place and i know exactly where its going to sit.
Need to get a welder so i can at least tack on a new subframe once I've made it, hopefully do it all myself, but we'll see how good i am first
Ive also got a crack in the existing brace at the rear of the frame where the centre stand has been stressing it over the last 25 years, i may just chop it out and replace it altogether, along with the crack it also needs notching to clear the sump and new lower suspension mounts where the old ones are too wide.
Back up the right way and rolling gear refitted for now, mocked up some front engine mounts in 6mm ply, need final shaping but holding the engine in the right place so i'll be able to flip it upside down again later and check the sump clearance at the front. But whilst its upright i thought id fit the top yolk, risers, bars mirrors, tank, seat and mock up a few seats and headlamps along with the trailer mudguard to try and get an overall feel for it.
So thats where i'm at, i'm at. I cant make a decision on the rear end and the budget is wiped out so i cant get a welder yet (i bought yet another bike, a fazer streetfighter, just for the vapor dash, stainless downpipes and dominator headlights - now total of 24 bikes)
I had the same tip on my r6 for a bit. Loved the way it sounds, its just a bit quieter then my gp1 tip with the silencer in it. Just remember to wipe it down before you start the bike or your fingerprints will stain the titanium and also after my first track day with it on it was impossible to get the silencer out again
Well as with any good recipe you need some basic ingredients.
I'm sure I'll be adding/changing the mix as we go, but here we go with what's in the shed.
Shock 1; ZX6R
Shock 2; R6, shorter (without the extension) and more compact reservoir.
Brakes; R1, fronts bolt straight on, rear needs a new hanger, wrong spindle diameter, too thick, wrong disc size......
Exhaust; Fazer stainless headers, R6 "silencer"
Headlamp; GSXR1000K5, twin dominators, or random yamaha MX, thoughts people?
Cooling; YZF Thundercat and FZR3TJ, I have a rad floating around which I hope will fit
Got a few ideas up my sleeve to be revealed once finalised.
Lots more staring at it trying to work out exactly where it's headed.
In the meantime mocked up the headers and pipe.
Might need pulling into the swingarm a bit, but we'll see when it's together properly.
Welder mate Ollie is up for the challenge, three fold;
1, he's prepared to weld up my frame
2, he's going to try and teach me to weld - Hell I'll be happy if I can get a decent tack to hold
3, if he can't get my gasless mig up and running then he'll source me a reasonable second hand unit
Baby steps, the front end is now using the correct combination of parts,
FZR250 headstock, yokes, spacers, wheel, discs
The 400 forks were an inch longer so the rear shock mount has had to be altered to keep the engine level - no biggy, its 18mm ply at present!
Two problems to solve now
1. The shock doesn't move, may need a softer spring, but first it probably needs a full engine, fluids and me sat on it
2. The calipers aren't central, either need a bigger offset on the discs or a mm or two shaved off the caliper mounts - I've still gotta find a friendly machine shop to make the rear brake hanger, so this can wait til then.
Zero progress on this, but the fireblade streetfighter is out of storage and up and running, plenty still to do though, my fazer 600 that I bought for spares is now a runner and will hopefully soon be roadworthy, which will free up workshop space.
And I'm down to only 21 bikes
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