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CJAT
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen of CF and welcome to my RF 900 streetfighter / cutsom build.

Before I start I do have to warn you that this build is going to be quite picture heavy and that I am not the best at writing (thank you dyslexia,) but I will try and explain everything as well as I can. If I leave out anything or don't explain something just give me a shout and I will correct it.

So, I am going to start this build by doing a bit of a write up of my RF, it's history and the reason for this build.

So, I bought my RF900 in Sept 2009 after spotting it first on eBay and then finding the seller, suzukib, on the RF Owners Club. I was looking for my first bike after doing an intense course with a great company up in Borden with M&C Motorcycle Training and had found three problems in my search. The first was a monetary problem, as I was still doing my degree and any money I had was being spent fairly quickly on nights out and academic books. The second problem was more personal. Being about 20 stone and 6'5 finding a bike that didn’t look like a clown bike with me on it and could fit me comfortably, was proving slightly difficult. I had been to several dealers who had shown me trail and enduro bikes but I really wanted something a bit sportier. Actual I wanted a older GSXR or a Fireblade but this is where the third nasty problem raised its head, insurance. It seemed that for a 19 year old guy it is impossible to insure anything. By the prices they were quoting me, even on 400-600cc cruisers, it maded it look like I was asking for a quote on a Ferrari.

Anyway, an eBay search for cheap motorcycle showed up suzukib's RF900. I immediately started searching for a insurance quote and was pleasantly surprised that it was only around £300 TFT. Even more surprising was that the price for the RF900 was the same as the 600! So I immediately called and arranged a viewing and within 3 days it was on my drive way.


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As I had only just passed my test I hadn't been able to test ride it as I was restricted to 33bhp and had put my trust in suzukib who had assured me everything was running perfectly. After a full service and the restriction kit fitted, I had my first ride and my trust in suzukib paid off.

Many of you will be thinking 'SACRILEGE, putting a 120bhp motor down to 33bhp, this kid is a fool', well, for my two years of restriction I would have disagreed. I loved riding my RF and as I had only ridden 125cc during my training it seemed like a bloody rocket. After a little while it was noticeable that it had no real power over 8k revs but seeing that I used it mainly to commute to uni and short rides around Hampshire this didn't bother me too much. However as soon as I hit the 2 year limit I immediately unleashed the beast. To be honest, after picking her up from the garage for my first unrestricted ride, I opened her up on the slip road onto the A3 and almost slipped off the back after being so used to getting nothing after 8k!

So, lets skip ahead now to May 2012. For many years now I had been watching other builders from a number of sites including customfighters.com and I decided that now I had a part-time job and some money, that it was either time to sell my bike and get something newer or make it my own and rebuild it. After much thought (actually really not that much,) I decided that there was no way I could give up my RF. Although from the picture you see before the build, it seems really nice, it was getting tired, paint was worn, the decals were scratched and a previous attempted at painting the wheels and swing arm with spray cans was starting to chip away. I was also having electrical problems with the starter solenoid and clutch fuse wiring which needed to be replaced. Anyway I decide that if I was going to do it, I was going to do it properly.

So, if you have read down to here, thank you for your patience and for reading my drivel but now onto the good part.

*NB All my photos have been watermarked with my website address which will just have the same write up of my build as I will post here.

Before I started my build I wanted to remember what the bike looked like before.


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Many of you are now saying to yourself 'omg, what is this fool who restricted a 120bhp motorcycle going to do to this nice example of an RF.' Well I warn you now, I do love the RF but I am going to make it my own and some of you may want to stop reading now as the rest of this thread is rated C for custom.

So lets get this RF undressed.


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Found a cheap tail off a 2007 R6 2c0 on eBay. Most of the mount points on the fairing were broken (not said in the description, was very angry) but the subframe was good so I kept it.


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Just seeing what it might look like... : ) . Very exciting.


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Back to disassembly...


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New Part! Bought a mk1 bandit swing arm with a R1 brace welded on, from eBay.


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Again back to disassembling...


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Having a quick look at how it the braced swing arm might look.


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Now everything had been taken off it was time to call the surgeon. Although I never minded the tail of the RF, I wanted a new look for my custom RF therefore it had to go…

Next post will be up shortly, I've had to brake my post down due to the picture limit...
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Continued...

Marked off what was to go...


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Grab the tools (plus safety first)..


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and off we go...


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RF bobber anyone : )


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and now its all gone...


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I also decide that a proper stand was going to be needed so I picked up a Abba stand and footrest adapters so I could work on both ends without worrying about it falling over.

P.S. worth every penny.


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These nasty lumps will have to go too.


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With the subframe gone I could now get an idea of the mock up for the new subframe and tail.

Brother helping me get an idea of where the subframe needs to go.


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A few pictures before it was picked up for the welder. For anyone who is interested the car is a BMW 2002tii which is mine and my dads project car.


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Next post will be up shortly...
 

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Registered
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4,653 Posts
Nice work so far
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Continued...

It's back!!


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I was really please with the work. The company I used was down in Gosport and is called http://www.bespokehantsfabs.com/. Chris is a really nice guy and a biker as well. In total it cost £200 for the new mount points, new tank mounting, putting new metal tabs over frame where the old subframe had been cut off.


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I bought some rental bars and a speedometer which I plan to hide in the brace. I am still not sure that I want raised handle bars verse clip ons but I wanted to get an idea of the look before powder coating.


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I also purchased a new shock for the build. I believe it's off a GSXR1000 k8 but has an upgraded spring from LRS-MECH (which is only down the road from me).


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It does fit. I can run a piece of card between the spring and swing arm when it if full extend. Had me worried for a moment.


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Another post coming shortly.
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Time for a touch of paint I think, so off to Portsmouth.


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I got a quote from Jim at http://www.archerpowdercoatinglimited.co.uk in Portsmouth to do everything in the pictures below (to much to list) for £200.


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I got everything home and unwrapped the bubble wrap before I noticed a couple of things. The first was that the swing arm had a couple of scratches on it.


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The second was the both rims did not have a good finish on them.


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I immediately took them back and Jim redid the swing arm. Unfortunately Jim explained the rims were made from cast alloy and the powder coating process causes air bubbles in the rims to pop and give the effect seen in the photo. After 3 attempts to re-coat the rims I still wasn't happy. He finally tried something called a wet coat (?) which seemed to sort out the problem and gave the same finish as the rest of the parts (forgot to take pictures of finished rims.. oops).

Along with the parts above, I also got my forks powder coated. I haven't yet mentioned the forks on my bike but as you most likely noticed they were not standard. The conversion to GSXR1100wp USD forks was done before I bought it and I believe instructions on how to do it can be found the RFOC somewhere (I will add link if I find it). As well as refurbishing the outsides, it was a great time to change the internals to progressive Hyperpro springs which should hopefully full make the ride even better.


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Cleaned and polished up the tops as they looked tired and would have ruined the look of the newly powdered yokes.


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Next post ... starting the reassembly :)
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the High Fives Guys.

Continued...

Well it’s time to start making this build look like a bike again.

One thing I love about building a project is that you get to buy so many new parts. It makes it feel like Christmas morning every time the post arrives…

New rear disk.


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New Renthal sprockets plus Tsubaki Sigma –XRG chain.


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So got me some new rubber and new bearings everywhere


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As it was now winter and my workshop was giving me frostbite, I moved inside to the spare room. This did not make people in my household particularly happy but did mean I didn’t have to worry about bashing newly powder-coated parts on the concrete floor.

Frame, sub frame, swing arm and shock altogether.


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I was putting the rear sprocket using a set of Pro Bolt Anodised Aluminium nuts (swish) with an old torque wrench when I realised I had put I had put the torque wrench the wrong way round and had destroyed the nut and the thread on the bolt. Sigh…


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Anyway new bolt and nut (more expense…) and rear wheel is done.

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Now onto the front end and another tasty buy. As I said, I was not sure on raised bars and have decided that I do prefer the feel and look of the clip-ons. So treated myself to these beauties.


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Frontend is on. I will just say to anyone who is thinking of powder coating their forks, don’t. It’s not worth the hassle, they’re a bastard to get in without scratching them. Took me and my brother ages to carefully get them in there and because the yokes need to be so tight they will mark the powder anyway, meaning that they can not be moved up or down without showing the scratches.


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As I had no help this evening, I had a very interesting time installing the engine… cough, cough; but I got it in finally and without scratching the powder… Yay.


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Trying some other bits and pieces on. Came across another discovery, the master cylinders will not fit on the new clips ons. This is a pain as it means more expense but does allow me to get new radial ones. I can hear the word Brembo in my head : ) .


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Also installed the VIN plate. You can also see some of the damage from installing the forks.


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More coming in a bit :robssmilie:
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
you build quick. its only been about 24 hours ;)



looking good, man. cant wait to see the finished product.


Hahaha no m8, actually working quite slowly. Started this over a year ago around May. The reason I hadnt shared untill now is because, as my first project I wasn't sure if I would finsih it or not but I have got to a point where I have invested so much time and effort that I wont let it fail now.

I have a couple more posts to get up before you guys are up to date but I wil be posting shortly.
 

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CJAT
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Continued...

Wasn’t sure what the paint scheme was going to be (still undecided), but found some really cool carbon fibre fairings for the tail and a rear hugger for the swing arm from a company in Ukraine and decided that I would go for it. Looks really nice, photos do not do it justice.


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I also have another gift for the RF that arrived soon after the tail unit.


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I was inspired by the work of RFOC t0m541 who discovered that GSXR1000 k1-k4 rear sets would fit the RF. This meant I could fit these bad boys. Got these off eBay for a 1/3 of the price of a new set, not sure about the colour but could not pass up on the deal as I could sell them again if I needed. Once again the photos do not do them justice; these are spotless.


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I’m was also starting to think about the front faring and as with the RF tail, I have nothing against the RF front looks but I wanted something a bit special and different. I decided that I would take inspiration from this concept…



However, this I a bit too ordinary for me : ) . I also don’t want it to look like a hayabusa and it to be judged by other as if it was a hayabusa. If I wanted something that looked like a hayabusa, I would have bought a hayabusa.

So it was time to change it up a bit. I thought I would change the air ram areas into the headlights.


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Not sure what headlights to use but bought some R1 01-02 headlights after seeing a hayabusa with them on in America.

I was being kicked out the living room and would soon be outside again but had progressed on the front fairing and electrics. I was tired and couldn’t be bothered to get off the chair, so this is the photo I’ve got for you guys.


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The bike is back outside and I’ve bought some stick coils off a GSXR750 K6/7 along with a damaged wiring loom, which I have cut the plugs off.


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I am still currently working on the electrics but hope to get the wiring sorted out soon. Talking about electrics, I have also found my new speedo. For some reason, beyond the reason of my hindsight, I bought the coolest speedo I could find. To be honest I had been look at one of these for a while and eBay gave me one at a very nice price.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Translogic Microdash 3. God it’s good looking…


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I am also currently working on the tank. I’ve always thought there is a nasty lip around the edge of the RF tank. You never see this on a modern bikes, so I will be getting rid of it with some chemical metal, sandpaper and a lot of time and hard work. This is what I’ve done so far…


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I’ll finish this post by give you some general pictures of the bike.


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More soon...
 

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Custom bikeporn addict.
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1,241 Posts
I'm normally not into the large front headlight fairing look but I think it might balance out the bike. The R6 tail seemed a bit long.

Bob
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm normally not into the large front headlight fairing look but I think it might balance out the bike. The R6 tail seemed a bit long.

Bob
hummm, tbh i think its about the same length as the old tail so I'm not bother.

Heres the final update till your up to date with the build.

Continued...

So I did some research that provided some very interesting results. Many of you know that the RF and MK1 Bandits share a lot of parts but the bandit is a much more popular bike for modifiers and streetfighters. This means that there are more upgrades for the bandit, some of which can be move to the RF.

Bandit Mk1 Brembo rear conversion Kit from http://www.beanos-nuts.co.uk/mhp_products.html , call for the best price …


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And now fitted…


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Need to sort out the brake line. May need a longer one…


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The taillight didn’t look quite right with carbon fairing so found a E-marked legal tinted one from Germany…


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Finally we have got to the current state of my bike. I am currently doing a MSC and have had to cut down on hours at my part-time job and time spent on the bike due to the sheer amount of work.

I hope to start working on it again this summer but there are no certainties and it may take a bit longer. Anyway the sun was out and I thought I would get some pictures to look at while I in the library staring at a computer screen.


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Again, feel free to comment, suggest ideas, ask questions and most of all just enjoy my sweat, blood, tears and hard work so far. : )
 

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Elbow Grease is Cheap
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6,370 Posts
Love the work you've done so far.

to be honest, the Fairing throws off the balance of the rest of the bike. The R6 tail is so sleek and svelte that it really makes the fairing look huge and bulbous.

Perhaps a fairing from another bike?!? It's just that the 'Busa is such a large bike, so the scale and proportions of the bodywork doesn't really fit the Rf.

I'm not really a fan of frame mounted fairings/lights. to clear the forks, they seem to stick out too far for my eye.

Find a simple but angular headlight(to match the look of the R6 tail), attach it and the gauges to the forks/triples and you've got a winner.
 

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CJAT
Joined
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Love the work you've done so far.

to be honest, the Fairing throws off the balance of the rest of the bike. The R6 tail is so sleek and svelte that it really makes the fairing look huge and bulbous.

Perhaps a fairing from another bike?!? It's just that the 'Busa is such a large bike, so the scale and proportions of the bodywork doesn't really fit the Rf.

I'm not really a fan of frame mounted fairings/lights. to clear the forks, they seem to stick out too far for my eye.

Find a simple but angular headlight(to match the look of the R6 tail), attach it and the gauges to the forks/triples and you've got a winner.
Cheers for the feedback,

You may have a point about the front. I will just have to see how it turns out. TBH I need a rather large front to get the air around me as I am not small by any means (6'5, built like a brick wall (lol) ) .

As for the forks looking too far out, that will change once the exhaust and radiator is back in as it fills most of that space.

As I have said before, I am really not sure how this will turn out and I go through phases when I want it to be a street fighter and then phases when I want a fully faired bike. Anyway, heres some pictures from before, when I thought it maybe a street fighter.


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I wasn't overly taken with it but you guys may think it looks better.... ? Tell me what you think. :)
 
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