Project CBR F4i – Part One


I’ve wanted a track bike for a fair while now. After punting my ZX10 around the track on several occasions, I got the bug and I’m keen to hit the track and do some amateur racing too. The thought of putting my Tuono around the track is mighty tempting, but on the slim chance I come off, I’m pretty sure I’d cry when I saw the price of parts. Also, Mrs OnTheBackWheel would kill me. So when I saw this crashed 2001 Honda CBR600F4i track bike, I jumped on it.

Now, its rough. The previous owner had a low side, breaking the throttle cables and snapping the top fairing. Its also dirtier than your mum. On top of that, it wasn’t running when I looked at it. That’s always unnerving and made me think twice about getting it. It does have some positives though. The previous owner spent a fair bit of money on it just before he laid it down. New slicks, rebuilt shock and forks, new rear brake disk, brake fluid and pads all round, a service and aftermarket rear sets. That’s a lot of stuff I now don’t have to worry about.

When I got the bike home, the first thing I did was find out why it wasn’t starting. After pulling my hair out for a couple of hours, it turned out to be something very simple. At the track, the previous owner had removed all the fairing and air box in an attempt to fix the damaged throttle cables. I reinstalled the air box and discovered the air box and map sensors hadn’t been reconnected.

plug-enchanced
This plug? This plug caused me some heartache.

 

plug-plugged-in
It clips onto the top of the air box and the bike would not start without it.
map-sensor-plug
After finding out where the air box plug went, it took me ages to find where this one went as it was hidden behind some untidy wiring. Thank goodness for google. Turns out its the map sensor.

After plugging everything in and cleaning the throttle butterflies, the battery was flat. Annoying, but kind of expected with a bike that has been sitting around. After a charge, it fired up fine and I did a little dance and praised the motorcycle gods.

Now I was sure the bike actually ran, I have given the bike a big once over and taken stock of what is needed to make it track worthy. The first and most obvious thing is the fairing.

side-shot
The front fairing is pretty shagged.

The front fairing has snapped clean into 2 pieces. Everything else is there (side fairing, ram air ducts) and appears usable except for some broken plastic here and there. This leaves me with several options:

  1. I can attempt to fix the front fairing at home. Least expensive, but could also be a pain, especially with plastic missing where bolts are meant to go.
  2. Purchase some cheap Ebay fairing, approximately $390. Well priced and does the job, but not sure how it will hold up in the inevitable crash.
  3. Purchase some fiberglass race fairing. Appears to be $700+ for a kit but by far the most durable option for the track.

So I’m yet to decide which route to go here. I’m leaning towards some race fairing, a DIY paint job and getting some sexy decals made up :). Any ideas?

Next up is the throttle cables, an easy fix and I’ve already ordered some off ebay. The push cable is a bloody pain to remove but I’ll get it after a few more four letter words.

Besides that, it just needs little things. Bar ends (the right one has snapped off inside the clip on and the left is bent), rear pickup spools, tyre warmers, a front stand and general tidy up. The exhaust is a monstrosity too. I mean seriously, WTF? I’m going to pick up a cheap slip on from the likes of Danmoto and probably use the stock exhaust to bludgeon cows to death.

So, there is officially two projects on the go at OnTheBackWheel. Busy, but exciting times. I can’t wait to see how this finishes up. I’m aiming to keep prices down without being a tard. I think its going to look bloody awesome and will surprise a few people when its done.

Keep it OnTheBackWheel people, I’ll provide regular updates on the project as I go.

Make sure you check out Project Daytona. Part two is coming soon.

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