The next race bike | GTAMotorcycle.com

The next race bike

Brian P

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After 22 years on my FZR400, I am planning to retire it at the end of this season. (I'm not selling it ... it will look just fine sitting in front of a wall of trophies, and I'd still like to keep it in ready-to-ride condition and perhaps do a couple of practice sessions per year on it.)

I just bought something else ... a used 2015 Yamaha R3 with a little over 6000 km on it - a street bike. Yeah, maybe it's cheaper to buy someone else's already-race-prepped bike. But this way, I have a winter project, and I can do it MY way.

There is a long list of things to do, roughly in this order:
- Handlebars. (Woodcraft 41mm 1.5" rise on order) - I want to sort this out before I take the stock bodywork off, to check clearance.
- 2006-on R6 throttle tube (on order). (Shortens the throttle throw, and it's also easier to install and remove grips on the R6 throttle tube, apparently. The R3 grips are apparently almost impossible to remove without destroying them.)
- Rearset footpegs (Woodcraft GP-shift on order). This is another thing I want to do before taking off the stock bodywork, so that I can sort out the riding position.
- Full exhaust system (Hindle on order). Bike has a slip-on, but those do nothing for power. Safety-wire the mountings.
- Engine case guards. (on order)
- Strip off all the street bodywork and hardware, and inventory all the fasteners.
- Steel front brake line. In the course of doing this, safety-wire the brake fittings and caliper mountings.
- Steering stop (lower clip-ons will hit bodywork otherwise).
- Steering damper.
- Bypass the side-stand switch and the clutch switch.
- Find a way to mount my air/fuel ratio gauge.
- Replace the air filter.
- Replace air filter cover screws with socket-head cap screws. (M5 x 20)
- Install block-off plate for the air suction valve and remove the solenoid.
- Check the valve clearances.
- Degree the camshafts.
- Safety wire oil drain plug and filter, and change the oil.
- Dyno tuning - possibly via reflash - this needs to be discussed with whoever will be tuning it, and I have not decided that yet.
- Quick-shifter.
- New shock, possibly Ohlins, possibly Ktech.
- New fork damping cartridge and springs, possibly Ohlins, possibly Ktech.
- Bodywork.
- Taller windshield.
- Lighter chain and sprockets with a selection of ratios.
- Shark-fin guard for the swingarm. TST has a trick one that also captures the rear wheel adjuster blocks so that they don't fall out of place when changing the rear wheel.
- Lighter battery.
- Tires.
- Paint.
- Drain cooling system, safety-wire clamps, refill with water. This will be left to last because then I don't have to concern myself with transporting the bike in winter if it needs to go somewhere.

I'm planning to keep this roughly CSBK legal, even though that class isn't for olde people like me. That means, stock engine internals, which saves the trouble and expense of going into the engine.

There is no particular rush with getting this done. I'd like to have it looking like a race bike by the January 2019 bike show, and I'd like to be ready to do a winter shakedown test with it at Jennings sometime in Feb - Mar 2019.
 
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caboose56

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In a perfect world I’d have a Superbike and a little bike too.

They’re so much fun to thrash around on.. but 3rd gear full throttle wheel spin on a Superbike is something else.
 

Jayv

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I had a lot of fun endurance racing the little bikes a few years ago, they cost next to nothing to race, and it's harder to hurt yourself on them as well. Good size grids National and Regional

Thinking of picking up something for next season, will need to diet big time though.
 

Wingboy

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Subscribed.
 

Brian P

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Why retire the fizzer? Are you worried about not being able to get parts or just looking for something different?
Parts are becoming unobtainium. I bought the last three OEM sets of 0.5mm-overbore piston rings a while back and I have a 4 cylinder engine. (I ordered 4, got 3, and was told "that's it, that's all we have, worldwide"). It's not just the engine. Can't get footpegs, for example. Aftermarket support is dwindling, too.

The other thing is that with SOAR's definition of "vintage" (20 years old), a 1999 R6 is then a vintage bike as of next year. That will open the flood gates, and I can't compete with those.
 

TwistedKestrel

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Parts are becoming unobtainium. I bought the last three OEM sets of 0.5mm-overbore piston rings a while back and I have a 4 cylinder engine. (I ordered 4, got 3, and was told "that's it, that's all we have, worldwide"). It's not just the engine. Can't get footpegs, for example. Aftermarket support is dwindling, too.

The other thing is that with SOAR's definition of "vintage" (20 years old), a 1999 R6 is then a vintage bike as of next year. That will open the flood gates, and I can't compete with those.
How have maintenance costs been up to this point?
 

Brian P

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How have maintenance costs been up to this point?
Generally OK but only because I have my own shop and can do fairly major diagnostics and repairs myself. If I had to pay someone every time something needed fixing, I'd be bankrupt. A lot of shops don't even want to work on the vintage stuff - either because they can't get parts, or they don't have the know-how on staff any more. Carburetors?

I've ridden an R3 on the street, and it is an excellent street bike right out of the box, and it is an excellent starting point for a lightweight race bike. Unsurprisingly, the riding position needs attention, the suspension needs attention, the engine runs out of breath at higher revs (it pulls quite willingly right off the bottom - very friendly for a street bike - but it feels restricted at higher revs), the steering feels like it could use a bunch more rear ride height, and as with any street bike, it needs bodywork and safety wiring, and it could use the weight reduction from pulling all the street stuff off. The instruments have a shift light that evidently comes on at 9000 rpm ... I sure hope that can be changed, because otherwise it's going to be on all the time.
 

TwistedKestrel

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Sorry I meant parts costs and stuff. Like have you had to buy any spares with blood, etc

The instruments have a shift light that evidently comes on at 9000 rpm ... I sure hope that can be changed, because otherwise it's going to be on all the time.
Apparently yes:

[video=youtube;GA0azcSQzqE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA0azcSQzqE[/video]
 

Brian P

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Wow ... sophisticated!

Parts on order: Woodcraft clip-on handlebars, Woodcraft rearsets for GP shift pattern, 2006 R6 throttle tube, engine case guard set, Hindle exhaust header. Under discussion: PowerCommander 5 (has ignition timing setting capability), quickshift sensor. I'm holding off with the quickshift sensor until I find out if the rearsets are configured for a push or a pull shift rod. The bike already has a Hindle slip-on muffler, which I am hoping can be re-used.
 

Brian P

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I started working on it a little bit. I removed the stock handlebars even though I don't have anything to replace them with yet. Change of plans for the throttle tube, the stock one with the switch housing comes off the handlebars in one piece so there's no need to change it for the moment. I also took a look at the air filter. It's cute (and dirty). The three screws that hold the air filter cover on have to be replaced with socket-head cap screws for easier future servicing.
 

Nevo

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Sorry I meant parts costs and stuff. Like have you had to buy any spares with blood, etc



Apparently yes:

[video=youtube;GA0azcSQzqE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA0azcSQzqE[/video]

I noticed that when you change the max shift interval, the bike will behave differently in the highest rpm range and it won't feel like its trying to fight you but rather be smooth all the way to the end.

My thoughts originally was that it only had effect on the shift light and nothing else so I wish I had changed this sooner as I frequently ride up to almost 13k.
 

Brian P

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Progress has been limited to a little bit of disassembly to see what I was dealing with under the skin. A vague notion of roughly what needs to be done has morphed into a specific shopping list and I'm filling in which things are to be bought from where. This is still subject to change. If I can find things through local suppliers instead of having to buy from the USA, I will.

The good thing about dealing with a bike that has been around for a couple of years, but is still a current model, is that others have sorted through a fair number of issues and parts are available. There's a chap in California who appears to have turned his R3 racing addiction into a pretty good little parts business.

I have all this entered into a spreadsheet that I can sort by supplier so that I can order everything in one shot from each one, and then later on I'll add another column and re-sort this by installation sequence on the bike so that, to the extent possible, I can take the bike apart once and put it back together once, and see what's on the critical path schedule. Project management ...

Sharp eyes will note that aside from an upgraded gearshift detent spring and perhaps checking the valve clearances, I'm not planning to go into the engine. No big power mods, no slipper clutch.


R3 Parts List
PartMfrSupplierStatus
Notes
Clip-on handlebar assemblyWoodcraftPro 6Installed
Steering stopNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Rearset footpeg brackets GP shiftWoodcraftPro 6Installed
ExhaustHindlePro 6Installed
Front stem stand 17mm pinPro 6Received
Brake line kitGalferyamahar3racing.com
Installed
Threads directly into caliper no banjo bolt
Rear reservoir delete kitNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Throttle handgrip R6YamahaPro 6Received
Engine case coversPro 6Installed
Shark fin guardSpearsspearsenterprises.comInstalled
Bolts to swingarm spool
Brake lever guardPro 6Not urgent, will buy retail when needed
Axle castle nutsSpearsspearsenterprises.comInstalled
Air filterBMCyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Spark plugsNGKCR9EIA-9Pro 6Installed
Magnetic drain plug M12x1.5Norton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Tuned ECUNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Includes $200 core charge – will keep stock as spare
Lightweight batteryShoraiLFX07
Ignition switch delete kitWoodcraftyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Air injection block-off kitNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Power commanderPro 6Installed
Quick shift sensorPro 6Installed
Pull sensor required
Side stand eliminator kitSpearsspearsenterprises.comInstalled
Will need to fabricate a new lower fairing bracket
Clutch switch kitSpearsspearsenterprises.comInstalled
Keyless gas capNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comInstalled
Steering damperPro 6Received
Brackets will have to be fabricated
Shift linkage detent springSpearsspearsenterprises.comInstalled
Front fork suspension kitOhlinsPro 6Installed
Rear shockOhlinsPro 6Installed
Bodywork kitFlexiglassPro 6Received
Yamaha Blue
Mirror block-off platesSpearsspearsenterprises.comReceived
Need to order replacement cushion from Yamaha for one side (missing from bike as received)
Fairing stayTightailsPro 6Installed
Taller windscreenHotbodiesPro 6Received
Chain 415 144 linkNorton Fabyamahar3racing.comKit includes chain, 1 front sprocket, 1 rear sprocket, 1 rivet link
Front sprocket 415 18tinclinclincl
Rear sprocket 415 57tinclinclincl
 
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Evoex

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I started working on it a little bit. I removed the stock handlebars even though I don't have anything to replace them with yet. Change of plans for the throttle tube, the stock one with the switch housing comes off the handlebars in one piece so there's no need to change it for the moment. I also took a look at the air filter. It's cute (and dirty). The three screws that hold the air filter cover on have to be replaced with socket-head cap screws for easier future servicing.
As someone who did the r6 throttle tube swap on an r3, why wouldn't you make this change?
 

Brian P

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Did it make a noticeable difference?

I ran into a rulebook issue that says "no quick-turn throttles" - it's unclear if they mean you can't change it to an actual dedicated throttle cable assembly with separate kill switch, or if it means anything whatsoever that shortens throttle travel is no bueno. IMO this is a dumb rule. An actual aftermarket throttle (quick-turn or not) and separate kill switch is a lot less expensive than an OEM integrated right handlebar switch and throttle cable assembly if (when) you crash it. If the intent is to save money, that's a short-term saving for potential long-term loss. Whatever the case, the R6 throttle grip (already ordered) will go in the spares box, as it is a good thing to have around.
 

Evoex

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Right.

The r6 throttle tube as i'm sure you know gets rid of the dead play/area on the stock one, in essence it let's you get on the jam earlier. I would say it made a noticeable difference in overall throttle response when first picking it up.
 

Brian P

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I ordered the majority of the parts today. The credit card is smoking.

I haven't ordered the chain and sprockets yet because I don't have a feel for what sprocket ratio this bike is going to want at our local tracks. 415 chain seems to be readily available; sprockets, not so much. This is something that can be left until the end, anyhow. Likewise with the brake lever guard, and a lightweight battery.

I can't order the quickshifter sensor until I find out whether it wants a push or a pull sensor for GP-pattern shifting.

I haven't placed the parts order from Spears yet because I suspect those are all short-delivery-time items. If I hold off a week then hopefully it will all arrive more or less together.
 

matt365

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Brian, why buy a race ecu, and a power commander?

Or just flash the stock ecu?

I'm not too familiar with mods on an r3.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
 

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