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Benjy's 1991 Honda CBR600 F2 track bike
Latest update: 8/28/2004
The Bike: After selling the FZR400, I wanted to eventually get a bike that I could use to learn to ride at the track (road course) and eventually do some amateur racing. I was planning on getting something later this winter or early next spring, but this deal came along for this bike and another wrecked bike on the WMRRA (Washington Motorcycle Road Racing Association) classifieds, so Ken (a co-worker) and I bought them at the end of September (2003). The plan is to get them fixed and prep'd over the winter and hit the track next spring when the rain (hopefully) goes away. Although Ken has a lot more work to do than I do ;)
Modifications: My bike had been used by (at least) the previous two owners as a novice race bike, as can be seen by the yellow number plate. It has been track/race prep'd already and has some nice modifications:
Newer 1994 motor
Full D&D exhaust with jet kit and K&N filter
Full-floating front brake discs
Newer F3 shock with compression and rebound adjustment
Full race body: 1-piece upper/mid, 1-piece lower with belly pan, GP-style tail
Frame sliders, bar-end sliders, NRC race case-covers
I'm hoping that the forks have been modified but I won't know until I take them apart, I'm hoping for at least a re-valve and linear-rate springs, and preferably a cartridge conversion with Racetech emulators or something similar.
The Downside: It was wrecked by the previous owner during a race (low-side) which caused minimal cosmetic damage because the frame slider, bar-end-slider, and case cover did their job and took the brunt of the impact. It did scrape/crack the plastics on the left side, but not bad enough to have to repair them. There was some damage to the carbs during the wreck and the float isn't working correctly in one, so if the petcock is left on gas will leak into the motor.
And after finishing the race season last year, the owner went back to school and the bike sat for over a year without being started or prep'd for long term storage. What I've found so far is that the battery is dead, the inside of the gas tank and petcock started to corrode, and the front brake calipers won't fully release.
The Story: I plan on documenting the build up of the bike over the winter with text and pics, and eventually my track days and racing....
Update 10/5/2003 - 10/27/2003
Starting/Battery: The first step was to try to get it running. I tried trickle-charging the battery, but after charging it only held a charge for three attempts at turning it over before it died again. So the battery was garbage. While trying to start it I found that the petcock valve was missing, so I ordered a new one along with a new Yuasa battery from Maryott's Honda (local dealer).
When the new battery came I learned you actually have to assemble them for bikes, that was news to me, I wasn't exactly excited about handling highly-corrosive acid. But I managed to get it together and sealed without losing any skin. After charging I finally was going to be able to start it. Oh, and the choke control is broken off, so all that's left is the wire and the loop at the end, so that didn't help in trying to start it. It took about 6 cranks before it would fire even a little bit, then it would fire for a second and die. It took another 10 cranks along with messing with the choke before it finally ran. But it did run!! Although there was a years worth of junk in the combustion chambers to burn off, and then a bunch of junk in the carbs, so it was running a little rough and STUNK! But it runs, and that's what's important, now to get it to run good....
Gas Tank: While getting it started I found that the tank was starting to corrode, and there was a bunch of junk in it, some of which got into the fuel line and probably into the carb because there is a whole in the fuel filter/screen inside the tank. I was thinking about cleaning out the tank myself to save money, but stuff like that doesn't excite me. So my Dad suggested that I talk to Boyd's Radiator (local radiator/muffler shop) about having it cleaned. And for only $40 they would clean out the tank and coat the inside with an anti-corrosive layer that is guaranteed for life. So with the guarantee I figured it would be worth, and after a week I got the tank bank and the inside looks much better.
Carbs: I started looking at prices for parts to fix the carbs, and Honda's prices are outrageous, which I guess is to be expected. So I decided that it would be cheaper to just buy a complete set of carbs, and either rob it for parts, or take the jet kit out of the cars on it and put it in the carbs that I would buy. So off to eBay, and after watching some auctions I bid on one set which was set to end at 1pm on October 21st. Unfortunately the Skagit river flooded that day and I was out sand-bagging when it ended and someone else outbid me at the last second.
But I found another set that was ending a few days later that comes with an factory stage 1 jet kit, and won the auction for $27 plus $10 shipping.......not bad for a complete set, now I just hope that I get them and that they are in as good as shape as they look in the pics. Then I need to pull of the current carbs, and determine what to do, but if I leave them they are going to need a good cleaning.
Stands: The bikes came with one set of stands (front & rear), but since Ken's bike is in much worse shape than mine, I let him take them since his suspension is pretty much disassembled. I was going to get the Handy Industries stands since they are cheap ($99 for a set), but I got an email from the sportbikes.ws message board that there was a group buy going on for Redline Engineering's Stands for $99. So I got in on the group buy since they are much nicer than the Handy stands for the same price, although they don't come finished, so that's the trade-off to get better quality for the same price. But a quick spray-bomb job should do the trick.
Rearsets: It still has the stock rearsets which are way too low for a track bike, and it's obvious by looking at the bottom of the stock pegs as they really ground down. I found a used set of Woodcraft-CFM rearsets for sale on the WERA message board, and sent the guy a message to find out the price. When he told me he was only asking $50, I though it was too good to be true since they are $235 new with the shift linkage, and he was going to include the shifter and brake pedal. But it turns out that he owns a shop and put a mechanic's lean on a customers bike, and is now parting it out to get some money back. I got a couple of references and both checked out, so I sent off the money and now I just have to wait and hope that he sends them. As long as they are in decent condition, it will be a steal.....
Back Protector: I need to buy some new gear for track riding, and one critical piece I didn't have is a back protector. I was going to try to find a cheap one later, but Lockhart Phillips is closing out all of their SPIDI gear on eBay and at really good prices. So if you are looking for any gear, check out their auctions (userid is sportbikr). I won the SPIDI Airback for $75, which is a pretty good price since msrp is $170.
I haven't made much progress since the last update, most of the time I've been waiting for parts, or trying to figure out what to replace and what to fix. I did finally receive the carbs I won on eBay, it only took almost a month. But they are in really good condition and complete, I may end up just taking the jet kit out of the cars on the bike and using the new set. But both need to be opened up and cleaned/checked, at least one good set can be made from the two.
Here is a pic of the carbs:
I also received the SPIDI Airback I won on eBay. I haven't been able to use it much yet because of the rain, but it seems to fit ok under my jacket. Here is a pic:
The Woodcraft-CFM rearsets I found on the WERA board were legit and did show up, but it took a little longer than originally planned because it turned out that the guy selling them had another set and Ken wanted them. So I waited for Ken to send his payment so that both sets could be shipped together to us. The set I got is in pretty good condition, the right peg has been down but it's not that bad, and for the price I have no complaints:
I wasn't worrying about the forks yet, but Ken found a set of the upgraded cartridge-style forks from a late F2 or F3 for cheap and I decided it would be worth picking them up. I need to open up the forks that are on the bike to see if they have valve or spring upgrades, and if they don't I'll replace them with these newer forks. It's unclear exactly what year bike the forks are from, whether they are from a '94 F2 or a '95-'96 F3. I'm hoping they are from a '94 as those will bolt on with no modifications, the F3 forks may require some work. I've been talking with some guys on the cbrworld.net message board and I think they will be able to help identify them:
So I borrowed Ken's front wheel, brakes, and forks for comparison to the forks that I bought. It appears that the ones I bought are '94 F2 forks because they mounted properly to the F2 wheel and rotor. See the following pics:
Fork mounted on '92 wheel/rotor '92 fork laying on top of '94 fork to show that caliper mounting points are the same Correct alignment of caliper/pads on rotor
And for comparison of brake rotors, here is a pic of my floating rotors as opposed to the fixed rotors on the borrowed wheel above:
There is a little surface rust after sitting for a year....
After really neglecting this project for a long time, I'm going to seriously work on it during my vacation in a couple of weeks. I plan on having it running and the brakes fixed at the end of my vacation, and then sort it out from there. The goal is to take it to at least one track day this year, and I'm running out of time as there aren't many past the end of September.