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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How much two-wheel love do we have on CR?

Decided to take my two-wheel passion to the racetrack - been riding for several years and always resisted the urge to go tracking for fear of damaging my beloved street bike... the solution? Buy a dedicated track bike. Just got home tonight with it.

2003 600RR
3k miles, clean title and current reg

Prepped for WERA racing and fully safety wired
Penske 2-way rear shock ($750)
Front forks sprung/valved/tuned by premier suspension guru Lindemann Engineering ($500)
Arata full titanium exhaust ($2,099 retail)
Power Commander ECU with maps for 91 and race fuel ($350)

Bike's story: Purchased in 2003 with 900 miles, converted immediately to a race bike, raced one full season (2004), beginning of the 2005 season the owner low-sided at Big Willow. Damage was superficial, owner bought a new replacement for every little thing that had damage, including a full set of brand new race fairings. Slowly replaced everything, the last thing to do was paint the new fairings and mount them but he put this bike on the back burner because he had others, and never got around to painting the new fairings and getting this back on the racetrack. Fast forward 6 years, and he realized he wasn't going to get around to it and he wanted to just make room in the garage. This is where I come in. Bike was meticulously maintained, properly stored for the 6 years, and runs like a brand new bike. Took it off his hands for less than the retail price of the aftermarket parts alone. Came with a huge box full of all the new fairings, which just need paint.

Needs:
-Paint the fairings and mount them
-a few random Dzus fasteners for the fairings
-windscreen
-front brake lever
-new tires

Doesn't look like much right now because it's fairing-less, but as Han Solo said, "She may not look like much but she's got it where it counts".

Going to be a fun project. After a season or two of tracking, I might want to get into wheel to wheel racing with it.







 

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Discussion Starter #2
So a lot of tinkering in the past few months:

- Fresh Bridgestone R10 track take-off tires
- Double-bubble windscreen
- Fabbed new Power Commander box w/ heat shielding
- Fabbed fairing brackets
- Sourced Dzus fasteners for the fairings
- Ordered lots of little OEM bolts/nuts to mount everything
- Put a kickstand back on it so I don't have to lean it up against a tree if I stop while out riding it
- Flushed all fluids









Runs like butter. The full exhaust and power commander make great power - the front wheel picks up off the ground at 50 MPH when you roll on it in 1st gear. I got some gnarly speed-wobble/head-shake when I set the front wheel back down at 75 mph once - I'm spoiled by the built-in steering damper on the 1000RR, so I am currently looking into putting one on this 600.

Next order of business is to paint the fairings. I'm currently erecting a makeshift paint booth to do so:

The material to make the booth out of:



And this is the current progress. About half-way done, just picked up some heaver-thickness plastic for the roof section:



-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Finished the paint booth today!

The walls are thin 0.7 mil sheeting, Roof is thicker 3.5 mil, but still lets in tons of light so you don't need lighting inside.

Turned out bigger than I was originally expecting - 5'x10' footprint, sides are 6' 6" high and the center is 8' 8"

The great part about the size though is that all the fairings can hang in there at one time, so no painting one piece at a time. Just step in, spray a full coat on everything, go have a nice cold beverage.

I built the booth up against the fence so that I could set a fan on that fence, seal the wall of the booth to the fan, and voila - air extractor. Worked out pretty well.





 

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brontosaurus
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Dope miata, dope bike, even a dope paint booth. You my friend are awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lots of hours spent on this project and lots of progress. Also, a lot learned.

This is my first time painting anything with more than a rattle can, so the whole thing has been a learning experience and adventure. Just googled, spoke with the guys at local paint shops, assimilated info, built a paint booth, and went for it! This post may be a little long, but since others may be interested in what it takes to paint stuff, I'll include my first hand experiences from trying my hand at this.

So here is what $220 gets you. It's funny, not having done this before, you just think of materials needed being paint... done. Couldn't be more wrong:



So in that pic is:
1qt Triple Deep Black
1qt Brilliant White
1qt Urethane Clear Coat
Urethane Reducer (to mix with the clearcoat, 1:4 ratio)
Hardener (to mix with the colors, 1:2 ratio)
3M 400 Grit wet/dry sandpaper - to wet sand primer layer
3M Scotchbrite - wet sand w/ scotchbrite after 400 grit
Sem Solve - paint-friendly de-greaser - use after scotchbrite
Tack Cloths - use w/ Sem Solve
Bulldog Adhesion Promoter (spray right before paint to strengthen paint bond to fairings - helps with flex)
Mixing cups
Stirring Sticks
Conical paint strainers
Protective masks
Respirator
Zip-up jumpsuit

Here the fairings are drying out in the sun after I wet sanded the primer with 400 grit then scotchbrite:



Then they were hung in the booth, cleaned with Sem-Solve and tack cloths, then sprayed with the adhesion promoter. Then the fun part began - Color!

I learned a hard lesson here. Instructions say to clean the gun after every time you spray - never leave it sitting with paint in it - but I was doing coats with 10 minute intervals between, so I figured I could spray a coat, wait 10, spray a coat, wait 10, spray the third coat, THEN clean the gun. WRONG. Had to throw away that paint gun. after spraying the white. Borrowed a friend's gun to finish the job.
The process is TEDIOUS. Here's what the steps for one coat of paint look like:
-Don your paint gear
-mix your paint - just enough for the coat you're about to spray because you have to dump our what you don't immediately spray
-transfer paint to gun
-spray the coat
-dump the excess paint out of the gun
-fill gun with mineral spirits and spray mineral spirits into a bucket till it comes out clear
-remove paint cup from gun, rinse with mineral spirits
-remove nozzle from gun, rinse with mineral spirits

Even though the actual spraying of the coat takes less than 10 minutes, because of all the prep and cleaning that must be done with every single coat (and I did 3 coats of white, 3 coats of black, 4 coats of clear) each coat takes 40 minutes.

Anyways, here they hang with color sprayed, waiting for clear coat:



And, here they sit after clearcoat and drying overnight:



Now, this was the point at which I thought I was basically done. Fairings looked great from 5 feet away, but if I got real close to them, I could see in the finish what I learned is called 'orange peel' - basically the whole surface of the clear coat is rippled - it's not smooth - I also learned that this is fairly normal - it's just a product of the nature of a spray gun. Just about any spray gun will produce this, although I suspect that higher-end spray guns, and getting the spray gun settings just right probably help to produce much less of it, but alas, this was my first time, and I was using a relatively cheap gun, so I had a decent amount of it. I learned that this is where final wet sanding comes in - you wet sand the clearcoat down to cut through the ripples until you're left with a perfectly smooth surface in the clearcoat.

These final steps after paint were not something I had been anticipating, and here is where I've spent hours upon hours. The process goes like this:

-800 grit
-1000 grit
-1500 grit
-2000 grit
-Orbital buffer w/ buffing compound
-Wax

At first I was afraid of ruining my newly painted finish with too coarse of a grit, so I went at it with 1500 and 2000 grit. After 6 hours I had 'finished' the fairings only to find that there was lots of orange peel left. So I went out and got the 800 and 1000 grits, and started over.

As of right now, I have spent almost 20 hours wet sanding, progressing to finer grits. The lower fairing, tail, and gas tank are done - fully sanded, buffed and waxed. I still have probably another 4 hours to go before I'm finished with the last, and largest - the upper front fairing.

Here are the finished and waxed tank and tail mounted to the bike:





Although I still have more work to do on the upper fairing before it is done, I found out that I am working with a deadline to get designs to my vinyl guy, so I put the sanding on hold and spent tonight working on the number plates for the bike. I wanted to do something custom, instead of the sheet of plain vinyl with generic ordered-off-the-internet numbers, so I am designing my own.

First step was to put the tracing paper on the bike and draw the outline that I wanted for the number plate. Then I went in and began sketching the numbers/outline the way I want them. This will all get scanned into the computer and get finished in photoshop, but I wanted to free-hand the design so I could see it on the bike. Here are some pics of the process of doing the number plate sketches:









I'm going to scan these tomorrow, clean them up in photoshop, then create vector files for them then send them off to the vinyl guy.

More to come soon

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Scotts steering damper showed up in the mail!

This is manufactured by Ohlins, and has incredible adjustability.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Finished my number plate designs today.

I scanned my pencil sketches into the computer. I've used Adobe Illustrator back in high school, but I forgot how to do most everything so I bribed my roommate with chili dogs and five-guys burgers to re-teach me the ropes with it (He's a graphic designer), then I went to work making digital versions to send to the vinyl printer.

Here is the scan for the front plate design loaded into Illustrator. I scrapped the original design I had made for the front which was an off-center sort of thing in favor of this second style which is centered on the front of the bike:



Working on one of the tail pieces:



And now, they are complete and ready to be sent to the vinyl printing shop tomorrow. Here is a scaled down compilation of all three pieces:



I'm excited to see how they come out. The number plate is one area where some creativity can be expressed - most guys don't, they just opt for the regular blank plate plus generic numbers, but I wanted to have some fun with it.

-Ryan
 

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awesome start. my brother in law races up here in wa on a gsxr 750. Btw I spy Diablo 3. How do you like it?
 

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Is running a bike on the track much cheaper than a car?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
awesome start. my brother in law races up here in wa on a gsxr 750. Btw I spy Diablo 3. How do you like it?
Good eye ;)
It's all right. If you were a die-hard fan of Diablo 2, you will get frustrated by some of the aspects of this game.. it definitely wasn't made by the same people. If it were named anything else, it would be a really fun game, but D2 set the bar too high perhaps.

Is running a bike on the track much cheaper than a car?
Good question. It depends on a lot of things.

You go through tires at about the same rate, but I got this set of take-offs with at least two track days worth of life left in them for $120 mounted and balanced - and I don't think you can match that deal with a car which needs 4 tires.

Modern motorcycles are basically built to handle the stresses of track riding from the factory. So, you don't have to do any of the work we do to a car to make it track-reliable, it's already taken care of. For the NA I need a coolant reroute, intercooler, oil cooler, 55mm radiator, etc. etc. etc.

Travel costs are different too - to trailer a car you need a big V8, and that's going to cost you on gas, whereas you can throw two motos in the back of any truck - even a 4 banger, and cruise to the track comfortably, so travel costs go down. Currently, I drive the NA to the track, but that is no fun.

Two things that significantly add to the cost of tracking a bike: 1) Gear cost - you need a solid $800-$1000 in track gear. 2) There is no version of a motorcycle crash which does not significantly damage the bike - whereas with a car you can go off-track and then often drive right back on with no damage - going off on the bike is sure to end your day and cost $$$ in repairs.

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I'm trying to put off the final 4 hours or so that I have left of wet sanding the main upper fairing, so in the mean time while I have it mounted to the bike I decided to work on the vinyl wing design that I have designed in my head.

The idea here is to use the 2008+ 1000RR wing as inspiration - it's a much more minimalist/smaller, and angular wing than the wing design that was on 600RRs of the 2003 period, and I like how it looks more. Also, since I'm not taking my baby - the '08 1000RR to the track, I wanted to do something on this bike that was reminiscent of the 1000, to sort of bring that bike with me.

Here's the '08 1000RR which was the inspiration:



So, step 1 was to tape tracing paper to the fairings:




Then, looking at the wing on the 1000RR sitting next to this bike, I drew out a wing for the 600. It's not a copy of the 1000's wing - the 600 has very different lines and fairings so an exact copy wouldn't have worked, so this was sort of a synthesis:



Once the wing was drawn, I transferred the shapes to some red paper and cut the shapes out, then taped them to the bike to ensure that they looked right from different angles:



I bought car-wrapping vinyl from a local shop in red (also got black and white for some other stuff I plan to do):



Laid the wing pieces onto the backside of the vinyl (it's weird to look at these shapes in 2 dimensional form - in order for them to look straight on the bike, where they must bend and fold to follow the contours of the fairings, they must actually not be straight at all!):



And here are all the shapes for both sides of the bike:



Cut those out and I got this:



Sadly, I can't put these on the fairing yet because I haven't finished wet sanding, and now I have nothing left to do other than that, so I'm off to slave away with the sand paper now... haha

-Ryan
 

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Great bike, but I wonder how wise it is to put so much effort in the exterior of a racing bike :p.
I really want to see how it looks with the striping and numbers on!
 
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