getting/building a track bike....help - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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getting/building a track bike....help

After fixing up my old gixxer I was afraid to do trackdays on it but I really missed the track last year so a 600cc track bike is being purchased for this Spring. I have many questions for the track riders.

1)Do I buy a streetbike and convert it to track or buy a track bike already done? I'm real nervous about a bike that has been wrecked several times already as most trackbikes have. I'm leaning toward doing the streetbike since it's only Jan. If all street equipment (bodywork, shock, headlight, taillight, clipons, rearsets, etc.) were sold how would the 2 ideas stack up dollar wise. I would be willing to pay a little extra to know stuff was new and a footpeg isn't going to break off at a bad time.

2)What's your suggestion for suspension/suspension tuner? How much will this cost?

3)What modifications would keep you from being eligible for racing classes? I don't know if I'll get fast enough to race but I don't want to be looking for stock parts to replace my aftermarket bling. (this question comes up because on the WERA board a lot of people are bitching about '04-'05 gixxer brakes and changing them makes a bike inelibible for superstock)

And I know a bunch of you will start saying SV650 but I've decided to go with a 600

Thanks for your thoughts and see ya' at the track

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebusa60544 View Post
After fixing up my old gixxer I was afraid to do trackdays on it but I really missed the track last year so a 600cc track bike is being purchased for this Spring. I have many questions for the track riders.

1)Do I buy a streetbike and convert it to track or buy a track bike already done? I'm real nervous about a bike that has been wrecked several times already as most trackbikes have. I'm leaning toward doing the streetbike since it's only Jan. If all street equipment (bodywork, shock, headlight, taillight, clipons, rearsets, etc.) were sold how would the 2 ideas stack up dollar wise. I would be willing to pay a little extra to know stuff was new and a footpeg isn't going to break off at a bad time.

2)What's your suggestion for suspension/suspension tuner? How much will this cost?

3)What modifications would keep you from being eligible for racing classes? I don't know if I'll get fast enough to race but I don't want to be looking for stock parts to replace my aftermarket bling. (this question comes up because on the WERA board a lot of people are bitching about '04-'05 gixxer brakes and changing them makes a bike inelibible for superstock)

And I know a bunch of you will start saying SV650 but I've decided to go with a 600

Thanks for your thoughts and see ya' at the track
I would buy one already set up, then just tune it to the way you ride and how you like it to feel. Most likely it would be cheaper as well.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:24 PM
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It will cost you ton more dough to buy a street bike and convert it.

Buy a bike already set up for trackdays, sooo much cheaper AND the bike may also be "dialed in", which will save you lots of time and a lot more money down the road chasing a handling problem . The network here as well as on the Nesba site won't steer you to a bike that has been abused to the point of failure.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:26 PM
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Check out my signature! Especially if you want to get into racing. Stay out of the 600 class as a newbie from what I hear... Lightweight is perfect!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:34 PM
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A 600 is fine... you will be competitive running in MW and HW at 99% of the tracks. Look for a track bike that already has the suspension upgrades, then go see Ed Kwaterski at Trackside Engineering in Wauwatosa for rebuild/setup.

Don't worry about mods... unless you are making podium finishes. Otherwise, you'll be fine.

Have fun!

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:34 PM
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I'll throw out my opinion on the first part only, based on my experiences.

Your instinct to start with a steet bike and convert it is smart, and was what worked out best for me and my friend. We've bought a bunch of 600's over the years for track use only, both ways. I can't tell you how many trashed, crashed, dumped, "low sided only at 20mph" junked 600's we wasted our time traveling to check out- and this was AFTER qualifying them on the phone and viewing pictures. I even had one guy who didn't think it was worth mentioning on the phone that his frame steering neck had been extensively damaged and welded up! Everyone's racebikes are claimed to "ride straight" no matter how hammered the steering stops are, how dented the frame and swingarm is and how clear the evidence is to the opposite. It's tempting to try to save money buying an already setup track bike- but most racer's sins of omission, outright lies, misrepresntations, etc., get extremely frustrating and are a big waste of time. We got fed up. If you are looking at a used 600 track bike, I recommend bringing along another pair of experienced eyes, a flashlight, some basic tools, a long straightedge and LOOK CLOSELY at everything you can no matter what's claimed about condition of the 600 in question.
Beware of sellers who only want to bench race and brag how well they did with the bike at Blackhawk, how many trophies the won, how low their times were on the bike they're selling, how much the pipe cost that's on it, that "confirm" how good the bike is.

Good luck to you.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:42 PM
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Hmmm I looked at one used bike and it was in great condition. My SV was lowslided once, if you're interested you can bring over whatever tools you want or even take it to someone... The 600 class is notorious as being the "meat grinder class".
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:52 PM
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Buy a fully set up 600. There are always tons of them available and it is far cheaper and easier. As you learn, you can make determinations on where you want to spend your money. AFTER you've learned.

Rider skill is the single greatest contributor to your laptimes at the beginning.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 07:55 PM
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My current bike was a street bike that I have converted to a track only bike. Would I do it again that way, I don't think I would. It is much easier to buy a track prepped bike and go. It's not that the wrenching is the hard part, it's buying all the crap to put on it ( brakes, suspension, body work).

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:37 PM
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I may be biased but if you are worried about cost build or buy a Supermoto bike.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:58 PM
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I bought my first bike all setup and have never had any issues. I have been very happy with the bike for the last couple of years.

My new project is a conversion from a street bike. I am spending the winter doing it (and also a lot of money). Somehow though it may not make financial sense it feels more like my creation. I think I was better prepared to deal with this having spent some time at the track on a well setup bike and know what I am getting into.

If you do not have a lot of experience setting up a bike and track riding on a bike that is well setup you are in for a steep learning curve and maybe some frustration. If you like a challenge though you may get something good out of doing the project.

Been dere done dat dis dere and de udder ting. OH and whatnot
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 07:51 AM
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Or find someone like the Sandman and buy theirs

Computrack is a helpful standard for straightness.

Almost always there will be things to fix, but I've often looked for project type vehicles that were at least partially done with the modifcations, and jumped in knowing that there would be things to do, but at least I didn't have to start at square 1.

The other stuff about omissions seems true in just about anything you buy
used, it seems especially true on ebay at times.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
I'll throw out my opinion on the first part only, based on my experiences.

Your instinct to start with a steet bike and convert it is smart, and was what worked out best for me and my friend. We've bought a bunch of 600's over the years for track use only, both ways. I can't tell you how many trashed, crashed, dumped, "low sided only at 20mph" junked 600's we wasted our time traveling to check out- and this was AFTER qualifying them on the phone and viewing pictures. I even had one guy who didn't think it was worth mentioning on the phone that his frame steering neck had been extensively damaged and welded up! Everyone's racebikes are claimed to "ride straight" no matter how hammered the steering stops are, how dented the frame and swingarm is and how clear the evidence is to the opposite. It's tempting to try to save money buying an already setup track bike- but most racer's sins of omission, outright lies, misrepresntations, etc., get extremely frustrating and are a big waste of time. We got fed up. If you are looking at a used 600 track bike, I recommend bringing along another pair of experienced eyes, a flashlight, some basic tools, a long straightedge and LOOK CLOSELY at everything you can no matter what's claimed about condition of the 600 in question.
Beware of sellers who only want to bench race and brag how well they did with the bike at Blackhawk, how many trophies the won, how low their times were on the bike they're selling, how much the pipe cost that's on it, that "confirm" how good the bike is.
Good luck to you.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomoto View Post
I may be biased but if you are worried about cost build or buy a Supermoto bike.
More importantly if you're worried about cost, racing is probably not for you. Track days are expensive enough, but racing requires some deep pockets.

Jeff
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 10:46 AM

 
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+1 on the presetup track bike.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 01:55 PM
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I'm buying a year old race bike the next time. I've lost a ton by buying a new streetbike and converting it.

Chris
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 02:16 PM
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Everybody is telling you to buy a bike that is already built, they are right. The question is now, "how do you find the right one?"

Here's a trick. Research the CCS and WERA race results and look for the guys running consistently in the top 10 in the expert class. It normally takes a good rider and a good bike to do this consistently, plus the guys that have been doing it a while know from experience the things that need to be upgraded on a bike to make it faster at the track.

Now look for their bikes in the for sale section on the CCS and WERA forums. If necessary, contact them directly and ask them when they plan to upgrade to the newest bike. Give your contact info and tell them to call you when they get ready to sell.

If money is no issue, contact the AMA privateer teams and see if they have last years bikes for sale.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 02:48 PM
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speaking of good looking bikes roger, how she looking?

taking care of the paint i hope?

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 08:29 PM
BSB > WSBK > MotoGP
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch View Post
I'm buying a year old race bike the next time. I've lost a ton by buying a new streetbike and converting it.
That's what I did. Awesome deal. I think Garth might be selling his current bike this year too....

Jeff
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 12:03 PM
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+1 on what Ron said. I should have been more detailed.

Chris
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 02:11 PM
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Man, I could write a guide booklet at this point on how to look for a used racebike- between myself and helping a friend having looked at so many crashed out 600's in the midwest! I will leave you with this little advice however: take a front stand with you (to check out the front end, wheels and rotors for straightness), don't check out the bike in question at night in a cluttered, dimly lit garage, and don't take ANYTHING a seller tells you on faith or assume anything on stated condition. In all my years, I have yet to have a single private racebike seller back up any claims with any documentation proof, or reciepts. I'll also throw this one out: how are you going to tell if a steering head isn't "ovaled" from crash damage and has been disguised by cranking down tight the bearing preload? Seen that one. Novice 600 guys only seem to remember all the endless money they spent on their track bike, gear, trailer, track time, and travel and are usually in a state of denial on the present condition of the machine they're selling. Also, consider this down the road: the paperwork/title situation becomes real important when YOU have to end up selling the thing when you're done with it- don't accept excuses and promises from an anxious seller who'll tell you anything to get rid of his trashed racebike fast...

For what it's worth, the virgin SRAD GSXR600 street bike I purchased paid for 80% of it's used race parts buy selling the street plastics, headlight, tail lights and signals, upper fairing bracket, foot controls, bars, etc. It was in such good shape when I sold it that the buyer drove straight up from North Carolina to get it (no one on this board was interested), and he was very happy.
If I was buying a used race bike, I agree with Ron totally. For example, I'd have no hesitation buying any of last season's bikes (or older) from Mark Junge/Team Vesrah in Union Grove.

Be careful, look closely, and take your time! Over and out.
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