- Created: 25 March 2014
So we decided this year that to make the start to the season a tad easier we would buy a bike complete and ready to race, the old SV was beyond repair and would take a few thousand pounds to fix, so starting afresh was a good plan...or so we thought.
We were looking to purchase either a Stocksport 600 or an old R6 to race in the Pre-injection class, as we felt bikes could be bought for a reasonable sum of money and there were plenty available...well there wasn’t and the ones we did see were far from "race ready", after many hours of searching and many miles travelled we decided to re-evaluate the situation.
We knew where there was a heavily crashed road Kawasaki ER650 that was up for sale at a good price, the forks were bent and all the bodywork was scuffed, but that didn’t bother us, as all of that would be replaced anyhow. So with only 4 weeks to the season opener at Darley Moor (30th March) and a lot of work ahead of us, we bit the bullet and went with that option. We got her to the Carole Nash Repair Centre, stripped her down of all the un-wanted road parts and gave her a much needed clean.
We then started the process of choosing parts, we needed to keep costs down, but knew we needed some good suspension and needed to make her breath well, to get the most from the engine in standard form. That way when we get round to tuning her we should be able to get some good power figures. The suspension came courtesy of Maxton, a GP10 rear shock and a 20mm cartridge kit in the forks. Arrow was chosen for the Exhaust, as it’s the same as Farquhar uses on his KMR bikes and is thought to be the best performance gain by far. On went some SES rearsets, in went some Barnett clutch springs, new Brembo pads, some Hell brake lines, Harris clip ons, Renthall chain and sprockets. Other than that, she is pretty stock, but will be ready to race by the end of the month...fingers crossed!
We also fitted a Versys swingarm, this makes rear wheel changes much easier, as with chain adjustment, it’s also a touch lighter and a lot stiffer. The other big change this year will be the running of 180 rear tyres, this came on the back of a conversation with Richard at Maxton engineering, all the front runners in Ireland are running the larger rear tyre and are finding it adds a lot of turn in and side grip, so we managed to get a few part worn race tyres and will try it on our first test day which is at Oulton park on the 19th march...crikey need to get a move on, as we are nowhere near finished right now!!
So the next big issues are this, can I still be competitive? I haven’t raced for 18months, can I still even ride a bike? I guess time will tell, or at least we’ll know by Wednesday afternoon after the first test?!?!?
Here she is with the MKR bodywork on, stealthy with only a few Carole Nash decals: