Scott Redmond is recommissioning an old Honda CBR400RR, an early 1990s grey import, this winter. The bike cost just £550, and this week he’s found a crashed CBR600 to harvest for parts.
Every so often the stars align and deliver a little magic into my life. While others may wish for extravagant luxuries to enter their lives, I’m much easier to please. A fellow trader had been offered a bike that he had zero interest in purchasing and he was well aware that my expectations for incoming stock are much lower than his, hence his text to me.
On offer was a 1994 Honda CBR600FR. It had been involved in a minor mishap back in 2015 and then left for dead. The pictures he’d sent over were all I needed to see before I threw my hat into the ring with an offer. Bingo, deal done! Two days later the black and burgundy Honda rolled out of his van and into my garage. I now finally have what appears to be a good useable front end to use on my NC29. The pair of CBRs even use the same multi spoke patterned wheels, it’s just like magic.
Before anyone gets upset about breaking one bike for parts, remember it allows many other bikes to live on, plus good used parts are a fraction of pricey new items. I will sell the rest of the CBR600FR on, which is why I decided to put business before pleasure and start by taking off the parts I know I can sell on.
Next up, I liberated the front end. Instead of taking down to component parts, I simply popped the top yoke off and then wrestled the parts that I wanted out in their entirety. This would have been much easier if I had another pair of hands to help me, but my enthusiasm saw me through! With the CBR600 forks and wheel out on the deck, I felt like I had made a major step forward in bringing my CBR400 back to a useable motorcycle. I have also saved myself time by no longer needing to trawl the internet for these elusive parts. On the whole I am chuffed with the incoming front end. The head race bearings will need to be replaced, especially after the upper cup spilled its ball bearings over the floor!
The stanchions look much better than the pimpled items on the 400 though as always with used parts, they are not perfect. The lacquer is peeling away in patches on the fork lowers and there’s some very light pitting at the very top of the stanchions. Thankfully though, nowhere near the fork seal travel. Both brake calipers work ok and the brake discs are well chunky, unlike the heavily scored NC29 items. If I’m being honest, the purple paint isn’t floating my boat and in the long run both wheels will still need freshening up. One thing that I will need is a front mudguard, the 600 item is busted.
With business once again gatecrashing my pleasure time, I will have to make some time to get the NC29 forks, wheel and so on out. That will be my next task.
What we’ve learnt
- Not looking for stuff is the best time to find it.
- Excitement can make you do a two man job on your own.
- Burgundy isn’t a good colour for a motorcycle wheel.