So, still haven't decided on a. paint scheme, however, I have found some really cool carbon fibre fairings for the tail and a rear hugger for the swing arm from a company in Ukraine and decided that I would go for it. Looks really nice, photos do not do it justice.
Well it’s time to start making this build look like a bike again.
One thing I love about building a project is that you get to buy so many new parts. It makes it feel like Christmas morning every time the post arrives…
New rear disk.
New Renthal sprockets plus Tsubaki Sigma–XRG chain.
Got me some new rubber, and new bearings here, there and everywhere.
Workshop in the winter was giving me frostbite, so I moved the operation inside. This did not make me particularly popular but it did mean that I didn’t have to worry about bashing newly powder-coated parts on a concrete floor.
See below for the frame, sub frame, swing arm and shock together.
I was putting the rear sprocket using a set of Pro Bolt Anodised Aluminium nuts (swish) with an old torque wrench when I realised I had set up the torque wrench the wrong way round and, as a result, my work had destroyed the nut and the thread on the bolt. Sigh…
Anyway new bolt and nut (more expense…) and rear wheel is done.
Now on to the front end and another tasty buy. As I said, I was not sure on raised bars and have decided that I do prefer the look and feel of the clip-ons. So I treated myself to these beauties:
Don't powder your forks...
Frontend on. I will just say to anyone who is thinking of powder coating their forks, don’t. It’s not worth the hassle, they’re a bastard to get in without scratching them. Took my brother and I ages to painstakingly get them in there but because the yokes need to be so tight they will mark the powder anyway, meaning that they can not be moved up or down without showing the scratches.
Installing the Engine (Solo)
As I had no help this evening, I had a very interesting time installing the engine… cough, cough; but I got it in finally and without scratching the powder… Yay.
Master Cylinders vs Clip Ons...and the Clip Ons are down and out
Trying some other bits and pieces on. Came across another discovery, the master cylinders will not fit on the new clips ons. This is a pain as it means more expense but does allow me to get new radial ones. I can hear the word Brembo in my head 🙂
Also installed the VIN plate. You can also see some of the damage from installing the forks.
Along with the other parts, I also got my forks powder coated. I haven't yet mentioned the forks on my bike but as you most likely noticed they were not standard.
The conversion to GSXR1100wp USD forks was done before I bought it and I believe instructions on how to do it can be found the RFOC somewhere (I will add link if I find it). As well as refurbishing the outsides, it was a great time to change the internals to progressive Hyperpro springs which should hopefully full make the ride even better.
I also cleaned and polished up the tops as they looked tired and would have ruined the look of the newly powdered yokes...
Time for paint! Off we go:
I got a quote from Jim at https://www.archerpowdercoatinglimited.co.uk in Portsmouth to do everything in the pictures below (too many to list) for £200.
Paint Job, Round #1
It wasn't until I got everything home and unwrapped the bubble wrap that I noticed a couple of things:
Scratches on the swing arm
2. Poor finish on both rims
I immediately took them back and Jim redid the swing arm. Unfortunately Jim explained the rims were made from cast alloy and the powder coating process causes air bubbles in the rims to pop and give the effect seen in the photo. After 3 attempts to re-coat the rims I still wasn't happy. He finally tried something called a wet coat (?) which seemed to sort out the problem and gave the same finish as the rest of the parts (forgot to take pictures of finished rims.. oops).
I believe it's off a GSXR1000 K8 (which would make it 10 years younger than the RF 900) plus it has an upgraded spring from LRS-MECH (which is only down the road from me). Having the load adjuster built into the shock also helps with the reduced space in the new subframe and tail swap, which is streamlined but a bit cramped.
It fits! (phew)
Had me worried there for a second - but I can run a piece of card between the spring and swing arm when it's fully extended.
I was really pleased with the work. I used a Gosport company, Bespoke Hants Fabs. Chris, a biker himself, was a really nice guy and the total cost of £200 was reasonable for new mount points, new tank mounting and putting new metal tabs over the frame where the old subframe was cut off.
I bought some rental bars and a Dan moto mini speedometer which I plan to hide in the brace. I am still torn between the raised handle bars versus clip ons so I want to get an idea of what both look like with the new tail swap before powder coating.
Hello my pretty...
I personally think the frame and the lines look a lot better now with the smooth curves.
Now everything had been taken off it was time to call the surgeon. Although I never minded the tail of the RF, I wanted a new look for my custom RF and therefore it had to go…
Used pen to mark off the parts for surgery...
(Don't want to accidentally cut anything else off!)
Grab the tools...
(remember safety first)..
...and set to workRF bobber anyone? 😉And then there was none....The stand: Figured out pretty quickly that a proper stand was going to be needed, so I picked up an Abba stand and footrest adapters so I could work on both ends without worrying about it falling over.
(p.s. worth every penny)
Bye bye mysterious, nasty lumps
With the subframe gone I could now get an idea of the mock up for the new subframe and tail.
Definitely a 2 man job, so got my little brother to help out...where does the new subframe go?
A few pictures before it was picked up for the welder.
(For anyone interested, check out the BMW 2002tii in the background - our father-son bonding project.)
By now, it is possible that any RF lovers amongst you are just reading in fear as to what crimes I may commit against the Suzuki.
Yes, I am the guy who restricted a 120bhp motorcycle, yes I am going to rip my bike apart. This is your warning - I love the RF but I am going to make it my own and some of you may want to stop reading now as the rest of this thread is rated C for custom.
So lets get this RF undressed...
Found a cheap tail off a 2007 R6 2c0 on eBay. Most of the mount points on the fairing were broken (not said in the description, was very angry) but the subframe was good so I kept it.
Just seeing what it might look like... : ) . Very exciting.
Back to disassembly...
New Part Alert! Bought an Mk1 Bandit swing arm with a R1 brace welded on, from eBay.
Aaaand, back to disassembling...
So 3 years on, me and my Suzuki RF 900 were a little older, a little more bashed up and perhaps a little wiser. Here are a few pics to remember the last days of my trusty RF 900, pre-build.
And on to the new and improved...
Proud owner of my first bike - the Suzuki RF900. Time to capture this moment forever with a few photos of our first days together... A short video of the bike running. Unfortunately, I had a bad camera at the time and the picture quality is piss-poor - I'm trying to do something about that and will upload a walk around for the Suzuki RF 900 when I have something semi-decent to show you all.