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Cejay's Racing Adventures (or how to spend money)

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by cejay, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. About 18mths ago, after years of track days, I decided that I wanted to take my riding to another level. So, racing was the idea. I bought a VFR400, got a club membership and was all set to go. Except that the VFR400 was a dog. A complete hound, not very well bred and totally untrainable. 9mths of frustration followed. Eventually I managed to dispose of the bike and look for another opportunity to highlight my total lack of riding prowess.

    So, you want to race but don't have an inexhaustable source of funds. What do you do? I'd experienced the joys of a 15yo bike that isn't an everyday model. A Superbike (which I owned already) was tempting, but tyre costs would be the ruin of me. Mmmm, Supersport, that'd be ok? Have you been to a club meet with Supersport riders? Mad. Totally mad. And to be competitive you need funds and skill. I have a little of each, but I am under no illusions as to their extent!

    A relatively new class was appealing. Twin Sprints are a production class, up to 690cc capacity with limited modifications allowed. There are a range of eligible bikes, though in the end the Suzuki SV650s was chosen. The SV is readily available, has reasonable handling and performance and is certainly not at a disadvantage to any other bike.

    I discovered that Suzuki had at one time offered a racing discount. Investigations revealed that they were still offering the discount but very reluctantly. All I had to do was write a letter of application, detailing my experience and racing program. Once approved a shiny new SV650S was supplied from Raceway Suzuki in Nidrie.

    The first thing to do was run the bike in. Not being registered, the only way to do this was at a track! I am sure that wasn't mentioned in the owners handbook! So the first run was at Broadford. An oil change at 100km was the first task. Brakes, engine and tyres needed care. Well, sort of! At the end of the day, another 100km was put under the rock hard tyres.

    A couple of weeks later, another MV practice day, another hundred or so kms. The bike was performing well, the tyres less so. The SV comes with rock hard rubber, good for road use and offering loads of grip, but zero feedback. I had one small slide on the entry to the front straight, but that's what happens when you are a total goon on the throttle.

    In the interim, the bike had been to Dynoverks/Kroozetune for race preparation. I won't go into details, but I wasn't 100% happy with the work or the communication. However, the bike now handled much better than before and the braided lines also offered more feedback from the wooden front tyre.

    The 3rd and last practice day was a couple of weeks later. In that time an AIM laptimer was purchased and the tyres replaced with Michelin Pilots. The front was a Race 120/70 and the rear a Pilot Power 2CT, 160/60. The rear tyre isn't available in any race (road legal) brand, but the 2CT is a great tyre and can deal with the 70hp from the SV. The front is simply awesome.

    Laptimers don't lie. Well, not my one. Over the day the times wavered around the 1:08 and 1:09, not exactly rocket ship quick but not too bad. The lap record for the twin sprints is a 1:04, by a rider I know to be very very good. So when I managed to do a few 1:07's and a 1:07.00 I was rapt!

    Next up. The front cowl was replaced with one supplied from a breakers. This was slightly damaged but was repaired and filled by a friend of a friend. The racing tail unit was supplied from Mirage Fibreglass in Perth. It was painted by the same person to a great standard. The laptimer was fitted to a custom laptimer holder and the reciever located to the underside of the tail piece.

    All fitted, the bike is now looking like a track bike. The next step is to make it look like a race bike. Which is sort of a priority for the first race is the weekend of the 11/12th August...

    I have a spreadsheet of the costs.....

    Item Cost
    SV650S $8,350.00
    Rear Sets $365.00
    LapTimer $402.00
    Dynoverks $906.00
    Tail Unit $320.00
    Belly Pan $97.00
    Cowl $234.00
    Tyres $450.00
    Crash Knobs $189.22
    R6 Throttle $23.70
    Lockwire Pliers $68.41
    Chain & Sprockets $400.00
    Chain Breaker $85.00
    Painting $100.00

    Total $11,990.33
  2. Good read Cejay, and the bike looks good. I hope you plan on updating this thread as the races unfold with race reports etc. Good luck out there.
  3. Cool. Nice read.
    What do u mean u have little skill??
    1.07 is pretty quick. Last time i was a broadford the quicker guys on 1000cc were pulling about that, on slicks and everything.

    Good luck with the racing, hope u enjoy yourself
  4. Nah, the really quick 600/1000 riders are doing 60 and 61s laps. I've followed them for about 3 corners and thought 'shit, they're quick!'. I'm lapping about 4s a lap quicker on the SV than I did on the Tuono, but the T I didn't want to risk. I can see another couple of seconds, but after that....!

    I am entered in Hartwell this weekend. They don't run the Twin Sprints, so we're (me and 3 others) are in the Thunderbikes. But it's all about fun and it should be heaps of that. Finfers X'ed for the weather. Call me a total wuss, but rain = pain!

    Numbers and bellypan are on the bike now, need some light and I'll take some more piks.
  5. Fancy giving me a tow down the back straight?

  6. Numbers and Pan

    Race numbers and bellypan are now on.



    Bike got dirty on the way back from my friends place (trailer), needs a quiet clean before the weekend. Though the forecast doesn't look all that good anyway.
  7. The race numbers look excellent :grin:
    I really like the look of the rear sprocket as well. Is it steel or aluminium?
  8. Looking good mate!!

    Rearsets, race numbers and sprockets look great, but you'll have to unload that stock muffler. It looks like a boat anchor and probably wieghs as much too. A second hand pipe from somewhere perhaps?

    Don't be fooled by Ceejay's under-estimation of his own skill level everybody. He will do great.

    I want to get down to Broadford for your debut, but I have to sit a HR liscense, so best of luck to you, Novacoder and Doit.
  9. Don't knock yourself... 1:07 is still pretty quick (even if the loony quick guys can get down near a minute).

    I can't get under 1:14 :oops:

    My excuse is I'm a fat bastard with no skills :LOL:


    your SV looks great BTW!
  10. The exhaust is way heavy...but a replacement apparently doesn't add too much power either. NovaCoder has a shweet looking Yoshi system and PC3, so that might be an option a little later.

    It's very well to be able to go fast, but I've never raced anyone before...I expect it's going to be a shock to the system!

    The sprockets came from Chain Gang in Qld. They are steel and still weigh quite a lot. Steve's are from the US and weigh about 10% of naff all. But I like the look of mine :) BTW, Chain Gang were great to do business with. $9 delivery and it was with me the next day.
  11. Top effort Cejay!!

    Nicely turned out bike mate! Shweeeeeeet!

    Wish I could be there as part of the debut cheer squad but have other obligations this weekend.

    Keep us all posted.

    Say g'day to the other riders for us.

    Cheers mate.
  12. Great and interesting and informative write-up cejay. I need more time to digest, but great stuff!
  13. With the SV650 sorts of power output, it's the lower weight that really counts. The bike will handle better too, with a less imbalanced left-right weight distribution.
  14. Good stuff cejay.

    Pirelli supercorsa pros would be my pick for the best tyres in your size.
  15. Good luck cejay. Break a leg! :p

    That's a cheap class for a new bike and all. Sounds like a great choice.

    Ive got my first race on the 11-12 weekend. I have been asking other blokes who race to lean on me at recent trackdays, make it tough for me to get past, and stuff it up the inside of me, but Im sure its going to be full on with the REAL thing. :grin:
  16. Good stuff.

    2 things, the front plate needs to be on the left

    and does an SV really make 70 hp?
  17. Why? :? I understand it's probably a rule, by what is the reasoning for it being on the left?
  18. The number on the left was checked by Steve with Heinz. Apparently the only requirement is that it has to be a matt white background. I'll let Steve know about it anyway...he'll be happy :)

    As for hp, it's around that mark. Not an awful lot is it?!
  19. OK, I've got a problem now.

    Hartwell assigned all their garages at the last round in Winton. Therefore there are no spare garages available. Not a real problem except the provision of power. I use tyre warmers of around the 800-900w constant rating. I need about a 1.5kva generator in order to ensure that the generator can supply sufficient constant and peak power.

    I can buy a cheap generator, but even the cheap ones are $500+. If I want a named brand, add another $600 to that. Or I can hire a generator, but I am looking at $70 /day which I will need for 3 days. I don't anticipate being late for registrations again but I have to factor that with places like Broadford only having 30 odd garages (2 bikes per garage) that I might not always get one when I need one. And running a bike in a race with cold tyres of the race type isn't my idea of fun.

    Is it an expense worth paying? What do other racers/riders do?