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Sophie: CBR1000RR rebuild project

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by Felix, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    My name is Ian from Sydney Australia.

    I’m a big fan of the Fireblade’s and have just bought a damaged 08CBR1K. I’ve been looking for ages for a slightly damaged bike that I could rebuild and do up as a project and found the perfect bike for the job. I’m wanting to do all of this myself including the paint and some custom stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon stuff. I’ve done all this stuff before as a youngster with cars but this will be my first rebuild project with a bike.

    It has slight grazing on factory fairings and a few other small issues “sort of” already repaired when I bought it including a poor quality Chinese fairing kit (the black one in pics). This will be going as all of the factory bits were supplied with the bike with the exception of the front cowl and duck tail which were destroyed. The remainder of the stuff has minor grazing and easily repaired. I also am going to have it checked for any slight frame damage so I am stripping the bike right down to nothing and sending the frame for measurement and adjustment if necessary to a place that specializes in this. Once I get the frame back the fun begins.

    While the bike is still together I’ve been making cardboard templates for some custom bits which I plan to fabricate while I’m waiting for the frame to return.

    • These templates include: A custom stainless steel radiator guard.
    • A custom Carbon fiber dash board for mounting switches, gear shift indicator etc.
    • A custom slim line under tail and tail light with inbuilt indicators.
    • Custom brushed stainless heel guards.

    I also have some pretty special paintwork planned which will involve a lot of processes and will be done by me in my garage.

    I’m pretty fortunate for resources as one of my best friends owns a stainless steel factory which I have full access to. Another friend has CNC machines which could also come in kind of handy. I’ve done quite a bit of work with glass, epoxy and carbon over the years through sail boarding and kite surfing which won’t hurt either. Amongst the guys I ride with are a couple of very experienced bike mechanics/tinkerers who will come in very handy as a source of guidance and have already been incredibly generous with their help and input. Huge thanks in particular to Paul and John.

    I’ve given myself 10 months to complete the project and will be taking buckets of pics along the way as a reference to get it all back together again (hopefully lol)

    Not quite sure how, but the bike has somehow become named Sophie.

    Sophie has about 5800 km on her…. So she’s almost new in that sense. She also has:

    • A Taylormade exhaust (woo hoo 1…. I love these and it sounds great!)
    • Power commander 3
    • Under tail and tail tidy (crap quality and fit and will not be kept).
    • Carbon case covers
    • Double bubble tinted screen (which will go in favor of something else)

    I’m doing this as a ground up rebuild and thought it might be nice to share the journey (good bits and bad bits) with anyone interested. It would also be nice to pick up some advice and suggestions along the way. Plenty of pictures to follow.

  2. My advice to you is to buy a Yamaha :)
  3. 1) Sophie as originally purchased with black Chinese fairings replacing the damaged factory ones. I made the wheel-grabber type bike stand at my friends stainless steel factory. Big thanks to Damien at Sydney Stainless Engineering for all his advice and ongoing use of all his facilities and materials over the years…. What a Pal !!!!!


  4. 2) The damaged factory fairings which came with her. Not a problem to fix and they fit so much better than the Black ones in the first picture. I’ve already removed the badges and some of the decals.


  5. 3) Before stripping Sophie down, I wanted to make templates for the various custom parts I planned to build. It was much easier to do this whilst she was in once piece and I could trial fit etc. Once these were done I could build the parts themselves at any time. They don’t look like much as cardboard, but as much work goes into these as does fabricating the components themselves. I started with what will be the stainless steel heel guards. I’m trying to flow the shape between the frame and the swing arm and make sure they fit all the contours of the bike so that they don’t look like a bolted on afterthought. Coming up with a shape I liked was a ton of trial and error and second opinions from friends etc. I’m hoping they don’t look too over done in the end and really suit the bike.



  6. 4) The next template involved making the substrate for what is to be the carbon-fiber dash board. I wanted a dash on which to mount switches and gear indicators. The area for mounting is very complex, 3 dimensional and must provide clearance for steering, hands, brake levers etc and I couldn’t work out how to do it from cardboard. The only idea I could come up with was to build it the way I’d do a surfboard… by laminating over pre shaped foam. Next problem… how do I shape the foam to fit…. Stuck again. I started experimenting with the void filling foam that is used in building and construction and found that once set, it could be shaped with carving knives and sandpaper fairly accurately. By injecting this foam, a perfect fit for mounting could be created on the area between the instrument cluster, cowl, windscreen, headlight housing and the support stay/bracket. I plan to do it in two halves and join it before the final carbon laminations. This will just make it easier to work on for the time being. Once shaped, I could laminate it in epoxy which would create a backing for the carbon. Being a soft foam, I’m hoping I can sand blast it out at the end of the laminating process to provide a hollow area for switch housings and wiring etc… or this is my theory anyhow. This expanding foam is highly adhesive so I had to be really careful with masking and damming the area off.

  7. 5) The foam injected and set.

  8. 6) The dried and semi carved “chunk”. Despite my careful masking and release agent, this thing was a biatch to remove without damaging it.

  9. 7) The fit surface underneath despite looking like a blob fitted back in perfectly. It should provide a really solid mount for the dash.

    Attached Files:

  10. 8) Carving and sanding the “blob” to create a flat dash area and all the clearances necessary for functionality whilst trying to make the shape as attractive as possible.

  11. This could well end up being the best-documented rebuild in Netrider History :LOL:.

    Watching with interest (y).
    • Like Like x 1
  12. 9) I fine tuned the shape using builder’s plaster…. I’m hoping that this should sand blast out pretty easily also.

  13. 10) Finally getting some epoxy glassing done


  14. 11) This is epoxy work at a more finished stage. I’ll be joining the two halves soon. Its amazing how light these are considering all the foam and plaster has yet to be removed. The final shell should be really light but still 10 times stronger than necessary. This dash has already taken a ridiculous amount of work getting it to the stage its at. When finished, I’ll be starting the custom under tail which will be a walk through the park compared to making this thing….. I hope !


  15. Love that motogp style exhaust
  16. wholly sh!!t.

    You are insane! That is some amazing dash work there. I wish I had those skills and that patience. I would have thrown the foam out after the first go. lol..

    Great work there...
    To be honest, I quite like the cbr in black, the way it is now :) hehe...

    I also love the 3d template you made. thats just brilliant! watching eagerly.
  17. Felix is my Beotch :)
  18. 12) I live in a small 2 bedroom villa with a double garage. The garage already has my car and my other bike in it. Its starting to dawn on me just how much room one of these things takes up once completely disassembled. There are forks and fairings in wardrobes, parts and templates under lounge suites, headlights in my office and still I’m searching for more spots to hide stuff without making my home look like a wrecking yard. I keep thinking to myself….. “Thank F___ I’m single cause I’d never hear the end of it if I wasn’t !!”

  19. 13) Have spent some time at the Damien’s stainless steel factory and have been working on the Heel Plates, Radiator Guard, and Rear Cowl cover. I decided to make the Radiator Guard full length enclosing the two mid-cowls. I’m liking the way it looks and it almost resembles one of those long grills you see on old hot rods. Doing it this way the Template has to be spot on as there is only a mill or two clearance in each direction. I had to bolt the mesh to a board to stop it from twisting and deforming. Once cut, I pressed a stainless steel edging around it and welded the seams. I’m really happy with the way the components are turning out so far but it’s been a ton of work in both designing and fabrication…… particularly for someone like me who doesn’t work in the trade. I have to admit that I really enjoy doing this sort of stuff.



  20. And a few more.....