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sailah 09-27-2011 03:25 PM

CBR gets the Sailah treatment...
Yes, I realize that I have another bike to finish, but the idea morphed from being the bastard bike in the back of the shop to the new hottie. I still plan to finish Ronin this winter, but if the weather cooperates I want to keep riding it. Plus I have severe ADD and I need to constantly start new projects:lol3

I bought this bike a couple years ago when my wife was pissed at me one day. I left the house in a huff with $400 in my pocket and came home with this:

It's a 1997 CBR 600 F3. 34k on the clock and runs strong. It was wrecked of course but everything I want is still good. In my traditional fashion I lopped off the subframe.

I had intended to do a cafe racer/street fighter but I got side tracked on another project (sense a pattern here?:evil) and left it to rust.

I wanted it out of the garage and was basically going to scrap it, but after eyeballing it and a bunch of leftover parts I had from my last bike, I decided to build it up into more of an offroader.

Pluses to this bike are that it is smaller than the FZ1. The airbox is huge and doesn't leave a lot of room for a tank. Plus the tank was a Stuntah tank and junk anyways. SO here's what I have planned:

Use KTM RFS front end. i turned up some bearing cups to A) take the stock KTM bearings B) "lengthen the steering tube to ~8.5" which is about what a KTM is. I have a potential candidate picked out and its complete with wheel. I'm going to ditch the brakes and run a KTM 950 master cylinder and machine up an adapter to mount a Ducati caliper and rotor to the KTM hub & fork. I'll respring it to take the weight.

The rear will run the stock swingarm from the CBR. This might change as I just bought a KTM RFS swinger but I'm pretty sure I want to run the stock CBR steel one. I made up some extensions of about 4" which I'll weld and brace to the stock arm. I'm ditching the linkage and running a KTM PDS shock with a relocated top mount near the airbox. I have a Yz450 rear wheel that I'll relace with heavy spokes and mount up a 2.5" 18" excel. I am working on an aluminum adapter to space the sprocket out for correct alignment.

I have an alumnum subframe from the YZ that I will hack up and mount with the YZ seat and rear fender. You can see it set in place on the mockup.

For the tank, I plan to utilize as much space under the seat for the gas tank which I will mock up and weld out of aluminum. Not sure how much I can get, but hoping for 2-4 gals?? It's going ot be tight with the shock in there, but I eyeballed it and think it could work. This will eliminate the stock tank and hopefully slim down that entire area. I plan on covering the airbox with a faux "tank" out of carbon fiber or aluminum.

The build is designed to be more of an offroader I can hopefully take on dual sport rides. The CBR is about 400 and I will be losing a lot of weight on this build. No bags, no gauges, one light, stripped down as simple as I can make it. and also building this one on a (relative) budget. I hope I can keep it under $2500. Right now I'm about $1200 for the bike and the front end, the rest is stuff I have laying around.

I learned a lot on my last project and hopefully I will do a better job not being rushed like I was last time. Parts have been ordered, ebay is being watched, and the madness has started again!!!:freaky:freaky

Homerb 09-27-2011 06:36 PM

"I bought this bike a couple years ago when my wife was pissed at me one day. I left the house in a huff with $400 in my pocket and came home with this:"

Well that would have cheered her up no end!!!:D:D:D

sailah 09-27-2011 06:45 PM

Somehow that wasn't the first thing on my mind:D

I did it again a little time later and came home with 2 trail 90 s

I figure hey, shes pissed, might as well slip in a bike while I'm in the dog house. You laugh but it works amazingly well.:deal

sailah 09-28-2011 02:53 PM

The guy who was going to sell me the KTM front end decided to keep it. worked out great as I had a local friend sell me a complete ATK front end for a song. I don't know if they are Paoli's or WP but regardless they were way cheaper and I'll beef up whatever needs beefin'.

Bought 2 carbon arrow exhausts on ebay last night. I'll cut one up and weld up a SS exhaust tube to the stock CBR header and save the other one for the next project. Funny in that my FZ1 project has an Arrow exhaust from a CBR 600 on it. I like these pipes, they look great, are very well made, and cheap on the used market especially when you are custom making an exhaust and just need the can.

I'm back down on the budget, $600 spent so far not including parts I already had like the rear wheel and subframe. With the way this is going I might even have enough for a Sumo setup:deal

Pictures aren't real helpful at this stage, nothing new until I get the front end fitted.

rc mad 09-28-2011 02:59 PM

Shame your on the other side of the pond, I'm after a set of f3 forks for my sv, Well everything but the lowers :lol3

There's none on ebay this end :doh

sailah 09-28-2011 03:34 PM

well, I realized that wasn't very fun, no one wants to look at words they needs some visuals.

Here's what I have done so far:

On the bench, subframe just resting

Lower shock linkage. I may rework this slightly, but I plan on welding it hard and eliminating the linkage. I have a KTM 300 EXC shock on the way that I'll run a heavy PDS spring. It's a lot longer than the one I have in there which is just the CBR shock.

Here's about where I figure the top mount will be:

Here's the YZ450 wheel mounted up. I took the stock CBR rear wheel and cut off the spokes on my bandsaw and then chucked it up in the lathe. The idea was to weld "rings" that would be where the spoke radiate out and then run an 18" excel. That idea ran into a lot of issues, mostly didn't think it was worth the effort. The YZ rear should be okay with an 18" 2.5 rear on there and it a lot lighter than a cush rear end. If I grenade the tranny in the bike, it's probably cheaper to replace the motor than buy a RAD billet hub:lol3

I machined up an aluminum spacer to center the wheel.

I'll need to space the sprocket out about 1/2" to line up with the countershaft sprocket. I plan on running 520 chain and sprockets so the CBR will run a 520 counter

The stock airbox is huge. The tank goes over this. Makes for a big ass wart on the front. I'm getting rid of the tank completely. I will try my hand at carbon fiber and make a cover for this area. Kinda like a BMW F650. The new tank I'll make up out of aluminum and mount it under the seat and basically fill that area. Not sure where the battery will go yet.

Bearing cup I made for the KTM bearings which I'm not running. Glad I didn't weld that yet:evil. If anyone here is planning on building the exact same thing with a KTM triple, let me know and I'll ship it to ya.

I'm going to bend up a cradle/crash guards like where I am holding the rubber tube. It needs to let the motor drop out so it'll have to be outboard of the entire motor both sides. This will be a thinker. Probably get some 1.25" DOM thin wall tubing and bend it on my tubing bender.

One more shot of the stem. These sport bikes have a way shorter steering stem than a dirt bike. I like the custom bearing race as you don't need spacers, but obviously not everyone has a lathe around. I might gusset the top back down to the frame to eliminate a hard bending moment right there.

I bought a KTM 950 caliper before I knew about the loss of the forks. Not sure what the Paolis will take but I might try and hunt down a better and cheaper alternative.

I'll tell you, the second time around, the build seems so much easier. Everything is less of an unknown and I can better visualize the end product. Plus I'm much more confident in my welding abilities to make things like an underseat tank etc.

More to come

sailah 09-28-2011 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by rc mad (Post 16957688)
Shame your on the other side of the pond, I'm after a set of f3 forks for my sv, Well everything but the lowers :lol3

There's none on ebay this end :doh

I have a set of CBR900 forks in great shape, a 900 wheel with big ass brakes. They make the 600 stuff look wimpy. That's why I bought them. They will drop in place of a 600, same exact bearings.

Lemme know, shipping shouldn't be crazy, but won't be cheap. We need to find someone travelling...:deal

sailah 09-28-2011 07:21 PM

Since everyone likes pics, here's some of my musings until I pick up the front end and get to work.

I bent up some sheet I had and then welded them together to form box sections for the swingarm extensions. Once I get the front end dialed in with the right rake, I'll cycle the rear end to make sure I get the right shock/swingarm travel ratios right. That'll tell me how far back the wheel should be using my other bike as a good guide to wheelbase.

Then I can finish the "cutout" from the original swingarm and maybe into the extensions. Weld up the forward part that won't be used. I plan on welding some fishmouths over the joints to beef it up.

Here's what I am thinking about for an underseat tank

Lots of room in there

If I don't fill in every little unused area, I drew up some basic triangles in CAD and calculated the volume as 2.7 gals. I think I can bow out the sides a little and maybe build the tank closer to the shock. But I think 3 gals will be plenty for what I want this bike for. I can always weld up the old KTM 950 pipes I have into tanks that I can remove for another ~2 gals or carry some MSR bottles for spares. I intend this bike to be a day bike only so not too worried about range.

I may reconsider the airbox cover out of carbon fiber. I was playing around with some carboard and it is well suited for aluminum. I can maybe play around with shaping it with a mallet. I don't have an english wheel or anything like that, it may be a little crude. Or possibly make a form out of aluminum, fair ir with Bondo and then lay up the carbon over that. I do think the carbon weave is pretty damn sweet. :deal

I'm being constantly pulled from trying to parts bin build this as cheap as humanly possible to blowing cash on nice wheels etc. I may build it cheap to start and add bling if its worth it. Should be pretty cool regardless.

That's it, nighty night

sanjoh 09-29-2011 07:45 AM


Won't the shock tower cut into your available space for fuel ?

Are you planning on leaving the wart of an airbox? Is it injected or carby? I've been thinking about modifing the box on the dirt ninja to make more space for fuel.

What front end are you going with?

sailah 09-29-2011 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by sanjoh (Post 16962449)

Won't the shock tower cut into your available space for fuel ?

Are you planning on leaving the wart of an airbox? Is it injected or carby? I've been thinking about modifing the box on the dirt ninja to make more space for fuel.

What front end are you going with?

Yeah I'll lose some. I have an atk 406 front end, a ktm front from an exc I bought this morning and a yz450 front end in the mail. I'll see which works best with the weight and running a larger brake setup. I'll sell whatever I don't use.

The airbox I hear is necessary to keep the motor happy. I'm fine with it and will cover it. It's actually better like that than the fz1 because all the carbs and box are right there in a downdraft configuration. The fz1 uses a standard carb setup and there would be no way to run and under seat tank.

I'll evaluate it all when I start getting parts finalized.even if I can only get 2.5 gals that's enough for what I need.

sanjoh 09-29-2011 09:05 AM

You're a parts junky like me:freaky

You mentioned a F650 tank cover, I've got one if you want it? Might give you a start but it's an ugly looking thang.

NLS1 09-29-2011 03:16 PM

Great stuff, keep it up. :thumb:thumb

sailah 10-01-2011 02:04 PM

nothing major to report, I'm basically waiting on parts to arrive. I have about 4 of everything from all makes so I can see what works the best and will sell the rest.

I have an ATK front end from a buddy. I'm not sure if it's going to work, especially with the lack of heavy springs. I spoke to Javier at Trail Tricks and he said the heaviest spring for the WP 48mm EXC type forks is 0.59. I have 0.64 in my FZ1 but thats a lot heavier bike.

So I think I might wait until the WP forks arrive and fit those up. Plus I have a 950 caliper that hopefully will bolt up and make running a larger rotor an easier affair.

I spent part of today machining up an adapter to bolt a CBR900RR rotor to a YZ450 hub. I haven't drilled the holes because I don't think I'm going to use that rotor but it was an interesting project, I'm still a beginnner with the lathe.

I also decided to just duplicate the YZ subframe and not use it explicitly. I'll copy the mounting points for the seat and fender so that all bolts up. I am thinking of just making the subframe and tank as one unit.

I bought 3/4" Sch 40 6063 tubing that is 1.05" OD. If I need to bend it, I have a 1" OD die and i think that's close enough. I machined up these tubing ends to weld to the tubing so I can bolt it to the steel cbr frame

I did get the rear wheel from an ATK which looks way beefier than the YZ rear wheel. It runs an 18 2.50 rim which is exactly what I want. Course the sprocket is on the wrong side but that's a minor issue:lol3

My buddy also gave my an old WP shock. I have one from a 2001 but Javier is trying to get me to buy his 2008 PDS shock. I'm trying REAL hard to not go above budget. But hey with all this free stuff...:lobby

I think I might go for it, it'll match the front better and look sweet. Means no supermoto setup or fancy ass wheels. Well, maybe...:evil

sailah 10-02-2011 06:50 AM

well, I had a hard look at the ATK rear wheel. I just don't think it's going to work. First off, its on the wrong side. Second is that the brake rotor is tiny and I wouldn't be able to easily adapt the caliper and slide. The YZ was easy and done. Third is that I do want the option to supermoto this bike in the future and having a crazy rear wheel that no one can match is going to be a pain.

It does have the right rim on it, but it's a little dented. I may take the rim and lace it tot he YZ hub and be closer to the goal. But still question if these hubs I have are up to the task.

I could go KTM 640/950 and solve the problem instantly and get cush drive, but then the axle size would be wrong. Maybe go with a KTM 525 type but I still think the axle size will be wrong. Or just run the YZ until it explodes and then build something stronger. def going to need a stronger set of spokes.

Anyone have any insight into the hub issue? Am I just asking for trouble? To build a RAD/buchanan/Excel wheel up is more than a used 950 wheel so if I go expensive I would rather do that. Hell I could chuck my 950 wheel up swap it every time I wanted to go for a ride...:lol3

I am also leaning against the ATK front end for a number of reasons. First that I just bought 4 sets of KTM triples.:wink: Second it doesn't have heavy springs readily available like the KTM. The axle clamp has also been welded. Too many unknowns. But it was cheap and I got an original nickel frame with it!!! I'll see if my buddy wants it back or ebay it.

I'm hoping I can run the YZ front wheel in the ktm forks as I just spent the better part of a day machining up a cool adapter. But I know better. It won't work, I'll end up buying a KTM wheel that I can simply bolt on a 320 rotor and be done with it.

Maybe I should simply disassemble my Fz1 and swap over everything every time I want to ride the other bike. It would certainly save some coin.:deal

Much more progress this week as parts come rolling in from here and ebay.

sanjoh 10-02-2011 06:05 PM

What diameter is the rear axle?

Not sure how you're gonna get 4 sets of triples on the bike:D

No problem with the brake rotor on the wrong side, just flip the wheel around. I did this on my dirt ninja with a ktm rear wheel n cush drive.

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