This is one color scheme best left untouched.
An upside down caliper mount kept arm lines tight.
A full carbon can tones down an otherwise bright backside.
Color-coordinated seat covers from Luimoto complete the package.
Making waves in the modified cycle circuit requires a builder to roll out something that snaps heads as often as it’s snapped for a picture. Around the SSB office, tales of just about every kind of build has at one time bounced around the editor’s round table—from dyno record holders to detail- draped parking lot prisses. Finding these elusive rides isn’t always easy; sometimes it takes good old-fashioned detective work, which in this day and age amounts to infinite clicks of the mouse. While trolling the forums we encountered a Toronto-area shop recognized for sparking the fire under Canada’s growing custom sportbike scene, so we dove deeper to decipher fact from folly.
It’s not often you find a numbered race replica with an extended arm, nitrous and reworked odds and ends. Investigation into its origins turned up a shop story (see sidebar) just as interesting as the collector’s item displayed in the Vonn Cycle showroom. Among a gallery of refined rides and award plaques, a character-rich 2007 Honda CBR1000RR sits on display for pure bragging rights: “We were trying to make a bike that nobody has ever seen before. Repsol is a sought after bike and we wanted to put our own kind of twist on it but keep it as close to factory looking as possible. You’re paying a premium for that theme so we wanted to stick with it,” said Claudio Segreto, founding Vonn Cycle member.
”We’re the only ones in our area who have a bike like this. I’ve never seen another stretched CBR Repsol. Because it’s a numbered bike not a lot of guys like to really fool around with them that much.”
Canyon carvers and bench racers tout the Repsol RC212V in MotoGP podium talk every scheduled meeting; and for good reason when considering what top world riders like Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner have done with the factory Honda. It is no wonder, the number of stretched street Repsols are more rare than a pride of Ligers—precisely the reason it was tasked for the challenge.
Part promotional piece and part shop employed dragster, the reaction at each side of the spectrum fired up conversation. Sticking to the bike’s race soul meant forgoing over-the-top aspirations. Chasing quality ETs without losing the look led to a single-sided 10-over stock C&S swingarm that aided in rubber-down launches. The stock rear rotor wasn’t adequate at slowing the large 250 Avon Cobra tire, important for a safe post-run shutdown, so a wave rotor took its place: “It’s hard to stop that rear tire and it heats up quickly on a stock rotor; the wave rotor helps keep it cooler. That bike has a lot of horsepower, and when you’re going down the track a stock rotor makes stopping kind of difficult,” said Claudio.
The stock CBR brakes are pretty amazing, but with the additional wheel/swingarm weight any advantage helps.
Out of the box, the Repsol came prepped for competition but that didn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t room for improvement. The Showa forks were laid on the operating table where they were revalved and outfitted with heavier springs to better suit the intended function and rider weight. Lowering links and forks dropped 1.5-inches through the triples combat hard start wheelies instigated by a twist-sensitive HRC quarter-turn throttle kit. Then, aftermarket rearsets were added to help position ergonomics for speed. With the stance enhancements in the bag it was the motor’s turn for a little love.
The stock CBR1000RR made 146 horsepower at the wheel. After a few choice mods, VC’s put down a claimed 187 horsepower when spraying a 15-shot of nitrous. The painted-to-match Nitrous Express bottle livened up combustion artificially (but internally) after power gains that started with a breath-easy K&N; filter. Shortened velocity stacks shifted power towards the top due to a change in intake pulse resonance before ECU and fuel management tuning dialed the engine’s natural muscle evenly throughout the rev range. A full Yosh system kept the motor’s lungs clear for the extremely light use it’s seen since completion,
“We take it drag racing but you don’t put many miles running up and down the track. The bike runs a 9.40 with a small 15-shot of nitrous on it.”
This strip-proven stunner has hardly seen the light of day but there is no denying it is one bad dealer plated shop ornament. Unlike anything else you’ve seen twice, Vonn Cycle proves that with an all or nothing attitude and unique bike choice, sticking with a straightforward build can make for a lasting impression. SSB
Vonn Cycle made a name for itself as the shop that brought the stretched scene into Canada, as Claudio Segreto explained: “We started the stretch shift in Toronto and were the first Canadian distributor for Roaring Toyz and C&S Custom. We were the first to bring in stretched swingarms and big tire kits around ten years ago.
We started off building our own bikes just for ourselves, not stretches, just customizing in general. When people saw our shop bikes that were stretched, they just wanted something similar so they started asking us to build them something. It trickled into that. The whole stretched sportbike theme is coming more into Canada every year. It’s been big in the U.S. for awhile, but around here it’s growing.”
2007 Honda CBR1000RR Repsol
** **Front End: RC Components “Royale” wheel, Galfer brake lines
Rear End: C&S; swingarm, RC Components “Royale” wheel, PM brake caliper, Galfer brake line, Avon Cobra 250 tire, lowering links, DID chain, Braking USA rotor
Motor: Yoshimura full exhaust, velocity stacks, Power Commander “Royale”, K&N; filter, Nitrous Express kit
Accessories: Woodcraft rearsets, HRC quarter-turn throttle kit, Luimoto seat covers, Pazzo Racing levers, custom windscreen
Owner/Builder: Vonn Cycle (vonncycle.ca)