What exactly are we talking about when we talk about a super streetbike? Looking at the magazine, it might be easy to get confused-is it a stunt bike with a 12 bar and rashed plastics? A stretched and slammed liter bike with a nitrous bottle, chromed-out rims and candy paint? A canyon-killing middleweight with carbon-fiber bodywork, lightweight magnesium wheels and trick suspension? None of the above? Or all of them?
Break the title of the magazine down into two words:
_Super: To an extreme or excessive degree.
Streetbike: A bike ridden in the real world, on the street, as opposed on limited to the rarefied environs of the racetrack._
Any and all of the above-stunt bikes, corner carvers or pro street customs all qualify as super streetbikes, and we feature all of them in this magazine for just that reason. What genre of bike you connect with best depends on multiple factors, including your lifestyle, your location, what type of riding options are available to you and the amount of money you have to spend on your ride. Do you hang out at drag strips, bike nights, blocks, lots or the track? If you live in a flat-land state where the roads are laid out in a grid and the nearest racetrack is a day's drive away, a built-to-lean sportbike with carefully calibrated suspension is about as good as a 17-year-old girl with bolt-on boobies. If, on the other hand, you live just minutes away from God's own twisties, the thought of stretching and lowering a bike (and effectively killing its ability to corner) is equally outrageous. And what good is an acre of chrome and gallons of candy paint if stunting's your thing, and you're going to drop the bike on its side a dozen times a day? Different strokes for different folks, you know.
Recognizing these differences, and wanting to take this opportunity in our special projects issue to feature project bikes that speak to the unique demands of all of our readers, we decided to build not one, not two, but three Yamaha project bikes with carefully selected mods that would appeal to all of our readership: a stunted-out R6, a kneedragger R6 and a completely tricked-out custom R1 show bike. Because most of us are forced to live within our means (read: credit card limit), we are setting dollar limits on two of the bikes, a slim $3K for the stunter and a slightly richer $6K for the track refugee, while the sky will be the limit for the custom R1. By soliciting help from the best vendors and builders in the nation, we hope that this special ops project gives you an idea of exactly what it takes to build up the super streetbike of your dreams, perfectly suited to your unique sportbike needs. Flip the page to find out more about each individual project bike, what our plans are to set them off, and what you can look forward to reading about as these three trick rides come together over the course of our next few issues.
Project one: The Stunt Bike
Baseline: 1999 Yamaha R6 / Budget: $3,000
Of the three project bikes featured in this issue, the stunter is probably the most specialized of the lot. Once you add uber-tall, wheelie-ready gearing, complex handbrake setups and lean angle-limiting crash cages, you end up with a bike that has relatively little utility away from the stunt spot. Even if it won't be the most versatile bike, though, it will be the cheapest project of the three, by design. You never want to drop too much paper on a stunt bike (especially if you're just starting out) because "stunting" is often just another word for "controlled crashing," and any stunt bike is almost guaranteed to hit the pavement with some regularity. With that in mind, we had no intention of wasting a perfectly good, brand-new sportbike by converting it into a stunt rat. Luckily, the perfect donor bike was waiting in the shop in the form of Zamora's cast-off 1999 Yamaha R6 racebike. This bike had hardly lived a charmed life-starting out as Zamora's streetbike, it was first lowsided during an open track day at California Speedway, then converted to a full-time racebike and eventually thrown away again in a 100-mph get-off at Buttonwillow Raceway. Last time anyone touched the bike was to disassemble it and do a half-ass job polishing the frame, and then leaving it disassembled in the corner of the garage. In other words, the perfect candidate for a stunt piece, despite outdated carburetion and a weak subframe that would have to be accounted for. The clapped-out, zip-tied stunt rat look is weak and something that we really hate to see here at the magazine, so we wanted to build up a clean, pro-looking bike without busting the budget. We planned to adhere to a variation on the road racer's old "50/50" rule, which says don't spend more than $50 dollars on the appearance, and just make sure it looks good from 50 feet away. Rather than using expensive OEM bodywork and paint, we'll use rattle cans and vinyl graphics to achieve a photo-worthy stunt piece for minimal cash outlay. Building a stunt bike means adding items like gearing, hand brakes, pegs, cages and stabilizers. For that we enlisted the help of Racing 905 in Chula Vista, California, to handle the assembly, along with Powers Stuntworx, Full Throttle Inc., ESD-Manufacturing, GPR, Vortex and others to provide parts. This one is going to be fun, as long as we don't break any bones on it when we're done!
Racing 905 Fairing Stay
Facts: Aftermarket fairing stays are stronger than stock, for better support during tricks performed with feet over the bars, and also stand up to crashing better than stock pieces.
Kill Switch Safety
Facts: Drilling a small hole through the top of the kill switch and inserting a safety pin prevents you from unintentionally killing the motor mid-wheelie if you're swinging over the bars.
Facts: Denting the tank creates a cupped surface to better support the rider during stunts that require sitting or standing on the tank.
Cost: Thirty minutes of your time.
Powers Stuntworx 12 O'clock Bar
Facts: A 12 O'clock bar keeps the tailsection from being crushed when a wheelie goes past vertical, and allows the rider to perform bar tricks.
Full Throttle Inc. Handbrake kit
Facts: Handbrakes allow the rider to use the rear brake to control wheelies without requiring his feet to be on the footpegs.
Project two:The canyon carver
Baseline: 2006 Yamaha R6 / Budget: $6,000
Why drag the tailsection when you can slam the bike on its side and drag your knee around a corner? Many riders cringe at the thought of changing any part of a bike that won't somehow make the bike lighter, quicker or easier to hustle through a set of curves. If that's the way you feel, Project #2 will be the one for you. It's been years since the world has seen a mass-produced, street-legal motorcycle that is better suited for the corners game than the 2006 Yamaha R6. With 117-claimed hp, weighing in at just over 400 pounds and with trick features like fly-by-wire throttle, the bike is a scream (quite literally, when you get the revs above 10,000 rpm) out on the open road. With help from our friends at Graves Motorsports, Powers Stuntworx, Vortex, Hotbodies Racing, Patrick's Performance and more, we're going to tweak the engine and suspension on this little rocket to maximize its potential for back-road railing. In addition to performance mods, we'll also tweak the bike's sharp, angular good looks with a few complimentary accessories. We will be using bolt-on upgrades that avoid cutting or welding and can be done with basic hand tools and a little bit of mechanical know-how. And to prove that any monkey with a wrench can pull this off, we'll be doing all the wrenching and assembly on this one ourselves in the Super Streetbike shop. All of the add-ons for this bike will be capped with a $6,000-dollar limit-a number that will hopefully leave readers with enough money to purchase fresh tires, some good safety gear and maybe even admission to an open track day or two.
Facts: A steering stabilizer helps prevent headshake when accelerating over uneven pavement (or during stoppies or when landing wheelies crossed-up!).
Graves Motorsports Billet Bar Ends
Facts: A quick and simple way to replace the ugly round ends from the factory with something just as functional but much better looking.
Hotbodies Racing Windscreen
Facts: Taller-than-stock profile blocks more breeze for improved aerodynamics and comfort, and tinted color looks trick too.
Hotbodies Racing Led Turn Signals
Facts: Replaces the big bulky stock signals with a sleek and subtle flush-mount style.
Powers Stuntworx Race Railz
Facts: Like a supersized frame slider (or a cut-down cage), Race Railz allow greater protection in a crash then frame sliders without affecting corning clearance.
Project three:The Show Bike
Baseline: 2006 Yamaha R1 / Budget: Unlimited
"Unlimited Budget"-are there any words that sound sweeter to a custom bike builder than those two? While our other two projects are constrained by budget caps, on this bike we're going to let it all hang out. We've got a 2006 R1 and an army of builders, painters and platers who are going to help convert this to the ultimate show-and-shine streetbike that can take home all the trophies-and the trophy girls too. In a parking lot full of bikes, few females are impressed by battle scars that show the pain of learning circles or shredded tire sidewalls that show how fast you can get through a canyon. With that in mind, we're going to hit this one with outrageous paint, lots of chrome and maybe even some lighting to set it off. Slammed, stretched and juiced, our R1 will incorporate the latest custom trends and also introduce some new concepts never before seen on a sportbike, thanks to the top team that we've enlisted to help us out. At the top of this list is up-and-coming bike builder Tony Sesto from Sesto Custom Cycles in Gardena, California (see Sesto's "Green Goblin" on page 80 of SSB, Jan. 07), who will be managing the project with plenty of help from the biggest names in the industry, including Pioneer Electronics, Vortex, C&S; Customs, Sport Chrome, Head Trip Helmets, RIS Designs, Performance Machine, Graves Motorsports, GPR, FMF, NOS, Eye Candy Designs, Hot Bodies Racing, Patrick's Performance, Bike Buddy Pro, Integrated Innovations Incorporated, Odyssey Batteries and many more. With an unlimited budget (there are those words again...) for this bike, we plan to build a clean and cutting-edge custom that at first glance looks stealth, but, with the flip of a few switches, will come to life and morph into a completely outrageous creation. We promise you that we're going to build something that will have you scratching your head in amazement, muttering "How did they do that?"
Hi-Lo Rider Sport Shock
Facts: Hi-Lo combines the safety and performance of a conventional coil shock with the adjustability and style of an air bag, allowing you to alter the rear ride height four inches up or down by pushing a button on a remote control.
Cost: $1,399 for the shock, plus $250 for the remote control.
Facts: The first step to any project is complete disassembly of the bike, in preparation for paint and chrome. Be sure and take pictures and tag-and-bag all the hardware so you can put it back together!
Cost: Six hours of your time.
Chrome Plating By Sport Chrome
Facts: sport Chrome will be handling all the chrome finish work for our R1, and we'll take advantage of their capable services by chroming almost every metal part on the bike.
Cost: $3,000-$4,000 for a complete bike
Deleting The Right Front Brake
Facts: Removing the right brake cleans up the front of the bike and allows everyone to get a better look at your big-bucks custom rim. Rather than leaving caliper mounts on the fork leg, Sesto Customs machined off the mounts for a smooth appearance.
C&S; Fat Tire Kit
Facts: We're rocking a custom stretched and widened, 12-inch-over, jackshaft-equipped swingarm capable of holding 300mm of tire. The C&S; kit comes complete with swingarm, chain guard, jackshaft cover, wheel spacers, brake bar, axle and all hardware.