Track Bike Build - Oct 2015

  After I bought the Ducati 848 Evo and took it to a Race Track, I decided that I needed to go back. Even though the bike may not be super expensive anymore, the parts were. And cause I will need parts "when" and not "if" I go down, I needed something with cheaper parts. So I bought a Yamaha R6. This is the story of turning the stock 2009 R6 into a track worthy bike. Mostly that means saving the most expensive part - the nice factory black fairings.

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the R6 at the track the second time in August 2015. I taped up the lights and took off the passenger pegs. I also took off the mirrors so I was blind to the rear. Otherwise it's completely stock.

  This is me riding the R6 at NC Bike in North Carolina. Everyone thinks its a Ducati until they see or hear it. Then they just think I'm a poseur. Little do they know I picked up my Duc Suit for $175. Plus it matches my helmet. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image The first thing I did was to put these ETI Tank Sliders on the R6 gas tank. It seems that the R6 is one of the only sport bikes that actually has gas in the metal tank in front of the seat. It is pretty wide also. So when it goes down and slides on the tank, the asphalt grinds a hole in the side of the tank along with making a bunch of sparks. When the grinding makes its way through the tank, the gas meets the sparks and generates a little flame. Then the tank errupts into flames and engulfs anything within about a 30' radius. I thought it would be good to avoid this.

  Next thing to do was to put on a track body. But to do that, I had to get rid of the giant muffler in the back, right in front of the rear tire. You can barely see it here - its behind and under the slip-on exhaust. The giant muffler is welded to the headers, so that all has to come out. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the old header and muffler on the left and the new MJS header on the right. The old header is about 25lbs. The new one is about 10lbs. Plus the new one is shiney.

  Here, the MJS header is installed with some new gaskets. Note I re-attached the stock slip-on. It has a little servo-actuated valve inside called an EXUP. Beyond reducing noise, it actually helps low end torque by maintaining exhaust velocity at lower RPMs, which helps more efficiently suck new mixture into the cylinders. It helps noticeably. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image You can't just put headers on without worrying about running too lean. So I need either an ECU reflash or a Dynojet Power Commander 5. The Power Commander is required to correct the fuel air mixture and keep the engine from running to lean and seizing up. But that requires eliminating the AIS. Note the pipes in the cavity at the top. Those hoses go to an air pump (the thing with the blue connector on it) called the Air Injection System (AIS). That pumps air into the exhaust ports to "clean up" emmissions. Unfortunately, that air messes with the ability of the Power Commander 5 to control the fueling.

  But you can't just remove the air pump without blocking off the ports into the exhaust ports. So I installed these Graves Smog Block Off Plates. Its best to do this when you are in no hurry and have about eight hours to kill. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Another picture of the throttle bodies. Notice that the AIS air pump is removed, orphaning the blue connector.

  Here are the Graves Smog Block Off Plates installed. Those tan circular things are the spark plug connectors with in-line coils. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the R6 with the air box reinstalled, along with a new K&N High Flow air cleaner. Note the extra parts at the bottom right starting to pile up. The Brothers Duc are in the background, looking on.

  Behind the airbox are a bunch of cables that run everything. You can see the two braided, shiney cables that come from the Power Commander and the AutoTune. There is also a white wire that comes from the speed sensor which allows the Power Commander to have a separate fuel map for each gear. The AutoTune automatically optimizes the fuel air mixture to the goal Air-Fuel Ratio. I have it set for 13.9:1. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is where the Power Commander and the AutoTune boxes go. This is in the tail section, behind the ECU. The AutoTune will get power from the tail light cause the tail light is removed.

  Here is the header coming off the cylinder heads (to the left) and going under the oil sump. There it goes from four pipes to two. Then from two to one. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Time to work on the front. The front will get a steering stabilizer to keep the forks from wobbling (called Head Shake) at very high speeds, which then leads to a Tank Slapper.

  Here is the steering stabilizer installed (the thing at the top that says GPR). Note the original equipment front brake lines. They are made from balloons material that expand when I brake. So they will be replaced also. Probably ditch the horn too. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image But first . . . some body work. Here, I attach the tail draft plate to the bottom of the tail section. It didn't fit too well in the middle and there wasn't enough body to screw it in. So I used these cable clips and offset them with a washer so they would clip on to the tail and close the gaps. They work perfectly.

  Here is finished tail section with the draft plate all attached. Ideally I won't have to remove it too often, even though the Power Commander is in it. I just routed the USB cable from the Power Commander up forward so I could change maps without removing the tail. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image I bought some Woodcraft Frame Sliders. These are considered the best available for the R6, mainly because they don't stick out too far. The ones that stick out a long way (like the ones on street bikes that protect the fairings when the bike falls over) aren't good for the track. The long sliders will catch on pavement transitions, ruts in the dirt, and rider's legs, tripping the bike, making it tumble. The engine bolt on this side would not go all the way into the engine (head), since the threads were all buggered up (that's the technical machine shop term for goofed up threads). A friend of mine loaned me his 10mm x 1.25 tap and I cleaned out the threads. What a handy tool.

  New Brakes!! Here the calipers are getting cleaned up and new Galfer Sintered Brake Pads are being installed. At the same time, I changed the brake lines to Galfer Stainless Steel braided brake lines. Man!!! It makes a huge difference in brake feel. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here are the pads installed in the right caliper (on the left) and about to be installed into the left caliper (on the right).

  Here are the calipers reinstalled on the bike along with the new brake lines. These lines are GP Style. They have one line from the master cylinder that goes to a "Tee." From there, two lines go to the calipers. The brakes lines and the new pads completely changed the character of the front brakes on the bike. Incredibly better. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here we see the single line from the master cylinder going to the "Tee" just below the lower triple.

  Here is what most of the work was intended to allow - replacement of the expensive body work with an inexpensive track body. This is an Optimal Racing body, probably the cheapest I could find - $370 plus $60 shipping. I had to put it together and drill all the holes. But it wasn't too hard, given it was my first time. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Back to the Frame Sliders. Here, I am fitting the sliders into the race body. I had to cut the fairings to allow the Woodcraft Sliders to extend out of the body. I made a small hole in the body so the slider mount could extend out. Then I put the slider puck on and traced the outside of the puck using lead from a mechanical pencil held tight to the puck and then turned the puck to trace the line on the body. I used a dremel with a grinding wheel to clearance the hole.

  Once the frame sliders fit, I installed the GPR V4 steering stabilizer. This thing is really, really expensive - about $225/lb. I also had to clean out the mounting hole threads in the fork triple clamp. The PO of this bike maybe wasn't too clear about how screws work. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Another shot of the GPR stabilizer. This time, you can also see the brake master cylinder resevoir with nice, fresh Motul 600 brake fluid.

  Pretty much everything is done. However, since I was going to the track, I figured I needed some new Pirelli SuperCorsa SPs. Mainly for my confidence. I'll take the old ones, which only had about 450 track day miles and 10 street miles and put them on the Ducati 848. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image While I had the wheel off, I could get this nice picture of the new pads in the cleaned calipers with the new lines.

  Finished and ready for the track day on October 31 and November 1, 2015. I am reusing the original windscreen, though I had to grind off the tabs at the bottom so it would fit the Optimal Racing body. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Another shot of the R6 ready. This is before it got its new tires. Its also before it got its painted bodywork screws.

  Loaded up in the trailer and ready to go. I took the old tires with me, just in case the new ones leaked. Also took the Junior Scoot for buzzing around in the paddock. And I have my two chairs. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Side view of the R6 in the trailer. I see I had an interloper over there to the right. Must have been trying to stow away.

  At the track. This was after the first session, which was pretty slow. But everything hung together and nothing fell off. I did seem to loose the o-ring for the oil filler cap, so the oil was slowly drizzling out of that. However, not enough to leak off the bike. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here's the scoot with the number on it. It did real well and was very fun to ride.

  138. But this time, stuck right on the body. Not across headlights or nice paint, or complicated fairing joints. This fairing is very easy to get on and off. It just took about $2000 worth of parts in order to enjoy this low cost fairing. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image On the track. Captured this from some guy's YouTube video that showed me passing him.

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