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In My Garage:

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  1. It is finally time to reveal my project, show the process, and hopefully give back to this great community I have learned so much from! I have been riding on the street since I was 16 (I'm now 30) and have owned a few different bikes: 92 ex500, 97 CBR 600 F3, 2000 DRZ400, 1997 GSXR 750, 2002 VFR 800 and now a 95 VFR 750. Please bear with me as I give a little explanation of how this project came to be... there will be lots of pictures to come! Over my time riding I have always liked the idea of owning a naked style bike like a triumph speed triple. Smooth windscreen-less air, fun sit up riding position, a tourqey engine, fairly comfortable, great on a tight backroad, cool looks... etc. And now that I live in a place with a lot of great backroads I decided it was a good time to pursue that idea. I really liked my VFR 800, it was smooth, refined and great for trips with my dad. However the idea of tearing it down for a streetfighter project didn't really make sense... too much complication and lots of things to hide. I thought about buying a naked bike but riding a brand new triumph speed triple showed me dreaming about a bike doesn't mean I'm going to love riding it. Besides... I was really on a tight budget with my wife finishing nursing school. So I sold the VFR 800 to a friend and decided to look for a bike to convert to a naked/streetfighter. I had enough money to buy a CBR1000RR or other similar bikes... but I wasn't sure I wanted that much power at my disposal and really loved the refinement and character the V4 VFR's provide. Really nothing I've ridden compares... The speed triple had character but lacked some of the refinement of the VFR. To me it was a no-brainer picking a 4th gen VFR. They have a good looking frame, a radiator in front, and are less complicated than 5th and 6th gen bikes. So I found a 95 VFR with 34000km in quite good condition to start the transformation. I know many of you will not like that I tore into a VFR in quite good shape, but let me give you a bit of my reasoning. Anyone who has tackled a project bike will probably attest to the fact that starting with a good base will avoid a lot of extra head-aches down the road diagnosing issues, wondering about frame straightness, fixing and repairing all sorts of components along the way... etc. And a bike in good shape allowed me to sell parts along the way to raise money for the build. Besides, I know the look of the VFR is a huge part of it's identity, but really that's just a plastic shell and in the end and the V4 engine is the heart of the machine. Anyway, my goal here was to have a bike that road like brand new in the end. To have a bike that I wish honda would build (though I probably wouldn't be able to afford it anyway...). OEM+ was the idea. I would give a lot of thought along the way to making a bike that functioned, looked and rode for the most part like an OEM product or better. I rode this bike for a few months until my regulator/rectifier went up in smoke... suprise! Oh well... winter was around the corner so it was a good time to start tearing it down! Along the way I had to source A LOT of parts and components (I'll make a bit of a list at the end). A big one at this point was the CBR929/954 front end swap. The forks and brakes were actually purchased from Bailyrock! And let me tell you... I think these forks are brand new :) I did some photoshop work and decided I wanted to try and adapt a speed triple seat. It looked like it would fit around the tank and it would allow my wife to ride on the back. Then I set about mocking up the subframe in wood. Then I recovered the speed triple seat with a luimoto cover Got my wheels powder coated Bought a Two brothers muffler used for a speed triple and had the V.A.L.E flange welded to a delkevic mid-pipe for the 4th gen bikes Put the wheels on so I could keep building After I was happy with the subframe mockup (test fitting the placement of the passenger pegs for my wife was kind of interesting with a wood frame...) I set about using my carpentry tools to cut up some aluminum. My dad gave me the tip of making a jig for the welder to hopefully keep his labor costs down... While the subframe was away for welding I cut off my front fairing subframe mounting tabs, fitted my front headlight (with mounts machined by a custom fighters.com member), and made a 929 shock adapter. It's starting to come together! The subframe back from the welder! I'm very pleased with the result... My ballistic battery and koso gauge came in. Made a gauge mount for the RC51 triple and let the bike out for a little air Now it was on to bodywork making time... This was a HUGE part of the project and I learned a lot along the way. I used 1" LDF glued together to shape the plugs for the parts. I'll let the pictures do the talking... And here are the plugs ready for fiberglass... a lot of things didn't go as planned at this stage and my moulds needed a lot of work to make even rough parts. But in the end I was able to come up with one off fiberglass bodywork. I knew this would be a lot of work... but it ended up being even more. And then I still had to figure out all the mounting tabs... I thought it would never end. Eventually I was finally ready to tear the bike down for thorough cleaning and powder coating. I had everything done in a fine texture black and the exhaust ceramic coated in a kind of matte aluminum color. It was like christmas unwrapping all the parts :) Then it was reassembly time. My dad came and helped me out for a few days. It was great to have his help and skill for this part of the process. I love that we have a common interest in bikes! Had a good weekend and got the bike into a rolling chassis. I'm sure my Dad has had enough of repacking bearings for a while... Then it was back to figuring out how to mount the bodywork and getting the parts ready for paint Found a nice spot to mount my ignition and made some aluminum bezels The CBR1000 front fender has some broken mounting tabs Made a battery/electronics box out of aluminum and covered it in 3m CF vinyl Found a local painter who let me help with the prep work to keep costs lower (he would spray the high build primer and I would do the wet sanding/spot filling) After a few rounds of primer and sanding the parts were all ready for paint. The plan all along was to match the stock pearl red on my tank and the painter didn't think this would be a problem with his ppg system... until he actually tried to enter the info into his computer. Apparently ppg doesn't have this color in their system. So... because the tank was getting painted anyway, I could choose whatever color I wanted! I knew red would look good... but I wanted something unique and fun, without being ridiculous. So I chose something else completely... While I was waiting on paint, I tacked the electrics, fuel pump and wiring harness... which is a TON of work and something I would like to do a better job of eventually. All the connections are soldiered and heat shrinked, and I used good connectors where needed, but to really do a good job of routing the wiring and taking out excess will take more time. And then the parts came back from paint! Its called Azzuro Meditterano (or something like that) and it's a ducati monster color. I know not everyone will like it, but I love blue and am very happy with the color! PS the seat cowl is a Carbon Fiber speed triple part I got off ebay. I haven't started making carbon fiber parts yet... maybe someday. I did however modify the sides of the seat cowl with fiberglass to help it blend in with the tail section better. And now its time to reassemble the bike completely! My dad rode his brand new Multistrada 1200 over from alberta to help out. Final assembly was a lot of work and I would prob still be working on it if it wasn't for my dad coming to help. Anyone who modifies motorcycles knows that every change affects so many other things... needless to say there were many things to figure out, and some that will be a work in progress. It took me over 9 months, and there are still some things to complete or change, but here is the mostly final product!!!! So far I have put about 1300km on the bike and am loving it!!! It has turned out to be pretty much everything I wanted it to be. I will give a more detailed ride report later but for now I need to take a break from the computer :) I hope everyone enjoys seeing the process. There are so many details I didn't cover but I will list the mods later and answer any questions people have as best I can. I need to thank this forum a million time for all for all of the things I learned from those who have done these kinds of mods before. You are a great bunch and I appreciate all of the help. Also my Dad deserves a huge high five for all of his help, My Uncle for all of the last minute tech support and above all a gigantic thank you to my wonderful wife for putting up with me as I built my dream bike!
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