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ST1300A4 Electrical Upgrade

It's big, it's blue, and it's on the lift until it's done. Originally, more was planned, but the ST1100P (police) switch unit I had planned to fit won't work without bar risers, and I don't want to deal with that at the moment. So, it's just going to be a case of fitting a UK-spec RHS switch unit, Stebel Nautilus Compact horn, single H4 HID kit, a yellow capsule on the remaining 80w H4, PIAA 959 fog lights on Dick Seng brackets, and running battery and switched power to a fuse/relay panel. The other electrical stuff will have to wait until the bike's next turn on the lift (and there's a lot yet to do, including fitting the new exhausts, TurboCity FPR & thermostat, K&N filter, Penske rear shock, not to mention the massive front-end suspension swap folly...

Current Status: Done! This bike is now regularly ridden to and from work.

RC36 Underseat Exhaust

Embarassingly, this project still has not been completed. Had to take the bike on holiday to France and Spain last September (er, September 2005), and ran out of preparation time, so we went on the trip with the old exhaust pipe and end can still in place. There really isn't much left to do, but bring it to the exhaust place to have a new connector pipe made and fitted. After that, there are some heat resistant materials to apply, and perhaps some minor plastic trimming under the taillight to give the end cans a little more room. Having said that, I've decided to replace the stainless steel battery box/shielding with alloy sheet in a slightly different configuration. Working with stainless sheet is a major pain in the fingers (where the stainless steel splinters always seem to end up deeply embedded!)

Current Status: Now occupying the garage lift, but I'm stuck in A-Land, so, waiting for autumn...spring 2008?

RC36 NR Rear Wheel Swap

Meanwhile, before the last RC36 project has even been finished, I've got a new one! I managed to score a used NR (RC40) rear wheel on Yahoo Japan Auctions, which I intend to fit onto my RC36. This isn't 100% straightforward, as the NR rear wheel seems to have a unique fitment, compared to the other Honda SSSA rears. I bought an RC30 rear hub, which should fit into the RC36 eccentric hub carrier unit, but the drive pin arrangement used by the NR is different. Need to source/make some 12mm OD drive pins and have the RC30 hub re-drilled on a slightly different bolt-circle. Not a huge problem, but one that should prevent EVERYONE running out and buying used NR rear wheels to fit on their RC36s...

Current Status: Progress at last! As expected, UK NC30 guru Rick Oliver was able to re-drill my RC30 hub and fit some 12mm drive pins, so the NR wheel is now ready to fit to the bike.

RC36 Fork Upgrade, Mark II

Although I've been perfectly happy with the "pioneering" VTR1000F fork swap I did for this bike oh so many years ago (1998, I think it was), I'm afraid Firestorm forks (even running the latest Fireblade 4-pot Nissins as they do now) just don't have the degree of "bling" necessary to match the NR rear wheel (see project mentioned above). So, I've been collecting parts required to fit a set of 929 Fireblade USD forks, which, it turns out, is a lot of parts! Basically, everything from the steering stem on down (and maybe from the clip-ons up, too) has to be swapped. Plus, even if I get some SP1 ("RC51") forks instead of the 929 forks I've already bought, I may still have to lengthen them. Not only that, but the wheel has to be swapped and the mudguard, too. Fortunately, there was a 929 made in R-157 Italian red, the front mudguard from which would be a perfect match for the bike's NEXT project...

Update:I did find a very nice set of SP1 forks, as suspected above, which fit perfectly in the 929 upper and lower triple clamps. David Silver Spares kindly supplied the brand new R-157 929 front mudguard, as well as the missing axle spacers, I sourced one set each of 929 and 954 clip-ons (you never know), and I even found an SP1 front wheel in France. However, before I could actually DO anything with the assembled parts, I had another idea, this time centering around CBR1000RR radial-caliper USD forks...which I simply HAD to investigate, which meant buying some pretzeled 1000RR forks and the Tokiko calipers to fit. The hope is that the USD fork bottoms from the 1000RR can be swapped onto the SP1 fork stanchions, thus giving me the long-length SP1 forks and the ultra-trick radial brake calipers found on Honda's latest hypersports models. If so, the mudguard I just bought will no longer fit (though I may be able to make it fit...), not to mention the wheel (different axle), possibly the brake discs and who knows what else?

Current Status: Will the nightmare never end?

RC36 Clothing Swap

Well, it's all snowballed, this RC36 "project"... Somehow, I decided it was time to recapture my youth (or something) and re-clothe the bike in FL-FN R-157 Italian red panels, just like my original, bought-new 1990 FL had until I dismantled it a few years ago. After 50,000mi of world-crossing, daily use, those panels were mainly for the bin, so I ordered a complete new set from DSS (less tank, mudguard and the metal cowl pieces). A new tank was found on eBay in fantastic condition (though not technically new). As mentioned above, the matching R-157 mudguard comes from a 929 'Blade. I also special ordered an Italian-spec R-157 lower center top fairing piece from CMS, because I prefer the headlight to be un-divided (Italian-spec RC36-Is featured single-H4 headlight units). I've also got a Skidmarx double-bubble tinted screen (special ordered direct from the manufacturer), which I intend to fit along with the new panels as soon as the OTHER RC36 projects are finished.

Current Status: Waiting for spring (er, spring 2008...).

NC29 Suspension Upgrade

All NC29s, except the last (CBR400RR-R) model, have old-style damping-rod forks, rather than the more common and tunable cartridge design. It is possible to simply swap late forks for earlier, but it is also possible to fit something more...interesting. In this case, the VSource.org NC29 is being prepared to accept early-model CBR900RR Fireblade forks, which feature rebound, compression and pre-load adjustment, and modern Nissin 4-piston brake calipers. It is certainly possible to fit even more exotic hardware to the NC29, but this is probably enough of an upgrade for the use to which this bike will be put, and is in keeping with its "era". To match the upgraded front I also bought the little bike an Ohlins rear shock.

Current status: Parts Acquisition (forks, yokes, clip-ons, carbon mudguard and brakes all acquired; just some bits and bobs left to find). Forks have now been Graham Franced. The NC29 is now third in line for the lift...

NC29 Exhaust Upgrade

Graeme France stainless steel headers and an as-yet-undecided (probably road-legal) end can.

Current status: Sure, why not—do this at the same time as the suspension, I hope.

Others

Basically, every bike I own is subject to one project or another. I've got other projects in mind for the NC30 and NC35, but no realistic chance of completing them in the near future. We'll see. Maybe inscribing them here will help move them along!

Current status: It's all in my mind.

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