After starting to ride over the past couple of months I’ve slowly developed a soft spot for motorcycles. While I’ve always liked and appreciated them, and vividly follow MotoGP, I’ve never really had a lot of opportunity to experience them. While they will never replace going flat out on a track in a car, they provide a thrilling experience no matter what the conditions. Maybe it’s because my 200SX has been going through a lot lately and I’ve haven’t had the chance to drive it, but there really is something about bikes.

So I decided to buy one for my own. I’ve been riding all the bikes that I have available at work but I don’t think it will ever replace learning and experiencing your own, and of course, I would like to modify one too.

I didn’t know this bike even existed until I started looking for one; it’s a Honda CB1100SF X-11. A naked version of the CBR1100XX Blackbird, with a slightly detuned engine (135hp) for more low end torque. There are a few other differences of course but in principle that’s what it is. It’s a big bike and a heavy one, but as I’m well over 6ft it fits me nicely.

I weighed the bike on automotive scales with a full fuel tank:

Total KERB weight: 256.5 kg
Front Weight Percentage: 47.8%

I’m surprised how rear biased it is.

The bike has these very distinct front cowls for the radiator that direct the airflow through the radiator and around the bike. Honda says they’re to improve cooling and also provide downforce and increase stability!

The bike is mostly stock, but the previous owner made a few tasteful and functional mods, which I appreciate. Firstly the front hand controls have been replaced with a proper handle bar from LSL and risers. The front fork springs have been replaced with progressive Spiegler units and there’s a nice billet upper triple clamp cover too, also from Spiegler. At the end of the handlebar there are some nice retro/cafe mirrors.

At the rear the shock has been replaced with an adjustable Wilbers one. It’s quite stiff.

There are a few cosmetic changes too, like LED indicators and rear light.

The braking system is easily the most complicated one I’ve ever seen on any bike or car. Honda call it the Dual-CBS, which stands for Combined Braking System. As the name implies both hand and foot brake levers apply braking pressure to both the front and rear calipers, in a proportioned manner. The RH front caliper is fixed, while the LH one car rotate and apply pressure to a second master cylinder which is in turn connected to the rear caliper. The hand lever only applies pressure to the two outer, larger pistons. The smaller inner pistons are actually pressurised from the rear foot lever to provide braking force at the front. So far, from a few emergency braking tests the system seems to perform very well and I’m sure it is quite secure for on-road panic braking, if you don’t have ABS. Although I would be interested in seeing how it works on a track environment where the rear wheel gets quite light.

The first things I’m going to do are remove the centre-stand (weight reduction, bro), replace a few service and damaged items, and then repaint the radiator cowls.


May 16, 2016

Hardcore >< TAI 2016 Monza

Great Danton V2

December 6, 2015

After the long season of Time Attack the Great Danton is in need of a lot of attention. The car pretty much limped home after the last round at Monza; the turbo is shot, the frame needs some work and the ball joints are done. To be honest it was all timed quite perfectly as the turbo started drooping boost on the last 2 laps of competition this year. The car is now back in the garage for the winter of work ahead.

Now its time for a good overhaul with the engine being the main priority. As the mileage on it is quite high I’ve decided to open it up and redo all the major items like bearings and gaskets, and then upgrade some of the internals to handle the added power that will come from the Garrett GT2871R turbo; pistons and conrods.

So far I’ve just been getting everything ready to pull the engine out so the rebuild can start. The only things left to do now are disconnect drivetrain items and then the SR20DET can be removed. I’m so happy the AC and brackets are now out; this thing weighs a ton and I should have done it sooner. Luckily with the engine out I’ll be able to do a better job at removing all the plumbing too.

Then there’s the old T28 turbo, which I think is the original unit, that is completely shot. The bushings have gone and there is some serious play on the main shaft. I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.

So the goals for this downtime are to upgrade the power and service some of the chassis items. With the classes in the Time Attack Italia championship getting a bit of restructuring next year I am going to need a lot more power to be competitive. 400hp should be very competitive but I will likely start out with around 340hp then work up to around 400hp through the course of the year.

The rest of the work will be restoring some of the aged parts of the frame, servicing important areas and then adding some additional aero. Some of the cars in the new class that I’ll be in (2WD Club Pro 3) have some serious aero packages and I feel like I will need something to minimise the difference. Splitter and GT wing most likely.

October 4, 2015

After 3 months of downtime the Great Danton is finally back on the road, in fact it was finished the morning before going to Adria. The main objective of the work was to restore the rear suspension and fix a few other items throughout the car.

The biggest work and item was the rear sub-frame and suspension arms. A new subframe was restored and coated, then assembled to the car with Driftworks Poly subframe bushes. The diff bushes were also upgraded to solid Alu types from Driftworks. The traction, camber and toe arm were replaced with Driftwork’s adjustable units. The rear studs were replaced, while everything was out, to longer versions; now common with the front. This allowed me to run my 10mm spacers at the rear, while at front I got 15mm hubcentric spacers from Sparco. There’s a bit of rubbing but not too excessive.

The interior was stripped, leaving just the dash, door cards and lining. Jack, spare wheel and antenna also went.

At the front the wheels were changed for 18″ x 9″ +27 Rota G-Force. The overall setup is 18×9 +12 Front (including the spacers) and 18×8.5 +20 Rear (including spacers). 245/40s all round. I like the reverse stagger; the wider front track really balances the car.

The front braking system was also upgraded with 350Z Brembo calipers with Ferodo DS2500 pads. Tarox F2000 discs. Braided conversion hoses from Apex Performance. With this new setup the braking performance is greatly improved and was a necessity as the standard system really doesn’t have much power.

In the engine bay the turbo has been rid of the snapped bolts and fixed and a Driftworks Super Cool rad has been installed.

March 16, 2014


As the sun started to set the track was bathed with diminishing light, it was the first time I’d seen it in this setting…

Read the rest of this entry »