Getting hands on with your bike.
Now for anyone reading this who has mechanics training…be nice as I’ve never done anything like this before. This is more for those who are afraid to change their oil and end up taking their bikes to shops for absolutely everything.
As almost every rider does, I wanted to start modding my bike to make a few extra ponies. As I’m on a tight budget I started with a KN air filter. For cost effective hp gains that’s about as far as I got until I decided to take advantage of a shop in Port Kells owned by Ebicat’s brother and his buddy. Warren Walker Performance...check them out for cars and bikes…they know their shnizzle. (k, enough plugging).
The Speed Triple engine (as with most new bikes) is not optimized as well as could be for power due to environmental standards which have to be met by the manufacturer. Catalytic converters plague the exhaust systems…limiting good flow and sound, and stock header and mid pipes castings are not to the highest standards.
I agree that 133 bhp should be enough…and it is. Although for only a few bucks and some elbow grease to gain a few more, I felt inclined to attempt. I did my research and slapped on a two day permit and headed out there sat morning. Exhaust gaskets were pretty much all I needed so I stopped in at British Italian Motorcycle on the way for those. I knew Steve and Warrens shop had everything I could possibly want (Including help).
As Ebicat started to teach our buddy Jason how to ride on an 87 Honda 250 dirt bike, I got to work. I started by taking the exhaust and mid pipe off...only 3 major bolts and clamp. Next I had to unbolt the oil cooler and radiator to get to the header bolts, as I had tried doing this without moving the rad first and got the torque wrench stuck ><.
Bingo, header pipe off and ready to start porting. Used an air powered drill with a carbide burr and a few sanding rolls to port and polish the flanges where they meet the head’s exhaust ports. A slightly wider (0.5 mm) opening in the header sides and bottom will give a port mismatch that can aid in preventing reversion in the header, which adds to bottom end power and throttle response at all rpm I said to myself. Once finished I used compressed air and shop vac’d all the metal shavings out of the pipe. WOO! Phase one done. Next was to remove the precat which was near the beginning of the mid pip. From what I had read…all you had to do was chisel and pull out parts one by one for about an hour till it was out. This was not the case. The bitch was welded to the inside of the pipe as well as being made from VERY dense material. After this frustrating realization that I had at least 5 hours of pain staking and probably impossible work ahead of me I figured it was time for some Wendy’s. Big Bacon Classic Combo is amazing.
As the owners Warren and Steve (Ebicats bro) wanted to leave at 5…I had to make a decision. Buy a slip on to replace the whole mid pipe and exhaust (so much for the budget) or hack saw through the pipe to get to the cat more easily. I figured for the later method as I’ll eventually get a slip on and the stock cans are worthless as nobody wants them after they buy aftermarket. So it’s basically going to be temporay was my thinking. So out comes the saw…5 blades later (the precat reacts to heat so it destroyed blades insanely quick) we have the pipe in two pieces. Should be easy to get it out now right? Wrong. Air powered cut’s all blades/hack saws/blow torches chisel and hammer…all it did was mangle the pipe and mush up the cat. Getting nowhere. UGH! Now this is where my lack of knowledge and training gave room for Warren to shine. He came up with the idea to just replace the missing mangled mettle with something. It was a total fluke that we found an appropriate piece as it had to have two different diameters…one for the header side…and one for the exhaust. We ”jigged” the exhaust back to the bike and spot welded it in place. Removed it all then welded and painted to protect from corrosion. Reattached the header with the new gaskets…slipped on the new mid pipe and exhausts sans precat (yay) and fired her up.
The sound was noticably deeper and richer…not much louder unfortunately but definitely different. The bike revs much more freely as well…with revs climbing and diving quicker. Seat of the pants impressions is fairly negligible for speed as all this effort was a gain of roughly 2 horsepower, but it’s much more responsive...placebo effect was working as well and I felt great about the mods.
So next up will be either a Zard slip on, or some hand made one off item we try and put together. Black ceramic coating and wrapped primaries too should help for another 1 hp...then some dyno time for a fitting tune. It was a really rewarding experience working on a bike like this. Changing oil and lubing chains was one thing…but taking a hack saw to my baby took some guts!
Last edited by rememberFace; 04-08-2008 at 01:26 PM.
here are some more. The speedy even has a cover to hide the ugly black temp pipe. I must get a singe slip on as the stock exhaust is a pig at 20 + pounds (mounted high too ><)
This thread is made of win and references to me and my vast skills!
He actually did an amazing job, not many people with no manual and no mechanical skills are willing to jump into something like this, but he arrived and immediately started removing pieces and hacking shit up. It's a good thing we have access to a shop and unlimited tools. Was a great day! and an amazing job done by him.
Kudos man...I've been tempted for awhile to hack up the exhaust...might just have to give it a shot