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336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
'sup from Berkeley :rock::rock:
been lurking on this forum for a while now and wanted to give props to how much helpful information is on here :worship: - without you guys i would be nowhere with this bike
so here she is when i first picked her up from BARF (forum for SF bay area) a few months back
a bright yellow 2005 SV650S

21K miles and a few tasteful upgrades from the previous owner
- full TRS race exhaust system
- PCIII installed and tuned
- ZX10 rear shock
- adjustable levers
- DIY fender eliminator
- dark smoke puig wind shield
- aftermarket blinkers
as well as some scratches/dents/blemishes from a lowside on each side

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
wish i had been better about documenting mods/changes (will be in the future) but some of the changes i made over the past few months:
here's how she stands now, 3K miles later - zero hiccups, lots of good times :happy6::happy6::happy6:

- Russell stainless steel front brake lines
- flushed all brake fluids (rear brake was spongey)
- EBC HH brake pads front & rear
- GB Racing rearsets w/ SVRP riser plates flipped upside down for more leg room
- Sargent seat
- Sonic Springs 0.85 kg/mm springs installed w/ 15wt fork oil
- Puig rear tire hugger
- Michelin 2ct rear tire
- aTRE (thanks Steve!)
- TPS adjustment
- oil & filter change at 23.5K

for the future:
- 2005 GSXR 600 complete front end, bought off ebay, needs some work...
- 2.5" rise Woodcraft clip-ons
- Dekelvic radiator (current one leaks, janky in general)
- ZPC silicon hoses
- reflective yellow rim tape

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got some work done this weekend :icon_biggrin:;D:icon_biggrin:
Met a cool local (Morthrane on BARF) - sold him my stock SV seat and just shot the **** about bikes in general. Extremely chill guy, and very knowledgeable too (used to work on Ducatis professionally). He's now embarking on a pretty intense SV project so best of luck to him :rock:

Anyways, to the progress! :eek:ccasion14:

Suzy the bumblebee has been having issues with the coolant system (in particular the radiator)

The last owner lowsided on the left side and mangled the radiator against the cylinder head

Not to mention it also leaks a bit and often leaves blue polkadots all over the right side of the bike :lmao:
The hoses are also about due for a change too

After a long commute home, the engine was too hot for me to want to open the radiator cap, so I took care of some other stuff first
The entire chain, sprockets were NASTY! Took some lube and a cloth + toothbrush and cleaned off all the grime on the chain and back sprocket. I thought that would be the end of it but opening the front sprocket cover revealed a small civilization of black goo creatures..
A scrubbin' later, the drivetrain was clean enough by my standards

Now to the coolant system
Flushed out the old coolant - kind of awkward to do and ended up making a mess :facepalm:
The old radiator was pretty easy to remove, just lots of things connected to it that had to be transferred to the new radiator (Dekelvic)
Here's a side by side comparison

After getting the old radiator removed, it was time to replace the hoses in the coolant system with a new set (ZPC from eBay).
This part was a ***** and a half to do since the coolant thermometer/switch between the cylinders is tucked literally in the middle of the bike and replacing the hoses there was far more effort than I expected.
Ended up having to remove the airbox and worked around the throttle bodies. Now I know a downside of FI bikes - so many F'in wires and plugs to everything! Was scared about forgetting to plug something back in...
If you remove the airbox or throttle bodies, remember to cover the engine intakes to prevent stuff from falling in and giving you premature engine wear.
While I was in there also gave the air filter a cleaning.

The ZPC hoses are thicker than stock, and a little more stiff. They also have this cool wrap-like texture. I replaced the stock clamps with a set of SAMCO clamps. Turns out their "complete kit" doesn't include the medium clamps for the hoses between the cylinders, so had to reuse those. The SAMCO clamps are wider than stock and sturdier in general
Finally got the hoses clamped down, radiator installed, airbox re-installed, coolant topped off.

The radiator is straight!

And the fins are clean!

Started her up, rode around the block :vroom: - double checked everything
No more blue polkadots! ;D

Overall, the hardest part was the hoses - and only the ones between the cylinders too.
To rank difficulty 1-10, 1 = easy as pie, 10 = engine rebuild

Swapping out radiator: 3/10 (dealing with coolant is a hassle)
Swapping out hoses: 7/10 (need to remove a lot of parts or it's extremely difficult to work through the frame)
Coolant flush: 2/10 (straightforward, but messy)
Chain/sprocket cleaning & lube: 1/10 for chain only, 2/10 for sprockets too

Since I've never done any of this before, I chose to work slow and be careful - took me about 4-5 hours overall including setup and cleaning time
In terms of return, the bike doesn't seem to cool any more efficiently even after a system overhaul and coolant flush (running around 190F which is pretty normal). Seemed to be fine but it was a pretty mild day (50-60F), going to see how it performs on a hot day
Suzy the bumblebee certainly sounds happier, but that's probably because of the air filter cleaning and chain/sprocket care coupled with a coolant system overhaul.

A solid days work! :rock::rock::rock:

- GSXR front end work
- Yellow rim tape
- spark plugs
- whatever else..

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Didn't have much time to work this weekend since I was busy going on local group rides and romping through the hills :vroom:
Started going through the GSXR calipers and they are quite dirty/neglected - debating whether a rebuild or another set is more cost effective at this point (piston/seal set is ~$60 per caliper vs. ~$30 for each entire caliper on ebay)
Did find some time to give her a wash and install Hammergrips

Thanks for those Pete! They're working out great :rock:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sup! :rock: Hope everyone's weekends are going great - it's perfect riding weather:vroom:

I have to run a lot of errands this weekend and won't be able to do any major work. However, I managed to find time to run to a local upholstery shop and got the Sargent pillion cover (came with the seat) stapled onto the back seat.

Here's what the pillion looked like yesterday

Gotta love the stitched up rip/tear - nice handiwork, previous owner :icon_biggrin:

The mismatched texture/color/design between the seat and the pillion is pretty noticeable.

Now here's some shots of post-stapling

Gotta say, it matches well and looks pretty damn slick :rock::rock:
It took them about 10 minutes to fit and staple the cover on, total cost = $15

Thanks to Sid's Custom Upholstery in Mountain View, CA! They kindly penciled me in on a Saturday even though they're closed - props to the store! :worship:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Been MIA for a little, life's been getting in the way..
So I came to learn that my rear shock is not the ZX-10 shock like I thought it was :confused3:
Turns out the 1st owner used a 636 shock, which explains why the rear has been so stiff (I'm 165lb with gear). This also means the 2nd owner was a :tard: for telling me ZX-10
Anyway, nabbed a fairly fresh ZX-10 shock off eBay for $90 ;D even included the dogbones and pivot (PM me if you want a ZX-10 linkage)
Went ahead and hammered this out in an afternoon last Saturday.

636 shock on the left, ZX-10 shock on the right
You can see how much thicker the spring is for the 636 shock, as well as the angled reservoir

Had to remove the rear wheel to get easy access to the suspension bolts. And yes, the bike is held up by books (knowledge is power :lmao:)

Pictures of it installed and tightened up

Also got a chance to clean the swingarm, linkages, and pivots while the rear wheel was off. Lubed up all the joints, added loctite to all bolts. Even cleaned and put some grease in the rear wheel bearings. Rear brake has been squealing, so added some anti-vibration goo to the back of the brake pads. Getting the rear wheel aligned for the axle to go through cleanly takes some fiddling - would have been helpful to have a 2nd set of hands.. And don't forget to adjust chain tension - a new shock can change geometry

Overall it's a much needed improvement over the 636 shock for my weight.
Feels a lot more planted in the corners, and more compliant on a bumpy road surface where it just skipped over bumps previously. I have the compression damping turned pretty far down and the rebound damping turned pretty far up. In other words, it's set on "soft" and feels about right for my weight (still a tad stiff but I like it that way)

Just goes to show how important spring rate is for rear suspension. If that's incorrect to begin with, you'll never dial it in with compression/rebound adjustments.


336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got into a mishap later that night, right after I had shock-swapped and performed a bunch of maintenance :sbmfacepalm: go figure..

Driver was in the left lane of 2 on a 1-way street. She suddenly turned right through my lane with no turn signal :)nosepick:), couldn't stop in time. Scrubbed off as much speed as I could, but ended up hitting the car on the right side with the front/left of my bike. I wasn't even going fast :cussing:

After cooling off, we exchanged info and I filed a claim with insurance (Progressive)
I messed up her right side car doors..

She messed up my front cowling.. broken plastics

Twisted the cowling brace a little

Instrument cluster was OK

Now I understand the advantage of folding rearsets :(

And the worst item, it looks like the fork stanchions have a bend at the lower triple :'(

Damage Summary

left tail fairing scratched
gas tank scratched on left
front fender has blemishes
front wheel OK
front brakes OK
engine ran well after collision
no fluid leaks - great news :)

stanchions bent
left lower has scratches on side and top

Left rearset
bracket bent
footpeg bent
shift lever bent

brace (metal frame) twisted
plastic fairing broken into pieces
other plastic components - mounting tabs broken
brackets (mounts for plastic fairing) cracked
windshield OK
instrument cluster OK

Headlight / Front turn signals
assembly intact, mounting tabs snapped off
front left lens has blemishes/scratches
turn signals broken
wiring OK, lights were functional after collision

Left hand controls
bar end bent, scratched
clutch lever scratched
clip-on/handlebar is straight, controls OK

Left mirror

So, waiting for the insurance company to complete their investigation and a report of options from here on out
Chances are, it will be a total loss (due to fairings + fork), but crossing my fingers and hoping not

I've got a GSXR front end 70% ready to swap and could probably hammer that out over winter to replace the bent forks. Then replace broken parts or do a naked conversion? And the bike will be alive again.

Just working out if I can swing it financially and time-wise - really don't want to give my baby to insurance or have to part it out... Will post updates soon

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

The bike isn't totaled!!! :lol::lol::lol:

Spoke to my insurance agent on the phone - after adding in cost of aftermarket parts, the value of the bike is ~$5K :eek: No idea how that is possible.. but hey I'm not complaining. They'll just subtract my deductible (high deductibles :() and mail me a check for cost of repairs.

Sounds like a GSXR swap is in store for this winter! :rock::rock:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not a Black Friday kind of person, so spent the day in the garage instead :headbang:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone ~

I am thankful for the complete '05 GSXR 600 front end I picked up for $400 ;D but everything could use a little freshening up..

A sneak preview of what's to come

Mmmm did a caliper rebuild today
soap water + toothbrush + elbow grease
Calipers went from filthy and gunky to shiny and sparkly

Now I just need to get to the forks and replace seals - we'll see if that happens this weekend..


336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's been a while folks - never enough time to work on the Bee :(

Finally, after much delay, finished servicing the GSXR forks (seals, dust wipers, oil). Had an issue with the All Balls fork oil & dust seal kit (
Tightened up and tested against the floor for basic functionality

Front wheel - got some fresh grease

Gathering things to start mock-up

Got a rolling front end put together

Found a piece of scrap metal and twisted it into a sensor brace for the speedo sensor (hall effect sensor)

Not very pretty, but fitment is perfect. Once the fender goes on it'll be hidden anyway. I have the 8 hole rotors, so magnets fit perfectly and don't even need any glue to stay in place.
Haven't tested it yet, but eventually will when the swap happens (hopefully next weekend :D).

Also gave her an oil change - now at 27K miles. Planning on doing valves next month with NudeMischief :rock:

Beer time :eek:ccasion14:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Moment of truth

Stripping down

Poof! The front end is gone!

And there she lies - any buyers?

Getting the new GSXR triple on
Fresh bearings, old races (no damage or visible wear) - fresh grease, torqued to spec

Forks inserted

Fender and front wheel on - starting to come together

Brakes reassembled and bolted on

Magnets for the Hall effect sensor - stuck in holes of the rotor

Hall effect sensor

Finished product

Top triple


Still need to dial in the brakes - feeling good but soft. I think there is still a pocket of air somewhere and just need to work it out with another re-bleed tomorrow morning.

Overall process was time consuming and sort of frustrating. Many things have to be done in the right order and just adjusting everything to fit requires a lot of fiddling. Custom speedo fix was much easier than I anticipated. '05 GSXR 600 front end was literally a direct swap for the most part. Overall a good experience if you are mechanically inclined - now I really feel like I understand the front end of my bike.

Have yet to really test it out since the brakes need some work. But overall it feel much more planted in turns, as well as "point and shoot" characteristics. I had an '09 Street Triple for a bit and the SV now behaves much more like the quick and precise steering the S3 had.

Hands are very sore, forearms are tired from gripping tools, skin peeling from various chemicals, body tired from moving into weird positions to work on the bike. But overall, it's always the best feeling to put together something that will give miles and miles of smiles. :eek:ccasion14:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bought some Teflon tape and wrapped the bleed nipple threads (don't get any tape lower than the lowest thread or it might interfere with the bleed nipple seat). Definitely helps the thread make a tight seal with the caliper and prevent air from seeping in.

Then re-bled everything and now the lever is much more firm. However, the brakes are still weak. I think brake fluid got on the pads at some point or another, so I ordered a new set of brake pads and they're on the way :) Will report back when they are installed

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Slapped on the new EBC HH brake pads and WOW! The difference is like night and day.
So folks, don't get brake fluid on your pads - thankfully the ones in there were nearing end of lifetime anyway.. Now with a gentle squeeze of the lever I can stop stupidly quick. Also much more feedback from the front end.

Replaced the previous sliders (left side bent) with Motosliders. The previous sliders were not a single bolt all the way through, so the left bolt was bent from the accident. Ordered new front cylinder bolts but keeping the older spacers in for now. Motosliders seem to be of much higher quality

Cheapo bar ends and preload adjusters ordered from eBay, currently en route

Added a tire repair kit and mini pump to the trunk - you just never know how you might be stranded with a flat

Still dialing in suspension. Adjusted the rear preload, and now it's getting close to butter. Still working on the front, but iteratively getting closer.

Took the Bee out on a ride today with another SVer, pretty nice out! :vroom:

Adjusting mirrors with the new toolkit I acquired from SVR


336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Still dialing in suspension.
I commute 15-20 miles round trip Mon-Thurs on the same route. So each time I make an adjustment, I ride for a few days and make notes of performance. Then I adjust the suspension accordingly and repeat. Hopefully I will have it dialed in to a good baseline eventually

Picked up some fork preload adjusters for $15 from eBay. Each one has a little screw that tightens the adjuster to the preload hex

Also picked up a gas cap mount kit for my GoPro (shout-out to Gerard7aa for hooking it up). Sooooo much more stable than the turd suction cup mount. Now I have video documentation of commuting just in case of an incident.

I may have to get a lighter tone windscreen..

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got a lot of items done today :D

Cox radiator guard arrived - appears to be of very nice quality. Decided to get one after noticing a nice pebble shaped dent on the rad

The screen has a tilt to deflect rocks that are flung upwards at the radiator, pretty clever

Radiator without

Radiator with

Radiator guard was a pretty easy install, the securing mechanism is a tad ghetto IMO. Kit supplied with zip ties to secure the guard to the radiator at the top. We'll see how it performs :vroom:

Comparison of the new Motosliders against the old puck. Notice how the spacers are still in for the bolt since it's too long without the old slider spacers.

Well new front cylinder head bolts came in, and got them installed

Looks much better.

The silly plastic bar ends that came with the Woodcraft clip-ons.

Replaced with $8 eBay bar ends

Super easy install.

Replaced spark plugs. Engine seems healthy based on insulator coloring, tan color right?

Got a solo cowl bum pad (shout out to MikeGyver :rock:)


I think the bum pad looks pretty good, some cushion for the pushin' :naughty:

Also picked up some rim stripes
Front wheel before

Front wheel after

Back wheel before

Back wheel after

I think it looks pretty damn good, also helps with visibility

Rim striping was actually kinda hard, it was difficult to get the tape perfectly on the edge, especially since there's a few imperfections in the front rim to work around. Overall turned out well, looks a little bit worse really up close though.

Also cleaned the BMC air filter, used a K&N kit. Fairly straightforward, but it took forever to dry after rinsing with water..
Got more done today than I expected - the Bee definitely rode a little smoother afterwards :vroom:

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
It's been a while - just riding and working and riding some more :vroom:

Took the Bee out to our first trackday ever. What an experience.

Packed up for the drive to Thunderhill (Willows, CA)
Removed the front cowling so I didn't have to deal with taping up lights and mirrors. Also won't damage it just in case...
My buddy's old school track GSXR pictured too :rock:

GotBlueMilk got some sweet shots

Now I'm hooked - it was way too much fun being able to take turns at speeds both superlegal and dangerous for the street. Learned so much in 1 day and am also in awe at how fast some riders are.

Did an oil change today - just to be meticulous after a trackday and for engine longevity.
Replaced a front fairing mount that cracked from vibration (non-track use).
And swapped in an SV1000 snorkel (present to myself :hug:)
Sounds a little louder but butt dyno doesn't know if it really is faster - the bike is jetted slightly rich so this does even it out slightly.
Pictured is airbox with snorkel comparison

Valve adjustment
All intakes and exhausts on both cylinders were right on the tight end of spec - literally all 8. So I decided just to dive in head first and re-shim all 8 buckets.

Didn't take any more pictures after I was in the guts - was short on time. I'll make sure to take pictures next time for the valve check but that won't be for a while...
Placed all 8 valves at the loose side of the spec for future convenience and buttoned everything back up.
What a day! :eek:ccasion14:
And **** those chain tensioners.

336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Some updates in preparation for a trackday @ Thunderhill 7/29

Rear wheel off, ZX10 shock out

Front wheel off

Picked up an '08 GSXR600 front wheel (thanks Chato!). Has 10mm larger rotors than my current '05, which has a small wobble and slightly warped rotors. The 08 is slightly lighter too - should be a very good replacement

Package deal with the front wheel was an Ohlins shock off a race GSXR. Thanks to Zoran for rebuilding and revalving it for me! Definitely an improvement over the ZX10, the damping just feels better for the bike and the rear is like buttah!
Comparison against the ZX10

Hydraulic preload adjuster!

New rubbers, much more aggressive profile than I'm used to. Really improved braking feel as well as cornering stability at a good amount of lean
A big thanks to Chris for letting me use his tire machine, wheels balanced via axle on stands
Q2 rear, Q3 front

5mm caliper spacers
Don't know if the improved braking is mainly from the tires, or slightly larger rotors. Probably a little bit of both.

Buttoned back together in time for the trackday

Decided to strip the fairing off since a mount cracked and broke off. Added a GSXR steering damper which was rebled with 7.5wt fork oil.

Got a suspension tune from Dave Moss :worship:
Then had a :rock: trackday. Managed to drop my Thill best from 2:45 to 2:26 :vroom:
Almost fast enough to bump up to B :eek:ccasion14:

Naked headlight/fairing conversion simmering in my mind...
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