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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...and I've got a street legal 02 SV650N with upgraded chassis bits (Penske/Traxxion AK-20) which has seen many track days and 30k+ street miles. My obsession with the sport is only growing and I know I will do some club racing here in Portland, OR in the near future. The problem is, I'm also a cheap, lazy ba$tard and don't want to have to maintain more than one bike so I'm considering whether to do the work necessary to track prep my existing bike (including a supersport engine tune) while keeping it street legal. The other option is of course to track down an already prepped race only machine which run $3500-4000 in the area. But then I have two bikes to deal with and limited space and time in which to do so. So I'm pondering my next step.

Any old-timers have advice on the challenges of racing a street legal bike? I don't ride on the street as much as I used to but it's nice to have that option. Currently I strip off blinkers and mirrors and unplug the headlight and taillight at the track which takes me all of 15 minutes. Racing would involve running water wetter instead of coolant, pulling the sidestand, etc.

And from a value perspective, is it worth it to do this work on a bike I already own, or will I come out ahead buying somebody else's work? I know how my bike has been treated and maintained, and that's worth something in itself. Given the mileage and lightly rashed condition of my bike, it's probably worth $2k without the shiny suspension bits, and maybe $3000 with them.

So, anyway, just looking for stories or advice from those that have done this before.
 

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100% you will come out ahead buying a bike that is already race prepped. It's also far easier to sell a street legal bike that hasn't been raced than to sell an old race bike. I went through this just this winter. I was trying to decide whether to track my RC51 or buy a dedicated race bike. My RC already had rearsets and full suspension, but I still would have had to add race bodywork, case covers, sliders and new gearing for my local track.

You can probably pick up a 1st gen SV supersport race bike for around 2K. Likely the bike in question will have emulators in the front and a shock - probably a spare set of wheels too. Swap your AK20 forks and put a stock shock on your street bike. Sell it and then add up all the money you saved not having to buy rearsets, bodywork, fairing stays, clipons, 520 conversion etc. Then sell whichever shock you don't want to keep and put that money into track time. Do the engine build when only the top guys are pulling you on the straights.

Just my opinion. It can be a fun project to build the bike yourself too. Even if you do buy a race bike you'll probably find about a million things you want to change to make it more the way you want. 1st gen is a lot more fun to work on because the electronics are so much simpler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback, that's helpful. I've looked at some gen2 race bikes but they're more expensive and some local tuners told me that overall it's possible to get more power out of a gen1 with a supersport tune. Are you in Vancouver BC or WA? Ever make it down to PIR/ORP/Ridge?

Also, looks like your post got cut off: "Do the engine build when only the top..."
 

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My '02 naked SV race bike is still also my street bike, converts from one to the other in 10 minutes max. I mounted a race tail and made a rear light/blinker/license plate module from the original parts that fastens to the tail with two Dzus fasteners and a slip-in post (I have pics). Keep it naked and the only other bit you will need is a bellypan. You will probably want lower bars or clip-ons eventually, and that will necessitate new front blinker brackets.

Your bike has the right suspension bits already and is a prime candidate for dual purpose as far as I'm concerned.

Any other questions, fire away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd like to see pics of the taillight unit, I've pondering doing that myself. Are you using the stock subframe?
 

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Thanks for the feedback, that's helpful. I've looked at some gen2 race bikes but they're more expensive and some local tuners told me that overall it's possible to get more power out of a gen1 with a supersport tune. Are you in Vancouver BC or WA? Ever make it down to PIR/ORP/Ridge?

Also, looks like your post got cut off: "Do the engine build when only the top..."
That's not true. 2nd gen superstock bikes out perform 1st gen superstock bikes because of the 2nd gen bigger cams. A cam swap is an illegal mod for supersport/superstock. When building a superbike, most tuners prefer 1st gen because they can slap on a set of flat slides and get big gains. Not so easy with the fuel injected 2nd gen bikes.
 

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Hey J-M. The Ridge was a blast last Sunday. If you stick with one bike you will probably want to pick up an extra gas tank because at some point you will crash. I don't remember what kind of shape your tank is in but if it is in decent (no dents) shape I wouldn't use it if you plan on selling your bike later. Your gauges were unscathed as I recall so you might consider taking them off on race weekends. My first track bike only had a shift light and now I don't use any gauges although I do have a tach I used in previous years. I think it makes sense to have a dedicated track bike and a separate street bike but I don't know how much space you have. I built my current track bike for under 3K. Hope to see you at PIR next month. H
 

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+1 to Drew.

Something to consider is that if you total it on the street, you cant race it and vice versa.

Also more than likely if your insurance agent finds out your are racing it also, kiss your policy goodbye (and maybe you auto policy also if you have the same company).

Check out the WERA and CCS boards. Seen a few prepped bikes for under $3K.
 

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Yeah, meant to say that the engine build should be done when only the top guys are beating you. Till that point it's all rider.

For supersport/superstock, the 2nd gen does have a few more hp. If you're in it to win it then the best bet these days seems to be a 2nd gen supersport build with AK20s or GSXR valves, but that is an expensive bike (4-6 K), though it is competitive in both SS and SBK classes. Since you're just starting out I think you're way better off to get a cheaper 1st gen bike, either the one you have now or someone else's that's already set up, and just ride the crap out of it for a season or 2.

And Wasco, I'm up in BC. Hoping to be down at the Ridge for the Sept. round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All good points guys, cheers. I'll keep my eyes open for a prepped gen 1 machine. I'd like to get that hooked up in time for 7/20 novice school but don't know if I'll have the bandwidth. If not, then it'll be next spring. In the meantime, shooting for an A track day pace!
 

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I'd like to see pics of the taillight unit, I've pondering doing that myself. Are you using the stock subframe?
My pics are part way down this thread http://www.svrider.com/forum/showthread.php?t=142599 .

I'm using the stock subframe (required for SS classes) with the bungie rails cut off.

Since the conversion I've also reinforced the top hole in the race tail with a piece of aluminum, as it carries most of the weight of the tail light unit.
 

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If you stick with one bike you will probably want to pick up an extra gas tank because at some point you will crash.
not a bad idea
I think it makes sense to have a dedicated track bike and a separate street bike but I don't know how much space you have.
It makes sense, but it's not necessary. Using a single bike will save space and $3K.

Something to consider is that if you total it on the street, you cant race it and vice versa.
Yup, but you'll still have a totalled bike to fix. Is it worth spending an extra $3K now to avoid a few weeks down time "just in case"? If your street bike is crucial transportation, don't race it (or do track days). If you really care about resale value as a street bike, don't race it (or do track days). If you want to go balls out don't race your street bike (or do track days). But you can dial it back just a bit and still make good progress with a single bike. Being older helps keep things in perspective, too. ;)
Also more than likely if your insurance agent finds out your are racing it also, kiss your policy goodbye (and maybe you auto policy also if you have the same company).
Nobody should expect their street policy to cover racing (or trackday) damages or liability, but I'm not sure of the technicalities or objections about a dual purpose bike, and it likely varies from company to company.
 

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Nobody should expect their street policy to cover racing (or trackday) damages or liability, but I'm not sure of the technicalities or objections about a dual purpose bike, and it likely varies from company to company.
Problem is people do try. In my policies I have, it states right in both my bike and truck's that if its used for timed competition, coverage is automatically denied. They dont usually care about taking it to a drag strip for fun nights, but as my agent said, they will just cancel a policy if they find out its being raced. Heck I took my racebike in just to prove I wasnt using my street bike when they asked about the tail numbers.
 
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