OK so I’ll admit it – it’s been a long time since I’ve updated my RF900 StreetFighter blog… a very, very long time. But there’s an excellent reason for that…namely that I haven’t actually done much to my StreetFighter….
However, last summer (2015), I have finally pulled my finger out and did some work. And I have finally got around to sorting out my website , photos and written up some of the progress to my StreetFighter.
First step, getting rid of dust covers (Summer 2015).
And then tiding up electrics, as the RF900 was such a fat arse in comparison to the new R6 subframe.
After a little bit of fiddling to get the correct fit, the Akrapovic Headers now fit in the RF and looking great (sorry for lack of good images). As this project became a StreetFighter with no fairings to hide the headers, so I am so glad I went with the stainless steel exhaust system (and the fact it’s an Akrapovic is just the icing on the RF 🙂 )
(I will talk about the overflow bottle later)
The carbs are in dire need of some TLC (after sitting unused for the best part of a 3-4 years) but before sending the carbs off for rebuild, decided to try and start the RF900 and see if it was still running after it’s long hibernation!
Why do I never make life easy on myself? Being an idiot, I tried to start the RF using just the trickle charger. Unfortunately, I was ignorant of the fact that the trickle charger does not produce enough power to actually turn the engine over. Convinced that the starter motor had broken during its long rest, and I bought another second-hand from eBay and tried to fit it.
Unfortunately all I managed to do was shear both the starter motor bolts and swear a lot.
I took the engine out of the frame to make some room for me to get a drill in and remove the bolts, only to drop the engine and break the waterpump hose connector….
To top it off, in an effort to salvage some kind of productive work from this series of disasters, I tried to remove the bolts whilst I had the engine out and broke my brand new diamond drill bit off inside one of the bolts…
Absolutely furious with myself, I stopped before I broke anything else and didn’t touch the bike again for about 6 months.
Skipping forward to the beginning of 2016 and enough time has passed that I have calmed down and have some more money in hand. Time to try and get the RF900 back on track to be a StreetFighter (and not just an ornament that friends ask me when I’m going to finish).
After searching eBay and rfownersclub it seemed that a “new” engine would be cheaper than the cost of removing the sheared bolts and buying a new water pump (the water pump alone was £150!!!).
But, after nearly 6 months of looking for an engine and nothing appearing, it seemed that progress on the RF StreetFighter was once again stalled. Then my patience paid off and a “like new” water pump appeared on eBay for £40!!! I decided not to wait for a “new” engine to come up and to work on fixing my mistakes instead.
NEW PLAYER HAS ENTER THE GAME … well not quite but I felt that I needed help, both to get the bolts removed from the engine and to fit the new waterpump. I figured it was also worth getting the engine checked over to make sure nothing else was broken. After 17 years, the engine was looking a little worse for wear – it could do with a cleanup and a new lick of paint. So, I reach out to a Southampton based company, Hampshire Motorcycles, that I had contacted before about upgrading my front brake calipers (to match the Brembo rear calipers) – I’ll touch on that topic in a later post.
After a great conversation with their mechanic Rob, who was great – really knowledgeable and understanding about what I was trying to do (recommended for anyone who needs work done in the area), I came up with a job list for them to complete and at the end of July (2016) I took the engine and carbs down to Southampton for work to begin. Rob explained that if they couldn’t get the sheared bolts out then a new engine would be needed.
All that was left to do now was wait and hope that the damage I had caused was repairable.