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fiercegerbil

Mod debate

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fiercegerbil
Are race type mods so great for a street bike? I have a friend who is obsessed with mods that have the word race somewhere in the description. He has a CBR 600 and has done nearly every mod he can to be a track bike, street legal of course. I haven't ridden it so I can't speak intelligently about it's streetability. Nor will I ever ask. Don't get it twisted. I think some race mods actually benefit street going bikes. However I don't think ALL race mods are fit for a bike that has thousands of miles run a year street and maybe 2 track days a year. Am I wrong about my view here? If so, please educate me. I have no problem with being wrong and shown the light. Just don't want to be a dumb A who's wrong and thinks he's right.
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No Hater
I guess it all depends on what you would like to get out of your everyday ride. I look at this similar to all my toys. You obviously get better performance over stock on stuff coined "Race...." for example exhaust (almost all exhaust set ups are for "race" purposes". That being said, you may not prefer a super tight suspension, low bars and swept back rear sets on your daily ride that you commute on. I always seem to find the balance of performance parts on all my toys. Im not willing to give up comfort and reliability for performance....well maybe a little, given the gains. Like anything with a motor, you can pimp the machine out to run like a raped ape although you generally throw more things in the mix to need servicing and such.
 
Im simply assuming when you reference "race" that means in general, performance parts.
 
 

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zombiphone
Uh.... depends on the mod? And it's all preference on how you ride. Right out the box, any bike will be perfectly roadworthy, so no one actually NEEDS to mod a bike, but if you enjoy your bike more when you've got a full tune, improved suspension, lower clip ons, raised foot pegs, traction pads, steering dampers, etc etc etc, then by all means. It'll just be less to buy when people finally stop pretending they don't want to race :P Unless he's swapping on race glass over his stock body work, I'm not really sure what mods you think are supposed to be detrimental?
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mjh937
I agree that with a modern bike no mods are "needed". It is all about personal desires. I like the more upright seating position so I have no desire for lower bars. I know others prefer a more forward position. A great mod for someone else is not necessarily something I would like. Just do mods you want and enjoy the perfect bike for you. Keep in mind that you will be lucky to recover very much of the cost of the mods if you sell your bike.
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duenan
Uh.. who cares?
 
That's the bottom line. Do what you want to do. Leave other people to do what they want to do. It doesn't matter if the mods have any use on the street, they are happy doing it, so let them. Why would or should you or anybody else care what someone else does if there is no harm involved? That's the real debate. Why people constantly have to insert themselves into something that has nothing to do with them.
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gregjet
The road ain't a race track...
That doesn't just apply to the speed you punt around at. Many things that are necessary for racing are useless or problematic and vice versa.
Engine: On a race track you need high POWER and can spin the motor at optimium revs ( range) for almost 100% of the time. That's why multi's rule. Big power stuff all torque down low. Big cam openings, ultra flow exhausts and your fuelling really only has to be perfect for the useable power "band". A road motor needs a wide range torquey motor for the VAST majority of time. Think R6 and MT07. The R6 is a pain in the butt on the road for the vast majority of the time with a few grin minutes when you fine a nice piece. The MT07 is grin most of the time and MUCH more easy to find a useful gear. Put them both on a track and the whole world changes. The power is easy to keep flowing and the gearbox is matched to the rev changes. The MT07 has a wider range gearbox and "holes " in the matching of revs and speed ( although it is pretty dammed good for a road bike)
Chassis and handling: A race bike meets a VERY narrow range of tarmac undulations and has big braking and acc. loads. This makes long travel very problematic as the bike dives and rocks with these forces. That's why race bikes ( road race) have quite short travel. You need stiffer suspension setup to reign in these loads as well ( although a pattonme points out most racers goo way too stiff). A road bike is better with more travel to meet the higher road surface differences.
Brakes: HUGE difference. Many race brake pads will KILL you if you use them on the road. Carbon pads ( Bendix makes some awesome ones) are so good on a track I can't even begin to describe how superior they are...BUT... they have to be run in until they blue the discs, then they have to be heated up before they will stop the bike properly at all. Use them on the road and they just don't work...at all...
Oil: Racers are usually fanatic about their oils. They use oils that will take the higher working temps and chuck it often ( sometimes every race or race meet). To that end they can use mineral oils as the short lifespan of mineral oils isn't a factor. In the days of using castor oil ( possible one of the greatest lubricants for ICE's) the unknowing would put castor oil in their road bikes and the motors would be stuffed in a short time. WHY? Castor oil oxidizes very quickly and loses it's ability to lubricate.
Seats: Don't have to say much . Have a look at MotoGP seats and see how long you would like to sit on it on the road.
Tyres: Put a set of racing slicks on you road bike and drive it around the streets. Ignoring the legal ramifications within a very short time you will discover your love affair with them sours to sheer fear.
So in a nutshell "racing" does not mean "useful on the street"
Having said that , It's your bike , do what you want. Just remember form should follow function unless oyu are making a purely artistic statement.
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bmwpowere36m3
Race bikes are cool… but generally all those mods do is drain your wallet, boost your ego, make your bike flashier and louder. Ride a real race bike… it sucks. Its meant to do one thing and do it well. Its stiff, uncomfortable, loud, hot, temperamental and requires a serious amount of concentration to ride.
 
All those mods are cool… till you actually start to ride the bike any serious mileage on the street. You want to get faster and have a thrill… spend a few hundred and do a track day. I did many years ago in my M3…. f'ing awesome and humbling. Once I settle into my new house, I'm definitely going to look into doing them on the bike.

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rowdy
So... I'm into cars a little too, and the same topic comes up, but one thing that sticks with me is: don't try to turn a vehicle into something it's not, or it will just be a compromise. I've got a friend who's REALLY into cars, and keeps pestering me to put a supercharger on my Civic Si. Well, I've done some mods on it, suspension, wheels/tires, sway bar, wheel camber, and some other things, and it handles like it is a slot car. I have no desire to do a straight line race with anyone, and no matter how much I increase power, it will never "dominate the drag strip". I feel the same way about the FZ-07. I like mods, and I've done a bunch, but if you want to have the fastest bike, you should have bought a different bike. So, in the end, the mods have to line up with the intended purpose of the bike, otherwise you are putting lipstick on a pig.

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gregjet
Should I take the lipstick off my pig? Oh! you are speaking metaphorically...
 

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avanti
I wrote and edited a modified/custom oriented column in a "purist" vintage car magazine for a dozen years (don't ask how THAT came about) and one thing I found to be true (among many) is that each person HAS to do what they can (or, have the resources to have done) to make their vehicle fit THEMSELVES and absolutely, positively no one else!!! My standard line was, "Whomever has the title chooses the mods... PERIOD. You don't like it, do your own!" It doesn't matter what you do or how much you spend if you are not satisfied with the finished product for whatever use you intend for it. All the best!!!

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Beemer
All I can say is with all those miles put on it year after year from average street riding how much performance does it lose before it sees a real track? Seems to me hard core professional racers like to use fresh parts that aren't worn or at least worn parts that have been tested on a dyno and show they are performing top notch or am I wrong? I just wonder if people like that are fooling themselves at the track but I could care less, really. I watched a video on you tube last night on the 2015 Daytona Bike Week and if you reeeeally want to question peoples motives or just have a good laugh watch that video and you'll forget all about your friend.

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fiercegerbil
I'm not trying to alter one's views about what someone should or shouldn't do to their bike. I'm all for someone making their bike their own. My main concern is safety. Street bikes must deal with a broad range of road conditions and made to deal with such- some better than others admittedly. I just wonder if there's a line in the sand- so to speak. How far is too far? Again, safety is my concern here.....not just for him but all my 2 wheelin' brothers and sisters.

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mjh937
I do not think there can be a line in the sand. It all comes down to risk tolerance. I may not be comfortable doing a mod that you have no problem with.

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zombiphone
I'm not trying to alter one's views about what someone should or shouldn't do to their bike. I'm all for someone making their bike their own. My main concern is safety. Street bikes must deal with a broad range of road conditions and made to deal with such- some better than others admittedly. I just wonder if there's a line in the sand- so to speak. How far is too far? Again, safety is my concern here.....not just for him but all my 2 wheelin' brothers and sisters.
What mods do you personally perceive as unsafe? And why do you think they are? 
 
You said his bike is street legal, so I assume we're not talking race slicks. So what are you convinced is a dangerous mod that he put on his bike? A racetrack is just a road (And not even always a smooth, well paved one at that <_<). If the bike can be operated at its limits on that surface, then it can be operated well below its limits on the street. Are all mods practical or comfortable? Of course not. But it's inexperience that is going to pitch the bike down the road. Not the Ohlins shock and the marchesini wheels

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bmwpowere36m3
Race slicks and pads… are what I'd consider "dangerous". Everything else, like: suspension, engine/HP, controls are more manageable. Race slicks stick like glue when warmed up, but they also give close to no warning when you exceed their capabilities…. Whereas street-oriented tires are more forgiving and give more warning. Race pads also stop like nobodies business, but need a LOT of heat to work…. first stop of the "day" and its like there not even there.
 
A lot of accessories for motorcycles that appear to be race-oriented, are just that… parts that appear to be for racing. More bling, than anything else.

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