Classic Bike Guide

Sharpening your ’Blade


You don’t need more power unless you’re unhinged, but a good quality exhaust system and free-flowing air filter with some jetting adjustment on the dyno should give the best response possible, and a little more power. More than that needs new cams with more duration and cylinder head porting work with raised compressio­n. And by now, possibly new rings and more.

Fit a steering damper – essential. A good rear shock is £1000, so look for a second-hand one. Remember these are not Superbikes now, so you’re more likely looking for comfort. Front forks will be transforme­d by a good suspension firm to sort the rebound and give a well-needed service. If you are going on track, you may wish to fit higher footrests.

New tyres are amazing, so sports touring tyres are like the 90s sports tyres. A 17in front wheel from a late CBR600 or VFR750 will give you more choice, but take away originalit­y. A 520-chain conversion will save 1kg or so, but will cost £150 and wear out more quickly.

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