Practical Sportsbikes (UK)
Mission: to do the right thing
When a bike you buy sight unseen shows some bad signs, the only option is to tear it apart
These past few months have largely been a process of undoing the butchery of my GSXR1000 K3’s previous owners. I’m not complaining. In my quest for the most bhp for my GBP I went into the process of buying a track bike with my eyes open, fully aware I could be buying an absolute pup.
As it happens, the GSX-R passed its first, and most important, test with flying colours by spitting out 151 strong and healthy bhp. So I then dived into the process of going through the chassis with a fine-tooth comb.
First up, the leftover mess of wires from an alarm, that looked like it had been removedusing a chainsaw, along with blind luck that the bike wasn’t immobilised, had to go for no other reason than to satisfy my extreme dislike of clutter.
With the seat unit off, I fitted a tail-light to the subframe, and then I got funky with a Dremel to cut out a slot in the glass fibre seat for it. After adjusting the back brake pedal to bring it into a position where it’s actually possible to reach it with a foot, the brake light worked as it should, and in doing so brought me halfway to getting an MOT for the bike.
At the other end of it, the big questions I had were if it does indeed have some K-tech in the forks, as the 10-year-old receipt suggested,
and as the bike’s seller claimed... why was the handlebar position miles off. Fairing off, and the left intake is only held on with gaffer tape, the wiring loom has been casually lashed to the side of the engine in all directions with 15 cable-ties, and along with the obviously incorrect routing of the clutch cable, is actually fouling the steering. It’s a mess and using the excuse that it’s only a track bike isn’t an excuse. If the bike fell off its stand, let alone got thrown into a gravel trap, the wiring loom would probably get damaged because it was so exposed just hanging there.
A couple of hours working it out using a combination of common sense, pictures of a mate’s K3, and a dollop of patience, see’s the loom removed, re-routed and secured where it should be – safely out of the way, and without using a single cable tie.
I also re-routed the clutch cable where it should be inside the frame and not just dangling in fresh air inside the fairing.
James at K-tech confirmed the forks are fitted with their piston kit and compression flow valves, but the springs are barely suitable for a child, let alone a grown adult with a thing for beer and pork scratchings. Man-grade springs are put in the forks and James checks the legs for straightness before rebuilding them and adding a K-tech sticker as a seal of official completion.
The left handlebar turns out not to be damaged, just not from a K3. So not only has it not been lined up properly, it’s also a different pitch and angle to the righthand handlebar.
A K3 handlebar is sourced and fitted, along with the rest of the front end, this time with all the bolts to the correct torque setting, and not just finger tight. To my horror, two of the bolts on the bottom clamp were finger tight when I dismantled it. To finish it all off, I treat it to an OE seal for the left intake snout instead of gaffer tape.
As bad as all that sounds, I’m pretty pleased. All I’ve had to do is sort out other people’s messes, so time and patience have been my biggest investment. However, given the levels of bodgery so far encountered, I’m going to refrain from actually riding it until I’ve gone through the rear end too, and given it a service. I’ve seen enough already to fear previous owners’ ideas of what constitutes an acceptable standard of preparation.
THE WIRING LOOM HAS BEEN CASUALLY LASHED TO THE SIDE OF THE ENGINE IN ALL DIRECTIONS WITH 15 CABLE-TIES. AND ALONG WITH THE OBVIOUSLY INCORRECT ROUTING OF THE CLUTCH CABLE, IT’S ACTUALLY FOULING THE STEERING. IT’S A MESS