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Zaph's CCS Ultralight Thunderbike Build Thread

My bike the day I brought it home. No mods yet.


K-Tech cartridges, fully adjustable - No skimping in the one place where I want the absolute best I can get. I was going to cheap out and get Racetech emulators, but decided against them due to their limited adjustments. These carts are an expensive option but well worth it. I also considered Bitubo and Traxxion cartridge kits. I don't have personal experience with these, so I listened to the experience of a few others and made a choice. There is literally nobody in the world who has tried 2 different sets of cartridges and offered a comparison, so I had to obtain individual reviews and read between the lines. This isn't like supersports where everyone knows what the good stuff is. Installed by Velocity Calibrations, located in St. Louis MO and servicing many Midwest racetracks. BTW, for those considering a DIY install of these carts, there is a machining operation on the fork lowers.

Ohlins KA841 rear shock - Riders Discount gave me a great price on this, and I liked the custom mounting included for the remote reservior that is made just for the 300. I had a GSXR 600 shock to use but opted for this Ohlins because I wanted a good, proven (and fresh) option with no cutting, machining and other hack jobs to make a shock fit that wasn't meant for the bike.

Springs - Both suspension options are sprung to my weight. I'm a big dude. 5'-11" and 210 lbs. My instructions to Velocity Calibrations in selecting my spring rate beyond my weight and the fact I am racing, was that I am a beast on the brakes. When I'm on the brakes, pretty much 100% of the weight is on my front wheel.

Galfer SST brake lines - Cheap and easy improvement in braking feel. And thankfully, I didn't have ABS on my bike. The Ninja's ABS doesn't work well at the track because of it's early interference, it's a pain to bleed, and braking feel suffers. So the Galfer line is a simple straight single line.

Vesrah VD 250 RJL pads - The highest friction option for the 300. The majority of pad options for the 300 are meant for commuters, not racers. The Vesrah come the closest to a racing pad in my opinion. Since I'm not doing a caliper/master upgrade, I need the best pad I can get for racing. OEM brakes are seriously weak. These help a lot. EBC Extreme Pro pads work great on my 675R, However their linear friction curve with low initial bite isn't what the Ninja 300 needs. And the 300 definitely doesn't need the plain HH pads, which are total crap. EBC GP pads would have been great, but not available for the 300.

Motul RBF600 brake fluid - Not sure if I need it on the 300, but I need it on my 675R at Road America. This is a track where I exceed 150 mph in 3 different places, and brake fluid boils easily. I'll spend significantly less time on the brakes with a 300 Ninja, but I had some so I used it.

Woodcraft clip-ons - They seem to be built better than some of the cheaper brands, so I didn't want to skimp here. These are needed to put me into more of a racing rider position and to allow easier access to the damping adjustments on the forks. I also needed the 10mm spacer kit to allow the bars to get into a more suitable angle. (rather than grind the top triple clamp) I zip tied the brake line out of the way and it just barely clears the instrument panel.

Yoshimura Rearset brackets - These relocate the factory footpegs about 2" back and 2" higher. The 300 Ninja has a serious lean angle limitation. Something has to be done. I liked the factory footpegs as they are legit sportbike pegs. (not like the rubber coated crap of the previous generation) I also wanted to retain the spring loaded folding of the factory pegs. I've seen too many rigid pegs start a bike rolling. (this is up for furious debate - I recognize some love rigid rearset footpegs)

MotoFairings Inc race bodywork - These are about the same quality as Hotbodies. In other words, not that great and you need to be ready for some elbow grease to make them fit and work. They are less than half the price of Sharkskinz, a fair trade off. If you are the kind of person who has a fit if something doesn't bolt right up with no effort, these fairings are not for you. I don't actually have them mounted or painted yet. More information is forthcoming.

Dunlop Unbeaten 02 tires - Best value in sticky race tires. 150/60 and 110/70 sizes. It was either these or Pirelli Supercorsas, but 150 and 110 Pirelli tires are always expensive and special order. I bought these Unbeatens just before the Alpha 13's came out.

Yoshimura full exhaust (sst version) - Best value for a full exhaust system, and Rider's discount once again set me up well. I could save maybe a pound with the carbon fiber version, but I want a system that doesn't shred when it touches asphalt. If I crash in a race, running a steel canister, there is a chance I can pick up my bike and keep going if nothing else is too damaged. I am being realistic about racing... I WILL crash, I have in the past and I will again, it's just a matter of when and how.

Power Commander - I hate these but for me it's a necessary evil. I would have preferred to use Flash-Tune and go without the Power Commander, but for some reason they got real expensive and limited. Last time I used them it was $100 for a flash and unlimited re-flashes. Now it's $250 for a single flash and it costs extra for a re-flash. Not to mention, while Flash-tune does good work for normal tunes with 91 octane gas, I don't really trust them to give me a proper flash with race fuel. And given the fact that most local tuners are completely clueless to direct ECU flashing and only know how to tune with a Power Commander, I guess that is the way I have to go. Not really happy about it. Direct flashing ECU's should be the future, and power commanders need to fade away. Oh, and I'll have 2 tunes, one for pump 91 octane and the other for race gas. With that I'll need a Power Commander anyway, since the OEM ECU can't store an alternative map.


Possible Future work:

High flow air filter - I think I have to maintain the factory airbox for one of the classes I may be racing in. So all I can do is put in the best filter I can.

Tune for VP fuels MR12 - This fuel is oxygenated. The single biggest performance boost. It's basically 5 free horsepower, and that's a lot on a 300. But damn, the stuff is $30 a gallon, and it's harsh to the fuel system. It has to be drained after running it. I will only run this stuff for race day and go back to 91 octane pump gas for track days.

Full floating rotor (probably EBC MD4166XC) - Not sure if I need this yet My first run at Road America and I'll know. But Blackhawk Farms, the other Midwest track I go to, is way more curves than straights. I think I'll be ok with the stock rotor there.

Dunlop Alpha 13's when my Unbeaten 02s are done - These are the spec tires for the MotoAmerica RC cup. The RC390 has the same size rims as the Ninja 300, and the 110/70 150/60 combo fits perfectly. These tires are only available in that size.

Some pictures

Stickers are all I have to show something has been done


Clip-ons allow access to settings and allow better positioning


Stock vs Woodcraft positions


Oooh, pretty


Fits just right


I'll grab some more pics later, but mostly I have to get my race fairings painted. Here's the plan:
 

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Sweet dude. You only race it I assume? Some of your mods decrease ridability, but that's kind of the point of racing vehicles ;p
 

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Are those dunlops unbeatable half track and half street? I have the rosso ii right now and they worked perfectly at the track AND street..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sweet dude. You only race it I assume? Some of your mods decrease ridability, but that's kind of the point of racing vehicles ;p
Yup, only racing it. I don't really do much street riding. But I was thinking of making a quick change system so I can go for a road ride now and then. Like a single multi-prong plug and license plate/turn signal/brake light bracket.

Are those dunlops unbeatable half track and half street? I have the rosso ii right now and they worked perfectly at the track AND street..
Race only. They could be ridden on the street, but they aren't dual compound, and it's not going to take long to put a flat spot in the middle. I have no idea how long they would last, maybe 1000 miles. It's been 4 years since I rode street enough to put a flat spot on a tire.
 

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Thanks for sharing your bike Zaph. Looks real nice. I'm with Howlin, make sure and show us the action..
 

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I noticed you didn't change the head bearing to a tapered roller design. With the hardcore abuse you do by racing I'm surprised.

(This is a mostly sarcastic post).

Good luck with the racing. I never went to Blackhawk Farms when I lived in Illinois.

Dave
 

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Very nice mods...love that sweet new suspension setup too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I noticed you didn't change the head bearing to a tapered roller design. With the hardcore abuse you do by racing I'm surprised.

(This is a mostly sarcastic post).

Good luck with the racing. I never went to Blackhawk Farms when I lived in Illinois.

Dave
Lol. Head bearings is on my list now. The problem is I'm paid for a track day at Blackhawk next weekend and I won't have time to get them ordered and installed. My bike feels OK, and it's only got 500 miles on it, but I'm about to thrash this bike like most people never do. I'll get it sooner or later. Heck there's a whole bunch of things I need to do that I deemed not significant enough to put on my list. Bikes like this are never finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spacep0d, I should get some ZX3R decals from you. I'll get an order through soon. Though I slightly feel like the bike doesn't deserve it because it has a steel frame. My 675R actually weighs 12 lbs less than my 300. (though the exhaust and race fairings should fix that)
 

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So.... If you don't replace the bearings you're gonna crash and explode?
 

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Following.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So.... If you don't replace the bearings you're gonna crash and explode?
Lol. I'm gonna crash and explode anyway. Don't think the bearings are going to help me. :biggrin:

looking forward to following this thread. Sounds like it is going to look awesome. When do you think it will all be finished?
June 13th is a track shakedown, and July 4-5 is race day at Road America. Hope to have enough done to race on the 4th. As far as how it looks, my paint job is going to be $15 worth of rattle can, so don't get too excited. :biggrin:
 

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Lol I should say "all of us" instead of you. Is the bearing issue really that bad.... I mean what are the consequences for street riding?
 

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Spacep0d, I should get some ZX3R decals from you. I'll get an order through soon. Though I slightly feel like the bike doesn't deserve it because it has a steel frame. My 675R actually weighs 12 lbs less than my 300. (though the exhaust and race fairings should fix that)
Up to you! It's all in fun. But, I hope Kawi gets some ideas from 'em. ;)
 

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I wonder how it is riding on the street with the more aggressive Yoshimura rear set foot pegs
 
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