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Building a race bike

The usual troll through the www and reading R series BMW related when waiting for work to happen I stumbled across this. It is always made to look so easy but as I follow the thread gus started on boxertrix and it is not as simple as it seems. I know chris has some connections with racing. Having never attempted something like this myself I often wonder what it is like to create something like that. It is a pure single minded machine with no pretensions. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of going racing unless a serious amount of spare money drops in my lap. I'm quite happy to do track days on my 11S and tinker with it in the garage, but this is far removed from racing as you can get. My exposure to racing is as spectator and some pit crew duties. So how do you do it? How do you approach the build? The interpretation of the rules, preparing the machine, allocation of funds. Do you sell the road bike bits to fund the build as it would be an point of no return? Do you buy the best parts cheapest or the best cheapest part? What kind of skill is involved? Do you develop the bike (lighter, faster) as your skill on the track increases or do you just make adjustments and ride around the problems? When are you happy with your results? I'm just curious so if the members can enlighten me with some quality replies.

Old 06-15-2014, 01:06 AM
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For me when it comes to tracking out a bike or race prepping it the Wisconsin seasons play a big part.

Obviously everything depends on funds. If they aren't there no progress is made.

Fall: Buy the bike.
Late Fall: Strip the bike down.
Winter: Mod and simplify the bike as much as possible. (remove any unnecessary weight)
Spring: Scramble to finish the bike and do a shakedown run!
Summer: RIDE!


Yes I sell stock parts to fund the build.

Best/cheapest/most logical parts. That one is entirely your call. I buy on a budget unless it deals with brakes or tires.

Skills develop. If you don't have them to safely complete important parts pay someone competent to do it.

I develop the bike as much as possible as soon as possible. No reason to keep changing a bike you are learning on.

We're never really happy with our results. Our wants and needs are constantly changing. There will always be something. And even if you are really happy with results you will always wonder if that new part or different tire could be better.
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:26 AM
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I've been racing Boxer Twins since the Boxer Cup series of 2005. My current racebike is an R1200S. I've been down this road many times.
I currently race as a pro in Canada and the US


So how do you do it?
Strip things off the bike that are not needed to go fast or to stop. If this is a dedicated track bike, sell the parts. I have a basement full of take-offs that I thought I might sell one day or put back on. If you don't sell them while you are dismantling, you will probably throw them out in a few years after you tripped over them in the shop.

Do you buy the best parts cheapest or the best cheapest part?
You don't need much, to be honest. Good suspension is paramount, and it needs to rebuilt at least yearly. Never go cheap; you will eventually buy good stuff. Save the money and buy it first.

What kind of skill is involved?
Very little skill .... get a manual and decent tools.

Do you develop the bike (lighter, faster) as your skill on the track increases or do you just make adjustments and ride around the problems?
You develop both as you go. Leave the engine stock; lighten it as much as you can, maybe get a Brembo front brake master and a lighter exhaust. Get a lightweight battery.

When are you happy with your results? I'm just curious so if the members can enlighten me with some quality replies.
You are never happy with your results. You will always be working on your bike, your body and your skills to go faster and safer

Good Luck !
Steve
Old 06-15-2014, 07:23 AM
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Bones 78 - you have a PM about parts you might have for sale.
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:22 PM
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Not a BMW.

Only words of advice I would have is not to race a bike that when crashed the single sided swing arm brakes off and totals the engine cases.
Words from a R12S racer.
BobL>
Old 06-15-2014, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tanneman View Post
The usual troll through the www and reading R series BMW related when waiting for work to happen I stumbled across this. It is always made to look so easy but as I follow the thread gus started on boxertrix and it is not as simple as it seems. I know chris has some connections with racing. Having never attempted something like this myself I often wonder what it is like to create something like that. It is a pure single minded machine with no pretensions. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of going racing unless a serious amount of spare money drops in my lap. I'm quite happy to do track days on my 11S and tinker with it in the garage, but this is far removed from racing as you can get. My exposure to racing is as spectator and some pit crew duties. So how do you do it? How do you approach the build? The interpretation of the rules, preparing the machine, allocation of funds. Do you sell the road bike bits to fund the build as it would be an point of no return? Do you buy the best parts cheapest or the best cheapest part? What kind of skill is involved? Do you develop the bike (lighter, faster) as your skill on the track increases or do you just make adjustments and ride around the problems? When are you happy with your results? I'm just curious so if the members can enlighten me with some quality replies.
Impossible to answer due to the various forms of biking racing some bikes you build and others you buy,but the cert's in racing it's a financial bottomless pit and you will end up in hospital and that can be in either order and so long as you are comfortable enough with that the world is your oyster so long as you can afford it.

Even if you get to the very top and I've seen it done first hand and get paid lots to do it,still a brutal nasty sport but can be great fun and very addictive
Old 06-16-2014, 03:53 AM
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i was fortunately enough to have a somewhat different perspective for a few years, as a racer and an R&D test rider.
the biggest difference between that situation was two main factors:
#1. Not my money.
#2. Not my bike.

So when you had four guys, plus two riders and some bikes out for a day of testing, you weren't concerned with the tab at the gas station, the cost of lunch, etc. It was a weekday, and you were at work.
Same was true of the bikes you rode. It's not yours. The objectives were to improve the bike and find the weak links. Sometimes you were focused on lap times...going faster. Sometimes your goal was to pound and abuse a particular part of the bike (trans, cylinder, swingarm, whatever) and try your best to break it. Both were considered a successful day.

When dollars aren't a factor and your attitude on bikes is "hell, they can build more", your focus is only on getting better results. Most of the time your day is spent taking frustratingly small baby steps. Occasionally you'd take a giant step. But you always kept moving forward, learning a little more, making the bike just a little better each time out.

I think the part where you keep improving is why people like to go racing. You put in the effort and you see a result. It doesn't matter if your budget is tiny or unlimited.

I've done both and they're both fun.

Get a bike you can wad up and not cry about.
Gather some money you can lose and not be financially flocked.
Do some track days and see if it feels good.

Yes, its dangerous. You can get hurt, though it's not guaranteed.
The ocean is dangerous too, yet 10 times more people are killed by cows than sharks every year.


(ps: i haven't seen one of these ocean cows yet, but i'm keeping a keen eye out for them when i paddle out. if i see horns, i'm gonna be outa there fast).
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:19 AM
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If you build and race a bike, set your mind to be prepared for this................

www.boxertrix.com :: View topic - blown engine r1200s


It's all part of the game if you play it!

Cheers
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:20 AM
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That's why a cheap to repair/replace bike is a huge advantage. R6/CBR600's rule the track for just that reason, besides being ridiculously fast & easy to ride. I opted for an Aprilia Mille because I like big bike power & prices on them are insanely low. Still that cheapo R6/CBR just might be faster & there's a giant pile of wadded ones for parts.
Old 06-19-2014, 05:47 AM
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Gus's situation is different it wasn't about racing just any bike he has a passion for boxers and that's what he wanted to race,and yes I will have the job of helping to take the motor out.
Old 06-19-2014, 07:30 AM
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I saw it on boxertrix. That is a bad one. The old boxers wasn't meant to do the racing thing. I've been lucky with the 11S that it didn't blow up yet on a track day. Not that I chase the revs all the time but it did jump out of 6th to 5th a couple of times. There is a certain satisfaction with riding a boxer twin like the BMW on track. The engine is a bit asthmatic when it comes to acceleration but then again the front suspension is good under the brakes and you can carry a lot of corner speed. Just enough to scrape the heads. Ideally you want a V-twin, triple, V4 or inline 4. You can feel the boxer motor working against the chassis going out of corners. But then again that is where the satisfaction comes from. You have something not meant to do what you are doing with it. You have to use yer nog, make stuff and see if it works. The only downside is that certain things can be very expensive.

After yet another crash last week I'm thinking of retiring the old girl from track days. She can embarrass the bigger bikes and crashes really well but that is not what I want to put her through any more. So when all is said and done she'll get her pretty clothes on and stay on the road with some panniers. A few of my friends have GSXR 750's and they swear by it as a track bike. So I'm tempted by the thing. If it all comes together with the house move, job security etc that is weighing on my mind then I'll get one a build a bike ready for the tracks. Hopefully end of next year sort of.

I know I have asked the question about building a race bike and I'm intrigued by the racing of the boxer twins. To me that is something mesmerising, magical, the underdog that can do it, a brilliant do it all bike that is taking on the bigger boys. And now I've said something about a track bike. And that is where I'll probably stay, just doing the track days. Which I enjoy but once again I have learned that you cannot trust a guy in front of you on a track day, hence my attempt at avoiding him and me ploughing the farmers field at Snetterton. Very lucky there. So feel free to post your advice and tricks on the building of such a machine, how to make it faster, where to get the parts, what works and what doesn't work. Start with the rider is my opinion, loose weigh and get fit but that is just half the story. And thanks to the guys who have responded, I would like to read more about the separate builds of your machines.

I'm following the thread of gus with interest. Chris if you don't mind chipping in here with what is happening. gus doesn't say a lot on boxertrix so I had no idea of how much work went into that bike.
Old 06-19-2014, 09:24 AM
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After yet another crash last week I'm thinking of retiring the old girl from track days.
That's a big call mate! As much as I love the Boxer Cup I am thinking that long term I don't want it to get damaged on a trackday so I've got a lot of the same thoughts that you have around making something more specialised. The problem is I've got such a love affair with boxers I don't want to ride anything else!

The second hand market for the 1100S in the UK is so low at the moment it would be easy to pick up a second cheaper one and turn it into a track bike, but I'm not sure I could justify two of them (and an 1150GS as well!) The 1200S is a bit much to make a track bike out of at the moment for me but that may well change. I just feel something like an R6 or GSXR would bore the pants off me and feel too clinical
Old 06-19-2014, 10:25 AM
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That's a big call mate! As much as I love the Boxer Cup I am thinking that long term I don't want it to get damaged on a trackday so I've got a lot of the same thoughts that you have around making something more specialised. The problem is I've got such a love affair with boxers I don't want to ride anything else!
I feel the same way you do about the boxercup, and also share the views on the love of the boxer. I bought a triumph Daytona 675 in December....my plan was to make it a track only bike, very light, 130hp., great brakes, but I love the darn bike so much I am keeping it street worthy. I did my first track day about a month ago and had much more fun than I thought I would. After my second session they moved me to intermediate and I felt very comfortable riding mid pack. I was surprised at all the people coming in the garage and making nice comments about the Daytona....which is the bike that won the Daytona 200 this year in Daytona. My next track day is at Barber motor sports park in sept. can`t wait!

Lane
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Last edited by 1100s nut; 06-19-2014 at 11:02 AM..
Old 06-19-2014, 10:58 AM
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I saw it on boxertrix. That is a bad one. The old boxers wasn't meant to do the racing thing. I've been lucky with the 11S that it didn't blow up yet on a track day. Not that I chase the revs all the time but it did jump out of 6th to 5th a couple of times. There is a certain satisfaction with riding a boxer twin like the BMW on track. The engine is a bit asthmatic when it comes to acceleration but then again the front suspension is good under the brakes and you can carry a lot of corner speed. Just enough to scrape the heads. Ideally you want a V-twin, triple, V4 or inline 4. You can feel the boxer motor working against the chassis going out of corners. But then again that is where the satisfaction comes from. You have something not meant to do what you are doing with it. You have to use yer nog, make stuff and see if it works. The only downside is that certain things can be very expensive.

After yet another crash last week I'm thinking of retiring the old girl from track days. She can embarrass the bigger bikes and crashes really well but that is not what I want to put her through any more. So when all is said and done she'll get her pretty clothes on and stay on the road with some panniers. A few of my friends have GSXR 750's and they swear by it as a track bike. So I'm tempted by the thing. If it all comes together with the house move, job security etc that is weighing on my mind then I'll get one a build a bike ready for the tracks. Hopefully end of next year sort of.

I know I have asked the question about building a race bike and I'm intrigued by the racing of the boxer twins. To me that is something mesmerising, magical, the underdog that can do it, a brilliant do it all bike that is taking on the bigger boys. And now I've said something about a track bike. And that is where I'll probably stay, just doing the track days. Which I enjoy but once again I have learned that you cannot trust a guy in front of you on a track day, hence my attempt at avoiding him and me ploughing the farmers field at Snetterton. Very lucky there. So feel free to post your advice and tricks on the building of such a machine, how to make it faster, where to get the parts, what works and what doesn't work. Start with the rider is my opinion, loose weigh and get fit but that is just half the story. And thanks to the guys who have responded, I would like to read more about the separate builds of your machines.

I'm following the thread of gus with interest. Chris if you don't mind chipping in here with what is happening. gus doesn't say a lot on boxertrix so I had no idea of how much work went into that bike.
Do you know that when you first started posting about you doing track days and the way you spoke I was looking forward to seeing a really trick bike and I was a little taken aback when I saw a stocker.

I was under whelmed when I bought mine and to say I've had a love hate relationship with it would be an understatement but it was only after riding a couple of stock S's they were actually Boxercups(in recent years) but still stockers in my book that I realised I how far I'd come with mine and exactly how much more you can do with them,but when it comes to racing you either have to go 1200 or HP2s,your only talking 15/25hp which isn't much on the road on the track it's another world.

Gus blew his motor for one simple reason which I've mentioned before and that's the difference between pretend and racing when everything is on the line it's another ball game he needed to get past a guy and it was scht or bust.

Re Gus's bike,there's a tremendous amount of work gone into it underneath that race body work is another bike a world away from a stock 1200,for some years we've had the belief that there's a mountain of info in Germany,their not going to just give it away!! and why should they it's racing,so if your really interested about having a go I'd do the same as Gus get on a plane and rent a car and go to a race meeting it's a great starting point, your right Gus doesn't say a lot just like any racer it doesn't pay to give the game away and I don't blame him god knows how many hours and 's he's put into it and that excludes having the balls to write off the cost of scrapping a mint road bike,40 years ago( were not the same age) I did the same but as the years roll by you learn there's other things to spend your money on and hospital food is rubbish ,but as Gus has found out the 'Real Thing' is very addictive and expensive

With a friend who runs his son on a Moto 3 bike and 'did' both engines last weekend and expects to spend the thick end of 40,000 this season that's on top of the 45,000 last year!! ,and another who's son runs in the Honda European cup who did half a lap at the Donington WSB round fell off and the discounted parts cost a 1000 and probably doing the same at Misano this weekend, just part of the game.

PS Not all paralever arms on 1100s's are the same!!!

Last edited by Chris Canning; 06-19-2014 at 01:32 PM..
Old 06-19-2014, 01:28 PM
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Chris, as much as you throw the " everyone is going to crash and end up in the hospital". And " be prepared to destroy bikes"...for the guys that are the real racers. And then in the same sentence you beat up on guys that do track days "pretend race". Well, which do you like....because to me, it's sounds like pretend racing is way to go as far as having fun. And enjoying life. Or is it you hate both. You sound like you have some hate for people that do either....I don't quite get. I have friends that race pro...bikes and prototype race cars" very big bucks...I would not want to do either. The pretender thing works for me because I can do what I want when I want...ride track...when that's over put the bike in the garage and ride dirt bikes and go the beach the next weekend and party.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:50 PM
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It is always the money. Yep the bike is stock standard for that very simple reason. Ok it has a modification, a gear indicator and I changed the brake lines but that is it. I can change that back to the original if I like. I like it that way and in due course I hope it will be my sort of classic bike say 20 years from now if they still make petrol.

To take a jap bike like the GSXR 750 and convert it into a track race bike type thingy is the cost of replacement parts. Plenty about and a good supplier base and easy to get hold of upgrade bits if you can call it that.

Yes, the old boxer surprises me with its abilities and just make you realise how damn **** you actually are because I would not be able to ride a bike in any way that would qualify for a good time at a race meeting. It did learn me a few things so it can't be all bad. And yes looking at the common race bikes (they are almost all inline 4 nowadays) at a meeting they all look the same but somehow someone has figured out something that makes it better. It is a shame really that there isn't the class of racing here in the UK (not that I know of) where the boxer qualifies and people actually race the thing. To me it seems that you have be in that circle you will have to travel and be involved. You wouldn't know otherwise what is happening.

Hats off to gus who made the decision to do it and those on here who are doing it and to those that have done it.

Ok I have just refreshed the page as I type here and the last thing I want is for this thread to turn into a track day vs race discussion with chris and the other members who regularly goes to track. I know how chris feels about the thing and he has made his feelings clear in another thread on here about track days. I was a bit unhappy about being slagged of but that is the end of it. He appears to be a straight forward guy and that is good enough for me. We all do what we like and life has taken us all on different paths. We make our decisions as grown ups and deal with the consequences. You can post whatever you like on here as long as you tell us what you have done to the bike to improve it, is it worth it or not, stuff like that. If you don't want to talk about it fine. Keep reading, tell us about your progress, disappointments, highs, lows whatever. It is always good to hear from the people who has done it or is doing it to share their stories. It doesn't matter what series or class or where in the world but I think we do prefer to hear about boxers. I'm very happy that some of the members on here has taken the time to reply. Thank you and keep it coming. We do not often realise the work you put in.

Just a last word. To the members on here in the uk. Our club (oakley motorcycle club) is holding a bike festival 26 July. I'm one of the guys organizing it and we have Richard Cooper coming to visit us among others and he has a exhibition. He use to race for BMW and now competes in BSB so if you want to swap stories with him come and visit us.
Old 06-19-2014, 03:19 PM
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Tanneman, didn`t intend to bugger up your thread...I`m just sort of puzzled as to why he likes to put down both sides....insecurities I guess, its funny and sad at the same time. Bitterness has no place in the wonderful sport/hobby.

Take care,
Lane
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:34 AM
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tanneman

There's War and Piece on here and Boxertrix about how to improve your 1100s and it's not by just a small margin you can change the bike beyond recognition and we are back to the racing thing depending on how deep your pockets are.

Trawl the net and see if there's still any info about the Das Boxer team,PackParts also ran a very trick S for some years.

As for racing a bike I'd been racing for time when we got married, my other half looked at the house and I looked at the garage,had a weekend off to get married moved in and was racing the following weekend,if I wasn't training I was prepping the bike and it stayed like that till I was in my early 30's by which time old age was starting to catch up with me and I retired.

All the guys I grew up with did the same the only decision was it off road or tarmac physically you couldn't make a good one out of all of us,even now after all these years motorcycles are the connection,if I can find time I'll do a link about Cholmondley Castle from last weekend.

I've been lucky in growing up with the same bunch of guys stayed friends(most of the time!!) and while there is a great story(racing) to be told it's not for these pages but I'm sure maybe if you get to socialise with some of the BT crowd you'll find out,but I'm looking forward to going to a GP next weekend,while our friends have gone to Misano.

Getting back to Gus,what I can tell you there's been a change in him now he's tasted blood in open combat it'll be interesting the next time we ever ride to Le-Mans
Old 06-20-2014, 04:13 AM
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Hehe, that made me larf. We are doing this house buying malarky. The missus looks at the kitchen and bathroom and I look at the garage. Luckily we found a place with a wide garage and the garden has got space for a shed. Hopefully we'll be in end of August.

I did a Google search and surprisingly there is a lot of old threads on here 2001, 2002 and 2005. Most of the external sites are in German. It will take a bit of reading. DPG on here was at the BMW Club track day with his rebuild BCR. 95 hp at the rear but he reckons with some high compression pistons it can be pushed up to a 100. But he spend the money on it wisely getting the basics right and a lot of time. That machine was in the shop for over a year. There is still room for improvement with his machine but as always it is money. I had a quick calculation of the cost of improvements to what the bike cost me and basically the sky is the limit. Basic stuff will set me back almost 4k to 5k if bought brand new. The engine capacity has not even been touched then. For a bike that is not going to compete it is hard to justify the outlay. As a one off project to keep you busy will take some explaining to the missus. I guess because the 11S has been done and dusted as far a racing goes the science of going faster has come to light sort of but then again the knowledge has disappeared from the mainstream. I guess that is also the reason to knock on the door of those that know. But since they still race the 12S and HP2S it will be a tougher job of sorting fact from fiction in how to make the thing go. I can understand why you have to be there to gain the knowledge.

Funny thing is life. I my early years all that mattered to me was rugby. I lived and dreamed it. It wasn't till later that my interest was sparked in motorcycles when watching the GP in the early 90's. It was with great fondness that I watched the 2 part series on tv the other month about the racing back then. My dad never believed in such a thing, he is a farmer through and through. I learned riding on an off road farm bike in SA. The first time I rode on the road was 5 years ago here in the UK. It was a dream come true, first road bike a YZF1000 Thunderace. Loved it. Sold it to buy the 11S which I fell in love with a long time before I even had a license. I reckon it was like looking a girls boobs in a push up bra, that machine has some sexy wheels. I have been doing track days now on and off for 3 years on that bike. Crashed a few times, hurt myself once, repaired the bike and continue. The GS Adventure was reserved for touring duties. That has gone to bump the deposit for the house. So here I am. I'm involved with the local motorcycle club, I like riding on track and I like taking the missus and me through Europe on the back of a bike. I missed out on the motorcycles in a younger forgotten life and this bike for the time being has to do it all.

Oh yeah, spotted it, 385 and 365mm. Mine is 365mm.

Last edited by tanneman; 06-20-2014 at 11:21 AM..
Old 06-20-2014, 09:23 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #19 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Birmingham England
Posts: 3,294
Did my first trip across Europe in 74(Imola 200) and I'd been riding 5 years then and have averaged between 2/5 trips a year ever since so it's 45 years next month and most of my mates having been at it longer than that although non now ride a road bike,even though they all own one

And if your looking to do something completey different parade a classic this was Spa a couple of years ago,the bike is Romero's Daytona winner which was recently very sadly sold for 50,000.


Old 06-20-2014, 12:40 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #20 (permalink)
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