Before I tell you all about this thing, I have to say that a good chunk of the best bits have come from other peoples' knowledge, mistakes, and recommendations. If I built this from scratch just so, I'd be making a lot more noise about it.


The main reason I bought this bike was the engine. It turned out that with a bit more tweaking there was a lot more to be had.

Ignition Advancer and Timing Retarder

There are two ignition maps as standard, a retarded one for 2nd/3rd gear drive-by noise tests, and a proper one. Disconnecting the appropriate wires means the bike doesn't know when it's in 2nd or 3rd gear, and the bottom end isn't killed off.

A 4 degree ignition advance came about thanks to an offset Woodruff key from JHS in Bristol. This gave a couple of extra HP at the top end, but a massive mitfull of bottom end torque - this is why the stock torque curve slopes up to 6k but the later ones are flatter. You can still use ordinary unleaded, no need for Super stuff.


Apart from sounding a bit farty, a full Akrapovic exhaust with titanium can sounds like the crack of doom opening, weighs 4kg less than the stock zorst, and with a K&N, Dynojet kit and set-up by the gods of PDQ in Maidenhead, gave a pretty healthy bit of extra wallop, and smoothed out the midrange as only new pipework can. Only sets off car alarms occasionally.

Warp Speed 2 Mr. Sulu

The extra top end of stage 2 cams (new intakes and exhuasts) was looking pretty tempting, except for the price tag. Once I'd figured out it was true and not some internet bullshit, the K3 cam swap happened, booting output over the 80bhp barrier. At the time of writing there is a little bit of richness in the midrange on full throttle, but fixing this might not make much difference to the torque curve. Thanks here to the guys of and mainly Northwind for advice. It's not all headlamp ears and bar risers over there. Mostly, but not always.


The let-down with this bike was the handling, particularly at the front. It isn't a GSXR but I was sure something could be done.


Stock SV forks are too soft, and the damping is a bit crude as they use damper rods not cartridges. First I added Racetech cartridge emulators, which take over compression damping from the damper rods. They are also adjustable, provided you can find the stupid Imperial-size Allen key to fit. Initially there wasn't much extra stiffness over stock, but the extra degree of subtlety over the lumpy stuff is worth a lot. After that I plumped for stiffer springs and preload adjuster tops, supplied again by JHS. Progressive (brand and type) were flavour of the month so in they went, it seems that linear would have been better, but damned if I'm pulling them out again. I think more by luck than judgement static and race sag figures line up, and it is now possible to brake without the bike being upright and dead centre.


Not too bad, but Goodridge helps. About to try SBS Dual Carbon pads. Tried Nissin on the back, which are frankly crap.

Rear Shock

I tried a GSXR600 jobby but the spring was too soft, so after saving up nuggets in my talking Pikachu money box I finally plumped for some Swedish porn in the shape of an Ohlins rear. Ride height wound out to full, along with JHS dogbones for more ride height, and turn-in and mid-corner steering is fantastic, though it is a bit trickier to get your knee down. Ohlins tech Colin helped me with fine-tuning the set-up at both ends.


A short one, the stock Metzelers were crap so junked in favour of Bridgestone BT010s. Can't find a good reason to change.

Other bits

Despite the plethora of tacky plastic crap available, I couldn't be arsed nailing all that on. That and although things like a tidier back-end instead of the vast plastic tagnut that is the number plate hanger would be nice, nice costs money which is better spent making it go faster, and I like the idea of breezing past someone on what looks almost like a stock bike. The exceptions are a Red Fox hugger in fake carbon fibre, which so far has failed to crack or fall to bits, a Fabbri double bubble screen which makes 100mph feel like 70, and a belly pan from French GRP gods Free Stree Design. This latter was eye-wateringly expensive and I was tempted in by a hefty discount. Love it or loathe it, probably nothing in between, it suits very well and is hardly run of the mill.

Seating position is slightly modded by a cut-down seat and jacked-up footpegs from Busters. The bike came secondhand from a very short woman, but when I tried a stock seat it is too high and the foam is so thick you actually bounce up and down on it over the bumps. Rearsets were too pricey but the jack-up plates do the rest, and are adjustable. Only thing was nowhere for the rear brake light switch, so off it came and a Goodridge hydraulic pressure switch now lives down there.

Dyno Charts

The bike has been on the dyno a few times. This inevitably sparks questions about true BHP figures, so just sit back and look at the fatness of the torque curve, and feel your ears bleed as you stand behind it on full chat coming out of bends while the GSXRs are dancing on the gear lever.

"Stock" - not strictly, Akropovic pipe added but no carb set up. Otherwise stock. And a dodgy chain. 63BHP
"PDQ" - ignition advancer, K&N, Dynojet kit, and set up by PDQ. 73BHP
"Cams" - same as above but with the stage 2 cams (K3 cam swap). 81BHP

Leaving the Dynojet dyno arguments aside, it makes as much as a 748 until it hits the redline, only the 748's redline is higher so it makes more BHP. As much peak torque as a 2006 GSXR600, but a lot lower down.

Track Days

A couple of times at Rockingham, including a trip to the gravel pit when the front brake span adjuster let go. Kicked ass of my mate's GSXR750 by the end of the day, with a basically stock bike. Second time there was pre-cams but post-everything else. A couple of soggy trips to Cadwell pretty much shredded the right hand side of the tyre. Managed to get half-way down the big straights before getting duffed up by the IL4 guys. Looking forward to another go with (a) back shock that works (b) tyre tread (c) Brakes of Wrath (d) extra 8bhp. Miserably small wheelies over the Mountain.

Where next?

It's more or less finished, I think. Though I said that before I changed the cams... and before I got the Ohlins... and I said I wouldn't bother with a new screen...