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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I figured I would start a dedicated thread to documenting the build of my '09 Race Bike. I could probably write pages and pages of good stuff and post up a ton of pictures, but I figured I would start with just a few things and I'll add some more later. I'll try to keep this thread updated as the build nears completion and as I get the bike setup and race ready.

My goals were to make it as fast or faster than my current 2000 SV650 that puts out about 80HP and weighs in at 350lb ready to race. That bike is really good and dependable for me, but a new 650R had the best contingency program around and I was itching to do a new bike build. My business model showed with a few wins and handful of podiums (like I get on the SV), it made sense to start with a 2009 bike instead of a used 2008 (bikes are good for contingency for two years only).

So I started with a 0 mile Green 09 from Advanced Kawasaki and before riding it a single mile, started tearing into it. What a wierd feeling!

The basic plan was as follows:
ZX6 front end
Penske Shock
Arata exhaust
ZX6 rear wheel
Engine build per Advanced Kawasaki experience (got to pay to find out what that is!)
Remove anything not helping it go faster
Standard race bike build with Rearsets, race body, and the like

And I planned on painting it myself to save some dough.

The first pic was simply with the body stripped off.



The OEM body was sent off to Cheetah in a deal with BRP and Cheetah so I look forward to getting an 09 Cheetah body on the bike when available (should be soon I hear). Here was the Catalyst body mocked up. It needed adapters made to fit it to the 2009 since the mounting points got moved around a bit. I am a little disappointed in how wide the body is. This is to be expected since it was based on the ZX-6. I think it looks better than the stock 650R body, but I still would prefer a narrower body for less frontal area.





I'll post up more later when I get a chance.

Thanks to the following folks for helping me along so far:
Advanced Kawasaki
Blue Ridge Performance (BRP)
Cheetah Racing bodies
Woodcraft
Twin Works Factory
Kawasaki
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's the right fairing mount adapter.



Here's the lower right mount adapter. Note, it might be possible to get the OEM bracket from an 06-08 and bolt it onto an 09 but I am not 100% sure this would work.



Finally, here' the left side bracket I made. In the end, I plan on attaching this bracket to the bolt hole above with a riveted L bracket to the custom bracket. This will stabilize the mount vertically a bit more.



I started with the Vortex fairing stay that Catalyst sells but I ended up trimming it way down in order to adapt the 09 dash to the fairing stay.



And then the engine came out! :D

 

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i think a question a lot of people had was whether or not the catalyst tail fit properly on the 09, since kawasaki made the subframe and seat area more narrow.

did you have any problems fitting the tail?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
i think a question a lot of people had was whether or not the catalyst tail fit properly on the 09, since kawasaki made the subframe and seat area more narrow.

did you have any problems fitting the tail?
The tail was the easiest part to mock up. I removed the two bolts from the rear of the gas tank, removed the black metal riser that the two bolts went through, and then just placed the tail section onto the subframe and onto the mounting ears on the rear of the gas tank. I drilled two holes in the front of the Catalyst tail in the single large well and then used the OEM bolts to bolt the tail to the back of the gas tank.

There are two rear standoffs on the tail that sort of line up to tubes on the subframe. I plan on drilling holes in the frame and using M5 wellnuts (same ones used on the windscreen). A better solution would be some metallic rivet nuts, but I don't feel like buying the installation tool needed to put those in. You could drill a small hole and use a metal screw to attach it too I would think. I would be interested in how folks attached the Catalyst tail to 06-08's for reference.

A key point for a street bike is that the undertail did not really fit. It interfered with stock subframe. I did not spend a lot of time figuring out how to make it fit by modifying the undertail, but rather I chopped the subframe off. This let the undertail bolt right up and everything is copacetic.

Here is a picture of the rear of the bike and you can see where I chopped the subframe off. Dropped 7.3lb! The Catalyst tail rear standoffs rest on the rearmost corners of the remaining part of the subframe.

You can also see the Penske double clicker I installed and the Woodcraft rearsets. More subtle is the ZX6 rear wheel that is mounted up with a 180 rear tire :D I used the TWF kit because Zoran was helping me with the steering damper mount too. He needed the ZX6 sprocket carrier and he sent that back to me with the right sprocket offset and sent 3 captive spacers to install. The captive spacers actually go into the wheel to center the spacer inside of the wheel. Very clever and very easy to install. It uses the stock 650R axle.

Even more subtle is the fact that the right side rearset mounts are slightly different on the '09. The upper rearset mount is moved by about 0.5" higher. I ended up drilling a hole in the mounting tab and used a through bolt and a nut to attach it. The left side bolted straight up with no mods or issues. Eric Wood at Woodcraft got my stock right rearset in order to revise his patterns and I would think he'll have a set of rearsets that bolt right up to the '09 soon.



More later!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So on to the front end. I of course wanted upside forks with radial brakes and I did the standard ZX6 swap. I got the front end from Gary at BRP. It was an 03-04 triple clamp set and 05 forks with Showa internals.

I cut off the ignition switch mounting area for a cleaner look and less weight (always less weight, always) and mounted it up.

The dust seal at the bottom triple clamp did not seat up against the head tube and it was clear there is an opportunity to get contamination into the lower bearing. So I used simple electrical tape and did a few wraps around the head to create an additional dust seal around the lower bearing. The good thing about this technique is that the "dust seal" can be easily refurbished with minimal effort. The right way would be to press the stem out of the lower clamp, and then put a seal from the 09 650R onto the 03-04 ZX6 stem. Since I was selling the front end, this was not an option so I went with my simple, yet seemingly workable method.

Here is a shot with the ZX6 front end on.



I installed Woodcraft clip-ons because I really liked the ones I have on my SV650. They are really light, stiff, and can be installed without removing the top triple clamp.

With the front end in place, I could start designing my steering damper mount / fairing stay spacer. Using the Vortex fairing stay which is U shaped, I needed spacers to fill in the gap in the U-channel for adequate lateral stiffness of the fairing stay.

In this picture, you can see the mounting concept for the steering damper. Zoran at TWF made the spacer / steering damper mount for me. you can also see the carbon fiber adapter plate I made to adapt the 09 dash to the Vortex fairing stay. The 3 mounting bolts are in a different location for the 09 and this adapter was needed. I trimmed the Vortex mounting plate way down and used 3 bolts to attach my carbon fiber plate. I then simply drilled the three holes in the carbon fiber plate precisely to match the 09 dash.



Here's a top view



And finally, from the right side.



Last thing to post up is a quick picture of the solid motor mounts Zoran at TWF made for me. This is specific to the 2009 model since these upper rear mounting points use rubber bushings OEM. Kawi said they made the swingarm stiffer to compensate for the added flex, but for racing, I was sure that I wanted the stiffer 09 swingarm and a stiffer chassis. So Zoran popped these out for me and they fit like a charm.

 

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you should go for the versys swingarm if you are looking for stiffness and weight savings.

lol those beginner 09 gauges look a bit out of place for racing; youre not going with a radial readout tach?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would like to look into the Versys swingarm swap for sure. And I will probably end up with a GPS tach with track mapping and data acquisition. XT Pro I think it is called. But I need to finish the bike and win a little money before I keep spending more on it. I figured the stock dash will work for a little while. Does the mileage counting go with the dash? If so it might be worth more with 0 miles on the dash. hmmmm.... I want to use the fuel level sensor and neutral light if at all possible so I need some race tach / dash setup I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
how much does this all cost??
Don't ask and I prefer not to add it all up. :thud: If you check out Kawi's contingency program, you'll see that everything that helps me go faster pays for itself.... eventually. The goal is not to build the fastest bike for the cheapest (get a ZX6) but to build a fast lightweight twin that can win its classes.
 

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I would like to look into the Versys swingarm swap for sure. And I will probably end up with a GPS tach with track mapping and data acquisition. XT Pro I think it is called. But I need to finish the bike and win a little money before I keep spending more on it. I figured the stock dash will work for a little while. Does the mileage counting go with the dash? If so it might be worth more with 0 miles on the dash. hmmmm.... I want to use the fuel level sensor and neutral light if at all possible so I need some race tach / dash setup I think.
mileage stays with the cluster.

good luck finding a used versys swing arm, ive been looking for years!
 

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After reading this post, I contacted Zoran and purchased a ZX6 wheel/tire. Awesome mod.

Keep us posted with pictures and updates along the way! Great stuff!
 

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Some of the guys we ride with are sponsored by XT, and while their infrared units are the bees knees, they were having nothing but trouble with the GPS units. Maybe take a look at the Athon or Stealth for the gps angle.
 
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