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Old 21st June 2018, 14:46   #1
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Default My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Guys as I have already shared with some of you earlier on this thread, I was a Harley rider till a couple of months ago. But for the past few months my Sportster was not the same to me. It could be some design aspects that I discovered after taking a few longish rides on her (complete lack of suspension, rake angles that do not encourage lane splitting at all, brakes that stop you before you reach the neighboring state), it could be some recent news from Milwaukee (liquid cooled heads, falling sales and layoffs, balanced motors! What happened to all that character?), it could be many other factors. The long and short of it I had decided that I will make the switch to a Japanese bike.

I was mostly exploring showroom bikes and the Versys 650/Ninja 1000/Honda CBR 650 F were high up on my list. Again I will not be dwelling much on these. But sufficient to say that I rejected the Kawasaki stable because of dealership experience (I don't think customers need to arrange for their own test ride bikes by begging other customers. Sorry Kawasaki). And I walked away from the Honda CBR 650 F as it was a bit cramped for my 6'4 frame with a very heavy heart. I did visit Triumph, BMW, Ducati. However there was nothing that could ignite the spark in me. All very god machines but perhaps not for me.

Over these visits I had sort of made up my mind that I will be buying a used one that goes back to the golden age of Sports Bikes - the 90's and 2000's. The reasons were many. First and foremost I could possibly ride away with my bank balance. No EMIs. And second was I like to timker with my machines. I like to restore them. Give them a little TLC and watch em shine. To me that is a big part of ownership experience. The bikes I zeroed on or contacted were.

Honda CBR 900RR/929RR/954RR
Honda VTR 1000 F
Honda VTR 1000 SP2/RC51
Honda CBR 600 F1/F2/F3/F4
Honda Blackbird XX1100

Kawasaki zzr600/1100/1200
Kawasaki ZXR 750

Yamaha FJR 1300

Suzuki GSXR 750 SRAD

In the end It was the Honda CBR 600 F4i which rode home. The bike was in Jodhpur, the edge of Thar desert. You do find things in strangest of places!

The owner of the bike had bought it from someone who was once GM Umed Bhavan Palace. He really loved the bike but sadly could not ride it as his business now takes him to Phuket. He had stored the bike indoors and the room was dedicated to his passion. Wrenches, spanners, fairings, bits and pieces were all over the room. Kinda like a man cave. And yes his wife told me I can the second one he is married to. She is his first love :-)

But the bike was neglected, sad. She wanted to be ridden on the desert roads and pierce through sandstorms. She did not like being caged up in her room. I straddled her and turned her keys. The HISS fired up and the pump work up to a noisy start. I thumbed the ignition and sure enough she fired right up. I put a screwdriver to the four headers and none of the valvetrain was noisy. I asked the lady of the house if I could take her for a test ride. I did a good 50 Km or so. No major issues. Perhaps the tyres were out and the read brake pads too. But the bike did not skip a beat, just made me skip a few myself. These things are so razor sharp!

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35898077_2223463397680651_6628889165012402176_n-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35817912_2223463487680642_6366872795334311936_n-1.jpg

I rode back and made my offer. The owner called me late that night. Me and my friend were waiting eyes wide open very much awake. There was a difference of a few thousand rupees and like gentlemen we agreed to meet in the middle. We agreed on a good advance and the remaining to be payd once NOC is issued.

The next morning we enjoyed Jodhpuri breakfast. Nice crunchy jalebis in desi ghee and mirchi vada. I then picked up the OEM fairings (The bike had Chinese fairings on it. More on this later) and a couple of other bits and pieces with the hope that I will be back in a couple of days or a few weeks to ride her home.

However the RTO is still perhaps not as efficient in Rajasthan as in some parts of the country and it took a good part of two months to get the NOC issues. Hence I was only able to make another trip to Jodhpur in June after the initial one in April.

First ride from Jodhpur to Gandhinagar - 430 KM

Evening before the ride I had removed the battery and had hooked it up to the battery tender I had brought along (I had a complete kit consisting of a 1/4 drive socket set, battery charger, multimeter, pressure gauge). I also got the bike washed and did a few trips around Jodhpur just to shakedown the bike. If anything would go wrong it better be now. The roads of Rajasthan are pretty desolate with very few dhabas/petrol stations/atms or habitations that are spread apart. I also got my bike washed. I just wanted her to hit the road in glory and not dusty.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-36035083_2223447737682217_7223838342775832576_n.jpg

Luckily the car was was just besides the house where I picked her up from. The guy did a a thorough job when I told her it's the last time he will be setting eyes on her

I set my alarm for 4.30 am, but the excitement of the ride awoke me before the alarm went off. I straddled my saddlebags over the bike and made sure everything was secure and by 5.30 I had hit the road. The onward journey was really effortless when compared to what I was used to on the Harley. In the wee hours there is very little traffic on the roads and getting up to speed was so effortless with the bike just a few notches above idle. I was home in Gandhinagar by lunch time and I felt I could do at least a hundred Km s more. Something I could not think of on my sporty.

Enrote you pass by the Om Banna Shrine, also known as Bullet Baba. Paid my respects and rode on. Those who are interested in the mystique around this shrine can google. I found many bottles of IMFL and cigarette/bidi packs being offered by the devotees, most of whom looked like simple village folk. Seems it is popular not just amongst bikers.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35985895_2223463667680624_7920146107319975936_n.jpg

Attachment 174161

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35955067_2223463887680602_6233182424893751296_n.jpg

My riding mates were also out on that Sunday so I suggested they ride up towards Mount Abu and we can meet mid way. Here we are at our rendezvous having breakfast. The last pic is a doodle made by one of our riding partners. As you can see he is a very talented guy and both of them could not help ogling my ride

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-36064673_2223446157682375_3673253217782726656_n.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35682381_2223446004349057_3827002614503964672_n.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35741057_2223445741015750_4655922304675479552_n.jpg

While I was on her for the day I did notice few issues with her. She had been parked for some time and it would be inevitable that rubbers would harden, fluids will loose operative qualities. The few things that I noted were that when the engine was up to operating temperature the engine would sometimes bog down or hesitate. I sensed that the bike was not fueling properly. Apart from that the ride was flawless. And the tyres were well past their life - probably the first thing that would need to be changed. I will do a detailed list of things I want to do on the bike. But that will be for later.

Likes

- A very well rounded sports bike
- The suspension on these CBR 600 F4s is not as focused as the CBR 600 RRs/Fireblades. It is designed to be a much more plush and comfortable ride. Not at all harsh on the real world riding conditions and they provide plenty of adjustability. Still by no means sloppy the bike's handling is sharp. The front and rear are fully adjustable with 4.7 inches of travel at both ends. However mine being a 2006 model the front forms are not adjustable. This is how Honda made them in their last iteration. The stock settings are also a bit too plush and almost all riders stiffen up their rides a bit. A good reference for road conditions would be an inch of sag front and rear with those thinking of more aggressive riding aiming for a bit lesser sag, perhaps half and inch.
- Brakes are fantastic though there is no ABS. The feedback is really good at both ends. One does not need more than 2 fingers to operate the front and the rear too has plenty of bite. However my rear pads seem to be on their way out. I must order new ones.
- Riding triangle is perfect. Committed but not overly aggressive. Comfortable yet not too laid back. However many refer to this bike as a ‘sport tourer’ which is at best a very loosely defined category. I would not go that far. To be this is a very practical sports bike with good touring credentials.
By comparison the Ninja 1000/Honda CBR 650F both have more relaxed riding triangles. However given proper riding posture – straight back, legs on the pegs by the ball of the foot and not arches, elbows not locked, thighs gripping the tank and supporting body weight wile braking and not wrists – I am sure a whole day in the saddle is perfectly doable. When one is is doing 130 Kmph + the wind breaks on to your torso and it takes away all the weight from your wrists. Sorry cruiser guys - but that feeling one gets after two hours on a saddle with all your weight supported on the sitz bones is just horrible.
- Steering geometry is sharp. The rake is 24 degrees which makes for a very flickable ride. Again compared to the sports tourers this is a more aggressive rake angle. Most of the tourers are around 25 degrees of more of rake.
- The bike is perfectly sized for me. It is a ‘big bike’. Bigger than the Honda CBR 650F and in the same league as the Ninja. That makes for a roomier and comfortable ride. But at the same time it is not really intimidating, to me at least. Some of my pals did remark she looks like a beast. But then they ride Enfields
- Parts availability is fantastic. You can go to eBay and find almost everything – fairings/cowls, fuel pumps, chains & sprockets, you name it.
- Maintenance support and know how is readily available. These bikes have been and still are immensely popular. There are many forums/groups where one can discuss or ask questions. I am sure the nearby Honda service guy who has worked on the CBR 650 F will also find this bike very familiar.
- The engine delivers 110 BHP and for the bike that weighs in at 193 Kg wet makes for a better power to weight ration than the CBR 650 F or the Ninja 1000. The bike is sedate below 5-6 K RPM after which there is a sudden exhilaration and things start happening very quickly. Top speed is 256 Kmph + and a quarter mile takes 11.7 seconds. Midrange is good but not as good as the litre class. The bike has very respectable performance figures.
- Fuel capacity is a respectable 18 L. That haves a range of about 350 Km.

Dislikes

None really that relate to the bike in general but there are a few issues with my particular one which I will need to address. Most of these will be future posts.

- Tyres are in urgent need for replacement
- Front forks need preload adjusters
- Sag needs to be adjusted front and rear
- Fuelling needs to be checked - tank, filter, pump, hosing, sensors - the complete lot
- Throttle bodies need to be synced
- Rear pads need to be replaced
- Chain needs to be adjusted. Perhaps in the near future it will also need to be replaced
- OEM fairings need to be restores and the bike needs to be reverted to its original colour scheme (Red Black and not the current Black Red)
- Someone has lost his shoe sole on the exhaust. It needs to be cleaned
- One of the rear view mirrors need to be replaced as it is a bad weld job
- Consumables like air filters, oil filters etc.
- I need a new bike cover. A good one
- The bike does not come with a rear hugger. Perhaps before the monsoons set in that should be fixed
- The previous owner had installed an additional switch on the handlebar after cutting away the grip. The way it sits now one grip is considerable narrower than the other and this just feels odd to me and makes the horn further to my reach. I want to cancel this switch and install new grips

Other alternatives that I considered

I will put these into two buckets, the new and the used ones. And the new ones I will bucket into stables.

Kawasaki stable – I looked at the Versys 650 and the Ninja 1000 and almost applied for a loan to buy the Ninja. However the completely indifferent attitude of the Kawasaki dealer kept me away. I visited that guy for almost 6 months on and off. Initially I rode on my Harley and discussed with him that I am thinking of flipping my ride. And later on a couple of occasions after I had sold off my Harley as well. Finally I cross Kawasaki after I failed to have a single test ride after pursuing for 2 months. “Sir mai aap ko ek bande ka phone number de dunga aap us se baat kar lena. Who friendly banda hai aap ko shiyad test ride de de”. F&%$ O** Kawasaki Ahmedabad!!!

Honda stable – The CBR 650F. The bike is a beauty. Pictures do not do justice to the bike somehow. It looks so much more substantial and tempting in the flesh. If only I was a few inches smaller It would have been it.
Triumph/Ducati/BMW – I did visit the showrooms. Good bikes. But the high price tags along with high ownership cost kept me off. I was done with the days I wanted to brag about my bike. I wanted something to ride, a bit further than the nearest cool hangout place.

Amongst the used ones the nearest I can to putting down my money was the Honda VTR1000F. It is a torque monster and wheelies are just effortless. The only thing that put me off was the seller refused an NOC even though he claimed he had all documentation. Nevertheless a very clean and affordable litre class Japanese V Twin superbike. Another one that nearly seduced me was the FJR 1300.

To sum it up the Honda CBR 600F series are a really a very well rounded, comfortable, dependable and sorted bikes. No wonder they were the most popular bike in the UK ever and only recently to be surpassed by the BMW 1200 GS in sales figures.

Over the nest few months I will be working on the bike and restoring it, bit by bit. I will keep you guys posted on each of those operations.

I hope you all enjoy the ride :-)
Attached Thumbnails
My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35955084_2223463744347283_1710364390831685632_n.jpg  


Last edited by manson : 28th June 2018 at 17:21. Reason: Mention of high speeds on public roads.
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Old 27th June 2018, 18:29   #2
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Default re: My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Okay friends. I had mentioned in my earlier post that the bike had Chinese fairings on it. These are good for the money but did not fit as well as the OEM stuff. The OEM fairings had some scuffs and scratches here and there. Nothing too bad. The previous owner had very carefully wrapped the OEM fairings in foam wrap with the thought of restoring them later. However that would not be so.

I had brought the OEM fairings along with me when I returned from my first trip to Jodhpur. My initial plan was to work on these fairings later. However the NOC took a fair bit of time and I could not keep my hands off my tools. In fact the very first weekend I pulled out these fairings and decided I will be restoring them till the bike arrives.

Restoring bike fairings in a relatively easier job (when compared to doing say a complete car). Anyone with some bodywork experience can attempt this really. And in the least a very decent job can be pulled with rattle can paint and clearcoat. With a small compressor and paint spray gun one can pull of amazing results. The devil is in the detail really.

Here are a couple of shots of the fairings as they were. The first step is to really take good pictures of all the decals on the fairings so that one knows later to how to put them back on.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-oem-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-oem-2-2.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-oem-2.jpg

The next step is to use a hair dryer/heat gun to melt the decal glue and peel them off. Easier said than done. All these years has baked off all the moisture in the glue and made it really hard to remove. And the decals have been exposed to sunlight making them really brittle. I think I spend a good part of a week just taking off the decals.

Unfortunately the fairings that I had were broken on two places. One was the side fairing and the other was the front cowl. I found out that there are a few different ways of repairing these. One is to use a piece of plastic and melt it in the cracks with a soldering iron. Here is a video of this method.



The other method favored by some very well known restorers is the use of epoxy resin impregnated fiber glass cloth.

I chose the second one as I would believe it would be a more secure if time consuming fix.

Once the cracked/broken pieces were repaired the next step was to sand out any imperfections in the fairing surface or to fill in the lows with epoxy putty.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-epoxy-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-epoxy-2.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-sanded-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-sanded-3.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-sanded-fairing-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-sanded-fairing-2.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-sanded.jpg

The putty is then sanded to make it level with something like a 200-400 grade sandpaper. One does not need to use very fine paper at this stage as any scratches left behind by the coarse paper will be covered in primer. Make sure the edges are also scuffed as paint often peels around the edges.

The next step is to scuff the entire surface with 400 grit paper to ensure the primer gets good adhesion. Once all the fairings are preped it is time to shoot primer. Three coats is recommended but depending on your surface conditions you can get away with less. The idea is to have a good uniform coat of primer. One can use a spray gun or for sake of convenience get oneself a few aerosol cans of primer. They are very convenient and finish is not the most important factor at this stage.

Once the primer dries, a good day or two is enough we start with wetsanding with 600 grade sandpaper. If one was spraying metallic paint progression to 800 grade sandpaper is recommended. Else 600 would suffice.

Couple of pointers while wetsanding. Always use a block. You can use anything for a block - a piece of rubber or foam. Never wetsand primer with bare hands. And always use some type of guide coat over the primer when you sand it. I used some artist charcoal sticks which I ran over the surface and smudged the charcoal for a uniform black coat. One can also buy a cheap can or black aerosol paint.

Bodyshops in India as a norm skip block sanding and guide coats. I have tried to convince painters about the merits. But they think it's a waste of time. Well to them their methods. For me I try to never skip on anything.

Once it is properly done the primer should be flat as glass. A good way to check is to use a wet rag and wipe over the surface and see reflections. This is what I am talking about. Flat as glass. To achieve this finish I must have sanded the side fairings for at least 3-4 days.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-primer-1-2.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-primer.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-primer-1.jpg

I had got myself paint matched and prepared in advance. The local auto paint dealer is a very friendly guy. He is also amused by this strange hobby of mine. He never gets it why I need to do all this myself when a few thousand will get it done for me.

I had also ordered the correct set of decals from this guy in Bulgaria. He is perhaps the best out there. Guys in superbike circles keep it a trade secret where they get their decals. Resources like these should be freely shared.

https://moto-sticker.com/

One important decision one will need to take about decals is will you put it under the clearcoat or over it. The way most manufacturers and Honda build their bikes is the tank gets decals under clearcoat while rest of the decals are over clearcoat. This is done with cost saving in mind rather than the final finish quality. I decided I will cover my decals under the clearcoat. Now again ther are two methods of doing this. The first is to simply apply the decans over basecoat and then spray clear. This is how Honda did the tank decals. The other is to spray a light coat of clear over the base, allow it to dry and then apply decals. One the decals are set scuff the clear and decals with 600 grade paper and respray a full wet coat of clear. I decided not to over elaborate as one tends to make mistakes and go for the first, and simpler method.

Here are the fairings with 3 layers of base and decals. If one gets bubbled under the decals a few days in teh sun should do the trick. The down side is the basecoat is not yet sealed and it will pick up crap.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-decal.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-decal-1.jpg

And then finally the clear applied over the decals. This is the finish I got straight from the gun.



And the final flourish. No matter how particular one is some crap will always land in the clear. And since I used a slow hardner which flows out to a flatter finish but will also catch a bit more dust. To clear the dust I wetsanded the entire panel with 2000 grade sandpaper and then polished it in two stages.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-2000-sanding.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-35924100_2223447444348913_2673964213772222464_n.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-polishing.jpg

And the final result.

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final-result-2.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final-result-1.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final-4.jpg

My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final-1.jpg

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My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience-final-2.jpg

Now I have the black part of the fairings done. The red parts - front hugger, head cowling and tank that needs to be done. More on these later.

Last edited by BowMan : 27th June 2018 at 18:34.
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Old 28th June 2018, 08:29   #3
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Default Re: My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Superbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post

Honda CBR 900RR/929RR/954RR
Honda VTR 1000 F
Honda VTR 1000 SP2/RC51
Honda CBR 600 F1/F2/F3/F4
Honda Blackbird XX1100

Kawasaki zzr600/1100/1200
Kawasaki ZXR 750

Yamaha FJR 1300

Suzuki GSXR 750 SRAD
Congratulations on your new buy BowMan. Hope you have safe miles on it. The bike looks nice. The older ones do have a lot of character. But where did you manage to find so many bikes on sale?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
In the end It was the Honda CBR 600 F4i which rode home. The bike was in Jodhpur, the edge of Thar desert. You do find things in strangest of places!
How many kms did the bike already clock owing to almost 12 years of its association with the previous owner.? How much did the bike cost you?
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:58   #5
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Default Re: My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Take a bow Bowman, wonderful bike and an Inspiring decision.
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Old 28th June 2018, 12:02   #6
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Default Re: My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Will be following this thread with a lot of interest! Thank you Bowman. I am unaware of any 600 F4i in the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar area. Looking forward to spot this beauty in its restored avatar.
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Old 28th June 2018, 12:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post

Bodyshops in India as a norm skip block sanding and guide coats. I have tried to convince painters about the merits. But they think it's a waste of time. Well to them their methods. For me I try to never skip on anything.

Once it is properly done the primer should be flat as glass. A good way to check is to use a wet rag and wipe over the surface and see reflections. This is what I am talking about. Flat as glass. To achieve this finish I must have sanded the side fairings for at least 3-4 days.
Must appreciate the level of work done by you on a hobby level
Where did you get the paint done? Was it also a DIY or used a bodyshop in/around Ahmedabad?
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Old 28th June 2018, 14:29   #8
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Default Re: My Honda CBR 600 F4i : Ownership Experience

Congratulation man on that sweet ride of yours.

That job on the body panels are flawless. Really inspiring thread. I am going to keep a keen eye on this thread going forward. Very interesting job.

Really cant wait to see more pics of the completed bike.
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Old 28th June 2018, 17:57   #9
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An epic thread in the making! Hats off to your passion and shes one sweet machine you bought!

Waiting for more updates!
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Old 28th June 2018, 19:28   #10
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Congratulations. I do admire your Passion and dedication, that too on a thing of beauty.
If you can elucidate, which Harley and what model did you have? I mean what made you turn around.
I have usually seen sports bikers turning onto cruisers but not the other way round.
Great attention to detail. This thing will keep you busy for years to come hopefully. Cheers
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Old 29th June 2018, 13:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ani0404 View Post
Congratulations on your new buy BowMan. Hope you have safe miles on it. The bike looks nice. The older ones do have a lot of character. But where did you manage to find so many bikes on sale?



How many kms did the bike already clock owing to almost 12 years of its association with the previous owner.? How much did the bike cost you?
You can fin a lot of bikes on FB groups dedicated to superbikes. Just poke around and good ones will turn up eventualy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHkrish View Post
Take a bow Bowman, wonderful bike and an Inspiring decision.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by targaryen View Post
Will be following this thread with a lot of interest! Thank you Bowman. I am unaware of any 600 F4i in the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar area. Looking forward to spot this beauty in its restored avatar.
I too am unaware of any. There are a few RRs though, 600s and 1000s. What do you ride? Let us exchange numbers and connect sometime since you happen to live close by :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Must appreciate the level of work done by you on a hobby level
Where did you get the paint done? Was it also a DIY or used a bodyshop in/around Ahmedabad?
The bodywork is completely DIY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
An epic thread in the making! Hats off to your passion and shes one sweet machine you bought!

Waiting for more updates!
Thanks. More will come as I work on her and I think there is lot's to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knrn View Post
Congratulations. I do admire your Passion and dedication, that too on a thing of beauty.
If you can elucidate, which Harley and what model did you have? I mean what made you turn around.
I have usually seen sports bikers turning onto cruisers but not the other way round.
Great attention to detail. This thing will keep you busy for years to come hopefully. Cheers
Well well. I don't want this to be a Harley Vs other thread. But since you have asked, I had a Sportster Iron which I had bought new in 2012. Now when I look back at it it was a impulsive decision.

My usage for most of these years was short rides in and around the city with maybe a few half day excursions.

Around year and a half back I started to venture for longer rides, long day rides and weekenders and this was when the lack of suspension, good brakes, difficulty in splitting lanes, limited range/fuel capacity, unscientific seating position etc. just made itself more and more apparent. The final straw was the 2018 Harley Lineup. For all these years they have been harping on the character that their air cooled and unbalanced engines supposedly have. I know part of the reason to move to liquid cooled heads is tightening emission norms. But it begs the question that did Harley stick to air cooled engines only because of character? Or were they passing on outdated technology under the guise of heritage.

There are other reasons too. But to me when a Corporation needs to leverage political clout to peddle it's wares in global markets there is always a suspicion that are their products really competitive. The way I see it Harley has got itself in a situation from where it can not move out. In terms of production costs they know they should move to cheaper markets. But then what about all that Made In USA Pride? They know liquid cooled or electric powered vehicles are the future. But then what about their V twin heritage and the potato potato sound? The more and more I look at it it seems Harley have gotten themselves into a pit they have dug themselves. They are not even sure who their clientele is - is it the young global millennial who wants a better ride in terms of suspension, reliability etc., or is it the yuppie doctor or advocate who never works on his motorcycle himself, or is it the pot bellied white bearded middle aged white guy from Midwest?

Good luck to the Motor Company
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Old 29th June 2018, 14:41   #12
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Wow. A true DIY job with no exceptions! Shows your passion and I can now imagine you truly end up restoring stuff to past glory with the skills you showed on this bike
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Old 30th June 2018, 06:03   #13
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Thanks bowman for that info.
The reason I asked because even I am into the same dilemma as you are. Recent into motorcycles and moving on from a 150 cc to a 350 cc bike I own presently, even I feel same with old tech, vibrations and unreliability being dished out in the name of heritage. Was thinking of a sportster in the 2018 line up but these issues keep boggling me and kept me on tenterhooks. I mean motorcycles are meant to liberate us and not enchain us in the doldrums of short range or troubles of reliability.
Because of the comfort on offer I was more inclined towards an adventure tourer. Thanks for clearing the clouds and happy biking. Would love to see a travelogue by you of a great ride.
Keep revvin.
Cheers.
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Old 1st July 2018, 06:26   #14
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Wow, nice thread! Great details and insights. I too love these sports bikes from about a decade back. I feel they are pure power, and very reliable too without all the messy electronics. Also the design is very clean and minimalistic. I keep ogling at all the r1s and the cbrs available for 5 to 6 lakhs- amazing vfm for incredible engineering marvels. Me being a harley man (sportster at that) I can only appreciate it not own it. Maybe if I too have a man cave with 3 to 4 bikes, I'll have one of these for me to go crazy with the rocket once in a while. Keep them coming bro, loving the insight
Ps- you are almost a pro with the paint. That's why you can't trust others to do a shoddy work with it. I can understand why you do it yourself. Wish I had the skills, need to paint my sporty after it had a fall and am nervous to trust any paint professional
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Old 1st July 2018, 18:31   #15
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Bowman, congratulations on a picking up a splendid bike. Sbk's have always interested me especially the older gen ones. When i opened the thread and saw its yours, i knew it was going to be a very interesting ownership thread and possibly a restoration diary- Oh how right I was. I bet this bike is going to turn out as nicely as your W123(which i am a big fan of BTW) turned out.

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Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
Honda CBR 900RR/929RR/954RR
Honda VTR 1000 F
Honda VTR 1000 SP2/RC51
Honda CBR 600 F1/F2/F3/F4
Honda Blackbird XX1100
Kawasaki zzr600/1100/1200
Kawasaki ZXR 750
Yamaha FJR 1300
Suzuki GSXR 750 SRAD
This list speaks volumes of your taste in bikes.

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Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
Guys in superbike circles keep it a trade secret where they get their decals. Resources like these should be freely shared
https://moto-sticker.com/
Thank you for sharing this. I was looking for good decals for my bike since years but never came across the right one. They were either exorbitantly priced or didn't have the right look/color etc. How much did shipping the decals cost you? Did they fold the big ones? How is the print, thickness and adhesive? Im motivated to re-paint my bike to the OE color from the plain black it is now. https://moto-sticker.com/Honda-CBR-9...ON-STICKER-SET

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Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
And the final result.
Cant wait to see the rest! Hoping to see more updates on the bike.

Cheers!
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