1994 RVF400R Build Project

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by NorcalBoy, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    You never know, but I seriously doubt it. I seriously doubt I will actually buy another moto anytime soon, due to work, I don't have a lot of time to ride the ones I already have. The RVF came about when I had time at my disposal, but now I don't. I will actually ride my 450 a lot more than anything else, just due to convenience.

    I did get the registration all swapped back to active from non operation this morning and I plan to take it out for a little ride tomorrow. Thursday at 1100 it's getting weighed and the guys are going to set the sag up.
     
  2. Gator

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    Cool, I'm interested to see what she weighs. I'm not riding nearly as much the last 2 years for many reasons. I tend to throw a leg over the DR 650 more than the others, fun to off road on a whim.
     
  3. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I'm really working hard to finish with serious work at this time next year. I really want to just smoke breakfast blunts and putz with motos full time. I have a very strong interest in racing the old man's classes in mx and offroad....maybe then, I will spend some time on a track only machine. My buddies at Evan Steel Performance are deep in MotoAmerica and local stuff.
     
  4. Gator

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    My buddy Michael Wheeler who ran Kyle Racing in California probably knows Evan Steel Performance guys. They do a lot of MotoAmerica work too. Biggest importer of Ohlins and Brembo. He just opened Kyle Racing East here in Florida. You might know Michael, he's the guy in sunglasses in the home page photo.

    https://kyleracingeast.com/
     
  5. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    The only time I dealt with Kyle Racing Engines was at their Sand City Location and Dan sold me a shock for my 6G. I went down there to pick it up and he set it up while I went down to Cannery Row. That was almost 15 years ago now....

    Was talking to my local Honda parts guy yesterday, we were going over the 2022 pricing changes released by Ohlins....they really jacked up their prices, and I'm still waiting on my Brembo rotors to show up...ordered at the end of October direct from Race Technologies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2021
  6. Gator

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    Yeah Mike wasn’t there then. I think that long ago he was still at Barber instructing. He ran the shop the whole time Dan was in prison. Really stuck it out for him. I don’t know what the fuck Dan was thinking, that was a real shit show.
     
  7. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Yeah, I don't really know the ins and outs of what Dan got convicted for, all I heard was it was a tax related thing. The guy definitely had/has pedigree.
     
  8. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    OK, a little update on the RVF. I took it out for it's first ride outside of Tucson on 12.21.2022....no bueno :cool: I got 45 miles from my house and it just shut off, some type of electrical issue, had to get it trailered home. It wasn't all bad, as the engine runs fantastic and it's definitely better than I was expecting.

    The issue was kind of odd, as it would run, then completely shut down, no dash lights, zip, nada, nuthin', then later it would be fine. I was suspecting the battery, as it had a "restart" circuit built into it and I was suspicious of it working right. It's an Antigravity lithium battery. I got it home and did a very quick test of the battery, 13.2 volts at rest, and 13.8 volts when running. Not a proper test, just a quick "across the terminals" check. Hmmmm, not a terrible result, so I decided to remove the battery and put it on a charger overnight to begin troubleshooting the next day. Yanked out the battery and set it on the bench and noticed it was wobbling around...upon closer inspection, the battery was bulged out on the bottom of the case....not at all good. A bulging battery foretells bigger issues are afoot.

    So.....rather than fuck around with the charging system, I decided to go all in. There is a mod that was developed by Mike Norman and Rick Oliver that replaces the OE generator rotor and stator with the gen rotor and stator from a K4-K8 GSXR1000. The OE gen rotor weighs 3.96 pounds and the GSXR gen rotor weighs 1.3 pounds. for a weight savings of 2.5 pounds. This mod removes 2.5 pounds off the end of the crankshaft, allowing the engine to spin up faster and putting more HP to the rear wheel, as much as 2-3 HP on the dyno. I had been thinking about it earlier in the build, but decided not to do it, as this requires purchasing a GSXR1000 gen rotor and stator, and Rick Olivers kit to install it. All told, not cheap.

    My work schedule, unfortunately, wasn't going to allow me the time required to order all the parts and get it put together, so I went to my tuners, Evan Steel and Phil Allison at Evan Steel Performance, I lucked out and showed up to their Christmas party :D, and we had a nice long chat about the project. They are used to dealing with MotoAmerica level work and put some really cool stuff on the grid. These guys are really the only 2 guys I trust to work on my shit. So the plan was hatched. I would get all the parts shipped to them and they would do the work. I stripped all the bodywork off and trailered it to the shop.

    Rick Oliver's stator install kit comes with a new billet engine cover to accept the GSXR stator to make it fit the RVF engine. The GSXR1000 gen rotor is a direct bolt up, even using the OE RVF mounting bolt and washer.

    Here are the parts that make up the kit:

    [​IMG]

    This what it looks like when it's assembled:

    [​IMG]

    This is a direct bolt up, at this point. The install will be a little different, as Phil is choosing to use milspec harness connectors, instead of the white Honda connector.

    Next up was the battery. Phil and Evan do a lot of stuff for the owner and founder of Speedcell Technologies - http://speedcell.com/ So I decided to go with the Speeedcell 5.0 Ah superbike battery.

    [​IMG]

    The Speedcell battery is one of the safest lithium battery on the market and is used by almost all of the front line MotoAmerica teams.

    From Speedcell:

    The newest generation of the original Lithium Motorsports Battery has arrived. The 5.0Ah Superbike is built keeping the same fundamental attributes at its core; lightweight, powerful, and high capacity in a small package.

    Speedcell's 5.0Ah Superbike is housed in a high strength Nylon Carbon Matrix hull that is sealed using UL rated conformal encapsulate.

    The UL-94-V-0 rating established by the Standard for Tests for Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliance on our encapsulate guarantees safety as any burning from an ignition event will stop within 10 seconds.

    The Speedcell Superbike also comes with an IP rated expansion port, MILSPEC wiring, and high grade cylindrical mil-grade cells.

    Making our batteries one of the safest Lithium solutions on the market.


    After the battery bulging issue on the Antigravity and some stories I heard of bikes burning to the ground, due to those batteries, it was a no brainer. Speedcell is going to fabricate a custom harness for the battery, to fit the RVF. The RR is going to get tested to make sure it is functioning properly and the whole system is going to be connected using milspec stuff from Speedcell. I also purchased one of their wizz bang chargers to maintain the battery.

    So, I will end up with a performance gain from the weight reduction and gain a factor of safety that I didn't have previously. This should put the whole charging system issue to bed for good and be a really nice upgrade.

    Phil will also be rebuilding the water pump. Every now and then, it would drip 4-5 drops of coolant out the tattletail weep hole in the bottom of the pump. This meant that the mechanical seal was not perfect. This was a problem, as Honda doesn't sell rebuild kits for these pumps and they only sell the complete pump...which was NLA many moons ago. So I have spent the last two weeks locating the individual parts to rebuild the pump. I don't want to be pulling the bodywork off again, so doing it now.

    Rick Oliver turned me on to a guy in the UK who sells the mechanical seals and the ceramic seal for the impeller, I contacted the guy and have those coming. The pump shaft oil seal is an "off the shelf" part, so we will be sourcing that from Motion Industries, once the pump is off the engine and the seal can be inspected for a part number. I was able to order the o-rings for the pump housing to engine interface from my local Honda guy and the pump cover o-ring is on it's way from CMSNL and should arrive Monday. If the pump shaft is knackerd, my fabricator is going to cnc a new pump shaft. We thought about switching the pump to electric, with a speed controller to free up more power, but I decided to just go this route for now.

    The Brembo series oro front rotors finally arrived from Brembo on Christmas eve. I have the GSXR1000 clip ons all vapor blasted and Phil is going to install the new clip ons, and when he does that, he's going to install the new rotors.

    I noticed the front cowl had some small cracks around the mirror mounting locations and that one of the headlight mounts inside the cowl was fucked up, bummer, as it had recently been painted. I also had decided that I didn't care for the faux ram air ducts, so I ordered a Tyga piece that blanks the mounting locations on the tank for a cleaner look. I took the cowl and the front tank cover to my painter, Don Tromble at CycleSkins, and showed him what needed to be fixed, he said no problem at all. So Don is going to repair and repaint the front cowl and the new tank cover. I decided to go with the Honda endurance front cowl paint scheme, with the endurance front number plate painted on the right side of the front cowl, should match up decent with the seat cowl numberplates.

    The cowl will look similar to this:

    [​IMG]

    So now, I'm hoping that by the end of January all of these things are going to be completed. Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 7:10 PM
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  9. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    The saga continues. You know, I could almost believe that you made up a plausible mechanical snafu in order to justify a large performance improvement. At least that would be something that I might do.
     
  10. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    :Lol: I would prefer to say that a situation arose that required an immediate and decisive action. I'm sure it could have been dealt with differently, but when an issue arises that can be rationalized to justify as an opportunity, why argue. Having to remove the bodywork to get to the problem was a great excuse to try some pretty radical solutions.

    The only thing I couldn't really justify was the electric water pump, but it really would have been a chance to learn something. I won't say that it is totally dead, but it won't be happening anytime soon. My problem is hanging around a place that has a bunch of top level machines around all the time, you see some of the things that race teams do and it gives you too many ideas.

    This is the pump I would most likely use, if I chose to try it.:

    https://daviescraig.com.au/product/...12v-9051/ebp23-electric-booster-pump-12v-9051

    My fabricator could cnc the necessary engine block off. I would also install a digital controller for the pump speed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 4:31 PM
  11. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Nice update....unbelievable saga this bike is.
     
  12. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    It's been an interesting journey for sure. Have I enjoyed every last minute of it?, not exactly. Would I do it again?, pretty sure I would.
     
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  13. Gator

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    At least now you can say you have squeezed most of the power out of the motor. I bet you can feel that 2-3 hp.
     
  14. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    The thing is, I remember the first time I rode it with the stock engine in 2019, it ran fine (well, up until it didn't), but it didn't seem to pull like I thought it should. In all honesty it was gutless. It sounded good, but it was gutless. I actually thought to myself, well, this is certainly unimpressive and disappointing..... I don't know if that was a function of the engine tightening up before it lunched itself, as I hadn't really ridden it before, but I'm sure that contributed to the anemic feel. Hate to say it, but deep down inside that dark place in my mind, I'm really glad it blew up that day. That's easy to say now, but I felt the same the day it shit itself. I never would have been happy with it the way it was.

    Even if the electrical did have a hiccup and left me napping in the shade in the middle of the desert, waiting for a trailer to show up, the first ride out with the new engine package I noticed a HUGE difference right away. It actually pulled much better than I expected. It is definitely no slouch now. I'm sure that some of the other changes, especially the wheels, has a bit to do with the improved acceleration, but the engine is quite surprising for the amount and spread of power. I'm not big on overstating reality, just because I dropped a ton of money into an engine and want to save face, it's either good, or it isn't. It is good and I would be perfectly honest if it wasn't.

    It is exactly like it was advertised by Mike Norman, he wasn't talking bullshit. I owe a lot to Mike for all he did and what he went through to get it done, even during the height of covid when the whole world was basically shut down. The man obviously knows his shit.

    So....getting back to that deep dark place in my mind, I'm glad the charging system had a hiccup. I was smiling that day I was napping in the grass waiting for a trailer. I was happy because I knew I would have had to do that mod after feeling how good the engine is, and again, the decision was made for me. It's almost like all this shit keeps happening for a reason. Mike Norman and Rick Oliver have both told me the mod is worth the effort, if they say so, I believe them. I know that sounds crazy, but to me it isn't. I prefer to call it development. My only misgivings are that I couldn't install it myself.

    The last two pieces needed for the water pump will arrive tomorrow, once it's all there, the boys will put it on the lift and get it all done. Phil is going to do a fantastic job with it and I can't wait to see the paint.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022 at 5:30 PM
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