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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
On average, what is the total cost to covert a street RC into a designated track bike?
 

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It depends which clubs and tracks you use. Look into that, and your question will be answered thru what's required to pass bike inspection.
I went to Thunderhill with PTT, stayed in C group. I didn't spend any money at all on the bike, just met track safety requirements.
However, you need new or next to new tires.
 

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+1 on jondog
My RC is pretty much track only at this point. Picked her up in like 05' and have just collected alot of bits through the years. Overall just safety stuff is all you NEED. Most people of course are never happy with just that(me included obviously). Tires and safety gear, do you have any track experience? If no I would say do track days for a bit. One thing is the RC isn't really a very competitive platform anymore. Incredibly capable but modern bikes are just so far beyond. Us here on the forum tend to have a thing for the "old Pigs", but they are outdated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response. I sadly don't have many options for tracks around me which I've discovered after posting my OP. I'm sure the track scene is pretty addicting as the RC was made for it. Although I'm looking at a 15 yr old motorcycle, it seems the 51 is still a pretty competitive bike and still able to offer a solid platform for a new racer.

One thing of course leads to another I'm sure... New and improved brakes, new suspension, new fairings, new rubber, new lighter wheels, finding anything and everything to drop weight... I can see how thousands of dollars could easily find it's way to the 'paying off the bills' pile.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nope. No track time here. My first bike was an 03 SV100S that I bought in 2006 and sold in 2009 due to moving to England for some time. Haven't been on a bike since. I know I'll be just fine on the RC if I take it slow getting back into the groove.

I'm a little bummed that the RC isn't competitive anymore. I mean, it makes sense... It's an old bike and I4's have taken over for a reason. But still, that immediate power of a V-twin I thought was enough to at least keep it in the crowd and made you feel like you could hold your own.

In any case, I've been absolutely in love with the RC51 and I'm happy for what it is. I'm fully aware that it's heavy and a little lacking in HP but if I wanted something cutting edge and new, I'd of gone with a new bike. I intend to enjoy this bike for many years to come.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I would love a lighter and faster bike. I have a 2017 fz10 as a daily rider, and man oh man what an R1 must feel like on the track....BUT, the RC is perfect for me, holds that mystique of the RC line, and is meant for the track. I have a ton of spares too. It's enough for me for sure. Honestly your money best spent immediately aside from the maintenance items is suspension! Good front pads too. They are about as fast a modern 600's honestly just heavy, so they take some work to throw around. But it's an RC!!!! Mine has been pretty bullet proof so far knock on wood.
Oh, and do some track days asap! Get a taste first, but you'll be addictive. Most track organizations have race license schools attached to them so check that out too. Good luck brother, have fun!
 

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I got mine down to 9 seconds off the lap record in moderate trackday traffic during a testing day and I am a fat bastard. The RC is never going to be competitive with current machinery, but if set up properly and that means spending more money than most want to throw at a 15 year old bike then even though it may not be on the razors edge, it ain't dull either!

You just have to realize what you are riding and that it is not only dated technology, but it was never that good to begin with. A little honesty goes a long way towards deciding if the RC51 is really a good fit for your needs or if you'll be wanting something else shortly down the road.
 

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I got mine down to 9 seconds off the lap record in moderate trackday traffic during a testing day and I am a fat bastard. The RC is never going to be competitive with current machinery, but if set up properly and that means spending more money than most want to throw at a 15 year old bike then even though it may not be on the razors edge, it ain't dull either!

You just have to realize what you are riding and that it is not only dated technology, but it was never that good to begin with. A little honesty goes a long way towards deciding if the RC51 is really a good fit for your needs or if you'll be wanting something else shortly down the road.
Well said.

I've heard these same sentiments repeated over and over by legit track guys who know what they're talking about.
After one day on the track with my RC51, I decided it was to costly for repairs to keep her looking purdy for the street and mountain roads. Some fairing panels are not available from Honda anymore, that just leaves used OEM's or aftermarket crap.
I want to do (casual) track days some more, but decided to wait till I can buy a more modern 600, dedicated for track. But that's just me. I'm old, and decided to keep the RC51 in as pristine shape as possible.
 

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Depends what you're after. Dedicated trackday bike to have fun, sound sweet, and not blend in (at a medium pace): fresh suspension, tires, and brakes. Race bike: same + everything else. If you are racing, your money is better spent buying an already setup GSXR/Ninja/CBR which are cheap and so are spares. Best of both worlds: find an RC already setup, add gas, + trackday money (my route) :)
 

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Suspension and light rims will make a world of difference...I was amazed after installing the BST CF rims...bike can go left right left quickly now....You'll be amazed at the difference just backing the thing out of the garage or parking space and turning in a parking lot...feels like the front of my old CBR 1000...
 

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@budoka has recently done a bunch of trackdays, maybe he can chime in with his input.
Hey, sorry to be a tad tardy getting in on this, but I just got out of the hospital a week ago thanks to a brain fart on my local track. Suffice to say it was my own doing (spiked the front brake when another rider corner bombed me and I got a bit em, nervous and lost the front wheel because of it and went down in a pretty violent slam down low side). Nothing really wrong with my bike in the aftermath: some scrapes on the fairing and a ding in the left pipe, minor bend in the shifter, and a broken clutch reservoir cover. Bike actually ended up on top of me LOL. Me, not so good: 7 broken ribs, collar bone, left shoulder blade and one doozy of a bruise all down me left side and hip/thigh. Nothing daily doses of dilaudid doesn't cover up. Of course, they had to cut my leathers off in the ER and my RPHA10 lid is done from the impact. On the plus side, zero road rash and if it hadn't been for necessity removal, the suit was still just fine thanks very much.
Now, do NOT let my stupidity take away from what had been a banner season on the track for me and our regular group, s**t does happen and it's part of the game. Most offs are more cosmetic on the bike than on the rider during recreational track days even in the intermediate and expert classes (I'm intermediate), I was just one of the "lucky" ones to bear the brunt on myself. If you want to ride any sport bike at all the way it was designed to be ridden, then go to the track by all means. You don't have to drop allot of coin to have a pile of fun out there and still be safe and compliant.
Although my SP2 became a dedicated track bike, I stopped short of the race spec, safety wires and skid protectors most race clubs require, although I did get into using tire warmers and was planning more "race spec" changes to the bike for next year. That may or may not come to pass depending on a certain spouse's input :serious:. So far she's been pretty understanding and supportive of her gimpy old man but time will tell.
Thus far (not including daily track costs and training schools) I dropped about $3300 Cnd (+/- $2500 USD) into bike, riding gear and pit equipment over 3 seasons so really a lot less than some other "hobbies" I've jumped into as somewhat of a greenhorn. While not competitive with the modern liter bike class (or even lots of the 600s really) the SP's are still no dog out there. The new bikes pretty much eat "us" on the acceleration lanes and the starting grids are well, painfully lacking under race or 'mock race' scenarios at least for me anyway. My bike is still pretty much stock except for the bodywork and the cans and my (reverse pattern) GP shift link. I'm not even using a PC, just the 15/41 gearing combo. Didn't get into suspension either, just had some help from Neil (local tire and suspension guru) on the set-up of the stock rear and forks for my 220# mass. Bike felt really good under all I could throw at it and tire wear confirmed suitability. Not that many riders in our (my?) outings were any faster in the tight corners and esses but I would lose out badly to the faster more modern bikes (esp R1's, S1000's etc) on the exits and down the straights. What is fun about the RC51 is there is never a day or a weekend that someone didn't come by my pit to check out the bike and talk; they do have that attraction to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow! Glad to see you're on the path of healing up. Sounds like one hell of a fall!

Thank you to everyone who's pitched in and gave advise. I'd love the opportunity to really open this bike up as it was intended but it seems the only tracks near me are plain Jane oval tracks. So until I move away from this miserable town, this bike will just have to turn heads on the street.

I absolutely love the fact that I have an RC now and will have a blast fixing it up and riding it for years but I'm pretty competitive so if this bike isn't shining on the track as it once did, I'm sure I'll invest in another bike if my future surround area even offers a track. I can't believe the money that goes into making this thing a track bike! I know I wouldn't be happy with running it stock on the track. I'd get the itch and the CC bills would start pouring in and met by a very pissed off wife. Lol...
 

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Ok well yea you are definitely in some sort of motorcycle track purgatory, but there are options in Texas not the least of which is COTA in Austin less than 500 miles away, Eagles Canyon 377 Miles, Texas World Speedway 549 miles & Cresson 400 miles etc...

Personally I would move if there wasn't a racetrack within a couple hundred miles of my home then again I make my living out of riding and working on motorcycles so that only makes sense. Ironically I pass by Laguna Seca Raceway which is 5 minutes from my house twice a day and hardly ever actually ride there :)
 

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Holy cow. Thanks for the info. As typically seen about my town, you need to DRIVE to really get to anything exciting. 500 miles is a bit much. Now Eagles Canyon I may look into. I checked out a few videos of it and it looks like it'd be a lot of fun. Hell, there were even RC vids on the track. Thanks again for the track info.
 

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Other options Pikes Peak Intl in Colorado is 365 miles, High Plains is probably 100 miles further and there is Hallet in Oklahoma.

When I lived in Memphis and worked as the Lead Instructor for STT the closest track was about a 4 hour drive and the furthest I would normally travel was about 11 hours. I was on the road almost every other weekend. I remember one month September of 2007 that had 5 weekends in it and I was at some track somewhere every single weekend that month and I think we had one event during the week that month too at Barber Motorsports for Buell Motorcycles too. That was some crazy shit and long hours of driving back then just to get my fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll need to see if I can branch out and meet some fellow RC riders in the area. Meeting someone like you who is dedicated and very experienced with the RC would be pretty amazing and seeing the bike on a track first hand would be really something.
 

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Hello new guy here but lots of track time on my 06.

As much as everyone says the 51 is not competitive with a new 1000 I don't agree.. hang on..

I also have a 08 GSXR600 with a ton of work done to it and really light weight, 111hp at the back wheel and 350-60 wet. It's a friggen rocket if you keep it on the pipe 8,000 + and on the throttle stop. It easily competes with 1000's except on top speed, acceleration they get me but not that bad. Where I keep up or catch up is under braking and harder acceleration out of the corners.

What does it have to do with the 51?
Same lap times..
The torque of the 51 if you get in a corner a gear up and roll on smooth yet hard will have you smoking the 1000's until they get into the power band then they may fly by you but generally no. They get up to speed once on the pipe so fast that they have to get on the brakes sooner and kills lap times.
If you look at club races and the open or Superbike class you will find more 600's in the top 10 on some tracks. Pro classes all of this is out as the pro can use every horse they can get.

My 51 is a bit better than most as it's only been a Canadian Superbike and never a street bike. I truly don't know what is in the engine but was dynoed at 137 by the previous owner though no paperwork to back it up. It does pull REALLY hard, at full throttle I can't shift fast enough with the QS.

As for getting into racing it's really cheaper to buy a built well sorted bike but I know you want to use yours.
Rules are number one, find out what you have to do so you don't waste your drive getting there, all clubs are also different even at the same track.
Suspension is more important than power, spend your money here with rebuilt and re valved stock or aftermarket. Also set up spring rate and sag.
Steering damper, no ands ifs or butts! It's saved me so many times especially when full throttle cresting a hill on one wheel, it's one hell of a shake coming down!
Tires, all the good ones are good. Go to a race and buy scrubs of the same size and type, don't change brand or type and keep your pressure the exact same. I buy used slick for $100-150 a set with 20 laps on them then use them for 5 track days between my two bikes.

Don't forget ear plugs, get lots of them.
Not to protect you from your bike but to stop you from freaking out when another bike comes out of no where..it's amazing how loud a full throttle bike is beside you.

One last tip.. you don't need redline or max rpm, shift yes but don't stay at 9-10,000 rpm unless accelerating hard. Also use the torque, get down to 3-4K and pin it once straight, smile will be locked in all day!
 
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