My First cat

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My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Mon Feb 13 2012, 21:37

First topic message reminder :

Figured i'd throw up a thread for my new baby, so here she is:





Picked her up This time last week for the princely sum of £1500.

40k miles, FSH + Extra servicing and brakes overhaul etc.

First thing i did was to bin the crappy headlight bulb, and (temporarily) chuck in a H4 HID that i had lying around from an old VW Golf. Difference is amazing, i can actually see enough to be able to ride comfortably at night!



On Sunday i went out for a proper ride with one of my usual riding buddies Chris, on his CBR600RR. As we started pushing on i could feel the bike wasnt quite right. she was twitchy at times, yet slow to react at others, and was hard work getting her "right" in the corners. Thinking it was probably just me on a new bike i carried on, until i had a rather brown pants moment involving a hairpin, pushing out wide, and an oncoming 4x4.... affraid

So i made it home, and today me and Chris had a look over the suspension and set up, which was set waaaay too soft for a lump like me! Matey before me was about 5'8" and probably 10stone soaked through, whereas im 6'1" and about 15stone.

We managed to get the Preload and rebound damping set all round, but the front left Compression dampening adjuster is seized solid, so we left that as it was, and the rear shock compression damper is also bust, It just clicks endlessely and makes no odds to the shock at all.

just adjusting the rebound and preload though has made a massive difference. The bike no longer feels nose heavy, and is a lot easier to set up into the corners, so hopefully that will keep me out of trouble until i get chance to replace the rear shock and sort the front left out. Will probably go for a full rebuild and revalve on the fronts, and keep my eyes peeled for a Maxton etc rear.

Quick pic of the 'Cat with the RR, just because i can:



Also today we sorted a few other niggles out, Chain was too tight so that was adjusted, rear brake was semi seized so that was free'd up, lubed and put back together, Brake lever was adjusted as it was too high for my Pasty feet, Throttle free play was adjusted to stop it sticking slightly, and clutch lever was adjusted also.

And whilst we were at it, i pulled the chipped and faded yellow rimtape off ( was a bit garish against the blue for my tastes if im honest), and replaced with some nice reflective blue stuff just to see how it looked. Ill need to redo a couple of bits as its a tad wonky in places, but im chuffed with how it looks so it will be staying. Smile

Yellow can be seen in pics above.

Blue:



And what drivers will see at night when lights on it:



Pretty much all thats happened at the mo, will update this as and when bits get done/Broken/fixed! Laughing
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Re: My First cat

Post  mrfrance on Thu May 17 2012, 18:13

lol you can't win! I would love to put a dual exhaust on the cat but its just not the right time for me, plus I think I would probably pay a pro to build the pipes lol

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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Thu May 17 2012, 20:18

Would be too much hassle tbh, way too much to work out in terms of maintaining even,good gasflow etc.

I've settled on this little beaut....



and for size reference purposes....



Going to have it poking out the fairing below my right peg- ie no link pipe Wink

Anyone thats never heard one of these pipes, google Tyga Maggot R6 for an idea of what it will sound like on the Cat (and mount position)!

Will defo be high gears with no throttle when the Blueys are about! haha
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Fri May 18 2012, 23:42

Tank and cowl are back and looking good ( enough Laughing)

Bike is now fully serviced, back together, and just waiting on delivery of my new exhaust, which im told will be tuesday. Smile

Then i need to get hold of a color tune to richen the mixture up i reckon, that 'zorst and pipercross filter are likely to = LEAN! Be interesting to see how much bottom end loss/top end gain i get with that setup too....

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Re: My First cat

Post  Dai-San on Sat May 19 2012, 09:10

I had an exhaust like that on my Honda SS50 back in the 70s, it was just called a Megaphone then.

Must admit, looking at the video's etc it's not my cup of tea.
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Sat May 19 2012, 09:59

My mum always said i was a noisy boy! Laughing

Better Vid here, albeit on a 400, but that noise!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yimMoUc6cf0
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Wed May 23 2012, 08:23

Ok.... so i may have underestimated quite how loud this thing was going to be..... chucked it on last night after work and well, i defo need earplugs. A fella actually covered his ears when i gave it some past him Laughing





and a lil clip of it just rolling up the hill to my mates house at about 3.5k rpm....



The eagle eyed among you will also notice my seat cowl and tank are the right colour again.... painter actually did a top job this time round and am well happy with it! Smile
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Re: My First cat

Post  Snowcat on Wed May 23 2012, 10:38

Horses for courses but to be honest it's not really for me. Just looks a bit short as if it's waiting for an extra piece but that's just my opinion.
If its what you want then it doesn't matter what I or anyone else says. Cowl etc look really good now though, gotta get my hands on one, it's on the wish list anyway (along with half the M&P catalogue!!)
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Re: My First cat

Post  Seacat on Wed May 23 2012, 12:18

@Dean-J wrote:
We managed to get the Preload and rebound damping set all round, but the front left Compression dampening adjuster is seized solid, so we left that as it was, and the rear shock compression damper is also bust, It just clicks endlessely and makes no odds to the shock at all.

just adjusting the rebound and preload though has made a massive difference. The bike no longer feels nose heavy, and is a lot easier to set up into the corners, so hopefully that will keep me out of trouble until i get chance to replace the rear shock and sort the front left out.

What settings have you used or are they the standard settings as per the Cat handbook?? With weather like we have now i don't want to hang about at the weekend. salute
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Wed May 23 2012, 12:28

im running everything almost fully hard, but then i am 16stone and 6ft tall.
from memory i think im 1 off fully hard on preload and 2/3 off on rebound.
works for me Smile

as for exhaust, its totally marmite i know, but the sound it makes at 12k is just epic!
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Re: My First cat

Post  Seacat on Wed May 23 2012, 12:54

Thanks Dean
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Thu May 24 2012, 22:54

Exhaust is coming off!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did 100mile today and it disoriented me like crazy! im still relatively new to riding, so i like to be able to hear what my engines up to, and with this on i have no bloody clue. Its bloody loud at 4k, and bloody loud at 9k and ridiculously loud at 10k+ ( nice moto GP noise though! ) so i literally have no idea what im doing approaching a corner.

earplugs put me at ease enough that it wasnt an issue, but i actually think i prefer something like i just sold :( GRRRR! Laughing So the TYGA is back on Ebay, and i shall have something new and prob hi level in next few weeks!
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Re: My First cat

Post  HEHORE on Fri May 25 2012, 00:51

Do you want mine ?

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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Fri May 25 2012, 09:24

Would do mate but a) its still a touch loud for what i want next and b) cant mount that along the level of the seat as its oval.

cheers though!

Considering a standard R6 Titanium can to modify slightly....
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Mon May 28 2012, 19:00

Ok so bit of an update....

Tyga can sold, New can bought, and a job lot of stainless link pipes bought, including what looks to be 2 x Thundercat link pipes!
So hoping im right, one link pipe for normal use, then the other 6 im going to have a play with, try and make up a proper high level set up.

Hoping everything gets here by friday as that will be my only day to make something up ahead of a rideout sunday, although that will depend on how well my eye is healing up as i had an operation on it today and certainly couldnt ride at the mo!!
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Tue Jun 05 2012, 22:52

Ok so can was a tad chunkier ( and round, not oval )than i had first thought, so the high level idea has been binned as it wont look right.

Good news is i got 1 actual Tcat link pipe in the box, and 2 others which are almost identical and work just fine, so for now she's looking more normal, thought about stubbying the can, but tbh she sounds so "right" now, that i dont think i actually want to in case i screw the sound up!

Anywho, here she is, waiting for me to be able to see well enough to actually ride her properly!

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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Tue Jun 12 2012, 18:58

New addition to the bike today... Some Rossi style decals with a twist:





Match up nicely with the Slogan on my number plate! Laughing
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Tue Jul 17 2012, 19:21

Ok so those of you that know me know i had been considering gettig rid of the Cat in favour of something a bit more pure sports, alas the insurance companies dont like this idea, and even in Jan when i get my years NCB the prices are going to be ridonkulous!

So i have decided to spend the money i was going to put towards the new bike ( £500-£1000 depending on next month or two's work) on making this one as good as it can be...

Im thinking Hagon progressive springs up front with 10w oil, Hagon shock out back, and new seals bushes bearings etc as necessary. rear caliper may as well get a rebuild too, along with new pads all round, fresh brake fluid etc.

The biggest factor is going to be time, as i dont really want to have the bike off the road longer than absolutely necessary, so im going to have to try and clear a weekend to do it all in one hit!

Also considering a new fairing kit, and having the originals touched up and re lacquered, so as i can keep them Mint for resale.
ASV levers, New Light smoke DB screen, the list goes on!


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Re: My First cat

Post  past-it on Tue Jul 17 2012, 23:34

If you need sharp front brakes fit Carbon Lorraine pads, very very powerful but harsh on disc's. As for the fork upgrade if you're above 15/16 stone in your riding gear 10w oil is a good idea(depending on make) As for progressive springs, they're a good idea on something like a Fazer but I don't like the idea of fitting them in forks with adjustable damping.

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Re: My First cat

Post  SteveCat on Tue Jul 17 2012, 23:52

Possibly horses for courses, I found progressive springs front and rear to have had a huge positive effect. I'm no light weight and found the prog springs with 15w oil to do the job for me. Two up (light weight pillion Very Happy , I value my life Laughing ) and luggage - the bike's perfect. Only pads I'll use are EBC's (apart from OEM) and they're, for me, the dog's danglies.

Problem with mods, when do you stop?! I tend to rather ride the bike than worry about what it looks like, so I'm no expert in mods - nor a clean bike Shocked
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Re: My First cat

Post  Snowcat on Wed Jul 18 2012, 08:29

And I think you can go overkill with mods as well, I think that unless you're doing a complete rebuild and really going for it with the polished wheels etc, I'd be tempted to look for enhancements rather than out and out mods. Brake lines look good but unless you're really riding and braking hard the fade is neglidgeable and there is little difference made. New chain and sprocket won't hurt, upgrade suspension has its benefits but to be honest apart from the big clonky indicators there's very little wrong with the cat out of the box looks wise.
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Re: My First cat

Post  ScoldedCat on Wed Jul 18 2012, 10:28

You'll be amazed how long those simple "mods" take!
I had the bike off the road for a couple of days as the rear tyre valve failed so ordered new tyres/valves which took a few days to deliver.

I had the front end off the bike, fitted fresh fork oil, an alarm warning light to the dash area, cleaned the air collectors out (full of crud at the bottom), Cleaned and ACF-50'd everything, cleaned the wheels, regreased bearings etc and that took two days alone! I could do it half the time now, but the first time is always a voyage of discovery!

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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Wed Jul 18 2012, 15:16

@past-it wrote: As for progressive springs, I don't like the idea of fitting them in forks with adjustable damping.

Could you explain why? As far as i understand it the difference is in the way the spring contracts, ie softer over low speed bumps then stiffens up when going some - I dont see how the damping will affect this? You still set the bike up to you, just the spring reacts in a different way dependant on how your riding, damper will still do its job just fine?

@SteveCat wrote:Possibly horses for courses, I found progressive springs front and rear to have had a huge positive effect.

It was your posts on them that has got me interested in them Smile

Problem with mods, when do you stop?! I tend to rather ride the bike than worry about what it looks like, so I'm no expert in mods - nor a clean bike Shocked

@Snowcat wrote:And I think you can go overkill with mods as well, I think that unless you're doing a complete rebuild and really going for it with the polished wheels etc, I'd be tempted to look for enhancements rather than out and out mods. Brake lines look good but unless you're really riding and braking hard the fade is neglidgeable and there is little difference made. New chain and sprocket won't hurt, upgrade suspension has its benefits but to be honest apart from the big clonky indicators there's very little wrong with the cat out of the box looks wise.

Couldnt agree more, Im not one for bling for the sake of it, i wouldnt for example fit anodised bar ends/pegs etc.

What i have planned are as you say, enhancements of the bikes features, and stuff to make the bike more suitable for me.
Shorty levers because i only ever use two fingers on brakes+clutch and the standard levers are huge and get in the way of my stupidly large hands.
Screen because the one i painted absorbed a few too many flies before it was properly hardened!
Fairings to save the expensive OE ones - This will be an *almost* factory paint scheme with a few subtle differences.
Brake lines are already braided, and front calipers have been rebuilt, just want new fluid pads etc to make it the best it can be - improves confidence if you can brake harder and later.

Etc etc!

@ScoldedCat wrote:You'll be amazed how long those simple "mods" take!
I had the bike off the road for a couple of days as the rear tyre valve failed so ordered new tyres/valves which took a few days to deliver.

I had the front end off the bike, fitted fresh fork oil, an alarm warning light to the dash area, cleaned the air collectors out (full of crud at the bottom), Cleaned and ACF-50'd everything, cleaned the wheels, regreased bearings etc and that took two days alone! I could do it half the time now, but the first time is always a voyage of discovery!


Know exactly what you mean there fella, but will have everything ready to go before i take a single bolt out, and will be me and my mate doing the work, so wont take us long! We have had this bike apart so many times its 2nd bloody nature now!
Laughing
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Re: My First cat

Post  past-it on Wed Jul 18 2012, 22:18

Linear springs react the same through its length and loading, this allows the damper to control the speed of the spring at a constant rate. A progressive spring by its construction alters its reaction to loads through its length, so if you set the damper to work at the springs stiffer range the damper will over power the spring at its softer range, but if you set the damper the other way around the spring over powers the damper. Either way the end result is bad contact between the tyre and the road. You would be better to order a set of springs with a spring rate to match your weight and riding style.

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Re: My First cat

Post  Snowcat on Thu Jul 19 2012, 08:04

With you on the levers there. I'm on the lookout for some decent stubbies as I struggle with the OEM's due to the size of my hands, forever trapping my fingers on quick gear changes if my hand isn't positioned right.

Trouble is don't like the price of Pazzo's etc and I've previously been directed to the value for money Chinese eBay ones. Trouble is being in the industry I can't bring myself to trust these have the build quality they say they have and they certainly won't be made from the grade of aluminium that's claimed. I've had too much experience of aluminium copy items made in the far east and it's basically std commercial aluminium which, if not heat treated properly is a brittle disaster waiting to happen. Others on here have had no problems with them but unfortunately knowledge is power and I can't bring myself to trust them.

To be all the mods you are proposing seem to make sense and I can't wait to hear about your progress, see pics etc. good luck mate, and I'd you find a reliable outlet for some quality levers please let me know Smile
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Thu Jul 19 2012, 21:50

With you on that fella, i wont buy the cheap ones either, will be ASV's or Pazzo's, Ok so they are £90 each, but id rather spend money on quality than cheap tat that could potentially cause an accident.

Prog springs thing makes sense now, however i did speak to a suspension expert who basically said that whilst that is true, you dont set the damping to either end of the scale, you set it to what feels best to ride taking everything into account, so the effects you mentioned wouldnt be harsh enough on the road to really make any odds at normal speeds. He did however say that if im going to be doing trackdays then linear is the way to go, so thats what i shall be doing.

Smile
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Re: My First cat

Post  Dean-J on Sat Jul 21 2012, 15:14

Have been having a play with the suspension a bit, found that actually the bike wasnt set anywhere near as hard as i thought it was ( the mate helping me decided he knew best....) so i have been having a play.

Rebound now set 2 clicks from fully in
Preload at Max
Forks dropped through 5mm

Bike is now ridiculously planted whereas it felt a bit vague and wallowy before. only problem is it almost feels too planted, its actually substantially harder to change direction than any other bike i have ever ridden. Think im going to play around a bit more tomorrow and see if i can get a nice balance.

On reflection though, i think full replacements all round may be a tad extreme, so have downscaled my plans. Now just going to get a good fully working rear shock, and have my fronts refurbed with heavier oil and revalved to suit my weight, and replace any worn bearings along the way.

Rather spend £200-300 than £500-1000 if i can get away with it, as even if the cat stays another year come january, she isnt my dream bike, so she will get replaced and id rather not throw away silly amounts of money!
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