Thanks to unpredictable weather and the logistics of arranging track time, we’ve been on hiatus with our
XR1200 project for a bit; since last November’s issue, to be precise. But as promised, we’re back to wrap up the paint and finishing details of the build here, then we’ll prove the project’s worth on the asphalt at New Hampshire International Speedway. To recap, here’s a brief rundown of the changes we’ve made so far.
In the engine department, from Zipper’s Performance we’ve got a ThunderMax ECM, Redshift cams, adjustable pushrods, and pushrod tube kits. We’re breathing through a K&N high flow air filter and stock heads massaged by Buell Bros Racing. D&D provided the outlet with a Bobcat 2:1 exhaust with a custom baffle. Amsoil Synthetics are keeping the engine and trans well lubricated.
In the chassis department we’ve made quite a few improvements as well such as BST carbon fiber wheels from Brock’s Performance rolling on ceramic wheel bearings from World Wide Bearings and wrapped in Avon VP2 Extreme tires. The XR is suspended by Race Tech piggyback shocks in the rear and a Gold Valve emulator and fork spring kit in the front. Braking is courtesy of EBC double H brake pads all around and front floating rotors with a solid disc in the rear. Under foot we have rear sets from Gilles Tooling set up for GP shifting.
Safe to say we’ve taken all the necessary steps to improve the XR’s ability to accelerate, corner and stop. Now it’s time to give it an appearance that matches the sum of its parts.
We’re going for the stripped down road racer look so a fiberglass solo tail section and front fender were ordered from Adrenalin-Moto. As with any part that you’re going to paint, test fitting first is a good idea. The tail section bolts right on and accepts the stock seat. The front fender requires some fitting and drilling to let us get a snug fit on the smaller front wheel. A piece of 3⁄8” hose comes in handy for getting the fender in the right spot while leaving enough room for the tire to grow at high speed.
After the parts were removed, we headed over to H&H Graphix and paid a visit to painter Mark Heger. I explained to Mark that we wanted a unique look that wouldn’t divulge too far from the traditional XR appearance while still lending credit to all who participated in the project. We opted for a color scheme of black with white and blue graphics and a checker patterned racing stripe in its center, an IronWorks logo on the sides of the tank and the FTF winged logo on top. Mark went to work laying down the base coat, graphics and clear coat. After wet sanding and buffing, Mark brought the parts by the shop. He surprised us by using a pearl for the white and blue, giving the paint a great but subtle custom look.
We swapped out the original parts for the new pieces and tagged the bike up with racing stickers from all of the sponsors that have helped our XR project shine. Now that we’re looking good and standing tall, it’s time to take our XR to the proving grounds to see how our bike handles life at the track. In our next segment, we’ll race prep the bike and the rider and head to the historic New Hampshire International Speedway, current home of the oldest motorcycle race in North America, the 1.6 mile road course of the Loudon Classic. Stay tuned.
Story by Dan Pike, FTF Cycles
Photos by Bruce Wahl Photograhpy