Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:46 pm
 Subject: Race pictures

Our track photographer has his pictures up from this weekend, and I thought some of you would be interested to see yours truly dorking around the track on my 2005 Ninja 250 Cheapskate Cup bike. I placed last out of 5. Wink


Look for bike #823 in the rest of the pics if you want to see me bobbling around the track, or look for 220, 217, 87 (and others I can't remember) to see other 250s. Note that 220 is a stinkin' cheetah, and has a 2009 that he bought for $1k from a salvage auction. (And he couldn't catch up to me in the straight.) You can also find pictures of me on my little CL175, for a truly ridiculous "gorilla onna bicycle" picture.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:50 pm
 Subject: Pics of the bike

I've got some pictures of the bike before the race up, for those who want to see what a track-stripped Ninja 250 looks like:


I'll have more information posted on the bike in upcoming weeks. It's been a busy time lately...
Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:48 pm
 Subject: Awesome! Next time, let's see the whole grid!

Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:05 pm
 Subject: Races and makes brownies all at the same time.

I like it. Where in WA was this? Pacific?

Overall I like it, that you can remove the plastic and a few items, add a belly pan and number plates to existing mounting points and go have fun.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:33 pm
 Subject: You don't want the kind of brownies that thing makes

Just sayin'. They'd be all full of grit and oil.

Yeah, that's at Pacific. And definitely the whole point of the Cheapskate Cup is to find the gnarliest bike you can (#220 is on a $1000 2009 he bought from a salvage broker -- thought he was cool until he realized that the old-gen engines are stronger up top; he realized this in the straightaway). Pull the probably-broken plastics, replace the coolant and fit some numbers and a brownie pan; done!

Of course, it'll escalate. I'm already looking for a Muzzy, and will be putting on clipons and better tires (the BT45s were fine, but I can't help thinking that something like an MT75 or Sport Demon is going to be better suited to the task).
Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:45 pm
 Subject: Re: You don't want the kind of brownies that thing makes

if you get them, i'd be really interested in a comparison between the bt45's and the mt75's. I see you've already got one of the essentials for the track... SS front lines. Is Suspension stock and will you be adding fairings?
mike h
Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:36 pm
 Subject: nice pics; I bet that had to be a good, fun experience. thanks for sharing.

Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:08 pm
 Subject: what exactly is the belly pan for? I'm assuming the track mandates it.

Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:41 pm
 Subject: very nice

Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:09 am
 Subject: Do you have a link to the CL175?

I looked through enough galleries and got tired of looking Smile

Or, where is the discussion of it on reaper?
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:51 am
 Subject: Linky for the CL175

The bike itself is roughly described here:


And a picture of me on it is here:

Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:57 am
 Subject: Three essential mods

I have three essential mods before I'll consider a Ninja 250 rideable for me: SS front brake line, proper springs in the suspension, and better tires. This bike came with BT45s, so the tires were covered. I put .95 kg/mm springs in the fork, and an '08 stock shock in back, with the preload cranked to maximum. The SS line is obvious. The '08 shock is ok, but noticeably undersprung compared to the .95s up front. Damping in the back was fine, although I'm still figuring out how to ride the thing on the track, so I won't be able to really judge that until some time next year.

I'm curious to see what Pirelli says to me regarding tires, but I suspect I'll go with one or the other of the Pirelli offerings. Half of Jim Race's reasons for liking the GT501 don't really apply to me, so I'm willing to break with his choice and try my own thing.

The gentleman's agreement "class" I'm running in specifies no fairings, so I'm running with no fairings. I don't really care either way, I just want to get the bike on the track and ride the snot out of it. Doesn't matter too much whether I'm slightly more colorful or not. Wink
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:59 am
 Subject: Yep, rules requirement; don't want to drop anything slippery on the track

It's a big fat no-no to drop anything slick on the track, like oil. Among other things, you can get fellow racers killed. And if they ever catch you running normal anti-freeze -- hoo boy! Anger. That stuff is apparently about as slick as oil, and nearly impossible to clean up. It just slicks up the track where it drops, and time is the only cure, I guess.
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:55 am
 Subject: Re: Race pictures

IanJ wrote:
Note that 220 is a stinkin' cheetah, and has a 2009 that he bought for $1k from a salvage auction. (And he couldn't catch up to me in the straight.)

I can't really get a good pic of #220 on the link you gave, but I'm guessing you're saying that its a new Gen ninja 250?

So, is it better in the corners, but sucks in the straights?
You should hope he doesn't learn about changing the CDI box, otherwise you and everyone else might be in trouble with him adding an extra 2k rpms up high. Especially if he rejets the bike to add more fuel to take advantage of it.

Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:15 am
 Subject: Yep

He bought a new gen. It's not currently better in the corners (he certainly is, but the bike isn't), but that's only because he's still got the stock butter-soft springs in it. I'm the only one who came to the track with anything like race-ready suspension, so everyone else was getting chattering front-ends and horrible brake dive. They were still 10 seconds faster than me, but that's because I'm a horrible pansy.

And yes, once 220 does his research, I'm sure he'll figure out how to swap his CDI box, and he's an old hand at rejetting. One thing the vintage bikes teach you is how to not be afraid of diving in and fixing/improving things. These are basically all vintage 160 racers saying, "wait, there's another 160-like bike out there that's not 35+ years old!" The Ninja is 100 lbs heavier, but it's also 10+ horsepower stronger, with real brakes and reasonable suspension, and in the case of the 08+ bikes, an excellent selection of tires available.

I wrote up the race experience here:

Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:27 am
 Subject: I need to come race with you....

IanJ wrote:
They were still 10 seconds faster than me, but that's because I'm a horrible pansy.

I was ALWAYS the rolling chicane.... or "turn 13" on my home track outside of DC (there were 12 turns FWIW).
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:38 pm
 Subject: That's a good name...

I should call myself Turn 11. I wonder if I can get a number to reflect that. But yeah, it'd be fun if you wanted to come out and race with me. I might actually stand a chance against you, simply because you outweigh me (I'm the heaviest rider on the grid by 30 lbs).
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:46 pm
 Subject: Was that the end of the race season for the 250 class?

Your write up has sort of a finality in the way it was written.
Sounds like a hoot, though.

Wish we had something like that out here.
Could be major fun on the couple of tracks we have here.

Would have to pack a sandwich on the bike for the front straight at HPR, though. Wink

Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:00 pm
 Subject: Indeed

The great minds that inspired this sudden 250 madness (#220 Tim O'Mahony and #217 Phil Cook) managed to come up with it about three weeks before the last race of the season. Way to go guys. But! In doing so, they also provided a bunch of inspiration to a bunch of people just before the winter bike-prepping season. I have a feeling the grid's going to be a few bikes larger come Spring 2011. There were a lot of "Holy crap, that looks like fun!" and "I want to do that!" comments. The corner captain said she expects to have fewer corner workers next season due to them all jumping on the cheapass racing bandwagon.

I'm kinda glad I was in at the start. Sure, I came in 5th or 6th out of 6, but I also gained 7 seconds on my old (175cc) best time, which was nice. I think I need to follow Brian's lead, and start referring to myself as "Turn 11."
Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:22 pm
 Subject: I definitely don't want a 30 year-old bike :no:

I was looking at your maintenance log for the '73, and there's just too much work bringing those back to life. But then, you're a better mechanic than I am.

Most of the racers here go through the same thing. The only time the local manufacturers made good bikes was when they were making bikes for Honda & Yamaha under contract in the 80s-90s. So, it's either spend USD 10,000+ for a new 600/1000 or mod the hell out of an NSR150 (2-stroke) or FZ150 (with a 240 kit) from before 1995. The NSRs are actually some of the fastest bikes at the track, because of the tight nature of it.

I can see the appeal of the cheapskate class to those of you who have had to build a beater from the ground up. All you had to do was take stuff off and mod the suspension and maybe exhaust/intake. There's not much real mechanical work you need to do. Just being able to hop on and go out there would be a major attraction for me.

I really wish the 250F had been sold here....
Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:47 am
 Subject: Looks very fun!

It's crazy how much smaller the bike looks without the fairings.

You'll have to put a revised number plate on the back with "Turn 11" on it Very Happy
Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:49 pm
 Subject: Agreed

The appeal of having a modern(ish) bike that isn't likely to break down, and (most important for me) fits me better is huge. The Ninja 250 is very much built in the modern style, compared to the CL175 -- you sit down in the bike, not so on top of it. There's a tank there to lay down on. It's designed for hanging off much better than the CL is.

I just updated (ie, created) the service log for the race bike. It's linked off this page:


I've got more pictures to put up, and I may work on some video at some point, but that's been a low priority lately.
Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:06 pm
 Subject: Nice. Other than CCT & suspension, you didn't need to do anything to it.

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