Ben Shaw from Extreme Creations is a man who sees no task as an obstacle and is responsible for putting the HOON in Honda!
Take it from me when I say “this guy really knows his shit when it comes to building bikes!”. With the help of Ben Shaw (well… he did all the hard stuff, I cleaned and painted a few things and a few other jobs here and there), the Hoonda, a 1998 CBR900RR Fireblade Streetfighter was born.
Lets turn back the clocks a bit though to about Sept 2009. Starting life as pretty boring Blade, this particular bikes was my second 900RR after owning the now Bladerod CBR featured on the cover of Two Wheels (thanks JB!) back in 2005. I purchased it after some haggling from a local dealer and began making small changes to it as a fully faired street bike and rode it for about 3 years happily due to the fact I’m such a huge 900RR (particularly 98-99 model) nerd. I tossed the standard front wheel in favour of a 17-inch CBR1100XX rim and fitted a matching 3-spoke rear from a VTR1000, added some S3 Performance wave rotors, braided lines, K&N filter, a chain and sprocket upgrade and a left over Akrapovic system with a Chinese Danmoto GP muffler. Other than that it was pretty standard, but great fun to ride.
In 2012 though I had the hair brained idea to turn it into a streetfighter and proceeded to tear off the front fairings. I only wanted to make it a basic fighter and along with an Acerbis MX headlight, some fat bars and a few wiring mods it was still pretty much the same bike. Yet for some unforeseeable reason it ran like a total bag of crap and with a Sydney dyno shop giving it a few tweaks, it just seemed to run like garbage and had a shocking and almost unridable flat spot. I was a little lost for options and turned to Ben for some advice. At the time I had been sitting (not literally) on a set of very sexy Keihin FCR39 carbies I’d bought for future use and I’d picked up a complete front end minus rim from a 2008 GSXR1000. We had a few ideas bouncing backwards and forwards, but the main motivation behind the build was as a tribute to a friend of mine who was the owner/Editor of a French magazine called Street Monsters was unfortunately killed in a freak track accident. His name was Antoine or Artkore as his friends and fans knew him. A super talented designer, hard worker and above all, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. This drove the project a step forward and from there on it wasn’t just going to be just another CBR fighter. I was adamant that I didn’t want a single sided swingarm as that’d been done time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but I was happier with Ben’s suggestion of the Aprilia RSV arm. They’re a sexy unit and having seen ones on the very neat CBRs built by a bloke called Cabbie in the UK, I was keen to do the same. Being that we now had a Suzuki front end and an Aprilia rear end, Ben suggested something not Italian or Japanese for the tail. Sourced from an eBay retailer in Greece I found a race style KTM RC8 rear. It wasn’t the best of quality, but ben just looked at it and said “it’s nothing a bit of glassing won’t fix”.
At this point we’d stripped the bike mostly bare, but it was rolling and we were able to dummy a few things up. With me holding things in place Ben knocked up an awesome new aluminium rear subframe and we had a rough idea of what it might look like. It was around this time though that the dummy up process saw Ben start waving turbos and superchargers around the bike making suggestions of how much cooler it’d be. I didn’t need to be convinced and since I had a Garrett T28 from a Nissan Silvia sitting on a shelf at home it seemed like the best option. The addition of the RSV swingarm mean’t that there was a much larger space available underneath for the turbo and that meant there wouldn’t be a big exercise of building a complete turbo manifold and making it all fit up front. It also meant the bike would have a much more subtle front on look. With the turbo mounted using an adjustable TurboSmart wastegate actuator and the FCR39s carbies fitted, Ben went about designing a plenum to get the boost from one place to another. The base plate of the plenum is a one-off CNC design he made, and then using his own two hands he hand rolled to top half using a English wheel, then joined them together with a roughly 1-inch high spacer before welding it all together adding a flange for a TurboSmart blow-off valve. The finished plenum was powdercoated and looks brilliant! Ben also added a VDO oil scavenge pump under the bike to keep the oil flowing through the turbo moving back into the engine. The pump is a serious unit and is the same part used to move gearbox on Porsches.
From here there wasn’t much in the way of major fabrication to be done, so the bike was stripped bare so the frame, subframe swingarm could be sent off for powdercoating. At this time Ben had setup the GSXR1000 front end with the correct shaft in the lower triple clamp and also made one of his own billet top triple clamps to suit it, then fitted a Hyperpro dampner. Being that I’ve shot quite a few bikes for magazines in the past myself and cost aside knew that one this that can always make or break a bike is the wheels, I had to go with a set of forged rims. Ben and I sat down and looked at options and agreed that a little bit of bling with work just nicely, so I ordered some Carrozerria V-Track rims in a bright silver finish along with the all new CZ disc rotors to match. These combined with the GSXR radial brakes and a pair of 2CT Pilot Power 3s are a pretty decent upgrade over the old CBR setup. The driveline starts at the front with a Renthal steel sprocket, then travels through a turbo XXX rated chain to a custom in-house Extreme Creations sprocket featuring a neat little Hoonda logo. Ben is a gun with making sprockets and is always getting weird and wonderful requests, all of which he has no problems fulfilling.
With the frame, wheels and suspension sorted I had High Octane ceramic coat the headers and turbo exhaust housing and after I cleaned it from top to bottom Ben painted the engine a nice Ducati grey/silver. As few things thats set it apart though are the Vance and Hines NRC engine covers I luckily scored whilst doing my regular eBay hunt and the custom Hoonda engine cover Ben made for the bike. To give another example of Ben’s can-do approach though, the stator cover whilst fitting up the the engine fine was actually to suit an earlier 893cc engine, so the 919cc stator didn’t fit. Ben simply sat down, looked at what he had to work with and designed a neat little CNC machined stator adaptor to make it all work. It’s all the little things like this that people tend to not realise about building bikes and Ben doesn’t do things by halves, even if it’s the most insignificant unseen part, he still makes it a work of art and able to perform its duty reliably for as long as the bike should exist.
Part 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcXm0Lrgd88
The fuel system on the bike was a tricky one, but Ben being Ben knew what needed to be done and we quickly ordered a few parts to get it happening. Since the fuel supply would need to be much greater than a traditional gravity system, especially when the boost is raised and a number of FCR experts had stated that when running a pressurised fuel system you can’t run more than 3psi, a serious setup was needed. Starting at the tank and a special tanks (pun intended) goes to Dangerous Dave for giving us a stuffed F4i tank, Ben cut the base out of both tanks and fitted the 900RR one with a fuel injection pump base. Quickly whilst on the subject of the tank though, Ben also custom CNC machined a recess in the tank so the 5000 series Acewell dash could be flush mounted into it. He’s a very clever guy! Anyway, with the tank sorted, an R1 fuel pump was fitted and circulates fuel via an Aeromotive low pressure regulator mounted just inside the frame. A neat little gauge shows that the pressure is always correct and with quick release fittings and a check valve to stop the system from flooding the carbies, it works brilliantly. Then to work with the fuel system, the factory ignition CDI and coils were turfed in favour of a DYNA 2000 system. The main advantages of this apart from “more hardware candy” were the obvious gruntier spark, but also that the DYNA allows for different curves and ignition timing retard under boost. The system takes into account how much boost it’s making and retards the timing to suit. Best of all, when cold the bike starts first crank, it’s very happy with what has been done!
The final part of the bike was getting into colour. Unfortunately the RC8 replica tail needed a lot of work as the eBay seller I purchased it off wasn’t what you’d call a perfectionist, but never the less, some repairs, filler and a lot of sanding and it came up ok. We’d discussed options for the paint and were originally going for a matte blue similar to one used on a Lamborghini, but silver seems to be the clincher as it was a nice contrast between the engine, frame and wheels. Since Ben has his own paint booth it was all done in house. The numberplate holder is a custom piece Ben and I put together starting with some sail boat mast extrusion and then just plates to mate it to the tail and number plate. On it we fitted LED strip lights and for the indicators we used the same but orange strips on the tail and headlight. They’re very bright and easy to see, but also nice and subtle.
All in all the bike has come up very nicely and I’m proud to own it, I’ve had to gloss over a few things here and there as I’d hate to take up all the page space with text and not pictures, but if you head to the HoonTV YouTube channel you can see some of the build-up videos of the bike there. So what’s next? Well I’m hoping to get it to the dyno very soon to up the boost and fit bigger jets so the mixture is correct, but I guess if anything I’m pretty keen just to put some miles on it. It’s a ton of fun to ride and surprisingly even with the low seating position and firm padding it’s quite comfortable. So anyway, a massive thanks to Ben for his work on the bike and I hope you enjoyed what is a more unconventional style of magazine feature. Ride safe!
Bike: 1998 Honda CBR900RR
Engine: Honda 919cc fitted with Vance and Hines engine covers by NRC and an Extreme Creations custom billet Hoonda engine cover
Boost provided by: T28 turbo off an S14 Nissan Silvia
Carbies: Keihin FCR 39mm flat slide carbs fed boost via an Extreme Creations billet and hand fabricated plenum and turbo plumbing
Ignition: Dynatek DYNA2000 ignition system with boost retard
Turbo Hardware: Turbosmart gate actuator and BOV
Foot controls: DBR billet race rearsets
Front end: 2008 GSXR 1000 front forks and brakes with and an Extreme Creations billet top triple clamp with Big Mamma bars and a Hyperpro steering dampner
Rear end: Aprilia RSV swingarm and late model custom fitted Yamaha R1 rear shock
Wheels: Carrozzeria V-Track forged lightweight wheels with larger diameter CZ works disk rotors on the front
Tank: Extreme Creations modified for the Acewell 5000 series dash unit and underneath to accommodate a Yamaha R1 fuel pump which feeds the carbs via an Aeromotive low pressure regulator
Bodywork: Replica of a KTM RC8 tail unit and fits of a custom rear subframe, mask style headlight by Showyo Moto
Estimated power: Who knows, roughly guestimated, it should make anywhere from about 160-200rwhp which is pretty good since this bike originally made 127rwhp with minor tuning work.