The Build

This was the first road bike I personally transformed to race spec by myself in a single hit - my S1000rr evolved over years - so I thought it worth documenting what was involved. As this is a standard twin, the changes that can be made are quite restricted - but that makes it a great first build. I started with a repossessed 2014 SV650. It was first registered in 2016 and did a grand total of 1600 miles before being taken off the road. In that brief lifetime, it was dropped once (slowly) and road grime had made a mess of everything below the radiator. These bikes are made on the cheap so every standard connector is junk.  

To start, I ripped everything off. Plastics, bars, sidestands, lights, anything that isn't needed. Standard clipons get removed and the controls unplugged and removed, front and rear subframes, standard footpegs and levers, radiator fan, original chain and sprockets and the coolant reservoir and all associated plumbing. The result is a 15% weight saving over standard in the end.  


I wanted clean electrics, so my first job was to source a used loom and strip it back, removing any unwanted clutter. This includes all left hand controls, sidestand wiring, all lights wiring, etc. By using a second loom, I had the safety net of the original still installed on the bike. This meant that as well as knowing I had a working version, I could also leave it in place until the new one was ready in order to help with routing and connector identification. I used a plank with lots of cable ties through it to keep the new loom organised, this was a big help. A Woodcraft ignition removal kit kept things clean and simple up front and loom tape made sure the end result is well protected and neatly tucked away. 

As well as stripping out unwanted wiring, I removed the ignition switch and added a rain light, switched from the left bar, using a relay. The battery was moved to the right hand side of the front cylinder to keep things neat and the standard battery was replaced with a feather-light Lithium version. This involved a bit of hacking of the loom to extend the cable to the main fuse and to allow the main earth lead to reach, but nothing too complicated and I reckon it is worth the effort to tuck the battery away in what is otherwise wasted space. 

With the battery out of the way, the rest of the electrical components that typically live sprawled across the standard subframe could be housed in the small race subframe, more of which later. 

To replace the standard scaffolding, I picked up front and rear subframes from BB Plastics. Be warned - these take weeks (5/6) to come and the guy that makes them is all but impossible to get hold of.  He seems to be permanently overloaded. The same applied to buying the battery box from there - I chased after more than 5 weeks, as soon as I did it turned up within days. This is a lump of crude glass fibre so it's hard to understand the lead times. The front subframe is tidy and well made, rear is a bit cruder but does the job. It is quite a high seat unit and is very short - but that seems to be the style on these twins. I cut an ally plate for the rear subframe (it comes as literally a frame) and used that to mount the ECU inside and to protect the various electrical components that ended up stuffed inside the seat unit. 

Also from BB Plastics were fairing stays, these are pretty nasty as they require drilling and tapping into an engine mounting bolt to secure them. I have a feeling they won't do well in a crash but at least they will secure the fairing nicely and save me making something even worse. 

At the front end, standard brake hoses were replaced by HEL braided lines (later replaced) and brake discs were replaced by Brembo as well as new Brembo pads. Master cylinder must remain standard so the slave reservoir was relocated to a bracket on the new Woodcraft clip-ons. Front forks were upgraded with K-Tech internals - note that most series do not allow this modification. 

Also on the bars, the right hand switchgear was replaced by a single unit with an ignition on/off and a starter button. On the left bar, an on/off switch for the rain light. Renthal grips were added to the clip-ons and lockwire used to secure them. An overflow bottle was mounted in the front subframe, this accepts any overflow from the radiator. The radiator has the fan removed and the fluid reservoir and associated hoses removed from the back left of the frame, making a lot more room round the cylinders. Race bikes don't need to hold additional cooling fluid, so the simple overflow bottle works to keep everything compact and let the rider see if the bike is overheating. Coolant was replaced by deionised water. 

Oil cooler hoses were replaced with quality braided items, these required a bit of chopping of the oil cooler but are a huge improvement over the standard items which were rotten after only 1600 road miles. 

Woodcraft (US only now) supplied the clip-ons, a set of rearsets, the ignition bypass kit and crash bungs. To my mind, they make the best racing gear on the market and are worth the high price of importing from US - the crash bung design is so much better than anything available in the UK.  But most will opt for cheaper and more readily available kit - my vanity is costing me money at this point. 

Engine casings had GBRacing engine covers added, additional covers are a requirement for racing to protect against oil spills. Sump plug was replaced with a drilled item for lockwiring, the new oil filter was secured with a jubilee clip around the outside and lockwire. Oil filler cap was replaced by a drilled item and lockwired.  

Rather than use the rather exquisite rearsets from WoodCraft right now, I am using a set of cheapo rearsets from eBay. They seem to be pretty much standard for the twins series and whilst simple, they look well made and robust. They are non-adjustable and the position is very far back, so we will see how they work out.  

At the back end, a shark fin was fitted by drilling and tapping the swingarm and Renthal front and rear sprockets were married to a 520 chain. A K-tech rear shock replaces the standard item. 

Air filter has been replaced with a K&N version, the PAIR valve is still in place but blanked off. A full exhaust system by M4, supplied by JHS, was added and I made up a temporary exhaust hanger out of aluminium. 

Fairings have been supplied by - actually I can't remember - but they were on a 5 week lead time which meant asking Illusion Race Paint for a last minute paint job. They were fairly decent fairings, not to the standard of CRC that I use on my other bike but for the money I was happy. 

So now that everything is almost complete, the bike went off to Dynotech for the addition of a Power Commander and some dyno time, they also made me up custom front ands rear brake hose as the standard versions are junk and standard replacements are too long for the front and too short for the back! 

Throughout the build I have tried to think about how neat I can keep things. I know from experience that trying to piece together a bent bike when it wasn't neat in the first place is a royal pain in the backside. So by keeping everything simple and by ensuring the right fasteners are used, also by considering the location of everything from a maintenance and robustness perspective, I am hoping this will be an easy bike to maintain. 


Cadwell Park in two weeks is the bike's first outing, a full test day then straight in to the race on Saturday. Fingers crossed it all holds together! 

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