This project started like everything else I do, an impulsive Ebay bid..
I’d been looking on a few salvage type Ebay pages for the past few days, planning to pick up another GSXR, or if I were lucky enough, a Triumph Daytona. I wanted to pick up a a sports bike for less than £3,000 to convert into a nice track bike..
Hours of scrolling led me to a complete, barely damaged bike.. a 2008 Hyosung GT650R, it had been stolen and recovered, and had been spray painted black, but seemed an easy enough project..
And on went a bid, it was already on about £290 when I entered my bid, with 3 days left I was sure to be out bid, £350 was my maximum, I didn’t even know if it ran..
Nearing the end, I was still the highest bidder, with an hour to go, it was sat at £312, before I knew it, I was arranging for it to be delivered to me- What had I done?
A few days later, the bike in front of me, I realised this was probably a pretty bad decision.
A Korean bike doesn’t exactly sell it’s self, they’re not known for reliability or excellent build quality..
But, I reassured myself, with an MOT and a paint job, I could flog it on Facebook for a grand with ease, there’s always someone out there wanting a cheap sports bike for the occasional spin.
The reliability and build quality wouldn’t be so much of an issue to me, as I’d be using it on track, not every day so would have time to resolve any issued and it would never have to run for long periods.
The bike was in front of me, everything was there with the exception of an ignition- minor inconvenience!
Luckily under the fairing I found the original ignition wires, a little button wired onto those, a flick of the switch, and the bike was alive.
I really couldn’t complain, it started the first press of the button, and had a little over 4,000 miles on the clocks.
After a quick go up and down the street, slamming on the brakes, and accelerating as hard as I could, I knew there would have to be an overhaul on the brakes, they were awful!
The first thing to do was remove the black paint, one of my least favorite jobs.
After hours and hours and hours of rubbing every part of the bike with petrol soaked clothes, the original yellow paint shone through, showing a lovely pearl shine to it too.
The brakes were next.. as I’ve done with every bike I’ve owned, the rubber brake hoses were the first to go, they were covered in black paint specs, they were tatty, and had been on the bike since it was built by the looks of things.
Time to switch, I went for some neon yellow HEL braided lines, these were only around £50 and a very worthwhile upgrade on any bike
Also changed were the brake pads, now replaced with EBC HH sintered pads, around £40 and worth every penny
In addition to this, was an upgraded master cylinder, I went for a Brembo copy as I wanted to keep costs on this one low, an Adelin MC unit set me back by only £25!
Being stolen/recovered, the fuel tank was also jammed open, looking into the cost of the original ones with keys, I decided not to bother and ordered a CNC type replacement, making the bike look sportier and making it easy to refuel when on a track day
The tank had one or two little dents, but it all adds character, and at under £400 wouldn’t matter so much if it decided to hit the deck!
With the bike now pretty much reassembled, it was time to add some finishing touches, it was a little too standard for my liking, who wants to blend in when you can stand out?
For a bargain price of £1.99, I added some Ebay Built stickers, they weren’t just amusing, but they were also accurate!
Next was some Googly Eyes..
Picture the scene, you’re screaming it down the straight at the track, ready to lean into the next bend, you glance to your side as you tip in, and all you see is Googly Eyes heading for the over take
They were too funny not to stick on there!
The yellow headlight tint was just to add to the Banana Bike look I ended up going for..
Still without an ignition, I rewired the button into the original seat lock, meaning it now had what I liked to call “The race button”
It was a 5 minute job, just with some new wire being soldered in and using some silicone to hold it in place on the panel, it looked smooth and streamline but without altering the bike too much to be able to put it all back to standard if I ever wanted to
The final touch was the addition of a Scorpion Exhaust, this would have been the most expensive part of the build, had I paid for it.
Luckily for me, it was given to me by someone who no longer needed it, and although a little tatty, it was simple to fit, right after I cut the massive stock one off… It sounds and looks great, there isn’t a huge range of tasteful after market parts for these bikes, so that really helped its appearance.
The bike now completed and ready to ride, with the total spend amounting to about £400, it wouldn’t matter so much if it hits the deck or turns out to live up to the “Unreliable” reputation of the brand.
Specifications for the standard bike can be found at;
If I am to make any further changed from here, it would likely be the calipers, older Brembo calipers from a Ducati 749 or 996 can be found commonly and cheaply available online, and making a bracket to adapt them to fit would be pretty straight forward.
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment box below..
A great post on the build can also be found below, kindly written by Marc from Biker and Bike.