The racing season on my CBX 550 has just finished for this year. I though I would share this with the group.
Here are several pictures of me in action.
Racing a CBX is not something most people would recommend. There is no experience to draw from to help prepare the bike for competition, no after market go-fast goodies. The only thing that help me decide to use the CBX was that I paid $500 CAD and I had a spare bike.
I have had race experience 5 years prior on a NT650 but a nasty crash and the fact that there was no local track put my racing on hold. The local club has since been resurrected last year so I had to get back into it. Hence the CBX.
In the beginning of the season I was grouped with the Novices. I though this shouldn't be bad. However, after a few practice sessions out and the first race, I feared for my life. The red flag was always out! I was the only old bike on the novice field. I would pass groups in the corners only to have to pass them again on the next corner. R1's and RC51 just blow by me on the straights.
I talked to the officials and got grouped with the F3 class. Now I was racing. I compete against RZ400, FZ400, CR500, RS 250, and such and usually place in the middle of the pack if I do not crash out. (I crashed 3 times this year)
The bike is basically stock:
What impresses me most is how well it handles. I am faster on the CBX than on the NT650 that was race prepped. It is very a competitive machine in the F3 class and with a fresh motor I should have some 1st place finishes next year.
The brakes are excellent now with the minor mods to improve cooling. Stock pads and set up is prone to overheating and would fade so bad that there was nothing left mid way though a race. Using the Ferodo pads and removing the debris screens made all the difference. Now the only problem is that the Ferodos do not bite until they are hot. I have to keep this in mind coming into turn #1 on the first lap.
I have also disabled the antidive mechanism. I found that it would upset the bike at the apex of the corner when I released the brakes leaned over to the pegs.
Not all has been good. There have been several set backs with the bike. I had blow-up two motors this year. The #3 con-rod big end self-destructs. This winter I will be rebuilding the motor and paying very close attention to the crank and rods. A crank shaft grinding and lightening is on order.
One of my crashes was because of the foot peg dragging and jacking the tire off the track. I also drag the pipes on the right side. This winter will see me modifying to get more cornering clearance.
Almost every time after a session, I have spectators and fellow competitors comment on how well I have done. The local track is very tight where horse power is not that big of an advantage. I have diced with CBR600's and shown them my wheel several times and surprised them.