Motorcycle stuff, track days and tools

  • Bikes,  Tools

    Get the Best 415 Chain Tool for your Motorcycle

    I had to do so much research on this topic that I decided it would be a great idea to document my findings. I’ve been relying on my trusted Motion Pro PBR tools for almost a decade now and never thought I’d have to use anything else until I decided to do the 415 chain conversion on my Yamaha R3.   Before I start explaining why the Motion Pro PBR tool wasn’t working, let’s have a quick look at the anatomy of a chain.  No need to memorize all the elements depicted in that picture. The two key measurement units for a chain will be the Pitch and the Width. The Pitch is the distance between the center points of two pins in a link. The Width is the distance between two parallel inner plates.   My…

  • Bikes

    415 Chain Conversion for the R3

    In my opinion, this is a fascinating topic! A reduction in unsprung weight and rotational mass will make a big difference on your bike by making it more nimble and giving a small bump in horsepower! In these two videos, I am documenting the process of replacing a 520 chain and sprockets with a lighter 415 size. I am also replacing the mounting studs for the rear sprocket with 8mm shorter Titanium studs. This will simplify the process of swapping wheels at the racetrack since the studs won’t be protruding as much and, therefore, less likely to get caught in the chain. While doing this work, I’ll also replaced the rear disc rotor with a Galfer Wave.  In the 2nd video, I had to deal with some challenges when shortening the 415 chain. I will publish another episode in the next few weeks talking about a new chain tool specifically for this chain size.   The total weight savings are considerable.  Here is the full list:  Item  OEM Weight  New component  Weight Reduction   520 chain vs. 415  1633g  971g  662g  Front Sprocket  184g  139g …

  • Marco holding wires from harness

    HOW-TO: Tidy up the Wiring Harness on your R3

    If you are like me and spend lots of time at the race track, you’ll understand how much easier it is to service your bike when you don’t have a bunch of extra connectors and wires that continuously get in the way when you mount your bodywork.   While researching this topic, I was surprised to see that some racing organizations won’t let the riders modify the OEM harness. I was also surprised to see how many people are reluctant to alter the wiring harness on their bikes – This fear is quite often related to a lack of understanding and knowledge. An additional interesting discovery was that most of the info I found was on websites or YouTube channels that were focusing on building custom bobbers, choppers, and café racers. If track day enthusiasts modify their harnesses, they certainly don’t advertise. All of these revelations were enough for me to start documenting the process of modifying the wiring harness on my Yamaha 2018 YZF-R3.  I definitely had to follow the 80/20 rule for this project. I spent 80% of my time researching, learning, and testing. Doing the actual hands-on work was the easy part.   I first started the project by purchasing a digital version…

  • Bikes

    HOW-TO: Install a Driven Racing Fuel Cap on your R3

    In this video, I document the process of installing a Driven Racing HALO fuel cap (and base).    If you plan on converting your R3 into a track bike, you need to do this modification! Having a keyless gas cap looks really good, but the main advantage is that you no longer need to have a key to open the gas tank.  You will also reduce the bike’s overall weight since the HALO cap is approximately 25% lighter.   Replacing the OEM gas cap with an aftermarket keyless unit is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward modification for your bike. The full process of removing the old OEM cap and replacing it with a new…

  • Bikes

    HOW-TO: Install SharkSkinz Race Bodywork on your R3

    Are you ready to go to the track with your R3? If you are serious about getting into this sport, one of the essential investments required will be to replace your OEM plastic with race bodywork. It will simplify and speed up the maintenance process when you are trackside by reducing the number of parts requiring assembly/disassembly. Installing race fairings means that you will, at a minimum, remove your mirrors, lights, blinkers, and a few unnecessary plastic trims.  The other advantage of using race bodywork is if (or when) you have an incident with your bike, a quality body kit will be much easier to repair than the manufacturer’s plastics.  In my last encounter with a wall of tires at my local track, my bike suffered severe road rash…

  • Bikes

    R3 Weight Reduction – Install a Lithium Battery

    Are you trying to reduce the weight of your bike? Replacing the heavy OEM battery with an Antigravity 4 cell lithium battery will allow you to save approximately 5 pounds with minimal effort. The OEM battery weighs 6 pounds, and the 4-cell battery from Antigravity is about 15 ounces. It’s hard to imagine that this small form factor battery has enough cranking power to start the bike! The other advantage of these batteries is their low self-discharge rate of 1-2% per month. Replacing the OEM battery with the Antigravity battery is a true plug-and-play setup. The battery doesn’t require to be charged when you get it. The biggest challenge for…

  • Bikes

    PRO TIPS – Change the Oil on your R3 (or MT-03)

    Changing the oil on a regular basis is a guaranteed way to extend the life of your bike. Doing this yourself is very rewarding and will allow you not only to save some money but give you some extra knowledge about the inter-workings of your bike.   Tools and material needed  Tools/Equipment needed:   12mm wrench to remove the oil drain plug.   Oil filter wrench (if you have your OEM filter).   17mm wrench if you have an aftermarket filter with a nut welded on top.    Oil pan or container to catch the oil.  Optional: Funnel   Optional: Measuring cup   Optional: Rear and front stands (it’s easier when the bike is straight up and leveled)   Material needed:   Shop…

  • Bikes

    Installing a LighTech Lever Guard

    I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about installing a lever guard! However, since I had a few speed bumps during my journey, I figured I’d document the process, and hopefully, it will be useful to a few fellow riders. Why do we need lever guards? A lever guard is a critical safety item on your motorcycle. It can prevent a fatal crash by reducing the risks of someone (or something) accidentally pushing your lever. Most amateur track riders and pro racers will only care about protecting the brake lever side, but you can also install a lever guard on the clutch side. Selecting a lever guard Now that…