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Testament to the fact that evolution never stops. I give you, Tim Donnelly's CBR900RRS FireBlade
Tim's CBR900RRS FireBlade (1995)
I bought this bike as a rough looking bargain of £650. The guy selling it was a brickie and someone couldn't pay their bill so gave him the bike instead, listed as having a loud rattle when running, other than that the bloke had no interest in it. The rattle I found out was a loose baffle in the exhaust, cut that out and the bike sounded sweet as a nut, result!! Junked the fairings pretty quickly as this bike had to be able to handle winter and having faired bikes before I know crap just builds up behind them, I fitted gaiters to the forks, cable tied the lights on, painted it satin black and hacked around like that for a good while. Meanwhile my partner unfortunately had to take to a wheelchair and was unable to go pillion anymore, and she made me promise not to take another lass on the back, it must have bothered her so I chopped the rear seat off (all my bikes are now single seat) I bought a cheap 2nd hand headlight mask and rode it like that for a while. Eventually the hacked off seat unit bugged me as it looked rough and thought I could do better, I bought an R6 seat unit, but I only wanted the pillion part, I changed the bars for straight bars and had a bit of luck on ebay when I came across an extended swingarm for £35, the seller had it listed as a standard arm but I could see it was much longer, I mentioned to bloke after I'd bought it and had no idea it was stretched by 9". My joy was short lived when I had to buy a 150 link chain from the States, not cheap but I don't like two split links, the length of that chain if it let go would take my leg off. The shock got upgraded for a Blackbird one also to handle the extra leverage from the swinger. I fitted a belly pan, fibreglassed the seat unit and had a hybrid twin exhaust made by Farrout customs. I fitted spikes and loads of other bits and bobs. To me the bike looked great, didn't corner as well but looked evil, Happy days. After a couple of years and picking up a few trophies, riding it all over the country I kinda got bored with it, so time for a change, by this time the forks were fooked so swapped the front end to an R1 set up which is a great upgrade, especially the blue spot brakes, changed the headlight for a large round light, fitted another fairing, clip ons and painted the bike hearing aid beige, proper marmite colour, it was actually Landrover army paint that you put on with a brush, it was like treacle, bloody tough stuff. The bike was still fast, still ridden through winter and picked up trophies regularly, some folk didn't get it, but I did and that's what counts. After a couple of years (see a pattern forming) I became a bored with the Beigefighter and decided to change it radically, I like twin exhausts, I just think they suit bikes, I also like twin shocks, hmmm twin shocked fireblade, why not. The tail unit was never designed to take the stresses of mounting shocks to it, so it had to be substantially braced, the swinger needed shock mounts and strengthening too. I changed the shape of the tank, made a headlight unit, clock mounts, engine crash cage, moved the pegs up 3" and back 6", made a seat and covered it, made a rack, made reverse levers, running a cable to a remote master cylinder behind the headlight leaving the bars clean, all cables and wires running through the bars. (the remote master cylinder didn't work well and was bloody scary so got swapped quickly for conventional master cylinder, shame as it looked great and in theory should work ok, just didn't feel confident in it) I'm not a fan of glossy paint jobs, just not my thing, I think with a bit of creativity a bike can look cool without one, so I chose rust, unfortunately I can't rust fibreglass or aluminium so had to use rusty paint for the tank and wheels, everything else is real rust, it changes over time, it looks lots of different colours in different lights and different areas of the bike.
The steel on the subframe is 8mm thick, so won't be compromised in my lifetime. I fitted a baseball bat for shits and giggles and called it 'the dentist' and eventually fitted a 25bhp NOS kit (bought for x2 packs of baccy) with semi knobbly tyres and twin shocks the bike performs well, handles better than ever, is comfier than it's ever been, looks mean as hell, and carries all my rally stuff with ease, it has evolved into my perfect bike.
Avernus Biker Lifestyle: Tim's creations don't just stop at bikes. He is an absolute metal master too. Head on over to creativemetalbytim.co.uk and check out his stunning sculptures and creations.
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