October 22 2007 - Does the Hayabusa engine need any upgrading?The hayabusa engine is a solid little engine, and if treated right will give good service in totally standard form. Mine is totally standard apart from the dry sump system. Pistons and con-rods only need to be addressed if you start to upgrade the engine above 200bhp, especially 'violently' with turbo. At the start of the project i thought i may go down this route, but plenty of horror stories later, and potential need to comply with racing formulae, and turbos are not a good option. I was lucky to get an engine from a 900 mile 2006 bike, and i'd recommend similar - brand new is typically very expensive, I've heard £6000, so second hand is a good option - i paid £3200 including dry sump.
October 22 2007 - How driveable is the car in traffic & every day?I've now done almost 400 miles in the car and i feel i can give a good report on its driveability. I have now mastered clutch control, i very much lever my feed off the floor using a good racing boot - this way i get the precision control needed. A driver jumping out of a road car will stall the busa a lot - but i now don't. Yesterday i drove about 10 miles, in traffic, stops and starts, U-turns, etc... and didn't stall once. Is it infuriating? No, but it does require a fair amount of concentration for hill starts. Traffic crawling is OK, and can be done gently on tickover.
October 22 2007 - Do you use the clutch when changing gear?For Downshifting: I use the clutch always, aided with heel & toe throttle blips IF the RPM is high (6000 plus), and just plain downshifts at lower RPM.
For Upshifting: I use the clutch most of the time, only switching to clutchless on full throttle gearshifts where i just lift the throttle slightly - this is awesome and i've got the technique perfect - you just literally lift the throttle 50% and bang the gear, sounds like an F1\Rally car shift.
October 22 2007 - What's the reverse gearbox like?Reverse is crap, its just a design nightmare - it gets easier, and i now 'understand' the box - its easy to get into reverse, but difficult to get back into forward without it knocking as the dogs refuse to engage. Its not really too bad, survivable, but apparently needs regular rebuilds and leaks oil.
June 22 2008 - Why did you upgrade your engine when you haven't mastered it as standard yet?Simply because i'm insane.