I mentioned the Malossi manifolds I sourced and didn't use earlier. The reason I never used them was that I ended up buying a whole 'nother race bike the shop built back in the day for it's motor. It's an SS, and belonged to a friend who built it from new, and who I had always told I'd buy it from should he decide to sell it. Lo and behold, he decided to do just that last spring. Around the same time, I'd decided to sell my beloved '98 SS FE. I'd had it since 2000, when I purchased it with 5k, stock. I did all the standard period bolt-on mods, had all the stock parts, and maintained it meticulously. However, when I started racing in '08, I never rode the bike again, and I was finally ready to let it go. I barely ride on the street these days, these have come up in value, and I wouldn't have been able to bear it if something had happened to it at this point. I went through it from stem to stern last March, listed it for sale, and sold it in 3 days. The fellow who bought it was looking for an FE for 2 years.
I thought I'd keep the FE forever, but this bike eased my pain somewhat. Pay no mind to the SuperMono style bodywork. This is a '95 SS with just about every period mod available back then, wheels, spaghetti Termi, carbon tank, etc, etc, etc.. This is the bike I plan on putting back on the street with the original M motor. I'll end up putting aftermarket bodywork on it, and while it won't be a "correct" bike, all the bits will still make it very special. This bike weighs a tad over 300#, these are lighter than M's, mostly due to the simpler rear suspension. This thing'll be a hoot, even with the "mild" motor.
Out with the old, in with the new.
So, that's why I didn't end up using those manifolds, as this bike already had them, along with the carbs, and a full race-built, low hour 944 motor. About that motor, though, well, that didn't quite work out perfectly, but more on that toward the end...
On to the rear of the bike.
I mentioned the carbon MS Productions oil catch can on Frank, but I can't find a pic right now. I also mentioned ego. If I was a millionaire, I'd build 5 of these bikes, and they'd be beautiful, but I wouldn't use original production parts, at least on bikes that were actually going to be raced. Any time you take a bike on the track, there's always a chance it'll get damaged or destroyed, and I'm not about destroying currently rare parts that they made very few of in the first place. Yes, they were made for a purpose, but I can make something perfectly functional, at a fraction of the cost, with few compromises, for the same purpose, and if it gets trashed, not shed a tear. Thus, here's the oil catch can I fabbed up in my basement, again, with time, about 15$ worth of material, and maybe 10$ worth of beer.
It's made of 6061 sheet (very tough to bend), a few fittings I made on the lathe, and 1 3/4 street ell copper fitting (it works and cost a buck, well worth the time saved). I drew it out by hand, cut the pieces with my jigsaw, and bent it up using some angle iron and clamps as a makeshift break. It only leaked from one rivet when I filled it with water, and that was before I dabbed RTV on the outside of the rivets. It weighs less than a pound. I could take the time to learn how to make molds and lay up carbon fiber, sure, but again, this took me a fraction of the time and effort, with very little penalty. I'll take the compromise. I made a battery box the same way, it'll be in some later pics. Here's a pic of the catch can, along with my simple solution for how to mount the tail/seat.
A close up of the seat base.
Once again, trick? Not at all. I could've sourced a proper 888 subframe for 400.00 and modded the frame to accept it, but given that those usually get trashed every time they're crashed and that mod would've taken me countless times longer, I like this solution. It's very solid, and it was cheap. I used the stock tabs that used to hold the stock catch can to mount the rear and the frame bracket for the tank to mount the front, and this works fine, it's already race tested. I expect this would survive a moderate crash, too, the kind of crash that you just might be able to pick the bike up from and finish the race, if you were lucky. To finish first, first you must finish. anyway, more farm technology, and now I had a full chassis. If this ever gets trashed irreparably and I win the lotto, maybe I'll make the mods for a prettier subframe.
One more thing on that catch can, I added that additional space at the rear to accept a second battery, thinking that if I might need one if we do an extended endurance race - no charging system anymore, remember. It wouldn't be ideal to have one way back there, but I doubt a lithium battery would be much noticed, especially in an endurance race.