(How my business got its' name!)
Shoodaben has been voted the "Best Engineered Concours" at the 2012 Concours Owner's Group National Rally! Shoodaben is a two-time winner!
Shoodaben is a very highly refined motorcycle at this point - which is not a usual way to describe an '86 to '06 Concours. While those of us who know the Concours know it to be a reliable workhorse and great value, I don't think anyone would refer to it as "refined". While it was state of the art for production motorcycles of the mid 80's, today it's dated in performance, handling, gearing, rim size and comfort.
However the Concours 20 year production run resulted in a great aftermarket support. At this point any issue that an owner may want to address is available from the aftermarket. Since one of the tenets of motorcycle ownership is to "make it your bike", the '86 to '06 Concours is a fantastic canvas to paint your vision on. Here’s my vision for MY motorcycle - Shoodaben!
ENGINE - As an engine builder, this is the area I've 'massaged' the most;
Cylinder - I designed a custom cylinder block from a Kawasaki ZX11 and Concours block welded together, bored and machined to accept Wiseco 1109 ZX11 pistons at 11.5:1 compression. This also required a custom 1-off head gasket to be made by Cometic Gasket. The result was 4 mm or 112cc bore increase and a 1.3 increase in compression.
Head - Currently Shoodaben is sporting a fully ported and polished head, with the combustion chambers relieved to unshroud the valve for better flow. I also did a fresh valve job and equalized the valve spring pressures.
For a great view inside the head and cylinders, see my You Tube video "Deep inside shoodaben"
Bottom end - The crank was balanced, and I installed Falicon Chromoly rods for the ZX1000. I lightened and balanced the rods and pistons. Each rod / piston is 3.5 OZ lighter than the stock Concours parts, which helps smooth the vibes induced by the original heavy reciprocating parts. I also installed the ZX11 counterbalancer (lighter) to counter the now lighter crank assy. I also have an APE manual cam adjuster installed. I have installed the ZX11 clutched starter gear for hydrolock protection.
Cams - Currently I have the Shoodaben Engineering Power Cams installed. In the past I have run ZX1000 cams and combinations of ZX1000 and ZG1000 cams. I have tried many different valve timings, and this exercise was the development for the advanced cam sprocket I offer. The Power Cams are a high lift version of my Torque Cams, but are not available to the public because I think they could limit the life of the valve train, and the everyday rider is better suited with the Shoodaben engineering Torque Cams.
Carbs- 36mm Keihin CVK's with custom 2 Minute Mod jetting. As "big brothers" to the stock 32mm carbs, I was able to use my jetting development as the background for my 32mm carb jet kit.
Clutch - Although I have experimented with a modified ZX11 non - slipper design, I've gone back to the stock Concours slipper clutch. It is MUCH more effective when riding mountain roads. In my opinion, this is one area Kawasaki did a great job on.
Transmission - all stock, with the exception of a Factory Pro shift kit.
Final Drive Gearing - Of course, My 7th gear unit! It lowers the engine RPM per road speed by 12%, and brings the 1986 - 55mph speed limit gearing into a comfortable, useable, modern gearing.
SUSPENSION / STEERING / TIRES
Front - currently 1.2 kg springs,with Cartridge Emulators, 27 WT oil and Murph's fork brace. Michelin PR3 110/70-18 tire is fitted on a stock 3" rim.
Rear – Currently a progressive 465 shock , 170/60-17 Michelin pr3 tire on a 17"x 5" rim, (the original 16"x3.5" custom modified by Kosman).
Front - full ZX11, 4 pots calipers with 320mm rotors. Custom built stainless 2 line system. Shoodaben stops as good as it goes!
Rear - stock
ERGO'S / BODY/ LUGGAGE
I built a custom rubber isolated adapter to mount tube style handlebars. I am currently using Yamaha Blaster ATV bars - same height as stock bars with 1.25" risers, but wider. NO VIBES! My footpegs are Murph's kneesavers kit, which I developed and are marketed by Murph's. I have a custom built Rick Mayer leather dual saddle.
The windshield is a 24.5" CeeBailey, but I install a shorter shield during the summer months. I also have Kawasaki fairing extenders for winter riding.
I have a VIP top box fitted. Not of the highest quality, but it's probably the only place I opted for form over function as it looks "cool" I custom built the mount, and moved the helmet locks under the box. Murph's front tipover bars are fitted with highway pegs. I don't use them often, but they offer welcome relief to my beat up knees on long rides. I've bobbed the rear fender to fit better with the lines of the bag when viewed from the rear.
LIGHTING – HID 55W Headlight. Cree running lights. The brake light is Murph's LED "Discolight".
PAINT - Currently stock '04 cosmic black. The rims are powder coated black chameleon.
EXHAUST - The newest edition - I've custom built a 4-2-1 tri-y header that fits completely under the stock plastic and exits through a zx12 titanium muffler. I chose the Tri-y design to maintain the mid-range torque a heavy bike needs for crisp acceleration. The head pipe diameter is 1/8" larger than stock, to accommodate Shoodaben's 11% increase in displacement. This was quite a bit of a challenge, as it was previously thought a true header couldn't be fit behind the Concours radiator and under the bodywork, but as my pipe attests, it is doable!
As you can see there's not much left "untouched", but it's all fun, and has produces a Concours that accelerates, brakes, rides and handles like a much more modern sport-touring bike; the way I think the Concours "Shoodaben"!
Update, 11-10-15, Shoodaben (the bike) has moved on to a new new owner. It was a tough decision to make, but I found it necessary in order to have more riding (product development!) time for the c-14. Shoodaben is in outstanding condition, and surely is better off running the roads than languishing in my shop. My bikes are built to be ridden, not looked at! Shoodaben provided me with 53000 trouble free miles and will provide the new owner with many thousands more. Long live Shoodaben! Don't fret - I'm still going to serve the c-10 community with my products and services, but it was really time for me to move on in order to advance future developments.