Zack Haley: Love at First Poke

10690189_1537671176516813_8354426432068164831_nYou might have seen this fully tattooed wheelie fiend on Instagram or Facebook. He’s got more than 550 hours invested in his tattoos and he’s a year deep into the stunt life. Meet Zack Haley. He’s a 29-year-old tattoo artist from Burleson Texas and he’s been tattooing professionally for two years. You can find him in person at Knuckle Up Tattoo in Forth Worth, TX. And here’s the kicker. His wrap sheet got him into tattooing. “I got in some trouble around 21 and did six years in prison,” he says, “I was young and dumb, but I drew all day, everyday, in there.” It wasn’t long before Zack’s talent was noticed and soon, people were becoming interested in his art. By the time he did his first tattoo, “it was love at first poke,” he says.

If you ever get the chance to see Zack in person, it will be obvious that he’s inked to his very core. His entire back, ribs, chest and left arm are completely tattooed, with more than 550 hours invested in all his ink. 20150221_190446Just his back piece alone put Zack on the table for more than 350 hours of “pain and torture.” Luke “Gage” Guyton from Waco, Texas, did most of Zack’s body art. “He’s awesome,” Zack says. “He can do literally anything.”

When it comes to riding, Zack is just as extreme in his passion for two wheels as he is for ink. He’s been riding motorcycles for three years and he’s been stunt riding since January 2014, but he makes wheelies look so easy, you’d think he’s been in the saddle for much longer. And get this, his biggest struggle is not developing the skill to maneuver the motorcycle like an extra limb, but rather it’s the mechanical aspect of it. “I didn’t have a father figure growing up and mom wasn’t out there in heels turning wrenches, so I never learned that in life.” Luckily Zack has good friends, namely Michael Crane of MC Customs, whom Zack says is “a genius with 636’s.” But it isn’t just the hours spent at the stunt lot that has Zack craving more two-wheeled seat time every hour of every day.

“What I like most about riding is the family stunters have,” he says. “They put me in their houses and feed me when I’m in town. They’re always there to give a hand.” He’s specifically grateful to the SupSluts Wheelies family in Houston, TX, who always offer shirts and help when needed. “They’re the best with hospitality and they have a huge ride every year that’s a blasty blast!”

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Awesome 2014 Season for Syck Bubblegum

Syck Bubblegum at the start gate

Syck Bubblegum at the start gate

Heather's 9th place trophy

Heather’s 9th place trophy

Syck Bubblegum has had a second chance this 2014 season. At the start, the driver, Heather Rowe, ran into some issues with the ignition system on Bubblegum (the KZ1000) sidehack, but with help from fellow racers, she got Bubblegum running and was able to join up with Michelle “Ducky” Sanches for a second season.

So far, the twosome have competed in 13 nights of racing, which equals about 50 heats. Of those, their best finish was second place and they’re currently sixth in points overall for the season. The biggest race of the year – the Matherson Cup – is coming up this weekend at Costa Mesa Speedway, which is the main event for the sidecars. Both girls are anxious to show the boys what’s up. “It’s been a challenge to read the track as it goes away through the night,” Heather says. “My monkey – Michelle ‘Ducky’ Sanches is a tiny mite! Her finger tattoos read ‘pint’ and ‘size.’ I love that!”

The best part for Michelle is feeling like a hero to the younger generation who go to see the races. “It’s been pretty amazing being a female racer/monkey,” says Michelle. “I feel like a celebrity because all the little girls call my name and want autographs or pictures with me. It’s pretty RAD to say the least.”

Heather has also ridden three nights with another monkey, Heather Gledhill, and together they’ve been training to make Heather Rowe a better driver. “I click with her,” said Heather Rowe. “But we are all great friends and super happy.”

Click here to see the race schedule.

 

Video of Heather and Ducky

Video of Heather and Heather

Inked Bombshell: Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

What happens when you mix a blonde bombshell with motorcycles and sick tattoos? You get Alexis Rae: an extremely feisty yet bad ass and beautiful stunt rider. Alexis is a 26-year-old motorcycle enthusiast from Bayport, NY who works at a motorcycle and ATV repair shop. But most people know her as “Combat Barbie,” a name she earned because of her boxing skills and trademark Barbie-long-blonde hair.

But this girl is more than pretty nails and good looks. She’s an incredibly talented stunt rider who has showcased her freestyle ability for crowds all over the country. This chick knows handle a bike in ways most of us only dream of.

And guess what else? She’s covered in ink and every tattoo is a reflection of how this wild child lives life to the fullest. But hey, you don’t need me to tell you. Let’s hear it from her.

MI: When did you start riding?
CB: I started riding in 2009 but didn’t start stunt riding until 2011.

Alexis' back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

Alexis’ back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

MI: How did you get into stunt riding?
CB: I started as “the chick on the back,” which was cool for a lil’ while until I met a group of guys wheeling in the parking lot behind Home Depot. After that, I was hooked and wanted to learn. I bought a 2001 Honda F4i that I crashed many times, but after a while, I was up on one next to everyone else. Now I ride a 2003-2004 Kawasaki ZX-636 and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my team (Lot Starz), friends and sponsors! Thank you!

MI: What happened to the F4i?
CB: I totaled the F4i in September 2013. It was the craziest thing. I was on my way to work one morning when a truck made a left turn in front of me and I T-boned the truck. I was just down the street from work and it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to hit the brakes. That was the end of the F4i.

MI: Ah bummer! Good thing you made it and now you have a bitchin’ Kawasaki 636 stunt bike. What modifications have you done to it?
CB: My 636 is all stunted out with a dented gas tank, 60-tooth 5th Gear custom rear sprocket, stunt cage, wheelie bar, rear hand brake setup, dirt bike handlebars and a stunt sub-cage. I recently got a StunterX steel frame too.

MI: What other bikes do you have?
CB: I also have a Honda CRF50F with an 88cc big-bore motor, front and rear stunt pegs, big bars, rear hand-brake, wheelie bar,

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

a 50 Stunt heel guard and a 5th Gear custom rear sprocket.

MI: Wow. That’s quite the set-up for both bikes. I’m sure having sponsors helps.
CB: Of course I gotta’ shout out to my sponsors:
Icon
K&N Filters

Dreamworx Cycles
5th Gear Sprockets
MSP Energy Drink

MI: What stunts do you like doing most?
CB: I really like performing spreaders and 50/50’s (a wheelie with one leg in front and one leg to the side). I’m a combo-type gal; I like to jump around the bike.

MI: Yeah, I’d probably fall off trying to do that. Speaking of falling – any tricks that were hard or scary to learn?
CB: The hardest trick to learn was highchair wheelies where you have both feet in front of you, pop the clutch and give it throttle. It really made me feel uncomfortable.

MI: Of course all that practice pays off! You get to perform in front of crowds!
CB: I do perform at shows and events up and down the east coast and I recently started performing out west. I just got back from Butte, Montana where I performed at Evel Knievel Days, which was one hell of an experience, especially since my team was there too! I’m looking forward to traveling around the world doing what I love and that’s to RIDE!

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

MI: Rad! But it’s mostly guys who do stunts, right? What is it like to be a female stunt rider?
CB: I feel that women get noticed more because there are so few of us. Stunt riding pushes me to be tougher and show others that a girl can be as strong as the guys when it comes to throwing a 400-pound motorcycle around. I don’t get to ride with other female stunt riders often because they live all over the country, but when we do get to ride together, we tear shit up!

MI: Have you made any media appearances?
CB: I was in the February 2012 issue of SportBikesIncMag. I was also in the newspaper in Bogota, Colombia, as they had their first annual stunt competition and I was a judge. My favorite media appearance was when I was on channel 12 news during a “lot bust” where 20 cop cars, news reporters and helicopters appeared at our stunt spot as the cops handed out trespassing tickets. They thought we were a “biker gang,” which we aren’t.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

MI: Does crazy stuff like that always happen at the stunt spot?
CB: There is never a dull moment. Things happen all the time. From cops showing up and kicking us out to people having gnarly crashes.

combatbarbiestunts_6MI: Good times. Now on to the important part. Let’s talk about your tattoos.
CB: I have eight tattoos that are all in random, odd places: a Kaika’ana / Kaikaina on my left wrist, a star on my right wrist,  a pinup-biker girl with my name “Combat Barbie” on my upper arm which is soon to be a sleeve, the word “anarchy” inside my lip, the phrase Death By A Thousand Ki$$es on my right thigh, wings which take up most of my back, the phrase “Sporty Spice” on the bottom of my foot and a bandana with my brother’s name on the left side of my ribs.

MI: That’s quite the collection of ink. Who were the artists?
CB: Two out of eight tattoos – my back piece and thigh – were done by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop on 112 in Medford, NY. If you live on Long Island, I highly recommend Pepe! I got the other six tattoos when I was in high school at random tattoo shops and I don’t remember who did them. Let’s just say it was “one of those nights!”

Combat Barbie 50 StuntMI: Why are you drawn to tattoos?
CB: All of my tattoos either have a memory or reason behind them, except one. Tattoos give you freedom of speech. You only live once. I’ve seen some crazy, amazing tattoos, from big to small, to bright with eye catching color! I love how someone can make art out of their body.

MI: How do you respond to all the haters out there?
CB: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m not too worried about people who judge. I work at a motorcycle shop and ride street bikes. It’s my life style and who I am. If you don’t like it, sucks for you! 😉 I got better things to do like ride and get tatted!

MI: Any advice for new stunt riders?
CB: If you’re learning and practicing any trick – make sure you wear your gear! You can always fix your bike, but not yourself!

Photos courtesy of Combat Barbie

Inspired by Chicks on Bikes: A must read!

This book reminded me of who I really am.

This book reminded me of who I really am.

Reading the book – Chicks on Bikes – by photographer Christina Shook, reminded me of a trip I took to the Women on Wheels rally in Michigan in 2007. What I saw there made me look forward to getting older and it made me realize some of the best moments of my life could happen after the age of 60 as long as I have a motorcycle.

Women rode solo and in groups to the rally from several states away, across thousands of miles of open highway through rain, traffic and uncomfortable temperatures just so they could commune and laugh with other women like themselves. They rode GoldWings, fully dressed Harley Davidsons, Can Am Spyders, sport bikes and pretty much anything with two to three wheels. It didn’t matter how big the bike was or how small the lady was, most of these women rode with the same finesse it takes to pilot an airplane. Some of them were frail, some of them were young, some of them didn’t learn to ride until after the age of 50. Some of them had been riding their entire lives. I was only 26 at the time riding demo bikes for Kawasaki. The funny thing was these women impressed me just as much as I impressed them. This mutual respect between my generation and theirs made the Women on Wheels rally a benchmark in my motorcycling career.

Samantha Morgan was a runaway who rode a motorcycle on a wall when she was just 15. Just like Sonora Webster who dove horses in a swimming pole, this women proved that life is limitless despite injury.

Samantha Morgan was a runaway who rode a motorcycle on a wall when she was just 15. Just like Sonora Webster who dove horses off a tower and into a swimming pole, this women proved that life is limitless despite injury.

Chicks on Bikes reminded me of the amazed and inspired feeling I had when I attended the rally. When I saw these women, they each seemed so powerful to me in their own way. They didn’t care what anyone thought of them. They just rode because they wanted to, some because they had to. Life couldn’t stop them. Time couldn’t hold them. They could go anywhere they wanted and be anyone they wanted as long as they had two wheels.

A motorcycle does for women what steroids do for men, but without all the nasty side effects. A  motorcycle enhances a woman. It makes her sexier, stronger, happier and more resilient than she ever could have been without it. A motorcycle can make a woman independent, indelible, persevering, determined, motivated, adventurous, unafraid of loneliness and sublimely happy. It doesn’t matter if she was cheated on, has cancer, was abused in the past, if she was laid off or fired from her job. It doesn’t matter if she was a burn victim, a soldier with a missing limb, a mother who lost a child. Nothing matters. It’s amazing how a combination of wind, wheels, motor and open highway can have more healing power than any medicine on the market. A motorcycle is as close as we can get to the other side while still breathing. Motorcycling is the ultimate way of life and it’s the Chicks on Bikes who get to live it.

A peek inside: Melinda Moore lived and died on two wheels but if her soul could speak now, she'd probably say the journey was worth it and not to mourn because she died doing what she loved.

A peek inside: Melinda Moore lived and died on two wheels but if her soul could speak now, she’d probably say the journey was worth it and not to mourn because she died doing what she loved.

The women in the book made me remember all the women I’ve met and learned something from while riding motorcycles. It’s these women who taught me to never settle for a dead end. They have proven there is always a trail, a road, a path to get to where I need to go. For women, motorcycles can carry us to places that would otherwise be unreachable.

Christina Shook not only took photographs of so many unique and amazing women, but she also learned a little about them, lessons of which she wrote on the pages alongside the unforgettable smiles of the women in her photographs. Christina captured them and brought out their spirits in ways most male photographers would overlook.

 

Christina Shook is the author of Chicks on Bikes and a rider herself.

Christina Shook is the author of Chicks on Bikes and a rider herself.

The book Chicks on Bikes gives the reader a glimpse of women riders in their true forms at a time when they were or are happiest and strongest – a time when they’re riding a motorcycle. Christina Shook’s book will keep the memories of these women alive long after they’re gone. Their legacy will thrive on the pages of Chicks on Bikes and they will continue to inspire us as motorcyclists for years to come.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the photos, purchase a copy here.

Photos for review by Salvador Maltbie

Words by Rachael Maltbie

 

Part 3 of Project Ninja Turtle: 300R Handlebar Conversion

If you’re going to build a streetfighter, especially a Ninja streetfighter, you need to have a bad ass handlebar that instills fear into the enemy the way a policeman’s nightstick makes a purse snatcher pee his pants. You have to be able to throw your elbows up and muscle your bike into corners and slides the way a matador grabs a bull by the horns.

To do that, you need a tough handlebar that makes you forget about the wimpy, stock risers the bike came with. These risers are basically a Steve Urkel version of what a handlebar would be if it wasn’t made by Renthal. The Renthal “Street-Fighter” bar is perfect for transforming the 300R into the streetfighter who can Hoo-doo-kin! his competition to tears.

We approached Renthal with the idea of building the Ninja Turtle and of course they were on board. Who doesn’t want to see David beat Goliath? Thanks to Renthal, we were able to acquire the “Street-Fighter” handlebar so you could see first hand how we did a seemingly impossible task in a just a few hours.

The Transformation

The stock handlebar risers had to go. Riding a 300 with these is like watching a T-Rex make a bed. Just sad.

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We used KX250F OE handlebar clamps to fit the Renthal Street-Fighter handlebar to the Ninja 300R’s stock upper triple.

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First thing’s first. To remove the stock handlebars, we had to first remove the left and right hand handlebar switches, the brake lever, perch and throttle grip.

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To keep track of the screws for the switches, we left them in the switch assemblies.

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Since the bar end had never been removed before, we tried to remove it using an impact, but eventually had to turn to the torch to get it off. Say bye bye bar ends!

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We removed the clutch lever, perch and left side switch.

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Lastly, we used compressed air to remove the left side grip.

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With everything removed from the risers, we were able to take them off by removing two bolts on each side.

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Now that the upper triple was bare, we finally had to chance to figure out how to install the Street-Fighter handlebar without weakening the triple.

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We decided the best way to do it would be to use the upper two holes that were already there for the risers. This way, the Street-Fighter handlebar would be centered on the upper triple and we wouldn’t have to drill any extraneous holes.

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Next we removed the steering stem nut and loosened the upper triple fork clamp bolts. Please note that to remove the triple, you have to turn the forks to the side to allow the ignition switch to clear the steering neck.

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The bummer was even though the triple was free of the forks, the ignition switch was still connected. The ignition switch connector is located underneath the gas tank, so we had to remove the tank to disconnect the switch and remove the upper triple.

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We used a mill to drill the holes for KX250F bottom clamps into the 300’s upper triple. Unfortunately, the mill doesn’t come with a jig for these sorts of things, so we had to make one.

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The bolts attached to the KX250F bottom clamps measured at .470’’, so we matched a 15/32’’ drill bit to that size for a precise fit between the clamp and upper triple.

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Watching the mill do its work was as entertaining as seeing a shoe hit George W. Bush in the head. We loved it.

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As you can see, our measuring paid off. A perfect fit!

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Now for the other side…

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With the bolt holes drilled, we de burred the edges with a de burring tool – A classic machinist’s trick for a clean finish.

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After we installed the clamps, we noticed the bolts were too long. In most other cases a long bolt would be considered an endowment, but in this case it was an impediment. How do we make it so we can tighten the clamps to the upper triple with the bolts that we have?

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Before we continued machining, we made sure that we could fit the bars to the clamps with the holes that we drilled and still clear the ignition switch.

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Luck is on our side. Our machinist happened to have an extra piece of stainless steel we could use to make spacers for the bottom clamp bolts. Using a lathe, we peened a hole into the steel so when we connect the drill bit, it can drill a hole to just exceed the diameter of the bottom clamp bolt.

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After a little sharpening, we installed the drill bit into the lathe and drilled a hole into the steel deep enough to match the length of the spacers we needed.

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We measured the sections of steel and cut the spacers to our desired length.

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Once the two spacers were cut, they’d take some fine tuning to clean up the finish.

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Using a belt sander, we cut a notch into each spacer so they’d clear the bolt holes for the wire/cable routing brackets on the under side of the upper triple.

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See! Perfect fit! Now we can tighten the clamps.

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Before re-installing the Street-Fighter bar and upper triple to the forks, we had to install the bar to the triple off the bike and tighten the clamps to make sure they were straight.

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We installed the upper triple with the handlebar on the forks and had originally thought about cutting the Street-Fighter bar shorter, but after comparing the length of the stock handlebars to the Street Fighter bar, we determined that the length was the same. We needed all the room we could get to reinstall the levers, grips and switch assemblies.

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Next we had to drill holes in the Street-Fighter bar in order to reinstall the switch assemblies. We were able to measure the exact length and spot where the holes needed to be to reinstall the switches just as they were before.

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We removed the handlebar and used a center punch to punch a divot into the bar for the drill bit. If you don’t do this, it will walk around the drilling surface and do more damage than good.

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Using a drill press, we drilled the holes we needed into the Street-Fighter bar. We had to sharpen the bits, as the bar’s hard exterior was putting up quite the fight.

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With all the machining complete, we reinstalled the Street-Fighter bar and put the bike back together. It came out so awesome! The handlebar install is so clean it looks stock, with the exception of the open holes in the upper triple, but we can fix that later.

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Just one hiccup. We had to reroute wiring and cables to get the switches and levers to fit with the new handlebar. Unfortunately, our Ninja Turtle is an ABS unit, which presented quite an issue with the front brake hose. It was way too short. We tried to route the hose behind the triple, but with a few turns of the handlebar, the hose was already cut from being pinched against the plastics and it was also binding behind the triple. We’d play with it for the rest of the day, but it became evident this is going to take some research. Stay tuned to see how we resolve the brake issue.

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What’s Next for the Ninja Turtle?

Unfortunately, we are left with a few minor problems after installing the handlebar. With the brake hose from the front master cylinder to the ABS unit being too short, we’ll need to find a longer brake line that will not only work with the ABS, but be long enough to reach the master cylinder while being safely routed with no danger of binding or tearing. In short, the Ninja Turtle needs different brakes.

Also, we’re now on a mission to find a set of bar end mirrors that can be adapted to fit inside the Street-Fighter bar’s uniquely smaller interior.

A Little About the Renthal “Street-Fighter” Handlebar

se-road-1The “Street-Fighter” handlebar (part # 789-02) is a new bar by Renthal that is designed with a bend specifically designed for street bikes and equipped with a cross brace and bar pad for a dirt-bike look and feel. The handlebar has a 7/8’’ or 22mm external diameter and fits most standard clamps and controls.

The Street-Fighter handlebar has a shot peened finish in an effort to prevent breakage or failure due to fatigue. The bar is made from 7010 T6 Aluminium, a developed alloy specifically used by Renthal to manufacture handlebars. This high-impact material has the strength of Edward’s diamond skin, which was evident when trying to drill holes for the handlebars switches. The strong material of the Street-Fighter bar is as durable as it is thick to provide some serious dampening against vibration.

The bar also has other features that are beneficial to the rider. The left side of the handlebar is knurled on the grip end to better adhere the clutch-side rubber grip to the bar surface. At the center of the handlebar is a laser etched positioning grid which really helped us to position the bar where we needed once the job was done.

List of Mods So Far

Competition Werkes GP slip-on exhaust, Competition Werkes Fender eliminator kit, Renthal 7/8’’ Street-Fighter handlebar with KX250F handlebar clamps and custom machined spacers, rreen adjustable levers (from China)

Special Thank You to Sam Rothschild

196178_3089152122493_1530828056_nWe couldn’t do this installation with the tools we had in our garage, so we had to take the Ninja Turtle to “Sam’s Man Cave,” a code name for the extremely well equipped domicile of our brother-in-law, Sam Rothschild.

Sam races an H4 Honda CR-X with Southern California NASA or National Auto Sport Association at tracks like ButtonWillow and California Speedway and he turns lap times most motorcycle road racers only dream of. He is also a driving instructor for NASA Pro Racing. Sam finished 5th in points out of 18 racers for the 2013 season.

Sam is not only a driver, but he is also a very gifted machinist and fabricator. The guy even makes his own wiring harnesses for crying out loud! He also made a custom stunt cage for our 2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R. We’re very grateful to Sam for his help with all the random projects we drop in his lap. Of course, bringing a case of beer always helps to make up for the time we take him away from his race car. Thank you!

If you’d like to see Sam drive, click here.

Competition Werkes Fender Eliminator Kit for the 2013 Ninja 300R

Whenever I purchase a new motorcycle, the first thing to be removed is the kite of a mud flap hanging off the rear end. It’s unsightly, ungodly and just unacceptable. My favorite thing about riding sportbikes has always been chasing tail (no pun intended) and it wouldn’t be any fun if that tail were bigger than mine, catch my drift? So naturally, that legal, DOT compliant fender has got to go. No streetfighter of mine is going to be stuck with excess plastic.

This is why we chose to install the Competition Werkes fender eliminator kit to return the tail section to the high and tight look it was meant to have before it was tainted with an awning meanwhile remaining street legal with a license plate light and turn signals. There you go California. I haven’t completely disregarded the rules. And it only took an hour to install.

Interested in getting one for yourself? They pay attention pupils because we’re about to give you a lesson in mechanic-in.

Step 1:

Make sure you have all the necessary hardware to complete the task.

The packages should contain the license plate bracket, license plate light, short stalk turn signals and all the necessary hardware to install.

The packages should contain the license plate bracket, license plate light, short stalk turn signals and all the necessary hardware to install.

Step 2:

Remove and passenger seat and flip up the tray underneath to expose the four bolts holding the mud flap assembly and three wires routed to the turn signals and license plate light. Cut these three wires with a pair of cutters and remove the bolts with a 5mm allen socket or T-handle. Pull away the stock mud flap assembly.

The bolts and wires are located just underneath this flip-up tray.

The bolts and wires are located just underneath this flip-up tray.

Cut these wires and remove bolts with a 5mm allen.

Cut these wires and remove bolts with a 5mm allen.

Here is what the 5mm allen bolts look like from the under side (just underneath the tray). They should come out fairly easily.

Here is what the 5mm allen bolts look like from the under side (just underneath the tray). They should come out fairly easily.

Step 3:

Adhere the license plate light to underside of the top of the license plate holder and route the wires up through the center of the slot.

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Step 4:

Take the zip tie provided in the package and loop through the center hole of the license plate holder from the back as shown.

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Step 5:

Retrieve the two second to longest bolts from the package. I found it easier to loosely install the turn signals and turn signal brackets to the license plate holder before installing the holder to the tail section but of course, this can wait until later.

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Step 6:

Route the wires from each turn signal through the zip tie on the back of the license plate holder and then route the wires up through the center grommet and into the tail section.

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Step 7:

Retrieve the four longest bolts from the package along with four washers and nuts. Install license plate holder to the tail section.

I installed the bolts nuts-up (lol) in the tail and I used a 10mm T-wrench and 4mm allen to install all four nuts and bolts.

I installed the bolts nuts-up (lol) in the tail and I used a 10mm T-wrench and 4mm allen to install all four nuts and bolts.

I loved how the license plate holder had holes to slip the T-allen wrench through in order to tighten the mounting bolts. Installation would have been a pain without them. Remember! Appreciate the little things!

I loved how the license plate holder had holes to slip the T-allen wrench through in order to tighten the mounting bolts. Installation would have been a pain without them. Remember! Appreciate the little things!

Step 8:

Adjust and tighten the turn signals so they’re facing level.

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Step 9:

Use the splice connectors provided to connect the turn signals to the previously cut wires. Note the sleeve with the black wire and white wire is for the license plate light. It may take a few attempts to connect the turn signals correctly, however, as both wires for each side are black and it is difficult to tell which side goes to which. Don’t worry though. You can turn the key on and hit the turn signal switch to verify both sides are blinking correctly.

Tip: I used pliers to squeeze the splice connectors onto the wires due to my lack of upper body strength. Hey, work smarter not harder!

Tip: I used pliers to squeeze the splice connectors onto the wires due to my lack of upper body strength. Hey, work smarter not harder!

Step 10:

Hook up the license plate light. I had to cut the spades that were originally crimped to the wires and strip the wires to crimp new spades. I didn’t use the ones in the package because they’re a one-time, permanent-type of connector and I want to be able to unhook the running lights if I need to.

I used a set of wire crimpers to crimp on a set of automotive-style spades. You can find these at any auto parts store.

I used a set of wire crimpers to crimp on a set of automotive-style spades. You can find these at any auto parts store.

This is the end result. It takes more time, but it's worth it to have options.

This is the end result. It takes more time, but it’s worth it to have options.

Step 11:

Tuck the wires to the side so you can close the tray above them. I wrapped the wires with electrical tape and secured them to the subframe with a zip tie to clean up the install.

I wrapped the wires in electrical tape for fear that the zip tie might eventually chaff the wiring from vibrations. Call it paranoia, but better safe than sorry.

I wrapped the wires in electrical tape for fear that the zip tie might eventually chaff the wiring from vibrations. Call it paranoia, but better safe than sorry.

Step 11:

Verify operation of all lights and install the license plate with the remaining hardware from the kit.

The license plate light is pretty potent for a couple of small LED's. Kudos to Competition Werkes on the lighting.

The license plate light is pretty potent for a couple of small LED’s. Kudos to Competition Werkes on the lighting.

Stock mud flap vs. Competition Werkes fender eliminator. Yes, Comp Werkes eliminator wins!

Stock mud flap vs. Competition Werkes fender eliminator. Yes, Comp Werkes eliminator wins!

Tools I used: 4mm allen T-wrench, 10mm and 14mm ratchet wrenches, cutters, pliers, wire crimpers (one automotive, one metric-specific)

Tools I used: 4mm allen T-wrench, 10mm and 14mm ratchet wrenches, cutters, pliers, wire crimpers (one automotive, one metric-specific) and electrical tape

The Competition Werkes fender eliminator kit for the 2013-2014 Ninja 300R includes the CNC laser cut license plate holder made from 304 stainless steel as well as short stalk turn signals and an LED license light. The entire kit is feather light compared to the heavy weight mud flap the bike is equipped with at the factory. You can purchase this kit from any Competition Werkes dealer at an m.s.r.p. of $119.95.

Competition Werkes is an aftermarket motorcycle accessories and parts company that has been producing fender eliminator kits, exhausts and parts for motorcycles since 1984. To find out more about their products, click here.

Here is how the Ninja Turtle looks with the Competition Werkes exhaust and fender eliminator kit installed. Stay tuned as the transformation resumes!

Here is how the Ninja Turtle looks with the Competition Werkes exhaust and fender eliminator kit installed. Stay tuned as the transformation resumes!

Competition Werkes GP Slip-On Exhaust System for the Ninja 300R

There is nothing like the rumble of an aftermarket exhaust while decelerating into a corner. If you’re going to build a streetfighter, you need a sound to match the look; something that gives the bike a loud, in-your-face persona and  makes people stare as you ride down the street.

In 2013, Competition Werkes developed the GP shorty slip-on exhaust system for the Ninja 300 that transforms the bike’s passive thrum into a race bike’s growl. The system produces a little more bottom end grunt to gives you a snappier feel at the throttle and leaves an inevitable grin on your face.

The system is hand crafted from 304 stainless steel and has a tapered baffle for “improved performance and advanced tuning.” The canister is small and compact giving the bike a lighter, tighter feel without sacrificing styling. We installed the stainless steel GP system on our Ninja 300R Streetfighter project bike and here’s how we did it.

Step 1:

Make sure you have all the hardware and clamps needed to install the system.

The GP exhaust system comes with the muffler, high shield, 4mm allen bolt, pipe clamp and sticker.

The GP exhaust system comes with the muffler, high shield, 4mm allen bolt, pipe clamp and sticker.

Step 2:

To remove the heat shield from the stock exhaust can, remove the 5mm allen bolt and the clamp on the mid pipe with a Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the 5mm allen bolt.

Remove the 5mm allen bolt.

Loosen the bottom clamp with the Phillips screwdriver.

Loosen the bottom clamp with the Phillips screwdriver.

Step 3:

Pull the bottom clamp on the mid pipe down or toward the front of the motorcycle, then pull the heat shield toward the front of the motorcycle to remove it.

Pull the bottom hose clamp down the mid pipe, then slide the heat shield forward (toward the front of the bike) to remove it.

Pull the bottom hose clamp down the mid pipe, then slide the heat shield forward (toward the front of the bike) to remove it.

Step 4:

To remove the stock exhaust can, loosen the clamp around the muffler with a 12mm socket or T-handle.

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Step 5:

Remove the 14mm bolt and nut from the rear set.

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Step 6:

Pull the exhaust toward the rear of the motorcycle.

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Notice how the stock exhaust has a muffler gasket while the Werkes USA exhaust does not. This is because the Werkes USA exhaust muffler slides forward onto the midpipe until the bolt hole for the heat shield is just forward of the rear set heel guard bolts. The Werkes USA exhaust does not need an exhaust gasket!

Stock (left), Werkes USA (right)

Stock (left), Werkes USA (right)

Step 7:

Remember to slide the Werkes USA clamp onto the mid pipe before sliding on the Werkes USA canister onto the midpipe.

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Put a rag over the swing arm to avoid scratching or denting the Werkes USA canister while wiggling or sliding it over the mid pipe. Note: It is a tight fit, so it takes a little body English.

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Clean the Werkes USA exhaust thoroughly on the outside with WD-40 or comparable cleaning substance to avoid discoloring the canister after starting the motorcycle.

Step 8:

Tighten the hose clamp. Install the new stainless steel heat shield with the 4mm allen bolt provided.

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Final Step:

Make sure you clean the outside of the pipe with WD-40 or a comparable product before running the motorcycle to avoid discoloration.

Start and enjoy.

Tools I used: 3/8’’ ratchet with 14mm and 12mm sockets, Phillips screwdriver, 12mm T-handle, 14mm wrench 4mm/5mm T-allen wrenches

Tools I used: 3/8’’ ratchet with 14mm and 12mm sockets, Phillips screwdriver, 12mm T-handle, 14mm wrench
4mm/5mm T-allen wrenches

We put each exhaust system (both stock and the Werkes USA muffler) on the scale. The stock exhaust weighs 17.5 lbs. while the Werkes U.S.A. exhaust weighs 2.5 lbs. This is a total weight savings of 15 pounds!

We put each exhaust system (both stock and the Werkes USA muffler) on the scale. The stock exhaust weighs 17.5 lbs. while the Werkes U.S.A. exhaust weighs 2.5 lbs.
This is a total weight savings of 15 pounds!

You can purchase the GP slip-on exhaust for an m.s.r.p. of $399.95. The exhaust is also available in Carbon Fiber, Cobra Black, Cobalt Black, Tungsten, Titanium, Mag Silver, Satin Silver and Gold for $100 more, as well as Black Velvet for $50 more. The install takes roughly ten minutes and is very easy. With the Competition Werkes GP exhaust, you’ll be where on your way to a lighter, faster and better-sounding machine in no time!

Competition Werkes is an aftermarket motorcycle accessories and parts company that has been producing fender eliminator kits, exhausts and much more for motorcycles since 1984. To find out more about their products, click here.