Project CBR 

In Progress


Richard's bike as it was when he bought it. Straight, undamaged and completely stock.

Everybody has a dream. Something that gets them out of bed in the morning. Druggies dream of their next score. Athletes dream of gold medals. Politicians dream of re-election and brown paper bags of cash. Neil dreams of three naked supermodels and a bath of chocolate body paint. Steve dreams of... no, we won't go there. That's too scary. And Richard dreams of getting more neddies out of his CBR250R. Lots more neddies.

Richard has had his little CBR since 1996, and the two of them have done a lot of miles together. For some of those miles, they've actually been upright and on two wheels rather than sliding bum-first across bitumen. The bike is more than just transport for Richard, it's a permanent hobby as well. If he's bored, there's always crash damage to fix.

Fairly early on in his quest for more power, Richard decided that the conventional route of hotting up infernal combustion engines (pipe, pod filters, head work and bigger carbs) was pretty much a waste of time. Honda had already spent a lot of time and money tuning and developing the CBR's engine, and the stock valves are so large that they overhang the piston. There are actually recesses in the tops of the barrels to accomodate the valves. It is possible to get more power out of a CBR with some fairly expensive engine mods, but there isn't much to be had. An acquaintance managed to get 56bhp out of his bike after extensive modification, which included a capacity increase, head work and removing the backlash gears from the cams. Unfortunately, that bike ended up burnt to a crisp on the side of the road. (In all fairness to Luke, it's highly unlikely that the engine mods caused his bike to self-immolate).

Richard wanted more power than that, which meant only one thing. Forced induction. The whole idea of chopping up the cases to get a drive system in there left him cold, so a supercharger was out. That meant a turbo. It is possible to get carbies and turbos to talk to each other, but it's a long and difficult process, and one that often ends with melted engine components and cries of distress from the wallet region.

After some (uncharacteristic) sober reflection and a period of (painful) thought, Richard decided that the first step was to build a fuel injection system for his CBR...

Stage I - The Fuel Injection System
About the bike
Building the CBRi Making it Bettererer (er)
Perfecting the Mess

Even before the EFI was fully operational, Richard was running around like a chookless head looking for a suitable turbo. He was also mumbling something about performance-enhancing go-faster accessories like whooshy blow-off valves and oversize rice-boy boost gauges, which forced the other members of the team to whack him repeatedly with blunt objects until he saw reason (or at least stars). We didn't mind, though. Hitting Richard is fun.

Once we found a usable whirly thing, we locked ourselves in the workshop and got down to it...

Stage II - Adding a Turbo
Turbos in General
Sourcing and Fitting
Making Boost