Sleipnir 2022 June

Welcome to project sleipnir

Last updated: June 28, 2022

At the start of 2022, I decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle as an alternative hobby.

Being cooped up for 2 years with the global pandemic made me realize a ton of things and badly needed a way to destress outside of my personal and LEGO life. While I really enjoy my LEGO hobby as a creative stimulus and outlet, I really felt that it limited me too much to being at home, especially with the lack of events during the bulk of the pandemic. I really felt the need to go outside, take in the scenery, and honestly have some alone time to just breathe.

I enrolled in basic small motorcycle riding classes over at the local Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC) and had my first 3 day session in February 2022. I did another 2 day intermediate small motorcycle course in mid-March.

After these 2 fundamental riding classes, I finally purchased my first big bike on March 30, 2022.

I

Introduction

Sleipnir comes from Norse Mythology and is the name of the steed of the famous god, Odin, and is also the child of Loki. It is usually described as the best of all horses and is an eight-legged, dark-colored horse. I actually first encountered this name and mythological being in Final Fantasy XIV as it was also an attainable black horse mount.

Depiction of Sleipnir in a detail on the Tjängvide image stone.

I decided to give my project bike this name as I felt it was appropriate as my own personal steed (bikes are like modern horses anyway).

Speed isn’t my main goal with the bike but I knew that visually, it would be dressed up in matte black and had to look really cool without sacrificing function or comfort. 

II

Why the CB650R?

My criteria for choosing my first bike and big bike were as follows:

  1. Looks
  2. Handling (for beginners)
  3. Comfort
  4. Included tech
  5. Reliability (of the brand and motorcycle)
  6. Price

Was looking mostly for a road / city bike so touring/adventure bikes weren’t anywhere near my buying choices. 

I knew from the start that it had to be a middleweight bike as getting a 400cc range bike would be too underwhelming for me and getting anything near 1000cc was too much both in power and budget. 

The 600-800 range felt like a good place to stay, as my bike would have to fill the role of daily rider as well as a weekend getaway ride. 

The CB650R was actually one of my very first choices for my first big bike as it ranked pretty high based on my criteria. The thing I liked the most was the look of the bike, being the right mix of beefiness and naked sports bike. 

*note: by Philippine law, only 400cc bikes are allowed on our expressways. 

Other middleweight considerations
Yamaha XSR-700 (2022)

A very close choice was the Yamaha XSR-700, especially after watching several review videos on both the CB650R and the XSR-700. It was cheaper, had a nice amount of aftermarket customization options, looked great with that retro classic vibe, and was still a Japanese brand bike.

Ultimately though, I felt like it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the stock rear end and would take some effort changing it. There was also a lack of more premium tech. And from a friend’s experience, it was too torque-y for a first time big bike owner. I was sure I did not want to wheelie my first bike accidentally. That and the inline four argument of the CB650R was too good to ignore. 

Triumph Trident 660
Yamaha MT-07
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Honda Rebel 500
Honda CBR500R

While these are all individually great bikes, I still felt that the even with the CB650R’s higher price point, the added features (traction control, ABS, digital panel, slipper clutch, SHOWA front forks) were worth it. And it was the cheapest inline 4 engine motorcycle available at the time which was a huge sales point. 

This and out of all these bikes, I still liked the CB650R’s look the most. Didn’t matter if I got a better bike if I didn’t like how it looked right?

III

Transformation

*For a detailed list of Sleipnir’s upgrades, kindly check section IV. Upgrade Catalogue

Phase 0 - STOCK March 30, 2022

Base version of the Sleipnir. Actually bought her second hand from browsing buy & sell groups over at Facebook. Was able to find a low mileage, Candy Red 2021 model with minor upgrades.

KEY UPGRADES​
  • Generic engine crash bars
  • Generic radiator guard
  • Spare rear seat cowl (Candy Red)
Phase 1 - April 14, 2022

Initial upgrades on the Sleipnir with a few performance upgrades. I also started changing the red and silver color scheme to a more matte black look with both powdercoated and vinyl wrapped parts. 

KEY UPGRADES
  • Akrapovic full titanium exhaust
  • Top Block Racing Offset license plate holder
  • QuadLock handlebar mount
  • QuadLock vibration dampener
  • QuadLock wireless charger
  • Innovv K5 front & rear dashcam
  • vinyl-wrapped gas tank
  • vinyl-wrapped key cover
  • vinyl-wrapped side shroud covers
  • vinyl-wrapped front fender
  • powdercoat rear sets / foot pegs
  • reupholstered black leather seats
  • ST2 Smart Brake Module (internal)
Phase 2 - May 17, 2022

Moving further with the visual changes to the Sleipnir with bar end mirrors resulting in a sleeker and lower profile handlebar setup, extra storage options with the saddlebags, new shoes, and the sporty rim stickers. 

KEY UPGRADES
  • Innovv K5 lens covers by JK3D
  • Puig Tracker bar end mirrors
  • KM/H saddlebags
  • Michelin Road 5 front and rear tires
  • SpinningStickers custom Honda rim stickers
  • generic kickstand expander (later removed)
  • matte black aftermarket shroud covers
PHASE 3 - LATEST JUNE 26, 2022

Rear end is now way pointier with the new brake light and makes a huge difference in the side profile. Also removed the crash bars and replaced with smaller and more modular crash protection. Decals added.

KEY UPGRADES
  • Sato Racing inner bar weights
  • Ohlin’s rear shocks
  • Motoism windshield
  • Motoism brake light
  • Motoism rear indicators
  • Denali Soundbomb mini horn
  • TechSpec USA tank grips 
  • R2 Speedtek winglets
  • OEM Belly Pan
  • Evotech front spindle bobbins
  • Evotech frame sliders
  • Evotech paddock stand bobbins
  • Rizoma Clutch Guard
  • Rizome Stator Guard
  • new generic radiator guard
  • OEM matte black handlebar
  • OEM matte black gas tank 
  • OEM matte black key cover

IV

Upgrade catalogue

CURRENTLY INSTALLED

Functional 
  • QuadLock handlebar mount
  • QuadLock vibration dampener
  • QuadLock wireless charger
  • QuadLock spacer x1
  • Evotech paddock stand bobbins
  • Denali Soundbomb mini horn
  • Puig Tracker bar end mirrors 
  • Motoism windshield
  • TechSpec USA tank grips 
  • *matte black rear seat cowl 
Visual / Aesthetic 
  • Top Block Racing Offset license plate holder
  • Motoism rear indicators
  • SpinningStickers custom Honda rim stickers
  • OEM matte black gas tank 
  • OEM matte black key cover
  • OEM matte black handlebar
  • aftermarket matte black shroud covers
  • reupholstered black leather seats
Safety & Protection
  • ST2 Smart Brake Module (internal)
  • Evotech frame sliders
  • Evotech front spindle bobbins
  • Rizoma Clutch Guard
  • Rizome Stator Guard
  • generic radiator guard
  • Innovv K5 front & rear dashcam
Performance
  • Ohlin’s Rear Shocks
  • Akrapovic Full Titanium Exhaust
  • Sato Racing inner bar weights
  • Michelin Road 5 front and rear tires
  • OEM Belly Pan
  • R2 SpeedTek winglets
Storage
  • KM/H waterproof saddlebags
  • Kriega US-30 x1
  • Kriega US-10 x2

Installed upgrades but not yet updated

  • Puig folding, adjustable levers 3.0 
  • Motogadget mo.view cafe bar end mirrors
  • Motogadget bad end caps
  • OEM matte black front fender
  • custom aluminum rear fender (from license plate holder)
  • TripMachine leather grip wraps
  • Motozaaa M2 windshield
  • Denali DM auxiliary lights

Planned upgrades

  • replace front indicators
  • spare reupholstered brown leather seats
  • Ohlin’s front suspension

V

Motorcycle Inspirations

I actually grew up in a family that does not have anyone riding motorcycles so it’s a little puzzling for my family and friends why I decided to get one.
Looking back at it though, I’ve always been exposed to motorcycles growing up and the idea of riding a bike had always been a cool thing for me. 

My father was actually an avid cyclist when he was younger and I guess that was something he subconsciously passed down to me. He used to do bike runs on weekend mornings with my uncles and he’d tell me stories about it.

For me, cycling was purely a means for me to burn energy when I was hyperactive back in high school. I didn’t invest in any fancy bikes and just had a standard mountain bike but with Shimano brakes. I remember coming home from school and just going around our neighborhood on my bike for 1-2 hours, just enjoying the solitude and wind in my face.

Oddly enough, I did get exposed to a ton of media that made motorcycle riding look so cool. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Anime and western cartoons and our family spent a ton of evenings watching movies and shows on the home theatre. 

I also enjoyed various toys of motorcycles when I was younger and always thought they were such a cool thing (especially sports bikes!) but didn’t really think “oh I want to ride a motorcycle when I’m older”.  It was only when I was much older that the idea of motorcycles and the freedom that comes with riding one started to appeal to me.

ANIME ​
  • Akira
  • Great Teacher Onizuka
  • You’re Under Arrest
  • Ah! My Goddess
  • Goldenboy
  • Kino’s Journey
  • Yuru Camp
  • Super Cub
  • Rideback
  • Durarara!!
WESTERN MEDIA
  • Top Gun (and Maverick sequel)
  • Aerosmith Amazing MTV (Alicia Silverstone ❤)
  • Orange County Choppers (back when we had cable television)
Video GAME
  • Death Stranding (2019)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (2019)
  • FF7 Cloud’s Fenrir and FFXIV mount version
TOYs
  • Transformers Arcee G1
  • Transformers Road Rocket G2
  • LEGO 8838 Shock Cycle (1991)
  • LEGO 8417 Mag Wheel Master (1998) 
  • LEGO 42107 Ducati Panigale V4 R (2020) 
  • Various LEGO sets with motorcycles
  • Warhammer 40k Space Marine bikers/outlanders

Thinking about it, I’ve always been fascinated by anything mechanical (my other hobby falls heavily on robots). 
Maybe, just maybe, that I really like being around machines and have a bit of grease monkey spirit in me.

VI

Motomaru

– coming soon –

VII

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