The Tyga team has got to work revamping a Honda VFR400, creating a super cool custom endurance racer for the road.
Inspired by Ukawa and Ito’s Suzaka 8 Hour winning Honda RVF750 from 1997, Tyga has created its own version of the Horipro-painted bike. But instead of using an RC45 as a base, the Thai company got its hands on an NC35 (or VFR400, if you prefer).
With a wide selection of suitable parts for the NC35, and a bunch of HRC goodies salvaged from a smashed up RC45 endurance racer – Tyga got to work creating its own Suzuka inspired racer. And it’s awesome.
Let’s quickly run through some of the trick bits that Tyga’s fitted to its RC35. First off, it’s got some trick Showa front forks straight from that smashed up Suzuka 8 Hour race bike, and a pair of period Brembo racing discs (from Gecko Motorcycles) to match the period top of the range Brembo calipers, which were then connected to brand new Brembo period radial master cylinders via a HEL brake line. The rear also received the Brembo treatment – with the brake system held in place by TYGA’s own bracket and a HEL brake line.
The rear suspension unit is a one-off Tyga special, made from parts of a stock NC35 unit and an NSR250 F3 shock. The wheels are from PVM, commissioned exclusively for TYGA Performance. They’re made from forged aluminium and are much lighter than stock wheel – and come kitted out with 160 section Dunlop rubber on the rear and stock 120/60 section on the front.
It doesn’t end there. It’s got a new, lighter subframe, a clever endurance-style headlight setup, carbon bodywork with brilliant Horipro paintwork. It also comes fitted with twin stack TYGA race exhaust and airbox – and as you’d expect, it goes very well for a 400 sportbike, kicking out a healthy 62 horsepower at the rear wheel.
The cockpit is finished off with a bespoke 3D-printed dash which is influenced by the HRC units from factory racers, a mini brake reservoir, a radiator overflow bottle, TYGA carbon air ducts and a Domino clutch lever.
Other touches around the bike include a TYGA carbon rear hugger and chainguard to keep dirt and grime off the rear suspension, TYGA carbon frame infills and a TYGA keyless filler cap. The engine’s fitted with TYGA carbon side covers, and there’s lightweight rear sprocket from Tyga too – but it’s worth mentioning that the gearing was kept stock for street use.
After getting out on track at Bira Circuit, Matt Patterson from Tyga had a few things to say about the RVF400 NC35 Horipro replica –
“A brief stab of the starter, and the trusty V4 burbles into life. A couple of brief blips to warm things up, clunk it into gear and trundle off down the pit lane. They tyres fitted certainly aren’t the best for track riding, but they actually weren’t too bad, warmed up very quickly and allowed for some reasonably aggressive throttle antics. This was of course aided by the very high quality (for it’s time) suspension that had been grafted on fore and aft.
“The rear hybrid shock is firm and well damped, so none of the usual, standard shock “squirreling” was encountered, and the front end, albeit intended for a full on Suzuka 8 Hour racer was compliant and absolutely rock solid on the brakes. And while we’re on the subject of the brakes – WOW! Considering that the RVF400 isn’t exactly flabby and isn’t exactly a featherweight either, the factory spec front end and brakes were just brilliant. A couple of lazy fingers on the lever was all it took to haul the beast to a stop.
“The geometry is a tad on the conservative side and required a bit of muscle to get it through the chicanes, but the flipside of this is fantastic stability. So yeah, the handling is pretty much as hoped. No major moments, even with street spec tyres. If we wanted to sharpen things up then that’s not a problem, as the hybrid shock is fully adjustable in all ways, including ride height.
“The 400cc V4 engine really is a peach. They’re deceptively rapid and have a distinctive howl when on the pipe. The NC is nothing like these little weed whacker strokers that I so adore. None of this frantic dancing on the gear lever to keep the motor on the pipe, just click a gear and let the torque do the work.
“The only problem I found was that there are no shop windows along the side of the track, so one can’t cruise by and admires one’s own reflection.” *Edited for clarity
For the full story of what exactly Tyga’s done to create this super cool custom racer, click HERE.