Quick reality check...I know alot of folks are making BECs for the track, but are there folks out there living with these cars as street machines? Do they work out for commuting to work on occasion?
Sure, but it's sort of like driving a race car on the street. The main problem in areas with lots of traffic is that the car is so low that people tend to not remember it's there. I have an antenna on mine with a bright read streamer on the top end.
I have no plans to take this car on the track, so am I making any kind of mistake going with an R1 engine over a regular car engine? Are there things I should be aware of that aren't obvious?
I have a "Driving impressions of Locouki" article on my website you might want to read.
Several things that I would do differently if I were to build another BEC;
1. Get the clutch pedal to have more movement (9:1 ratio isn't quite enough).
2. Make the throttle response progressive so that it takes approximately 3/4" of pedal motion to get the engine off idle.
3. Make sure and use a LSD rear end with ~3.1:1 ratio. I have the LSD but the wrong ratio.
These are all on my "things to do list".
Other than those things, a BEC is just a high revving, way to much power to weight ratio, every day run of the mill race car.