BARE BONES MACHINE®
April 15 - 16 Track Day at Mountain View
Actually, before we could go to the track Jay and I had to finish the final assembly of the bike on Friday 4/14. That morning we went over to Jeff's place where he was finishing up the new stainless pipe. It looked awesome. He still was finishing the silencer, if you can call it that. It's about a 3 1/2 inch opening through about a six inch fiberglass packed canister (The bike sounds pretty healthy). Came back to Jay's shop and he was still putting the finishing touches on the new frame sub-section. He had to modify the right hand side in order to clear the right carb (I'll try to get a picture of this next time). After we finished detailing most everything we were ready to "light it up" for the first time at about 6:30 pm. Got the truck and the rollers out and the bike started up on the first try... One small problem, the clutch wouldn't release. So, we proceeded to take the thing apart again in order to get the engine out of the chassis so we could get the clutch cover off. Turns out the clutch plates had somehow hung up in the basket and weren't releasing properly. Anyway, we fixed that and began putting it all back together. By this time some local friends (Paul Alvarez and Pete) had stopped by and helped us with the reassembly. Jeff Silvas came by and helped with the thrash also. Finally, got it in one piece again and started it for the second time at 10:30 Friday night (Thank God for understanding neighbors!). Everything sounded good and the clutch worked this time so we ran it through a couple heat cycles. Retorqued the head, put on the body work, and we were ready to go to the track. It was only 2:30 am Saturday morning and of course the plan was to make an 8:00 am open track session. We got about 4 hours sleep and drove the 200 miles up to Mountain View and when we got there the track day had been cancelled because of weather. Did I forget to tell you that by this time it was snowing and about 28 degrees. An MRA official (I forgot her name) told us that it would be rescheduled for tomorrow and that the weather was supposed to be a lot better...
Sunday dawned bird chirp blue and was lookin really good. Drove up to the track and got there around 11:30 am. Perfect conditions. Probably about 50 or 60 other riders had shown up. We unloaded, set tire pressures, added gas, and I went out for the first session. The bike felt great. It had a sledge hammer mid-range and seemed to run better than it ever had. Came in after about 4 or 5 laps and checked everything over. Looked good. No leaks. We changed tires and went out for the second session. By now it was about 68 degrees. Jay put on a YDC (Ultra soft) front and YCX (soft) rear. Went out and started getting up to speed. I ran about a full race distance and noticed that although it ran stronger than ever, the motor seemed to nose over at very high rpm. Came in and explained what it was doing to Jay and he suggested that we retard the cam timing. He did and I went out again. This time it was like the bike had gained 7 hp. It ran really strong on top. However, after extended full throttle application on some of the chutes between corners it seemed like maybe the engine was "hunting" a little bit. I came in again and explained all this to Jay and he said all we have to do is jet the carbs a little bit richer, but, that we should wait for the actual upcoming race weekend on April 30th and jet for the conditions on that day. Veteran racer Mark Erickson took the bike for a few laps and came back suitably impressed. It was really great to get back on the bike again after the winter and I realize that there is nothing else I have ever experienced that compares to the feeling of an aggressive run on the race track. These winters are way too long...
Well, we should be in good shape for the first race now... I'll keep you posted.