Monday, December 28, 2009

New tail section

Picked up a damaged RS125 GP tail for cheap awhile back.  Needed considerable work to put back into decent shape.  And again, this is "race shape", not show quality.  It is the curvy and pointy modern GP design, and I swung by Cycleboyz to check in on the exhaust progress, and to also see how it fit.  While the exhaust system wasn't complete, some progress was evident -- the proper 1.5" stainless tubing was in, and the first part of the 1.75" header, sleeve, and mounting hardware was in place.  The fabricator seemed pretty confident that it would be a straightfoward build.  As for the tail section, a large chunk of the rear subframe was now unnecessary, once I relocated the battery to the front of the engine -- this also helped for the tail fitting, as the stock subframe was meant to work with a 250/400 sized seat, and not a narrow 125.  The plan is to cut a chunk off the rearmost part of the subframe, and mount the 125 tail fairing.

Note the bondo, epoxy repairs, and lines drawn to indicate where material has to be removed...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Going Green Again, maybe...

While at Canadian Tire, I came across a new Krylon Color, called "Key Lime" -- as in a psychedelic green... which got me thinking... Transcanada Motorsport has always been supportive of me in racing -- no free bikes, but a willingness to help, to provide a 15% discount, and Scotty the owner has just generally been a "nice guy" -- increasingly rare when I have expanded my bike collection to include Ducati, Suzuki, and now Honda.  Perhaps I should call the bike a "KLX400" (the engines and bikes were almost identical, save the color of the plastics).  Transcanada has been a long-time Kawasaki dealer, and I first worked with them back in the EX500 days, and later the ZX6R era.

This is Shinya Nakano's ZX-RR from 2006.  Arguably the most successful Kawi motogp bike ever, considering the overall results of the team.

This one has a slightly different paint scheme, and also different graphics.  A can of matt black, along with the green, should be easy enough to replicate, or at least be inspired by...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

outsourcing again -- UK this time.

Not a lot to report... no word on the exhaust, although I think I might make a coffee run out to Cycleboyz to spread some Christmas cheer and peek in on the progress (if any).  I've also been keeping my eye out for proper race bodywork for the 'mono, for 2 reasons -- weight, for one, as the ABS plastic on the bike right now is quite heavy.  And, if I plan to ride the thing at trackdays and eventually race it, I need proper fairings with an oil retaining bellypan.  Not a huge issue with a 2-stroke, but the mono is a 4-stroker, and I hope to be carrying around close to 3 litres of the slippery stuff.  God forbid the bottom end goes, but anything can happen on the track.  The only place that had bodywork which would "work" was Armourbodies.  Canadian, of all things, and they had an RS50 fairing kit... but stupidly expensive at over $800!  However, some ebay trolling found a pre 2006 RS125 race pattern bodykit -- should be close to the RS50 stuff, as the 50, 125, and 250 all use the same windscreen!  This is out of the UK, but I could get it shipped to Canada, with the currency exchange, for under $300!

According to the posting, the dzus fasteners are included, although I will have to fiddle with the fitting -- note no windscreen bolts are included/ no holes drilled, and likely some of the bellypan will have to be modified to fit the exhaust.  Pretty straightforward, in all likelihood (and compared to what I'm used to).  This, combined with the RS125 (Honda) race tailsection I scored for cheap should make the bike look a little more sleek, and save some weight.  Of course, this gives me the opportunity for yet another paint scheme... I think I might revert back to my "lucky stroke" roots...

I had a student create this logo for me in the late 90s, when I was still racing 2-strokes.  I think it is particularly appropriate for the mono, for a number of reasons -- it's in the colors of the "lucky" Irish flag; the engine is a torque-loaded thumper, which implies the "stroke" of the the engine.  The process of getting the base frame from Dave, getting it home for free in carry on luggage, getting a mis-labeled DRZ400 engine for cheap, having a lot of parts mate up far easier than they should, and this being the 3rd frame I've built myself, all leads to the "lucky" moniker...  and of course, I'm feeling pretty fortunate this time of year (as I should all the time) to have the opportunity to ride, race, build the parts, have a patient wife, willing co-conspirators in my parents, etc. etc.....

So, imagine this paint scheme... the red becomes the Irish Lucky green, and the grey (which looks black in this photo) the golden yellow... all on a white background.  Might end up looking like a "Skoal Bandit" bike, or a "Kool" tobacco paint scheme from a distance.  We'll have to think on it a bit.

Friday, December 4, 2009


The 'mono is off for a multi-day sleepover at Cycleboyz.  Dad was kind enough to ship the Jardine exhausts I bought for the bike to me direct, and now the 'boyz are building me a header for it.  As per the Yoshimura system, I am going with a 1-2 system, and using the twin CRF250 exhausts from Jardine.  The plan is to start off with a 1.75" header, and then split off into two -- 1.5" pipes to each muffler.  Everything is as short as possible, with the cans exiting just behind the rearset pegs.  The cans are currently mocked into place using some aluminum strap, and a proper stainless bracket will be fabbed, using the rearset plates as pick-up points.  Hopefully will look pretty neat when all is said and done.  Of course, the whole shebang will be made out of stainless and tig-welded.  So we're gonna do it right this time!  Pics to follow -- Kate has the camera.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Need to change things up a bit.  I think I am going to create another blog, to highlight the purchase and work done to my next bike -- it should be in my garage Sunday evening.  It's been a hard week without streetbike, but I think I have a good replacement for the Ducati lined up.  So, from here on in, this blog will concentrate on the 'mono, and the other blog will cover the streetbike.
The only mono news this week is that I got some proper spacers machined for the rear end -- the swingarm pivot area, and the rear shock.  Fairly straightforward, but shop time costs money, and a bit more of my wages went to Atom-Jet.  They are, as I've said before, a great bunch of people to deal with, so I have no problem sending work their way.  As much as I've spent there over the years, it is still far less than a proper lathe and mill... so far.

This is the bike as it sits right now -- tires are off, to protect them from the coming cold temps.  Probably not necessary, but I'd like to get another season out of them.  Rear subframe is in place with new bolts -- proper chrome and/or anodized steel ones, as the black ones I used from Canadian Tire started to rust.  Looked pretty weak!  Tank is also in place -- to the rear you can see a white chunk of plastic -- that is a seat pan from an EX250 -- I've cut most of it away, but the front part of it transitions from the seat subframe to the rear of the tank -- my several attempts at fibreglassing something to work all failed.  Cost me 5 bucks.  Worth it.  Need to mold it into the tail section.

This is the spacer arrangement from the engine to the swingarm pivot shaft, to the frame.  Sprockets line up perfectly, and with the bushings, I can snug the swingarm pivot bolts down properly.  No "NTFT" tourque settings.  Everything was well-greased before putting it together.  There are even some rubber bushings in there to keep grime out; this being a racebike, however, I'll keep a close eye on everything back there!  The rearset plates are in place to start to eyeball where the mufflers are going to hang -- see Yoshimura exhaust pics from an earlier post to get the idea.

This is the aluminum spacer that positions the lower clevis of the rear shock.  This is quite the unit -- it has adjustable preload, rebound damping, and hi and low speed compression damping... I think -- there are two adjusters on the remote resevior.  Pretty trick, for a pretty cheap price!  I snugged up the spring preload -- I think the spring rate is correct, or darn close for this application.  There is no oil weeping on the shaft, so I think it is fine as is, not needing a rebuild or anything.  The line to the remote resevoir is a bit short -- the other shock were all far too long... so I might have a fight on my hands hanging it neatly to the subframe.

Came across this paint scheme when I was surfing the net.  Always liked the look of the Gulf race cars.  One of Dad's fellow flyers was a bulk Gulf fuel distributor in my hometown, so I remember seeing the logo at a young age around the airport.  If the Supermono gets to the next level of reliability and handling, it will need race bodywork with an oil-retaining bellypan.  Armourbodies in Alta makes a set for the RS50, so perhaps this might be the next paint scheme.  I've always liked the retro look.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


My long history with Ducati is over, for now (although perhaps for good). It was lots of fun. I learned a ton of information, skills, and mechanical knowledge. I understand how desmodronics work, and that they are nothing to be afraid of. I successfully bought, rebuilt, modified, raced, and won on a Ducati. I helped people with other Ducatis. I toured on a Ducati. And yesterday, I sold my Ducati. I'm pretty sure it went to a good home -- the new owner followed the blog as to the rebuild, took it for a test drive, and comfortably paid my asking price. I think we all came out happy.
Now what? If everything goes according to plan, another v-twin is in my future. Stay tuned. I'll have to perhaps change the name of the blog, or even start another one, because I want to keep my massive following (2 people and counting!!!!) up to speed on the supermono as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The Ducati is back together!

Front 3/4 view.

Darn! That's a fine looking machine!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

more pics

Mad Duc Rearsets

Progress-- when I decided to call it quits tonight.

Exhaust and clean rear wheel!

Headlight cluster.


Needle bearings re-packed prior to reinstallation.

Cleaned and oiled the air filters.

Re-greased swingarm pivot rocker.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Come together

I'll let the pics speak for themselves.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ducati again

Got the frame back from Cycleboyz today. Happy with the result. Nice, thick, glossy, durable clearcoat. All frames should be painted with this!

Several metric bolts sacrificed themselves to plug threaded tabs on the frame. Luckily after the last 13 or so years of riding and wrenching, I never threw anything out. I'll keep these too, for the next time I need something coated.

Past experince has shown me how much a few mils of powdercoat will muck with the fitment of the engine, swingarm, and other parts during reassembly. So, I went at the frame with the dremel tool and a nice, 80-grit sanding drum. Didn't want to take off any metal, but had to remove the coating for the engine to fit properly. If you don't, things get damaged and "chunks" of coat will come off like shards -- like an eggshell and ruin the finish in areas you can "see". This avoids that... although it is tedious work!
Engine comes home tommorow!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Thought I'd post some pics of the reassembly of the Supermono.

The first shows essentially the rolling chassis starting to come together, sans engine. At first, I wasn't too thrilled with the primer coat on the frame and swingarm. Seemed to be perpetually soft, and just moving it around the garage saw both get marks on the primer, although nothing went through to the bare metal underneath. However, after a couple of weeks, the primer seems to have cured properly. Plan is to leave it like this until I am sure the frame will hold together, crack free.

As I tried to describe, by mixing and matching swingarm bearings and bushings between a DRZ400 and the Aprilia Pegaso (the swingarm), surprisingly the parts mated together. Now I can have "proper" torrington/needle bearings with a hardened spacer pivoting within, and the correct 17mm shaft running though the engine. No bronze bushings for me -- the tolerances are much closer, and brings the mechanism into the 1980s! Like I may have stated, old 70s TZ250s had bronze bushings slip-fitted to axles. Old school! Now I need to get some spacers machined to install outboard of the swingarm -- pretty sure the spacers I had for the inside arms of the swingarm should work. Need to get the engine installed first, and then measure it.

This is a pic of the Hyperco CBR600 shock I got from the UK. Proper rebound and compression damping, as well as a threaded preload collar, not the stepped one of the stock shock -- will allow for more accurate adjustment. As well, the design of the lower eyelet will let me use a simpler, lighter, and "cleaner" alloy spacer than the mix and match steel sleeves and washers I had used last season.

My faith in "hammered" paint has taken a hit as it has not held up nearly as well on the swingarm as I had hoped. I had properly prepped the primer coat, and painted it inside, but with any "stress" it came off -- however the primer coat held up all right. This pic shows the smaller alloy rear sprocket I got from AF1 (will be going with a 15-37 rather than a 16-40), and the swingarm bobbin I installed prior to it being painted. Will allow for a much more secure mounting on the swingarm stand.

In other news, I got word from Eddie Sinceros that my new valves and springs are installed in my cylinder head, and the whole assembly is on its way back to me. When it arrives, I'll install it on the engine, check the valve timing about 100 times to be sure, and install it in the frame. Again, the OEM manual and copious amounts of online help and photos should make the process a bit more idiot proof. I did see the results of a European dude who had sent his heads to Eddie to get the same work done, and screwed up the timing. What a mess! Again, all the research indicates that this is the "best" mod to do to the DRZ to make it bulletproof for long-term high revs usage.
On the Ducati front, the frame has been powdercoated. Saw it on the weekend, but they forgot to mask the inside of the steering stem. They're going to remove the powder for me, and I'll pick it up between Drs appts on Tuesday this week. Looks really good -- thick, durable coat of powder -- bomb proof! Will post a pic when I get it home.
If you are a fan, you know that Rossi already had the title wrapped up, but the last ever 250 GP championship was still up for grabs. Turns out Scot Honda rider Aoyama won, after running off track and dropping down to 11th. He needed to maintain that spot if Simoncelli won, but the Gilera rider dumped it at about 2/3rds distance.

My slight brush with fame took place at the MotoGP race at Indy. We went to the local steakhouse for dinner after checking in, and ran into the members of the Scot Honda team having dinner. Not sure if they wreched for DeRosa, or either of the back of the pack MotoGp riders (a Japanese and/or a Hungarian) but their shirts were right, and they were having a lot of fun. Not sure if we understood each other, but they were obliging at least!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Spoke with Dustin today at Wildwood sports. He split the difference on the time quote -- originally said 4, and it took him 6. ALL valves were out of the newer (post 2004) Ducati spec -- new figures state that the clearances have to be much closer than originally called for.
So that's: 5 hours at $80/hr, along with 8 closer and 8 opening shims -- the far side of $600.00 Hmm. As well, the cost to powdercoat the frame (properly) is about what I expected -- $425. Not for the paint, but for the time, ensuring the trellis tubing is all covered. Both can be picked up shortly, although my schedule is such that a Saturday off isn't for awhile. As well, the minor consumable parts I ordered also have to come from Italy, so it may be a couple of weeks before I get stuff back home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

deja vu all over again

This picture probably looks a bit familiar -- both of my road bikes are in pieces, with engine work to be done, and frames to be painted. Two at a time seemed reasonable! The supermono frame and swingarm were locally sandblasted and then primed. I am going to leave the frame in primer for now, using the light grey paint to allow me to inspect for any stress cracks over the next few seasons. The rear swingarm will be sprayed black with "hammer" paint.

I was also able to get the cylinder on the 'mono honed, and it was installed on the case with the new rings, E base gasket, and a liberal coating of oil in the cylinders and on the piston. Waiting for the heads to come back from Sinceros Speed Works. Eddie emailed to say he had recieved the heads and cams -- he just needs to install the valves, new rings, and shim the cams on the bench and send it back. Oh yeah, and I need to give him some money.

This hammertone or hammerite paint is pretty good stuff. Needs a decent couple of coats to really do the job, but it is fairly durable for a rattlecan. About as good as you can get short of powdercoating. On an amazing side note, by using DRZ400 bushings and Aprilia Pegaso torrington bearings, I can do away with the bronze bushings I farted around with for so long last winter... combining the two allows me to use the 17" bolt that also works in the engine case. No more "slip fit" engineering -- the proper torque can now be used attaching the swingarm. More pics in the future will explain.

And speaking of powdercoating, the Ducati frame is off to get recoated gloss black. Meanwhile the engine is on the bench, getting ready to take a trip into Winnipeg. When all was said and done pricing out tools, gaskets, and opening and closing shims, I have decided to let the local Ducati dealer (Wildwood) do it for me. The labour costs will be cut down drastically because the engine is out of the frame. As well, the proper tools and shims are at their disposal, so the turn around time should be much quicker. And when they are done, they can re-set and re-tension the belts. I have been quoted "no more than 4 hours @ $80/hr". Hopefully they come in under the budget. If not, I will certainly make no bones about it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Interesting Finds

As a part of the top-end service, I am dropping the engine out of the frame. This is by no means necessary -- the 999 series is known for its service friendly design... its just that in a few weeks, it will get bloody cold in the garage, and I wanted to take my time and work on the engine inside! Was able to remove the engine in pretty quick order, once I had a way to prop up the rear part of the main frame. A support base I originally built to steady a bike on a trailer was pressed into service, with the frame being steadied by bolts threaded into the rearset mounting holes. Put a jack under the engine and the unit dropped out. Hey, presto, and Robert is your father's brother! (Bob's your uncle...) Looking at the paint on the frame has got me thinking I might make a trip to the powdercoater's while I have it all apart... would look pretty cool in a gloss black.

On to the DRZ -- while I patiently wait for my cams to arrive, so I can send the heads off to Eddie Sinseros, I stumbled across an article in the most recent CycleWorld that talked about a DRZ400 built by Yoshimura for Kevin Shwantz. Of particular interest was the under-engine exhaust system...

Note how "short" the exhaust headers are -- not nearly as long as on other supermono designs. The muffler itself starts just aft of the rear part of the engine -- a tapered cone that extends onto the carbon-fibre bit. Interestingly, Yoshimura designed a 1-2 design -- there is a matching muffler exiting on the other side of the bike (just visible above the rear wheel) -- anyway, this proves that there is some merit to a shorter header design.

Detail shot of the LHS muffler. Very tasty looking, and eyeball engineering indicates these could be fitted to my 'mono without a lot of fuss. Then I looked at the price... $1100 'murican. Yikes! I think I can get a piece of stainless bent into the shape I want for a bit less than that!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Engine Top End

As I mentioned in the last posting, I plan to work on the reliability piece with the engine. Again, its no powerhouse, but it is known for its reliability, especially when compared to 450 moto bikes. There are, however, 2 known issues when the engine is worked hard at high sustained revs. The camchain on pre-2002 bikes can slip due to a poor automatic camchain design. In the middle of the summer, I replaced mine with a manual camchain by APE. Sorted.
The second known issue is a bit more involved. The valves are weaker 2-piece design, and can come apart after lots of abuse. Again, for piece of mind, I have decided to get proper race valves installed, along with better quality springs. When I send the head down to Eddie Sinceros of Sinceros Speed Works, he will also shim the valves to whatever cams I have... and since I already have the cams out... I'll be sending down a pair of stage 1 hotcams for him to put into spec.
Again, the urge do go overboard is still quite strong, but I need to hold off for awhile and continue to develop the bike. Power is nothing without Control...! The big bore will have to wait.
I did take the cylinder itself off as well, and everything appeared to be in good condition. The cylinder will get a quick hone with a ball hone -- the cross-hatch marks could be seen, but there were a few streaks of increased wear in a few spots. Nothing major. I did check and the piston ring end-gap was well within specs -- not sure if it was the original piston or not inside. The piston is marked ART, which is an aftermarket supplier. However, sometimes when these companies grow they become OEM suppliers as well.

I did get in the necessary supplies to properly rebuild the top end. New base and head gasket, a piston circlip (got a couple extra while I was at it), an new set of rings (ouch!), and that's about it. I decided to get the thinner "E" base gasket, which will increase compression somewhat. Might add 1/2 a hp -- but I always put premium fuel in the bike at all times, so pinging won't be an issue. Haven't sent off the heads yet, as I am still waiting on the cams to arrive. Perhaps I can time the assembly for when Dad or brother Tim show up -- an extra hand threading the timing chain through the head would be helpful!

As promised, I bought the "rights" to the digital photos that Rob Bye took at the track. Again, a pretty weak angle of lean, but I am exiting turn 5 in this shot... I know I had the machine heeled over much farther than this! As well, I've spent a total of about 8 minutes on the bike on a track... excuses, excuses!

Lastly, I'm doing some research as to the "ideal" exhaust header length as I want to get a header fabricated out of stainless by my friends at Cycleboyz. I found an online header length calculator, and after doing some research, came up with the following specs...
Exhaust open BBDC: 65
Exhaust close ATDC: 29
Engine RPM: 7250
cc of 1 cylinder: 434
Results: 26" tuned length from valve head
Primary ID: 1.625"
Tailpipe Length: 22.967" (this is the muffler)

So, the figures above are for an E cam, which is similar to the hotcams. The RPM figure is based on where the HP peaks on these engines. The 434cc is anticipating a bigbore (eventually). The ID of the header works out to roughly 1 5/8" -- smaller than the 1 3/4" I currently use. And of course, the header length is quite short!

The final design might look something like this (quite popular on the showroom floor!)

But, I really don't want to creat a situation like this... even though it is a racebike, and I'm a MotoGPwanna-B... will continue to do some research. I'll see what the cycleboyz guys say. Right now, I'm leaning towards 1 3/4" tubing, and shortening up the whole assembly, although I don't think I can fit a 26" header and exhaust under the engine -- it'll be a bit longer, and attach to the right peg. This saves me monkeying with the rear seat subframe -- the muffler attaches to the peg assembly like on the Gixxer above. I think I can also shorten the TwoBros muffler I have to suit... and by shortening it in the right place, I can cut out the area that was damaged in the previous owner's crash. As always, stay tuned. The frame and swingarm should be back from the painter's in a couple of days.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It works!

Sorry for the delay in posting, but the startup to the new school year has been a bit hectic. The last round of the season took place on Sept. 12-13. Finally, some decent weather was forecast, and the weatherman(woman ?) was right. Of course, that meant I needed to wear my silly hat, keep the sunglasses on, and layer on the sunscreen (I have 3 different types) in order not to fry... come the end of the weekend, I was successful. It was a neat weekend in that as referee, you are involved, albeit at a distance, with the success and failure of other riders. Lennon Stevens wrapped up the overall championship partway through the schedule on Sunday, which was an emotional win for him. Was neat to see "the kid who came out with his dad on an old RZ350 when he was 14" develop into a smooth, insanely fast dedicated rider on a 1000. Congrats, Lennon. As well, my buddy Wilson won the Canadian Thunder Championship, although it was not without drama. His TZ250 had engine troubles during the 600 race, and so he had to borrow an SV650 from Bob Bais. His 7th place on "the couch" was enough to win the MRA championship and the CMA championship by 2 points. There's sportsmanship! The photo to left is the last thing riders see before they head onto the track. Poor things!

On a personal note, the most exciting time of the weekend was the 15 minutes I FINALLY got to spend with the supermono. It works! It still needs work, but the 8-9 laps I got in showed me it stops and turns to an acceptable standard, for now. My one worry, the engine temps, was unfounded as it never got higher than 68 degrees throughout. I still have lots of tweaking to do with the bike, but its nice to know that fundamentally, as a starting point, it works. Again, its no rocket, but I built it (or finished it, anyway) and it is a reflection of me as a mechanic, engineer, and rider. Rob Bye did get a shot of me exiting turn 5. I promise you I did have the bike leaned over much farther than in this pic, but you'll have to take my word for it. I shared the track with 2 other riders and an instructor on new 600s. I got out ahead of them, and then actually came aound and "lapped" them, although I couldn't pass them. This bike will be all about momentum. Until I purchase the rights to the photo from Rob, here is a link to a proof.

The guys were teasing me a bit and calling me "Vermulen". No way man, Capirossi all the way!

I immediately began to strip the bike down for the finishing over the winter. As well, for the sake of engine durability, the valve and springs are a weak point for sustained high RPM. The heads are going off to Sinceros Speed Works for some hi-end valves and springs, and will be mated to a HotCams Intake and exhaust cam kit. That will be it for engine mods for now. As much as I want to do a big-bore, upon investigation the stock cylinder and piston are in great shape. I do a quick ball hone of the cylinder, install some new rings and an "E" base gasket (for a bit more compression) and leave it alone. Suspension and handling is the objective for next season.
As for the Ducati, the last few days of decent weather are coming. This winter is a "big" job -- the valve check and adjust. There are some other engine-related things I want to clean up while I am at it, so I plan to drop the engine out of the frame -- which, with the swingarm through the engine case design of the Ducati, means a creative way of suspending the frame while I drop out the engine. I have some ideas... I want to take the engine inside (a la my 900ss) and do it in the warmth of the office. I need to build a platform to do it inside (the woodshop at school will come in handy), so the pre-service work will be needed too.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

motogp and me (and Kate and 145,000 others)

Back from the Indy vaction. Included a trip to a Cubs game (which they won vs Washington Nationals), Chicago sightseeing and culture, and some crazy driving on the way home. You all have heard the results of the race, but it was pretty neat to watch, and nice to see 250s for the first and last time in the USA. The Moto2 bikes looked interesting, but I didn't get to see them up close.... just circulating the track. From what I can remember, the 800s sound far more nasty than the 990s from Laguna back in '05.

Some pics from the pits and the seats:

Roland Sands' new KTM 450 450moto bike. Nice. Spent more on the paintjob than I have with my machine (almost...). Took a pretty close look at the Racetech modified forks, and the shortened rear shock. Reminds me about what Dave Pearce said about the poor geometry with slapping on a set of 600 forks. Woulda liked to hear it run. Some passing interest from the others fans I saw, but most of the Yanks were looking at the RC8s.

Ran into Eric Bostrom. Was walking around near the Yamaha and Speedvision tents pretty incognito. I think he was touched that a few people recognized him. Wanted to ask when he was coming back, but why would anyone come back to the AMA at this point. He was always a good 600 rider; maybe he should head to Moto2? Just said, thanks, shook his hand, and walked away. Seemed like the "nice guy" we all saw on TV. Guess he's headed back to Brazil to work on his Coffee plantation or whatever...

Our seat location was based on advice from Wilson and Cherie, and it was good! We sat together on Sat and Kate joined us for the races on Sunday. Good weather! I'm not trying to avoid them -- the "gap" in the stands was where Kate was sitting... Note the bedouin fashion statement by yours truly -- trying to avoid a sunburn... success!

One of the photos we snapped with the digital camera. Brought mom's Canon and huge zoom lenses to Laguna, but stuck with the wee one this time. Not bad, considering. Photo courtesy of Kate, I had the video camera.

I think I took this one. After Rossi and Dani P crashed, it was a bit of a processional for Jorge. However, like Laguna in 05, the entire contingent was willing Nicky H to hold onto 3rd and get a podium, which he did.

This is what 15 hours of driving in 1 day does to you.
As for things on the home front, I will be installing the PCIII for the 999 when it gets in (shortly). Inspired by the NCR tent on Ducati Island, I also moved the battery for the mono from the tailsection to just fore of the engine for weight distribution and general "cleaning up". Took most of a day figuring out where to put things like the regulator and ecu, but I've found a spot. This also gives me some more flexibility in regard to tail sections, so in order to lower the seat height further, I am going to give the tyga tail a try. It's been painted and cleared, and is just awaiting some seat foam. Next race weekend is a week from today. Wish me luck that I get it out on the track for awhile! Setting the DVR for the weekend -- motoGP, WSBK, and AMA....