Sunday, February 26, 2012

Planning for the riding/racing season.

The MRA schedule has been posted, and the series has added a round, as well, the April "mancation" to Mid America looks to be a go.  Finally, some organizers with the club have arranged for Canadian pro racer Chris Peris to run a school at Gimli -- an offer too good to pass up.  My racing season looks like this:

April 14&15  Mid America Trackaddix Mancation

May 12&13 Round 1

June 2&3 Round 2

July 5&6 Chris Peris Riding School

July 7&8 Round 3

July 28&29 Round 4

Aug 18&19 Round 5

Sept 8&9 Round 6

Sep 29/30 - MPH Weekend (option)

So a very busy season this year.  The costs will certainly add up.  In addition, I've got the 636 to ride/commute on the street -- hopefully the increased seat time will further help my riding.  In addition, I also agreed to do some track day instructing at Gimli.  Again I felt somewhat obligated to help support the club -- considering the 2 years of refereeing while I re-evaluated my desire to race was a big enough sacrifice.  Knowing my cautious approach to my racing, the instructing on Saturday will likely impact my performance.  Yes, I will still be getting track time, but not "at speed"; my expectation is that some track credit will be offered in lieu, at least for Saturday.  Running two  bike will keep me hopping as well, but I think I am sorted for tires, and short of an expensive crash, my running costs are unlikely to change over the year. 
For the long-term, I would still love to see if I can get back to a single bike.  I enjoy the 650, but the "neat" factor of monos really stirs up the blood in me.  At the end, the DRZ400 supermono had me lap in the 109s -- no where near competitive for Thunder, but I would be racing the experts mid to back field... could I develop the husqvarna into a more competitive bike?  Surely the mito chassis and better suspension will help, but the engine is a question mark.  By all logic I've likely eliminated the backfire condition I saw when I ran it last fall.  The vibration is a reality, but I have some ideas as to how to minimize that -- everything from seat foam to engine mount bolts to a crank balancer nut (which was a bit loose) to a balanced crank are all possibilities to explore.  Ideally I'd love to get the suspension sorted (remember I've adapted gixxer forks and a zx6r shock to the cagiva frame), build a bulletproof, balanced and blueprinted engine, and run in the 107s... in both ultralightweight and thunder.  Then I'd put the 650 back on the street in the guise of a cafe racer, and sell the 636....  Oops, that's assuming I can race and develop the mitovarna at the same time.  An interesting feat.  Best make sure I safety-wire everything, cross my fingers, and hope for the best!

Monday, February 20, 2012

more fake bikes

As there is little to do right now with the real machines, I fiddled around with another Tamiya model.  This one is Carlos Checa's 2005 Yamaha YZF-M1.  It's painted in preseason testing livery.  I always thought nothing looked more like a "works" machine than a bike that has pre-season, pre-sponsor colors.  Most are finished in raw carbon fibre, or simply painted black with minimal logos.
Like a lot of motorsports, this Yamaha team was sponsored by a tobacco company.  Normally known as "Fortuna", in countries that banned cigarette adverts, it was changed to "Spain's No. 1".

Number one what?  Not fooling anyone!  The screen normally had a garish red decal, but instead I masked and sprayed the lower segment flat black, which allowed the #7 decal to be applied.

Nice stubby termi can.  The panels are all cleared with a semi-gloss clear.  Camera and light picks up some of the glare, as well as small specs of dust.  Applied the decals and used 2 coats of matt clear on the swingarm.

The box reveals the same bike in race colors.

Clutch detail.

Checa in the 2004 preseason tests.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

wee battery

The lightweight racing battery from Racing Batteries (see link on right) arrived.  As you can see, much smaller than stock.  Also lighter -- using a digital scale from the school, it came in a 1080g -- just over a kilo.  The stock battery was too heavy for the scale to read -- its max was 2kg.  So it is quite a bit lighter than the stock ex650r battery.