One week can make quite a difference. After the horrible last round, my shoulder ached, I had a hole in my foot, the racebike was in pieces, and I was left wondering again why I hit the deck. The good news is, the shoulder is less sore, the hole has healed (and I am back running), the bike is back together (thanks to the great folks at Woodcraft) and I have some ideas as to what happened last round.
In the meantime, I've been emailing a fellow ex racer in the Northern US. I think Chris is of the same mindset as me, in that the deficiencies of the ex650 are more of a challenge to overcome, rather than a "like it or lump it" situation that has to be tolerated. Our emails have been helpful for me and I think together, our shared resources, ideas, and contacts might help us both. To date, however, I have benefited the most as he's sent me the information, as well as a small part that has helped lop a few pounds off of the ex650.
The last round of the season is in a week. A top 3 overall is out of the mix, so at this point I simply want to focus on my instructing duties, take some video of the students, of my riding, and also try to rig up watching my front forks for the amount of travel (dad's genius idea). I also want to go and relax, have some fun, and work on my riding. Not to take anything away from my past podium finishes this year -- they were not flukes, but I need to rethink some of my lines. Some clear track will also allow me to work on my laptimes. I want to get back into the 1:05s before the long winter break. I have no plans to spend money on engine upgrades (yet). The bike needs to be dynoed to the new pipe but that can wait until the spring. A software issue, then, working on the hardware between my ears!