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Old 04-18-2019, 10:05 PM   #1
Mechanikrazy
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2019 Round 2 Report - Mechanikrazy

"It'll be simple. I'll test the ignition coil and check the spark plug. Either I've got a bad ignition coil or a fouled plug." This was the thought I had as I started pulling apart my bike. I had already ordered a set of ignition coils off of eBay and live within walking distance of an Autozone and an O'Reilly's. Little did I know that this was about to be an expensive race to get to Round 2.

During practice at Round 1, my 450 triple suddenly lost power while on the run up to Phil Hill. At the time, there was no rattling or otherwise discernable sound. The group thought was that it was probably a bad ignition coil on Cyl.1. The dead cylinder was swapped, and two races were run.

Allegedly, the motor was refreshed last year. The suspension was also allegedly refreshed halfway through last year. After R1, I took the suspension over to James Morse on the recommendation of Dave Moss. In refreshing the suspension, James found a cracked internal component. Thankfully it was relatively inexpensive, and he was able to get the part. It was probably from overtightening at the last service, and was the reason for some pogo-ing in the front end. Coming from a stock Ninja 300, the bad suspension still felt better than the 300 suspension. Slowly but surely though, this good deal of a bike is turning out to be less of a good deal with each discovery.

Next came the motor. I dropped the radiator and got access to the coils. I pulled the coil and spark plug and did the age old spark test, fully expecting no spark. Instead, I got consistent spark. Uh… Okay… Next, I dropped the exhaust to check the exhaust valves. This is where I start getting nervous. Cyl. 1 has a clearly bent exhaust valve. At this point, I decide to call it a night. The next day, I ran down to Harbor Freight for an inspection camera. I tried to run the camera down into the spark plug hole but the camera wouldn't fit. (Side note: HF says the camera is 8.5mm. It is not. I miked it at 9.1mm). I then decided to take a look at the exhaust valves. Now the real fun begins.



The entire valve head on the bent valve is gone. (The photo above is the bent stem, minus head). Not good. Extra not good in that I was about to go on a 4 day hike and then travel up to the Bay.
I took the bike into GP Motomax and Jose took a look at the cylinder walls with a smaller Snap-On ($$$) inspection camera. Not good on all fronts. Piston had damage and the cylinder wall had some damage. Jose was able to source a stock motor, and they swapped it in. Admittedly, I did not give myself or GP Motomax enough time before R2, but they stayed up late Friday and got the bike running. Now I'll also have a bad motor to tear apart and learn from.

I missed Saturday, but I was just incredibly grateful to have a bike for Sunday. I picked up the bike Saturday morning, reassembled the remaining parts and bodywork, and set out for Buttonwillow.

Seven paragraphs, and we're not even at Buttonwillow yet!

Sunday
Woke up and ran into Oscar from Racepace Motorsports. He told me he had extra space in his garage due to another rider unfortunately having motor problems (hope your motor issues are easily fixed!) on Saturday, and graciously offered it. After getting the bike tech'ed, I went out for practice for a shakedown run of the bike. Thankfully, everything seemed in order.

450SBK
There were three of us novice riders in this race. I had set a weekend goal of trying to get to 2:04/2:05, and went into this race with the mindset of doing my darndest to put my head down and get a tow. That didn't work out as much as I planned. I got a decent enough start to stay on the tail of the pack and tried to stick with Marc and #720 as much as I could. However, the gap started opening up, and soon I was on my own. I ended up back where I left off with a 2:08.3. The worst part about this race: finishing a lap down because of getting lapped by the SuperDino leader.


F4
Stagnation. 2:08.1. Also, I know that I'm still not having good inside arm/upper body position. I keep trying to remind myself to screwdriver hand the inside hand and drop the elbow and upper body. However, the photos are proof that I'm not doing it as I should. Also, I know that I'm over-slowing for T1, T2, and the last corner, even by my standards. I need to work on my reference points and looking farther up ahead.


450SS
More stagnation. 2:08.2. At least I can say that I am more consistent. The majority of laps I ran this weekend were in the 2:08/09s compared to only three laps at R1. I spent the race trying to figure out the Esses. I saw a lot of different lines from other riders, and couldn't quite figure out a line I liked that would let me get on the gas early. The extra heft of the R6 compared to the 300 made itself known as I tried to force different lines.


At the end of the day, I'm not happy with myself in that I wasn't able to identify and improve on a particular aspect. I thought I was carrying more cornerspeed through Riverside, but the overall laptimes didn't show it. However, I am extremely grateful for the people who helped make this weekend even possible.

I signed up for the Carter school days this coming week, so I'll see if I can make some mental breakthroughs before R3.

Special thanks to Cycle Gear Racing for the support!
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Last edited by Mechanikrazy; 04-18-2019 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:21 AM   #2
Kalvin00
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The Carter's school is a good one.. I suspect you will see significant improvements after day 2, and the fun of seeing your times drop.

Last edited by Kalvin00; 04-20-2019 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #3
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Often a break through will happen and I am sure it will for you.

They happen for different reasons, but keep at it and they will come.

Continued fun!!!

Nice pics
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:05 PM   #4
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Also improvements are non-linear. You’ll be stuck at one time for a while... then suddenly drop 2-sec. the 4th time out. Don’t get discouraged, you’re doing really well. Keep up the good work!
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:41 AM   #5
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Wow! “Refreshed” bits.....bummer. Glad you made R2! Excellent write-up! Totally sympathize with the challenge of setting lap-time goals that seem to be reasonable, but juuuuust outta reach. You’ll get there—-at this rate, i’ll be getting a tow from you in R3, and I’ll have zero issue with that!!

Enjoy the school!!


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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Also improvements are non-linear. You’ll be stuck at one time for a while... then suddenly drop 2-sec. the 4th time out. Don’t get discouraged, you’re doing really well. Keep up the good work!
This non-linear bit^^^^ is encouraging to me
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
Mechanikrazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalvin00 View Post
The Carter's school is a good one.. I suspect you will see significant improvements after day 2, and the fun of seeing your times drop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
They happen for different reasons, but keep at it and they will come.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Also improvements are non-linear. You’ll be stuck at one time for a while... then suddenly drop 2-sec. the 4th time out. Don’t get discouraged, you’re doing really well. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the school. I was an idiot chasing my white whale on Sunday at Sears Point. Since Sears is on the AFM schedule, I wanted to get some practice time in. I figured what better way than to do Sears Point Sunday and then drive up to Thill for two days. I told myself to just take it easy at Sears.

But I really need to reevaluate my riding at Sears Point. I was debating sitting out the first session due to the cold temperature, but decided to just take it easy and try to find an instructor for a tow. However, I did not properly adjust my 100% of traction for the conditions. I was off warmers early and went down to pit out to ask about an instructor. Pete was nice enough to volunteer to show me the ropes. We did some lead follow as he showed me his lines. In the initial laps, we were tip toe-ing around at a slow pace. Slowly (at least I thought so), we started moving a bit quicker. 40% pace, 50% pace. He waved me by to start another lap. I thought I was riding at maybe 60% with a good margin for error.

As we approached T3A, which is an uphill right hander which transitions over a crest into an off camber turn, I was running what I thought was a decent line with a "normal apex." As I crested though, I was carrying some lean angle (still 60% pace and not near knee down) when the front end tucked under me. I'm still a newb, but I didn't feel any warning signs from the front before it went.

Talking with Pete later, he was saying that he had made a mental note to talk to me after the session about running an earlier apex and being more upright while cresting. From his perspective, he said it just looked like the front unloaded while cresting and the bike went out from under me.

Doh. Well, the bike slid backwards into the dirt. Busted subframe, tail and right side of fairings damaged, and the exhaust is completely wrecked. To add insult to injury, it was one lap from the end of the session. Even worse, it got way warmer by noon.

So take away is line selection and adjusting better to conditions. I should have ramped up even slower, considering the cold temperature, long time off warmers, and multiple laps where I was losing heat in the tires.

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Originally Posted by Tumbleweed View Post
Wow! “Refreshed” bits.....bummer. Glad you made R2! Excellent write-up! Totally sympathize with the challenge of setting lap-time goals that seem to be reasonable, but juuuuust outta reach. You’ll get there—-at this rate, i’ll be getting a tow from you in R3, and I’ll have zero issue with that!!
Haha. We will see who is towing who at R3. Hopefully I can get the bike back together for a shake down at the June Carter days at Thill.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:27 PM   #7
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Well. Shitola. I’m sorry dude. That bites. And you missed out on getting all “schooled-up” with the Carters crew..dang

Sonoma/Sears/Infineon taught me about the early sessions several years ago....I “re-wrecked” literally after just fixing my bike from the last damn wreck at t-hill. . Cool morning sessions there..no thanks....I’ll just have another coffee. It’s just not worth the risk.

Such a bummer. Anything I can do to help get you reassembled, lemme know!
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