(this is a slightly abbreviated version of the letters sent to our sponsors as part of the Bonneville 2013 Fundraiser)
We had a whole laundry list of things to do on the bikes this winter, and progress is well under way… back in January we started to address the skeleton of the bike, which will affect all future adjustments.
One of the annoying things like the heavy steering we can deal with by taking rake out of the front end. Pulling 3 to 4 degrees will make the bike much easier to steer under 100 mph and much less of a nuisance to wheel around.
The wander at 175 to 190 mph we might be able to solve by increasing the rigidity of the rear end by adding bracing to reduce the likelihood of the wander being cause by deflection of the rear end. Adding a downtube cradle tying the steering head to the undercarriage will help strengthen that area. Fully ballasted, a deflection could be seen when really bouncing on the seat area. Repositioning the big ballast weight will also help to lower the center of mass and shift the weight bias more rearward.
This will all be done by stripping the bike down and putting it back in the jig upon which it was made. Sounds simple, right? Well as you can see, there is a lot of stuff to remove, and we make sure to photograph everything and make notes of to be certain it goes back on in the right place and still works. There was also a good six hours of cleanup to remove all of the accumulated debris. Two solid days, eight tubs and two carts of parts later, we were ready to remove the front forks and rear wheel and start the re-jigging.
The bike is completely stripped down to the chassis skeleton, wheels and motor. Like with any really thorough reorganization effort, it’s best to start with the basics.