(this is a slightly abbreviated version of update letters sent out to the sponsors of our fundraising efforts for the next trip to the salt flats) Thanks for reading!
With the puzzle of the cooling system assembled, it was time to check the motor’s condition. We use a leakdown tester to do this. This is a gauge set that measures the percentage of air escaping (leaking) through the intake valves, exhaust valves, rings, etc. It has largely replaced the compression test for accuracy and convenience. The motor we ran showed us about 8% leakage past the rings on the vertical (rear) cylinder and 14% past the rings and valves on the horizontal (front) cylinder. The leakage in the rear cylinder isn’t great, but acceptable on a boosted motor. The front, however, wasn’t. The motor having sat since October, we wanted to run it again and give the valves a chance to clean up a bit and recheck it. This we did with the ignition off the Luddite bike (another project) and the carburetors we adapted to run the nitro bike with. The added dimension was the exit of the exhaust right next to the carburetors as the turbo was removed. Gasoline leaks here would be ill-advised. Finally getting it running, there is a video to let you see how much fun it was. This also allowed the testing of the cooling system, which didn’t show any undue stress. Rechecking the motor the next day, we still had 8% in the rear cylinder, but the front had dropped to 5% and that was past the rings, so it was good to go.
Now we start in on finishing the fuel tank and underseat components. The spring rush has put time at a premium so we may not make the progress hoped right away, especially with needing to get the fuel system reset for the 999 motor, but we will keep chipping away at it.
We have the first set of sponsor names on the tail now – a huge thank-you to everyone who has donated so far! Still room for more, head on over to the shop website to read up on it if you’re interested in being a part of the Bonneville 2013 effort, and we might be condensing the 2nd row if space is needed, but don’t want to crowd anyone.
New mounts for the front – had to remake them because of the chassis re-build: