It has been quite a while since the last installment in the tales of the salt efforts, but we are continuing work on some projects and for some, well, we’re waiting for spring to get rolling down the track (aren’t we all…)
The red Ducati turbo is safely hung from the ceiling in the warehouse/showroom. Many people ask about what appears to be armor plating on the bottom of the bike and when we explain it is ballast weight, they are surprised. It is against the commonly held perception that racebikes need to be light. In virtually every other racing discipline this hold true, but on the salt, well-placed and needed ballast helps contribute to a productive and stable ride. With over 200 lbs. of weight hung on the bike, it is even more surprising that you can’t see all of it from below. The weight box above the plates is barely visible.
The plans for this bike are to possibly sneak down to Byron Dragway and make a lap or two to be sure all the systems are functioning well. This allows a stretching of its legs at least in first and possibly second gear with the Bonneville ratios. Seeing 140 through the lights would be great, but 120 to 125 more realistic. Then it’s back up in the air to wait until it is time.
Its sibling, the nitro bike is getting a slight make-over after the Valdosta trip. Cleaning and finish welding the footpeg brackets is first on the list and then we are going to get this ready to for the salt directly. The dragstrip isn’t on its short list this season I’m afraid, as we are going to start the conversion to allow a better use of space and weight distribution on it.
Once the big nitro motor we were running in it is out, we then will check the rod bearings, and refresh those as needed, putting a spare turbo top end on it as this is the backup motor for the long turbo bike for Bonneville. Then it’s back on the shelf in eager anticipation.
Speaking of Bonneville, there is some consideration being made to possibly run the AMA/BUB Motorcycle Speed trials this year. It is an event that occurs over Labor Day weekend and is only motorcycles. I can’t speak highly enough of the SCTA/B.N.I. organization we usually run with, but looking at records in the AMA deal shows the record for the turbo Ducati’s class at 179 mph as opposed to 231 mph in the SCTA. We are looking at the record for the fueler as well.
Work is progressing on the new blown Ducati nitro bike and photos have been popping up on Facebook as presented by Nick. It is a huge amount of work, but very challenging and interesting. I hope to hear it run in 2015, but we will have to see how much time our other new project develops. Mr. Ed Kelly has made arrangements for us to build the motors for and finish up the systems on his double-engined, supercharged, nitro-burning Triumph Trident. It has a motor pod built by PMFR and a chassis by Race Visions Revisited. A lot of work is yet needed that will definitely spill over into 2016 with its maiden voyage slated for November of that year.
Additionally, we have a new shop truck: a 1963 half-ton GMC panel truck coming from California. Looks like a bruised banana but it’s here! It will take a bit of work but it runs, and you just might see it trundling around Madison in the future.