One of the traditions I have tried to keep up with is the opportunity to ride the red turbo bike around the block on the Sunday morning before we leave. This allows the settling in of the systems and verification of their function. It is also a suspension test as Madison’s streets are rougher than anywhere on the salt. Bouncing and wiggling here will make Bonneville feel like a billiard table. It also shows up flaws not readily seen otherwise, as the steering damper bracket problem was right after the frame mods.
Since I will be in Rockingham NC next week end, and on the road the Sunday after, that made this the day.
Rolling it out onto the driveway, and gearing up, I was allowed a quiet moment with the bike for a last perusal of things after cleaning and tightening things last night. Master switch “ON” and a push of the starter button and it came to life. Three ibuprofen, a cup of black coffee, followed by a bit of stretching, and after settling onto the seat, we were under way. The new reduced rake in the frame makes it a bit easier to handle at speeds under 120 mph, and a bit less of a challenge getting around the corners in the city. Slipping the clutch gently, the first corner went well, with only a bit of searching for the rear brake. Rolling around, I managed to get behind a city bus going down Old Middleton Road, so I took it slowly and felt the response to the myriad bumps I mentioned before. It felt bouncy, but normal as the suspension doesn’t exist in the rear and the front forks still don’t start to work until you are over 100 mph, once again, due to the rake.
Rounding the third corner, I waited to exit onto University Avenue until I saw a lot of open road ahead and no one coming up from behind. Rolling out onto the avenue, first gear was exercised, and a quick shift into second, going by the bus at a considerable difference if speeds. Looking down I saw a big discrepancy in the exhaust gas temperatures, with the rear showing 1400 degrees. This is a fatal temperature for exhaust valves and piston crowns. Carefully plotting my entry into the driveway, I took the bike inside and rechecked the EGTs, with the rear still showing very hot. Plugging in a new probe yielded the same results even with it not in the exhaust, so that pointed to the gauge or wiring. It turned out to be the positive thermocouple connection on the gauge that a new end and careful cleaning took care of. Other than a small oil leak in the left front valve cover area, she looks to be ready to go. I will have Fred download the data as a final verification, then put the bodywork back on and it is ready for the trailer.
We just added three new sponsor names to the bike tail section – welcome! The pictures from the “Your Name Here” will be sent out after we get pictures of the bike on the salt, and after the Valdosta races. We are aiming to have them sent out in December after Jacki comes home to get them all put together.
The countdown begins…