The new view...a couple of Koso tachs have replaced the Vapors. I couldn't make out the LED bar tachs ever, but they were the quick and dirty fix at the time. No speedo, just oil temperature and a shift light.
11 more sleeps and I'll be making my annual trek to the Bonneville Salt Flats.
I was undecided about what to do with the big body work. I'm at the point where I need some wind tunnel work. The bike wasn't much fun in a cross wind and I never ran above 175 last year because it rocked so hard from side to side. I'm planning on a pair of turbos next year and the extra plumbing, intercoolers, ice water tank etc will only result in more modifications to the big body, so I think we will revisit that at a later time.
Conditions are seldom perfect and I need to be able to ride the bike in less than perfect conditions, so I decided to go back to the old slabby drag fairing, I've gone 207 with it and it was stable. Then I wondered what a Hayabusa extended tail section would look like on the back. Richard fabbed up some new mounts for the dzus fasteners and an inner tail. Unfortunately, quite a bit of fiberglass had to be cut away to make it fit and there is still more work needed before it ever makes it to paint and body. I wasn't really feeling it anymore, so I've decided to also go back to the original stubby tail section with the integral gas tank. The clip-ons got flipped back around and the wider stance is much more effective, if you have to wrestle the bike.
I still have a few evening projects to complete...remove some brackets, clean the carbs, set valves, change the oil and filters, remove the coupler to clean up the clutch slave cylinders that seize from sitting.
I had a productive weekend.
On Saturday, we set the valves(32!) and cleaned up the clutch slave cylinders.
I just cleaned parts on Sunday.
Today, we bled the clutch hydraulics, reinstalled the coupler, made some slight adjustments to the oil cooler mounts and reinstalled the rebuilt carbs.
It thunders on the front engine and screams when the rear engine lights. I love it!
I'm changing the oil and filters tonight and will start mounting the original tail section. Its a pretty short to-do list now before we leave on Thursday.
We left home at 6am last Thursday and arrived in Wendover at 11:30pm. We knew the area had been hit hard with rain, but the SCTA was optimistic that the water would dry up, the weather would improve and the event would still go on. Racing was supposed to start on Saturday but it was pushed back to Sunday and then to Monday. Not a big deal I reasoned, I would rather a shortened event, rather than none at all.
Friday morning, we unloaded the bike in the Nugget Casino parking lot and hung out. The bike inspectors stopped by our trailer and ran the Double and my gear through tech inspection, everything passed easily. We were ready to get in line as soon as we got word. We had the chance to speak with lots of other racers and spectators. I fired the bike up a couple of times, it never fails to draw a crowd. Everyone was in the same boat, however, it had become a really cool car show while we waited.
We got up early Saturday and went over to the old air base. Some of you may recall that Wendover was an Air Force bomber training base during World War II. The Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, was based out of here. I've been coming to Bonneville since 2000 and have never had the opportunity to check out the museum and old buildings, because we were always busy with racing. Very interesting and humbling.
It was our understanding at the time, that we would be allowed to set up our pits on Sunday and racing would start on Monday. However, we then got word that Speed Week was cancelled. A bit of a disappointment...but that's racing. We met a lot of teams from France, Germany, New Zealand etc...can you imagine packing up your stuff into a shipping container 3 months ago, making the trip and then arriving only to find the whole place flooded?
I was able to cancel our rooms for the rest of the week. Again, we pulled the bike out of the trailer and spent the afternoon talking with other enthusiasts. A Japanese team stopped by and checked out the Double...not much English but huge smiles when I invited them to take turns stretching out across the bike and loud applause when I fired her up...priceless.
We checked out at 4am on Sunday and hauled ass home, arriving at 9pm. Today, I've touched base with our sponsors and let them know that we will be returning for the World Finals, Sept. 30 - Oct. 3. There is also the possibility that the SCTA will be extending that event to a full week. As always. the weather and salt conditions are a crap shoot at best. The trailer is packed, we are ready to go!
Jim, our electrical engineer, took a bunch of pictures while we waited in a parking lot for a couple days. No racing, but some interesting rat rods, hot rods and race cars, a few bikes and the old base at Wendover...here's the link.
The World Finals have been extended to make up for Speed Week being cancelled. The event will run from Saturday Sept.26th to Friday Oct. 3rd.
Historically, more records have been set at the World Finals than Speed Week, because usually the salt has a couple more months to bake in the sun and the temperatures are cooler. However, historically, the World Finals are rained out more often than Speed Week.
We should be leaving in the morning, but the World Finals have been cancelled. It rained again, the salt looks much like it did in August. It had been sunny for the last couple of weeks, conditions were good and the forecast was positive. Thats it...the season is over. At least we were saved the drive down this time.
What next...I don't really want to go the turbo route until we have maxed out the current N/A set up...I also have some really nice billet nitrous manifolds and a couple of proven controllers, so there will be plenty of opportunity to blow it up in the future and run a fuel class.
The bike fell over in the trailer earlier this year while wearing the big body, bent some of the brackets and suffered some fiberglass damage. All repairable, but I couldn't justify the work at the time, if the body was going to see future modifications for the pair of turbos, which I thought would be starting this fall. Utilizing the old slabby fairing just made sense.
It will go back to Richard's in 2 weeks to get whatever repairs needed to re-install the big body and swap everything back over for that set up. It's getting a couple of data loggers installed. It will finally have a pair of neutral lights...sometimes its hard to find neutral with both engines running and the rear wheel spinning on the stand...and a crowd watching as you fumble with the gear shifter.
After that, it will go to the body shop for the rest of the repairs. It will get a belly pan to seal up the bottom. It will also get a new paint job, probably just one solid color and its usually Viper Blue.
Yes, Bonneville is pretty unpredictable, that is the dilemma.
Jet cars, rocket stuff etc have run with success at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, but you need an army of support workers to clear and prepare the course, and millions $$ to fund the effort. At a private event, you also have to pay to have representatives from a sanctioning body present to validate your efforts. I'm just a poor simple natural gas mechanic.
El Mirage Dry Lake in California is 1.3 miles of dirt, its pretty short. SCTA points determine your starting order, so its only good if you can compete at all the events and eventually work your way up. The course deteriorates really quick, the fast guys run first because they already have the points lead and it sure sucks to be among the last to run. I've run there on my Hayabusa, its cool and I've also gone over to volunteer and help run the events as well. Its Hot Rodding at its finest.
Muroc Dry Lake / Edward's Air Force Base has been off limits since 9/11.
There are paved venues in California, Texas, Ohio, Maine etc. I guess I go to Bonneville because it is challenging, this kind of stuff should be hard.
Flying down a run way has zero appeal, but thats just my preference. Certainly if one was in my back yard, I would take advantage of it for test & tune.
I have a bumper sticker on my tool box..."Salt is for Racing on, Asphalt is for Sissies".
I've got friends who do it, and of course I give them a hard time, its all good.
There are gorgeous salt flats found in South America. Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina all have them, but access is remote and the elevation is ridiculous.
The DLRA (Dry Lakes Racers Australia) run at Lake Gairdner. You need deep pockets to pack your junk up and ship it down under. They hold their Speed Week in March, their salt event rains out even more often than Bonneville. I've met up with them a couple times while working in Adelaide. They are a great group of enthusiasts, a large group of them come over to Utah every August.
The Bloodhound SSC effort will prepare a course and run at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, they can afford to.
Me, I'll just keep returning to Bonneville.
Misery loves company.
Richard at 12 O'clock Performance, extended the shafts on the RS40's so that we could run a couple of throttle position sensors. Then he designed brackets to hold the TPS.
Initially, we were not sure what we'd use for TPS or how to attach them to the carbs. I looked at string potentiometers that seemed like the easiest solution, they would spool in and out as the shaft turned, but they were really expensive at $500 each, again I need 2 of everything. Once Richard had the adaptors and brackets sorted, we could use common GM units.
We are going to use a pair of Innovate LM-2's for data acquisition.
They will get mounted on the upper frame tubes. Richard designed mounts for these as well, they are still about a week away, then he can finish wiring in the sensors.
The plate for the neutral lights and electric shifter arming switch was fabricated with a water jet, it turned out great.