The 2004 race season just finished. Here is a brief report.
I had a poor start at the beginning of the year. I heard some now familiar knocking sounds coming from the bowels of the engine after the first session out. I had just rebuilt the bottom end over the winter and now it was coming apart again. I took the engine out, again, and stripped it down to find that the connecting rod bearing damaged again. What I was able to surmize after much late night pondering was that the engine would starve for oil under hard braking because the oil pick up was at the back of the motor. I rebuilt the bottom end again and installed a home made baffle plate to keep a pool of oil at the oil pick up. Now the engine seems to be bullet proof and can with stand over-revving without damage. Mid season I had the bike on the dyno and recorded 60HP.
Now that he engine was sorted out, I could start to worry about the handling. Last season I found that I needed more cornering clearance. I installed a set of Raask rearsets and that help in finding some cornering clearance.
The track is an old facility with bumps and patches and patches on top of patches. I disabled the anti-dive and that made and improvement. I then installed a lighter oil to keep the front end from packing down. That improved my times.
Now I was touching the Hindle collector and can down. I ran couple races
like that by just going slower in the right hand corners.
Before Race 4 I decided that I must change the exhaust, so I cut up my Hindle pipe and custom built a new collector and pipe. Now the only thing that touches is the engine guards just before a crash. Finally after 2-1/2 years of tinkering I had the old CBX ready.
I had a poor start in the qualifying race 4. Several late entries were gridded behind me and they were the aggressive I will bump you off the track riders and they did try to bump me out going into corner 1. This must have triggered some unknown riding skills in me because I had my CBX going faster around that track than it ever was before. I was passing SV650's, F2's, RZ350's, and motard 650's. And they were all on racing DOT's. I still run my Dunlops that are now in their 3rd season. My knee was dragging all the way around corners not just touching down here and there as before. I think may have figured this racing out!
In the main race I had a good start and the race was similar to the qualifying race. I was dicing with riders that I normally don't race against. I could feel the frame twisting and flexing as I pushed it around the corners.
After the race I had spectators and other riders coming over to see what the heck I was riding. Most agreed that I am riding the wheels off it.
Race 5 qualifier:
I had an awesome start. The lead group was battling for position going into turn 1 and was holding each other up. The outside of corner 1 was all open. I passed half a dozed riders on the outside. Now that a good sized group was behind me I pushed hard to keep them there. At the end of the straight I could here couple bikes right behind me, But I wasn't going to let them by so I braked later than I ever had going into the 180 degree corner 1.
Unfortunately I braked too hard and locked up the front. I regained control but drove straight off the track. I heard of stories of how slick and slippery the infield was but one has to experience it. Slowing down was easy but trying to turn around to get back on the track was like riding on a skating rink. I managed to get back onto the track as the last rider cleared corner 1. The magic however was gone. I caught and passed only two riders before the four qualifying laps were done.
The main race saw me gridded at the back. I had a good start but so did everyone else. I rode around the track with my old racing advisories but did not push hard like the race before. I finished 19 out of 25.
Now I have all winter to plan what to do for next year.
In the plans is a top end rebuild.
Install a F3 rear shock to replace the stock air shock. The mounting point on the frame will require relocation as the F3 shock is 20 mm longer. And definitely new tires. I like the look of the Avon club racing tires AM22 and AM23.
I look forward to next season!