• Pulling the motor

    About a week ago, I was at a trackday getting some much needed practice in, when I noticed that the bike kept popping out of gear, and giving me false neutrals.  This was not the first time this has happened this year, but I thought maybe it could have been me, getting sloppy with the shifting.  It continued to happen that day, and had to make a choice, do I go to the WERA races at Grattan with a messed up transmission or do I pull the motor and have the problem looked at.  Well, I chose the latter.  Congrats to all the guys/gals that did make the races, some of you posted some very fast times.

    Jason, a friend of mine, stopped by to assist with the work, so saturday morning, we set off to figure out why my bike wasnt working properly.  There are two parts to the system, the detent, and the actual transmission.  After talking it over with a few experts, we determined that we could look at the detent system without having to pull the motor, although one of those experts mentioned that rarely is there a detent problem on the “newer” R6.  So away we went, drain the oil, pull the oil pan, the clutch case, clutch plates, hub, basket, oil pump, water pump, finally we get to the detent system.  After some examination, there appeared to be no obvious signs of wear.  What we did notice was that it wasnt detenting properly.  Here is a pic of where the detent sits when it is in gear (it is supposed to sit in between the points, not on the point.   Not the best pic.photo 3

    We also noticed that neutral is not where its supposed to be.  Drawing the conclusion that not only is it mis-aligned, but something is bent preventing it from detenting properly.  The only logical conclusion is the shift forks.  To access those, means pulling the motor, and opening up the case, as the transmission sits behind the crank shaft.  Out the motor comes.  Upon draining the rest of the oil out of the oil pan before reassembly, we found this…

    photo 2photo(8)That’s probably not good.  It appears to be a hollow dowel pin, not sure where it came from, but from the looks, it traveled through something, most likely the transmission.  We get everything back together, and commence with pulling the motor.  This was a relatively simple process, and we had the motor out in no time.

    photo 4photo 5Off to the mechanic the motor went saturday night.  At the time, I’m still waiting to hear what the problem was, and what it is going to cost to fix.  Hopefully in a few short days, I will have the motor back for re-installation, and will be able to make the races at Blackhawk Farms on August 16/17.

     



  • CCS Round 3: Blackhawk Farms Raceway 7.19.2014

    The first double header weekend at Blackhawk Farms of the year, and the weather couldnt have been more perfect. Saturday morning started out with 3 practice sessions, with a number of guys posting some really low times. I also improved on my personal best time that morning by six tenths of a second. The weekend was shaping up to be a good one. I entered four races, two on saturday, same two on sunday. Having spent some time working on the electronics set up of the bike, I finally managed to get it much closer to where I wanted it to be. There were quite a few spectators at the races this weekend, a few of which stopped by to ask what parts I was running, and a few other random questions about my bike and setup. I was more than happy to talk about the bike, the parts, and especially where I got them. Thanks again for all of your support. Onto the races, and the exciting events that took place this weekend. Achieving a goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

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    As I looked over the grid sheet for the first race on Saturday, I noticed that quite a few of the top 10 experts in the region decided to enter the same race as I did. The best quote of the day was “this will be the best education you’re going to get for about a half a lap”, they were correct. Got an ok start, and managed to hang onto the pack for about a half a lap before they started to gap me. I was giving it everything I could to make sure that gap didn’t increase, it did however, and I ended up finishing 5th. The second race of the day was all worth it. Got a better start, used what I learned in the earlier race about fast lines vs defensive lines, and was able to hold on for my first expert podium finishing third. Riding that high into Sundays races, we met with a similar challenge as the day previous. Race one on Sunday was filled once again with the top experts, building upon what I had learned the day before, I managed to stay with the pack for several laps this time, even though there was a gap, I still felt like I could make a move if someone had made a mistake. These guys are front running experts for a reason, no mistakes were made and I held out for seventh. The last race for me of the weekend was my best finish yet as an expert. This was due mostly to mistakes by others, some didn’t make the grid in time, others didn’t make the grid at all. When the checker flag fell, I ended up second. Bitter sweet, but yet the points earned over the weekend were enough to move me into second in the region for Unlimited SuperSport, and fouth in the region for Heavyweight SuperSport. I could not be more please with those results. I knew this year was going to be a struggle and it has been, but I’m going to keep showing up and turning laps, to the best of my ability, because in the end, you never know where thing will end up.

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  • CCS Round 2: Road America 7.5.2014

    There is nothing like celebrating the Fourth of July at a place called Road America. This is the place that changed the world for me, as it was my first track. June 2010, I had won a free trackday. I had no idea what a trackday was, I didn’t even know you could ride a motorcycle on a race track, but I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to find out. Gear? I had a helmet and a leather jacket, that wasn’t going to do, so off to buy the proper gear. So much for it being free. How was I going to get there? Luckily someone offered to take my bike up to the track (thanks Craig), as it defiantly was not going to fit inside my camry. I finally arrived, with all the proper gear, excited, nervous, and ready to give this a try. First session out I was giving it my all; I think I got 3 laps in a 20 minute session. Just like all beginners, I was pushing the bike as hard as you could push, leaning the bike as far as it would go.  Oh, how far we have come. While I’m still not the fastest guy on the track, I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things since that day. Thank you for all of your support, without people like you, some of us may never have had the opportunity to experience what it is like to ride a motorcycle on a race track.

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    Two races Saturday, two on Sunday. That was the plan anyway, due to some unfortunate incidents races were pushed back and I only got one race in on Saturday, and the other three on Sunday. Had great starts in all the races, but quickly realized that others were running much more powerful bikes, and on this track, horsepower is key. I did manage to set a personal best lap time and was just off the podium in two of the four races. Overall I am happy with the performance, every weekend I keep getting closer to putting it on the podium.



  • CCS Round 1: Blackhawk Farms Raceway 5.18.2014

    After the opening weekend a couple of weeks back, if feels good to get back on my home track.  Home track being Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, Il.  A 1.95 mile, “7” turn (it really has 12), technical track.  It was a rough couple of weeks for me, after a not great start on a track that I am not all that comfortable on.  I was also wondering if I really do fit in with the expert racers, but that changed over the weekend.  I have renewed confidence in myself now, that “Yes, I do belong, and I can compete.”

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    It was a rather chilly weekend with morning temps in the forties, warming to the seventies in the afternoon.  also made the decision to switch back to my old suit, at least until I can properly break in the new one.  This helped tremendously on track by allowing me to move around and not fight myself.

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    Since this weekend was only a single race day (not the typical double header), I only did two races on Sunday.  However, I got in some great practice sessions on Saturday.  During one of the practice sessions, I came within a few hundredths of my personal best time, which was a huge confidence booster going into the races on Sunday.  I just had a feeling that things might get pretty interesting during the races.



  • WERA Round 1: Grattan Raceway 5.5.2014

    Hello, first off, I would like to thank you for all of your support this season. It means a great deal to me that companies like yours support racers and road racing. This season is going to be filled with education, good times, and bad. Coming off a great season as an amateur, this will be my first season in the expert division. I expect to learn a great deal from those who have been there for many years. Hopefully I will learn enough to put our efforts on top of the podium. It’s been a long winter, and I am ready to get back on the bike and twist the throttle to the stop, and see what we can’t make happen. You will be provided with plenty of photographs along the way. Once again, thank you for your support.

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    The first race of the year was with WERA at Grattan Raceway in Belding Michigan. A 12 turn technical track featuring blind corners, elevation changes, and thanks to the rain, areas of wet spots on the track. It’s a track that I’m not all that familiar with, withc makes running your first expert race seem daunting. I entered 3 races, C Superbike, A Superbike, and F1. It was quite a humbling experience. While the results were not great, many lessons were learned; lessons that will be put to good use to further my learning in the expert division.

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