There is a lot that goes in to getting a bike ready for racing. No matter if you start with a brand new bike, or something pre loved, you still have a lot of work ahead of you before you hit the track. Sometimes it is as simple as a service and some new tyres, however we’re a little bit more fastidious, and tend to pull the bike down in its entirety, to make sure that every part is correct.
Recently we teamed up with Meri from Meri Malena Racing, to provide support for her during her 2017 racing season. Meri has a 2010 Yamaha R6 that she had done numerous track days on, and had raced in a couple of events prior to our engagement. We went through Meri’s bike, starting with a valve clearance adjustment, engine oil & filter replacement, brake fluid flush, coolant flush, and suspension service. Her bike had developed a problem changing from 6th to 5th gear whilst setting up for turn one at Sydney Motorsport Park (SMSP), which we tried to identify on our dyno, however it would not fault when we were testing it. We suspect that there is a problem with the shift fork or shift drum, and will need to disassemble the gearbox to correct this issue.
Soon after we teamed up with Meri, she purchased another bike. She stuck with Yamaha, and simply updated to a 2014 model R6, that had been previously raced. The bike was originally owned by a successful racer who had moved up to the litre class, and then was sold to another club racer. The bike had a lot of great upgrades on it, and was easy to get ready to pass scrutineering. That being said, every bit of the bike still needed to be serviced, as we were about to find out. We inspected the bike prior to Meri purchasing it, and when it was first started, it had a bit of a misfire, we assumed that it was just stale fuel, because when the bike was restarted, it ran fine. The fairings were a bit rough, but nothing that we couldn’t work with, and overall the bike was tidy.
We started with the basics as we did on Meri’s first bike, valves, coolant, oil, filter etc, and this is where the fun started. Upon re-assembly, the bike would not fire on #1 & #4 cylinders. We worked back through our steps to make sure that we hadn’t missed anything. We have done thousands of major services, and a problem like this can normally be attributed to a plug not being re inserted correctly. We made sure that all was correct, but the problem was still there. After several hours of conclusive testing, the quick shifter was to blame. It had simply developed a fault in the module, and would not function correctly on the outside cylinders. With the quick shifter removed, we were back in business.
Meri had purchased new fairings for the bike, and like any new race glass, they had to be fitted, drilled, threads installed, and modified to fit the exhaust and crash knobs on the bike. There were many hours in doing this, and luckily Mitch has extensive experience working with fiberglass, so he did a fantastic job of making it all fit. Now that the new glass was ready, Meri took it to the painters to get a custom paint job. We refitted the old glass because we had a couple of track days coming up, and we needed to get the suspension dialed in. The springs measured up a bit heavy for Meri’s weight, we set them as close as we could because we were out of time by this stage to perform a respring of the bike.
Our next blog will cover our trials & tribulations at the track, Be sure to follow us next week.