Track Day #1. Meri did a couple of laps on her old bike to test if we had miraculously cured the 6th to 5th gear issue at turn one, however under hard load, it would still false neutral, so back to the drawing board on that one. Meri decided to park up the old bike for the day, and continue testing with the new bike. We had ordered a new quick shifter for the new bike, however it had not arrived in time, so I had to remove the quickshifter from Meri’s old bike and fit it to the new one. The first session out with the new bike, and Meri reported that the bike was physically difficult to turn the handlebars, so I backed off the steering bearings a little to test how that feels. Then we had troubles with the steering dampener bracket rubbing on the top triple clamp and binding, this day was just not going well.
Track Day #2. Meri had asked Rob from Well Sprung to join us and assist with dialing in the suspension on the new bike. Meri had worked with Rob previously and found him to be very helpful. Rob did a great job, and we worked together to determine our next move regarding the suspension. We concluded that the springs were too hard, and required replacement. Meri finished the track day with the suspension being too hard, and it did beat her up a bit over these two days of testing.
We swapped out the springs, making approx. a 10% change on the front, and approx. 5% on the rear. We opted to only change one thing at a time, so the dampener settings were left as they were set on our last track day. We knew that they would require adjustment to suit the new springs, however we didn’t need to create extra confusion by changing too many things at once. The bike was reassembled and we headed out to the track again with Rob for a second round of testing. The bike was immediately better, the front end was compliant, turned in nicely and no longer beat Meri up over the bumps. The rear however was still a fraction firm, and this led to Meri finding limited confidence under brakes and acceleration. Back to the shop to get the springs finalised.
Our next day at the track was practise for the first round of the FX Superbikes, and we still had a lot to do. The rear spring needed changing again, we were working with the tune on our dyno, and wanted to touch a few things up before we went racing with the bike, and we had to final fit the new fairings that Meri had painted. This may not sound like much, but we had to fit this in with other customers and jobs that we already had going through the shop. We raced against time, and the bike was fully dressed with its new fairings, tyres, tune, seat and stickers late on Thursday afternoon, we were ready to go racing! Meri and I packed up the bike and our gear, and headed out to the track to set up for practise on Friday morning.
Our next blog will cover our first race meeting in the FX Superbike Series, Be sure to follow us next week.