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Old 11-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #136
andrewgore OP
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Sorry for the delay in updates. It's been a hectic past couple of weeks for me. This last weekend, I spent down in lovely Texas. We did some filming for my brothers company Kettle Cycles. They manufacture carbon fiber MTB Brake rotors. I've gotten to help their process a bit, and have been super stoked on their progress they have made on everything. Their hard work is showing, especially with a successful Kickstarter Campaign to help raise some funds.

Rotor Picture:


Check out some of the stuff we filmed. MTB Riding is awesome cross-training. It also helped mooching a friends bike which probably has wheels on it that cost more than my YZ250F

Kettle Cycles SiCCC Rotor - RPR from Kettle Cycles on Vimeo.



Quick pic my brother snapped of me on the pump track where we were riding:


On top of working on that, we also went to watch F1 at the Circuit of The Americas. Awesome. I'd seen MotoGP, but this is on a whole other level. The braking speed, the acceleration. Just impressive to see & experience.

Great pic my brother took from F1 as well:



But, getting back to my racing, racing is essentially done for the season. Now it's just a matter of riding throughout the winter & enjoying myself. I've decided to (unless weather is exceptionally great) take off the entire month of December. My body needs a break, as does the bike, which could handle some winter lovin'. The weekend of the 10th, I spent at the motocross track again. I focused on corner speed, pushing myself faster in some jumps, and began toying with scrubbing speed off of jumps. It's a big works in process for sure, but it'll come to me. I feel the weekend riding the MTB has helped me with understanding bike movement in the air. Kinda funny that I feel totally comfortable on a bicycle pushing the back end out perpendicular to the front wheel, but hop on a dirtbike and it's a whole other ball game. I'll toy with it more for sure. I'll upload some video from that day. I just haven't gotten there yet due to enjoying Texas & it's lovely BBQ .

After December, I intend on going to the (somewhat) local indoor MX track every other week to keep my riding up a bit. I'd ridden there before, but I want to use it as a riding improvement tool this year. Build up some stamina & do some longer riding stints there. On top of that, I plan to really build up my exercising. My brothers looking at picking up a rowing machine, so since he lives close I'll probably be over at his house more frequently .


Results wise from this past year, the showing is only so-so. I was only able to get in 3 enduros (1 of which was a DNF), 5 harescrambles (1 of which was different district), and apparently my riding in the UP doesn't count towards racing points. Overall, here is what the points are looking like:

AMA D17 HS - Open B: 22nd Overall. 4 races out of 18 (2 DNF's)
http://www.amadistrict17.com/points/hs/2012hs.htm

FVOR HS Series Open B: 5th\25 Overall - 4 Races out of 8 (2 DNF's)
http://www.foxvalleyoffroad.com/hsre...fvorpoints.htm

AMA D17 Enduro - Open B: 18\20 Overall - 3 Races out of 10 (1 DNF)
http://midwestenduros.com/RacePoints...o%20Points.htm


Overall I'm quite pleased with my results. I feel that had I stuck with 1 series & done all the events, I'd safely be in the top 3 overall. I gotta face reality now & know that making it to all these events that are 6+ hours away, just aren't as feasible. I'm very happy with my personal progress I've made this year as well too. I've gotten quite a bit faster, more consistent, and more comfortable in manipulating the bike. I'm looking forward to next years racing, and will see what I end up deciding to do about race series. I'd like to stick to 1 and go for an overall, but that's some serious dedication & I really like spending time in the UP with friends camping & riding, so I'll feel it out.

I'll leave you for now with 1 last video of me riding the upper track @ Byron. I wanted to get some filming of my buddy gapping one of the doubles there. That Honda CRF250X is a good bike.



Andrew

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Old 11-22-2012, 05:45 AM   #137
spdjnky
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Hey Gore,
Do you know if Byron has a kids motocross track? Looking for another track for my 7 year old to ride besides Rocky Glen.
Thanks,
Brian
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:49 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by spdjnky View Post
Hey Gore,
Do you know if Byron has a kids motocross track? Looking for another track for my 7 year old to ride besides Rocky Glen.
Thanks,
Brian
Brian
The upper track is more or less their kids track. All visible from one point and no huge gaps to clear. Its far better than rocky glen and then very little worries of the goof riders rocky glen seems to attract.


Andrew Gore
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:31 AM   #139
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Thanks Andrew. I need to get out to Byron. I haven't been there since my brother raced there and I was just a kid then.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #140
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fox valley has a kid's track
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #141
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Good season. Congratulations. My sons road raced and #1 stuck with 2 or three specific series. It was good because he won championships and earned a tire contract with Dunlop. But the downside was he never really experienced enough tracks to grow his potential. #2 jumped around to any track he could fit a race weekend into his work schedule; CCS, ASRA and AMA Pro. He never had a lot of points but he really learned how to tackle new tracks and he did best on the fast ones with long turns. In fact I'd say he was faster than most on turns like that.

So there are two sides to bouncing around series. #1 wanted championships and #2 wanted to race with the best to see how he'd measure up. I'd say you measured up well this season. Maybe next season you go for points.

Fun thread. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #142
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Pantah,
Thanks for the kind words. Very cool to hear about your sons racing. Makes me wish I were still doing some sort of road racing, but that's my need for going triple digits talking
I'm anxious to see what the 2013 season schedule is going to look like this next year. I'm not making any quick plans about that anytime soon.

Sunday I'll be beginning pulling my suspension apart for some revalving. But for the time being, this will be silent. I got a fun "announcement" to make, but that will have to wait till after the new year.

Andrew
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #143
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Before I get on with the other jazz, I am opting to do the valving on my bike myself....again. Heck, I'm also going to have a stab at the rear shock as well. I spent the day saturday cleaning & disassembling the forks, so I could get all the hard data on the valves & all the assorted info.

Here is what the stock stacks look like:
Base Valve Compression:


Mid Valve Rebound:


Mid Valve Compression:



It's funny how much the graphs and plots can tell you, and then see how different shim changes will affect things. Unfortunately I have 1 major problem. I know basically what I want the bike to feel like. I can't however just copy that bikes shim stacks, as the valves are completely different. The more I read on things, the more I feel like I have more questions. It sounds like Yamaha put the wrong length springs in the fork, which apparently keeps it a bit too low in the stroke, along with some cavitation issues related to the Inner Chamber floating portions. Go figure that they addressed these issues in 2006.

I hate admitting this, but I feel I really want this thing to feel plush how the 2012 KTM 200XC-W I rode felt. Granted, it wasn't good over 60mph (that's fine), and when I rode that same bike at Byron MX, it felt more harsh over the bumps at higher speed. Both things I completely expect for something that is valved for woods instead of MX or high speed 2-track.

I know right now that for MX, my bike is a little on the softer side of the valving, and I'd say that for woods it just needs that bit of slow speed to help keep from deflecting in the rocks\ruts and help keep the front end feeling a bit more planted.

I'm up for suggestions. I really shot myself in the foot & blew a 50% off deal that Pro-Action had just after black friday. Coulda had fork\shock done for 250$. I know I can do the changes myself, its just whether or not I'm doing the right changes....

Thoughts\Ideas?
Andrew
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by andrewgore View Post

I'm up for suggestions. I really shot myself in the foot & blew a 50% off deal that Pro-Action had just after black friday. Coulda had fork\shock done for 250$. I know I can do the changes myself, its just whether or not I'm doing the right changes....

Thoughts\Ideas?
Andrew
You can do the changes, but it may cost you some progress time. Example: #2 son was offered a Pirelli tire deal. He was a Dunlop rider. He tried the Pirelli deal to save on the tire bill. He paid for it in progress.

It was a long slow and frustrating process. He had the Pirelli suspension techs to help, but it was really up to him to give them the right feedback. He figured it out eventually, and after fairly radical changes in geometry and damping, he got fast again and even set new times. But he wrecked a lot of gear in the process. The next season he went back to Dunlop and was instantly on his game. The Pirelli thing cost him a season, but he learned a lot about set-up. More than he ever would have if he just raced Dunlop.

Not saying P or D is better. It's what your set-up knowledge is that makes the difference. Should be a similar dilemma for you. Set-up is everything for most.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:38 PM   #145
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You can do the changes, but it may cost you some progress time. Example: #2 son was offered a Pirelli tire deal. He was a Dunlop rider. He tried the Pirelli deal to save on the tire bill. He paid for it in progress.

It was a long slow and frustrating process. He had the Pirelli suspension techs to help, but it was really up to him to give them the right feedback. He figured it out eventually, and after fairly radical changes in geometry and damping, he got fast again and even set new times. But he wrecked a lot of gear in the process. The next season he went back to Dunlop and was instantly on his game. The Pirelli thing cost him a season, but he learned a lot about set-up. More than he ever would have if he just raced Dunlop.

Not saying P or D is better. It's what your set-up knowledge is that makes the difference. Should be a similar dilemma for you. Set-up is everything for most.
Thanks for the input. It's my own fault at this point in the game for not being more in tune with suspension changes and how they alter my riding. All too often I find myself defaulting back to the thought of "I should be able to ride around the bikes issues". While this is good in the fact that I learn creative ways of manipulating myself and the bike to accomplish various tasks, it hampers me in the fact that I instead of having a great baseline, I end up working harder than I really need to.

This also ties into not having a proper "practice" schedule. Something that I want to fix in this next year. Ideally I'd like to have a set .5-1 mile loop with a variety of terrain that I see during races, so I can build that proper baseline of suspension settings. This combined with tracking lap times around a specific set loop would do a lot for me.

Unfortunately snow is just about to hit, and my land options are slim. There's an indoor MX track that I intend on frequenting this winter. Only downside there is that it doesn't do much for setting up my suspension for woods. It'd do wonders for my endurance and bike feel.

Andrew

PS - I've found that I've felt very little difference in the dirtbike tires, outside of switching from Soft Terrain, to Hard pack terrain type tires. Michelin S12XC's have hooked up the same for me as the comparable Bridgestone. When it comes to tire pressure, this next season I'm saying screw it & going to foam inserts. I'm not risking another flat ever again. Just not worth it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:47 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by andrewgore View Post
PS - I've found that I've felt very little difference in the dirtbike tires, outside of switching from Soft Terrain, to Hard pack terrain type tires. Michelin S12XC's have hooked up the same for me as the comparable Bridgestone. When it comes to tire pressure, this next season I'm saying screw it & going to foam inserts. I'm not risking another flat ever again. Just not worth it.
In my view this last post is big. It says you are learning YOUR needs. It will pay off too! Bravo.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #147
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fox valley has a kid's track
Thanks man.

Sorry if I hijacked your thread a bit Andrew.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:53 AM   #148
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Thanks man.

Sorry if I hijacked your thread a bit Andrew.
No worries. I'm still over here scratching my head while playing with shim stacks Actually the more I'm reading the more I feel I'm getting a better grasp on things. For my birthday, my brother bought my the Race Tech Suspension Bible. It's been good reading that, along with various writings online. The only difficult part is that each and every tuner has their own theories as to what is "best". I'm right now going with what I feel I should have with the suspension feel. Or, more or less, what I think would be the most ideal for me. It'll be trial and error, that's for sure. On the upside, the only real cost to myself will be oil every time I change the suspension, so it's not the end of the world.

I've really been analyzing this picture (from Shim Restackor's Manual)


I've been using the above picture, with following the damping curve in relation to damper velocity and basing things on that, and not so much on actual stack force. Right now I'm attempting to make the Low speed damping similar to stock, with the high speed damping a bit more open, to allow for more compliance on the rocks, roots, etc. I keyed in for high speed the damping over 100-150 in\s area. At this area, I've made it a bit softer than if the clickers were fully open. I'm also planning on opening up the rebound damping a bit as well. I gotta play around with that a bit before I get a good idea of what I'm going to do, mostly looking to make it so that on those high speed bumps, it lets the front wheel drop back to the ground as quick as possible. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to toy with the mid valve compression stack.

I know I'm making a pile of changes at once. I know that's a tricky proposition, especially with the fact that it's winter & I won't really be able to test ride this thing in the trees for a few months. Not much I can do about that, other than live with it. I can't really make it any worse can I?

Back to work for me.

Andrew
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:41 AM   #149
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Did some more reading on my specific fork. Turns out in 2005 Yamaha left the ICS spring too short from the factory, as well as the main fork spring. It was also suggested to add a drain hole in a recessed area of the ICS floating piston. Perks of being a machinist is that these modifications\additions took all of 20 minutes to accomplish. Free spacers & drilled holes! Forks are all back together & waiting to be put back on the bike. Steering stem bearings have been re-packed with fresh grease as well. Glad those are at least in good shape.

I can't say the same for the linkage bearings. Swingarm bearings are still in good shape, but the linkage bearings are destroyed. Go figure Yamaha used an oddball sized bearing 21mm ID 27mm OD 15mm Width. The inner bushings are destroyed as well, so I'll have to just order up a whole kit for that. I saw pivot-works has a lifetime replacement guarantee. I think I'll be buying their stuffs. I'm also going to see if it's possible to put in a zerk fitting on the linkage anywhere. I'm not sure all of what will fit, but it'd be cheap insurance & save me a lot of time.

Mid tear-down:


Ultra-sonic cleaner is a Godsend:


Broke down & got myself an early Christmas present


Andrew
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #150
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First of the year update!
I got myself a practice aid:


I can't ride my YZ250F next to our shop on a daily basis (well I could, but I don't think I could have a nice track there. ) I can however rock out with a trials bike all I'd like. It'll be great cross training for myself, that's for sure. I even got some big rock to hop over, along with some large trees that will be added to the "test area". Should be good stuff.

I've also been on top of a exercise routine again (no, not any new years resolution). I'm looking at picking up a rowing machine to supplement some of the cardio workout. We've got an elliptical machine, but sweet word that thing is the most annoying machine on the planet. 5 Minutes on that and you wanna jump off a building. I hate it, my wife loves it. Then again, she loves running, I absolutely hate running.

I compiled a list of all the local events going on. D17 Harescrambles, Enduros, and Trials events along with the same in D16 (Wisconsin). Amusingly enough, more of the D16 events are within closer range to me than the D17 events. There are also really only 2 Enduros for D17, so I don't forsee myself attempting to win an overall for that. D17 has what seems like 30 Harescrambles from March-November. Very unlikely that I'd even make it to 1/3 of these, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing about going for an overall win there. The one more "local" place Fox Valley Off-Road has their own series within the D17 Series. That's 5 races, so maybe I'll try for an overall there?

I also found when going to register for D17, that the class I last competed in in Trials, has now gone from being Sportsmen to Expert. I find this mildly amusing, as I'd in no way shape or form see myself near expert status on a trials bike. I'm kind of tempted to see about going for an overall in the trials competitions, but might just do some events for the heck of it, and to see how well I'd do.

All that to say that I've honestly no idea if it even makes sense to attempt to go for an overall in any of these local events. There's too wide a variety of things I'd like to do this year (Harescramble, Trials, UP Trail rides, maybe an MX race??). Just one heck of a "problem" that I have so much fun doing basically whatever on a bike

I'm going to mull things over a bit here. I've got until March\April to really decide. Just attempting now to plan things so I can get as much riding in as possible (without pissing off the wife too much).

I'm also looking to decide between Michelin Bib Mousses for the 250F or Flat Tire Defenders (www.flattiredefender.com) Either way, I know I plan on NEVER having a flat tire this season (ok maybe one on the trials bike).

Andrew
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