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Old 07-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #91
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Unexpected findings

Got invited to ride on some farm property yesterday. Close by, free, and wide open areas to work on some skills...how could I say no? I also saw it as a chance to do some scientific testing between some bikes and see which gets me through some trails quickest.

We plotted out a small loop. Started on a small section of farm field, into a singletrack tall grass section and then a quick duck into some mildly tight\off-camber section. This led to a small jaunt back out of the woods and back across the field. Once you were back across the field, there was a dried up pond that we roosted around. The outside was packed full of downed trees, and sticks, and by the end of the day, getting slick and rutted. As you finished your way around the pond, we had a pile of downed tree limbs to hop over followed by a slightly larger 18" diameter-ish tree to hop. After the tree hop, you immediately banked hard right, and then a quick left to bring yourself back out of the pond area to where you started.

It was a short loop, but it gave me a chance to do a lot of hot laps. My findings were mildly frustrating, but I suppose telling of my riding. I had 3 bikes to test out. My Husky, the Mighty XR, and my buddies KDX200. I started out on the Husky, so I had a good general idea of how the bike handled the loop, what to do, what to expect, etc, etc. Initial lap times were 59-60 seconds. I then hopped on the KDX, and my lap times were 57-58 seconds. I hopped onto the Mighty XR, where my lap times were at a consistent 58 seconds. After all that, and some other fooling around, with my body tired, I did another 5 laps on the Husky, where my lap times were at a consistent 58 seconds.

So what's this telling me? I know I felt that on the KDX, the bike felt the most compliant and kind of the easiest to go fast. The bike felt plush and confident. The S12XC front he has on the thing helped in the slick sections for sure. He's got an autoclutch, though I still work the clutch manually, but that may have had an effect on things. The XR, I felt I had to work the most to go the same speed. The drum rear brake always required more attention to help stop you, and the slightly sticky throttle made you have to think more while riding, rather than focusing on going fast. I liken riding it to riding a 125 2-stroke. They can go just as fast, but require a LOT more input, body english, and finesse to get the speed out of it. Now for the WR, I felt to me it has the most room for improvement. The bike has got plenty of power which helps immensely in anything more open. It was the most forgiving if I messed, up, but required a bit more brain focus to extract the speed out of it. The suspension is also not nearly as plush as the KDX, however, it is feeling better now than it ever has (I opened HS\LS Rear compression 100% open).

I got to do a lot of work on drills that we did at the Shane Watts school. Braking\accelerating\drifting\wheelies\etc. From where I was a year ago, I'm 10x more confident in high speed roosting, and drifting out the rear. Heck, I could be dragging my knee on the XR if I wanted.

Yesterdays riding (and subsequent timing results) has me questioning if the Husky is the bike for me. With my apparent knack for breaking a bike at every race, it's got me considering the idea of going back to a Japanese bike, due to the abundance of parts\spares\cheap prices. Hard to say as I really enjoy the Husky, but I need something that I can trust will take me all the way through a race. Any thoughts\opinions on this?

I can say however that that XR350R just won't be sold. We did some flat out drag races between it & the KDX200. The XR was dead even with the KDX. Quite the mighty little beast.

Time for some Sunday lunch.
Andrew
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:19 PM   #92
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A member here summed it up quite well:

"The speed you know is the speed you have"

Or something like that
When I setup a bike its so I can ride that same speed all day long. Without setting up a bike I can still ride fast but long days get much longer when things aren't just right. There are certain places where a good bike makes a big difference but for most people its more about their ability than setup. Now once i've learned the techniques, setup helps a lot. Having good suspension always makes things much safer though.

Things like knowing when to hit the gas or when to unweight the bike makes all the difference in the world.

The thing that makes the biggest difference and covers the widest amount of situations is fresh tires. Right now i've got about 120 miles on a fresh set of M12's and the edge is already gone. I can feel it in turns where its really hard pack. Granted this is some very rough rocky terrain and i'm riding harder than ever but i'm still pretty surprised that I can tell a difference.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:16 AM   #93
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I get to pick up my new fork seals, oil, filter, and best of all.....New Boots!! I opted for the Gaerne GX-1. Hopefully they last.

Since I knew I had seals & fluid to swap, I figured I'd do some prep work.

Freshly packed\greased steering stem bearings:

(Disregard the haggard looking radiator guards. I got some from Motosportz on the way)

And the fork tubes awaiting new seals (bushings are still essentially un-worn):


I'm debating if I should pull the rebound stack in the forks. I figure I probably should since I got them sitting out. I'll take a peak at things here tonight.

Next race is a little over a week away. Really pushing to push for actually finishing the enduro this time.

Andrew
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:29 AM   #94
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I ride a couple of different bikes right now. One is my brothers KTM450EXC and the other is my buddies KDX220. I feel most comfortable on the KDX220 in the tight slower loops. I am confident and faster on the KTM thru the two track or more open woods. I have only been back in the woods riding for a couple of years and both of their bikes just sit unless I use them. Not a bad deal for me. All said I too am still not convinced either on what to buy or ride as I don't have the option of owning multiple bikes and do a variety of different riding.
I scan the local Craigslist listings daily and seem to have seen a certain Husky listed recently.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:50 AM   #95
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Yeah, I've listed the bike for sale. I'm honestly up in the air on it. The fact that I'm the same speed on any of my bikes, tells me that I just need to push faster, no matter which bike I'm on. Also tells me that, maybe I should go to a Japanese bike. I apparently have a knack for breaking things on bikes, and the YZ\KX\CR\RM, all have far more parts readily available on ebay.

I hate to switch bikes mid-season, especially with minimal bike prep time. Tough call, but I figure if it happens, it happens.

In the meantime, I'll continue maintaining, and making minor mods to the Husky.

Andrew

PS - Luke, I'm re-reading your revalving thread. I found that the Amsoil Shock Therapy oil I put in the Husky before was = to 10wt oil. The new stuff I got is supposed to be 5wt. I'm anxious to see the difference. I think I'll steal some of your ideas for rebounding valving on the fork as well. I think we're on the same page with things in that regard.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:05 AM   #96
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Interesting that all the bikes would be so close to the same speed. If you really want to geek out, put on a heart rate monitor with a calorie counter and ride some laps. That might tell you which bike's working you harder.

Thanks for trying out the suspension (and telling me about it). Since I can't do good back-to-back tests it's nice to have some sort of confirmation that I'm not just imagining improvements. FWIW, I have a nagging feeling that my front rebound is actually too slow. I did the spring-mass-damper calculations, and for the rear it turned out that a damping factor of 1 feels about perfect. Imagine that. Basic Mech-E theory actually working. Of course, I BSed so much of the calculation that it may just be a coincidence.

The front is now 1.25, and I'll try less, as it's still a bit divey in whoops. Since your bike is lighter than mine (and probably has lighter springs too) you'd probably want even lighter valving as well, just to get the same damping factor.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:47 AM   #97
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Luke,
When I got back last night from picking up my parts & gear, I figured I needed to be more detailed with my processing of my suspension changes. Since I knew I was switching from a 10wt oil to a 5wt oil, I only wanted to change 1 thing at a time. So for right now, the fork rebound valving is staying the same. I need to see how it feels with this oil, and go from there.

I really like the idea of the heart rate monitor to compare the bikes. I believe I'll be ordering one up and use it to track things. It'll be good to see what my heart rate is too while riding the bicycle. Something tells me that riding the dirtbike & bicycle are nowhere near each other.

Andrew
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #98
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When I wore a heart rate monitor my heart rate was bumping right up against max anytime I was riding hard. The thing that got me though was how high it was when I was doing anything on the bike. It never went below 130 if I was even sitting on the bike. Some of that would have been from the extreme heat we had those couple weeks I had it on (heart rate was around 100 sitting in a chair) but I was still pretty impressed.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #99
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Back when I did enduros, I compared a loop on my daughter's 200xcw vs my 250exc. I was faster on the 200. Some of that was slightly different gearing, some was that it was a little easier to ride. There is a couple of pretty fast guys in D23 that used to ride 300s that now ride 200s. They say they take less energy to ride fast, plus it is easier to ride a 200 wide open than a 300.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:38 PM   #100
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Rode my 10.x mile bicycle loop again today. Averaged just around 14.5 MPH for 40 minutes. Has some decent climbs I can do to really get my heart rate up. I averaged 145 bpm heart rate with a peak of 176.

Not too bad. I'm excited to see where I'm at tomorrow on the 2 bikes.

Barnyard,
I've been looking at the new husky 310. The more I read on them makes me want to try one.

Andrew Gore
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #101
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I have a love/hate with my TE450. The suspension is way ahead of my 98 ktm, but it is heavier and it feels heavier.

That said, there are some deals to be had on husky 310s and husaberg 390s.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:38 PM   #102
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I know what you mean. My 250 is great but the oddball problems just make me wonder about husky. From what I read things got much better in 2008 or whenever it was that BMW took over.

We will see how the bike does tomorrow and next weekend at the enduro.

Andrew Gore
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #103
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Had a good ride yesterday. I messed around with suspension for awhile, and found a setting I liked. Fork is something like 15 out on compression, and 5 out on rebound. Seems goofy, but it made for the smoothest, most compliant ride.

I also got to see what my heart rate was while riding. Average heart rate while riding a loop was 160-165bpm. Max of 185, and when I'd be riding and mess up, I'd have a quick spike to 175bpm. I could tell I was fatigued by the end of the day. I had forgotten that I had only eaten breakfast at that point, and I wasn't riding with my camelbak (just grabbing water at the truck).

On the upside, I got some video, so I'll upload that tonight. In the meantime, I'm going to see what I gotta do to properly up my

Andrew

Oh, and I had the first weird thing ever. My Gaerne boots are actually a shade too big. I need to find some thicker socks to soak up some of the space in them. Weird.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:00 AM   #104
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Quick clip of our loop we have. We mildly extended the loop. Made it a bit more fun.

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:27 AM   #105
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Yesterday's Enduro went pretty well.
6\12 in Class (Open B)
19\54 Overall B

My body ran out of fuel to burn, so the last 2 sections were a bit rough. I"ll make sure to have a better lunch next time.

My front tire sucks for our local terrain. Rear tire is great. 0 Confidence in the front.

I need to smooth out my riding & lower my riding intensity somehow. Average heart rate throughout the day was 155, during special sections, I was at 165. Had a spike to 188 when I crashed just after a check.

I'll fill in more details when I get the chance.

Andrew

PS - Yes, the Husky made it. Time to do some inventory on what broke\needs replacing.
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