# Not quite a noob, Not quite a Pro, Not quite old man, Not quite boy racer......

Discussion in 'Racing' started by andrewgore, Apr 3, 2012.

1. ### PantahPJ Fan from Boston

Joined:
Oct 25, 2004
Oddometer:
11,249
Location:
India Wharf
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.

2. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
4,442
Location:
NW Suburbs, IL
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
3. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
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Location:
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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.

Andrew
17. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
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Location:
NW Suburbs, IL
Didn't get to the indoor track yesterday. I was stuck doing my normal workout of jumping rope, burpees, and other annoying exercises. On the upside though, my weight is down more than before, and I can feel my fitness improving. This will for sure help out this season.

I did find this sitting on my doorstep when I got home which was pretty cool:

What can I say....Mighty XR!!!!

I spent some time with the YZ last night after a tasty Bacon, eggs, and yogurt dinner. I scored some Unabiker radiator guards off ebay, so those got tossed on. I essentially have no fears of hurting my radiators this season. Pretty cheap insurance.

Andrew

PS - I also updated my site a tad bit. Simplified, and got rid of the main video in the background. Still needs some buffing, but for doing it in spare time, it works.
18. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
4,442
Location:
NW Suburbs, IL
Things are looking up! It's March. My GasGas is up, running and feels like a great machine. My YZ now has a WR transmission, 290 Big Bore, and may or may not have a Rekluse Z-Start Pro going into it. I hadn't really planned on that, but I found an almost new one for the price of an EXP unit, and the DynaRing unit I have will NOT grab with the added power of the 290 kit. Kinda wild that a couple HP difference, and it just slips. Go figure.

On top of that, I've added a "toy" to my working out.

I love feeling really worked after a good row on this thing. It's like doing pushups, crunches, and leg presses all in one. Come race time there's a good chance I'll be down around 170#. Not bad considering last year I was closer to 185-190. I feel good knowing that its the "excess" I've been whittling down. Rebuilding muscle at the same time is just a plus.

Only downside so far as of late, is that I have not gone to the indoor MX track as much as I had planned. Heck, I haven't made it there since I last went. Basically life got in the way, and then I got antsy, and tossed the WR gears & big bore on the YZ, which took much longer than planned as I busted the cases while doing the swap.

Hopefully get there one more time this month. Supposed to go to a race middle\end of March, but based on how the weather has been, I forsee a total slop fest. Not exactly in the mood for that. Then it's down to Trials Training Center first weekend of April with the GasGas to do some skills improvement work. Then end of April is a trip to the UP for some trail riding with friends.

The season hasn't begun.....but already has.

Time to go row & get some dinner with my wife.

Andrew
19. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
4,442
Location:
NW Suburbs, IL
This is about how I feel right now:

My 250F has been a royal pain in my ass. Well, more so, my right foot. I made the epic mistake this past winter of messing with the engine. I've been paying for it since, and the currency has been Head Gaskets. I had worries about not being able to actually get to race this year. I made some quick decisions, and long story short, I've no longer got a Trials bike, but a Yamaha WR450. I've also fired my mechanic (myself). I'm only allowed to change oil, filters, and grips. Beyond that, if that shmuck touches anything else, he's gonna get slapped around

Not a move I've exactly wanted to make, but it's making more and more sense as time goes on here. I realize it's not the easiest to use 45hp in the woods, but I'm finding it incredibly easier than I remember. I find that I don't really want a Rekluse on the thing. It's nice, but it'll lug so much better than the YZ, that I'm just not stalling it like the 250F. We'll see how things pan out.

Here's some riding from 2 weekends ago:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/i9KVE8itCm8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I've got 2 weekends on the WR450F, and will be racing it this weekend. My biggest concern with it is related to starting it. It's no 2-stroke, that's for sure. I did about 30 dead engine starts Saturday while riding. If the engine is good n warm, it seems like it'll fire just fine with the kick start. Suppose I'll do that with the finger on the e-start button at the same time.

In the meantime, I'll be on the rower tonight. This 450 works your body a heck of a lot more than the 250F. The riding from Saturday was pure awesomeness. I'll be putting up video of it. We had a track groomed in a farm field for us. Flat track & kinda like supermoto. Tacky dirt that you could in places just about put the handlebar into the ground while railing a corner. Awesome stuff.

Andrew
20. ### andrewgoreGôremā

Joined:
May 5, 2008
Oddometer:
4,442
Location:
NW Suburbs, IL
1st race of the season down, and I can't complain one bit. I managed to pull a handy 1st in my class (Open B). Looking at the numbers, I Overalled in the B class (little\big\30+), so I'm happy about that. My finish woulda put me in about 6th place in the A Class, and well....let's not even go into where I'd be in the AA class. On the upside, it puts me around 20th out of 72 for the afternoon race. Not too bad considering the 10 deep AA class.

I rode pretty well, and managed a decent start. Into the 2nd turn, I was in 3rd place. I slipped into 4th in the middle of the first lap, and then took advantage of the MX portion of the course, and kept the 450 pinned as best I could. After that section, I pulled back into 3rd, and shortly after the 1st & 2nd place guys made some poor line choices over a log (much faster going around it ), and I managed to squeak up to 1st. I held 1st through the rest of the race, and did my best to try to not let anyone pass me (AA guys lapped me :huh)

The course was overall pretty easy. There was nothing super technical, as they had a good bit of rain, and races really suck when there are traffic jams on slick hills and such. This helped a bit, as I was racing my WR450F, as my 250F was still on the fritz. On the 2nd lap, I managed to dump the bike in the creek section. I wouldn't have minded, but my gloves were then soaked, and my left grip was spinning like mad. Not fun when I still had 10 laps to go.

About an hour in (and coincidentally when my GoPro stopped recording) I caught a tree with my handguard on the left side. This bucked me pretty good (I'm blaming my handguards as they were some homebrew ones I made out of plastic), and I managed to huck-a-buck myself into the dirt pretty good. This took the wind out of me a bit, but I kept on trucking.

Approaching the 90 minute mark (105 minute race), and my body was really feeling things. The 450 power, the multiple crashes, the blisters growing ever larger on my hands....it was all adding up. The braking bumps in some of the turns were wreaking havoc on my lower back. You could just feel things being jarred. I was chuckling to myself thinking about how I used to blame my suspension for getting harsh late in a race. I laughed as I realized that I'm just not in 100% perfect shape. I continued on with this thought in my head.

As I rolled through Timing\Scoring just before my last lap, I realized I made the cutoff for the "extra lap" by just a couple of minutes. I really didn't want to do this lap at all. I was concerned I'd drop the bike in the creek section again, so I really tip toed it through there (which ironically makes it more difficult). I more or less did my best to just enjoy the last lap. You could hear that there were less riders out there, so there was a sense of calm and I was able to collect my thoughts and push through the burning sensation in my hands.

I slightly fumbled my way over the 2 large Timing\Scoring "speed reducing" logs, and off the course. I putted my way back to the truck, and could feel my body was already wanting to lock up. I did my best to load up the truck, and off we went. Glad I wasn't the one driving home.

I learned a few things about my riding. I watched as the AA guys passed me. The speed that they carry, is just far better than me. I could see that they were experiencing less obstacles, due to the fact that they were essentially skipping over them. I've realized that I really need to smooth out my riding. This would probably get easier with doing a better job of looking ahead at the course, but as fatigue sets in, that grows increasingly difficult. I was on my 450, and I really wish that I had been on my 250F. Not so much the power situation, but the fact that its at least 30# lighter, and heck, I'll admit it, the Rekluse wouldn't have hurt me either. I'm perfectly OK not using an autoclutch, but there are times where I think it would help me with keeping a gear higher, and lugging the bike a bit more. Why I wasn't doing that more on the 450, I've no idea. The thing can drop down to 0 RPM and still be running, and will pull it just fine. Keeping the bike in 3rd gear (instead of clicking between 2nd\3rd), I woulda been in much better shape.

Overall though, I had a blast, and am itching to get back riding (though the hands are still healing). I'm going to invest in some of those locking grips in the meantime, and some more proper\sturdy handguards.

Here's some pics some folks took at the race. I'll be uploading whatever video I have from the race when I get home this evening.

More Creek:

Bowl turn before a tabletop (that I always manage to over-jump):

This is a short climb, followed by a quick right hand uphill climb. My goodness that 450 excelled here. 2nd WFO and roost up the hill:

Start Finish speed logs. When just riding there, I normally jump these things. In the races, I find I do a trials style double tap. I figure that's the safest way to go over, with least risk of messing up (note that these logs have no ramp on the opposite side in pic):

And the coolest one of the bunch, mid-creek section, full attack mode:

Andrew