June 15th, 2005

racing, motorcycle

There and Back Again (with apologies to Pat Murphy)

Yesterday -- picked up my newly rebuilt shock from Aftershocks on my way to work. Went home, and happily pulled the crappy Worx Performance shock out and ... uh oh. This doesn't quite fit. Frantic phone call, and 2 hours of putting everything back the way it was, then packing ... means I get to bed around midnight.

Left for Thunderhill Racetrack at 4am this morning. Nice drive, better if I wasn't terrified of falling asleep and trashing my car and two racebikes.

Got to the track. Dave Moss of CRS Tuning looks at the shock, and the swingarm that is mounted in the second bike, and determines that I'd basically have to take both bikes apart and rebuild them as one bike AND lose the disc rear brake I have for the older drum brake ... and I'd lose the entire day of practice, without any guarantee of success.

In short, I put up a stiff upper lip and went out on the crappy Worx shock and got everything I could from the bike. Learned quite a bit. Dropped 4 seconds off my best lap time on this bike. Getting pretty near where I need to be, but there's just no way to race the bike as it stands.

Imagine yourself sitting on a kid toy horse that is made to buck and kick and perhaps frighten a 5 year old. Fairly easy to get used to, and not much threat of throwing you...
Okay, now imagine that exact same feeling at 100mph+ with your knee on the ground. Rear wheel cutting loose and skipping around... Right, now you got it.

Anyway, so Phil at Aftershocks is totally doing me a favor and meeting me tomorrow and going to take a look and see what we can do to either drill out some of the swingarm for some room, or rebuild the crappy shock into something good enough to do the job...

Will I be back to Thunderhill for the race this weekend? TBD...
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