Sunday, August 15, 2010

The "Salt Assult". (tm Wes White 2010)

First off sorry for the lack of updates yesterday and today, these long days on the salt are killer and pass so amazingly fast! By the time we leave shower and eat we are exhausted and ready to hit the hay!
Sat Aug 14th, Rookie runs:

Kyle: We lined up sat afternoon for our Rookie runs, just to prove you can follow the course rules and handle your machine. We were pretty comfy sitting in the back of the RV as we inched up in line and I got a little more tense the closer we got! When we were about five vehicles back we suited up, unloaded our bikes and watched the racing from the starting line. Pulling up to the line was pretty hectic, about 5000 things running through my head, but as soon as I was waved I took a deep breath and let out the clutch and took off. It was pretty amazing I don't think I have ever been that focused and I think I truly understand what "living in the moment" means. I shifted my gears at 6000rpms but had some tuning issues and had to pull off course before the second mile so I never got timed. As soon as I was clear and stopped moving I pulled my helmet and gloves off, I am pretty sure my heart was beating 150 bpm! I spent the rest of the day tuning, which is definitely a different animal out here! We got back in line for another run at 6pm. We didn't quite make it but left our trailer in line and were 2nd up for Sunday morning!

Tyler: Getting up to the line that first time was an experience in itself. Most times I felt cool as a cucumber but at others my nervousness and anticipation spiked. Riding in a straight line as fast as you can isn't difficult in itself, but add all the factors at Bonneville into it and it makes for a different experience. On my rookie run I took off and was on autopilot not even thinking and I was in fourth gear and 7000 rpm before I hit the first mile marker. I kept it at 7000 and got my elbows and knees tucked as tight as possible and slid back against my seat and tucked my chin in right behind my front triple tree, tach staring me in the face. At the 1.5 mile mark all of a sudden I started dropping RPMs, felt it falter, and tried to keep the throttle open to hit the 2nd mile marker and get a timing mark so I could see how fast I was going. I sat up as I slowed and pulled my clutch in and hit my kill switch as soon as I passed the 2 mile mark and turned out onto the open salt towards the return road. I was surprised to go pick up my timing slip and see that when I sat up and felt like I was doing maybe 60 I was doing 96 and change. I think I was in the 100-teens somewhere before my revs faltered. I think I blocked the vent on my gas cap with my leathers and hence kept gas from flowing to my carbs. All in all it was great, so exhilarating, and the first run made the following runs so much more comfortable. These runs don't last that long as far as actual time goes, but it is crazy how long them seem to last in the moment.

Sunday August 15th:

Kyle. We woke up early and went out to the starting line first thing Sunday morning, and got to see the sun rise on the salt, it was such a cool way to start my birthday! We had to wait for a couple record runs (If you qualify for a record, your bike goes into impound and you can't run until early the next morning. Your two runs are averaged and if your average is better than the current record, it's yours.) before us and next thing you knew we were geared up and ready to run! I felt much less nervous and much more focused on my run once getting rid of the first time jitters. I took off and immediately knew I had issues, my bike started breaking up at 5000rpms and I pushed though but couldn't even get the speed to get to 4th gear, killed the bike and coasted through at a whopping 55mph! Not what I had hoped for, but we got right back in line did some more adjustments and did our 3rd run. I had just about the same issues so we headed back to the pit and I spent the next 8 hrs going over everything, valves, timing, a lot of time on carbs, magneto. Finally around 5pm, very frustrated, and still running wrong, I decided to advance my timing past what it should be and my bike just roared. We got back to the starting line around 6pm and same as yesterday we dropped the trailer and are about 4 people back after the mornings record runs. I think I am on the right track and hopefully can turn out some much better numbers tomorrow!

Tyler: As Kyle said we were up and in line bright and early. I fired my bike up and it was popping and cracking a bit at idle so I swapped out the jets and went one size up. First run was almost an identical one to my 1st Rookie run, though I was sure not to lay on my gas cap vent and plug it. I did 96 and change at the 2nd mile timing light once again. As soon as I stopped at the return road I was ready to roll and Kyle and Denny (our Dad) picked us up in the RV chase vehicle and we got right back in line. The line was amazingly short and we each had time to do a bit of tuning work on our bikes and next thing you knew we were hustling to finish getting suited up and up to the line. When I pulled my plugs I found something interesting, my left spark plug electrode was basically gone, pummeled by my piston. I think at the high RPMs I got a bit of float or crank flex so I put another spacer on each plug to give a bit more clearance before my 2nd run of the morning. The following run wasn't much different, I wound it out and shifted from 3rd into 4th at 8300 RPM, which dropped me to about 7000 RPM, though I slowly ticked down to about 6500 when crossing the 2nd mile mark. 98 and change, slow and unsatisfactory, and another spark plug electrode smashed to hell. So go figure running on 1 cylinder isn't the best way to set speed records. I spent the rest of the day tuning and I think I sorted out my issues, my bike is sitting right now about 6th in line on the Salt and I hope to haul ass in the morning and see if my tuning did the trick. I think I still need to drop a jet size but I would rather run rich than too lean at the moment just to test my theories. It is amazing how many issues crop up when racing, between fixing parts in the pit to tuning to keeping your bike from vibrating apart when keeping it pinned at high RPMs for extended periods. The Salt changes everything, I, like most others who come to race, think they are going to set the world on fire. I am still working at it but I am headed in the riight direction!

We also want to thank all the guys from Chopcult and the Jockey Journal , and all of our customers who came by to check out our bikes, see how we are doing, and wish us well! I tried uploading some videos direct to YouTube but without a good wifi signal (we are doing all computer stuff via our phones) I can't get any good quality video online. BUT we have some good stuff that will be uploaded when we get back, if not sooner. Stay tuned for updates..
Cheers, Tyler and Kyle


shawn - Imperial House said...

Hang in there! Sounds like both of you are on your way!

Unkl Ian said...

Tyler: try indexing the plugs, to move the ground strap out of the way.

Ellis said...

All I gotta say is you guys rock the leather pants...reminds me of times at a Cramps show. All you need to do is jam some creature from the black leather lagoon real loud and you will be in there.

satan gave me tips and then i thanked him, i'm the creature from the black leather lagoon