Penny-pinching car geek's guide to racing, track days, and car build. DIY projects, product reviews, and interviews.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! - Revival progress

When I got my bike, it looked bad.  Really bad.  Well, the bike was in a lot better shape than it looked, but regardless, it looked bad.

About to leave sweet sweet
Southern California :(
Earlier this month I finished my assignment in Los Angeles and drove back to D.C.  I didn't get to enjoy a few days in Florida since I had another short assignment starting, so I drove straight to D.C. after spending a night in Orlando.  Since I don't have a garage here in D.C. and it is fairly cold, I haven't done some of the more involved modifications just yet.  But here is a list of what I have done, mostly while I was in California.

1. Replaced gas tank with a non-rusted out one from a red hawk

2. Re-painted the shit green paint job on the rear fairing and front fender

3. Installed Delkevic shorty exhaust and UNI pod filters

4. Rejet with Factory Pro jet kit, cleaned carbs
Final setting: 162/160 mains (f/r), 42 pilots, 1st clip position on needle, 2.5 turns out on AFM

5. Cleaned up bike a little bit

Things still to be done

1. Install racing shock that I've bought

2. Install springs and emulators, and rebuild forks

3. Install frame sliders (on order)

4. Replace chain and sprockets - the current ones are actually okay, but I'd like a fresh start for 2015

I have a bunch of more posts to do.  I haven't done my Streets of Willow post, my Socal Supermoto post nor my how to do a really good rattle-can job post.

Anyways, here is how my bike looks like now:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

M1GP Mini Moto Clinic 11/22/14

I took the M1GP mini moto clinic about ten days ago on a Saturday.  It is an event run by Young Lee of M1GP.  The clinic mainly involves renting CRF50s and doing hot laps around a kart track, but there is some instruction involved.  I had an absolute blast.

There is much to learn about riding from this clinic.  First of all, it is an excellent tool to learn racecraft.  Passing, blocking, and other wheel to wheel related stuff can be practiced in relative safety.  It will be really hard to get seriously injured on these minibikes, so you can try some moves that you didn't have the guts to on a full sized bike. 

It will help with general riding too, especially if you are a beginner.  Body positioning is really important on these little bikes.  The short wheelbase makes front-rear balance very important, and the low position of the footpegs means that you really need to hang off the motorcycle to get your knee down, or else it is too easy to lever off the rear wheel while dragging a peg. 

You also have to be really smooth, as the inputs are amplified on little bikes.  It also punishes you for mistakes since the mini bikes have such little power.  You really have to carry momentum through the corners.

I am sure this isn't the right way to do it, but I went 'balls out.'  I ignored the usual steps I take when I get on a new machine or a new track.  It is the most aggressive I've ever been on two wheels.  I believe I crashed over three times, including one where I went right over the bike and into a hay bale.  Even at these low speeds, I was really glad I was wearing full leathers.  Another benefit of being able to push hard like this is learning how bikes behave at the limit, and how to correct it. It is probably a great place to work out your survival reactions.

You do stay quite busy on these bikes.  Kart tracks have a lot more corners packed onto the racetrack.  You'll constantly be moving around on the bike.  You can practice a lot of basics, such as looking ahead, hitting the apexes, and using all of the track. 

As the time of this writing, the entry fees are 50 dollars.  This includes the CRF50 rental.  While these rental bikes are relatively indestructible, if you destroy a bike or really break something, then you owe the cost of repairs. 

This event helped me plan out my two-wheel future.  I am going to either get an XR100 or a mini GP bike like the NSR50 or the new Kayo 125.  The XR100 allows for some really, really, cheap racing but I hear the replica racebikes will carry over to full sized bikes better.  I haven't made up my mind yet. 

If you want to try it out, please check out the facebook page linked in the first paragraph of this post.  I highly recommend it!

The group was much bigger (25 people, but plenty of seat time!), but we were the guys who perverted until the end of the day :)
Photo credit: Kevin Hipp