Author: 250f canuck
Posted: 10/22/2007 3:40:32 PM
So I went racing this past Sunday at the local KTM dealer's hare scramble course, it was a 4hr team event that myself and a friend tackled together. He's riding a very stock '03 YZ450F (it's got hand guards only) and I was riding my bike for the 1st time in roughly 2 months. Since I've heard so many good things about them, I broke down and bought a JD jetting kit for my bike and I had it all set up for the race. I also pulled the muffler insert I made out for a little more snap, and because there is no sound check at these races. I had fresh oil and an new drive system, I thought I was golden.
I also had a slight issue with my master link clip, it kept popping off the chain when it passed through the chain guide by the sprocket (yes, I had the clip on the right way). I had an idea what the problem was, so I told Dad to grab his dremel tool and we would fix it at the track. While I got ready he pulled the chain guide off to grind down all the burs the previous chain had created, which I had suspected were causing the clip to pop off. It worked, my clip is still in place. As a side note, that was the first time my Dad has used the in-bed electrical outlet of his truck ('05 Tacoma) since he bought it new 3 years ago. He was happy.
When Phil (my racing buddy) got there we got our numbers on the bikes, put our bar-codes on our helmets, and got ready to do our practice lap. The bar-codes are how the organizers keep score, they scan us with a grocery scanner and it goes into a computer. It didn't take a lot to get my bike going for the 1st time in 2 months, but I had a new spark plug and jet kit working for me. About that jet kit, HOLY SH!T! It made a big difference in performance, I'm very happy with it. The bike ran so much nicer, didn't stumble at low RPM (may be helped by the free-flowing muffler), and pulled significantly harder. I had a hard time keeping the front wheel down in some of the tighter turns.
Anywho, nothing really spectacular happened during practice, other than the fact that I fell off this stupid wooden bridge that Woody (the owner) has. The bridge curved to the left, and is about 2' wide. I took the bridge too straight and fell about 3' off the inside. The bike tipped into the bridge and I found myself with a bent front brake lever. I did the exact same thing to my bike last year at this race on the practice lap, only it was a rock that tuned my lever. Weird. I could only use the lever with 1 finger now, and my spare was at home. No big deal. I got going again and made it back to the pits with minimal trouble (I stalled once).
A new problem had arisen on my bike while I mad my way around the practice lap, my clutch perch was very loose. Here's the story behind it: last year at this race I bent both my levers and while I was replacing the clutch lever I stripped the threads out of the lower bolt hole on the perch that holds the perch to the bar. I didn't think much of it because I would go riding and the lever wouldn't move unless I wanted it to. Well I guess I wasn't riding bumpy enough trails, because my clutch lever/perch was constantly rotating down during this race. I always had to grab it and rotate it back up, which would take my concentration away from actually riding. Nobody had a bolt and nut small enough to keep it stable, so I had to deal with it. My goal was to stay off the clutch, I'm on a thumper right!
We agreed that Phil would do the start because my bike is a bitch to start, and because he's been practicing starting his. My Dad got the whole thing on video (he was the camera man for the day) and I will post it up later when I get a copy. Phil wound up mid-pack into turn 1, which was what we were expecting. Both of us decided just to race for fun before the event, so we didn't care how we did an long as it wasn't last. I went back to the truck and got ready to go out for the next lap. The really fast guys do the 8K track in about 16-18 minutes, so I expected Phil to come in with a time of 25 minutes. Right on schedule Phil roles in, so I took off-remember that new boost of power? Haha, hell yeah! I made short work of the small moto section and got into the tight stuff (the other 7.8K) quickly. There where a total of 4 of those dumb bridges this course, nobody took the 1st one. I blew through the rut beside it and up the steep hill right after it, passing some guy on a stalled KTM (an old one). I managed to ride the curved bridge properly this time, I was happy. It seemed that everything I had trouble with during practice I aced in the race, but it was all the smaller stuff that I did fine on in practice that ate me up during the race. I would slightly overshoot a turn and go down because of all the small logs lying around. There was one straight section (actually there were more than that, but you wouldn't know it) that I was really trying to book it on, I blipped the gas where I didn't in practice and found myself pointing almost backwards. I spun right around! And stalled. That took up a bit of time.
My arms and legs were getting beat after a while, always grabbing for my clutch lever and taking a beating from all the bumps. My suspension did not want to soak anything up. In the process of passing a kid on an 85 I wiped out in a somewhat muddy section. I took the exact same line in practice!?! At that point I was getting a little pissed. My bike didn't fire up like it normally does when I do the drill, so my leg was getting tired of kicking. Near the end of the course I managed to clip a tree, bounce over to another tree, and finally crash into a cluster of three head on (if my clutch lever was where it was suppose to be it wouldn't have happened). I hit the ground and felt like falling asleep right there. My bike managed to get between the trees, but still stalled. I thought for sure something was broken, but everything was OK. It took forever to get it going though. At least I got all that crap out of the way on the 1st lap. We kept going until the 3rd hour, then called it quits. We did 7 laps and were happy with that.
Phil's 450 was wearing him out really fast, and he was killing the clutch. I didn't want to risk breaking anything else on my bike, and the whole clutch thing was just a menace to the health of the trees and myself.
We hung around for the door prizes, Phil got a litre of oil and I scored a Kimpex pen. Yes! My other friend Mike and the guy he was racing with, Aaron, got top honours in the 2 man class. Aaron put down the fastest lap time of the day at 16:53 (or something like that). Mike spent the spring and summer racing the CMA national HS circuit, he got 3rd in the intermediate class. Aaron raced the same series, that's how they met and he got 1st overall in the expert class. Mike is moving up to expert and Aaron is racing pro for this season. I plan on going to a few races this year with Mike and racing the intermediate class just to see what it's like at a "national" event. It's called the national series, but it's only in south-western Ontario, and the courses are easier than the one we just raced. This course was 8K of really bumpy and twisty single track with no sections to "rest or relax" on, the CMA courses are much more varied.
There where 22 teams in the 2-man team class, and Phil and I got 18th. It wasn't last so we considered it a success. My Dad took a bunch of stills and videos, I'll try and get a few up later on.
Post race damage assesment and to-fix list:
- 1 new brake lever
- fix my damn clutch perch
- slightly bent radiator (easy to fix, it's just the tab where the shroud bolts up)
Not too bad.
Oh, and a bunch of cuts and bruises.
What a day.
Reply by wr250f95 on 10/22/2007 3:51:06 PM
good to hear that 01 can still be competitive
Reply by Admin on 10/22/2007 4:02:11 PM
Success is crossing the finish line! Can't wait for the video!
Reply by 250f canuck on 10/22/2007 5:28:14 PM
I don't know if we "crossed the finish line", we quit with 1hr to go. Endurance and bike issues. I'm going to start jogging with my room mate in hopes to boost my endurance and stamina.
The video might take a while, my Dad needs to send me the clips (on a really slow connection) and I actually need to put it all together, which is something I've never done before.
Reply by Admin on 10/22/2007 6:11:03 PM
I mean, having fun is success! That's all that matters!
Reply by 4Putter on 10/23/2007 2:26:59 PM
Cool story, Canuck. Laughed loud at the triple tree.
Reply by Ecksarelle on 10/24/2007 12:07:14 PM
Congrats on "Just Doing It"! Nce write-up BTW. ~Ecks
Reply by mikejonker on 10/27/2007 7:15:57 PM
ya nick, the title pretty much summed up the race (8km of hell). it was the hardest one i rode this season. Those bridges were just too time consuming and slippery to take, next year, if you go, you should just take the more direct lines through the mud. Its easier to navigate and maybe you won't bend another brake lever from falling off the bridge
Reply by 250f canuck on 10/27/2007 8:00:33 PM
Yeah, next year when I do it I'll try to avoid the bridges if the mud isn't too bad. Still, I'd rather bend a brake lever than loose a hand guard like Aaron. That must have been one colorful crash!
Reply by mikejonker on 10/28/2007 7:07:02 PM
You can only imagine, I guess he was just trying to wheelie out of the rut and got a little too sideways and high sided. must have hurt quite a bit, oh well better him than me!
Reply by 250f canuck on 11/19/2007 6:49:01 PM
Here are some pics from the event, I finally got them off my Dad's camera. He's got some of his techie friends working on the movie.
This is the guy that my friend Mike (mikejonker) raced with, they won the 2-man event. He posted the fastest lap time of the event, he's friggin fast! The bike he is riding use to be Ronni Renner's FMX bike, it's a bit different now.
And here are a couple of just some of the trail.
Reply by Admin on 11/20/2007 07:14:22 AM
Very nice pics! Looks like lots of fun!
Reply by sparta4188 on 11/20/2007 3:16:49 PM
Nice pics, looks like a good place to ride!!
Reply by 250f canuck on 11/20/2007 6:07:03 PM
Don't let the looks fool you, most of the course was tighter than that. Those were the wide sections.
Reply by sparta4188 on 11/20/2007 9:09:32 PM
Judging by your story it was!!
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