Wow! That's really all that needs to be said about
this past weekend. You see I went to
Vegas to race with WERA in their West Regional road racing series and it was a
blast. It was the first time out with my
new race bike, a Triumph 675R. Getting
here was a mad dash as I picked up the bike 6 weeks before the event. From there I needed to get everything to make
it race ready. The goes from exhaust, to
electronics, to suspension and bodywork.
wouldn't be a big problem as all of these parts would be readily
available. Except I seem to like to do
things the hard way and a race a bike that isn't commonly raced and needs some
special handling to get it right. What
does special handling mean?
Well for instance
the bodywork I want is coming from Latus.
Problem is its not ready yet.
There is some
fabulous exhaust from FMF that is brand new that not only looks awesome but it
makes good power. But, its just now
suspension? Doesn't it come with a nice
Ohlin's 30mm fork kit and a nice TTX shock?
Well yes...but its not quite right for racing. The problem is the parts needed to make it so
without simply replacing the fork cartridge is hard to get or a tool needs to
be made and we were out of time.
So the Triumph went
to Vegas with a major compromise in suspension from KFG Racing but Barry was
able to improve them a little bit from stock.
I also ended up borrowing bodywork from Latus since theirs wasn't ready yet. I ran a stock exhaust and stock electronics
so I was "silent but [sorta] deadly". :)
So even though the
bike as a whole was only partially ready I brought it down to start learning
about what's it like to ride a 3-cylinder machine. I will say though there was one trick up my
Steve Korol of Evol
Technologies is developing rear sets for the Triumph 675 and I had the
privilege of being his test mule.
Without these rear sets riding on the track would have been difficult. You see I run GP shift but the Triumph comes
setup for regular shift.
Steve really knows
how to treat the people he is working with.
Beyond the careful install of the rear sets at the track for me and
making the various adjustments based on my feedback. He was also around a great deal of time to
help pull warmers or put the bike back onto its stands. He was also good sounding board for some
questions I had about being out there. I
look forward to continuing to work with him throughout the season as we
completely dialog in the rear set.
So how was it racing
the Triumph. Holy crap that's fast! You see I'm coming from a fast SV650 SBK but
this thing is a complete rush. Vegas is
a tight course but it does have a very fast corner, turn 6. Unlike the 2008 R6 I rode a few years ago
this thing has some torque. That was
good as I'm not used to keeping the revs up so having torque as a crutch was
My first race was on
Saturday in the Middleweight Solo 20.
This is a 20 lap race which means about 25 minutes of work. I had a great grid position in the 3rd to
last row of the first wave. You see
there was over 50 bikes on track, something totally foreign to me. As I gridded up I was little nervous. Here I am with more than half the grid
breathing down the back of my neck while I've only launched this bike once and
I'm still WAY off pace. Well everything
turned out well and the field eventually worked their way past me. Eventually I was got lapped by Jason Disalvo
and then my tires started to slide (front and rear).
A quick note about
the tires. I am switching from Dunlop to
Pirelli's and this was my first time on them since 2008. They are excellent tires, when you have their
pressures set right. :) I'm not used to watching my hot pressures as
much and it turned out that my tires were 3-5psi too high. After pulling in and getting this adjusted I
went to head back out and the red flag came out due to Joey Pascarella crashing
in turn 7 after 10 laps. Since half
distance was reached, the race was deemed complete.
Sunday. The interesting thing is I am
registered for 4 classes, C SS, C SBK, HWT SS and HWT SBK. It also turned out that C SS and HWT SBK were
back to back. C SBK and HWT SS was also back to back. Yippie...lots of excitement followed by
nothing to do.
C SBK was up
first. I was gridded front row, of the
second wave. :) I got off to an ok start
and worked on trying to lower my lap times.
Eventually I was lapped but when someone is doing 1:16's...I'm ok with
Once I got done I
had Barry Wressell of KFG Racing waiting for me at track exit to double check
my tire pressures. See, I'm learning
from my Solo. The tires were perfect so
I went out to HWT SS.
I don't remember
much of this race except that damn novice got by me...at least it was
Pascarella's pit mate (I think brother).
So they all just haul around that track.
So now I get some
downtime to hang out and get a sun tan.
Man what a gorgeous day. Back at
home in Seattle its raining. Here its
like a summer day for us.
Finally my last two
races were up. HWT SBK was first. Funny thing.
It was sprinkling right before the race.
As I pulled up to track entrance one of the WERA officials went into a
long spiel to try to calm me down about the rain. The entire time I was laughing to myself. When he finished I leaned forward and yelled
(I wanted to hear myself), "I'm from Seattle." To which is said "Forget everything I
said, go right ahead!" :)
Once we reached the
grid we were behind some novices so I wondered if I'd catch them. I did and make a quick and easy pass on my
first one in turn 7. That felt good.
I completely all 6
laps this time with the best time of 1:32 something. Not fast but I did drop another second from
my previous lap times. Progress!
After pulling off I
wasn't sure if I had the energy to do C SBK but I decided to grid up
anyhow. I was again in the second wave
first row middle. As we charged towards
turn 1 I could see a rider go flying up ahead in the crowd. Uh oh that's not good! This pushed several riders wide including a
friend Jacob Brown. I got to see Jacob
later that lap in turn 7 as he drove past me with purpose. I continue on the track for one more lap and
decided I was riding stupid so I pulled off as not to be a danger to anybody
I have a long list
of people to thank to make this weekend possible.
I-90 Motorsports in
Issaquah with helping me acquire the Triumph and a list of parts I'll need to
make it ready.
April of KFG Racing
for handling the confusing mass emails I've sent her for even more parts for
the Triumph on such a short timeline.
Without her efforts the bike would be even less ready for this past
Barry of KFG Racing
was a huge help not only before the weekend with the suspension but also during
the weekend. He helped provide me
direction on how to approach getting used to this new bike...hell new
Tim Weig for
providing excellent transportation for my bike and accommodations for myself to
Vegas. He made and offer which anybody
with half a brain couldn't turn down. He
also made it way simpler and less stressful as I didn't have to do the 24hr
drive each way.
Steve Korol for the
excellent rear sets and support while at Vegas.
You will hear more about these fine pieces of kit in future write ups.
Ronnie and Katie of
Latus Racing for loaning me bodywork so I could make the event. Also for technical support on things to do to
the Triumph to make it that much better of a race bike.
My wife, Ariana, for
letting me be crazy and get a brand new motorcycle and race it from the
Wow...I really need to do some updates to this site. I'll hope to start with some in January as I go race WERA West in Fontana.
This past weekend I was able to finally get the SV onto the dyno and get it fully tuned. This is because the first couple of times I got it on there for tunning I ran into a slipping clutch issue. With that resolved and 3 race weekends under my belt it was time to finish the tuning.
So I called up Mike 'Fuzzy' Castro and scheduled sometime on the Redline Motorsports dyno. With this dyno time I not only was looking for the best map with what I have been running, I also wanted to test out a few parts and different fuels.
What to test:
1. Fuel. Compare VP U4.4 to EKC 110K (aka R-Tech R110)
2. Throttle bodies. Compare stock throttle bodies to 42mm overboard throttle bodies
3. Spark plugs. Surface discharged to standard iridium plugs
What I have been running is U4.4 with surface discharged spark plugs and the bored throttle bodies.
Let's start with the results of the spark plugs. The change made zero effect on the bike. Nothing to A/F or to the power curve. So in the future I'll save my money and stay with the standard iridium plugs instead of the twice the price surface discharge plugs.
Up next is the throttle bodies. The chart below shows the differences between the two runs (after tuning each throttle body for best effect).
What you see is that up until 8k RPMs the stock throttle bodies produced marginally more power. But at 8k rpms the bored throttle bodies continued to produce power while the stock throttle bodies leveled off. This gives the bored throttle bodies 2.1 more horsepower. Since the tracks I race at in general need to have top end alot I plan on staying with the bored throttle bodies.
The final test was with the R110 fuel. What we found is that while we could get almost the same power out of the fuel, the bike had to run it very very lean. Too lean for Fuzzy and my liking. Now it is ~$2 less per gallon so it is a good practice fuel.
This artistic shot was taking by Ariana while at Portland International Raceway on April 23rd while racing with OMRRA.
Lighter connecting rods
Lighter rear wheel
Can you see a pattern? I thought you could. :)
To complete the lighter theme I sent my rear rotor out to get machined to be lighter. 11.5oz later and I now have a lighter rotor. That's 58% the weight as the stock rotor. Some of you maybe wondering, why would I want to remove metal off my rear rotor? Well I'm not a rear braker so I don't need it to slow me down in the normal case. In the case where I really need to use my rear brake for backup there isn't so much material removed that it won't work. And it'll be beneficial when I'm out in the dirt as it'll help prevent me from locking it up panicing!
Now I don't have any plans to lighten the rear rotor on my rain wheels as I tend to use my rear brake in the wet for that last little bit. :)
I ended up making a video on measuring squish. In the video not only do you get to learn a vital measurement when building an engine you also get to see the shop of Burgi Racing and its current motor under construction.
Squish. No it isn't just the sound that fruit makes when someone smashes it or steps on it with their foot. In the engine world it is the distance between the top of the piston and the bottom of the cylinder head. It usually is the smallest on the edge of the piston. This is because the head's combustion chamber has a little bit of over hang into the cylinder. Setting your squish is very important. The first obvious reason is to keep the piston from smacking into the head. That would be bad. But squish is also what causes the sweet spot of the compressed air and fuel to center around the spark plug. This makes it so the fuel can ignite better thus causing higher combusion chamber temperatures which means more pressure and thus...more power.
Well with the new pistons in my bike using heads milled for SuperSport I have to be very careful with my squish. This is because I can't run the smallest squish which keeps the piston from hitting the head. If I did that I'd be over 15.5:1 compression ratio...not good...broken cranks come to mind. :) So I have to play with my squish to set the compression ratio....specifically I have to get it to 1.2mm from its previous setting of .8mm (with the OEM pistons).
So how did it do? Well...using 1 oem base gasket with the oem head gasket my squish was .65mm. I think that puts me up into 16:1 CR terriority. *yikes* So adding another OEM base gasket and it gives me .93mm. So now I have to wait for my order of more base gaskets as it looks like I'll need 3 base gaskets. But that should be ok. Zlock said 3 should be fine...just don't go any more. Of course I could always go and get an aftermarket copper base gasket from Spears Enterprises but I'm gonna trust Dan here. Worst case I leak a little bit of water and I have to tear it apart again and replace the base gasket with a copper one. I think that'd just cost me a day of work....hopefully it'll be warmer when I do that. :)
Edit: It was pointed out to me that I really didn't get the message across about squish. Check out this link for more information. Although its 2-stroke focused...the principle is the same. http://www.kreidler.nl/artikelen/performance-tuning-graham-bell/performance-tuning-graham-bell.pdf
Anyhow I like pictures...here are some.
Well my motor is now ready to be put back together. I got my parts back from Zlock Racing and I'm so freaking excited. As this is my first actual motor build (I've assembled motors before) Dan spent some time with me to go over a couple key things to measure.
First up is squish. Squish is the measurement from the top of the piston to the head at its smallest point. This generally happens at the edges of the pistons and that is the case here. Well it turns out that due to the motor being a supersport motor before and the switch to flat top pistons I have to be very careful with how much squish I have. If I leave the squish set to what it was in supersport form the math says the motor will be up around 15.5:1. That's WAY too high. :) It'd be fast...for maybe a weekend or so before the crank goes pop! Well I don't have the kind of money needed to be replacing parts that often so I need to lower the CR. The goal is 14.2:1 which will be accomplished by adding some base gaskets to the motor.
After the squish is setup its time to do a piston to valve clearance check. Dan is pretty sure I won't have an issue but as with anything...you gotta verify. If you are too close you might not find out until you are sitting at high RPM and do your down shift...then BOOM! Sounds expensive. :)
Other than these two things just some basic general motor rebuild steps are to be taken followed by multiple heat cycles before doing any sustained 100% throttle runs.
For those who are curious as to what I had done or what parts I purchased from Dan...well...I've got nothing to hide and everything to boost about. :)
Crank Lightened and Balanced. ~1.6lbs gone
Zlock Chrome-moly race connecting rods. Similiar to the Carrillo Rods but the mass is moved towards the right end some.
Zlock Designed Wiseco 81mm 2 ring forged flat top piston. These things are 1.2 oz's lighter (with wrist pin and rings) than the stock pistons. That's almost double as light as the Busa pistons.
Cylinder Honed to accept the new pistons (need a little bit more clearance than cast pistons)
Rotor balanced after being lightened. It was way off...glad I got this done.
Valves and seats freshened up. A little bit of clean up done around the non combustion side of the valves for cleaner flow.
Left case main bearing retainer.
And for those who like to see bling...here is some. You can see it all here
Well today I got back some parts and got two new parts from Twin Works Factory Racing (http://www.twfracing.com). Thanks to the man, Zoran I now have some key pieces for my 2011 season and one piece of bling.
Here is a picture of everything that came in the box...it was like Christmas!
First up I got a new battery. This battery weights 1lb 3.2oz and provides longer capacity than the stock >6lb battery. I didn't need to get a lighter battery but it was time for a new battery and now I can have that cheeseburger!
Up next I got my GSX-R rear wheel kit. The kit includes some machining on the sprocket carrier, brake hanger and spacers to make a 2006-2008 GSX-R600 rear wheel fit on an SV650 swing arm. Currently I am using a Bandit1200 rear wheel which gives me a 5.5" wheel. The problem with it is its heavy. So with this kit I can run the much ligher GSX-R wheel which will with making the motor spin up faster giving me a better drive out of the turn.
Finally I got something which should give me another 3-5hp. 42mm throttle bodies. Zoran took my 39mm SV650 throttle bodies and bored them out to 42mm. With this bore the removal of the secondary throttle plates which are used by the computer for a choke. Since this is a race bike and I have a very specific warm up procedure...so I don't need the choke. To remove the FI light that will come on with this stuff disconnected I also purchased the the by-pass box. If I had a 2007 or newer the by-pass box would be a requirement as the ECU goes into a limp home mode ruining any hope for good fueling and power.
This is the stuff that was removed. You can see I'm also saving 1lb of weight. Meaning I can have fries with that cheeseburger!
Well I received the new cases from eBay. Upon inspection they look like they are in good shape.
So I took a trip down to Zlock Racing (http://www.zlockracing.com) with my various parts to get them worked on and to also discuss what to do with the motor this time.
So far the following is getting done:
1. Bearing retainer on the left case. This is to prevent the bearing from walking in on the side of the crank that has the heavy rotor. This was done in my previous cases and it sucks to have to get it done again.
2. Heads getting seats cleaned up and removing some of the casting imperfections. Also looking at what is wrong with those two exhaust valves to see if something more needs to be done.
3. Crankshaft is getting lightened.
4. Cylinders honed
5. Rod bearings and other case bearing getting replaced.
The one thing I need to decide on is to upgrade to Zlock's Racing rods and upgrade to 81mm flat top 2-ring pistons of their design. I'm really leaning towards doing this as these upgrades will give me more safety with stronger rods but they also have their mass more focused towards the big end. The pistons are also lighter and stronger than stock (they are forged vs the cast stock ones). Also with the 2-ring design they have less friction. This with the crankshaft lighten, the motor should be really happy to rev. This will help provide me with faster acceleration. Also with the flat top pistons the compression will be increased even more. It might even increase it just beyond where one would want it to be....but that is something which Dan Zlock will verify.
I promise to provide some photos of the work when I get it back. So the rebuild process continues. This is what happens when you build something on a budget. With an unlimited budget the statement would be..."Make me the fastest motor you can". :) *sigh* I wish I had a billion dollars. :)