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July 18th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #21
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

Go Taff, have fun.

Steve
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August 9th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #22
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

I don't usually report practice days but this one is a bit different.

Arkley123 and I went up to a small private track at West Winch near Kings Lynn on Sunday. It was a single track, albeit 1m wide but no room for error and a MX track first with little off shoots for enduro practice.

I took up the old 400 and the 570. the 570 rear mousse disintegrated throughout the day to the point where riding it to the local jet wash saw me being thrown up outta the 'saddle'! like i say - knackered!

earlier in the day though I had tried softening the rear spring which worked some and perhaps I should have tested some more. otherwise I left it well alone as it seems to be doing a good job. on the front, the bike was under damped again but the initial plushness is there now. It hates hard-packed bumps but then what does!

I wound the comp fully in and then off a little with the rebound - nice.

I had fitted 20mm bar risers, brought them back to the mount hole nearest the rider and also taken 20mm off each end and the bike was easier to throw around.

I then rode the 400 which is a lower bike with lower footrests and also a lot lighter. it is cruder and noisier and you know your on an older bike: you can just feel it!

I then swopped with James and was really impressed by his home suspension: the forks were excellent. I had offered a setting change on the rear and we both noted an improvement. his taller (still standard) seat felt better than that on the 570 which feels flat and gutless.

finally I jumped back on the 570 and tried map setting 2 which gave a nice smooth bottom end still but after that the revs were more aggressive. I think i could even use that in 'moist' conditions next time I see them!

next stop; more fork changes, a new rear with a HD tube, new spokes because after two years all the lustre has gone out of the old ones.

regards

Taffy
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August 9th, 2011, 01:35 AM   #23
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

Hi Taffy,

I have replaced my fork oil with 2.5 weight, backed off the compression dampening as far as it can go, set the preload to 0 turns (comfort) and it still feels too stiff when I encounter a sharp hit (Rock, Root, Etc.)
I find the front end high speed compression dampening is too stiff.
With the Preload load at 4 turns (sport) it feels much better to ride and dosen't
seem to make my complaint any worse.
I love the bike it is awsome but I am getting old and soft an just want plushness and comfort.
Advice please anybody.


Steve
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August 9th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #24
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

Hey Steve - Just to get in before Taffy - I guess buy a trail bike................know what you mean though - 50 this year & puff & knees taking the strain.

Anyway - great day out & thanks taffy for the help with the suspension. Taf followed / commented / adjusted and we all went out again. Shame no-one could do the same for you Taf but thats the draw-back of being the local eggspurt.

The enduro tests were great - each of which overfaced me until I just fed in the old berg power & the next thing your out the other side. I particularly liked the Tyres & pallet ramps. (The LDC 570 of Taffs has massive power though - so smooth & instant).

Took my boy Tom on his KX85 (only 11) whilst warming up on the mini track he took a wrong turn & ended up doing a extreme double hill climb with severe drop off which fazed many a grown man. This obviously boosted his confidence as he spend the rest of the day on the main track & seemed to insist on overshooting a particularly steep berm - flying out over the top & diving into the scrub below. How he managed to cut his face with a helmet on i'll never know & his mum is still not well pleased....doh
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August 9th, 2011, 05:34 AM   #25
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

yeh James I've got to get you up to speed so you can help me! that or arm you with one of those "made for the TT" high speed cameras.

Originally Posted by tazer
Hi Taffy,

I have replaced my fork oil with 2.5 weight, backed off the compression dampening as far as it can go, set the preload to 0 turns (comfort) and it still feels too stiff when I encounter a sharp hit (Rock, Root, Etc.)
I find the front end high speed compression dampening is too stiff.
With the Preload load at 4 turns (sport) it feels much better to ride and dosen't
seem to make my complaint any worse.
I love the bike it is awsome but I am getting old and soft an just want plushness and comfort.
Advice please anybody.


Steve
I only work with 5W and have never gone outside this so it's hard to say but if you are a big boy on the same soft springs and then back the pre-load off and then have a thinner oil well.... I think you are just too soft to support the bike while at the same time the real problem is left untouched.....

you need the right springs upfront which for my 15 stones (198LB in the nuddy) are 48s. was toying with 50s but it has settled a bit now.

as for the culprit well I'd have to say removing the 13 from the MV shimstack and then putting a splitter in the 8 x 24s in the Base valve. something like 2 x 24 then a 20, then 6 more 24s. go back to 5W, get the right springs, do the above.

regards

Taffy
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August 21st, 2011, 02:14 AM   #26
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

did just my second saturday meeting in 11 years yesterday. raced with the TBEC club down at Ashdown Farm in Oxfordshire. the meeting was to be a 2 + 2 with an hour for lunch in the middle.

This "2" makes me worried...remember that the bike ran out of fuel after 1h 15mins last time out? having tested on the middle power setting I decided that I would race with it in that setting and hope that the 'better' ignition timing/power would make the bike more efficient. I wasn't going to pull in, I just trusted that this would make a difference - dunno why but there....

since the last meeting I had gone to a steel 51T rear from a 52 alloy just to try and keep the revs down a little. I'd also fitted one of my two MV base shims back, unwound the front pre-load a little but otherwise the bike was unchanged.

I have been racing against local rival Nick now for 30 years and we are usually very even. I started one minute behind him and didn't expect to get near him as he was 7th in February to my 23rd but I found myself overtaking him after 30 minutes. I was amazed! again proof that I'm getting the bike dialled in better.

the track was in open woods, a n old course so the stutter bumps really hurt, lots of steep drops through the woods and climbs as well. the slick surface made you please that it was dry as well! the 570 eats everything in a straight line including the WR300 of No47 (below) - awesome bike and I'm not sure I want to let it go so easily now....

I was overtaken by just one bike - No47 John Bennett and kept with him a while. then it started to rain on the last lap before lunch and now we had a wet SLICK track to contend with!

I was going to try one link out of the old chain at lunch time so I could do a direct comparison but the bike was clogged so that test will have to wait. Fuel wise, well the bike still had at least a litre and I had done 2h 10 mins fitting an extra lap in.

we started the afternoon in driving rain., half the riders had packed up and gone home seeing only danger and damage as the only possible outcome given the conditions. I soon caught Nick up and after a little resistance he let me though, I had just let 47 by as I was removing my goggles and flipped them around behind my helmet.

I gave chase, drizzly raina WR300 v the Husaberg. I had him on the straights and on medium slalom corners, he had me up steep turning corners and tight slow ones. I stuck with him for 2 laps before I started making mistakes.

the first one was to bounce off the course and down through a bush which snagged at my throat, I then rode back up onto the track stopped at 90 degrees and couldn't reach the ground so I fell! Off I went again and this time the bike slewed going up a hill and I just kept going and rode through the woods and back onto the course.

the best one was when I did a straight, a u-turn and then on the next straight slewd sideways, was garroted by the red tape and had to rejoin the course back 100M on the first straight so i kept the throttle open and went past the same two fallen riders again some 20 seconds later!

then I slewed off course twice more and nearly joined the track over a hump going the wrong way! luckily I sensed it was drying a little but I managed to bounce my front wheel off the main 'rut' but kept going, the front wouldn't come back and I eventually realised that I was about to be wiped out by a 2 foot tree!

smash!, it broke a steering clamp and the ignition light and so that was my day done! I rode the 300m back to the pits and packed up for the long journey home and a damn good clean!

footnote and edit
my fastest lap
9th fastest lap of 105 starters. fastest over 50 and 3rd fastest over 40.

regards

Taffy
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September 5th, 2011, 01:53 AM   #27
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

Did an Eastern Centre time card event yesterday in sandy, whooped out going. I went with Chris Ginn 'cranksnapper' who now runs a FE450 2010. Chris is only from the next village yet we have only travelled together once before.

This was to be a time card event and these are hard work but enjoyable with the 'noose gradually tightening'....

a time card event is when a lap needs to be done by a set time. it was six laps long and I was given 40, 40, 35, 25, 22 and 20 minutes to complete the task in. if for arguments sake it takes 22 minutes for me to do a lap, I come into the paddock at the end of each lap and spend 18 (then gradually less) minutes relaxing - helmet off etc, and then go to the gate to have my card marked at the minute she sees on the clock. I have to be on time and so I have to arrive at the moment the clock turns over to the right time. the slower you are, the less time off you have until exhausted and riding almost non-stop - you die!

completing the first lap in 22 I knew that I would really only have to be fit at the end to get that last lap done in 20 with the track all whooped out, the ruts deep and me knackered.

we did the special test stages on laps 2 and 3 and I was rubbish trying way too hard and overshooting etc.

on the second lap I met Chris - who had started 9 minutes in front of me in the woods having a look at his bike. it had just stopped there and then in the woods. I stopped for a minute or two and threw some ideas at him. I didn't think it would right itself and sure enough it didn't and Chris was out for the day.

a UK fuel pump gone AWOL anyone?

I had re-valved the forks again during the week feeling that I was getting cavitation over the stutter bumps. so I added three shims to the BV which meant I needn't strip the forks (yipee!). couldn't feel any small or bigger stuff - felt brill and next week will be the true test on hard fast loam/sand soil.

but the sag of 106 at the back and the forks on the second line seems to be working really well.

the gearing of 51 x 12 isn't working and I need to get back to a 52 or carry on further? anything over 52 used to be considered a 'special' but I believe that it is better nowadays.

another little experiment I did was to fit my new chain but with TWO split links. after two laps I undid both links and pulled an 'inner' out before re-assembling it and drawing the rear wheel forwards. this made the bike turn quicker in the woods and also I finally got a little bit of rear dip on acceleration which I haven't had before. at last... (116L)

on the lap I needed to do a 25 I did it in 19 and all I needed was two more laps like that. but on the penultimate lap I tried too hard over some rollers and the bike smashed me into the bars on the face of a whoop and while going over the top of the roller the front wheel shot left and I fell. 10" of deep soft sand and I don't think I'll have a softer landing anywhere again unless I take up dune racing...

so a little phased I cam back to the paddock in 21-minutes and went straight to the girls clicking the card. I needed to get that last lap right and luckily with the ride-through I was 100% focused and had a great last lap finishing on my minute easily.

a great days racing and the bike's in good shape for a Banovallum at Aby near Louth next Sunday. none of the riders there think I can do 1.5 hours with out stopping for fuel but with the 570 on the middle setting it is way, way better on fuel and I shouldn't have a problem....

I have a set of SKF seals to try which I may fit this week if time permits. these are the seals I raved about here 8-9 years ago and are now all the rage at K-talk. I also need to look at a new rear tyre, a taller or harder seat and a change of gearing back to a 52 or even a 53 which will again shorten the wheelbase further.

regards

Taffy

NB:results from last sunday show I was about 24 of 46 and only 24/30 in the special tests. god I hate sand!

only 30 cleaned the laps in the set time but of those that did the ST times are the next positional organiser so not so good there. I'm defo a tortoise!
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September 12th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #28
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

raced with the Banovallum club on Sunday at an old favourite - Aby near Louth. went with James - Arkley123 and took the pooch as well.

the track is dry, a loam sand mix, lots of very fast straights and 3rd gear corners in the farmers field. a terribly rutted railway cutting that we do 2 x 100m in and generally a lot of fast riding.

the bike remained unchanged from last Sunday and by now the rear tyre is really, really poor. I. MUST. CHANGE. THE TYRE!!!!!

the front though is like riding with a flat. I think the mousse inside is destroyed! but, DIGaF? no!

the forks that were so impressive in deep soft sand were about to be tested on fast HS going.

usual format: 2 x 1.5 hours of hare 'n' hounds course with an hour for lunch.

26 of us lined up on the fourth row the home of the ageing "over 45s" class.

I found a gap in the front row and awaited the start, at the last moment I decided to start the bike in second gear and what a mistake that was! I must have a warped plate in there because the bike tried to drag forwards and would only start on the third attempt!

I get away about 20-23rd and tore through the field, after about a mile I could see 7 riders in front of me but the railway cutting was next and no room for overtaking. i worked my way through and after 4 laps or so, top of the championship rider .... House signaled to me that I was second and then the next lap he was showing his hands 'squeezing' together. no idea what that meant! at a guess: "you're closing".

I then got behind a 2T and we had a right ding-dong-doo. passing and re-passing, I was quicker but would that batsrad let me get on with it? I caught an XR600 that a member has had for years and I couldn't get by him except at the corners he was slow so i guess the engine has still got it but the chassis is 'old' now...

the 570 has it over the 450s for rideability and pulls smoothly on adverse cambers etc where they have to be careful: talking CRFs and WRFs here.

as for the suspension, the forks are now superb over small stutters which it has never been before but large chop remains a real problem. however, the work I've done to get here on the small stutters makes me sure I can handle the big chop in the future. I used all bar 50mm of travel AND in the afternoon, despite 10 clicks in on the front comp I didn't feel much difference so i learnt a great deal about my MV and BV stacks doing this.

pretty sure as well that I must try a set of 50s in the front. also the new shorter wheelbase is a great improvement with plenty of dip on the rear when accelerating. all in all more steps forwards. another nice feature of the 570 is it's softness leaving corners and then the rasping mid rev power!

that and the gearing being absolutely spot on for third gear exits and I was really enjoying it with the bike on the second power setting and 'wheelies' abounding everywhere. I hope the photographer got some of them. not wheelies for show but just flat out wheelies.

for the first time I found a new 'brave' line that nobody else went for: we had to clear a ditch using a bridge made of simply three railway sleepers and you arrived, turned 60d on and then 60d off it. I started coming up and riding from the right to the left sleep then jumping off to the bank from the halfway across point and thus facing the way i wanted to go!

dinner was partaken with James as butler! jolly, jolly good it was too I must say! rice pudding from the can! a real favourite!

in the afternoon I started with the bike in neutral and was away in 4th or so, everyone was riding like an idiot and breaking the tape everywhere. I then pulled up behind 651 who I didn't see in the morning at all? anyway, I got by him once but he kept the throttle open open around me at the fastest corner on the track: a flat in 5th left - and got me back. slowing for the end of lap "walk-by" I got him and a backmarker in one fell swoop, considering the effort out on the course - to overtake at less than 10mph was ironic....

I couldn't touch the leader though on a 2T and he was gone. too hot for me! I also felt I rode poorly and didn't work very hard for it concentration being part of it. I suddenly remembered for instance to leave corners in wide open sweeps and take people around the outside. brain dead? probably!

so unless the 2T stopped for fuel like I had done previously at the last meeting I guess I came second.

Dunno where I am in the championship but third place must be close to hand and there's just one round to go.

regards

Taffy

Footnote: came second to the 2T and now lay third in the championship with one round to go but can't realistically catch either of the Howe brothers. one would have to fail to finish again and the other would need to be 7th or lower while I win.....

what a shame I decided to have a day off and miss a round....
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September 18th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #29
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

WHADDON 10-HOUR ENDURO

yesterday myself and two other riders did a 10-hour enduro on a farm near Whaddon, Nr Milton Keynes.

the husey had had the forks stripped for a new set of fork seals and one additional shim to be added to the MV stack. the new seals are torquiose in colour and called SKF's. they are all the rage on K-talk right now so i thought I'd try some. they make very little friction and boy can you feel the difference!

the extra shim to help keep a high pressure up on the cartridge and balance the mid and base valves. I'd also bought a new rear tyre (yehey at last!) as well as converting the front tyre back to a tube.

we got scrutineered on the friday night then tents up and off for a bar meal. this done we stopped for another beer near the camp site. saturday morning and I'm cooking the breakfast again, wrap things up quickly and then go straight to the start line and we start dead on 8am.

I lead our row off and disappear before all of a sudden I'm being caught by someone quicker. well i'd been 'dawdling' to this point but now found another gear. i went from 'opening lap' mode to 'full on racing' mode!

the suspension was yet again an improvement and it was smooth on small stuff and great on small as well as deep chop - all in all I was very pleased and look now to just play with one or both of the new 50wt springs I've bought!

then it rained! and it rained on a novice doing his first ever race - he'd had no practice days so it was all a shock to him. it took him 72 minutes to do a lap when the average was nearer 17 or 18!

there were two other Husabergs there and one was doing the 10-hours on his own as an 'ironman'.

i offered the husey to the lad instead of his 1997 Honda XR600 and he grabbed it with both hands! went round in 21 minutes and then promptly fell and bent my OTHER handlebar mount. he came in and we retightened the bolt before I went out on the same machine.

SUDDENLY I TURNED THE HANDLEBEBARS BUT NOT THE BIKE - THE BAR MOUNT HAD SNAPPED!

so, using a tiny stub of stud i pressed it back in and rode back to the pits with bars pressed firmly down on the right and up on the left. I made it and then borrowed a team members KTN450. OK i suppose!

regards

Taffy
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September 19th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #30
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Re: Taff's racing season 2011

great reports taffy keep em comming
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