With the start of the 2014 race season now less than three weeks away, it was time to check that our race clothing hadn't 'shunk over the winter'. With so many previous seasons of racing behind us, we had managed to accumulate a vast array of race clothing in a variety of colours. So we took this as a good opportunity to give everything a good clean and to specify a complete set of riding gear for dry weather conditions & a complete set of riding gear for wet weather conditions.
The dry gear includes a new crash helmet and some bright white boots (which won't stay bright for too long!). This task also gave us the opportunity to rationalise what items we will carry around with us; some items no longer fit particularly well so will be sold, other items which fit well will be kept as spares (should the worst happen!) and other items were only fit for the bin - so were put in their natural home!
Fingers crossed we will actually get to use the dry gear at some point this season! But when we need to, at least we now know what we'll be wearing... ;-)
The spare engine has now been run-in on the dyno and has had the fuelling adjusted to suit. The headline numbers are 86.66bhp at the rear wheel with 47.81ft/lb of torque. Although the peak figures are healthy, we were hoping for a bit more midrange, so a bit more adjustment of the ignition timing may be needed in order to find improvements in this area.
The main engine will soon be making an appearance on the dyno as well - this is the same specification as the spare engine but has 500 race miles on it - so it will be interesting to see how the 'loosened up' engine will compare to this 'box fresh' engine...
For the upcoming 2014 race season we are considering carrying a secondary video camera on our Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin. Shown below is a 'proof of concept' video that was made whilst learning how to merge multiple video streams. This video is a comparison of flying laps around Darley Moor:
Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin (main video) versus Aprilia RS125 SP (small video)
There are numerous options for the positioning of a secondary camera, but the favoured options are:
Both of these options have benefits to the rider/team; but at the moment, the rearward-facing narrow-angle camera is looking preferable. Technology-wise, we could merge three (or more!) video streams together, but I think that might be overkill! ;-)
With the start of the new racing season quickly approaching, progress took a distinct step forward this weekend.
The hard life of a race bike meant that some of the components were in need of a spruce up before they could be bolted back onto our Kawasaki Supertwin. First up was the cleaning of the Radicool radiator, followed by the Quill exhaust system which particularly benefitted from this activity (see photo right).
Next up was the preparation of a 'new for 2014' chassis modification in the form of a Kawasaki Versys swingarm. The fitment of the Versys swingarm is a common upgrade which is a simple "bolt-in" upgrade.
Our particular swingarm had previously been stripped of paint and was bare aluminium, so with a little effort it was looking shiny & bright and ready to fit! I was particularly impressed with the quality of the welding on the swingarm, which almost looks handmade.
With the swingarm fitted, the Poole Performance Centre did the legwork to get the 'spare' engine fitted into the bike and running. With the exception of a troublesome starter gear bearing (issue now resolved!), our Kawasaki Supertwin was running sweetly.
With the Versys swingarm installed, there is now plenty of clearance between the swingarm and exhaust where our bespoke Quill exhaust passes through the swingarm (this clearance was previously very tight on the standard ER6 swingarm).
Other than the quoted benefits of using the Versys swingarm (a 1.2kg reduction in unsprung weight along with an increase in torsional rigidity), it also has the benefit of looking quite cool! :-)
The next step from here is for our Kawasaki Supertwin to visit Dynopro Racing in Runcorn so that the 'spare' engine can be run-in and then have a new fuel map created, along with the quickshifter being correctly configured. Once these activities have been completed, we will be provided with a dyno sheet that will hopefully show an increase in the mid-range power output.
We attended the Darley Moor Awards Ceremony last night in order to collect our 'Runner up' championship trophies for the 2013 'Formula Darley' and 'Mini Sound of Thunder' championships, gained whilst racing our Kawasaki Supertwin.
A good time was had by all - but with half of the group staying in the bar until 5.30am, a bit of recovery time is now needed... :-)
David Carson Jnr,