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YADBS - Stage 6

so well couple of weeks or so later, we are back again at the strip and do some more runs. this time the clutch holds, the sprocket stays and things look fine. but no Murphy is still with us. tom lines up for a launch, and takes off, but there is a wierd metallic sound and the bike looses that thrust and slows to a crawl. turn back and see that the bike has just spit out the whole chain and it is lying a few meters behind the bike. anyway this is lesson 9 - make sure you have the chain strapped on right and ensure that the chain locks are inserted in a direction opposite to that of chain movement.

we dont do much that day and take the bike and park it. and then starts one of the longest idle periods in this drag bike story. what with no promises of a drag in the near future, no rumours etc, we all cool down a bit and generally wander off with other things. besides i manage to catch a bad case of jaundice and end up at home for a good 3 months.

in between ron tom jaggu etc catch up with the bike resting in a corner gathering dust and check the compression and other vital statistics. compression seems fine at something like 100 or so. anyway around december of 2004 i sit in a lab and read the good news as the lab report in my hand announces my bilirubin level to be normal. waste no time in getting back to blore and that coincides with the next drag announcement. this one is conducted by a club called VASA. we meet up and take stock of the situation and we conclude the following.

o gear shifting issues are resolved.
o bike is making enough power
o mechanical reliability is fine
o couple of testing sessions are needed

rosy conclusions all, but Murphy had other plans for us. something which we realized right at the first test session that followed. we clean up the bike one early morning and take it out and start it up. all of a sudden we discover that the bike can be pushed in 1st gear without any clutch. wierd and eerie - there was no engine braking, but just a wierd clicking from down inside the gearbox which suggested that something was just giving way, instead of stopping the forward movement. fearing the worst, we start up the bike but we are surprised to see that there is nothing stopping the power. in other words, the engine works fine in the forward direction but when it comes to engine braking, we have nil.

anyway we take it for a test run and we cant spot any more damage. bike looks good and power flows fine. but soon we discover the quality of those aluminum rearsets as the gearlever just breaks into two. and so does the rearset on the right side. to cut a long story short, within a couple of days we have a few pieces of broken aluminum in our hands. all that survived was the footpeg that came along with the package and that seems to hold strong. and thats the tenth lesson - for gods sake never ever buy those local rearsets. if you want rearsets bad, spend some money and get them imported. so we wonder what to do next with the rearsets issue. finally decide to do this - make those rearsets ourselves out of metal but reuse the aluminium footpegs and gear/brake levers. but then the gear lever is in two pieces now and need to be tig welded. so thats what we do, we go to a aluminum welding guy nears rons place and weld up the lever. and also beef it up by adding extra aluminum at the break point. soon we rig up the whole thing once more and it now looks more solid and good to go.

we decide to have one full test run before the drag and for that we need to go elsewhere. our "secret" strip is only good for 3rd gear maxouts and by then you are almost into a blind corner. so we are back to our old friend, yes good old outer ring road.

this time crank and killer joins us at outer ring road and they have brought along cranks RX as well. its running rons pipes and ron has touched up the engine up a bit, too. so they are planning a test run as well. anyway once at outer ring road i look back down the road and its clear and our old truck is nowhere in sight. look good we think, but we had a nasty surprise in store for us.

we have a test run to just take the bike through the powerband and are immediately disconcerted by a new behaviour from the gearbox - after a certian rpm in the first few gears, something slips - no doesnt look like the clutch - just no more proper power "flow" to the rearwheel. the bike loses thrust and carries on its own momentum and the only choice is to shift gear. but doing that makes it drop way outside the powerband in the next gear and you have haul it up all the way up towards 8k. so things have started looking ugly AGAIN.

we have a closer look at this new gremlin and confirms that its not the clutch. in the first 3 gears the bike pulls fine till around 9k or so when the powerband begins to peak and right then its bye bye as the revvs just take off and there is a distinct drop in acceleration. almost like a false neutral appearing out of nowhere, all of a sudden.

anyway no point in jumping to conclusions without a full run and tom has a go. standing at the startline we can distinctly make out the erratic nature of the gearbox in the first few gears and the suden drop of thrust is even visually apparent. its as if the gears no longer stay in place and just move around. we check the finishing speed on the sigma and its 140kmph. not a good sign definitely because thats as good as its going to get and we cannot expect even as much on drag day.

meanwhile killer and crank try out their RX and its not looking bad. it posts something like 120kmph at the quarter which increases slightly once the airfilter is off. as far as we are concerned its a gloomy state of affairs and our drag chances seem to be surely sliding west. i can remember wanting a drink desparately but heck no im not supposed to drink for 6 months or so post-jaundice. no escape from reality, then.

so we go back and wait out the last few days. as usual zloyd lands up from pune. day before the drag we check out the bike and notice an airleak near the intake manifolds. a close look reveals lots of cracks in the manifolds, which were RZ ones actually. if i remember correctly we had shifted to RZ manifolds when we plugged in the boost bottle. anyway they have to go now, and we pickup a pair of RX manifolds from the showroom. we are a bit apprehensive of how they will receive the 34mm carbs but they expand just fine. so we some basic sanity checks etc, only to be assured that Murphy is still with us and no miracle recovery has happened somewhere inside the gearbox.

so the day of the drag arrives and we land up without much hope or plans. there is the usual crowd out there, lots of noise and tons of dust.

lots of big bikes around, many full blown RXes and of course in the RD class all the main guys have arrived. if i remember correctly TVS didnt turn up and that dissappointed us rather, since we were hoping for some blistering runs from that awesome little shaolin.

we look around and soon spot joe haji etc and soon there is nissars bike as well.

taking a closer look at these bikes, especially nissars bike, we are surprised to see them running really tiny rear sprockets - maybe even less than 38. we seem to be the only ones running anything more than stock in the rear sprocket department and we wonder why.

after all it should be straightforward - you got a gearbox with 6 gears and you would want the engine to go through them all. ok if they are so cornered with uncontrollable wheelies, why the hell dont they just extend the swingarm? ok probably messing with the swingarm might be tricky business. that train of thought ends there and soon the runs start.