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YADBS - Stage 8

now as per our original plan we had a testing session planned at the end. and it served two purposes - an overall reliability/performance check and as a jetting session. obviously we are talking abt a few full blooded runs, and so venue is unanimously decided to be the 6 lane on the hyderabad highway. more thanks to papaboost as he lends us his pickup once more and soon we are on our way, the bike loaded and tied in the back. of course we are well armed with tools, spares etc.

we start off with jetting and begin with 180 mains. the filters are off and we do a few 2nd gear / 3rd gear runs, and check the plug. there is hardly any colour in the plug, and its just white. so is it lean or does it need more time?

soon we find out the solution - in the lower gears there is less load on the engine and thats not the way jetting and plug chops should be done. maybe thats lesson 13 - when you are jetting the bike, have patience, lots of plugs, and take lots of full blooded top gear runs.

soon we manage to colour the plug, and anyway now its obvious that 180 is definitely lean. so we switch to 220s and tom takes a longer run. this time it looks better.

so in the end we switch to 240s and this is what we get.

so this kinda looks ok and we settle for this. it sure doesnt look perfect - looks a bit lean maybe. but then its probably richer than it looks since the colour will anyway deepen with more runs. so we consider the jetting done.

so things seemed to have turned out cool so far and Murphy seems to be nowhere around. nothing has broken off or fallen off and nothing has failed. i remember somebody remarking that Murphy seems to have taken the day off. everybody needs a rest, right?

wrong - not Murphy.

now next idea is to have a couple of 400m runs and note the terminal speed. we find a nice shady spot and park the bike while it cools. meanwhile we do a general tightening of all nuts/bolts and ron takes a look at the bike as well.

we dont have the gun today so will have to rely on the sigma. tom takes off, no trouble shifting, and finishes easily at 150kmph. next is my turn, and i line up and launch. get slightly stuck in 1st gear, but then moves without much delay to 2nd and as i acclerate ahead, there is a whole bunch of wierd noises, mostly metallic and the engine shuts off.

fearing the worst, i coast down to join the guys and we take a look. we notice that the stinger on the left pipe is missing. so we walk back and find it lying near from where i launched. ok so the stinger broke off - but that explains only some of the noise that i heard. and it doesnt explain why the engine stalled. we try starting the bike but with no success.

we decide to pack up before we attract much attention and so soon we are on our way back. back home we thoroughly inspect the bike and soon discover our old enemy - loose magnet. so apparently spring washer is not enough. so lesson 14 - use spring washers AND threadlock to tighten the magnet.

we fix the magnet in no time but we have to deal with the stinger. we take the pipes to the welder, and get it gas welded back on. im not very convinced still, and worry if it will break off again. but then in the end we decide its good enough and take the pipes back and put them back in.

but around this time i feel that we need to have some sort of insurance - something to fall back on if things turn nasty and our gearbox acts up again. we discuss this with ron and soon our attention falls on a humble brake light switch. to cut it short, i soon make two trips - one, to the spare parts shop to get a new brake light switch. and two, to the welding shop, to make a small alteration to the gear shift linkage. it was purely on an experimental basis, but we soon had this setup

i do some preliminary testing (with the bike on the center stand) and it seems to work fine. as the gear lever comes down and the linkage moves right, it pulls the brake light switch which kills the engine momentarily. so thats the idea, and as we mull over its pros and cons, time is reeling in the drag.