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YADBS - Stage 3

We didnt exactly plan stage 3 as such - it just happened. hauled the bike over to rons place since the magneto had done some damage to the coils. didnt take much time to fix that, some soldering and rewiring happened, after which a discussion on the CDI followed. ron wasnt happy with what he saw about the coils, them being pretty local stuff. the CDI was straight out of a suzuki shogun. yesterdays flutter now had a culprit, and quickly decided to change the ignition system since we anyway opened up the whole thing.

now ron makes a fantastic CDI kit and obviously thats our choice. he agrees to build an analogue CDI kit for us, with a promise that we can upgrade to a digital version later. ok sir, we are all happy. so a couple of days go by while this thing arrives and gets installed on the bike.

start up the bike and it is noticeably smoother. a couple of test runs reveal that the flutter has disappeared. we fiddle with the timing a bit and plug the magneto back in with a good bolt and one stiff springwasher.

around this time an autocross event happens at palace grounds and we are out there with a bootfull of beer bottles. then somebody distributes the notices for the upcoming drag with all details like time venue rules etc. so that makes everything very clear and that heats up everything too. we begin to realize the magnitude of the event and that kinda magnifies everything a bit. we are all pumped up and want ron to have another go at the ports. point being - no sense in going for an intermediate goal. if you are going, go flat out. so in short, we dump our original idea of attempting a 15sec ET, and hand over the barrells to ron for a wilder port. and port he does. to hell with stages and all, lets GO. we no longer trust the clutch to handle the power so we open her up and replace the stock springs with stiffer ones.

so within a span of 2 weeks, the whole project turns much more serious, and more hurried. with hindsight it was a bad idea dude, and thats your lesson 3 - if you have a plan, stick to it.

anyway the bike starts up once more in the dungeon, this time sounding meaner and wilder than ever before. ron warns us that this time its different, the ports are really into drag territory. ok sir. time for a testing session.

looking back, at this point i can feel our "team boat" rocking just a bit as an invisible team member climbs on board... murphy.

anyway another cold morning finds us on outer ring road. i take a test run and the bike has completely changed - it is just awesome. 100 comes up in something like what say 5-6 seconds max. and i hand over the bike to tom and he does a run. but he doesnt reach far - at around 100 meters or so, he loses all clutch action. he launches hard, shifts fine from 1st to 2nd and accelarates ahead and while going for 3rd he finds that clutch action is completely lost - the lever just plays free. we check the bike and see that the left side bottom cover, the one which presses against the clutch rod (which in turn is responsible for prodding the clutch plates apart) has comes loose. i take out the big screwdriver and tighten them back in and tom goes to the start to launch again.

but no use, the problem repeats. the clutch just survives one gear change and by then the cover comes loose and no clutch. apparently its time for lesson 4, which is - use spring washers when you tighten the bottom left side cover on an RD. if you dont and if nothing goes wrong, you are not making power enough dude.



so we are stuck that day, what with the bike useless for anything more than a single gear shift, and we pack up for the day. i make my way to JC road, buy some tools, lots of spring washers, some good bolts etc. we dont have much time, the drag is just round the corner. so the next test session has to happen fast and we need a performance number fast, to figure out where we stand.

no time is wasted, we fasten the side cover with spring washers and new bolts, tighten them hard. the carbs are taken out and cleaned and checked, and i throw in a balance tube as well for good measure.

im still confused on whether balance tubes help or not so no further comments on them. anyway back to outer ring road, another early morning. can feel the boat rocking hard as murphy is getting active.

our usual stretch is not empty we notice - there is a lone truck parked on the side, at around the 300 meter mark. but there is no activity, the driver seems to be sleeping. ok let him sleep, and tom goes for a run. good launch, bike flies past 1st gear, since our clutch problem is solved, there is nothing stopping highers gears either, and the bike flying past the halfway point, and soon its something like 100 meters to go when tom notices the truck door opening and driver about to jump out. no choice but to cut throttle and he moves to the right of the road and coasts across the finish line with whatever velocity he could carry. but im stunned standing at the finish carrying the speedgun as i notices that he is doing a good 140 at the finish. despite an early breaking. so what would a full flatout run be like, wow.

but we never got a chance to find out that day. as tom braked to a stop and turned around, the rear goes all wobbly and we notice that the back tyre has gone flat. lesson 5 is here - when you set about for things like these, make sure you are on new tyres and tubes dude.

we push the bike for a couple of kms and get the puncture fixed but no time for more testing that day - traffic quickly getting heavier. so we pack up but we are happy. we kinda got the number we wanted and we know for sure that we are competitive. a full blooded run should be at around 150kmph for sure. only one more week for the drag and looks like no more testing sessions. but we feel cool - we are there, and why do we need more testing. just go for the drag and bang in a couple of good runs at 150 or so and that should win us a place. on that cold winter morning, ignorance is bliss dude...

jokes apart, i mean reality apart, we are really on a roll then. bloody happy and looking forward to a great race and even greater post-race celebrations. so that week flashes past in a blur - well almost. i say almost because, we decide then to have one more testing session anyway. this time jaggu killer and arun promise to join and we are all excited. well anyway it didnt exactly go the way we planned. it actually resulted in the bike entering a Stage 4.