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YADBS - Stage 4

and so we are into the final testing session before the drag. i think it was a thursday or so, and this time we have jaggu killer and arun joining us at outer ring road. me jaggu and tom reach early, and jaggu is in his esteem, which he parks and snaps off a couple of pics. take a look -

not before we hear the scream of another RD, of course its killer. he looks a little dejected as he shows us his sigma reading of 164 which he managed on his way over there. he wants to be up there in the 170s and is not happy with his bikes settings. anyway as we talk on that arun lands up on his aquila and so we are all ready to start. all of a sudden i pat my pocket and i notice that the damn wallet is missing - dropped off somewhere on the way. i take killers bike and ride all the way back up and down scanning the road for a wallet lying on the road. no luck. 3k bucks gone, and what more my 2 wheeler license as well. i spare a thought for murphy as i ride back to join the gang. there is a general sense of depression now, but anyway we decide to get on with the testing.

the depression turns into a good sized shock and tom tries a first run and reports the total absense of a powerband. that unsettles all of us and we try again, and yes for sure, there is something wrong. the kick in the butt is no longer there and the bike just feels plain. killer decides to take a run and finishes at something like 130kmph at the quarter, and reports the same news - somethings wrong. here are a couple of pics from those runs.

so its nothing short of panic now and so we all decide to take the bike to rons place. its about 7:30 now and within half an hour we land up in the dungeon and ron promises to take a look. tom and jaggu needs to get to office but i decide to bunk the day and i call up my manager and claim sickness. tom and jaggu leaves, and ron me and killer sit down to see whats wrong. we try everything from the carb settings to the filter to the timing, and after each change killer takes a ride on the adjacent street and checks the powerband. each time me and ron wait in front of the dungeon and watch killers face as he comes back. if its a long face, that means no success. at one point we fiddle with the timing and killer reports a good improvement. but still not there.

we are stumped and we know it. then ron points to a pair of brand new 30mm flatslides on the table and ask if we want to try them out. im not so sure since they are supposed to go out to a customer, but ron assures us that we can borrow it for now. we go for it,
and so remove the stock vm28s, and plug in the flatslides. start up the bike and the sound has changed. killer goes out for a run, we can hear him go up the next street. then there is a mightly explosion as he hits the powerband and the bike comes alive. we know the result and for
sure yes killer has a broad 70mm smile as he comes back up our street. so there was something wrong with those old stock carbs.

so things are stable now and killer goes home to sleep (he works on night timings then) and while me leave the bike with ron and go home to kill the rest of the day. the only damage done was that we still didnt get a "final" performance number, the terminal speed at the quarter mile for a full flat out run.

meanwhile i had asked my mechanic to make us a rear sprocket, a 42 teeth one. friday afternoon i collect it and we all land up at rons place. the sprocket change suggestion came up since we all felt that the bike was finishing way short of 6th gear. so we push the bike to a cycle shop near rons place and get them to replace the stock 40 sprocket with the new 42 one. right next is the rolls shop and just after that is the wine shop, and some munch on rolls while me help myself to some quick rum shots and soon we roll the bike back into the dungeon, this time sporting a 42 rear sprocket.

here is a pic of the gang at the dungeon. thats zloyd in the red Tshirt, i forgot to mention that he had come down pune just for the drag. you can also see that the U tubes are off and a boost bottle, donated by killer, is in. we later removed it as the suggestion came up that its not that good for an all out drag bike.

so soon we all split for the day, deciding to meet up next day early morning and move on together to the Jakkur drag strip. saturday is actually practice runs and sunday we have the race.

so saturday morning it is, and we are all up on time and dont waste much time in getting over to the Jakkur flying club, where the drag strip is. the drag strip actually is a runway, about 800 meters or so long. meanwhile killer does a basic sanity check on the bike and do a couple of screaming runs outside on the highway and is soon chased away by an irate policeman. we get back inside the flying club and proceed with the formalities of registration etc and settle down to wait for the practice runs to begin.

here is the bike that day at the drag. since its practice runs we havent yet "stripped" her - soon the head lamps will go and so will the rear mudguard number plates etc.

now the bike is effectively in a stage 4 - the main addition being the flatslides. and of course i shouldnt forget to mention the UNI filters.

looking back yes this is about when murphy really stood up in the boat and started moving around.

since i lost my license im not riding and toms friend Krishna is the other rider. we have three practice runs for the day, 2 runs by tom and 2 by krishna. thats because tom is riding in 350cc class as well as open class and Krishna is riding only in open class. yes - one run per rider per bike allowed in 350cc class, while one run per 2 riders per bike allowed in open class.

things looking fine, and tom lines up for his first run. bike sounds awesome, the end cans are off. dont remember what bike was on the other lane, i think it was an RD. anyway the lights drop and its the last yellow and tom is off in a good launch. and then and there it happens - our enemy lifts its ugly head.