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YADBS - Stage 5, post drag

yes TGIF supplied enough and more beer to drown all the disappointments and it wasnt long before we started off with future plans. three things seemed to stand out -

o bike is making more power than the competition
o the gearbox must be fixed
o the shift pattern should be changed to all-down

so once thats done, we are through and there would be nothing more stopping us. ah ignorance was still bliss dude.

and immediately rumours start floating that the autocar drag is happening in mumbai soon. we have around three weeks to do all the above mods. so there is a flurry of initial illogical enthu, and the engine gets dragged off the bike, and ron takes a goodlook at the gearbox. he spots quite some problems, with everything from the casing to the clips and pins and what not. so the mods are planned and listed:

o angle cut the problematic gears
o cut alternate dogs
o modify the RD shifter drum
o do a cleanup and replace bad/worn parts

so as we spend quite some time hunting around for parts etc, common sense dawns slowly on us - better let the mumbai drag go. no sense in hauling the bike all over to mumbai and something going wrong and messing up our complete mood. now i can think of this point as the first time when our realization expanded to make room for our extra team member, Murphy. maybe from this point onwards, we slowly started believing that whatever we do, however good we make it, something can still go wrong. in a way, our thinking was never the same again.

i still remember the image that shot up in my mind then - the image that made me vote against the mumbai drag. an image of all of us sitting drunk inside a bus, all gloomy, and the broken bike stashed away down in the storage bay, as we made our sad way back to bangalore. unfortunately the Murphy virus has completely infected my thinking now and i fear it has done some permanent damage. of course it keeps me out of trouble a lot, but life is a lot less fun.

so anyway morbid thoughts apart, ron helps us a lot with the gearbox and does all the mods himself. we help out with the disassembly and assembly and anyway soon the engine is back on the frame. but the Mumbai drag has gone past us.

we check the results and find that nissar joe etc hasnt participated for some reason. and we are also stunned to see that the TVS shaolin clocked a stunning 13.1 seconds. so all in all it wasnt our year or our drag, we decide, and sit back to wait for the next drag while ramping up the bike a couple of stages.

so we construct some loose plans to cover a few things:

o upgrade to rons digital CDI
o install some nice rearsets
o change the shift pattern to all-down
o do some weight reduction
o switch to better carbs

the last one figured because we had returned the flatslides and now were stuck again with the shitty stock vm28s.

anyway we tackle the shift-pattern problem by reversing the stock RD gear lever. so now the gear lever extended backwards and ended somewhat near the rear foot rest. so idea is to sit backwards and use the rear footrest. clumsy, yes. but its only temporary and we intend to go shopping for some proper rear footrests soon which will solve all such problems. ah ignorance is bliss dude. this is india and most things that you buy will cause more problems than they will solve.

anyway the gear lever is inverted for now and we take the bike from rons place and store it at my friends place near our "secret testing strip". now the bike is on stock carbs, inverted gear lever, and rest all is same as the last drag configuration. by the way since the gearbox mods are in, we can call this stage 5.

one weekend i decide to do some basic sanity testing and see if the gear shifting has improved, so i wheel the bike out start it and take it towards our test strip. on the way there is a nice straight and its empty and i decide to open up. hit the powerband in 2nd, its real smooth and the bike just takes off. i keep the throttle pinned, absolutely pinned, and just go hard on the gear lever while fanning the clutch mildly. i expect trouble but instead a sweet powershift goes through and the bike just flies to 3rd and its really moving now. i do the same thing to get out of 3rd gear, works fine, and so i try the same thing for 4th and then there is trouble.

the gearlever this times just gives way and twists on the shifter shaft - the threads got cut. i sense that something has gone wrong since the lever has gone down and its not coming back up while the shift itself has not gone through, so i slow down in a hurry, stop, and see the mangled state of the gear lever and shaft. its difficult to find neutral, and so we have a hard time getting the bike back to my friends place. thanks again, Murphy. we just discovered the sorry state of the "brand new" RD gear shifter shafts. so thats lesson 8 - Never ever try buying brand new RD shifter shafts, they are all fake, all of them. the threads get cut within days. always, always get an old one from the junkyard.

so sometime spent getting the wasted gearlever off the wasted shaft. anyway we decide to stop the inverted lever experiment and go ahead with proper rearsets. so we are off to JC road, and spend 2k on an aluminium rearset assembly. now i realize what a ripoff that was - bad quality auminium, and there is no linkage assembly provided. once installed it looked like this.

looks nice and simple in the pics, but the damn thing gave us so much trouble.