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Shane - Superlite (#43)

AMCC Round 5 @ Hampton Downs

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The AMCC Round 4 was the first time back on the bike and I had a good, fun day so at Round 5 I was looking to get back into the groove and start shaving time off. Unfortunately it wasn't going to be.

I had a bunch of things to sort out on the bike after Round 4, most of which were very minor. I looked at moving the footpegs a bit further rearward but it was only possible to move the back and up. I could barely get my feet on the pegs while wearing shorts let alone in a full one piece race suit so leaving the pegs where they were is the only option. Also, stopping the front brake lever from drooping wasn't as easy as I thought because the part of the lever that stops it from drooping had been slightly damaged in the crash so it would never sit flat. The only way to make it sit flat was to tighten the nut so it doesn't move easily.

Saturday night I'd put the trailer and bike in the mother inlaws shed as it's on the way out of town so Sunday I rocked up, hooked up and two minutes later I'm heading to the servo up the road. For once I decided I'd try the coffee at the servo instead of making a nice one on my way out the door but it didn't take long for me to regret that decision. It was far too sweet and sickly and I never actually finished it.

At the track I caught up with Chris Eeles who had brought some tyres along for me from Jaden Hassan. Jaden is taking a break from racing and he's keen to get rid of the large pile of tyres so he sent a pile of 9 tyres along for me.

Before wiring the stand up and going through scrutineering I checked the sag with my new toy ( and strangely enough the rear sag was way out. I even checked a couple of times with a tape measure to make sure it wasn't a problem with the electronic (which I had never used before). However, the sag was still a long way out so I adjusted the preload and got the bike checked.

Qualifying I was keen to make sure we erred on the side of caution with the timing for leaving the shed so I was rolling just as the pit lane opened. I followed Michael Cross out and decided to follow him for a while before winding it up. However, the bike just didn't feel right and when I tried to go faster it just felt awful. On the third lap I'm braking over the brow of the hill for turn 5 when Greg Percival's Yamaha R45 triple flies past my left elbow, cuts across in front of me before diving into turn 5. I'm thinking Greg's bloody keen but it turns out he had put Jacob Stroud on his bike and Jacob was having a ball.

At the end of Qualifying I swear I'm getting slower each lap so I check the rear sag again and it's even further out than earlier. Having a quick look there's hydraulic fluid all over the rear hugger. I'm guessing the shock is leaking but after a quick call to Robert Taylor it looks like the remote hydraulic preload adjuster has burst a seal. This bike is a prick of a thing to adjust preload on so somebody (it wasn't the previous owner, Paul Garrett, though) had the remote adjuster put on the shock to make life easier but it hadn't been serviced at all even though the shock had been rebuilt a number of times.

Removing the shock takes 2 hours on this bike and I don't have the tools to remove the preload adjuster anyway so that was the end of the day.

Thanks to

  • Robert Taylor for answering his phone on a Sunday morning and talking work
  • Cherie for helping out at the track
  • Craig @ Grey Street Motors
  • Stefan @ DL Consulting
  • Tony, Diane, Boaz and Eve for looking after my bike
  • The marshalls, AMCC and then ambulance crew for making it all possible

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