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Thread: Greymouth St Races - k14 Bucket Report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    29th September 2003 - 20:48
    Bike
    2008 DRZ400E & 1983 CB152T
    Location
    Alexandra
    Posts
    4,158

    Greymouth St Races - k14 Bucket Report

    I had been looking forward to Greymouth greatly, it would be my first street race since breaking my wrist at Paeroa on my RS125 in 2006. Thanks to help from Marshland Engineering I would be debuting the much modified CB150T. A new set of sleeves in the bore plus many other improvements meant I would have a bike capable of keeping up with the modern bikes. As usual I was behind schedule and only managed the first road test of the CB around 5pm Friday evening, an hour before I set off on the long drive to Greymouth (via Haast on Friday night).

    After getting scrutineering and sign in out of the way in the beautiful west coast sunshine on Saturday afternoon it was back to the motel for a good nights sleep and a 0545 wake up Sunday morning to get a good place in the pits. I arrived and on the fifth attempt found a road that wasn’t closed and navigated my way around the non barricaded streets to find a place in the pits and get unloaded. It was a fairly crisp overcast morning and with a light southerly blowing it wasn’t getting any warmer as riders briefing approached.

    After briefing there was the first timer’s navigation session. I had plenty of things to check on my first run out, gearing and sort of running the engine in being towards the top. Having done a few laps the previous afternoon in the van, I had a fair idea of where the circuit went. With all but two corners being 90 degrees it was a bit plain but still had its challenges. The first of which being ground clearance. I was scraping both footpegs and the exhaust from time to time and it was not really allowing me to take a fast line through most corners, the worst being the hairpin. I really couldn’t get a good line onto the fastest straight of the circuit. However I could tell my gearing was very close to right and it wouldn’t cause any difficulties.

    On the third lap my bike gave a bit of a cough and a splutter. Being a new engine I wasn’t sure if it was something serious but a few hundred meters later it cut out going through turn 1 and so I was stranded. A 300m push of the bike back to the pits and I was clear of the circuit and relieved not to hold up the next class for very long. Getting back to the pits it was fairly obvious what my problem was, even the Chinese kehin copy carbs I was running don’t work when they aren’t getting any fuel…

    It was still quite chilly when we were called up for our one and only practice of the day. Seeing as I was comfortable with the gearing and engine performance I could now avert my focus to getting some good laps together and becoming more comfortable with the circuit. The session went by in the blink of an eye, being only 4 laps long and at just over a minute a lap it doesn’t take much and so it was now onto the race. I had drawn 8th on the grid so a second row start would give me a good run into the first corner. I had no idea how my much improved engine would bode against the newer FXR and CBR bikes and was very curious to find out.

    After our warm up lap we all gridded up and the green flag was raised. I got a great start and jumped past 2 or 3 other bikes till I hit the rev limiter in first, doh! Clicked second and got a good run down to the first corner. I was a bit of a pussy under brakes and was passed by the guys I had jumped off the line and so was toward the back of a ground of 5 or 6 tussling for positions at every corner. I was a little bit tentative and lost a little bit of ground to the lead guys of the pack.

    On the second lap I drew up along side Neil on his RS125 framed MB100 and passed him into turn 1. He got me back through the left right before the hairpin, I couldn’t keep up with his GP chassis in the corners but more than had his measure down the straights. Out of the hairpin Adam also decided to try the pass but the power of the new and improved CB kept him and his FXR at bay. I was gaining rapidly on Neil going into the last corner but it was really risky to try and make the pass, the corner is very tight and there is no room for error!

    I put a pass on Neil down the front straight going into the third lap but he used the superior handling of his RS125 chassis to pass me around the outside in turn 1. I was close to going past on the short straight between turn 3 and 4 but decided against a demon late braking manouver. I was lining him up into the hairpin but took a horrible line in and ran very wide, scraping the exhaust and footpeg for a long while. This was all that Adam needed to pass me and I wasn’t able to use the top speed advantage to take the position back.

    Coming over the start/finish line for the penultimate lap I saw Neil with his arm up and pulling off to the side, he had a problem with his engine. So now all I had to contend with was Adam. Again on the middle straight I made up good ground only to loose it in the corners. I had one last chance and that was to make a pass going into the final turn. I tried my best for a clean line through the hairpin and managed to get a good run onto the straight. I pulled up alongside Adam but with a roundabout on the left and bales to the right I had nowhere to go and had to concede the position. I crossed the line in 10th position out of the 33 buckets in the race.

    We had a bit of a wait till the next race and I decided to try a change in jetting, increasing my main jet size to see if it let the big bore CB go any better. Since I didn’t finish in the top 9 I didn’t have a grid spot reserved for me so it was a race to the grid to get the best spot on the 3rd row. I managed to win the warm up lap and get the best spot on the 3rd row ready for a good launch into the first corner.

    The flag was dropped and I got a great start, the CB seems to have a heap more low end torque and again I was up with the front row runners into turn 1. But I was again a little cautious into turn 1, the power poles and hay bales can have that effect and so I lost a few places. I came across the line for lap 2 in 5th position. I was finally starting to come to terms with the track layout and making some good gains on the riders in front down the straights, to loose again through the tighter sections of track. I glanced over my shoulder going through the quick left right and saw Darryl and James right on my tail. I kept them off for the remainder of the lap but coming across the start/finish line my bike let out a splutter and I lost all power.

    I quickly put my arm up and coasted around turn 1, thinking my race was over. I opened the throttle in 2nd gear and it seemed to run again, but changing into 3rd the engine cut back out. I pulled up halfway down the straight and had a quick look to see if there was anything obvious. I had a suspicion that the battery could be at fault and back in the pits the meter confirmed this, 10.6v doesn’t equal a bike running!

    I managed to find someone with a generator (thanks Bill!) and plugged in the charger for a quick 1 hour charge. I wasn’t sure that would be long enough but I didn’t have any other options. We were called up for our third and final race of the day and I hurriedly put the battery back in my bike and she fired up straight away.

    Seeing as I didn’t finish the previous race I was again in a race for a good grid spot. Again I was first to the grid and got a good place to start. The rest of the grid quickly assembled and again we were off. I got the best start of the day and managed to catapult myself into 3rd going into turn 1. I was relegated by Nick using the superior handling of his CBR150 to 4th through turn 2 but tagged onto him for the rest of the first lap.

    Al on his CBR150 over ran at the roundabout on lap one and thus I crossed the line in 3rd position at the end of the first lap. I tried to keep in touch with Nick but it was very difficult, our bikes were very evenly matched down the straights but he had me in corner speed. I just couldn’t corner how I wanted or the exhaust and footpegs would touch down. I focussed on keeping the fast charging Brendan on his Kawasaki 2 stroke hybrid at bay behind me. I had a quick glance over my shoulder on the 3rd lap just before the hairpin and he was about 20m back.

    The last lap I knew would have to be fast to ensure he didn’t have a chance to pass me. Three times I had the rear step out when the exhaust touched down in the right handers but it didn’t seem to be too uncontrollable. I took a smooth line out onto the back straight and made sure I covered the inside line to remove any chance of him out braking me. I crossed the finish line about 2-3 bike lengths ahead of him in 3rd position, a very satisfactory result.

    Overall I was quite happy with how the day went. To say the bike was untested was an understatement, about 10 minutes of running in total on a totally new engine configuration just shows how well Wallace at Marshlands Engineering knows his stuff! The improvement in the CB engine is massive and without that I would have been running a lot further back. However, there are still improvements to be made to tame those pesky CBR’s though.

    Finally a big thanks to my sponsors, Shoei Helmets, Teknic Leathers, RK Chains, Afam Sprockets, Silkolene Oils, Motorbikeparts.co.nz, Two Wheels Unlimited and Alexandra Panelbeaters. Finally the biggest thanks goes to Wallace at Marshland Engineering. His expertise in engine building and engineering is quite obvious and now has race results as proof. The Greymouth St races are an awesome event, the organisers, marshalls and vounteers that make the day work are unbelievable and I can certainly say I will be back next year for a crack at number 1!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    4th November 2003 - 13:00
    Bike
    BSA A10
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    Rangiora
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    11,903
    Very well put together report and a real pleasure to see you had the measure of the FXR brigade in that last race
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough power."


    Quote Originally Posted by scracha View Post
    Even BP would shy away from cleaning up a sidecar oil spill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Zevon
    Send Lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2nd February 2005 - 13:41
    Bike
    600RR3
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    2,684
    Nice write up, Kirk! Running out of ground clearance before the tyres even break a sweat must be really frustrating! Top effort to score a 3rd though!
    ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    10th July 2005 - 21:30
    Bike
    I sold it
    Location
    Kapiti Coast
    Posts
    2,225
    Good report Kirk .
    Go the Hondas lol.


    Paul.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    21st August 2005 - 10:13
    Bike
    CBR150 Bucket
    Location
    Porirua
    Posts
    3,395
    Great report man. Sounds like that bike will be a weapon once you sort the ground-clearance.

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