Winter 2002 - Getting ready for 2003
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Having raced the 2002 season on a virtually standard bike I decided that it was time to put some more effort in. As
it happens the bike was pretty much okay as it was but there's always room for improvement, and with my bike there
are loads of areas where it could be better. I started by asking other racers (people who know what they are doing)
what they thought via the NG Roadracing Message Board. The favourite was training,
it's transferable from bike to bike and should help overcome a horsepower deficit. Next up was suspension - whats
the point of having the power if the bike won't handle? Then came a host of things, tyres, full exhaust systems,
engine work etc etc. However, this all assumed that the bike was relatively okay in the first place. Was it?
After the last race at Pembrey the engine overheated and spat boiling water out of the overflow. It did it again
at practice at Llandow. For now I have just removed the thermostat, which I hope will cure it. This does mean that
I'll have to warm the bike more thoroughly before racing in future. If this doesn't fix it then it may be the head gasket.
Lets hope it was the thermostat...
Weight...funny one this. As I could do with losing a few pounds myself it hardly seems worth cutting back on the
bike. However, at the same time there's no point in it being unnecessarily heavy, so here's what I did.
Exhaust Can, Chain and Head Bearings. If I'm going to try and go quicker, the least I can do is try and sound quicker.
The Carbon Can Company were gracious enough to do me an excellent deal
on a can. Their cans always get decent reviews too, so if you want a decent can get in touch with Roy or
Simon either via their website or on 01253 877 900.
Clocks. When I crash it tends to trash the clocks and clock mounting bracket. I'd cobbled this together to get me
through the season but as I had another set, it was time to fit them.
Brakes. When I raised the wheels and tried to spin them, the rear kept stopping in the same place (warped disc) and
the front only managed a half turn due to binding pads.
Rear suspension. I was advised to clean things up and grease the bearings, which is just as well as one
of the bearings was shot. In the end I decided to get the shock serviced and resprung as well.
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