Monday, June 29, 2015

Road America 2015

After I had the trouble with my 350 Sprint at Summit Point, I dropped the bike back off with Bill Himmelsbach.  The intake valve had started to seize in the guide and the question was lubrication or clearance.  Bill found a partial obstruction in the oil feed through the rocker cover.  He also talked to Kibblewhite, the manufacturer of the valve and guide blank.  He ended up giving it more clearance than before and putting a different finish on it.  He then ran it on his DYNO, and everything seemed good.  I picked up the bike on my way to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wi.
The motor didn't want to start for the first practice Sat.,and I convinced myself that it didn't have any spark.  But, after much checking and futzing around, I realized that I did indeed have spark and evidently had just failed to flood the carb enough.  Somebody give me a dope slap.
I did get out for the second practice, but the motor ran very poorly with lots of miss-fire.  I changed the main jet, needle position, point gap, fuel hose from float to carb, changed the break-in oil, and charged the battery.
Starting to work of the ERTT
Some or all of that helped considerably, and the motor ran much better for my first race, my 'bump up' race, 500 Premiere.  I totally blew the start with the bike in neutral when the flag dropped.  Once I finally got rolling, I was a bit tentative, having gotten no good practice.  But, by the end of the 6 laps, I was starting to get into it and closed on Helmi Neiderer, finishing 5th in class and 8th overall.
I dropped the main jet again, and in the 350GP the bike ran better yet.  We were gridded behind the 750 Sportsman class.  I got a decent start this time, though Jack Parker and Paul Germain both got better starts (as they usually do).  I got by Paul and several 750 Sportsman bikes going into turn #1.  I got by Jack before the end of the lap.  I caught Pete Beyer and Nick Hargis on their XS Yamaha 750 Sportsman bikes and we went back and forth some. Nick Hargis is the son of the race leader Jeff Hargis and was competing in his third race weekend.  After passing me back a couple of times, he decided to follow me for a while and he picked up some tips, then went by again and pulled away.  I was able to get right on Beyer into the last turn, but he was easily able to out drag me to the finish line.  So, I won my class and finished 5th overall behind four XS Yamaha 750 Sportsmen bike. The day had been a steady upward trend and finished on a high note.
It rained some overnight and was raining for practice Sun. morning.  My bike ran terribly in practice with a heavy misfire under any kind of a load, and I pulled in after two laps.  I suspected it must have to do with the rain, as I had done nothing to the bike since I won the 350GP race Sat.  I pulled the points cover off and water came out, so I thought that must be it.  I cleaned everything up and sealed the cover and tried riding around the paddock; no better.  I found a high resistance in the battery ground cable and bolted a cable directly from the battery to the motor with on/off switch; no better.  I put a smaller yet main jet in the carb; no better.  I took the float apart, changed the spark plug, and checked the valve clearance.
Continuing to work on the ERTT
It stopped raining and the sun came out and I hoped that would make a difference.  I started the bike up for the 500 Premiere race and, as I was waddling down to pre grid blipping the throttle, the motor died.  I put it on starter rollers and it started, but died again.  And again.  And again. Then it wouldnt start and I did not start either race Sunday.  I was totally baffled, but some days are like that.
There's always a good turn out of Guzzi singles at Rd. Am.
A Sport 15? from the '30s
80 some odd years of evolution
A beautiful Bridgestone 350 GTR with 79K miles on the clock
It must have lost it's taillight lens wheelie-ing over backwards

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