Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Fresh top end = rocking power!

Posted by desflurane on January 16, 2011

I was able to get my 300 all put back together this afternoon. I started it up for about half a second as soon as I had the exhaust bolted back on (I’ve fired bikes up sans exhaust before – I’m not doing it again…) It lit up without hesitation! I hit the kill switch almost instantaneously, as the air filter and gas tank were still sitting on my shop floor. After that I hurriedly assembled the rest of the bike, suited up and took her out for a shakedown ride.

From the first good twist of the throttle I was treated to SIGNIFICANTLY more power! I really had not noticed how much grunt had faded away on me – especially in the low-end department. Throttle wheelies are effortless once again and bouncing over rocks while the motor percolates just above idle is no longer a challenge. Looking back, it stands to reason that 80+ hours on the clock would take its toll on engine output, but I suppose that the decline is so gradual I didn’t perceive it happening. The boys at RMS told me I probably should have put new rings in at 40 hours – I’m planning on that for when I get to 120. If I still have this bike at 160, a new piston (bore and plate cylinder too perhaps?) is a definite.

The ride itself was great too. I went back up the same singletrack that was choked with snow on New Years Eve. The snow is gone, replaced with ultra-slippery mud. I turned around at exactly the same switchback! On the bright side, I blazed a bit of trail down a rock-filled gulley that contains a few small waterfalls to drop over. I had my helmet cam, but it was switched off at that point. No worries, I’ll definitely be doing it again.

Between the singletrack ride and some practicing in the vacant lot beside our house, the wheelie turns are coming along beautifully. Left-handers are dialed now – 180 degrees on demand almost 100% of the time. Right-handers – not so much… I can do them, just not as well. Wattsy had us practice popping the front end up with our left foot on the ground (acting as the pivot point) the right foot covering the brake pedal as an emergency “stop-yourself-from-flipping-over” measure. It works great, but as a result I’m much more comfortable in that position – rather than the reverse, which is needed to do a right-handed wheelie turn. I noticed that my form was very sloppy compared to my lefty’s. I focused on positioning myself exactly the same way (except the mirror image, of course) with my head over the bars so I could compress the forks for that little extra bounce. My next few attempts were better, but not perfect. I ended up flat on my back after one particularly spirited offering, and dediced that I had put in enough practice for one day…


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