Well the dust has pretty much settled from King of Motos, but I still wanted to put up a ride report for anyone else thinking about doing it next year. Better late than never I guess!
First let me introduce the group, from left to right: Dad "Grande", Mike, Jeff, Jesse, and Travis.
Our weekend began on Friday, and started off just like our pre-ride
of Johnson Valley. We left a bit before dark on Friday, with a 10 hour drive and a bike that was not even close to being ready for Sunday. Before we left I had called about 20 dealerships looking for some parts for my clutch. Finally found a shop that had what I needed in stock juuuust before 5pm. Paid with a credit card, and asked them to suff it in a bush for me outside. After going geocahing outside the shop we found our stash and cruised into Hammertown around 3am.
Next morning we woke up and started working on the bike. The main list of things to do went something like this:
New clutch master cylinder piston
New chain / Guide
Change oil / Coolant
Install radiator fan / switch
While I was doing this stuff Jesse gave me a hand putting some cooling holes in my fender while the others went out riding / driving.
Was moving right along 'till we realized tech and registration were closing soon. Took Jeff's bike into town to get myself checked in, while Jesse hung back to put my bike back together loosely for inspection. After the second trip into town on my 200 I was all set. Registration, GPS, Tech, all that was left to do was pop on that radiator fan and switch. As I rolled back into camp feeling good about what was left to do, we noticed a small river of oil coming down my fork legs
Convinced Jeff I might need to borrow his forks and put my lighter springs in them, but it turns out closed cartridge WP forks and open cartridge forks cannot swap springs. Jeff weighs 200 lbs and rides a 450. I could already feel the blisters forming on my hands. Double shit.
Jeff's forks wound up on my bike with a bit more coaxing, and the unrealistic promise of no rock damage. (Sorry Jeff) The last big thing to square away was the fan. Got a quick coolant facial while pulling the radiator off, but wasn't too worried because we were almost there...
Since Jesse was having so much fun with the drill earlier, he offered to put a few holes in the radiator, and rivet on the fan. Generally I would trust him with this sort of thing, but later on I would realize that hovering over him a bit more would have been a good call.
After getting the fan mounted to the radiator we started the electrical work. For some reason the power leads by the engine would not make the fan spin, so after a bit more troubleshooting we decided to just run it through the headlight circuit. The fan would only kick on in the higher RPM's (stock stator) but anything was better than nothing.
Heres Grande Gatos giving me a lecture on preparation.
Got the bike topped off with coolant and fired it up. Although you cant really see it in this pic. I'm contemplating the stream of coolant coming out of my radiator and why Jesse decided to have just a little
too much fun with the drill. Triple shit!
Started going into panic mode at this point, so mixed my gas, attached some water to it and hopped in the truck. Was somehow planning on finding a radiator at 11am while I dropped my gas can off for the remote pit. Everyone else was having a great time. Crown, beers, and bullshit. Also, lots (and lots) of heckling.
On the way into town I stopped at every camp where I saw an orange bike and begged for a radiator. Lots of nice folks willing to help, but finding something that would match was like trying to find water in the desert.
Our only option came down to 5 year old plumbers quick epoxy.
Started pulling the small cooling fins out of the way to make room for the plumbers putty.
Got a ton packed in there and realistically it was the least likely area for my radiator to spring a leak, but I was pulling my hair out.
All that was left to do was change my oil and, rejet the carb. Only left a few small details to wrap up on race day. Crashed out at 1:30 hoping I would at least make the start.