So Chris and I met up at his compound near Santa Maria Friday and drove until 3am to Laughlin to hole up for the night. John Jr. was wrenching away until the wee hours of the night to make sure both bikes would be ready for some shake down riding Saturday in the Dez..... We ended up meeting up in Kingman AZ and headed out to find a spot to put some miles on the bikes.
Our purpose was three fold, to get some set up done on the bikes, finish breaking in the LAMEinator and get Chris familiar with riding a vintage bike fast. We know he is speedy on his modern bike but this is a whole different world.
I think the biggest thing with riding these bikes is the level of attention you have to pay to every moment. you cant let inattentiveness allow the bike to get out of sorts. Every second you have to be damping down oscillations and keeping things from getting out of hand. For me this is the challenge of riding a bike like this through the desert. On my modern WR I can let the suspension soak up the terrain and never really have to sweat the small stuff. With Honzilla specifically it is the small stuff that will come back to bite you. Those little rocks that pop the rear up ever so slightly tend to get you out of shape and need instant correction.
Last year we had rear shocks that didn't want to play nice, we found out after the race they would have worked great if we would have had a 500 pound rider...... to say they were a little stiff is an understatement.
Well this year John and John have outdone themselves, the new Ohlins shocks on the rear of Honzilla are worth their weight in gold. After a few trips to the clickers she is working better than can be hoped for. We took some video of our testing and there is a marked difference between what we started with on set up and where we are now.