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Old 04-13-2012, 02:26 PM   #16
andrewgore OP
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All not so well in motoland

Got the Husky all assembled last night. I was feeling good, finished an audio book while working (Xenocide by Orson Scott Card), and found the biggest pain in reassembling the bike was the new Polisport radiator shrouds. They were a snug fit, but they got on there. It was about 10:30pm when I finished, my wife was in bed sick, so figured I'd wait until later to test run the thing.

Ran home at lunch, and couldn't resist firing up the bike. 2 kicks after the float bowl filled with fuel and the engine was up and running. Much to my dismay, I've got the same sound happening that was present when all this first started. Have a look\listen:



I'm beginning to wonder if crank or one of (or both) the crank bearings got messed up from the bolt floating in there. I'm quite bummed as I love how this bike runs\handles, but am thankful that its a mechanical problem and not a personal health issue. Things could be worse.

Time to tear things back apart tonight. XR will get some extra prep for the weekend.

-Andrew
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #17
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Pull off the pipe and see if something happened with the power valve timing. Look for damage on the piston and skirt.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #18
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To finish first, first you must finish..............That's racing.

Pre-report - I fixed the Husky. A tooth on the clutch basket needed some lovin'. Some quick work and we were good to go. I rode the bike around for a bit Saturday morning to make sure it was solid, it felt good, so I chose to race the Husky instead of the XR350R.

--------------------------------------------


As any racer will attest, it seems every race weekend has some sort of drama leading up to it. Mine (as posted about earlier) was no exception. Thankfully the planets aligned, bikes got sorted out, and even the weather was looking to be just about perfect. Truck and trailer got loaded up, I headed up and picked up my buddy John who would be racing his first Enduro. After spending some time at his house changing his tires, setting up his suspension, and loading his gear, we were on our way out.

We spent the night in fine luxury of a couple camping cots in the back of the trailer. The mild rain that came in the middle of the night sounded like thousands of shotguns blasts on the roof of the aluminum trailer. I motivated myself to get up & out of bed around 7 to get registered for the day. It's nice walking straight through registration not having to deal with a swarm of other riders. We really had no line preference for when we started, so we got up on row 10, easy enough for calculating out Key-Time early in the morning.

We didn't have much time after the riders meeting to get our final gear on & get to the starting line. They funneled us from the pits down & across a corn field to a gate where the actual start was. We hopped in behind the Row 9 guys, and saw some of the others who would be joining us on row 10. My buddy John (despite my yelling) jumped the gun and somehow snuck in with the Row 9 guys right off the start. Thankfully it was just a .5 mile road section to another start point, and he was able to fall back in line as he should be.

We got up to the line and we were immediately off. I took the lead of the 4 or 5 of us on our row, and immediately felt extremely confident on my bike. The terrain was grassy, but had an odd sand base to it. It was a perfect situation for the Michelin S12XC tires that I run. I had a few initial bobbles as I was getting reacclamated to running in much tighter tracks than we usually run. I was running smart though, and running confident. I began picking up speed where I needed to. Areas that I normally would have cruised in a constant RPM, I was holding full throttle, and immediately pitching myself fore\aft for upcoming terrain.

I was attacking in a restrained way. Knowing the race was all day, and it was still early on. However, I was already pacing myself ahead of the rows ahead of me. I knew they could all be in totally different classes than me, but it still gives that mental gratification that you passed someone. It helps, helps me push, helps me keep focused. I rolled through I believe a check point and motored on. I came into a tight section that had a fallen tree stump to my left, and some shrubs to my right. I can only assume I didn't look far enough ahead, or whatever, cause I immediately felt my foot being smashed between the stump & my foot peg. I lost my balance, fell to my right and hobbled away from the bike.

It was a sharp pain. My adrenalin was flowing, and I knew I could work through it. I looked to my left (behind me) to make sure no one was coming. I knew I had a good gap from the guys I had passed, but that race instinct says to get back up and going ASAP. I picked my bike up which was thankfully still running (thank you Rekluse). I went to turn my bars, and felt some resistance. I saw the inner radiator shroud had been pushed in, so I yanked it out to toss in my camelbak. No sooner did I rip the shroud out that the radiator began pissing coolant.

I knew it was over. As soon as the fluid hit my fender, that was it. Game Over, See you next credit. I was pissed and extremely frustrated. I pulled my bike off the main line and began looking for ways to be resourceful to work around this. I began pulling for sticks that I could bypass the busted radiator, so I could at least get myself out of there on 1 functioning one. I searched all around, nothing. If I had some little tube, maybe I could make it work, but obviously no tube. Plenty of riders checked to make sure I was OK. I was grateful, as this never seemed to be the case in the Harescrambles around here. Somewhere along the way, someone must have mentioned that there was a rider out, because just as I was about to begin the daunting task of pushing my bike out, here comes a truck in the corn field.

It was a long drive back to the pits, so I can only imagine how bad it would have sucked having to push my machine that entire distance. I had plenty of time to think things over, that's for sure. I thought that maybe I could rig something together, but no way was I going to risk getting stuck out there again, only to have to hope for another tow back out. At this point the race for me was mentally over.

I waited and waited, and my buddy John rolled back into the pits from the first 1/2 of the race around 12-12:30 or so. He was beat, exhausted and had no desire to do the 2nd half of the race. I laughed when he told me I'd be riding Enduros alone from here on out. Which right there makes me laugh. I'm absolutely pissed that I busted my bike and had to end my race so early. I was riding solid and knew I had a good finish in me. But that's the awesome part of the Enduro's. You've gotta make everything click. It's all day and one early mistake can cost you. Super frustrated for sure, but now looking forward to the next enduro which is unfortunately not until August.

Until then, I'll be keeping myself going with Harescrambles & whatever else I can. Going to be one long summer full of a lot of racing.

-Andrew

PS - I got a text from my buddy jburroughs12 yesterday. I told him he should race an Enduro out by him in Washington. The text message read "I want to punch you in the face." Glad I'm putting all my friends through this torture.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by andrewgore View Post
I got a text from my buddy jburroughs12 yesterday. I told him he should race an Enduro out by him in Washington. The text message read "I want to punch you in the face." Glad I'm putting all my friends through this torture.

Translation, "Holy shit that was fun, cannot wait for the next one."

I was pullin for ya mang. Your buddy should have gone to the 1st check after the gas stop. Most people that drop out, drop out at gas, if you ride out to the next check, many times that will put you in the points. That was my strategery when I broke my throttle cable and rode with a vice grip laid over the grip.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #20
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Sucks about the wreck, congrats on getting your friends involved in the madness Give him a week or two, he'll change his mind

The one enduro I did this year was one big loop(Gas was out on the trail) so no way to quit, believe me I tried!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:01 AM   #21
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I'm pretty confident my buddy who raced with me this weekend won't be going to another one. Maybe he'll feel differently after our school with Shane Watts at the end of the month. Joe in Washington, he'll go to more. He's got plenty of good fight in him.

Andrew

PS - Gonna see if the welding shop next to our shop here will weld up my radiator. Eventually it seems for Enduros it'd be a good idea to have a spare set in the truck. I'll be carrying more tools with me in my kit at the next race. More spares in the trailer too.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:30 AM   #22
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Contrary to popular belief....my text meant exactly what it said.

I grew up in Illinois with Andrew, we don't have these things called hills out there. Whereas in Washington, they have these miserable hills with ruts, roots, rocks, mud, etc etc...

The first half of the race was a blast. I was railing along on the new to me cr250 that I picked up a few weeks ago.The gas stop was right around mile 30 or so, took a quick breather there, and headed back to the trails.

After the gas stop, however, things changed drastically. The majority of the second half of the 60 miles was gnarly single track from hell.

I decided that I 100% need a rekluse clutch if I want to even think about doing another enduro, or hare scrambles on the west side of the mountains out here. Towards the end, I was using all four fingers to pull in my clutch, and three fingers to use my front brake. What I was middle of second gear riding at the beginning of the day, I was idling in first gear in survival mode.

I firmly believe that I have a great bike for the races, except for the lack of an auto clutch. Get that taken care of, and I think I'll have a fighting chance of enjoying myself throughout the entire race.

I would much rather ride on the east side of the mountains, more open, sandy, flatter (similar to Illinois, but a bit more sand), but I'm a stubborn S.O.B. and will take what I can get.

See you guys at the races.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #23
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:54 AM   #24
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Why not add some color to my prior post. There were some folks taking pics on the course, but no idea if\when those will be available. I do have some pics though of my personal damage of the weekend.

Exhibit A:


This design just annoys me. On top of getting some radiator guards, I'm also going to put rubber caps on the ends of the screws. Seems to be the wise thing to do here to help deter the screw poking through the aluminum.

Exhibit B:


Now keep in mind that I have haggard feet as it is. This left foot has been through some serious hell due to my riding. This isn't the 1st time I've managed to put it between a tree & a hard place. First time was at a Harescramble in Byron, IL. At this point I was still wearing my Alipinestars trials boots. Super comfy, but a bit less protection than MX boots. I put my foot between the foot peg & a tree doing 15-20. Pain was immense, and I immediately sought out some Alpinestar Tech 8's (which I was wearing this past weekend....I dislike them BTW).

Exhibit C:


The piggy that went to the butcher. I nabbed this pic last night after getting out of the shower. I had a moment where I thought the toe was broken, cause as I stood on my foot, the toe rolled over completely on it's side. I did a quick comparo with my right foot, found this to be "normal", at which point I headed to the kitchen to grab a tasty beer.

So maybe I need some input here. I realize I've only smashed my foot a second time here in about 18 months, but it's been 2 times too many. Are there any good suggestions for avoiding smashing my feet into things? I'm sure it'd help a bit with some smaller boots, but as you can see, I got some serious finger toes, so I'd have to lob them off to fit something smaller than size 13 boots. I mentioned earlier that I really dislike the Alpinestar Tech 8's. The boots have an "inner booty" that annoys the snot out of me. After you wash the boots, that booty feels like it shrunk 2 sizes. Then cram your foot into a shrunken leather boot. Long story short, they've annoyed me almost from day one. I thought they'd provide more protection, but I'm honestly not finding that to be the case.

Keep my toes up? I try this best I can, and maybe I need to ride on the balls of my feet more? Tricky though with non stop rear brake work (and no, I won't be getting a left hand rear brake). I'm up for suggestions here on this one. In the meantime, I'll be waiting on my replacement radiator & getting myself prepared for the Shane Watts school.

Andrew
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by andrewgore View Post
I'm pretty confident my buddy who raced with me this weekend won't be going to another one. Maybe he'll feel differently after our school with Shane Watts at the end of the month. Joe in Washington, he'll go to more. He's got plenty of good fight in him.

Andrew

PS - Gonna see if the welding shop next to our shop here will weld up my radiator. Eventually it seems for Enduros it'd be a good idea to have a spare set in the truck. I'll be carrying more tools with me in my kit at the next race. More spares in the trailer too.
Oh you guys are going to love Wattsy. A friend of mine and myself did his school in SC back in February. He is going to pick apart your technique and call you on alot of bad habits that we have a tendency to have. I have been a better rider since I came back & I am getting better every week. I would reccomend either taking a GOPro or taking notes of everything he shows you so you wont forget after the weekend is over. And yes YOU WILL BE WORN OUT by the end of it LOL.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:45 AM   #26
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Well the radiator is probably a relatively easy fix. Theres a reputable rad shop in town that fix a smooshed g450 rad i had, for about a hundred bucks. They could repair cooling fins like some lind of magic.

The foot thing? Lift your feet man! Your probably cutting it pretty close and if your foot didnt get in the way would the footpeg then hit the obstacle send your ahit everywhere?

I would love to do a watts course. Sounds like good fun
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #27
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The foot thing... 2 times in 18 months of hard riding doesn't sound too often to me.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:17 AM   #28
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If you are serious about becoming a better rider/racer the best thing you can do is take lessons from a pro. They can see all the bad habits you have developed and give you drills and advice to correct them. I took lessons from Jim Gibson several years ago and it made a huge difference i my riding, (as long as I practiced what he taught me). One day he had me doing nothing but braking drills in the parking lot, didn't even look at the track all day. Listen to what the pro says and practice it until you can do it in your sleep, then practice it again.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #29
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If you are serious about becoming a better rider/racer the best thing you can do is take lessons from a pro. They can see all the bad habits you have developed and give you drills and advice to correct them. I took lessons from Jim Gibson several years ago and it made a huge difference i my riding, (as long as I practiced what he taught me). One day he had me doing nothing but braking drills in the parking lot, didn't even look at the track all day. Listen to what the pro says and practice it until you can do it in your sleep, then practice it again.
This here is why I was ecstatic when I saw there was going to be a Dirtwise school nearby. I briefly mentioned that I went to school down at the Trials Training Center. This was an incredible experience. The little things I picked up on, improved my riding immensely. The confidence in hitting various terrain took time to build, but it was built on a solid foundation that I really think helps today. So yeah, by the end of last year, I knew if I was serious about this I NEEDED to get to a school. There are plenty of MX schools around, but I knew I needed to be focused on off-road specific. I understand a lot of things will carry over from one to the other, but you won't find an MX guy showing you how to dodge trees.

I've luckily got next to our shop about a 1 acre area to practice riding. I haven't really been capitalizing on this lately, but will for sure here. I used to keep my trials bike at our shop & after work just hop outside and spend an hour or two just working on figure 8's, off-camber work, wheelies, stoppies, and generally just having fun on the bike. This was how I got good at skateboarding. I could sit there and work on a trick over, and over, and over, and over until I would have it perfected. Amazingly enough I can still do most of the tricks I did a few years ago.....just not quite down the big drops\stairs anymore.

I'll work on picking my feet up more. I suppose 2 times in 18 months isn't so bad. I've really been focusing lately on not even placing my feet down while woods riding at all. I tend to stand 90%+ of the time (once again, thanks to trials for that), and really the only time I've been finding my feet going down, is if I for some reason lose my balance and do a quick dab to right myself. I'll just chock this one up to "Crap Happens". It's racing.

I'm gonna have to bust out the Dirtwise DVD & give that another watch this week. See which little drills I can do after work to improve myself. April 28th seems forever away.

Andrew
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:49 AM   #30
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Someone here wrote a review of the dirtwise school. By the end of the school the reviewer commented that his/her riding had improved substantially and on the 2nd day was already able to do things that seemed impossible the day before.

Your trials background definitely gives you a leg up, I suspect that Wattsy is going to help you on your cornering speed and taking obstacles at speed.

If he talk about downhill sections, pay close attention. Downhills are prime passing opportunities. Seriously.
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