Hi everyone. Since my last update, a lot has happened. I flew out to Michigan to have a meeting with the guys at Riders Discount about preparation for Daytona and the fast approaching season. Then, I loaded up Brian’s (owner of Riders Discount) personal Triumph Daytona 675 and all the spare parts so I can become one with my new ride. From there I started the long drive from Michigan to Las Vegas for the second round of the WERA West series.
Friday’s track day morning was my first time out on her and it went well. But it was damn cold in the low 50s and a dirty track, so I took it pretty easy. Came in and Barry from KFG suspension made a ride height adjustment by lowering the rear for me to slow down the turn in.
The second session I went out and gradually got up to speed on her. The change was definitely the right direction by making the bike not so active overall. Barry lowered the rear some more for the third session.
In the third session my lap times came down quite a bit, and again the change was spot on. For session four we added some preload to the front and some compression too. Basically we were trying to take out the “stink bug” effect (rear way high and the front feeling like its under the motor) out out of it. That set up just doesn’t wok with my riding style, I prefer to steer the bike myself rather than the bike turn itself. Its purely rider preference.
Fourth session was much better, but still making the adjustments. Before session five we decided to make spring changes both front and rear to get the balance better. So on the front we went one step stiffer on both forks to keep the front from diving under hard braking and one step softer on the rear to add grip to the rear under acceleration.
Session five I was down into mid 1:17s (my track record was a 1:15.965) so I was feeling pretty good and all the the changes are spot on (Barrys knows his sh!t). Before the last session of the day we made only some clicker changes to the shock again trying to utilize the awesome torque of the Triumph.
Sixth and final session of the day I went out and rode some fast laps with the legend Jeremy Toye (on a liter bike) and threw down a couple 1:17:1s. That’s only 1.1 second off my track record and the fastest of the day.
I was extremely happy with my first day on her and our incredible progress Barry and I made on the setup. That evening Barry and I decided to try an offset change of the Attack Performance adjustable offset triple clamps, so we moved the offset forward 2mm again to slow down the turn in of the bike.
Saturday morning was still cold, about 48 and with wind gusts up to 27 mph. So I sat out the first two sessions hoping the temp would get little warmer. It did, so I went out tested the new offset. Wow what a better feel, my lap times were in the mid :17s but much easier and a smoother feel.
After lunch I had planned to race once that day in the middleweight (600cc) expert solo 20 laps. I started on row 5 and had my boy Tucker right behind me on row 6, I told him to stay right on my wheel off the start. When the flag dropped I got a good jump and plowed my way around everyone and I exited turn two in the lead and with Tucker right on my wheel just like we talked. LOL I put my head down and rode hard and basically went faster every lap (set my fastest lap on lap two at a1:16:429) till I ran into lappers about lap six. I was occasionally able to peak across the track to see Tucker holding down second. I was turning high 1:16s pretty easily and when I got some clean air on the 16th lap I did my 2nd fastest time a 16:496 on a tire with 16 laps on it, that’s pretty good! I also lapped up to 4th place and won by 32 seconds.
I pulled in from that race and instantly decided to race the heavyweight (1000cc) expert solo 20 lapper, the bike is so fun to ride and I felt AWESOME!!
I had to start from row 15 in the very last position because of my late entry. I had my work cut out though with a pretty stacked field with AMA Superbike riders David Anthony (holder of the overall track record at a 1:15:265 set the same day I set my 600cc record and AMA Superbike top 10 regular), Jeremy Toye on his Kawasaki ZX10, Cory West (now on the RSR EBR 1190 and my teammate last year), Dustin Dominguez (now Cory’s teammate on the EBR and the winner of several AMA Supersport races), fast club racer Cory Sarrors on his liter superbike, as well as AMA DSB racers Jake Gagne and JD Beach on their Yamaha R6′s all in front of me. I got a really good jump and was up into the top ten after turn two and made some gnarly passes into turn three.
By lap 5 I made way to third place with Toye and Anthony close in front of me. As we started lap 6, Toye pulled in to make suspension adjustments (he was using the the solo to tune for the sprint races) and left it to me and David to battle. It was so much fun! I was much faster in the tight stuff being on the smaller bike but he was killing me on the long back straight. I made the pass for the lead on lap 7 and pushed hard trying to get away but when I caught up to lappers it really hurt my tight section speed and he was able to get close enough to blow by on the back straight. I stayed close and on the following lap was able to pass him again and pulled a slight lead but once again the backmarkers played into him getting close enough to go by on the long straight. But this time about lap 16 I abused the tire way too much and just keep that pace in the tight stuff and had to settle for second. I did have the fastest lap of the race at a 1:16:242 and was stoked on the race and knew that tomorrow I could beat my lap record.
Sunday morning was slightly warmer about high of 52, and we had sprint races. In practice I took it easy and just got warmed up.
First race up was the 600cc superstock, I started on pole (being points leader) and had Bryce Prince to my left and Tucker on the very inside. I got a good jump but Tucker and his light butt got the holeshot but I inside outed him in turn one and tried to check out but there was a red flag due to Tyler Linders crash (heal up soon Tyler – broke his collar bone). So we lined up again and this time I got the holeshot and put my head down and set out to brake my lap record and on lap 2 I did a 1:15:424. I did it!!! I felt awesome. I knew with some adjustments I could even go faster. So Barry and I made some changes and I had my sights set on the overall track record!!
Race 2 was 600 superbike again on pole I was focused, got the holeshot, and pinned it and on the start of lap 2 leaving turn 1 I used a little too much track and dropped the rear off the edge of the track and spun sideways then it caught the asphalt and hi sided. It was a good one LOL Just a little bump on the knee but I’m fine. It was a real bummer because I knew I had it.
So that was the end of my weekend. But what a weekend, the bike is freaking awesome and this season is going to be so good. I know I have a great bike, team, an owner that wants to win as much as I do, and the support from all of you that are just as excited as I am about this.
This coming weekend I’m going to Willow Springs to ride and then Monday at Buttonwillow, I’m going to get even more one with the Triumph.
THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.