Chapter 10: Steering with the rear.
So today is Dec 3rd (well, I guess it's technically the 4th since it's past midnight) and as predicted, I was able to get out to Chuckwalla and rip around a little bit.
Chuckwalla's asphalt is SO smoooooth. It's really nice. I wish it had at least 1 long straight though. As it is, every straight is JUST short of being awesome. It's still a real fun track and everything but yeah I dunno. It's like, a bunch of awesome turn complexes linked with short straights. I guess that's kinda the style for weekend-warrior-style dudes who are afraid to go real fast so it make sense (people LOVE this track). I did enjoy a lot of the elevation change and shit. That was awesome.
In bike-damage news: It was pouring rain on Saturday when I was loading up and as I was throttling the bike up the ramp into Brian's truck the cold race tire said 'f**k you' to the wet aluminum ramp, slid out, kicked the ramp and fell. I had to bail and couldn't save the bike from tumbling off the tailgate/ramp and ended up with a bent clutch lever and some smashed fairings. www.hahgay.com
I hate loading shit by myself. Also I guess I need to be way more careful when dealing with rain and ramps and shit. Anyways: ain't care. Bent the clutch lever back, kicked myself for being retarded, wish the damage was from something cool, that's all.
And then on Monday (today) at the track I was braking real hard from like 130mph and my fairing touched my dumb way-too-flexible Hotbodies front fender, I guess.... pushed it into the tire which caused to to rip off the mounting bolts and fly past my head as a projectile in the braking zone. FACK. Tech looked at the bike and there was no other damage so I was able to finish off the day sans front fender.
On the ride report: Shit feels great. I was able to loft the rear under brakes a lot, getting real late and real aggressive with the braking, and also I got much more comfortable braking pretty hard while the bike was at good lean angle... which always kinda f**ked with me (considering you're taught for ages to get your braking done in a straight line.)
Then by the end of the day, coming out of the banked Turn 13 "Bowl" at full lean and full throttle, the bike was totally steering with the rear tire. LOVE THIS OHLINS. Rear shock compressed real nicely and as I was coming onto the straight and standing the bike up, it kept turning right, full compressed on the rear shock, leaned over and lofting the front wheel. I had to hang off to the left a ton and then bring myself into a tuck to get the front down (I didn't lift during any of this because umm... it was f**king awesome). Of course it wasn't like... front 3 feet in the air. More like 3 inches (if that) but the bars would go all crossed up since the wheel was off the ground until I got them back down. Here's how that felt: FCCCCKKKK YEAH.
But, I really want a quick shifter now. I mis-shifted so many f**king times because this track had a lot of kinks-onto-straights or right-lefts, left-rights and I was moving around so much that coming off the gas to shift and then getting back on it while throwing my weight around was hurting the **** out of my right arm/wrist.
Note the purple zipties holding the fairings together on the left side...