MotoGP at Indy - the good, the bad, and the ugly
+ MotoGP race was AWESOME. If you didn't see it, you missed out. If you weren't there, you also missed out. There was a really great vibe, and I got to see a whole bunch of different obscure bikes in the parking lot. There were a pair of old Suzuki RG500 Gammas- the the psychotically quick cube-4 2-strokes that Suzuki made 20 years ago (I built a 1/12 scale kit of one of those, actually).
+ Despite rain and 40mph wind gusts that blew debris onto the track, the GP race was incredible to watch. Unbelievably, nobody went down. What becomes interesting is watching everyone's racing styles. There are guys like Hayden, who will hit the same line around the track every single time with robotic precision, and guys like Rossi, who will tailgate and attempt to psych out their opponents. Rossi rode like a madman the entire race- for those of you who saw it on TV, it didn't do justice to how much skill it took to get around the track at those lap times under those conditions.
+ I LOVE last minute sales. At the Fieldsheer booth, I managed to talk them down from $70 to $50 for a Fieldsheer magnetic tank bag with a visible top. Oh MAN is this thing gonna come in handy for my I-Pass and maps.
EDIT: Goddammit- that's actually the going price. Still- a nice find.
+ Got to hang out with my buddy Brandon (not boostd_gsxr Brandon) and his wife for the weekend, who I don't get to see much of on account of them living on the other side of the country and all.
+ Thanks also to Brandon's help, we managed to get Devi (my '97 ZX-6E) up and running again. The problem was that in the crash, a wire had broken loose in the stator and later shorted out. Brandon managed to bypass the ignition switch with a toggle and solder the stator wire back together and I heaped enough liquid tape and polyurethane spray on it to seal the hole in the Titanic. After that, I got it back together and rode straight back to Chicagoland from Indy- a little bit under 300 miles with the detour.
-I didn't even make it out of Chicago before I went down. Friday evening + irregular inclined surface + pouring rain + I-90 traffic + baseball game = traffic conditions of epic fail. Some jackhole slammed on his brakes and I must have braked too hard, because the next thing I knew I was sliding down the side of I-90 on my ass with my bike on its side in front of me. I got her back up, hit the starter, and then the starter quit completely. I didn't have room to bump start it. I had to flag down a cop car who got IDOT to give me an escort to get across the highway (I went down on the left side of the highway). It was gonna be at least $250 for a tow, so I figured what the hell and managed to bump start it anyway (NOTE: In the almost three years I've had the bike, it has never bump started not even once before Friday.) The right side plastics and my muffler are scuffed up, but I think I can patch the plastics. Either way, the entire weekend was spent taking a running start every time I wanted the engine to run.
-The weather went completely monkeyshit all weekend. The trip up there was probably the worst weather I'd ridden in since I got caught in that tornado's rain last summer. I almost crashed a second time after hitting a bad rut in the road that was obscured by harsh weather. I left the Schaumburg area around 8:30pm. I didn't get to my destination in Indianapolis until 5:30am Central since my top speed was limited to 40mph from harsh weather and limited visibility.
-Also due to the weather, the 125 race was cancelled early, the GP race was cancelled with 8 laps to go, and the 250cc race was cancelled altogether, but the flooding had shut off parts of the highway on the way back, so I had to take a detour over 60 miles out of the way.
-There were more than a fair share of cretins in the audience. Rossi got a couple of boos because he was Hayden's biggest rival, but the booing of Pedrosa was inexcusable (I'm guessing because he'd taken out Hayden before), no matter how bad he may have screwed up in the past. You wanna heckle the riders, get your ass out on the track and see how fast you can hook those corners in the rain without eating pavement.
-The bike starts using The Toggle Switch Of Great Justice, but the headlight no longer comes on. I'm gonna screw with that tomorrow when I get home from work and see if I can find the source of the problem.
X During the repairs, we made an unpleasant discovery. Recently, I'd been noticing a lack of power and a burning smell under hard acceleration, as well as an off-kilter idle which I attributed to a lack of carb balance. I was wrong. The sparkplugs are covered in oil. I don't mean a drop or two, either- she's got blow-by out the wazoo. FUCK- we totally forgot to check for compression while we had the thing apart! I mean, we know it's fucked, but still. Overall, the entire motor is hosed. It's leaking coolant from somewhere, it's burning oil because of the bad rings, the clutch is starting to slip (although having crashed on the right side, it might be out of whack and just need a tightening, and the transmission is still fuxx0red. The second gear needs to be replaced, the shift forks are most definitely bent, and I have no idea of the condition of the shift drum or any other internals. Much as I'd love to do the ring job myself, I have no garage or the tools to do so. So I'm debating how much I want to sink into what is definitely going to be a significant amount of repair (aside from the engine, the coils are still coming in slightly below spec, and the other electrics are questionable as well) as opposed to making monthly payments on a gently used SV or Speed Four (I still want a Speed Triple, but I have to see how things go first).
In the next exciting episode- PICTURES!!
When the pepper spray runs out, can I have your number?