Monday, 29 March 2010

and it's still raining......

Well, back from the weekend at Le Mans, and I hope the season will only get better from here.....

The rain started as soon as we got near Paris, and unfortunately we only saw the sun for a couple of hours throughout the weekend. We arrived at Le Mans on Friday morning, just in time to miss the early morning practice at 9:40, I was hoping I would be able to grab a practice session from another category, however they were all full, so I had to wait until the early afternoon before getting the RG on the track.

In between times we put up the barnum, and hung onto it while we were hit with bouts of horizontal rain, and gusts, that blew away a couple of tents next to us, and basically soaked everything.  We couldn't put up the sides to the barnum, because it just acted as a sail.

Anyway, getting back to the bike, I had decided to run with the bike with the carb trunks on, as I wanted it nice and rich to give it a chance to run in at least a bit, the practice session was wet, but again it didn't really matter to me, as I ran around rediscovering the circuit bringing the revs up nicely in the first few gears, and trying to restrict the bike running on full throttle down the straights, still only 15 minutes, and the bike was running OK, so I came back in relatively relieved, as you may remember I had had some issues at home.

On Saturday morning, we had a timed practise session and guess what, there was a dry line! I left the bike unchanged. In this session I started really opening her up, and although it was clear I was running way to rich, the bike reacted nicely, and it was a real pleasure to start pushing it a bit. The clutch started slipping as the bike came on pipe, which was an issue, which later I fixed by changing gearbox oils. I managed a 2mins 10 sec best time, which placed me on the 4th row of the grid,which I was pretty pleased about.

I had planned to remove the trunks from the carbs, and change the gearbox oil in the break, which is what I did, I also checked the plugs, and as expected they were black, so very rich.

The first race, and even on the warm up lap I knew I had a problem, the bike was popping a farting, and I was really worried about damaging it. On the start grid, I looked over at the guy next to me, and there was a long bolt under his bike, I shouted at him to take a look, and he got off his bike, and checked out his suspension, not finding any problem, he simply took the bolt and threw it over to the start marshals, meanwhile I stalled.... Anyway I got a crap start, but the bike was not firing properly, so I just finished the first lap and in I came. The race was pretty exciting, as not quite dry, we had plenty of falls, one quite nasty, so there was a red flag and restart (the guy was OK, a couple of cracked ribs). 

I really thought that removing the trunks had caused my issues, so in the second race I thought I would put them back just to complete the second race. This is what I did, and I tried the bike in the pit lane, and it did seem OK, however in the race I was still having an issue. However I did finish the race although in a very lowly position, fighting it out with some VFR's who were much faster than me on the straights, but I was taking more corner angle in the wet, so I could keep with them (did I mention it was WET again). The race was pretty awful, I couldn't see much when my visor started steaming up, and with the bike running badly.... 

So conclusions of the weekend are, I think I may have an electrical issue, may be as simple as a plug lead or plug cap, as these were the only things that were disturbed during the weekend, and I am now pretty convinced that carburation is not the route of my problems, and I think I have a breakdown somewhere in the electrical area. I think the popping and farting, is probably coming from unburnt fuel that is being ignited by an intermittent spark.... I will take a look.

Next race is endurance on the 350 at Carole!

No comments: