Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ales - RG 500 30 years anniversary Track Day outing

I had booked us in to the RG500 club de France annual track day weekend, at the Pole Technique d'Ales, they always pick such a late date in the year, last years was cancelled due to bad weather, but as it was the 30th birthday gig, I couldn't really miss it.

They join forces with the RD500 club, and basically any two strokes can take to the track.

They book the Sunday and Monday for the "weekend" which I think reduces costs, and does allow anyone, anywhere in France and elsewhere to get to the circuit in the South of France. We had been eyeing the weather forecast for the last couple of weeks, and the Sunday and Monday seemed OK, but torrential rain was forecasted for Saturday, so we decided on staying at a hotel for Saturday night and setting up at the circuit on Sunday morning.

As forecast there were some really bad storms, with people dying near Nice and other parts of the South, so we were pretty lucky, that in Ales the storms were just bad!

Sunday morning at the track, and we jumped on the last space in the paddock near a fence (for the barnum), next to a couple of guys down from the UK, with their highly modified track RD500's (Darren & Luke).

We got setup and signed on for the "confirmed" group (most experienced). The weather was pretty cold so I was bit worried about the jetting of the RG, so I took out the RD 350 for the first and second sessions on an initially damp track, but quickly drying off. Just before the lunch time break I took the 500 out, and it went through 15 mins, on a dry track. No worries, although nothing much under 8.5K there was strong power through to 11K. The temperature must have around 17-18 degrees centigrade, still a little low compared to my last track day at Ledenon. At lunch I checked the plugs on the 350 and 500, the 350 looked a little light on one plug, but the 500 seemed pretty rich on the 3 out of 4 cylinders, so I wasn't concerned when I took it out for the first afternoon session at 15:00. Unfortunately I did a couple of laps, and at the end of the relatively short straight, it coughed and I felt a seize coming on, so in with the clutch and coast back to the pits!

The rest of the weekend went well on the 350, completing 11 sessions in all.
They had a classic rock band on the Sunday night with a guitarist who really knew his Hendrix, Clapton etc..., with a BBQ etc.. so all in all a great weekend, a part from the obvious technical issues. My thanks as usual to the pit crew (Libby) for an excellent weekend. The photos below are an RG500 with an RGV250 top fairing, with an RS250 seat unit, which I really like and may try to emulate in a future build.

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