New bike, no blues

KC Gager kc at brgracing.com
Mon Aug 18 08:30:53 PDT 2008


Great to hear Randy You've had a hard time of it.
 How did the BRG Sub frame work out?

KC Gager
BRG Racing Products
"We Have Sickness For Quickness"
KC at brgracing.com
http://www.brgracing.com
(925)672-5789
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Grein [mailto:randygrein at comcast.net] 
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 10:19 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: New bike, no blues

It's Alive! It's Alive!

Those who have been following the saga of Randy's messed up racebike  
the past couple years will have an inkling of how great this is.   
Hopefully it's all behind me now. With big assistance from Zoran, Dan  
Zlock, Brett Prindle of Motobits and my endurance partner Damon Monwai  
I was able to transform a pile of parts friday afternoon into a  
functioning racebike by Sunday. The crappy silver paint job didn't  
matter, the mistake in rearset mounts didn't matter - not even the  
inconsistent tach reading could get me down. Nothing mattered but that  
sweet Zlock prepared motor and the surprise that comes when the your  
suspension settings are pretty much on after much guessing.

I won't detail all the stuff - a missed TPS plug, the aforementioned  
rearset snafu, the thousand and one parts that developed legs between  
teardown and assembly in a garage far too cluttered - let's just say  
it's racing as usual. I missed Saturday's practice but the tight  
schedule and usual accidents meant rescheduling 650 SS twins, so I got  
my 3 full races. I got up at 6 to make the final fairing brackets and  
change tires before hitting registration and tech - all done before  
the riders meeting for the first time in years. A good sign.

First practice showed that Brent was correct about the footpegs being  
too high. I could barely move around on the bike during practice, but  
I was able to quickly get from medium slow to somewhere in the  
ballpark in a few laps. I was gratified that 1:40s came quickly and  
were passed, eventually settling in the low 1:39 range. Not bad for  
practice when I'm this rusty. I came in early to switch the pegs  
around and check on my son who has also had a run of bad luck with his  
vintage bike. We had just enough time to switch them around before the  
first race, 650 SS Twins.

Naturally I'm gridded 3rd row (not raced the class all year) but I  
generally get good starts and 2nd row conveniently gridded to one  
side, giving me a clean shot. When the light went out I got the  
holeshot, moving past the entire 2nd row before the clutch was all the  
way out; a competitor later said my front wheel was a foot off the  
ground when I passed. I got lucky with a few passes around turn 1, and  
entered turn 3 in third. That didn't last long and I settled in to a  
close 5th place, concentrating on hanging on to the fast guys for the  
first few laps. I was mostly successful until the red flag came out at  
the end of the 3rd lap. 6th was nowhere in sight when I pulled over at  
the busstop to chat with the other guys.

The restart didn't go so well. Officials had wanted to grid the  
restart by place instead of the original grid, but couldn't make it  
happen. (Good thing too - good idea, but flat against the rulebook.)  
So back to the third row I go. I tried to warn the guys in front that  
I was likely to come through again, but the starter misinterpreted it  
as a joke and didn't relay as requested. That's what I get for a  
reputation as a joker! This time the start didn't go as well - my hole  
in the 2nd row closed up enough to make blasting through dangerous, an  
attempt to back off and pass outside in turn 1 was balked, and just  
about everyone passed by the outside on turn 2. I got stuck behind  
some slower riders and spent the next 2 laps trying to get by a pack  
of 4 who seemed to miraculously anticipate my every move. The  
frustration was intense but I wasn't about to punt myself AND another  
rider off making a hairball pass for what I figured was 10th place,  
and I watched the fast group disappear into the distance.

Finally an anger-fueled outside pass in 8-9 broke the group apart and  
I put my head down to get some serious laps in, dropping from  
frustrated 1:43s to 1:37s. Nobody was in sight ahead, I quickly left  
the crew behind and circulated by my lonesome with only my lap timer  
and an awesome new bike for entertainment. After the race I tried to  
check my finish, but someone had apparently absconded with the sheet.  
I was not to discover my 4th place finish until Monday. I did, however  
discover my left knee and thigh and right hip were sore already.  
Apparently nothing quite substitutes for hanging off a motorcycle.

The next two classes, Lightweight Superbike and middleweight GP Twins  
were similar without the blockage problems. A faster group of riders  
turning 1:35 or faster checked out leaving me to circulate on my own,  
contemplating lines and the mistakes not racing much for a few years  
cause. I slowed by a second in LW superbike trying too hard (for 8th)  
and got it back in Middleweight GP for 7th, but was pretty wiped out  
by the end of the day. The next couple of days I spent figuring out  
what to do next race; there's 2 seconds a lap just in riding smoother  
and easier - and I'll never last a 6 hour burning energy at that pace.

Best part was that I had not a bit of problem with the bike all day.  
Big thanks to Zoran for help with the pipe and shock work, Dan Zlock  
(yes, THAT Zlock) for the killer motor, my wife Lauri for buying me a  
new bike, my son Justin for helping in the pits when he was having  
such a crap day, Brent Prindle of MotoBits for better rearsets and  
some clever ideas for fairing mounts. Also can't forget the other  
sponsors - Lockhart Philips, Riders for Health and Performance  
Coatings. It's great to be back!


Randy Grein, WMRRA #41



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