First opportunity to test the new A bike was at a private practice day that Danny sorted out. I threw the bike in Danny’s trailer and we headed out the night before but when we offloaded the bikes, I found that my front triple stand hit the upper fairing so I couldn’t use it! Fortunately Danny’s mate, Paul lived 10 minutes away and had a front stand that fits under the forks that I could borrow – thanks Paul, that saved the day!
In the morning I found that my repair to the Woodcraft rear tire warmer had not worked so had to use the Chicken Hawks – no biggy, better to find out now rather than right before a race! It all worked out great in the end, there were about 22 riders and they ran open practice sessions on the Technical layout that is probably my favourite. Drifters had used the track a couple of days earlier and kicked a load of dirt onto the track, mainly on the first few turns and even after 20 laps of brushing it, it still looked dirty so everyone was taking it easy at first. The bike ran great and felt quicker than the old bike but it has been a while since I rode it. The steering damper seemed to help with the nasty head shake I was getting between Big Daddy and the first 90 even though I don’t like them to be stiff so only had it at about 3 clicks from fully backed off. I soon started feeling comfortable on it and was pretty much back up to speed by the end of the day.
I really liked the look of the Simpson Bandit I was using last year but it used to move around a bit especially when popping up to brake at the end of the straight going into the Carousel. The new (to me) Shoei was fantastic – super comfortable and absolutely no movement whatsoever! Over winter I had painted the blue patches on the leathers I picked up last year and decided to try them out – again they were great! They fit much better than the old Alpinestars I was using, they’re lighter, fit in my boots better and I can get them on and off without assistance.
I tested the new GoPro mount that I designed and 3D printed, massive improvement over the old mount that had crazy vibrations.
And Danny kindly shot this video of the first few turns, the bike sounds pretty cool to me …
We took the opportunity to find the trailer that I had put a deposit on – this is to be the new race base, I’m fed up with sleeping in a tent. It’s smaller than I thought but I’m sure it will be fine – it has a shower yay!! I’ve arranged to meet up with the seller on the Friday before the SOAR practice weekend.