SOAR Round 4, 25-27 August 2023


After the blue bike ran hot and lost coolant last round, I ordered a head gasket from Denny at the local store, TSR who was amazing and put the order through even though he was on vacation! Danny (and Dex) helped me get the engine out and then Rian had very kindly offered (a few times actually!) to let me take my bike down to his workshop and do the head gasket and I knew that Danny and I could do it at a push but when it started getting into checking the head for straightness and checking valves with 3 weeks before the next round, I decided to take it to Denny at TSR – he’s a cool guy and I’d rather have his experienced eye on it.
I dropped the engine off on Friday afternoon, hoping that Denny can squeeze it in some time the next week. Denny calls on Monday morning to confirm the year and then I almost fell out of my chair when he called again in the afternoon to say it was ready!! What a guy! We get the engine back in and order the special castle bolt tool off Amazon and crack on with connecting everything back up. When it comes to the coolant, it starts dripping out of the thermostat housing, the rubber gasket around the thermostat had hardened and cracked FFS! Denny to the rescue again with a replacement that worked a treat … and then the bloody O ring gasket between the thermostat housing and the head started leaking – I couldn’t believe it. It was getting down to the wire here, we wanted to leave on Wednesday evening for the KSR track day on Thursday which was my opportunity for testing. Danny came through this time and Zoe picked up the part from Milton so I finished work at lunch and got on fitting the part and putting it back to a point where it would run. With a couple of hours to spare, it was ready to start, I reversed the back end out of the patio doors … and … it misfired! Arrgghh! Quick confirmation with Danny that I hadn’t missed something stupid and water started dripping from the exhaust. So all down to red bike this weekend.

Thursday track day went well, it was wet in the morning, too wet for slicks but not really wet enough for rain tires. In the afternoon there was one big puddle on the inside of the left hairpin after OMG with a smaller puddle on the outside of it and a couple of damp patches on the way in to the Carousel and that was it. They ran two groups, green and yellow/red so Grant and I went out and had a few good practices.

Thursday night was just craziness!

New canopy destroyed and took one of the lights off the back of the trailer with it, tent collapsed but the good old trailer held steady, you could hardly tell anything was going on in the trailer! Danny’s awesome canopy survived intact as well, Zoe said we should buy it! Friday practice was cancelled, too much water around again, I wasn’t riding anyway so we just repaired stuff.

Saturday qualifying started out ok,

Then a great start in Old Folks but as I moved over to try and follow Jeff’s line around the Carousel at the end of lap 2, I had no idea Dwayne Bucholtz had moved up on the brakes and he fell off and pushed me out into the grass. Poor Dwayne broke his collar bone and had to have surgery, his season is done. I got back on and salvaged what I could for position on the grid for the race.

The Amateur Old Folks Race went well, I was pleased to keep Doug in sight – he seems to be running even faster this year.

In Lost Era Lightweight I got a good start and then held on to Faruk and Matt but couldn’t get close enough to try and make a move.

Next Post

SOAR Round 5, 9-10 September 2023

Took the blue bike back to Denny who found that a valve shim had fallen off during assembly – that was causing the misfire. There were a few leaks around the thermostat again and a couple of other minor things but he got it rebuilt ready for me to pick […]

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