First, I guess I should get a team name. I’ve failed at that, because I’m just not sufficiently creative
However, I did manage to race a little in 2016. Unfortunately, nowhere near as much as I wanted, and my times didn’t get close to where I meant to. I had more bike issues than I was happy with, however, and mechanicals cost me a few days of racing. Between both radiators dying, shock rebuild, and the water pump seal letting go the bike spent a lot of time up at Speedin’ Motorsports . (Big thank you to Brian and the crew up there for all their support)
Added to this the RC51s penchant for overheating made itself clear when I tried to do back to back races and meant I didn’t get a shot at least one Superstreet podium. (For values of ‘superstreet’ and ‘podium’). All that said, I’ll be racing a different bike this year. I get to do the first year race bike thing all over again! (In fact, with Steve Brown acquiring the VTR250R, the garage is once again Honda-free. Sad panda!)
Best result was a third; somewhat tempered by the fact that there were only three runners in that race.
First, the good — all my gear worked well. I’m happy with it, even though it’s been selected as a hodge-podge and at different times and for different reasons. Some of it may be coming to the end of it’s life and need replacing soon, but so far, so good!!
I thought I’d run a list of what I was using.
- 2016s bike was the 2002 RC51.
- At 6’7 and now 200lbs, I pretty much don’t fit into anything off the rack. That meant custom leathers, and I wanted to get good enough at a good price. A couple of friends pointed me at Spartan Leathers when I was first starting to do track days, and I’ve had one of their two piece Charge suits since 2012. I’ve upgraded the armour to T-Pro since I started racing, and use a standalone back protector, but the suit itself is good. It’s cut more for the KTM950SM I had when I bought it and has no speed hump, but it suffices.
- One of the hodge-podge items. I picked up a pair of the last generation Alpinestars SMX Plus on closeout two years ago. They did well in my low side, and I’ve just had to replace the slider. They’re a bit scuffed up, but good.
- Again with the hodge-podge. I got a pair of Dainese Full Metal gloves from Revzilla in 2013. They’ve been my goto track gloves since then, and did well in my low side at Arroyo Seco last March
- Back Protector
- Forcefield Sub-4. Nice piece of kit and seems to be doing well.
I’d comment on knee puck suppliers, but I haven’t scuffed mine up enough. I’d like to blame that entirely on my habit of tucking my knee into the bike too much, but I just need to get to corner low. 🙂
Supporting gear has been pretty basic, and none of it will change for next year. My Pitbull stands remain solid (and I added the headlift adapter this year, the Kendon trailer I bought when Heather was racing the VTR250R is amazingly convenient for the short hops, and I love my Woodcraft tyre warmers. (Thanks Steve at Moto-Authority!).
More on the 2017 season shortly.