June 20-21st was the first race weekend at SMRI, and I thought that thanks to a lot of work from Jesse Beck and the crew over at PJs Triumph that the Daytona was going to be at least raceable — so far as to even go get a set of GP-As for the wheels, and to sign up for as many races as I could. Didn’t think the bike was going to be perfect, but we thought it should at least be rideable for seat time, experience, and MAYBE a couple of championship points somewhere (though the rider was going to be the limitation there).

I should learn to tailor my expectations, especially after the tuning saga. It was definitely not to be, and the track day showed it. Short version — that 8k lag was more like an 8k hole, and after 8k it wasn’t spectacular nor fun. Half the track day was spent fetching bits and trying to troubleshoot, but there’s a strong indicator that it’s fuel related, not electrical. The long, sad tale after the jump.

The longer story was that the 7800k hole was where the bike felt almost like it was going to stall. Give it beans, and just nothing at all, and even after that the response was pretty atrocious. Spectators would come up to me and ask what was wrong with my bike. It was a cheerful and lovely experience! After a couple of sessions of this, I snagged Cloninger to ride the bike (since he races a 675 and is smarter than me). The response after a few laps was:

“That’s the shittiest twin I’ve ever ridden”

Charming!! But it was pretty clear that after 7800 or so RPM, the whole bike went to shit. Mis-firing, partial firing, or something (and no code on the ECU, of course). But it showed that the tuning, timing, and other fantastic fun had basically been ineffective, and the bike while ‘sort of’ rideable really wasn’t a lot of fun, or a lot of good as a training tool and certainly wasn’t going to be raceable.

Into high-gear, and time to work on a bike in the sun track-side. I was too lazy to bring a canopy, and I paid for it. Since electrical was the path of least resistance and possibly at volt (can’t help it!!), that seemed the first thing to check. (And by check, I mean ‘rip and replace’).

A ‘quick’ trip from the track over to Moto-Authority netted me 3 new spark plugs, and then back home for the spare coils I had picked up when initially going thru’ the process of troubleshooting. Then it was out into the early afternoon sun in NM (definitely not fierce) to get down to the plugs and coils. Tank off, airbox open, velocity stacks off, airbox off. Pulled the plugs, and they were nice and grey from when the bike was lean down at Arroyo (‘yay’), re-assembled, and was out for the penultimate session.

The result? No change. ‘Yay’.

Next up — a call from the tower where Scott was saying ‘I apologise, that was probably fuel system’. Due to the huge generosity of Steve Caruso (Moto-Authority to the rescue!) , we figured a quick and dirty way to test this. Yank the tank off his (now leaking oil) first-gen 675, yank the tank off mine, install ‘known good’ tank (and fuel pump, fuel filter, vent lines, etc) on my bike and get out there for the last session of the day. (Also, apocryphally, Steve has had to replace several pumps from bikes that have sat as the ethanol eats the seals. My bike sat, for sure)

Result? MUCH happier bike. Sounded like a triple, not a twin. MUCH less noticeable hesitation passing thru’ 8k RPM. Not perfect, but if it’s mapped for a buggered fuel pump, it is probably running rich now.

Next steps — figure out if it’s really running better with a new pump. Interestingly, there is a pump in the pile of spares that came with the bike, so I have to wonder if the PO knew this was an issue, had plans to fix it and never did. Of course, there’s a special Triumph tool for testing the pump pressure, but I hate the top-venting converted dry-break tank, so I went forum shopping and found myself a black tank, complete with pump that I can just swap on and at a very fair price.

Now back to waiting!!


First Race weekend — or not

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