The XDL U.S. Stunt Riding Championships are happening in Las Vegas this weekend. I watched practice this evening and shot quite a few pictures. I’m going to be hitting the elimination rounds tomorrow, but I’ll be watching friends race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway instead of catching the finals. You can find all of my pictures in the XDL National Finals set.
I started installing my new Jardine slip-on exhaust on Friday. I say started because I ran into this instruction: “You will need to disconnect one of the oil lines, but if you plug the hole when disconnected you will only lose a minimal amount of oil.” Liars. So, I ended up with oil everywhere. I should have drained the swingarm ahead of time (or Buell shouldn’t plumb oil lines through exhaust mounts). The next problem was Jardine’s bolt-on exhaust bend didn’t want to bolt-on. How do you sell thousands of kits that can’t be used without modification? The next day I made a 53mi. round trip to a friend’s house to use his cutoff wheel to modify the bracket (the over wide flange interferes with the engine block). After that most everything bolted up, except for one bracket I had to tweak by jamming it into a concrete seam. You can find pictures of the process on Flickr which includes a comparison with the old pipe.
There aren’t many aftermarket exhausts available for the Buell XB line. The nice side effect of this is American Sport Bike did exhaustive dyno tests of every one available (puns are always intended). Here are two sound clips from the test so you can compare the stock to the Jardine.
My bike was out of commission for a bit as I removed what is affectionately called the “cheese grater” by the Buell community. The Buell Lightning has a sort of vestigial tail that extends past the tail light and holds the turn signals and license plate. It looks like this. I had somebody experienced shorten it to clean up the tail section. I also installed the ’07 airbox which is freer flowing and the only major mechanical change from my ’06 model. Here’s a photoset with the before and after. I’m still waiting for a new slip-on exhaust. I’m also watching the classifieds for an Firebolt XB9R to use just as a track bike.
I’m currently in LA for the week to collaborate with Ryan. I’ve got a new EVDO Rev A express card fastest I’ve seen so far was in Las Vegas 200KB/s down 16KB/s up. Is there a reason we still use kbps for rate?
A year ago was my first day of work at Netscape… sort of. I had recently moved back into Lincoln from Frosty’s couch in Grand Island. My apartment didn’t have internet yet, so I was going to commute to the coffee shop… except for the blizzard. So I spent my first day at my fulltime online job, offline reading through the welcome folder. My job has morphed quite a bit in the last year, but I still enjoy doing it. Most of that is due to our kickass dev team. Who else can build a competitive social bookmarking site, personal homepage, and browser in a year, but these rockstars?
Last night was 702sportbikes‘ largest weekly meet yet. At least 78 motorcycles showed up and 115 people at Hot Rod Grille. When I first started attending in January it was only 7 bikes (it was also 38degF). Here is a short clip from my digicam of the bikes rolling out for the ride.
Latest veggie dish cooked: Cajun Skillet Beans
Last weekend a few of the forum members rode the area around Malibu. I had the revelation “hey, if I lived there I could ride those roads every day”. The other end of the canyon is reasonably priced and I could still frequent LA without having to live there. Despite living in a little shack I could still get fiber internet service (if that’s not a reason to move, I don’t know what is). I won’t be moving till my lease is up in October though… or when RjB wins the lottery.
One rider said that many of the roads in the canyons are so tight they’re better suited for a supermotard. Popular in Europe, the original supermoto was just a dirtbike shod with street tires. The riding style is similar to dirt track racing where you lead with your foot instead of using knee sliders. These days supermotards come prepared straight from the factory. With two major manufacturers releasing new models, I think this will be a progressive year for supermotos in the US. Continue reading
Jai invited me along on Thursday to witness his bike’s run at Las Vegas Dyno Tech. It’s a Buell XB12R Firebolt. The bike has a straight pipe exhaust on it and Jai wanted to get a baseline run to see where the bike is before tuning it. Well, it’s running truly awful. The bike is running way to rich down low and way to lean when it goes closed loop (bad O2 sensor). Here are a couple pictures from the day. It made ~74Hp. Steve was kind enough to patch the nail hole we found in the final run… and the second nail… and to overfill it so we could make it to the dealership to buy a new tire.
I picked up some new motorcycle boots today. They’re not full blown race boots which means 1. they’re actually comfortable 2. I got them for far less money than I was planning on spending. Being Gore-Tex, they’ll be good in the elements too. I’ve also got some Kevlar pants and body armor on order. We should be thankful that most safety gear is cheaper than performance parts. I’d hate to see it the other way around.
(640×480 version here)
I spent a nice Saturday in Pahrump, NV watching some friends at an open session track day. Along with the standard bikes, there were at least two Buell riders and a guy on an Aprilia super-motard. I couldn’t turn around without someone telling me that I should be doing track days. My bike is currently partially disassembled waiting for an upgraded exhaust and shaved rear fender. Here is a video from our long ride last Saturday.
After a restless night, I got up at 6:30 to meet up with eight other local sport bike riders. We went up the west side of Lake Mead and then came back around to Las Vegas from the northwest side. It totaled nearly 200 miles and I was back in time for work at noon. Good times were had by all. It was a weird thing to have my bike at the rev limiter in top gear and have a GSX blow by me going at least another 15mph above that. Continue reading
(This video is 19 minutes long so you’re probably best downloading the 640×480 original file)
Jai from the Buell Riders Meetup and I rode the 13 mile route through Red Rock Canyon the other day. It’s the same area I went climbing with Chelsea. All of the Creative Commons music I’ve used in my projects has come from Diesel-U-Music.