Archive for May, 2009

Parts are in… And installed.

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Well Mr. Bill has come through as usual.  The box showed up with the new goodies.

That would be a Sprocket Specialists 40 tooth 530 aluminum sprocket, a Goodridge 40 inch braided brake line, a Tsubaki 11k tensile strength 530 O-Ring chain, and a APE Engineering manual cam-chain adjuster for the GSXR-1000 engine in the Becker F1.

First thing I did was pop the standard hydraulic CCT out of the engine, and remove the oil line. Simple enough, a couple banjo bolts and a couple Allen head bolts, and it was out of there.

It was obvious by the wear on the teeth on the stock Suzuki CCT that it had been slipping under load. This is a known weak point in this engine. This component goes and you’ve got piston to valve contact… and you’re out a couple grand sourcing a new top end at minimum.

I dropped in the APE Engineering manual CCT and brought the engine up to operating temp. I adjusted it in till the cam chain noise went away, and gave it a 1/4 turn more and set the locknut in place. That’s it.

On then to the new sprocket, chain, and brake line, which all installed smooth as butter. A nice fat stake-rivet master link was provided, the job made easy by my Motion Pro Jumbo Chain Tool. Setting the tension on the chain is a snap on the Becker F1. I simply back off the locknuts on the top trailing link for the rear suspension upright, twist it till the chain tension is right, and set the locknuts back in place. This procedure on the old CSR chassis would have taken at least an hour with the conventional swingarm and concentric adjusters.

All that is left to prep the F1 for Portland is to clean the chassis top to bottom and flush both Wilwood master cylinders with fresh DOT4 brake fluid at all the caliper bleed screws.


Sad Mike is sad…

Monday, May 25th, 2009

In the photo below you will note three obvious things…

~ A missing 530 Tsubaki drive chain
~ A rear sprocket that has two very chewed up and broken teeth
~ A very ruined Goodridge rear brake line

During the last race Cindy and I were on the pole, waiting for the 1 board to go sideways and the green flag to drop. Earlier in practice I’d been right there with the known fast guys laying down some serious rubber. This race we stood a real good chance of putting on an excellent showing in the final results when the checkers were waving.

Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. Green flag drops, I get off the line like a rocket up through first gear, solid shift into second, wind it out, and I shift into third and wind it on.

Where did all my power go? My engine is making vroom vroom noises, but I’m obviously losing my forward locomotion. I check my mirror and Cindy already has her hand up letting the rest of the pack know that we’ve suffered a mechanical. I flick it over left into turn 1 holding a steady line and let the traffic blow by me. Once I’m sure I’ve let the pack clear me I try my tiptronic shifter. upupup, downdowndown… I’ve got gears, my transmission is intact. I’ve thrown my drive chain 100 yards into the race.

Cindy and I coast around turn 2 and I pick a spot well off the race line to plant the Becker F1 into the gravel and let it coast to a stop. I shut everything down, hop out of the cockpit and walk around the back of the rig. Sure enough I’m greeted to the sight of sprocket teeth where a drive chain should be sitting.

We do the walk of shame up to the corner workers station at the top of turn 2 and watch the rest of the race. Johnny -freaking- Killmore on the Windle F2 is driving like a lunatic. He’s holding off Wade Boyd and Mr. Bill and continues to do so for almost five more laps. Every time he comes around in the lead I’m off my nut jumping up and down cheering him on.

At some point Johnny bobbles just enough to allow Wade and Mr. Bill to slip under him and I’m told it was a photo finish across the checkers with Wade Boyd taking first, Mr. Bill in second by a matter of inches, and Johnny right there in third. Sean Bakken took 4th in my old CSR F1 he’d borrowed from Roy Janes for the weekend with Roy’s regular passenger Gary McEwen in the chair, and Hanz Shultz took 5th with novice passenger Tom Burbank on the back.

How did we do? Well, we got a single point for starting the race… and we got to take a good amount of gravel home from Willow Springs.

I’m sure I’ll be in the F1 with the Shop Vac and airgun for hours getting it out of every nook and cranny before the Portland race on June 20th.

Something else we learned is that we need to buy some white race tape for Cindy’s boots. We used black over the weekend, and with the combination of the 100 degree weather and the speed we’re running these days… Well, I’m going to be a bit busy with the buffer and wax getting things sparkling again.

Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you’re the dogfood. It was an Alpo weekend for BCR.


A (hah) Experiment…

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

So the GSXR-1000 in the Becker uses a ‘washable’ BMC air filter. And, it’s dirty. The obvious solution to me is to wash it. The logical brain in my head says, “Use a power tool to do this.”

So sitting in the shop an idea strikes me. I do have a power tool for washing things in the house. It’s just upstairs in the kitchen. This will either work really well or you my faithful reader will get to have a good laugh at my expense.

I did not see a “Dishwasher Safe” tag on the BMC air filter. (shrug)

Edit: Update

Well I’ll be damned… This works. Here’s a picture of the dirty side that’s exposed to the elements. It’s spanky clean.

Edit: Addendum

Some individuals wanted to know how I did this without melting the filter and what I used in the soap trays to get the filter clean.


First off, you should make sure and turn your dry cycle off on your dishwasher unless you want to be scraping melted air filter ring rubber off the heating element of your dishwasher. Just take it out at the end of the washing/rinse cycle and let it air dry. My dishwasher lets you turn off the heat dry cycle.

Second, I didn’t have any fancy cleaning agents, so I used the regular dish washing soap powder that I clean my dishes with. It says right on the box, “cuts through tough grease leaving your dishes spotless.” Apparently it works well.


Seperated at Birth…

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Another amusing photo, this time from Tom.

Waiting for final call on a practice session.

I know I’ve seen this pair somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it.


The coolest photo ever…

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Just a quick update… full race report later.

That’s me on the left, sitting on Pole… a couple minutes before the green flag dropped on Sunday. Thanks for the photo Stuart.

Click for the full sized version. (opens in new window)


Sponsors, once again, rule…

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

First shout out goes to the girls at Scorpion USA

Teri and Tricia scored us some wicked EXO-700 Burst lids with mirrored anti-fog visors that match the paint scheme on the new Becker rig. We even got custom interiors to quickly tell the lids apart in the pits when our session is called up

They look good on the track too…

Scorpion USA Rocks! They go out of their way to support us, buy their gear!


Second shout out goes to Drew at Drew’s Used Tools in Santa Cruz, our tool sponsor.

My air compressor crapped out on me, actually sucking it’s flapper valve and cracking it’s cast iron cylinder in the process. Crunched for time prepping for Round 4 of the SRA West series coming this weekend I had no time to spare hunting down a compressor. I popped over to Drew’s and he hooked me up with this.

Drew Rocks!

Drew’s Used Tools
(831) 477-2883
3022 Winkle Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
Open 7 Days a Week


Lastly, a minor update to the Becker. Cindy being a little shorter in stature than my freaky arm and leg length needed a bit more boost getting out for lefts during the last couple races. So today I whipped up a kickbox extension on the left foot brace plate out of aluminum diamondplate. It gives her about 4.5 inches of extension which as we measured should be just about perfect for getting her butt off the platform and dropping the CG down a bit more in those hard lefts.

How it -should- look for lefts…

And for rights…