Our race weekend started with the usual tuning for the ambient temperature deal, no matter how much tuning you do at home on the dyno things are always different at the track. We are running a new test motor on the Hornet, normally aspirated, that will find its way into the turbo/nitrous bike's chassis with a healthy does of nitrous only. With the new motor we where having issues breaking into the 120's. Taking into account the motor is tuned for nitrous use and a slight headwind on the naked bike we weren't surprised with the slower speeds so we tuned the carbs in for the best afr and hoped we would get some stale air or a tailwind to help it push through in top gear. On Saturday evening we where blessed with a slight tail/quarter wind and with a jetting change I was able to rip a 123.05 mph run besting our previous 113.06 record for the M/PF-650 class.
On the MPS/PBF 650 bike we had some issues with the nitrous system at first, with the heat from the weekend it was difficult to keep the bottle pressure stable. We had cool wet rags and shade to keep the bottle from going over 1000psi but after waiting in the staging area with leathers on and the rags off the bottle pressure got high enough where the solenoid would not open so I was never able to get the juice going. After a second run to test the system out again we where out of nitrous for the day and set off to our race home at the motel to service the nitrous bottles and get our game plan together. Next day we went out with a fresh bottle and were able to keep the pressure right and blasted off of 158.24 mph run in the mile and a slightly slower speed of 157.87 at the mile and a half which I attributed to a possible boost fluctuation or nitrous trail off, that run was still good enough to bump our previous record in that class from the 157.31 mph I set a couple years ago. During the whole weekend we were running between 20-25 psi of boost which is a little lower then our 30 psi norm so we turned the boost up some on our mechanical boost controller and installed a fresh bottle and that's when things got very interesting very quickly.
Instead of activating the nitrous in second gear I waited till I just got into third since the bike was accelerating harder then ever causing me to fly through second gear even with the super tall gearing, once I sprayed the bike it was a freaking rocket ship. In an instant I was at 7300 rpm in third, then shifted into high gear, with the amount of inertia the flywheels had from spinning up to top rpm so quickly the engine didn't drop as much rpm as normal going into forth so when the power came back on it still was ripping me back into the seat in the 150 mph area. I took a split second to confirm I was in top gear and let her rip as I saw the tach approaching 7200 rpm in top gear which is good for 170mph at around the 3/4 mile marker and thats where the fun ended... The bike lost compression at just over 7200 rpm and I completely oiled the whole right side of my body down and I coasted through the mile trap at 150 mph with my head out of the windscreen trying to inspect the bike as much as you can while still riding.
If only the bike would have held together a quarter of a mile longer I would be in LSR glory, reaching my quiet goal of setting a record at 170mph on that ancient bicycle-like BSA I love so much.
Sunday's race day started with a gorgeous day and ended with the LSR community loosing a great guy and a personal friend. Bill Warner crashed his motorcycle at close to 300 mph chasing a dream, he will always be looked up to and I will miss our technical discussions.