Saturday, October 26, 2013

Marquez who ?

Now who is this racer on the foreground of this Johann Zarco picture ?

(From 2013 Philip Island round, credits on picture)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PocketNC 5 axis milling machine

I know someone around that wouldn't mind hosting such a nice milling machine in his workshop, though he might find it a little small ... :P

Find out more on The Kneeslider.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sold !

The Speed Triple is gone with a new owner last week. Other plans got in the way of keeping this bike any longer and since it was in a rather ready state it found someone interested rather quickly.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Trip to The Netherlands

Last week, I rode the R1100S to The Netherlands, to have the Rapid Bike fuel injection module set up by Dutch specialist Ruud Fredriks, founder of Tovami. How a sunny and sweet ride it was. I mostly took A roads, but there were areas where the landscape was absolutely beautiful and hopefully where only B roads were available.

Just a few miles before destination, I stopped by a town map to make sure I was where I intended to.

When I arrived, I wasn't really impressed with Ruud's shop. I even thought it was closed. But then that was before I pushed the door ...

Ruud's shop is clean and organised. There was a BMW HP4 on one bench waiting for a new set of clutch plates. The story of this bike is that it's being raced in the Dutch Superbike championship (as well as IDM). Ruud has spent half of the time praising for the HP4 technological advance and build quality. He's prepared the one you see below himself by working on the electronics (making the ECU think the rear wheel is smaller to change the traction control's behaviour, for instance).

I've spent 2 hours with him that felt like 5 minutes. Ruud is a very knowledgeable person who has dozens of racing and riding tales to listen to, like the one about this dyno room he's built himself.

Ruud also builds his own kit like this battery-powered air-fuel ratio tool he once took in an airplane to check if his setup of  the plane's old Bings would work up there. Would ...

Now to the RapidBike fiddling part. He put the R1100S on the dyno, tweaked the map for every rev range and throttle openings and only stopped when he was happy with the result. He managed to build a map that provides a nice flat torque curve (where the standard one has a flat spot around 4500rpm) and helped bringing the power figures up to 101BHP at the rear wheel (compared to 98 standard at the crank).

The ride back home was great. The bike sure pulls stronger. I said that already, but this R1100S came to the point of being the best bike I've had in all these years. Now that it's well set up in the engine department, the major improvements made in the suspension area can really be felt and are definitely to be considered as the bike's best upgrade.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Headstock bearings

Some pics of the headstock bearing change on the triple. A rather easy operation ... well provided you can put a hand on the Triumph special tool to remove the top nut. I would recommend either buying one online or replacing with a hex nut if you're planning to keep your triple for a while.

Old top bearing
Guess ? Yeah, new top bearing
Lower bearing (upper part)
Lower bearing (lower part)
If you're looking back in the archive, you will probably notice that the lower bearing used to be a ball bearing, whereas the one displayed above is a roller bearing. That's because Triumph have supposedly upgraded the roller bearing with a newer designed ball bearing. The problem is that it's harder to fit on the steering stem compared to the "old" ball bearing. Someone in the Triumph community mentioned the All-balls bearing kit as being a quality set, so I ordered one containing a nice and easy to install lower roller bearing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera

Is the name self-explanatory enough or should it be even longer ?

- Hey man ! What's this bike you're riding ?
- It's a Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera [breath]
(Credits Asphalt & Rubber as the picture shows)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lost map

When I bought the RapidBike for the R11S, Robert Foster from Foster Performance had it initialized with an advanced map that he and his team had been playing with for a bit of time. It didn't work well for my bike - or so I thought - so stuck with the standard map coming with the RapidBike software which was already an improvement over the standard ECU mapping. 

With time I had forgotten there was this advanced map waiting somewhere to be tried again now that the major issues with the fueling (dodgy idling, way too lean AF ratio, impossible cold starts) were cured. But now that I needed it, the map was nowhere to be found again. And indeed, with 2 computer crashes and a one stolen, I lost a fair amount of important files over just a few months and the map was unfortunately one of them ... 

Downhearted by this loss, I made a desperate call on the Pelican Parts forum to seen if anyone had been given the same map with their RapidBike. But there were much less RapidBike users that I thought (more PowerCommander users) and even Robert Foster didn't seem to be able to put a hold on a copy of it. The map was to be considered lost.

Until last week when I was browsing my own blog to discover an old post where I had included a picture of the said map as a graph. I immediately grabbed the RapidBike CD and installed the map manager. It took me 2 hours to rebuild the fueling map from the picture which was harder to read that expected, but finally it's here again. Now let's save it multiple times all around the Internet.

The picture used to rebuild the map

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bar conversion

The SP3 is currently undergoing a handlebar conversion again. It's being reverted to standard handlebar for practicability. The racer version looks cool and draws a lot of attention, but is a real pain to ride in town.

It might seem like an overkill to remove the tank for a simple bars swap, but the SP3 had had the complete Daytona treatment with clip-ons and shorter throttle cables. With the higher and wider handlebar coming back, those have to move away. They will be replaced by brand new Venhill cables.