Archive for the ‘Vehicles’ Category

How to change the oil in a Vw Polo 6n Gearbox

Before you start, wash the underside of your car, in particular the drain plug area as it will be a mess around there.
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Bike Usage

I got the bike on a very cold day in March, and since done a further 6500 km’s on the clock which now points to 15500km in total.
The bike is ridden 1/3rd’s of the time on back roads and street, and the rest of the time its on the track. Before me the bike was mostly mountain roads, the owner upgraded to the 990.

Me

I am a worn bike owner. I do all my own maintenance (except tire changes), like MX, enduro riding and love motarding at the local medium sized track.   

Maintenance

Maintenance is like any bike maintenance, it needs to be done or it cost a little more each ride.
So I check most fuids after each ride as well as oil the chain.
I change oil every 2000 kms (only a quick engine oil change), I do a proper oil change and service every 4000 km’s as per the manual and so far I have only adjsuted the valves twice, the second was totally unnessasry but I had the top off.

Probably my biggest issue is the tuning, occasionally the bike will complain, so far it has eaten 3 plugs, each one died with little warning and took a lot to nurse the bike home.

General Feelings and Comments

The gear box is a little noisy, but only in neutral. When compared to two other KTM 660 it seems normal.

The stock exhaust is quiet decent but should have the little metal disc removed: drill around the spot welds and then pull like crazy with pliers you’ll break the welds.
I do have an complete aftermarket exhaust system, this required re-jetting when dynoed the back wheel said 70hp, but due to the local track restrictions it is deemed to noisy.

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Sandpit Sturup

Posted: 2008-08-14 in Supermotard
Tags: ,

It really was bound to happen. I should have realised right from the start. The heavy rain on the way to the track, the last minute brake adjustment, the way my brain seemed disconnected from my body, the late entrance. All signs pointing to disappointment, all signs for the inevitable.

Really though, these signs aside, the day started off grand and fantastic. The wet surface scared a few so overtaking was a breeze. A quick bout of passing and the short 15 minutes ride was over, I was as happy as a teenager in a brothel.

For once I even kept pace with Kristian, my supermotard partner in crime. But this was probably more due to his change in riding style versus my skill (or lack off). Arg what a good day.

Second pass was just as exciting. Harder riding more fighting with the butterfly riders. A friend in the stands said the back stepped out a few times and seemed impressed.
I on the other hand wasn’t as impressed, a bad run of straight braking forced me outside of a corner for the umteenth time this session. The last one left me quiet shaken, the bike didn’t seem conforable and nor did I.

As per most session we pissed of some people who felt nessasary to complain, something about dangerous driving or something.

Whatever was said it worked, I lost focus, started over thinking everything and found my times drop like crazy. This made me mad and in an attempt to speed things up I started taking weird lines, several times the brakes had to save me from my mistakes. Several time I noticed the brakes were not as responsive as previous sessions.

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2008 06 19 – Knutstorp

Ahh what a day it was, it all started with a massive oil spill that covered about half the track, followed up with some rain that came erratically and finished with a 20 minute finally that started with rain, eventuated into a red flag (a poor Aprillia bit it just in front of me) and finished with the track drying enough to have a few good laps before the chequered flag was flown, perfect timing for the group after us who now had a dry track.

But, in heaven even a bad day is a good day, and that is precisely what today was, a day that finished with the refreshing thought that life really can’t get much better than this.

Red group ready for action
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Cold Day in May

Posted: 2008-06-05 in Supermotard
Tags:

The weather around Skane can be a bit trick to predict, it was starting to warm up so thought should take the bike to work. That afternoon a heavy blizzard came in, took me almsot 30 minutes of kicking to start the bike, one half of me told me to stay and take the train, the other half said you aint leaving this thing here. When she started, I began my ride home. 

The front tire is a slick that has two length wise cuts in it… Needless to say I was a very cold, scared, hungry and froozen little boy when i got home. I felt like I was 10 on the slopes ill prepared and wishing I was else where.

Ironically the next day was fine but i didn’t chance it 😀
Cheers

Choco

I have seen the future…… and we are all fucked 😛

2008 05 11 – Sturup

Finally! I got off my ass and went to a track day, the unwilling victim was the local Sturup raceway in Skåne.
My weapon of choice a 2004 KTM660, and to say it was absolutely brilliant fun would be an understatement. To say I wasn’t scared the first few races would be a lie, as would be too say I won’t do it again.

From the time I got there to about midday I was nervous, jumping to get ready early, jumping to get to my bike, jumping to stay out of the road of the constantly moving pit (thats a funny word in swedish) trafic and jumping to try understand what was happening. Ingen Svenska was also not helping. Note: Special thanks to the instructor who stepped me through things when I got lost, about 90% of the time i was there.

The Day:

Arriving at the track late, but that’s me in a nut shell, stressed, and alone I felt weird right from the start, out of place and not at home. My mind spurred on by the initial impressions of the place I soon noticed this day was much more serious than I anticipated.

Ambulance crews, flag and track support people, support trucks, support officials, and little me creeping in on my bike with nothing but my backpack and bike. 

Being late, ranking groups are gathered and the days rules and regulations had already began to start. Trying not to distrub the proceedings I pull in the clutch and glide my way to any spot recembling and parking position, spot located a bunch of Ducati’s.

Looking around observing the pack I see nothing but sport bikes, and sports bikes with slicks, support trucks, and tire warmers. Perhaps I am not welcome here. I feel alone. Sucks to be me.

Off the bike and at the registration desk “Hejsan, I registered for track day”. “Your late, you’ll have to wait till after first round”. “No probs”.
Waiting I being to relax and look around when I notice scattered little pockets of resistance, stuck in amongst the 100 entries I found five shades of hope 4 of them being motards, and one a Harley.

Swedish man walks up to registration desk, conversation leaves comes back with bike, wtf, I go get my bike. if he registers late i register late.
Warning on noise level, worse part of the day over. With my yellow sticker of hope I meet the instructor who gives me a explination of the day.. english perfect, just back from many moons in Thiland, seems high spirits and happy to help me out. Saves my day.

Back to bike I role away from the Ducati guys and off to a more central location.

Waiting for my group i here the “Buzz” and realise I am up. Shit I’m up. Quick bout of panic I slip into my sexy leathers, which if your coming from a MX is a surprising stiff lot of stuff, and make my way to the bike.
I sit motor started and wait for another yelow guy to role by, one found I tag him to pit lane. My egerness is rewarded by being second on the line. normally this is a good thing, being new to the track and track motarding i quickly decide this isn’t a good thing.

The guy in front shut of his bike, so I shut of mine, no point choking the man behind me. Flag man waves for group to go, instructor roles out, man in fronts with electric start roles out. Me standing there with left side kick start, damm everyone behind me is waiting. They wait I kick, they wait I kick, they wait, I start, they wait I move out, they move out.

Coming to the end of the pit lane and starting on the track my excitement levels hit the roof, i feel like a invisible school boy in the female changing room. I almost passed out from excitement and nerves, looking back I see what becomes a familar sight, a guy on a Race looking R1 with slicks anda big number 97, no screwing around with this guy. He’s black headlight reminds me too shut off my street light and check my blinkers.

Being a newby several bits of weird behavior stuck in, i have done about 4000ks on the roads most being tight back roads, riding on the rodes you tend to leave a small safety margin for oncoming trafic. On the track the margin is eliminated, this instantly brought back my motorcross instincts and my leg poped out rather frequently. Fun but also scary, plus i think the guy behind me (can’t pass for first two laps) must have thought i had a massive leg twitch or was the karate kid.

After two laps of brisk passed tire warm up and track get to know you the green flag goes out. My heart jumps, two bikes fly by without a moment of hesitation, I realise a lot of the street riding and MX track stuff can be scrapped here, time to learn how to really ride a motard. I also wake to the fact that we have started and what I thought was fast just became slow, on the track there is a whole other level of fast.

Balls out i step the gas, surprisingly i keep with the bikes in front, they pull on me in the straight but i can brake a little later and gain a little back. My nerves begin to vanish my smile returns, and track day has finally begun after 30 years of waiting. Like superman himself I smile I mutter “Hell yeah” and just like clark kent two more bikes pass me as if i am standing still.  

From there it is a slow blur a magnitude of bikes passing me, soon i am about 10th I start tagging people trying to find lines, trying to stay out of peoples way and trying not to over shoot corners. Motard track riding is way different than what I expected. It also means most lines i follwo are two “round” to benefit the much lighter nimbler motard.

Lines, remember you lines!! seriously luke remember your lines!!!! Theory gets killed and practice takes over. each corner I try something new to get ahold of the track, learn the track and be the track. The KTM surprises me, in and out of tight corners I catch or hold the faster people.

The next 4 hours is made up of 15minutes on 45 minutes off, which is a surprisingly short time (both of them). Its a little like a bad blurry movie, I go everywhere over the track, changing lines mid corner, over shooting corners, under shooting corners, misjudging breaking and gears. mis judging just about everything. I feel sorry for those around I have no idea where I am going so they probably have less idea.

Lunch comes and goes, weather gets hotter, i move again into the shade, which I did that from the start. Massive intake of fluids toilet break ever between track break. 

Frequent updates from teh instructor I find myself continously improving, to the extent where I am no longer being passed but am passing. I surprise a few people with the massive pull from the corner, I am on the gas earlier and brake much later, the motard really shines in some locations.

About hour 14:00 I am getting tired, from my snowboarding i reckonise this as times to die, I try to be a bit more careful but its hard with such a powerful smile toy in your control. Finalyl last race I probably have the best ride of the day but am pooped, really really pooped. 100k’s later I am home, late pizza and straight to bed I am dead.

 

Sturup Track setup

The track day was an extremely cool setup, 15minutes on and 45 minutes off while the other 3 groups had there 15minutes. The Red and White group (Group B and A) where really are a class above than the green and gold (group D and C). Most bikes in the white class were running slicks, tire warmers, and no accessories, and came with a support trailer.

When you get there you need to register (I was late and had to wait) and have your bike looked at including a 95db sound check at 6000 rpms… I had been warned about this and decided to swap my aftermarket exhaust system with the spare stock exhaust that came with the bike. It turns out thats what every one else does and it also turns out that I only just pass.

For safety the Green and Gold group are not allowed to pass on the inside of a corner, this makes things a little harder but safer. I also found I could use this to the motard advantage as I was safe to take lines sports bikes couldn’t and pull out of the corner much quicker and earlier. Corners swapping direction put me on the advantage of being on the outside.

I had a good conversation with a guy in my group and the instructor who both though they had me but then I would be on the gas well before he could and be gone well before they could. The kicked me in the long right to straight corner though, but I could make some of it up in the extremely late braking you can employee on the motards when compared to the sports bikes.

At the end of each group there was an optional quick gathering to ask question, chat about the ride and as a help session, if wanted. I would highly recommend this, I also noticed the professional looking riders also listening to advise… if it is good for them it is good for me.

Help session came about from 2 experienced instructors riding in each group tagging behind people observing them. Sounds stupid but damm they were a helpful bunch, much of there advise was very helpful and improved time greatly, also the constructive encouragement went a long way to pushing myself harder each time J .

The next track meet will be changed to 20minutes on and 40 off, with three groups. The day will also be broken into half days which is a little disapointing..

Cost

Cost for the track was 900kr for the day including lunch (about 170 ozzie bucks).

I had nearly no road gear so I had to get a leather jacket and pants, hardened gloves, and a certified back protector. I had MX armor but was not allowed to use this.

I had MX boots which worked perfectly as did my MX helmet, goggles.

Most of this stuff is a once of cost so who cares plus I should have gotten half of this stuff years ago when I first got the motard and was riding only street.

Sturup heavy left hander

Tires got a massive beating, I was extremely happy with the power Michelin Power 2CT’s which melted nicely on the outside. They do wear kind of quick on the street but is worth the cost.

There is also bike maintenance I swapped oil early as a precaution, and replaced brake pads, etc, etc, all this maintenance could have waited on the street but I didn’t want to chance it on the track.

Obviously this is more of a seasonal thing than a regular thing.

This plus three fill ups on the day (I have a 120km round trip to get there), 5 drinks, 2 chocolate bars, and a bucket of tap water and it is a expensive day.

But like so many before me, it was worth every penny and I would and will do it again in a heart beat.

Bikes

Interestingly there was a lot of bikes worse than mine and a lot bikes better than mine, including a few brand new bikes, remember there is no bike insurance when you are on the track, fine for a motard, scary for a R1 😀

In every class not a single type or brand of bike stood out for the rest. Street bikes passed sports bikes and sport bikes pass super bikes and motards passed them all (just joking).

This was something that kind of shocked me, but shouldn’t have as it is the same in the world of 125’s 250s and 500.

I did notice that the 660 held its own against the newer 690 and the 990 KTM’s which was cool.

A sader note was a suzuki took a massive crash in which the bike rolled on its top and bottom, the bike split into two before coming to a rest.

The motarders!

I was nervous coming into the track, at first I saw no motards and thought that perhaps we were not allowed on. I was wrong.

There was a Huseberg in the Red group that was doing pretty good, a newer 990 in the white group who was very impressive, a YZ 450 (?) in the green group. My group (gul) consisted of my KTM 660 and a superduke. All motarders did good in there respective group.

I chatted a bit with the guy on the Huseberg and apparently last track day a Yamaha 425F supermotorder got the fastest lap times for the day, impressive.

I was hoping to have a few pic but so far no luck. Some pics of the day can be found on http://www.toksurfa.com/motorsport/ssemse-pa-sturup-racewayI was in the yellow group (Group C). A stickers on the front of the bike give it away. Green, gold, red white with white being the best.

Conclusion

After a 9 – 5 day around the track I was absolutely exhausted, the bike held up fine even with a down shift that I thought was the end (I was on the straight and did a early down shift coming into the long left, I should have kept my gear and kept on the gas. Rookie mistake. A slipper clutch would be a worth investment, or simply upgrade to the 690 which have them factory.

So now I am totally addicted and hoping to get on for other track days. It is hard as I am not a member and have to wait to book so most times the track day fully booked before can apply.

Which brings me to another point, become a member well and truly before you start preparing to go to the track.

Anyway my best advise is, fuck it and give it a go at least once in a life. You don’t need the greatest of stuff and if you can borrow some leathers then the day could be relatively cheap. Forget the waiting for friends thing, have the correct gear, the latest and greatest bike, a perfect day, the right night, the newest special thing and go do it. Just like when I MX’ed I ended up having just as much fun on my old CR as the newer one.

People at the track all have the same interest and are generally a good bunch of guys to chat with. If i had my life again I would have started doing this sort of thing years ago.

Next stop:

sturup 2008-05-30 (3 hours)

Knutstorp (2008-06-19 full day)

Cheers

Choco, the happy motarder.