Friday, September 4, 2009

Advice from the expert

May 3, 2009 - Sunday

Today the 17th Swiss Love Ride, a huge biker's meet on the air base at Dübendorf whose proceeds go to the support of handicapped people, took place, and Florian and I attended. It was my first time, and despite the myriad of bikes to be admired, I don't think I'll go again. They had a record number of visitors yesterday and garnered over half a million franks, so you can imagine how many people there were milling around.
Most of the bikes there were Harleys, of course, since the whole thing was started by Harley drivers, and the sale stands and organisation were run mostly by Harley dealers.
Florian and I got in an hour later than planned, at 1130 hours. I knew Roger and Fabian were there, so we found them and said hi, and then headed for the stunt area.
Craig Jones held three shows that day, and we got to see the second one from the front row. He performed on a Dyna, V-Rod, 1125CR and XB9SX. The show took half an hour or less; Florian and I watched intently and as soon as it was over, we dodged all the folks waiting for autograms and merchandise and scrutinised the XB9SX.
All in all, not that much had been changed on it. Florian noted everything on his cell phone so we know what to do on Silver. For my benefit, I'm going to list it again here. I think I remember all of it.

-76-tooth pulley wheel, inverted to run backwards
-Belt from the XB12Ss
-1:3 gear transmission ratio
-Adjustable front pulley arm
-Front fork from the 1125CR
-Thicker handlebar
-Handlebar raised and forward
-Back brake fluid container on handlebar, front left
-Gas line container on left side
-6 mm brake disc in front
-8-caliper front brake from 1125CR, combined with original 6-caliper brake fluid system
-Custom-made crash bar in back, attached the length of the seat
-Titanium plate for vertical wheelies
-Carbon plates along the frame
-Grip gel pad on the seat
-"Dished-out" seat
-Crash/Foot pegs mounted on front fork, covered with cut-off original handle grips
-Shorter (blue) levers
-Back brake lever below left handle
-1.9 bar in the back tire; 2.5 is ideal for wheelies

He uses Dunlop Sportmax tires and likes especially the front one. It's important to have a middle groove for stoppies. ("It's all about heat dispersion.")
The original side pucks are useless, he says; they've got nothing but styrofoam inside. I guess I'll see when we melt Silver's off; sounds like it'll be getting carbon siding after all even though I don't like the look of carbon much.
Craig Jones was very friendly and ready to share his knowledge; he complimented Florian's observational skills and technical knowledge. I'll be seeing him again this weekend at the Buell Days; he just about convinced Florian to come too but now I see that all the places for people needing rental machines are full. I've been badgering Florian for months to sign up; I guess he's missing out now.
At the Buell Days Craig Jones is going to be instructing basic stunt skills; I'm looking forward to that most of anything. It's gonna be fun.
After the Love Ride I headed to Schwyz to meet Alex, an S1 driver who was in Lignières last September. I e-mailed him a month ago and we can drive to Chenevières together, and yesterday we agreed on the meeting point and time. He's got a TomTom Rider so he can lead the way. I'm glad for that.

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