These kinds of weekends need only happen once or twice a year - With a MRA race and RideSmart track day scheduled for the weekend several hundred miles apart, It was fairly obvious this weekend would be a grind...and it was.
I went ahead and headed to Second Creek Raceway in Denver, Co. on Wednesday September 10th. The trip up was uneventful other than I only got two hours sleep and made the entire trip in 14 hours (with sleep).
Thursday night was setup night for racers. I worked with Ryan Burke for awhile. After La Junta Ryan shipped his forks to Traxxion Dynamics Woodstock office after I had felt the forks weren't working properly. I didn't have the tools from Ohlins yet to work on them myself, so Jacob at Traxxion opened them up and sure enough, there were problems.
(Note: These types of problems are the kind that make a new suspension business owner find out if they know their ass from their elbow. As I noted lasted time, Ohlins Superbike forks need someone who is well qualified to tune/work on them. After the last race, I told Ryan and Dan Burke that the forks did not feel right at all and that at the bottom of the stroke there was nothing! Ryan and Dan trusted my judgement, but asked me to talk to the former owner of the motorcycle and make sure he agreed with what I was say. The former owner was none other than Carry Andrew. For me, to have to tell Carry Andrew there is a problem on the forks on one of his former bikes that was serviced by his preferred vendor was intimidating. Carry has a long and successful history of racing and building race bikes that win races. He is intense and gets to the point. He told me basically, "why would you want to change something that has been successful for me?" Well, I knew what I wanted to have changed and sent them to Traxxion. Again, Jacob got the forks lined out to spec and sent back quickly. Upon arrival, Ryan noted the forks felt a lot better. Although I trusted my judgement, it was still a relief to validate your opinion...especially on $9000.00 forks.)
I made a few changes to the forks, and they seemed to work better. Ryan is a very talented rider and he can ride through any problem and sometimes this is good and sometimes bad. I went ahead and rode the bike for awhile and thought it felt awfully stiff, but this was rider preference more than anything. I only rode it for about 4 laps and gave it back to Ryan. Riding a bike that has close to 200bhp on a small twisty track with temperatures dropping quickly was not my idea of a good idea.
I was supposed to re-valve two sets of forks Thursday night, but it was freakin' cold. I started on a set of GSXR-1000 forks for Ryan's brother Friday morning and quite honestly they turned out fantastic. I put a full Traxxion kit in there and I thought they felt great. I then put Greg Greenwood's 2003 R-6 forks together and again, they felt fantastic. Greg's situation was somewhat funny as I was not sure he would ride on Friday and the fact it took me about 1 hour to cut a proper set of new preload spacers down for the 03 forks (They are shorter than 02 and later R-6 forks). Well Greg did want to ride, but there was less than an hour of practice left so I got his forks on and front end back together in 12 minutes. He rode for about 30 minutes and was happy. Good deal.
The weekend was fairly routine other than the fact that I picked up a rock in my F-250 brake sheath cover that also was rubbing on the rotor and made everyone thing the front wheel/bearings were about to fall off. I took off the wheel, and all was fine after removing the rock. All told, I think I setup about 40 bikes at SCR. This is incredible as each weekend has brought more and more business from the MRA racing body as word get's out about RPS and their quality of product. I am very happy about that, but as the only employee, I had to work my ass off...Their are more serious problems for a new business owner to worry about than this!!! :D
After working on motorcycles all weekend, I now wanted to watch them race. I was supposed to leave at 1:00 Sunday, but did not leave until 3:00 which meant there was no chance for sleep during my drive to Cresson, Tx. for the RideSmart event. Saturday saw the normal routine of RPS sponsored Glenn Conser winning the 30 minute endurance race, but Sunday saw more riders than ever riding and winning on RPS tuned motorcycles. Sean Fey and Frank Harney were among the many new customers of RPS with Glenn Conser and Mike Applehans continuing their display of skills every week on RPS suspension services. Dennie Burke really did a great job on his freshly valved RPS forks and looked like he would make a run at Ricky Orlando in the Open Supersport class. For those that don't know Ricky, this guy is a polished and knowledgeable veteran. To be racing against him is a good thing. In Open Superbike, RPS assisted Ryan Burke battled with Ricky with Ricky pulling out all the stops to finish less than .5 seconds ahead of Ryan. Great race. This weekend was tough as I actually lost count of how many RPS assisted riders where out there. Suffice to say, it was a great weekend.
OK, so now I have less than 14 hours to make it to Cresson Texas (approximate 900 miles). Although I left at 3:00, it was really 4:00 central time and I had to be there by 6:00 to get setup. Well, after a long Sunday morning, I was whooped. I somehow managed to make it to Cresson. (I think the toothpicks under the eyelids helped :D)
Monday was busy as can be. With a class of students to
teach, and about 20 bikes needing setup, Monday was BUSY!!! Well, I got out of
there at 6:30 and went ahead and ate. I made it to Mexia and this is when I had
something happen that had never happened before. I was without sleep for about
40 hours and I had to fill up the truck. I was so exhausted, I fell asleep
leaning against the door on the inside of the cab. The gas station manager did
not know what to think. They did not know if I was some crazy or what. Well,
anyway they woke me up and I put the fuel nozzle back into place and pulled to
the side of their station and finally caught some sleep. I got home Tuesday at
WOW, What a trip!!!