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SXV's are way too much fun !


The pursuit of speed and adventure…

Jun 2008

Day 2 at the track..

Sunday morning I woke to clouds, and showing up at the track I knew it would rain, but the SXV is not only fun in the dry it was the only bike out there in the pouring rain when they made the rest of the day “open track”. Which translates into.. if you don’t feel like riding - we don’t blame ya.

The view from inside my truck.. the wind trashed many guys race canopies, and camping gear.

When the Monsoon let up, I went out there on the same Pirelli slicks (No grooves) and ran in a steady rain. I had the most fun sliding the front and back around the tight course, and while I’m sure some betting was taking place in the pits, I never put the bike down, despite an… off track excursion in turn 1 when I was relying on the slipper clutch to do it’s thing when I accidently grabbed too many down shifts and cost myself any marginal traction I might have had.
I could barely get back ON the track as the rear tire would just spin in the soupy grass and fail to propel me forward.

After about 2pm, when most people took off, the line started to dry out and the sun broke through the clouds. By 3pm I was running in the dry and was taking the opportunity to go tank to tank (And a splash of oil every now ad then) to get in as many laps as I could. Gearing was still bad (Need a longer chain) but the head shake was fixed, and I could carry more speed on the front straight.

Credit has to be given to the photographer who himself is a racer, and pretty damn good at that too. !


Rain anyone?

First Track Day - I packed up the truck the night before so it was ready to go first thing Saturday morning, making my mental list of things not to forget, gas, cold drinks, paperwork, etc. I drove about 1.5 hours to the track and show up to the mostly fog, and lots of it.

I picked my spot and settled in to let the rain fest that was eminent try and ruin my day. The club that hosted this track day is NESBA. If you’ve got a need for some coached speed this club is the best. I went to meet up with some friends, run the SXV through a break-in, and get the IQ3 working.
I set up a space to get the SXV through tech inspection, and make adjustments to the bike.

The day proved to be a great learning (relearning) experience for me. I hadn’t been to Blackhawk Farms this year yet, so relearning the track was the least of my worries. Getting to know the SXV was the order of the day. I was worried about the engine, blowing oil all over, and watching the track temps rise to almost 100 deg made me even more concerned.

After putting down 30 - 40 laps, the notebook reflected a few things:

  • Gearing was all messed up ( was running 16 -32) and barely tagging 5th gear on the straight.
  • The bike had a nasty head shake on the front straight, that worried me and the club starter.
  • The GPR steering damper seemed to have a break point in the settings - causing me not to trust it.
  • The bike was hard to keep under control under hard braking, it tail wagged considerably.
  • The IQ3 kept showing an incorrect gear compared to what I was actually in, perhaps the gyro needs to re-calibrate.
  • Oil was being blown into the overflow container and I wanted to gauge the rate.
  • Pirelli slicks are the best and the 180 rear gives a huge amount of traction. (Note buy more) Read more here.
  • Need a chain - the current one won’t fit over anything larger than the sprocket on the bike.
  • The Adige slipper clutch is the single best mod to the bike PERIOD. Thanks to Ed Cook at AF1 Racing for the great tip!
  • The Tune that was controlling the ignition / fuel mapping had some bad spots. I’ll be tinkering with this later as well.


It's just like wedding prep...

I finally understand what my wife felt like when planning for our wedding. Sure I was involved, but I could not understand her picky nature about every little detail. Double, triple checking everything. Making phone calls to ensure all the things she thought were completed actually were. I always wondered to myself, isn’t it “good enough”?

Many years later I learn what exactly she went through - in my own “guy way”.
I agonized over the WR450 getting into roadrace trim (See previous posts) and then a full 360 Degree turn toward the Aprilia SXV, I know that details were going to kill me. I spent hours double, triple checking every little detail.

But the day finally came where the bike was ready ! By cleaning the heck out of every square inch I was not only able to safety wire the bike, but look for things that were abnormal (either excessive wear) or things that I made notes to change later.

Next Up? Head to the local track to sort the bike out, and crank through a serious quantity of laps !


Prest-o Change-o, Pure Deleri-o...

What can I say, I'm a perfectionist that had to get his program right, and no matter how I waved the magic wand, the Yamaha Donor wasn't going to cut it. I had a cart full of go-fast parts to mount, and the new IQ3 Dash was getting harder to graft onto the old 2003 bike. The lack of OEM electronics on the bike meant improvising with expensive sensors for basic data. Not a very smart approach....

Long story short, we picked up a 2007 Aprilia SXV550 purpose built supermoto. Here's the result of about 280 hours of window dressing time over 2.5 months. This whole bike has been made race ready, and with the IQ3 firmly mounted, race data is but a track day away.

The 07 SXV 5.5 with aftermarket Marchesini Wheels (Man do they make a difference)

The IQ3 with custom “bike” dash