First track testing
When I first approach our master fabricator in early March of 2006, he looked at our plans skeptically and commented that this will be a 2007 bike then. He gave me a funny look when I said that I wanted to test it on track for the first time on August 7th, 2006. Remember, we were stood in my garage looking at a bare ER-6 engine sitting on the floor.
This is where the choice of constructor really makes all the difference. In an incredibly short 4 months, the bike was ready for track testing at Croft circuit in North Yorkshire, England, on August 7th, 2006. As you can imagine, this was a very exciting time.
Most of the morning was spent running the engine in riding up and down the paddock as it had only ever done 5 miles while still in the donor bike. Finally, with all of 50 miles on the engine, we dared taking it our on track.
I still remember those first few laps expecting the worst at any moment. Remarkably, nothing untoward happened, and the bike behaved pretty well. In fact, the light weight made it ride like a much more powerful bike than is measly 65 HP would suggest at first. At the end of the first session, it become obvious that the front end was far too harsh. We were still running the existing R6 fork springs. Not surprisingly, they are just too stiff at 0.9 kg/mm. Even with no preload at all, we weren’t getting enough static sag from the front, merely around 15-17 mm. Still, that was going to be the way it would stay on that day. The rear suspension, after a couple of minor adjustments was providing very good feedback.
The afternoon was spent getting familiar with this brand new bike and was very enjoyable. I think only the presence of an even louder bike prevented us from being black flagged for exceeding the 105 dB noise level. At a subsequent test, we were measured at 112 dB on drive-by. It sure sounded nice, though.
Aside from the front springs being too stiff, it became apparent that the radiator would not be sufficient for a reasonably warm day (it’s still pretty cold in the height of summer at Croft!). And somewhat fittingly, the not very conservatively sized chain snapped the split link on the very last lap, luckily without doing any damage.
It was a very good day indeed.