Saturday, November 10, 2012

AMA Record

There it is: a new AMA record for 500 cc pushrod fuel engines. While it is slower than the records we set on the 50 cc Aprilia last year (only slightly embarrassing), it is nevertheless a record. The cylinders are already back at LA Sleeve being reconfigured to create more compression. I'm looking forward to bumping this up considerably next year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Starting Again

Once again, the engine for the Carbon Yeti is headed up to George Dean Racing Engines. It will need to be shimmed to account for the stretch in the GRP connecting rods. We're hoping it comes back ready to set records.

Meanwhile, Rod is considering advantages and disadvantages of fuel injection and carburetors for nitro methane. Both the Buell and the Aprilia will need reconfiguration before the next BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials.

Keep thinking, Butch. That's what you're good at.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


And why haven't I posted results from the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials?

They were underwhelming.

The record-setting Aprilia was barely a quarter mile down the course before the engine seized. The Carbon Yeti roared through three miles before it suddenly lost compression and quit.

Only the strange little V-twin 500 cc Buell chugged all the way down the course, and came back to set an AMA record. Which is not quite as impressive as it sounds, because it was an open class, so any time would have been a record. I'm almost ashamed to tell people that the Buell did just over 75 mph, slower than the Aprilia.

Okay, now the good news.

We did come away with new records; not every one who attended can say that. We suffered no major damage to any of the bikes. The fear that the Yeti had holed a piston was unfounded. The new aluminum rods had merely stretched to the point that the pistons were tapping the valves, and it shut down before any significant damage occurred.

So now, it's time to regroup and rebuild. Only eleven months to go!

Julianna and the V-twin 500 cc Buell

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ready to Roll

Made the lists, ran the errands, shopped last minute while Rob loaded the trailer. Hayabusa, Aprilia, parts, wheels, tools, gears, bicycles, fuel. What did we forget? Thirty-seven feet of trailer starts looking awfully small.

Typical of me before a trip, I can't sleep. Still up doing little chores. We'll hit the road early with Rob doing the lion's share of driving.

BUB and Bonneville or Bust!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Building the Buell

Randy Miller and Rob Williams assemble
the BBND Buell
Randy works best under pressure, and preparing so many Harleys for Sturgis has buried him under plenty, but now the benches at Speedwrench are cleared for Bonneville action.

Few bikes represent the spirit of the Salt Flats better than the BBND Buell. It began life as a 1200cc Lightning, but L.A. Sleeve reduced the cylinders to make it a 500cc twin. Custom pistons from JE Piston and redesigned heads from Ken Weber at 10-Litre Performance are being fitted with an XB1 crank.

Randy places the sleeved cylinder
It is, at least, a highly unusual motor. We don't expect to see Eric Buell rushing them into production, nor even many copycats on the Salt next year.

But if it does what we expect this year, we'll have it back in a different form in 2013, also.

Twelve days.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Triumph over Software

It would be so much easier if I knew what I'm doing.

The fuel injectors in the Hayabusa are more than three times the volume of those that delivered its nitro methane mixture in 2010, so it takes a whole new fuel map just to be able to run it well enough to start and run on a dyno.

"Boost by Smith" gives us a starting point, but Rob's strong suite is all mechanical. That left him looking at me to make the computer talk to the Busa.

What do I know about assigning com ports and finding .bin files?

Obviously not much, because it took me twelve hours to feel confident editing data and flashing them to the ECU. I didn't know what TPS and IAP stood for, much less how one fuel map differs from another.

But tonight the BBND Busa crackled to life on alcohol. Tomorrow we'll start it up on nitro methane, and with luck, it will be on the dyno this week.

It just seems wrong to have it depending on computers.
Nineteen days and counting.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The electronics of the Hayabusa are at Kinsler being mapped for nitro methane, the Aprilia is at HighGain Tuning having fuel injection installed and the Buell sits at Speedwrench waiting for the motor to be assembled. With thirty-three days until we pull out of the driveway, I'm getting itchy.

Rob keeps busy improving the trailer. Last year, it was loaded so lightly that it nearly bounced the Aprilia apart. Rob's solution: add shock absorbers. Apparently, there are no kits that fill his needs, so it's fabrication time again. It keeps him off the streets until the bikes are back in the garage.

Think salt rusts metal?