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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
The first attempt at a track day was a failure due to the bike not running right. The second attempt was a rain out. But the third time's a charm. I took the bike to Grattan again today and it actually made it to tech and out onto the track.



And yet another shot of the left side. I don't know, that's just how it works I guess.


My intial impressions are mixed. I like the power delivery and the bike is faster than I expected. But, I swear something's wrong with the front end. It steers like crap. It feels like my 996 did when I got impatient and took it out one spring before checking tire pressures. They were low and the bike felt horrible. I checked the pressures on the RSV and they were good though. So the adventure continues. It's rideable but just seems to be fighting me the whole time.

EDIT: Yeah... links to my pics aren't working on this site so you'll just have to imagine the awesomeness not seen. Though it seems attachments still work .
 

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When I bought my Buell 1125Cr and also the VFR1200f the bikes felt totally unsafe due to the front ends. The fix was a flush and proper light weight oil to base setting . ... Both bikes were completely transformed, In my case I suspect that the previous owners or owners shops put heavy weight oil in the forks. The VFR was so bad that the front tire was cupping badly. Just a thought. FYI due to my cervical herniation's I sold my Tuono sad day.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
A little update: Before I put the bike away from the season I pulled the steering damper off and took it for a little blast around the block.

1) I couldn't see shit with the tears in my eyes from the cold air (it was a last minute deal, didn't have any gear on. Bad me! BAD me!) and

2) It steered a lot better.

Looks like I'll be rebuilding the steering damper... unless... see, here's the thing. I have become completely enamored by a 959 Panigale. To the point I'm considering selling my Monster 1200S to get one. I rode the Monster maybe 3 times last year and it doesn't have near the visual appeal to me as the 959 does, and if 'I'm just gogin to look at it in the garage, the Superbike ergos don't matter! I'm only kind of kidding here. If a 959 arrives, the Aprillia will go.

Anywhos, here are a couple more photos of it's debut. Forgive the riding position, these were mostly all taken in some early novice sessions at low speeds... the photographer couldn't frame a bike at speed to save his life...





 

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we had a few mv with the oem ohlins damper get weird in a straight line - you'd be constantly conciously making steering inputs to ride along in a straight line. turned out to be a lot of stiction in the damper. rebuilt and fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
A new season has started here in Michigan, the first trackday was rescheduled due to weather but I finally had it out at Grattan last Monday at a Ducati event and had a good time in spite of it being cloudy and low 50s. Yeah, an Aprilia at a Ducati event. So sue me. (Truth told, I still feel like a traitor on the RSV - I've been looking at Ducati track bikes lately but have no way to finance the kind of bike I'd want...)

A friend of mine loaned me a steering damper and I didn't have steering issues, so now I need to rebuild mine. I can't decide if I should send it off somewhere or try it on my own. I'm not sure where to send it or where to buy the parts to rebuild it. I've got a document covering the rebuild so that part is covered. Time to do some surfing I guess.



Looks like the next time out for me will be June, it's an Aprilia event so maybe I won't feel like such a traitor!
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Aprilia update

It's time as a track bike has been only somewhat successful, I haven't really bonded with it. I rode my Monster at the last event in 2019. It worked out great BTW - aside from how it looks that bike is probably the best I've ever owned. It was so easy to ride. Granted the front straight isn't all that on a naked bike but I don't go to trackdays for the straights.

But getting back on topic, what's not to like about the Aprilia?

1) No sidestand. I underestimated what a pain the ass it would be to have a bike with no sidestand. It didn't help that the (cheap) front wheel chock I bought doesn't work worth a damn (too hard to get in and out of).

2) The tech guys keep noticing the fork seals are just barely starting to weep. They let it go because it's probably just from having the forks tied down on the way to the track. Yeah, that must be it. Except I use a Pitbull tralier restraint and the forks aren't compressed. Time for new seals.

3) Bike is stuttering out of corners.

4) It's not a Ducati, and I am an admitted Ducati fanboy. But all those Ohlins bits, and the Oz wheels, and the Brembo radial calipers, it's a great trackday bike!


The solutions:
1) I'm going to trim the belly pan so the sidestand will fit. There is no need for a full bellypan at trackdays, not in the novice or intermediate groups anyway. The other benefit of doing this will be I can unwrap the header. I've always wondered if I wasn't damaging an expensive titanium pipe (by wrapping it) in order to protect a relatively cheap fiberglass pan. Trim the pan and it's a win/win/win. Should have done it to begin with.

2) New seals in the forks

3) I never did troubleshoot this succesfully but now think it could have been as simple as the battery is on it's way out. And corners may have nothing to do with it, it may just be on accel. I had a very similar issue on my 907 when the battery was dying. That said, I did discover a few electrical issues when I was pulling it apart this time that will need to be addressed.

4) That new V2 is SO tempting, but would require selling a few things to free up time, space, and money. Mainly money. Ok, it's all about the money.

Which leads to this.


Forgive the train wreck of a mess, I'm in the middle of some things that aren't leaving me much room. But I want to give the Aprilia some needed TLC now, and maybe for once in my life not be rushing to meet a deadline as the first trackday draws near.


Levitation mode activated! Ok it's really just a couple ratchet straps backed up by a couple tie down straps aided by a steel beam in the ceiling. The stands I have are useless for bikes with no suspensions attached. Yeah, I know it's backwoods. Straps aren't supposed to suspend anything. But hey, what's the worst that can happen? It's just an Aprilia.


Yep, time for some freshening up. And as long as the front is being done, may as well do the rear shock at the same time. I forgot to add the steering damper for the shot (I already determined mine needed attention) but did remember to throw it on the pile before making the hour and a half trek over to Witchkraft Motorspsorts to have it all gone through.

Motorcycle Racing Suspension - Witchkraft Motorsports

While Joe does his thing on the springy bits I'll try to find all the parts to reattach the sidestand and get the belly pan trimmed to fit. While tearing it down I also found a few sins from past owners in the wiring. Stuff like a wire that's been spliced twice and still has a bare area worn through. And some ground wires that need attention:


And finally, on the way home from his shop we (a fellow rider and of course my dog Ollie) stopped by Ducati Detroit to get another look at the V2. It's on their dyno now, and we talked about a few mods I'd like to do (easy to justify on a bike you don't even own, right?). I didn't put any money down but I did come up with a few more creative financing ideas. In any case, my long suffering hot rod (not a bike, a car. A literal hot rod) project should probably be put out of it's misery and shuffled off to a new home. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I have to get this RSV whipped into shape first, because dumping time and money into a bike you don't even know you're going to keep is the tried and true way to financial bigness, am I right?
 

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So if you want/need to do anything other than track time with the bike while at the track, not having a sidestand sucks...

After you've done it a couple times(whole days), you get used to it and it's basically, out and back in the pits.

I have a pretty sturdy front chock. But even a lightweight front chock will work. I would add a rear stand and use the front chock just to hold the bike up until you can put the bike up on the rear stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
The problem with the RSV's rear stand is it lifts the wheel too high. I've had a lot of bikes with rear stands before and the RSV's is just a pain to use. I tried a front wheel chock but it was cheap one. What a POS. Don't even try using it on concrete, it just slides forward. And when trying to get out of it again, it sticks to the tire. My bad for trying to save money I guess. I'll probably end up giving it away to someone I don't like very much.

In any case the deed is done now. I posted these photos on the "pics of your bike" thread and then remembered I had started this, so, sorry about the repeat posts!

Anywhos, I managed to get this all buttoned up in time for our first track event last night.



yeah, I know, all that bitching and there it is on the rear stand. I like having the sidestand available, it doesn't mean that's all I'll ever use!


If the sidestand scrapes, I'm in trouble... the exhaust sticks out further than it does.


The paint looks black in most pictures, and in fact it's called pearl black, but it's actually more of a grey metallic. It's hard to show in pictures but the flakes are multi-colored which accounts for the "pearl" in the name. It's not at all what I expected when I ordered it so I didn't use it on the bike it was intended for. I used it here only because I had it around, as in the price was right. It turns out it looks decent with the carbon fiber tail though, so I got lucky.

The bike worked well last night. It still feels like it's running a little rough at times, but the stuttering I was experiencing is gone. I'm chalking that up to the flakey battery I was using last year. I've had trouble with fuel injected bikes before when the battery starts to go. I was going to replace it with another AGM but techno-lust got the best of me and I put a lithium iron battery in it. I dunno, I just can't help it sometimes.


The part that amazed me was, on my last track day I skipped the last session because my knees hurt so bad from moving around on the bike. Last night I took some iboprufen well before the event and again half way through, and I never felt anything in my knees. My legs are a little sore today but no knee issues. And my wrists are fine too now that I think about it. For cripe sakes my wrists hurt after riding my Monster the other day. I think drugs may be the answer here. Better life through chemistry. Who knew?

EDIT: I almost forgot. The issue I was having with the bike not running in gear, even though I had a jumper installed on the sidestand switch? It runs fine now. I know, it also has a sidestand now, but I tried that fix before and it didn't work. I think it had to do with all the ground wires that were torn up that I showed in an earlier post. In any case, it's all good!
 

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Someone can use the front chock. Bolted to the trailer floor it would work OK. Sell it.

Make sure you have a lithium battery charger. A normal battery charger may ruin the battery. But I'm sure you knew that...

What brand did you end up with?

I'm trying to make a superbike underseat tank on my track bitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I'm using an EarthX in my 851, which has a built in battery management system so they say you can use any charger which doesn't have a de-sulfate mode or spike above 15 volts. I could have sworn I read that Battery Tenders ok'd by them but I don't see that anywhere now...

The one I bought for the RSV is a "Bikemaster" which also claims to have cell equalization built in. It was a much lower cost so I thought I'd try it out.

FWIW I bought an AGM for my 1200 Monster. Just couldn't bring myself to spend the money on an EarthX or risk a cheap lithium on my "main" bike.

And I've wondered... bikes don't have cell equalization built in to their charging systems. So how does that work if the battery doesn't have the circuitry in it?
 

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pull the fittings out of your rear stand and get a rod that fits through the axle and the rear stand fittings holes. rod through stand, through axle and through stand on other side: fixed. i use that sort of stand for anything that takes it on the bench super stable.
 
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