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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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