Well with the season over it's time to get busy in the garage.
It's funny, I read an interview with Guy Martin the other day in which he said that racing was a bit like groundhog day, in that when the season finishes, the next one starts with getting bikes preped. How right he is.
My first job was to have a look at what needs doing to my 600, which I'm 90% sure I will be using instead of my 400 next year.
The last time out for her was at Tandragee last year, as at Cookstown the following weekend she had developed a leaking fork seal,so wasn't taken out.
I fixed the leak so took her to be put on the Dyno to sort the fuelling, something which I'd never had done on her before.
So I loaded her up and took her to Double Take Motorcycles in Southampton, who do all my Dyno work.
I got a call from them to say she was only putting out 87hp, standard they are over 100hp, and with a race can and performance air filter mine should've been even higher.
I brought her home and checked the compression, all was well there. I checked the timing, and again all was good, so the mystery started.
I read that a clogged fuel filter had similar effects as to what mine was suffering.
Basically they make great power, but once they get to about 11k revs, it just runs out of steam.
Kawasaki don't list a fuel filter for mine, as it's part of the pump. But luckily some detective work paid off and I found one.
Once fitted it was back down to the Dyno.
Again, only 87hp.
Luckily the guys had a road ZX6R in for some work, so after much faffing around we got the ECU off and tried my ECU on their bike.
Sadly because of all the anti theft electrickery that is on bikes these days, it wouldn't even prime the fuel pump, so it all had to come back off again.
Fair play to the guys for all the help they gave me, and cups of coffee. To let me crack on and do the work myself, which obviously saved me a bundle of cash, was a real bonus.
Still we did come to the conclusion that the problem lay with the ECU.I had noticed that mine had a red sticker on and their one had a black one, which got us thinking.
So with her loaded up I set off home and this morning fired up the interweb to see what I could find.
The best thing I found was the phone number for Cradley Kawasaki, who I've bought loads of stuff off for my 400 in the past.
The guys there were also a great help, and after telling me that the frame number I gave them was for a 400, thought it couldn't get any worse as it now looked like it had a dodgy number, they then did some digging and found out that it was originally an import form America.
Guess what? American bikes are limited to 85hp. So that was one question answered.
Now how do I sort this?
In short the Americans don't use the same anti theft device we do here, so it's not a case of simply getting a full power ECU. I can't even have the ECU reflashed as they are designed not to have this done to them.
So the only way to solve it, is to buy a UK ECU and wiring loom, and fit this. I only wanted the fuelling checked!!!
So I'm now on the hunt for these bits. Still if it means that I'll get another 20hp, happy days. After all 20hp down on the rest of the field is a massive disadvantage.
I had hoped to do a track day at Brands in a couple of weeks if the weather held, but think I will be better off sorting the bike and doing one next year to see how she rides with the extra horses.
So with the 600 sulking, I decided to move onto the minitwin, as I want to put new rings in her.
Luckily she came apart easily and she is now sat waiting for the rings and gaskets to arrive for fitting, which will hopefully be next week.
In other news, I've seen that next years Manx Grand Prix will have two lightweight races, as opposed to the one they usually have.
I'm going to put an entry in, and fingers crossed will get an ride.
All I hope is that this will be a separate race, so more people can race, and it's not just going to be a repeat of the lightweight race held earlier in the week. But nothing would surprise me with The Manx these days.
Talking of which, I wrote to the deputy clerk of the course to ask if there was a reason why I can't seem to get an entry. She passed it on to The Manx Motorcycle Club, who replied that I'd just been unlucky. Not really the answer I wanted, as I found out that there are about half a dozen guys who I race in the same class with at the Southern, and I do better times than they, and beat, get an entry for The Manx and I don't. It can't be because my face doesn't fit, as it was shaped by one of their Doctors!
So there you have it, I've not been lazing around watching Jeremy Kyle in the down time, I have been busy, and hopefully some, if not all, my hard work will pay off.
Until next time, when it will be all good news.
Take it easy.