10/20/13

The 2013 AFM Season in Review

So I had planned on doing regular reports after each and every AFM round during the 2013 season. But after missing the first three rounds due to mechanical problems and then a constant struggle to not just develop a new bike, but make it reliable enough so I could just concentrate on my riding, I ended up having a really hard time talking about the project in the kind of positive manner that I wanted to.

Not to say I figured this year would be easy- building a one-off custom race bike is of course going to be fraught with lots of challenges, but frankly, the problems I ended up having left me exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was share them with the world.

In the end though, I wanted to make sure to have a record of 2013 and take the time to thank my sponsors and everyone who helped me if for no other reason so that when things go better next year we’ll be able to look just how far things have improved.

So, long story short, back in October 2012 we started off with this poor 2008 Ducati 1098S with less then 1,000 miles:

Doner bike

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03/25/13

SV650 ECU Decoder Part 4: Third time is the charm?

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.

So my v2.0 boards were a complete dud.  Turns out some how I messed up the design and ended up wiring up the connector to the wiring harness backwards so nothing works.  Wasn’t a complete disaster- I was going to have to do another revision of the board either way, but it does slow things down. Continue reading

02/11/13

SV650 ECU EFI warning decoder/dash replacement

So I finally finished the design of my very first PCB and placed an order with OSH Park to get some samples. The basic premise is I needed a way to decode the data stream from my 2nd gen SV650 ECU to know when there is a problem with the fuel injection system with the race bike. Also, ideally, I needed a way to know what the specific error codes are.

Normally you do this with the stock dash, but I wanted to use my GPX Pro dash and didn’t want two dashes on my race bike. Unfortunately, the PCB on the dash is just one large unit (including the tachometer) and so there wasn’t an easy way to just use the parts I needed (a red idiot light and the LCD which displays the error code).
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12/17/12

XT Racing GPX Pro Review

Note, this is a review of the first generation GPX Pro, not the current GPX Pro4/8 units- however, much of this review should apply to both units.

Overall, I’m in love with the GPX Pro- it’s a great cost effective solution for capturing and analyzing data while you are driving or riding (all my tests were done on my SV650 race bike). The unit is easy to install, use and surprisingly easy to read, even in strong sunlight- probably due to it’s use of a grey-scale LCD display rather then a color display that is used on laptops and iPads. The software “GPX Studio”, is also easy to use and has tons of great information, but unfortunately Windows only (no plans on a OSX or Linux port, but it works great under VMWare/Parallels). I really learn a lot by looking at my brake markers and corner speed.
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10/23/12

2012 Season in Review

It’s been a few weeks now so I’ve had time to digest the 2012 AFM season.

Things definitely started on the wrong foot with the first race of the season being cancelled due to weather conditions. That left six races for the season- four at Thunderhill and two at Sonoma Raceway (aka Infineon, aka Sears Point). I had worked a fair bit on my fitness and mental preparation in the offseason and it definitely showed in my riding- I was much more consistent and my practice times were finally only a second or two off of my race times which really helped me with bike setup and consistency and confidence in my races.
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