Update December 31, 2003:
I have ran the bike twice after the epic first ride at the Extreme Park Track. The first of these was last Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003, at the FRT 1/5 track. Between the two track stints I tried to run the bike at a friend's street, but a small kind of disaster struck: the yellowish fuel tube split in two, exactly at the pint where it was pinched by the steering rod.
So, the next step was to try the spring type of steering linkage.
This setup was the one most people I knew were talking about in forums, as well as Team Benwell. Some even went to the trouble of adding a 2nd link, parallel to the original, creating a push-pull action to the top triple clamp. Actually, I plan to do this myself sometime, but right after the holidays. What I did however was replace the kit steering with a longer rod of the same diameter (M2, threaded at the end). The setup above contains two ballpoint pen springs I secretly vandalized from my daughter's drawer! Alas, she's got about 12845 pens, she wouldn't miss two of them, right?!
With this setup, I went to the track on Sunday, to try the bike on this wide track. I installed one of my newly acquired Team Orion Rocket 2400 sticks and headed for the main straight. The bike tracked straight ahead, needing just a click of trim, and turned to the 90* left-hander at the end of the straight at what seemed to be full speed. Entering the chicane that followed, I let go off the throttle, turned to the right and the bike kina slammed its right-hand protector on the asphalt, leaned as much as it could and went STRAIGHT into the infield grass! I tried it more and more, and every time I tried to turn right, the same thing happened: The bike was immediately responding with a single hard move and leaned on the crush bar. I took the bike to the pits and played around with the springs. When static, and with the front wheel off the ground it seemed that both springs were compressing ALMOST equally.
I tried a couple of silicon fuel tube lengths replacing the springs, but the bike was way too responsive and practically undriveable. I pacxed the bike and my equipment and headed home. On Monday afternoon I did the change to the longer rod and tested the bike on my bench. It seemed quite right, so I headed for the street outside, in light RAIN! The bike handled fine, and I even managed to do a few 8-figures without crashing, even at very slow speeds. Talking of crashing, the bike amazingly went into the WET grass of the track infield quite a few times and most of the times it would DRIVE THROUGH it without stalling or crashing! As for the duration with the stock Trinity motor, it amazed everyone there with a run time of OVER 25 minutes!!!!!!
One other mod I did, again prompted by the friends at this RC Groups forum, was to replace the bottom rear shock silicone insert with something solid.
I installed an older Schumacher ball link instead of the silicon tubing, and eliminated almost all the sloppiness there was.
One more pic deserves to be here:
The tiny chain has even a link to ease servicing, like the real ones!
Happy new Year Everyone!