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23 years in storage => LSR

Discussion in 'WERA Vintage' started by mtiberio, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    I raced WERA Vintage back in the late 80's, 90's and some 00's. 4 National titles (3 vintage 4, 1 Vintage 5), blah, blah, blah. My bike, which was the scourge of the Vintage 4 class in the late 80's early 90's was sold back in January 1994 to a collector. This past March I bought it back and decided to take it Land Speed Racing with the SCTA out at El Mirage. I had 8 weeks to get it ready and did. I ran the entire 6 weekend season out there this year (2017). Had a total of 14 runs, set a record of 136 in the M-PG 1000 class, came back the next event to break that again with a 141.69. Not bad for the no fairing class. I tried adding a 1/4 fairing, changed classes, but was only able to manage ~140. You might enjoy the following youtube video playlist. Be patient, early in the year the video is poor, but I got a gopro for the last 2 events. Much mo fun...

  2. Jeff McKinney

    Jeff McKinney Well-Known Member

    Very cool story,we raced Ahrma against each other some in the mid-late 90's.
    mtiberio likes this.
  3. 83BSA

    83BSA Well-Known Member

    What is the bike? 8K shift point = long stroke motor . . . . Veglia tach = Italian?


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  4. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    Good eye. Yes, Moto Guzzi 992cc, 90mm bore x 78mm stroke. With bigger carbs, hotter cams, better ports, they have been know to rev to 9K.
  5. Duck150

    Duck150 Well-Known Member

    I was about to ask what size Goose.... coooool ....
    mtiberio likes this.
  6. ravedoper

    ravedoper Well-Known Member

    Mike, good to see that you're still at it, even if it is in a straight line. Did you drive to El Mirage repeatedly from the east or are you living out west now? In all the runs except the last it seemed that you were only using 4 gears. Why for?
  7. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    Can't think about roadracing, too beat up, I can only handle clipons for a short period, and cant handle chicanes with my detached bicep tendon, clutches are hell on my necrotic scaphoid and my left ankle only has so many shifts in it. LSR runs are 3 minutes tops, quite a bit easier to handle than long practice sessions or sprint races.

    I rented a truck one way and drove my enclosed trailer out in May (from my same old house in Virginia). I ditched the trailer in a storage lot, returned the truck to LAX and flew home. For the rest of the year I simply flew out, rented a truck at LAX, picked up my trailer and headed to the dry lake., raced, returned trailer to storage lot and truck to LAX and flew home. For the last event, I once again rented a truck one way, raced and drove the trailer home and returned the truck. A total of 14 runs over the 6 weekends, I figure I spent $14,000 including the $5K I spent to buy the bike back, making it about $1K/run.

    Good ear. You know, since I race a Guzzi, I have fewer gearing choices than a chain drive bike. I had 3 rear differentials with me, and I had 3 18" rear wheels, fitted with 100, 110 and 120 tires. Before my first race, I arrived in LA early, and went to Nate Jones in Signal Hill and had him shave the tires, both for lightness, trueness and to make the 3 rears perfectly staggered. The 3 rear tires gave me 3.2% difference in diameter (gearing) between each, same as changing one tooth on a 33 tooth rear sprocket. The 3 rear drive units, together with the 3 rear wheels gave me a huge selection of gearing (most useless), but I needed more usable options. So I filled out a gearing spreadsheet, and noticed that if I used 4th I had twice as many options, and they filled in at the speeds I expected. I initially started out too short, started going taller, and finally went way too tall to get a needed data point. Then I went shorter overall with the tallest rear drive unit, the shortest tire, and using 4th gear as top (using the 4 speed also helped address my inability to shift well). With this I set my best speed of ~142. Always wanting to go faster, I would try my next tallest option which was to go to the 110 rear tire (especially once I fitted the 1/4 fairing). Every time I did I went slower. Finally for the last run of the season, I tried my next shorter option which was shortest rear drive, tallest rear tire and using 5th. I went about 139 that run I believe. Unlike drag racing, time is not a factor in LSR. El Mirage is 1.3 miles to the lights, plenty of time for a Guzzi to top out. I extracted the audio from my gopro video and did a spectral analysis on it. I consistently top out and spend the last 5 seconds not accelerating. The slower acceleration of the 4 speed with the taller 1st is offset by the lack of time lost due to the extra shift with the 5 speed. Either way it was a wash. As it is, the Guzzi with its torque spread was fairly insensitive to gearing (whoda thunk). Wind, air density and some X factor I don't know seemed to have a greater effect than "perfect" gearing. All my fast runs were with gearing short enough to rev me just past HP peak.

    With LSR, you are limited to track time. You can't afford to blow a run (I'd say I blew 2 of my 14 all year). It is a sweet science with its own parameters quite different than roadracing. Obviously cornering is not an issue. The dry lake presented the challenge of going fast on dirt, with street tires (with the tread shaved off no less). There is wind and dust and sun and what looks like ruts (but is really rubber laid down on the dry clay). The cars that lay rubber do however pull up small pea sized gravel, keeps it interesting. My first run was a hoot. I hadn't run this bike in anger for 24 years, in the intervening years, I had broken my left ankle (turn 6 Summit ~2000). To add insult to injury, thinking I needed traction on the dirt, I removed the seat padding I used to use while roadracing that pushed me forward (I always liked to crowd the front on a guzzi), to shift my weight back over the rear tire. This messed up my leg geometry. So I missed the shift into 5th, twice. So I said eff it. I pinned it in 4th and went 115 (there is down course video of this in the playlist). What was even funnier, because I was too far back, instead of a light touch on the clipons, I was hanging on for dear life, and my 2 missed shifts into 5th meant that I'm jerking my whole leg up, together with my body, putting false inputs into the bars, and causing mini-wobbles while driving at a low angle over what looks like ruts at 115. On top of all this, I asked for special scrutiny on this run because I wanted to get my license and go for a record (cant take a record during your rookie weekend). At tech inspection, I showed them my 5 old licenses and talked up my AMA Pro experience, etc. They put a special sticker on my bike which made the race director have to follow me during my run. He wasn't pleased, and I didn't get my license that run. Little did he know what was going on with me...

    My other blown run, later in October, my first run (early morning) with the gopro, and fairing, I left the line with my right footpeg folded up, took a couple stabs to get in place, then later in the run with no wind to clear dust from the previous vehicle, I headed into a washout of dust and sunlight and I tapped out. I promised I'd never do that again. In the playlist is the gopro from that run and a spectators (poor) video of my launch (partially obscured).

    All in all, I want to do this again, I'm even considering buying a cabin nearby in the Mohave Desert (3 acres with a double wide can be had for about $75K). I have big plans to work on a full fairing, new valve springs (badly needed), vernier cam sprocket, etc. I might take '18 off and go back with a vengeance in '19. If I retire, my $'s dry up, so this may change.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    L8RSK8R likes this.
  8. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    Very cool story sir....I love the way you worked around the lack of gearing options, great approach, very insightful.

    A friend of mine you may know, Stan Keyes CYCO Cycles (used to run V3 V4 on Nortons), went to Bonneville with a CX500 shaftie......I'm not sure how he dealt with gearing, but I darn sure don't recall 3 different size shaved tires!.....I'm pretty sure he came away with some sort of record.

    Again, great story. I liked the straightforward Engineering / mechanical approach.....that's the part I enjoy most.
    mtiberio and TurboBlew like this.
  9. Norton 357

    Norton 357 Well-Known Member

    Hey Mike,

    Great to see you back on the big block Guzzi. We had a couple of good runs at the GNF in the late '80s and I was always impressed by your bike.

    That looks like a lot of fun but did you actually pass another rider at the end of one of the videos? When you were riding into a big dust cloud.

    Good luck if you go back for another season.
    mtiberio likes this.
  10. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, the screaming yellow norton. You were the standard in V4... I remember our battles. Your bike with nothing but a number plate on the front was the inspiration for my guzzi. I never liked the extra weight of fairings.

    What I did with the videos is edit out some of the center section. The way a run goes at El Mirage is you head east down the 1.3 mile track, then you have 1 mile to slow down and make a U-Turn to the left to the north margin of the wide buffer outside the 90' wide track. In order to make the videos a quicker watch, I include the 45 or so seconds of my run, I also included some of the coast down, then I removed a bunch of footage as I continued to slow down and make the u-turn. What you see near the ends of the on board gopro videos is me now heading west along the cones that delineate the restricted area. All manner of vehicles are running around outside the cones. It must be what you saw. There would never be another vehicle on the track with me except under very rare circumstances like the race director following me to "rate" my run, and even then he is behind and slower.
  11. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    Just dawned on me perhaps you were talking about the down course videos. perhaps it was something all the way on the opposite side of the course, but outside of it.
  12. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of the CX500's in SCTA racing. There just are no faster pushrod 500's, and since they were turned in the frame and flat tracked, there are hop up parts. One group had one in a streamliner, turned 90 degrees and with chain drive. no gearing issues for them.
  13. Norton 357

    Norton 357 Well-Known Member

    Yep, I never felt like a fairing would have made a difference in a single race I ran. We basically took off anything that wasn't essential to making the bike run.

    What I saw was at the 1:10 mark of the video NovRnd1GP. I guess you may have been approaching the slow down area.

    I love the sound of your bike at full song, except when you were outrunning me. HA!
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  14. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    That thing at 1:10 in that video is the huge pile of pylons, cones, baloons and what not, to signify the end of the timed track. With all that stuff, they still have people that run the 1.3 miles and are still in the throttle for another mile and run outside the course. Huge flap about this, BLM wants to shut the SCTA down because of this. They are deathly afraid of killing a kid on a quad out side the insured boundry.

    here is a photo I have labled as "my inspiration" on my computer. From the April? Roebling in 1987, my first roadrace and where I got my CCS license.

    [​IMG]MyInspiration by mtiberio, on Flickr
  15. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    here is my bike the day I sold it in 1994

    [​IMG]VintageRacer2 by mtiberio, on Flickr

    here it is in impound for record certification after I set the land sped record in june.

    [​IMG]inspection by mtiberio, on Flickr
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  16. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    here is a spectrogram of my 140 mph run using the bike as a 4 speed (with tall 9:34 rear end and short 100 rear tire), its quite jumbled at the start because of reving and slippage and boggage. Harmonics also complicate it. Its easier if you count back from the obvious 4th gear to 3rd, then 2nd, then 1st. The Y axis is frequency which translates to revs per second. multiply by 60 to get RPM (130 rps = 7800 rpm).

    [​IMG]NovRnd1GPaud by mtiberio, on Flickr
  17. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    this is a 139 MPH run using 5th gear (with short 7:33 rear end and tall 120 rear tire). The better acceleration of 1st gear is negated by the time lost by the extra shift. This gearing was 1% shorter than the 4 speed setup above.

    [​IMG]NovRnd3GPaud by mtiberio, on Flickr
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  18. ravedoper

    ravedoper Well-Known Member

    Do you have any interest in going to the airstrip in Loring, Me? My friend Mike Tomany runs his Commando up there in the 130s.
  19. ravedoper

    ravedoper Well-Known Member

    BTW, I had my right ankle replaced over three years ago and it's been wonderful. Look into it.
  20. mtiberio

    mtiberio Well-Known Member

    Loring, maybe I have friends in Maine. ECTA found a new home in Blytheville, Arkansas is also an option. Thing is, I'm not that interested in doing paved miles. Something about the dry lake bed, the Mohave Desert... Its like going to another planet.

    My Ortho mentioned having the ankle replacement. I'll have to look into it. That and a knee on the other leg. Do both before I retire and give up my good health care...

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