So I decided to write up a bit of a "project" thread! Ive never done one before and Ive been a member of these forums for quite a few years now, so I fealt like sharing. Its probably more just a "picture progression" thread than anything else... but everyone loves pics so.. whatever!
I learnt to ride a dirt bike when I was about 18 or so. Rode lots of trails, got my license, a registered trail bike and started riding to work. I've been a fan of supermoto for quite some time now, after seeing a friend race in a local series many years ago. I guess the love for dirt bikes and the joy of riding on the road to work is what lead me to it. I got my hands on a ktm 525 exc, threw some 17's on and some decent big brakes and fell in love
Did a couple of trackdays too at the local kart track but was never super serious about it.
While I totally loved the sumo, I also wanted "more." I ended up getting myself into debt by purchasing a '07 Superduke. Had the best of both worlds really.
I would alternate riding each to work throughout the week. I (reluctantly) ended up selling the 525 so I could travel overseas for a couple of months and help me out with a bit of cash. The thing was burning a bit of a hole in my pocket anyway (after the rebuild
I had some bad luck in traffic a couple years back; got t-boned by a car that failed to give way at some traffic lights.
I wrote both the superduke and car off, but wasn't too badly injured, so before I was out of my cast and off my crutches I was in the hunt for a new bike. The natural progression was a 2009 Superduke R.
The bike was a total animal.. Probably a bit too much for me really. It was amazing when riding it super aggressive, but for riding to work every day... it sucked. It was just not a commuter friendly bike. So I started planning another supermoto build. If you haven't worked it out by now, I was a bit of a KTM fanboi. So, a new ktm 530 exc was going to be my starting point. I sourced and priced up all the parts I wanted and started saving. Then I saw a news item on the web somewhere, showing Husaberg's new FS570 and my plans pretty much went out the door.
Headed to my local dealer and made some inquiries. Got a price, slept on it; placed an order for one the next day. The way I saw it, I could buy a 13+ grand ktm exc and spend a fair bit of money setting it up OR buy a bike thats got pretty much everything I want right outta the box for just under $16,000. The bike arrived a few weeks later (around August/September 2009 I think) and was one of the first in the country. Rode it down the street with a massive grin on my face, hit the brakes to stop at the first set of traffic lights and nearly pooped my pants.. The front brake wasnt working... Was only going quite slow so the rear got me to a stop. Did a U-turn and went straight back to the dealer. The front rotor was completely warped. It would only make contact with the pads on a tiny section, the rest of the time = no brakes. We grabbed the disc from the crated FS570 and off I went, this time, grinning while accellerating AND braking.
I didnt really do much to the bike for the first few months. The motor was extremely tight when new. The more km's I put on it the better it became. I bought myself a slip-on akra pipe and a DNA filter, which livened up the bike a fair bit through the midrange and a little increase in torque.
Other than that, I really didn't change anything on the bike until a few months ago. Maintenance has been fairly good. I don't stick to the manual recommendations; usually ride the bike over the recommended oil changes but not too far. The valves were adjusted after the break in period and haven't moved since. I never experienced any fuel pump issues or dodgey fuel mapping problems that I read about on forums. Its been a flawless & fun commuter for close to 2 years!
Then a friend of mine who raced 600's convinced me to do a trackday with him. I couldn't decide on which bike to ride, so I took the SDR and the berg. Track was Lakeside International Raceway
, a track which used to host a fair amount of racing but was shut down around 10 years ago as housing estates were built up around the track and noise became a real issue for residence. It reopened a couple of years ago, pretty much just for trackdays and a fairly strict noise limit. The akra pipe even with the insert was waaaay too loud, so stock pipe had to come out of retirement.
I absolutely loved the trackday. Entering into the slow group on the berg, I took it easy for maybe..2 laps? The rest of the morning was spent destroying the right hand side of my tyre, passing sportsbike after sportsbike around the outside of pretty much every turn. I had a glimpse of the speedo going into Turn 1, 183km/hr. Was pretty impressed with that! The chuckle inside my helmet as I passed each sportsbike was partnered with "you just got passed by a dirtbike" running through my head. I did ride the SDR for a few laps, but pulled in with an electrical problem; a wire earthing itself onto the frame somewhere. The berg backup bike was fired back into action though
I was solidly hooked after that day. There weren't enough trackdays to feed my addiction, so like alot of you, I decided to go racing
I think it was like $100 to get a front MX plate and a new rear fender that didn't have any lights on it. Changed it all over in 20 minutes or so.
One of the things that always annoyed me about the bike was the front brake. The brakes I had on the 525 felt incredible, as did the brakes on both of my superdukes. These magura brakes never really impressed me a great deal. I saved up for a brembo caliper and 16x18 MC.
It was night and day difference. Felt so so sooo much better. Threw some numbers on the bike, headed for the track.
(I forgot to take the sidestand AND the horn off.. whoops!)
The race series was a one weekend only event at Morgan Park Raceway.
Road racing only, over 2 days. Qld road racing championship. The class I entered in was called Formula 3; open for 4cyl 250s, V4 400s, V2 650s, and any size supermoto. I was 1 of 2 supermotos in a field of sportsbikes. Day 1 saw the area have an incredibly large amount of rainfall that carried on throughout day. I rushed to purchase some wet race tyres and get them fitted in time for qualifying, with F3 being the first session of the day.
I was blown away by the amount of grip these tyres offered on a track covered in 15mm of water. Somehow I qualified 2nd on the grid. Got a great start to race 1, managed to overtake the VFR400 that was on pole around the outside of turn 3 and went on to win my first ever race. With the geometry of the dirtbike, I felt fairly comfortable sliding the bike around in the wet where as the sportys struggled a bit. Race 2 I managed to get the holeshot and gave it all I had, however I wasn't the ballsiest rider on track and finished 2nd.
Day 2 was the total opposite; dry track & clear blue skies. Perfect really. I got onto track late for qualifying, and only got 2 decent laps on the dry track with my fast lap borked by a crasher infront of me.. Qualified at the back of the grid. I pretty much got hammered by everyone in the dry and finished at the back of the pack all day, but managed to knock about a second off almost every single lap all day long which felt pretty good! I had decent corner speed and was decent on the brakes, but the sportsbikes would always be quicker than me down the straights (the 183 km/hr at lakeside was due to the last turn being a fast flowing turn downhill, Morgan Pack had none of these. Topspeed here was about 158 km/hr.) I just had to wave bye to them as they went passed. I found that with the stock gearing (14/38) the bike doesnt really hit the rev limiter anywhere in the top few gears, so I put on a 44 tooth on the rear before the next track day and found a huge difference, for the better.