Well, the sidecar still has a huge amount of work to be done, but the engine is in and running. Things were just slid into place, and the engine was fired up. Some wiring glitches were solved, and then the engine was pulled back out. The bodywork has to be modified, but new mounting tabs have been welded into place. There is still the matter of building a brake line that wont rub on the rear tire, a ton of safety wire, mounting the gauges, and a host of bodywork and painting, among other things. The tires from last year will have to stay on in order to stay in budget, which is a concern.
The chair tire can be “flipped”, so the inside will be the outside. This is okay on the chair wheel since the outside edge is where most stress goes into it. The front is in fair shape, but a fresh one would help a lot. That front was mounted near the beginning of 2009. The real problem is the rear tire. While still in okay shape for the 110HP I had before, the 160HP+ I now have will likely shred the old skin. I will just work around it as best I can. Hopefully with the extra power and somewhat improved brakes, I will not need the full power reserves to stay in my current position. However, all these mods aren’t to help me stay in the same spot; it’s supposed to push me to the front of the pack. Third in points sounds good, but the gap to the front is almost TEN SECONDS a lap… that is HUGE. One second a lap is actually quite a big gap… ten seconds off the pace and you aren’t even in the same class. My game will be raised in 2010 without a doubt.
I will spend this week working on the bodywork while Becker Moto Works puts the final assembly work in to the chassis, then I will move over to try and install a better front braking system, paint the frame, and re-assemble the machine. This still does nothing to solve the sagging rear suspension, but since I’m used to the mushy feeling I hope I can work around that as well. Without more money, I have no choice.
Vanessa- my passenger- is working hard to get back into shape. She has been on blood thinning medication since her heart surgery in September, and has not been able to stay active. As it stands, she will have to go off her meds before a race weekend, then take injections immediately after the race to get back on her regimen, at least until June. What a spirit that woman has.