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ride report: GPS Racing suspension re-valve, 49-tooth sprocket

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I finished my "once-yearly" bike maintenance. Everything freshly greased, new chain and front sprocket. I also installed a 49-tooth rear sprocket (which is stock on the 2007 model, but a change from my 2006 YZ250F's 48-tooth).

I lowered my front end slightly more than last year. The easy holeshot device was lowered a little bit more than last year as well. My valves were adjusted to the loose side of spec.

I bolted on my suspension after having it re-valved by GPS racing. My sub tanks were installed, everything seemed nice and tight. It doesn't seem like much, but after having the bike apart that much, there's a part of me that hoped I didn't screw something up! I needed to test these changes out.

So this past weekend, I visited our good friends at Motokazie at their last indoor event at the Red Horse Ranch Arena in Fergus Falls, MN. There was to be an all-day practice from 9am-2pm on Saturday, then racing that evening. The practice sounded like just the ticket to get used to riding dirt again, and to get the new parts dialed in. I decided to do the all-day practice, then one race of the two-moto format in Vet C. I would have stuck around for the second moto, but my brother was making pizza. :applause: Vet C REPRESENT!!

While I was there, I saw MN519 there. I remember him talking about installing a 290 kit, and riding at an indoor event, so I was wondering if I'd see him there. I saw him waiting to start practice, when I had my helmet cam on (a cheap camera duct-taped to the side of my helmet). He gave me the thumbs-up for my camera, and I looked down and saw that his number was 519, recognized his name, and made the connection! I rode my practice; then watched his practice for a while. Drat, he is faster than me! :lol: oh well, I've gotten used to that feeling. I went over and talked to him, he's a very cool dude. He even helped me after my moto, pointing out where I needed work. That's way cool, I always appreciate that kind of help. It's the only way you can get better, is if you figure out where you need help, and try to do something about it.

I have my bike jetted very slightly rich, so since it was slightly cooler inside, my bike ran awesome. While we were waiting for practice, a guy with a new (twin-piped, so 2006-07) CRF250 was right in front of me. He was trying to get his bike started, and he must have kicked it fifty times. I pulled out my kick starter, easily started it first kick, and rode around him. I love having my jetting right. That time and money at the dyno is totally worth it at times like that. I don't appreciate it enough until I see someone who hasn't got their jetting dialed in.

I almost couldn't tell my bike was running, waiting for a practice session while there was another bike idling next to mine. Wow, my Dr. D with the spark arrestor is quiet, even without the quiet core. When I'm not so close to people, especially outdoors, my pipe just sounds nice. Here, next to another bike indoors, mine was almost inaudible (while I was sitting on it!). I had to rev it to make sure it was running. I hope everyone behind me appreciated my blueberry gas smell; although there was seldom anyone back there, usually I put myself in the back of practice sessions, especially early on, since my confidence was not high.

After 4 or 5 sessions, I had managed to do all the jumps I was going to do (there was a couple of triple opportunities that I just wasn't going to do). I wasn't super graceful at all of them, but I was doing them. I sucked in the whoops, like normal. Then they did track maintenance, then race practice, and suddenly everything clicked. Everything just got way easier. I think just being off a bike for a few months makes you just feel a little awkward at first. I was starting to gel with the bike, and it felt really good. I like the 49-tooth sprocket. It was indoors, so it was probably a good thing to have. We'll see if it's too much shifting on a more wide-open track.

The suspension worked awesome! The forks, I just bolted on and loved. I like things a little softer than most, so with the shock, I needed to slow (stiffen) the rebound a couple of clicks, and soften the compression a couple of clicks, and then I was in heaven.

I feel like my bike is probably bored by my performance. I'm sure she feels great that I change her oil a lot, and take good care of her; but she's like "oh man, everyone's waaatching! can't you just go fast this once? I have so much more potential, you're barely scratching the surface!" When people say "get your suspension done first", they aren't saying that just to make you waste money. I'm very happy with how my bike felt, it was very easy to control, and handled my mistakes very well.

I had a great time, and got the holeshot for my class (we were in a single-drop with the Vet A class as well); so there was a Vet A guy who actually holeshot the race, then me behind him. I led my class for a lap, then got smoked in the whoops (did I mention I suck at whoops?). I finished second of four racers. It really didn't matter, I wasn't there for the racing. I got my bike dialed in and ready for spring, and had a blast doing it! That track was great. There was a step-on, step off jump, and a sandy section in the back, so the track turned from dirt into pure sand for a while. It was imaginative and a ton of fun. I was very slow. The bike was outstanding.

So I'd give a thumbs-up to GPS racing for their re-valve work. Also the Motokazie crew sure hosts a fun event.

Here's a video link to race 1, Vet C, my perspective. I know I'm slow, that's why I'm still in the C class. :lol:

http://www.westsideridaz.com/days/2007-03-03/Fergus%20Falls%202007-03-03%20-%20Vet%20C%20-%20Race%201.wmv

It's a pretty sucky video. I gotta splurge on a better helmet cam one day. You can kinda hear how quiet my bike is though.

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I notice you are looking at that wall going through the second doorway. Keep looking straight ahead (especially since it's a whoop section). If you look there, you slow down, and you are more likely to move in that direction.

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I notice you are looking at that wall going through the second doorway. Keep looking straight ahead (especially since it's a whoop section). If you look there, you slow down, and you are more likely to move in that direction.

great advice; I've been trying to look farther down the whoops, instead of at the first one or two of them. It's hard!

To the right coming out of the sand section (out of that door) is where the flag guy is who waves the checkers. I shouldn't look at him though, except with my peripheral vision.

thanks! I need all the help I can get.

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I can't connect to your video (it timed out), but your ride report was fun to read - thanks for sharing. It's nice to have a guy who is honest with his riding abilities do an honest writeup instead of people over-rating themselves and talk as if they're pros when they're really a 'C' rider... :applause:

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great advice; I've been trying to look farther down the whoops, instead of at the first one or two of them. It's hard!

To the right coming out of the sand section (out of that door) is where the flag guy is who waves the checkers. I shouldn't look at him though, except with my peripheral vision.

thanks! I need all the help I can get.

Yep, trick on whoops is to know what you are getting into. Proper suspension is key. You should also know what gear you need to be in to just skim them (if possible) and what's the best line...

Usually, if you are in a high gear that leaves the rpm's low, and you stand up in the attack posistion with your knees pinching the bike, you should be able to power right through them.

And I also know it's hard to say this and overcome this, but doing the whole jump, is easier than shortcomming the jump a little bit. (Like a double, landing on the face of the triple). You can go farther, and click down a gear in the air if needed.

That track looks awesome. OTher than that, your looking ahead everywhere else. Keep it up!

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I got through, it was a firewall issue. You look good to me as a 'C' rider. If everything was easy, you wouldn't be a 'C' rider :lol: Have fun and be safe - that's all that matters :applause:

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Yep, trick on whoops is to know what you are getting into. Proper suspension is key. You should also know what gear you need to be in to just skim them (if possible) and what's the best line...

Usually, if you are in a high gear that leaves the rpm's low, and you stand up in the attack posistion with your knees pinching the bike, you should be able to power right through them.

And I also know it's hard to say this and overcome this, but doing the whole jump, is easier than shortcomming the jump a little bit. (Like a double, landing on the face of the triple). You can go farther, and click down a gear in the air if needed.

great advice again, thanks! There have been times where I have "accidentally" gone into whoops going faster than I intended. Those times have always worked out OK; I just loosen up a little, and let the bike "do it's thing" under me. Like you say, it's a confidence issue. I intend to work on whoops more this season; that's something I've never really spent a lot of time at. I usually skip the whoop sections when I practice, because they tire me out so bad! Gotta start doing them every time. I have to build up a comfort level, I reckon.

Also the triple thing.. FOR SURE!! For me it's just a progression. Like the jumps I WAS making.. it took me like 4 or 5 practice sessions to make them all. The whole time I was coming up short I was like "JUST DO IT! you know it's going to be way smoother if you would just do these jumps". Then when I started making them, it was indeed way smoother.

It's the same with the triple; I can case the third bump, and it's not a problem! So why not give just that little bit more? I know I could handle it, even if I came up short; but it's again just a fear issue. I need more "Stewart" in me, I guess.

Oh well, first ride of 2007, hopefully I can stop my fear from gripping me this season! I'm going to take another school as early as possible this spring.

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Best way I learned in whoops, is if I thought I would use 3rd gear, I would shift into 4th. If I needed to go faster, I easily could without clicking. Most of the time it wouldn't bog down, and it makes it easy to keep the front tire light (Key)

In shorter words, pick a gear that will keep the rpm's low enough so you won't bog. Whoops will come to you in just a short moto session!

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But what camera did you use as a helmet cam?

it's a cheap-o model. It's like a Mustek DV4000 or something like that. Here's a couple like it on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MUSTEK-DV4000_W0QQitemZ150097502040QQihZ005QQcategoryZ48514QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mustek-Dv4000-Mpeg-4-7-in-1-Multifunctional-Digital-Cam_W0QQitemZ140079737445QQihZ004QQcategoryZ11724QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

the footage looks worse than some of my previous ventures. I'm wondering why. I think I accidentally turned the resolution down. I need to crank it back up a bit! The whole race was less than 40 megs, so I must have it down too low.

I duct-tape it to the side of my helmet. I get a lot of smiles. Ask MN519, he can tell you how goofy I look with it on! :applause:

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it's a cheap-o model. It's like a Mustek DV4000 or something like that. Here's a couple like it on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MUSTEK-DV4000_W0QQitemZ150097502040QQihZ005QQcategoryZ48514QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mustek-Dv4000-Mpeg-4-7-in-1-Multifunctional-Digital-Cam_W0QQitemZ140079737445QQihZ004QQcategoryZ11724QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

the footage looks worse than some of my previous ventures. I'm wondering why. I think I accidentally turned the resolution down. I need to crank it back up a bit! The whole race was less than 40 megs, so I must have it down too low.

I duct-tape it to the side of my helmet. I get a lot of smiles. Ask MN519, he can tell you how goofy I look with it on! :lol:

cool thanks.

That looks really light and slim. I have always wanted a helmet cam but never wanted to have to wear a camelback to hold the video camera and have all those wires everywhere. But seems like it will be perfect.:applause:

I'll take the risk of looking like a goon to have a helmet cam.:lol:

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we kinda figured out the rest of the "video quality" issue; I had Saran Wrap over the lens, and I think the camera got "confused", trying to focus on the plastic or the dirt.

You can see while I'm on the line staring at the dirt, it comes into focus just for an instant, then everything gets grainy again.

So next time, I gotta:

A> lose the Saran Wrap, and just clean the mud off the lens afterwards

B> turn up the resolution a bit

:applause:

ps. Yep, I'm not that proud, I don't mind looking dumb either. It's worth it to me too. Sometimes though, I forget I'm wearing it, and I have strangers smiling and waving at me. I'm like "heeeyyyyyyy...", and wave back, and then I figure out it's not ME they're waving at!

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ps. Yep, I'm not that proud, I don't mind looking dumb either. It's worth it to me too. Sometimes though, I forget I'm wearing it, and I have strangers smiling and waving at me. I'm like "heeeyyyyyyy...", and wave back, and then I figure out it's not ME they're waving at!

lol.

I am soory for stealin your thread , but if you already have some more videos on your computer from your "helmet cam" could you post them please?

Thanks:thumbsup:

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this one turned out OK:

http://www.westsideridaz.com/days/2006-09-30/crash.wmv

here is the whole collection:

http://www.westsideridaz.com/days.aspx

some of them are just pictures, some of them are riding motocross, some are riding trails, and some are riding ice.

Thanks..

I watched almost EVERY single mx video you had. I am going to get a Mustek DV4000 for sure.

Would you be able to post a pic of how the camera is mounted to your helmet when you have time? I know it is mounted with duct....but I mean like where it is on the helmet and how much duct tape, etc..

Thanks

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I know it is mounted with duct....but I mean like where it is on the helmet and how much duct tape, etc..

OK, I kinda went a little "tape crazy" this last time. I had lots of time to prepare, so I went maybe a little overboard on how much is actually needed.

Here are the tricks to duct taping a camera to your helmet (hahaha, I never thought I'd write something with a title like that):

A> Put saran wrap (plastic wrap from the kitchen) or tape over the microphone. Otherwise, the sound of the wind is deafening. If you use plastic wrap or tape over the microphone, you hear the motor, and not the air rushing past.

B> you need to "shim" the back of the camera, so it's pointed straight ahead (your helmet is round; so the camera will inevitably end up pointing too far to the left or right). Here is a picture of that:

camera%20padding%20for%20angle.JPG

C> Don't tape over the power button! It's a little slide. Leave space for it! I fold over the tape so there is no "stickiness" facing the camera (I learned).

camera%20power%20button%20free.JPG

D> finally, the hardest part is making sure you're not looking at the ground or the sky too much. I put a tape mark on my helmet that I never remove, that kinda gives the attitude I'm looking for. I always just rip off the old tape and replace it with new; but this mark I leave on the helmet forever. I use a different colored tape so I can tell it's the "attitude" marker.

Here is a picture of the "attitude marker". It's the red tape you see under the plastic wrap and white tape (notice the "shims" I used to steady the camera).

camera%20attitude%20marker.JPG

I find it's best (for ME, anyways) to point the camera UP a little bit. Not too much! I've got lots of footage of the sky. Conversely, I've got lots of footage of the ground. You have to find that place where YOU look, and adjust the camera accordingly. For "C" riders like me, it's usually a little higher than level (I look at the ground too much!).

This is basically how the finished product looks; it's not actually taped on in this picture, I just set the camera on the helmet where it just was last time I used it, for illustrative purposes. Normally the plastic would be stretched over the entire front, covering the microphone, and tight over the lens.

camera%20front%20side.JPG

FINAL NOTES: I don't think the plastic wrap was as much to blame for the poor video quality as I suspected; I've used the plastic a lot before over the lens without problems. I looked at the camera though, and somehow it got turned down to its lowest resolution setting. I set it back to "medium", the one I used this summer. I'm going to put Saran Wrap over the lens again next time I use my "helmet cam".

Buy the biggest memory card the camera can take! I believe this model can only deal with a 512 meg.

Get rechargable batteries (double A in this case), and a recharger!

Make sure your tear-offs are hanging off the RIGHT side (the camera works well on the left for me).

Lastly, I know the tape thing is a MAJOR hack deal. I should make some kind of "mounting system", so it's always pointed the exact right way. The tape has just been cheap, readily available, and relatively easy.

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Thank you sssoooooo much..:lol::eek::naughty::applause::lol:

I would of just taped it on. I would of never thought of all the stuff you did.

:lol:

But one question, can you explain to me what the "altitude" tape does? I can't fully see how you align the camera. Like at what mark do align the camera at? After getting the positition for the camera all set up, would just makeing a mark with a sharpie at a specific spot on the camera then one on the helmet, work ok?

Thank you very again. This will help me with I get it.

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OK, I kinda went a little "tape crazy" this last time. I had lots of time to prepare, so I went maybe a little overboard on how much is actually needed.

Here are the tricks to duct taping a camera to your helmet (hahaha, I never thought I'd write something with a title like that):

A> Put saran wrap (plastic wrap from the kitchen) or tape over the microphone. Otherwise, the sound of the wind is deafening. If you use plastic wrap or tape over the microphone, you hear the motor, and not the air rushing past.

B> you need to "shim" the back of the camera, so it's pointed straight ahead (your helmet is round; so the camera will inevitably end up pointing too far to the left or right). Here is a picture of that:

camera%20padding%20for%20angle.JPG

C> Don't tape over the power button! It's a little slide. Leave space for it! I fold over the tape so there is no "stickiness" facing the camera (I learned).

camera%20power%20button%20free.JPG

D> finally, the hardest part is making sure you're not looking at the ground or the sky too much. I put a tape mark on my helmet that I never remove, that kinda gives the attitude I'm looking for. I always just rip off the old tape and replace it with new; but this mark I leave on the helmet forever. I use a different colored tape so I can tell it's the "attitude" marker.

Here is a picture of the "attitude marker". It's the red tape you see under the plastic wrap and white tape (notice the "shims" I used to steady the camera).

camera%20attitude%20marker.JPG

I find it's best (for ME, anyways) to point the camera UP a little bit. Not too much! I've got lots of footage of the sky. Conversely, I've got lots of footage of the ground. You have to find that place where YOU look, and adjust the camera accordingly. For "C" riders like me, it's usually a little higher than level (I look at the ground too much!).

This is basically how the finished product looks; it's not actually taped on in this picture, I just set the camera on the helmet where it just was last time I used it, for illustrative purposes. Normally the plastic would be stretched over the entire front, covering the microphone, and tight over the lens.

camera%20front%20side.JPG

FINAL NOTES: I don't think the plastic wrap was as much to blame for the poor video quality as I suspected; I've used the plastic a lot before over the lens without problems. I looked at the camera though, and somehow it got turned down to its lowest resolution setting. I set it back to "medium", the one I used this summer. I'm going to put Saran Wrap over the lens again next time I use my "helmet cam".

Buy the biggest memory card the camera can take! I believe this model can only deal with a 512 meg.

Get rechargable batteries (double A in this case), and a recharger!

Make sure your tear-offs are hanging off the RIGHT side (the camera works well on the left for me).

Lastly, I know the tape thing is a MAJOR hack deal. I should make some kind of "mounting system", so it's always pointed the exact right way. The tape has just been cheap, readily available, and relatively easy.

Should we call you "Elephant Man" or do you prefer "The Mummy"? :applause:

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