This being part XI of a Racer's Final(s) Diary
Finally I can lie in bed no longer. I head to the showers, praying for hot water and solitude, which at least gives my brain a little something to chew on. I get neither hot water nor solitude and come out of the shower frustrated and hypothermic. I am cleaner, but freezing and I am pretty sure there is still some soap in my ear due to rushing out of the frigid water.
The ambient temperatures are in the mid 40s, which would normally not be an issue for my Yankee blood, but a few years in the south have acclimated me in the exact opposite direction. I used to shovel snow in a t-shirt and shorts, here I am in a winter hat and coat feeling like a pussy. At least racing in full leathers at 100 degrees F is no longer a problem.
The electric heater is positioned strategically under the FZR, which has been draped overnight with a gargantuan cover. Ahh the foibles of racing vintage machinery! I still struggle to call both of my 1990s race bikes "vintage", but I also have a hard time believing I have achieved the seasoned age of 41, so maybe it's just denial.
The process now is to get both the EX and FZR started and warmed up and through technical inspection. This proves to be more difficult than I imagined when the EX refuses to start. I normally never have issues with the Kawasaki so it is rather disconcerting when I get nothing more than a random fire on one cylinder while spinning it up on the rollers. This bike needs to run today as I plan on focusing most of the practice day riding it. I am not prepared to fiddle fuck around with this thing right now, so I wheel it off the starter swearing and mumbling under my breath. I'll try the goddamn FZR, the heater has been underneath it for nearly an hour.
The FZR is a bit reluctant, but eventually fires. After the obligatory warm-up ride through the paddock I take it to tech, knowing I have a whole other can of opened worms to deal with.
After a quick inspection two issues reveal themselves on the EX. First, it is flooded. Second, the Keihin carburetors have somehow managed to pop out of the carb boot on one side. I must not have got it fully seated before tightening the clamps. I take care of that, install new plugs and the old girl fires easily.
There will be between four and six practice sessions throughout the day today and I plan to get down to business in all of them on the EX, burning up the old slicks before mounting new ones at the end of the day.
My mood is not a social or jovial one. I am in a very serious state of mind. I came with a job to do, and hell or highwater I aim to.
|Attack mode in practice before the GNF. No screwing around.