Seat timePosted: August 27, 2011
I started off the weekend in a funk. This is Indy GP weekend, and I didn’t go.
The past two years my little brother and my dad and I have gone to Indianapolis to see the MotoGP races. For a variety of reasons, we’re sitting this one out. I didn’t realize how much I would miss it.
So to get over my blues, I decided to take the big old YZ426F out for a trail ride. Please note that my YZ is not at all my best bike for trail riding. I have a TT-R 230 that is just brilliant for fun riding and gnarly terrain – it’s like a friendly, eager companion who pays his own way. The TT-R is just happy to do anything I ask of it, except for landing from a great height. The TT-R is not a jumper… and it’s not very fast, either. Ok, the TT-R is a friendly, eager companion who pays his own way, but don’t make him run, or jump, because he could die.
The YZ, on the other hand, is a fickle bitch.
She wants new valve shims and fork bushings. She wants a clean air filter and new oil. She wants you to show her a good time, or she’ll pitch a fit. She doesn’t care how much money you have left – you have to commit to every corner, touch her just the right way, or she’ll knock you on your ass. Even if you do everything right, she’s going to ruin a bunch of good stuff, and if you don’t clean up after her, she’ll leave you stranded.
But she’s fast, and she’ll jump further and higher than I have the courage to allow her, so there’s that.
Enough anthropomorphism. I rode the YZ today because I have two TT races in September, and some non-competitive seat time would be a great way to get more comfortable with my slightly wicked Yamaha. So I went by myself to Coyote Trails with the YZ, and rode for just a little under three hours. I spent almost all of my time in the woods. It was a hot day, and I wore myself out. The YZ worked flawlessly. I practiced setting the fuel screw once it was up to temp. I practiced feathering the clutch into and out of turns. I worked a lot on body position, finding that I rode my best with my knees ahead of my feet, and my butt behind.
No crashes. No mechanical problems. At the end of the day, I was smoother and faster than at the start. And I was no longer boo-hooing about not going to Indy. Mission accomplished.