After quite a few years in the making I finally took my RD400 Drag bike to the race track. I ran it at the 2007 New Zealand Nationals. This was not really the best place to debut the bike as I was also racing my GS1200SS in another class. So there was a lot of pressure and it showed.
After unloading the bike I wanted to recheck the ignition timing. It is a bit hard to do any testing at home as this bike is so noisy. So after trying to check the timing...it seemed to be jumping all over the place...I found one of the carb's had started to leak. I think it might have been the needle valve supplying the bowl. Anyway by the time I had that fixed it was time to have my first ever run on the track.
Well I don't mind admitting that I was very nervous. This would be the first time I had ever ridden a bike that had a solid rear end and the first time this bike had moved under it's own power.
Would it actually move ?
Would it change gear ?
Would the wheels fall off ?
Well the only way to find out was the do it !!! So up to the lights I pushed the bike then I'm off. The bike seems to take off quite well but it doesn't want to rev out. It just starts missing and farting around. It seemed to change gear but with all the missing and farting it was hard to tell really. Then it just died on me. So their I was stuck at about 2/3rds of the way down the track.
So then my long and embarrassing push back to the pits began. It was a stinking hot day and being dressed in full leathers didn't help. Neither was it fun to have to push the bike back in front of the biggest crowd we had at the track all year.
So that was my first run.
What went wrong with the bike ? Well I don't know why it was missing but I found out ,when I got back to the pits that I had run out of fuel. How embarrassing. All the mucking around with the carb had drain most of the fuel from my small tank. I never even thought to check.
So I then had to race my other bike for a qualifying round before it was time to try the RD400 again. I checked everything that I could but, as I was unable to do any real jetting tuning before I got to the track, there was not a lot I could do. My next run on the RD400 was nearly as bad as the first. The engine missed and stuttered it's way down the track. It really didn't want to rev out at all. But at least I made it to the end of the track and back to the pits under my own power.
Then it started to rain and the rest of the day was rained off. The next day was dry but as the RD400 was running so bad and I had to race my GS1200SS, I decided to concentrate on the GS1200SS and I left the RD400 at home.
Sad but at least I didn't crash the bike and it didn't fall apart on me.