Monday, 15 June 2015

Red Bull Romaniacs Participation

Part two: Preparing the motorcycle

Since you are a participant, you should already have your motorcycle ready to race at RBR 2015 by now. July is very close and you should have finalised all your decisions regarding your bike, your protection, the gear you will carry and all related details. Here are some facts we faced during the race and we feel that are helpful.

Protect the crucial parts:

You will be racing in vast forests without human presence for hours. The last thing you want to deal with is a mechanical failure due to a crash or overheating, or something else from the thousands of reasons that something can go wrong in such a race. 

Use ventilators and get a new battery. We strongly recommend to get a LiFePO4 battery for extra strength and a genuine ventilator that is operating on a thermostat and not on manual switch. 

Backy's Power Cells
A friend that used this set of vents on his radiator was very satisfied by the info he got from that little temp meter on the device, plus the fan is very quite.

Trail Tech Digital Fan
Use radiator guards. Your bike and the ground will become best friends. A broken radiator is the last thing you need during the race.

ACD Racing Parts
Use hand guards and decide now if you want the open or the closed type. We had some many disappointing moments with the closed type hand guards that I don't think we will ever use them again. Last adventure, in Erzberg 2013 where Andreas our guide managed to cut the clutch line when someone crushed the left hand guard. The base of the guard that is attached on the steering bar moved towards the plug of the clutch line and chopped it off line a piece of bread.

If you use open type hand guards get plenty of brake and clutch levers. It may be a good idea to invest now to a couple of unbreakable levers (a couple because they brake too, it is rather unlikely but it may occur). Since we started using the ASV brake and clutch levers we stopped caring about levers. 
ASV Inventions
Put that little wire between the peg and the brake. Also get a pair of rear brake and gear levers. 

Use engine guards. Romanian countryside is hostile. All elements of nature will turn against your bike (and you of course) during the race. Every year, the organisers goal and devotion is to ruin your motorcycle as much as they possibly can, so they will really put it to the test. Rocks, logs, traps, cliffs, steep uphills and downhills, are all designed to put a hole in to your engine covers so protect them as much as you can.

ACD Racing Parts
Use mousse, don't dare to participate without a good all used mousse. New one will be a pain in the ass. Too many riders open holes into their mousse. We recommend to train with the same ones you racing, so they get softened.

Bib Mousse
This is Jarvis Mousse
Another interesting idea that I spotted in last years RBR, was these little balls of mousse material called Tire Balls Pro. Amazing idea. Advantages, if something goes wrong you don't have to replace all of them but just the ruined one, they last longer, and you make a soft setup easily. Replacing them is a piece of cake, but you still need a tire changing device like the lovely Rabaconda. 

Tire Balls Pro
Use soft tires. Do not hesitate to cheat/aid your self with a great pair of soft Goldentyres or any other soft tire designed for extreme enduro races. One thing I learned over the pass years is that you need all the grip you can get in this race. Get enough tires to change at least the rear one everyday. If you feel tired, there will be people to change it for you under a fee. 

Golden Tyre
Make, buy or create/invent a good GPS steering bar case and try it plenty of times during your training. This is a GPS race. You are going to be looking at this device more than the actual trail so, get an extreme case to install it on your steering bar. Make sure nothing happens at the device after thousands of bike falls. 

Secondary tips,

-Get a grippy saddle. 

-Duck tape anything you don't want to scratch a lot.
-Check your suspensions, I would recommend to also soften it a little bit more than usual.
-Put your old decals on the bike. The new ones wont be new more than a day. 
-You may consider to protect your head light. We never drove at night to need the headlight but in this race there are a lot of rocks involved in various funny places so, you may consider getting a head light cover. 

- Use soft steering grips. Get extras. Get the installation glue or use hair spray. Wire them also. Get extra wire with you.
Ariete Grips

- Lighten the bike as much as you can. Get rid of any extra weight you thing you don't need. 

Important tips,

- Get all the spare parts you can get. (If you can afford it or you can arrange it, a second bike like yours, that you can de install a part you will need and then figure it out is the best solution) 
-Get special tools that some parts require to be installed.
-Get a tire changing device. We rec: Rabaconda  we will talk more about it in Team and tools preparation in part three.


Rabaconda, the easiest way to change a tire

- Get a boot dryer with you. 

Boot dryer

- Get an extra pair of boots.

- Get at least four Jerseys, Pants, Socks, compression suits with you.
- Get some washing dust (not liquid), you can let your clothes soak in the hotel sink and dry them our of the window. All Ramanda hotel rooms have windows you can hang your jersey or gear if you want to freshen them up. If it rains you are doomed. 
- Get plenty of gloves. As light and strong as you can get.
- Don't use waterproof gear. Just get a rain coat with you. If it rains you will not use it anyway. You will be terrified by the slippery rocks and the last thing you would like to do is wear a raincoat. (You will enjoy the cool feeling of the rain) If you use waterproof gear you will probably boil and it will not rain.

- Get plenty of goggles. Any goggle that uses transparent tape for the mud is useless in this race. Just carry a spare one with you and make sure you clean it at your stops.
In North Star we love Ariete goggles, as you can see in all our photos.

- Don't be naive and bring a music player or blue tooth comm with you. Unless your name is Jarvis or Letty, your only focus will be surviving the race. 
- Learn a good pray. You are going to need it even if you are not religious.

Don't forget to bring bike consumables with you. 

Here is a check list:

Brake fluid, 
Clutch fluid
Radiator fluid
Engine Oil
Clutch oil
Oil filters
Oiled air filters (if the weather is dry you may need more than one in a racing day)
Extra battery
Battery charger
Brake disk pads
Chain cleaner spray
Chain oil
An extra set of chain and sprockets
Suspension oil just in case you need to add some
Extra set of brake and clutch lines with their plugs
Carburetor cleaner set and spray
Alternative jetting and needles 
Silicon spray 

You will also need

Duct tape (bring some with you during the race also)
Epoxy Glue (the grey and white the becomes extra hard is important) 
Tie ups (lots of them various sizes)
Simple glue
Mousse gel,

Coming up next -->

3. Team, setting up, roles and jobs

4.Getting there, passing through countries 


6.Setting up your base

7.Car and trailer to move around

8.Meet your driver at control points, Check points

9.Daily routine and information, taping your hands

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North Star is the first Enduro Touring company that operates in Greece. Our philosophy is based on one thing: "We do it because we love Enduro Riding". We organise enduro tours, providing all necessary.



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