Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Bike Builds and rebuilds. Post pics and discuss your projects.
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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:15 pm

At the track this morning..
KX GURU RACING SEAN COLLIER KX500 308.JPG
KX GURU RACING SEAN COLLIER KX500 308.JPG (369.18 KiB) Viewed 1981 times
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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:04 pm

Getting the launch pad ready to go..
KX GURU RACING SEAN COLLIER KX500 309.JPG
KX GURU RACING SEAN COLLIER KX500 309.JPG (332.73 KiB) Viewed 1978 times
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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:35 pm

Oscar has been really swamped but we are talking about all the details and putting together the info everyone wants.
Just be patient a few more days and we will have the hows, where's, when's, and why's, we all want.

On a side note, we should have all the parts back from WPC treatments early next week so we can start putting the bottom end together on Sean's new bike 8-)
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

USMC 500
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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by USMC 500 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:26 am

Sorry for the late reply but here is the race breakdown.....

DNF (27th) first race
5th second race
16th Overall

Keep in mind that Sean was racing on a motorcycle designed in the late 1980's that was finished being put together at 10pm the night before with zero test time.

Also keep in mind that in the second race Sean was racing against factory level pro racers on state of the art factory equipment that race/ride on a regular basis. Sean on the other hand hasn't raced since June at Mammoth and has only ridden twice since then......here are the links to the two times he rode since Mammoth......

https://youtu.be/U1m3jJgygC4

https://youtu.be/RxdB0eeR4uQ

Sean was in awesome spirits when he arrived at the track and saw the rebuild bike that KX Guru Racing had delivered. Bike fired on the first kick and immediately there was a crowd drawn around the Fasthouse / Gasper Transportation canopy. Sean jumped on the bike and headed out for practice with only 1.2 hours on the hour meter which I had put on the bike during break in. After a few laps Sean came in a stated that the bike was definitely more responsive and powerful than before, the chassis felt much tighter than before, and Pro Action rear shock that Alex Ward at Crazy Al's racing had built was phenomenal. It was after practice that we encountered our first little issue. During a downshift the Torc 1 Shift Lever had stripped the threads and was rendered unusable. Sean came in and we had to ditch the Torc 1 shift lever for the stocker. This issue was not related to the quality of the shifter. Out of habit I usually torque all fasteners to factory spec and I had done the same with the shifter. Unfortunately the stock shifter and the Torc 1 shifter are made of different metals and factory spec torque is not sufficient for the aftermarket shifter. I'll speak more on this later in this write up.

Issue 2 came during the first race......
Sean got a rough start when he experienced some clutch chatter off the start and then began to fight a wheelie prone KX500 all the way to the first turn. Sean ended up with a 10th place start against some of the top Pro vet riders in the world. As the laps clicked away Sean was dicing through the pack and was about to make a pass for 4th on the 6th lap when he ended up pulling off the track. My heart sunk as I feared the worst of engine failures. Back at the pits Sean was all smiles and said the bike was running awesome but it felt as though the bike was running out of fuel. The weather out there was in the mid 80's and it seemed as though the bike was vapor locking. Sean decided to pull off the track in fear of the bike bogging off the face of a jump. To remedy this we obtained some heat insulation tape and taped the bottom of the tank where the head seemed to be heating up the fuel. We also wrapped the carburetor float bowl. Not sure if this was the issue or not we also cut the fuel down from 100% VP C-12 to 50/50 C-12 and 91 octane. This was no longer an issue for the rest of the race. I'll speak more on this later in this write up.

The final 2 issues came in race 2.......
Sean ended up getting a holeshot even with the clutch chatter issues and went into the first turn neck and neck with Factory KTM test rider Mike Sleeter. After the first lap Sean had settled into a 3rd place slot behind Mike Sleeter and World GP New Zealand racer Josh Coppins. Sean was on the heels of Josh Coppins the majority of the race and every spectator present was going crazy over the #207 KX500 ripping around the track. Sean Eventually ended the race in 5h place against some of the best riders on the best machines. As it turns out Sean had lost the tip of his Torc 1 racing rear brake lever on the second lap and was racing severely handicapped without a rear brake for the whole race. Sean had also experienced Shock fade which made the bike very bouncy and unstable going though the rough Glen Helen track. Despite all these factors Sean still brought the KX Guru Racing prepped KX500 home in 5th place.

Now to touch on the issues experienced in detail.....

The Torc 1 Shifter was tight around the splines and had performed well during my break in ride. Sean had even mentioned that he absolutly loved the feel of that shifter. After consulting with my fellow KX Guru's I took the Torc 1 Shifter to the garage and tested it to failure. I tightened down the bolt of the shifter with an 8 mm wrench as tight as I could by hand and the threads never faltered. I then took my torque wrench and turned on the bolt and found that the bolt head snapped off before the threads gave out. The lesson learned here is that the Torc 1 shifter needs to be tightened down as hard as possible by hand with Loctite without fear of stripping threads because the quality of the metal of the Torc 1 shifter is top notch.

The issue of the bike bogging from lack of fuel.....

This is just a theory as cutting the fuel to a 50/50 blend and the heat strips seemed to cure the problem but we were running Motul 800 premix and it had been mixed at the track at 32:1. Unfortunately 32:1 is an old wives tale during the days when oils were not that great. Motul states that their mix is formulated to be ran at 50:1. Heavy oil mix causes a lean condition and with the unstable C-12 race fuel we can only imagine that the fuel was boiling because of this. Lean condition and race fuel caused the bike to run hotter which was evident by the discoloration on the head of the FMF pipe and the high temperature of the pipe at the stinger was radiating onto the shock which caused it to fade. Lesson learned.

The issue of the Torc 1 rear brake lever tip falling off....

After speaking with Ryan Pursley of Torc 1 he informed me that they do not Loctite their hardware because it is designed to be adjustable and it is in the instructions that once the end user adjusted the lever it should be secured with Loctite. Other than that the rear brake lever like the shifter worked and felt great.

All in all the weekend went great and Sean we extremely please and excited about the bike. We learned some lessons using KX450 components on a KX500 and we would have discovered these issues had we had a chance to test with Sean. We are going to continue on with the Torc 1 products as they are great products and we now understand that the proper way to install them on a vibrating KX500. Sean also mentioned that the Torc 1 footpegs that we adapted to the KX500 felt incredible and gave him improved feel and control of the bike. We will also be mixing the fuel according to manufacture specs and not according to the age old method of 32:1.

We now move on to the new Project KX500 with lessons learned from the current Beast. The goal will be to have both #207 KX500's side by side at Day in the Dirt in a few weeks. I encourage any questions that anyone may have as I was only able to touch on a few items in this write up.

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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:59 pm

My thoughts so far...
This bike was built at the last minute with mostly 20 year old used parts on a chassis that was designed 30 years ago..
Basically we handed the bike to Sean just barely broke in.
Even the piston and rings were used.
Sean had no practice time before hand.
We had four technical problems that were easily solved.
1. Torque the Torque One Racing shift lever higher then factory specs and loctite it.
2. Loctite the Torque One Racing rear brake lever toe piece.
3. Use Amsoil 10/40 in the gear box to eliminate clutch chatter.
4. Use 50:1 oil in the premix, not 32:1 to help with overheating and blend the C12 with 50% pump gas.
All these issues would have been manifest before hand if Sean had the time to take the bike out and ride it before the race.
Sean last raced in June with only two rides since then.
Like the rest of us at KX Guru Racing, Sean has a day job and a family.
None of us get to ride as much as we would like.

Something else to mention, in the second race, Sean got the hole shot against world class riders on factory prepped bikes.
How much money did those bikes have dumped into them?
Other then having the compression bumped a bit, and a very mild port job, the KX500 engine was mostly stock.

Just imagine what the factories could do with the KX500 platform if they wanted to.
Just image what we could do with even a modest amount of factory support.
Remember, KX Guru Racing is made up of non trained, garage mechanics, with a love of big bore 2 stroke engines.
Except for some porting tools and my Vapor Blaster (Fancy cleaning machine), we have no special tools or equipment.

Another important detail to point out is what will be done to prep this bike for the next race.
Wash the bike.
Since it is so new, re-torque the nuts and bolts.
Clean the air filter.
Lube the chain.
Check the tire pressure before the next race.
What maintenance will the big factory guys be doing to their bikes before the next race? :lol:
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:11 pm

I've received a few pm's from some people expressing sadness or disappointment in our finishing.
After all we all love this bike and people love a winner.

First I want to say, That's racing folks :lol:
Remember, we are up against full factory supported riders, on the most modern equipment.
Guys that ride and race for a living.
Sean's last raced in June and rode twice since then.
He doesn't even work out.
As a team, we have never done this before and never worked together before.
Factory backed riders have well oiled teams and everyone is a expert in what they do.
Sean had no practice time ahead of the race which would have revealed what were individually minor issues.
We had people working on the bike who know little to nothing about the kx500.
We had no monetary support, except what team members donated.
Nearly all the engine parts were used.
The cylinder plating was worn out to where you can see bare aluminum around the exhaust port.
We were not allowed to modify the engine performance wise.
We had almost no time to rebuild the bike.
The list goes on and on.
I can't say that we couldn't have done better, but we were severely handicapped, and finishing 5th in the final race with no back brake was nothing short of amazing 8-)
So, stay tuned because we are just getting started.
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Sandblaster » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:04 pm

Ok, we have a tentative plan for the beast.
We want to build a duplicate of the Groot motor out of the Beast.
Groot it extremely torquey... The Beast likes to rev up a bit more.
A certain amount of wheel spin is desirable... To much or uncontrollable wheel spin is really bad... :o
After building up the Beast to KX Guru Racing Specs we have several mods to make that will need to be dyno'd against Groot.
Even though Groot has amazing bottom and mid range, we feel that we can do even more with it.
But, we don't want to be taking Groot apart all the time for testing... So, the Beast will become Sean's back up bike and test rig.
It's sad that someones back up bike is nicer then my bike 8-)
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

Kx500fan
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Re: Sean Colliers KX500 Project "I was only going to inspect the top end"

Post by Kx500fan » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:42 am

I'm watching.... :lol:

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