Things are coming together.
After all my talk of why I couldn’t fit an aftermarket exhaust silencer (“end can”) on my bike I got talking to someone on Twitter. He said to try a certain brand, so I went and looked. They said you could just straight swap the can, no retune, no remapping the computer for the fuel injection.
Entirely contrary to what I’d read. They were obviously selling new, expensive cans. I looked on eBay and someone was selling one for £39.99. I waited until the last minute and got my bid sniper bot to put in a bid. Got it for the opening price! Get in!
I stuck it on yesterday and compared it with a decibel app, not much louder, one or two Dbs.
Super. While I was fitting it I had a look at some other stuff. Apparently the exhaust is fitted with a butterfly valve, so it blocks exhaust gases up until 3,000 revs (making it quieter while you are warming the bike up, and, not coincidentally, making sure it meets industry emission standards at test levels) then opens up to make it racier when you are starting to rev.
That is a good feature by me. I can warm my bike up without getting lynched, bike goes RAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH! when I open it up.
The confusion lies in the fact that the computer that runs the fuel and the butterfly valve is set up to run with the back pressure of a standard exhaust, remove that and things go pear shaped. This is where Power Commanders come in. They are a plug in jobby that, by some techno voodoo, makes the computer do the right fuelling for any specific set up. The trouble is they cost about £300.
I looked under my seat to try to locate the servo (motor) to the exhaust (butterfly) valve, and there was a power commander! Woo-hoo!
I was told this bike was stock, that was a fib, but if it saves me shelling out £300 I’m OK with it.
So, three components: end can, exhaust valve, power commander. I have to say I’m out of my depth. I have no idea how to synch the three.
I looked online for a fancy garage that does dyno testing and remapping in the North West, and the best one is in Warrington!
You know how I took my VFR800fi in to a fancy garage, they took a week or so to service it, but the back brake still felt funny? So I rang them up and accused the highly skilled mechanic of not doing his job? Then found out Honda have linked the brakes on that model so no matter how hard you stand on the back brake it won’t lock up? So I had to ring back and apologise?
Anyway, I’ve booked it in for next Friday. They said they can stick it on the dyno and check if the fuelling is working for that set up (£45), if not, they can remap the power commander (£150 in total).
That’s still less than £200 all in. For a nice end can and a properly tuned bike. What I don’t want is to scrimp and blow my engine up.
I’m well happy with that.
The other thing is I’ve committed to the cheapo option on my tri training. I’ve ordered the Klingon Bird of Prey handlebars (£60) some fancy brakes for that style of handlebars (£10) and that 45 degree stem(£10). That’s it. Oh, and I’m having to swallow more humble pie and do what Wendy said in the first place, go and get a pair of properly fitted cycling shoes. And a better helmet at some point. No rush for the last two though, I don’t wear a helmet for training and my shoes are bearable over shorter distances. So £80 and my bike should put me in a proper aero position.
Somewhat cheaper than the £2,600 (FOR A PUSHBIKE!) dedicated triathlon bike over which I’ve been obsessing. They say the rider is 80% of the drag on the bike, so if I’m in a full aero position the difference shouldn’t be that huge. Once I’ve tuned the engine to max (my legs) I’ll worry about tweaking the bike.
The last thing is the running. My arbitrary training plan is to just run a bit longer each week at race pace (6.45 m/m) and build up. I’ve discovered a safe way of doing that is to run the first mile slow/ steady, the second faster, the third faster again, then slow down and catch my breath then do the fast miles. So far this is working.
I did my run today, hoping to push it to 2½ miles fast. The thing is, it’s hard. So very, very hard. 6.45 is a killer pace for me. After three warm up miles I was there or there abouts. I did a half mile at a jog, then had two minutes to get my pulse down. (I’ve dug out my heart rate monitor for my next run.)
I set off flat out, but quickly burnt out so just slogged it out. On the bright side, after taking the breather the 2½ mile didn’t seem half as bad as the 2 miles I did last week. Something to note.
When I got home and checked my stats. The first mile was 6.31! 6.31!
Followed by a 6.45 and a half mile at 6.48 pace (I thought I’d done the 2½ miles, slowed, then realised I still had a bit to go.)
It’s all good news!
In the past when I’ve been training at a target pace, (8 m/m I seem to recall) as I put in more miles I got quicker. Well, say I was training for a marathon, I could do a 10 mile run way quicker. I’m hoping, prematurely, that the 6.31 was a sign I’m getting used to the pace.