State of the Garage - September 2018

This should be a detailed writeup of the year, seeing as I owe three LRRS race reports, Boxshop, etc but instead it's now a season summary.

The short, short version, at round 7 of LRRS I crashed in the warm up lap of ULSB, trashing A-ko. In doing so I pissed my hand off meaning the last two supermoto events coming up are likely out as well. Not how I wanted to end the year, but it's not all bad. This year had some big positives:

- Got an RV, making track life and traveling much easier, dropping my stress levels greatly.

- A Suzuki Savage has joined the garage, staying in the family.

- Finally did a sub 1:20 lap, cracking out a 1:19.938 in ULGP at round 6. Just a slight improvement from a 1:42.78 back in 2008 when I started. I'm now fighting with the top half of the pack in ULSB and GTL, and no longer feel like an also-ran in those classes.

- The FZR ran every weekend, with the only issues being mechanic (me) induced rather than bike induced as in years past.

- On the supermoto front something has clicked there as well, I'm finally starting to ride with a little aggression.

I finished 4th overall in ULGP, beaten by two Kramers and a Moriwaki, aka out GP'd in my own GP class. To be fair, Brett, Rick and Shawn are all clearly better riders than I am and deserve their podiums. Trying to chase them down as they ran up to 3+ seconds a lap faster than me proved to be an uphill battle. I can put a tiny bit of it on bike choice and setup, but really they just out rode me, and finding a 19 proved there is still some speed left to be found hidden in the FZR.

Meanwhile... the FZR. It's currently suffering from a similar theoretical repair bill as was required back at the end of 2014. Fairings got trashed, subframes trashed, ignition cover holed, tank beat up, peg busted. What isn't as clear in my mind this time around is if I should repair it or not. The arguments against the FZR are many, including the potential bill for the parts required, if I can find them or people to recreate them. That required a year off from LRRS to pull off last time. It can now also be argued that with the arrival of the Kramers it's not even competitive in it's own native class, let alone riding up one or two classes.

The argument list FOR the FZR is shorter, it boils down to "I enjoy the bike". I don't like when I have to chase parts overseas, having things recreated by machinists, etc, but ripping past unsuspecting SVs and motards with a unique exhaust note is it's own rush.

If I don't repair the FZR I'm not sure what I'd replace it with. While I've had fun tooling around on the 600 I'm clearly not competitive, and prefer lighter bikes. (Just pushing that 600 up ramps drives me nuts...) I don't like SVs, I'm not buying a Kramer new and as much as I enjoy Sumo on a short track I like being hunched over at NHMS so I don't think a Sumo alone would scratch that itch for me. I have some ideas for potential sleeper builds but... that's how I got into this mess to begin with.

So, for now, I don't know what the plan is for 2019. This fall will be research heavy, things may play out that short track is really my best plan for next year, or I may decide to be dumb and setup the R6 proper? Dunno yet.