Pushing the starter button for the first time always stresses me out. It shouldn’t, but for some reason it still does and likely always will. But after 5 seconds, the stress is replaced with a quiet satisfaction and then the joy of what generally marks then new life of a bike that I may or may not keep – but one that will transport me through a new riding season. The DB1SR lit right up and although far too lean with Fran’s set-up for jetting, all was well with the motor and the sound with the Montjuich cams put a grin on my face as I warmed it up.
With everything that’s been going on in my life lately, this has been a seriously long build with long pauses that made it difficult to jump back into the process and get into a rhythm going. But, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and although I can only get a few hours to work on it each weekend, it’s down to the small stuff (knock on wood) now. I hope to be on the dyno with it by the end of the month and then it’s off to Calabogie in late May with the two bikes.
This foray into the old-school, small-block Pantah-based motors is proving to be a fun process although I’m gonna miss the stump-pulling torque that came with the big engines, it was making me into a lazy rider on the track. Then again, ask me how I feel about this after a season of running with Fran on a level playing field..
Like the TT1, the DB1 has been a challenging build with lots of time spent whittling bits of aluminum, wrestling with packaging and fussing over detail - but with far more time spent cursing the designer. I have high expectations for both machines though and expect them to be a hoot to ride. I wish there were more venues on the schedule that would allow me to run them with the open pipes – both machines have that great loping cadence that I love to bits and don’t hear often enough.. I obviously have a fetish for exhaust sound and unfortunately, the opportunity to run ‘em as they did ‘back in the day’ is fast coming to a close.. Mosport once a year, ditto with the 10-hour trek to Grattan or 14 hours to VIR. And now that I know what I know, the performance of the open systems is actually inferior to a well-designed silenced system. I’m beginning to realize that in my lifetime, there may only be a few venues in North America where we can run ‘em loud. Get it while the getting’s good.
So, it’s back into the shop this morning – fool around with jetting ‘till I get it into the ball park. Make some noise today.