Friday, December 12, 2014

New Sponsor: Woodcraft

I have been using Woodcraft products literally since my first day on a track with my own bike.

When I started converting my 2011 ZX-10R to a track bike I wanted to protect her as much as possible from my lack of knowledge and skill.  I researched like crazy and discovered that I should have two things changed on the bike before going to the track:

* Clip-ons.
* Rear set

And I should also add two things:

* Frame sliders
* Case covers

In my research one name came up over and over again; Woodcraft.  Everyone's opinion was simple, buy their products.  They are built by racers for racers.  At the time I figured if their stuff was good enough for racers it had to be good enough for me.

Years later, I am still using those original parts I bought.  Even though I have crashed since then, every single part I bought is still usable.

One other thing that I bought through Woodcraft; my race plastics.  Woodcraft is the US distributor for Armour Bodies fairings.  These things have been amazing.  They have held up through crashes, simple drops, rubbing around in the trailer, etc.  I have now purchased Armour Bodies for every bike I have put on the track, they are that good.  Solid construction, flexible and they fit very nicely.

I am extremely pleased to announce that they have accepted me into their racer program for 2015.  I have already made my first purchase under the sponsorship and I have to say, the experience was amazing.  They really treat their riders well.  The experience was far better than I have come accustomed to in this field as a privateer racer.  It wasn't just a matter of "hey you are giving them money, of course they are nice".  Spend time in the racing field and you will find a lot of vendors don't subscribe to that opinion.  Woodcraft went above and beyond to SAVE me money as part of the conversation.

I am looking forward to a very busy and exciting season in 2015.  I am extremely pleased that Woodcraft is along with me for the journey.

Monday, December 8, 2014

AFM Board of Directors voting

In a few days, several positions on the AFM Board of Directors are going to be up for voting.  I am running for the SF Chapter Director.

If you are a member of the AFM, I would appreciate your vote.

My goal is to help promote the AFM to Northern California and increase our numbers in the coming years.  Tim Scarrott started an excellent campaign last year to promote the AFM and that campaign needs to continue.

I strongly believe that through media, social media and the technology of today we can bring our membership count back up and improve our club tremendously.

I have been watching our current board and how our club has been run for the past couple of years and I see that we are fairly stuck in the past when it comes to media, marketing and getting the attention that we need to keep our membership count up.

While the board has been doing a great job in some areas, we are sorely lacking in attention outside of our existing membership and that needs to change if we are going to stay solvent in the years to come.  I know how to make those changes.

We all know that the AFM is currently struggling financially.  There are a number of plans to help that situation but at the end of the day we need more members.  To get members we need attention from outside of our club.  We need new riders to recognize that our club exists and how great it is to be a part of it.

To learn more about the AFM, please visit their website at http://afmracing.org.

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Sponsor: Amsoil

I am extremely pleased to announce a new sponsor for 2015; Amsoil.

Amsoil has been making lubricants for over 40 years and I am proud to have them as a sponsor for my 2015 race season.

When I first started attending track days I had no idea the stresses that are put on a motorcycle engine on the race track. I always considered oil changes to be one of those "when you get to it" types of maintenance activities. Fortunately I have learned a lot since then.

Now that I am racing it has stepped up even from track days. When I was just doing track days I would count the days since the last oil change and every 8-9 track days I would change the oil and change the filter every other oil change.

Now that I am racing and putting even more stress on the engine I am no longer counting days, I count hours. How many hours the engine has been running and based on that number, deciding when to change the oil and the filter.

In addition to the frequency of oil changes, the type of oil you choose can have a huge impact on the performance of the engine. Since a motorcycle uses the same oil for the transmission and the engine itself, the oil impacts how well the transmission works. Some engines work better with some oils. My former race bike, a 2005 GSXR 600, ran great on Rock Oil. However it did not like pure synthetics very much. It would get harder to shift, pop into false neutrals, etc.

My current race bike (2011 ZX-10R) on the other hand does not like Rock Oil or Motul very much. Again, this would present as rough shifts and false neutrals. So choosing an oil is not just about which is cheapest, which will last longest, etc. It is about choosing an oil that works well with you and your motorcycle.

I will be reporting back here as the season progresses to let everyone know how both of my race bikes like the Amsoil oils. I have used them before (prior to racing) and expect no issues.