Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Agony of Mechanical Defeat

Hammer down in the first laps, working his way to the the front.
Without warning ....silence and disappointment, to say the least.
Sitting on the fence watching the Race is not good when you really thought you had a shot at winning.
The Thrill of Victory and The Agony of Defeat. Bryan gave Kopp and Atherton the Thumbs Up, then got to work pushing his bike back to the pits.
Morehead to the rescue. I'm sure Bryan Smith let this soak in as extra motivation for what became, so far, Two Spectacular Victories.

Bryan Smith on his Kawasaki 650 Twin was running strong all day at the first Mile of the Year in Arizona. The Green Machine with the ex Harley Factory Wrecking Crew Rider was looking very competitive and had everybody wondering just what might happen when Bryan pulls the trigger in the Main. The early laps were intense as the track varied from wet loam to a high velocity dust storm. No.42 was holding his own in the front group,dealing with the elements and the ferocious battle he was in. Without warning Smith pulls the bike out of the pack and looks to roll dead stick behind the bales, coming out of Two. Whaaat ? Team Green is out before the race really got going.
I read this story and it explains everything.

Article by Alan Girdler from
The Tipping Point.
The record book now shows that Bryan Smith and the Werner-Springsteen Kawasaki 650 have won two straight national mile races. There’s an asterisk, someplace, noting that Smith was in the hunt for the season’s first mile, the Arizona race won by Joe Kopp and Ducati, until the Kawasaki suddenly went dead in mid-turn.

After the race, in the pits, the engine ran fine. Back in the shop, on the dyno, flawless. Then Bill Werner consulted the tech guys at Kawasaki, and all was revealed.

This sporting middleweight Twin, which powers the production Ninja 650R, Versys and ER-6n, was designed for the street. Because it has all modern features—electronic ignition with engine management, for instance—Werner, a graduate of the Harley-Davidson racing department, didn’t fix what wasn’t broken.

What he didn’t know is that the ignition contained a safety feature. If the bike is tipped too far, as in a crash on the street, the ignition shuts itself off.

What the designers didn’t know was that the engine, in a racing frame, ridden by a pro, would back into turns leaned over so far that—you guessed it—the cut-off was triggered and the bike DNF’d.

The switch was, of course, de-activated, and history was made.