Well after having the new bike out on track on four separate test occasions, I am excited to relay my findings and opinions on the new kit. For the first test we had some really bad track conditions, cooler temps combined with a surface glazed in sugar patches and offering very inconsistent traction, made it less than the ideal first test we had hoped for.
Never the less the bike handled the conditions surprisingly well, most importantly it stayed together, did not loose any screws or break anything even though between getting used to the conditions and learning the feel of this new bike we gave it a non-intentional good crash test work out. No lap records were broken on day 1 but, I was able to lap the bike consistently enough with a pace not too far from the current race pace set on my more familiar bike.
To see how it compared on the day to the 15 bike we gave them a back to back test. Same pilot and same electronics setup, same tyres which were the new B3's. The new bike was much easier to drive, more consistent and 2 tenth faster on the best laps. A positive result and also some work to do on fine tuning and setup before Test 2.
So after some fine tuning in the workshop, and some setup change on the electronics and front and rear damping we hit the track again for a second test at MRCCR. This time the track was a little better, but the temps were a little lower and the B3's even when heated and lapping consistently could not retain the temp in them, so they would activate.
providing we stayed within the traction limits the lap times were consistent, but limited to the fact the tyre was not ideal for our conditions. The general behavior and attitude of the bike on the track was really good, the SDS 2.0 steering with out of the box settings felt awesome. Not having had a great deal of experience using this system i found it excellent. I could put the bike anywhere i wanted on the track, the damping and response to input was perfect. On my radio I tried from 85 - 100% DR. Depending on how much input you use in the controller both felt very good.
My electronics were still quite aggressive for the weight of my trigger finger, the bike and the track conditions. One other small detail we found after several un-expected and quite spectacular crashes was the rear swing arm was binding on the chassis plates on compression. While it was easily overlooked it turned out to make a massive difference in the handling and performance of the bike, especially when clipping curbs or hitting bumps on the track.
If your building one of these bikes, it is important to pay particular attention to this area. The tolerances are intended to be very tight, as such it may be necessary to use some light sanding of the SLS standoffs that join the crash bar assembly of the chassis. If you are a hair width too tight here the swing arm will bind and upset the bike severely.
Prior to the next test session, I went over the bike and found it worth while just going over all the screws on the chassis, hubs ect. I was able to get up to 1/3 of a turn on many. quite normal after our initial break in runs. So with the swing arm sorted and a switch to new B2 compound tyres, some further tweaking of electronics i set out for another test.
This time we had just 14 degrees track temp and ice cold wind to keep things interesting. The bike was great, a night and day difference in handling especially when accidentally clipping a curb or even running off track. The bike was a lot more forgiving and my new power settings on the ESC were much better suited to the track conditions.
The bike was even easier to drive, lap times were consistent and there was plenty of margin for error and correction when you mess it up. From the bars the bike picks it self up quickly and within half a turn most times. The steering control and feel at slow speed and high speed is perfect allowing you to put the bike where you need it to go.
For all our testing we kept the bars at 19-20 degrees lean angle. I played with the gearing of the bike a little and after breaking a tooth off the 48P spur on the second outing, I quickly switched to the more reliable and robust 32DP gearing. Using a 60T spur and 12T pinion giving me an FDR of 12.69. Overall really impressed with bike in all aspects from the build, performance and the ease of maintenance. It's easy to work on any part of the bike and really easy to replicate any setup changes required from one session to the next.
In conclusion if you are beginner looking for your first bike or an experienced pilot looking to upgrade or add to your collection then this kit will surely impress in every way. If you would like to know more about anything covered or even missed here drop us a line down below.