2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by SS109 »

Get'n it! Nice action shots! :supz:
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by doakley »

I love that you are working on your starts. So important and yet few racers spend time working on them. You'll do much better if you can get a good start and not have to be held up and work your way through the pack. You obviously have podium speed so get up front and duke it out with the fast guys! Great job!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by doakley »

Here's a start tip you might not have thought of. If possible, get right next to your fastest competitors, guys that typically have good starts. They aren't likely to mess up and run into you at the start like less experienced racers. Then just beat them at their own game!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

Working on starts is funny…
Out of about thirty I did the few days prior to the race I think I had maybe five that everything came off right and felt competitive. But, almost by accident I figured out that by literally pressing my chest down to the handlebar pad, while on my toes, squeezing my thighs, the bike could launch hard and keep the wheel closer to the ground.

Then if she fired off the kick (having cycled the piston through beforehand to that notch just BTDC) and my throttle was held open about a quarter turn, she’d light off with authority and all I had to focus on was feeding clutch and more throttle. Then as she surged forward I drag my toes behind and squeeze the bike with my knees, finally bringing my shifter foot to the peg just in time to snick 3rd, then my brake foot onto the peg. Pretty much like the road racers do and not what a lot of the hare scramble guys seem to do. They are usually quick to get feet on the pegs right at the start.

Doing this put me at least even with all the fast starters and I had her well onto the pipe charging into the first corner. My peripheral vision told me guys were coming on my outside, but I had them covered with my deep inside line position that set me up to sweep across in front and use the width of the track to carefully bleed some cornering momentum to the other side where we had a left turn around a bale.
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It really helped having observed that the water truck had not soaked the inside of the first corner. I knew there was dry traction to initiate deceleration to a point just before my shallow apex in the middle of the track. In the video you can see a guy right of me who was fast in to the outside who had problems cornering hard with the wetter middle line, this kept him from getting to my inside for the left turn and also cost him another position to a guy following me.
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We saw a lot of guys go down here on other starts, including my son who you see loop it out in the video in front of the entire field below…
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I used just enough track to allow me to straight line that corner and aim through the flags and straight for the next right hander. This was a big advantage.
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Hard on the pipe and down low over my bars, she ripped past the bale to that corner, having that line got me back on the pipe earlier and gave me separation.
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Once there I sat up and lifted, leaned into a slide and drifted across to the inside line for the next corner and ripped her again. This held off the guy behind me and also covered my line. This method got me out of the starting field chicanes with the lead, stringing out the field.

At that point I didn’t know the course well enough to stay after it so I moved over and followed the first chaser. Felt pretty neat getting that hole shot, I’m probably the least experienced guy in that class, and am almost certainly on the oldest, heaviest and least technologically advanced machine.
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by KDXGarage »

Technique over wallet! Great job. Keep at it.
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

Talked to Jeff Fredette this week. He’s preparing for another run in The Great Race…
https://www.greatrace.com/route

He and his son, Eric were Grand Champions in 2018 driving this 1931 Ford Truck with a flathead V-8. Note the sidewall deflection in that rear tire! On a recent visit he took me to a local lunch spot in one of his off-road Geo Trackers and that’s pretty much how that quick trip felt!
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This year the course starts in Warwick, Rhode Island and rolls through to Fargo, North Dakota.
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by KDXGarage »

WOW!! Lots of flex there. Cool story to hit a lunch spot with him.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

Noticed on a ride last week that my headlight was INOP. Can’t have that! Pulled it out and saw it was kablown so started looking for a new one. RMATVMC had this nice little Tusk bulb available for $10 so I ordered it along with a few other small parts, another Tuff Jug (my son’s new bike is running 50:1) and some more MSR gloves they had on sale. Always like to get that free shipping deal.
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FedEx showed up this morning, that was fast! Popped the new bulb in today and managed to line the fitting up correctly first try and she works great. It’s really nice having a punchy little light in those deep woods and dark shrubbery tunnels like we have here in SW Virginia.
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by SS109 »

I don't recall, do you have a high output stator? If not, I bet that thing dims considerably at idle and doesn't reach full output even at speed being a 60watt bulb.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

Honestly I don’t know about the stator, but that rascal is super bright and even at idle it’s a noticeable difference. My son noticed it today (we were riding in the rain) and said, “Dad, did you fix your light? It looks way brighter!”

Previous owner might have replaced the stator with something improved. I did notice it looked really clean and new when I was in there. I’m pretty stoked about the quality of light it’s putting out now.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

LET’S GET CAUGHT UP… race updates

VCHSS Race #8 (my 5th) Kairos Resort, Glen Lynn, Virginia
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Easily the toughest course on the schedule, probably a little too ‘hard enduro-ish’ for some (lot of folks skipped), with the amount of rain leading up to the race the week before it was extra gnarly.

I already described the general conditions of this place located on the West Virginia State line just west of Blacksburg in this earlier post… viewtopic.php?p=221913#p221913

My local track, and I know most of it thoroughly, but there is always new sections being added and it always kicks my butt. This time I shot myself in the foot by deciding I could get just a little more out of an old front Dunlop MX 53F I’ve been abusing. It’s an intermediate terrain tire I’d swapped on for the summer break and was too cheap and lazy to swap out for fresh knobs. This was a serious mistake. Combined with the vicious IRC VE-33 Volcanduro on the rear that thrives in muddy, rocky, rooty and slick creek rock terrain, my bike had dual personalities on the wet and greasy trails. The front was getting pushed all over by the rear and that really worked me over. Felt and looked like a total noob.

… A week later I returned to these trails with a fresh Bridgestone M59 in identical conditions and ripped it up. Mind blowing how different and more satisfying that experience was… probably would have finished two spots higher.

THE START…
Lining up on the inside of about ten other racers on the uphill, short wet grass start, there was a hard left 180 around a clops of trees before charging back down the hill on a rough, muddy road to the flags. This funneled into a left-hander chicane single track into some trees and finally into the woods. My plan as usual was to gain everlasting glory and international fame with a hole shot and then just try to survive the ensuing carnage of this extremely technical track up and down the mountainside.

Carefully studying the flag girl I picked out her routine and confidently waited my turn. Earlier I had noted the inside line was prime as it was drier close underneath the overhanging trees, the outside was slick as snot and the morning classes were sliding out up there. One guy went underneath the banner for a wild ride.

At the ‘ten seconds’ call I hunkered down and found top-dead-center, and then my mind wandered as I envisioned the thrilling victory I was about to clench, the fame, the cover shot in Cycle News with the headline ‘KDX Still Getting It Done’, the invite for a 3-hour interview on Whiskey Throttle podcast with Ping…

Truth is I kind of went to sleep for a second and was awoken by the flash of falling green flag, but reacted quickly enough to get a decent start with my 200 roaring to life and a good launch. I surged up the hill with a roar turning tightly under the shade of the trees, ducking some low branches and then swinging wide and down the hill in 4th, feathering the clutch with throttle wide and accelerating to pass one rider for the flags where I was up to third. Disappointed I didn’t get a better jump.

At the funnel the 2nd placed rider went down in front of me and I slid off the track to avoid him and stalled. Quickly kicking her back to life, I filtered back in line and there was still three bikes behind me as we entered the woods. Into the greasy single track I quickly discovered a serious deficiency in front end authority. I let the others get around me as I struggled just to stay on my bike.

With the pressure now off I followed and began figuring out how to survive. The rear tire was doing all the work, driving like a champ, but the front was completely out to lunch.

I found my limits of control and started to get a handle on things and learned if I just put her in a rut like a slot car I could get around. Ruts were my weakness, but I’ve been working on them and today was my day to gain experience.

There were some very hard and steep, muddy, rocky climbs and they took their toll on many. The first one stalled me out near the top as I was cut off by a rider falling over in front of me, eventually a volunteer hooked a strap to my forks and got me over the crux. This struggle, picking up my bike at least twice while barely even being able to stand smoked me pretty good, but I continued on to the next hill climb as I caught my breath. The very technical, steep downhill single track led to an upstream creek run of about half a mile which wasn’t terrible. I’ve been practicing these and have some confidence in creeks now.

At the bottom of the next more typical mountain side climb there were volunteers and a marshal offering advice at the bottom. There was also a by-pass, but I decided that I wanted to at least climb this rascal once. While studying the the wide array of terrible options the AA guys came through lapping me (we’re at mile marker 3 of 8!) and I watched them blast up.

Guess I spent ten minutes here recovering my strength and watching the show (there were many failed attempts) before finally taking my shots, eventually I succeeded, but at a large cost to my energy reserves. The rest of the course was more fun and some of the fresh single track was drier somehow on top of the ridge.

There were some more extremely steep and narrow descents which I was extra cautious (read SLOW) with and lost more time on, but I survived and pressed on.

Finally finishing my first lap, I was amazed to get a white flag instead of the checkered. Seeing it I spun out and dropped the bike in the grease, struggling to get up I slung my leg over and crossed the line. I looked up at the screen but didn’t see my name or place. Assuming I was last I didn’t really care, but another lap of that rascal was going to be a serious test. I was disappointed actually that I wasn’t done, but remembered stopping a lap short at Graves Mountain and it costing me points plus a season high 4th place finish. Not doing that again!
So I started my second lap.
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LAP DEAUX (DOH!)…
Did I mention I had forgotten to eat lunch before the race?

That first climb actually went better on my second attempt with no bodies on my line. I did get a wheel pull from the last volunteer to stick around (my hero!), but didn’t need the full strap treatment. The second big hill climb I failed on after numerous futile attempts that left me gasping for air and finding the by-pass. The single track up top that had been fun last lap had been freshly showered on by the localized rain storms passing through and what was previously’hero dirt’ became decidedly less so. This found me making lots of mistakes and dumping my bike in less than ideal places, always to the downhill side where picking it up was necessary and nearly impossible.

The race winner actually joined the sweeper crew to help shepherd us remaining wannabes racers off the course. I was bonking, which was making normally doable challenges unimaginable (standing, talking, squeezing a clutch, pressing a brake). I slowly recovered and pulled it together enough to ride out and manage an improbable 5th place, 3 seconds out of 4th!

That’s twice this year I’ve been too sorry to hold onto fourth place and ended up fifth because of self-detonation.

Still had fun though.
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Henry had a great day testing out his new Rieju MR RACING 300 for the first time, and probably his last race till football season is over. I was pretty stoked to finally get some hardware on my home track.
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by SS109 »

LOL! Yeah, racing can be brutal sometimes and especially so when you don't do the right things to help yourself. Ah, that's racing! As long as you walked away it's a good day.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by billie_morini »

Moon, thank you very much for sharing all the story details and really good photos, too! So much fun to hear about these racing activities.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by MoonStomper »

Thanks for the kind words! I’ve been a bit laid up and missed the last two races. Finally just about finished writing up the one that followed Kairos, will post it soon.
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by KDXGarage »

Great write up! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by doakley »

Moonstomper, no, make that MR. MOONSTOMPER!
WELL DONE!!

Lord I still want to come watch you race sometime!

Keep on brapping!

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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green - UPDATE (part one)

Post by MoonStomper »

VCHSS Race #9 (my 6th) - River’s Edge Resort, Sandy Flats, Virginia

Finding myself now 7th in series points with no more throwaways to give, I need to finish three of the last five on the remaining schedule (minimum nine total finishes) in order to be invited to the season-ending banquet at the Hotel Roanoke. The brisket was real good last year so I’m going to try my best to qualify.

Rivers Edge flyer…
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River’s Edge Resort is in south central Virginia featuring rolling hills and woods terrain positioned across both sides of the Pigg River. It’s a very fun course and hosted an ISDE qualifier earlier this spring. The promoter was excited to use some of the things he learned from the ISDE folks to lay out the course for this event. This place has some down-sized motocross course jumps and whoops, extremely tight pine tree riding, steep and rooty hill climbs, shallow but narrow ledgey creek sections and some deep, sandy berms and river plains GP-style stuff that is full throttle.

It’s really one of my favorite courses though I never get good finishes here. The course conditions were prime, rain earlier in the week had most things just moist enough, but the motocross section was very dusty if you were behind someone.

I’ve made a few mechanical changes since last week. Swapped on a new Pro-Drive gold x-ring chain. When I went to remove the old one, I found I was missing the retaining clip! Installed a fresh Bridgestone M59 front at 12 psi with ultra-heavy duty tube, added air to the rear Tubliss to 5.5 psi on the VE-33. Following my son’s recommendation, I installed a foam step pad on top of the CEET tall/firm KDX seat foam underneath my old seat cover. I’d tested this seat mod some and really liked the feel so far.

HOLE SHOT ! … OH $#%+!…
With my son staying home, focused on playing football and taking a hiatus from racing, my wife rolled down with me the morning of the race and held the umbrella for some shade at the start line. That’s always nice on bright sunny afternoons when you’re waiting for things to kick off. Many from my class in the back row were hanging out under the trees at the edge of the field. Lot of guys I didn’t recognize, guessed there was 9 or 10 in my 50+ B group. Probably a few were locals that ride here often.

I lined up on the right side, up the hill (it was canted down slightly left) with a gradual climb towards a hard left hander around the hole shot flag with tape channeling down into the woods. Where I was setup to the far right was almost flat, which helps my with getting a good kick.

After the pre-race speech, prayer and National Anthem, we fired up our bikes and the AA guys prepared to take off. I focused on the rows launching ahead of me.
No going to sleep this time at the flag drop. The flag girl was rather good, but had a very slight tell, shifting her weight slightly from right to left before dropping her elbow.

Wave after wave took their turns, as the dust cleared from the 40+ B group and ‘TEN SECONDS’ was called I found TDC with my short KX125 kicker (thanks Slick_Nick!), pulled back on the throttle a quarter-turn and laid my chest down against the purple Renthal bar pad, chin and elbows up…

Her weight began to shift and my leg thrust down, ol’girl screamed to life and I eased off the clutch, pulling more throttle as my toes dragged behind, the front wheel stayed down, my butt pushed back against the step seat - we were OFF!
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Instantly clear of the lone rider to my right, my peripheral vision to my left showed just one orange blur at the far end - it was going to be him and me and it wasn’t going to be him… foregoing third gear I slipped a little more clutch and held her WIDE to the flag. The rev pipe did it’s thing and she SURGED us ahead.
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HOLE SHOT!!! … that’s where my race took a little turn… or DIDN’T.
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I was so excited I forgot to set up for the turn properly, utterly neglecting the front brake I used the rear brake instead and got too much, locked up, sliding through the chopped up grass straight towards the black and red Motosport banner. I laid her over to the left as my wheels went under the vinyl and quickly jumped up pushing down the hill and hopped back on. Pushing off and rolling again I lifted the clutch and she sprang back to life.
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I still beat one rider into the woods. Kind of embarrassing really, I do know how to use my front brake and just didn’t.

… see PART Duhh below…
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green -UPDATE (part duhh)

Post by MoonStomper »

VCHSS Race #9 (my 6th) - River’s Edge Resort, Sandy Flats, Virginia… CONTINUED

The dust cleared once in the woods and the course was very fast and rather rough. Lots of 30” narrowly spaced tight pine saplings and trees, sandy washes, and rocks. Entering the motocross section I blitzed the mini-whoops (shorter than last year?) and ripped the corners, I was far enough back that the dust wasn’t an issue on my first pass and so I just grabbed a handful going up the jump faces. Felt great!
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Till one of the last ones when I lost my nerve near the lip and let off the throttle too soon. The nose down trajectory this caused made my successful near inverted, vertical landing both a relief and a surprise. Surprised my front fender didn’t plow a row for potatoes there. The gasps from the onlookers was audible. I shook my head and bypassed the next big jump.

There were some steep climbs that my bike just ripped up, the step seat really helped here especially with lifting my hips forward and getting me over the front at the bottom. Probably the best performance I’ve enjoyed on hill climbs. These climbs had big shiny roots, and ledges, no run in at the bottom and some sketchy side camber direction changes near the top. I was always thrilled to reach the top first try and it motivated me to press on.

There was also some slimey creek bottom sections that were full of round river rocks that felt like a Saturday night disco. A little lot of body English,was required here (read - channel your inner Bob Hannah here)!
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In the end, I managed three consistent laps and a finish in 7th of 9. I had competed with a guy for 6th on a KTM 350, but he passed and pulled away from me on the second lap, I passed him on the moto track on the jumps in the dust, but he worked his way back by me in the woods. On the third lap he managed to pass the scoring trailer in time to get a 4th lap. I was just a few minutes behind and missed that cutoff. He was riding cleaner than I was and that consistency is worth time on the clock. I was just pressing too hard.

It wasn’t a great result, but it was a great day and I learned a lot.
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Since the race, I’ve experienced another ‘lower back episode’ which has been a challenge to overcome. I had to miss the following race, Coyote Run which is one of my favorites and in nearby Bland County, Virginia and then the most recent race too, Pipsico down near historic Williamsburg on the James River. This last one I probably could have raced, but decided to skip it and take a little more healing time. Missing these has cost me a position in the points as well as a chance to move up to fifth for the season in 50+B.

With threes races left I still have an opportunity to qualify for the banquet if I don’t miss any more. The banquet is pretty dang fun and I’m hoping to just sneak in.

With only three left, the next race is in Floyd County and is on a big farm where they have held a 6 hour race that we did earlier in the spring as part of the VCORR winter series. It’s a pretty rowdy place and plenty challenging. It can be seriously greasy.

Watching the f-book flame wars this week it’s clear the AA guys are getting fired up about the race start. There’s a money line on the hole shot and it’s going to be WILD.
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
'03 KDX 200 - @%@ '18 Trek Slash 8

BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA USA
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SS109
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by SS109 »

Congrats on the holeshot! You showed that the old KDX can still put a whoopin on these modern bikes if the rider does their part. All that really matters is that you had fun!
AZ State Parks OHV Ambassador - Trail Riders of Southern AZ
'11 GasGas EC250R
Current KDX: '98 KDX220
Old KDX: '90 KDX200 -White/Blue
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Goat
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Re: 2022 - Racing KDX Green in a sea of orange

Post by Goat »

Congrat’s!! Headed to last race this weekend.
I am looking to defend my normal 7th place or better in the race and 4th in the season points.
KDX are fantastic for dead start hole shots!
Goat
95 KDX200
17 RMZ250
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