Thursday, 19 June 2014

Update: Wales Air Ambulance EXC engine rebuild

It turned out to be the worst case scenario for my poor little KTM, the main bearing had gone, so the engine had to be taken out and opened up, with the internal seals being replaced along with main bearing, conrod kit, piston and rings, spark plug, gearbox oil and coolant. While it's with the great lads and lasses of ET James, they're also fitting a new set of Michelin Enduro Comp tyres for me and checking the exhaust to make sure it's not too noisy. I suspect most of the noise was coming from the engine before, so hopefully the exhaust will be OK for now.

So, trying to be optimistic, at least I caught it early enough, the cylinder didn't need re-plating or re-boring and the engine should be spot on for another 100 hours.

Meanwhile, the car isn't looking so hot, with a big list of things to fix it's a really tough decision as to whether or not I spend the money on it or sell it for spares. I love that car so that makes it even tougher!

Anyway, this weekend is my chance to run-in the engine before the Welsh 2 day on Thursday next week, then the bike will have a good thorough prep/check/clean on Sunday, ready for scrutineering on Wednesday.

It looks like it's going to rain at the Welsh too, which will make the tests harder, but I feel like it might be an advantage for me on the going because I feel fit at the moment after all the training I've been doing. A minute on the going will be easier to gain than a minute on the tests, but I'm sure all the top riders in the Sportsman will be on time, I need to make sure I'm one of them, just like last year. In 2013, I finished 21st, just 15 seconds off a gold medal. It was my second attempt after a DNF in the clubman class the previous year, so I was just pleased to get round on time. This year I will be pushing for a gold medal and a top 20 finish. That might sound easy, but with a sportsman class well over 200 riders in capacity and with a few of those being more than capable of setting a good time in the clubman class (don't ask), that's no mean feat! I'm really excited now and cannot wait to get onto that start line!

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