The Honda Europe technicians
had their first field day
News from the
The Honda Europe technicians had their first field day in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 29. And Bueno! it was indeed, for both Russian competitor Alexey Naumov and American rider Quinn Cody took their meticulously prepared motorcycles around for the final tests before scrutineering on December 30. Both riders came back in with big smiles and only requests for minor adjustments. Even though it was to be expected that months of meticulous motorcycle engineering would result in well-performing machines, this final approval by the riders themselves is a big reward for the builders. Dutch veteran rider Mirjam Polspent a lot of time today helping out the team with her detailed knowledge of logistics and procedures of the 2011 Dakar Rally. She has had her test rides during the development of the motorcycles in Vorden, The Netherlands and in Tunisia. While Alexey had also been able to reviously test the Dutch suspension setup in Tunisia, Quinn took no chances and brought his own front and rear suspension from the USA. Being able to predict the changes in attitude that the motorcycle will show at the flick of a screwdriver, is all-important. Quinn basically uses the same type of suspension character that has brought him success, even an all-out victory, in the 2010 Baja 1000. The new element for him is weight distribution, for some 13 kilograms (18 litres) of fuel is stored behind and below. Some of this weight must remain at the rear until the main front tank is at the same level. Riders are used to having the center of gravity more upfront due to the 13 litre fuel tank above the single-cylinder 450 cc engine. Once off-road, Quinn expects to make only few final adjustments to the shock absorbers in order for them to deliver full racing performance.
Another final adjustment to the American rider’s bike today, is on the carburetor. The aim is to fine-tune the fuel flow in conjunction with the cylinder head that Quinn chose. He prefers original Honda parts over any specialty equipment, shopping for the combination that best suits his racing style. In this case, the pilot jet is enlarged to give slightly more fuel when the throttle is up to one-quarter open. The needle is also changed, actually giving a leaner mixture across the rev -range. The same is true for the main jet. Should one think that Quinn is saving fuel by running a leaner mixture, the actual intention is better performance. It just happens that the special engine character benefits from these choices.