SantaC-14Card (288K)
Fourth Quarter 2018 Louisiana MSTA Newsletter Bob Chappuis, Editor

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Turn One

Christmas Eve and I am in rush mode hoping to get this final issue published so I can get in a ride on this cool clear day! I was caught off guard by the STAReview team with a surprise, new format, digital only STAREVIEW which took a few tries before we could get it properly displayed online at www.ridemsta.com. For those who do not know, I am the webmaster. One we got that sorted I could get to work on THIS newsletter.

Not much group riding news to report but Kevin Yeats did scamble a few of the squadron for an RTE at Cou Yons BBQ in Port Allen. I rode down the west bank with local riding buddy Bobbee Leake on his new to him BMW 800 GS. Kevin and Tony Crowell met us at Cou Yons. Good BBQ and good riding with perfect weather. The last week of November I rode the Concours to Natchitoches, LA to see the famous Christmas lights. Stacie and I stayed two night at the Steel Magnolias Bed & Breakfast and enjoyed some great meals on the river front and the pretty Christmas displays on both sides of the Cane River. I even managed to ride some nice twisties on the way there and back.

Our newletter offerings inlude a track day repport and a How To. On Sunday, December 9, myself and member G. L. Legendre of Pierre Part both did the open track day at NOLA Motorsports Park. We both had a great time despite temperatures that did rise above 46F and a couple damp corners early in the day. I have a little writeup below with pictures. After Sunday I left the bike and my riding gear in the van and went back the following Wednesday to ride the NOLA WOW (Wide Open Wednesdays - motorcycles up to 450 cc on the NOLA kart track, see my writeup in the last issue on my first WOW back in October). We also have a write up by Hahnville member Kevin Yeats of his preventive maintenance work on his 2014 Triumph Explorer, thanks Kevin!


NOLA Motorsports Open Track Day

By Ninja Bob

Two Louisiana MSTA members attended an open track day for motorcycles at NOLA Motorsports Park on December 9. I rode my Yamaha YZF R3 and Pierre Part member G.L. Legendre rode his Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Z900.

I lost out on the early bird discount for riders who pay a week in advance. I decided i was not going to ride in cold, rainy conditions, a real possibility in December! I did pack my heated jacket liner and glove liners along with my leathers, helmet and gloves just in case. Turned out I didn't need the electrics, the temp did not drop below 45 at the track. And heavy rain over night was gone by morning and only a few turns were wet for the first two sessions, . At the riders meeting a few riders commented that they had ridden track in similar temps and after a few laps the exertion would have body temp plenty warm. They were right, it was chilly on the first lap but by the second lap I was not thinking about it. My finger tips would get numb by the end of each session.

I rode in novice group hoping to pick up a few tips from the helpful control riders. I had ridden in intermediate group my previous days at NOLA since I had had plenty of track day experience at other tracks. However, I found it difficult to learn the track at that more hectic pace. I also hoped the slower pace would be easier on my bad right thumb. I was forced to take a break from track days in April 2017 due to the strain the hard braking was putting on the old thumb injury. 18 month later the thumb was pain free and I was hoping it would stay that way.

Old friend Brian Hoover is lead control rider for the NOLA open track days and runs a terrific introductory program for beginning track riders. Brian is a great mentor for first timers as well as experienced riders and I was looking forward to learning from him. Because novice group was fairly large they split us into two groups, slow group for first and second timers and fast group for more experienced riders, which included myself. The fast group was sent out first, followed by the slow, each group herded by control riders wearing bright yellow jerseys over their leathers. To keep new riders safe novice group has lots of rules and rule one for the first session was no passing. Our lead control rider took off and we were to follow in line observing and learning the fast line through each turn. The pace was by no means slow, the more powerful 600s and liter bikes would pull ahead of my R3 exiting corners and on the straights and I was needing to use plenty of trail braking for corner entry to keep up but my thumb was not complaining. Although it had been more than a year and a half since my last time on the track, it was coming back to me and by the end of the second session I was up to speed and ready to concentrate on learning the fast way around. Riding fast on a track is very different from riding fast on a highway where you are restricted to a 12 or 14 foot wide lane and have to consider what may be coming from the other direction. NOLA is quite wide and there are many different ways to get through turn, but usually only one or two FAST ways and lots of slow ones.

After the third session the two groups were joined up and I found myself behind some slower riders who were new to the track. We were only allowed to pass now but only on the straights. The bikes I was behind were 600 or bigger and would pull away on the straights and I would catch up again at the turns turns. This was really fun as I did not feel like a "slow old guy" (I was probably the oldest guy at the track and the vast majority in the novice group were under thirty). Stuck behind slower riders in the turns I could see the mistakes they were making and I think this helped me learn the track.

During the fourth session control rider Henrik Larsen pulled in front of me and signaled me to follow him. He proceeded to run a lap at a pace where I could remain close so I could observe and follow his line. Henrik was on a 300 Ninja and his known as one of the faster riders at NOLA on it despite his large size. A chance to follow Henrik was one of the reasons I rode in novice group. Mission accomplished. After the session Henrik came to my pit and gave me some constructive criticism. He said I was late apexing the turns as if I was on a larger more powerful bike; the key to going fast on a smaller bike was an earlier turn in and maintaining higher corner speed. Bing Bing Bing! I worked on that during the final session with some success. I still have a lot to learn, breaking habits of riding a 1400 for 200,000 miles is not easy.

All in all it was a really good track day. I pitted between two old track day friends Jay Hebert and Roddy Spring, who both have some racing experience and ride in advanced group. I did not get to ride with them but enjoyed some good comradery in the paddock. I look forward to the next NOLA open track day at the end of January.

Here are some photos of the paddock showing the variety of equipment, from a Harley Davidson to CMRA race bikes. Advanced group usually included several racers who come to practice the track for races held there. The Ferraris were there for a Ferrari event scheduled to begin the next day. The final two images are on track photos of are G.l's Ninja and my R3


2014 Triumph Explorer Maintenance

By Kevin Yeats

12-21-18 thru 12-23-18. Itís winter time preventive maintenance for my TEx which has 18,000 miles. The work includes/included new air filter, new spark plugs, drain and fill the coolant, flush the brake fluid and flush the clutch fluid. The first and biggest thing is removing the gas tank. The tank was about 3/8 full, and I tried siphoning the gas, but it didnít work. So I thought no big deal, I can remove the tank with the gas in it. Well, I got the tank removed but spilled about 1-2 quarts of gas all over my jeans, shoes, and the garage floor. I didnít pay attention to the cross over tube and failed to clamp it. Iíll know better next time. Lesson learned, but hey, the tank is removed and the garage didnít blow up! Now here is a laundry tip, do not wash gasoline stained clothes in the washing machine, just throw them away! Below are a select few pics with narratives.
KY1 (150K)
Bike with the tank removed
. KY2 (139K)
. Some parts and pieces removed. Coolant, brake fluid, air filter, spark plugs, and a candle. The candle is to mask the gas smell in the garage. No, there was no boom or fire when the candle was lit.
. KY3 (132K)
. Here is my laptop connected to the bike. Tigertool is software from a guy in the UK. The software is for resetting the service wrench, reading error codes, bleeding the brakes(cycling the abs module), etc.
.KY4 (130K) Here the air box is removed and I am trying to get to the spark plugs. But of course, it takes guerrilla hands and strength to pull the three coils up.
.KY5 (271K)
.Here is my special coil removal tool.
. Christmas Eve and press deadline, LOL. Brakes and clutch fluid have been flushed/bleed. Spark plugs changed. Air filter changed. Air box re-installed. Today, I will just drain and fill the coolant. Next weekend I will put all the pieces and parts back on and finish up the work.


22nd Annual Last Ride of the Year
Saturday the 29th of December
The Stagecoach Cafe, Stockton, AL

Not an MSTA event but a handful of members usually attend


2019MSTAEvents (226K)

Above is just a screen capture of the official online list. The actual, interactive list is at http://www.ridemsta.com/Events/Events.php
Eldon Rix asked me to publish these details for his and Max Hendrix's Dual Sport Events.
Eldon&MaxEvents (159K)
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That will do it for 2018! It was great riding with many of you and I look forward to to covering more miles with you all in 2019. My mileage total for 2018 is over 32,000 a personal best and one more week to go!<.p>

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Prosperous and Safe NEW YEAR to all of you. KEEP IN TOUCH!

and Ride Safe,

Bob Chappuis