Jurby Track Day

Yesterday afternoon, Tuesday May 28th, we were given word that we had track time approved at the Jurby air strip for this morning.  All members of the team kicked it into high-gear to get the bike track ready so that we could get Rob on the bike before our first scheduled IOM lap this Friday.  The sun began to set quickly and before we knew it midnight was upon us with many tasks still to be done.  The new electronics’ enclosure and switch board which had been constructed in our garage throughout the day needed to be wired up, mounted and tested, the coolant still needed to be filled, the battery management modules needed to be mounted and wired, and most importantly we needed to test spinning the wheel which had not yet been done since we made it to the Isle.

The graveyard shift (Aaron, Nathan, Jenn and I) left the house around 12:30pm equipped with flashlights, tools, and the determination that we weren't going home until the bike was track ready.  We parked the van near the paddock, gave the guard at the gate a nod, and hauled our load to Rob's paddock.  Feeling like a suspicious group of saboteurs, we quietly ducked into the tent and flipped on the lights.  Immediately somebody opened the door of Rob's trailer, gave a half-conscious mumbled approval, and went back to sleep.  We then came to the realization that we couldn’t do half of the tasks we came to complete at the fear of waking everyone up with our angle-grinder or cordless drill.  After an hour or so of making silent modification compromises using shears and duct tape we decided to just fill the coolant and finish up in the morning.

When returning to the house I went to the garage and finished up the electrical housing tasks that I couldn’t do at the paddock, turning in just as the sun was coming up.  After what seemed to be only minutes since closing my eyes I was woken up and told to put on my shoes, we were going to the track!  The graveyard shift raced down to the paddock to spin the motor, which of course did not come without difficulty.  We had made a couple of connectors incorrectly which we tracked down and fixed by around 9:30am.  Then we loaded up the bike into Rob’s van and set off.

The drive to the Jurby air strip was beautiful.  We covered about half of the TT track before veering off toward the mountains.  Once at the track we began charging the pack as much as possible and warming the tires with a generator.  We then got Rob on the bike and rolling.  The bike was even quicker than our last track day in Ohio with the sprocket gearing changes we had made.  Unfortunately a known issue regarding a motor controller limit occurred, and we had forgotten our CAN bridge that we needed to fix it.  Rob quickly adjusted however, and got in about 20 laps at a best lap time around 10 seconds behind our toughest competitor.  Another collegiate team from England (Imperial) was out at Jurby as well.  At the end of our hour Imperial was on the track at the same time as our RW-2.  The whole team cheered as the RW-2 lapped Imperial twice, not intending to gloat of course.

As a result from our first track day on the Isle we discovered a few clearance issues and a battery management communication issue.  The mechanical team will be working on resolving the clearance issues tomorrow and the communication issue has been tracked down to a battery bussing mistake which when corrected will resolve the issue and actually provide our bike with more power.  The motor controller will also be reprogrammed to avoid the problem that occurred today.  We have our work cut out for us tomorrow to get the bike ready for the practice lap on Friday but overall Rob gave us very positive feedback on the handling and power that the RW-2 offers.  He seemed to be very comfortable on the bike after only a few laps around Jurby and we are all very excited to get the bike out onto the TT track.



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