Day 2 - Early in the morning prior to our first run. Greg was handling crew chief duties at this point which allowed me to concentrate on the run itself. Only about 80 degress.
Day 2 - just after the first run - 124mph. We were very optimistic at this point. The rear portion of the fender had broken loose just like last year even though we had beefed it all up. Fine, we will go without it. We decided to run a little richer jet and do some other minor tweeks. MotoGuru and Greg dial her in while I bask in the thought of things to come. The bike ran like a freight train - I was stoked since I had only babied her along to shake her down a little.
Day 2 - 96 degrees. About to roll on my second run. After pulling like a raped ape up through 3rd gear and the 2 mile mark, I jammed it into 4th gear and buried the throttle to the stop, tucked in and hung on for life. At about 125mph I felt a slight fault in the acceleration and looked down at the motor which was now spraying oil all over my right boot and leg. I pushed the kill switch a glided to the return road safety area. Once static it did not look good. Oil was everywhere so it was impossible to see what happened - time to get back to the pit.
Day 2 (a little later) - Greg and I cleaned up the motor and found a fractured oil return line which explained the mess - no big deal there. We still had no idea why we lost so much power - until I pulled the plugs and found the rear one without a head! In the pic above I'm handing the headless plug to Greg seconds after I found it. It had been completely burned away. Not good. Further inspection revealed a hole about the size of a pencil erasure in the rear piston at it's center. Game over. 5 Minutes later we were packing up the truck for the ride home. We had been on the salt less than 24 hours at this point. It took the rest of the day to pack everything back up, get the truck, trailer and bike to the car wash for a major spray down, deal with the hotel people, have a huge dinner with the entire crew and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. What we were celebrating I have no idea but we did all have a hell of a good night with special guest star Camilo Pardo which made the night even more surreal.
Yesterday in Detroit - We tore the motor down at Lurch's place and found this. During the original engine build (before Lurch was involved) a lot of material had been removed from the inside (top) of the piston to reduce reciprocating weight on the crank shaft. You'll notice from the pic above there was less than 1/8 inch of material at the top of the dome! Note to self - Don't do this again.
So how did we do out there? It's a long story but here is the gist. We made two passes at 124MPH each time. The fastest (stock) vintage Harley went a 121 prior to our runs. So we are able to claim that the Bonnepan is tops in that department which is pretty cool. Unfortunately we did not get the record due to a strange decision by the SCTA crew that allowed a Vincent that was "re-manufactured" from the ground up (including re-engineering of the entire bike that made "Improvements in the original design to iron out it's faults" including recasting the engine cases and cylinder heads (!) according to their website) to compete in the Vintage class along with us? Oh well that's racing. We still had a BLAST out there!