Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness

Roadracing World - 2006
Reverse Rotors
Written by Sam Fleming   

Unreasonable Men: Precession, Gyroscopes and Reverse Rotating Front Rotors

This is a story about a man that not only ponders but, laudably, acts. In 2000 Robert Kasten (then 32 years old) bought a 1996 Honda CBR 600 F3. Having owned dirt bikes as a kid growing up in Fontana California, he found that street riding was quite a bit different than the dirt. A friend following him on his first street ride observed that Robert seemed to be struggling a bit with the handling of the bike and that, perhaps, it was because he was not counter steering the bike.

At first Robert thought his friend was pulling his leg since it is counter intuitive to turn the bars away from the direction in which you want to go and, despite finding that counter steering did, in fact, make his F3 much more manageable, Robert was extremely dissatisfied with the explanation of the functional mechanics of counter steering.

Robert, you see, studied Religion and Philosophy in college. These are not two disciplines of academia where one ventures unless one has retained the insistent curiosity of the five year old that many of us lose to the distractions of the post-industrial society or other struggles of survival. That is the characteristic of asking “Why?” to every question.

Unable to find the answer to counter steering in the ethereal canons of religion and philosophy, Kasten turned to the ultimate discipline of the “Why”: physics.

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MotoCzysz Factory Tour
Written by Sam Fleming   

MotoCzysz Factory Tour

Portland, Oregon

"I was reading an article on the Motoczysz in MCN. I never read MCN but I was reading this article and they were slagging off this American builder’s bike. The more I read the article the more I started taking issue with them because they were slagging it off because they didn’t understand the intent of the design. I started defending the design to the article. A few weeks later I looked on the Motoczysz website and they didn’t have any job descriptions that matched mine so Adrian and I wrote up our own job descriptions, sent them in and applied for the jobs. A few months later we had left Cosworth and we were working here.” This is how Simon Jackson described his recent emigration from England to America and from Cosworth to MotoCzysz.

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GSX-R
Written by Sam Fleming   

2006 GSX-R 600

2006 GSX-R 750

Phillip Island, Australia

February 23, 2006

“Craig says you need to pull your finger out of it” Melissa offered helpfully as I was removing my helmet and gloves. Craig, as it happens, is a Bridgestone tire representative and racer in the Australian National Superbike series who was at Phillip Island to assist Suzuki with tire support for the launch of the GSX-R 600 and 750 and to, apparently, record and opine about the lap times of your correspondent to your correspondent’s beautiful and talented associate. “I told him it was the first session, it was damp, and that you would go faster once you felt out the track and tires” Melissa continued. “What if I don’t?” “You will, or we can’t go to the pub with them later”

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