2016 & 2017
This year we have continued to try and get some serious development time on the Saltbikes engine. The rained out 2015 and failures on track during 2016 showed where we need to be for 2017.
The work throughout 2016 was based on the failures. You learn a lot from failures. From the destruction of pistons and valves in 2016 we decided to lighten up the valve train with titanium valves and pushrods. The valves we made from used NASCAR Inlets. $30 for a set of 8 and a bit of machining gave us 2 sets. You have to run lash caps but hey 9000 rpm is easy, and we suspect there is more to come. The pushrods were made from 3/8" titanium tube. The first set have steel ends the second set have titanium.
The second change made for 2017 was the change from a Schnitz ignition to a DTA60 Pro ECU. Two reasons for this, 1- My drag bike wanted the ignition back so it could be run in the ACU championship, 2- we will have full electronic injection and compound turbo + supercharger in 2019 and it needs some brains to control it all. Hence the DTA60 Pro. Details here.
Prior to Bonneville 2017 we took the bike for one last run on the dyno to get a baseline for Bonneville. Disaster, on the one and only pull the Thunder Engineering aftermarket crankcase split into 3 neat pieces. We are glad they failed this side of the pond but we were shipping in 2 weeks! so back home, and after a mad week of work the original L E Rees set of aftermarket cases were reinstated and after a brief warm up we packed and shipped it with fingers crossed.
As a backup Dave ordered some humongous pieces of ally and machined up a complete billet set of cases. We would of course be taking these as luggage and perhaps the first time we have ever been anywhere near the weight limit for baggage.
We shipped out with a new company, hoping to save a bit of money, long story short, we won't use them again. However the bike got there and eventually, got home again. The story of how it worked is here.