2016年6月8日水曜日

2016年6月5日日曜日

Icon Airframe-Pro Japan MFJ race debut!

Icon Motosports Airframe Pro (日本語訳あり) 

First official use in an MFJ race in Japan (review)
ICONヘルメットがMFJ公式認証を取って、初めてのレース!

Last month the Airframe Pro by Icon Motosports got approval by MFJ to be used in races all over Japan!

先月、ICONのAIRFRAME PROヘルメットがMFJ公認となり、日本での記念すべき初公式レース、筑波選手権ST600クラスに参戦!


Icon is a world-renowned helmet and apparel company that has ruled the street and stunt world for some time now.  Before meeting the Icon distributor of Japan, AFG Motosports, I saw the brand as a stunt only brand, but I soon learned that its a misconception.
Icon is a street riding brand made For Riders, By Riders.  You can tell thats the case by their unique designs that capture biking culture and their functional yet stylish approach to product creation.
I however am a track-only rider right now, so my experience targets the few products they have released have been designed with track use in mind.

Iconは世界のトップオートバイのヘルメットとアパレルブランドとして、ストリートライダーとスタントライダー達によく知られている。アメリカに住んでいた時は、Iconはスタントのイメージしかなかったが、AFG Motosports 、Iconの日本代理店と知り合ってから、Iconはライダーが作ったライダーのためのブランドだということを知った。Iconのデザインを見ると、バイクの文化を捉え、機能的でありながらも、スタイリッシュで素晴らしいブランドということがわかる。



とは言え、僕はサーキットで走るライダーなので、サーキット使用に考えてデザインされたIcon商品を使っている。

For the past 6 months or so I have been using the AirframePro and I love it!

この6ヶ月間AirframeProというヘルメットを使っているが、すごく好きなスタイルで気に入っている。

Last year I was riding using the Airmada helmet while racing 250cc; it had a good design and really stood out in a crowd.  I have no complaints at all about the helmet, but when I stepped up to 600cc the way the wind flowed into the helmet at 210 km/h had my contacts drying faster than usual. There are some options for chin/nose guards that would help but it was about time to upgrade my helmet anyway.  

I contacted AFG and got an opinion which led me to the Airframe Pro!  


去年までは250ccでAirmadaというヘルメットを使っていたが、デザインもカラーリングもよくて、すごく目立つヘルメットである。使っていて違和感はなかったが、600ccに乗り換えてから、200キロでスリップから出た時に、風でコンタクトが乾くようになった。そのヘルメットには、顎や鼻の風を止めるピースがあったが、AFGと相談して、新しく発売されたAFPを使ってみることになった。



Without any add-on parts the helmets ventilation allows for a breeze that keeps your head cool, the screen un-fogged, and without any excess wind going into your eyes.  You can tell this helmet was designed with track use in mind.

AFPは特別のパーツを買わなくても、通気性が良くバイザーが曇らず、コンタクも乾くことがなかった。サーキットで十分使用できるヘルメットだ。

Lifting my head out of the slipstream at 200+km/h feels extremely stable.



Along the lines of intended for track-use, the helmet has something unique that I've never seen before.  The back side has a cut-out that helps keep the helmet or your hair from rubbing against the suit hump when tucked in.  It wasn't until I tried this helmet that I realised my hair would often rub against the back of the suit.  I just thought it was an issue with my dreadlocks, but after trying the AFP my range of motion has gotten much better.

AFPには、他のヘルメットにはなかなか見られない部分がある。前に使っていたヘルメットは髪がよく引っ張られたりしたが、AFPはヘルメットの後の方に凹んだ部分があることで、ツナギのコブにヘルメットや髪が当たらないのが良い点だ。




The aggressive aerodynamics and the unique styling have a lot of heads turning, especially at the track where Icon helmets have been rare.  However, since the helmet has received MFJ approval I think we'll be seeing a lot more of these in the coming months/years.

アグレッシブで個性的なスタイルが際立つAFP。サーキットではIconはまだ珍しいが、MFJ公式認証を取った今、これからIconユーザーがどんどん増えることを期待している。








2016年6月4日土曜日

2016 Tsukuba ST600 Race 2 Report


Race result

Qualifiers 
19th
1:03.2
(all time best lap time)

Race 
16th

Practice


During the Friday practice I came to realise that I've reached a pace where I can only use my tires for around 2.5 hours.  I started the day off with a set of tires that had seen 2h of usage, and as the day progressed the performance greatly deteriorated.

The bike was sliding and bucking around almost uncontrollably and by the end of the day I couldn't keep my times in the 1:03 range.  Good to know for future reference.

video

Qualifer

After waking up early to get the bike setup for inspection, I had them put on the official race tires.  Practice was so hectic yesterday that I missed the time slot to change tires, so it was added to the list of things to do at 6am.


However! When we went to put the rotors back on three bolts snapped!  

It seems that the previous owner was not using Honda parts and I didn't really think about it until now.  So I need to order some genuine parts for the sake of...... safety.  For the time being I grabbed some old iron bolts I had lying around and put the rotor back on.




Every time Key-san starts the engine or pushes the bike around I can swear he wants to start racing again.  He's only ever raced 2 stroke machines, but rode on GP250 bikes, so more or less the same lap times as a 600cc.  It's been 10 years since he raced, but you can see a little sparkle in his eye the moment he starts the engine.


Race

While waiting for the race to start we decided to test out BONX which is a product my friend created, coming to Kickstarter soon it seems.  It's a bluetooth/app based walkie-talkie, that can be used as a normal earpiece as well. The Android app had a few hiccups, but I know they're working hard to get things sorted out before the kickstarter.



In the past year I have missed two race briefings for different reasons, so this time around Key-san got us all Pebble watches and ran a script on his server to remind us when it was time to get ready for inspection, qualifiers, briefing, and the race.  Today was a day to test lots of new technology.... sometimes we get carried away, but as long as it doesn't interfere with my lap times it's all good!



On the grid in 19th position, qualifying 200 milliseconds shy of the 1:02 mark, which would've allowed me to practice in the special R sessions on normal track days.  I felt I could get a good start and follow a faster guy to help me push.



 I had an awesome start!

Gaining 3 positions from the get go.


After the first lap the head pack was already getting away.  The top 2 guys are running at a pace of national racers, 4 seconds faster than my fastest time.  


I was able to hold these three guys off for half of the race, but two of the guys behind me were about 0.5 seconds faster than me on average so it was only a matter of time before they got past me.




I was able to hold this one ZX6R for most of the race, but unfortunately lost the position on the last lap.  I had misunderstood my pit board, since it said 2 laps left.  During the last few laps the two top riders lapped the last 4 people in the race, and I didn't realise my pit board was showing remaining laps+1 T_T


This was my third race on the 600, and every bit as exciting as the last two.  Its a bit sad to come in last place, not including those who crashed out, but I can only move up from here!