Jun 7, 2001
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Dr. Robin Tuluie's Tul-Aris two-stroke Grand Prix racebike survived its first crash last weekend when test rider Steve Johnson lowsided at Blackhawk Farms Raceway near South Beloit, Illinois.<BR><BR>While the bike did not suffer major structural damage, Tuluie didn't have a spare fairing and so went home.<BR><BR>Tuluie's press release on the weekend follows:<BR><BR>"Last weekend Steve Johnson and I took the Tul-aris to the CCS race at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Illinois for some extra track time, since our<BR>last weekend at Brainerd had been rained out. We started Friday practice with our BIR set-up, except for shorter gearing. Steve started of with some 1:16 lap times, but the suspension was much too stiff--both from Steve's comments and also when looking at the data acquisition. For reference, the lap record at Blackhawk is right at the 1:13 mark. We continued to improve<BR>on the suspension, geared even shorter and made an adjustment to the rear suspension eccentric, which enabled Steve to hold a tighter line out of the bumpy turns. By all means, Blackhawk really isn't the ideal track for the Tul-aris, it's very bumpy and quite tight, but by the end of the day Steve had gotten into the 1:14s, and this was after 60 laps that day on the same set of tires! <BR><BR>"Steve figured that with fresh set of Michelin slicks (sent to us by Walt Schaefer) and installing softer fork springs (sent to us in the nick of time by Mike Watts from Ohlins) on Saturday we could try to shoot for the track record. Unfortunately, things came to and end in the Saturday morning practice session, when on a damp track, with a new tire and a temperamental (when cold, but otherwise awesome) front brake, Steve low-sided. He was okay, but the bike sustained some mostly cosmetic damage.<BR><BR>"Unfortunately, I did not have a spare upper fairing - which is exactly what Steve Davey at Carbon Fiber Specialties is making for us now, as I just send him the plug for the mold - so we packed up the bike and I headed home.<BR><BR>"Steve stayed on and won everything he entered on an Aprilia Superbike, great riding on his part.<BR><BR>"In retrospect, I was really happy with how things went Friday, Steve's riding was fast and really consistent, and we really communicated well on set-up. Every change we made was an improvement. The bike ran all day, 60 laps, with no problems, we only made adjustments to suspension, gearing, jetting.<BR><BR>"I'm really looking forward to our next race at Brainerd on 6/22-24, where we will try the new power valve cylinders with special Hot Seat Performance 750cc pistons, porting and heads for the first time, along with some new brake rotors from AP Racing. Should be a rocket!<BR><BR>"Hope to see you there!"<BR><BR><BR>