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Well it was a beautiful but chilly day in London today and so I left GT’s to ride in to the Ace, arriving before 10am after a cobweb-blowing ride across town.

We counted them in and we counted them out again!

And talking of chilly, the Ace chilli cheesy chips went down really well with GT and I and you couldn’t tell they were veggie either.

Today was Kawasaki Day at the Ace Cafe London. It was also the Virgin London Marathon and where I live the roads close at 8.00am. Despite GT taking part in the marathon – she managed a 4:00:44 finish time! – I headed off before the road closures to the Ace Cafe for Kawasaki Day, celebrating 40 years.

Of course, 11 and 23 mile markers en route were too good to pass unnoticed so I hoisted celebratory wheelies as I drove through!

Getting to the Ace at 8.00am I grabbed a cuppa and breakfast and then decided to have the ZRX dyno’d again now I’ve put some miles on it and the results were very impressive: 163.2bhp and 98ft/lb which even beat some poor bloke with a shiny ZZR1400 and Akra pipes!

Here are some photos too:

Well today I went to collect the ZRX from PDQ post-fettling. And yes, I think it looks great!

Larry mentioned that Nick had test-ridden it just to be on the safe side after they’d achieved their best-ever dyno results for a ZRX1200R on standard carbs/bores. I’d asked for a 44T rear sprocket as before and Larry suggested it would be sensible to go back to a 42T at some point as Nick had come back wide-eyed and declared it a tad berserk… We’ll see tomorrow!

PDQ Dyno Results

Well the results of the engine work and fettling at PDQ are in: up to 158bhp at the rear wheel! Well done to Larry and the team.

Dyno Chart

Dyno Chart

Also interesting is that that was up from 130bhp before their engine work and after I’d fitted a full Akrapovic system and rejetted it myself a while before.

And to put all that into context, it was dyno’d standard but with an Akrapovic end can in July 2005 and put out 114bhp (up from c. 108bhp as standard at the rear wheel).

A quick update on Blue Rex’s progress: it turns out that reprofiling my standard cams would have been experimental and Larry wasn’t prepared to experiment on a customer’s bike, so we agreed to buy a new set of ZZR1200 cams after all along with stronger valve springs.

As the clutch had been slipping on track for a while, I also asked Larry to upgrade the clutch plates and springs whilst it was apart.

In the intervening period, its MoT has expired so it’s been MoT’d and passed.

Worse was yet to come: PDQ have been awarded the sole concession for Dymag wheels worldwide and was offering an introductory deal … so a set of 7 spoke magnesium alloy wheels in satin black are going on with a new, slightly larger section Bridgestone BT016 tyre (which should be fine for our planned Ardeche Valley trip in June) rather than a full-on trackday tyre. Oh and as my secondhand Akrapovic full system would be looking out of place now, I’ve upgraded to a new hexagonal system with carbon fibre end can to set it all off – the removed parts will be for sale on the OC when I collect it. As that won’t be for a week or two, PDQ will run the engine in on the dyno and do a pre and post run-in dyno run for a reading as to what the engine is putting out.

Well after Robspeed Motorcycles at Grimsby serviced Blue Rex and left it misfiring within 3 miles of their workshops, I decided the time had come for Blue Rex to get some fettling and proper setting up.

I’d been keeping a set of cams I’d been sold a few years ago which I was told were ZZR1200 cams. So I rang Larry Webb at PDQ in Berkshire to ask him what he suggested. He recommended fitting those cams, gas-flowing the cylinder head, fitting high compression pistons (in the existing bore sizes) and then fettling it all together properly, so I dropped it off and have left them to it.

Bad news came recently: the cams I’d been sold were actually standard ZRX1200R cams so I now have the existing ones plus a set of new ones. Larry is going to send them to the States to get them re-profiled instead as that’s what they used to do back in the day. This will add a few hundred pounds more to the existing quote, but is cheaper than buying new ZZR1200 cams which are silly expensive.

We’ll see what results we get.

RBLR1000

I was signed up to do the RBLR1000 – 1,000 miles in 24 hours for charity with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

So I had the bike serviced at Robspeed: a full service with shim check, etc. and a new chain and front sprocket which left me with a little change from £500.

But on the way home it started spluttering a bit. I assumed that some fresh petrol would help, so I topped it up and then took it out for a shakedown run on Thursday. Fine wide full open but running rough as a dog’s bottom at low revs or tickover.

I daren’t use the bike for 1,000 miles in the Highlands, so I had to quickly fettle the Fireblade to have the satnav working and the like. And so I abandoned Blue Rex for the Blade for Scotland. Read on…

Alan, a friend from the ZRXOC – where his nickname is sifu2 – sent me a DVD with his footage from Kawasaki Day at the Ace Café which I’ve ripped and uploaded (with his permission, of course). It’s on YouTube but also here:

Click it to start and/or go large.