The Race Diaries, Part 3

(See Part 2 here)
At this point in the series I think it’s safe to say that Buell meant it when they initially told us to sod off. A subsequent (and more polite) call, left us with the distinct impression that we might be able to get something, but they would let us know

Since phone calls and emails have come up blank to date, we thought we’d try our luck with BMW and see if we could borrow another R1100S for the St. Eustache round so that Team CMG back-up rider, Richard Seck, could be guaranteed a ride. It also meant that any incentive for him to kidnap or maim me so that he would get the ride, are no more. They agreed. I turn my back to him with greater assurance now – thanks BMW.


“So I have a long erect piece and yours is short and stubby, but in two parts”. ‘Arris and Pat Doyle compare Vanderlinde parts.

Okay, I think we’ve spent enough time with it in standard form, it’s time to get the beast to breath more easily, it’s time to put on an aftermarket pipe.

Note – Since we’re partaking in a “gentleman’s” class, the idea is to keep the bikes as close to stock as possible. Thus, racing is based on rider skill rather than rider financing. As such there are only a few mods permitted, the pipe being the easiest and probably cheapest way of boosting power output.

Coincidentally, Bavarian Motosports also happen to be the importers of the Vanderlinde performance pipe and were just thrilled (c’mon Pat, I know I saw a smile) to be able to loan us a pipe. All in the interests of good journalism, real product testing and a desperate attempt to try and elevate Team CMG up from the dregs of the BMW/Buell cup.

The plan was to take the S to a dyno in the morning, get an output reading, then zip it to Bavarian for the pipe fitting and then back again to the dyno for another run. The results of which would hopefully see massive Pamela Anderson implant-like gains in both the torque and horsepower departments (hey, if one gets bigger the other has to as well).

New pipe (top) and stock system (bottom) with catalytic convertor (bottom left).

Since CMG follows the lightning philosophy (always take the path of least resistance, oh, and kill people standing under trees whenever possible) we thought we’d try our luck with Brampton Cycle as they’re just a few miles from Bavarian, and are reputed to be in possession of one dyno.

One phone call later, and not only did we a have a free dyno session set up, but found out that the dyno is now part of Cycle Max, which is a separate company but in the same building … kind of thing.

When the day finally arrived, Cycle Max owner, Jeff Bloor, was oblivious to our appointment (the word failed to get to him from Brampton Cycle), but being the good fellow he is, he dropped most of his plans for the day and wheeled the S into the dyno room. And all without any need for us to resort to threats, name calling and tantrum like behaviour (lay on back, wave legs and arms in the air, followed by pig like squealing – always works).


“Hmmh, hmmh, hmmh, hmmh” Jeff presses buttons and looks impressive.

For those of you who think that a dyno is a fat, horned headed type of animal then here’s some information that you might appreciate:

• The bike is rolled onto the Dyno with its rear wheel over a large drum. Since the idea is to run the bike and spin the drum (from which the power and torque outputs can be measured and calculated) it must also be solidly strapped down. This prevents the bike from escaping the dyno in top gear at redline and/or rear wheel spin. Also, to prevent a high death rate amongst dyno operators, a decent vent system is used on the end of the exhausts to extract that poisonous gas, which also prevents exhaust gas from mixing with the fresh incoming air that would effect motor efficiency.

• At the front of a (good) dyno are two fans. These do not try and simulate ram air (there are far too many factors that would need duplicating to make it possible with a simple fan), no, these just provide cooling air, as the bike will be working hard without the usual cooling air flow.

• Prior to spinning up the motor, the dyno operator may ask the following questions:

1) Is the bike up on it’s scheduled maintenance?

2) Are the oil levels correct and filled with relatively fresh fluids?

3) Has the engine had extensive work done to it and if so, by whom?

4) Where was the last place you fuelled up?

5) Have you ever had a bucket of slime dumped all over you?

… and then the Pope said “No, I like it sideways”, ha ha ha ha. ‘Arris and Jeff swap jokes.

#1, #2 and #3 are asked to reduce the likelihood that the bike will blow up. A Dyno run pushes the bike to redline and if it’s likely to blow, the owner is unlikely to be happy and nether will Jeff, especially if it’s in a spectacular way – shrapnel is a dangerous thing in a small room! If you’re wondering about #3, Jeff is wary of bad rebuilds especially with turbo and nitrous kits, as they too have that blow up tendency. If the tuner is known for wearing wide brimmed hats, is handy with a lasso and shouts “Yehaa” a lot, then chances are he’s a cowboy and the bike ain’t going on the dyno.

#4 is surprising. According to Jeff, there can be quite a large discrepancy in the quality of the fuel (both in the amounts of contaminants present and the age of the fuel) between the major stations and the independents. Poor quality fuel will seriously effect a Dyno reading!

#5 is also surprising. Thankfully Jeff didn’t ask us, but if you are asked this question, watch where you’re standing and who’s holding the cord.

• Dynos are subject to a whole load of variables that will effect the final reading significantly. Cycle Max uses a purpose built room with a climate controlled air supply, exhaust extraction, sound deadening materials on the wall and a large Ducati logo just to the right (we’re sure it’s significant). There are factors that will produce inaccuracies such as operator error, dyno calibration, software, barometric pressure and ambient temperature fluctuations. Jeff seemed to have most of the variables accounted for, with the pressure and temp. fluctuations being covered by an SAE correction formula.

Seeing his opportunity, Jeff pulls the slime bucket release wire on the unsuspecting ‘arris.

Basically, the peak torque and power outputs will vary between dynos but Jeff is not overly bothered by this. In the tuners world, you want to see what difference in output curves a certain piece of work has achieved. Peak numbers are mainly of use to the Squid crowd for bragging rights.


After a quick tire pressure check (wrongly inflated tires can effect readings) Jeff conducted a total of four runs (which included one all-gear pass). The first few runs help to clear out any crap that may have accumulated in the combustion chamber from riding the bike like a pussy (sadly, we got a difference of 2 hp, which put us firmly in the pussy category!), but only the last run is used.

Looking at the output graph (sorry, but you have to scroll down) we can see that peak torque comes in around 6,000 rpm and then drops off sharply. This causes a slight dip in power but is compensated for by a faster spinning engine (power is the rate of using torque, so increasing rpm will help power output), all the way to about 7,700 rpm. What does this tell us? Well, in order to keep the S in the power as much as possible on the track we should change up a gear by 8,000 rpm (at the latest), otherwise we’re loosing power and speed.


The S looks almost ‘Terminator’ like with bodywork removed – Fitting the pipe at Bavarian Motosports.

Next it was off to Bavarian Motosports to get the pipe fitted. Actually the $1,800.00 pipe also comes with a recalibrated chip to match the fuel injection to the new exhaust.

The new kit retains the original header pipes but dumps the baffles and catalytic convertor. I know this is not race spirited, but I find it a tad regrettable that we’re dumping the cat, especially on a day full of smog warnings in the GTA. Three seconds of silence for the earth …..

Okay that’s enough.

Once the bikes ‘brain’ had been removed, it was opened, the old chip pried out and the new Vanderlinde chip inserted.

Three coffees, two pizza slices and one cigarette later and the S was decidedly louder and meaner.

Time to go back to Cycle Max.


Dyno Output charts. Red line is stock, blue is Vanderlinde – click for larger image.

Wow, this was looking good! Right from the base point and all the way to redline the power and torque curves (almost) remained above the stock ones. According to Jeff, aftermarket pipes usually sacrifice something, somewhere for a gain up top.

There’s a significant gain in torque between 3400 and 4800 rpm (with a slight dip at 3800, but a peak gain of 4 ft.lbs.) and then again from 5200 rpm all the way to redline, where it parallels the standard curve, but with a healthy 3 ft.lbs. increase.

Significantly, the max power gain of 7 hp comes at redline, which means that we can now pretty well rev it out before changing gear, without any noticeable power loss. Peak power is up by 3.2% (to 90.5 hp – for the Squids you understand) and peak torque is up 3.8% (to 68.9 ft.lbs.). Excellent.

We were happy and Jeff was suitably impressed. He’s tested a few pipes before and reckons that the pipe is a much cheaper option than you would have to do in motor work, to get the same results.

Thanks go to Jeff Bloor at Cycle Max (2565 Steeles Ave, Unit #25, Brampton, On, L6T 4L6, Ph. 905-791-9677). If you’re looking to get some tuning/dyno work Jeff seems to know his shit (and his profession!) and is quite an accommodating chap to boot.

Also, thanks to Pat Doyle at Bavarian Motosports (57 Ashbridge Circle, Unit #1, Woodbridge, On. L4L 3R5, Ph 905-851-1666) for the use and instalment of the Vanderlinde pipe and chip.

Join the conversation!