Sunday, 22 May 2005

600RR first service completed

A rainy Saturday morning I headed down from Glasgow to Ayr North Harbour Cycles.
Bike had been sitting all week with 581 miles on it, so it was great to get out on it again :-)
Left it for couple of hours while they worked their service magic.
(Thats an oil and filter change and nuts n bolts checking to u and me...)
Decided not to have the R+G crash bungs fitted , as I have the bike design ones on order which dont need the fairing cut to fit.

Luckily it was dry on the road back up , so I got a chance to try 8k rpm's +++++
Woooohoooo , just seamless acceleration from zero revs to the limiter.
Truly linear (if a bit dull!) power delivery with no big bike unsettling bumps in hp.
In fact the motor feels so happy under full throttle I hit the rev limiter on more than one occasion in the lower gears. Brilliant the way it pulls so hard throughout any point in the rev range.

Looking forward to gaining more road miles and experience with the full rev range :-)
(next official service is 4000 miles.)

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Womens 10k / Intercooler on order

Womens 10k run

First off big congratulations to all the women who completed the Glasgow 10k on Sunday. It was a great day for it , even if a bit warm....
A big WELL DONE to my sister Claire and my mum who ran/walked the race and raised money for Ward 24 in memory of my wife Nicola who died of Cervical Cancer just over 8 weeks ago.
Running with them were also Paula and Lesley (Claires friends) and other friends of my mums.
A team effort that saw them all complete the race successfully , hurray.
It was a great job done by all and I thank you very much.

Also I would like to thank women from my work who also ran for various good causes but also have decided to donate some of the money raised to cancer research on nicola's behalf. Joanne, Gillian , Erika and Alison. Thankyou I'm touched.

I'm sure Nicola would be proud that so many people continue to fundraise in her name.

Intercooler on order
While the ladies get healthy , I choose to continue to use motorised forms of transport! Given the hot weather is here (almost!) , I figured the biggest handicap to consistent performance of the MINI was a std intercooler.
It works fine with std boost levels , but add a s/c reduction pulley (which on the GTT conversion is 17%) and boost increase means the charge temps increase significantly which in term drop power (esp on hot days).
Believe me , this is VERY noticable the performance dropoff on warm days.
So I have now ordered a replacement I/C from GRS Motorsport which should arrive in 3-4 weeks time.

CBR600RR first service@600miles
Bike is now at 581 miles and is booked in this Sat for its first service.
Also plan to have crash bungs fitted (after my recent car park debacle!!!!)
Bike gets a full check over and oil change.
Also fancy some carbon fibre covers that cover the scratches Ive put on the clutch casing.


Friday, 13 May 2005

MINI wheels on order : Bike gets first drop..

MINI wheels
Over 4 weeks ago now I ordered my new wheels for the MINI.
They should be here soon :-) , til then the details stay a closely guarded secret..
All I can say is 18x8 with Goodyear Eagle F1 215/35/18 tyres oooohhhhhhh
Could be an inspired choice or a disaster !

Bike drop
Yep , it had to happen. Those in the know tell you not to get a brand new bike for many reasons. One of them happens to be that you WILL drop it sometime.
For me it was a gravel car park with too much lock , sigh...
So I now have lots of scratches on my new toy. Hey , its only a bike and the damage isnt too bad.
FWIW I've had it 5 days and 430 miles ridden............dumpling


CBT / DAS Bike Training , CBR600RR

Yep , its true!
I have now completed my CBT , and my theory and practical bike tests.
And because I took my test on a high hp bike (and Im over 21) I can now ride any size bike legally !!!!!!!!

Bike Rite

New Bike

Yes , ranking with insane I went out and bought a brand new blue Honda CBR600RR as a starter bike :-)
Its absolutely lovely and surprisingly easy to get on with after the training CB500's.

Early comments are
1. Seat is relatively comfy
2. Throttle roll back engine braking takes a lot of getting used to.
3. Brakes are supreme
4. Very easy to ride at low speeds
5. Steering lock is minimal
6. Around 100+ miles to a tank so far
7. Limited to 6-7k rpm for run in (5-600 miles) , although I have momentarily gone to 8-9

In summary its just a great bike that can be ridden slowly very easily.
I can only imagine what joys lurk past 10k rpm once I have more experience and the first service is completed.


Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Mini Cooper S : GTTuning 200+ upgrade

Heres the info I posted on MINI2 forum on Mar 19th, 2005, 01:44 PM .....
Car was converted at 22000 miles btw

Due to some tragic circumstances recently, I just decided to throw caution to the wind and get my 03 MCS improved.
Heres my rantings...

Tuner Choice ?
The choice is yours but FWIW I had narrowed it down to
[JCW , West Tuning , BBR , GGR , MED or GTTuning]
based on warranty,cost,mini2 feedback and website info compared
to reliability , parts changed and power produced.
West Tuning
GT Tuning

Why GTTuning ?
I chose GT Tuning because of Rolands manner on these forums and his honesty.
And of course they are realistically priced. (Although that just means you buy more LOL)
Pulley looks OEM black
Reliability and Engineering changes to other products.
Basically they came out best on the factors discussed in choice.
Shame they are 400+ miles away tho.

The Adventure.....
So yesterday I drove from Scotland to GTTuning and back. A round trip of 880 miles!!!!!
[I didnt choose the company based on easy access !]

Great drive down , M6,M5,M4,then A350 , took just under 7 hrs at a steady 80mph, isnt cruise control great :-)
Arrived and Roland is just as nice as you think. Spent a while discussing options and bits,
the only thing I couldnt have was an intercooler because he didnt have enough stock...
[head/manifold can come later :-)]

So I got a lift into town while I had the
GTT 210 kit fitted (ecu remap + optimised bypass valve + iridium sparkplugs + GTT supercharger pulley + shorter drive belt + GTT idler pulley)
Exhaust reroute pipe
63mm enlarged Throttle Body
I also opted for the twin bearing idler pully upgrade and new tensioner pulley and GTT stop.
[I already have a JCW airbox which I chose to keep]

6 hrs later and I'm out for a spin with Roland driving. Car feels (from passengers seat WAAAAY different).
We talk about the mods and how on my car the bypass valve was letting a lot of air bleed which would have made it slower than average.
GTTuning are one of the few who check/mod the bypass valve btw

Paid the bill (!) , and started my journey home.
Not a good start as I get stuck in a jam caused by an accident blocking the A350.
And again by a pile up on the M6 later on ..... then thick fog ...... not an easy drive...

A big Hi to a black Works MCS reg plate '**** RO' that passed me on the A350 , and a std blue MCS on the M6.

Conversion thoughts so far
(try an take account of a slight 'my cars just got much faster and I paid for it' placebo effect, which we ALL get :-) )

+ Service was superb, Guys at GTTuning couldnt be nicer.
+ Cost (relatively speaking)
+ Product quality seems top notch
+ Car is much quicker and happier to rev , smoother in revving too
+ Low rev driving is just soooo smooth with tons of torque.
+ From 40 mph in 6th gear hitting resume (to 80mph) on the cruise control is just such a buzz :-)
It just hauls like never before., 5th and esp 6th gears are transformed , no longer do you lose speed on hills and need a down change.
+ An annoying overrun stutter the car had at 1500rpm is now gone
+ Throttle response does seem much better. I always hated the 'dull' std MCS fly by wire response, a HUGE improvement
+ Economy is unchanged or maybe even better ! (*dependent on driving style obviously!)
I reset the OBC for each 400 mile journey.
On the way down (std MCS : 33.6 avg MPG) , on the way back (modified : 34.2 avg MPG) , and I definitely pushed it more on the way back.
+ Exhaust is really nice , deeper note but not overpowering. Seems better after 400 miles too.
+ Reduced Traction Control intervention is worth the money alone. Car actually grips much better than you could imagine.
+ Aside from getting car up on ramps it looks stock even under the bonnet ...

- In some scenarios part throttle mapping seems odd.
This may be due to me having an enlarged TB which is not really necessary at this state of tune.
Car definitely alot better after 400 miles running , so maybe it will disappear in time with adaptation.
- Idle on the very odd occasion can fluctuate. I am going to drive it for a week and see how she settles down. 99.9% of the time its rock solid.
- say bye bye to warranty on parts modified. Can only be your decision.
- my licence is seriously in jeopardy ! 80mph feels like a breeze.

The cons I speak of are really minor and because I'm a fussy bstrd :-)
They are here for honesty.

Would I do it again ? YES in a second. (maybe not tommorrow tho , I'm knackered)
Would I chose GTTuning again ? YES definitely.
The car now drives like a MCS should but still with a quality edge.

Big Thanks to Roland@GTTuning for fitting me in at short notice.
What you waiting for? Phone GTT now before they get too busy :-)


Time for another update me thinks.

Car runs even better now after more miles. I have even noticed that the engine area is quieter with the car running , the belt noises are vastly reduced with the different pulley bits.
Cold start and warmup cycle are much improved compared to the std MCS wrt driveability.
Also the really annoying 'jerk' that I used to get when pulling away from a cold start has now gone.
As I eluded to before , the DSC changes are brilliant , you can really push the car before it intervenes. I was pushing it in 2nd and 3rd in the wet last night round corners (a nightmare scenarios in a std mcs with DSC) and the available grip (even with runflats) is just brilliant.
If anything the less jerky nature and confidence it inspires makes it safer IMHO.

The only issue I have had , is the DSC light coming on when pushing the car in 3rd gear past 6700rpm on a cold night. My heart sank when it came on.
Luckily ignition on and off got rid of it(not at 6700 in 3rd tho!).
Then once home I checked out these forums and asked Roland.

Heres some useful thread links , as its not an issue I was even aware of..
DSC light on LINK 1 (mini2)

DSC light on LINK 2 (mini2)
DSC light on LINK 3 (NAM)

Basically from what I can gather its linked to 18psi at the MAP sensor and the DSC's ability to modulate traction at this limit. Its not a problem and happens on ALL types of modded pulleyed cars when the air is cool.
What IS interesting is that not everyone who has a 17% or 19% pulley (most likely to hit 18psi) reports the light issue , which either means they dont rev it high enough OR the cars are not producing the requisite boost levels.
Obviously you need to take into account the wide range of climates (ie temps reducing air density) that these cars run in. (a car in a very warm climate with a 19% may not hit 18psi)
The graphs of boost vs pulley within the threads show a 'spike' at high rpm , so if you never rev it hard then the light is not a prob I guess.
To be honest with a pulley'd car high revs is neither advisable or required (esp as a 19% goes outwith s/c specs) , and 99% of the time I drive in the torque wave from 2 to 4k

I always fancied a dual gauge pod for the rev counter with greddy gauges so maybe this is the excuse :-)

FWIW I also feel that the upgrade really suits my 03 longer geared MCS , if anything I would want to make 6th gear even more of an overdrive for economy!.

bored yet? OK I'll stop....


Ok, its been nearly two months since my last post.
My life has changed forever and its going to take a long time before I feel in any way 'normal'
However in the spirit in which my wife fought to the end I am going to restart these entries.