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CCS Mid West Blackhawk Farms Raceway Sept. 26/27

1599 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Contrails
I did my first race weekend on the R3 and first track day the Friday before at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Beloit, WI. I was going to use the track day as set up time for the weekend. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned.

Friday Track Day

First session for the track day went really well. I just took my time and was trying to get use to the bike. It turns in very quick but very predictable. Power seems good too. It is a very different sound than what I am use to on the SV. I always shifted by sound. SV shifts at @9500. R3 at 12k!

You really need to keep the revs up to top be in the powerband.

I came in early from my first session to have TSE set up the shock. I had purchased a Penske 8983 double clicker from them with the AMA spec valving. I wanted too get some heat on the suspension first though. They needed to add a bit of pre load to the shock. They also took a look at the forks. Those were built by @pattonme. (review coming soon). They took 1/2 a turn of rebound out. I was at the max # of turns out, 4.5. I had already set up compression and preload on Thursday and had it set pretty good.

2nd session I go out and one lap in, while exiting turn 1, the whole front end just started to wobble. It felt like the front wheel was going to fall off! I get off at the carousel corner workers station. After getting back to my pit I began to check the entire front end. Also checked the forks to make sure they were moving together and working correctly. Everything was torqued and working fine.

Third session I didn't even make it past turn one. The whole rear end strated to wobble and it now felt like the rear wheel was going to fall off! Got off the track and rode through the grass to turn one and exited.

Start checking the rear wheel and find the brake side seal is melted! Looking closer and I can see the entire bearing has melted.

I tried removing the axle and found it wouldn't come out. Mark Stiles (from TSE) eventually got it out using a big hammer. Some of the ball bearings had lodged themselves between the inner spacer and wheel hub. Initially I thought the axle had seized to the inner spacer. I could see the inner spacer moving with the axle whenever I turned it. Thank goodness that didn't happen.

I did get lucky in that the wheel bearing size is the same as the SV650s. I had a bunch of new ones sitting at home. I did pick up some SKF ones from Motion Industries in Janesville though. The ones I have are from China and I didn't want to use those unless I had to.

Cleaned up the scoring and any lips that formed on the spacers and axle at home. Removed the bearing race that was still in the wheel and installed the new bearing. I am lucky that Blackhawk is only 1.5 hours away from my house and I had to go back to pick up my wife and son to bring them down for the races.

I don't know why the bearing went. I use a torque wrench to tighten the axle. I followed the torque spec listed in the R3 factory service manual and the chain was straight. This isn't my first time putting a new chain on or putting a rear wheel on either.


It was a great weekend! I didn't finish like I wanted, but I had a great time.

During the practice sessions the front end was feeling light coming out of corners and after hitting over 100 on the front straight. Ended up taking a bit of compression out of the rear to help with that.

I raced 500SS and finished, 7th out of 9. I got behind a modified cup RC390 but was able to pass him pretty easily. Then I got stuck behind an Aprilia RS250. The guy would park it in the corner and then out motor me on every corner and straightaway. That bike has about 20 HP more than the R3... Anthony Lambert, on a RC390 cup bike, passed me and the Aprilia going into the carousel. I was able to get past the Aprilia on the outside of the carousel and caught up to Lambert. I got the better drive out of 7 (last turn) and was passing Lambert. His stronger motor got me at the line though. It was a three way race between myself, Anthony, and a guy on an Aprilia RS250. We were three wide and neck and neck at the finish line. I bet if I had my transponder mounted where I usually do I think I would have won! It was that close. Based on lap times I could have been up in 3rd or 4th. But hey, first race and only 3 sessions of set up time.


CCS just changed the rules for Moto 3 to allow the KTM RC390 and R3 compete in the class.

During practices the front end was still pushing and lifting during acceleration out of corners. He raised the rear shock 2 turns to put more weight on the front to prevent this from happening. After first practice I had to take out some compression because of the added weight on the front. The front was really hitting hard over bumps. Now running 2 turns out on compression. I also added 1/2 a turn to rebound

For the Moto 3 race I pulled out my air filter to see if I could get a bit more HP to compete against the KTM. I got a terrible start though and entered turn 1 last. I had to fight my way through the amateur LWF40 and caught up to Anthony again. I found he couldn't motor me on the straights anymore. I was able to get past him pretty easily but I can't remember where. Once past I pulled out a significant lead. I started to catch up to 2nd and 3rd but didn't have enough time. I finished 4th out of 5.

Besides the bearing failure, the R3 ran flawlessly. I got down to a 1:26.053. I was doing consistent 1:26s without pushing the bike at all. Pretty good considering it was only my 7th time on the bike. I worked on suspension set up all weekend. Mark from TSE did a wonderful job of helping me set up the bike. I am still getting a bit of front end push after Mark raised the rear shock ride height 2 turns. After talking to him he suggested instead of doing any changes to the suspension I should change how I ride the bike. I need to get more up on the tank and get my weight off the back of the bike. Of course, I won't be able to try that out until next year.

I have to say I absolutely love this bike. It really is a little screamer. I have no regrets selling the SV and getting the R3.

We had a great time with everyone too. I can't wait until then! That begs the question, when will then be now?

May have to do a road trip somewhere.

Current set up as follows:

2105 R3 weighing 310 lbs according to ASRA scales
M4 full exhaust w/ carbon muffler
PC V w/ auto tune
Spears Racing 415 conversion kit
Forks By Matt
Penske 8983 double clicker w/ AMA spec valving by TSE
Catalyst Composites body work
Wrap by Track Graphix
Woodcraft rear sets, clip ons, stator cover protector, key switch eliminator, brake lever guard, & frame sliders
T-Rex clutch cover protector
CRG Supersport clutch perch w/ folding lever
Ducati 1199R master cylinder w/ CRG folding lever
Vesrah RJL pads
Graves block off plate
Spiegler brake lines
Pirelli Super Corsa tires. 110 SC1 front/140 SC2 rear
Euro Racing quick turn throttle w/ custom made cable hold down
Shoria LFX14 battery
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Good stuff! I noticed a bit of grease weep on the chain side of my rear, now that you mentioned it - Can you post the SKF part no.? I'll be checking front and rear bearings shortly to see what I find.
Rear wheel bearings are 6203. That is the designation for that specific size, no matter who manufactures them. I got the 6203rs so they have rubber seals on the ends. You can also get the 2rs version. Those just have a double seal instead of a single.


I don't know what the front bearings are though, yet. If you pull the seal off just look at the bearing seal and it should have a number on it.

You can also google Motion Industries and specifically ask for SKF, or any non Chinese bearings, in the 6203 size. I am betting there is a Motion Industries near you.
Nice report (save for the bearing woes)! I do love this "little" bike on the track.
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