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Aug 14 Temperatures of up to 105°F and density altitudes of almost 8000ft have been impacting on our tuning and performance of the ZX14 Black Thunder on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The course has been closed for periods due to high winds and we have seen a lot of extremities of weather on the salt, from glaring heat to rain on parts of the salt lake, thunder storms and lightning, and even what appeared to be the formation of a tornado on the perimeter of the Salt Lake.

We have run the ZX14 on courses one and two, however to date have tended to favour course one as although it still has some rough patches they don't seem as bad as course two. We have qualified to run on the long courses, which they call the 200mph courses, however we are still having traction problems with the rear wheel spinning, at speeds around 175mph, which makes the ride rather exciting.

We have had a number of Kiwis call and visit us on the Salt Flats, wishing us good luck, and last night at the car wash at Wendover we met two Kiwis who were on their Iron Horse choppers, and were on their way back from Sturgis, and were part of a group of 7 Kiwis who were planing to take their bikes back to NZ.

Neil, Andy and Violet have all been working hard, and believe me in this heat it is so much harder to work!

Back on the salt today (Tuesday), and once again the weather is as hot as the past few days. I guess being a Kiwi, we just don't acclimatise as quickly as those from warmer countries. Andy, who is with us, seemed to acclimatise best, and although he was originally from the UK, he had spent a lot of time in India, which had obviously helped. The course was closed again for a while after a reasonably bad crash.

We prepared the bike and Neil and Andy did a few adjustments on the chain. After changing the gearing, we were one position away from the start on long track number one, and just about to mount the bike when the NOS Line fitting blew out on the NOS hose. Neil tried quickly to fix it, however we had no spare fittings as we never imagined a fitting failure. As I was now on the line to run, we had to run with out NOS.

Becoming a little more confident on the salt, I accelerated a little harder noticing the back end of the ZX14 squiggling a little, as the rear wheel was seeking traction. My speed fluctuated to around 180mph then back down to 175mph as I lost traction on the salt (we were using readings from the GPS rather than the speedometer to confirm speed versus engine RPM where I could detect wheel spin or loss of traction).

We are back in the camp ground looking to strip the bike down as we believe the factory de-restrictor TRE may have failed so we are using some Kiwi ingenuity to get around this if we can, to chase more speed and to over come the traction issue.