We hauled our precious out to Infineon's kart track last Sunday for a day of supermoto with new resident Fast Guy, Drew Dickson, and a pair of journalists from Asphalt & Rubber and Hell For Leather Magazine. We had some gorgeous, crisp blue weather and a dry, swept track and a wonderful hostess named Becky who was extremely tolerant of our antics.
Before boring you with the details, how about some pretty (moving) pictures, courtesy of Wes Rowe (you'll want to view in HD, 1080p if you can):
We brought my personal KTM 250 XCF-W out for comparison testing, loaded with Derek's factory kit (dunlop slicks on 16.5/17 wheels and a monstrous front brake setup by Braking). We sent Drew out for a couple of sessions on the RedShift to shake it down, provide some good photo ops, and show the journos how it's done. Then we sent the journos out one-by-one on the KTM first ("this is the bike you're allowed to crash") followed by the RedShift ("If you crash this, you're never invited back again. And we will hunt down your family").
Despite the stern warning, the skinny street rubber on the Alta, AND a artificial top speed limit of 56mph on the RedShift (for their own safety) both of them were significantly faster on the RedShift. Jensen from A&R settled into 1:12s on the KTM and ran 1:08s on the Alta. Sean of HFL settled into 1:09 even for the KTM, and was turning that time on the RedShift by his second lap. On his third, he got cocky and tried to back it in with a touch of rear brake... everyone's heart stopped for a solid 2-count while he barely saved the resulting highside. That shook him up and soon after a challenging lurch that had appeared for the first time that day got worse, so we decided to pack it in. That's the way it goes with prototypes sometimes.
The good news is, these guys had a chance to see and feel how much more powerful the RedShift is than the KTM, AND how much more manageable it is in the corners. With the artificial speed limit on the RedShift, these guys were making all their time in the tight sections despite the KTM being on much better rubber. We're feeling better and better that our goal of building a bike that isn't just faster, but is easier to ride fast, is within reach. We all can't wait to see how this translates to dirt.
Stay tuned and stay fast...