Some of you may remember my previous blogs on Electric Bikes… The first one I wrote was 4 years ago and I had some not nice things to say about the electric bike market. I mean, who the hell cares, right?

Holy crap, times have changed in 4 years. Pure electric vehicles are coming out of the woodwork for consumers left and right these days. The Nissan Leaf. The Chevy Spark. The TESLA (insert dramatic theme music).

It IS a damned good looking car… Images credit: Tesla Motors
tesla model s ev electric car

Some of my opinions haven’t changed…much…
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Well, I never really wrote much this year for AFM…In fact, I only did one write-up, and that was last round (R6 @ Infineon). I’d thought about it, but never really found much motivation for it.

I read once—in a blog—that if you are going to have a successful blog, that you need to write shit constantly…and that you shouldn’t spend too much time on it…just get it done, blast it out, rinse, repeat….F-that. I spend, like, 4-5 hour per blog that I write. At LEAST!

I’m not really sure WHY it takes me that long…I mean, I type decently fast, I never pre-plan what I’m going to actually say, I barely proof read my posts… I simply think of a topic and go PEW PEW PEW! Why the hell does it take me so long?

In this case, my topic is the the entire 2012 year of AFM.

Lawdy lawd, where do I begin? I’ve got the memory of an elephant—that’s been mortally wounded and had it’s tusks poached—so it’s not like I can actually remember many specifics about round 2…or 3 or 4 or hell, even round 7, just a few days ago.

R2 at Thunderhill.

Someone crashed…that’s all I remember.
crashed r6 crash thunderhill sparks lowside
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Well, it’s been some time since my last post about fishies and stuff… since then, I’ve had hundreds of queries, asking me “What’s next?” Often, my reply had been something along the lines of “I’m just taking things as they come.” …and it was true…I was. Until now.

dragon caligraphy chinese

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Well…I don’t really know what to say here. I hadn’t planned on writing this blog..hadn’t really even planned on talking about this at all but to a few friends…but I guess, for lack of better words, I’m feeling a bit inspired by a friend of mine right now.

He said to me “What’s up with 4theriders? It seems like the site has crawled to a halt” (or something like that…just with a lot more bad words).

It has.
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Holy baby Jebuz, I just had the scare of my life-time. Seriously, I don’t ever remember a time feeling the way I felt only about 2 hours ago.

I’d been editing wedding pictures all day today, and I needed a break. I haven’t ridden at all in a few weeks, and I’ve been going bonkers… not to mention, life has just been tough the last few weeks as well…

I had to get out.

It was already 3:30pm tho….what to do? Oh, load the dirtybike, and go hit some trails for an hour or two! SWEET!
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Evolution. Science has gone along way in convincing me that we evolved from monkeys or fish or something. I get it, it makes perfect sense. The little talking DNA string from Jurassic Park totally made me understand the whole dinosaur thing. I mean, I am not stupid. I can even see where the bible-thumpers are coming from with baby jeebus pouring wine for the ancient homeless and birthing the world and stuff.

None of this explains the FUCKING SQUIRREL.

crazy squirrel
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so i was talking to this motor builder guy while i’ve got the hood of the element open at an SCCA race event…i asks “you ever work on elements? can you get any power out of them?”

“oh yeah, of course. we actually work on those motors all the time. just depends how much you want to spend…”

“100 bucks,” i laughed to him. he laughed pretty heartily for a minute or two before i saw a light bulb moment come over his face.

he points to the intake airbox resonator thingo and says “first, get rid of all that crap. you don’t need it. also, if you’re mechanically inclined, you can take the head off and do a 15 thousands shave on the head. about 4 hours of your time and $75 for the cut.”

after talking with him for a while, he said that raising the compression like that is good for about 25-30 ponies under the bonnet..and that you won’t need anything extra..it’ll all just bolt right back together with all stock parts!

i also inquired about taking the airbox thingo out, asking him about driving thru rain and the likes, and would i have any hyrdo-lock issues, and he said no.

i was skeptical… so i did it. well, the airbox part. i’ve not milled the head yet…

anyways, after a real world test, i’ve got some figures for ya…

2005 RallEment, 119,000 miles on it, regularly serviced by myself, full synth oil (5-20w), bone stock, except for a K&N drop in filter.

BEFORE:

i average between 18-19.5 mpg on the car (city and hwy combined), typically driving everywhere in cruise control at about 77mph. the best i’ve ever gotten (and i check nearly every tank against my GPS) was 21.5 mpg of freeway only driving with the wind at my back.

AFTER:

with NO change in driving habits, on my last tank of gas, driving OVER donner pass from sacramento to reno (which is a lot of steep uphill driving, where the element always tries to drop out of overdrive cause it doesn’t have enough power), i got 21.4 mpg. and it did about HALF as much shifting over the steep hills.

i drove another ~100 or so miles to fernley (mostly flat freeway driving) and back over the next 2 days, and topped off again; 23.8 mpg! again, no change in driving habits whatsoever..except, with the added power of the element, i feel like i don’t have to be as heavy footed with the throttle to maintain speed.

my drive home from reno USUALLY takes about 1/2 a tank.. it took me 1/4 tank for the return trip…i have yet to top off to find out mpg from the return trip.

realistically, it feels as though i’ve got a 10-12 hp gain from the airbox mod and drop in filter. i’ve had the drop in K&N installed for the last 15,000 miles or so already…

oh…and about hydro-lock…well, it POURED BUCKETS the entire drive home..i was a little worried for a bit… ZERO issues. i even drove thru snow and giant puddles. no issues.

total cost for mods so far? $56 bucks for the K&N. ~4 mpg gain? ~10hp gain?

worth it. oh oh…and i used a 90 degree 3 inch downspout elbow from home depot on the intake to turn it downwards like that. :D it was $3.

next comes a milled head! :D

i took this:

honda element airbox mod

out of here:

honda rallement airbox modification

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My weekend started off on a bad note. Friday afternoon, I started feeling sick. I dunno what the hell is up with me the last year or so… I had pneumonia in December…then AGAIN in March… it’s like I have AIDS or something…just without all that nasty HIV part. :/

So Friday afternoon, I’ve got the stuffy/runny nose and a cough. Friday night, I feel like death. Saturday morning, I wake up to an awesome surprise of feeling so crummy that I want to die, but Lisa comes to the rescue with a round of leftover antibiotics! WHOOO!

//begin antibiotic, cough-drops, and DayQuil regiment.

Saturday was SCCA PDX. Basically, it’s a sort of time-trials solo race event thingo where people in fancy cars try and lap the track as quickly as possible, and at the end of the day, whoever goes fastest wins. I’m not entirely sure that there’s even trophies or anything.. it appears as though it’s simply a timed trackday for bragging rights. I could be wrong though…I’m still learning about this car stuff.

nissan gtr rfr fernley scca pdx
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