Posted March 08, 2001 - 06:10 PM
I thought you'd get a kick out of the brief report posted on
RoadRacingWorld's website http://venus.13x.com...world/index.htm
I'll send out a complete update on our Daytona adventure in
a little while.
Tul-aris 780 Runs Away From GSX-R1000 At 180 mph On Daytona Banking By David
After a mid-winter media tour of Southern California, Dr. Rob Tululie
brought his Tul-aris 780 two-stroke creation to the high banks of Daytona
for its race debut underneath new rider Michael Barnes. When former NSR500V
rider Barnes took to the track, he found that the handlebar vibration
problem encountered during tests at Willow Springs has been reduced
significantly. And while the Tul-aris continued to suffer minor teething
problems, it also demonstrated impressive speed on the Daytona high banks.
Reigning Formula USA Unlimited Superbike Champion Grant Lopez got a good
idea of the Tul-aris' speed from the seat of a stock 2001 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Lopez was using to teach in Wednesday's Team Hammer Advanced Riding School.
"(Barnes) must have just come out of the pits because I caught up to him,"
Lopez said. "He kind of tip-toed through the horseshoes, but when he got on
the banking, he was gone. That Tul-aris is freaking fast! I was getting on
the 1000, and Barnes just pulled away." During the five, 30-minute track
sessions in which he rode the GSX-R1000, Lopez regularly saw over 190 mph on
the GSX-R1000's speedometer through Daytona's tri-oval.
Although the accuracy of stock speedometers are questionable, Tululie used
more accurate information like engine rpm, rear wheel circumference, and
gearing ratios to determine that his bike was doing an actual 180 mph
through Daytona's tri-oval. Tululie's bike did this with what he called a
"practice" engine that he said was 15 horsepower down on his "race" motor.
For reference, factory AMA Superbikes topped out at 178 mph on radar at
Daytona in 2000.
Ex-F-USA Champion Barnes said that the Tul-aris is the fastest thing that he
has ever ridden.
Posted March 08, 2001 - 07:01 PM
Posted March 15, 2001 - 05:00 PM
the victory sled...
here's the reason why you didn't see any Tul-aris results from Daytona: Our
race was rained out! The actual race still ran in the pouring rain, but both
Mike Barnes and I decided that it was too dangerous to run at Daytona in the
rain on this bike, given the speeds it can carry on the banking. However,
here's a short synapses of our weekend:
Wed: 1st practice during RRW&MT's Team Hammer Advance Riding School and
Track Rides. We got a lot of track time on Wed., by far the most productive
practice we had all week in this respect. The Tul-aris went 179 "right out
of the box". Ran away from Grant Lopes, current F-USA champion, who was on
the new GSXR 1000 (see "Tul-aris 780 Runs Away From GSX-R1000 At 180 mph On
Daytona Banking " on the RRW&MT website, posted 3/2). This was with the Hot
Seat 780 motor, which ran great all weekend. Chased some minor issues, such
as a bit of a constant radius understeer/push through the west horseshoe
(otherwise traction was good all-around) and getting the gear ratios sorted.
Handlebar vibration was much improved, but now footpeg vibration is
noticeable. We improved footpegs later in the week, but will need to make it
better still before the next race. Shouldn't be a problem, same methodology
as for handlebars. Bike ran cool all week, the most we saw was 69 deg. C
(156 deg F) for water temp when the outside temp was 28 deg C (82 deg F).
Switched gearbox ratios Thursday eve.
Thursday: not much happened due to rain, didn't practice
Friday and Sat: worked on suspension settings, improved front end traction.
Got great phone support from Mike Watts at Ohlins, so we fixed the front end
push by the end of the day. New Ohlins forks worked much better than the
Showa's (we tried the Showas once in a back-to-back comparison). Friday
afternoon I rode the Tul-aris in the CCS GTO race just for extra track time.
I did about 10 laps, came in, adjusted suspension setting (trying to work on
the rear to make it less bumpy on the banking) and jetting, when out again,
etc. I rode really slow, but lots of good track time.
Friday night I decided to put in the 800 motor. Unfortunately, we only got 1
lap in with the 800 on Saturday morning before the 1st race (the CCS race,
which for us was more of a practice race) because the chain broke. So Mike
had to start the race with a motor that had on lap on it, and of course it
seized. Really my fault, should have been more conservative considering that
we didn't really get any practice on this motor. It was quite fast, as it
overreved quite a bit down the back straight. Mike went from 30th on the
grid to 14th in one lap before the motor broke (and he didn't pass anybody
at the start off the line as the bike is quite tricky to launch with the
Saturday night we switched back to the 780 motor we had run Wed-Friday.
Lot's of thanks to the AMI guys for letting us work late!
Sunday morning practice the bike was going really good, handling and
suspension was good and we had great acceleration and top speed. In fact,
Mike Barnes and Scott Russell (on the Ducati) were going around the high
banks together at the same speed, passing bikes quickly as they circled
around next to the wall. No change in distance (the Tul-aris was about 100
yard behind, out of the draft), which means we had at least the same, if not
better, top speed.
Most unfortunately, just as things were coming together for our race, the
PACE Unlimited GP (also called the "Shoot-out" ), the skies opened up. Mike
and I decided it was too dangerous to run the Tul-aris - with the weight and
power, one could highside through the tri-oval! After some delays, the GP
race was run in the wet, and my hat's off to anyone who participated as I
imagine that Daytona is quite a handful in the rain. Mike actually ran the
Buell in the wet and walked away with the win in the Buell-only series by a
long way, great riding on his part!
So we left Daytona with no race, but we learned a few good lessons:
(1) don't stay up till 2 am putting in another motor when the previous one
is plenty fast and reliable
(2) Jet, time and gear conservatively, I mean really safely. It's not an
underpowered single or vintage bike where you need every last horsepower.
(3) Bike is fast, handles well, but we need to extend the powerband down low
a little to make it easier when the gearbox ratios are not right for a given
(4) Take time off to think about problems, don't get too wrapped up in
working on the bike.
Many many thanks to Dale, Hardy and Chris who worked their butts off getting
it all together. Many thanks to Mike Barnes as well, who really impressed
me. Believe me, the Tul-aris is fast but with the power band we currently
have it's not an easy bike to ride fast, my hat's off to Mike. I'm confident
we can get him improved low to midrange power by the next race.
We picked up additional sponsors at Daytona: Nutec Fuel, who make the best
over-the-counter racing fuel in the US and who make fuel for anything from
Formula 1 cars to motorcycles, will supply us with fuel and oil for the
season. Many thanks to Lionel and Josh. Dave Gilbert from DCM Services will
make a set of adjustable triple clamps for us, complete with Tul-aris logo!
We are also in talks right now with a brake sponsor, as well as a trucking
I'm really excited about the level of enthusiasm that's out there about the
bike, everybody in the pits has nothing but good things to say about it and
there's a lot of positive reinforcement for what we did. What we're working
on next is to find a sponsor that will cover our travel and related
expenses, so that we can do the F-USA series. Will keep you posted. Any
suggestions are welcome. Also, our plan is to use the new Polaris powervalve
cylinders (so far, we ran non-powervalve cylinders ) that Polaris is now
coming out with on the new 700 and 800 snowmobiles, which should really give
a big boost in the low and mid-range. Hopefully we can get them on the bike
and dyno before our next race at the end of April.