We fielded a last minute team at the SRA Grand Prix Night Team Race aboard our trusty Yamaha YZ250FX. With a last minute decision to race, we didn’t get any testing time in with lights prior to the event. Since we’ve ridden with the same light setup on the previous generation YZ250FX, we rigged it up to work the same as we had previously. Of course, in the garage everything ran smoothly and the voltage meter showed the bike producing enough power to keep the voltage constant. However, things didn’t play out the same once the race started. We were able to get two full practice laps in with the lights on, a quick break, then start the race with zero issues. However, around 3 minutes into the race, the lights killed the battery and shut the bike off. I then had to unplug the lights that were powered by the bike, push the bike up a hill, and bump start it (can we go back to kick starters please?). As a fail safe, we always run our lights off two separate power sources and it paid off big this time. At the end of the lap, we switched the lights up to power the 40W of lights off the bike battery and the 80W of lights off the external battery. When the dust settled, we lost around 2 minutes in the initial mishap, plus some a minute or so in the pits messing with batteries and lights. Despite the setback, Tyler Belknap and I were able to come through the pack and finish 2nd O/A and 1st 250 Expert behind JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell. We’re going to dive into this issue more and see if we can remedy the situation.
For now, check out a quick lap around the fast and fun course!
Here’s the chaotic first lap where we get a mid-pack start then fumble around with the lighting before having to come through the pack!