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Written: October 14th, 2002
Written by: Kevin Beach
I've been riding the X440 since July. I've have no failures and haven't worn anything out except tires. I cart wheeled it a couple weeks back and put a lot of visual rash on it but no mechanical damage. Maintenance has been routine, no surprises.
I've added a PMB end cap to the muffler so I can drop in a spark arrestor when needed. I also purchased their quiet insert. All nice pieces. Install was easy and the fit & finish is great. I also added Moto Master brakes. I didn't expect much improvement because the 'Dale brakes are no slouch. Whoa! Was I wrong! Moto Masters are a HUGE difference. The front is a 260mm while the rear is the same size but noticeably lighter. The front kit bolted on easily with no surprises. The rear needed the new bolts modified. Moto Master is making a direct replacement soon. Now to ride the thing. I followed Paul @ Moto Master directions for break in. 30 minutes with the stock pads to get the coating off the new rotor then install the new pads. I could feel the improvement during break in but the new pads really showed the difference. A word to the wise: DO NOT grab a hand full of front brake after making the mod. Three things can happen, two are bad. I about went OTB when I grabbed the brake like I used to. After adjusting to it I'm asking myself why I never but oversize brakes on any other bikes. My corner entry speeds are at that "OH S!@#$T! I'm gonna fly off the track" level now. I can stay on the throttle much longer. I started using 4th gear in two spots because I knew I could slow the bike down and make the turn. My lap times are much improved and my right arm feels much better.
Lately, I've been getting beat up by the braking and acceleration bumps in the corners. Time to start clicking and see what happens. I backed the high speed compression off 1/2 turn and added 2 clicks of low speed F&R. This made a big difference. The bike tracks much better now. It doesn't jump sideways on the square edged acceleration ruts.
In '87 I had a KX250 that I could get away with anything on. My '03 X440 feels the same way. The bike inspires confidence. Maybe too much. On the 27th, I'm racing 2 classes at a local GP. I'm also racing 2 classes @ the Elsinore GP Nov. 9th&10th. That's 45 to 60min at race pace, per race. What the hell am I thinking????
I'll let you know how it comes out.
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