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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto

An American Made Two Stroke

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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down II

Post by toratora » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:39 pm


Things started off a little bit differently today. First up was going to the D-Store to watch the MotoGP Great Britain race. Horrible what happened to Dovi. Awesome for Rins, and undeniably another huge win for Marc. :disappointed:


But not wanting to be too discouraged Mario, and I headed out to the parking lot for some minimoto fun.

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Here’s an overview of the lot. This photo is fairly old so it doesn’t show the most current setup, but the overall layout is much the same. Some of it changed on the backside due to the AC gear installed, and the container in the back. This time I swept the entire course. I didn’t want to have another close call like I did on the first day. This made for a huge improvement in confidence, but I was still shy around the backside of the course where it got a little squirrelly previously.


By far the funnest corner is at the front which swoops downhill in a really nice left that feeds into a long soft right. The bike is truly enjoyable to pilot through this section.


I tried a few different locations for the cones this time. The lot isn’t particularly flat, which is great for doing laps, but not as conducive for drills. Here’s a shot of Mario doing figure 8s.


The little Cobra got really dirty this time out. I’ll have to spend a fair amount of time cleaning it up!

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The biggest issue is for sure the front brakes. I had them give out a couple of time, and they were never fully operational. The shock issue isn’t so bad once on the bike, but this probably reduces the bikes ability to turn with the rear end compressed so much.

Overall it was another very fun day at the parking lot. :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: A Man Needs to Stop II!

Post by toratora » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:39 pm

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I checked in with Jadrein to see what his thoughts were with regards to the brakes. While he wasn’t experiencing quite the difficulty with the brakes that I’ve been seeing he did confirm that even when properly working, and running Motul 600 the brakes were still inadequate. So he upgraded to a larger caliper and master from a 450. Shawn fabricated a bracket for it. :paw_prints:



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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: A Man Needs to Stop III!

Post by toratora » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:39 pm


I was chatting with RD about Jadrein’s mod, and RD suggested that I try a Brembo from an ATK. I got some quick shots of it checking clearance on the Cobra, and it looks like there’s a high probability that it will work well.


Then I went over to visit my friend Mike at the local college. I brought the caliper, and some photos to show Mike what is needed to fix up the brake setup. He said that they have the machines to make the adapter. It might be a while, but I found Mike’s words to be very encouraging! :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down III

Post by toratora » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:39 pm

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Another weekend at the parking lot! Overall this was a very good weekend for the learning. Upon watching the videos I would say visibly I haven’t made a lot of progress, but the way I feel on the bike has changed quite a bit. Saturday had the most feeling of progress, and at least on Sunday I was eventually able to get that feeling back, and even make a tiny bit more progress.


Once there the first thing I did was sweep the lot. This took the better part of an hour to accomplish with my little broom. But it’s an important task to take on, and at least it’s honest work. I didn’t need to sweep on Sunday as I mostly focused on the figure 8s, and that area had remained clear of debris.


After the sweeping I did a little bit of work on the bike. The front brake was crazy horrible by the end of the previous session, so it needed some attention. First I used a paper napkin to pull the blackened fluid out of the master, then proceeded to run a good amount of fresh fluid through to flush the system, and then bled out the air. The brakes got better, but they still are nowhere close to how they should be performing. I also replaced the missing radiator shroud.


On Saturday I brought out the Anafi for some testing. I wanted to try out the Camera Man feature, and see if I could get it to Follow Me with just the iPhone on the bike. To this ends I setup the Quad Lock ram mount on the Cobra’s bar.

I did this late in the day and the visual profile of my black riding gear was too difficult for the software to differentiate. Fortunately the bikes white plastics were enough for it to track. With the figure 8s the video looked like it was shot by a drunk person. This is probably because I had the drone very close to the subject. However, eventually if figured things out and provide a very nice image.

The Follow Me mode probably would have worked, but for some reason the iPhone couldn’t find a GPS signal in that location. Due to this unfortunate circumstance I was unable to test the Follow Me mode with just the phone.






Some obligatory photos of the bike. Still having a bit of leakage coming out of the pipe. Less so this week probably due to mostly doing figure 8s.


While I was packing up I got buzzed by an airliner cueing for landing. Must have been a busy day at the airport. Being this close to the air port one might think that model plans would be an issue, however they fly in this location quite frequently. On Sunday there were a good number of fast planes. For this reason I didn’t feel comfortable launching the Anafi, even though I basically fly it under 3 meters.


Once things were loaded up it was time to head out. :paw_prints:

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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down IV

Post by toratora » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:39 pm

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Sunday I went out for the second session this weekend. Tylor came out for a bit too, which was nice. Hopefully in the future he can make it with one of his little bikes.

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This time I added a third cone in the center. This gives me a focus point for once I’m in the turn. I started using one of the parking lines for this on Saturday, and the cone seems to make it a bit more interesting. It also forces me to employ a slightly tighter line into the next turn, which will help when I start putting the cones closer together.


I’ve been noticing a bit of a grinding feeling in the back end of the bike. I suspect that it is a chain issue. There does seem to be a tight spot. I have a goofy red chain that I’ll probably put on there to see if the issue goes away.


To say I was leaning over would be a gross overstatement. But it’s probably worth while to track the progress. The tires were getting quite hot. Tire temp is probably something should start to track too.


With the rear tire it is even more evident that I need to lean more. However, I’ve already had a couple of close calls so clearly there is something that I have yet to discover! And yeah more leakage.


I brought along the Calamari stand this time. It didn’t work very well at all, and had the added un-benefit of scratching the swing arm. Another solution must be found!




Some photos of the tire lines. How are you at forensics? :monocle:



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Packed up and ready to kaierimasu. :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down V

Post by toratora » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:39 am

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This week I was chatting with Kimie about doing figure 8s. She suggested that I do circles first, and provided me with a number of pointers. Use chalk to make a circle with a diameter of 8 meters. Add a second circle 30cm outside of that, and ride within the lines. Do this in second gear. When you progress drop the circle down to 6 meters. At first do this in second gear, but as you progress move to first gear. Suffice to say I am still doing 8m circles in second gear!


On the way to the lot I needed to stop by the Home Depot to pick up the new broom. It had arrived there on the fourth, and I was told I could pick it up on the 6th. They had a really difficult time finding it. Nearly 45 minutes later someone came out of the back with it. While I waited I took a look at some powered options. The two stroke unit caught my eye, but all of these are currently well beyond my budget.


Once I got the broom out at the lot I was very pleased. It works fantastic. Rocks, leaves, pebbles, bark, it all moved right along when encouraged by this sweep.


I don’t know if I would have called it a Bulldozer, but the handle is plenty long, features a rotating end, disassembles and clamps together for easy storage, and best of all does a great job. :grin:


Next up was the chalking. I got out the measuring device, and scribed a number of marker which I then connected. Then repeated the process with a 30cm extension. This would have been so easy with two people and a string, but one person required a fair amount of hand and knee action.


I got the chalk at Target. It is the typical blackboard style. I ended up using an entire stick for this one outing. In the future I’d like the source some sidewalk chalk.


With the chalk laid out I wanted to get the bar protectors installed. Fairly quickly I discovered that I had forgotten to bring the tools. Oh well, at least I remembered to bring the Gator-Aid. :grimacing:

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Finally after all of that I got to do some riding. Even though I’ve spent a good amount of time watching the Lorenzo videos I still found it incredibly difficult to make progress. I mean there was some to be sure, but it was very incremental, and no where near where I was hoping I’d be by now. With the circles there I was able to employ them as my sight guide, rather than a cone—this proved to be much easier. Sometimes with the shade, and glare it was difficult to see the circles, and I had to imagine they where they were.


Little evidence of progress here too. I did notice that the tires were not anywhere near as hot to the touch as previously. The figure 8s may be much harder on the tires than circles. But also today was much cooler than the previous outings.


The Cobra is still showing off its inherent richness.


The recording setup features the Hohem D1, Pergear mini tripod, and an iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve tried using the tracking software, but it doesn’t seem to track well enough. Maybe with some more experimenting I can find some improved settings. For now a static shot is working well enough to document the process. There was way too much wind to launch the Anafi, which is a shame as I also have a lot of learning to procure in that vector.


As Numan sang “Where are the tracks, where are the lines.” :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down VI

Post by toratora » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:39 am

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I got a lot done today, but not a whole lot of riding. I needed to do some work on the bike, a bit of cleaning, and such. Then I swept the lot, freshened up the chalk lines, and then started getting dressed. That was about the time that Yusuke made it. He rode his Z up from San Jose. We made a figure 8 setup for him to practice on, while I continued with the circle action. We got probably around two hours of riding in when The Man showed up. Apparently someone called in with a complaint. So we had to wrap it up for the day.


Once loaded up it only takes about 15 minutes to get to this lot, which is why it is so convenient. There are other lots in the same area, and the officer alluded to those being options for future play.


When I arrive I usually get to the sweeping straight away. It's hard work, so I like to get it accomplished while I'm still at full energy. Interestingly the chalk outlines from last week were still in pretty good shape.

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With things swept up I got out the chalk, and proceeded to retrace the 4m radius line. I had learned from watching the Lorenzo video that the second line is drawn inside the first. I had been drawing it on the outside. So I did a quick hand drawing of a new line on the inside. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was plenty serviceable.

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The bike had gotten a bit dirty, but a little Simple Green, Elbo Grease, and some rinse water, and things were looking nice again.


The model airplane cats were there again too. These guys have some mad skillz.


This time I remember to bring the tools to install the bar protectors. They really don’t fit this bike well, but I was able to get them to what seemed like a serviceable position.


Later while riding I would find them to be a placed a little bit high, so I’ll probably try to make some adjustments over time. For now though they looked pretty good. I do expect that if I crash it might break the mounting bolts. The inner mounts don’t look all that robust. I also installed them upside-down, but that seemed to fit the best so I went with it.


Then it was time to check the tire pressure. There was 21 psi in the rear, and about 20 in the front. So I left it alone. The CX65 guys said they were running 19 psi. Daren suggested something in the range of 20-22 psi. I might drop down to 19 in the future so see if I can notice any difference, but for today this was fine. I’m still in the learning phase with this bike so there is a lot of experimenting to accomplish.


Yusuke got in a decent amount of practice on the figure 8s. He did quite well for his first time at it.

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I had just started to roll video when The Man arrived, so I didn’t get anything of note, nor of much usefulness for tracking progress. I don’t think I made a whole lot today. It didn’t seem like my lean was progressing, but the one time I did look down it appeared more than before. Not that you can really judge it all that much from on the bike! :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Shake Down VII

Post by toratora » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:39 pm

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Small progress was made again today. I could feel that I was riding a little bit faster, and a little bit smoother. I think these are key. Watching the video, and comparing it to the Chicho videos I’m going a lot slower than the guys that are performing well.


From the D-Store to the parking lot. I went to the D-Store to catch the GP race. Jeff made it out today, so he followed me out the the lot to check out the process.


Because of yesterday’s interaction with The Man I moved to a public lot. This lot was incredibly dirty. I ended up getting blisters sweeping it. One of the major problems is the dirt totally blended into the tarmac. The only way to really tell was to move your foot over the area. Eventually though I had a fairly good section to ride, and the grip was much better than in the other lot. The chalk though was put to the test. It was much harder to draw on this lot, and the lines came up very quickly. I am going to have to order the sidewalk chalk for this lot as the board chalk could not handle the roughness found here.

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Jeff only had time to do a few laps, but he could feel how doing this exercise can tire you out fast. I think we’ll be seeing more of him, as he could appreciate how this can dramatically improve your skill level.


A nice shot of the Cobra. :sunglasses:


People have asked how I’m getting the shots. I shoot video with an iPhone 6 Plus mounted on a small tripod with the Hohem D1 gimbal. It is a single axis unit that comes with a video recorder app. It can track, but not very well. Mostly I just use it for static shots when doing these drills.


The spooge is now leaking out of the front of the silencer. :scream_cat:


The weather started to change dramatically—I expect there will be rain this week. The wind got so strong it even knocked the bike over, testing out the new bar protectors. They did okay, but it looks like the end bolt came out a bit. I’ll have to attend to that soon.


There was a noticeable change in the tire markings this time. At the other lot I felt more comfortable with right circles, but today I was doing better with the lefts. It might have been due to the blisters developed while sweeping.

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With the sweeping, loading, prep, etc. there’s not as much time practicing as one would expect. Still some slow and steady progress is happening. Most of my laps weren’t even close to these to shots of nearly achieving a decent lean, but they are better than I’ve previously achieved. By comparing the video to the Chicho video clues are being elucidated.

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And then it was time to kaerimasu. :paw_prints:
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toratora
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Cobra CX65 Mini Moto: Vital Messages from the Peanut Gallery

Post by toratora » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:39 pm

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Photo of Daren I took last year out at Sonoma

Friends have been posting suggestions, and tips, so I figured I should start sharing those too.
Daren wrote:You need to work on getting off the seat more. Get/point your elbow out out more—in the direction of the turn. Also, move your head more forward over your hand, or outside the bars. Don’t worry about speed. Work on building muscle memory and body position. As you get more familiar, you’ll get more relaxed, confident, and comfortable, thus speed will increase, along with lean angle. As that happens, you will learn to pick your knee up a bit, and the lean angle will increase :wink:

Similar to this photo (above), if not better. The body position on the motard is a bit different than road racer. Any how, baby steps—keep up the practice, you'll get there. :wink:
Kimie has been helping me with what drills to train, and the layout—which I’ve posted above. Here’s another tidbit from her when I commented on how difficult I found these exercises:
Kimie wrote:Bert trains us to do all of these (the Chicho drills). Max and Bert work with Chicho. I recommend learning from a pro—Bert with his school (T3). Anyone can do this by watching the videos, but most are doing it all wrong. It looks easy though right?
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