Thursday, 30 December 2010

ManxGP 2010 - Manx Classic Festival at Jurby

I found this post that I had saved but never published. It's from the Manx GP in late August:

On Sunday there was a Classic bike festival at Jurby airfield... we went a long and found a huge turnout. There were kazillions of bikes from all over the world... here are just some of them...

Flattrack On!

 Old skool cafe-racer

Got to be wearing a shell-suit to ride this one! 

Love the flat vintage exhausts 

A beautiful Ducati cafe-racer - any ideas as to what it is? 


Motorradwerk Zschopau

 This group of bikes were all the way from Austria

 Fantastic sculpted rear fender... brilliant seat coming out of the tank... I love it!

 It's a long ride from Austria with that hard-tail... frame rigidity? MotoGP boys can learn something from this!

Not a bike... but has an engine and looks cool... like the tractor in Thomas the Tank Engine books

More Italian exotica coming up...

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

David Knight vs Gee Atherton

David Knight takes on downhill mountainbiking champ Gee Aherton:

Apparently, this was only the second run Knight had on this downhill course - a course setup for mountainbikes and one that Atherton knows well. Shows the pure talent, skill and speed Knight has.

Surprised that Atherton feels that it is 50% bike on downhill mountainbiking. I love Knight's comments about buying a bike from a shop and then competing at world level on it... because that's exactly what he did last year. He gets a standard Kawasaki MX bike... spends a few hours on it in his garage to convert it to an Enduro bike and then goes and wins a World Enduro Champs round on it. Genius!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Flattracker Project

During a boring meeting at work the other day I was idly flicking though my notepad. I came across this doodle I had done in an equally boring meeting back in January:

We'll see how close to this masterplan the finished flattracker will be.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Middleweight Gladiators

A bit off topic, but have been reminded recently of fond memories from my childhood. Been spending some time YouTubing these memories. Long before thoughts of horsepower, compression dampening, rebound, squat, ride height and the other hundreds of variables that go into moto-sickles crossed my mind, I was an avid boxing fan.

Round 1 & 2 of "The War" where Hagler and Hearns trade punches

In the 1980's, before pay TV, we saw some of the greatest bouts on public TV. Up at 04h00 to see these warriors do battle in iconic arenas like Ceasar's Palace. I especially loved the middleweights... the four greats: "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns, "Sugar-Ray" Leonard and Roberto "The Real Deal" Duran.

Round 3 of "The War" - the punch trade couldn't last forever

Where blood and cuts were normal and certainly no reason to stop a fight, these guys were the meanest, fastest, most skillful and the toughest. Just YouTube any combination of these four greats and you'll see vintage footage of great battles. My favourites were Hagler and Duran - tough bastards.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Salt by Cafe Racer Culture

A couple of great pics on the salt from Cafe Racer Culture:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

9½ by Radical Ducati

Another awesome bike from Radical Ducati, the 9½

It's for sale... the thought crosses my mind... but I bet there are a few naughts in there!
Check their blog for tech spec and more pics.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Badd Ass Beemer

One cool Badd Ass Swiss Beemer on my new favorite blog Cafe Racer Culture:

There was a simmilar rat-bike built on a GS1150 hacking around during the ManxGP... I need to find the pics of it...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Roof of Africa - from Igor

A few more pics and Igor's blow-by-blow account of the 2010 'Baboons' Roof of Africa:

The 2010 Roof of Africa started as usual with the round the houses, all tar race through the streets of Maseru. I started in the 7th race and soon found that my gearing was way to low to finish strong, that combined with the fact that holding a two strokes throttle wide open and revving its nuts off for 10km was not something that came naturally to me.

Immediately following that we rode to the outskirts of town to start the 115km time trial. This was more the kind of riding I prefer with a flowing, fast technical course where I overtook aprox 35 riders on the loop and had a good smooth quick ride.

'Round the houses' in downtown Maseru

The rain came down in buckets on Thurs night delaying the start of race section 2 on Friday by half an hour while organizers found ways around flooded rivers. So off we set into muddy mountains to do a 220km race day where everything you rode on was like glass. I started to get a good rhythm going early on and was making up good places in the challenging conditions. Then my luck turned, first about 10 km after the first refuel my gear lever fell off and was lost, so a replacement was put on which lost me about five places and 10 minutes.

Got to attack those concrete pipes!

Then a few km's later going up a very steep muddy rocky pass called "Two Tits" I got to aprox 25 riders waiting in a bottle neck and as I was moving up in the que to get over, my chain came off...CRAP ! I lost allot of time here as there is one riding line on a 30 degree rock strewn slope, so I had to move the bike off the path into the bushes on the side and try and work on it.

Got it sorted and rode on, a hour or so later I hooked up with my teammate Pieter and we started to get a good rhythm going and cracked on a good pace for about 20km or so until I hit my gear lever on a rock and sheered the splined shifter shaft clean off...not good !

Igor and teammate Pieter du Plessis

Fortunately the bike was stuck in first gear so I could get out of the mountains and onto a lowland road to get back to the next service point where I had to take a time-bar. This essentially took me out of the medal standings but I could still restart the next day and go for a finish. Which I did, but on my off-road racing bike a KTM 450 four stroke... which is like taking a naval gun to a knife fight, shit that is allot of bike for that kind of riding. So Friday evening was spent changing all the necessary kit and plastics over from one bike to the other, much to the amazement of some of my fellow competitors in the camp site, a few of which got told simply to "piss off". Riding two bikes in the Roof is not legal but I wont tell if you don't.

'Two Tits' Pass

Saturday started well with the days riding being a little more intense than Fridays with allot of steep passes and wet off-camber rock faces thrown in for happiness. An hour or so into the ride and the bikes battery went flat, which wouldn't have been such a problem except for the fact the the motor is a tad worn so the lack of compression on the hot start makes it impossible to kick. So the entire time I was faced with the reality that I could very well be stuck in the hills with a bike that wouldn't go anywhere.


Every time I stalled or crashed (which was allot) I had to get locals or fellow riders to hold the bike upright while I stood up on the foot pegs and kicked it with a full stroke, pain in the butt! Lucky I found help when I needed it. Apart from that the day went well with the course taking us over some mind blowing and breath robbing obstacles, and I made it to the bronze finish in the early afternoon....result!

This years event was far more enjoyable for me than last, due mostly to a better thought out route and the fact that I was a little more comfortable with my machinery. Thanks to my sponsors "Enduroworld", and my brother Nic who seconded me on the weekend... oh, and to all the poor buggers that helped me up passes and to start me bike.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Green Laning

Armed with an Ordinance Survey map I headed out to the green lanes today to get a bit of saddle-time.

I explored some of the green lanes north of Silverstone. Not great. A lot of them were across pastures with many gates to open and shut. There were a few gnarley patches because of deep mud and slush. But on the whole - pretty tame.

So far, the greenlanes I used to ride around Guildford are far better. There are more further north of the ones I was on today - hope to explore them soon and find them a bit more challenging... and with less gates.

Spent only 2 hours on the bike. I forgot to fuel-up before leaving and was lucky to run out of juice only a mile or so from home. Doh! A bit of  a push. Man, I am sooo unfit! I'm cream-crackered now.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Sweet Taste of Success!

My brother Igor finished the Roof of Africa last weekend - it's the 'Mother of Hard Enduro'

Enjoy the feeling Chief!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Flattracker Build

I was supposed to go up to Scotland this last weekend with Mike and Ant for some playing around on trials bikes, but the Chevy has let me down and is sitting immobile on my driveway. Took the opportunity to finish winterizing my garage and make some progress on the Flattracker:

The standard fuel tank just doesn't lend itself to the classic flattracker look... a bit of tape helps the illusion... but it's crap and has to go...

Not quite the classic flattracker look... but work with me here...

The standard, battle-scarred rads are too tall for the cute XR tank and have to go too... 

On a faaaaarking cold weekend (down to minus 6 celsius), insulation is a must. Okay, not the neatest of jobs on the door... but effective. With a bit of heating, the garage temp was soon in to double figures and stayed there with just a little fan heater blowing. Still a bit chilly for my southern blood, but workable. Need a big-ass heater.

 The fibreglass XR tank snags the top of the frame where it splits into the two dwontubes... measure twice, cut once. A classic cut 'n shut job.

Dremels rock! 

A bit of grinding with a power-file... 

Fit, measure, grind, fit, measure, grind... took a while to get the cut-outs just right... slowly, slowly catch the monkey...

Aluminium mesh with a bit of epoxy to bridge the holes... 

And then the fun of fibre-glassing. Man! Them fumes is good! We're gonna git hiiii-iiiigh!

Just got to sort out the mounts for the tank and rads... but starting to take shape and look like a real flattracker!

I also spent a lot of time organizing my garage. Haven't really had a chance to since moving. It's not quite there, but things are starting to find their place and this is freeing up more space. Some principles of the book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Ever read it? If you haven't, get it... read it!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Roof of Africa 2010 - Day 3

Today was the final day of the 2010 Roof of Africa. Chris Birch (NZ) made it three and a row with 2003 winner Jade Gudzeit (ZA) second. Andreas Lettenbichler (DE) had a storming ride to take third with Paul Bolton (GB) in fourth.

My brother Igor battled on and finally finished 94th. There were only 109 finishers out of 253 starters. Yep... the Roof of Africa sure is the 'Mother of Hard Enduro'. Bloody well done Chief! Proud of you.

Thanks Hubert Stanka for the pics. When Nic (pit crew) and Igor get back to civilization, we'll get more pics and the full race story.
Full results here.