Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mallory Park Hero Pics

Just got some hero pics form Mallory Park the other weekend...

I normally look like I'm tootling around looking for parking!

Thanks to Racing Line Photography for the fantastic shots!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Buell Cafe Racer

Something way cool from the Cafe Racer Culture blog

Monday, 21 March 2011

Flattrack Practice - Rye House

Got my first flattrack ride of the season in yesterday at Rye House. Got to test all those changes I've made to the KTM over the winter... the forks, radiators, bar clamps, fuel tank, rear subframe, electrics...

I was a bit worried about overheating with those sexy new teeny-weeny rads. But she only overheated during the first 10 minute session... probably because I had her at standstill and idling for about 5 mins beforehand. The rest of the day she was just brilliant!

With my souped-up starting from a jumper-pack she starts with just one turn. Everything I did to her worked well and nothing fell off! I am always a bit surprised when the work I've done on a bike actually works and doesn't fall to bits.

There was a full turn-out and Alex came along too. The weather was brilliant (especially for mid-March) and practiced the things Co-Built Anthony (who got some cool helmet-cam vids) taught me last November. Working on my speed and sliding without using brakes. Got loads of laps in and was so knackered that we left 1/2 and hour early! As Colin Edwards says: "If you ain't riding at 110%, you're just wearing out the machinery" (or something like that).

I'm feeling smoother and faster... and more in control. Still need a lot more work and practice for the bike and me... but made another step forward. :-)

Unfortunately I'm gonna miss the first ShorttrackUK Club round in Scunthorpe this coming weekend... can't wait to get out there for some slideyways action for round 2 on April 17 (at Rye House again).

Friday, 18 March 2011

Oliver's Mount

A few years ago I did the Oliver's Mount Gold Cup on Candy. The other night I searched for Oliver's Mount footage from that year. This was the first vid that came up:

How lucky is this! The fourth bike (taking it real easy over those jumps) is me aboard Candy. I didn't make the final but did okay in the end.

As a spectator, watching Guy Martin take those jumps at full pelt, from just feet away is breathtaking. A spectacle that every bike-fan should see at least once in thier lives.

Things didn't go so well there in 2007. I still want to return there and give it another go... the small, light Suzy V may just be the tool!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Lost: Transponder

Last weekend I couldn't find my gaddamn transponder and had to hire one. I last used it at the Manx GP 2010 and have searched high and low for it. I might have lent it to someone... so if I lent it to you... please give me a call. I don't want to have to shell out another £350 for a new one.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Crossin Down the Field

On Sunday I went crossin' down the field with Ant and Mike. It was raining when I woke, but soon stopped and dried out to a beautiful, sunny afternoon. We hardly rode the track and stuck to the edges of the fields and wooded sections between. Loads of new routes through the wooded sections - planning to keep them clear of the summer growth.

It wasn't muddy at all and we were bustin' about like a bunch of mello-yello sipping kids. We were having a ball chasing each other up hill and down dale!

We burst out of a wooded section make a ninety degree turn and twist the throttle as wide as she'll go down the edge of a field. "Kaaaazing! Phut." the fourfiddy stalls. Huh? I hit the starter "Bwaaaaap!" and dump the clutch, Ant and mike were getting away! "Phut." What the.... ?

I have a look at what's what with the beast. Shit. The chains off and all snaked up against the gearbox. Rammed in there good and solid. Bollocks! Turns out a few bolts must have come out of the rear sprocket. With a few remaining bolts into the hub, under the power of the fourfiddy the hub just snapped. Because of the loose rear sprocket, the chain jumped off and mullered itself.

The bike could't be pushed. Ant and Mike chased each other back to the farmhouse and got some tools. We made field repairs so that the bike could be pushed. I landed up pushing the bike most of the few miles back to the farmhouse (at least half of it was downhill). Darn-good exercise.

I bit pissed off because I was having such a blast... and now I've got another bike to work on. :-( But we haven't blasted around the fields for about nine months... so it was great to be out there with my mates again!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Three Down - Three to Go

Headed out to Mallory Park for a wee bit o road racing on Saturday for the third of my six qualifying races for the ManxGP (I earned my first two by finishing ManxGP 2010). It was a ThundersportGB event - well organised.

Suzy V lookin' damn fine an sweet!

When I got there the paddock was rammed - everyone had been there since Friday morning doing testing/practice. My first session was Qualifying. Having had zero practice, being a crap 'Qualifier' and the first time on Suzy V on a short circuit - I only placed #19 on the grid of 21.

First time out on wickedly-sick-bling Braking discs from one of my sponsors: Talon Engineering. Man, they are the mutts-nuts on track... and just propped up on paddock stands

Race 1 - I get a rubbish start and stay out of trouble in the first corner - easy when you're last! I make up a couple of places on the first lap. Things settle down and a few laps later I'm at the tail of 4 bike train. I'm thinking "Race On! This is gonna be fun!". Then dear Suzy starts to feel flat above 8000 rpm. Like she's running on one cylinder. I just twist that throttle harder! She gets worse and I start dropping off the pace... over 7000 rpm and she chugs along. I couldn't hear any strange noises from the engine so figure it must be a spark or fuel problem... I screw that throttle harder. I get overtaken... she's just not going. Now over 6000 rpm she's running one one cylinder. I keep going. I HAVE to finish!

I get lapped by the leaders... a good thing because I have 1 less lap to do! It's the first time I've ever been relieved to be lapped! Suzy was getting worse and I was just circulating... expecting to be black-flagged. I finish second last - no idea what the guy in last place was doing out there!

The part of racing I hate - sorting bikes that don't work properly

Between races I pop the tank up and find a frayed and loose coil connector.They have such crappy connectors on the coil - cheap Suzuki shit. I sort it and she seems ok.

The offending 2 penny shitty connector

Race 2 - Of course... the more time you have before a race, the less sorted you'll be for the race. I started riding to the assembly area without gloves... I was wondering why my hands were so cold! Doh. The grid is just about to set off on the warm-up lap as I scramble to my spot. 'Sorry' I wave and then it starts raining. It really comes down during the warm-lap, but by the time we're around it's stopped. They hold us there for 5 minutes, then give us another warm-up lap. It's not going to be a wet race as the track is drying.

Plenty of time for a gearing change and some suspension tweaks between races - more wicked Talon products!

I get a decent start off the line and we all tip-toe into the first corner. I barrel through the spray and make up another 3 or 4 places. Wet race - bring it on! I make up a few more places during the next 2 or 3 laps and am in the top 10. Yeeha! Then everyone starts going faster... apparently there was a dry line - but I couldn't see it through my dark visor. Doh! I can only think of the finish as I'm doubtful the lapped, second-last place in Race 1 is going to count. I ride careful to make sure of the finish. I must have pulled quite a gap on the guys behind by lap 5 because I was only caught by 2 riders on the last lap. They passed me easily and I took 12th.

Happy with that, but a little annoyed with myself that I had the wrong visor on and I backed off so much to make ultra-sure of the finish. A 10th was there for the taking. Oh - and Suzy was faultless!

Three down - three to go!

Suzy came good in the end - but I couldn't really make good of her in the limited laps and conditions

In all a successful day and I made a new race friend - I parked up next to Rob Chisholm on a similar (old and cheap) SV with a 916 fairing (nice!). Rob also has ManxGP aspirations, is a heck of a nice guy and a living hero. He's a combat medic in the Army who has already done 3 tours in Iraq and is off to Afganistan in a few months. I think Anglesey in early May is my next meeting with ThundersportGB - hope to see you there Rob!

 Sergeant Rob C

Friday, 11 March 2011

2011 Race Season Starts - Tomorrow!

Suzy V is all prepped and ready... I'm ready.
Tomorrow I head up to Mallory Park for my first road race of the season. It's still cold, there could be rain and I haven't short-circuit raced since May last year... and I've never raced Suzy on a short circuit. Just going to take it easy and finish in the numbers to get the third of six signatures I need to qualify for the Manx GP.

Looking forward to seeing what she's like with all those extra ponies under the tank.
Bring it on!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Gottalodda Problims!

Brother Igor decided to do a little bit of work on his 250 2T

Question: A two-stroke known as 2T and four-stroke as 4T... what's the 'T' for?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Buell Inspiration

Some awesome graphics posted by Steve RedMax on his blog about the BOTT XR-1 flattrack concept bike from Bottpower... will be great to see it built!

Oh - just saw it on Sideblog too!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Suzy Brakes

After the 'lever to the bar' experience at last year's Manx GP, I decided to treat Suzy V to a set of new Braking discs from one of my long-standing sponsors: Talon Engineering.

They look the nads and drop almost a kilogram from the standard equipment - in a place where you want that weight saving most. As Colin Chapman said... I'm 'adding lightness'.

All these years racing and I have never used new discs... can't wait to try them out!
I also got her booted with the latest Pirelli Supercorsas. I shat myself when I was handed the bill! Tyres in the UK have gone up 40% in the last few months. That sucks!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Damn Fine!

Saw this fantastic looking machine on BellaDonna Trackers the other day...

I want one!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Urban Downhill !

Paulo Chiaia of the Zaeta posted this awesome on-board vid of an urban downhill race. Just love the huuuuge jumps, the dog on the track and rider chuckling to himself when the crowd cheers...

 ...and it looks like this guy's going it in his pinstripe suit!

Anyone know where this is? Could be Chile?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ace Cafe Flattracker Day

Woke to a dry, sunny day on Sunday.. Got down to the practice track for a blast, but it was water-logged so just bought some paint for the flattracker instead. Soon after I got home, it started raining. Took me a while to get my shit together and the BSA loaded in the van and I headed to London for the Ace Cafe Flattracker day.

Every time I drive near London, it reminds me why I moved away. Took me 2 hours to do the 65 miles there. If it wasn't pissin it down and so frikkin' cold  I would have ridden the old beast there. Would have had to carry fuel - I only get 40 miles to a tank! I was starving when I got there...

 Ace Cafe nosh

Pete is going to be bustin' some moves in the Thunderbikes this season on this classic Yam flattracker from the 70s

I was surprised at the great turnout: Pete had a ShorttrackUK stand, a SkooterFarm / Sideburn stand with Dave on the turntable, RedMax Steve was there as well as Anthony and Geoff's Co-Built... and a parking lot full of bikes. Apparently there were twice as many before the rain.

Cool old-skool caf racer 

The rain didn't let up and the folks were leaving so I didn't bother unload the BSA. This is the first time I've had anything other than a chinese mini-bike or trials bike in the back. It worked out good. Good to see so much interest and all the guys from flattrack racing there.

This one was coooool

Racebikes galore! There were more flattrack racers than streettrackers...

Co-Built with a new frame

Oh... and there was also an Evel Kenevel display... look out for a Kenevel inspired paint job on the flattracker soon!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Co-Built Visit

Visited Co-Built Anthony on the weekend to pickup a spindle for my cool new forks where Geoff's engine was being rebuilt.

The organization and cleanliness of Anthony's workshop makes my embarrassed about my half-hearted organization and sparse cleaning.

Spy shot:

...also spotted the Sideburn Enfield project. Nice forks!