Sunday, 29 May 2011

Brands Hatch GP Action Pics

Some great action shots from last weekend's racing at Brands Hatch GP...

Coming out of Stirling - after Paddock Hill Bend this is my favourite turn of the track. A left hander (unusual for a British circuit) with huge camber. You just bury the bike in there and accelerate hard all the way through, you shoot out the other side... like a roller-coaster... awesome!

Clearways - completely different when approached form the GP circuit... faster and a lot more fun!

Paddock Hill bend first lap fracas! 

Powering out of Surtees and up the hill onto the GP circuit loop - the little SV, despite her newfound power was punching above her weight in the Thunderbikes class (it's governed by power-to-weight ratio). Getting up the steep hill after a slow turn was hard work for her.

Thanks Racing Line Photography for the technically excellent shots and great service!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

TZ750 Classic Race bike

My friend Steve has just about finished rebuilding a TZ750 classic race bike... unfortunately he's out of cash and has to sell it :-(

TZ750 on eBay

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Camaro Flattracker

MCL Sprain

Just saw my doc who specialises in sports injuries. I have a Medial Collateral Ligament sprain. Not serious... just RICE and should be sorted in 6 to 8 weeks. Should still be able to make the next round of the GNC Flattrackin' Championship at the MotoGP (Silverstone) in a few weeks :-)

If I wasn't wearing my knee braces - I would have been in trouble. Spending scrilla on biking safety gear is the best investment you can make. Amen.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

6 Days

I've had the trailer on the back of the chevy for 6 days now...

Tuesday - dropped the flattracker and Candy off at TSS for a toon-up for the new exhausts

Wednesday - picked up the flattracker and Candy form TSS. Candy's power curve is nicely smoothed out with a 4bhp gain at the top. The flattracker has gained 2-3bhp across the rev range :-)

Thursday - Got down to the field and had a blast just ripping up the dirt with Ant. Our track is so overgrown... many places is just a foot-wide groove of grip... get off this is and you're sliding across the grass. Very dry and dusty too... hooning around the fields was fast as you like! Awesome fun!

Friday - Down to Brands Hatch for a test day. Took Candy out for a couple of runs. All's good. She's running well and the bodywork makes her slippery! Took the Suzy V out as well to get her better setup for short-circuit racing. I left the suspension as it is from the Manx last year and just changed the wheelbase, gearing and front ride height. I didn't want to change too much.

 Early morning start on Friday...

 Pitting under an awning with Team Respro - oh... the luxury!

 Schnuggled up for a night in the paddock

Saturday - Still at Brands Hatch for the fifth of my six qualification races for the Manx GP. I'd entered Suzy V in the Thunderbikes class because with the winter engine work she is now illegal for the Minitwins class. She was a bit outgunned against most of the field and with mostly Manx set-up wasn't the nimblest... but she did well. Qualified 17th and in Race 1 managed to bring her home safely in 14th. It wasn't a fun race - a sidecar in the race before blew up and dropped oil on the racing line on 6 of the 9 corners. Spent the race dodging oil. Lap times were about a second and a half down on qualifying times. I normally do a second or two faster in a race.

 Paddock ingenuity for a lost exhaust plug

Team Respro: Mr Harry Cole 

We waited the whole day for Race 2 - this was cancelled after another sidecar incident before us. I hate racing with sidecars... it's always the same... they screw it up for the rest of us. They're not even motorbikes... they should go race with the cars. The only peeps that like sidecars in the paddock are sidecar crews. They're like quadbikes at enduros... just a pain in everyone else's ass. Hmph!

View from my paddock waiting chair... 

This is road racing... hurry up and wait... and wait... and wait... and pack up and go home. One reason why flattrackin' is more fun... less waiting and more racing!

We were racing on the Brands Hatch GP circuit... which is rare thing because of the wankers that move to a village next to one of the oldest race tracks in the world and then complain to the council that it's noisy on weekends. Tossers! The last time I raced this circuit was 2004 when I did about 10 laps before I had bike trouble. Yesterday I only got 14 laps in on the 'best circuit in Britain' - disappointing.

Harry likes to rock n roll! 

BUT - I got to test both bikes... got qualification race 5 under the belt... and pitted with my friend Harry Cole who I haven't raced with for a few years. And... the weather was good... so it was great!

Sunday - Got the fourfiddy back down the field where Ant, Mike and I did some shredding! Ultra dry, dusty and super-fast. Nothing like holding onto the big ol fourfiddy at full pelt down a single track... speeeeeeed-therapy!

We were just about to finish off... and were doing wheelies up 'wheelie' hill. I went off the back of the bike and cought my leg sideways. "Clack!" Jeeeeeeeesus! My knee! The pain! Despite wearing quality knee braces... I've now done my knee in. My flattracking knee (left). It hurts like fuck if I twist it slightly. Shit! Bollocks! and Fuck!

Action Shot

An awesome shot by Ian Rox of Geoff 'Able' Cain at the GNC Oxford:

Check out each chunk of dirt in the fullsize pic. Soooooperbeliferous!
Thanks D.B.A. for the link!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Rooster - Just Brilliant!

There was a lot of buzz at the GNC meeting at Oxford the other week... Drogo Michie made this brilliant movie of the event:

Rooster on Vimeo.

I can still taste the dust!

Thanks Sideburn for the link.

Sorting the Fourfiddy

Finding myself out of work, I now have time to sort the bikes and mabe ride them a bit. A few months ago the rear sprocket came loose on the Fourfiddy while hacking down the farm with my mates. The chain junped off, snaked up and jammed, breaking the rear hub on the process.

Not nice

She was laying down a pool of oil on the garage floor - I feared the worst: cracked engine case.

After half an hour of prying, pulling, tugging and general man-handling I managed to get the chain loose without having to take off the swing-arm. Slowly, slowly catch the monkey...

There was very little damage... mullered chain guides, twisted chain and the oil leak was from the shaft seal.
A five second search on my fav off-road forum ThumperTalk turned up this link:

Basically... just give it a good ol' clean...

 Strip and clean!

There was a lot of crud in there... all shiny again!

Twenty quids worth of parts on next day delivery from the uber-helpful guys at Redline Motorcycles

Puncture fixed and spare wheel fitted. All back together and ready for a test down the field later today...

I straightened the chain using the workbench vise and a pair of water-pump pliers. The Wee Monsters chain is also twisted after the chain-shed at Mallory Park... if the vise and pliers work on the KTM, the Wee Monster will get the same treatment.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Pikes Peak

Thanks to Zaeta's Paolo for the link.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Action Pics - GNC Oxford

Some great action shots by Steve Baldock from Friday night's Grand National Championship...

Looks like Co-Built Anthony is sliding around my outside on turn 1... 

On the gas through turn 2... 

 Just behind Sideburn Gary

 This is turn 4 during the Thunderbikes final

On the outside at the start of a heat... thanks RedMax Steve for this one

Co-Built Geoff and I - Thanks Ian Osborne for the pic

Awesome action shot of Geoff and Stevie Coles from Ian Osborne... on it!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Grand National UK Championship - Round 1

Yesterday afternoon I got my ass down to Oxford for the inaugural round of the Grand National UK flattrack Championship. I'd entered the Shorttrack and Thunderbike class and pitted between the ScooterFarm and Co-Built guys. With practice done on a slippery track, we were ready for the heats starting at 17h00.

Some of the ScooterFarm team

Wayne Drake doing a bit of paddock fettling - he went well all evening

Wayne's cool underslung pipe on his special Thunderbike

My first heat was in the Shorttrack class - in the last few laps I started battling for position with another rider. He's on my inside and as we approach turn 3, 'Whack!' - he hits my left arm and handlebar. Not sure how this happened, but next thing I'm tumbling down the track on my ass thinking "What the...!?". He must have knocked my hand off the bar or something.

Mr Bones - David Aldana. It was fantastic to be in the paddock get some tips from and race against such legend!

I scramble off the track and they run the last lap of the race with my bike lying graunched on the dirt. My new paintwork! Spent many hours dicking around with that... fuckin' annoying.

Co-Built were out in full force again with four bikes... what's that beaut No 40?

Fortunately the only damage is a bent footrest, gear leaver and my paintwork on the tank and seat trashed. The bike's good to go after ten minutes.

Flash new paintwork signed by David Aldana...

The track had a few big bumps in it and was very slippery coming out of turn 4... but I started going well in the heats. Chatting to David Aldana between heats I got a few tips and pointers and by the time I was in the last Thunderbike heat I managed to hang into the coattails of 'Che Spetacolo' Jacopo Monti for three laps or so. Improving :-)

and lookin' sweet before getting punted off

Against the other riders, I felt really strong coming into the turns, but struggled a bit with grip coming out. Especially on the slippery exit of turn 4, the bike kept on losing traction completely and I'd go sideways to opposite lock... I'd ease off the gas and get popped out of the seat in a mini-highside. Each time this happened, I'd lose 5 yards or so on the rider in front.

'Cowboy' Glyn Pocklington qualifying for the Dash for Cash race

I think my traction issues are linked to the last major thing the bike needs in it's development... the swing-arm angle. I'm still running with a close to standard swing-arm angle - it should be a lot flatter.

David Aldana, Anthony and Dicky Brown chewin' the cud

With consistent riding and few mistakes, I achieved my objective of the evening and made the Thunderbike final. I lined up ninth on the grid :-)

Guy Sutherland struggled with a misfire all evening 

Revvs up... watch the start-tape... watch the tape... it shoots up and we're off in deafening roar of dust, dirt and exhaust fumes. I'd been making decent starts all evening and this start got me from the back row of the grid up to the middle of the pack in the first corner melee. Yeeehaaaa....

Geoff Cain getting his machine ready for the next race

The racing is hard, fast and close. I keep it steady. Trying extra hard not to get her too sideways out of turn 4 it seems like I'm just pootling out of there at an agonisingly slow pace. In front of me, Geoff Cain runs Stevie Coles wide at turn 1 and I don't stand on ceremony and duck up the inside of the pair. A few laps later, on my Achilles-heel turn 4, super-fast Stevie manages to get back at me and 4 turns later we pass the chequered flag.

Thunderbike podium - Jacopo Monti swept all aside and romped to victory with his usual Italian flare... in his Tuxedo!

I land up 6th... Whoooohoooo!

Besides getting taken out and getting my new paintwork mashed into the dirt, it was a great evening on the clay. It's the first time flattracing has been run at the Oxford Stadium and thanks to Pete, Co-Built Anthony and all involved to make this happen. Also many thanks to Sideburn and all who brought David Aldana out. Thanks David for the banter and tips.

I'll post some action shots as soon as I get them.

Friday, 6 May 2011

An Evening with David Aldana

Last night I went to the Sideburn sponsored evening with David Aldana. David featured in the classic movie 'On Any Sunday' and was a big name in the flattrack and road race scene in the 70s - he had many amusing stories about his racing. He's an all round great guy and was thoroughly entertaining!

There were some tasty race bikes on display and the evening was compared by Julian Ryder

Dave trying out a pukka 70s BSA flattracker for size - Dave was a factory BSA racer and won a lot of National races on one 

That's quite some autograph collection!

RedMax Steve and Wilky chewin' the fat with Dave

But here's the best part... at 61 Dave still races flattrack. And tonight I get to race against him at the first round of the Grand National UK Championship held at the Oxford Speedway Stadium. Racing starts at 19h00 - come along... sure as hell beats watching crap on TV!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vinyl Pinstriping

I was going to attempt pinstriping the Flattracker tank and seat... but my striping is still shite. So I opted for the vinyl route... which had it's own challenges.

Many hours of lining the graphics... this had better be worth it...

The red was a lot easier...

Lookin good! Then the lacquer... which kinda stuffed the whole thing up.

I was was better at it when I got to the seat unit. It still needs work and a few more coats of lacquer... but that'll have to wait - out at the first round of the Grand National UK Championship tomorrow night in Oxford... I hope the finish is tough enough by then.