Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Harris Ducati

Here's something interesting - a Harris Ducati...

Thanks Cafe Racer Culture for the pics.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Jim Rice - Hero

This pic of my friend Jim Rice was posted on facebook today. Jim responded a few hours later with the story behind it. He's told me this awesome story before... but here it is in his own words:

"1972 San Jose Mile National win: It was an exciting and interesting race. On the ninth lap, while in fourth place, I hit my shoulder on the inside fence post. The impact tore both hands off the handle bars, and my chest landed on the gas tank. I was laying on the tank, amazed that I did not crash. I lifted my right hand up and grabbed the throttle, and when I tried to lift my left hand up, my shoulder muscles were not responding. I tried a couple times and finally got my left hand on the handle bar. During this process, I got an andenaline rush, focused on the race, and realized I could win. Dick Mann passed me while I was recovering from the impact, and a few laps later I re-passed him. 

The last few laps, Kenny and I had a dual for the lead. Kenny would pass me in the first and second turn and I would pass him in the third and fourth turn. I knew the last lap third turn was going to be "banzai". I "drove it" into turn three striving not to drift off the groove, while Kenny was "hanging it out" on the outside trying to get a drive off the turn. I managed to cross the finish line with inches to spare, before Kenny passed me. 

I was so EXCITED, and by the time I got back to the finish line, the pain hit me like a freight train! I could not pull in the clutch, so I held on, put both feet on the ground and stopped next to Mike. He gave me a congratulation slap the back of my left shoulder, and I crawled off my BSA, and got into the ambulance. What an interesting race!"

Jim Rice - one tough, talented and awesome guy. Hero!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

All Tyred Up!

The heating in my house was broke this last weekend - the coldest weekend in Britain so far this winter. -5 Celcius on Sunday morning - Yay. With the Chev-dawg also broke, I had a wee hire car. It was warm in the car and easy to warm the insulated garage... so that's where I spent most of the weekend.

I went down to London to visit Don Plane of Southern Cross Motorcycles. He sorted me out with some new rubber and some scrubbs that I can use for practice. I filled the wee car to the roof. Holy crap! A set of slicks, some intermediates AND wets. Almost like a professional race team! Just need a plug-in heating rack now... then I can use it in my lounge too  ;-)

Don also got me this tasty Oberon clutch slave cylinder. I never bothered with improving clutch lever feel before... because you only really use it once in a race. Always got on with the standard setup... but after fitting an Oberon to the Ducati 888 - I felt the difference. We'll see how this works on track. I figure if it gets me just 1 place further up the field into turn 1, it'll be worth it.

A lot of checking, measuring, cleaning, checking again was done too. And an oil change...

Rock on with RockOil! They sponsored me many seasons ago... I still have some of  the honey they sent me. I should probably try get them onboard again.

My camera is also broke, hence the crappy pics. There is a theme here. I'm getting broke things out of the way for the rest of 2015.

Still got a lot of work to do on the old girl and need to replace a few things that she donated to other race bikes over the years... I also got a quickshifter I am going to try and fit to the standard gear change lever. Just 6 weeks till her first outing :-)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sweet Yamahas

There cafe racer Yamahas are soooo sweet lookin'

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Candy's Back!

Started tinkering on bikes again after a few weeks rest. Blow the cobwebs out... the monthly cacklefest.

The hole in the garage was soon filled by Candy - my first race bike. She's being pressed back into service - need to do 4 qualification races before May to get my IOM Mountain Course Licence.

Her last run out...

She looks sweet - just had confirmation that I don't need standard fairings to be able to run her in the Modern Classic/Golden Era Superbikes class. More cashola for race entries :-)

She needs a few other things... mostly replacing stuff I've robbed off her to keep the other bikes going... battery, clip-ons, brake master cylinder, footpegs, some tyres, oil change...

From what I remember and my results from her last run out - I wasn't happy with her handling. Going to try a few new things with the geometry.

I've got 7 weeks to get her done :-)

Farewell to Big Betty

On Sunday Big Betty went to a new home...

Weird to see he loaded into a different van... a bit sad. I need to say farewell to the second fastest Aprilia twin around the Isle of Man...

Now there's a wee hole in my garage...

... and in my heart.

She was a good 'un.