Racing 2021

storm42

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A bit slow kicking this blog off but for various reasons I have been a bit busy.

We have been hoping for a full seasons racing this year as things slowly get back to what passed for normal in our world but, that has already been scuppered by the Welsh Assembly.

The first race was with the CRMC at Mallory and after weeks of sunshine, the weather showed its vindictive side, and on Saturday morning we were greeted with the sound of rain on the caravan roof. There were large puddles around the track and they had a machine with a rotary brush trying to get rid of them.

Deep joy, I had treated the bike to new Continental tires, I have never used these in the wet before, I wasn't getting any feed back from them and wasn't convinced that they were bedding in on the wet track. We didn't get much track time either, we were allotted a 10 minute Familiarisation which I felt was on ice, and only got 5 laps in. Having said that, I have just looked at the timing sheets and noticed that I was 8 fastest overall and first in class by 10 seconds, I really don't know how that is possible, must be something wrong with the timing equipment.

The next job was qualifying and due to no tannoy where we were camped and a dodgy Mixlr app, I was late up for that and only got 2 timed laps in, 14th place on the grid.

Race 1.

The track was wet and cold and there is just something not right about trying to ride as fast as you can in those conditions, the race was slow and it was around the 5th lap before I started to feel the tyres, and then it went sideways on me coming out of the left at the lake esses, or whatever they call that place now. I finished 8th in the race but I don't remember passing many so there must have been a lot of retirements. I thought this was supposed to be fun.

Sunday morning was a bit better weather wise but still cold and the tannoy was still not to be heard where we were and the Mixlr app was still sketchy, this was now to cause another problem.

Due to some races being carried over from Saturday the times for the races were all over the place, I had the Mixlr app running on my phone and I was watching the races from the fence. The track was drying but still had wet patches everywhere, but I figured I was 8th on the grid and it couldn't be worse than Saturday, could it?

Ha, the race I was watching finished and I was waiting for the next one when I heard a SuperMono bike fire up, this rang alarm bells as they were out in our races. A quick check of the Mixlr app revealed it had shut its self down so I had not heard the call for my race, they were on the grid and I was in the caravan, after a bit of a flap, I got up to the assembly area only to be sent to the pit lane as the others were out on their warmup lap.

SteveA asked in my exhaust thread, what had happened to my first lap, well, a pitlane start after the field has gone passed buggers up your first lap :)

Anyway, I had got passed 3 riders and by lap 4, I had caught a group of around 5 riders which I was sure I would get passed on the next lap, a lap that never happened, the race was red flagged.

It was around about now that another problem became apparent, Mallory are suffering from the noise nazis and the red flag in the race was due to the council accumulative noise limit being exceeded, this is a legacy from the last circuit owners that abused the planning permission noise regs. It was the reason for the lack of tannoy and was causing real problems with the race meetings running.

The biggest problem was the ACU 500cc race, it is a close race and when you get a dozen bikes in close proximity the noise sends the average noise to the moon, it didn't help that the CRMC run that race over 10 laps which makes it worse and as it is an accumulative noise problem, it affects other races, which were getting red flagged. Worse than that, despite all machines that have been racing, passing the noise test before being allowed to race, they decided to test them again at the entrance to the track before the their next race, it was obvious they were not doing this properly and just using it as an excuse to cut the grids down and therefore the overall noise, not fair on the riders that were turned away and not allowed to race. Not a good or fair solution.

This happened to one of the members here with his Norton outfit which just wasn't noisy.

Because of all the delays caused by all the red flags, I didn't think I was going to get my last race in, which was a shame because although it was still cold, the track had dried up. I had just written it off in my head and was enjoying bitching about how badly the noise situation was being handled, not the way to be at a race meeting, they got their act together and my race was on. My head wasn't in it though but I went up anyway. As it happened I started to enjoy the dry track and finished 13th and gained a signature for my licence upgrade, so all good in the end.

Darley Moor with the BHR next.
 

Gadge

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Hoping the season will improve for you. When's the Darley Moor race?
 
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No CRMC Pembrey its cancelled. I will have to think of something else to take part in.
 

grandpaul

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Fun stuff.

Annoying stuff.

You are still walking, the bike is still running, a good race weekend.
 

Gadge

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Thanks.
Last weekend :)
Yeah, had a look at the Darley Moor website after I'd asked and thought that was the case! Oh well, it's not far from me and I keep meaning to go. No spectators until June anyway...
 

storm42

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No CRMC Pembrey its cancelled. I will have to think of something else to take part in.

Yes unfortunately, The BHR are hoping to be at Pembrey 24th and 25th July or the CRMC are at Cadwell next on the 3rd and 4th July.
 

storm42

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Fun stuff.

Annoying stuff.

You are still walking, the bike is still running, a good race weekend.
Yes, I realise it all sounds a bit of a whinge, but I am glad I can still do this sort of thing, and like you say, still walking. Just about to post my next whinge. :)
 

storm42

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Yeah, had a look at the Darley Moor website after I'd asked and thought that was the case! Oh well, it's not far from me and I keep meaning to go. No spectators until June anyway...
Cadwell next and I believe spectators are allowed.
 

storm42

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Darley Moor.

It has only been a week since Mallory and the weather was still in a bad mood.

Practice was in the rain, and a guy on a GSXR put it into the tyres before he had done a lap, not such a surprise as he set off like a scalded cat and didn't look to be giving the wet track much respect, I saw the bike in the paddock and had a word with the rider, it looked like he had wet tyres on but he said they were just road tyres, more about him later.

I had a couple of people asking what I thought about the Continentals in the wet and it was obviously a rhetorical question as they had used them and had problems, they are good in the dry but it seems that some of the guys with a bit more cash behind them, are now taking another set of wheels with Avons fitted for the wet.

Race 1

Not into this at all, difficult conditions and the dummy is firmly out of the pram. I still have a problem going from a closed throttle to getting back on it, the slack in the drive train causes the wheel to break loose when the slack is taken up suddenly, this happens in the dry so in the wet I takes all the fun out of it. I did raise the needles one notch to try and soften the hit and it did but not much help really.

Finished near the back and was not bothered one bit, the bike finished in one piece and there were plenty that didn't. 25th. The inevitable delays meant that my second race was put off whist the Sunday but with a better forecast for Sunday that was a good thing.

Race 2

Dry track, better mood, starting to have fun, then was kept waiting with the engine running whilst an off was cleaned up, I hate having the engine running whist stood, It is a sod to start without the rollers and we were far enough away from the start to make it impractical to take them down there. It was 12 minutes before I got to move, it doesn't sound long but when you are sat on the bike with all the heat coming off it, it get annoying.

Anyway, because of my lack of commitment in race 1, I was well down the grid but when we got going I made a couple of places on the first lap, then a Suzuki blew up at the end of the straight and dropped something on the track through the chicane up to the hairpin. Then at the start of the second lap it started to rain, not such a problem now as there was a small amount of heat in the tyres but by the time the 4th lap started, it was raining quite heavy again and getting slippy. 15th.

Race 3

Woohoo, mostly dry.

It didn't start raining until the 3rd lap, things are looking up, had enough grip for all the race to enjoy myself though, I even got past a couple of those Supermono things and one of them had wets on. 10th.

Race 4

This is where it goes wrong, if you could call the rest of it right.

The track was dryish, no worse than the last race anyway, but, we were held on the line for a long time and and when we eventually got going, well, remember the guy on the Suzuki from the practice, he set off like he had a firework up his arse, and surprise surprise he was lying in the track at the first corner. The race was red flagged and we reformed on the grid and then kept waiting with no info on when we were going to restart.

I should have binned it off there and then but I waited and got to race, it rained again and got quite wet but I finished 12th.

Back at home, I warmed the bike up to drop the oil etc and whilst it was running I noticed the head gasket was blowing round the left side of the bike. A bit inconvenient having to get the engine out and swap the gasket but things got worse quickly, there was oil on the pistons so I took the barrels off and found the rings had lost their tension, in fact the oil control rings would just drop straight though, they weren't even touching the sides. This is what happens when an old air cooled twin is held on the line.

Jim Schmidt has pulled out all the stops to get me most of what I wanted to replace but due to the next race being so close, a couple of out of stock items will have to wait. Having said that the next meeting has just been cancelled so I now have a couple more weeks to rebuild it. It's all good fun, apparently.

Cadwell next.
 

lcrken

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So in summary, just another typical race meeting, right? :D

Please keep up the reports. I'm enjoying the read. Brings back a lot of memories. I do envy you just a bit, but hope you enjoy your racing years as much as I did mine. It's been 28 years since my last road race, and 49 years since I was a new racer and going through the (sometimes painful) learning process. Hard to believe it's been that long. When I started racing, my Commando PR was considered a modern superbike!

Ken
 

storm42

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Thanks Ken, yes typical, you would think we would know better.

So, 21 years a racer, I bet you have some stories to tell, please do.
 
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When you race in the rain - if it is bad for you, it is bad for everybody else. Racing in the rain is safer. If you drop, you don't usually get grabbed by the track and rolled. So you are less likely to break bones. Since the late 1960s we have had tyres with lots of grip. Riders become dependent on them, so riding in the rain is a bigger problem for many. A lot depends on your mindset. Riding in the rain never worries me, because I know the guys with the big horsepower motors are stuffed.
 

Fast Eddie

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Darley Moor.

It has only been a week since Mallory and the weather was still in a bad mood.

Practice was in the rain, and a guy on a GSXR put it into the tyres before he had done a lap, not such a surprise as he set off like a scalded cat and didn't look to be giving the wet track much respect, I saw the bike in the paddock and had a word with the rider, it looked like he had wet tyres on but he said they were just road tyres, more about him later.

I had a couple of people asking what I thought about the Continentals in the wet and it was obviously a rhetorical question as they had used them and had problems, they are good in the dry but it seems that some of the guys with a bit more cash behind them, are now taking another set of wheels with Avons fitted for the wet.

Race 1

Not into this at all, difficult conditions and the dummy is firmly out of the pram. I still have a problem going from a closed throttle to getting back on it, the slack in the drive train causes the wheel to break loose when the slack is taken up suddenly, this happens in the dry so in the wet I takes all the fun out of it. I did raise the needles one notch to try and soften the hit and it did but not much help really.

Finished near the back and was not bothered one bit, the bike finished in one piece and there were plenty that didn't. 25th. The inevitable delays meant that my second race was put off whist the Sunday but with a better forecast for Sunday that was a good thing.

Race 2

Dry track, better mood, starting to have fun, then was kept waiting with the engine running whilst an off was cleaned up, I hate having the engine running whist stood, It is a sod to start without the rollers and we were far enough away from the start to make it impractical to take them down there. It was 12 minutes before I got to move, it doesn't sound long but when you are sat on the bike with all the heat coming off it, it get annoying.

Anyway, because of my lack of commitment in race 1, I was well down the grid but when we got going I made a couple of places on the first lap, then a Suzuki blew up at the end of the straight and dropped something on the track through the chicane up to the hairpin. Then at the start of the second lap it started to rain, not such a problem now as there was a small amount of heat in the tyres but by the time the 4th lap started, it was raining quite heavy again and getting slippy. 15th.

Race 3

Woohoo, mostly dry.

It didn't start raining until the 3rd lap, things are looking up, had enough grip for all the race to enjoy myself though, I even got past a couple of those Supermono things and one of them had wets on. 10th.

Race 4

This is where it goes wrong, if you could call the rest of it right.

The track was dryish, no worse than the last race anyway, but, we were held on the line for a long time and and when we eventually got going, well, remember the guy on the Suzuki from the practice, he set off like he had a firework up his arse, and surprise surprise he was lying in the track at the first corner. The race was red flagged and we reformed on the grid and then kept waiting with no info on when we were going to restart.

I should have binned it off there and then but I waited and got to race, it rained again and got quite wet but I finished 12th.

Back at home, I warmed the bike up to drop the oil etc and whilst it was running I noticed the head gasket was blowing round the left side of the bike. A bit inconvenient having to get the engine out and swap the gasket but things got worse quickly, there was oil on the pistons so I took the barrels off and found the rings had lost their tension, in fact the oil control rings would just drop straight though, they weren't even touching the sides. This is what happens when an old air cooled twin is held on the line.

Jim Schmidt has pulled out all the stops to get me most of what I wanted to replace but due to the next race being so close, a couple of out of stock items will have to wait. Having said that the next meeting has just been cancelled so I now have a couple more weeks to rebuild it. It's all good fun, apparently.

Cadwell next.
Ralph, exactly what do you need for the motor?
 
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Ralph said "This is what happens when an old air cooled twin is held on the line."

If I remember correctly, yours is a full race spec 920 with Maney cases and crank + JS components, not much Norton remaining?

That should be a really durable engine, hopefully it will work out for you yet.
This tells me to stay away from the track with my mostly Norton 920 engine. Not much chance of survival for it in track use.



Glen
 
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Good tuner tip about raising the needle to soften the hit reapplying throttle. Race 1 Darley Moor first paragraph for those that missed it.
 
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Re; Since the late 1960s we have had tyres with lots of grip.
Over the last few years the tyre manufacturers have stopped making race compound tyres for the clubmen racing, ie you cannot get for love or money new Dunlop KR 125 tyres anymore.
I used to race with Metezeler's tyres with their race compound road tyres - but no longer available.
 
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