Racing 2021

lcrken

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Great race report Chris. I remember having those sorts of race days.:( But the last time I road raced was 28 years ago, when I was a callow youth of 51. Time flies. Keep enjoying it as long as you can.

Ken
 
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Hi all
Ups & downs of the weekend!
I finally got to meet Ralph & what a lovely guy he is.
I saw another stunning Seeley Commando but never caught up with the owner Steve's?
I got to ride around one of my favorite circuits.
We had a great weekend with my wife, son, daughter in law & both granddaughters.
Little one is under two & her first words on waking up on Sunday morning were "grandad bike!"

Greatest disappointment was the toll the last two years have taken on me!
Sorting, packing & loading the van & then collecting the caravan made for a too long day.
Seven & a half hours driving in *pissing rain* finished me off before we even got there &
we missed signing on. I didnt even bother unloading the van & we couldn't remember how to pop up the pop up caravan!
A couple of pints on an empty stomach had me smiling again along with some ham sandwiches back in the caravan as the restaurant was shut!
I never got near practise as by the time we had signed in. Got the bike scrutineered & then my leathers, I had missed my slot. Running down on the bike later to ask if I could join the last session, I was told to come back once I'd visited the race office & asked permission! & no he wasnt going to ask them on the headset.
As to racing? First race was after lunch, no call so I was late, I got to start from pit lane. No warm up lap, no practise, two years since I was last out. I had a blast! All over the place, ragged doesn't do it justice.
Unfortunately we were grouped with people who kept throwing thier bikes at the scenery lol.
Second race the bike was cutting out, when shutting off, I managed to get it restarted yep you guessed it!
I started from pit lane again! Made a better start & got all the way to McLean's.
Probably forgot to charge my very old knackered Interspan. Nice ride of shame in the recovery van. Found the neck of the oil tank had broken, not sure of the bead of weld there.
Tyre inner tube, lagging & a bit of bracing & we were ready for Sunday.
Had a nice first race after I'd made the warm up lap just to have the engine cut out before the flag dropped. Start marshal gave me a bump star. I thing I'd have been better of starting from pit lane. Then the scenery merchants started again, even found a bike spinning in the middle of the track, on a straight!!, couldn't restart the bike after the red flag.
Second race was fun until I had one make the fence behind me at Redgate, one make the fence at the old hairpin & saw the marshals pick up a bike that had gone down at Hollywood. Everything fell off it as they picked it up. Couldn't restart the bike for the restart & met my friend with the recovery van!
Loved being out
Cant wait to do it again. However if wont be on the big girl. I'm going to strip & rebuild it " with a new ignition"
Nice to catch up with everyone.
By the way, spent today reversing step one. Caravan gone van unloaded.
Looking forward to a long soak in the bath & then bed.
Chris were you in the red and white leathers and the orange or red framed unfaired Commando? If so I think we had a little battle in race 29. I was on the green Commando with red seat. Recommend RTD ignition by the way. I will write some more about the weekend when I get a moment. I have to say I was a little intimidated at first as the track is so wide!
 
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Hi Steve
Yes unfaired Orange Seeley MK2.
Think that was my good start lol. Got me in front of you for a while!
It's a wonderful circuit.
Your bike is stunning.
 
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Left home at 4:30am for the drive up to Donington got there about 7:30. I met up with my mate from Qatar days who rides a really sorry looking FZ600, he had also brought a 250 Ducati, this was promptly binned in the second race, so winter project sorted!
My bikes travails had been worked on since Cadwell. Front brakes, head races, head-steady, leaking oil tank. During the course of the weekend the only problems were front brake still not perfect and oil leak now shifted to the breather tank under the seat. I met up with Ralph and he is still pretty sure its warped rotors, probably right, anyway ordered a dial guage to check the hub and the rotors accurately. I have already robbed the oil tank from the Mk4 Dommie project, I may well end up robbing the Norman Whyte front end off it. The breather tank under the seat was filling up with oil, blown through the reed valve from the crankcases (combat style setup). I had this going into the tank originally but the pressure from 7500 short stroke rpms was too much for the tank, even with another breather pipe and the original enlarged. Oil leaking under the seat is of course right above the back tyre, got through a lot of rags!!
So between races I decided on a cunning plan, the breather tank will morph into an oil separator tank, I will run a return line from the bottom of the tank into the top of the oil tank, there is a drop, I will use stainless wire gauze to create a way of condensing the oil, the air will come out of the top and vent overboard, maybe by way of the exhaust. The air pressure will be dissipated in the separator tank and in fact will help push the oil towards the oil tank. Maybe I am overthinking this?
More about the racing later, my fellow Nortoneer Roland (aka the Helga hunters, name on the side of a BMW R75 we chase about) was taken out, my Qatar mates son got taken out and I won a cup!





;3
 
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Originally I was just entered in the Classic 1300 as the F750 was full. At registration I asked if there were any no shows, initially the answer was no, then suddenly it was yes, so result 4 races per day.
The practice session was quite intimidating as the track is so wide, Redgate deceptive, Craner curves still no idea and the first corner of Coppice you have to start the turn in blind. The bit I enjoyed most and seemed to be quickest at was the Old Hairpin to Mcleans, I also enjoyed the braking into Roberts and out onto start finish straight. Lap time was 1:40 which put me at the back of the grid.
The first race (F750) improved to 1:36 and had 3 behind at the finish. The I actually backed off, we had a red flag restart. What happened was in the first corner Redgate someones engine blew up. I saw a puff of white smoke ahead in amongst the gaggle, almost immediately followed by a huge cloud into which other riders were disappearing. By this time I was making a beeline to the inside, Roland who was I think slightly behind and to my left ended up losing the back end on the oil slick and high siding, I saw a rider and bike emerge from the cloud sliding down the track, I think there were 3 fallers in that melee. I noticed Roland missing at the restart, there were at least 2 ambulances and a lot of stuff going on, I decided I was just going to take it easy, keep clear and try and learn the track, so my best lap was 1:34.
In the Classic 1300, first race I came 3rd. I never realised until I met Ralph Sunday morning who with a big smile said I was due a cup. This was due purely to Ralph having a bike problem and no shows for the race, my best was 1:36 compared to the winner 1:19, so quite a gulf! Anyway I will take it!
Second race in Classic 1300 Ralph was back on form finishing 4th some 23 seconds ahead of me in 5th.
Sunday was more of the same, in the F750 I got past 'Helga' the R75 and got Redgate completely wrong ending up in the gravel. I kept the power on and steered a gentle curve back to the track joining dead last. Managed a couple of overtakes and it turned out to be one of the best races. The Classic 1300 was fun, had a good battle with Chris. I did not seem able to improve on the 1:34 when I had decided to take it easy, I guess there is such a thing as trying too hard!
 

SteveA

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Chris were you in the red and white leathers and the orange or red framed unfaired Commando? If so I think we had a little battle in race 29. I was on the green Commando with red seat. Recommend RTD ignition by the way. I will write some more about the weekend when I get a moment. I have to say I was a little intimidated at first as the track is so wide!
Or...Pazon analog...bit like Boyer but better and cheap as chips!

Unlike RTD!

If you want to go programmable on a budget...Ignitech!
 
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Hi Steve
I e mailed a big order to Ignitech through someone who orders a lot of kit from them.
Then they shut down ie covid. I got an updated price list, then told problems with taxes & shipping, then silence!
E mailed RTD Monday morning via their Facebook page as there website doesnt recognise my e mail address as valid! Or anyone elses I tried for that matter.

I will get out all. Plenty of Lucas Rita & Boyer bits.
 
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I have used both ignitions. I have owned a 900SS since 1980. Starting it used to be a wary affair, as a young man when it kicked I just kicked back, it was my daily rider for about 12 years. But about 5 years ago I realised it had won, whenever I started it I was a little nervous. I changed out the Bosch igniters with an Ignitech unit, it’s plug and play and works well, now easy to start, just keep the battery charged.
With the Norton I wanted a crank mounted ignition as I had read it gives a more stable spark (or something). It requires a bit more fit and fettle to instal but works really well. They provided good support, I could phone up and chat no problem. Of course there are other option, Steve Maney still has ignition units to sell (Boyer based?).
Looks like Donington might be it for this year, family commitments in Aug and not sure I can face the drive and probable weather for the last two races
 

storm42

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Another weekend over and whilst we were a bit spread out, it is getting better as more Nortons attend. Good to finally meet Chris and bikes, there were so many. Might be easier if you only bring one next time Chris, less work. Incidentally it is Castle Combe next, which must count as a local race for you, are you coming?

Donington park could be considered to be the best circuit in Britain, the track is good and the paddock is very large and totally covered in Tarmac, which was a good job as this was a massive meeting. As always there is a downside, tarmac means a sightly unruly awning on the caravan as it cannot be pegged down, 4 x 25ltr containers full of water help but not ideal, still, at least it wasn't mud.

The unforgivable. The tannoy seemed to consist of 1 speaker on the top of the news agents and was inaudible if a bike was running, in fact it couldn't be heard if someone was talking, it really was that quiet. There is an app for the phone called Mixlr which relays the paddock announcements but this wasn't working for a large part of the weekend, and wether it was working or not pales into insignificance in a paddock full of us old farts who think that twin cylinder Nortons are the hight of technology. A lot of the paddock either don't know about it or don't have the tech to access it. The CRMC tried to go someway to help by posting updates on social media which wasn't that effective for the same reasons, plus, although I am tech savvy, the last thing I wan't to be doing at a race meeting is spend time on social media.

The first problem this caused for me was with my first race. This was the first race after dinner and I was sat chatting to a mate, we were both out in the race so we were suited and booted ready, my mate is a bit anal about getting to the holding area with plenty of time to spare, he is often there on his own he gets there that early. I mention this because I tend to wait tor the final call because I don't want to over heat the engine if I am kept waiting, and when we are nowhere near the holding area, we cannot take the starter down.

This mostly works and I keep an eye on the live timing to see the last man across the line before I move, obviously, as our race was the first one after dinner there was no live timing. Anyway, we were sat in a quiet paddock with not a lot happening when we heard a bunch of bikes going on track, it didn't take us long to work out that it was our race going out on the warm up lap and we were quickly spinning round in circles to get up there. My mate has an electric foot on his bike and was gone quite quickly and I wasn't far behind. When I got to the track the race had started, the marshals were good as usual and sent me down the pit lane to join the race but they had gone, I couldn't see anyone else even when I got to the top of Craner, and you can see a lot of the track from there. I am now worried about getting surprised from the rear now, and nobody wants that.

My first lap wasn't recorded because I was in pit lane, George Rustling got me on the last lap going into Redgate but only Pete Boast and one other caught me going onto the finish straight, still lapped though, so that cut my last lap out.

Now being the ultra organised chap I am ;) if it was only me that hadn't heard the call to race then I would have ben ok about it, but as it caught my mate out and others, it made me a bit grumpy.

Race 2. made the warm up and start, a step up :) But like Chris said, the axe murderers were not content with the tarmac and were testing the grass for grip. The red flag came out on the second lap and as a few had crossed the line to start their 3rd lap the race was called. Bugger, 2 races, 5 laps.

Race 3, woohoo, got to the start and the end, result. There was a guy on a KTM providing me with amusement through the race, he went round the outside of me into Redgate and I got him back at the bottom of the hill only for him to come back past going into the chicane, I was impressed as I was thinking I wasn't going to make the corner, I did, but he didn't, he bounced across the grass and rejoined on the straight, but I had got past him through the chicane and didn't see him again. I did see a picture of him paddling through the gravel somewhere so it looks like it was just the way he rides, a bit beyond himself, he will probably be a future champion, if he survives :). Another class 4th.

Race 4, red flagged after the first lap, we were held on the grid for the restart but it became obvious that it was going to take time so those of us on older bike started to leave the grid, I had it in mind to ride round and round just to get some air through but a marshal said there was a roller starter so i stopped the motor, within seconds he said the start had gone which is a big problem as my bike does not start easy on a bump.

Next thing the track is clear and I thought I would miss the race. The marshal tried to give me a push but nothing. Someone ran up with a starter but his stand didn't fit my bobbins and doom and gloom was descending. I managed to lift the bike on the wheel spindle just enough for the started though and I was off. People in the paddock are so help full.

By now I wasn't feeling it and just had a ride round, odd but I learnt more about the track than when I was trying to go fast and actually put my fastest lap of the weekend in, it was still relatively slow but I think I got faster each time out so I must have been learning something. Another 4th in class.

My championship lead was reduced by 48 points but If George Rustling finishes then he wins, the race not just the class and by a lot, I didn't even get within 92.5% of his winning speed for a signature on my licence, I need to work out how to go faster, might be getting too old for that :)

The bike didn't feel fast as usual and I was putting this down to the new pistons but I am now not sure about that, it feels tight even at top and bottom dead centre. The motor is coming apart again before the next race, I need to know.

I had a clattering noise when I was shutting off and I was thinking the chain was hitting the guard but when I took the fairing off yesterday I found 2 bolts and a locking tag in the bottom, they had pulled out of the oil filter housing and it was rattling against the engine plates. I have hellicoiled it and it is back on. the only other things I have had to address were the foot rests and the shark fin, the scrutineers decided that the ends of the footrests need an 8mm radius, which mine didn't, and haven't since the bike was built in 2019 but they said it wouldn't pass next time out so I made 2 bolt on ends last night and the shark fin needs to cover more of the sprocket so I am going to extend that.

Roll on the next meeting.
 
Last edited:

SteveA

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Donington park could be considered to be the best circuit in Britain, the track is good and the paddock is very large and totally covered in Tarmac, which was a good job as this was a massive meeting. As always there is a downside, tarmac means a sightly unruly awning on the caravan as it cannot be pegged down, 4 x 25ltr containers full of water help but not ideal, still, at least it wasn't mud.

The unforgivable. The tannoy seemed to consist of 1 speaker on the top of the news agents and was inaudible if a bike was running, in fact it couldn't be heard if someone was talking, it really was that quiet. There is an app for the phone called Mixlr which relays the paddock announcements but this wasn't working for a large part of the weekend, and wether it was working or not pales into insignificance in a paddock full of us old farts who think that twin cylinder Nortons are the hight of technology. A lot of the paddock either don't know about it or don't have the tech to access it. The CRMC tried to go someway to help by posting updates on social media which wasn't that effective for the same reasons, plus, although I am tech savvy, the last thing I wan't to be doing at a race meeting is spend time on social media.

The first problem this caused for me was with my first race. This was the first race after dinner and I was sat chatting to a mate, we were both out in the race so we were suited and booted ready, my mate is a bit anal about getting to the holding area with plenty of time to spare, he is often there on his own he gets there that early. I mention this because I tend to wait tor the final call because I don't want to over heat the engine if I am kept waiting, and when we are nowhere near the holding area, we cannot take the starter down.

This mostly works and I keep an eye on the live timing to see the last man across the line before I move, obviously, as our race was the first one after dinner there was no live timing. Anyway, we were sat in a quiet paddock with not a lot happening when we heard a bunch of bikes going on track, it didn't take us long to work out that it was our race going out on the warm up lap and we were quickly spinning round in circles to get up there. My mate has an electric foot on his bike and was gone quite quickly and I wasn't far behind. When I got to the track the race had started, the marshals were good as usual and sent me down the pit lane to join the race but they had gone, I couldn't see anyone else even when I got to the top of Craner, and you can see a lot of the track from there. I am now worried about getting surprised from the rear now, and nobody wants that.

My first lap wasn't recorded because I was in pit lane, George Rustling got me on the last lap going into Redgate but only Pete Boast and one other caught me going onto the finish straight, still lapped though, so that cut my last lap out.

Now being the ultra organised chap I am ;) if it was only me that hadn't heard the call to race then I would have ben ok about it, but as it caught my mate out and others, it made me a bit grumpy.

Race 2. made the warm up and start, a step up :) But like Chris said, the axe murderers were not content with the tarmac and were testing the grass for grip. The red flag came out on the second lap and as a few had crossed the line to start their 3rd lap the race was called. Bugger, 2 races, 5 laps.

Race 3, woohoo, got to the start and the end, result. There was a guy on a KTM providing me with amusement through the race, he went round the outside of me into Redgate and I got him back at the bottom of the hill only for him to come back past going into the chicane, I was impressed as I was thinking I wasn't going to make the corner, I did, but he didn't, he bounced across the grass and rejoined on the straight, but I had got past him through the chicane and didn't see him again. I did see a picture of him paddling through the gravel somewhere so it looks like it was just the way he rides, a bit beyond himself, he will probably be a future champion, if he survives :). Another class 4th.

Race 4, red flagged after the first lap, we were held on the grid for the restart but it became obvious that it was going to take time so those of us on older bike started to leave the grid, I had it in mind to ride round and round just to get some air through but a marshal said there was a roller starter so i stopped the motor, within seconds he said the start had gone which is a big problem as my bike does not start easy on a bump.

Next thing the track is clear and I thought I would miss the race. The marshal tried to give me a push but nothing. Someone ran up with a starter but his stand didn't fit my bobbins and doom and gloom was descending. I managed to lift the bike on the wheel spindle just enough for the started though and I was off. People in the paddock are so help full.

By now I wasn't feeling it and just had a ride round, odd but I learnt more about the track than when I was trying to go fast and actually put my fastest lap of the weekend in, it was still relatively slow but I think I got faster each time out so I must have been learning something. Another 4th in class.

My championship lead was reduced by 48 points but If George Rustling finishes then he wins, the race not just the class and by a lot, I didn't even get within 92.5% of his winning speed for a signature on my licence, I need to work out how to go faster, might be getting too old for that :)

The bike didn't feel fast as usual and I was putting this down to the new pistons but I am now not sure about that, it feels tight even at top and bottom dead centre. The motor is coming apart again before the next race, I need to know.

I had a clattering noise when I was shutting off and I was thinking the chain was hitting the guard but when I took the fairing off yesterday I found 2 bolts and a locking tag in the bottom, they had pulled out of the oil filter housing and it was rattling against the engine plates. I have hellicoiled it and it is back on. the only other things I have had to address were the foot rests and the shark fin, the scrutineers decided that the ends of the footrests need an 8mm radius, which mine didn't, and haven't since the bike was built in 2019 but they said it wouldn't pass next time out so I made 2 bolt on ends last night and the shark fin needs to cover more of the sprocket so I am going to extend that.

Roll on the next meeting.
8mm radius? Really?

Oh, and the only place Chris considers local is Lydden!

As far as I remember, from Worthing I could get to Snetterton and Cadwell easier than Castle Combe, and pass Brands on the way, what I considered my local track at the time.

'Local' from here is Carole!, which is Paris.......it would be Le Vigeant if the French series ran my class there...they don't....
 
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14.15 FOOTRESTS
1. The footrests for the rider must be placed not higher than 100mm above a line passing through the centre of the
wheels with a machine loaded and in front of a vertical line passing through the centre of the rear wheel.
2. They must be positioned to give easy access to any control pedals.
3. The ends of the footrests must be rounded with a solid spherical radius of not less than 8mm. Footrests may be of a
folding type but in this case must be fitted with a device which automatically allows them to return to the normal
position, the integral protection is to be provided at the end of the footrest which must have at least 8mm solid
spherical radius
 

storm42

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8mm radius? Really?

Oh, and the only place Chris considers local is Lydden!

As far as I remember, from Worthing I could get to Snetterton and Cadwell easier than Castle Combe, and pass Brands on the way, what I considered my local track at the time.

'Local' from here is Carole!, which is Paris.......it would be Le Vigeant if the French series ran my class there...they don't....
Yes like Seeley920 has pointed out, it is in the regs. Of course I have made mine 5/16". they have never bothered before, they must have had a meeting.

By local, I meant closer than Donington but I have just googled the mileage and it is only 40 miles more to Donington, who would have thunk it?

Castle Combe would be around 160 miles for both of us, When you look at the miles some of the Americans have to travel, I guess all of our tracks could be considered local:)

I started to take the motor out earlier and removed the drive pulley and the ring I made to hold the ignition pickup, and the end float re-appeared and the crank freed up. The ring was a bugger to get off but just drops back into place with no resistance, I couldn't see why it was hard to get off, but the end float is still there when it is all tightened up, I really cannot understand why the end float disappeared in the first place, or why it is back, but the motor is staying put now and I only have to sort the shark fin to be ready for Castle combe.
 

SteveA

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Yes like Seeley920 has pointed out, it is in the regs. Of course I have made mine 5/16". they have never bothered before, they must have had a meeting.

By local, I meant closer than Donington but I have just googled the mileage and it is only 40 miles more to Donington, who would have thunk it?

Castle Combe would be around 160 miles for both of us, When you look at the miles some of the Americans have to travel, I guess all of our tracks could be considered local:)

I started to take the motor out earlier and removed the drive pulley and the ring I made to hold the ignition pickup, and the end float re-appeared and the crank freed up. The ring was a bugger to get off but just drops back into place with no resistance, I couldn't see why it was hard to get off, but the end float is still there when it is all tightened up, I really cannot understand why the end float disappeared in the first place, or why it is back, but the motor is staying put now and I only have to sort the shark fin to be ready for Castle combe.
I came to France, and it's a bigger country...no, it isn't North America...but the circuits are all further away...400 to 1000km for me.

And when I got there...they immediately looked at my footrests ends and sharks fin....they have to be nylon? What? Oh well!

(took a bit of adjusting to French scrutineering, where they don't actually touch the bike except to mark the frame if it passes!)

One of the sets of pegs I used do have nylon end plugs, but more like twice the radius!

Oh, and I kept the alloy sharks fin, on the basis that if I race elsewhere, someone is going to say, 'has to be metal!'

Oh...the end float...that will be the bolt going through the case and pushing on the crank web :eek:
 

storm42

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I came to France, and it's a bigger country...no, it isn't North America...but the circuits are all further away...400 to 1000km for me.

And when I got there...they immediately looked at my footrests ends and sharks fin....they have to be nylon? What? Oh well!

(took a bit of adjusting to French scrutineering, where they don't actually touch the bike except to mark the frame if it passes!)

One of the sets of pegs I used do have nylon end plugs, but more like twice the radius!

Oh, and I kept the alloy sharks fin, on the basis that if I race elsewhere, someone is going to say, 'has to be metal!'

Oh...the end float...that will be the bolt going through the case and pushing on the crank web :eek:

I did think about using nylon to cap the ends of the footrests but didn't have any so alloy it is, I don't remember being pulled at Chimay or Gedinne but I could source some nylon and change them if I get to race on the continent again.

The first thing I checked was the bolt length and the integrity of the blind bolt holes in the cases and I all checked out OK, there is no evidence of metal in the oil so I don't think it was rubbing. It may have to remain a mystery, the only thing I can think of is that something got in between the ring and case when I replaced the pickup that died after the overheat at Darly, the ring was very tight and a bugger to get off but went back on without any tightness so, although I am struggling to believe it, I think it may have been pinching the main bearing, the tightness of the crank was very smooth and I could turn it by hand using the drive pulley so when I say tight it wasn't solid but enough to make me consider stripping the motor again. It seems ok now so it is now a case of suck it and see.
 

Fast Eddie

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Umm... what is a shark fin?
Mildly curved protector for the rear sprocket. Looks like an upside down sharks fin:

291B2F7A-0829-4A35-9D36-70246D241FAB.jpeg
 

storm42

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That is just about in the position mine is. At Mallory they told me I couldn't have holes in it, so I made one without holes, they told me at Donington that the gap between the fin and sprocket is too big and I need a bigger fin to close the gap, I wish they had said that when they pulled it on the holes as I just made a replica of the first one but without holes.
 

SteveA

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That is just about in the position mine is. At Mallory they told me I couldn't have holes in it, so I made one without holes, they told me at Donington that the gap between the fin and sprocket is too big and I need a bigger fin to close the gap, I wish they had said that when they pulled it on the holes as I just made a replica of the first one but without holes.
Former chief scrutineer at CRMC was going over my bike and stopped for a while at the sharks fin, I was a little concerned until he looked at me and said 'that is so simple and straightforward...why can't they all do it like that!'

We don't do fancy!

But it was aluminium, so I have now replicated it in Nylon!

I don't recall getting pulled for anything at Gedinne! Belgium really isn't France...

I got pulled one time in France for not having a drain hole in the catch tray...so I made one...now you must not have a hole in your catch tray!
 

SteveA

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Mildly curved protector for the rear sprocket. Looks like an upside down sharks fin:

View attachment 81331
Have to say, this one is pretty pointless, the idea is to stop body parts going in between the chain and sprocket on the bottom run! You should not be able to see the chain and sprocket where they meet....
 
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I had a Polycarbonate fin on mine and was told " you cannot use perspex " after trying to explain the dfference i gave up , sprayed it black and nothing was said again.
 
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