Racing 2021

SteveA

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
2,304
Country flag
Yes, I just have got an entry. Classic Clubman 251 - 1300cc. Not been there before but won't be doing the test day, I had better get the bike back together.:)
It isn't a difficult circuit to find your way around. Might be a bit more difficult to go very quick though! Some places turn out to be faster than they look!!

It is flat! Of course. It is an airfield!
 

SteveA

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
2,304
Country flag
So, Storm42 is racing this weekend at Pembrey, and just got himself a class win and a second today! Two more races tomorrow, with luck.

He probably doesn't know about the class result yet, still making his way in I reckon. That's live timing for you!

Well done Ralph.
 

SteveA

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
2,304
Country flag
So, Storm42 is racing this weekend at Pembrey, and just got himself a class win and a second today! Two more races tomorrow, with luck.

He probably doesn't know about the class result yet, still making his way in I reckon. That's live timing for you!

Well done Ralph.
Last race of the weekend, and it looks like it was wet, Ralph gets a 7th Overall and another 1st in class to add to his earlier 12th overall/1st in class.

Be interesting to hear what he ended up doing tyre wise.
 

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
1,045
Country flag
Maylar, 920 MkII Seeley Norton.

Steve, I really liked the track especially its flowing nature after the hairpin but like you say, it is difficult to go fast and I was struggling with the lack of trackside furniture to aim at, I do prefer the roads.

I managed to build a pair of wheels for the Heidenau tyres and I went out in the 10 min practice with them but it was hot and I I swapped back to the Continentals for the racing. The Heidenaus did feel planted and warmed up nicely.

As it was the first time round that track I was making plenty of mistakes running into corners hot etc, but no problems with the tyres and they felt good, I have a feeling I may use them full time when the Continentals are dead. I will need to use them more to be sure, but the aim for this weekend was just to scrub them for future races in the wet. One thing that may be a problem, they are quite low profile and I was hitting my toes earlier than with the Continentals.

My last race was wet but I left the Continentals on as I ended up as the only one in my class that didn't bugger off home when the rain came and I figured it was free points for the championship, and I had no intention of trying to brake any records. :)

So, Pembrey, new track for me.

I find new tracks a bit awkward for the first few laps, there is a need to go quickly so nobody runs into you, but you don't know where you are going. Pembrey isn't a long track, just under 1.5 mile with only 8 corners, 6 right and 2 left, it is a flowing track but just about every corner has a late apex and mostly no real visible cues where to start turning in, so like Steve said not hard to learn the way round but hard to go fast.

My first flying lap in practice was around 1:25 which by the end of practice 6 laps later was down to 1:20, not good enough to feel confident going into the first race, really could do with more track time at new tracks.

As usual for me, there were the comedy of errors all weekend starting with lining up for the start of the races on the car grid, I wasn't the only one so I didn't realise this until my mate told me after the third race, I did think I was a long way back but I wasn't bothered because every thing was new to me. The second thing was, after the bike had cooled down on Saturday evening, I decided to re-torque the head, nothing moved which was a bit of a surprise but, it turns out these engines need both plug caps on to run correctly, first race Sunday found me popping and banging round the first part of the warmup lap until I realised what was wrong, then I didn't like the idea of touching the cap to put it on with the engine running but I bit the bullet and all was well before I got back to my (car) grid spot. :) I would say that being so far back didn't matter too much because there was always a bit of a bottle neck at the hairpin.

All the races were without incident and a track learning exercise. They have to combine classes to fill the grid and I was out with the Supermonos, which are very quick but there were only three of us in my class, which goes a long way to explaining my results, George Hogton Rustling on his Hercburg 960 BSA triple for me is unbeatable, he is just so fast, it isn't his bike though just him. Apparently he has rides in the Ducati cup at the BSB rounds this year so not a slow rider.

I say it isn't his bike because they are publishing our top speeds this year, I don't know where the trap was but bearing in mind he will have been coming off the corner before carrying more speed than me, his top speed was 104mph and mine was 104.5mph. His best lap time was 1:05.7 and mine in the third race was 1:13.7, that is the difference a real racer can make.

Still, I am happy, I dropped 12 seconds off my first laps and I am sure I have identified where I can make more gains with more track time and it looks like George's bike isn't that reliable as he only finished 1 race which puts me in first place in the championship by about 70 points, happy days.

Roll on Cadwell in two weeks.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
372
Country flag
So I thought I would add to Ralph's update. I got a day off work on Friday (my birthday being the excuse) and got to the test day. In the first group out, about half way round the session I started to think the handling was a bit off, the right side of the fairing was dragging in right handers. Came through the pits to see if there was anything I could see. Obviously didn't look close enough as when my session ended and I was back at camp, bike on stand, I noticed the right shock was in 2 pieces. the stanchion was disconnected from the top mount and the spring retainer was missing. Good start, so I missed the next two sessions before lunch trying to figure out what to do, (spares were a 500 mile round trip away). Lunch arrived and I thought I would walk the track, on the corner I suspected things had started going Pete Tong there it was, the spring retainer collet.
Put the shock back together and headed out on first session after lunch, going well, then handling seemed to go off again, came in at the end of the session, sitting on the bike thinking wtf, when two guys came over and said " bloody ell mate, we were having bets every time you came around that you would fall off, the bike was all over the place". Then one of them pointed to the shock, bloody thing had come apart again, this time all the bits were there. Anyway, long story short, they had a vice, I had locktite and a big spanner. Shock back together in time for the last session. Held together this time and for the rest of the weekend. Cause was (fairly confident) I had tightened up the adjuster on the left to preload the spring, reason being that the chain was hitting the adjuster rings, I had not matched the right shock setting with the left!
So race day arrived, I had heard that on a first visit sub 1:20 was good going, that was the target, I managed 1:19 before it all started going Pete Tong again. Into the hairpin hard on the brakes the front end started jack hammering to the extent I couldn't see straight, so I had to start braking earlier then just hang on for dear life over the last 100 yards or so. Then through the Esses the front wheel started bouncing up and down when lent over, very uncomfortable. So with no application of logic I start playing around with the rebound settings only making matters worse. The two guys mentioned earlier were becoming good friends as after every race they came over to report that things looked just as bad as they felt and to marvel at the fact I hadn't actually fallen off.
After lunch Sunday the rain came, I had two races left, I was now circulating in 1:26, the front tyre looked shagged from being battered by whatever was causing the handling problems so I decided to pack up and head home.
Whilst there met up briefly with Ralph, turned out we were camped about 100 yds apart but couldn't find each other. Also met another Nortoneer who has just started racing so looks like there will be three Nortons on the grid, his engine is essentially an Atlas engine that was in a Matchless.
Anyway when I got home took the front end apart, looks like it was all down to a shagged wheel bearing, how and why no idea still trying to figure it out. So Cadwell weekend after next, huzzah!
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
10,845
Country flag
In road racing, a lot has to do with memory. If you remember how good it was, it will be that good again. With me it takes 5 laps. If the bike is not right, I know it straight away.
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
15,288
Country flag
Steve, I had a shock beak once at Darley. Interesting hypothesis you have on why it broke. With mine I put it down to slightly miss aligned mounts, meaning that one shock topped out before the other.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
534
Country flag
Steve, I had a shock beak once at Darley. Interesting hypothesis you have on why it broke. With mine I put it down to slightly miss aligned mounts, meaning that one shock topped out before the other.
Hmm. surely with the rubber bushes, a slight misalignment will be absorbed long before things actually break? Even if it does not completely absorb, you must have been hammering it in order to break a shock.....
 

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
1,045
Country flag
I didn't realise it had happened twice. I like how you were attracting spectators because of the impending doom:D
 

SteveA

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
2,304
Country flag
Steve, I had a shock beak once at Darley. Interesting hypothesis you have on why it broke. With mine I put it down to slightly miss aligned mounts, meaning that one shock topped out before the other.
He didn't say it broke....he said it fell apart....I read it as the collets falling out.

With a wheel bearing as well I should expect many hours in the workshop in the two weeks available, Cadwell isn't the place to have to deal with handling issues due to wear, tear and maybe preparation.

Steve doesn't mention a shock supplier.

I had one of my Maxtons pop the collets early on, second ride, first race weekend with it.

Maxton had them back and modified them to their then current design FOC. No further issues.

Of course, I have had a shock break, and I questioned alignment and everything, eventually it happened 3 times, twice with me parked on the racing line bend exit! Nothing I could do except stand there and let marshals express their concern from afar....it was a monoshock and the rear wheel was locked! The only other thing I could have done was lay it down and probably pour 3 litres of hot oil on the tarmac....

I really do need to move that project on and get the twin shocks mounted....
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
372
Country flag
He didn't say it broke....he said it fell apart....I read it as the collets falling out.

With a wheel bearing as well I should expect many hours in the workshop in the two weeks available, Cadwell isn't the place to have to deal with handling issues due to wear, tear and maybe preparation.

Steve doesn't mention a shock supplier.

I had one of my Maxtons pop the collets early on, second ride, first race weekend with it.

Maxton had them back and modified them to their then current design FOC. No further issues.

Of course, I have had a shock break, and I questioned alignment and everything, eventually it happened 3 times, twice with me parked on the racing line bend exit! Nothing I could do except stand there and let marshals express their concern from afar....it was a monoshock and the rear wheel was locked! The only other thing I could have done was lay it down and probably pour 3 litres of hot oil on the tarmac....

I really do need to move that project on and get the twin shocks mounted....
I didn't get too technical for the sake of brevity. Falcon shocks, came apart where the stanchion screws into the alloy eye bracket, there is actually not a lot of thread, but I am not an engineer. The first time they parted company the collet came out, the second time the stanchion sort of wedged itself in the spring so the shock was all there albeit with an horrible looking angle in it. I have a spare set and will replace, probably send the old pair back for a service and a once over in due course.
The bearings are out, have new ones ready, tyre arrives today, will be on and balanced by tomorrow, having a new bearing spacer made up as I think it was the old one that caused the problem. I destroyed it getting the bearings out but it was just a flimsy bit of steel tubing with 2 washers, I suspect it was over long, when installed one end rode up over and outside the inner race and was then pressed against the rollers. I have some alloy tube which will do if running out of time. So barring anything else I plan on being at Cadwell. Bike will be ready midweek next week......I got the week off ;)
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
1,304
Country flag
Hi Steve's
Has happened with Falcons before. As you say not a lot of thread. I have them on two bikes
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
372
Country flag
Hi Steve's
Has happened with Falcons before. As you say not a lot of thread. I have them on two bikes
Well I will be prepared next time, hopefully it won't happen again, basically have 2 spare shocks ready to go. Also ordered a spare collet for the tool box.
I have the basic Maxton forks G20 just rebound damping, I see they now do a new version (C20?) this has rebound in one leg, compression in the other and preload on the top (no shimming). The chap I met at Pembrey with the Matchless/Atlas/Norton had these, looked a good solution, had external springs which apparently gives more room for the oil to do its thing. I think the springs on the outside must be worth 2 seconds a lap ;)
Anyway, got a call late last night, blagged a slot on the track day Friday at Cadwell, happy days.
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
15,288
Country flag
Ralph I don’t think the external springs are stock with the top end Maxton’s.

If it’s a ‘mod’ then doing so would be opening a can of worms with regards spring rate, length, preload, etc. IMHO it would partially negate the whole advantage of using Maxton in the first place. External springs would also not be (easily) adjustable.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
372
Country flag
Ralph I don’t think the external springs are stock with the top end Maxton’s.

If it’s a ‘mod’ then doing so would be opening a can of worms with regards spring rate, length, preload, etc. IMHO it would partially negate the whole advantage of using Maxton in the first place. External springs would also not be (easily) adjustable.
Hear what you saying re. external springs and adjusting, treat what I said as hearsay as just repeating bits of conversation with Roland who dealt with Richard at Maxton when we were standing around chatting. Having said that I did email Richard a question and got a sales pitch for these forks, without looking, I am sure he called them C20's, planned to replace the G20's.....I think.
By the way Ralph is probably fettling in the shed, I am on the couch with a glass of red wine!
 

SteveA

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
2,304
Country flag
Well I will be prepared next time, hopefully it won't happen again, basically have 2 spare shocks ready to go. Also ordered a spare collet for the tool box.
I have the basic Maxton forks G20 just rebound damping, I see they now do a new version (C20?) this has rebound in one leg, compression in the other and preload on the top (no shimming). The chap I met at Pembrey with the Matchless/Atlas/Norton had these, looked a good solution, had external springs which apparently gives more room for the oil to do its thing. I think the springs on the outside must be worth 2 seconds a lap ;)
Anyway, got a call late last night, blagged a slot on the track day Friday at Cadwell, happy days.
I have the basic single adjustment Maxton forks.

They are brilliant and apart from 2 clicks of adjustment as advised by Cormac Conroy after discussing front end chatter on fast corner exits at a Snetterton 300 meeting in 2015, they are as set up by Maxton! Never had any more chatter either, anywhere.

Maxton advice at the time was, keep it simple unless you have the suspension skills! Judging by your reports.....like me.....a race suspension tech we are not!

If you really want to spend money they work well with Maxton shocks :cool:
 
Top