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Racing Update

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by G81 Can Cycle, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Britfan60

    Britfan60 VIP MEMBER

    Jan 5, 2014
    I'll be salivating for the results and the new wares. Thanks for the update. Indiana to Ala freakin' bama is a pretty good ride.
  2. G81 Can Cycle

    G81 Can Cycle VIP MEMBER

    Mar 6, 2012
    Last race was run at Barber last weekend. I thought I would recap the season and development of the 961.

    First, support from Norton became very good after Richard got Stuart involved with the lack of support I was getting. After Stuart got involved I was able to receive parts with 3 to 4 days of order.

    Clearance (ground, lean angle) Issues. First thing to hit the ground was the shorty Motad silencers I had on the bike. This was solved by removing the silencers and replacing them with some short cans from Cone Engineering. We also had to bend the decatted header pipes to get the ground clearance needed. In the second half of the season we fabricated a 2 into 1 exhaust that worked great, both in performance (will discuss further in this update) and clearance (both ground and chain clearance). The second issue on ground clearance was the stock foot pegs. We designed a new foot peg mount and rear set peg location. First attempt set the pegs to far back, second attempt was spot on. The third clearance issue was the primary case (this clearance issue put me on the ground at the Utah race). We did not attempt a fix (will explain later in this update) I am not sure that street riding will ever get the bike at the lean angle that caused this problem.

    Suspension: I had a guy in Ashville, North Carolina put the Ohlin suspension on a suspension dyno. He reworked the front and back suspension and the handling performance was enhanced. He added some new shock bodies on the back

    Performance: (Class rules did not allow for engine modification ie cams, compression, ect) We did three things at one time that gave us 10 more horsepower on the Dyno. The 2 into 1 exhaust, which had larger tubing at the first 8 inches coming out of the head, and had better flow than stock or any of the other optional exhausts we tried (Motad shorties or South Bay DT’s) The system was decatted. We made a new air filter, which by itself added 4 HP. We did not change anything with the air box other than the filter, as this was not allowed in the rules. Third was an aftermarket controller from Rapid Bike. This controller worked in conjunction with the stock ECU to modify the fuel map. We had to cut out the sensor bungs in the exhaust and replace them with new sensors (it appears that the stock sensors do not monitor exhaust gases) Good improvement on performance, and good fuel maps at different altitude tracks.

    Overall: We are pulling the 961 from competition. Although it is a fine motorcycle, it is not competitive in the class I am forced to race in. I wanted to race in the Thruxton class but this was denied. I race in a modern bike class, mostly dominated by the Suzuki SV 650, and some Ducati’s. I get my ass kicked on a regular basis. Some of this due to my lack of experience. I crashed the bike at Utah (aforementioned clearance problem with primary case) and rode another racers SV 650 Gen 1 bike to keep my points up. This SV showed 61 HP on the Dyno. I lowered my lap times at Utah by 4 seconds on this bike. The next weekend we had the 961 ready for the track. I put a national champion Number 1 plate rider on the 961, and I rode the same SV. I was able to stay on his tail the entire 8 lap race. So final conclusion is, no matter how much I improve my riding skills, the 961 will never be competitive in the class it is assigned to.

    I will be offering exhausts, air cleaners, and rear sets in a couple of weeks. I will give contact information to anyone who wants it for the Rapid Bike installer and the suspension guy.

    Fun year, but I am going back to vintage racing next year. I have a new Manx, and a Sealy framed (with Comstock motor) Commando to race next year.
  3. G81 Can Cycle

    G81 Can Cycle VIP MEMBER

    Mar 6, 2012
    New countershaft sprockets went out to Matt @ CNW today. 17 and 19 tooth

    Should be about $130 to $140 each, but matt will set final price
  4. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009

    Well done.
    I hope you weren’t injured at Utah.

    Sure sounds like a tough year on the track with all of the mods you had to make on the bike to try and be competitive.
    The Suzuki SV650 has been a very popular choice for production racers since the day it was introduced.
    They are quick and light so definitely not in the same class as the 961.
    Too bad there aren’t enough 961’s around to have a class of their own like the Thruxtons.
    Does the association allow any other classic type modern bikes to race in the Thruxton class like Guzzi V7, Royal Enfield, etc?
  5. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    The SV 650 is a great little bike and I recently read about an interesting racing combo between race modified sv650s and classic Norton Manx race bikes. For one weekend only, organizers decided to combine the Manx class with the SVs.

    The result was that the SV riders complained "All we heard and saw all weekend were those bloody bellowing Manx exhausts". The Manx racers, mostly originals with a couple of replicas thrown in, totally dominated the event.How a Manx does what it does with 50 bhp is quite amazing.
    I can imagine that your new Manx has a couple of tricks to make it even quicker than the original bikes.
    Gonna be fun.

    But before you get out there on the Manx you need to make the estart drive parts for my MK3:)

  6. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    Hello John , Will you be making a replacement air filter for the 961 to sell ?
  7. contours

    contours VIP MEMBER

    Jan 1, 2012
    Yes, I want to know this, too.
  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Well, no one can say you never tried!

    And you had a lot of fun trying.

    But I think you've made the right decision, you're gonna love riding that new Manx I think.

    Please keep us updated of you exploits on the forum somwhere.
  9. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    Hello John , You looked good going around the track no matter what place you were in.
  10. Voodooo

    Voodooo VIP MEMBER

    Aug 10, 2016
    I to am also interested in the performance parts.
  11. cehenard

    cehenard VIP MEMBER

    Sep 29, 2014
    Hey John,
    Good to see you and get to know you a bit in Alabama. Hope to cross paths again.

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