Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ped final

The race was long and hot, this was May, I think the temp was somewhere in the high 20'Cs. Anyway it was hot enough to leave leathers soaked.
Our usual stints were 20 min each, with Phil as team lap counter and Sarah and Michelle as pit ladies, flagging us in when needed.
Jay in flight over the jump-

Phil telling Jay to pit next lap-

Fuelling up on changeover-

Jumping for joy (my back was knackered at the end of the day)-
Brake late and deep and fire it out-
We finished 3rd in class (50cc 2T) and were properly chuffed with it.

More ped

Well I might as well carry on.
Competition being what it is we wanted more speed. More parts were purchased, including a larger carb (19mm), reeds, rollers and different springs. We also changed from a pod air filter to a composite affair (using slug pellet tubs) that allowed us three external filters to fit over the pod filter. Wittering was a dusty track to race at and power losses due to clogged air filters were common. With our three filters we were able to quickly spin on a fresh filter, clean the dirty one, and have a third drying and ready to go.
Testing was undertaken in a local field with a scrap find C90 for comparison.

Observe the wheels still in pre-race colours, and the foam bar pad. Other changes were a respray in silver flake with candy green over the top, and daytona yellow details. The seat material was changed form the outrageous poodle fur, to black faux crocodile skin vinyl.
Testing was positive after we had played about with jetting adjustments, and the ped was faster than the C90.
Finally we were all ready to go

Notice the mudguard detail with direction of travel arrow, and tasteful green handgrips.
Either Jay or I, I think it was me, had made a paddock stand as well, and come race day we were good to go.

More good times

Just had a couple of pics emailed to me by my good friend Lil. Must be 3 years ago at least when we entered the RAF Wittering Supermotoped 6 hour endurance race.
Managed to source a crashed Malaguti Phantom 50cc ped, and then over the course of the weekend transformed it into a racer.
As it arrived, check that fork angle-

And after a coupe of days of beer fuelled cutting, welding and painting

Notice the classy lace job, the fine faux-poodle fur seat, the frame bracing and the lack of extraneous parts. At this stage the only tuning was the spannie and silencer that it came with. With yours truly on board (far right) it would just nudge 55kph.
Phil (far left) took it back from Wales to the Fens in the back of his Citroen ZX, and Jay then straightened the bent fork leg and began the tuning. This was the first incarnation of the mighty ped so it only had the carb upsized to a 15mm from 12mm, rollers changed, clutch/hub springs changed/uprated. Think we placed 13th overall, despite me crashing 2 or 3 times.

Pics from Steve Gower.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart and er, heart

image from visordown
Changes in circumstances mean follow on changes. The old butterfly effect. Happened across a Hypermotard 1100 evo on the weekend. Tried it for size and it felt good. Downers are tiny fuel tank, and it being a Ducati and all that is inherent wit the reliability or lack of in that respect.
Doesn't stop me quite wanting one though.
The KTM 950/990SM is the only other bike I think comes close. I promised myself I wouldn't have another Aprilia after the Caponord, so the Dorsoduro is out.
I think I need test rides.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More words

The Unsettled Motorcyclist's

vision of his Death

Across the open countryside,
Into the walls of rain I ride.
It beats my cheek, drenches my knees,
But I am being what I please.
The firm heath stops, and marsh begins.
Now we're at war: whichever wins
My human will cannot submit
To nature, though brought out of it.
The wheels sink deep; the clear sound blurs:
Still, bent on the handle-bars,
I urge my chosen instrument
Against the mere embodiment.
Though so oppressed I find I may
Through substance move. I pick my way,
Where death and life in one combine,
Through the dark earth that is not mine,
Crowded with fragments, blunt, unformed;
While past my ear where noises swarmed
The marsh plant's white extremities,
Slow without patience, spread at ease
Invulnerable and soft, extend
With a quiet grasping toward their end

Thom Gunn

Just seems like a fitting follow on to the Dragon and the ride home.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dragon Rally 2011

Just a few words on this years, the 50th, Dragon Rally.
Was really a chance to try and beat some demons, a 50% success rate.
Small victories.
Ride up Friday with Dave and Al, taking the roads less travelled.
Friday night in Dolgellau with chums, in the rain. Saturday via Blaenau Ffestiniog for breakfast with a bold ice cream shop next door.
Onto the rather swamp like site from there. Spend the afternoon/evening wandering around snapping photos and meeting up with old acquaintances.

Have an anxiety attack and make the stupid decision to ride home at 2230, seemed the only way to deal with it. Tank just under half full on the Ten. No petrol stations open on the A470 overnight it seems and the weather is cold and wet. Empty third of a litre of petrol from my stove into the tank around Newbridge on Wye. Get home 47 miles into reserve at 2am, with, based on previous run-dry tests, 3 miles left in there. Now that's how to focus your anxiety.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I have very few photos of my parents, my dad died in 1998, but I do have pics of some of their bikes.
Mum's VFR400K NC21, this bike was crashed by me twice; once on a mud covered bend out the back of Holbeach, and then written off when a rover 416 pulled out on me in Whaplode.
Dad's born-again bike; EX500A1, in proper kwak colours. I used to bug him to take me to school on it.
Dad's tinkering bike; Yamaha TR1, as he got it, with tasteful fogging paint and yellow calipers. My RM80. Notice the missing handguard as I'd binned it, again.
The TR1 again, part way through being made more tasteful. Anthracite paint, R90 fairing gone. This was as far as it got before he died.

Youthful trips and bikes pt2

Toy run to Hinchingbrooke Special Care baby unit, summer 97, went down on my CB250RS, along with Tim on his GSX250. I remember being massively pissed, getting our heads shaved for charity, eating a load of fruit cake, and then puking up all the fruit cake.

Youthful trips and bikes pt1

I don't remember the show, but it was over Derby way. I went from Holbeach on my TS125, aged 17. It seemed like a really long way.

Really good times

Back row L-R
Debs, Lil, Pat, Gangly Jon, Pink Hansord, Dave,
Front row L-R
Pizza Leg Almey, Pie RIP, Dawlish, Tim, Me, Claire, Kat



AKA my first car.
1975 Chevy Nova with a 350SBC from a '79 Blazer, edelbrock intake manifold, holley carb, velocity stack and pancake filter, tube headers, police over riders front and back.
At 21 this was a whole heap of fun for terrorising Spalding.

Baby steps

Way back in 1997 I was in Holbeach ATC, the year before I'd been up to Horncastle to see the first Youth Bike competition and decided that it would be a good thing to enter. My RM80 big wheel became the donor bike.
Stripped, cleaned and aerosol painted with a ford electric blue (I think) and fluoro yellow. Subframe cut and jacked up and brazed together.
This isn't quite the final version that went to the show, as we put a headlamp on it.
We won first prize 'Most Zany', second place 'Under 125cc' and another that I can't remember.
Good times.