Wednesday 29 April 2015

Cookstown Race Report

Hi all

Well at long last the first race was here so we set off for Liverpool to catch the ferry to Belfast. Not long after setting off we found one of the front tyres on the van had deformed over the Winter. We had to stop and change it as if it had blown out then we would've been in all sorts of trouble.
We made it safely to the ferry and thanks to Steve for phoning ahead as otherwise we wouldn't have got on.
After spending Thursday settling in we dropped the van off at the paddock and unlike other years we picked where to park as we arrived so early.
Friday was practice and was a very damp affair. Still it was good as was feeling a bit rusty, so was nice to ease into it.
Both bikes went well and apart from the silencer coming loose all went well.
Am not too surprised as after being stripped during the winter things need a run out to settle in.
We were meant to race Saturday evening but for some reason the races were put back to Saturday morning.
Saturday was still damp but we were told that it was going to dry as the day went on.
I was told I was out in the first race, but after being black flagged after the first lap, I was told this was wrong and was out in the second race.
With the track drying but no chance to change tyres I went out on wets.
The flag was raised and away we went. I got a good start and was second into the first corner.
As the race settled down I had several good dices and I finally crossed the line in 5th place.
Because this was a combined race I had in fact finished second in the Junior Support class, as such was presented with a trophy and prize money, which came as a lovely surprise.            

I was only out in one other race later on Saturday and the roads had completely dried by that stage, which was good.
Again I got a good start and felt more comfortable on my supertwin.
Sadly I couldn't replicate my earlier success, but still had a great race.
I now have a few days just checking the bikes over in readiness for the next race at Tandragee this weekend.
Hopefully I will continue to make good progress, as really liked the feeling of finishing so well.
So until next time, wish me luck.

Cheers Stuart

Wednesday 15 April 2015

More Power!

Hi all

Well after spending nearly every spare moment from when I brought the bikes back last November it was finally time to take my 400 to be put on the dyno after my Winter rebuild.

I was quite nervous about this as it was only the second race engine which I've rebuilt. Plus there were a few unknowns as I'd put a new head on it and also a different set of barrels. Coupled with fitting a ram air box, and all that went with that I wasn't sure what was going to happen.

I dropped the bike off with Double Take Motorcyles in Southampton, and waited for the phone to ring.

I didn't have to wait long as they phoned the next day. My first thoughts were the engine had blown as I'd asked them to put it through a few heat cycles as hadn't been able to run it in, in the usual fashion.

So when I asked what was up I was surprised to hear that she was ready for collection.

So that was one worry dealt with, now the next, had my work and efforts been worth it?

To re cap, when she was tested before she was making 54bhp, 10 down on a standard road bike.

After I was told what they had changed I had to ask, 'what is she putting out?'

'Just over 70bhp' was the reply.

I couldn't believe my ears, 16 more hp than I'd had, that will do very nicely.

This should put me on a level playing field with those racing around me, as 70 is about what a race bike, that hasn't had serious amounts of money spent on it, should be putting out.

I still can't believe that I managed to find 16hp and can't wait to see how she goes.

Talking of which, I don't have long to wait now as next week I will be on the ferry to Belfast as the first race is 24th & 25th April at Cookstown.

Fingers crossed it will be a good one.

Hopefully I will be able to update you as to how I get on.

Speak soon