Friday 10 February 2017

2017 Update

Hi all

Well despite the cold weather I’ve still been busy in the garage, apparently it was New Year a few weeks back, but I missed that.

The 400 engine was in need of lots of attention, and thanks to the great people at OCS Automotive Services in Winchester, the cylinder head is ready for fitting to the rest of the engine.

The Minitiwn has come along in leaps and bounds too and one of the jobs I thought would be a pain turned out quite easy.

The fairing I bought for it came off an undisclosed GSXR and I was in need for a new screen for it. Naturally it wasn’t the same as the one on the Supertwin, so my hunt commenced.

I took the screen to a bike show at Stoneleigh and asked Suzuki if they knew which model it came off, but they couldn’t identify it, so I contacted Skidmarx in Weymouth. I spoke with Ian who asked for a photo of the screen and he identified it straight away, which was a great surprise.

I’ve also picked up a Power Commander off a bike forum for a good price, so the Minitwin is well on the way to being finished, fingers crossed.

Not only have I been busy in the garage, but also in front of the lap top, trying to figure out what racing I hope to do this year.

I realised last year that I wasn’t getting a great deal of track time, just 5 meetings last season, so decided I would look to do some circuit racing to give me more time on the bike, which in turn should make me faster on the roads.

Most race dates came out in December so it was time to plan my season.

The biggest cost for racing in Ireland is the ferry, which costs the same as a race weekend over here, and in that weekend you get a full practice day followed by two race days, which comprise of two races each day.

As some of you will recall, last year I entered Killalane, which was then cancelled causing me to lose £250 in ferry fees, quite a chunk of cash to lose, which also made me quite wary about booking others.

The calendar for this years roads is very sparse, with only 7 national meetings, Tandragee, Cookstown, Skerries, Faugheen, Armoy,Walderstown and Dundrod. Killalane was originally on the calendar but this has already been dropped, which is a real blow, as despite my last visit I really like this meeting. Kells has also been dropped since the MCUI released the schedule, due to increased insurance costs, which is basically killing the sport.

It really doesn’t give me much confidence in planning to do any of the above for fear of them being cancelled as well, which I hope doesn’t happen.This is a real shame as I love racing over in Ireland and am going to miss loads of great people over there, but hopefully I will get over at some stage.

As such I decided that this year I would mainly race circuits and if I can I will pop over for some roads, if funds allow.

This means that I will be returning to some circuits which I haven’t raced for a good few years Brands, Silverstone, and also go to some I’ve not been to before Snetterton, Cadwell and Donington.

Even though I love road racing it really isn’t practical this year but I’m still excited at the prospect of a busy schedule, as you can see from my race dates above.
I will also be at Southern 100, all being well, and depending on how I get on, maybe a trip to Ireland as well. There’s no rush so will just take things as they come.

I will be racing the Minitwin on the circuits, and using the Supertwin and 400 on the roads.

It’s quite strange as I’ve now joined NG Racing and BMCRC clubs, both of which I raced with when I first started racing. I’ve also been given number 42 as my race number, so have almost gone full circle as that was my given number last time I raced with them.

My season is quite busy, with my first meeting with BMCRC at Brands Hatch on 11th March, so not much time to get those last minute jobs done.

Talking of which, I hear the garage calling.

So until next time