Saturday, 18 March 2017

Last minute rebuild

It's only 4 weeks or so till Easter and after leaving the bike sat untouched for so long , happy that it was all ready to go. I woke up the other morning and decided i should strip it and check it over. So it's currently in bits, but the good news is I've not found anything really wrong. I'll not be changing anything, just a good clean and put it back together i think.

A few weeks ago i took the bike to the Northwest stages rally exhibition in Blackpool, an event i did last year. Once again it was good show with lots of interest in the bike and loads of the Santa Pod leaflets and flyers had been taken when i got there on Saturday. The drag car didn't show which was a shame but i'd still do it next year if asked.

The Busa funnybike has made a little more progress recently, with the arrival off the offset front sprocket i've been able to make the engine plate and mount the bearing holder. It needs final shaping, and then  - if i can be bothered i'll map it into a .DWG file just in case i have to make another and i can have it waterjet cut. The plate is simply sandwiched between the outer cover and the crankcases, so the flywheel and generator windings can still be used, just with a spacer behind them.

And finally ....
LS650 Donor bike
I've started building another bike frame. Not a drag bike at all this one. I always fancied building a chopper, and I've been on the lookout for a donor bike for ages. I wanted a big cc single cylinder engine, and I've bought a Suzuki LS650 savage, which fits the bill perfectly. The idea is simple really, to just have fun building it, and do it basically when there's nothing else to do, and make good use of some of the kit i've bought over the years. Not sure what it will look like yet but i'll post the odd picture as i go even though it's not a dragbike,  it is a chop and we are team bopchop!

The first part of many. The headstock tube

Sunday, 5 February 2017

What's in store for 2017

For the first time since October I've actually done some work in preparation for the 2017 season.
I've done the boring bits like renewing club membership and race license of course, but i did have some issues with the bikes ignition triggers and rotor at the last meeting so i have parts to replace those (i had to replace 2 sets as i broke the borrowed ones too!). And i also have a new/secondhand MSD MC4 Ignition to fit, as the old one had stopped talking to the laptop some time ago, and I've not been able to make any changes.
I have a new back tyre to fit as well - the old one is far from worn out but I'll get the new one fitted and the old one put on the wheel of top secret/someone else's dragbike.
Wide slick type tyres last really well, it's one of the things that people expect to be an expensive part, but the tyres done 45 runs and probably has another 15-20 left in it, that's just  £4.16 per run!

Later this month I'll be putting the bike on display at the North west stages rally exhibition in Blackpool. An event i attended last year and well worth doing again. I've been told there will be a drag car in attendance too this time so i'll not be alone- although it was the only bike at the whole show.

The plan for the race season is to do all the ACU events as usual (the Santa Pod ones i get free entry for winning the club championship!) Which this year is slightly different due to the loss of the Extreme Bike weekend and the addition of Race, Rock n Ride. But 6 events in total, 4 at the Pod and 2 at Shakey. Plus, we hope to do both European events at the pod, the Main event and Euro Finals.

Santa Pod - Festival of Power, 14th-16th April
Shakespeare County Raceway - Springspeed Nationals, 29th April -1st May
Santa Pod - Race, Rock 'n' Ride , 20th & 21st May
Santa Pod - Summer Nationals, 24th & 25th June
Shakespeare County Raceway - Open Sport Nationals, 26th-28th August
Santa Pod - National Finals, 23rd & 24th September

Santa Pod - Main event, 26th-29th May
Santa Pod - Euro Finals, 7th-10th September

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Top secret post drought

Never has there been such a long gap between posts since i started this blog. And not because nothings been happening, but because the bike i'm building isn't mine to go showing off infuriating!!

It's making good progress however, and is probably at the halfway stage, i have most of the bronze welding done, the rear wheel has been modified to fit and new spacers made etc. Now it's on to the little things - brackets, brake caliper mount etc etc.

Luckily my bike shouldn't need much work to be ready for the 2017 season (which doesn't start till April anyway) juts the ignition pickups to change and time up and then a general check over.

I've just been renewing my license etc ... i best check my leathers haven't gone moldy as they are still in the van.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Someone elses dragbike

Seeing as how there's not been a great deal to do on my bike I've started to build another...... but this ones not mine. It's not a full bike build, but a back half conversion for a friend. I've used T45 tube all round, slightly smaller diameter than my frame but thicker wall. Problem is, i've no die in that size for the tube bender so i've had to order one from the states. It turns out the place i bought the Pro-tools 105 bender from have stopped selling them ... very helpful!
I'm doing the back frame -  which will simply bolt on, the wheely bars, out-rigger plate and bearing holder and modifying an existing split rim wheel to fit.
It's been keeping me busy.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Off season developments

Not a great deal has happened to the bike since the end of the season. I've got replacement ignition pickups sorted but need to fit them and a replacement tyre has arrived that also needs fitting. I have been busy with bike stuff, but more on that later.....
Picture courtesy of Colin Dontisthorpe

In the meantime, just a few pictures and another of the gopro videos.... this one is the 7.13 our best ever run.

Friday, 21 October 2016

ACU Funnybike Number 1

With the last ACU event of 2016 out of the way we are now officially the winners of ACU Funnybike championship. And to make it a hat trick, we also took the Shakespeare County Raceway championship and the Santa Pod Racers club championship.
A pretty successful year then, and not just because of the various race wins, but because - at nearly every single event we entered the bikes gone quicker and faster. An unbelievable start for the bike, which only made it's debut a little over 12 months ago.

I've already forgotten about the hundreds of hours spent in the cellar creating it, the hours on the PC looking for tube, blocks of Aluminium, toilet roll tubes and double sided sticky tape. Then designing all the parts, the swarf in my hair, pockets and socks and sometimes -even in the fur of our Dogs!
The Bopchop team are: Me, my partner Sam and her brother Stuart, with special guest appearances from Tom, Benji, Peej, Justas and Jason. Without them all i'd not even be able to get the bike out of the van.
And we owe a lot Vik and Arge for being the hosts of bopchop HQ, to Roger Upperton for endless advice and help with broken engine stuff, Stu Crane for sending me 1.05 second 60ft Clutch parts and setup info and the whole of drag racing for being so awesome. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Extreme bike weekend 2016

Since the last meeting just two weeks ago it's been quite busy in the bopchop HQ/cellar. It all began when i went to check the clutch as usual but discovered the clutch 'hat' was really loose, and half the tiny little blots that hold it on were snapped or bent, or very loose, and had made a bit of a mess of the hat as they'd worked their way out.
So i started to take the clutch apart to see what else was going on and found the input shaft had a small amount of play in it, which i reasoned - correctly or not, that was probably why the bolts were loose.

In 6 years of running a slider clutch, and having taken it apart probably 100 times it's never once come loose, snapped a bolt, damaged a thread or anything else. So, the only option was to replace the bearing, necessitating removal of the engine and stripping the bottom end down. Luckily i was able to source a heavy duty bearing kit thanks to Roger Upperton, the heavy duty kit uses a race with 2 extra balls in it, the failed one was a standard Suzuki one.
It also meant it was time to fit the new Warpspeed Racing slider hat that Stu Crane had been kind enough to supply free of charge! Many thanks to Stuart for that, it looks great and was timed perfectly for when we needed it! I decided not to try removing the snapped bolts from the clutch basket, but to mount the basket on the rotary table and just drill and tap a new set of holes, it means the threads will be a lot tighter too and less chance of it working loose again.
It's all back together now and almost ready to go, it may just need some tweaks to get the stall speed right again and that's it.

Only a 2 day event this one - Qualifying on Saturday and another on Sunday morning, then into eliminations on Sunday afternoon. With the championship decided we can relax a little and just go and have fun - which actually is the only objective i ever set anyway!
The really nice folks at will be covering the event as usual with live reports and galleries etc. the various links can be found here ....

I've also added a couple more onboard Gopro videos to youtube, including this - the first eliminations round at the National finals against Bob brooks, where we nearly went out!