Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Not the summer Nationals

We didn't make it to the summer nationals last weekend. We set off and made it just past Manchester when coolant started leaking into the passenger footwell, not dripping but a full-on flow. I managed to get it home by topping it up and pouring in yet another bottle of radweld, but the heater matrix now
definitely needs replacing.

The frame for new bike is now 100% finished and has been coated with 3 coats of a clear rust inhibitor. It's not getting painted, it looks great just as it is.


Monday, 8 June 2015

Paint and bars

Not a lot of parts left to make for the new bike now. I finished the wheely bars at the weekend (other than needing a pair of skateboard wheels). They are a mixture of bronze welded T45 bracing and aluminium main tubes. A lot of work went into them, and it would've been easier and a lot simpler to have used all ally and have them welded. But they ain't overly heavy and are very strong.

I managed to get a coat of primer on some of the bodywork recently too. Although i had to redo some of the carbon fiber on the main shell as it had started to crack already. This time i think i have it. It'll always be prone to cracking where i rejoined the 2 halves. What i should do really is have a mould made then a new one done from that. But hey, i have enough to do!
I have  a paint scheme done on my PC, photoshop is brilliant for doing things like that. It'll be white, black, silver and dark metallic blue. I do have a spray gun bu,t i'm going to use aerosols just as i have in the past. they are cheaper than buying paint and thinners, give a great result and you don't have to clean anything afterwards.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

More pictures than words

Not really got much to say, but plenty of pictures to post.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Took the bank holiday weekend off from dragbike building, and instead went to Santa Pod to watch the main event, and guests of Bob Brooks - Yellow metal racing team. It was a great weekend even though the bike wasn't on form. Some upgrades are due and the bike should make it into the 6's sooner rather than later. Thanks to Bob for inviting us.

Back in the cellar and it's been wheely bar construction time. The bars are of a similar but improved version of my current ones, just in larger diameter tube. And this time i was able to use the lathe to thread the tubes and ends rather than a tap and die, as the headstock tube on the lathe has a much bigger diameter than the old one.

Another mission is currently underway too. The V&H head uses valves with 6mm stems, but the retainers and collets i have are for 7mm stems. To buy them new off V&H is quite expensive, so i'm attempting to make retainers out of titanium, and i'm using collets/locks from a Toyota Supra.

This one is a test piece, i have enough bar to make a full set and a couple of spares.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A late update

The review of the springspeed nationals is a bit late coming but here it goes anyway....
 Going into this event we still hadn't made it down the track this year, so there was still a few new bits on the bike to test, mostly the new experimental nitrous system with dual fuel solenoids and extra massive nitrous solenoid. 
Picture courtesy of Callum Pudge

The first run then and the huge nitrous solenoid sucked all the electricity out of the battery and it hardly made it down the track, backfiring and spluttering most of the way. This wasn't helped by the fact that the battery charger had been playing up and maybe hadn't charged it fully or at all.
On the next run it didn't do any of those things, it 'calmly' went down the track without incident. Dead slow though. turns out the new solenoid had blown the fuse in the nitrous system so it didn't come on, and it blew the next few fuses i tried too until it finally stopped with a 30amp. Greedy.
The data logger was key to diagnosing this problem, without it we could have been guessing and changing everything for months and at great expense. But the graph shows battery voltage dropping with each solenoid pulse, turning the ignition and O2 sensor off at the same time. video 

With no easy way to resolve this issue, i changed back to the little baby solenoid and managed a 7.8 on the next run - but that was with our usual shakey issue of tyre shake and bouncing for the first 200ft or so. On the next run the bouncing was so bad it turned the nitrous activation switch off less than a second into the run, so that was that run over as well. 
The 7.8 was good enough to put us 4th and I'd be up against fellow comp bike deserter Allan Davies, i decided to make a few totally random changes hoping to reduce the launch issues and maybe get through that first round, but it completely didn't work, buckarooing around so bad i wasn't actually in the seat at one point. Crazy thing.
Needless to say, we didn't get through that round. 

The good news is that the rest of the changes to the nitrous system seemed to have worked pretty well, reducing the lean spike that we always had, to the point where it's hardly visible on the logger graph. And the huge solenoid is now for sale on eBay, it's 33amp draw is just too much for a total loss 12.8v system. I'll be looking to buy the next size down, which draws a mere 13amp. 
If we can find a softer clutch setup that works i'm hoping it'll run really well at the next round in june, we have more power in it and it could be it's last chance to go faster if we are to run the new bike at the following round. 

New bike is still coming along steadily. I now have some MTC pistons for it, and valves are now with Roger Upperton - being modified to fit the head. I'm currently making a set of wheelie bars for it, and as soon as they are done and the lathe is free I'm going to make some titanium valve retainers as it's nearly impossible to find any that will fit 6mm valves. Loads of other stuff piling up too, wiring stuff is sat there, cans of paint sat there, steering damper partly done, fuel tap splitters partly done, coil mounts to make etc etc. Plus i need to service the race bike, check it thoroughly for broken stuff and decide on a setup for the next round. Busy busy. 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

2015 Springspeed Nationals

It's nearly time to head off to Shakespeare County Raceway in Warwickshire for the Springspeed Nationals - the second race of the season.  Only 6 bikes on the last entry list for Funnybike but hopefully a couple more will turn up to make it a full field.
8 in Comp bike which is better than last year, and also sees the return of Phil Leamon after missing a few rounds.
We will be traveling down tomorrow, qualifying starts on Saturday and continues Sunday with eliminations on Monday. will be covering the event as usual, with live reports, live audio and webcam. Links to all of which can be found HERE

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A few steps closer

Next weekend we should be at Shakespeare county raceway for the second race of the year. I've fitted a new head gasket and a fresh set of power rings to the engine so we shouldn't have head gasket problems again.
Getting that sorted and the bike ready hasn't taken too much time and i've been busy making bits for the new bike. I'm hoping - quietly, that it will be finished by the end of august in time for the 2nd shakey round. But thers still a lot to do so i'll just chill out and go with the flow a bit.
Battery box and nitrous bottle bracket are now done, and the rear mudguard is mounted properly. Made a start on wheelie bars too, which are similar to the last ones i made. just a bit more complicated and longer!