Saturday, 23 January 2016


With the van conversion all but done there's been time to do a little work on the bike.
I stripped the motor a few days ago to fit a heavy duty gearbox bearing, but the groove in the bearing was too tight and i decided to put it back the way it was, but using a new standard bearing. 
I spent most of today rebuilding it and refitting the engine into the frame, and just have a few little bits to do before it's complete.
 I've been asked to display the bike at an indoor motorsport show in 2 weeks time, so will be a good opportunity to load the bike and take the van for a test drive. It's just pure luck that i've got the bike back together, and i guess it'll need some cleaning and polishing before the event.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

All the mod cons

Absolutely no bike related progress to report at the moment, i can't really move in the cellar at the moment anyway as all the contents of my old van are in there till new van is finished. Which, as it happens it nearly is ....

Some flooring and some anchor points for the bike and it's pretty much done. It doesn't have a shower or loo, but has a lot more room for racing paraphernalia than the old one, and has everything the other van had - but a better stereo and bigger fridge.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

No news is good news?

As usual when i haven't posted for a while it's because i've been busy......
Since we started racing the new bike we've had a small logistical problem in that theres now no room in the van for the tow bike. Stuart has had to bring it in his van which isn't ideal, plus the lack of space generally has meant piling stuff on top of the bike and the paintwork gets damaged.

So, i decided to get a bigger van. It meant selling the Citroen which i converted 4 years ago, and going through the whole process (on a larger scale) of converting another one. After a lot of travelling around looking at vans i settled on an ex parcelforce long wheelbase Iveco Daily. It's far from mint, with lots of little bruises but it was the cleanest underneath, full parcelforce history and and less than half the miles of any other i saw.

At 7.2 meters long the first thing I've fitted to it is a reversing camera, one of the cheap wireless types off eBay. It works great as it happens, although it does pick up other cameras on passing trucks from time to time! I've made a start on converting it, pulled the floor up, cleaned it thoroughly, put insulation in and relaid the floor, insulated the walls and done nearly all the ply lining. And this weekend was the first dry couple of days for weeks, so i took the opportunity to cut 2 large holes in the roof and fit the roof lights/windows. As with the last van, i've no plans to put windows in the sides, we never spend much time sitting inside it anyway.
The rest of the work should keep me busy over the winter months, although i have found time to recently make a start on removing the engine from the dragbike. I wanted to strip it to check it over and i have some new bearings to fit, so I'll continue with that when I've had enough of camper conversion.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Time for an update

I fitted a larger nitrous solenoid to the bike a couple of weeks ago, i went for the NX 15200L, which will flow approx 300hp of gas and draw only 13amp compared to the 33amp of the bigger one i tried earlier in the year. And last weekend we got chance to try it at the Extreme Bike weekend at Santa Pod.
I put some safe jetting in to test it as i wasn't sure how it would change the flow. It turns out it was pretty good like that - still quite rich once the progressive stage was over but nowhere near as bad as before. The bike felt more lively further up the track where in the past it's felt lazy, but we struggled with traction off the line and it kept stepping out and set the bike up to go left on nearly every run, so throughout Saturdays qualifying session i never managed a clean, full throttle run. Despite this it still ran a new PB time in the last session, a 7.504 which was promising.
Onto race day and it was a damp start, eliminations didn't begin until mid afternoon and we were one of the few classes to run before the rain came again and ended the meeting. On that run however it went much straighter, and despite a little loss of traction of the line it ran a somewhat stunning 1.07 60ft time, and the PB incrementals kept coming ... 4.6 @150mph at the eigth and a new best time and speed of 7.34 @177mph, completely skipping the 7.4 bracket and a whole 5mph faster than we had gone before.

A great way to end the season then, and especially good for the new bike. I want to leave it alone for next year and carry on where we left off . But i have some new engine parts waiting to fit, so we will have to wait and see what happens.

Friday, 25 September 2015

1st time for everything

The National finals was a great weekend for us. Not only did the new bike exceed expectations but we went from being number 8 qualifier to winning the event - our first event win since we started racing nearly 8 years ago.
It didn't start off great, the first run was fairly troubled, running bad spluttering and not taking full throttle. Data showed it running very rich at wide open throttle - as if there was no nitrous going in. So we removed the bottle to weight it only to discover the bottle had developed at rattle! - the dip tube that collects liquid nitrous from the bottom of the upright bottle had sheared off inside, and hence no nitrous on that run. The next couple of passes were much better but still with a really rich top end which was robbing us of mph and causing poor running.  However, by the end of the 3 qualifying sessions we were qualified on the bump spot - 8th with a 7.69 @  only 158mph.

That 8th position meant we faced a pretty big challenge as we were to meet Lorcan Parnell on the 'Storm' dragbike, which had run a string of 6.8second passes that weekend and already set a mph record of 200mph. I had a pretty good holeshot on Lorcan, and at 1000ft i still couldn't see him, but just before the line he came flying past to what i thought was the win. What i didn't know was that he had hit the wall at nearly 200mph and was disqualified. Luckily he was completely ok - the clutch and bodywork having taken the brunt of the collision.
We ran a new best time for the new bike on that run too, a 7.54 @ 171mph, just 0.01 off our personal best time. 
The next round also required a little bit of luck, as Dave peters blew the burst panel on his bike at the 330ft mark and left us to take the win. That meant, at the bikes first full event we had made it to the final! We were against Stefan Hagenstein who had been number 7 qualifier. I never saw Stefan on the run, he had problems and never left the startline. We ran another 7.6 and took the win. Our first ever.

By now we had worked out why the bike was running poorly in the second half of the run - we increased the nitrous jet in an attempt to burn off some of the fuel that was making it so rich, but when overlaying the graphs there was no difference at all. So it seems we have reached the flow limit of the small NOS solenoid we use. I have a bigger one and will fit it ready for the next and final round.  One of the other big successes that weekend - im my eyes at least  were our ever decreasing 60ft times. The old bike ran a best of 1.15 to the 60ft, and that was after 4 years of setup. With no changes at all to the clutch, just a longer bike and different tyre we went 1.14 then 1.12, and 1,10 and finally a really nice 1.09 in the final.

Speaking of the old bike. It's now been sold already - and suddenly i've got loads of room again in the cellar!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The next event

It was only 2 weeks ago we were at Santa Pod, spectating and part time crew for Bob Brooks and Yellow metal racing, but we are headed back again tomorrow for the National Finals.
Just a 2 day event this one, and with a reasonable forecast and 11 bikes entered it's shaping up to be an interesting one with a real mix of different types of bikes. From the relatively simple nitrous bikes to turbo, turbo-nitrous, compound Turbo & supercharged methanol.
I have a nice shot of one of my last runs on the new bike at shakey. The picture is courtesy of eurodragsters Tog.

I've not made any significant changes to the bike as it was set up for the next test anyway. Just had the clutch out and serviced it and made a baffle for the fuel tank to prevent fuel splashing out of the breather under braking.
The event will feature the usual excellent coverage by, the live audio and other links can be found here:

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Open sport nationals 2015

The debut for new bike went well. The firstrun was a solo - no nitrous  'handling pass' just to check everything is ok. It was a huge relief when it went absolutely arrow straight, with no issues whatsoever, the time was a 9.0 at 145mph. The next couple of runs i had the nitrous back on but had problems with it at full throttle, it left the line ok but would nose over after a couple of seconds then not take full throttle at all. The best time being an 8.6 something at 137mph. That evenings investigations revealed i'd wired the nitrous solenoids up wrong and almost certainly the cause of the problem.
The next day we made it to the pairing lanes on 3 occasions and each time it rained. Eliminations didn't happen either due to non stop rain that day too.

And so, we have to wait 3 more weeks until the National finals at Santa Pod to find out how it goes. Now i know its ok i really can't wait.