Sunday, 3 December 2017

Bopchops coming home

Today marked a milestone for this year - i finally moved the dragbike from the cellar at my sisters house, where it was born and raised and brought it home - to the shed of dreams.
This is what it's all been about, buying a house just so i can build a shed and have a larger, more accessible place to work on dragbikes. Oh ......and, i guess it's somewhere to live as well :D
The shed isn't totally finished yet, there's still some insulation to go up in the rood space, a chimney making for the stove and the SWA cable for the electric. But it's ahead of schedule and even under budget!

Monday, 16 October 2017

The shed of dreams

The 2017 season hasn't been a great one, plagued by handling problems and for the first time since i started racing we haven't gone faster than last year! However, it's not all bad. Despite not making a clean pass all year we still won the Easter meeting and finished 2nd overall in the championship.
The plan for the winter months is to get the new workshop built, get it set up and move the bike and all the gear in so i can start work stripping it down and checking it over. Things have had to take a back seat really as building a decent workshop from scratch is no small undertaking. It is however much bigger than the cellar, and will accommodate the larger machines necessary to do more work myself, and so it's become known as 'The Shed of Dreams'
Progress is good so far, and maybe in the next 3 or 4 weeks it'll be completed enough to move in....

Monday, 14 August 2017

Changing times

Apologies for the severe lack of updates recently, especially to those that follow my blog or pop in to catch up with progress. At the end of may i moved house and bike stuff has taken a temporary back seat while i sort out some crucial parts of the house before i can move on to the master plan! The whole reason for the move is so i can build my own workshop and move the bike and all my gear out of my sisters cellar. The 'Shed of dreams' will be started soon, now i have a kitchen and a shower! So as soon as I'm back up and running it'll be back to more regular updates. Meanwhile, i have a race meeting in just 2 weeks time and need to get some work done on the bike.
Watch this space

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Race report catchup and some other stuff

It's been a busy time the last few weeks, but right at the center of everything that's been happening there has of course been - dragbikes!

I didn't report back after the Easter event at Santa Pod, so here is what happened in brief: We went, the weather was the best Easter weather -ever, and we qualified 2nd with a 7.32. There were some great qualifying match-ups against Allan Davies who took the 1 qualifier spot by a hundredth,  and on race day we met in the final where we managed to beat him with a holeshot win, our 7.20 to Allan's 7.19 (and his PB).... off to a good start. You can watch and listen to a good video of that run here:

On to the Open sport Nationals at Shakey, we ran really well at the last event here and i was looking forward to building on those times.  But i just couldn't find a setting for the track, and out of 6 runs over the weekend not one was a clean one, and the bike suffered handling issues each pass, a combination of wheelspin and tyre shake. The number of entries was also disappointing, with just 3 bikes, and out of the 3 we qualified 3rd. On race day the weather delayed the start of the meeting so late that most people had gone home and only one elimination round went ahead before the track curfew put a halt to the proceedings. 

The next race is in a weeks time and is a new one for the ACU championship, it's the Race, Rock & Ride weekend - an all motorcycle event. We ran at the event last year - just doing demo runs, but at the end of the season everyone voted unanimously to drop the Extreme bike weekend in late October and make this one a round of the championship instead.
The bikes not ready yet, I've been thinking it's not been running quite right since Easter (even though it ran a 7.2) and investigations revealed I'd not fitted the head gasket quite right, allowing the copper power rings to sit slightly offset from the bores and they'd been leaking on every cylinder. The telltale was the outside of the carb rubbers were all showing burn marks!
A new set of rings arrived yesterday so I'll assemble it more cautiously this time and it should be ready in a day or two.
I've also made a small change to the frame where the seat sits on the rails. It's common to have a hoop at the back of the seat but I'd not put one on as i didn't think it was necessary. Well, it kinda is, and was damaging the bodyshell. I've now added little bit of tube just behind the seat to stop it moving backwards on launch.

I mentioned in an earlier post i was building a road bike, a chopper in fact.  It's been making some progress, but is on hold for the moment while a major workshop upheaval is looming.... More on that anther time.

Friday, 28 April 2017

It's that time again!

Tomorrow we will be heading off to Shakespeare County Raceway for the Springspeed Nationals. Not the biggest entry in funnybike but it should be a good weekend regardless. Qualifying is on Saturday and Sunday with eliminations on Monday.
I've not changed the bike since the last meeting, just checked it over. The plan is to get a couple of runs in, have a good time and just take it from there. will be covering the event as usual with webcam and live updates. The event page can be found here:…/2017…/default.asp

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kicking off the 2017 season.

This weekend is the start of the 2017 ACU drag racing season. With a later than usual Easter there's a moderate chance of the weather being at least reasonable, which would make a change and increase the chance of getting some good runs in. The festival of Power at Santa Pod starts with qualifying on Friday and Saturday, and eliminations on the Sunday.
The bikes all set to go but i've not had chance to fire it up so it'll need final checks at the track.  the only changes really are the replacement ignition, and a new rear tyre, but some changes in setup may necessary depending on track conditions.
The entry is pretty good, with 9 bikes entered, we don't expect too many runs as it's a busy event this one, but the schedule is for 2 each day. You can follow the event (no webcam this weekend) via, with live reports and end of day galleries.

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