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!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Not really 4 in a row

It's fair to say that we dipped into our reserve fund of luck at the weekend. Twice we were lucky to go through elimination rounds that probably we shouldn't. But the end result was we made it to the final and secured another event win - and unofficially the ACU Funnybike championship too.

Qualifying also went really well, with the opening run a new personal best and the first dip into the 7.1's - a 7.1837 @ 181mph. And in the second qualifier a further improvement a 7.1394 @ 181mph, so getting really close to the 7.0's and those runs into a strong headwind too.

Take a ride with us on a 7.18 sec run ...

We qualified 2nd behind ACU newcomer- Kars Van Den Belt, who ran 3 thousands quicker on his turbo Honda blackbird. In the first elimination round we raced our good friend Bob Brooks, he ran his best time of the weekend and i headed for the centerline and had to roll the throttle slightly. I only just managed to stay ahead before the finish line.

In the second round i raced the number 3 qualifier Dale leeks who was on good form running - i think a personal best in qualifying a 7.26. Just before that race we were informed that due to strong wind and gusts the decision had been made to run the bikes over the 1/8th mile only for the duration of the event. It didn't really make much difference to us but meant we weren't going to get the chance to improve on our 7.13 ET. What happened on the line was a first for me - I'm usually pretty quick off the line but somewhere in my head something went wrong and i sat there staring at the tree thinking why haven't the stage lights come on when they were on already and now there's a green showing, Dale Leeks has gone and I'm still sat there.....
I really thought that was the end as I'd never catch him over the 1/8mile, but unfortunately for dale he couldn't shift gear and i managed to get going and catch him just before the line. Lucky! the time was a 4.543 @ 144mph
I had the final to myself too as Kars had injured his engine in the previous round.  We ran a an almost identical time to the previous round a 4.541 @144mph to take the win.

The result of that is we are 800points ahead in the ACU championship and cannot be caught with only one event remaining. FB1 next year.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

National Finals 2016

Tomorrow morning Team bopchop head off back to Santa Pod again for the 5th round in the ACU championship - The national finals. Friday is a test day which we aren't doing, and qualifying takes place on Saturday with eliminations on Sunday.
The bike is still set up as it was at the Euro Finals as the track and weather are usually pretty similar, and we are hoping to get 3 runs on Saturday to try and get the bike set up nicely.

There's a healthy looking entry list at this event too, with 12 bikes entered:
1     Dave Peters         Suzuki GSX         1327cc
3     Robert Brooks         YMR          1700cc
8     Dale Leeks         Suzuki GSX         1640cc
11     Nick Daniels          Suzuki GSX         1428cc
14     Lorcan Parnell         Storm Yamaha    
21     Pete Le Gros          Nitro Harley         120ci
22     Phil Crossley          Suzuki GSX         1500cc
26     Shaun Branch         Suzuki GSX 1100EF         1500cc
34     Eric Richard          Suzuki Hayabusa          1300cc
42     Allan Davies          Suzuki GSX          1500cc
749    Stefan Hagenstein     Suzuki Hayabusa         1540cc
??     Kars van den Belt        unknown

Coverage of the event including live audio and webcam, live reports, end of day galleries and pit notes can be found on here: