Wednesday, 4 May 2016

What a good bad meeting

The Springspeed nationals was badly affected by the weather, it didn't particularly rain that much but but just enough to constantly delay racing, and over the course of 3 days we only made 3 runs - one each day.
We've struggled to get off the line cleanly at Shakey for nearly 2 years now, and so i went armed with a setup that was deliberately soft on the launch - taking some ignition timing out straight away. Bigger burnouts was another strategy to help make the tyre stickier.
On the first run it left surprisingly well, but drifted towards the wall and i had to roll the throttle slightly till it calmed down, and once back on the power it just span the wheel and i crossed the line with the shift light flashing in top gear but only doing 168mph. The time was a reasonable 7.8 which was good enough for number 2 qualifier at that point behind Allan Davies who ran a 7.7.
The second run was much better, it still wandered about on the track but stayed 90% hooked up and i didn't have to come off the throttle at all. The Time was a real surprise and a personal best by 2 hundredths of a second, a 7.32 at 180mph - 3 mph faster than we've gone before.
The run was also enough to place us in the number 1 qualifying position.

Onto race day then and in the first round we raced Dave Peters, Dave normally runs low 7's but had various issues during qualifying so qualified 6th. With his problems all sorted i wasn't particularly confident about beating him. I got away first however and the bike left really well, it squirreled around for most of the run but just kept going and i didn't see Dave at any point. It crossed the line in an unbelievable, and new personal best time and speed of 7.28 @ 181mph.

All three runs also saw our best ever 60ft times for shakespeare county raceway, a 1.10, 1.11 and 1.12, which is right on the money - and very few bikes have gone that quick there.

We made it to the pairing lanes for the semi finals, i had a bye too so planned to just break the beams, but the rain came and didn't stop, and eventually the meeting was cancelled.

Overall then a really good meeting for us, 2 personal bests and finally sussed how to make a clean pass at Shakey.

Team bopchop are attending a new event at Santa pod this year - Race, Rock n Ride is an all motorcycle festival in just 3 weeks time (21st & 22nd May). It's not a race meeting but a biker lifestyle event with open run what you brung and lots of other attractions, but a few drag bike classes are attending and doing demo races. If the weather is good it should be a good opportunity to do some testing.

 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Shakey 2016


This weekend is the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
There are only 6 bikes entered in Funnybike, but it's enough to make an 8 bike ladder at least. Oddly - since i left comp bike it's flourished and is now the biggest bike class with 12 entries.

It will be good to see my old bike running there for the first time in the hands of Dave Batcheler, bopchop mk2 is now fitted with a nitrous GSXR motor.
No real changes to my bike, but i'll be trying to soften the way it leaves the line at Shakey, where it always spins the tyre and get tyre shake. More fuel and less timing might calm it down. We will see!

Coverage of the event will be courtesy of the great folks at eurodragster.com, and the usual links can be found HERE








Finished the valve refacer rebuild, it still needs a spot in the workshop but i've not invented anywhere yet.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Old but new

Valve refacers have been on my eBay watch list for years, but they're quite rare, usually overpriced and invariably a long way away. But last weekend one appeared on Gumtree and near Manchester, and cheap. So i went and got it. It's a Wolf VR5 probably made sometime in the 1960's. It looked tatty but other than the drive belts needing replacing it works fine.
The past week i've stripped it down completely and degreased it. And this weekend  it's been repainted, regreased and partly reassembled. It's a nice little project really.
I'm on the search for drive belts, but i have a few leads, and it needs rewiring badly, the rubber on the flex is not very rubbery anymore, so I've cut everything off and will start from scratch.

Only 2 weeks to go till the next event at Shakey. I have a plan to calm it down off the line for this event, it always suffers tyre shake at shakey!









Saturday, 2 April 2016

Typical easter meet

The festival of power was a typical Easter race meeting, dominated as usual by the weather.
There were 10 bikes entered in Funnybike and a really diverse entry once again with a mix of bikes from all over Europe. Friday was the best day, but with such a large race entry we were only scheduled 2 runs.
The first run wasn't bad but i was off the throttle twice due to tyre shake, but once it settled it was ok and ran a 7.5 - good enough to qualify 2nd at that point. The second run was late in the evening and in the dark (which i really like) but it shook the tyre off the line and never settled. We ended up qualified 3rd by the end of that session.

video

The next day was very windy and slow going due to the odd bit of rain. The few bikes that did run struggled with crosswinds, and Top fuel bike rider Nick Milburn came off at the top end and was lucky to get away with minor injuries. Finally a decision was made not to run the bikes again that day.
On race day it was even slower, with bursts or rain every hour or so and many classes never ran at all. And by 4pm the even was called when it rained once again.
video

Fingers crossed the next event will be better, its in 4 weeks time at Shakespeare county raceway - the Springspeed nationals.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Super post drought

Possibly the longest my blog has ever gone without an update. So here goes with a progress report....

The motorsport show in Blackpool went ok, there were some nice cars there but mine was the only bike. Lots of interest in it however, i spent several hours on the Saturday answering questions an chatting to people, and nearly all the Santa Pod flyers and leaflets went.
It was also good to load the new van and realize how much easier it is and how much more space we have. The Iveco is also much nicer to drive and better on fuel than the Citroen too.

I picked up a really clean set of GSX cases recently, so i had them vapour blasted. They come up great but getting the bead out afterwards requires a lot of work, Getting the studs out is never easy either... always a mammoth task!


The last few jobs to do on the bike in preparation for easter are now done, little things like valve clearances and ignition timing all sorted. The Easter entry list shows 10 bikes but i have a feeling there will be 1 or 2 more. A particularly international entry too with bikes and riders from all over.




And lastly, i've decided it's been too long since i last had a road bike ... kinda miss just going for a ride and so a Honda Super Blackbird has appeared in my possession .... nice it is too and a crazy amount of bike for crazy little money. It's a cool colour too.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Showtime

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.