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R.I.P. John Surtees

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R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Danno » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:58 pm

Seems I was just wishing him Happy Birthday and now he's gone.

And in case anyone thinks Kenny Roberts or Freddie Spencer or (God Forbid) Marc Marquez inventing hanging off;

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Paul W » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:56 am

A true gentleman and great ambassador for the sport sadly now gone. World Champion on 2 and 4 wheels we will never see the likes of again.

R I P John Surtees.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Bernhard » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:33 am

A great man, they don’t build them like that anymore, may he R.I. P.

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby BillT » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:41 pm

Indeed, his accomplishments will never be repeated. RIP John Surtees, a good man and a great ambassador for motorsport.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Bernhard » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:15 am

An hour long program on BBC4 tonight Monday 8 pm BST on Surtees racing life.

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby nickguzzi » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks Bernard, I don't have a tv so never look at listings, but can do the iPlayer thing.

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Fast Eddie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:59 pm

A proper hero for sure.

(BTW I think you'll find that the guy in the pic with his knee down on a Vin isn't Mr Surtees... I'm pretty sure that's Mark Forsyth who used to ride, and write, for Performance Bikes magazine. A top bloke indeed, but perhaps not quite in Johns league)!
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby holtcorseaux » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:45 pm

Bernhard thank you for that, i saw the doc and it was good.
To Nigel yes it is Mark Forsyth, PB Oct 88 the wrong information has been around since years now.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Fast Eddie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:55 pm

holtcorseaux wrote:Bernhard thank you for that, i saw the doc and it was good.
To Nigel yes it is Mark Forsyth, PB Oct 88 the wrong information has been around since years now.
Good evening,
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Ha! That's the mag alright!

And what that picture makes me realise is just how good modern bikes are, the lean angle on the Vin looks nothing compared to that of modern sports bikes!
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby acotrel » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:58 pm

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby acotrel » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:29 pm

Thanks for the photo of Surtees(?) hanging off the Vincent. I will pass it to my Pommie mate who was a childhood friend of his.
I have some old movie of the guys racing at Winton back in the 60s when I rode regularly there. The bikes are going around the corners almost vertical. I used to hang off the bike because of the bad tyres. In the 70s, many of the guys had gum-ball tyres, and the angles of lean increased dramatically. Most of the 60s bikes had neutral steering, however the Manx was slightly self-steering. When you rode it, if you got in the shit it always felt better if you drove it a bit harder. When you compare those old bikes with moderns, it is chalk and cheese. Bike handling is not a continuum. You choose which way you want to go. If the bike has skinny tyres and the handling causes it to tighten it's line in corners, it will go around more vertical. Modern bikes cannot be set up to handle like that because of the much greater power they have. The quickest way around a corner is not necessarily maximum lean, big sticky tyres and stable handling. The only real advantage modern bikes have is in a straight line. When I practice, they are always there and I usually out ride them in tight corners.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby Fast Eddie » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:26 pm

acotrel wrote:Thanks for the photo of Surtees(?) hanging off the Vincent. I will pass it to my Pommie mate who was a childhood friend of his.
I have some old movie of the guys racing at Winton back in the 60s when I rode regularly there. The bikes are going around the corners almost vertical. I used to hang off the bike because of the bad tyres. In the 70s, many of the guys had gum-ball tyres, and the angles of lean increased dramatically. Most of the 60s bikes had neutral steering, however the Manx was slightly self-steering. When you rode it, if you got in the shit it always felt better if you drove it a bit harder. When you compare those old bikes with moderns, it is chalk and cheese. Bike handling is not a continuum. You choose which way you want to go. If the bike has skinny tyres and the handling causes it to tighten it's line in corners, it will go around more vertical. Modern bikes cannot be set up to handle like that because of the much greater power they have. The quickest way around a corner is not necessarily maximum lean, big sticky tyres and stable handling. The only real advantage modern bikes have is in a straight line. When I practice, they are always there and I usually out ride them in tight corners.


Do pay attention Alan! The last few posts have been about the fact that pic is definitely NOT Surtees!!

I definitely agree with you in that it is not always the guy with the greatest lean angle, or his knee on the floor, who goes the fastest. Watching good 'old skool' racing boys is very interesting, they look so smooth and relaxed its hard to relate to how fast they're going! I've always envied that as, although I can hustle a bike around quickly on a good day, I could never claim to be a 'tidy' rider!

I scraped the foot pegs on my Vin on track days (seldom did it on the road personally). I leaned it over one day to look at what the tyres were doing at that angle and frightened myself to death! That front tyre is SO skinny (I swear I had a mountain bike once with wider tyres). And that large diameter narrow tyre certainly provides wonderfully neutral handling. But at that lean angle you are practically on the sidewall with the most un confidence inspiring contact patch with the Tarmac!

Which is why my Vin ended up with 19"fr / 18"rr rims with Avon Roadriders.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby worntorn » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:58 am

I went for a ride last summer with a fellow who had just spent some time at a race school for the masses. He had discovered the knee down position and just couldn't stop doing it. Fifteen MPH turning off one street and down the other the knee came out, the bike went over to a peg grinding angle and around the corner he went.
It did look very strange and what a lot of work just to ride thru town at bicycle speeds!

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby acotrel » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:47 pm

I changed the wheels on my Triton from 19s to 18s to get good rubber on the bike. While I was riding it at Calder Raceway, I blitzed a guy on a CB750 Honda at the end of the back straight. As I went over him I put the right hand footrest on the road and the rear wheel lifted. I threw the bike back vertical by grabbing the tank and it went into the biggest tank-slapper. I waited until it straightened itself out, then grabbed the bars and got shot straight over the front of the bike, because I'd grabbed them too soon. The bloke on the Honda stopped - said 'I thought you were going to stay on that'. I said 'so did I until I grabbed the bars'. It was the quickest get-off I ever did. After that, I learned to get off the bike a bit in corners and keep the footrests off the road.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby acotrel » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:45 pm

I wonder if anyone else has noticed something I discovered. John Surtees, Tazio Nuvolari, Mike Hailwood and Jack Brabham and the German -Rosemeyer of Auto Union fame, all started by racing motorcycles them became tops in car racing. Nobody seems to have achieved the reverse. I can name three guys who started by racing cars then attempted to get into road racing bikes. Their first crash was their last.
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