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Going Racing

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by storm42, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Steves

    Steves

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Thanks acrotel, felt I always had a gear for the corners and the exit, ( 5 speed). Going to rip the baffle material out (after checking) and replace if needed. Then drop the needles and maybe the mains, see how it runs.
     
  2. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Hi Steve's

    38 front 72 clutch 23 gearbox 43 rear.
    I run Amal 36mm smoothbore carbs Maney 2 into 1 with his small alloy end can with supertrapp. Ran his standard megga but too stressed as it was always 105 plus allowance.
    Hope this helps Chris
     
    Steves likes this.
  3. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    With methanol fuel, if the needles are one notch too high, the motor is noticeably sluggish. With petrol, the bad effect would be much more. I never worry about main jets as long as they are slightly too rich. The exhaust system can stop the cam from functioning effectively. With a race cam, you should be able to feel a power increase at 3 to 4 thousand revs, as the revs rise. If you cannot feel it, the exhaust is probably too restrictive. But with a 2 into 1 system, you can get strong pull from very low down in the rev range.
    The faster you can get around and out of the corners, the faster you will be towards the ends of the following straights, then it does not matter so much if your motor runs out of puff. If you ever race against Z900s, you will find they will out-run you at the ends of the straights, so the trick is to out-ride them in the corners and get on the gas earlier coming out. If your bike has a light crank, lowering the gearing will make you faster in corners, but with the heavy commando crank, higher gearing is often more effective. The throttle response is slower if you wait for the crank to spin up. So always keep it spinning high in the rev range. The close box is essential because the Commando motor bogs down easily. Once you lose revs, you will wait forever to get them back. I don't use the clutch as I come up through the box - I simply back off the throttle slightly, then stand on the gear-change lever. Coming down, I blip the throttle and touch the clutch lever. But with a standard box, coming down needs a heap of revs - it is all too slow.
     
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    When I first raced my Seeley 850, it was fitted with the standard gearbox. I could not ride the bike - it was absolutely hopeless. If you are inexperienced, you might persevere with the wide gears and it would destroy your confidence. With a close box and methanol fuel, my near-standard 850 motor is excellent. You don't need all the flash trick bits, the standard motor is sufficient. Even with petrol as fuel, it should be good enough to win races. And you don't have to be a whiz to ride it well. The power band is never nasty.
     
    Steves likes this.
  5. SteveA

    SteveA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    At Brands, assumption, you mean the Indy Circuit!

    I use gearing 1 step higher than circuits that seem at first glance similar! Pulls 6750 maybe occasionally 7000 in top up the hill into Paddock! Which, bearing mind it is in 2nd at Clearways entry seems OK to me. I think this allows me intermediate gears mores suited to more of the other corners.

    On my bike means a 48 rear sprocket in place of a 50, but really this is sort of meaningless.....

    18" or 19" rear wheel?, what tyre profile? what front sprocket?, what primary ratio?

    Mine is 18" with 130/70 tyre, 20 tooth front sprocket and 35/65 belt drive (1.875:1).

    With Maney's 2 into 1 you rely on a small basic silencer. My two pipe system with two silencers is more often within limits!
     
    Steves likes this.
  6. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Every time I have raised the gearing on my Seeley 850, it has gone faster. I don't think you get better acceleration out of a Commando motor by lowering the gearing because the motor always tends to spin up at the same rate on the throttle. If you keep the heavy crank spinning high and race-change up through a close box with high overall gearing , that is probably as fast as you can get the bike to accelerate. Top speed is whatever you get depending on the length of the straight and the head-wind. I use a fairing.
    He only place where you should get beaten with a Commando is at the end of a long straight. Big 4-cylinder bikes have more top-end power, so don't run out of puff, but they usually do not handle well. A good two-stroke should be able to beat you anywhere. They are much lighter and roll through corners faster - you don't have to be such a good rider to win with one. I didn't like the one I raced - it had no soul. The Seeley is much more fun.
    Racing against air-cooled Ducatis would be fun - they usually tend to run wide coming out of corners..
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  7. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    With the close 4 speed box, the only gearing problem I had was with the high first gear and clutch starts in races. Unless you are prepared to rev the tits off the motor and dump the clutch, the bike wont jump away quick enough. I have only done that once and I got away with it, and got a good start. I would not make a habit of it with a Norton box.
     
  8. Steves

    Steves

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Going to go to 47 rear sprocket (from 43) and drop the needles 2 notches. Keihin smooth bores, TTI 5 speed, Maney short stroke, 63bhp on dyno no baffle. Had a look at silencer packing, it’s very minimalistic. Good condition so left as is. All info apppreciated, back on track in about a week.
     
    SteveA likes this.
  9. Steves

    Steves

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    So I ended up on call today, had a 45 minute ride early, then spent the rest of the day fettling in the shed (okay I finished my tax return first). So after the day on the track there were a few things to do, I dropped the needles on the carbs (Ihave the print out for the dyno which supports this when running with baffles), played around with the rearsets, reshimmed the front calipers for better clearance, drilled a few holes. Then I thought so if you think you have a fuel problem it is electrical, if you have an electrical problem it's fuel.
    Took the multi meter out, sure enough a bad intermittent connection on the kill switch......
     
  10. SteveA

    SteveA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Pretty damn close to mine then. Mine has a lightweight Maney Short stroke crank and pretty much standard Fullauto head.
     
  11. SteveA

    SteveA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Ralph!

    Post event I am sort of glad I didn't go to Gedinne this year. The sidecars did a memorial lap for an old friend who died in early August away from the race tracks.


    upload_2019-8-28_16-31-49.jpeg

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But I am guessing you didn't see much of this guy on his 920 (he also runs a 750)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Thanks for posting the photos. You have inspired me enough to go and fix my gearbox and start the bike. It has been standing idle for too long.
     
  13. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If you think enough about other guys' bikes, you can talk yourself into going backwards. In the end, it is rare that you find yourself in an out and out drag race, at the end of a long straight. One thing I have always noticed is that most guys back-off for the first corner in a race. I go around it the first time, as fast as I do on the last lap. Come off the start- line on full throttle and don't back-off for the first corner. What you lose in the first few yards of a race is very difficult to make up later.
     
  14. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi Steve, I am guessing that you are talking about Phil Biggadyke. Yes there was a memorial lap and there were a lot of people having a drink in the big tent with Phil in their minds. He was obviously well liked by the Dutch too. 61 is just too young.

    As for Richard Ford, I don't think anyone saw much of him, DNF in the first race and credited with 18th, one place in front of me in the second race. Although there are no times for the second race because of the red flags, I don't think the finnishing order given means anything. His practice laps are 13 seconds faster than my best race lap.

    He was second to Jarno Jonker in both of his 750cc races and faster on the 750 than the 920.

    Thanks for posting those pics, I hadn't seen them. Bit of a shock to logon and see them.
     
  15. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Vid should be up soon.
     
  16. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    I was close to where you were last year, very dusty.
     
  17. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks Steve, was a good weekend.
     
  18. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Good that you have got it on track. Cadwell end of September ??
     
  19. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    That is true, and shutting off is just what I did, glad i did though, the starts are a nightmare when you are at the back, which is where you get put when it is your first time at a road race. Not bothered though it was good fun while it lasted.
     
  20. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    What a weekend. Got down to Dover a bit early and got on the 1am ferry which went to Calais, not Dunkirk. Not a problem though. got to the track at Gedinne about 8am and got set up and signed on. I must have been tired though as I cannot remember if I got the bike scutineered Thursday or Friday.

    Went to go out for practice Friday and they wouldn't let me out because I didn't have a bit off paper with me that had been given to me at scutineering, nobody told me I needed to take it with me the first time out. Turned round and went back to the caravan to get said paper, only to find the van locked and no wife or mate, they had gone to watch the practice. Bugger. Luckily I found them, got the paperwork and got back up to the holding area in time to get out for a couple of laps, it was so hot and quite a problem when in the leathers and not moving, not ideal for the first time at Gedinne but better than nothing.

    When you rock up at a place like this, the first couple of laps are a bit of an eye opener.

    Saturday morning was the next practice session and was a lot more comfortable as the heat of the day hadn't had chance to get nasty yet, but then I got up to the holding area only to be held for about 15 minutes which is too long for my bike to be running without moving, too long for me to be sat on it as well. This lesson was to bite me in the arse later in the day for my first race. Got a few more laps in and was quickly realising that no lap records would have my name against them any time soon.[​IMG]

    Went for a walk round to watch the racing from a couple of places and realised that there were long delays between races as the recovery vans picked up the fallers and breakdowns, this info was added to the lesson learned earlier when I was kept waiting in the holding area.

    I decided to ask my mate to go up to the holding area for my first race and keep an eye out for the recovery vans to come down the track and ring Georgina to let me know it was a good time to get up to the start line. There had been horrendous delays all day and every race so I thought this was a good plan to keep me conscious and the bike from seizing from getting too hot. I was sat in my awning in my leathers with an ice pack in them and quite comfy, the bike was ready on the rollers and everything was good.

    Then the phone rang.

    They are going out now was the message. For the first time all day, there had been no fallers or breakdowns. Bollocks. Even though the bike started straight away, by the time I got up to the start, they had gone on the sighting lap and I was held at the entrance to the track.

    It wasn't that bad as it turned out, when the flag dropped, I was let out as soon as the last man went by and I still got caught up in the traffic jam at the chicane. I would have been last on the grid anyway so it made no difference in the end. I finished 16th in class and didn't get lapped, so a bit of a result really.

    Sunday, I was adamant that I was going to do the same thing again rather than be kept waiting with a running engine. Not ideal but it was even hotter and I am just not prepared to abuse the engine like that, I would rather miss the race. Anyway, My mate said that if I went to the start when called, he would bring the starter up to the holding area and I would be able to turn the engine off until ready to go. This was a good plan, I got up there turned the bike off and put it on the starter and left it whilst I hid in the shade. There was a delay.

    Whilst waiting Yves turned up and we had a chat, he told me he won twice at Gedinne but that was in the days when the track was much longer and I guess much harder.

    The race was a bit of a disaster, it was red flagged after three laps and we were left in the sun for ever whilst the track was cleared. The restart was no better, one and a half laps and it was red flagged again, and this time the race was abandoned and as far as I can tell there was no result.

    I believe the first red flag was due to two accidents, one you can see on the video just before the black plastic covered hay bales, there is someone in the field on the left, I am not convinced that was the reason though, a bit further on there is a left right and I think someone went into the ditch there.

    The second start was stopped because someone dropped it after the hare pin and the bike was in the road.

    There were a lot of accidents and stoppages and I heard a few complaining. I don't know if it was justified though, after all, the marshals don't turn up to be hit by motorbikes do they? Mind you, the marshals that stood and videoed John Wickett's burning Velo, instead of using their fire extinguishers might have been better staying at home.

    Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 01.05.34.png

    The video is my second race and although it might look like a bit of a ride out, it does show what a brilliant place Gedinne is and long may it continue to be run.

     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019

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