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Going Racing

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

  1. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    That was some commitment for a hobby. I would love to do Daytona but it is a bit further than 2500 miles for me.

    No hijack, all memories are welcome, yours, Paul's and anybody else's.
     
  2. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Second to Dave Aldana, wow, did he have those leathers on?
     
  3. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    He did for the roadracing, not for MX.

    He started in the first wave with the experts, I started right behind him with the novices. It was at the moment after the gate dropped that I learned why they wear full-face helmets and chest protectors. I thought I was all cool with classic 3/4 helmet and comp shield with a long sleeve t-shirt... Spitting out mud for 4 laps.
     
    gortnipper likes this.
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If you wait long enough, those stars of yesteryear must get slower. My friend the Harley rider, lined up against a lot of bearded old farts and thought he was in with a chance. He found out that he did not know how to ride a motorcycle. He obviously had not waited long enough.
     
    JimC likes this.
  5. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Nah, those who have got it never loose it, they may not use their skills to the full anymore but they still have them.

    It is always a shock to me when I see Steve Baker get back on a bike he looks a fast now as he ever did. I once saw Geoff Duke tip a Manx Norton into Hillberry IOM on a parade lap and he didn't close the throttle one little bit, very brave and skill-full even at the age he was.
     
  6. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    You have said Geoff Duke was brave, however perhaps he was simply COMPETENT ? - It does not take balls to ride a motorcycle fast when you are proficient and the bike is good. 'Practice makes perfect' ?

    Have a look at John Surtees in this race :

     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    cash likes this.
  7. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    There was a photographer at the track so I bought these, the first one because it was my first ever race, the second because i like the idea of the old bike mixing it with the new, got past the 3 bike 3 corners later. Incidentally, the 4 bike behind me is Scarlett Robinson and I reckon one to watch. The third one because that was my second pass on the guy behind, the first time I got him going into Gerrards and he just went back past round the outside, it is a long corner Gerrards but the next lap I managed to hold him off and got away on the straight, I think he is on a 350 manx.

    First.jpg Hairpin.jpg Gerrards.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  8. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Hi Stuart

    My mate Graham Buller club champion 350 Manx Norton.

    Lee Hollick? Photography. Nice pics.
    Bike looks fantastic.

    Acotrel, never met an old racer that had lost the class he had.

    I did the TT in 86 & the lads went for a run, we always camped at Kirkmicheal. At Ballaugh we caught up with a couple on a Honda cb900 full leathers tootling along. He passed us at Ginger Hall & glided through Kerrowmoar a corner that scares the crap out of me. He proceeded to give us a masterclass over the mountain, two up. We stopped at the Creg & chatted. Ex IOM GP rider & his wife both aged 78. Loved it.
    Chris
     
    Atlas Commando, baz and Snotzo like this.
  9. SteveA

    SteveA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    The lack of actual races leaves you hungry.......I have always though this is why when North Americans hit Europe the go so quick.....

    To be fair it is normal UK practice to get 4 races per class over the weekend, but you can get to enter two or more classes with the right bike. Or take two bikes (or more!)

    Think is, they are pretty short at some tracks as little as 4 laps! Here in France we are getting two races per class each weekend, though the next meeting, my first this year, is the one per year that has 3 races over the weekend per class. There is pretty much no change to enter additional races. But....the races are up to twice as long as UK races...18 laps in some races....25 minutes and 50km is pretty much enough for a pensioner. There was a caution to those lucky enough to ride the classic support races at the Le Mans 24 hour race this past week/weekend......put plenty of fuel in....more laps...about 60km total....I hope to do it next year.
     
  10. SteveA

    SteveA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    I ran 2 in 2015......I got a helper...even if they are just moving bikes around in the paddock for you, setting it up ready for engine start and putting in fuel it helps a great deal.....I would not have managed without!
     
  11. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi Chris,

    (its Ralph by the way :) )

    Yes Graham Buller, don't know him but I have just looked at the results sheet, and looking at the sheet reminds me that was the over 50s race that I crossed the line in second .63 of a second in front of Graham. I think we swapped places 3 or 4 times and Graham was the guy i passed towards the hairpin and then ended up doing a u-turn on the grass as he went back past, he was probably still laughing right up to the point I passed him on the line.

    Actually, I haven't a clue where I actually finished in that race as it was a handicap and that has yet to be applied, although where I will find that out i don't know. I would guess that, as he was on a 350 that he will be many places in front of me but I enjoyed the race and that is all that matters at the end of the day. He was riding rings round me but I had the power for the straights. :)

    Yes Lee Hollick.

    I have had a few lessons given to me over that mountain and you always know when you are behind a racer, they are always smooth, fast and don't look like they are trying, always a pleasure.
     
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I am 77. If I don't race for a while I get apprehensive. But I know that when I take my bike out for a practice day or race, as soon as the motor starts I am never going to crash again. I know I have a problem - that is not realistic. But I raced so much in the old days, if I don't go near an unfamiliar circuit, I never get into difficulties. It takes me about 5 laps to get up to about 95% of race speed. The other 5% does not come easy. It would take a two day race meeting to get me there again. The last time I raced, I was up with the leaders, so I must sill be OK. But most of them were kids - nobody really quick. When I was racing regularly, there were guys - if they were on the grid beside you, you might as well go home. I don't much like historic racing - but that is almost all we have got.
     
  13. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Hi Ralph
    Brain fade, no idea where I got Stuart from!
    Still fantastic riding to be up there with Graham. He is quick.
    The handicap was always a favourite. I remember at Lydden, Baines's waiting on the start line as the first person of the grid came into paddock bend. Being flagged of one by one as per your allocation was just so surreal.
    Enjoy.
    Chris
     
  14. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    In Australia, we have 'handicap bandits'. I always worry about hitting somebody in handicaps. The speed differential is often too high.
     
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Running one bike is enough for anyone and I would not go racing without a helper. If you know you have to drive yourself home from a race meeting, it can take the edge off your rides. My last helper was older than myself, but very experienced. He died of heart failure while driving his girl home down a country road after shopping. He simply veered off and hit an oncoming car. There wasn't a mark on him and all his girl got was a sore elbow. I now associate with a group who have classic Japanese bikes - one of those guys is willing to help. I've gone racing on my own a few times, but never really enjoyed myself on those occasions.
     
  16. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I never enjoyed the handicap races. Win or lose, you blame the timer!
     
  17. Snotzo

    Snotzo

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    It depends on how badly you want to go racing. My old employer Syd Lawton,before he was a member of the Norton Works team, would go racing on his own as far afield as Switzerland, and rode his race bike to get there and back again after the event, with little or no provision to cover the possibility of a breakdown of his machine (AJS 7R). He did the same to go to the Isle of Man on more than one occasion.

    Those who crave road racing proper will not find it at places like Brands Hatch or Mallory Park, but must go to Ireland or the Isle of Man to satisfy their craving.

    Storm42, this is not knocking in any way your first foray onto a race track, everyone has to start somewhere, and your results speak well of your first effort. Whether you stay with the short circuit scene, or venture eventually into road racing proper will depend on what you are looking to get out of it for your own personal satisfaction.
    If you should ever decide to race on the I.O.M TT course, you will gain a real in depth appreciation of what it takes to master such a demanding circuit at race winning speed, and to doubt that bravery is not a requirement, as Acottrel has previously suggested, demonstrates quite simply a complete lack of understanding, so typical of many who, for whatever reason, have never put themselves to the test.
     
  18. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    That is how I expected it to work but apparently the handicap is applied after for safety reasons now.
     
  19. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Over here historic is the best racing on short circuits. The grids are full, the paddock is friendly with competitors willing to help others and to cap it all most of the bikes are still from our time.
     
  20. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    What the guys from back in the day had to do to go racing beggers belief and shows the sheer guts and passion for their sport. It may also elude to how drab and difficult life was back then.

    You are of course right about the short circuits and the roads are where I want to be. The reason for getting my licence and starting with the BHR is to get the bike to a close setup for the roads without the inconvenience of stone walls and trees. So far I have changed the fork springs to a softer rate, lost a disc up front and now I am looking to contact Maxton for some shocks as the ones I have, move too much when I hit a dip in the track and are not adjustable for compression damping.

    To find the above problems on the roads would have been extremely dangerous and costly so the short tracks are a relatively safe test ground, and surprisingly good fun.

    I have my eyes on Belgium for the roads, I have been going to Chimay and Gedinne to watch for a number of years and the atmosphere is brilliant, the cost is reasonable and the racing is for the older style bikes and I can get a Belgium licence to race without having to go through the ACU and a couple of years getting signatures.

    Because of the route I am taking I may never get to race in the I.O.M. or Ireland but I won't rule them out altogether.

    I watch all the televised racing and appreciate the skill levels but the Rossi's and Lorenzo's of the world wouldn't make my top ten of bike racers. (Stoner and Marquez might though :))

    The true greats for me are Hailwood, the Dunlops, McGunness, Hickman, Duke, Woods, Agostini and even your own Syd Lawton and many more all going out with the skill, self belief and bravery between the walls and trees, and as often as that goes horribly wrong, it places them all on another level. Not that I think I will ever rise to that level but without us cannon fodder, there wouldn't be a race.
     
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