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Going Racing

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

  1. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    I guess here in the 'States, we are victims of AHRMA's success. They get decent grids, but they have SO MANY different classes, that there is no way to get in more than 1 race per day, per class. Most are 6 laps, some only get 4 laps.

    Since it's all volunteer, you can't complain or people walk away and you're left with even less...

    I've been thinking if I DO get out there again, I'll resurrect my VF750F and try NexGen, but still haul out the Bonneville for Production. Since I've never won in the class, I'm sure they'll still let me run in a Novice class.
     
  2. Dances with Shrapnel

    Dances with Shrapnel VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Not quite accurate - more like mostly 8 laps with some 6 laps and a few 4 lap races. This is a function of track size/lap times. AHRMA generally tries to keep it to about 16 minutes track time per race.

    You can always offer to volunteer.

    Get out there and do the NexGen.
     
    grandpaul likes this.
  3. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I don't know about racing in the UK or America, but in Australia our circuits are licenced to have a defined maximum number of bikes in each race. If you are careful about how you construct the race classes, you can run races which have a greater number of bikes in them. So the guys get more rides. In Australia, particularly in Historic races - we often end up with only a small number of bikes on the start line - nothing like the permitted maximum. Some riders like it that way because then they can clearly identify their competition. But for spectators and the overall good of the meeting, it is hopeless. More bikes on the grid and more laps in the races is a better way to go, than more short races with fewer bikes.
    It is also a matter of track time - getting bikes onto and off the circuit often takes more time than the actual racing. If you do it for races which are mainly big, it is more efficient.
    I have seen races with only 4 bikes in them, when the track is licensed for 30. When that starts happening, I usually go home.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  4. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Nearest track is over 1,000 miles away. Volunteer?

    NexGen - MAYBE...
     
  5. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    It is possible to volunteer without travelling by getting involved with your controlling body. In Australia, there is a lot of politics in road racing. Most of the volunteers are sidecar racers. Thy influence the structure of the race classes. Sidecars are CARS, they are NOT solo motorcycles. The rcing is completely different. With my Seeley 850, the bikes I should be racing against fall into three different 'periods'. I noticed in one of the photos above, our guy is riding a Seeley Commando, but the guy in front of him is on a modern. When that happens the cost differentials are huge. I did that in the 60s. I rode a Triton while other guys rode two-strokes. For me, my racing was probably ten times as difficult. You need to watch the rules carefully, often they get changed to suit other peoples' needs. Winning races is not only about going fast.
     
  6. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    AHRMA's rulebook is pretty solid; that's one thing the crowd has been pretty good at. They have a rules change suggestion system, and a new class suggestion system that have both helped the body grow to far and away the biggest "vintage" (now a 'rolling' term) motorcycle racing body in the 'States.
     
  7. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    It is almost embarrassing just how close and how many tracks there are around here.

    Donnington 43 miles
    Mallory park 60 miles
    Cadwell park 68 miles
    Darley moor 30 miles
    Three Sisters 68 miles
    Lydden hill 230 miles
    Pembrey 245 miles
    Anglesey 151 miles
    Silverstone 100 miles
    Brands hatch 185 miles
    Thruxton 186 miles
    Knockhill 292 miles
    Isle of Man 183 miles

    Mallory, Darley, Pembrey, Lydden, Three Sisters and Cadwell are the tracks available for me to race with the BHR this year and I would get 6 races each weekend, entries are around £250 ($325) for the weekend.

    Feeling a bit lucky.

    Back to earth and off into the garage, yesterday I found a broken spoke in the rear wheel and the rear disc is cracked all over the place, I reduced the diameter of a Triumph disc last night and although it is not drilled it is 200gm lighter than the one that is scrap.
     
  8. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I have heard that AHRMA are pretty good with their rules. In fact somebody suggested they should be used as a basis in Australia. They seem to have more cheaters to deal with in the states. It is probably because the average guy has more money to play with over there. I actually love a good cheater, often they show the way forward with motorcycle design. The 1600cc Irving Vincent is a case in point. It actually fits within the Historic racing rules, but there is absolutely nothing authentic about it Theoretically it fits into period 4 - the period for which my Seeley 850 would be eligible. But it is log-booked for Period 5 and runs against the Suzuki Katanas.
    I dislike 'historic racing' because it is bullshit - I would much prefer BOTT and Sounds Of Singles, if they had capacity limits. I also like two-stroke races. The trouble is that many guys don't really want to race. It is more about being there and looking good. They don't know how to have fun.
     
  9. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I really envy you guys who live and race in the UK. What I see on Youtube looks really lovely. When I was about 20 years of age, I had studied 5 subjects in one year at night school and failed 3. My mate suggested I should get a job with him at Otis Elevators and we could transfer to the UK and go racing motorcycles. I made a conscious choice to stay in Australia and have a family. Before my mate died about 4 years ago, I told him that I had made the wrong decision. However, these days I watch the on-board videos of the IOM and I know I would have come home in an urn. I watch them and cringe.
     
  10. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Personally, I was never in it "for blood", and never rode "in anger".

    PURE FUN. NO WORRIES. I kept to my line and made sure I didn't become somebody else's collateral damage.

    It's only a bloody piece of plastic glued to a chink of particle board! It's not worth trashing a bike and/or ER visit via ambulance, or ESPECIALLY your life (it's happened in AHRMA). For goodness sake, it's a non-professional HOBBY!
     
  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Well, fair play to you GP, but we’re not all as disciplined as you!

    I found it impossible to ‘take it lightly’ even though I wouldn’t say I was a particularly competitive person per se.

    When I campaigned 2 bikes, the plan was to take the unlimited class seriously, then I bought a 500 ‘for extra rides, a bit of fun, and more track time’.

    Well, first time out with the 500 was a 2 day meeting early in the season and came away from it sitting second in both championships, so all plans about taking it easy went right out of the window!

    I then had a season of ‘fix the 850 for the next meeting whilst neglecting the 500.... followed by fix the 500 and neglect the 850’...

    The pattern went on all f***ing season!

    I did thoroughly enjoy it if I’m honest, but ALL social life, work on the house, etc just got cancelled for a year!

    For the record, I ended the season as I ended that meeting, second in both championships.

    And, unlike the genuinely good riders, I know that if I started racing again I would be outclassed, but I also know that I’d try and keep up, in other words I’d have a sure fire appointment with the gravel traps !!

    Hence I stick to informal track days for my ‘fix’ these days, track days are very different to races, and I find it quite easy ‘take it lightly’ on track days whilst still having a barrel load of fun... which is what it’s all about !
     
    xbacksideslider likes this.
  12. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Happily, in 33 races on my Bonnie, I only once saw the EDGE of the gravel trap in turn 1 at Miller Motorsports (Utah). Lost 1 place, then regained it. Finished all but 1 lap in '08 (muffler fell off, meatball flag enen though I was still running just fine), and 1 lap in 2010 (shorted ignition wire, rode the clean-up trailer).

    8 races on the F500 Kawasaki never put a tire wrong, and finished every lap.

    Staying upright, and finishing under the checkers allowed me to outscore a double-handful of folks that didn't do one or the other. Both of my problems were stupid, simple ones. CHECK YOUR BITS! (because scrutineers won't)
     
  13. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Ooo Matron.
     
    Fast Eddie likes this.
  14. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I only race so I can do it better. I built my Seeley 850 out of bits and my racing is about developing it and my own abilities in riding it. The last time I raced was in Historic Period 4 - I was consistently up with the lead bunch in every race and out-rode them in the last. To me that is a pleasing result and it proves to me I am doing the right things with my bike. The problem I have is that I rarely get the opportunity to compete against the same TYPE of bikes. To me BOTT is far more attractive than 'historic racing' or BEARS. There are only about three air-cooled Ducatis racing in Australia. Two are in other states, the other is an SD900 which races unsuccessfully in Historic Period 5 against the Katanas. So what I do with my Seeley probably does not mean much.
     
  15. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Will be leaving for Darley Moor tomorrow for the Thunderfest on Monday, just finishing a couple of jobs, how about this for a blast from the past.
    IMG_7305.jpg

    She hasn't smelt it yet. :)
     
  16. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Another thing I had to sort out was the exhaust bobbins, I thought they were shearing of but on closer inspection they were melting, I had a Supertrapp blank endcap on and I think that coupled with being held for a long time in the holding area was causing a build up of heat in the silencer, also when the bobbin went the exhaust dropped onto the top of the rear master cylinder and melted the top.

    So I made an open reverse cone for the silencer and an aluminium top for the master cylinder, I hope it gets through noise testing on Monday.

    Cap.jpg Endcap.jpg
     
    marinatlas, Esmerela and gortnipper like this.
  17. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Hi Ralph

    I run a Steve Maney exhaust But swapped the reverse cone on the megga for the supertrapp silencer set he sells.
    The standard system would pass testing but you had to have the carbs perfectly set up. The engine nice & hot & pick it up smoothly on the revs. Too fraught.
    With the big engine it passes but the 750 is much more raucous & just dam loud.
    Have a great Darley.
    Chris
    Ps never had a bobbin fail. Run cheap Indian ones from Namrick our local nut & bolt shop
     
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  18. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi Chris, the bobbins have been Ok until I fitted the plain Supertrapp end, then the problems started, the new cone will hopefully help cool the silencer. It has passed noise without the Supertrapp but right on the limit so for safety I thought the closed end would provide a bit of a safety factor. I will be taking the closed end with me today just in case.
     
  19. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Ralph, the bobbins are designed for heat. I’m wondering if that’s really your issue.

    Your can is quite long. The supertrap stuff is all bolted to the very end where vibration is gonna have an exponential impact...

    I’m therefore thinking that vibration could be the issue here, and if so, perhaps a re design of the mounts (doubled up bobbins, a mounting point further back, etc) might be in order cos if it is vibration, something else might get give next (cracked pipe etc) unless you prevent it.
     
  20. marinatlas

    marinatlas

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007

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