Racing 2021

SteveA

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I am also thinking of putting a single together, but sacre bleu Rodney it will probably be a Ducati 250. Planning to have 750, 500 and 250 to campaign. As we all know it's an empirical law of the cosmos that one can't have too many bikes.
I love my Nortons but the truth is the apple of my eye is the old 900SS bevel I have had since 1980 so 250 has to be a Ducati.
I started racing in '75 on a production 750 Fastback.

Salutary lesson number one was a Manx Norton riding round the outside of me round 'Chris Curve' (or Donington as it then was) at Cadwell. It was rare to see a Manx being ridden back then!

Salutary lesson number two was a Ducati 250 MKIII Desmo production bike riding underneath me at my first venture onto airfield circuits at Gaydon!
 

storm42

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It is like a parallel universe Steve, I have a 250 narrow crankcase Ducati in a lockup and I have just bought a Damah which apparently is like a 900SS but with an electric foot.
I could do with a motor for the 250 though.
 
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It is like a parallel universe Steve, I have a 250 narrow crankcase Ducati in a lockup and I have just bought a Damah which apparently is like a 900SS but with an electric foot.
I could do with a motor for the 250 though.
I always thought the Darmah a nice looking bike. Usual issues with electric starter on non Jap bikes of that era. To bring out the best in the L twin it’s all in the carb set up. Get them balanced and it really is the sweetest motor. See you next year
 

Fast Eddie

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I am also thinking of putting a single together, but sacre bleu Rodney it will probably be a Ducati 250. Planning to have 750, 500 and 250 to campaign. As we all know it's an empirical law of the cosmos that one can't have too many bikes.
I love my Nortons but the truth is the apple of my eye is the old 900SS bevel I have had since 1980 so 250 has to be a Ducati.
That empirical law does NOT apply when you are your own builder / rider / mechanic…

You have been warned.
 
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I hear what you are saying FE. My first meeting at Snetterton in 2019 ended 50 yds from start with a blown clutch and a non functioning ignition. It was the last meeting of the year. I left with my tail between my legs. Multiple by 3 I get it along with hopping off one onto another and getting to muster point etc etc.
However I enjoy the ups and downs, it’s just the pleasure of messing about with bikes, nailing a corner or finding a solution to a tech problem or getting to the track with the right spares. I accept I have been warned :)
 
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It is like a parallel universe Steve, I have a 250 narrow crankcase Ducati in a lockup and I have just bought a Damah which apparently is like a 900SS but with an electric foot.
I could do with a motor for the 250 though.
Lucky man! The Drama has a similar motor, but a different frame to the SS, having eccentric adjusters on the swing arm and slightly nasty squashed ends on the front downtubes. Much more torque than my 750 Sport though, but the early seat is rather uncomfortable. Same problem of rather expensive bits as well, a common problem now that prices have shot so high up.
 

Chris

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Ralph
I still have Robin Reads BSA B25 250 in the garage. Originally it was for my boys to do BHR events. Luke Norton made a couple of close ratio gears for it, unfortunately the engine he built & gas flowed etc seems to have a cracked head. Spare engine is in it & I have tons of spares. Robin told me he had to ride the wheels of it because of the 4 speed box. Never got a look in as the boys preferred the Hondas!
 
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storm42

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Lucky man! The Drama has a similar motor, but a different frame to the SS, having eccentric adjusters on the swing arm and slightly nasty squashed ends on the front downtubes. Much more torque than my 750 Sport though, but the early seat is rather uncomfortable. Same problem of rather expensive bits as well, a common problem now that prices have shot so high up.
I haven't done anything with it yet apart from getting it running as I took a chance and bought it as a dead-un. I have changed the oil and rigged up a ballast bypass with a relay and it now starts on the button easily. I might have a play with it this afternoon.
 

storm42

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Ralph
I still have Robin Reads BSA B25 250 in the garage. Originally it was for my boys to do BHR events. Luke Norton made a couple of close ratio gears for it, unfortunately the engine he built & gas flowed etc seems to have a cracked head. Spare engine is in it & I have tons of spares. Robin told me he had to ride the wheels of it because of the 4 speed box. Never got a look in as the boys preferred the Hondas!
Ha, I don't think I would get away with a 250 as being a bit of a lard arse does demand a bit of power :)

It would be nice to get everything we own running though wouldn't it. I was talking to a guy with what he called an ES2 project motor which he would like his offspring to develop but I think he feels that won't happen, kids eh, why do they want things to work properly?
 

maylar

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I have followed the escapades of our resident racers in this thread and have been very entertained. Thanks to all the brave souls who do this, and here's hoping for a successful 2022.
 

Fast Eddie

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Ha, I don't think I would get away with a 250 as being a bit of a lard arse does demand a bit of power :)

It would be nice to get everything we own running though wouldn't it. I was talking to a guy with what he called an ES2 project motor which he would like his offspring to develop but I think he feels that won't happen, kids eh, why do they want things to work properly?
I don’t see why an ES2 couldn’t me made to go bloody well Ralph. I think a bigger challenge would perhaps be getting it to do so reliably. The whole thing, right down to the castings, just wasn‘t designed to cope with power. Kinda gives me flashbacks to the years I spent creating a large and expensive Triumph shrapnel pile !!
 

storm42

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I don’t see why an ES2 couldn’t me made to go bloody well Ralph. I think a bigger challenge would perhaps be getting it to do so reliably. The whole thing, right down to the castings, just wasn‘t designed to cope with power. Kinda gives me flashbacks to the years I spent creating a large and expensive Triumph shrapnel pile !!
I think it would be competitive within its own class, there are examples of ES2 engined bike punching well above their weight though.
 

storm42

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I have followed the escapades of our resident racers in this thread and have been very entertained. Thanks to all the brave souls who do this, and here's hoping for a successful 2022.
Thanks for that. I thought the interest in this thread had mostly run its course, I am more comfortable writing about the things that comedically go wrong, as documenting the good things feels like boasting and I am not a big fan of that, I hope that the thread is seen as documenting racing at a low level and may help anyone thinking of doing the same.
 

maylar

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Thanks for that. I thought the interest in this thread had mostly run its course, I am more comfortable writing about the things that comedically go wrong, as documenting the good things feels like boasting and I am not a big fan of that, I hope that the thread is seen as documenting racing at a low level and may help anyone thinking of doing the same.
For those of us who don't race, we get to live vicariously through those who do. The adventures in the rain, the inevitable breakdowns and how they're dealt with, all roll into some very exciting reading (for me, at least). I'm on the other side of the pond, and when you guys mention a track I have to Google it to see where it is and to take a look at the circuit layout. As for boasting, show us the trophies!

What would ring my bells is to see live camera footage on a Seeley Norton lapping the field. Blast by that Ducati and brag about it!

I raced very briefly in the late 70's on a Kawasaki S3 triple. I came to the conclusion that you needed to be willing to fall down in order to test the limits of rider and machine. I was not willing to do that. I admire those who can stay in control and be competitive at speed. Kudos to you and the others who have contributed to this thread.
 
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At the risk of suffering eternal damnation in this particular universe, I have just bought a Ducati 250 Mk3 project, will be a race bike. In my defence I have 2 Commandos and a Dommie. Busy winter ahead :)
 
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No doubt a fair amount of race bike fettling going on. I have been busy with the Commando short stroke, most stuff previously mentioned is sorted, though I have found a couple of other issues, mostly related to things breaking or vibrating free. The Ducati 250 engine is stripped down and cleaned, looking at options for the rebuild.
Anyhow point of the post is this. I have a double disc Norvil front end, probably way too much brake but it looks the biz and it is really nice when working properly. I had problems with a loose steering head, knackered wheel bearing and run out on the discs. Fixing the first two was easy enough. However trying to get the disc assembly to run true was a real puzzle. I won't go through a blow by blow account of what I did except to say that the solution was incredibly easy, all after I spent a load of money and time on it! I have not seen this explained anywhere else, hopefully it might help others with a Norvil front end.
The solution is in how tight you tighten the four disc retaining fasteners, the ones which hold the alloy washers against the disc. I think that the tolerances of the fork legs, hub, disc carriers, the dished disc backing plates and the discs themselves all conspire to cause alignment problems. Maybe this is the reason for the self aligning design between the disc and disc carrier. If you just snub up the four screws evenly you will more than likely introduce a warp which causes the discs to bind on the brake pads. I spent sometime shimming the brake calipers on the fork legs then tuning the four disc retaining screws, tightening and loosening until the discs ran cleanly through the brake calipers.
If this actually is common knowledge, I guess I am just slow. I certainly did a lot of Googling and did not find this explained. I guess I won't know for sure until I get it on the track.
 

storm42

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No doubt a fair amount of race bike fettling going on. I have been busy with the Commando short stroke, most stuff previously mentioned is sorted, though I have found a couple of other issues, mostly related to things breaking or vibrating free. The Ducati 250 engine is stripped down and cleaned, looking at options for the rebuild.
Anyhow point of the post is this. I have a double disc Norvil front end, probably way too much brake but it looks the biz and it is really nice when working properly. I had problems with a loose steering head, knackered wheel bearing and run out on the discs. Fixing the first two was easy enough. However trying to get the disc assembly to run true was a real puzzle. I won't go through a blow by blow account of what I did except to say that the solution was incredibly easy, all after I spent a load of money and time on it! I have not seen this explained anywhere else, hopefully it might help others with a Norvil front end.
The solution is in how tight you tighten the four disc retaining fasteners, the ones which hold the alloy washers against the disc. I think that the tolerances of the fork legs, hub, disc carriers, the dished disc backing plates and the discs themselves all conspire to cause alignment problems. Maybe this is the reason for the self aligning design between the disc and disc carrier. If you just snub up the four screws evenly you will more than likely introduce a warp which causes the discs to bind on the brake pads. I spent sometime shimming the brake calipers on the fork legs then tuning the four disc retaining screws, tightening and loosening until the discs ran cleanly through the brake calipers.
If this actually is common knowledge, I guess I am just slow. I certainly did a lot of Googling and did not find this explained. I guess I won't know for sure until I get it on the track.
I still say this is not the way to do it, if you don't snug those screws that hold the washers in place, you run the risk of them unscrewing and damaging your fork legs or worse.

This is the Old Britts instruction for assembly, note they say to tighten the four carrier washers allen screws and locktight them and never remove them, they are not designed to be adjustable.

NORVIL DISC:

The NORVIL disc consists of three pieces, the disc, the disc carrier (and four carrier washers) and the backing dish. The disc carrier bolts to the hub and fits inside the disc. The backing dish fits between the carrier and the hub.

To assemble first tighten the four carrier washers to the carrier. The carrier washers are attached by allen screws and should be attached with locktight and never removed. Remove the disc by removing the carrier from the hub.

Place the disc on the carrier and place the dish in its proper place. Draw a line on the disc around the dish to show proper alignment. Now place the assembled disc, carrier and dish on the hub. Insert the six bolts and nuts and tighten finger tight. Move the dish into its proper position using the circle you marked on the disc.

Now torque the six bolts to 15 to 20 ft lb. (use an alternating pattern). Using the same alternating pattern re-toque the bolts (you will find most bolts were out of torque due to the compression of the backing dish). Check the alignment of the disc and if the alignment is correct, increase the torque by 5 ft lb. to 25 ft lb. and re-torque using the same alternating pattern.

If the alignment is incorrect, loosen the bolts and reset the dish placement and re-torque.
 

Fast Eddie

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I’m with Ralph. The way I see it those four Allen screws are there to limit the discs movement, ie stop it from trying to come off the splines.

Pretty sure they’re designed to be tightened. And that they shouldn‘t be used for / able to manage disc runout.

But, it’s been a while since I had one to be fair.
 
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I still say this is not the way to do it, if you don't snug those screws that hold the washers in place, you run the risk of them unscrewing and damaging your fork legs or worse.

This is the Old Britts instruction for assembly, note they say to tighten the four carrier washers allen screws and locktight them and never remove them, they are not designed to be adjustable.

NORVIL DISC:

The NORVIL disc consists of three pieces, the disc, the disc carrier (and four carrier washers) and the backing dish. The disc carrier bolts to the hub and fits inside the disc. The backing dish fits between the carrier and the hub.

To assemble first tighten the four carrier washers to the carrier. The carrier washers are attached by allen screws and should be attached with locktight and never removed. Remove the disc by removing the carrier from the hub.

Place the disc on the carrier and place the dish in its proper place. Draw a line on the disc around the dish to show proper alignment. Now place the assembled disc, carrier and dish on the hub. Insert the six bolts and nuts and tighten finger tight. Move the dish into its proper position using the circle you marked on the disc.

Now torque the six bolts to 15 to 20 ft lb. (use an alternating pattern). Using the same alternating pattern re-toque the bolts (you will find most bolts were out of torque due to the compression of the backing dish). Check the alignment of the disc and if the alignment is correct, increase the torque by 5 ft lb. to 25 ft lb. and re-torque using the same alternating pattern.

If the alignment is incorrect, loosen the bolts and reset the dish placement and re-torque.
Thanks Ralph, I have not seen that, its sounds a bit like what I have been doing but using the carrier fasteners instead. Ho hum off comes the lockwire again!
 
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