Racing again (at last)

storm42

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The CRMC ran its first meeting of the year last weekend and after Steves posted he was going I decided to enter. I haven't raced with this club before but as I had registered the bike with the club, game on. Bit of a culture shock though, there are some very fast riders and bikes in this club, mostly Jap multis with a few Ducatis, not really the place for a Norton but a welcome escape from the current problems.

Enjoyable weekend but not without problems. First and second practices went ok and the changes I made to the head, pistons and deck height all seem to have worked, but I managed to go out in the first session with no damping on the forks (six P's), and I was suffering from pronounced chatter in a couple of corners. The second session had the recommended settings and cured the chatter in the Gooseneck but it was still there for the first corner after the start finish straight, which is a bit quick, 3 more clicks on the rebound and wait for the timed practice.

Timed practice provided me with my best racing excuse for not being at the front. I got held up by a Jap multi for a couple of laps and when I got past, I was on my second free lap when braking downhill into Mansfield, a left hander, my left handlebar snapped off, I reckon if it wasn't for my clutch cable I would have punched the floor, most inconvenient. I was lucky to stay on and managed to stop just before I ran back onto the back straight. Anyway my one clear lap put me 28th on the grid.

A 60 mile round trip to rob a mates bike of its clip ons got me in the first race the next day, thanks Pete. First race I made up 11 places and finished 17 but first in class, although there were only 2 others in my class, but I don't care I accepted the cup and cap anyway. :)

Second race and I got a much better start from 20th on the grid but the clutch started slipping almost immediately and I think I ended up 19th just behind a GSXR 750 that I managed to pass in the first race.

I am just not in the same class as a lot of the rider in the CRMC though, so it will be back to the BHR when they start again. not that the riders in the BHR are bad, but there aren't so many Jap bikes. To put it in perspective My best lap was 1:59 and Richard Molnar did 1:42 an a Manx, still, he isn't over 60 and his dad makes the best Manx Nortons money can buy so all in all, I'm happy.

Now, can any of the racers on the board recommend some strong clip ons please?.
 
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Fast Eddie

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Nice write up Ralph.

You were lucky with the snapped clip on. That could easily have put you on your arse (and in A&E)!
 
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You were able to walk away from the mishap so it doesn't count... It is good to hear someone has the ballocks to put an old classic Britt out there.
 
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Reminds me of someone being happy to have almost caught Gary around Cadwell, on the slowdown lap Gary waved a broken clip on and said it had broken 2 laps previously ;)
 

SteveA

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The CRMC ran its first meeting of the year last weekend and after Steves posted he was going I decided to enter. I haven't raced with this club before but as I had registered the bike with the club, game on. Bit of a culture shock though, there are some very fast riders and bikes in this club, mostly Jap multis with a few Ducatis, not really the place for a Norton but a welcome escape from the current problems.

Enjoyable weekend but not without problems. First and second practices went ok and the changes I made to the head, pistons and deck hight all seem to have worked, but I managed to go out in the first session with no damping on the forks (six P's), and I was suffering from pronounced chatter in a couple of corners. The second session had the recommended settings and cured the chatter in the Gooseneck but it was still there for the first corner after the start finish straight, which is a bit quick, 3 more clicks on the rebound and wait for the timed practice.

Timed practice provided me with my best racing excuse for not being at the front. I got held up by a Jap multi for a couple of laps and when I got past, I was on my second free lap when breaking downhill into Mansfield, a left hander, my left handlebar snapped off, I reckon if it wasn't for my clutch cable I would have punched the floor, most inconvenient. I was lucky to stay on and managed to stop just before I ran back onto the back straight. Anyway my one clear lap put me 28th on the grid.

A 60 mile round trip to rob a mates bike of its clip ons got me in the first race the next day, thanks Pete. First race I made up 11 places and finished 17 but first in class, although there were only 2 others in my class, but I don't care I accepted the cup and cap anyway. :)

Second race and I got a much better start from 20th on the grid but the clutch started slipping almost immediately and I think I ended up 19th just behind a GSXR 750 that I managed to pass in the first race.

I am just not in the same class as a lot of the rider in the CRMC though, so it will be back to the BHR when they start again. not that the riders in the BHR are bad, but there aren't so many Jap bikes. To put it in perspective My best lap was 1:59 and Richard Molnar did 1:42 an a Manx, still, he isn't over 60 and his dad makes the best Manx Nortons money can buy so all in all, I'm happy.

Now, can any of the racers on the board recommend some strong clip ons please?.
Go direct to SES website, steel! https://www.sesraceproducts.com/clipons--bar-ends-14-c.asp

I have a new pair to put on, the last ones didn't break, they bent! I broke!

Yes, I had a look at the race laps. 1.59 isn't to be sniffed at at all. But it would get you better looking results with BHR to be sure. At CRMC, when the others have done a couple more meetings this year there would be someone running 1.38s! I was in the low 2 mins when last there with a Norton, not far off the same on the Fury!

I can't see CRMC getting Norton twins back in any number and it looks like the air cooled 500 class is dead too! That was won by Mark George, who I regularly beat when riding the Fury with CRMC.

I have entered a race meeting in October at Nogaro!

Am looking at getting a non-competitive ride out at Carole in September to get back in the stride......
 
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Success in racing has a lot to do with mindset. Every bike is usually better at some parts of a circuit than others, Don't worry about the guys on the big multis, they are usually the ones who bounce off the ripple strips in corners. With a Commando, you can often ride under them. You can expect to get passed towards the ends of the straights. Just follow them into the corners and go under.
When you first start racing a motorcycle, bits start falling off - as long as it is not the rider everything is OK.
 

Chris

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Well done Ralph! You posted you were going to watch on Sunday. I was well pleased to see you come up on the live timing. Even better to watch your progress.
Good save with the clip on.
The only time I had a clip on break it was when I came of track at the gooseneck. Embedded in my thigh!
Brilliant we're back on track.
Shielding but there is hope I may get out.
 

Moto55UK

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Well done Ralph, great to see someones emerged from the lockdown ( I seem to have misplaced my Mojo ) and got riding again . I have to agree with your comment about the future of Commandos at the CRMC.
Have a look at this photograph taken possibly late Fifties , a guy on a BSA Bantam 125,
c/w meggaphone, leathers 4 sizes to Big, Pudding Basin Helmet and goggles, getting big air at Ballaugh and best of all with a FAG ON!!!! how non PC is that.


Fag on.JPG
 

storm42

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You were able to walk away from the mishap so it doesn't count... It is good to hear someone has the ballocks to put an old classic Britt out there.
I wasn’t the only one Steves was out on his 750
 

storm42

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Go direct to SES website, steel! https://www.sesraceproducts.com/clipons--bar-ends-14-c.asp

I have a new pair to put on, the last ones didn't break, they bent! I broke!

Yes, I had a look at the race laps. 1.59 isn't to be sniffed at at all. But it would get you better looking results with BHR to be sure. At CRMC, when the others have done a couple more meetings this year there would be someone running 1.38s! I was in the low 2 mins when last there with a Norton, not far off the same on the Fury!

I can't see CRMC getting Norton twins back in any number and it looks like the air cooled 500 class is dead too! That was won by Mark George, who I regularly beat when riding the Fury with CRMC.

I have entered a race meeting in October at Nogaro!

Am looking at getting a non-competitive ride out at Carole in September to get back in the stride......
Thanks Steve I will checkout the bars.

I enjoyed most of the weekend but for me the best race to watch was the 500 classic, the front runners were really quick, don’t like 2 strokes and I don’t have a lot of interest in the Jap bikes either, especially if they are in my race.

I think more people on Britt bikes will move to the BHR as the CRMC follows the money with newer bikes, I get it, they need to survive but the writing must be on the wall for the older bikes with the CRMC.
 

storm42

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Success in racing has a lot to do with mindset. Every bike is usually better at some parts of a circuit than others, Don't worry about the guys on the big multis, they are usually the ones who bounce off the ripple strips in corners. With a Commando, you can often ride under them. You can expect to get passed towards the ends of the straights. Just follow them into the corners and go under.
When you first start racing a motorcycle, bits start falling off - as long as it is not the rider everything is OK.
The quick guys on the multis go round the corner just fine, and then They bugger off on the straights.
 

storm42

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Well done Ralph! You posted you were going to watch on Sunday. I was well pleased to see you come up on the live timing. Even better to watch your progress.
Good save with the clip on.
The only time I had a clip on break it was when I came of track at the gooseneck. Embedded in my thigh!
Brilliant we're back on track.
Shielding but there is hope I may get out.
Thanks Chris, so did your clip on stab you then break off, think I am going off this racing lark

The meeting was well run re the Covid problem so if you want to get out you should be safe, mind you the social distancing went out of the window when we had to get the bike in the van so the trick is to finish the race.
 

storm42

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Well done Ralph, great to see someones emerged from the lockdown ( I seem to have misplaced my Mojo ) and got riding again . I have to agree with your comment about the future of Commandos at the CRMC.
Have a look at this photograph taken possibly late Fifties , a guy on a BSA Bantam 125,
c/w meggaphone, leathers 4 sizes to Big, Pudding Basin Helmet and goggles, getting big air at Ballaugh and best of all with a FAG ON!!!! how non PC is that.


View attachment 17609
Thanks Mike, like the pic, those days have gone for ever I think. I would have fitted right in back in the day.

Have you looked for your Mojo? Hope you find it.
 

storm42

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Reminds me of someone being happy to have almost caught Gary around Cadwell, on the slowdown lap Gary waved a broken clip on and said it had broken 2 laps previously ;)
Some people are just too good, I would have liked to have seen that.
 
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It does not take bollocks to go road racing - if the bike is right and you are right, there should be no anxiety. What you need to go racing is money and smart race organisers. In Australia, all forms of motor sport have almost ceased due to Covid 19. When road racing resumes, very little will have changed. Insurance costs and entry fees will still be too high, and the race classes will still be designed to help the motorcycle importers.
 
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The quick guys on the multis go round the corner just fine, and then They bugger off on the straights.
If you choose your circuit to suit your bike, you are in a much better position. The last time I raced, I proved my bike was much faster in the corners at Winton and able to take the low line, while the fast stuff was running wide. If I get to race again, they are stuffed. It is not me, it is the bike. If I took it to Phillip Island, I would go nowhere.
 
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In Australia a short time ago, there was a very nice 250cc production bike class in which you could race without going broke. Then Honda brought out a 300cc version and the class capacity limit was raised. As a result, if you did not have the 300cc bike, you became uncompetitive. The theory is obviously that all the riders must buy the 300cc bike. - Who benefits ? - And they wonder why people do not road race !
 

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