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Retros in historic racing

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Related Discussions' started by acotrel, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    One of the things which is happening with historic racing is a lot of the bikes are actually retros. I would never stop a retro from racing. The best rules are no rules. All that needs to be done is define the race classes by the type of bike and it's engine capacity with only ONE cut-off date. A Paul Smart Replica Ducati should be able to race against the Irving Vincent. A Molnar Manx and a Walmsley G50 are both retros. And so are the MV3s that ran at Goodwood Revival this year.

    There are only four types of motorcycles - two-strokes and three four-strokes - singles, twins and multis. Capacity classes can be combined.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  2. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Anyone know what he’s on about?
     
  3. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    It’s quite simple really TT...

    AL wants the Australian racing body to change the rules of the sport so that his bike can be competitive...!

    The thing he forgets is that his bike would not have been competitive in period. The Seeley frame would of course exclude it from proddie racing, and the stock 850 motor would exclude it from being competitive in open class racing.
     
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I don't care about winning races. All I want is to get my bike on a race grid against the same sort of garbage. Bevel Ducatis, Guzzi V twins, BMWs anything with two cylinders and two valves per cylinder, preferably with a max capacity of 1000cc. Australian historic racing is garbage, it is based upon date of machine manufacture rather than type of machine. The date of manuifacture is irrelevant in motorcycle racing. The TYPE of machine is much more important. When you have races with two-strokes as well as all three types of four strokes, it does my head in.
     
  5. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    As far as my bike being competitive in road races back in the era is concerned, the only thing which would have beaten it would have been a methanol-fuelled TR3 Yamaha, or the Jesser Triumph which ran nitro. It would have been eligible to race in any Allpowers class. The trouble with racing it back then is it would have been built out of all new parts and would have cost a bomb to race. In those days two strokes were the go.

    https://ibb.co/ZgTLstw
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Al, why would your stock engine have won more races than a similar bike with a race tuned engine?

    If it were possible, it would have been done in the day. Race results would show it.

    The history books don’t agree with you mate.
     
  7. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Nigel, you won't beat methanol-fuelled 1100cc CB750 Hondas, if your bike handles the same as them. Then it simply becomes a drag race. If I race against them again, I will convincingly beat the lot of them, and I'm not bragging - simply stating a fact. Back in the era, I only ever rode one bike which handled similarly to my Seeley 850. It was a 1961 500cc Manx. It oversteered slightly when I gassed it when cranked over. When that happens, you can be extremely aggressive from way back in the corners and get the run. The last time I raced, I proved to myself that it can be done.
     
  8. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    This video will give you an idea of what I am on about in respect of historic racing. You tell me - would you bother ? :

     
  9. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The best fun you can have in road racing is when you dice with other riders who are riding similar machines to your own. And road racing is all about having fun. It is impossible to re-create the past because the imperatives have changed. We have to live with what we have. I'd like to race against bevel Ducatis and the new 961 Commandos to see if they actually are better than the old bikes.. There are a lot of old twin cylinder bikes which would make good racers. Whenever I watch historic races, it is very rare that there is ever a full grid within the terms of the track licence.
     
  10. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    That’s a great clip Al. Not sure how it fits into your general point, but a great clip nonetheless.
     
  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I do agree with you about the fact that classic racing is facing something of an existential crisis Al.

    I was only recently speaking to a mate who has just bought an FZR1000 Yam, he’ll be leaving his Manx in the shed and riding that this season because “You see they put us on the grid with these things and i’m Fed up thrashing the Manx to death”.

    Maybe you idea is part of the solution, I don’t know.
     
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I like the Lansdowne videos more than any other on Youtube. To me they are like watching ballet. The racing is relatively slow, but fast enough to do real damage in a crash. When I watch these, they regenerate the urge in me. The most difficult thing about racing as we get older is to maintain the urge. If I owned a Manx and they put a two-stroke or a large four cylinder bike, on the grid beside me, I would probably wheel the bike back into the pits and go home. A Manx is far too valuable for that sort of rubbish.

     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  13. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    A friend of mine is a wealthy car racer. Had the divorce, so decided motorcycle road racing would be cheaper. Bought the 600cc Suzuki sports bike and landed on his head and almost died from golden staph. So he bought the genuine 500 Manx. Then bought a Molnar motor to save the real deal. He teamed up with one of the A-graders of the 1960s and went to Goodwood Revival for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy. They found out how fast the Brits get their Manx Nortons going on petrol. It is actually pretty funny. They could have smuggled methanol into the circuit and got the Manx going properly. In the 1950s Australian riders found out the hard way that the Brits can get a Manx going faster using petrol than we can using methanol. The only advantage our guys had was they were used to the speed. But if you look at who rides at the Revival - a lot of the big names are there and they really race.
     
  14. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
    I try to pretend that the Lansdowne series doesn’t exist... it is very tempting... but I’m just too heavy, slow, fragile and generally lacking the required mojo...!
     
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If I lived in the UK, I would have to race in the Lansdowne Series. If we'd had that in Australia in the 1970s, I never would have stopped racing. I rode in the first ever historic race here in October 1973, There were three Manx Nortons, a BSA and my 500cc Triton. It was not what historic racing became. The intention was to preserve the old race bikes - all it did was destroy them. Any Manx you ever see in Australia is always very unoriginal. You see them with Honda front brakes, Scitsu tachos and all sorts of other insults. Historic racing was a good idea, but the guys lost the plot. Everyone cheats on capacity. In the old days, we never did that. 'Big is better' ?
     
  16. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I love Molnar Manx Nortons, Walmsley G50s and Paul Smart Ducatis, as well as the Irving Vincent. I think historic racing should become 'historic and retro'. There is a guy in historic car racing who hates retros because he believes they devalue the originals. I don't believe there is any way and original Manx, G50 or BSA Gold Star can be devalued, except when they are trashed through historic racing.
     
  17. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    When you watch the Barry Sheene Memorial race at Goodwood Revival, it would be interesting to know how many of the bikes are genuine and not retros. All the cars at Goodwood are the real deal. The same applies to the bikes in the Lansdowne Series - how many of them are genuine original ?
     
  18. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Norton only made around 200+ Manx s annually and that was in a good year. Most of the original spare parts have effectively dried up and owners are having to find suppliers who make new parts , does this make them no longer genuine? Does a new Manx not count?
     
  19. GRM 450

    GRM 450

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Grand dad’s axe ???
     
  20. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    They’re race bikes. Designed to be disposable. Even the frames, crank cases and wheel hubs, etc, had recommended replacement times.

    I don’t see how an original can be safe to race today by that definition.

    Anyway, the grandads axe thing is the key point, and has been debated many times without success. According to “grandads axe law” there is no such thing as a 100% original bike. No bike on the track today has the original factory fitted spark plug, or oil, or brake pads, or chains & sprockets, or tyres, etc, etc.

    ‘Of course, they’re consumable items designed to be replaced’ one could argue... but so was the frame, crank case, wheel hubs, gearbox, etc, etc.

    Once you accept that there is no such thing as an original motorcycle, drawing the line as to what is / is not acceptable to have been changed becomes impossible.
     

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