Retros in historic racing

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Sorry, Al but I don't need someone younger than my youngest child explaining traction.
 
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"Modern riders have become too tyre-dependent" I love this.
If you were reincarnated as a contact patch, I'm sure you could make the guy on top do anything you want.
Classic racers went 160-170 mph or so. MotoGP bikes crack 215 mph if the straight is long enough. Nowhere near as fast anywhere on the track. Tires are part of the difference. MotoGP riders are more electronics-dependent than tire-dependant. Tires are just something to be engineered around. Electronics keep riders from launching themselves into the traps on exit. No tire would hold 250bhp pushing 500 lbs without them.
Classic racers......of old, and I'm talking about Manx's etc never did 160-170. Hailwood did about 154 mph timed on the Mountain on the 500/4 Honda, Ago on the 500Mv not much faster even thought he had a lighter bike, can anybody remember the Dunlop old style triangular race tyres that came out around 1960 ( before TT100s) ? there was twice as much rubber on the tarmac than when bike was upright. Old images of Hailwood & co will show them.
 
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the videos on bikes are interesting, but modern Moto GP riders are computer rigged up in practice, so a IT tech. can download ALL the information back in the paddock and analyse exactly what the bike is doing on each corner, where it can be improved etc. also some of the race bikes have adjustable frames to adjust the headstock, (whereas we have only different triple clamp) as well as adjust the swinging arm in height etc;


https://suspensionsecrets.co.uk/motorcycle-front-geometry/

Suspension Geometry Set Up ;

https://md-racing.co.uk/suspension/
 
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Classic racers......of old, and I'm talking about Manx's etc never did 160-170. Hailwood did about 154 mph timed on the Mountain on the 500/4 Honda, Ago on the 500Mv not much faster even thought he had a lighter bike, can anybody remember the Dunlop old style triangular race tyres that came out around 1960 ( before TT100s) ? there was twice as much rubber on the tarmac than when bike was upright. Old images of Hailwood & co will show them.
Exact speeds were not my point. The point is, there's no going back and no real means of comparison. All this drivel about how wonderful old racebikes were is just that; drivel, when compared to modern machinery. Any one who has owned and maintained ANY old bike knows.

Guys like Hailwood were fast on the old stuff, faster on more modern machines and would likely have been faster yet on the latest stuff, had they not gone to their reward.
I have a Harley-riding friend who thinks his old 750 Kaw 2-stroke was the fastest thing ever made. It might have been had the world ended in 1972, but time and progress march on and old riders and old bikes get left in the dust. Of course they had less tire, suspension and engine to work with and they went as fast as possible on the old stuff. To intimate that the present fast guys have it easy because they have huge tires, stiff frames and big horsepower is silly and no one who has ever tried to ride a modern racebike quickly would characterize it as easy in any way, unless they were going as slow as an old single on skinny tires.
 
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Classic racers......of old, and I'm talking about Manx's etc never did 160-170. Hailwood did about 154 mph timed on the Mountain on the 500/4 Honda, Ago on the 500Mv not much faster even thought he had a lighter bike, can anybody remember the Dunlop old style triangular race tyres that came out around 1960 ( before TT100s) ? there was twice as much rubber on the tarmac than when bike was upright. Old images of Hailwood & co will show them.

I raced on T1 compound triangulars for many years. If you touched them you would probably get splinters in your fingers. The theory was that they had less rolling resistance when the bike was upright and more grip when it was laid over. If you watch that video of Bob McIntyre on Oulton Park, you can see him using those tyres. They move from upright to laid over is very sudden. But it is silly stuff - going fast is about being super SMOOTH.
 
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the videos on bikes are interesting, but modern Moto GP riders are computer rigged up in practice, so a IT tech. can download ALL the information back in the paddock and analyse exactly what the bike is doing on each corner, where it can be improved etc. also some of the race bikes have adjustable frames to adjust the headstock, (whereas we have only different triple clamp) as well as adjust the swinging arm in height etc;


https://suspensionsecrets.co.uk/motorcycle-front-geometry/

Suspension Geometry Set Up ;

https://md-racing.co.uk/suspension/
An engineer can only work with the information which is available. When an old bike oversteers it can be ridden much more aggressively through corners. Any change you make to a bike's handling creates a trade-off. A bike which oversteers in corners is more likely to high-side. When you have extremely high horsepower, a bike which oversteers is a killer. But in an old bike, oversteer in corners is very good. The bike stays more upright, turns quicker and you get on the gas earlier. If your bike understeers (as most do) , you simply join the procession on the high line as you come out of corners and everyone gets in your way.
The last time I priced a pair of fork yokes, the ask was $700. A set for a TZ350 costs about $1500. So who is going to play with their steering geometry ? I only found out by accident. I just happened to have a set from a Yamaha TZ. I did not know about oversteer, until I gassed the bike hard halfway through a corner - who would do that ? When I did it, I knew where I was and that I could crash safely if it went wrong.
 
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Fast Eddie

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Well boys, you can say what you like about the blah, blah... in the latest edition of Classic Racer there’s a spread on the 4 valve Molnar Manx.

70bhp at the crank... 118kg dry... and simply drop-dead-gorgeous. I’d have one in a heartbeat.

Not exactly what you’d categorise as ‘affordable’ though...

9B5BE7D9-21AA-4ED8-BA1D-A43AAC7C1592.jpeg
 
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Racing is about improving the breed. I still believe the old four-stroke two valve per cylinder single or twin has a long way to go. If I was organising classic races, I would include those Japanese 1000cc V -twins. To me, it does not matter where the bikes come from or their age. If they are the same sort of crap, they should be able to race together. There are so many bikes which people never race because they are outclassed by multis and two-strokes. My brother is going to the International Classic at Phillip Island in a few days time. I have not been there for the past five years. Apparently, these days most of the bikes are the ones with big four cylinder motors. To me that is silly stuff. My friend has a beautiful little Honda CB125 racer - like so many bikes, there is no race class for it. Even a race for 250cc four-stroke singles and twins would be good enough for it. But nobody seems to want to do that - big is always better ? With that CB125, the Takegawa postie bike stuff would probably fit. You would have DOHC heads, 6 speed gear boxes, trick ignition systems - the lot

https://www.minimobracing.com/store...ransmission---Lifan-Engines/product_info.html
 
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Over the past 48 years since historic racing started in Australia, I can only remember 3 Ducati bevel twins ever being raced. That is what Commandos should race against. I would like to race against the new 961 Commando. That would be interesting. Racing against methanol-fuelled 1100cc CB750 Hondas doesn't do much for me. What does it prove when you can out-ride them in corners ? A bevel Ducati as opposition would be much more interesting. There is still one racing - it is in Period 5 and goes nowhere - it is the next period to the one for which my bike is eligible. Should I upgrade to race against one particular bike ?
 
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grandpaul

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I raced my scratch-built pushrod Bonneville 650 against a Ducati 750SS at Willow springs in 2010; beat him and all the rest of our wave to turns 1-4, kept several of them behind me including the Duc, till the LAST lap. He finally got around me. Either he was a lousy rider, or I'm better than I thought...
 

Fast Eddie

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Maybe that Triumph was bucking and weaving so much the Duc rider was sacred to pass you ;)
 
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Might depend on the type of circuit ? If the circuit has a lot of tight bends, Ducatis are usually set up to power around the high line in corners - so would be at a disadvantage. A lot of guys believe power is the answer. It is, if the circuit is a 'power circuit'. But if the circuit is tight, a nimble lower-powered bike can be better. If you watch Hailwood on the Ducati, you will see that he usually powers around the outside of the other riders. When he does it, it looks scary - but it isn't. The bike is set up to do that.

 
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If you are racing against a Ducati and there is a big sweeping high speed bend on the circuit, you can be pretty sure you are going to be blitzed there. So you have to do better elsewhere. It is one of the reasons I don't much like Phillip Island race circuit. - Too many high speed sweepers - it takes a lot of nerve. But then you get the opposite - Broadford race circuit has tight blind corners. Our other race circuit at Mount Gambier also has a blind corner on it, but at least it is a bit more open. At least Winton Raceway is sane. If you crash there, you have done it to yourself.
 
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The Australia Day meeting will be held at Phillip Island in a few days time. And the guys will be here for the International Challenge. The videos will be up on Youtube. Turn one at the end of the front straight, has a lot of the international riders bluffed. And I don't blame them - it worried me when I raced there.
 

NPeteN

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"Mike Hailwood now living with his wife in New Zealand, I suspect it was boredom that made him return...." Ouch!

Great race, see what you mean about the sweepers.
 
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I helped Mike when he rode Dunster's Manx at Winton in the 1970s. He was close to our club President and it caused a lot of grief when he was killed in a motorway accident. He was most unimpressive to watch when he raced. He just sat there all tucked in and going extremely fast, when the other guys were at extreme angles of lean and hanging off their bikes. Surtees was also like that.

 
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I also liked watching Redman race Phillis with the Hondas, when they came to Calder in the 70s. Also Agostini. All those guys were super-smooth riders. When you watch Mike ride the Ducati at Mallory, it is quite obvious that he knew very well he could ride around the guy in front on that big sweeper. He just waited and did it.
To me, that taking the high line stuff is for heroes. You need to know the motor is up to it and if you over-cook, you are really going to get it. I always prefer to turn tight, go under and get on the gas really early .
 
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Time Warp

.......back to the 70's.
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As far as the basic topic of whats real or not.
20 years ago if you said, here is my restored whatever with a powder coated frame you would have been taken to task if not roasted.
These days that would hardly raise a reply.
 
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As far as the basic topic of whats real or not.
20 years ago if you said, here is my restored whatever with a powder coated frame you would have been taken to task if not roasted.
These days that would hardly raise a reply.
I don't think it is really a matter of concern. You cannot re-create the past, and the genuine stuff needs to be preserved. A Molnar Manx is close enough to the real deal for most people. Getting full race grids is important. If I had a genuine Manx, I might ride it at Goodwood, but nowhere else. My friend did the right thing - he put the genuine motor under the bench and used a Molnar motor to race.
 
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