For the few who are interested in these events, here's a few words about this year's Bikers Classic event at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, due to problems with the Commando I ended up taking my bevel Ducati Sport (aka Splot). It's been to Spa perhaps 7-8 times now, always starts first time, runs perfectly even when being hammered up the Kemmel straight. This year though, it developed a persistent misfire at high revs (5500 and upwards), so I spent most of the 2 days peering at various bits to try to fix the problem.
At first I thought the ignition timing had slipped, then I changed the plugs, coils and HT leads, then checked the fuel filters in the petcocks & the carbs, then checked the carbs, tested the fuel cap vent, made the sign of the cross and blew smoke over the tank, finally put vaccum gauges on and checked the carb sync. Bugger all difference any of this made, so I ended up parking it.
The current suspicion is that the Rita ignition box is having heat problems, so I'm looking at ways of fixing this.
However, the event itself was quite good, albeit with several changes from the pre-covid format.
Instead of being spread over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this years event was cut to 2 days and the price raised from EUR340 to EUR500. I think this put a lot of people off, since instead of the around 600
riders we saw iup to 2019, there were only about 320 this year. There was nowhere near as many paying spectators either, which also raises a question about the wisdom of the new format.
On the other hand, there were 10 track sessions of 20 min available for the 4 groups (normally 6 groups), plus sidecars and a GP parade event.
No Superbikes, no HIRO race or Belgium Classic championship event, no 4 hr Classic Endurance either, which all take track time away from the Series classes. This is both good and bad, good in that we get more track time, bad because there's less time between sessions to fix things (!) or sightsee or socialise with the other riders, and of course, less interesting hardware to look at.
There's also a big classic Enduro event and a classic Trials event going on over the two day though, but they tend to live in their separate worlds, and not have much contact with the Series riders.
The track itself has been reworked and altered to allow the MotoGP bikes to run on it. Most of the changes are in the runoff areas - changed from asphalt to gravel, so stay well clear of these! There's a couple of
corners that have been changed as well, which made for some, shall we say, interesting moments, when you discover that the corner is a bit sharper then what you remembered - I ended up outside the rumble strip, very close to the AstroTurf strip separating the gravel from the hard stuff, cranked all the way over, boot tips scraping and still doing well over 160 km/h....
The other big change was the use of transponders to regroup riders to get a better mix of bikes. Previously this was seemingly done be a combination of looking at the description of the bike, casting of bones
and reading tealeaves, which sometimes produced a great variation in lap times. This year though, the initial grouping was even more random, but after the regroup based on transponder times, it improved greatly. At least I think it did, because I only managed one lap before the bike misbehaved again, but it was a good lap. It's very good for one's ego to pass assorted CBX's, 900 Hondas, and assorted larger, more modern bikes on my 50 year old hack
As I suspected, there were not many UK riders, I think I say 3 or 4 UK registered vans, but didnt have the time or energy to actually chat to them, so I've no idea how they dealt with the Carnet issue. None of the Irish mob turned up either.
The other highlight of the meeting was a German bloke who came up to me on Sunday as we were packing the van, asking me if I wanted to sell the Ducati. No, actually I'm not interested, but he continued to press me, asking what I would sell it for, so I replied "100 000 euros and you can take it away" - he looked a bit offended, and mentioned a price of between EUR25,000 - EUR30,000, which is probably quite realistic.
Then he started to tell me all the faults and non original bits on the bike, saying that the tank was 1000% not original, definitely from a 900SS, and that he had been personal friends with people at the factory, had an intimate knowledge of real Sport tanks etc. etc.
All very well, except for the fact that I'm the 2nd owner of the bike, and a good friend of the original owner, and I know for a fact that the tank is original!
He was also telling me that I must check the play on the crank since this was almost certainly the reason for the misfire, which is a _very_ odd statement.
All in all, a bit of a strange experience, left me wondering what he actually wanted. I think I will have to put an extra chain on the bike in the future....