1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The way forward ?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Related Discussions' started by acotrel, May 30, 2019.

  1. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The main fun I have with motorcycles is about improving my bike, then racing it to prove it is better. In Australia, the only development race classes are historic, so there are rules which inhibit development. A few years ago we has Sounds of Singles and BOTT race classes, which had almost no rules. They became defunct through idiocy.
    Looking at the posts about Commando cylinder heads, most of the comments were about commercial viability and the limited market. That applies to almost anything which is made for old bikes.
    I have never understood why the Indians increased the size of their Royal Enfields to about 530cc. As 500s they could almost have been raced in a senior Sounds of Singles race against Molnar Manxes and Walmsley G50s.
    Perhaps we need a major rethink about the types of racing which is catered for ? More development classes could be good for all of us.

    https://www.bikesportnews.com/news/...-linsdell-achieves-140mph-royal-enfield-dream
     
  2. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    A factory Indian bullet at 530cc wouldn't make it a lap around anywhere at racing speeds without blowing up. In fact, if it survived a lap at the highest speed it could sustain, it would be lapped at about 1/2 lap.

    THAT's why.

    "Horses for courses"

    (amazing feat by the lad that did 140)
     
  3. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    There is a father and son team in Australian historic racing who used to play with 500cc Matchless engines in a featherbed frame. I looked down the carb on their bike and you could fit your fist down it. I said to them 'why don't you buy a two valve Jawa Speedway engine and you will start where you have finished with the Matchless engine. They bought two and gave one to Neil Street to set up. First time out with the Jawa engine, they beat the fastest guy who has a new Molnar Manx. Steve Linsdell's Royal Enfield is obviously dramatically modified internally. With those Chinese Royal Enfields, you would start with a Harris-designed frame , tank and wheels and the crankcase and gearbox castings would probably be OK. The rest would be up to you. Building a fast 500cc single is not difficult.
    The major obstacle would be the control freaks with their rules. If your major objective is to have fun by building a bike and racing it, the rules can stuff you even before you get started.
     
  4. Snotzo

    Snotzo

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Had you gone to the Eastern Creek Classic meeting earlier this year you would have seen the gasoline fuelled Linsdell Enfield thrash all your Australian methanol burning machines, and you could have asked him just how difficult it's been to get an Enfield Bullet up to this performance level.
    The English CMRC regulations do not permit the use of methanol as a fuel, neither would they accept a JAWA speedway engined machine unless you could prove that such had been raced in the period.
     
    baz and Fast Eddie like this.
  5. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    In the old days when Australian riders went to Europe, they found the Brits could get their Manx Nortons going using petrol faster then we could in Australia using methanol. However the Australian Manxes had Symco conrods which permitted them to rev higher. The effect was that our guys were accustomed to the speeds in the European races. In Australia most guys jet too rich when using methanol, it makes the bikes fractionally more sluggish than they ought to be. Methanol hides up the tuning errors and makes most bikes faster. It also saves motors from overheating when racing - one of the major barriers to motor development. With my Seeley 850, I have now got it jetted as lean as it can be. If I raise the needles one notch in the carbs, it becomes slightly but significantly sluggish. That is how most of our guys use it. Getting the most out of methanol is as difficult (or easy) as it is with petrol. But petrol jets flow about half the amount of fuel, so any wear in the needle jets, stuffs the process more than it does with methanol. Command 850s love methanol - mine is still on standard comp., but it is lovely. I have only ever once raced using petrol as fuel and I won the race - a Suzuki Cobra. Two-strokes on methanol are something else. We have even run TZ350 Yamahas using it - the wear rate is horrendous.
     
  6. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    In the UK, you use methanol on speedway, so why not in air-cooled road race engines ? Also Jawa engines are much cheaper than Manx or G50 engines. Racing is about having fum - where is the fun in chucking a rod out of a $50,000 motor ? There must be hundreds of old speedway engines lying around unused in Europe.
    In Australia these days, beginners ride Moto3 spec bikes. Who can afford that and what do they learn ?
     
  7. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    This is the problem - you cannot re-create the past. Most of the organisers of classic racing were never there and have no idea of what was involved. In Australia, most 'historic racers' are converted road bikes. They would be much better if restored back to original concours condition and only used on Sundays. Theoretically, you can buy a replica featherbed frame , install a two-valve Jawa motor and a five speed Triumph gearbox and the $6000 front brake. And you have the perfect Period 3 historic racer. Or you can buy the $90,000 Molnar Manx and get beaten.
     
  8. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    With the British, jetting motorcycles to get performance using petrol, must be like their game of cricket. It would drive you bloody spare.
     
  9. Snotzo

    Snotzo

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    No matter how regulations governing motorcycle racing are framed, there always seem to be a small minority who will bitch and complain. Usually such people do so because they are frustrated that they cannot reach the top machines performance in their class, so they adopt the tactic of trying to pull the top competitors down to their level by campaigning for regulation modifications to be more favorable to themselves.
    Others find the challenge to reach the top level of competition while staying strictly within the rules, to be the main goal, and when one is successful in this, the taste of success is indeed sweet.
    Acotrel, forget about JAWA engines, there is no merit in using a purpose built, factory developed unit. Take a Norton ES2 and start from scratch as your fellow countryman Geoff Clatworth has done, or even the Indian 530cc Enfield, and keep us informed of your progress. Get yourself a good young rider, and with his help you can demonstrate to all the worth of all your ideas, crackpot or otherwise.
     
    Fast Eddie likes this.
  10. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    In my opinion, the best road racing on Youtube is the Landsdowne Series with the re-manufactured Manxes and G50s. Why wouldn't you run a two-valve Jawa engined featherbed in that class ? In Australia, we have historic racing classes in which two-strokes can run against Manx Nortons. To me that seems to be extreme idiocy. And it is the same in Period 4 where the Commandos would normally run. When I race, I just ignore the guys on two-strokes - they are not relevant. I'm usually in front of them anyway. It becomes a bit of a joke, when a BSA bantam turns up which is a thinly disguised RS125. Basing race classes on year of manufacture is bullshit - it is the TYPE of bike which is important.
     
  11. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    To me, the historic racing which happens in Australia, is just a great big bloody turn-off. I've done it on a couple of occasions - I was better-off when I was just racing in an open class against modern bikes. In historic racing, the bikes I need to race against are all in different periods - never on the same grid. Bevel Ducatis (if any) are in Period 5 and uncompetitive. Commandos and Triumphs (if any) are in Period 4. Norvins are in Period 3 and are way in front. Nobody races a BMW or a Guzzi. And that is the reason my Seeley 850 sits unraced. I cannot justify the costs of racing from what is there on the grid when I race.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  12. t ingermanson

    t ingermanson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    I don't understand.

    What is it you're after? If you claim your bike isn't competitive in your chosen class, get one that is. If you just want to ride your chosen motorbike in the class it fits in, do that.

    In racing, just like life, there are somewhat arbitrary rules. Within the context of these rules, there are advantages and disadvantages to each choice. In racing, unlike life, you get to choose the greater and lesser context in which you play. Making bad (relative to winning) choices, and then moaning about the rules seems like a ticket to ride the bullet train to Unhappytown. Hopefully you don't apply the same approach to life.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but your beloved Seeley (which is a marvelous bike- no question) just doesn't fit the pecking order where it once did. I doubt you'll have much luck convincing those with, or those trying to build, competitive bikes within a certain class to give up on their investment and go with a new set of arbitrary rules.

    If the rules make you crazy, and want to ride the bike you've got, you could always ride your bike on the road and have fun winning your own daily Grand Prix race. No marshalls, no rules, no worries. Life is short, man!
     
    Fast Eddie, Craig and o0norton0o like this.
  13. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Very well put ingermanson.

    Actually, unless you’re a pro racer where winning equals money, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re battling for first place or last, the fun of amateur racing is in racing the bloke in front / behind you.

    As has quite rightly been said, a large part of racing is the prep and building. Careful design and construction of a bike DESIGNED TO THE RULES is part of the game!

    Alternatively, it can be great fun riding a knowingly inferior bike. I had tremendous fun with Tritons using 4 valve twin engines and competing against 8 valve twins, triples, big Commandos, etc. Yes, I went the big 8 valve route eventually, but I had great fun while it lasted!

    Al, I’ve read your posts for a long time, you have two repeating arguments, one is that racing should have ‘no rules’ other than displacement in order to drive innovation. The other is that racing should only allow original spec bikes from back in the day.

    I would respectfully suggest that these two arguments are diametrically apposed, and it would be impossible for any bike to be competitive in both.

    I concur with the above, life is short, it’s way too late for you to think about worrying Rossi, you’ve got a great bike... find ways to enjoy it. That would seem a sensible ‘way forward’ to me!
     
  14. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If we are talking about 'historic racing', I an a purist. If we are talking about road racing generally, I am not a purist. I walked away from road racing when historic racing began in Australia. I've had a few rides in recent years, and they were a waste of good money. When I was a kid, I raced an uncompetitive bike in open road races, but in capacity classes. So I usually did OK. In historic racing in Australia, big is always better and the only development classes are in historic racing. Most of the bikes are nowhere near authentic. But our car guys do not have these problems - most of the cars are genuine. With our historic bikes, you can stand 100 feet away from them and see the cheats.
    I my own situation, my best option is practice days. But even then, there are often prohibitions on passing other riders and I usually always ride at the same speed. Going slower and not passing is difficult, and those guys are usually all over the place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    It is interesting what some guys do with historic bikes. I saw a featherbed Norton twin with an 850 Commando engine in the pre 1963 Period 4 class. It was running against the Manx Nortons. A side-valve WD Indian with a five speed pre-unit Triumph gear box running in the pre-war class. The argument is 'it could have happened', but most of us know it never did.
    It is really funny. At one meeting there were four guys who arrived on immaculate vintage road bikes. They had a look at the road racers and walked away horrified. I have been to Goodwood Revival and seen what races there. There is no comparison. At least the Brits take their nostalgia trips seriously.

    But I think there must be another way. Norton Commandos would be much better if raced against other air-cooled twins of less that 1000cc. And there is so much of that old garbage around which is never raced. I would even like to race against the modern Triumph Bonnevilles.
    At one time there was a class for 883cc Harley Sportsters in Australia, however everything else was excluded. Those bikes have all disappeared now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019

Share This Page