Sunday, 27 June 2010
The last few weeks has been manic busy with one thing or another - and Three Sisters seems like a long time ago!
Round 2 of the BSOO 2010 Championship was originally scheduled to be at Anglesey on the full circuit there. I had not actually planned to enter that race, so when it was cancelled due to lack of entries for the motorcycle club ( ironically scooters outnumbered bikes on the entry !) we spoke to the VMCC who we normally race with and were very pleased to reschedule our round back to the Three Sisters Circuit near Wigan.
So ahead of the meeting I had a lot of things to change and experiment with for Three Sisters. The new 2010 exhaust needed shortening and was quickly despatched off to Jahspeed for modification to allow higher revs and a little more clearance to the rear tyre to facilitate easier tyre changes.
I also paid a visit to Charlie Edmonds for a little help and advice with suspension set up. This resulted in a new Chiselspeed rear shock which gives much more adjustability in the setup. Additionally I stripped the front forks and went with a completely different setup.
So..... Friday night I arrived at the circuit and put together the new marquee before wandering over to the Jahspeed Funbus for a half of shandy ;-) Those essex boys know how to relax at the end of the week!
Saturday morning Dave C and Mars Bar Johnny arrived to spectate and later on the pit crew of choice arrived. All was set.....
So..... looking forward to the 'old favorite' Three Sisters circuit I ventured out on track for first practice - eager to try the new suspension set up...... first lap coming off the hill I applied the front brake for the 90 degree right hander and the front end was just all over the place,........ and again at the paddock right hand and going into the heavy braking zone into the left hand the front end was just locking up and skipping around like crazy.
Back into the paddock there was much head scratching as to what was occuring. Charlie came over and described the scooter as 'looking like a dancing kangaroo!' which actually felt an apt description. it was simple horrid to ride.
We wound up the front dampers and also the rear shock to stiffen them up - all we could really in readiness for race 1. Unfortunately whilst the changes had helped it was still wild and locking up solid under braking. I tussle with Biddle initially and the super fast Group 6 of returning Jigsy was fun - if a little frustrating !
Race 2 was more of the same.!
On Saturday we also were to have a 3rd scratch race just for fun..... so I thought I mat as well have a go despite the handling problems. On the second lap there was banging and clattering under acceleration and initial loss of drive..... so i pulled in and we set about stripping the motor with my trusty pit crew. The problem revealed itself in a damaged front sprocket which was spinning on the shaft and not allowing drive. In the rebuild I'd accidentally used a crappy Indian sprocket - so this was replaced with a good Innocenti one and we were good to go again on Sunday.....
I had some breakfast then decided to strip and rebuild the forks back to their original set up - not the easiest of jobs to do in the paddock and not one you would do for fun! I decided to try putting the front suspension back to its original setup.
This was finished with Chalkies help literally as an extra unexpected practice was called......... with some rushing around i missed the first lap but could get some valuable testing of things..... it was better - but still locking up under heavy braking.
Chalkie who was watching closely from track side identified that the BGM dampers were bottoming out under braking .....
Further examination and measurement revealed that I had 15-20mm less distance between the damper mountings than others.... so consequently i had insufficient travel..... meaning that the dampers were bottoming out on their rubber bushes to easily.
A little scouting around found me some trusty escort standard dampers to use for the rest of the day - to at least prevent the locking up.
So overall a really disappointing weekend which had knocked my confidence in the bike under braking and resulted in a lower than expected result ......