Thursday, 3 November 2011

Coast 2 Coast Challenge 2012

This summer I have been doing quite a lot of cycling, and have been really enjoying it.  Its helped a lot with fitness and played a big part in me losing almost a stone in weight since Easter!

I needed something to keep me going over the dark winter months - last year I cycled a bit in the autumn and stopped as soon as dark nights and cold came!

I have always fancied doing some sort of challenge and a conversation with my business partner Lee ( a semi pro BMX racer and 2009 British Champion !!) led to a discussion about riding the Coast2Coast Route from Workington to Tynemouth.....   across the Lake District mountains and the Pennines......

A bit of research reveals that there is a well established cycle route of 145 miles or so......   which most people attempting complete in 4 - 5 days or so.   So......  seemed like a good idea..... however.......   Lee has a young family and his BMX racing takes him away regularly on weekends so he doesnt have the flexibility really to be away for a week riding across mountains - especially after a 10 day trip this year to race mountain bikes in South Africa!  

The route.....  showing options at each end!

So..... a plan was hatched to do the ride in 2 days!  There was no alcohol involved.... just enthusiasm!  The 2 day challenge involves riding 75 miles a day with some very big climbs, one coming at the end of day 1!  So this certainly ain't going to be an easy thing to achieve by any stretch of the imagination!

I decided if we were going to do such a challenge then we really should make it a charity ride and see if we can raise some serious money for a good cause.  A few mentions and a few people want to join in..... crazy fools!   So at the moment we will be joined by my son Miles and his friend Chas, racers Chris Geyton and Scott Chapman and top Tuner and keen road cyclist Chalky White.

So I have now begun a fairly serious training and riding regime.  I have done 200 miles - predominantly off road miles - in October and the aim is to steadily increase this until the ride date in May / June 2012 ( exact dates not confirmed yet ).  As we will have 75 off road miles to ride each day we are likely to be in the saddle for 7 hours a day if we averaged 7.5mph.  Sounds easy speed to average but the very steep uphill sections are quite long so we will have large sections where we slow right down!

Heres a couple of videos to show the kind of thing we'll be doing!

 I am probably now fitter ( and thinner!) than I have been for some time! But to really do this challenge I'll need to be building up to regular 6 hour rides by May, and of course start to try riding UP some serious long hills!   

Why couldn't I just 'Gofor a bike ride!' lol 


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Straight Lining It - Scooter Shootout

Ocober 2nd saw the inaugural Scooter Shootout event at Elvington Airfield.  The event was to be for scooters only and with a wide variety of classes .... there was something for everyone!

I hadn't actually made up my mind to go until the day before, so the scooter was untouched from Cadwell Park the week before!  Arriving at Elvington about 9.30 there was a good number of people already there, and for me a nice mixture of old and new faces.!

Scrutineering done and checked.... it was nice to have Miles around for a change and he helped out pushing the scooter around to scrutineering ( Wayne Rooney!)

It seemed that the organiser were a little overwhelmed at the numbers to sign on and it took me almost an hour to get to the front of the queue!  Once done however there was noise test (!!!) which recorded me at a whisper quiet 99db (!) I doubt the noise tester will go to heaven!

So......   as I lined up for my first straight line sprint since around 1989 it all seemed a bit strange and I really didnt know how it would go!

There were some familiar faces among the spectators as I shuffled forward to the starting position.  The race organisers had told us that we were not running the 'pro' lights system, which meant that the lights would be;
White - to show we were in the correct position.
Yellow - Prepare to start
Green - Go - in our own time.

This meant that you didn't actually have to try and anticipate the lights.... once green then the timing wouldn't start until we actually broke the beam.  I don't think this info had made it as far as the spectators as there were several comments about various people ( me included) being slow off the mark....  but we were racing the clock not the other guy!

The first couple of runs went ok, but under full power i missed a gear - the selecter is a little worn really which didnt help!  The first run felt flippin fast as I passed the finishing boards.... the runway was a bit bumpy in places and was different at speed compared to the smooth circuits we normally race on and somehow felt faster than road racing.

Once the runs were done, we got a card which gave us the quarter mile time, or just past the 1/4 mile markers was second set of markers which was the 500metre terminal speed trap.    I was 83 mph on this on the 2nd run.  The 3rd run was after a break to let the engine cool.......  this one seemed to hook up well and I was chuffed to see 86.2 mph on the timing card!

A couple more BSSO group 4 bikes had now turned up so what was a bit of fun seemed more serious now! As the scooter had been untouched since Cadwell I had left the gearing as it was.  Sprinting seems to be a black art as far as gearing goes and it feels like if you talk to 3 people you'll get 4 answers!   So at lunchtime i figured I might try dropping the gearing by a tooth on the front.... thinking acceleration would be quicker........

Trusty Martin Clarke was around to dive in and help with the gearing switch so it was compelted quickly during the lunch break.

In the afternoon there were much longer queues as everyone was now signed on so the turnaround was a bit slower!

The runs completed on the lower gearing were not any faster though!  All I was doing was revving out a bit too early and whilst I could match the top speed and did slightly drop the 1/4 mile times I couldn't go any faster.

Upon reflection I  reckon I should have actually highered the gearing slightly with dropping a tooth on the clutch bell and concentrated on start technique!  I could possibly have downjetted a little too......   I tend to run on the 'safe' side, so that could have made a difference.   No matter...... despite this I did actually get the fastest speed of the BSSO Group 4 bikes , the fastest speed of any 200cc Lambretta, and was quicker than all of the fast road scooters!  This was the bit that really surprised me as there were some very well prepped RB and TS engined scooters there including 230's and 250's  so I was actually quite surprised that not one of them was close to the top speed of the Grp 4.

Coming away from the Scooter Shootout I have to say it was a top day and I thoroughly enjoyed this different form of scooter sport.  The day had been a brilliant success for the organisers with over 100 people taking their scooters down the strip and over 600 people in attendance on the day! This is certainly enough to show the demand for the event and as a first effort it was great!  in 2012 a weekend is on the cards and I fully expect Scooter Sprinting to be a big thing next year!   There was a huge buzz about the day on the forums afterwards and I have been in touch with the organisers to co-ordinate dates for 2012 so theres no clash with any BSSO race dates.

I was certainly buzzing myself and I must admit the event has made me rethink things.   Chalky has some ideas for a new engine and I have bought a engine casing to start work on a sprint specific engine for 2012.  I fully intend to do much of of this straight line stuff in 2012!
The basis of a new 2012 Sprint Engine!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Giving It A Miss...

After the run of bad luck and non-finishes in the first half of the season, coupled with some health issues that weren't going away I took the decision to miss the remaining races.

I also stepped down from my organisational roles with the BSSO and decided to concentrate on getting my health back to where it should be.

I had a huge amount of support from my fellow riders and had some wonderfully touching emails and messages.  I went to Pembrey, Lydden and Mallory as a spectator and managed to spend a fair time stripping engines and gearboxes for Chris Geyton!

The engine casing was repaired and the bike checked over for any other issues.

I spent the summer trying to relax a bit and get better.  I started cycling again and changed diet, and after some professional assistance started to feel much better by the end of September.

So half a stone lighter and feeling much better I decided to enter Cadwell as a last chance to be on track.  Unfortunately I managed to find myself banned from the race by the BHR committee which was a bit of a shock and somewhat of a storm in a teacup.  Its a whole subject on its own.... but lets just leave it that its now been sorted with a small apology from me and a big one back to me !

So I was allowed a race at Cadwell ahead of their committee meeting where I got the chance to put my side.....

I concentrated on just getting finishes.  The tablets I have been taking mess around a bit with balance, and after a summer off and the lack of track time, I really struggled with corner speed but the engine felt strong with good straight line speed so hopefully the mag housing problems are now cured!

This was the final round of the 2011 Championship and was my worst year yet !   Oh well...... its behind me now and I have 7 months to concentrate on health and wellbeing for 2012.

6 times back to back Champion Charlie Edmonds has retired so Group 4 will be wide open next year!

Cadwell Park....... only bad luck continues!

Sorry to have been so long before another update ........   but I have had a couple of months scoot free!

So...... after rebuilding the engine after Donington I was hoping for a bit better luck...  but alas... no!

We were racing on the full circuit and after a trouble free practice,   we lined up for race 1.  i was midfield on the grid of auto's and geared scooters at the right hand side of row 5.....  in front of me was fellow Replay Rider Rob Sumner, in front of him was Tony Rudd who was also behind his teammate - James Campen.

As the red lights went out I got a great start and went right at the edge of the track and was immediately past Rob Sumner and fast approaching Tony Rudd.  As I did Tony suddenly slowed and then the next thing I knew he had slammed his brakes on......  Bang!!!!!   nowhere for me to go but smack into him under almost flat out acceleration.  I didn't have time to brake myself and Tony was just launched into the air!

Watch the video below to see more!

I managed to stay upright after what felt like a pretty big impact but sadly Tony was headfirst into the track!  i slowed and saw him get up which I must admit was a pretty big relief!  I was now flat last but carried on and made up a bit of track space......  adrenalin was flowing for sure!

As I came across the start line at the end of the first lap I saw Tony on his feet having moved his bike so i breathed a sigh of relief!

As the last lap approached.... something didn't feel quite right.  There was a vibration and then shortly after coming over The Mountain, and going through the left right left flicks of Halls Bends the back end stepped sideways and there was a screeching noise and I stopped rather suddenly... but managed to stay somehow upright!

I pulled off to the inside of the track where a check at the rear end revealed the rear wheel at a crazy angle to the bike!  The rear hub had sheared and had an almost perfectly formed hole in the centre, leaving the nut attached to the layshaft!

How about this for something that could really mess up your whole day!? >>

I had to push the stricken bike down to the start line and await recovery back to the paddock!  Phil reaney obliged with the recovery van and after a lengthy delay I was back in the paddock!

The sheared hub was a source of amusement and interest to many people..... having such a failure certainly makes your bum tweak I can assure you that much!

Luckily Rayspeed had brought a couple of hubs for Chalky and I was able to borrow one of this in order to get out for race 2.

I went off to find Tony Rudd and make sure he was OK.  He was a little battered and bruised as was his scooter - which had a smashed headset and damaged hydraulic disc.   oops!

In the evening I did find a good use for the holey hub though!

Best use for a holey hub!?

Race 2 - well...... a smooth start!   If a little over cautious!

The scooter was still vibrating and didn't feel right at all.......   on lap 2 down park straight a misfire started, so I nursed it around to the track exit by the mountain praying it would keep going as its a chuffing hard push back up there and I didn't want two recoveries in one day!

Pulling up by the van the motor popped spluttered and died!

Game over!

I dejectedly started to strip it to check it out.  Sure enough the mag housing gasket was yet again blown out and the casing covered underneath in fuel......  i spun the flywheel off and sure enough, stair plate was hanging off!   After removing all the nuts by hand(!) the maghousing just pulled straight off too! No need for extractors here!

The cause was now clear to see!  There was a rather large crack in the crank casing on the transfer port behind the maghousing!

Rather Large Crack That Really Shouldn't be there!

I must have missed this crack on previous inspections, but at least it explained why I had been having the problem with the mag housing coming loose.  Previous engine inspections had been carried out with the barrel off the engine, so there was no tension on the casing.  With the barrel on the hairline crack opened right up ..... with it off you can hardly see it!

So....  bad luck continues - no race finishes!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Donington Park.... If It Wasn't For Bad Luck There'd Be No Luck! Part One

HHHmmmmmm   .... the week before Donington had been rather manic getting riders passes mailed out, last minute queries, questions and getting trophies and prize bubbly sorted out.

The van seems to become fuller every time these days as I had marquee, trophies, champagne, tee shirts and of course all the race gear!

I was amongst the first to arrive.......  to wind and rain of course!  I set up camp and the marquee and during the afternoon a steady trickle of riders arrived.  Saturday evening after cooking up tea inevitably the drinking started.  I blame messrs Geyton Day and of course Captain Howe for the fact that bed wasn't until well after 1 am..... and you know it must have been a lively night (!) if you are chucked OUT of John Howes motorhome because its late!

First scooter session was a 20 minute practice at 9.05am ..... erm..... yeh.... righto......  we lined up in assembly and were first vehicles on track to sample the full GP circuit.  Entering the circuit via the Melbourne loop and into the start straight I followed John Woods along the start straight into Redgate and bang.....  in a cloud of dust and gravel John went down.....  erm !  first bend!  oops!

Practice couldn't end too quick as it was obvious pretty quickly that the gearing was wrong ( a lot of people were immediately changing gearing !)  and above all ... a badly slipping clutch after a couple of laps!

So..... great start..... engine apart before the first race!  Dave Crampton had arrived and a nice leisurely engine strip somehow became a last minute rush as all of a sudden it was race time!  The floorboards weren't even on as riders came past to line up... so i only Just managed to get there in time!  But in the rush... the rebuilt clutch wasn't adjusted correctly and as soon as the race started it was slipping.....  did my best but it had just about no drive by the end...... oops.... another set of begged stolen and borrowed plates was cobbled together over the lunch break for race 2 and this time Sticky assisted in the final bit with 5 minutes to spare......

I'd hardly even spoken to anyone or seen around the paddock yet - just had myself elbow deep in clutches!

Race 2 it was obvious that the engine felt wrong and underpowered but couldn't find anything obvious except for quite a bit of oil around the casing underneath,,.......  hhhhmmm.....

Before our 3rd race - the last one of the day - we had a presentation of trophies and prizes for riders and officials... including the Unlucky Award for Charlie Edmonds after a very bizarre tumble just outside assembly where he fell off and somehow managed to break both the clutch lever and the brake lever and was unable to start a race!

Paul and Carl look anxiously around............

So after spraying some champagne it was soon time for race three.  initially the engine felt ok, then on lap 1 it started to vibrate badly and start to misfire......  game over really so i pulled off and with the engine racing and sounding pretty poorly It was turned off and put back in the van.......  after 3 years of finishes except for one fuel 'incident' and one accident I'd managed two non finishes out of three !

So all in all a pretty crap day for me!  

I wasn't alone though as the 2.5 mile high speed circuit took its toll on a few engines, especially the Adrenalin team on their Zips..... who hardly had a working engine between them..... although they did have shiny new paint jobs .....

With only a week before the next race at Cadwell Park the engine was quickly stripped to find that the mag housing was loose, the stator plate loose, and the mag gasket had blown out, slightly out of shape crankshaft and damaged main bearings..........   but why had the mag housing come loose again?  It had done this at Three Sisters last year!??

Friday, 17 June 2011

Donington Park - Preview

This weekend sees is one of the years biggies as scooters return to the legendary Donington Park circuit.

We will be providing support races to the fantastic Superstars International Series.  This is an international series featuring some awesome machinery, and drivers including ex F1 start Johnny Herbert.

I am hoping to make a return to the track after having to miss the Pembrey race.  I think racing around the full 2.5mm GP circuit on a scooter has to be an almost unique experience of a lifetime to follow in the wheeltracks  of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Valentino Rossi.

I have been fortunate to be able to put this event together after making contact with the organisers BARC two years ago.  We raced then supporting British Truck Racing and the spectacle of scooters impressed them so much they were glad to have us back again after I'd contacted them.

As always putting together a race meeting is a tough job, with lots of ups and downs and seemingly endless hoops to jump through.  But its all sorted now and the riders are most definitely well up for this one.  Stuart Day and John Howe will be making their first appearances in 2011 and will be hunting down the front running bikes.

Guy Topper is on top form currently aboard his super quick DJ250 'Cooler' but at Pembrey and Mallory he was joined by stablemate Doug Turner also riding a heavily developed 250.  Multiple champion Charlie Edmonds will be looking to keep them in check despite a cc and power disadvantage.  No doubt the likes of James Campen and Chris Geyton will also have ideas on being the front running Group 4 scooters!

Meanwhile the auto's of Josh Brown, Craig Bewey and Joe Ravenscroft will be giving chase too and no doubt be looking very fast round Donington.  The bigger cc auto's of Scott Chapman and Keith Terry will also no doubt be picking up their fierce on track rivalry as they also chase down the pack.

Its going to be a biggie!

Pretty much everything is in place now, just missing one thing to make it perfect.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pembrey - May 20/21st Sitting It Out

Pembrey is a chufiing long way down to deepest South Wales.... 245 miles,

After Mallory I was still struggling health wise so decided to sit this one out from a racing point of view and just go watch.

I arrived Saturday Morning after a good journey down ( apart from a talking to by the constabulary for apparently using a bus lane to get into the supermarket )

The VMCC meeting was not well supported with many people opting to stay away.  We still had 31 scooters across two grids though!

It must be 20 years since I went to Pembrey last, and I had forgotten just how crap it is for spectators.  For the racers the main problem first off was the very blustery wind which seemed to be coming from all directions at the same time making things very inconsistent.  Rain was in the air too.

I parked up with Chris Geyton who \i was going to help over the weekend.  Chris had just taken his newly built engine down to Replay Scooters for some dyno testing and was puzzled by the results which showed a major drop in power from the regular dyno used by SRP to develop the engine.  Its was even more puzzling as once on track Chris was just flying.  He was right on it and was up with Charlie Edmonds for the first few laps and matching his lap times.  Race 2 was wet and Chris was all over Charlie as they both tried in vain to chase down the super rapid Group 6 monster of Guy Topper.

The wet 2nd and 3rd races really made me wish I was out there as I always do so much better in the wet! Although watching race 1 in the wind gave me no such desires !

The auto races were great to watch with Scott Chapman and Keith Terry swapping places in a right old ding dong.  Once Scott had his bike fully sorted though he was away in race 3 and mixing things with the fastest of the zips.

The changeover between races is really quick at Pembrey and with a lower entry more of the VMCC classes were combined, meaning less races overall.   So we had negotiated an extra race on Saturday to give us a 3 race day.  The races were 10 laps long so these were long races all weekend and some of the riders were looking a bit jaded come Saturday evening!

Saturday night was best described as wet and windy!   I'd eaten my burgers and bacon so went down to the bar with a few of the other guys .  A nice evening ensued with the usual scooter  and racing chat and assorted garbage being spoken and worlds put to rights.  Of course the heaviest wind and rain was as we came to leave the bar and walk back to the van......  so 10 minutes was spent waiting in the foyer for the wind and rain to die down before making a run for it!

A sleepless night ensued kept awake by wind and rain before Sunday broke to reduced wind ( well - a bit ) and a strange yellowy gold thing in the sky!

Sunday saw Guy Topper and Doug Turner flying away again on the Group 6 bikes, Charlie Edmonds again being the fastest of the Group 4 bikes, with Chris Geyton and John Woods both having a right old tousle......  but as I watched from the hairpin I heard the tell tale click from Chris's bike of another broken gearbox...... just like he did at Mallory as well!

Oh well.... overalls on and gloves on to help sort things out!  Chris stripped the race bike whilst I stripped the spare engine to get the gearbox out of it. We ended up having to swap everything including the layshaft due to the damage.

In the last race Chris's motor had gone right off......  60 laps over the weekend had taken its toll I think.

This was the first time in 2 1/2 years that I had been a spectator and it was kind of nice not to have the pressures that a race weekend brings.  The journey home continued my hate / hate campaign against Wales when I caught a speeding ticket.  Nothing to do with Wales is ever good for me it seems.....  bloody place!

Hopefully I'll be on track for Donington Park next weekend........   My least favourite type of circuit but its an experience to ride the classic full GP circuit as ridden and driven by heroes like Rossi and Senna.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Mallory Park - Easter 2011

Well..... Mallory Park at Easter seems a long while ago..... Maybe that's because it was !

I havnt updated the blog for ages now..... Apologies..... But a few months of illness and other pressures have meant I have not really had the time nor inclination to update if I was brutally honest !

We had a successful test day in early April, with the main changes to the scooter being the new paint job, a new Guy Topper designed and built exhaust, and a new Dellorto carb. A few other changes included a new Jahspeed race seat which looks great !

So....... With gearing modified with what was learnt on test day it should be close to spot on..... Which it was.

unfortunately in the run up to Mallory I had a very stressfulntime and was feeling pretty I'll really so was not in the best frame of mind for racing.

First race I got a great start, but then after first couple of laps drifted back as fatigue quickly set in really. A good tousle with new rider James Lancaster was good fun.... James is also on a Replay tuned and prepared bike. His bike has a little more BHP on the dyne and James being young whippersnapper of course he only weighs 4 stone so he was carrying good straight line speed.

I was parked up with Chris Geyton who will be riding under the Team Replay banner this year whilst SRP is in 'sabbatical '. We wholes away the time between our two races by stripping his engine to replace broken gears! Chris had actually managed to complete the race despite having Two broken gears. I stripped the spare engine to extract the gearbox whilst Chris stripped the race engine to allow us to swap them over and get him out in race two. The change went smoothly in the warm sun and of course as always attracted the interest of spectators keen to see the insides of a broken engine!

in the second race I had a (thankfully rare) mechanical gremlin and the gear cable slipped and it lost me first gear as I tried to select it on the start line! I had to pull away in second as it wouldn't select so naturally I was eaten up off the line by the rest of the pack. Adrenalin kicked in and I put my head down and quickly caught the tail enders back up, and on lap 2 went back past James Lancaster through the Edwinas chicane. This was to be short-lived though as up to the hairpin I still could not properly select first gear and then as I progressed on even 4th was tricky as the slop in the cables just seemed to get worse.

There was no real option but to cruise round and just get a finish and collect some points.

The meeting proved pretty interesting for the spectators as some unusual faces were having superb days. Guy Topper was absolutely flying on the cooler 250 and was phenomenally quick leaving the rest of the field trailing by a country mile........ And Guy also had a major hand in preparing Doug Turners group 6 bike which was also going extremely well propelling Doug up to the front. Also notably fast was John Woods on the blue SS 90 which has really come on now John has it setup right.

So overall for me a disappointing start to the season really, illness and stressful times had conspired to mean that I was not really mentally in the right place for this racing malarky. :-(

Friday, 22 April 2011

Replay Scooters New Web Site

Replay Scooters new web site.

Rich Addison has created a new web site for Replay Scooters with a page for the Replay Race Team.

This year the Race Team will consist of myself, Rob Sumner, Dave Crampton and our new young rider James Lancaster. Hopefully we will be joined at some time during the year by returning Ed Hocking as he recovers from injury. Also running for this year as a Replay guest rider is Chris Geyton.

check out the new site and team page at Replay Scooters

Thursday, 14 April 2011

2011 Race Bike Photo Shoot

Richard Addison of has taken some pictures of the new paintjob.  Rich offers Scooter Portraits as part of his photographic business..... ideal present for the scooterist !!?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Stopping power

To go with the fancy new paint i decided to go with a new coloured brake hose!

This year I have routed the hydraulic hose differently with a more direct route rather than the concealed route that is more popular on road bikes.

Chiggy Chambers at has a great reputation for various specialist products including custom made HEL hydarulic hoses.  Lambretta upgrades are the only Lambretta HEL specialist.  Hel hoses are the official suppliers to the British Superbike series.

If you fancy a challenge try the HEL Braking reaction timer here  >>> <<<

Thanks to Chiggy for sorting the coloured hose out pronto...... great quality products from a scooterist!

Click the logo to visit the web site!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

2011 Rebuild Update

Well... the last few weeks have been pretty manic both workwise and scooterwise!.

The new 2011 paintwork is about complete ( just toolbox door to re-do ) .

Chalky at Replay completed the modifications needed to the exhaust to fit.... it looks awesome with a very long stinger ! ( more details and new pictures to follow!) . Chalky is currently working on a new inlet manifold to fit the DellOrto carb I will be running this year and that is sheduled to be fitted next Monday........  which is all a bit last minute for the Mallory Park Test day on Friday!

This week is being spent reassembling everything.  The forks have been totally stripped and rebuilt with mainly new internals.... there was always something amiss last year that we couldn't quite get to the bottom of..... so hopefully this rebuild into new forks will clear that up!

A new Jahspeed seat has been fitted..... all very streamlined!

There'll probably be a rush of blog posts over the next few days to bring everything up to date.......

In the meantime, heres a couple of teasers for you!  The Senna 'Double S ' is of course a tribute to the all time hero Ayrton Senna.  June sees a cinema documentary being released which will surely add more to his legend!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

2011 Sponsorship from Lambretta Cottage

I am very pleased to be working again with Lambretta Cottage Restorations for 2011.

LCR are based near Doncaster and offer a mail order service as well as attending most of the major parts fairs.

Julie and Zak own and run LCR and are a very rare thing in todays world - they give fantastic service and truly bend over backwards to help their customers.  In addition to selling a full range of Lambretta spares and parts, they offer Rock Oil, Putoline, Schwalbe Tyres and can supply MB parts too.

Additionally Zak builds some of the very best full restorations around.  He has very exacting standards and the restorations may take a while - he's booked up well into the future - but they are absolutely superb.

As previously LCR will be helping out with non-specific race parts and spares, and of course the occasional moral support too!

Give them a try next time you need anything Lambretta related!

 - Lambretta Cottage sell their parts from their web site

Or give Ju a call on  01302 350404

And I even have my own page on the LCR site!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Race Bike Winter Rebuild

Well...... 2010 is over so lets move swiftly on to 2011!

Plans for this winter are a full strip and rebuild of the scooter and a new paint job for 2011.  Dave Cramptons Group 6 is also paying a visit to the workshop for a new paint job too - so it's going to be a busy winter as i also have the special Jet200 on the go too! More on that one later!

So......  between Christmas and new year I took the scooter down to Chalky's workshop at Replay Scooters - well its any excuse to play scooters at Christmas eh?

The engine had run pretty badly at the last round at Three Sisters with an air leak making the engine revs rise and  basically scream with the throttle closed - which round Three Sisters ain't fun I can assure you!  So we'll pass over that one!

So first job was to try and track down the leak.....  stripping off the barrel head and piston revealed nothing too obvious, but once the flywheel was off the problem revealed itself.

The exhaust mount on the left hand side is straight off the engine bolt and could do with a bit more rubber mounting really, which will be changed for 2011.  The extra vibration induced had loosened a mag housing nut allowing it to come slightly loose, and around that bolt the gasket had been blown out, so the air leak was indeed pretty big!

Further inspection showed that the mag bearing was also well worn so needed replacement, alongwith the piston and rings which were ready only for the bin lol.

So a pleasant afternoon was spent stripping, cleaning and replacing everything.  Luckily Ciro was on hand with a new Suzuki Piston which was a result as they are now getting increasingly hard to find.  Amazingly the barrel wear is still minimal - testament to the Rock Oil supplied by sponsors Lambretta Cottage.

Once everything was back together and checked over we had some time to do some base runs on the Dyno.
Its important to do this to get a base graph to work from for some winter developments that are planned.

First off is a new Carburettor.  The Mikuni TMX35 has been trouble free but the Dell Orto VHSB has more flexibility in fine tuning and is likely to produce a little more power.  Chalky is modifying the carb to give some improved results ( ssshhhhhhh   secret! ) and a new inlet manifold is likely.

The exhaust system is likely to be changed too.  The plan is to try a few exhausts and test on the dyno over the next month in order to experiment with what works best with the motor.  This whole exhaust malarky can be quite a black art and is not always the most logical science!

With a base run over it was back to base - leaving Chalky to play with some more exhausts.

A couple of days later a Guy Topper designed pipe was fitted and tried on the dyno.  It showed a good result with + 1.5HP, but most importantly it allowed the engine to rev on higher and was actually a whole 10mph faster on a 3rd gear run.

So..... a couple more exhausts to try over the next few weeks