Saturday, 8 October 2011

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!

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