The great thing about having your own machinery in the shed is the ability to knock up endless amounts of bespoke bushes / brackets / spacers and fixings for a proper clubman race bike. Its getting to the stage now where there isn't a part on the X7 that hasn't been spun up on the lathe or modified in some way from standard.
It might not be a pretty Grand Prix style looking racer like the Harris, or dripping with expensive parts... but its certainly come along way since I picked it up. It is also now sporting a longer swing arm, hence the new rear wheel spacers pictured with the steering stops.
So lets see how we go at Cadwell park - might be easier to keep the front end down over the mountain now?
So we are just over a week away from going racing in 2015 and things are coming together nicely. It's been a last minute mad rush which is not my normal style, but both the bikes are looking good with finishing touches going on the bodywork and paint to be sorted over the next few days.
Some of the planned mod's to the X7 have been put on hold until after Pembrey - this is because another 250 Aircooled opportunity has reared its head for me so we need to see how the X7 fares among new competition at the first meeting of the year and then make a decision, more to follow on this...
The Moto71 Harris will be wearing a new colour scheme, we've gone for the Marlboro colours this year as it will suit the bike nicely. Really excitied to get back on this bike at the Pembrey test day on the friday before racing as it's one of my favourite circuits to race at.
The final tidy up bits to do this week include mostly paintwork, collect my AVGAS for the first couple of meetings, wire locking session on both bikes and a sort through of all the race kit before the Pembrey weekend. Race entry pack came through a few days ago so were all set to get the season going!!
So the 2015 race season draws ever nearer and we are working hard getting the bikes ready for the season. We have stumbled across a few unexpected problems which have pushed us close to the wire, but to be honest this can only be a positive - as they would most certainly have caught us out early on in the season. I think we will struggle to assemble spare engine's for each bike and will have to manage without spare's at Pembrey, but will be making sure we are in good shape after the first meeting for the rest of the season...
The X7 is still up with Mick Abbey having the few bits that I criminally damaged last year sorted - If you could have seen Mick's face when he saw the bent exhaust pipe....I'll be heading up early March to collect the bike, giving me a few weeks to sort the last few details before Pembrey. There are no really 'big jobs' for the Suzuki so once it comes back from Mick it's pretty much there.
The 350 is currently up on the bike stand with the top end off the motor - Power valves are removed for new seals and O rings and also new bushes as the ones from last year were quite worn and had too much free play. The fairing has also been repaired and will be painted over the next week so will post some photo's when its done. The only other issue is the shock extension - its slightly too long so need machining down. This is not a big job - I'm doing that this weekend and then will be giving the bike a final check over and a spin up before putting back in the shed under cover ready for Pembrey.
Below are all the race dates I've lined up for this season - please come along and watch the racing;
April 04/05 Easter - Pembrey
May 02/03/04 - Cadwell Park
(This is a 3-day event over the Bank Holiday weekend)
June 06/07 - Anglesey 'Trac Mon'
(Inc half day Friday track test afternoon)
July 25/26 - Aberdare Park
August 07/08/09 - Donnington Park
(Classic Motorcycle Festival. A 3-day event - motorcycle races, parades and rare display machinery)
September 05/06 - Lydden Hill
October 02/03/04 - Snetterton 300
(CMRC Race of the year)
Also big thanks to our sponsors for this season!
Looking forward to a good year on the Moto71 Harris Yamaha and the Mick Abbey Suzuki X7
OK so we have had a much needed break from the racing - but Christmas approaches and If I don't get my finger out soon then it'll be a mad rush to get the bikes sorted for April!! So whats planned? All things being well (and finance allowing) I'm looking to make the following changes to the bikes pre-season;
- Lengthened swing arm for stability.
- New pipes (made by Mick Abbey)
- Refresh top end with pistons/rings/small ends
- Twin fuel outlets on petrol tank (so many problems with single last year!)
- Vented front disk (possibly fit 2nd disk as well?)
- New colour scheme (Thanks in advance Dad)
- Re-brace under seat loop on the frame. (and repair general crash damage to frame brackets!)
- Dyno session with Mick Abbey for set-up.
- Lengthen top shock absorber mount (lift tail end more)
- Wider rear Astralite rear wheel to take proper 130 section Avon tyre
- Fit 18x2.5'' front Astralite wheel (new hubs required)
- Repair fairing and new colour scheme with new sponsor decals.
- Top end refresh if necessary after stripping - likely just small ends and rings.
- Dyno session.
(Clearly all this is including a general check over, re wire locking, new oils... etc).
So as well as Mick Abbey sponsoring the Suzuki X7, we have
secured another major sponsor for 2015 for the Harris 350....
(more details to follow) and also have interest from
another which is currently being discussed. If there's
anyone else out there interested or you know somebody
who might be, then get in contact with us via the
'Contacts' page - every bit of help is appreciated and returned
I get a huge response from this site and that is great - really enjoy getting back to people with queries and questions and happy to help at any time I can, keep the emails coming.....
So it's time for a bit of a rest from the racing as we head into the winter break.... Giving us some time to plan for next year and get the bikes refreshed for another busy season that 2015 promises to be!
2014 has been an exciting season for sure... Lee recorded his first race win @ Lydden early in the year on the X7, and and followed up with a few more as the season progressed. He managed to keep hold of 2nd place in the CRMC's new 250cc Aircooled post classic championship, despite having to miss the last meeting of the year. Things have not been perfect by any means, reliability has been a challenge and we have lots to improve on for next year with both the bikes, but 2014 saw a definite step up from 2013 in Lee's riding. The Harris presented us with several challenges this season, several off's and some DNF due to mechanical issue's all played a part in a tough season on this bike. If we can manage better reliability with both bikes for 2015 we should be looking good.
Plans for next season are already under way.... Lee will be doing most of his racing again next season with the CRMC, he also plan's to head back to Aberdare Park in 2015 and looking like it will be on a K4 potentially as well, so that will be interesting. In terms of machinery we are 99% sure he'll be back out on the X7 in the 250AC class again next year. That class promises to grow and grow and was brilliant fun to be involved in this season, so looking forward to pushing for that championship again next season. The Harris 350 will be a big focus for Lee next year, it has been a tough year on that bike and we have learnt a lot about the bike and how to ride it, but really want to put some better results together on it in 2015! Lee will be picking up some more rides on Nigel Colliers K4 again next season which is to be confirmed later on and he'll pretty much grab a go on anything else that comes his way too.... (If anyone reading this has a bike that's available to have a ride on please get in contact!)
'' We had lots of people along to watch and support this year and that has been great, so I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has helped with my racing this season, sponsors, family and friends have all been fantastic and help to make it all possible... Thank-you!! ''
Lee will be putting up bits and pieces on the development page over the winter so to keep up to speed please keep visiting regularly for updates, I wonder if the Suzuki will still look the same by next April...?
Been a bit shy on the blog front so far this year as its been so hectic both racing and at home so not had time to sit in front of the PC too much. I have just finished writing the race report for Aberadare Park which was no doubt my favourite meeting of the year so far, have a read was a really good weekend for me. I'm just starting to edit the video's which I'll be posting up soon...
Next stop is the Donnington Park classic festival which is going to be a great weekend although extremely busy... I've got 12 races split between 3 separate classes and 3 different bikes. I'll be racing Nige Collier's Honda 350 K4 in the 350 twins race as an extra ride, with the X7 and the Harris in the usual classes. I'll also be taking the Harris out in the Wheatcroft trophy race which will be much needed extra track time on that particular bike. Some of the races are back to back so its going to be a physically demanding time, but I'm particularly looking forward to jumping back on the K4 as I had a good ride on that at Donnington last season and looking to improve on last years results.
Right - Lots of people have been asking me about the various dates and races that I have lined up for the season ahead. I've got lots of racing planned for 2014, I'll be running 2 class's with the CRMC on the Harris and on the X7 at every CRMC meeting this year, (except for Snetterton which is unconfirmed for now). I'll also be competing in 4 class's at Aberdare Park in July, which is arguably the best meeting of the year - especially for spectators as your right in amongst the racing. So here are the date's;
No excuses this season - the dates are all here so if you want to come along please do so! It's nice to have a few spectators there watching / taking photo's etc and its always a good atmosphere to be amongst (being into old bikes obviously helps a bit too). If your not sure on getting tickets give me a call or email and I'll put you in the right direction, or may even have a spare for some meetings. See you there!
So we are officially ready to go for the season with the Harris YPVS. Apart from renewing the tank mount rubbers, bit of seat foam and slight mods to the coil mount bracket - she's good for the track. It a big relief to get her ready for the season and pretty satisfying to be in this position so early, with near on 2 months to go! We're looking at bit of a test day at Llandow in couple of weeks, if I can organise myself in time - but failing that maybe something closer to the season. We have run the bike up and it sounds superb, nice and crisp. I have even given it a little run up the alley and cannot wait to get it on the track and see what we can do. Also really pleased with the new seat unit, gives the bike a better look and will lower the C of G a bit too which should help things from a handling perspective. Oh yeah must not forget to put my numbers on it too....
We have uploaded some video's of her running onto Youtube, if you want to hear it for yourself have a look at my channel using the link below;
So bit of an update as I have been slowly chipping away at our pre-season work list as and when I get time....
Been getting the new X7 frame ready, making sure all the brackets and bracing are sorted before it goes off for powder coating - in Black this year. Have fitted a new seat unit to the X7, a TZ350G seat supplied by Spike Livingstone, It looks much better than the older TZ seat from last year. My T20 aluminium tank is currently in Terry Weedy's workshop having the big dent carefully removed, looking forward to getting that back although haven't decided If I am going to run the standard X7 tank next year yet. I've got some more brackets to make up and also some rear sets to machine, but once that's done It'll be build up and Dyno time for the Suzuki before the season gets under way.
As far as the Harris goes, the engine Is all ready to go back together now, spread out neatly on the work bench. The new seat unit is currently at the body shop being painted to match the existing red speed block's design, cant wait to get that back on the bike, get the engine In then she's ready to go for 2014....!
Roll On Pembrey, cant wait!
There have been rumours going round a while now that somebody is producing 'copied' NGK spark plugs. The effects of this can vary from a loss in power, excessive plug fouling or possibly failure of your engine.
Aside from poor engine running - as you can to see in the photo (click to make it bigger), there are some tell tale signs of a 'fake' that are not that hard to spot once you know what to look for. The plug on the right in the photo is fake. It has a yellow passivated finish to its body, which is not correct. The NGK lettering printed on the plug is clearly not centralised properly between the grooved area of the plug and the plug body. This is another indicator of a copy. Missing stock number on the box and a very loose washer are also signs of a dodgy plug that needs to be discarded or taken back to where you bough it from. I have linked a website detailing information of these fake plugs for all to look at. Hopefully if enough people start noticing them, the manufacturers will have to stop producing fakes or suppliers and retailers will step in before they make it to the shelves. Be wary of buying plugs on eBay - if they seem to be cheap. they probably are! Thanks to Keith Brown for bringing this to my attention, potentially saved me a lot of hassle.
Site creator and Blog author, Obsessed with classic & post classic bike racing, the IOM TT, Moto GP & Moto 2 and a Casey Stoner fan....