Sunday, 16 December 2007

Decisions, Decisions

Its been a time of head scratching and fact finding of late.

I've finally solved the problem of finding out what studs I need for the crankcase to bolt the aircooled barrel onto the watercooled cases. The XT600 used a few, of varying lengths which complicated matters.

And I'm working on a way of getting rid of this big rotor on the end of the crankshaft.

Can't imagine its doing much to help the motor pick up speed....
And up top, I've stripped the valves out. Both the inlets were a bit hammered, and one was "mushroomed" such that it couldn't slide out through the guide. The offending article:

I had to very gently hacksaw the top off of it, and dress it so that I didn't wreck the guide. I found out that the guides have been shortened to allow the cam clearance.

The latter is a Megacycle Stage 4 item, and looks good. It has nearly 0.500" lift! However, this makes it hard to find springs. So I've opted for RD items with Ti tops, as recommended by Megacycle. The ones I took out had flats on the inside of the outer springs, and the outside of the inners, possibly suggesting that they'd been closing up...
The ports look good:

However, there appears to be a bit of a "step" where the inlet manifold bolts to the head:

You can just see it here on the right hand side, the little white ridge inside the inlet tract. I think I'll have to smooth that out....
I'll be getting an order off to Kedo soon for new valves, seals, some gaskets, a box of plugs, a cam chain.... and those studs which caused so much puzzlement!
And then in the New Year I can get it built, and take it up to Boyd asap to see how its going to go into the chassis!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Small steps for an anorak...

I went out to see my old mate (and Team Thumper supporter) Barry Johnson at the weekend. He plied me with beer on friday night, and we talked a load of old rubbish! Cheers Baz!

However, come Saturday, after a fry up, I had a look at a couple of XT600 motors he has. I wanted to measure the length of the studs in his crankcases.

The 34K motor (Jap import) has 4 studs of 31mm (case surface to top-of-thread)

The 3AJ motor (ie. "my" barrel) has 2 left hand studs of 41mm, and the RHS ("inside" the barrel) are 31mm

My 660 cases have 3x 31mm and 1x 36mm stud!

All barrel flanges are in the region of 19.5-20.5 mm deep.

The fixings for the RHS of my motor use a 12mm deep M10 nut (14mm head) and 2.2mm washer. Total depth = 20mm barrel depth + 12mm nut + 2.2 mm washer = 34-35mm

So on the RHS, I'll need studs of at least 36mm. This corresponds to the one stud which looks ok on that side.

However, on the LHS (where the the nuts go down inside the barrel, its recommended to use Yamaha "thick" washers / spacers if possible. (I'll have to ask Martin Sweet why, I didn't question it at the time!) These are 5mm thick, so the total lenth of available stud necessary is 37-38mm

So I reckon I can use 2x 36mm (visible above case) studs on the RHS and 2x 41mm (visible above case) on the LHS, with the thick washers.

I've also just checked the squish and valve-pison clearances. I think I was worrying about nothing, there an easy 2mm on the exhaust valves, and the inlet valves didn't even touch the plasticine.

On the minus side, I think some of the rockerbox and camchain tensioner threads are getting a bit tired. Will have to be careful, but may end up helicoiling them...

I'm going to have to measure the valve srpings tho. I thought on removal that the inner and outer springs were touchiing/rubbing/ or with very little clearance. Now is the time to investigate!

However, its a fairly simple fix- I just need to spend some money!! Then we can start to think about actually building it.

(And sorry for the lack of photos, I left the camera at work...)


Thursday, 29 November 2007


...Its rubbish to check valve-piston clearances! Too sticky, and just adheres to the valves.

Try again with plasticene, Andy! You've learned from that mistake.

What a pain! Although, on the plus side, the valves didn't hit the piston...


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Crankcase Studs...

They,re not long enough, see??

The one on the right of this pic, on the clutch side is ok (the stud is 5mm longer), and it uses a yamaha flat washer underneath.

However, you have to lift the barrel slightly to get the nut on, as its close to the 1st (full) fin on the barrel.

The left hand stud is a shorter version of the same. This is the SRX part number for the stud in that position. Maybe different as this head and barrel is actually XT600?

However, its too short: the threaded portion of the stud doesn't go all the way through the nut. A bad thing, so I'll have to use a longer one here too, as per the right hand one in this photo above.

However, on the other side (alternator side of the lump), Yamaha SRX part number suggests a thicker spacer rather than a washer. It also reckons the longer studs are the way to go. Again, possibly different on the XT (originally 595cc) motor...

You can see the thick spacer/washer here, and that even the long stud in this case is too short. 2 custom studs possibly?

Previously, this motor broke the barrel and sheared the studs, possibly due to a distinctly dodgy-looking 4-ply barrel gasket.

I don't want to take any unnecessary chances, but I suppose thats the problem mating together parts which weren't originally intended to go together.

Cheers for now, will post more after I've done a bit more thinking!


Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Funny looking MZ!

So I managed to guddle the cam-chain back onto the lower sprocket, got the barrel on, head, cam and rockerbox.

After lots of advice from learned men in The Thumper Club, I've now squished some blu-tak on the valve pockets to check the clearances. I'm hoping they should be fine on a flat-topped piston...

Annoyingly I couldn't reuse the old head gasket or barrel gasket I had, so the scotsman has had to sacrifice new ones. He's not happy about that, because they'll have to be replaced.

Next is to get the cam-chain tensioner on, speak to Martin or Roy at Slipstream about valve clearances, set 'em, and gently turn the motor over a couple of times...

Then strip it down again!
I may also transfer back into the Solar Shed (political move).
And then, I think we'll maybe try KEDO in Germany for some parts. They were kind enough to offer some sponsorship in the shape of discounted parts; hopefully it wont be countered by the cost of postage from Germany. I've downloaded their catalogue, time to brush up on the schoolboy german!

I've also noticed a few problems-
The crankcase studs aren't long enough- I may have to get some custom ones made up
The inner and outer valve springs actually touch
The cam runs very close to the rockerbox
I need a spring retaining hook welded on to the exhaust retainer
Bedtime again!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Lord Of The (piston) Rings

A little progress has been made on the motor. When buying a motor in big lumps, why oh why, do you convince yourself that its just a case of bolting it all together?!

I had conveniently overlooked the fact that valve-to-piston clearances and squish clearances would have to be checked, and then the motor taken down and built properly...

So this weekend I've been replacing the studs which had sheared on the old barrel (102mm; 690cc). I've carefully gapped the rings to the recommended clearance, and got the piston on and into the bore.

Can you believe this took 2 days??! My God, at this rate, we're not going to be running by February...

On the plus side, I did receive a special dispensation to work on the motor in the house, thus breaking:

Co-habiting rule 1.1
No motorbike bits in the house"

However, rather than cover myself in glory, I covered the carpet in oil. I managed to rescue it, but I'd rather not have had do. Dust sheets are now down, and I've cleared it so that the annexe to the Solar Shed takes up only half the dining table. Can't say fairer than that, can we?

I've been reading lots of tuning theory, and recommend A Graham Bell's "Performance Tuning in Theory and Practice".
I tried to impress she-of-the-soiled-carpet with this fabulous still-life. It didn't work! And yes, the flowers were a direct result of "Carpet-gate"
I've also noticed that the cam chain has come off the sprocket on the crankshaft. So I think tonight will be spent guddling about in the cam chain tunnel with a coathanger to try to persuade it back over the teeth. I'm trying to avoid taking the rotor off, but maybe its not such a bad idea... And thanks for all the advice I've received from the single-cylinder afficionados in The Thumper Club. Top blokes, who've played this game before. Cheers for now,

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Christmas come early

As promised Andy duly arrived at my house on Friday bearing gifts. I was as excited as a very excited thing as we shifted all the parts and boxes into the garage. Below are pictures of the filling of the vacant garage space:



So now, on top of the already impressive list of stuff, we have :- two sets of wheels (slicks and wets, with discs), a full exhaust system (with cut-down Hyabusa cans), spare discs for front and rear brakes, a lovely pair of rear-sets, spare brake calipers, complete set of body work (including dummy tank its actual alloy petrol tank), a lovely but unusable alloy petrol tank (the green one above soon on eBay), a selection of sprockets, a broken White Power rear shock and tons of other odds-and-ends. All-in-all a pretty fantastic amount of stuff, and a real treasure trove of racing booty!

Andy and I also had a long chat about the project, and although we thought we were making very good progress, we fully realised that time was not on our side. There was just so much to do before the February deadline. With that in mind I started straight away by taking our box of shocks, two salvageable KR1S's and the badly broken WP, to Racing Line in Derby for a service and set-up. I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm for what we were doing and the fact that they gave very sound advice. The first bit being "Don't bother with the WP unit, as we're scared to even contact them let alone wait for the price!", and secondly that there they could make a pretty good shock from the KR1S bits. It will take a few weeks to get it back but will definitely be worth it, and all for seventy five pounds!

Won't get much done tonight as I'm off to see Bill Bailey in concert at the Nottingham Arena, but promise to roll my sleeves up tomorrow and crack on!


Thursday, 15 November 2007

Calm before the storm!

Awaiting Andy's arrival tomorrow. Not sure if my modest garage will be big enough for the 'tidal wave' of parts that is about desend on me. On the plus side I will now be able to get on with nearly everything that has come to a halt; with hopefully all the parts I need to complete the suspension and brakes being included.

I am especially keen to get on with having the rear shock re-built in order that I can re-assemble the rear linkage. This will mean taking a varied selection of dampers and springs to Racing Lines (Derby) and seeing if they can make a 'goodun' from them. They quote £75 for a re-build on their web site and I will try to extract as much as I can for the money. Obviously they may say that they are all c**p and that we should consider a new one, but don't think the budget can stretch that far. Once this is done I can then start puttin the whole rolling chassis back together, including the re-burbished brakes.

We have been blessed with an assortment of wheels and tyres, and it will be very interesting to see if Andy gets on with the slicks we will probably run at some point. Before we have the winfall from Ash we were intending to only use intermediates as it meant we were relatively set for both dry and wet conditions. Now that we have the possibility of slicks its a whole new ball game needing tyre warmers and a generator. More expense...........

Anyway after this weekend things should progress fairly quickly and I would hope to have it 'rolling' within three to four weeks. This is obviously dependent upon turn around times by suppliers, my motivation during the cold nights and how much of the rapidly vanishing budget is needed for unplanned outlay.

Will post a few images next time!


Monday, 12 November 2007


I've taken a bit of advice from Roy at Slipstream.

Clearance on the cam lobes to the inside of the rockerbox is really tight.

I measured it in the region of around 2 thou, maybe less. He reckoned 10 thou minimum to avoid scraping oil off the lobe. So thats a bit of "nibbling" with the Dremel to do.

I don't suppose you can really see too much in these lo res pictures, but I'm on dial-up, so you'll just have to imagine that they're decent!

Below you can see where its been relieved already, but I suppose there is a bit more to take off. I think the wall is pretty thick, so its not going to do too much harm.

It does mean stripping the head though, something I initially wasn't going to do! Lazy old Duncan?

And then an initial build with an old head gasket to check piston to valve clearances. Oh well, there goes my idea of "build once"!

For info, he reckons Yamabond gasket cement on the barrel and rockerbox, nothing on the head. As for the copper washers under the head-bolts some Yam heads had 'em some didn't.
Mine is a 2KF (Yamaha XT600) head and barrel.
No Loctite anywhere, and torque to factory specs. So I'll phone again once he's had a chance to check about the copper washers. Good bloke is Roy! I think him and Martin be getting a few stupid questions before this engine is up and running....


Sunday, 11 November 2007

Think twice, Build once...

Not lots of progress this weekend. Namely because this isn't an entirely straightforward build, and I don't want to have to take it down again if I don't have to.

So, I've cleaned it all up, got the gasket surfaces spotless, found the new gaskets, studs, nuts and headbolts and done a little thinking.

First off is to put the new studs in. Loctite?? What torque? And do we use Yamabond on the base gasket?

I have new studs for the head. Should I use new copper washers?

And the cam lobe seems mighty close to the rockerbox. How close can it be?

I think I'll have to get on the blower and bug Martin Sweet at Slipstream. He's always been really helpful in the past, having played this game before.

"Hi Martin, please help me I'm a buffoon....."

I'll let you know what he reckons!


Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Big Bang Motor

Well, with the 2007 bike now effectively sold, I'd best get on with building the prototype motor. we'll have to mate it with the chassis around February, so time is becoming of the essence!
Here are a few piccies from the Team Thumper Solar Workshop (yes, it's totally self-sufficient, unlike our race Team!).

The Yamaha XTZ bottom end was originally water cooled, with a starter motor. Here you can see where the starter boss has been cut off and welded up.
On the other side, you can see the beautifully machined blanking plate where the water pump used to live. Going aircooled makes for a simpler build, and should mean that the engine doesn't "cook" as badly on the grid. It will also be lighter, and without the additional expense of a radiator. The latter is also an easily wrecked item, in event of the inevitable spills!

And here's the newly honed barrel, for the brand spankers 100mm (640cc) piston.

There's a bit of work with WD40 and a toothbrush there I think! Its an XT item I think, as is the head:

If you look closely you can see the spring clip retainers to hold the header pipes on, so we dont have to use the original Yamaha retainers, and makes it nice n easy to get the pipes on and off. However, I noticed today that the right hand one in the photo above has got one of the clips broken off. There's another job for Mr B! It came with stainless valves and springs, and a Yoshimura Stage 4 cam...

Looks happy, doesn't he? And so he should with such fetching headgear!

The motor came with a beautiful Carillo rod, and the crankcase mouth has been machined to accept a 690 104 piston. Thats on it just now, but I think its probably a bit much and may compromise reliability.

Size matters, apparently:

So the first job is to locate a new base gasket, get the 640 piston on and slot it into the bore. I'll let you know when its done and then get started on the head. I have to get a bit of advice on that, from some learned men, but in the meantime I can clean up mating surfaces etc, and think about what method I'm going to use to tie the barrel down. I'll be seeking advice on what barrel and head I actually have, and how best to go about things.

Cheers for now, Andy

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Faster Pussycat!

I just got some pictures of the last weeekend at Cawell Park from PLJ Photo. I'll put more up soon, but I like this:

I was leading Dave Bennet (#54), and this was just coming onto the start finish straight on a slight downhill. I knew he was there, though he hadn't passed me through Hall bends or the hairpin. The throttle was right on the stop, and I was really giving it the berries up through the gears. I remember wishing for more power, and urging the little SRX to get a move on! His faster machine did get me by the end of the straight, though! Thanks for a great race Dave!

Sunday, 28 October 2007


In the previous post - ***** = Racing Lines, Derby

Post-modern Dog

Sunday 28 October 2007
Exciting day today. Spent all morning stripping the chassis of the new bike down to its bare bones. As it has always been a race bike, as apposed to a converted road bike, there was not a lot of road grim and oil to deal with. The front forks had already been removed and stripped, so the main focus of todays exercise was the rear suspension and especially its linkage. I took plenty of pictures prior to starting the work as its very easy to get carried away and end up with a big pile of bits and no idea how to put them back together again. As I was only dealing with the beam frame and the swinging arm it was easier to work on by putting the whole lot on a bench, upside down. I didn't have any workshop manual to work from but it was a very logical layout, and as long as I keep all the bits in separate containers it should (famous last words) be easy to re-assemble. I was very pleased to find, after first testing for any obvious unwanted movement, that it was all very tight and un-molested. I had previously noticed a few rounded nuts and the use of inappropriate tools on other bits of the bike; but I suppose its to be expected on a sixteen year old bike thats been around the block a few times. All of the nuts, bolts, spacers and bearings were in very good condition. There was only one bolt that was slight problem to extract but the application of plenty of WD40 soon had it moving. So now I have a gleaming pile of alloy parts and the extracted suspension unit. The suspension unit, of unknown origin but having adjustment for damping, rebound and pre-load, is going to be refurbished by ******** and should do us for a while. That only left the removal of the swinging arm itself and the chassis was stripped down to its major components.
Upon inspection all of the suspension bearings were in very good condition, and although it had been my intention to replace them all I think I will just grease them and re-assemble.This will at least keep some money in the fast depleting bank balance, which I'm sure will soon disappear elsewhere.
I called this entry Post-modern Dog as I think the bare frame looks like a dog!

Friday, 26 October 2007


Building the stand and looking after general stuff for the Stafford Show has taken up all my time recently. Just like Christmas and Birthdays its one of those things that seems to loom over the horizon for months and then whoosh its gone. After having had great success with our stands during the last three years this one was a bit of a damp squib really. This was a shame for Team Thumper as we had negotiated with The Thumper Club for a percentage of any winnings; as it turned out 25% 0f bugger all is still bugger all. Maybe we'll have better luck next year!

So now the prevaricating must stop, time to clear the garage and get the spanners moving. My major tasks for this weekend are to re-assemble the front forks, and strip the rear suspension linkage. If discussions go well with one of our supports, BTP, we should be good for all the bearings on the chassis - steering, suspension & wheels. I'm hoping that we now have two levers with which to extract something from them, namely Andy coming forth in the Air-Cooled Class and the fact that we might soon be a two bike team be-decked in their colours - yellow and red. Let battle commence!

So I need to do less talking, less navel and/or star gazing, and actually get on with some work. My next post will include some evidence of this - honest!


Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The "New" Frame

Wiring the old SRX for road use isn't as simple as I'd hoped! I gave up last night, and will have to RTFM. Anyway, as this is a race team, I reckon we should shut up about road bikes,

So here are a couple of pics of the chassis for the 2008 bike.

Boyd has been cleaning it up, and hopefully we won't find too many horrors

It's a Tigcraft, dating from 1991, and I think Dave Pearce (who made it) told Boyd that it won the championship that year?? He'd know! Oil is carried in the left hand beam of the frame, so we wont need an oil tank as such. No guarentees that it will seal tho, having had a good few years of Big Vibe singles between its wheels. So we'll have to wait and see how that actually pans out. Fingers crossed!

With the bits I got from Ash Norrington, among other things I managed to prise a second carbon fibre self-supporting seat unit from him- its a bit smaller than the one you see here. I also now have a (small!) ally tank, and carbon fibre cover, and a fairing, etc.

Ash also sorted us out with some lovely ally rearsets, and two pairs of FZR400RR wheels with slicks and wets. I think the existing rear wheel is KR1S, but the front looks like FZR to me...

I'm not sure about the 41mm KR1S forks, but maybe they can be made to work ok. They'll do for now anyway.

So, to those geneous folks who have sorted us out with "the readies", this is where they've been going! Once I can get the SRX wired, road tested and finished, I'll start on the new 640 motor, and let you know whats happening there.


Monday, 22 October 2007

Problems solved

Try as I may, I can't seem to find either the headlamp brackets, or the indicators. Maddening.

However, this is an excellent opportunity to plug one of Team Thumper's sponsors!

Shaun and Jayne at have agreed to give the Team a substantial discount on race consumables bought from their online store.

Not only are they nice folk, they also know their stuff when it comes to racing. Shaun rides with Phoenix Endurance , Winners of the 2007 Superstock Championship.

So, I'll buy the indicators and headlamp brackets from, supporting them, for supporting us.

I'll also also YOU to browse the store, and help US by giving your business to THEM.

Have a look, and bear them in mind for any bits and pieces you may need



Not too much movement recently. Boyd has been having another sucessful weekend running the ThumperClub's stand at the Stafford Show, and I've been making the 2007 bike pretty over the last week, so that I can sell it.

Its been stripped, cleaned, polished, T-Cut, greased, WD-40'd, and is now on the way back up. I thought it was ok, but you know when you start polishing just a little bit, and then the rest looks rubbish?! I am not really that keen on polishing, as I think bikes are meant to be ridden, but I do admit, she's looking nice. I hope someone else agrees (and helps the Team-Thumper cause) by buying her.

I think I'll be putting the wiring loom back on it this evening.

Then I just need to find the headlamp brackets, raise the bars a bit, and... thats it!

Fellow ThumperClub member Rog has a nice race seat coming his way. This one:

for a (TZR-Rotax?) project he's working on. The seat's a little 2nd hand now, but he's contributed generously to the Team-Thumper coffers by buying my old kit! Thanks mate!

Try as I may, I dont have any other decent photos of the bike in road trim. And I've not had any daylight to take one of her as she is now. So as ever, I promise to post some photos before putting it on Ebay. I've never sold anything (but I have bought a lot of crap!), so i'm hoping Boyd can help me with this. Big Chap...?!

Cheers for now. Work has really ramped up recently, and is starting to get in the way of my motorcycle-based recreational pursuits! I'll have to start getting up earlier, and get into the garage with a bowl of cornflakes...


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Couple of nice Cadwell pics

Rounding the left hander on the run up to the mountain on saturday. A kinked fuel line saw me in trouble later on!

Replacing the cursed fuel line! The Scotsman was NOT happy!

I may be a jockey, but surely thats not how to ride a bike! Doing a pretty good job of keeping the front on the deck over the mountain at Cadwell Park on Sunday morning. At least the bike was running better!

Also been busy.........

Goodness me things are really starting to move now, and Team-Thumper will be ready to Rock'n'Roll for 2008! Andy has blown all the budget, and then some, on a too good to miss offer of an engine and loads of essential extras. I on the other hand have not had much spare time for the Tigcraft chassis as I've been busy building a stand for the Thumper Club's entry in the up-coming Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Stafford. But, now that all thats finished with, I can put all my efforts back into the chassis.

I had previously stripped the front end in order to replace the steering bearings, and to work out what had been pilfered by the previous owner, the odd nut and bolt etc.. One of our supports BTP will be getting a call very soon! The front suspension, KR1S, looks to be in fairly good order, with no pitting or leaking at all. New fork oil is all thats needed at the moment and, with no adjustment except pre-load, they are pretty easy to work on. The rear suspension is an altogether different 'kettle-of-fish'. We now have three rather worn suspension units, two from unknown Kawasaki road bikes and a bent WP unit. I suspect another pile of cash, which we don't have at the moment, will soon be disappearing down that particular alley.

Initially we only had the FZR400RR wheels that came with the chassis - a rather sha**ed slick at the rear and a full wet on the front with no discs. Now, after Andy's 'trolley dash', we have have two more sets of the same wheels both with tyres - slicks and intermediates, and all have discs. As is often the case from famine to feast, but it now means we will have to buy a set of tyre warmers, and a generator.

We always knew this project would be a 'money pit' but I'm not sure the bucket and rope we initially had will be strong enough, will need to get some heavy lifting gear at this rate!!!!

Will add a few photos asap.


Sunday, 14 October 2007


Today I'll be turning the "Ugly Duckling":

Back into a beautiful swan !!

A friend has said he's possibly interested, so back to a road bike it goes!
It seems a bit of a shame, but i had great fun on it as a roadbike- a trip to France, used to commute round london, trackdays, races. a run up to Glasgow. Its never leaked a drop of oil- testament to Martin Sweet's fantastic build.
I think it looks great with the chunky FZR forks, big brakes and FZR wheels- (for grippy 17" rubber)
Although I may struggle to get the downpipes looking like that again!

Saturday, 13 October 2007


In t'paddock, before sunday's race.....
Gotta get rid of that orange bib!

New Toy

I went over to fellow supermono racer Ash's place today. It was good to have a natter, and chew the cud in general, but really I went to pick up the "new" 2008 motor for the Tigcraft:

XTZ bottom end, with CR box, and carillo rod
Newly bored 640 XT top end
New 640 piston
nicely flowed head, with stainless springs and valves
2 CR carbs
2 pipes, and cans
Programmable ignition system and software

I also ended up with a tank, carbon fibre tank cover and seat unit
4 FZR400 wheels with wets and slicks
another 2 sets of XTZ cases
4 engine covers (2 each side for SRX/XT)
690 piston
spare XT head
XT ignition box
quarter turn throttle
clutch lever and 2 cables
shock for rebuilding
rear brake
rear sets, and levers
XTZ gearbox
Yoshi Cam,
Stage 2 cam
standard cam
cam wheels
valve springs
clutch spring
and various other bits and pieces
...and a whole lot of other stuff!

Ever get the impression he was having a clear out?!

Myself and boyd are really grateful for all the help we've had. It would really be an option without you guys (even then, I still owe him a big chunk of cash!!)

Will post some pics soon, and keep folks updated on the build. Some stuff will be going on Ebay, so let me know if need anything. I also have a complete SRX 608 motor, which I may be persuaded to part with...

Also have the fairing and a couple of seats from the 2007 bike if anyone's interested? I may have a buyer for the SRX as a sweet roadbike, so keep your fingers crossed!

Cheers for now!


Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Hello all!

Much fun was had at Cadwell!

Saturay was good, practice seemed fine, just a bit slow. Timed qualifying saw me about 7 secs quicker than Sam Gleeson (#24), and about 8 quicker than John Goode (sorry, dont have the time sheet to hand) but it was having trouble revving out up the hill to Park corner and down the start finish straight. Having not replaced the previously kinked fuel line, it kinked again- D'Oh!! But it was another finish, etc. JohnG couldn't make the race sadly and had to leave early. Sam on the RGV-Rotax managed to get ahead in the race (out-dragging me up the hill), and stay there, but we had a good bit of banter after the race. And a beer!

I changed the fuel line!!! A blatt round the pits made me suspect a slipping clutch, so I applied to practice on Sunday morning...

Sunday I went out in practice- no slipping clutch, just low gears!! I called it off after 2 or 3 laps- I was getting low on fuel, and didn't want anything else to go wrong!

The afternoon race was a blinder. I dunno what was happening at the front, but I got a good start, with 3 behind me, and pushed by a couple of folk for the first half lap. I hadn't seem Sam go by, but a quick look over my shoulder just after the mountain revealed a dark shape not too far away! Dave Bennet on the 640 Tigcraft had entered on the sunday only, and so started from the back of the grid. I had forgotten about him! The faster bike and better rider were really on my tail, but for about the first 3 or 4 laps I was leading 4 stragglers at the back:

Me-Dave-Sam-Nick Oliver (who started from the pits with a broken hand)

I heard dave on the start finish straight (he had better lines and better drive from the corner), and saw his front wheel on my RHS, and thought "Do I take the outside line into the left hander? And force hime to brake?". My balls were simply not big enough and I throttled off a little early, and in he went. Once he was in front, he disappeared round and up the hill. I instantly regretted bottling it. By Park straight he was about 5 bike lengths in front, and the distance was just getting bigger. Unknown to me, sam and nick were still on my tail.

On the next lap, sam got me on Park straight. I was catching him thru Hall bends, but never managed to pass him. He finished about 20 secs in front overall.

I traded places with Nick a few times, but he got me (again on Park) on the last lap. I was determined that I wasn't going to give in to him on the last quarter mile of the season. I stuffed it up the inside just after the hairpin, but my shocking line meant that he could get on the power earlier to cross the line just in front. Defeat from the Jaws of "Victory" Angry

However, I hadn't realised that Nick was actually a lap behind, so that was a fairly futile bit of red mist!

Scott Richardson and Doc McCombe in the aircooled class went grasstracking, so Sam took 3rd, Dave 2nd and Laine Martin was 1st by miles. I got a fourth to Nick's fifth. Well done to the gong hunters!!

Mike Edwards had a bit of trouble with Gordon! Truely great riding, but the Gods conspired against him.

Look at Gordon's Blog at

It was a great end to my first (almost) full season. Time to sell the bike and concentrate on the Tigcraft for next season. I am thinking a XTZ bottom end with an aircooled 640 top end. Megacycle Stage 4 cam, stainless valves and springs, CR carbs, Gibson pipes, programmable ignition. Hopefully 60+ horses, and about 30 less kilos.

Roll on 2008. I'll get you yet, Sam Gleeson Grin

Thanks to all those who have supported me in any way shape or form. Financial considerations are very much appreciated, friends, and if YOU want your name on the fabulous Team-Thumper machine for 2008 you can be part of the action for anything at all you wish to give us. tells you how, or you can avoid Paypal fees, and drop Boyd a cheque in the post. Drop us a line from the wetpaint site for his address.

The 2007 machine (620 Slipstream motor, FZR 400 forks brakes, & wheels) is now for sale, either as a pretty road bike (MOT'd, original Yam sidepanels, seat, tail, airbox etc) or in its current state. We are desparate for new riders for the class, and it would be fine to cut your teeth on, or as a trackday machine. So do you fancy joining the British Supermono Association for 2008? You could buy the bike, have a bash, and if you dont like it, you can stick some lights back on it and still have really nice roadbike.

I'll post some pics on this site, and get the wetpaint site updated very soon. Amanda took some nice video of the hairpin, with me genuinely leading the 4 backmarkers. If this is how being crap feels, roll on the big time!!

Cheers for now,


Friday, 5 October 2007

Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 October 2007
This weekend we are off to Cadwell Park for the last round of the British SuperMono Motorcycle Championships. It will be the last outing for the old Slipstream SRX620, so lets hope that he doesn't blow the damn thing up! It should be a good weekend as the weather looks set to be fine and hopefully no rain.

Will post photos with the next Blog!