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!