Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Measure twice, cut once

Well....! Back to work then.

Boyd came down on Saturday with more big lumps of carbon fibre, a pair of exhausts and more importantly his grinder! Thanks to Alan Stringer for his lovely job repairing the rather second hand pipes and the spring reatainer at the head. They're now good as new, and fit to carry fast, hot, high pressure gas from cylinder head to just in front of the back wheel.

The fabled British Motorcycle Industry was always quite good at building good-looking but non-running mock ups. Preserving this tradition, we checked out Boyd's nicely repaired carbon fibre seat unit and fairing. And yes, they look good, they fit, and are functional. The tank-cover needs a bit of relief at the front, but looks like it will work. Boyd is justifyably pleased!

Looking quite good I think....

...and it even seems to fit me!
So we stripped it off again (nice and quick, and quite robust which is good- much more so than my rather Heath-Robinson effort with the SRX), and set about removing the lower engine mount to fit the XTZ cases.

Before Boyd had arrived, I measured and marked up the frame, the numbers you can see here.

And then here's the lopped-off frame mount. However it STILL culdn't be persuaded in, so the GrinderMan trimmed it up a wee bit.

However, by nightfall, the motor still wasn't in. WHY NOT?!?
Well, I'm not sure, I'll have a think, and a jiggle, and a jack, and kick, and lever, and a swear, and see if it will go. It very nearly lines up, but not all bolts will go in. Well, they'll all go in, but they wont all go in at the one time!
As a plus, with the whole back of the lump moved over 7mm, the chain alignment looks much better, and shouldn't require too much more fiddling.
However, I think its fair to say, sadly, that Team Thumper is not goinng to be able to make the grid for Rounds One and Two of the British Supermono Cup at Snetterton on 11 & 12 April. There just isn't going to be time to build, finish, and more importantly test and set-up. Safety is paramount both for us and other riders, so I think we'll have to be realistic and not rush onto the grid half-arsed. We are gutted, but circumstances dictated that its not to be. Oh well, philosphical as ever, we'll just have to get on as best we can.
We'll go and support all the other teams however, and will post a bit of info here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

David J Duncan 1936-2008

Davie finished his last lap slightly unexpectedly on the 27th February. He is sadly missed by all who knew him. A first rate engineer, Manx GP and TT racer 1958-1966, father and husband, he lived life to the full until his very last day and was my inspiration. My father's determination and tenacity in all of his endevours have shown me what can be achieved in life, in racing, in engineering and even economics when conditions are less than ideal.
I cannot consider what my own life would be if I had not known him. Always family man (once he'd hung up his race leathers leathers!), I can hear one of his adages:
"Enjoy yersel' now son. You're young for a short time, auld for a long time, an deid for a helluva long time!". Quite.
See you in the paddock, Auld Yin!
Life, however, goes on. Thus Team Thumper will endevour to get to the grid for the first two rounds at Snetterton, but we're now way behind schedule. Boyd is coming down on Saturday for a bit of head scratching, measuring, cutting and tea drinking. So after our enforced hiatus, we'll keep you posted on how its going.