Well as the cold weather seems to be here, it’s about time I got around to taking the water out of the GSXR. Some people say that you can just leave a bike empty, but I always prefer to put in some antifreeze. This lubricates the seals and stops corrosion so for the few quid it cost I think it’s worth it. And with that it’s the final act of my 2013 season. All I need to do now it write up all the reports that I haven’t had time to do and figure out the final expenses of the year.
Next years plans are already afoot and may see me dip my toe in another form of racing, endurance racing. It’ll only be a one off as I look at the calendar but I think it’s do-able at the moment. Apart from that I can’t really think of anything else that needs doing to the Suzuki in the off season. I may put a better fairing set on as the one I put on last winter is annoying me, and is cracking around some of the mounting points but it all depends on the money side of things. I could just repair this one but it’s never fitted as well as I wanted. We shall see. Maybe a new colour scheme (I have some bad ideas) or maybe I’ll just service it, bang some new tyres on (Thruxton saw off both the wets and the dries) and pop some petrol in and go.
The NGRRC have released the provisional calendar for 2014. It looks a lot like last years with the sad loss of Mallory Park and the addition of an extra day at Castle Combe (I might be tempted down for that one). I would have preferred Oulton to be a few rounds in but overall I am quiet happy with that. Lets hope for a dry Donington as it’s move a bit later.
The full calendar can be seen here: Click ME!
What a great weekend at Thruxton. The videos are up and I should really look at doing the reports… well for all the ones that I have missed or half done through the year. So it’s the season ended and a long dark winter to let the finances recover before doing it all again next year.
The links to the video from Thruxton are here: Thruxton Videos
A quick summing up.
Less points in the Street Stocks this year than this and no trophies. I think this can be seen as an increase in competition in the class and me missing a couple of double header rounds, and not the freak series of accidents getting me near the trophies. In the 600 I scored my first ever points (3) at Anglesey, in the wet. That has to be the highlight of my season results wise. 2 visits to the A Finals in the Open 600s, at Thruxton and Donington, granted near the back but I am still moving forward.
Overall I am still making big improvements in lowering my lap times and consistency. I am annoyed I couldn’t get my time with Spike to see how much I could learn from him. But being the gent that he is he has allowed me to roll it over to next year so as soon as the weather looks on the up I’ll be signing on the dotted line and getting it sorted. I was at times over 4.5 second faster than last year and my riding in the wet has improved too.
Right now to get the GSXR ready for winter hibernation
A long time without an update here. So what’s happened? Well in all honesty not a great deal. I decided to skip the Pembrey round as the finances have been a little stretched this year, and I don’t really enjoy the circuit that much, or rather where it is. It just take so long to get there and with work commitments and budget constraint it was always at risk of being the round along with Brands Hatch and Castle Combe that I would skip. After all I am not fighting for any championship positions.
As it was it was just for the best, as getting my shock absorber sorted out has been a bit of a drama. It took until last weekend to actually get the Ohlins shock back in the GSXR. The whole of the top “cap” was replaced, fortunately for free as it was under warranty as the part is somewhere in the region of £300 (eeek). It took a long time for the new bit to arrive, and if I am totally honest it doesn’t look like a new part, it looks like it’s a little dirty and marked which makes me a little suspicious. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter as it’s a non moving and non wearing part…. well at least it should be. While I was with the spanners around the Suzuki I decided that the brakes needed some new brake pads, as that the last thing I want to be marginal on at Thruxton is braking into the last chicane, so a nice shiny new set of SBS Dual Carbon pads in, a bit of a bleed through of the fluid (topping it up) and a good clean all round (including the disc with alight bit of emery cloth) and I’m all set. Oh and of course just changed the rear sprocket to the smallest one I have and let see if I can crack 150 this year
That is about it really. It’s been a good month and half of just watching bikes and not really doing anything.
Thruxton time Saturday… I can’t wait!
I have the photos up from the last 2 rounds at Oulton Park and Anglesey. Thanks to Kerry Rawson for snapping them.
They can be found off the top menu (and yes I know items are dropping off it, a small technical thing which I am trying to sort out). They can be seen
I am currently just finishing off the last video from the weekend and should have that up soon.
On a none media whoring level. I have taken Tom’s generously lent Nitros shock absorber off my GSXR and now the fun starts as to getting it back to him and get my Ohlins shock sorted starts… again. I am still fairly furious that a shock that cost the best part of £200 to service was given back to me in a quiet frankly dangerous state.
Just a quick not to say I have finished uploading Saturday’s videos from Ty Croes (still say that’s a better name than Anglesey Circuit) onto the site. They can be found HERE. I’ll be getting the others done as soon as I can. Feel free to watch, comment and abuse in general
Photo by Kerry Rawson
It’s strange, I am not comfortable around Anglesey’s track, yet I seem to always get my best results there. No trophies this year but I did score another first. I got points in the rather competitive Open 600 class for the first time ever. Not only that, but it was in the wet too. This one was not by default with people falling off or breaking down. This was a full on qualifying 12th and finishing 13th out of 22 finishers. I was very happy about that. I am currently crunching the videos, starting off with the Sunday’s Street Stock and Pre Injection final as it was the best actual race between me and my seemingly ever present green shadow Graham Kealey on the No 51 Kawasaki. The days couldn’t have been more different, the Saturday being very wet and windy and the Sunday being really dry and sunny, yet still windy.
On a not so good note. My Ohlins shock, which I have just spent the best part of £200 on to service is leaking. I took it to Colin at 100% Suspension and he has diagnosed a crack in the milling of the casting near the compression adjuster. I am, as you can imagine not greatly happy in 2 things. 1 that it has happened and 2 that is wasn’t seen by Kais when they did the service. There are 2 things to say on the plus side here. 1 is that it is a known issue on this shock and it may be, just maybe covered under warranty and that I could still race due to swapping my shock with Tom Vear’s (#22) one as he wasn’t racing. I owe him big style for his generosity. I shall have to see what the Ohlins warranty is like. The bike after all has not been crashed (yet) or mistreated so I am kind of hopeful that I can get the £300+ casing replaced for free.
The van is loaded, the weather forecasts checked and I am all ready for Anglesey. Well… nearly. I have had to swap the screen due to a little accident, and I am not too taken with the replacement (it was cheap, it could get here and it fits). It’s just a bit low for a double bubble. I shall replace it when I get chance.
So what have I been up too? Well trying to get work all done so I could get to the test day, but that was a no go work wise. I have popped the shock back in the bike… and taken a long hard look at the receipt. I can’t say that when I read it I am overly impressed looking back on it. But that is another story, and I shall give them a chance to explain the bill at some point. My current thinking is £125+VAT for a service, all in, then 1/2 hours extra labour AND oil and some more parts? If it did have a leak, I can understand more labour and parts but why the oil again? What is covered in a £125+VAT.
Anyhow to the races. I am unlikely to repeat the unexpected double 3rd of last year, but I am hoping to have found a bit more speed, like I did at Oulton. I have always struggled at Ty Croes (my personal battle to continue using the circuit’s old name continues), as there are a fair amount of lesser speed corners, which I think are my weaker ones. The new found hole in my riding being semi plugged I shall see if I can get a substantial decrease in lap time. I also have an idea given to me with a mechanical solution to my closed throttle entry to corners, upping the idle to about 2000 revs. I shall see if this helps on getting on the throttle smoother.
I went and got my shock absorber back today from Kais Perfomance. I had a good conversation with, well I don’t think I actually got the name, as to what was “up” with spring set up. It turns out the spring wasn’t set to have any load on it. It apparently, according to Ohlins it is meant to have 14mm of compression, acting like extra preload. This means that I may not need a 90 weight spring, as I only was getting one to sit in the middle of the range of adjustment. The shock was previous set up so the retaining pin that stops the adjusting ring undoing, was making contact on the reservoir leaving a mark (as can be seen on the photo. The proof will in the riding I suppose.
In other news, I got my entry back for Anglesey next weekend. I doubt I will have as good a weekend as I did the last year, with my 2 thirds. But I’ll be trying
I got a call earlier today to say that my Ohlins shock is ready to pick up. That is not to shabby turn around, 24 hours in total. Apparently there was a couple of issues that unfortunately I couldn’t spare the time at work to hear all about. There was a problem with how the spring was set up, so much so that Kais Performance say that the spring wasn’t at it’s correct weight/strength set up and so they recommended not having the slightly 90 weight spring fitted, at least until I tried it as it is. That’s a good thing… as the total cost of rebuild was an eye watering £186.21 as it was… Eeek. That’s £125 for the service and I’ll find out what the rest is for tomorrow when I pick it up.