Wednesday, September 9, 2020

RIP Ralph

See you on the other side Ralph. We'll miss you.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

New build (kind of)

Getting an ex BOT racebike ready for a friend to ride in October:


Summer racing.

It's been a strange old year but there has been some local racing here in Southern California. I raced in July and August at Buttonwillow with AFM which was hotter than Hades.

I have a friend who's wife refuses to go racing with him if there's the word Willow associated. Buttonwillow, Willow Springs and Willows (Thunderhill). Smart Lady.

The race plan for this year was to be more aggressive at the start and try to keep the fast guys in sight. I tend to be a slow starter and potter around for a lap or two.

Both weekends were a Saturday afternoon race and a Sunday morning race.

Let's start with July.

Saturday practice was spent getting up to speed and shaking off the cobwebs. Rick was along for the weekend on his 992cc round head racer and kept me honest. We were both in the 2.15 to 2.13 lap time range. Last year my best time was 2.13 so pretty happy with the times.

Did I mention it was hot ? By the late afternoon it was well over 100F and I had to stick a bag of ice in the leathers to cool myself down before the race.

I got a good start :

The Colonel (132) got the hole shot but I was with him and it took almost a lap to get passed by Mr Fast Guy Kevin McKee (90) which is a good measure of my increased pace. Usually Kevin passes me by turn 2.

Pretty uneventful race and I was able to get my time down to a best lap of 2.12. 4th place. Not bad.

The Sunday vintage race followed the same pattern as Saturday's race. Good start, kept the fast guys honest and came in 5th. Best time 2.10 which was gratifying. Rick had an off track excursion:

Rider and bike made it safely back to the pits. 

Overall a great weekend and a lot of fun.


I came into the weekend feeling much more comfortable on the bike and feeling confident I could go quicker. The bike handles, stops and goes really well so it's time for me to get my head together and push. 

Again all day Saturday practice but I was pretty slow. 2.15 to 2.20 range but I'm trying to ignore practice times and concentrate on lines and areas where I can improve. Once the racing starts things seem to click into place.

Unfortunately in the last session I developed an oil leak from a head twin plugging modification where the oil feeds into the head. Some quick jamming of shop towel into the cylinder fins was deemed acceptable for the race an hour away. But it wasn't to be. On the out lap oil was covering my boot and I had to pull in. Bugger!!!!! Race missed.

Out with the JB Weld and off with the head. Bike was repaired by 10pm. A good night's sleep in the van and I was up at 6am for tea.

Race was at 10 am. Lined up on the front row and fluffed the start. Bike was in neutral instead of first when the flag dropped. Oops. Ended up in 4th at the first corner and it was too difficult to get past the front runners. I couldn't do my usual get in front and slow the fast guys down by mesmerizing them with the sight and sound of a Guzzi.

The Colonel dropped out with rear wheel issues and I got 3rd. Best time 2.07. Nice.

Race footage here: Part 1 RACE and here: Part 2  RACE

Another great weekend and next up Thunderhill in September and Laguna Seca in October.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Self isolating. Kind of.

Strange times at the moment. There are far more serious things going on in the world but here’s a look at part of my little corner of it.

I do like a good tidy-up

 Rick trying out new leathers and new bike


 Ex BOTT Mk 4 just got saved from death by eBay

Split personality

Work done to the bike this year: put a sticker on.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Got the front covered

Rick’s 992cc racer getting a makeover.