Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nick Sharp's project

Hi Andrew,

heres a few so far.

The original bike is a 79/80 Mk 2 Le Mans that i imported from spain.

stripped down to restore . Realised it needed major overhaul, so when I was researching

the parts etc I cam across lots of Cafe racer style guzzis that have inspired me to build one.

(Much more fun than the original !)

Most inspiration was from a company in Germany called H T Moto.

A guy called Hartmutt and his son race guzzis in classic racing and also make many

special parts for guzzis of all types, cant recommend them highly enough, top pros !

So stripped the bike and sent the engine to NBS (guzzi specialist in UK) I would have liked to do it

myself but only have a lock up garage at the moment so just not practical.

They rebuilt the engine, Gearbox and final drive box.

Ali tank came from Johns Tank shop in Scotland.

Frame is just getting some brackets welded for the new seat unit (H T Moto) and will then be ready

for powder coating (not sure about black or grey silver ?)

Then the rebuild can begin

Oh yes ! and the new wheels.

I managed to obtain some rare to find Astralite wheels (Black) but having thought about a classic look

decided to go for a set of Borrani wire wheels instead.

So the Astralites will be on a plane to USA soon to Andrew ! and his set of Borranis will be making its way to me in the UK.

More later


Friday, October 16, 2009

Miller and Sandia 08

Next race was at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah with Ahrma. Packed the truck with the Guzzi and Honda drove 750 miles. Just a quick jaunt for us West Coast racers. How nice it would be for closer tracks......

After Ohio I had to get to the bottom of the front end issues; mainly the chatter and subsequent temporary loss of front brake. I'd been riding around the problems but I had to put my laziness aside and figure it out. Tore the front end apart, everything seemed fine. Checked the bearing carriers. AHA!!!!! Turns out that one of the carriers was worn out and was allowing the bearing to more side to side. After bumpy corners this allowed the pucks in the brake calipers to be pushed back and I'd have to pump the brake to get the brakes to work. Apparently it's the same thing that happens when bikes get into serious tankslappers. Something that I'll probably never experience due to the Guzzi's 30 degrees of rake. Oh and it turns out I'd been overfilling the fork oil. DOH!!!
Miller was a blast. World class facilities, great people, Lemans start on the Honda. It doesn't get much better. The Guzzi handled great. Took a 2nd and a 3rd in Vintage Superbike Heavyweight. Admittedly there were only 4 bikes in the class........ Also visited Bonneville salt flats for the speed week. Very cool.

Drove back to LA on the Monday. Hummed and aahed for a few days and decided to drive out to New Mexico the following weekend to a tiny track called Sandia. Did more of the same.

And that is 08 wrapped up. Managed to be 3rd in the championship in Vintage Superbike Heavyweight. I would love to say it was because of my amazing riding skills but if you have a pulse then you can pretty much get a result.

Awards ceremony Ahrma style

Here I'm going for the Hillbilly look.

Miller garages.

Ralph and Kristina and the first seeds of love are sown .

Bonneville delivery truck


Road trip

Two single Vincents. The bikes not the riders.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Glamour shot

Here's a shot of my friend Steve A racing at Barber last weekend. We've had 3 races together this year and each was hammer and tongs. He's 2 to 1 in the results. At Miller in September and had an epic race for the ages (in our minds at least). Note the jaunty scarf.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Next race: Mid Ohio AHRMA, July 08.

Did the rock star thing. Paid to have my bikes trailered to Ohio. Flew in. Flew out. Nice!!!

Got 4th on the Honda. Got soundly beaten on the Guzzi. Mid Ohio is a tricky technical track and I was up against 120 hp Superbikes and guys with alot of experience. I didn't get lapped though and kept the winners in sight (just). A good learning experience.

The front brake issue again raised it's scary head.

Ohio barn

The bits

Art shot

Ex Raceco Guzzi now campaigned by crazy Australian Andrew Cowell

Big Jeff Bottrell. Fellow Guzzi racer.

The pits

Holy shit he's winning

Second race weekend, first actual race, Portland International Raceway, June, 08.

Drove the 950 miles to Portland to take part in Vintage Days, a 2 day festival of vintage bike racing.

The back story: my girlfriend and I rode to Portland on my street Guzzi in 05 and entered it in Vintage Days (long story) and made a ton of friends, had a blast and also got bitten by the Honda 160 bug (another long story).

Anyway...... I have to set the stage. While my bike is legal for AHRMA Superbike (even then I'm pushing it as the engine is a '97, but I run under the 'like technology' rule) the Open Vintage class at Portland has a 1972 cut off year. There's an argument to be made that technically Guzzis are pretty similar from 1972 all the way to the late 80's but an 1100 square fin is probably stretching things.

So. In the interest of fairness I approached my competitors and spilled the beans about how this was my first race, "it's an 1100, hope you don't mind, but I'm not going to win anyway." "Oh no, of course, that's great, glad to have you" was the reply. Great!!!!!!!

And I then went out an won. Twice. Shit!!!!!!

The title to this posting is using the words uttered by my girlfriend to a friend of ours.

The race was great. The bike felt good. Powerful and smooth. A bit of chatter. Probably the worst thing was after a bumpy corner I'd have no front brake. This took awhile to figure out. More on this later.

There was a bit of grumbling after the racing in the pits but generally everyone was very cool.

This winning thing is fun!!!!!!

Ready to go

First race

Willow Springs AHRMA. May 2008.

I finished building the bike the night before practice. Arrived at the track and the bike would run great for about 2 minutes and then start misfiring. Managed to make the grid for the Vintage Heavyweight Superbike race but it started acting up on the line. Brought it in and parked it. Not a great start but in hindsight it was probably a good thing (more on this later). Raced my Honda 160 and had a blast.

Back at the shop it turned out my brand new ignition had a short.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breaking news

Guzzi rider Bill Ross sets a new record at Bonneville.