Monday, 4 May 2009

Up On The Farm

It's Race Day.A Twinshock Enduro of 2 hours (2 x 1hrs) and I've been doing these for a while now.First one on an XL185 in appalling conditions with baldy Trials tyres,after picking that 4 banger up 2 dozen times I cancelled my gym.OK seriously then,I got this TS185 instead (-the TM125 has been used too). Mark mechanic/cameraman & myself arrive and it's a great new venue for the club,flat and twisty track and then twice up and down the hill. The other bikes though, Oh my lord there's been a shift in emphasis, mostly MX/Enduro with only half a dozen trail & trials bikes now.There are literally hordes of PE's and RM's,Honda,Husky,Maico,CZ,Pursangs etc plus the older Brits,Triumph BSA etc.We feel like scruffy urchins unloading the TS next to all this bling 2/3/4k stuff (mine cost £100!) .
Off we roar in 2 waves,sprinting for the first corner hit the rear brake, change down, shift forward on the seat weight the outside peg and crack it open for the next straight.Repeat,and grin like a loon! Normally all the fast boys go by and essentially I run on my own just trying to stay upright.Today,Something Strange is Happening.I'm catching people in the first wave, a Suzuki 400 on the straight,then a Maico,I outcorner a big Husky.This is unbelievably cool! I'm actually racing, loving the track and only being cautious on the steep descents.I bin it twice over-breaking downhill so get braver and stay off the rear brake.To my surprise the little Suzuki can blast up the big hills (well it was dry..) the only thing slowing me is the unpleasant sound as my rear shocks bottom and the tyre hits the mudguard bolts.
At break we assess the bike. Oh. The plastic RM tank has slipped down and is being melted by the exhaust pipe! The seam had really cut into it,we hitch the tank up and put gaffa tape on the tank's damage (what that was s'pose to do I don't know...!). At each checkpoint: Is tank OK?Am I on fire?No, good, fly off for another lap then.Second hour same as first a bit quicker but more tired,concentration slipping, wandering thoughts (no change there then!).I race in goggles for the first time as every time some big Brit Iron blasts by I got a face full of mud & stones.At one point something hits me straight in the teeth.Still it's all hugely enjoyable maybe I was smiling too much!
It's no over-statement to say that's the most fun I've had on a motorcycle,but it gets even better.The results are posted online: from 73 competitors I've finished 42nd against mostly Motocross bikes.Without being cocky, that ain't bad for a TS 185 trail bike!! :-)
Mark & me made 2 vids: Grin

90 PSI

The TS185 racebike after several phantom intermittent breakdowns (suspect crank seal) was treated to a bottom end stripdown and new mains & seals.Some issues with Piston supplies (Chinese -from a moral & quality viewpoint I returned it)meant it ended up with a 2nd hand top end,from a £7.50 Newark jumble engine.Well of course on completion it wouldn't start.Not for me,anyway...I took to a friend for some helicoils and his mighty swinging kick did the trick.I check the compression: 90 PSI."Oh, that's too low" is the advice. Out of curiousity I check the red TS185 which starts fine.Guess what? Yep,90 PSI! I put new rings in it,check the PSI, all together now "Nineteeeeeee PS Aye!".It's still not kicking up.I adjust the carb ever so slightly 8/9 kicks "Kapow Bang Smoke Wahoo!". It now goes 1st/2nd kick. Jumping Jesus...
So me and Dave (TS250) head off to Derby for a 'shakedown' test,which I half expect it to fail. Well 2 hours later I've ran it til out of fuel (kinda like a Sat afternoon as a 12 yr old) and had all the gears and not one problem.A great place to practise; plenty of space but a strange location.As we load the bikes we have Derby footy fans stream past us (Rams to the slaughter..Wolves eat em 3-2).I'm not sure which of us is staring more but I know one thing, I'm gonna go home happy.