Bike of the Month June 2017

Build it, run it, break it, fix it then repeat. The life of a drag racer can easily be likened to that of a drug addict. They spend all of their available cash and time working towards their next fix, even if it means ignoring the trivial things like food, clothing and sleep. The principle difference is that while a drug addict wants the hit to last longer, the drag racer does all that they can to shorten the experience. I’m reliably informed that once you’ve tried it, you either love it or you’re wrong.

Our bike of the month for June goes to Gary Hester AKA et1170. Gary has been evolving and racing this bike since he bought it nearly 7 years ago. Starting life as an 1100ET the bike now sports Katana styled bodywork. Gary was one of our first Winged Hammers and I like to think Hanma-Shin has had a hand in his results this year.

What I love about this bike and Gary’s story is that he has clearly never had serious money to throw at it. His success is a steady one. Carefully building on the previous years results with the parts that he could get. There are no turbos, no nitrous, no mega bucks cylinder head work- just oldskool, DIY air-cooled engine tuning in a shed. That, said if you read Gary’s thread you get the sense that Gary’s addiction will inevitably lead to forced induction and more…

Congratulations Gary you are June’s Bike of the Month.

Members discuss this here

 

Old Kool Suzukis- Quality never goes out of style

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I don’t know what it is about 80s and 90s Suzukis that makes them so special, I only know that they are. As it turns out, many other people feel the same way. From the 6th to the 8th of May Rob and Darin of Classic Bike Track Days delivered a very unique event at Donington Park. For the first time ever they combined 3 things: A bike show for club stands A full weekend of classic bike track days A 4 hour classic endurance race open to international race teams Ambitious, yes. Inspired, definitely. Successful, absolutely! There was something … Continue reading

How to do your own anodising – Gary Bond

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When Gary Bond built his Bike of the month  Harris F1 as well as fabricating some of the billet aluminium trickery himself and having the other parts custom machined to his specification.,  he also anodised most of the parts himself. If you ever wanted to  have a bash at this yourself, here’s how he did it. There is a gallery of pictures too.

How to do your own anodising

I’ve had a good few people ask me about the anodising process I used whilst building my Harris F1. No doubt I’ve missed out a few bits but I will edit it as I go. Its as follows….

Stuff you will need for anodising

99.8 per pure sulphuric acid
Nitric acid
Distilled water
Tap water
Power supply (mine us 10 amp variable amps and volts)
Sheet of lead
Titanium .75mm wire
Anodising dye
2 Heaters
Pot to heat dye
Big pot to boil water fir sealing part
Nitrile gloves
Caustic soda

You need 4 containers approx 10/15 litre capacity. Old paint tubs will work
Tub 1, Mix the nitric acid with distilled water/acid to a ratio of 10:1
Tub 2, Mix the sulphuric acid with distilled water/acid to a ratio of 10:1
(Always add acid to water)
Tub 3, clean tap water for washing your hands or whatever
Tub 4, distilled water for rinsing off parts before and after process
Small tub for dye, Mix the anodising dye with distilled water to a ratio as stated in instructions

OK, now that you have all your electrolytes, acids and rinses set up in their correct ratios and quantities, etc. You’re ready to start. Remember, the gasses given off when doing the anodising process are hydrogen gas. Its not harmful but it catches you in the throat, makes every steel part in your workshop rust and not to mention its highly explosive. Oh, and don’t get bleach near it either. Unless you want to meet your ancestors. Do your own homework on acids, gasses and poisons, etc.

There are different finishes to anodising. I’ve done lots of practising and have come up with different results. You can use caustic soda to both strip off old or faded anodising prior to re doing the part. It also etches the part and it will give a very matt finish. If you want a clean shiny look, then don’t put the part into caustic soda. Or you can mirror polish the part prior to anodising. I have anodised some parts that have been machined. All that is needed is a good scrub with washing up liquid and a stiff pot washing type brush for a few minutes. Then into the nitric acid tank for a few minutes. If you leave it in for a long period, the acid eats away at the alloy and renders it scrap. Don’t ask me about that.

From the moment you clean it, wear nitrile gloves. Any oil from yours hands will show up on the surface. You will see anodised fingerprint marks. You now need to wire up your part with the titanium wire. If the item is any bigger than say the size of a front sprocket, I always put 2 wires to the part. Its all down to the current carrying capacity of the wire. I’ve had the wires glowing red hot before now. Not ideal with hydrogen gas. If you can, wrap the wire round the part a couple of times as this makes for both a tighter bond between part and wire. Plus it gives you a better chance of electrical connectivity. I get around a 95% success rate now, but when I first started it was very much hit and miss.

Work out the surface area of the part in inches. Say its a piece of alloy plate 5″ x 4″. That will give you 40 square inches. You now need to work out the amperage. You simply times the square area of the part by 0.16 amps. So the power pack needs to be set at 6.4 amps. My power pack only goes up to 10 amps, so I’m restricted as to how big the parts are. I generally turn my power pack up to max volts. I always put the power pack on for an hour.

You need to put the sheet of lead into the electrolyte with the negative connection connected to it. I always use a steel tube to hang my wired bits from. Its this tube that you connect the positive to. If you have an extractor then I’d recommend using it. The part is the anode (hence where the word anodising cones from) and whilst it has a current passing through it, it actually grows bigger with the surface oxide. The surface oxide that has been grown takes up the look of a bee hive. The holes actually are hex shape and all interlock. The longer you leave the part cooking, the thicker the oxide becomes. Its the little hex like tubes that accept the dye and give the part its colour. You could simply just seal the part after the anodising process without using any dye. Dependant on the current, it can give you a colour of what almost looks like a titanium finish. I’ve cooked parts before and they’ve gone quite a brown colour. This is caused by too many amps being passed through.

Right, so when you start the process, the part will start to fizz. I flick the tub in and out with my finger. This dissipates the bubbles that form on the surface of the part. Obviously, if the bubbles were left throughout the process the area under the bubbles wouldn’t be anodised as they’re not in the electrolyte. Its at this stage that I fill my large pot up with clean fresh tap water and put that on the stove to boil. This is what’s used to seal the part once its been in the dye. Its also good to heat the anodise dye too. But it only needs to be around luke warm. Nothing more is required. Once the part has been cooking for an hour, the power is switched off. The part is removed from the wire with cutters. Don’t forget to wear the gloves. I generally hang the part on a new bit of wire when dipping it into the dye. Once the dye is heated up, I tip it back into its plastic container. Some of the cheap handlebars, etc tend to fade. Its basically the quality of the dye that’s used. You could use either food or clothes dye too. But something like Sanodye is the way to go. Its UV stable and lasts. It gives you an excellent colour too.

One thing to say is that not all aluminium alloys take to being anodised. And some come out a different shade to others too. So you need to experiment. I always dunk the part in clean tap water first to wash off any electrolyte. Then a quick dip into the distilled water tub before going into the dye. If you use a good quality dye and the process has worked as it should, the part will be through coloured within a minute of two. But I’ve had to leave the part for longer if the dye is cold. It makes a big difference. Once it comes out of the dye, it then needs to be sealed in the boiling water. Its better to hang it in the steam for a bit. Let the sealing process start to work before you drop it into the boiling water. Leave it in fir 5/10 minutes. When you lift the part out, chuck it into the tap water to cool it off. Then you can use normal car polish to polish it up.

Gary has kindly offered to answer questions on his own experiences . Follow this link to a thread were you can do that.

 

Competition makes us faster but collaboration makes us better…

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Following on from our announcement earlier in the year that we wanted to create a collective oldskoolsuziki race team identity, we’re almost ready to launch the OSS race team board.

While OSS have always had members who raced ( Go Runt Go! and Go Pete Go!) we have never, until now,  given them a special place on the site.  Over the last year we have recognised the importance of those that choose old school Suzuki motorcycles as their foundation for a building a competitive machine. This has convinced us that we need to provide a race section on the site and we need to create an OSS identity for our growing band of intrepid competitors.

More and more of our members bikes being built to compete. Last year, 2 of our bikes of the month took world records at Pendine Sands, Elvington and one was an  international post classic racing series winner. We also have a number of members building their bikes solely to compete in various race events.

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This week we completed the design on the new winged hammer logo as the team emblem that OSS Racers will be able to proudly display on their bikes. Over the coming year, we hope to encourage sponsors to support the Race Team Members with discounts in exchange for coverage on the site and trader status on the forum. We also hope all members may also be able to try to support in any way they can, whenever possible.

There will of course be rules ( Fucking rules) this is OSS after all. To be a Racer you will have to be a current competitor in an recognised race series or competitive straight-liner competition. In exchange we only ask that racers keep us all informed of their, builds and results in the race section of the site.

Rumour also has it that we will be fielding a Flying Hammers race team at the coming 4 hour endurance legends race at Donington on the 6th and 7th. Watch this space…

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

711-in-the-sunWhat comes to my mind when someone mentions a motorcycle road trip around Europe? A large capacity sports tourer with hard luggage and a gel seat? Perhaps it’s an adventure bike with unlimited luggage capacity and the finest Gortex multilayer touring gear?

This story is about a motorcycle road trip that is the antithesis of what you might normally associate with motorcycle touring. In contrast to the norm, this story is about toughing it out, without compromise, on a two wheeled, air-cooled weapon of choice.  This story is about an almost Zen like minimalism all wrapped up in a “fuck you” sense of style. The bike and the rider are motorcycle touring nonetheless, because nobody told them they shouldn’t or couldn’t, and if they had,  I don’t think they would have been heard over the sound of one Suzuki’s finest engines being piped through a titanium Racefit growler.

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It all starts with a bike you would not normally associate with any kind of long range two wheeled odyssey. A 1230cc EFE powered Suzuki  ET special with a unique, tweaked and braced bare steel frame. It has no room for panniers. It has rear set foot pegs, a high level sub-frame and a single seat unit that comprises of little more than a thin layer of high -density seat foam.

The choice of equipment for the camping tour is both careful and clever. When you can’t carry very much you must choose carefully.

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The choice of clothing consists of one pair of lace up boots, a set of one piece leathers from the 1970’s and a Simpson helmet. Not everyone’s choice of riding gear for such a long trip but now you might be beginning to understand what made this trip so interesting to me.

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Welcome to the strange ways of frame building guru and OSS stalwart Alan (Strangewayz) Caven.  Alan called this trip Air-cooled, steel framed Anarchy! I think the trip sums up the uncompromising, meticulous, unique, creative and thoroughly considered approach that Mr Stragewayz brings to most things that he does.

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I had followed Alan’s trip over the summer through social media updates and I loved every instalment. There was very little narrative in his updates, mostly just pictures and one-liners but despite that the whole idea really appealed to me so I asked Alan if I could stitch it all together and get some background behind his motives for the trip. Here’s what he told me:

I went through a phase of not finishing any of my own builds due to always working on other people’s stuff, along the way I got tagged by a few people as falling into the category of enjoying building a bike more than actually riding it.

Nothing could be further from the truth; I don’t actually see the point in building something if it isn’t going to get some proper use. It’s the ultimate test of workmanship, seeing if the design, choice of components and execution were good enough.

Some people live for the dragstrip, track days or weekend ride outs… For me it’s all about a road trip, which has to be overseas and on something home built because that combination makes things edgier, takes you out of daily life home country comfort zones, tests both the bike and yourself physically and mentally (I broke both my elbows, right wrist and left ankle in a crash years ago so have a few war wounds to deal with).

I nailed my colours to the mast years ago – Air-cooled – Steel framed – Muscle bikes! Un-faired and loud is the way to roll.

Those of us that know Alan know that his unique take on Suzuki’s GSX 1100 ET was built as tribute to his late wife, who he tragically lost to cancer back in 2010.  Alan lost his last  remaining link to his wife when, not long ago, he also lost their dog Ozzy.  Alan explained that the bike and the trip were an important part of his climb out a pretty dark place.

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Whilst I built the 711 out of 7-Nov Rip Mrs Strangewayz with the intent to hit European streets with it, the real catalyst for this actual trip was when I also lost Ozzy – my Dobermann. The last link with my wife,as he’d been ours. He got me through some tough times he was always there for me. In that moment life was pretty shit, my whole world had gone and life didn’t actually make much sense – what was the point of it all if that was what was served up? I knew needed something positive to concentrate on.

The Provisional MotoGP calendar for 2016 came out with Austria GP & Czech Republic on consecutive weekends; that was it! I knew that by planning to travel minimal and mostly camp it would occupy my mind with how to actually do that. The easy route would be to leave mid-week and roll from Germany straight into Austria…. but that was too easy !!

Heard about Tavullia (Rossi’s home town) seemed a cool place, the man had a bar and pizza place so hey rock up over the alps and drop down into Italy before heading back up to Austria.

I just need an excuse to go and then join the dots up, I used (road) racing but as you can see the journey is more important than the destination, as is what you choose to do the trip on (bike).

The Icing on the cake was that the dates would work to end up back in the Isle of Man for the Classic TT Races. Game on!

I knew this was going to be a busy year because I was also going to the NW200 Road Races mid-May and the TT Races start of June.

Whilst I had some serious reasons for planning the trip, the trip itself was an adventure with a lot of spontaneous stuff going on.

This was how the actual route ended up :

Sat Day 1             Northampton to Bastogne in Belgium

Sun Day 2            Bastogne to Lake Constance (Germany)

Mon Day 3          Lake Constance to Riva Del Garda (Lake Garda – Italy)

Tue Day 4            Riva Del Garda to Tavullia (Rimini near San Marino)

Wed Day 5          Tavullia to Spielburg (Redbull Ring – Austria)

Thur – Fri – Sat – Sun all Moto GP

Mon Day 10        Spielburg to Linz (Austria – OSS Greg Sochor)

Tue Day 11          Linz to Brno (Czech Repb) Chance of a pit pass J

Wed Day 12        Brno to Prague (Czech Repb) no pit pass lol..

Thur Day 13        Prague to Brno (loose keys….)

Fri – Sat – Sun     all Moto GP

Mon Day 17        Brno to Nuremburg (Germany)

Tue Day 18          Nuremburg to Etalle (Belgium)

Wed Day 19        Etalle to Northampton (England !)

Thur Day 20        Northampton to Isle of Man

Fri – Sat – Sun – Mon all Classic TT Races

Tue Day 25          Isle of Man to Northampton

Wed                      Back to work….

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After speaking to Alan I realised the best way to recount this tale was in the way that I had first experienced it on social media, so I have chosen my favourite updates he made during the trip  below and embedded any words as he used at the time.

 

Early start this morning 4am ish… Neighbours love the sound of a Racefit exhaust clearing it’s throat..

160 miles later it was ferry time, off & the down the road a bit now. Just had a broken English sign language ‘you look like the Stig’ moment…….

Long time since I did a 400 miler, good to be back t it.First night stop over, clues on the bar.

Lol worst camping pitch I ever had, lucky I got a 3/4 Thermarest + Jungle Juice & a Balaclava to survive the midges by Lake Constance as I put tent up in the dark last night. Strangewayz 1 – Midges 0

Think I’m in a different world… The locals are going to love the sound of the 711 clearing it’s throat Racefit style…

Stopped to pull pants out of crack & lovely view of Alps in background

Rocking late 70’s Dainese one piece, genuine retro race gearI scored off Italian eBay last year. Just these & a pair of shorts, non armoured so not as bulky as modern stuff. Looks cool as on the 711

Wasn’t sure but having worn them fucking brilliant, these are the ‘Adventure’ ones, they also do Cruiser or Sport. Have computer designed pads so yeah like posh cycling shorts.

Kriega Hydro 3, wouldn’t be without it. I buy a 1tr bottle of water each day & throw it in. Leaves space for other easy grab gear & so light it’s feels like wearing nothing. Has bladder pocket + 1 other zipped side pocket & the elastic string on the back. The mouth piece is easy to use whilst riding.

Ready to roll, still got the Tavullia cardboard sign to strap somewhere 🙂 Heading north to Czech Repb for their MotoGP race. Stopping off today to see Oldschool Suzuki Greg Sochor in Linz some 200km away. Prague on Weds then back to Brno Thurs ready for the racing. Austria MotoGP was awesome event 215,000 people over the 3 days. Great racing, atmosphere & the sun came out to play.

Side of the road rain gear & visor change, car travel this isn’t haha… Strangewayz keeping it real !

US Urban battle Goretex, gaiters & Red Wing boots – oh yeah & no quick shifter lol

Wrong sport but if your into VW’s this is the famous She’ll garage (now Eri) outside Velden which is ‘The’ place to hangout at the annual Worthersee show. I will be back out this was in my Mk1 Golf in a few years when it’s done. My stupid idea was to get here then find somewhere to wild camp. At silly am it was hard trying to find anywhere as built up with resorts & posh hotels. In the end pushed 100km onto the Red Bull Ring running low on fuel (all shut), IPhone battery (Google maps) & energy. But I did it & I love my bike, 711 was awesome, better than me !!

Definitely regard it as a badge of honour when, so far I am the only motorcycle on the campsite for a bike race ! Especially when I had to move my tent this morning being considered in the way of the the blue awning the couple are putting up who just arrived this morning in their van from up the road (Austria). Hey who knows maybe they will share their beer with me later hahahah….

Road trip shite Austria MotoGP Not really on the piss, that’s when riding solo parked up for a few days is hardest. English speakers thin on the ground but I’m in a good place. Side of a mountain, village part of the track, cool shit, locals love the visitors, bit Euro beat/pop 24/7 sausage feast – why the fuck do you want to dance on a table with your mate – that’s for girls to show off haha… but didn’t do this to feel like I was down the local. General admission ticket (grass) but shite, Isle of Man has spoiled me, but found a good spot with the boys leaving rubber. Dovi & the Maniac at each other all day, Vin what a boy! Cru at times top Honda. MotoGP app excellent with live sector times & a track graphic showing rider positions. Good times, memories lots, ride your bike & go do shit.

It’s all about Suzuki, rockin’ Rizzla T today

T shirt drying, would make a good paint job…

Ahh tent life, big grin, chilling out, road tripping again in the morning, good times rolling.

Fuck yes, tent up at Brno circuit, beer going down hatch.very pretty bar maid, could get to like this haha !! Too you sir that will e£1.20 a pint woo hoo hell yeah

Hanging around feeling lucky…

Czech MotoGP pit pass gig didn’t fall into place, hung around for 2 hours & can you believe as I was riding out along the back lanes the wagon rolled past in a group of 3 ! Turned round asap but by the time I caught them up the guys were already through the barrier. Had a cool time hanging out & wasn’t meant to be. On way to Prague & seriously the main motorway from Brno up is the worst piece of shit road I’ve been on. Bone shaker of a road with a nasty split/crack between lanes 1 & 2. Pulled over for a coffee to check out other routes ! Still smiling though 🙂

85km away form Prague river campsite, needed chocolate so hey park under 3 cameras. Girl too right was seriously sexy….

 

The Girls are Pretty & the Roads are Shitty. Czech roads are the worst piece of crap I’ve been on, might be different in ya cars guys but on a bike you get hammered, Garmin satnav plastic mount just broke because of it, will be on the hunt for cable ties & duct tape 🙂

Ffs we have lost key, Hotwire plan… seriously no photo setup, but still smiling !

Look it’s all about priorities, sweat talking the bar maid to get…… the Suzuki pics from her calendar haha go Vin !!!

Hmm describe Al in a pic ! Yeah beers going down well…….

Seriously impressed the Dunlop Q3 is keeping it’s profile, had to do some serious straight line miles in 30 deg air temps with all the gear on the back & it hasn’t got a shite flat section yet. Too many UK cars showing up around Brno, keep it on 2 wheels guys !!!

After yesterday’s Hotwire after loosing keys on trip 5km away to local atm…. got 3 days parked up as track is walking distance. Re checked my spares kit & lucky boy I did pack a few goodies, should be able to do something ok to last the 1500km trip home 🙂

Having a shite time as you can see whoo hooo

Err so it’s not 8am & sat by the side of the road drinking beer with a dude from Panama also called Alan lol either that or it’s all a weird dream. I only stopped for an espresso because the girl was pretty but the machine wasn’t warmed up……….

Brno MotoGP !

Suzuki out spotting, MotoGP Fp3

Cup say “100% energie” hope it works 🙂

Agh the moment the sugar rush hit whoo hooo caking my way through Germany….

Pffff not impressed my Oberon mirror has fallen apart on me again ffs. I like the gear but for what it cost I don’t expect to have to hold it up on my knuckles whilst waiting for a foreign motorway services to pull over & take if off. Fail 🙁

Hmmm choices choices ok both !!

Chasing the sat nav down, got a good number on it that gets me on the ferry. Fuel stops only, cake later !

Time to roll again 🙂

Sitting at the Creg taking in all the wonderful sounds from the different classes out practicing. Fantastic views in the background which is why I didn’t bother taking a picture of the pub !! Awesome to see 250cc two strokes back racing on the island with their own class.

Ready to roll again, off to watch the Superbike Race & then will be on the ferry home…..

Still going strong – Aircooled forever !

Any day I ride the 711 is a good day just some are sadder than others.

So if you’re reading this and you still don’t understand and or admire the sheer insane and inspirational brilliance of  this road trip then you are probably on the wrong website. Alan, OSS salutes you sir. Here’s to building  them, riding them , and smugly enjoying what you have carved out using your hands, your ingenuity and your imagination and here’s to never letting anyone tell you that you can’t.

This is Alan’s story, so it’s only right that he should get the last word.

What an awesome bike! Still riding it every day to work, need to pull it off road soon as brake discs, pads, rear sprocket almost shot – had to put some winter tyres on (Michelin Pilot Road 4’s) as the Dunlop q3’s which I had on for the trip & did everything I wanted but won’t grip below 5 degrees.

Discuss this article here.

ENDURANCE LEGENDS at DONINGTON PARK 6-7TH MAY 2017

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Last year we said that all real world OSS events would be held around other larger bike focused events. Last year we had 2 big get togethers. The first one was at the Classic Bike Trackday weekend event at Cadwell and the second was at the VJMC  classic bike festival at Donington Park. Both events were a great success and proved to tick all the boxes by providing an opportunity to meet and socialise, while surrounded by OSS bikes on our stand and on the track.

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Yesterday I spoke to Rob from Classic Bike Trackdays and we agreed that OSS would have a stand at the Endurance Legends weekend at Donington Park on the 6th and 7th of May next year.

I can’t fully describe how much fun this weekend is going to be and I am confident it is going to be our best event to date. For those of you not aware Suzuki themselves have provided significant input and funding into the event. Some of you may also be aware that they are funding and supplying the parts to build a Katana endurance race bike that will compete in the 4 hour endurance race that weekend. Previous bike of the month winners Phase one will be there to keep them honest and of course there will be a host of other teams and bikes competing. I also heard a rumour that there will also be one of Suzuki’s original GSXR-750 endurance race bikes taking part.

If that is not enough we have block booked 10 trackday slots for those that want to do more than spectate.The trackday is run by Classic Bike Trackdays. These guys know how to run a trackday event. The Cadwell event last year ran like clockwork.  The trackday slots are made up of six sessions split across the 2 days and they will take place in between the endurance race rounds…no pressure then. The best thing is that this is a no noise limit event. I’ll say that again for those of us who have already permanently damaged our hearing; THIS IS A NO NOISE LIMIT EVENT! No need to cross your fingers at scrutineering or raid the loft insulation the night before.

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The track day slots are face value at £199 per bike and include a weekend pass for 2 for the entire weekend. The track day is already 25% booked and is filling up fast. Our 10 slots are guaranteed with places available in all three categories of novice, intermediate and advanced.  Personally, I found the novice category last year didn’t prevent me from going as fast as I wanted and when your are riding your pride and joy the last thing you want to to do is allow heroics get the better of you and end up with a gymnastic situation.

If you want to do the track day I suggest you follow the link at the bottom and state you interest quickly. We might be able to get additional booking slots if we fill our 10 quickly and you can book directly with Classic Bike Trackdays here

Trackday and bikes on the stand will also get an opportunity to go out as an OSS group for a few parade laps.

If you don’t have a bike on the stand or on the track entry for the weekend will be £30. There will be camping , live bands and so much unadulterated bike porn that you may well need to take several little lie downs throughout the course of the weekend.

Members click here to book.

If it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough power yet – The quest for speed.

This year we’ve had the pleasure of following one of our youngest members on his crusade to build a winning 300bhp turbo wheelie bike based on a GSXR1100 Slingshot from the 1990’s. We all watched in amazement as the master plan took shape and we rode the roller coaster with him throughout the year.His determination and focus was such that  it soon became clear he was either going to break a record, break his engine or break himself.

Fortunately he managed the first 2 and not the 3rd. Here’s Kev Kearsley’s round up of  his 2016 campaign. He went into this  year as the Kid Kearsley but nobody can deny that he came out the the other side Da Man!

The Quest for Speed

Kev Kearsley

Ever wake up and think I’m going to do 200mph today? Tuesday was one of those days.

The Top Speed Tuesday put on by Straightliners at Elvington marked the last event of the year for myself, and what a year.

With numerous top speed days for tuning the bike for the Wheelie Comp, seeing a failed 194mph kilometre wheelie for dropping it a few metres short of the required distance.

A trip to Pendine sands in South Wales where I set two land speed records reaching 174mph on sand.

Hundreds of miles on the road two up

A track day at Oulton Park in the soaking wet, 300bhp on summer race tyres in the wet is not advisable Kid.

A few static displays at various motorcycle shows to fly the OSS banner including Donnington where my alter ego Rene took the old girl for a few laps of the track.

Many visits to RTR motorcycles for dyno runs, one off which was for the OSS dyno day where the bike made 300bhp.

So all in all a good year! Just think of the stress that engine has had doing all that, the only fault I got all year really was a leaky block so I’d say quite a reliable one.

Lets go out with a bang! I had that shit or bust attitude on.

It had been raining all Monday night making it look like the event would be cancelled, that gut wrenching feeling driving to the track in the rain for 2 hours thinking this ain’t gunna happen today. The rain stopped thankfully and after waiting a few hours to allow the track to dry we were given the all clear to attack the track.

The bike is, as a few of you know, made for wheelies, this means a short 55″ wheel base and big horsepower, not an ideal combo for Land Speed Racing.

Time to do the job. I was waved off by the starting Marshall after sat staring down a 3km runway. Short shifting 1st, 2nd, 3rd into 4th with a little wheel spin as the track was cold and still damp, into top gear and the bike is now naturally wanting to wheelie up in the air, feathering the throttle on and off to try keep the front wheel planted was an impossible task.

kk-speed-1I felt gravity some what take over just shy of the line and I managed to pin the the throttle open all tucked in with my chin on the tank as I had no fairing to hide behind.

kk-speed

Made it. Still alive. Slowly throttle off as not to upset the bike, heart beating, did it do 200?? That drive back to the pits and the timing office seems to take forever.

203.8mph! On an unfaired 30 year old motorcycle with a well and truly abused engine.

kk-times

Thank you to all involved over the past year for parts, advise and food.

Use the link below to view the onboard action.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0QcmiqJi-rISzdsMzdYTkJscU0/view

 

Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about…

1011022_189366621226132_1459505250_nLooking back on the years between when the original OSS faded and the months and weeks directly before we brought OSS back from the dead, there were some that thought we should have let sleeping dogs lie. OSS had lived out it’s natural life cycle and should remain assigned to the past along with, for most of us,  our late 30’s and our 40’s. There was a belief that we could never hope to re-capture the magic because those days had passed and so much had changed in the world and in our lives. The brotherhood that thrived during the OSS heydays had fragmented into a thousand pieces and scattered to the winds. Too much time had passed to sound the great horn once again and bring all the parts back together.

Back then we were united by an idea. The idea that we could take a 10 year old bike and armed with a smug sense of self belief , the power of shared knowledge, cunning engineering and self anointed divine righteousness we could single handedly nullify all of the progress that the Japanese motorcycle industry had made over 20 years  by outperforming all modern machinery and embarrassing  their owners with our re-engineered  prehistoric wonders. I don’t know if we ever truly succeeded with any constancy but it felt good trying and the shared belief that what we were doing was worthwhile provided us all with a real sense of belonging at OSS and a strong collective identity.

Fast forward 10 years and a new age is upon us. People are actually welding slabby subframes back on! Slabby bodywork, which once lay discarded at the back of sheds all over Europe, because it couldn’t be given away, is now being traded for the price of a small Caribbean  island. The world and his wife now wants to own a standard 80s 0r 90s sports bike.

So what place can there be in this new world  for a relic of a website  from the naughties and its foolhardy inhabitants who continue to dedicate themselves  to the retro upgrade of what have now become expensive contemporary classics?

Well, take one look at the project section and you’ll see that little has changed in the respect that we are still trying to re-engineer bikes from the 80’s and 90’s and while turbos where something for the favoured few back then they have become standard trim in recent years thanks to people like Dave Dunlop making it look easy.( it’s not)

There are also a number of changes in our identity that have been more organic than engineered. In truth, we didn’t know how may of our original members would return and we didn’t know what we might end up with when we re-animated the corpse of OSS.

So what else has changed? and where has it led us? Well, for one thing, we are all a little older, a little wiser, a lot more experienced and for many of us we have a little more disposable income than we did 10 years ago. What this means is that that the quality of what we can build has improved along with the finish and the over all quality of the components we can buy. So in short 15 years later, most of us are building the bikes we couldn’t hope to have afforded to build or hoped to execute 10-15 years ago. (middle age rocks)

The second welcome development is the  rise in popularity of post classic racing and other straightliner events. This  has led to a renaissance in building OSS bikes fit for purpose. There are still plenty of street bikes being built but there are more and more of our bikes being built to compete. Last year, 2 of our bikes of the month took world records at Pendine Sands and one was an  international post classic racing series winner. We also have a number of members building their bikes solely to compete in various race events.

While the original site did have a few racers ( Go Runt Go!) we never really gave them a special place on the site.  Over the last year we have recognised the importance of those that choose old school Suzuki motorcycles as their foundation for a building a competitive machine. This has convinced us that we need to provide a race section on the site and we need to create an OSS identity for our growing band of intrepid competitors.  Over the next few months the Oldskoolsuzuki International Race Team will start to take shape. We have begun working on a new winged hammer logo as the team emblem that racers will be able to proudly display on their bikes. We will also hope to encourage companies to offer the Race Team discounts in exchange for coverage and trader status. We also hope members may also be able to try to support with parts when possible.

There will of course be rules ( Fucking rules) this is OSS after all. To be a Racer you will have to be a current competitor in an organised race series or competitive straight-liner event. We will also expect you to keep us all informed of your antics in the race section.

Keep your eyes peeled for the race team launch before the end of 2016.

So, we might not be the OSS that we once were ,but in truth, we are a far better fit for the world we now find ourselves in. OSS is just a website, without the passion that we all share and the time that we all dedicate to updating our threads and sharing our knowledge, it would be nothing more than a blank page.

Thank you everyone for continuing to waste your valuable time with us. May your 10mm socket always be where you thought you left it and may the power of  Hanma-Shin’s mighty hammer be with you, always.

And for those lost OSS brothers and sisters still wandering , we sound the great horn once again and hope that you hear its call.

 

 

 

Bike of the month September 2016

For the last year the Admin team have selected the bike of the month and then either myself or Minx have written the article. For the next 12 months Vizman has kindly volunteered to write the bike of the month piece. I’ll be posting an update on our plans for the coming year  shortly and these include a continued drive to find additional contributors for the front page.

Next month when Vizman’s training is complete he will publish his own content but here is his debut as BOTM editor:

BOTMsep

BOTM by Viz

Wayne Kemp once wrote about building a vehicle. He was more than likely bustin’ a gut in Detroit as opposed to Hamamatsu, nevertheless we could all relate to his relentless sentence on the production line, watching as you help build something you could never afford …..(it obviously wasn’t a song based on ‘Henry’s’ plant)

Wayne didn’t have the internet to flick to the latest pages of NWS (always assumed ‘Not Work Safe’) but you have. I recommend you go take a fag/tea/dump break and witness something far removed from the chopped up slab bones of the first introduction….. ”yeah but WTF has this got to do with that?”

Well, I’ll tell you.  By congratulating clivegto for producing BOTM, read about it here.

Mr Kemp let someone else record his song ….that dude was Mr Johnny Cash, aka the man in black, and as you can see from clivegto’s own interpretation of doing things ‘One Piece at a Time’ you can create something really kool….and black*

*the best colour according to Viz

 

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood

It’s fair to say that most of us are either knocking on the door of middle age or older. When you consider the bikes we covet are 30 years old, that makes sense. So what possesses a guy, still in his 20’s, to build a 300BHP monster turbo bike based around GSXR slingshot? More to the point what possesses him to then race it on Pendine sands and compete in the international speed wheelie championships? In truth, I don’t know the answer, but whatever he’s on, I would like some too.

I have been nagging him for some months to write an account of his adventures and share them here on our front page.  I’m not bothered that he hasn’t had time up until now because I know that young people don’t always do what they’re told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment.

Here is Kev’s account of our recent dyno weekend, clearly after reading this you can see why he has little time for anything else. You can also see why his age is an advantage.

Kev Kearsley

Super busy weekend! So prior to the dyno day I had a leaky barrel that has plagued the bike since it was built, looks like someone had been a bit heavy with a pry bar at some point but never mind we can fix and make do, so with a freshly rebuilt motor sacrificing parts from my other build I had a bike without a proper set up.

Friday

Took the Friday off work to run round getting Avgas and other bits and pieces. Setup the clutch and finish all the little jobs and fitted the new motor back in.

Saturday

Saturday and I was up damn early..image.jpeg

I decided to book an early dyno session with Dan to get some data on the new setup, this meant leaving before the sun came up to be in Bingham for 08:30, even got to watch the sun rise.

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Arriving at 7:30 I had time to fit the full exhaust system and swap the fuel over to Avgas.

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Dan arrives at 08:30 and the bike is strapped in

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Poor show. 220bhp poor, the fuelling was way out and the bike then decided to have an oil leak all overs Dans shiny new dyno.

“I’ll be back”….. *gets on the blower ….”ello Davvveeeeee”…..

Mad dash over to SPR to get some jets after breakfast with @Havoc and a roadside recovery for @Paulm

First things first, oil leak, turns out on of the APE studs had stripped (that’s twice now). Dave got the glue gun out and promptly set fire to the offending stud. image.jpeg

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It was promptly replaced with a new stud and nut. Now about this time most of you would of been 3 pints in thinking about ordering a cheeky bag of roasted peanuts at the Horse & Plough. Not us, Sam Dunlop made a lovely meal and we were back on it.

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Quick jet change based on info taken from my sly dyno run early Saturday morning and it was test ride time, no leaks, great success. Still rich though, big turbo bike wailing down country back roads ain’t ideal but at that moment in time necessary.

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Loopie being Loopie found a giggle box on the shelf of many things, didn’t take five seconds to plumb that in…. Suns going down now, no headlight… Test ride…. Hello Moto… Now we are talking! It’s getting late.

Across town @vizman is probably on his third story about the good old days at sea. Not us, we’re keen driven enthusiasts hell bent on blowing shit up. Few odds and sods and buttoned up and I was ready for bed.

Sunday

Up early, fresh as a daisy and popped over to RTR motorcycles.

First run, still too rich, lean it out, again…

It was at this point I should of stopped for a butty.

Two final runs of 296bhp & 298bhp back to back!

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Proof of all the hard work by Me and Dave.  Fuelling spot on too!

So, a busy put very productive weekend! So if I didn’t stop and say hi you may understand why.

Great event, we should keep doing these events!

Kev.