Oldskoolsuzuki goes to Donington classic bike festival 2015

The Donington classic bike festival has fast become one of the largest classic bike events in Europe. As well as a massive hall full of classic and contemporary classic bikes , there are also 3 days of classic bike racing round the Donigton Park circuit. All you have to do is walk out of the main hall and you are track side.

This was not the first time OSS have had a stand at the event but it was the first time since the new site was launched. The show is run by VJMC and it is well laid out and organised. Our stand is set up and run by Dave (katana) Whitehead and Mark Parry all credit must go to Dave and Mark  for the effort that they put into organising the event for us. They really do a top job.

I had spent a lot of time this year rebuilding my Katana and working with the other Admins on the new site launch. Combine that with family and work and all the other stuff that we all have going on and I was in need of some time out.

I hadn’t been on a road trip for ages so I booked a place on the stand for my Katana and exchanged holidays and brownie points for a long weekend pass for some much needed OSS fun. I knew the weather was going to be “changeable” ( read probably pissing down) so I was undecided as to whether I should ride down or take a van. In the past I had always ridden to events because for me a road trip is always better on the bike. This time though a couple of things were telling me perhaps I should take a van. Firstly the rear-sets I had fitted were going to be uncomfortable for a 600 mile round trip( old bastard)  and secondly I had removed all of the rear hangers which had been where my panniers had secured before. So I was going to have to travel very light despite having to camp for 3 days. In the end I hired a transit for the 3 days and stuck the Kat in the back. I figured the van would also double as my accommodation while I was there.

So late  on the Friday morning I loaded up  the van and set off for Castle Donington. It was nearly 6pm when I got there thanks to road works but I got there just as Dave was arriving and I unloaded the bike and put it on the stand ready for the next morning. The loading and unloading along with hall security is run with military precision. I felt totally at ease leaving the bike there overnight.

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Dave setting up

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All the basics catered for

I made my way down to the camp site and set up the van, which took approximately 2 minutes. It was was about now that I realised I hadn’t eaten all day and I had already consumed a few beers setting up camp ( as you do)I was now starving but I had no food. I couldn’t drive anywhere now due to accidentally inhaling a couple of  beers. Everything near by was now closed. ( note I had brought beer but no food- priorities) At this point an old guy in a Laverda T-shirt shouted that if anyone wanted some chilli they were welcome. I wandered over to find a full on camp kitchen with around 15 Laverda owners sitting round a long table tucking into chilli. I sat down and ate 2 bowls and drank the beer they also kindly offered.The old guy that had invited me  asked me “what bike do you have” I replied “a Suzuki Katana” He then replied enthusiastically “oh I have a Bandit 1200″ Before I could stop myself I looked at him and said ” it’s OK I wont hold that against you” there was a momentary silence then the whole table burst into fits of laughter. The old guy then called me a “sweaty sock” which is Southerner slang for a Jock or Scotsman and friendly banter ensued. These guys were great. I had never met them before but they fed me and we exchanged good willed insults until I made my excuses and left.

By the time I got back to Camp OSS the rest of the troops had arrived and started to set up. I helped Fod erect his 16 man tent for him and his wife. Then we settled down for some more beers and good humoured piss taking. Fod had bought himself new “special black opps stealth crocs” especially for that weekend. Shortly after that Yoshi Johnny turned up in his mobile house/garage. Dave and Mark  had already set up camp and Tom ( Havoc) had just arrived on his bike and we were soon joined by JP.  The most important thing was that the weather was perfect for outdoor living. Pretty soon everyone was set up and the beers was flowing .  We would finish the stand in the morning and the show opened to the public at 10am.

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Fod strikes a pose with his new SAS Crocs.

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Good weather and good company

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Living room , Kitchen, bedroom and Garage.

The Show itself  was great with lots of very cool classic Jap, European  and British bikes on display. The weather on Saturday, like the Friday , was perfect. Sunny and hot. I spent my time between the stand and the track side. The OSS stand stuck out like a sore thumb because there was such an eclectic mixture of machinery. Everything from Yoshi Johnny’s Lockhart race slabby through to Paul’s “cursed” GSXR powered chop. Tom Davidson’s EZ got lot’s of sideways looks too. On the Sunday I was asked to place a rosette on the bike that we wanted to put forward as the best of our stand. I wanted to put Tom’s EZ forward but apparently this didn’t go down well with the VJMC organisers so in the end I opted for Rossco’s GSXR 750 slabside. It looks at first glance like a standard bike but has 17″ 3 spokes and an upside down font end from a K series GSXR.Very understated but the sort of bike we would all like to take home.  I could have equally chosen Paul’s turbo Bandit but the fact that I’m collecting bits for a slabby 11 build myself tainted my choice a bit so it was always going to be between YJ’s Lockhart race replica. and Rossco’s tweaked Slabby. In the end I decided that because YJ was already a minor celebrity that the honour should go to Rossco. The pictures in the gallery below are curtsey of Mark Parry ( who Dave affectionately referred to as his show bitch) Great Pictures Mark, thanks.

Tom and I also took advantage of our exhibitors wrist bands and and took a wander round the race paddock on the Sunday to ogle all the the race bikes.It’s easy to see how people can become addicted to the life of racing. The Paddock is a thriving community all in it’s own right. The smell of Castrol R mixed with BBQ made me wish I could move into this neighbourhood and put down some routes.

On the Saturday night it was more of the same OSS camp fire banter. Dave and Fod  combined culinary forces and cooked up a first class BBQ before we wandered to the pub in the dark, a couple of miles away. On the way back we were all  impressed at how unaware unafraid Tom was of oncoming traffic. We were also witness to some mindless vandalism which as an OSS official I cannot condone.

11781603_10153512314677179_6608057303636055036_n 11831694_10153512314827179_49138624822915929_n The highlight of the show for me was on the Sunday. When all the weekend’s racing was complete we were invited to do 3 laps of the track led by none other than Fast Freddie Spencer, Nail Mackenzie, Steve Parish and Ron Haslam. The OSS team were right up at the front of the pack looking like they had taken a wrong turn and ended up on a race circuit.

In Fairness, Steve Parish and Nail Mackenzie were both on Fizzies and the laps were controlled by a pace car to protect some of the vintage mopeds that would be bringing up the rear. Nonetheless the first lap saw things get quite sporty. None of the safety measures stopped Paul running Steve Parish and his Fizzy onto the grass with his slightly larger Turbo Bandit powered ET on one corner.

It was quite surreal to be riding round Donington Park on my Katana in my Jeans and a leather jacket with Yoshi Johnnie on one side of me and Freddie Spencer on the other. It got more bizarre when  big Paul flew through the middle of us on his GSXR powered hard-tail chop.  He got a sideways WTF turn of the head from Freddie followed by a nod of acknowledgement. Fod managed a full 3 laps on his X7 without any issue and Dave never got to ride his Katana but still looked as happy as a pig in shit to be riding a 750 slingshot he brought with him.

So after the laps were done I loaded up the bike into the van said my fond farewells to my OSS friends, new and old  and set off for the 300 mile trip back home. I had a few hours and the open road to reflect upon what had turned out to be an epic weekend with a wonderful bunch of like minded people. I was still pinching myself to make sure I hadn’t imagined the track action and I laughed out loud several times on the long journey home as my mind replayed some of the weekend’s events. I know that getting out from behind a keyboard into the real world and meeting actual people isn’t for everyone but I would urge anyone who wanted to extend their involvement and enrich their enjoyment of  the world of OSS to make the effort to do just that.. I will definitely be coming back to Donington next August. My thanks to Dave and Mark for all of the effort they put into the stand and the excellent hospitality they extended to me. Thanks Guys!

Pootash!

Katanamangler.

Discuss this article here

 

Ultrasonic Cleaning Service

Mcmental ( Chris McNicoll) is a long time member of OSS and he has been ultrasonically cleaning carbs, looms and other engine components for nearly 5 years
Chris operates a 22 litre tank ) and uses an expensive, quality American designed fluid that is used worldwide in the aviation industry.  To give you an idea of what size the tank is, Chris can fit a full GSXR head in the tank as per the photo.
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For a completeGSXR head OSS members will benefit from the bargain price of £45 , including return postage.

For a bank of 4 carbs,  Chris will  strip,clean,rebuild,set float heights for just £45 and that includes insured (£200) return postage. If while stripping and cleaning he finds  anything  that is worn and needs to be replaced e.g. gaskets, o rings etc,  he will source replacements at cost and fit them free of charge.
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Chris  can also clean your complete wiring loom, stripping off all the old sticky black tape and replacing with nice new non sticky loom cloth tape this costs £25 inc return postage.
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If you are interested in using the service you can PM Chris through  his Mcmental trader profile in our trader section. Chris has kindly offered a free loom clean worth £25 to the winner  of our  OSS member competition. Find out more here.

About Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaning is a process that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean items. The ultrasound can be used with just water, but use of a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned along with the soiling enhances the effect. Cleaning normally lasts between three and six minutes, but can also exceed 20 minutes, depending on the object to be cleaned.Ultrasonic cleaners are used to clean many different types of objects, including jewellery, lenses and other optical parts, watches, dental and surgical instruments, tools, coins, fountain pens, golf clubs, fishing reels, window blinds, firearms, musical instruments, industrial parts and electronic equipment. They are used in many jewellery workshops, watchmakers’ establishments, and electronic repair workshops.Ultrasonic cleaning uses cavitation bubbles induced by high frequency pressure (sound) waves to agitate a liquid. The agitation produces high forces on contaminants adhering to substrates like metals, plastics, glass, rubber, and ceramics. This action also penetrates blind holes, cracks, and recesses. The intention is to thoroughly remove all traces of contamination tightly adhering or embedded onto solid surfaces. Water or other solvents can be used, depending on the type of contamination and the workpiece. Contaminants can include dust, dirt, oil, pigments, rust, grease, algae, fungus, bacteria, lime scale, polishing compounds, flux agents, fingerprints, soot wax and mold release agents, biological soil like blood, and so on. Ultrasonic cleaning can be used for a wide range of workpiece shapes, sizes and materials, and may not require the part to be disassembled prior to cleaning.[4] Objects must not be allowed to rest on the bottom of the device during the cleaning process, because that will prevent cavitation from taking place on the part of the object not in contact with solvent

Bike of the Month July 2015

BOTM 07 2015
After so many years in the wilderness it is great to have our URL live again with a front page and a buzzing and active forum. While the Admin team that built this new site were busy running the Facebook page and plotting the return of OSS one man called Ash took the initiative to start the temporary forum. We and many other OSS junkies owe you a big fat thank you for all the work that you put in to running that forum.
To celebrate the return of the site and as a way of showing our thanks to you for all your work we want to bestow upon you the honour of being the recipient of our very first “Bike of the month”.

Bask in the glory my fiend, you earned it.

With thanks from all of us.

BTW, yes BOTM is back so get building 🙂

Discuss this post here.

Piston-deck height

Deck height is defined as the distance between the top edge of the piston crown (with the piston at TDC) to the edge of the cylinder liner. The closer the edge of the piston crown is to the edge of the cylinder the high the compression ratio will be.

So if you have pistons that are 10.5:1 and they are 0.010″ below the edge of the cylinder and you are able to reduce the deck height by 0.010″ then the actual compression ratio of the cylinder will be increased.

The reduction of the piston deck height can be accomplished in several ways. Machining the cylinder block is the most common method.

A word of caution you must know exactly the minimum valve to piston clearance that is required. this varies in different engine designs. To increase the piston to valve clearance usually the valve relief pockets on the piston’s crown are enlarged or the height of the piston at TDC must be lowered in the cylinder.

Oversize Valves

Some tuners believe that larger size valves enhance Hi-RPM power at the expense of Low-RPM power. This has proven to be false due to the results of dyno tests and theory. Larger valves enhance Hi and Low RPM.

When a valve is closed it has no size whatsoever for a cylinder’s ability to induce air flow. A valve that is opened, 0.015”, appears to the cylinder as a small valve. Only when the valve reaches 25% of its total lift point does the cylinder actually experience anything near the true size of the valve. If a cylinder was stuffed with valves as big as possible to create a greater movement of the air/ fuel mixture and exhaust gasses and the larger valves proved to be excessive (too large), the solution of the problem would be to reduce the valve’s lift, besides reducing the air flow it would also reduce the wear and friction on the valve train. In the real world, the criterias for the intake and exhaust system for making peak HP and torque at a given engine RPM is the cross section area of the intake and exhaust ports, not the size of the valves.

The real advantage of using oversize valves is that, for a specific rate of the valve’s opening, an oversize valve will give a greater breathing area to the cylinder quicker. This is equal to as a smaller valve opened at higher rate of acceleration. Any time there is a higher acceleration rate in the valve train, more stress is created.

As long as valve shrouding is not a factor then the largest possible valve in a cylinder head will allow the engine to develop power over the widest RPM range, not just increase the flow at high lift rate. If a dyno test of a engine with a cylinder head that has oversize valves reveals a loss in low RPM power it is because the engines camshaft has to much overlap.

For carbureted normally aspirated Suzuki engines in the 9.5 to 12:1 compression ratio range the exhaust flow needs to be 75 percent of the intake flow. Overall when the compression ratio of an engine increases, in order to obtain the maximum results an exhaust valve can be made smaller in relation to the intake valve. This is due to the power developing earlier in the expansion cycle of a cylinder in high-compression engine, thus allowing the exhaust valve to be opened sooner and longer without any problems. A small exhaust valve will create the opportunity to use a larger intake valve.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen
RACING: NITROGEN “A GAS THAT CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR CLASS”.

If you read my previous post about ‘AIR DENSITY’ in this thread then it will be easy to understand the advantages Nitrogen has over Air, for those who haven’t, I would recommend to do so.

The first advantage of Nitogen is for it’s use in your tires, by doing so you will eliminated tire pressure build up, this is a really important factor in order to maintain a tire’s performance criteria. The Racing Displines of Road Racing or Drag Racing require consistency of a tire performance and the use of Nitrogen will give you that advantage.

In Drag Racing when using an ‘Airshifter’, the use of Nitrogen will add the the unit’s reliability ( No Water contained in Nitrogen) and you will find that the shifter activation responce time is faster.

Longer exhaust duration

Most stock camshafts from production 4 cylinder engines manufactured today are ground with the longer exhaust lobe duration,or that they are ground with shorter intake durations. This can be viewed that either the Exhaust Ports or Exhaust Pipe system is somewhat restrictive, and needs assistance, or that the intake system is very efficient and cam timing can be trimmed back without a sacrifice in power, in order to maximize throttle response and cruising efficiency. There is no absolute correct viewpoint in a stock engine running at conservative RPM levels, for the sake of overall efficiency, fuel economy and a quiet smooth running engine, this staggering of intake and exhaust duration is quite common and appropriate.

High Performance is another thing entirely. Change one factor, such as the exhaust system installing headers and larger pipes and the need for that longer exhaust lobe has been eliminated. Now add to this change a different carb system and camshaft and you have really changed the equation. But, why is it that so many racers & cam grinders insist on running a cam with longer exhaust duration regardless of what equipment is used? The answer is habit, many have been somewhat successful in doing it this way and will never change unless forced by circumstances.

The best result comes when we realize that an engine is basically an air pump. Air is pumped in and out and there are problems when one side or the other is restricted. Balance and flow is our objective, unless you are NOT trying to make more horsepower!

Most experienced Tuners run a single pattern cam, equal on intake and exhaust duration. This type of designed cam always make more torque.

Logbooks

THE LOG BOOK:

I have 2 Log Books, the first one is for the engine and the second one is for the bike.

ENGINE LOG BOOK:
Contained in this Log is every measurement or weight of components that are subjected to wear, this includes the transmission, clutch plates, clutch springs, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, piston pins, piston rings, camshafts, valve guides, valve stems and valve springs, drive chain and sprockets . Although you may consider this time consuming the benefits are substantial. Once you have a baseline of your measurements then the next time you disassemble your engine you will have a very good picture of the wear rate of all the components. This process will virtually eliminate parts breaking from fatigue and you will be able to determine what aftermarket parts are more durable. For example I know using a certain type of piston ring in my 1327cc EFE race engine that for every 165 passes down the race track that both my top and second ring end gap wears 0.001″ of any inch. This was the same wear rate that I encountered with my 1230cc EFE race engine using the same type of piston rings. So I know that the oil that I am using is working and the quality of the part is consistant no matter what the power out put is and that after x ammount of passes I have to replace the rings before the power starts to drop. Utilizing this measurement process for the last 20 years I have found that the one part of the GS /EFE engine’s that wear out the fastest are the valve springs, and by the way I have never broken a valve spring in over 7,100 passes down the track.

RACE BIKE LOG BOOK:
In this log I list my tune-up ( jets, timming, drive sprocket size, tire psi,), in additon to the brand of race fuel and octane, my launch and shift RPM for the particular track that I am racing at. Also before I unload my bike, I list measurement of the temperture, humidity, wind direction including approximate speed, and air density and record the time of day. I remeasure and list all of the above items every hour that I am at the track. The info gained from these measurements is very beneficial when you are racing a dial-in type of class, because it makes the tune decission for every round easier. Also once you collect all of the above info you will have an insight on your bikes performance the next time you race at the same track if the weather and time of day is very close.