Reggie’s Roadtrip 1/3

  1. Whichever way you throw me, I will stand

This may well turn into the most personal post you’ll ever find on OSS, up to now and likely for a long time after. Those that know me, know I can get a bit intense. Here’s some options; you’re intrigued and will carry on reading, you’re not bothered and are only here for the pics or you’ll feel awkward and click through to the next article. It’s all good, I’ll continue regardless.

You see, a while ago when I was thinking about this piece, it was going to be about my annual pilgrimage to the TT and I wondered how I was going to put it into words, without repeating myself and getting stuck in age-old cliches. Then life happened and the trip turned into something totally different.There’s more to life than just playing around with outdated Suzuki motorbikes and getting them to work in the modern world. Over the years I’ve found myself meeting others OSS members through our shared interest in the dinos of choice, yet over time, usually within minutes of meeting someone you’ve spoken to on the forum before, you’ll be discussing work, relationships, the place you live and just life in general.

It’s funny how that works; you’ll travel a good 400+ miles (or much more for some) to meet people in a field/mountain/pub to discuss bikes, and when that’s out of the way, you really get to know the person sitting opposite of you, on a totally different level. For me personally, through OSS, this has created more than a few true friendships, even if these people live more than a 1000mls away , in different countries and speak a different language.

When you want to go to the TT, you best book quick. So quick even, that you really want to book for next year, BEFORE that years TT has actually even started. Our booking had been done as such and we’d have a casual 2 weeks away from the usual hectics of life, to have a fresh start into summer. It’s been a annual thing for me for years and I actually was planning for this to be my last one, to do something else next year.

Due to a cock-up of monumental size of my own, I ended up having to go by myself. That posed a bit of a problem, because I’m hardly my best on my own, to put it mildly. I feed of energy of others; by myself, I just end up doing the headless chicken. A change of plan was in order, but since my head wasn’t right, this proved to be a bit of an issue.

At best a week before I was to actually travel to the UK, a plan was hatched and I booked the ferry from Dunkirk to Dover. That was it; I HAD to go. The TT to most people remotely into bikes is bucketlist-material, but to me, it’s quite “normal”, so yes, the thought of not going at all had crossed my mind. Two and a half weeks, by myself on an island turned up to 11 wasn’t something I thought I was ready for. Cue OSS-made friendships.

We would be traveling to the UK with the van, bikes and gear in the back, all the way to Liverpool, saving us from endless boring motorwaymiles, squaring tyres and the usual breakdowns. We were going to leave the van on the drive of at Miss Kid’s house, leaving us a good half hour away from the Royal Albert Dock from which the Steampacket sails. We’d meet the Kid and Miss Kid on the Island a few days later and it was all supposed to be a perfect little holiday.

Part of this plan stayed firmly into place; I would still leave the van on the drive and would still meet the Wheely-fam on the island. I would be a few days early in the UK, so I needed a stop-over along the way.  I didn’t want to just take up time of others and just basically “sit there”, because that was my MO at the time (and still, but that’s another story) Also, with them [Wheelie fam] leaving the Island earlier than what I was supposed to, I just went and changed my sailing to be the same as theirs, leaving me with yet more time to kill in mainland UK.

Because I would be one or two days early, I contacted Viz with the question if I could surf their couch and I was greeted with a very welcoming answer; “turn up whenever you like, stay as long as you like and do whatever”.

First stopover sorted and having decided to stay a night at the Kid’s as well, it was suggested that I’d bring my 1127L motor with blown gearbox that had been sitting in my shed for many years; “Yeah, we’ll just fix that while you’re here” Cool, that’s what the van’s for.

With having about a week to spare after TT, I contacted Katanamangler, to see if he had any ideas; “Yeah, I’ll just take a few days off work and we’ll do that run of Scotland we’ve been discussing since 2008”. Ok, so that meant a good bit of the days coming back had been filled as well, not a bad outlook really.

My return to mainland Europe was to be the tuesday, 2 1/2 weeks after coming across but while trawling the forum, which I hadn’t really visited in a while due to the personal stuff that was going on, I noticed the annual Cadwell weekend of our friends at Classic Bike Trackdays was on. The choice to take another 2 days off work, stretching the holiday a bit and possibly getting a trackday in while I was over, sounded like something to good not to do.

So, in days I went from not going away at all, to 3 weeks away, visiting good friends and many, MANY miles on the bike, in the van and possibly even on the most lairy racetrack I know (possibly, because it was looking to be fully booked, but I basically just chanced it; “turn up, it’ll be fine”)

With the van stuffed with gear for these 3 weeks, including 2 bikes, wheels with wets for the Banana, 2 engines; one of my own and one that Quist sold to Duckndive, 2 tents and loads more, I set off in the dead of night. I turned up in Dunkirk 2 and a half hours early, but the good people of DFDS just waved me through onto a earlier boat. They didn’t even charging me more, even if I had booked the sailing as a “large car” instead of a van. I’m Dutch and thus, tight; we can’t help it.

A quick text after coming off the boat in Dover to Gpz1100_Convert and tea was sorted for the early morning. I hadn’t seen him in a while and he probably didn’t know all of what was going on in my life at that time, but I ended up breaking down in his kitchen. Sorry about that…

We sat in the back garden, drinking tea, listening to Rammstein and having a truly eyeopening conversation, something that was to be a bit of a theme for the 3 weeks that I was about to head in to. After saying my goodbyes and thanking him for the tea, I rolled onto the M20 to get myself to Minx and Viz’ place. I had noticed on the good old Internet that ” The Bikeshed” was on in London, and I thought about visiting. I’m by no means a fan of the current caferacer-fad that is moving it’s way through our bikebuilding world and this is probably the nicest way I could put that into words.

I knew there would be a few nice bikes that I wanted to see and since I was close, I chose to go anyway, just to have it ticked off and not be left wondering if I had missed anything. The run into London and especially the multistory carpark with a LWB, leftwheel drive van is something that I won’t quickly forget.Was it worth it? Fuck no, but at least I knew. The Racefit Kat and Sticky’s bike were cool though..

After spending the grand total of 20 minutes inside the Tobacco Dock, ogling at perfectly trimmed beards and brown seats, I found myself back in the van with a good few miles to go, straight into rushhour traffic in central London with a van with a foreign plate and the steeringwheel on the wrong side; try it, it’s fun. It was supposed to take 2 hours, I think it turned into 4.

Backing into the drive at Fair Winds, I found Viz and PaulM working away on the famed turbo ET. I hadn’t seen it in its latest guise, so that was a cool suprise. Having had Viz fix it, Paul suggested I’d do a little testrun. Oh, ok..

Before, I had only ridden Kid Kearsley’s Turbo during a few paradelaps at Donington last year, this would be my first time out on a proper road, using the FBM demo that was converting the entire OSS world into strapping a blowdryer on the front of their motors, chasing boost, power and BOV fluttering. I now can fully understand why and I too want a turbo. I have wanted to turbo my EFE for a while, but now I was properly sure of it.

Paul’s ET rides as you’d expect the average well-sorted oiler would, grunty from lowdown, but this time with a bit extra. “The hand of God pushing you along”, that’s exactly what it felt like. I’m not sure who mentioned it like that, either Viz, Paul or Havoc (who I visited the next day on the way to the Kid), but it really explains what it feels like. Aside from that, the bike felt suprisingly light compared to my EFE, while they’re pretty much built from the same bits with the same general idea behind it. More headscratching for me..

Minx was away from home, visiting our Mekka (which you’ll read about in a separate piece later) so Viz and myself had the most expensive pizza ever for dinner, talked a bunch about life and had a fine evening all round. I was shown the grounds, introduced to the cats and was told; “This is your house now, do as you please.” It’s pretty special if you think about it. After a good night’s sleep; tea, toast and more general chit-chat, I again packed my toothbrush and set off westwards.

Stoping over at Havoc’s along the way, it took me about 6 hours to do a 4 hour drive; all the time in the world. After getting the strangest looks from pub-goers driving into the street where the Kid lives; I don’t think these people see many red-turned-pink foreign vans drive down this little road, I walked straight into the workshop, finding the Kid and Davecara with Dave’s freshly built EFE spitting oil from “somewhere”. With Dave joining us on the IOM in a few days and his little shakedown not going to plan, it was all hands on deck to get it sorted.

What this meant was; me pointing stuff out, Kid asking Dave why he did that and Dave apologising for his wrongdoing. The trouble ended up getting sussed; I should be a workshopmamager. After this, we pulled my 1127 out of the van and got stuck right in. I saved this engine after binning the original, pristine bike (twice) and selling the rolling chassis back to Jon Tober, who I bought it of a few years prior. “It’s a bit fast” he told me when I bought it, freshly recovered from writing off my 750K. I managed to catch up with Jon over at the IOM a few days later. Two fellow countyman traveling 500 miles to a place in the middle of the Irish sea to meet up; a bit extreme maybe.

I had it dynoed a few weeks after and it ended up making 160bhp at the wheel. We rung up the original owner to find out what was done to it and he told us he had just chucked a load of money at his tuner in the early 90’s, but never asked what he had done to it. With me now in the Kid’s workshop, I was hoping to find headwork, hip cams, forged pistons and maybe even fancy conrods. We found nothing, not even the thought-to-be blownup gearbox..

We swapped 2 gears and the selectorforks for a few fresh ones and bolted the cases back together. I was a bit miffed not having found anything remotely interesting on the inside but it was quickly estabished that this engine would be the perfect candidate to use as a turbomotor. This way I wouldn’t have to take the trusty powerscreen that currently powers the EFE to bits and risking to end up with yet another longterm project and no roadbike. That was it, off to bed.

The next morning we moved to Miss Kid’s house where my van would stay while I was over for the TT. We unloaded all I needed, stuck the van in a corner and went for breakfast at the local bikeshop-come-cafe. I had beans for the first time. Yes, really. The day was further filled with sitting in the sun and basically watching the world go by; it was a good day. That evening I was to catch the Manannan to Douglas from Liverpool, so the Kid showed me the way. I had done it before a few years ago on my own and in my memory, it was a 5, maybe 10 minute ride. It was a good half hour, at least. I must’ve been somewhere else with my thoughts.

Having been dropped off at the docks and informed about Liverpoolian biketheft, I waved the Kid goodbye, knowing we’d meet up again in 2 days, yet in a totally different world. The crossing was uneventfull and I just sat and watched people getting (rightly) excited about going to the TT. I’ve been too often, so I’m sort of used to it now.

After the short and very fast run out of Douglas, over the TT course and Poortown Road into Peel, I landed home with John and Jo, who I also met though OSS. You see, John is GSXR884’s brother. I ended up there in 2010 and have been going back ever since. A story for another day maybe.

We in the First World, go on holiday to get away from home, have a change of pace and a change of scenery. Either for fun or to get away from the stress that is real life and wind down a bit. I too had this plan; get away from it all and set your sights on something else. Within 30 minutes of being there, I found I had failed; I was home.. I’ve been coming so long, know my way around so well; I could just as easily live there as I do at home.

In the house, I know where to find food, tea, I actually know the wificode from the top of my head and I helped build the shed I was sleeping in. I had left home to try and leave it all for a minute, yet somehow I ended up in a place where I was very much at home, where I  had been before, and not just by myself.

That proved to be a bit odd because instead of being distracted by all that was around me; the Isle of Man is an impressive place in itself, let alone during the TT, I was confronted with many places I had shared with that someone before, and all the thoughts and memories that came with it.

The first day I was my own entertainment, so I just got on with it and tried to get “a lap” in. I failed, because the Mountain was shut, as usual. If you ever go to the TT, be sure you don’t get the red mist and throw yourself of the side of Snaefell. That’d mean the road will get shut again, and I again will have to turn around and come back later. The TT festival is slowly getting more notorious because of the visitors instead of the exciting and dangerous racing.

 

Continued in next article here

Discuss here

Bike of the month March 2018

There’s many reasons to start your own build, with “because I want to” coming first and “because I can” second. (If the person taking on this project actually can, is something different, but more on that some other time)

Other reasons are aplenty but there’s two that carry much more load than any other reason I can think of. One; building the dream bike of a lost friend. Two; being asked to build that dream bike, by said lost friend.

This Katana was trusted upon Pete by Dave “Swingarm” Roberts, member of old and builder of one of the very few actually cool Bandits in history. Dave was lost to a horrible disease and the Katana for which he already had most of the parts, was left to Pete to finish.

Pete took it upon himself to finish the bike to a standard we rarely see outside of OSS. With a general idea of what Dave wanted the bike to be, he set to work.

Built over the course of less than a year, the Katana was entered in the Newark Show as its first public outing this January, it promptly won a award.

The Kat turned out, arguably, better than the Yoshimura-1135R Pete posted up as the end goal for the build and it’s received praise far and wide.

A fitting tribute to a lost friend, I tip my hat to you Pete; the Katana is this month’s BOTM.

More here

 

 

 

 

Do more things that make you forget to look at your phone.

Now that it’s the end of the year, we have some time for reflection.

In the current day and age, everything is about numbers; how fast is your car, how expensive is your house, how many likes does your selfie get and how many friends do you have on Facebook?

Our OSS-world is “sort of” the same; numbers are an easy way to measure if you’re doing something right. As it is now, Facebook and other readily available social media run the world; a lot of people are just not bothered about putting in any effort at all online, because the aforementioned Facebook,Instagram or Snapchat will happily do it for you. In return means all your data is shared and sold to advertisers. This is something just about everyone just takes as a given and give it no real second thought. We do though.


Since all these We-Do-Everything-For-You platforms have come to rise, most traditional technical forums have been dwindling, and that got even worse when Photobucket thought it’d be a good idea to block all “third party hosting” (unless you were to fork over 400$/year) which meant all pics you ever used on a forum posted from Photobucket were now gone..


All this in general means many don’t bother with forums anymore; it’s just too much work. Rightly so, it is maybe a bit less straight forward than Facebook, BUT, all that You post would actually stay Yours and in the place you put it. Facebook and the pages we all frequent have one pretty big issue; useful information gets washed away in a sea of nonsense, never to be seen again, plus there’s too many “experts” that will endlessly argue over a given point without ever giving actual proof of their said expertise.

Now, since we were talking numbers, let’s make them work for us. While many forums are struggling in the face of social media, we as OSS have managed to bring over 2000 members together on a forum in 2 and a half years. Granted, these are not all active users, but 2000+ people non the less that have taken the time away from the usual internet to immerse themselves into our world. Some will stay, some will flounce, it’s been the same since day one; OSS really isn’t the most easy place for outsiders; we like people to put in some effort, not your usual play on the internet.

This is all done to “naturaly select” those that would have no place amongst us. You either bring something to the table, or you leave.

2000+ members, 10 Raceteam members (at time of writing) and growing fast, 300+ project topics with more getting started every day, OSS has proven to be a good place to hide away from the fast/short/simple that is the daily internet, to find it all a bit more in depth and (for me personally anyway) a generally more relaxing atmosphere. Just remember to read the rules.

From me to you, thank you for visiting, posting, engaging on Oldskoolsuzuki.info and helping us spread our beliefs on the internet and in real life during bike nights and the bigger events, it’s greatly appreciated. It must mean we as a team of people are doing something right and the decision of bringing back OSS as a stand-alone website has been the right one.

Let’s get 2017 behind us and go forward to 2018; more projects that are actually easily to follow and properly documented, more high profile Winged Hammer racebikes run across the globe and let us meet up somewhere along the way.

We promise to not make you want to look at your phone every 10 minutes. Just check in every once in a while, when you feel like it and share with us what you have been doing. Most importantly, do so safe in the knowledge that it will still be there when you come back and no one is going to sell your digital soul for a quick buck.

See you next year, thanks,

Rene EFE

Discuss here

NB; All bikes in this article are built, owned and maintained by the Admin team. If you like what you see and would like to know more, please join our forum and get in on all the fun. We’re a friendly bunch.

Bike of the Month December 2017


Lists, we all have them; shopping lists, to-do lists, bucket lists. Stuff you “need” to do/buy/build before a certain time.
When you then, in your waking life, don’t get the chance to tick off some of your most desired points on your list, if you’re really lucky, it sometimes happens that some of your friends will do it for you, in your honour and in your memory.

Craig Smith is such a friend. We know Craig as one of our like minded Down Under members who has made VERY good use of what Pops Yoshimura and Wes Cooley started in the old AMA championship, by using his GS as it should be. He has also always made an effort to let us in on all the fun.

This Katana project was started off with previously accumulated parts and a general idea of what the finished product should look like. Craig and a few friends went on to finish the bike that their late friend, Alan Baker, had dreamed off and had actually started building. This project has had many things in common with the OSS Knarf build. Both were documented on the old site.

Only when we got OSS  back up and running did we properly learn how the project turned out and how the story had concluded. (imho) this Katana on its own, even when you don’t know the story behind it,  is one of the best Kats out there. Revealed to friends and the world in May 2016, it’s more than what anyone could wish for as a lasting monument and a promise that they hadn’t been forgotten.

I realise this project has been finished for quite a while and Smithy hasn’t been on OSS much after it but that’s beside the point. I had this bike on my BOTM list for a long time and here it is; congratulations Craig, Alan’s Katana is Bike of the Month December 2017.

Read more here

Sisters are doing it for themselves…

In our first year since creating the oldskoolsuki’s Winged Hammer race team we’ve issued the hallowed and exclusive Winged Hammer livery to a full range of competitive racers including world record holders, Isle of Man Racers, straight-liners and drag racers. They all have one thing in common; Their weapon of choice is an old-kool-suzuki. Here’s a story from from one of the team. Go Winged Hammers!

Words of Anna; Winged Hammer, Drag Racer;

This all started in July 2015 with a day out at North Weald, where I took my old Z900 up a drag-strip for the first time ever, having owned it since 1980.

The 2016 season saw me switch to our old Suzuki Slingshot, which had been hibernating in the spare garage. Second time out on it at the Pod I was slowing down from 117mph when I locked the front end and ended up bouncing down the slow down area, writing off my helmet, brand new leathers and gloves but, happily, not the Slingshot which slid down the track on one side.  This was when I learned how wonderful the  emergency response crew and medics at Santa Pod are © And got acquainted with Bedford Hospital A&E.

Some TLC and parts replacement on the bike meant I was back at North Weald the next week just to prove to myself I could still ride it and to make sure it still ran true.  Just aimed to get up the 1/4 mile and back safely so times and top speeds were well down.

The front brake lever, bar end, exhaust and points cover took most of the damage.  Luckily we had a Vance & Hines exhaust in the shed (thanks to Kyle’s hoarding tendencies).

One of the reasons for the crash was that I couldn’t get my right foot onto the peg and use the back brake so one of the main post-crash mods was setting the footpegs back making it much easier to get my feet on them.

The first few times I rode at Santa Pod post-crash, I concentrated on just getting across the line and back to the pairing lanes safely and the rest of the 2016 season was really about getting my confidence and some consistency back.

Between the 2016 and 2017 seasons we repainted the body work, lowered the bike even more, fitted a Nitron shock, a Dyna 2000 system, 38 mm Flatslide carbs and treated it to a dyno session thanks to the wonderful chaps at Warpspeed in deepest Norfolk.  Eblag provided a second hand set of BKS leathers and  I signed up for the RWYB Challenge at Santa Pod, so in Feb 2017 I shivered and ran up the foggy track as fast as I dared. Which wasn’t very fast.

In March 2017 I did the dial-in day at Santa Pod, as the only motorcycle so want to give huge shout out and  thanks to Dave Grundy who came along to give me someone to ride against.  The bike started to misfire so didn’t do great times and headed back to Warpspeed for some trouble-shooting.  The culprit was the Dyna leads and the coil shorting out.  While we were up there we got  Stuart Crane to fit a lock-up clutch and 2-step,  so I had to get my head round yet another a new set up.   I got used to the lock-up before I attempted to use the 2-step and started with a gentle 3500rpm launch working up to its current setting of 4000rpm.  I’m still getting used to winding open the throttle,  dumping the clutch and having the front end come up (at least I think it does – no photographic evidence yet).

2017 is when I started to learn how to really ride the Slingshot and began to get near its capacity with a standard engine, gearing and swingarm set up.  In July I got my first 10sec run and in September I managed 3 PB runs in one day, finishing with a 10.8!  I like to think I have improved this season, my times bear this out as I have gone from 13 & 14 sec runs at the beginning of the season in Feb 2017 to consistent low 11s in autumn 2017.  Another recent personal achievement is being able to pull out good runs towards the end of the day, whereas I used to get tired and my times went down towards the end of the day and I started to make “D’Oh” mistakes – taking off in neutral anyone?

Last meet of 2017 (29 Oct) and I got the chance to ride our new Slingshot “Chip Shop Express”, which used to be the Warpspeed chip-shop-run bike.  Never ridden a turbo bike hard before but it felt really good and another credit to Stuart Crane’s bike-building skill.

As a paid-up science nerd, I graph my times after each session and the graph is my times on the Slingshot over 2 seasons.  The regression line tells me that I really am getting faster and more consistent (even when it doesn’t feel like it).

Next year we are hoping to run 2 Slingshots, one nitrous and the other turbo – Mr & Mrs will be going head to head!

Big shout-out to the RWYB and Drag Racing family that we are becoming part of; my fellow riders who made me welcome in the RWYB Challenge at Santa Pod; Straightliners and our Pendine Land Speed friends.  XXXXX

Especial  thanks to Chris Tombleson and Gary Hurd at Grumpy’s 1260 Performance for encouragement and advice of my early efforts on my old Kawasaki Z900 and the pink handlebar grips that will become my signature.  Gary – you said “do burn outs” – I’m getting there.

To Stuart Crane (a Top Fuel racer giving little newbie me help and advice ), Martin Hewitt (Electrical Genius) and John Wood (Dyno Wiz) and all at Warpspeed for their amazing bike building and tuning and for inviting us to be part of the experience.

So here’s to a great 2018 season from Kyle Rushby – Chief Pit Bitch and me “the Rider”.  The ‘Rents will be going Racing…..

Read more about Anna’s racing here

http://www.warpspeedracing.co.uk/
http://grumpy1260suzukispares.co.uk/
https://www.fiberman.net/

An Old School event on some Belgian ring road

With me being from The Continent, I live a bit of a different life than most of our members, as about 90% of you, are from the UK. In the UK there’s a racetrack, an abandoned airfield or a drag strip usually not more than an hour away from wherever you are, at legal speeds even.

For us, it’s quite the opposite; from my house, the closest proper racetrack is 2 and half hours away. The fact that the track in question is the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit does quite make up for it though. Zolder is closer, but that’s not really to my liking and Assen is another hour further the other way.

Yup, Spa is my home track, so to speak and every year since 2012 I’ve been making the trek to the Biker’s Classics held there yearly the first weekend of July. It’s a festival of everything Not New on 2 wheels; super-rare superbikes of days gone by, proper GP stuff from the 60’s and 70’s, etc.

Most of these bikes are not static, not by a long way. Championship races are held, track sessions for those that want to use his/her outdated bike for what it was actually meant and there’s the obligatory parade laps which usually end up in a few ex-World champions redoing some of their old battles, just for the hell of it.

Since we’ve been coming, we’ve also been shouting; “We need to have a go” Last year, I did and this year, we were out in force. As members of OSS, our little Dutch based“race team” (with lack of a better word) called #Team Banana; 3 bikes on track, 3 bikes as support vehicles, easily the biggest plot in the paddock and full catering and management; we clearly don’t do things by half.

Anyway, this is all beside the point; the 2017 Classics will mostly and sadly be remembered for appalling weather, which has quite the effect on the whole gathering. I myself have been out on track in pretty much every session available as most chose to keep their irreplaceable bikes in their respective pit boxes and tents, as to not write them off, which is very understandable. My bike was cheap (and not very fast) and I had full-wet tyres with me, as did Leblowski, so we were safe, doing many sessions with 5 or 6 bikes on track, instead of 50.


For the public and our supporting crew, it was quite different. It was cold, wet and miserable and that doesn’t make for a good day’s watching rare bikes, either static or racing which was sad as there is so much to be seen, it boggles the mind.

Next to our own little paddock with 2 Slingshots and 2 Slabbies, there were so many bikes from our school of thought, built solely for this yearly event; if there was nothing else to be seen, we’d all still have a field day. GSXR750RK with a bigbore 1100 motor with superbike running gear? Naturally. An as-new 1100ET? Sure thing. GSX1000S Katana on track? Totally normal. This bike was also blagged from the owner for the event, with the rider having pretty much his first ride on the bike and on a racetrack; very brave. These are just a few bikes run by like minded gentlemen doing the track sessions; no racing, just fast as you like down the racetrack. No ego’s, nothing to be won, just roundy-roundy riding for fun.

Then, in the proper pit lane and it’s adjoining paddocks is where the real bikes are. If you don’t know about the CSBK championship, I suggest you get yourself informed because the bikes used are awe inspiring, as is the riding. Some Dutch guys even do quite a good job on a bunch of Slabbies. Then there’s the French/Belgian Pro-classic series of which the grid is downright comical; from weedy early 90’s 600’s though to Y2K and later litre bikes, it all makes for interesting racing, the level is pretty high.

And then the Show piece of the event; the 4 hour Classic Endurance race. Some of you that were attending the earlier gathering at Donington may have had a feel of what this all is about, but at Spa, it all goes up a notch. For starters; the flag drops at 8pm and they ride into the night finishing at midnight. Thus, in the dark, on a blinding fast racetrack with utterly awful lights on most bikes. How some of these guys keep up the speeds that they do, I will never know. It doesn’t help that I’m night blind, so I best not ever enter myself.

The grid for this race is getting bigger and better every year. Some teams have budgets so high, it’s not really an amateur effort any more, with new bikes being built every year; Bakker/Harris/Moto Martin, it’s normal (almost), as are 170+ Bhp air-cooled motors.



Like Donington, at Spa, Suzuki themselves also entered, showing the factory interest for this type of motor sport, again with the blue Katana we’ve all seen been built at the NEC, this time the riders would be Pete Boast and non other than Guy Martin, with another (privately entered but twinned) Katana entered for good measure, finishing a respectable 7th and 22nd respectively. Our very own Sweatshop Phase One, of Mark Foggy fame ended up 3rd on the podium only seconds behind the Team Taurus GSX1100 and 1 lap behind a bike of a brand we shall not speak of. All of this after nearly 4 hours racing in the dark and wet out of a field of 47 starters; not half bad.

As a spectator, to witness this all, is a bit special. It’s not an everyday thing seeing and hearing these bikes of old tear through the night and the whole paddock itself is so open, you get the feeling you’re doing something naughty going your way around, only to be welcomed to have a look around everything and from very up close, just as long as you don’t get in the way. In this day of barriers and tight security, it is truly a breath of fresh air.

In the end, for me, it was another very good meeting; I was very reluctant at first to enter again next year due to the cost and the fact that communicating with the organisers is a nightmare; it all goes away the first time you plunge down from La Source into Raidillon with the throttle WFO for 75% of the time, all the way round. It’s quite something and I can’t wait to go again. The rain may have slowed the whole show down a bit, but if that didn’t bother you, there was so much to see, do and learn, there’s few thing like it.

I urge everyone with a remote interest in these bikes and racing (which, if you made it this far, should be the case) to make the pilgrimage to this event and see it all for yourself. I cannot make any promises about the weather, but I will promise that there will be plenty things to see/hear/smell to make it worth the trip from wherever you are. And, if that doesn’t convince you; we have stroopwafels.

/EFE

Photocredit;

-Jelly
-Marco vd Velde
-Darren Whyte
-Nolan Freebury
-Chris Whitey
-Team Classic Suzuki
-Bikers Classics
-European Classic Series

Bike of the Month July 2017


Some of you may know of my fascination with Eighties Movies; I absolutely love them. To be honest, I’m not totally sure why myself; could be the cars, the music, the girls, anything. One thing that returns in pretty much all these films is that perseverance and doing the right thing, will alway get you on top. In the 90ish minutes most of these films take, our lead character will fight his or her way though all matter of obstacles, an epic montage for good measure, with the end of the movie wrapping up with the championship/the girl/the car/ saving the planet (remember Wargames?)


This Slabbie that Leblowski has built, reminds me of those movies. The buildthread reads as a moviescript with some things hard to be believed, yet they all really happened.


Starting on the backfoot with a heavy operation and a bike most normal people would’ve called a scrapper, Leblowski took it upon himself to get the bike built to enter in the Bikers Classics Festival at Spa Francorchamps which he had attended as a spectator many times before.


Cutting it as close as you like with having the bike first run on the Dyno only days before the event and arriving at Spa with the paint only literally just dry from application, the bike proved to be absolutely perfect. Finished to a standard most of us can only dream of and the frame so heavily modified, it may be the most extreme Slabbie in existence. You’d have to look for it though, because you really can’t tell if you just casually walk past.


Now Spa is out of the way, this bike will be used for more track outings as part of the #TeamBanana “racingteam”.

I take my hat off for Leblowski, doing this project and taking it as far as he did, I know very few people so determined to make their vision a reality.

Leblowski, your Slabbie is this months BOTM
Read the whole script here

How-to fitting 3.5 GSXR front wheel into EF front end

Capitan Chaos site moderator, motorcycle mechanic and EFE addict shares some useful info on upgrading the front wheel on your EFE.

Here’s how:

– remove the bearings from the EFE front wheel, and take the tube which is in between them. Do the same with the GSX-R one.
– you will find out the EFE one is 16mm longer than the GSX-R one. It needs shortening 16mm.
– buy some bearings which fit in the GSX-R wheel and on the EFE spindle. I don’t remember exactly the sizes, but you need bearings with the ID of the EFE ones, and the OD and width of the GSX-R ones. They were off the shelf in the local bearings shop.
– the tubes in the bottoms of the EFE forks are now too short. Make some new ones which are 8mm (each) longer.
– the EFE speedo drive will fit after a little bit of material has been removed. Offer it up on the GSX-R wheel and you’ll see exactly where.

And now, with that nice 3-spoke wheel, it would be a shame not to upgrade the brakes as well.
The Slingshot Nissin 4-pots, and the later GSX-R models’ Tokico 4- and 6-pots all fit on the EFE forks, 90mm spacing between the bolts. But the Slingshot discs are too large.
Now Suzuki had thought about this and launched the GSX600F in the late eighties, this bike has brake discs that fit perfectly on the GSX-R wheel and are small enough to accept the more modern calipers when mounted in the EFE forks. All it needs is some small rings to space out the calipers a bit towards eachother.
Use the EFE caliper mounting bolts, they are longer than the GSX-R ones.

Captain Chaos

Discuss here

A word from the wise

pp_logo The site RobbyNitroz.nl was started in 1999 by a small group of friends (Robby Nitroz and Mr. 7/11) intending to log the building and modifying of their bikes. RN(S) was the result of Robby’s Streetfighterpage and the Suzuki 7/11 Boulevard joining together.

As time progressed, Robby changed sides and got himself a H*nda fireblade. In 2001 Mr. 7/11 added a forum to the site, which is when things really started to take off. Then Bral joined the RN(S) team in May 2001 but Unfortunately, Bral couldn’t dedicate enough time and left the team leaving Mr. 7/11 running229144_5871722894_2873_n things on his own.

In 2003, after a very open forum discussion with the then-current site members, Mr. 7/11 changed the site name to OldSkoolSUZUKI.info. Eventually in 2003 I stepped-in to assist Mr. 7/11 running the forum.

Over the next year I changed my username from PerversePolisher to PP and got promoted to be a full moderator, running everything behind the scenes with Mr. 7/11.

In 2007, due to personal events and a lot of changes in his life, Mr. 7/11 made the tough decision to step back from running the site he’d built up and leave it totally in the hands of PP

1923646_8911572894_4629_nDevelopments over the years have included a section for “Twins” in support of Wingnut’s Mini Twin racer, and a section for 2-Stroke Suzuki’s (by popular demand).

At the tail-end of 2008, my life went through some fairly major changes and led into an ongoing run of misfortune; the most major or which being the total failure of the server that OSS had been running on in 2011.

Several attempts to rebuild the server, using external services to re-create the site and lack of time and funds led to me having to put the site on hold. Several of the original site members couldn’t let it lie down and began a Facebook page to ensure that the social side of OSS could continue.

Where the site now goes is up to them….

PP

Discuss here

Tagged

How to repair cracked engine covers

How to repair cracked engine covers.

First you remove the cover from the bike ofcourse, and then you degrease it very thoroughly.

As with all cracks in every material you need to drill small holes at the end of the cracks. Do not drill exactly at the point where the visible crack stops because underneath the surface the crack already had gone further. So plot an imaginative line in the extent of the crack and drill the hole along that line a few millimeters from the end of the visible crack.

I used a Dremel tool, but you can use a normal drill with a grinding stone (though due to it’s weight it’s harder to control) to dig a trench along the crack.
Dig as deep until you’re almost coming trough on the other side. This will make it very easy to fill it with epoxy.

Clean the other (in)side using emery paper or a Dremel tool to make sure the epoxy will attach itself well.

Then you clean and degrease the cover very thoroughly and warm it up by laying it on a heat source like a radiator or geyser.

While the case is heating up we prepare the metal epoxy. I use “Bison” metal epoxy but I guess any well known brand metal epoxy will do just fine. Just follow the instructions that came with it carefully and be sure to mix it very thoroughly. As with all two-component substances mixing it thoroughly is most important, so don’t rush it!

When the epoxy is ready apply it to the cover. Make sure you push the cracks full of epoxy so no air bubbles are left in them. If you dug them out deep enough epoxy will come out on the others side.
Your cover will have a very large flat spot so be sure to apply enough material, better too much than too little.
Apply some epoxy to the inside too but it hasn’t have to be much, just enough to make it smooth.

Then you leave it to dry on a heat source, at least for 12h untill the epoxy has become very hard. It hasn’t got the same mechanical properties as aluminium though, more like a hard plastic.

Now you can file/sand it into shape and spray paint the cover (you didn’t intend to polish it, now would ya? 😉

Well, there you are… a good as new engine cover, ready to last untill the next crash!

1. Drill holes at the end of the cracks and dig the cracks out

2. Clean the inside of the cracks

3. Warm up the cover

4. Prepare the epoxy

5. Apply epoxy liberally

6. Epoxy on the inside

7. Let it dry for at least 12 hours.