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 Championship races are held, track sessions for those that want to use his/her outdated bike for what it was actually meant and there’s the obligatory parade laps which usually end up in a few ex-World champions redoing some of their old battles,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;

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

Old Kool Suzukis- Quality never goes out of style

This gallery contains 120 photos.

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

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.

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.

 

Dyno Day is Go! What you need to know …

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On Sunday the 31st July a selection of fine motorcycles will test their metal against the rolling road at RTR Motorcycles in Nottingham .

Things you need to know…..

  • The day is almost at full capacity with pre-booked runs. There is still space for a couple of late comers but we can only guarantee spots for those who’ve already got their names down.
  • Dyno sessions will be 20-25 minutes for just £25
  • Each dyno run will come with a full print out as well as on hand advice from RTR’s proprietor
  • There will be tea and biscuits. Maybe even chocolate ones.
  • Stickers will be available on the day

Click HERE for more information in the site thread.

 

Cadwell 2016

I have been to many oldskoolsuzuki social events where an assortment of fine OSS machinery sits in the pub car park for the weekend while the owners exchange stories at the bar. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I like the bar as much as the next guy but I have to say, there is no substitute for seeing these machines in action. For this reason we announced early in the year that all future OSS real world meetings would centre around bike centric events.

To coincide with the anniversary of the relaunched site we arranged for a weekend meeting as part of Practical Sportsbike magazine’s track day run by Classic Trackdays at Cadwell Park.We are grateful to John Oliver (YJ) for organising a block booking discount for OSS members for both the Saturday and Sunday sessions.

The weekend began on the Friday as “Camp OSS” gradually started to populate with vans tents and an array of fine looking OSS machinery. Not everyone had come to take part in the track day and many members had simply come along to spectate and enjoy the weekend. Members had come from from all over the UK and there were also 3 members from the Netherlands.

Early on the Friday evening the organisers announced that scrutineering would be open for a couple of hours to get bikes checked ahead of the Saturday sessions. For most of us this meant just one thing ” will my bike pass the noise test?” So we took our place in the queue and crossed our fingers. News passed down the line that bikes were failing and the tension built. The static test limit was 105 db at 3/4 revs. When it came to my turn the tester cut me some slack when the reading came back at 105.3 at 5000rpm. His exact words were ” you couldn’t get any F#@*ing closer if you tried mate, on you go”.

Not everyone was as fortunate and JB and YJ both failed leaving the rest of the evening for a bit of hasty end can repacking. Every time someone returned form the scrutineer a chorus of “what did it read then?” could be heard. We all winced when JB answered 119db. His Kerker end can on his slabby used half of someone’s loft to get it through but it did pass. YJ had to make several attempts before he was given the “noise test passed” sticker.

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13606768_10154227943650256_2588655890209658903_nAfter the bikes got put to bed we relaxed with a beer and a BBQ courtesy of Dangerous Dave. To my amazement he had actually made up a special OSS fire brand that he was using to brand the burgers and anyone not wearing a BBQ wristband. Top marks Dave!

The fine weather we had enjoyed on the Friday night didn’t hold up and we awoke to a very damp Saturday morning. We knew the first track session was going to be wet but we were reliably informed that the weather was going to improve over the course of the day.

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Despite a damp start and a very wet first session on the track the day’s weather gradually improved and made way to hot dry tarmac and broad smiles. OSS were well represented on the track with 3 of the last 12 BOTM winners scratching round Cadwell’s technical twists and turns.

A massive thank you to all of the OSS spectators who diligently watched every session, cheered each time we passed and pitched in to help with repairs and adjustments in between sessions. Special thanks go to Gary Hegg for some excellent photography throughout the weekend.

On saturday night after another stunning BBQ by Dangerous Dave we hit the Cadwell Park Bar and enjoyed some live music and draft beer. Almost everyone behaved themselves.

13606438_10153863120988915_7525892380468854985_nOn the Sunday Practical Sportsbikes announced their favourite bikes of the weekend and what do you know? Two of them were OSS members’ bikes! Congratulations to Steve (RSVfletch) and Steve (370steve) for their awards. Very well deserved chaps.

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So all in all an excellent weekend that ticked all of the boxes. Catching up with friends, making new friends and all centred around OSS bikes doing what they do so well. Roll on Donington…

13658994_10153868247043915_7176532250725368120_nDiscuss this article here.

Cadwell Birthday Bash Trackday Weekend Checklist.

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The weekend of the 8th ,9th and 10th of July will mark 1 year of the new site being up and running. We will be marking that event at Cadwell Park with a gathering and participation in the Classic Bike Track day.

There are some important things to remember for the weekend and with less than a week to go there’s just time to give everyone  a poke and say “get your shit together dude it’s next weekend!”

Riders
So if you are on track you don’t have to worry about camping because it is complimentary but you do need to read these rules and you need to have completed all paperwork which Yoshi Johnnie has emailed to all riders. Remember, we don’t make the rules. It is your responsibility to ensure you have read them and, that you, your bike and your equipment complies with them.

Non Riders
There are only 2 things for you to do:
1. Pay for camping if you are staying overnight.
2. Pre-pay your BBQ money by Wednesday the 6th of July.

If you haven’t pre-paid your BBQ money, you wont get any BBQ,even if you try to pay on the night.The food needs to be bought in advance.  Anyone standing in the line for BBQ who hasn’t paid in advance ( there will be wrist bands) will become the object of unbridled ridicule and will be asked to wear a pointy hat which reads “I’m that BBQ Cunt who never paid” I can’t rule out that Dangerous Dave our BBQ Chef wont try to brand you either ( he’s like that) Don’t be that guy. PM Yoshi Johnny for his PayPal and pay him a fiver for each night.

Two last things to remind everyone of are:

1.It’s not an OSS exclusive event so be nice, behave yourself-ish and have a good time.

2. If you see Yoshi Johnny ( he’s the guy with the Lockhart tart’s handbag Slabbie race rep) make sure you shake his hand, pat him on the back  and say thank you. If it wasn’t for John none of this would be happening. He’s put loads of work into this event and he deserves our appreciation. Probably a good idea to do the same to Dangerous Dave because he will be “handling” your food.

There may even be Birthday cake.

 

Bikes, Beer BBQs and Bravado – OSS at Cadwell Park

There has been much talk about an OSS get together since we relaunched the site last summer. Through the course of those discussions we have broadly agreed that our next get together had to be more than just a falling about session.

Worry not though, falling about is still encouraged but we also  want to have some bike related activity before the guy rope tripping competition gets underway.

We also want to make sure that there isn’t too much for the organisers to do because that way everyone can enjoy themselves.

So for 2016 we have decided the UK based event will coincide with  the Practical Sportsbikes Cadwell Park Circuit trackday weekend planned for  the 9th and 10th of July, 2016.

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Thanks Yoshi Johnny we have been able secure a discount for the Saturday and Sunday track-day for those that want to put their Oldskool steed through its paces. Prices have not yet been announced but it is thought they will be similar to last years event in the link above.

So options for participation are as follows:

  1. Camping only with no track-day is free.
  2. Camping with BBQ on Friday and Saturday night £10 per head.
  3. All of the above with 6 track-day sessions of 20 minutes each including instruction and full support £10 per head for the BBQ plus your track-day ticket ( approximately £140 per day before discount) You can do one or two days the choice is yours.

If you don’t do the track-day you can still participate in the lunch time club parade laps which are free but this needs to be arranged with the organisers.

The plan is to to assemble on the Friday afternoon the 8th July at Cadwell Park Circuit. There will be  free camping in the paddock.

Dave ( Katanaman) and John (YJ) have kindly agreed to provide a BBQ on the Friday and Saturday night (weather permitting of course) at the bargain price of a fiver per person.

You can of course do your own thing. There is a bar with a band on the Saturday or you can bring your own beer and enjoy the company, the bikes and the spectacle while shooting the shit fellow enthusiasts.

We hope to have  a Marquee set up for bikes if people want to display them which is something they’d like us to do for other spectators. We will firm up on these details closer to the event. We will have T-shirts and other merchandise for sale too.

For those that are paying for track time, Saturday will be taken up hooning round the circuit with the Classic Bike Track-days guys trackdays – Cadwell Park

Yoshi Johnny has advised:

I wouldn’t recommend getting shitfaced the night before if you are going on track…

It will not be a OSS exclusive event and the there will be a range of pre-2000 machines taking part in the track-day. Again Yoshi Johnny advises:

It’s full bore flat out stuff but the guys on track tend not to be dickheads and the bikes range from road going RGV250s through to trick F1 Harris etc. If you’ve never been on track before don’t be scared the range of bikes and riders plus keen instructors mean it’s safe and well managed.

Saturday night will be the same thing BBQ and beer and good company and Sunday is the same as far as track stuff goes. If you don’t want to participate on track you can just watch, take pictures, point and giggle and or carry on propping up the bar.

Yoshi Johnny will be on hand on the forum to  answer any questions and in the meantime we are just waiting for the CBT guys to get their website updated with dates and details on how to to book the 2016 track-days.

When booking is available it should be enough to just mention somewhere your bike is oldskoosuziki  and you will get a 5% discount off the price. We can finalise these details in due course.

If you want to do one or both of the track-days It will be important to book them as soon as booking is available as places will be on a first come first served basis.

This should be absolutely great fun. A chance to put faces to names as well as providing an opportunity to put your OSS machine through its paces.

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Booking details to follow.

Discuss this here