Bike of the Month June 2021

It took me quite some time to think of a hook to base this write-up around. It’s usual I’m late with the BOTM article but 9 times out of 10, I’m just busy/lazy/procrastinating. Not this time; this one was hard..

I’m not even sure how long OSS has been around now, but it’s easily more than 20 years. In these 20 years, the bikes we focus on have become older, rarer, more expensive and pushing the boundaries on a platform that has been around for as long as they have, becomes quite a mission.

With that, the focus maybe should shift from the actual bike itself, to the thought behind it. Confused? Let me explain.

Over the years I think we can all say the hive mind on OSS has been a bit different from the “regular” bikebuilding fraternity. You could see it years ago in SF magazine and still on places like Facebook; OSS bikes tend to stand out, 1 part the bike, the other part the person that built it.

I hate the word “attitude” when it comes to bikes, but that is exactly what it is; an attitude towards how a bike should be build, that is what makes a bike recognisable as a OSS-build.

Now, if someone with 9 times the talent of the regular person sets out to build a bike in this spirit, but then takes a bike that actually rolled off the line AFTER Oldskool had already launched, you know you’re about to see something special.

Yantosh has been a well know and respected member on OSS and beyond, as a builder of bikes that had that little bit extra (or A LOT extra) and fabricator for endless other bikes of friends and customers, both on OSS and further afield under the BFT-brand. If you’ve never heard of BFT (Blunt Force Trauma), I urge you to dig thought the internet a little and expect to be amazed.

Actually quite a while ago, since the bikes is finished and on the road, Yantosh started out with a perfectly functioning K4 GSXR1000 and pulled it apart, only to be left with a engine and a plan.

The idea was to build “A Bike” from the ground up, using the engine and some chassis components of the 1000, at least until something prettier turned up, and do everything else at home, in a tiny shed…

With a self fabricated pipebender, a jig and some plumbing supplies, he set out to build a frame, from scratch, in the tiny shed. Most of us mortals struggle to fit different wheels to our bikes but this was another level entirely.

With cardboard, MDF, polycarbonate and a CNC mill, the main plates were fabricated so that the freshly bent pipes would have something to be welded to and before long, the engine had a home again.

It all sounds rather simple typing this out, but with the details for the sidestand, the swingarm pivot and others, I assure you this is not something anyone can (or should) do. Tony Foale’s knowhow has been put to good use here; another thing to Google if you don’t know who this is.

With the frame welded up, more time was spent at the mill to fabricate yokes, swingarm-adjusterblocks and swingarmpivot were machined up to get the project to the next stage. Next stage is; getting offers of trick bits you have to have, on the most inopportune time. We’ve all been there.

Race shock, race wheels, race pipe; just what anyone needs when building a bike, so all were aquired, as normal. Attention was turned to the bodywork, which would basically be just a tank and seat, but it can make or break any build with being aesthetically pleasing or not.

Lots of faffing about with foam, fibreglass and Kevlar, the bike started to look like a complete build but looking complete and being complete are 2 totally different things, so again much time was spent making rearsets, headlight mounts, steeringdamper mounts, etc. A lot of stuff to make, in a world where you can flex your creditcard on ebay and easily have something special, but that’s not the same, is it?

Yantosh even went as far to have it registered as a completely new bike, legally on the road, build by himself in the tiny shed. Quick swap of exhaustcans, shakedown to the TT and all was well-ish. The tank didn’t hold fuel so another tank was build to get the bike where it is now.

Is it Oldskool or not, it’s a good discussion to have. I think it is. No, the bike isn’t oldskool as such (because it’s not old), but the work that has gone into this to get it where it is, and more so the though or “attitude” behind it makes it a lot more oldskool than the next Bandit with some streetfighterish bits bolted to it.

It’s a new age, we best get used to it, otherwise we’ll all be has-beens.

Yantosh, your bike is this months Bike of the Month

Discuss here

Buildthread here

Bike of the Month April 2021

Let me start with an apology; there hasn’t been a BOTM since January. I have been under the radar for pretty much all of the last few months. Very little motivation to do anything on bikes or just anything in general, moving out of the way of confrontation and basically just got fat on the couch for a good 12 weeks. So, sorry for that.

I got fed up with myself, but only because some people around me managed to talk me off that sofa, give me a kick in the butt and get me pointing in the right direction. Nobody is anybody without the help of his or her friends. It is a great thing to find yourself in a position where people around offer up their time to help you out. It’s hard to put into words; thank you..

This bike is also born out of helping out a friend. Jasper, a good friend of Spike, had always had his “ultimate Slingshot” in mind. However, lacking at the spanners, it would surely only stay a vision. A what-if had Suzuki carried on with the development of the Slingshot; what we’re looking at is pretty much it.

With Jasper not being the biggest toolman but knowing full-well what he wanted, Jeroen (Spike) stepped up and off they went. Starting out with a 750M-frame and a late 1127-motor, all was in place to build whatever Jasper had dreamed up.

Many choice parts accumulated over the years found their way to the bike, together with some bits supplied though this website and after a good 2 years (if 2020 can be counted as a year..), what you see above emerged on the other side.

I try not to make this too personal of a choice, but honestly, if I had the means, the time, the parts (and the patience), this is exactly as I would build mine. I see this bike really as a what-if, had Suzuki stayed with the oilcooled platform.

Now, with this out of the way, we’re ready for a good Spring Clean; be ready for some Kool things coming up in the near future. This bike exists as a celebration of friendship, and I can only salute those involved for it, as both are a great thing.

Congratulations Jasper and Spike, the bike you built, is this month’s Bike of the Month.

Read more here

Discuss here

Bike of the Month November 2020

On OSS we make a point of having new people introduce themselves, preferably with many pics of (relevant) bikes, new and old. If you do it like this;

“If my gsxr were to be a human, it would rule the skatepark, scare children, snort all the drugs, start fights and go after the girls like its life depended on it. It does not care what anyone thinks and does precisely what it wants to do, be a tatty 1200 euro bike in a 90s tracksuits, with the results of my very concerning e-shopping addiction, badly bolted to its flanks”

you have my attention..

I met Cunnerz for the first time not even a year ago, I think. A Brit building a Slingshot pretty much round the corner from me and us not knowing eachother; downright weird. First time we (Jelly and myself) went to visit, we dropped off the purple people-eater ET Cunnerz bought off Jelly and promptly we went onto what could be called an “enthusiastic” run for Cunnerz to get to grips with the mighty 816cc of aircooled goodness we just unloaded on him.

We were told to “keep up” and got thrown the keys to his 400bhp v8 car. We had been there for all of 10 minutes, I’d never met the man before; this was gonna be fun… Back from the shakedown, we were brought up to speed about his soon to be finished slingshot; a bare frame sat on the floor of the shed, just back from the people that were supposed to just de-anodise it, and then had gone to blast the whole thing.

Now, I’ve met many people that had been very keen to get busy with a project and have their deadlines set with no wiggleroom; I personally always take this with a pinch of salt. In my few years, I’ve seen it all and probably bought more half-built projects than some of you will own bikes, because the builders involved lost interest when the enthusiasm wore off and time/money was needed elsewhere, leaving bikes to gather dust in corners, half built, waiting for someone like me to come and rescue them (on the cheap).

I’ve probably grown into the OSS-equivalent of a grumpy old man and honestly, I need to see it to believe it, so when Cunnerz told me he’d have it finished in a matter of months, ready for a trackday, that is exactly what I thought.

Passionate as he was about the 1100 in question,  we were given the rundown of how it came to be and where it was heading. Still a bare frame I was standing next to, stories of wheelies thought Italian towns, 2-up touring all across Europe, crashing it into the side of a mountain and still never missing a beat, It was like I was talking to myself. Owned since 2015 and done everything on one bike is a lot less like me though, because I just get a different one after blowing up/crashing whatever is in the shed at the time.

An unrelenting devotion to a bike so outdated it hurts, but still better than anything that left any factory before or after; there’s just nothing like it, and that’s why it was now in the state it was in; get it to the next level and make it everything better and faster than before, because it earned it.

Countless hours were spent to correct the damage done to the frame by the blasters, slowly but surely the desired finish started to shine through and before long, the engine was back in the frame. Suspension seen to by Dutch K-tech specialist Front Row Components, the front and rear ends followed in short order with a swingarm from a later ’95 (?) 1100.

Fancy PFM brakes with radial calipers up front get the chassis well into the 20th century but with Fiberman fairings to replicate the original silhouette, only those that know, will understand what they’d be looking at. Flatslides and the Yoshi 4-1 make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed in traffic though, even to the most oblivious of motorists.

Painted straight black, it was given to our own Quist to do some decals with the brief “something 90’s”  Knowing Quist and understanding his way of thinking, this could only ever become the loudest bike you’d ever seen, and I called it. When I saw the stickers, I knew I wasn’t wrong and Quist had truly outdone himself (again).

Finished in time ready for the Assen trackday, together with yet another international (inter-continental even) OSS member Kamikaze, the van was pointed in the general north-east direction to the “Cathedral of Speed” for the inaugural shakedown. I wasn’t there, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Cunnerz’ 1100 was easily the coolest bike there, with Kamikaze’s 750 in close second. There’s just something about these bikes, but I might be biased.

Cunnerz77, thank you for showing me that there still are people that put their money where their mouth is; “Imma build this” and then actually do it, in short time and to a standard I’ve all but seen in our little country. Took a Brit to do it, but still..  

I’ll be around shortly for a frikandel speciaal.

Congratulations Cunnerz77, your bike is this month’s Bike of the Month

Discuss here

Buildthread here

Bike of the Month October 2020

Up until very recently, I have to admit, I had never encountered a Cougar in the flesh. Not the rare sharp clawed big cat variety , not the even rarer Stiffller’s Mum variety and certainly not the rarest of them all Spondonesk small batch UK special motorcycle frame variety.

This Month’s Bike of the month winner Barry Armstong (AKA Cullinoc) has been a Suzuki nut for longer than most. He has countless high-quality OSS builds under his belt, built for himself and for others. In the last 2 years, I’ve watched him build 4 ground up quality olsdskoolsuzuki builds, all of which were worthy of BOTM and two of which were built and sold just to raise money for another very special ongoing build ( but that’s a different story for a different month) Barry also supports me as pit mechanic when I race so to say I trust his abilities and his eye for detail is an understatement.

Unusually, Barry has decided to keep the Cougar and run it as an everyday bike. He has a small stable of everyday bikes, all of which are Suzukis. He has no car license either so they are literally everyday bikes. Hardcore!

This month we are featuring Barry’s Bandit 12 powered Cougar. Barry bought this from another Suzuki nut and long time OSS member Pip Brodie. When he bought it it was powered by an EFE 1230 engine and an assortment of period early 90’s fittings. Barry’s original plan was to strip it back and refresh the EFE engine and upgrade everything else. When Rooster Racing were looking for an EFE engine for a race build last year Barry and Don did a deal for a fresh bandit engine and some frame mounts to house the oil cooled plant.

What has emerged is a very tidy, very usable looking Cougar framed Suzuki Special. Barry congratulations you are oldskoolsuzuki’s Bike of the month, October 2020. It’s your first time as BOTM Barry but I’m sure it won’t be your last.

Read about the build here. Members discuss this article here.

Bike of the Month July 2020

When are projectbikes ever finished? ARE they even ever finished? Some bikes get moved on when the initial owner/builder reaches the goal that was set, or interest is lost, only for someone else to take up the challenge and see it through to the possible end. Some other bikes get broken for parts to be sold off and in turn help other projects get finished.

It’s a natural “circle of life” if you will, in the OSS fraternity and I think on average more bikes actually DON’T get finished than do, which is a good thing, because where else would we get all the bits from?

Owner/builder Katanasteve and myself have never met, we’ve never spoken, yet I’m quite aware of some of the projects that moved though his hands. Some finished, some others sold on or broken, as per my previous statement. One thing that did seem to be a recurring theme was the fact that Steve takes it quite a bit further than most.

Engineswaps, turbochargers, superchargers, dual front wheels; everything that you could dream up, Steve probably did it, and to a better standard than most of us could even dream it up to be.

For this build, something was done that we very rarely see on our end of the planet, yet in Japan you could say it’s almost normal; marrying 2 frames top and bottom, to have the runninggear from one bike, and the bodywork of the other. I’ve seen it done to Blandits, but this has taken it yet another step further; Slabside GSXR bottom frame, Katana spine (is that the right word?) and a GSXR1100 motor sandwiched in between.

Tank and sidepanels made out of aluminium by the very talented Kenty, another OSS heavyweight,  all was meticulously bolted (literally) together to get all the proportions right. No easy task as the original Katana must be a good 5” longer than the GSXR that is residing under this one.

A separate subframe was fabbed up to support the seat and have the added job of holding the top end of the twin shock conversion. The original Slabby arm was in turn also modified to work with the twin shocks and a brace was added for good measure.

Swiftly build up and MOT-ed, it has turned out as a bike that even those that do know what they’re looking at, need to give it a 2nd look; it’s done so right, that you could walk past it thinking it is “just a Katana”.

This build has been on my radar for quite some time and with it on the road and finished, I saw it fit for BOTM. I sit down to write this very piece and the topic is all the way up to the top again; Steve went ahead and started fitting spoked wheels and stacks..

They’re never finished. If we had to wait for a bike to be completely done to get picked as BOTM, we’d have a VERY hard time choosing, simply because few ever really are.

Congratulations Katanasteve, your bike is this month’s Bike of the Month.

Discuss here

Buildthread here  

GSXR electrical modifications

 

GSXR and Bandit Alternator overcharging problems.

First some theory:

Suzuki have tried to be clever using a closed loop design which may work when everything is new perhaps.

Out of alternator are two leads the main power to battery and the other is the ignition feed to alternator which is trigger to turn reg on.
Problem here is voltage drop on the trigger wire, ive measured half volt purely at ignition switch, suppose age takes its toll. ive got further .3 volt loss through wiring and joints i can tell you the connectors are clean and look good.
So alternator battery lead reads say 12.6 volts (engine off) ignition lead reads 12.5 volts but lights on this drops to 11.5 volts where the battery lead reads 12.3 a drop of .8 through switch and harness, so when running when lights are turned on alternator compensator by ramping up output to 15.4 volts which cooks the battery.

Solution.
Remove ignition feed wire to the alternator and use it to power a relay (switch side) the ignition wire out of alternator straight to positive on battery via the new relay.
Result constant 14.3 volts depending on battery state no matter whats on or off, result.

You have to connect via a relay as the reg would drain the battery in no time as this is trigger to turn reg side of circuit on as its a basic deign not like car 1 wire systems where the actual rotation of alternator triggers it on.

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That was the explanation why, now the how to:

So first of all you need to find the connector block under the rider seat shown here arrowed in green –

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This has one red and one orange wire into it out of the loom and two reddish cloth covered wires out of it to the alternator. You need to cut the orange wire on the right – give yourself at least about an inch and a half of wire still coming out of the connector block, so you’ll need to open up the loom a bit. DO NOT CUT THE RED WIRE, leave it alone.

Now you need to splice in two new lengths of wire onto the cut ends. I used orange 3mm 30A rated thin wall insulation, as the closest match to the original. You don’t want to be using thinner wire than the original – thinner wire = greater resistance = voltage drop and this is the problem you are trying to cure. You can crimp the wire on, personally I prefer a soldered splice, then seal the splice with heatshrink insulation On the other end you need to crimp on female spade connectors, which to match the terminals on your relay will most likely be 6.3mm. Use double crimped ones which grip the bare wire and the insulation. Again, as well as a crimp I like to put a bit of solder on my crimped end. I also slipped insulators on the wire to cover the blades to make everything 100% weathertight.

Now you need to make up two more lengths of wire, same type as before but this time a black length and a red length. On one end of the black wire you want a double-crimped 6.4mm round battery terminal, on the other end a 6.3mm female spade with insulator. The red wire is slightly more involved as this mod bypasses the 30A circuit breaker in the original wiring, thus potentially leaving the positive feed to the trigger circuit unfused – but we’re going to sort that. You want a 30A rated waterproof inline mini blade type fuseholder, which looks like this –

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The 30A rating is so that the integral wire tails it comes with will be the same rating and diameter as the rest of the wiring you are installing – again because you don’t want to introduce thinner wire into the circuit.  But you want a 10A fuse in it, don’t put a 30A in it, that’s way too high for this circuit alone.  On one end of one of the wire tails fit a 6.3mm female spade with insulator.  Extend the other tail by splicing on extra red wire and sealing the joint with heatshrink insulation.  The female spade will attach to the relay and the end of the red wire will attach to the positive terminal of the battery, so measure things out and, before attaching a double-crimped 6.4mm round battery terminal, thread it through the terminal insulator on the battery cable, as this is easier than trying to fit it through with the terminal attached.  When you’ve done that attach the terminal.  The new terminals sit on top of the existing battery lead terminals.

The relay I fixed to the undertray next to the fusebox as you can see.  Drilled through the undertray and used a stainless nut and bolt to secure the relay bracket.  I also put a bit of foam between the bracket and the undertray to provide a bit of damping but this might be overkill, as the plastic undertray is flexible anyway.  I put another little bit of foam between the relay and the fusebox cover, so that is held firm and damped.

You can see in the photo below how I’ve routed the wires, so you can follow this and cut to the required length before starting.  I used the groove in the undertray as a duct for them to pass underneath the fusebox, which secures them neatly.  The inline fuseholder is positioned between the relay connection and before the red wiring passes underneath the fusebox, so it’s in a logical position close to the fusebox.  The loom was resealed with self-amalgamating tape leaving the orange wires passing through.  The red and black wires are cable tied to the battery wires, then cable tied along their length to the loom or frame.  You don’t want unsecured wires flapping about, they get fatigued over the years, work harden and then you get annoying internal cracks.  A tidy bike is a reliable bike ;).

So the wires go as follows – orange from the ignition switch side of the loom (i.e. from the right hand side as you’re looking at the connector block in the first photo) goes to one of the coil terminals on the relay; black wire connects to battery negative and the other coil terminal on the relay; the other orange wire, from the alternator side of the loom (i.e. from the left hand side as you’re looking at the connector block in the first photo) goes to one of the switch terminals on the relay; red wire connects to battery positive and the other switch terminal on the relay.

I think the picture below should illustrate this all clearly.

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Just one thing: first i tried with a cheap relay, it had a difference of 0,2V on the switched wires, so it charged 14,7V. Then I got a better relay (no difference measurable) and it charges perfectly.

Side stand switch removal

Disclaimer – If you follow this modification it is completely at your own risk and no one other than yourself can be held accountable for any mistakes, actions or accidents which could occur from any implemented modifications and from riding in an unsafe or dangerous manner including but not restricted to, leaving side stand down whilst riding.

In other words: if you find you sometimes try to ride away with the sidestand down, don’t try this at home.

When disconnecting/removing the sidestand of your GSX-R or other oldskool Suzuki, it makes sense to remove all the unnecessary wiring and relay as well. Pic of the relay:

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on Slingshot GSX-R’s it’s mounted under the battery box, on a tray together with the starter relay and circuit breaker (more about that breaker later). One orange/yellow wire comes from the fuse, this is the +12V feed to the ignition system. The orange/black wire goes to the kill switch. Connect these two wires together and you have eliminated the sidestand switch and the relay. When you rip out all the unneeded wires from the loom, you will also find a diode. Connect the blue wire (from the neutral switch) to the black/blue wire (to the neutral indicator).

Circuit breaker elimination

Under the battery box is the circuit breaker, some kind of mechanical fuse, which pops when the load is too high and can be reset by pushing back the red button. At least that’s the theory, but in practice they catch a lot of crap from the rear wheel (especially if you ride around without a rear hugger) and with age they refuse to operate in the prescribed manner. Easy sollution is to just cut it out and connect the two wires together, it works, but to be safe it’s better to install a 30A fuse instead of the circuit breaker. This fuse can be mounted in a position where it’s protected from the elements, next to the fusebox for example.

Bandit 1200 – resistor in ignition switch

The Bandit 1200 (and probably also other models) have a resistor built in the ignition switch. This prevents the bike from being started when hot-wiring it. If you want to use a B12 ignition control unit (CDI unit) in combination with anything else than a B12 ignition switch, you have to “fool” the CDI by installing a resistor in the system.

Marked in blue shows which circuit the resistor should be in:

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The orange/yellow wire comes from the CDI unit and as you can see, when the lock is turned on, it is connected to black/white (ground). So just connect the orange/yellow from the CDI to ground through a 100 ohm resistor and that’s it.

By Jonny1bump, Crass and Captain Chaos.

 

 

 

 

It’s never too late to be what you might have been- A winged hammer’s tale.

From time to time we lift a story from our forum and put it here for the wider world to enjoy. This is one of those occasions. Mole is one of our winged hammers and if you ever found yourself wondering whether it was too late to take up track racing or thinking you needed mega-bucks just to get started, Mole’s story should provide some inspiration.

What started as a bit of laugh has seen Mole win his local class championship and this year, Mole will take on both Donington’s classic endurance round in May and Spa in June.

This is Mole’s story, so far…

 

 


This is how it all began. It was Christmas 2012.

I had a perfectly mental, tuned GSXR thou and I got talked into going racing. After all, I was 46 and if I didn’t do it now, I never would. My mates were racing in the Post Classic series and, if I wanted to take them on, I needed a pre ’88 bike to do it on.

I got £1200 and the horrible 750 Slabby streetfighter you see below for my pride and joy(oddly I don’t miss it).

It was standard apart from the Blandit 600 wheels, carbs and a really loud,rattly can. The weird seat unit looked ok but weighed a ton. The brakes were knackered and the motor was seized.


I had 3 months to turn it into a competitive race bike.

Not having a clue about racing didn’t help. I looked on the web at racing Slabbies and dreamed of world championships. I looked at frame mods as I had heard that the standard frames were far too flexible. I got some 6mm alloy plate and a length of 40×20 box section and made up some bracing. I don’t have the capability to alloy weld so I taped them onto the frame and took it to the local blacksmiths to get welded up. I bought an aftermarket fairing on Eblag then realised that it didn’t meet the catch tank regs so pop riveted a bit of caravan onto the bottom. I made a couple of brackets to fit R1 calipers to the Slabby forks,fitted clipons, an R1 shock, an 1100M back wheel, painted it matt black and poured diesel down the plug holes. After a couple of days it was turning over and running on a set of VM29s that I already had.

I was ready for action.

Season 1

As I said, I didn’t have a clue about racing. My mate Iain P was coaxed into helping me. He was in strong disagreement that the best way to find the limits of adhesion was to lean more and more till I fell off (both left and right). But that’s what I did. My first race was at East Fortune. I did a 1:17 and fell off. The bike felt horrible, Skittish and downright dangerous in the damp with road legal tyres as we weren’t allowed wets. Not helped by the fact I was running them at road pressures of 36 front and 42 rear. When I asked someone about it they pissed themselves laughing and told me to try 31 front and 28 rear. What a difference that made!

There were 15 riders in our class and by the end of the season I was down to a 1:08 and finished second in class.

Season 2

Second season and I had made a few changes.

I bought another fairing and took all the bodywork to my mate Wee Stuart the painter and told him to paint it the same colour as the car I was getting sprayed. The car looked better! I got dogs abuse all year about that colour. Luckily enough I crashed it at the last meeting of the year so it would need painted again. It got a Gsxr600 K1 front end with a ZX9 wheel, fireblade calipers and a shortened random, and much more sociable, end can. All much cheapness as money was tight. Best buy was the Taiwanese rear sets. £36 and made from an alloy I had, and have never since, encountered. They crash really well. When bent double they can be hammered straight again and again. I decided to go with no proper seat as comfort is the last thing on your mind when racing.

It was tight that year, but I won by a handful of points.

Season 3

Season 3 and I have a target on my back!

The team: Jools-Team principal- cook

Iain P-Crew chief- Prophet of Doom

Me- Ballast-Talent(depending on results)

The big change for this year was my mate Andy Fyffe bought me a set of PFM discs. He has the superbike ones on his Harris Magnum4 and swears by them. He’s not wrong., Combined with Bendix carbon matrix race pads, they are like hitting a skip!

I bought a second hand stainless race pipe and can, some cheap chinese levers, a kid on seat and new paint.

A proper race loom was made up and doubts were cast as to the longevity of the still original de-seized motor(as can be seen by the amount of oil on the tailpiece)

There was no way I was going to win this year after a couple of crashes(silver Gaffa tape is my new best friend)

As luck would have it, Andy Lawson who was sure to beat me, went off to do the Manx (and won his class) so that left me winning by a handful of points again this year(2014)

Season 4

First major revamp. I bought a load of Gsxr bits from someone who was moving class to supertwins. The package came with a blown 750m motor with a lightened and balanced crank and a Wiseco 771cc kit. It had dropped a valve and destroyed the head and piston but the cylinder was untouched and came with a new piston kit. Also in package was a low mileage 750m motor and a Dyna 2000 ignition set up. Because I’m a slack arse, I decided to put the complete 750m motor into the bike along with the Dyna ignition and find another head, to get ported, for the trick motor for a later , more points demanding stage in the championship. The Prophet of Doom was in total agreement, much to my surprise,but only because he doesn’t like change. A new swoopy slingshot body kit was purchased. Again only because it was £100 cheaper than a Slabby one. At least the people that make “race” fairnings reckon that you will need a full belly pan for a Slingy. Painted it myself this time. Looks fabulous from a good few feet away. Changed to 36mm CVs( forgot to mention that the year before I had the VM29s bored to 33 at the back to match the fronts). The 36s used less petrol which worried me.

I put Hyperpro springs in the forks which greatly improved the handling. Unfortunately this meant I started having ground clearance issues. I moved the pegs up and back a little, made a new link pipe for the exhaust to tuck it in and cut holes in the fairing where the bulges for the engine cases were.

Halfway through the season is when the electrical gremlins joined the team. The bike would seem fine for about 8 laps of the 10 lap races then start misfiring. We kept finding dodgy connections (caused mainly by using those shitty blue connectors). We would think it was sorted but it would do the same thing again. We changed the plugs, the coils, made another loom and even tried a better fuel tap in case it was petrol starvation. Nothing seamed to make a difference. It was at one of the spark plug changes (last race of the weekend) that a rogue (and tiny) nut had found its way down the plug tube so that when the plugs were taken out, it fell in. The motor sounded terminal on startup so the bike was put in the van. The trick motor was put into service by using the head from the standard motor. That’s when I noticed the tiny square nut embedded into the edge of the combustion chamber.

The rules were still the same regarding tyres. Road legal only. No wets. We were running Pirelli diablo supercorsas in the dry and Michelin pilot road 3 touring tyres in the wet.

I’ve ridden bikes all my life and most of it in Scotland so riding in the rain doesn’t bother me. This worked well in my favour as it was wet a lot that year. I won the championship by a fair bit and went the whole season without crashing.

Season 5

 

The class was beginning to dwindle with only 8 bikes left. The racing was still good though. My main rivals Gordon Murray on his VFR and Gordon Castle on a very well put together Gsxr 750 were always right with me. I was still having ground clearance issues because the bike was handling so well. The NRC casings were getting scuffed as was the fairing although I had pulled it in as much as possible. I made up brackets to move the top mount of the shock back and down which meant I had to take more meat off the linkage to allow more height. They look dodgy and I meant to get them welded onto the frame but never did and they haven’t moved. I should still get them welded on.

Deek had joined the team as pit crew and moral prevention officer. Mostly he noised up the competition.

At the Bob Mac Memorial classic races that year I did my best ever lap of 1:03.7. This was only possible because of the perfect weather conditions and having a couple of world class riders to chase. I never beat them but they dragged me along a full second faster than I had gone before.

Wet tyres were allowed! They are epic. If you have never tried them you wouldn’t believe how grippy they are. I prayed for rain and did my rain dance every meeting.

The gremlins were still on board. I was over riding the bike when it was stuttering on the last laps and ended the season with a couple of crashes. The bike was fast though and I could build up enough of a lead to still finish 1st or 2nd. I managed to win my fourth consecutive title. Just.

Season 6 2017

I had been warned not to run the number 1.

What do they know!

Over the winter I had bought another motor that had just been built by a renowned tuner. It had Wiseco high comp pistons and a ported head. Unfortunately for the guy his fuel tap had not shut off and filled the cases with petrol resulting in a big end failure. We made an engine up from all the best parts we had. It’s a total screamer. New paint and another end can and we were ready.

First race of the year and the bike died after 3 laps. When the race was over it started and ran perfectly back to the pit.

We checked everything we could think of. I was told the Dyna 2000 ignitions were bomb proof and no way it would be that. I didn’t have another one anyway.

The class was only 5 strong and we were out with the CB500s. It meant we only got 2 clear laps before we were in traffic. That worked in my favour as the bike was still playing up and I managed to finish 2 of the races.

I was convinced that it was a fuel starvation problem so for the 2nd meeting i bought new Mikuni RS34s and fitted a Pingle tap. On a sneaky test ride along the back roads the bike felt great and never missed a beat. At the meeting on the practice session the bike ran perfectly. However when the call went out for qualifying it would not start. No spark.

One of my rivals lent me his spare Dyna ignition. That was the problem all along. I had to start at the back of a 36 strong grid (30 pizza bikes and then the post classics). By lap 5 I tried to take the lead and crashed. Bugger! It had ripped all the controls off the left side of the bike. We had enough spares to sort the bike and hammered straight the unbreakable Taiwanese rear sets. 2nd race and the gear linkage snapped on lap 2 and in 5th gear. I finished the race but burnt out the clutch slipping it out of the tight corners. I didn’t have a spare clutch so I roughed up the steel plates. It was better but still slipping. 2 distant 5th place finishes.

I could still win the championship (theoretically) if I won every race.

At the 3rd meeting everything went perfectly. I won all the races and my nearest rival had a DNF. It was on.

Last meeting of the year. First race. Pole position. The lights went out and my throttle cable snapped.

Fixed the cable by soldering a new nipple on. 2nd race. 2nd lap and the cable snapped again.

It was over.

Won the last 2 races but finished a distant 2nd in the championship.

Good riddance number 1 plate.

Roll on 2018.

Mole.

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New OSS Trader – Lucky7moto

We are pleased to welcome Lucky7moto as an OSS Trader, with a discount available for OSS as well as a fantastic prize to give away too!

Lucky7moto are well known for building cool bikes, several of which have featured in magazines around the world. Their ‘no fucks given’ approach has always been fun to see, take a look at their T-shirts! They do it because they want to, not because they have to.

As well as building cool bikes for themselves and others with deep pockets (check out the Katana or ET they built), Lucky7moto also sell specialist parts.

New bike builds in the making include a GSXR1100 Slabside for a customer and a GSXR Slingshot that will become something endurance based. All builds result in some bespoke specialist parts being made and these are then offered for sale to you.

Today their most commonly requested item is the seat re-covering service. Steve the founding member, is a time served upholsterer by trade spending years in the Aston Martin interiors factory. Using only the best materials like high-grade leather or the latest waterproof Alcantara to the best textured vinyl, Lucky7moto seats can be found on some of the best builds on the planet. Racefit can attest to that. Lucky7 seats are on all of their builds. Steve has partnered with Jay who is an active member here on OSS.

Whether it’s a GSX1100 Katana, Bandit, GSXR (or any other bike including one off specials) these guys can (re)cover it transforming the look of the bike. Just don’t ask them for embossing or bright blue stitched logos, that’s not what they do.

Current bike parts on offer are GSX1100 and Katana oil catch tanks, under trays, swing arm spacers to allow later model swing arms to be used and shock mounts to allow newer style mono shock arms to run twin shocks. Lucky7moto will also supply you with a Racefit Legend system if you ask nicely 🙂

The newest product to come out of the workshop is a stunning hand beaten aluminium tank for the GSXR750 Slabside. It’s internally baffled, much lighter than stock and a real thing of beauty. These are a limited run so be quick to get some exotica. Other limited run, hand made aluminium tanks are on the horizon with GSXR Slingshot and Katana tanks being talked about.

If you can’t stretch to a fuel tank then Lucky7moto offer some very cool T-shirts and stickers for sale too. OSS members will receive a 10% discount.

To celebrate their new OSS Trader status, they are offering as a competition prize a re-cover for your bike seat OR if you are lucky enough to be a Katana or GSX1100 owner – an oil catch tank OR undertray set. Basically one winner, one prize.

For details of how get your OSS discount and to enter the competition, see the article in our Traders section here. Please note that you need a 50+ post count on the OSS forum to take part.

You can find Lucky7moto on the interwebs here:
http://facebook.com/luckyseven.motorcycles
http://lucky7moto.com (currently under construction)

New OSS Trader – MK-Components

We are pleased to welcome MK-Components as an OSS Trader, with a discount available for OSS as well as some very nice Yoshimura goodies to give away too!

Some of you may know our friend Mar71n and his rather nice engine covers. Well, good news as he’s started producing the R engine covers again! They fit the 1127cc oil cooled motor & its later versions.

He’s also looking at producing covers for some other motors too.

(Thanks to Duckndive for the loan of the EFE engine cases.)

The R covers are now for sale on a certain well known auction site.  However, if you buy through OSS, you get 10% off! To qualify, you need to contact Mar71n via OSS for that discount.

With the next batch of R covers he’ll be machining some for the 750/1052cc motor as well. So that should get most of you oil cooled boys and girls covered… terrible pun intentional!

To celebrate his launch, MK-Components are kindly offering the following goodies up for grabs in an easy to enter competition…

1st prize: A Yoshimura garage sign 24” X 17” ( 609.6 X 431.8 to be precise!)
2nd prize: A Yoshimura T shirt, it has an image of Pops himself on
3rd prize: A Yoshimura sticker set, it has approx 24 Yoshi stickers on the sheet

For details of how get your OSS discount and to enter the competition, see the article in our Traders section here. Please note that you need a 50+ post count on the OSS forum to take part.

 

You can find MK-Components on the interwebs here:

http://www.mk-components.co.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/mk-components/m.html

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