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A tale of two race bikes


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As I seem to have accumulated quite a lot of spares for the yoshi gs1000 I already race

I decided to build a whole spare bike although harris originally braced the frame gs1000 version 1 I have replicated the bracing on this frame

can never have too many projects on the go ! 



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On 5-2-2018 at 4:39 PM, Markz9 said:

yes come and say hello our club usually on the concrete area near eau rouge and the tunnel into the track

made it to schleiz and oscherleben this year as well  this piccy is schleiz dreieck which is part road part track and really good fun they had the european ducati cup same weekend

first corner and 45 old superbikes trying to fit, bit crowded


Will you be putting on OSS-winged hammer stickers? If so we can spot you more easily ;)

I'm also going to Spa again for the bikers classics :)

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On 19/02/2018 at 1:44 PM, Bowler said:

Will you be putting on OSS-winged hammer stickers? If so we can spot you more easily ;)

I'm also going to Spa again for the bikers classics :)

Yes i am officially in the gang now 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok quick update managed to book some time off building the super sewer and with friend went off and had some practice at Cartagena for three days this was on the slabby 750, dropped the bikes off at Swindon to be transported down during the weekend of snow so a good start !

bike was running but as usual I hadn’t had chance to test it properly always seems to be last minute, anyway arrived at the track, bikes are unwrapped and my mates bandit and the slabby plus two fz600 are the oldest bikes by years. at this point I find out the gremlins have had a go a both bikes and they won’t start !! It’s sunny 3 days of track time and no bike !!! Managed to sort the bandit 1200 after stripping the wiring but that took a morning then started on mine first the brakes which had been spongy finally tightened up, after messing about with the spark plugs, leads, caps found that both the brand new ngk caps had dismantled themselves so be aware looks like the Chinese are copying caps also the centre bolts on the ignition trigger had unwound itself and come through the ignition cover when we had tried to bump start it 

at this point I was going to give up and find the nearest bar however someone mentioned there was a bike shop in the town that might help so two caps and one alloy welded 33 year old cover was popped back on and I was going great fun tight track to play on and 25 deg








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The first time I went  Cartagena in 09, I dropped my superduke on the second morning, and bust the foot pegs, and levers etc. The shop down the road didn't have anything, but a lad in there buying some oil said me might be able to help.

I followed him to the other side of the town to non descript build that was probably an old department store or supermarket behind the shoe polished window, the ground floor was full Jap imports,  RGVs, TZRs  400s etc.  In the lift, 1st floor was full of off road bike, 2nd floor  rammed with  125cc and 250cc GP bikes. On the top floor we found some TZ250 pegs that would work, and a lever of a Ducati. Amazing what's tucked away in southern Spain

Glad you got some track time in, it's a great little track, you get any laptimes?


Now get Donington Booked!

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It was a bit of luck finding these places two other bikes were repaired radiator on a zx10r and engine case gsxr1000kso he did quite well that weekend 

I mucked up on the lap times they don’t record them and by the time I realised the equipment had already been sent Valencia should have borrowed yours ! 

Have a look at the forks picture I have about 50mm of movement something not quite right 

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53 minutes ago, Markz9 said:

These are the spare forks I think they may have the cartridges out of a  cbr600rr in them 

Oh. God knows then.  How much sag have you got on those forks?

The front end must have felt very sketchy.

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  • 4 months later...

sorry I have been a bit slack updating the year so far I have been racing the gsxr 750 (little bertha) and gsxr1216 (big bertha)

so  big bertha first outing was at the Spa classic this year

As usual everything was left until the last minute the forks came back from a service and re-spring at Maxton via courier on wed and by 7pm I had all the wheels back on at ray debben and we could load it unridden and untested into the van


Long trip to spa took about 8 hours, a lot of road works, finally arrived and went through the normal stuff ray had made me promise to do three laps maximum and come back in to the paddock to check bolts, suspension, everything, was tight as this was the first time the bike had moved under its own steam.


Want out on free practice the sun is shinning and came back in found a few bits to tighten nothing serious and one of my bell mouths had fallen off and landed where the alternator would be, lucky boy


Next Qualif 1 disaster ready to go bike dead no electric nothing ! arrgh made rush managed to detach some wires form a crimped terminal but the issue was a blown fuse, got one from the van and out the beg to be allowed out just as which point red flag ! about 5 /6 bike down someone’s engine grenade


Q2 already started the bike 3 or 4 times, no problem went out on the track 3 laps bike died I suspected fuel or spark

I now know that the lithium Pi battery will last a race if all 6 bars are lit up on test, if I try to start on button without slave battery I get two goes and risk losing 2 bars on the battery, that will probably not last a race at spa !


Race 1 as qual was so poor, new bike and all the usual excuses I end up about 38 out of 52 on the grid, we go, bike going well revs seem a bit low only goes to 6k (now have wired around 2 leads so it works) got bit more settled on the bike and more comfortable, the seat height is spot on, I can move around and still feel tucked inside the bike.

Decided ok to start getting a bit of a wriggle on so ended position 17 overall and 11 in my class and a 2.58 lap so chuffed, by the end I am scraping around some big corners bike feels very steady and quick


Race 2 not so good just about to go out and noticed an oil leak, not bad but needed to be sorted and fuel carb float stuck open and losing fuel at an alarming rate, mostly over the hot engine,  so I decided to miss the start, however a bad accident French chap blew his engine in big way just before la source about 5 went down and a friend of mine had to be air lifted to liege, and has now finally come out of a coma, which it did take the fun out of the weekend, if I was honest


Next outing for both bertha's will be Castle Coombe at the beginning of September 


would like to thank chris at grumpy 1260 Ray Debben Performance and Duncan Williams on oldskool for all your help, and Colin Chapman at TPE for selling me the frame that started the whole thing off





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  • 1 month later...
On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 10:02 PM, Mar71n said:

Fab picture.

Thanks that was the first time I had ridden the bike and the first time it had moved under its own power few bits undid themselves including one bell mouth, but quite successful weekend and spa is probably my favourite track 

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Ok now the season has finished time to start doing some jobs and upgrades I have wanted to carry out

I have never been a fan of hydraulic clutches and prefer cable but also wanted a yoshi battery holder by the gearbox sprocket 

there is a way round this other than the works dry clutch, so now I have the parts I need thank duncan and roger u

I can now have a play there will be other bits being changed and I will post as I get round to them 

and an update on my last few races


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  • 5 weeks later...

After my little off at Oulton Park during Friday practice I did mange to get back out on the sat and compete, felt a bit sore and I had cracked a couple of ribs but with lots of help from friends Dave Towse and Nick Allison and Andy Feeley I was able to get out again, not too bad result as I won my race, a few people came off so I didn't feel too bad. 

Next problem was I had been asked to have the bike on the stand at the NEC motorcycle live 2018, but it was looking very second hand and spike at ragged edge racing wasn't making a fairing until the new year as the old mould needed renewing and updating, however after a bit of arm twisting he managed to pull one out of the hat, quick dash to Derek the sprayer and image works supplied the transfers, I will never try doing applying them again, horrible job.

It did all come out looking quite good in the end, quick dash up to deliver the bike on Friday to the formula pro stock stand which is in hall 2 opp the Suzuki and Royal Enfield stands Suzuki are also sponsoring a bike in the bandit challenge and that is one of the class in our club as well as FP 1 FP 2 and FP 3 so 2019 looks like being a busy year     




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1 minute ago, dupersunc said:

Was the Suzuki built Bandit challenge bike there Mark?  It looks great in the pics I've seen of it.


Yes it’s on the Suzuki stand they are promoting it and bandit challenge too 

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  • 2 months later...

Currently trying to sought the 750 and 1216 slabby race bikes I did manage to acquire a new stepped top yoke for big bertha which will help a lot with ground clearance this is magnesium xr 06 Suzuki works top yoke but it didn't come with the insert collars the stem hole was also left out for different offsets

so after a chat with GSXRsam and a friend of mine I had a new set of collars machined up and the top yoke fitted




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