You wanna go racing???
After a brief conversation, the idea was born....Sean would sponsor me for all of the engine tuning, scooter painting and building, and i would find and fund the parts. It was a simple idea, and we vowed to keep it to a budget, which is no easy task when you are building a road going scoot....never mind a race machine! Its a cross between accepting that i've never done this before, so need to take a financial reality check before i spunk thousands of pounds on something that i might be no good at.....but conversely,....wanting to be remotely copmpetative, so that i dont look a proper idiot on the worlds slowest race scooter!
So we have to compromise and economise wherever possible, i already have a 'chunk of change' tied up in my 'dream scoot' that Sean is currently building, so this project has to stick to budget. To that effect, we have used parts which may be less than 100% ideal for the purpose (example a 34mm dellorto when we wanted a 38mm Dellorto or a Mikuni carb) but we are commited to using the parts we had available, and could afford, rather than the 'dream shopping list'. Still, even with these restrictions in mind, we hope to be somewhat competative, well......as best a novice can be.
This whole deal was put into perspective, when i recently talked to a very well known scooter racer, and he let on that he spent £15k on his machine alone, during the last year that he raced!!! I told him that i hoped to hit the track on a £1500 machine, with £500 worth or spare parts as back-up! Two grand to me was a big stretch, but to him.....it was a 10th of his overall budget for the season!!
Spec we are aiming for:
Scoot chassis spec: Li150 frame, cut-down for group 6, no leggies or side panels, drop bars with quick-action throttle, small petrol tank, TT91 tyres, GP200 forks, Taffspeed rear shock, anti-dive front disc brake, sebac shockers.
Anyway.....this is how it goes......
(Click on images to enlarge)
Below: I met a nice chap called Ken via the LCGB website, and purchased this ratty old Li.....the basis for the project!!!
Below: Within 24hrs it was stripped bare and cut to pieces!
Below: Bodywork prep was started, bits cut off, grinded down, sanded off, welded in....and filled!
Below: Matt black it!! Cheap, cheerful....and kinda mean lookin! :O)
Below: LD tank added, not sure if it will hold enough juice for this thirsty beast.....but we will soon find out!
Below: Beedspeed Vespa drops, converted using bits from the old Li headset, and then stripped of non-essentials, polished up and fitted. Looks good to me!
So…..we eventually finished the racer, and made it to the last race of the year on the BSSO calendar, at Cadwell Park. But to be fair, there was never going to be any ‘race’ as such for me, this was pure testing ground, and a chance for me to find my feet. It was all practice for me.
Here’s the You Tube video of the scoot just after we finished it only a week or two before Cadwell:
So the final cylinder spec for Cadwell was: TS1 225, stage 3 tuning (see here: http://drunkmunkey6969.googlepages.com/ts1cylinderporting ) in terms of widths, but we took the exhaust duration to 190 degrees and the transfers to 130. Running a 58mm crank, 107 rod, MB piston, JL4 exhaust, 35mm Mikuni with 380 main jet on a 53 needle (second clip), running 97 ron pump fuel and Castrol TTS oil. Li 150 Gearbox, 16/47 sprockets and FOXHAT 6-plate clutch kit. Standard cylinder head, Denso race plug, zero deck height, 0.9mm squish, standard ignition, lighting coils removed, set at 17 degrees.
And this is what the beast looked like:
I know…the number plates look numb, but I followed the ACU size and colour guidelines to a T, but after inspecting a few other machines, I think I’ll fit leggies and a tail piece for next season…..she should look a bit ‘fitter’ then ;o)
So how did I get on? I’ve never raced before, never been on a track before….in fact I’ve never been to a scooter race before………what the hell was I thinking of?
Well it was great fun, I really enjoyed myself (once I’d got through my first race nerves) and every one of the guys I met was very helpful and really helped out. So if anyone else out there wants to race, but is worried about not knowing anyone or anything…..i did it…so you can too. They are a great bunch of lads, and will help you out no bother.
So what was the result, well….to keep it brief, I papped my pants as I went out for practice, nerves really got the better of me, and that was just practice! And as we got near to race time, I was a mix of nerves and excitement……but for my first race ever, I started 36th on the grid (out of 38), got a flying start and left a couple behind me, and at the end of my first ever race I had managed to climb to 28th which is very respectable for a first race. So whilst I didn’t give anyone anything to worry about, I at least achieved my 3 main objectives for my first ever race: 1) Don’t crash! 2) Don’t come last 3) Don’t break down and I even managed to add a 4th & 5th achievement….4) I got off to a flying start, and 5) I overtook a couple of people mid race (Sorry Paul Green and Giles Fielden! ;o))
On Day 2 however, I suffered a mechanical failure on the start/finish grid right at the race start, and as the recovery vehicle hampered the return of my scoot, we couldn’t get the problem fixed in time for race 2….it just turned out to be a failure of a solder joint inside the stator plate of all things, so I didn’t get chance to let anyone see how fast the scoot was going on the Sunday…..but at least it was just something simple…and we will be in good shape for a full season in 2009!! ;o)
I’m gonna sign off now, and finish the race blog here. But I’m gonna do a full thread on the forum, outlining all the details of the weekends events, complete with pictures etc, you can see it all here:
And I’ll also be venturing down to see Al @ Moto Diablo this weekend, to get the scoot dyno’d and maybe fit a 38mm Lectron, so if anything exciting crops up there, I will do a small addition to this blog just for that.
So thanks to everyone that came to support me (Especially the forum members, including Les Perry & Mrs who were great, Sean Brady & Granddad, and of course my Wife and baby daughter) and thanks to the racers (Paul Green & Giles) that took me under their wing and helped me through my first meeting.
Dan Clare (drunkmunkey6969) BSSO# 641
Roll on race season!!! ;o)
Liked the article? Then why not discuss your thoughts on the Scooterotica Forum: Scooterotica Forum