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The Beastess at World SuperBike support at Phillip Island.

Historic support races at World Super Bikes, Phillip Island, February 2016.

Our last race meeting, 4 weeks prior, was the International Challenge at the Island Classic. The Beastess was playing up in the mid range. Trev reckoned it was like a coil dropping 2 cylinders and then kicking back in. At the event we couldn't find a spark issue, so we continued with the carb settings., but we didn't get her any better over that event.

We thought that smaller pilot jets may help. So I changed the 70's for 50's, then put her back on the dyno and made main jet and needle position and mixture screw changes. She appeared close, by Wednesday morning, but it was now time to pack up and load the truck and head to the Island. She was still showing rich, but figured we'd sort the fine tuning at the track.

By the time the truck was loaded, it was about 8pm when Trev and I headed off. (Karen and Jake were coming down early Thursday morning as they were working for Computime.) Arriving just outside the side road to the track about 10pm, we sat up for a couple of hours, chewing the fat and partaking in a beer or 2. Then try to sleep.

The plan was to walk around to the credentials office, by 8am Thursday morning and pick up our passes (Karen and Jake were there by then) and then walk back to the truck and prepare to go in through the side gate at 9.15am. The main entrance wasn't going to be open until 10am and trucks were allowed in earlier to position themselves near their pit garage, before the hundreds of cars and trailers came in. We were starting to sweat, as 9.30am had come and our gate wasn't open and we wanted to get the 19 metre semi, in before the rest, so we could manoeuvre. Well about 9.50am the gate was opened and we got in and managed the slot spot just outside our pit garage.

Well in our section we were put in a garage with 2 other bikes and we had 2, so it was going to be squeezy to work on the bikes. There were a few spare garages in our section, so we moved next door and had one garage to ourselves.

Trev and I unloaded the bikes and gear and then set about running a power lead to the truck. A bit tricky, but we made up a mast and screwed it to the side of the shed and ran it about 20 metres to Trev's truck exhaust. It ended up being about 4.5 metres off the ground, so no tripping hazard and trucks could fit under it. We had to do it in stages as the pit marshall was down the other end. Once it was up, she was happy. So now we had power to the truck for the fridge, (most important!) and the air conditioner. A nice place to relax when not working on the bikes.

I did a bit of work on the bikes and fitted new crash protectors to the head, whilst Trev went to riders briefing. (I usually go to riders briefing with Trev, but knowing this Clerk of Course, I knew it would be a marathon briefing.) Then scrutineering, where they were more interested in frame numbers than other safety issues. I told them that the powder coating of the frame had pretty much filled up the frame number and what was the big deal? They said that they wanted to see that I hadn't had a log book for a certain frame and then fitted a non period frame. Anyway, that was all ok, so back to the pit garage and fit the tyre warmers, as Trev was out on Track in about an hour, at 3.15pm, for a 1/2 hour free practice.

The plan was that I would wait in pit lane and Trev would cut a couple of laps and come in and try some changes and then head out again. Twice he came in for rear suspension changes and he told me that she still had the midrange stutter. The 3rd time he came in, he thought that the engine was running rougher. He shut her down and got off. I started pushing the bike back to our pit and I thought that it was still in gear. When looking down to change gear with my hand, I noticed a lump on the side of the rear tyre. I showed Trev. No wonder he thought that the engine was running rough, as this lump was about the size of 1/2 a tennis ball and as thin as a balloon, rubbing on the chain. It could have burst any second, had he not come in. Very lucky!

The tyre had done 6 races and a qualifying, so was 3/4 worn, but I needed to take it back to the tyre man and find out why it had occurred. A blown tyre could have been disastrous, so I was ready for a bit of a confrontation with the tyre guy. He looked at it and took some photos, then took it off the rim. He explained that once in a blue moon an air bubble can get in the inside layer. The whole way around the inside of the tyre had a line around where it had delaminated and the bulge must have been the weak spot. A brand new tyre was fitted, free of charge, so I was pretty happy with the service.

We still had a 15 minute practice at 8.50am on Friday morning and so we fitted an old tyre, with the aim of keeping the new tyre for racing. Gave The Beastess the once over , fitted a 20 tooth front sprocket, to see if we could avoid the midrange hiccup and then into Cowes, to get some beer and back to the unit, for a reasonable nights sleep.

Saturday mornings practice session was only short, but before Trev went out, we decided to retard the ignition around the 4500 to 5000 rpm mark and take a couple more clicks off the low speed comp on the rear shock. The engine surge was still there, but the handling was better.

So we had from 9.15 am until 5 pm (when our qualifying was), to have a muck around with the carbs and the electricals. We leaned the needles off one notch, but she was still showing rich. Next step was to see if we had a faulty coil around the 4500 rpm mark. We did! So that was a positive. We wired in a different coil and she ran better but not right just yet. Then we swapped the 2 spark plugs that belonged to the coil and she was better. Then we went back to the lap top and down loaded the map that we used with the 1233 engine at the Australian Titles in October. She instantly sounded better around the midrange and were reasonably confident that we'd have a better set up for qualifying.

Qualifying time and Trev dropped 2 seconds. The engine was better, but now too lean on the needle and the gearing too high.

So we lifted the needle one notch and fitted the 19 tooth front sprocket and checked her over , pushed the exhausts in another 1/4" and take one click off comp and we were ready for tomorrows races.

By now we had the A team here, as Chris and Dave had arrived, and we were pretty confident of bettering the midfield grid position.

Into town and a bit of team work as Trev and Dave went to the grog shop and Chris and I picked up the Pizzas and then met back at the unit. A healthy dinner and the usual bench racing and in bed by midnight. Up at 6 am at the track by 7.30 am and ready for race one at 8.50 am.

Fired up the bike and then refitted the tyre warmers and we were set. Trev had qualified 12th, on a 3 wide grid, so he was on the 4th row. The siren went , so the plan was get Trev going and Chris and Dave would walk over to turn 4 (Honda corner) and I would jump on the scooter and buzz around to turn 1 to watch.

Trev got a good start and had passed one guy in turn 1, but coming out of turn 2, 2 had passed him, (One day we'll have more than 110 hp.), but around Stoner corner, (turn 3) Trev was reeling them in. I was thinking that we were finally getting close with the handling as she had always been a handful around the high speed bends, but Trev was holding her flat. Come turn 4, he gained some more under brakes. A strong point is the brakes and the front end and with some big balls, The Beastess is pretty impressive in this situation. From Honda corner on, the bigger powered and lighter machines pulled away. The next lap, when Trev came in sight he had lost a bit of ground on the straight, but had closed on the 3 in front, through turn 3, with a plan to smash them on the brakes into turn 4. He flew past 2 and then I lost sight. I heard on the commentary that one bike had gone down, Shit I thought. Then the commentator said it was 666. The race was red flagged and, I jumped on the scooter and headed back to our pit.

Trev had been carted to the medical centre and I went to the scrutineering bay to pick up The Beastess. Well there didn't look like a lot of damage to the bike, so I hoped it would be the same for Trev. We waited a while for the medical diagnosis of a probable broken collar bone and ribs. They decided to send him by Ambulance to Melbourne, where he stayed a couple of nights.

Well there was nothing that we could do for Trev, so we packed up some gear and watched some of the racing.The World SuperBike racing was awesome, with the first 6 so close you could throw a blanket over them,

Saturday night I shouted out the team to a restaurant, where we ate drank and sent photos to Trev. You know the sort of things that mates do! Wink

Sunday we slept in, as there was no hurry to get to the track. We cleaned the unit and then to the track, where we packed up the pit and then watched some racing.

Sunday arvo we heard from Trev, who confirmed his injuries and said he would be out of Hospital on Monday.

Tuesday arvo, Trev called in home and said that he will be giving the racing away. I suspected that may be the case. Although he is still a great racer, he is pushing 60 and at that age you don't repair as well as you once did. He was very happy with how The Beastess was handling and he is keen to help with the power development. So we'll be taking a break for a while and will rebuild and repair The Beastess and try some new engine mods. Trev's aim is to still be test rider, whilst we continue to develop, but hand over the reins to someone else. So at this point in time, I'd say that this year will be for development and we'll be aiming on bringing out the new improved Beastess at the Island Classic in January 2017.

Thanks to our Team of Karen , Jake, Dave, Chris and Little Stevie and of course Trev. Our sponsors, Ford McKernan Engineering, Pipemasters, Lilydale Sheetmetal, PowerHouse Clearances W.A, Airvolution Kustom Art, TM Performance / Shocktech and not to forget our hundreds of supporters all around the World.

Cheers, Rol.

Posted by administrator on Thursday, March 03 @ 16:20:27 EST (43899 reads)
(comments? | Score: 1.28)

AMA concerned about new threat to motorcycle safety training funds
News dkrager writes "

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is urging Congress to allow states to divert federal money now used for motorcycle training and awareness to instead promote the use of motorcycle helmets, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

Peters sent letters to House and Senate leaders this week asking for the change.

Ed Moreland, AMA Vice President for Government Relations, expressed concern that diverting federal motorcycle safety funds to promote helmet use could harm rider training courses and motorcycle awareness programs that are already underfunded in many states.

"Helmet use is certainly one part of a comprehensive approach to motorcycle safety," said Moreland. "But this step is a direct raid on funds that were appropriated by Congress to address the specific safety concerns of the motorcyclists rights community. Furthermore, the use of motorcycle helmets is already advocated in existing motorcycle safety initiatives.

"Funding for rider-training courses is frequently under threat in cash-strapped states, and cutting the same-size pie into thinner slices is not the comprehensive, thoughtful, national motorcycle safety strategy we need."

Moreland also expressed concern that Peters proposal could contradict sections of transportation bills passed in 1998 and 2005 that ban the use of federal motorcycle safety funds to lobby state legislatures in favor of mandatory helmet laws and could effectively reverse those bans.

The AMA strongly advocates the voluntary use of helmets by adults, along with other appropriate safety gear, and does not oppose laws requiring helmet use by minors. But the Association believes adults should be allowed to make their own decisions about when to wear a helmet.

The American Motorcyclist Association: rights. riding. racing.
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a non-profit organization with 290,000 members. The Associations purpose is to pursue, protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists, while serving the needs of its members. For more information, visit the AMA website at

Posted by administrator on Saturday, February 16 @ 16:37:38 EST (17122 reads)
(Read More... | 2 comments | Score: 1)

The Golden Honda CBX 30th anniversary project
News claude writes "

Back in 1979, when Honda decided to build the CBX their objective was simply to build the fastest production super sport motorcycle. Soichiro Irimajiri drew on his successful race bike design experience to produce not only the fastest production bike of its time, but also a bike that was technically light years ahead of any other vehicle.

Being an engineer, Soichiro Irimajiri left the styling of this exceptional technical feat to Honda stylist Norimoto Otsuka. However much he tried to instil on the bike a look that reflected just a hint of civilization, the beholder's gaze is drawn compellingly to that magnificent power plant. This machine was unashamedly different, a complete departure from anything that had come before, and a benchmark by which everything else that came after was judged.

Described as the most exotic charismatic motorcycle ever built, its total lack of pretension and minimalist styling perfectly reflects its racing pedigree and its unique personality.

In 1979 the CBX seduced everyone by its boldness and charm but only a certain motorcycling "elite" - those who perfectly understood the concept, actually bought one. The average rider was simply too intimidated by the bike, its sophisticated power and audacious concept was to prove too much of a radical departure from the norm to make it a commercial success.

Today, 28 years later, in a world inundated with exceptional feats of technological prowess the CBX is still seducing everyone. And it still only appeals to a certain motorcycling "elite".

Because the Honda CBX was such a brilliant statement of technical ability and daring it has taken its rightful place amongst the motorcycling legends. Twenty eight years after its first appearance the CBX can stand proudly in the company of any modern bike.

Rumours that Suzuki are about to revive the in-line six give credence to the fact that the CBX was at least thirty years ahead of its time.

In February 1978 Cycle magazine concluded a long article about the Honda CBX with these prophetical words: "It embodies extravagance without vulgarity and high style without pretence - you see muscles and tendons not chrome and fussiness. It has been designed and not decorated. There is no trashiness in the concept, and none in the execution. The CBX is an immensely flattering bike with perfect elegance and class, and history will rank it with those rare precious motorcycles that will never, ever be forgotten."

It's difficult to read those lines and not be deeply moved.

And it is our duty to keep that legend alive, to continue to give substance to those words. We have chosen to be the CBX elite - we own the legend, and have the responsibility to perpetuate the legend.

I have long contemplated the manner in which one can perpetuate a legend in a way that best befits that legend - Gold perfectly symbolises the Honda CBX motorcycle. Pure gold is the ultimate expression of everything this bike is and what it means to those who continue to treasure this exceptional machine.

I am an artist; I belong to a world of people who create within a context of 'high culture', people who use imagination, talent and skill, to create works that can be judged to have an aesthetic value. Soichiro Irimajiri and Norimoto Otsuka used imagination, talent and skill in creating the CBX; I will use gold to accentuate its aesthetic value and transform it into a work of art.

You can support this project by donating parts but also by purchasing my 2007 calendar.

This calendar is a luxury printed edition of the world's most exclusive (one single copy) and most expensive (Ä 200 000) calendar that I have created for a French fashion house.

The calendar measures 19,69 inches by 23,62 inches and is printed on paper of the highest quality. It comes with a certificate of origin and is presented in a gift box. I will also sign each copy that is bought by a CBX owner. The calendar price is $ 32 plus postage, and all the proceeds will go toward the golden CBX project.

PM or email me at to order your copy.
More info about the project and the calendar on my website

Thanks for your support.

Claude Saint-Raphael

Posted by administrator on Sunday, November 12 @ 08:27:25 EST (14092 reads)
(Read More... | 1 comment | Score: 4.05)

Low Tire Pressure
News backroadbruce writes "

I was twisting my way up Hardscabble Pass, a scenic bit of mountain road on Hwy 96 in Fremont County, Colorado, and a road I know very well, driving it three to four times a week. As fate would have it, on this particular day I ran up on a Chevy Tahoe traveling at the posted speed limit. It was a nice day, so I settled back and started paying more attention to the scenery than the road. This was no hardship, as the pass is different every trip.

So there I was, nice and relaxed, laying the bike through the corners at low speed as one does just for fun, when suddenly the rear end stepped out violently, like I had hit a patch of ice. Adrenaline surged as more through luck than anything else I was able to recover the bike, although I came damn close to laying it down.

I immediately pulled over and inspected the bike. No visible problems, nothing leaking onto the rear tire, no visible damage to the tire, and nothing loose anywhere. I went back to the point on the road where the incident occurred expecting to find some sand or gravel, but the surface was clean. What gives? I inspected the tire again, this time pushing hard on the center of the tread. It gave the slightest bit. Not good, looks like low pressure.

My shop was 8 miles away, so I continued on, keeping the bike upright through the remaining curves. A tire pressure check at the shop showed 16 pounds of pressure. Spraying the tire with a soap solution revealed a neat hole, most likely left by a nail.

My guess is I ran over something right after departing home that day and had about 18 pounds of pressure in the tire by the time I reached the pass. As I laid the bike through the turn the sidewall partially collapsed, throwing the rear end out. Up until that point I hadn't noticed anything to indicate a problem, but I was kind of day dreaming along. It's one time I'm glad I had traffic slowing me up.

Posted by administrator on Saturday, October 21 @ 12:32:42 EDT (6664 reads)
(Read More... | 2 comments | Score: 4.66)

Kiwi Cutie
News dkrager writes "

Kiwi Cutie

Check out page 70 of the July issue of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine. There is a 4-page article about Peter Braunbergerís immaculate silver 79 CBX 1000Z that prowls the roads of New Zealand. Congratulations Peter! This is an excellent promotion for our beloved six.

Posted by administrator on Monday, August 01 @ 01:11:45 EDT (5778 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)

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