North Weald Drag strip, run what you brung

Our last attempt to run the finished GSXR1100M at North Weald Run What You Brung (RWYB) was a bit of a washout as it rained. The track was really wet and although it stopped raining as the cars hadn't had much time on the track there wasn't any rubber laid down on the surface which really didn't help the bikes get any traction.

So tomorrow is another North Weald RWYB lets hope the weather holds out. These days are great fun and only £10 for spectators, lots of interesting cars, bikes and vans etc

GSXR 1100M Project Finished and ready to race

So it's all done and ready for the North Weald Drag meet this weekend - July 10th. This will be the first shake down run for the bike over the 1/4 mile. I will be taking my GSXR 1000K4 (also in the picture above) so I'll be trying to win again and beet my PB of 9.70 secs. Let's hope the weather holds out.

If you never been drag racing these North Weald days are excellent fun. You can bring anything, lorries, cars, vans and motorbikes of all ages all race. It's £10 to get in and only £25 to race, there are even trophies - I've got a few!



GSXR 1100M Drag bike project Part 3 (Dyno Run)

Having changed the exhaust system and the carbs on this GSXR 1100M it's now totally different from the engine that left the factory so it needs properly setting up if it's to run nicely. That's why you should always Dyno any bike you change the exhaust on, but people rarely do. I used to co-own the only Dyno in Central London so I know a thing or two about setting bikes up properly. 

Dyno is not just for measuring power, it gives you air flow ratio from exhaust, this allows you to adjust the needles and jets in the carbs to get the fuel air mix spot on which also allows you maximize power. Too lean and the engine runs hot, too rich and the engine won't be happy either way you're not getting the best power. 

Using a Dyno allows you to ride the bike to it's maximum (it's a rolling road). You can sort the fueling out all the way through the rev range from 500rpm to wherever the red line is. See the video below of this GSXR doing a power run. This GSXR made 136 bhp at the back wheel with minimal engine mods; full engine service, K&N filters, Dynojet kit and a full Akrapovic exhaust system (manufactures normally tell you what the bhp is at the crank which is going to be higher).

You can also see that we've put a nice new Metmachex swinging arm in (after the dyno run), this increases the overall length of the bike increasing stability on the drag strip. Look carefully and you'll also note that we've shortened the forks, the American's call this "slamming", an inch lower to the ground is worth three inches more length, again increasing stability on the drag strip and allowing much better and faster starts. We've also manufactured adjustable dog bone linkages for the monoshock to allow us to alter the height at the back end. All of these little features really help to get the best out of the bike over the 1/4 mile and improve times and speed. Don't ever neglect the chassis when looking for speed - even when it's in a straight line!

GSXR 1100M Drag bike project Part 2

Making progress with a customers Suzuki GSXR 1100M which he want converted to a drags bike. Fairing off in the first picture, engine serviced, carbs on the bench and now waiting the rebuild kit.

2nd picture - pipes off with new Akrapovic pipe in 3rd picture. That's about 1/4 of the weight of the original twin can set up(4th picture)! An easy way to save a lot of Ks and improve performance - as long as you sort out the carbs and then Dyno it of course!

1970's Yamaha XS650 Chop Ebay Project

Interesting one this. Customer bought this L reg 1972 Yamaha XS650 off Ebay, was running but filled the road with smoke - looked like the workshop was on fire again! The frame was chopped in the  1970s. Plan for this is a general tidy up, custom banana seat, rebuild the engine with a big bore (750cc) kit, RamAir filters and Mikuni Smooth Bore carbs. I'll let the customer ride it - he'll probably want to sort the suspension and brakes then!

GSXR 1100M Drag bike project Part 1

Customers 1992 Suzuki GSXR 1100M in for conversion to a drag bike. These are solid engines and despite it's age should be good for mid 10s on the drag strip once sorted, low 10s when the owner has got used to it. Plan will be to lengthen and lower (slam it), carb rebuild with Stage 3 Dynojet kit, twin oval K & Ns, full Akraprovic exhaust system, strip any excess weight, then off to the Dyno for testing. Will remain normally aspirated but should be good for 140 bhp at the back wheel.

I've been really busy get the new work shop fully opened up, MOT bay now fully functional and we've been very busy so the blogs haven't been updated for a while. I'll update the other projects shortly :)

North Weald Run What You Brung (RWYB) Drag meet 8th May 2016

My 1st North Weald RWYB meet of the year. First meet of the season so first chance to give my GSXR 1000K4 a few runs this season. Started the morning slowly, disappointing 10s. I think I was just a bit rusty and the track was cold. After lunch the track was a little warmer and the cars had laid down a load of rubber (more traction) so I blitzed it bagging 1st in the eliminators with best time of 9.72s.

Up against a few GSXRs, the pictures below show mine 1st (mine K4) and a couple of old GSXR11s which bagged 2nd and 3rd. I think only one of them was on the nitrous that day.  

GT550 2 Stroke Triple Cafe Racer Project

This is one of our current project it's a Suzuki GT550 J 1972 two stroke triple yep two stroke triple! American import from California.
So far i have cleaned and set up the carbs (i had to replace one as it was totally coroded and unsavable ) i fitted a piranha ignition, a new set of plugs and caps . Five kicks and it fired up . it sounds ok for a 43 year old motor . Now all i need is a 600 bandit front end and an SV650 rear wheel and swing arm as the 1970,s brakes and tyres are a bit suspect .

Updates to follow...........

GT550 original.jpg

Well I changed my mind about the front end and we've got a GSXR 100K1 front end rather than the Bandit which had been the original plan. Frame needs some bracing now and then custom built single sided swinging arm next. Great engine and it'll handle too.

New Workshop now open in Greenwich SE10

So I'm finally up and running in the new workshop, back on the site of my original workshop in SE10 which spectacularly went up in flames. Still have some work to do to get the MOT bay up and running, just electrics really. Work benches are in and the kitchen and loo now have running water. The boys from Trimoto, ABE and MME are also up and running too.

I need to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 22 months whilst we tried to rebuild. It hasn't been easy.

It feels really good to be back in SE10, I think about 5,000 more people live with-in a ten minute walk of the workshop now compared with May 2014 (hopefully some of them have motorbikes too). The amount of development and building work taking place in and around Greenwich is quite incredible and Ikea are moving in to! Shame they're knocking down the eco friendly sustainable Sainsbury's supermarket less than 17 years after it was built to do it - not sure it was particularly sustainable after all!

Meantime Brewery has also extended their brewery and have a visitor centre too. Building work has also started on a hotel next to the Blackwall Tunnel approach which prevents our workshop being seen from the road. However the developer has run out of money and left it half finished.