"Last edition we explained how to get through the rigmarole - the five things to get you started. Now lets look at the bike and things to check over to check they'll last the distance." writes Roland Potter our man of the moment.
Starting with the wheels: Strip completely, degrease bearings and check them for wear and the races for 'pitting'. Regrease them with a high melting point grease (molybdenum disulphide) before replacing. Do not use ordinary grease as the heat from the braking will soon melt it. Check that the rims run true and that the spokes all 'ring' the same. Before replacing the rim tape check the spoke ends for sharpness and file them down.
Brake linings will have to work a lot harder than before. Standard linings may soon glaze over so racing linings (green) are required. Air scoops may be fitted to aid cooling but don't forget a gauze at the entrance to keep out water. It is advisable to have rim locks fitted on both wheels to prevent the tyre moving onder hard acceleration and braking. TT100s are adequate for production racing and will provide all the adhesion you will need for a long time. The tube must have no patches as these can lift when the tyre gets hot. Finally the wheels must be properly balanced.
Check that the forks are in good condition and that there is no excessive play in the moving parts. Check the steering head as this can make all the difference to handling. The forks must be free enough to turn under their own weight over the centre. Check the swinging arm for any sideways movement; the bushes must be replaced if there is too much movement.
Rear dampers may be improved by fitting British units (if a Jap machine) and a letter to Girling's competition department giving full details of rider and machine weight etc will get advice on springs and units suitable.
Rear set footrests and ace bars are the norm for proddy racing - clipons may be more comfortable although the rules state that the original mountings must be used although they may be any shape. The whole idea, of course, is to streamline the rider to reduce wind resistance and rear set footrests give greater ground clearance than standard ones.
It is important to check the action of all cables and rods to ensure that they can't come loose during the race by wire locking. Position levers for a comfortable position and ensure that there is at least ½ inch of clearance between the bars and petrol tank on full lock. If the petrol tank cap is a quick release one it must be wired shut for racing, as also the oil drain plug and filler cap, and any breather pipes must have a catch tank fitted to prevent oil from dripping onto the track.
Finally racing numbers must be fitted onto the front and both sides of the machine. The standard size is 11" wide by 9" long and the background colour relates to your class. These colours are shown in your ACU handbook.
Next Issue: Prepared for the track