Friday, 27 July 2012

Race Scooter: Tinkering Frenzy

There was a bit of a break between round four Snetterton and round five Lydden Hill which gave a great opportunity to make some changes to my "easing me in gently" setup. There was also repairs to be made alongside critical modifications.

At Cadwell Park and Snetterton, Mark Thurland (43), my dad had been running an experimental ignition. At Snetterton, a non static timing unit was added and transformed his bike. As I was using a Vespa modified ignition, which can see reliability issues, we felt the upgrade was worthwhile and it should be easy to set-up. Unfortunately, this was not the case and I'll explain why later.

Another area that required changing for Lydden Hill was the gearing. As it is such a short twisty circuit, we adjusted my front sprocket accordingly. However, we also changed my gearbox from a straight LI150 box to a custom close ratio box comprising SX200 1st and 2nd and LI150 3rd and 4th. Although the 3rd to 4th gear jump is as big as the LI150 box, the 1st to 4th is less which should result in better acceleration with the disadvantage of getting off the line.

This did however, mean I had my first shimming nightmare. With multiple shims and endplates to choose from, we hoped that I would find the task simple but it wasn't and took much longer than I'd wanted. A new thick cir-clip was added on the clutch assembly to hold the top plate down and a new "ergonomic" lever was added too. 

A repair that turned into a modification was my exhaust. As the bracket had fell off, a new bracket and mount were devised that held the exhaust in much less shear, which is probably why the exhaust damage occurred in the first place.

The last thing - and what should have been the first thing done - was the engine mounts. I had really liked the feel of the Indian engine mounts compared to the feel of the Italian ones as the bike felt much more stable in the corners. As I could not source any Indian ones, I had to create my own hybrids using some new AF Rayspeed Mounts and a modification of my own design to stiffen them up a bit.

After this, I just needed the bike to have a dyno session. This was to be combined with Steve Conneely (99), as we were both being set up with the same new ignition. Due to issues ranging from gear selection and choke problems to the ignitions being dialled in wrong, three days of work later saw us setting off for Lydden Hill having spent much more time than we all would have liked to. Hopefully our work would see us getting some positive results. Watch this space.