Author Topic: The road rocket racing sidecar project  (Read 28336 times)

Offline sidecarstar

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #45 on: 27.05. 2011 22:21 »
Your outfit looks pretty cool, we have three A10s race with us - though not ever at the same time it has to be said. Am happy to catch up with you to discuss all things outfits - mods experiences etc. Cheers, David

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #46 on: 27.05. 2011 22:54 »
Your outfit looks pretty cool, we have three A10s race with us - though not ever at the same time it has to be said. Am happy to catch up with you to discuss all things outfits - mods experiences etc. Cheers, David

Nice to know there are more racing A10's out there...more pictures always appreciated. Is the one shown yours? How do those forks cope as they dont look braced...
if its not a secret spill the specs's. *loveit*

According to classic racer #149 May/June 2011 p91, mine is bored and stroked to 750cc! while sadly it was actually just a typo in the programme and is running +20 8:1 bsa pistons in worn bores and stock internals so still a 650. But has still managed to keep some bigger and later small wheeled kneelers humbled. It goes really well, but could do with another gear on the faster tracks where I get dealt to down the long straights by the 750 and 850's. Am trying to encourage more people to build these smaller stock capacity bikes as were raced back in the 50's and 60's in NZ. 
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline sidecarstar

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #47 on: 28.05. 2011 10:09 »
No, the bike in the pic is not mine . I race a 51 Thunderbird with moderate success - a third place two seasons ago and several fourths last season. The folks I race against with few exceptions have been doing it since God was in short trousers and are VERY good and hard racers; they are also without doubt the most sociable and helpful people in the paddock if NOT on the track. We had a Kiwi race in our series a couple of years ago and a quick racer he was. If you can raise the pennies to get yourself and your "monkey" over here I'm happy to get an outfit sorted for you to race - probably manage some accomodation too . . . .sleeping bag and floor sounds about right for you jolly rough Colonial types. The Vintage racing sidecar scene here is not as sprightly as I would like; my passenger also does F2 and apart from tyres he reckons it's cheaper. I am currently rebuilding the two motors I blew recently; the one piece crank cracked in my 360 motor and the scavenge pipe came loose in my 180 with Norton crank and T140 top end. This little mishap turned the bottom end into a steel oil and alloy soup, smashing barrels pistons and rods though we managed to salvage the crank and cases together with the head. Did I mention that I'd borrowed it? You can catch me on sidecarstar@hotmail.co.uk and I'll give you contact details for your fellow BSA sufferers this side of the globe. Cheers, David

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #48 on: 28.05. 2011 10:33 »
No, the bike in the pic is not mine . I race a 51 Thunderbird with moderate success - a third place two seasons ago and several fourths last season. The folks I race against with few exceptions have been doing it since God was in short trousers and are VERY good and hard racers; they are also without doubt the most sociable and helpful people in the paddock if NOT on the track. We had a Kiwi race in our series a couple of years ago and a quick racer he was. If you can raise the pennies to get yourself and your "monkey" over here I'm happy to get an outfit sorted for you to race - probably manage some accomodation too . . . .sleeping bag and floor sounds about right for you jolly rough Colonial types. The Vintage racing sidecar scene here is not as sprightly as I would like; my passenger also does F2 and apart from tyres he reckons it's cheaper. I am currently rebuilding the two motors I blew recently; the one piece crank cracked in my 360 motor and the scavenge pipe came loose in my 180 with Norton crank and T140 top end. This little mishap turned the bottom end into a steel oil and alloy soup, smashing barrels pistons and rods though we managed to salvage the crank and cases together with the head. Did I mention that I'd borrowed it? You can catch me on sidecarstar@hotmail.co.uk and I'll give you contact details for your fellow BSA sufferers this side of the globe. Cheers, David

Th kiwi over your way was probably Will Williamson on his red triumph. He runs a 750 kit on his bike so I can't catch him on the long tracks, have yet to have this bike on the shorter ones so will see then.
Know what you mean about attrition, at Pukekohe this year 3 rigs snapped cranks (1 bsa, 1 triumph & 1 norton).
Your right about the scene though, all good people and a ton of fun.
Would be nice to get back to the UK, but current finances preclude, any spare goes into the bikes!
Cheers
Tim
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline whittakers

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #49 on: 28.05. 2011 19:01 »
The outfit number 12 is ours!
(David if you are going to post a picture at least make it a gud un!)


This is our first season on 3 wheels ( I did some meetings last season as a solo whilst trouble shooting the bikes rebuild), the previous picture must have been taken at the Pembrey circuit in Wales.
We wanted something we could both get involved in so this really is a husband and wife team.
The bike has been with us for the last 23 years or so and spent many of those pulling a Watsonian child adult chair, only going back on 2 wheels when the kids were (much) too big to fit in the chair. After a few years of sitting quietly in the corner of the garage we felt it was time to give her some of the care and attention she deserved. Stripped down to the last nut and bolt. she was treated to new bits as required and as we have other bikes for use on the road we thought that putting her on the track would be proper and fitting.
Having been on track with some of the other 'Big Wheelers' it is obvious that we don't have enough experience yet and that I don't think we will ever have the power that the alcohol burning Triumphs have. That aside it is fantastic fun.
Spec is; A10 on standard bore and stroke, 9.5:1 comp, Spifire cam, A7SS head with big valves and twin monoblocs. 
Mark and Sue

Offline whittakers

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #50 on: 28.05. 2011 19:15 »
Observant types will notice the picture was taken before number 12 was allocated.
Regarding the forks, no they are not braced though they are lowered 1 1/2", and they do tie themselves in knots. Future mods will probably include bracing them and reducing the trail.
Still running a STD gearbox which has big  gaps between the gears - perhaps a scrambles 2nd gear would help that (has any one got some going spare?).
Brakes are an 8" cast iron front and Ariel type rear- both relined and skimmed when SRM put the alloy rims on- and I am impressed with how well they actually stop. (Front gets a bit hot after a while - so the old adage 'what do you want brakes for - they only slow you down' holds well).

More to come as I think of it.

Mark and Sue

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #51 on: 28.05. 2011 21:49 »
Mark & Sue,
great to have you on the forum! thats a lovely bike *loveit*. As a sport sidecar racing is not just one for the boys, something thats quite uncommon with so many sports. We have quite a number of mixed teams over here too and have even had a grandfather/grand daughter crew which is really nice.

After being lent an A65 big wheeler at a meeting I had to have a sidecar and ended up restoring an old Norton atlas racing sidecar and raced that for a number of years successfully, but it wasnt pretty and wasnt a BSA, which triggered my own build which you can see from this thread has been a bespoke build. But my time on the Norton (sold to finance the BSA build) has meant I'm riding the BSA fairly well from day 1, so some of the crews of latter 750 & 850cc bikes I'm currently able to beat, will be able to kick my ar$e  if they figure out how to both carry corner speed and drift. Although I'm also still shaking down the bike and having some expensive head issues that I hope to have resolved soon so do hope for a bit more pace yet to keep them honest.

Looking at your use of struts on the rear (on my norton I did the same), what has that done to your trail?
On mine I cut down a set of springs (that stiffened them up) so my fork bushes are further apart assisting the front end.
As I also built the bike on 16" wheels fitting a fork brace was much easier. You really need to get the trail down to somewhere between 0 and 1" otherwise the forks have to work too hard steering.
Fitting 16" wheels does also help reduce trail although I also had my engineer make some new fork sliders with a leading axle and fork brace mounts!

I do run a pair of 10TT9 carbs, mainly as they're so pretty *respect*, but also good for methanol which keeps the bike nice and cool, although does necessitate dumping all fluids each meeting.
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #52 on: 28.05. 2011 22:10 »
Mark & Sue,
 just looking at your front cast drum. Keep a careful eye on it. the earlier cast hubs (but not the late twin leader type hub as much) can fail.
I had one break up on me on my old rig and was lucky to spot the tiny crack in it before it disintegrated. Under racing sidecar use, front hubs take a real beating (flew/twist/heat) and failure can be catastrophic. So just check it regularly for cracking.
You dont want a front hub disintegrating under hard braking *warn*
the crack usually start at a spoke hole and the hubs crack right across opening up. Not a biggie if you just keep watch for it, may never happen then of course.
Cheers
Tim
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
New Zealand

Offline whittakers

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #53 on: 29.05. 2011 06:18 »
Tim, thanks for the advice re:front hub. I have heard tales of Triumph hubs cracking but not BSA ones so I will keep a close eye on it.
Regulations over here for pre58 outfits insist on wheels of 18" minimum - hence 'Big Wheelers', so unless we fancy trying to match the Imp engined classic (small wheeler) outfits we will keep to the 19 and 18 fitted.
Struts on the rear were the easiest solution to lower the C of G and make boxing the rear wheel in simpler. My wife still has all of her fingers and wishes to keep them!
Forks have Eddie Dow type dampers which (certainly as a solo) work surprisingly well and also have some old top bushes with the top flange cut off to reduce the rebound length, that with 40mm chopped off the springs has brought the front down. 
We are using Avon racing compound tyres on the bike which despite their rounder profile give phenomenal grip and yet can still be drifted as well.
Regarding alcohol- we would rather drink it than burn it and really cannot be bothered with the hassle of having to throughbolt the barrels (or rip the flanges off!) and watch it rot through everything else.
(Bizzare twist- the bike still has a current annual MOT test and because of free road fund license on pre 72s over here it is 'road legal! (almost) Hmmm - could pop the number plate on and spin it around the block...

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #54 on: 29.05. 2011 08:18 »
I do like the idea of having a race rig street legal!
Yes the hub I had break up was a triumph type on my norton rig.
I'd be very interested in seeing the rules you race under. are you able to send me a link or pm me a soft copy?
We break our classes into pre 76 and pre 63. Our pre 63 rules get interpreted as including big wheeled kneelers and both A65 and 750 atlas motors, so my retro build was a case of being one eyed!
I could always fit bigger wheels if I brought the bike over (once the kids move out), so would be useful to have an understanding of the UK rules.
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline sidecarstar

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #55 on: 29.05. 2011 17:36 »
Hello Tim. I watched Mark and Sue race at Pembrey and thought they went very well. The outfit stayed mostly in one piece which is always a help and the rest of the sidecar people very were pleased to see them. I think it's true to say that non racers don't always appreciate the mega effort needed just to get a bike to the grid never mind develop it; deal with the million and one other things and pay TONS of money to entertain; so well done Mark and Sue. With regard to methanol fuel, I switched to it last season after my local airfield refused to sell me any more Avgas. I haven't found a huge performance boost but the bike runs much cooler, and that together with fitting Boyer ignition and rubber mounting the carbs certainly helped reliability. Cheers, David

Offline whittakers

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #56 on: 29.05. 2011 20:51 »
Tim, have a look on
http://www.britishhistoricracing.co.uk/downloads/

This is the racing arm of the Vintage Motorcycle Club. As you have probably found in your neck of the woods just because the bikes are old (and most of the riders) doesn't mean that the racing is any less frenetic. Perhaps the biggest issue is trying to get younger riders to take up old bikes. It is getting to the stage that it is becoming difficult to fill a grid in some classes - especially pre 34 solos and pre 58 sidecars. There is also the Classic Motorcycle Racing Club
http://www.crmc.co.uk/
who cater for later machines (and Japanese!)
I know this is a forum for A7 and A10 and even though very few actually race them, everybody who sees ours goes misty eyed and remembers their own experiences with BSA's twin. (It appears that everyone wanted a RGS and made do with a Flash with alloy mudguards and a lot of imagination. All regard them with affection though. I am sure we can see why).
Regards Mark and Sue

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #57 on: 30.05. 2011 09:04 »
Mark & Sue,
 thanks for the link, although I'd fit into your pre 72 currently due to my 16" wheels but as I can ride the bike solo and could fit bigger wheels I could potentially comply with pre '59. Do your pre 59 and pre 72 classes run together or separately? We do struggle for numbers with the older bikes so my usual competition are kneelers with disk brakes! very satisfying to beat an 850 commando on minilites running disks.
I see theres a trophy for 16" wheeled machines, are there many racing?
I certainly get a lot of interest in my A10, its such a "right" bike. I too run a std box but the budget doesnt currently stretch to a 5 or 6 speed. I'm currently encouraging a mate to build an A10 to replace his tired A65 rig that has broken the frame far too many times to be good. His A65 runs around 770cc and I could still pass him on my stock 650, although he sadly snapped his crank a little later in the meeting.
Not a cheap exercise racing sidecars but a lot of fun and great people, boths guys and ladies racing. We're lucky to have some youngsters involved which is nice.
Tim
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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Offline sidecarstar

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #58 on: 30.05. 2011 11:13 »
Hello Tim, I have attached a pic of us at Mallory Park on Easter Monday. The tank artwork and numbers are by a Kiwi expatriate Dave Docherty who came over a few years ago to trial for Leicester Tigers our local Rugby Union side. Dave also did the numbers for another of your compatriots Paul Dobbs when he raced Roger Moss' Scott in our meetings. I met Dobbsy in the bar at Cadwell Park for a brief chat and like my fellow club members was dismayed at his fatal crash at the TT. Next season should see me out on my current project an early Ironhead Sportster - it will be running on methanol to keep that rear cylinder cool with "Y" spec cams and an SU carb. I'm a touch worried about the gearbox which not only does not have such a great reputation but also has a huge gap between third and top. I know I could put an Andrews box in but a shortage of that elusive quantity money has put that particular development on hold. Cheers, David

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Re: The road rocket racing sidecar project
« Reply #59 on: 30.07. 2011 06:35 »
With the state of the usd, couldn't resist buying a new joe hunt mag to help burn the fuel. needs a bit of judicious filing before it'll fit, but looking fwd to trying it once I have the cyl head sorted.

Had the bike on display at the recent CRC Speedshow in Auckland. The bike was on display with a modern long bike and an F2 rig that won on the IOM a number of years back. It got a lot of attention.

I didnt know Paul Dobbs personally but everyone knew the guy. RIP mate, he loved his racing.
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
New Zealand