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 Bird strike

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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Bird strike   Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:22 am

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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Bird strike   Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:32 am

This unfortunate bird was sucked through the intake of the ram-air box of an NSR, the guy wondered why the performance went off?

Once saw the face of a rider after a pheasant smashed through his visor, you would have been forgiven for thinking he had a visit from the heavy mob armed with base ball bats. Very nasty indeed.

Strange thing was, on fitting a mesh grill over the opening he recons performance was altered?

Trevor
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Birdstrike   Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:15 pm

A buddy of mine was hurtling down the Norwich straight, at the old original Snetterton, when a pigeon flew across in front of him. He felt it thump into his fairing and was very thankful that he had been tucked away behing the screen.

He didn't realise that the bloody corpse was still pinned by air pressure against his front number. When he sat up to brake for the hairpin, a soggy, shitty, feathery mass slid up over his screen and socked him in the face! He was wearing an open face helmet.............
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Bird strike   Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:52 pm

John,
Although not quite in the same category as a bird strike, I recall being at Snetterton when all racing was stopped because of a dust storm; visibility was brought down to just a few yards!

The land owners of the surrounding area thought to maximise profits by grubbing up the protective hedges and trees and creating massive, flat prairies. In their short-sightedness they failed to account for the huge winds that might occur, the upshot of which was the dumping of vast quantities of precious top-soil into the surrounding areas and eventually the North Sea. Those self-same prevailing winds that would make the location of the war time airfield so viable for aiding take off for heavily laden bombers going out on their sorties.

Mind you, the Norwich straight was a great place to sort reliability problems on a Bantam engine, if it survived that long drag it would be ok anywhere.
I`ve even seen machines side by side with their riders have an animated conversation by means of hand gestures and head bobbing. That straight alone, must have been longer than Lydden is around!

Great times, fond memories of places and personalities.

Trevor

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John Colter



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PostSubject: RE: Birdstrike   Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:43 pm

A few years ago, I was cruising along somewhere in Shropshire, on my Suzuki GS500, and a pheasant flew straight at me. Fortunately, I angled my head forwards, to take the impact on the top of my helmet, and butted it over the hedge. It was an almost stunning impact, and left me with aching neck and shoulder muscles for some days.

I didn't even get a free meal. I went looking for the dead bird, but it was lost in the undergrowth.
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tangozulu

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PostSubject: More bird strikes and sundry experiences   Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:34 am

Hi everyone, remember my first visit to the manx ... there I was flat out towards Doran's Bend when the rider in front of me (about 100 yards away) spooked a pheasant .. up it shot, and with a well timed arc decended .... I ducked, buried my head into the tank and shut my eyes ... a loud thump, and the steering whacked side to side, and the front brake went on .... now at around 120 mph this is a somewhat disconcerting experience ... I sat up wondering if I would make that particularly nasty corner, wizzed round it and coasted to a halt .... inspecting front wheel of the tz revealed a bent t.l.s conecting rod, and a mess formaly known as Mr Partridge. slow ride back to pits was scarier than riding the bloody thing flat out ..riders were so fast when they went by!

Second occurance was practising one day on my early bantam (75 flat out) hurtling (!) round Corum I was confronted by a TANK, a real genuine Challenger tank .. and a few jeeps .. and people with guns ....

Now I'm sure there are rules by the ACU about this sort of thing, "riders should be aware that they may encounter large vehicles straying onto circuits and should make arrangements to stop within a safe distance" but I had not at the time been "racing" long .....!

Anyway, they trundled on accross the circuit and the organisers despatched a car to tell off the army about their er ... noughty goings on!

Yeah it was fun then, no officials, no health and safety, life was EXCITING!!!!

Regards all the old farts, and our leader, JB
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john bass

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PostSubject: How dare you ...   Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:23 am

Keith -- how dare you refer to me as an OLD fart. I am the eternal Peter Pan -- known to friends as John-Boy -- or Young Fart if you so prefer....

What happened -- did someone wake you up in lovely Cornwall? We hear nothing from you for ages and ages and then two messages in one go! You really mean to race again...?.

Did you do the Island with a Bantam? I know you did the Manx with a TZ -- was that the time our Late Niff was also competing in the Manx? Pity, that he should have bought it but like the adage goes: `the good always go first´....

In a Bantam race at Lydden I tried to do you at the left hander. All cocky like I´d studied the names and was sure I should have been at the front and not you... Sort of threw sense out of the crash helmet and a lesson I should have learnt but I don´t think I ever did.

Nice to hear from you ....

Lets´s hear more...

Go well and keep well,

JayBee for John-Boy.
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tangozulu

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PostSubject: OLD farts..    Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:23 am

Hi John ... have mailed you a couple of times ...anyway, great to hear from you again ... that story of IOM and Snetters is really true! Got a few more like that! Anyway, here in cornwall we have given up the holiday industry and are moving in April to a place a few miles away .. I will have a lot more free time so I thought bugger it, I can still walk ... reasonably sane, and my VFR is equally ancient and bloody heavy, so, why not get something lighter with similar power .... and maybe if I use a road with less idiots on it and all going the same way plus the benefit of a medic on every corner ..... So that's settled then, orft we jolly well go!!!

My eldest grandson is a bike nut (wonder where he got that from?) and recons he could p***s all over me on his 650 Suzuki .... bring it on bring it on!!!! (anyway, the burgers and chips he eats will give him a power to weight ratio of about 2 bhp per 20 kg.. but then again he doesn't care if he crashes .. not that he has yet ... wonder if the pleasure of bouncing down the road at umpteen miles per hour will make any difference?

Wot do you think JB, can us old farts still hack it with the younger generation? Certainly Mick Scutt proved it is possible, but then he is a talented and special rider with the added skill of an engineer.

Have to see what happens, nearest circuit to me is 230 miles away, so it's a pretty long way for a couple of rides.

will try and be on BRC line a bit more, but I keep forgetting things!!!

Cheers JB
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PostSubject: more stuff   Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:07 am

Hi JB again, sorry about the woffle but to answer your queries I did indeed have the pleasure of being instructed by Niffy on the lines round the IOM circuit, he was so knowledgeable and knew exactly where to be at any one time, and yes I was shocked at his leaving us, but I came to terms with it because he told me that the only reason he enjoyed life was his mum and racing specifically in the in the IOM, his enthusiasm was infectious. His attachment to the eastern centre was lovely as was Colin Aldridge, Roger Lewis, Ted, the laid back Peter Styles, super efficiant and wife Mary, my mentor Colin Neil, Pat Plosky, Skid Markes etc etc they are and have been an important part of my life. Sadly we have lost many, the vagories of life is a challenge and enjoy what we have when we can enjoy it.

We all stuck two fingers up to the grim reaper, but he gets his way sooner or later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My only complaint was the petty jealousies from some, and vindictivness of others, but then again, the club reflected life, and mostly it was great fun.

All I wanted to do was ride a motorbike as fast as I could, it was a very personal challenge that didn't include anything more, that's it, nothing else, it was a family day out, never intended it to get serious, but the riding did, and the club went all political with people aquiring 'power' and abused it to settle old scores. I was glad to resign and persue the mortage market and then become a shop keeper.

I never did the IOM on a bantam, and funnily enough I am clearing the loft at the mo and came accross a copy of MCN for the 1974 TT races and guess who was topping early week practice times for the 125's ....none other than our own Fred Launchbury, at over 80+mph on a Maico, with Tony Jones BSA and Mick Scutt BSA close behind ... and at similar speeds too ... wow! on a 250 a year later I was bouncing around on Mona's famous bumps and could barely see where I was going .. how they got a bantam bouncing around at those speed was nothing short of brilliant!

Regards young JB

(you old fart!) Laughing

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john bass

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PostSubject: Be with you later -- aligator!   Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:58 pm

Be with you later -- got a bit of reading to do ...

All this sloppy nostalgia -- is a bit like a drug ....


Seeyou later aligator, wott dances wivv a Bantu...

O.F,,,,
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PostSubject: No, you are definitely nuts    Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:54 am

No, Tangozulu you are definitely nuts -- but in that nicest way of being bonkers...

Think how cold it can be, early in the English morning mist, standing in line at scrutineering with a cold wind blowing up your thingumees -- then waiting in the rain for practice ... and then racing in wind and rain. Think of the cold and wet and then water getting in the works and having to push the heap back to the pits with your thingumees swimming in cold water in the crotch of your soaking wet leathers. Far better to lie back on the warm sofa with a cool beer watching other nut-cases doing it on TV...

There was a cold and damp Cadwell BRC meeting -- cold from a bitter wind and so viciously strong that Sir Sticky Mutt (Mick Scutt) complete with Bantam was blown off the Top Straight. It had the organisers dumping the (old) Club Circuit and using the farm (what did they call that as a seperate ...?) circuit. Wonderful memory of following Wobbly into Barn Corner where he suddenly vanished in a cloud of straw -- right inside the Barn!! It was that as he applied the front brake the drum exploded and he and bike went straight into the loose straw. Only the animals were annoyed and Wobblyman laughed about it... He´d skimmed the front drum too thin and when true-ing the front rim had tightened the spokes too tight.

Think of that dreadful Norfolf ex-airfield where gales are likely to blow you off course and give you worse than the pneumonia that comes from too much exposure to that awful Norfolk climate ....??

I know you won´t take a bit of notice and I´m sure if the opportunity came I´d do the same. Your enthusiasm has me wishing I was in Blighty with enough cash for a bike and enough spare feluka to fix it regarding age and health requirements and all that crud....

It was dreadful news about our Niffy. He was always so purposeful and reliable in everything he did -- not like me at all -- in my being tempermental and difficult...

When he crashed and broke his leg in a novice race at Llandow I drove his motor and trailer to Bridgend hospital to see him. By then it was late evening. Then I had to drive all the way to back to East End and then Barking .... It had been a hell of a day, 19th May 1973 -- my day of great success & Niffy´s crash right at the beginning -- and then all the driving with 3 others -- including our Bill lawrence -- who did not have driving licences. All three wanting a nosh in a Cardiff Chinese restaurant added to the late time factor. I bought a packet of Benson & Hedges in Cardiff and by Heathrow I had smoked all but one in an effort to stay awake whilst the other three snored....

. In a moment of nastyness at Brands I´d bad-mouthed Niffy when he told me I was 14th in practice... Then after I´d finished 4th in the race I tried to find him to apologise and couldn´t see him anywhere... At Llandow after practice with the 250 he came and said I shouldn´t race it because it looked dangerous -- tank-slapping at Pits Bend -- and I spitefully told him all 250s were like that. After dicing with John Senior on his Greeves Silverstone & finishing 4th, a half wheel in arrears I was feeling good inside and wanted desperately to say I was sorry but again I couldn´t find him.

Probably he knew ....

Colin Wobbleyman Aldridge was different in suffering cancer. In 2001 I spoke to him when Slick was spannering for Scott Russell (WSB champ) at Daytona. Colin answered on Slick´s mobile phone and was straight off prattling on like a spring-chick about buying up two bantams so that we´d have a special race to prove -- once & for all -- who was the best on a Bantam. He said that with all the surgery he´d had on his gut he was below 11 stone and was raring to do battle again. My Daughter Catherine was with him when Colin expired and he told her -- with a chuckle -- not to look so sad because we all ended up this way and that he had left a stack of money with the golf club purposely for everybody to have a good blow out and get pie-eyed if they wanted....
The sun shone for the funeral and it was warm & windless when they all went to the golf club where Slick was to spread Colin´s ashes on one of the greens. As Slick opened the urn a sudden cold wind blew and the ashes went over Slick and several others. It was, of course, coincidence but Slick reckoned he heard Colin laughing....

Sorry about all this dim side but it is fact and does seem terribly unfair that a sport we enjoy so much
should have its cruel and nasty side....

When I was daily attending Ford Dunton*** a highly-educated twit tried his psycho-analysis of motorcycle racers on me: reckoning a motorcycle racer had a Death Wish because of missing something `Manly´ in his character. If he meant by that, that `cocking the leg over´ was missing in favour of recklessness on motorcycles I could have described many of our ilk´s top stars who alsö championed in that sphere of manly living but I did not and let him think on his stupidity.

*** At Ford Dunton we had a department called Testing Operations which was known by most as `Resting Operations´....

Sorry! Far too long but I cannot bring myself to shorten....

yaaaawwwnn -- Oh! how boring,

Keep well!

Cheers!



.

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John Colter



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PostSubject: What makes a successful motorcycle racer?   Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:07 am

I doubt if anybody knows what makes a person want to race motorcycles, but it is definitely not a death wish, or a need to compensate for some perceived inadequacy. I try to understand it by looking at men (it IS mostly men) who take part in other dangerous sports - ones I would shy away from.

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to take up rock climbing and the thought of potholing scares the living daylights out of me. I don't hold the people who do these things in high regard. I just shake my head and let them get on with it.

It seems to me that the two sports (or pastimes, challenges, whatever) I mentioned above, call for a very considered, deliberate, mental approach. Quite the opposite to motor racing. Some people have minds that operate best when things are happening very quickly. Some don't.

I always like playing table tennis, but found playing football boring.

I wonder if anyone else found the following:- when I was really in the zone, it did not feel as though I was physically operating the controls. My mind, or awareness, seemed to be floating along in front of my physical being, and directing operations remotely. It was a quite sublime experience.

I was also very callous during a race. If a bloke in front of me fell off, my only thought was, "Good, that's one less!". As soon as the race was over, I was full of concern for the poor sod, and ashamed of myself.


Last edited by John Colter on Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:14 am; edited 3 times in total
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Bird strike   Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:08 am

Deleted - wayward finger - multiple post


Last edited by John Colter on Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Bird strike   Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:09 am

Deleted - double post
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tangozulu

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PostSubject: too many memories, too much time, but hey what an experience   Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:00 am

Hi JB, enjoyed your stroll down memory lane, and the comments re loss are so well defined.

I've had similar experiences re Llandow, not having been there a few mates and I decided to relieve our respective spouses of the need to attend, and, setting off in my well worn Thames van I'd sold my Gold Star for! (yes I know, worth about 15 grand now) we had great fun wobbling down and accross the bridge, only to realise we didn't know the address, just the rough location. To make matters more interesting the gearbox sprung a leak ... up came the floor and we took off the inspection cover (at 70 mph) and filled it up with more oil as we went along .... that was fun ... got fed up looking for the circuit and decided to get our head down in the middle of nowhere. It was about 3.30 am. Three blokes snoring away and desperatly trying to keep warm. Anyway, some hours later we woke with a start, to some unearthly bloody noise .... I stuck my head out of a very misty window to see a high bank, i went up the side to see a resplendant LLandow paddock, full of noisy smokey motorbikes .... F***CK!

Then faced the pleasure of the Llandow toilets ... Yeuk!!!

WE just about got home before the gearbox blew up finaly with very sloppy bearings...!

Oh, the experts, oh yeah ... bike racers, I was told, by a proffessor of trickcycling in the mental hospital where my Chris worked, said his analysis of the risks we took was largely due to our inadequate performance between the sheets, and we were boosting our own inadequacies in that department with dangerous persuits. Yeah well, I said he was off his trolly, and was later proved correct when he was banged up with a breakdown of some sort!!

I so agree with John Colters comments, when I was ever in the "zone" it was as if it was an out of body experience. I was warned about this by an old TT racer, Albert Moule, a good friend to the guy I spannered for in 1969, Don Lawley, who ran a Honda CR110
He said to me that if I ever got into "the zone", I should be very careful, as the next stage is a feeling of invincibility .. in 1978 I got into the zone big time, I got to Balaugh Bridge and cranked it right full on, and laughed out loud ... the next few miles were scarey as I didn't know where the hell I was going. I stopped and sat down shaking ... I parked the bike and sat out the rest of practice. A good lesson well remembered, and once I'd experienced it, I never forgot, ... I just pushed it a little further away each time I rode, and got faster and faster. How many didn't get that timely advice and passed the zone ....

I too have a memory of Colin, I saw him in the distance as we approached Ramsey and I set my sights on trying to catch him, I gained little bits here and there and then he disappeared, I later learned he'd over cooked it at the gooseneck I think and he waved as I went by!! I remeber him taking the trouble of seeking us out in the paddock hotel in the island and asking if I could rebuild the bike after the rod snapped, and said if I needed anything to seek hi m out at his hotel. Now what he meant I deidn't know, but I like to think he'd have got me out for a ride with something.

The one thing that racers do, cars o bikes or whatever, is to slow down the way speed and the excess of information it brings, to a manageable level. Going fast to me isn't fast, it's actualy quite slow, I am confident that I have everything under control, and then, sometimes, it kicks me hard and reminds me I ain't perfect and to respect that to which I am attempting to control.

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PostSubject: continued    Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:13 am

Sorry JB and everyone for the waffle, pressed the wrong button and suddenly no spell check done and typo's , and it flies off to the ether ... bloody computers!!

or operator.

Greetings JB, the eternal teenager, I'll race you with a mental exercise.

If it takes a week to walk a fortnight, how many apples in a pound of grapes.

Answers, including the mathematics, next time please!!

Keif, a slightly younger old fart with dodgy knees, rotund midriff, much less hair and growths from every orifice vaguely related to the loss of hair on head.
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PostSubject: Hummmmm --- eh -- what ....??   Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:24 am

Engaging lateral-thinking... Hummm! Ha? Jawoh! l If  i bought a pound of grapes there be no apples in the grapes -- hummm! Ha!  -- but roughly 4 apples grown in the Cape (South Africa ) would be about a pound and it would be 5 or even 6 to the pound in Zambia where the daily sunshines is 35% less during the growing season.. my Missus reckons I am the world champion "Useless Information" expert:  sensored me with a pin and out comes a load of..... hmm, unmentionable....

Re JayCee´s remarks I thoroughly agree -- other riders  being in  front during a race can be so annoying.... and that awful way of starting a road race by Run-&-Bump was really beyond the pale... (aggravating). If Icarus-1 or ABS 250 didn´t fire first burp it was pull it back on compression & try again --  by which time most had gone into the dim distance which would make me so mad I´m sure I went faster than if I´d been at the front. And that is where the rub comes:  if I felt I was going too fast -- I was defintely not going quick enough.

Coming from Grass-Track with clutch start that Run-&-Bump was ludicrous!

 This is just my opinion:   The time to stop or just "Go for the ride"  is when that feeling comes,  "This is too fast...".  I always knew when I was racing well -- and that was when the bike was not quick enough... As in the case above,  if I started last or second-third from last I´d really screw the twist grip off the clip-on... and as JayCee said it was like being in another world -- the rest of them were the demons that had to be caught and elminated!

  There was only once when the feeling of sympathy for the others was uppermost and it just turned out to be my most memorable success day, 19th May 1973... Wobbleyman fell in practice and suffered concussion and Niffy broke his leg.... Those  siúccesses were only Inter races, of course, and don´t really count so i shouldn´t crow too much........

 Colin and I had a rivalry that included who could get out in practice first and stay in front during practice.

George Harris apologised afterwards -- the marshalls let us out before Llandow´s road was cleared of sheep-pooh and the Wobblyeman went straignt up in the air when he hit a patch of the black crud. Colin really achieved his nick name because he invertered his body to then come vertically down  on his head -- splitting his crash helmet -- to then come upright and wobble away from his wrecked Bantam. We Eastern Centre lads got all excited when Niffy took the lead in the second Novice race which went to silent awe when dusr rose up from where Niffy should have exitted from Bottom Bend. I ran down there and saw Niffy´s foot facing backwards as they loaded him onto a stretcher.

Then came my first Inter race. Run and hope the bump would work and it did. The three in front were identified and I knew there was a chance but we stayed in that formation until the second lap started and then, going into Bottom Bend all three rushed back at me and went behind... Was there a red flag?  -- No! as I accelerated up the short straight,  time stood still. Icarus-1 didn´t seem at all quick -- certainly not quick enough. Then I realized there were drops of fine rain on my visor. Into Pits Bend the back end slid out and I gave it full-elbow with the back wheel spinning....  I did the same each time at Pits ... and treated Bottom Bend with the respect of a proper road racer. I was absolutely daft -- showing-off -- and heard later that someone had lodged a complaint about me being dangerous to which George Harris retorted, "How could he be dangerous when   no other rider was close to him?"  It seemed this someone had the imoression that both feet have to be on the pegs from start to finish.

   It was just a combination of 2year old tyres, the rain and a raging brain-storm....

Sorry this is so long*** -- must stop reminising and think of the future -- eh -- what?

Take care!

Cheers!

*** -- was something about a bishop and an actress -- memory´s gone....!
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PostSubject: Late 1960s   Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:00 am

Ah! Albert Moule on the Honda CR93, 125 twin. I well remember dicing with him when I was on the Beckett Bantam at Snetterton. It was in a Midlands MCRC open 125 race - 1969, I think. The Honda was quicker down the Norwich straight, but I could peg him back through the twisty bits, and was ahead across the line. Usually, Ken Armstrong on another CR93, and Les Isles on a Bultaco were the first two, so Albert and I were probably dicing for third.

I rode against Don Lawley at Cadwell, too, round about the same time. The MMCRC meetings had a race for 50cc and Bantams. The CR110 was a lovely little thing, and sounded great. Not quick, though. Did Don have a brother, or a mate, with another CR110? I seem to remember two of them circulating together.

I'm not in contact with anybody I knew back in the day, so I'm looking forward to meeting up with Terry in the near future.
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PostSubject: Les Isles   Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:32 am

Hi John Coulter, don't remember you at all despite racking my brains, but your mention of Les Isles brought back a few very unhappy memories.
I was helping Les's mechanic and friend tidy up and stuff as he was cooking Les's breakfast, for when he returned from early morning practice, an ACU official approached us and asked if we were anything to do with Les, aparently Les had lost control of his bultaco (I believe) and crashed at the top of the Creg and sadly had been killed. To say we were shocked is an understatement. I was absalutely dumstruck, and Les's mechanic totaly silent.

Later in trhe week I took him to Ronaldsway to go home, before race week had even started. A terrible experience, and I missed him for a long time afterwards.

To paraphrase JB, why is our sport so exciting, and yet so cruel.

Ho Hum, I don't know if we ever met John, but I wish we had .....then ...or at least remind me if we did! The old brain ain't what it was u know!!!

Leif

ps this is the third version as the website keeps dumping my text!!!
It's censorship, I tell you .....
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PostSubject: Don Lawley, and more memories of an old fart   Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:11 am

I met Don when I spannered for him in the IOM 1968-9 I think, lovely pictures of my wife holding hs silver trophy outside the chalet his family stayed in, the next year he camped and it was a lot better, he had a bultaco 125 then and he didn't really like the extra speed from the CR110. When I visited him in Shropshire for the weekend later he gave me the fairing off of his CR110 for my first ever racer, a bantam of course. I have treasured pictures of it and it always reminds me of Don and Albert .... blimey I'm so old I remember Frank Cope driving through the IOM paddock in his old Rolls, bike perched in the back seat!!!

I remember telling a loud mouthed Aussie to shut the f**** up from warming his bike up at 3.30am in a very loud voice .... accross the paddock .... er Kel Curuthers replied "sorry mate!" he was riding the Bennelli that year I think.

Brian Steenson going out for practice with a huge "wing" on his bike, we really missed his bagpipes at 3 am when he left us....

Taking Schnapps with Fritz Scheidigger out of the winners trophy (I know lousy spelling) and the rest of the German sidecar crews, the fun BBQ's and very drunk goings on, Fritz being well drunk off when he found sand in his oil in that lovely URS engine. A works BMW engine too was a marvel to see, and the German works crews, no fancy hotel, just the tent city, great memories great people serious competitors, but the spirit of fun prevailed.

I remember 1975, ACU officials spying on the loos in paddock tent city ... watching which one (Male female) a certain rider went in. Unofficialy she was the first female rider to ride in the Manx GP, she was kicked out sadly, but returned a few years later I believe.

Oh dear, such a lot of memories, most I can't remember ... who said getting old was fun?

Shoot the Bas******

Keif
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John Colter



Number of posts : 128
Age : 79
Localisation : West Midlands
Registration date : 2014-10-23

PostSubject: Who am I?   Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:37 am

Hi Leif - or is that Keif? Never mind remembering me - do you know who YOU are? Wink

I started racing in 1963 (aged 25) with a home tuned Bantam. I also rode my Norton Navigator 350 in the production class in my first two meetings. In 1964 I rode my Bantam, along with one-off outings on a 250 Velocette MOV, 500 Velocette MSS, and a crazy alcohol fuelled Tiger Cub.

In 1965 I bought a DMW Hornet 250, which was a decent enough bike at the time, but suffered from piston and electrical gremlins. If it finished a race, I would be well up. I won the Eric Bowers Trophy for winning the 250 class at Cadwell "Boys' Day" 1965, and then got 5th in a National race there.

I also rode a couple of Triumph 500s, a 350 Gold Star, a 250 Suzuki (once), a CR93 Honda (once), and a 350 MV classic racer. All this was mostly club racing. My best two seasons were 68/69 on Terry Beckett's Bantam. We had a whale of a time!

I never did the MGP. I entered the DMW in 1966, but my entry was returned as they were oversubscribed.

I got married in 1970, and that was that.

I had a bunch of cups and plaques to show for it, and a host of great experiences and memories.
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John Colter



Number of posts : 128
Age : 79
Localisation : West Midlands
Registration date : 2014-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Bird strike   Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:51 am

My one outing on a CR93 Honda was interesting. It belonged to a mate of mine (Clive -----, I've forgotten his last name). He cricked his back getting the bike out of the van (at Perton), so offered me the ride. He'd already qualified the bike in practice, but was in agony. It meant that I had to impersonate him, by wearing his helmet and trying to look taller! I'd never even sat on the bike, and had never ridden with a left hand gear change.

I managed one lap before trying to change gear by pressing on the brake pedal. It was on the corner by the paddock, and the lurid slide was witnessed by the worried owner. I kept it upright, and worked my way up to third. I set the fastest lap, and was catching Ken Armstrong and Les Isles at the finish. I wish I'd bought a CR93.

I'd better stop drivelling on - I sound like just another sad old bloke saying, "I could'a bin a contender".
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john bass

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Number of posts : 1719
Age : 88
Localisation : Bensberg, Germany
Registration date : 2006-12-06

PostSubject: Na Na JayCee...   Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:24 pm

Nah Nah -- JayCee -- none of that old crud -- "I could a´binn...."

You was -- what you were: you had had a go against great odds as a lot of us was... (or should that have been were, as well?)   and from what I make of your posts you did well with what you had -- and you had times when things didn´t go so well...

It was like this with me, at times I was badly unprepared --  or dometisity got in the way (wife, two kids. house, dog,  cat, budgerigar & goldfish -- plus invasion of a hedgehog family and people dropping in for `just a bit of welding´  to be done***... : -- like when I´d not entered for Cadwell (tremendous sacrifice that one) and we were on holiday in Devon with the first week of raining we were on the beach dressed as for the North Pole, otherwise  playing games and watching telly. Wedesday of second week -- still raining -- C.O. said, "Let´s go home we can do this at´óme." So I rang Mary (Styles)  from Devon for late emtry -- got home on Friday lunch time, prepared bike and was at Cadwell by 08.30hrs Saturday. Sun shone and I had three fanatstic races --  only  Inter races -- of course.

Lots of reasons why  things went right or wrong -- too many for here but I must include Lydden with  the JOB getting in the way such that I was   late arriving at Lydden completely alone except for Icarus-1 and Andy´s 250 ABS. Alone, running and bumping-- trying this and that -- until I was utterly exhausted and neither would start with practice finished.
 
Along comes Chris Newport and says, "Here mate take this out in the 250..." I was so gobsmacked I couldsn´t refuse. Suppose I dropped it?  It was a 6-cylinder Italian thing, looking very expensive -- "...  don´t let the revs go over 11,000..." Chris finished with a laugh.

  So like you John C..., I made a fantastic start -- only with a long wheely -- and my eye catching 14,000 revs as I slotted in behind the leader -- then I CHANGED GEAR WITH THE BRAKE PEDAL ...

  Didn´t matter that I finished about mid field -- I actually raced at moments of remembering which side the gear lever was on...

And I forget whether I ever thanked Chris....

Thanks Chris---

John, I could NOT  answer that post about your " First Bantam in `63" -- seat looked quite comfortable... --

-- which tyres were you using?  My first set on Icarus-1  were Continental Sports front and Continental Universal rear.

*** Robby Winston ringing at the door, late evening, "Sorry to bother you but Mick (Scutt) and I are on the way to the Island and Mick needs his footrest in another place, just a quick bit o´welding -- yer did say -- "
"Sure Robby -- no problem..." Its a memory imprinted on my brain: Mick in the racing crouch, elbows on knees, eyes clamped shut and breathing heavilly. I went to say something and Robbie shusshed me witha w hisper, "Let´s do the second battery tray first...."

Take care,

John-Boy --- er what?
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John Colter



Number of posts : 128
Age : 79
Localisation : West Midlands
Registration date : 2014-10-23

PostSubject: Italian exotica   Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:43 am

Talking of exotic Italian racers, one of the Birmingham lads splashed out and bought himself new 125 Villa - watercooled, single cylinder, rotary disc valve, six speed box. I think this was around 1967, and the bike should have been unbeatable in UK racing at that time. This lad couldn't get it to run properly. He took it to several meetings, with no joy at all. It was either spluttering along or seizing pistons, so he turned to me for advice. I told him that if the float chamber height was correct, the right jets/needle in the carb, the ignition timing spot on, the engine warmed up properly, and the correct grade of plug fitted, it should be fine.

He looked a bit blank, as though all this stuff was black magic, so I offered to have a look at it. The bike was supplied with some very basic set-up instructions, and by now he had been fiddling about with it, without really knowing what he was doing. I adjusted the float chamber, ign. timing, fitted the basic jet suggested by the makers, and said, "That should do it". It took less than an hour. He looked very sceptical, so I agreed to go with him to a public practise session at Mallory Park.

The weather conditions were favourable, the bike started cleanly, it warmed up nicely, and I took it out for a few exploratory laps. After checking it over, I went out again to give it some welly. I found myself circulating with a very determined (and surprised) bloke on a 7R Ajay. I don't know how many laps I did, but it ran faultlessly, and was an exhilerating thing to ride. Then the proud owner went out on it, did a bunch of laps, and came back beaming. That was the end of my involvement with the Villa.

I wish this story had a happy ending, but he still didn't manage to get to grips with the bike. Eventually, he sold it to a local sponsor, and it went on to be ridden by several well known riders. It finished well in the TT, and at several continental GPs.
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