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 Wacky 50

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Trevor Amos



Number of posts : 872
Registration date : 2010-08-13

PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:59 pm

Obsessive "anorackness" for the era, I guess that would explain it!

Have a good one, cheers, Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: I bin nobblede again...   Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:33 am

Mised a month and now I am back -- dunno how it came about but I have now a lot of catching up reading.

Got a dose of flu with me bronchitis and thought it was all up --

-- virus in the cyber way and virus in the bosom -- wow was me but I am back ---

told my GP I duun wanna see him till 2018... !

Must do a bit of reading ...

and its marvellous that Wackie series is still going strong -- well done that Amos man!
Cheers!
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:28 pm

John, sorry to hear of you being crocked up for a while, but relieved that you are now up and running again, we all of us enjoy your contributions and hope there are many more to come.
Rest assure there are more Wackies to come, people always seem to be able to do and create the absurd!

Stay well John, cheers, Trevor
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:27 am

Sorry to hear you've been ill, John, but delighted that you are back with us. Flu is very debilitating - at our age we've got to look after ourselves. I've had the flu jab every year for at least the last twenty years, with no side effects, but this year I was immediately smitten with dreary coughs and snuffles for about two weeks afterwards. Can't say it was caused by the jab - who knows?

I've seen a few "wacky" sights in the paddock. Once a bloke walked past me wheeling the complete front end of his racer, detached at the steering head. "I didn't know there was a class for pogo sticks", I quipped merrily. Judging by the look he gave me, he was in no mood for light hearted banter.



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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:00 am



Could this be the offending machine you saw John, seems it may be the right sort of period. Bad day at the office for someone`s Bultaco !

Cheers, Trevor
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:29 am

The pic. of that broken Bultaco brings back an alarming memory. A mate of mine bought a second hand 196cc Bulto (just like the one in the photo). The bike looked very presentable, and went well. He took it to a meeting at Snetterton and found that the handling wasn't good. After his second session, he noticed smoke coming from under the front of the petrol tank. He hurriedly removed the tank - while the onlookers nervously backed away! There was a piece of rag tied around the top tube, just back of the steering head, and it was smouldering merrily. He ripped the rag away, and found that it had been covering a break in the frame! Only the down tube was holding the bike together!

He was a very lucky lad. The friction of the two broken ends rubbing together had generated enough heat to ignite the rag.
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:40 am

It would seem John, that the Bultaco quality control department back in the 60s was seriously dysfunctional, if it ever even existed!
My good friend Chris Jarvis and I started Bantam racing at about the same time. Just around the corner from Chris`s parents house was the garage and agricultural engineering business of Tony Wakefield and Graham Milton who at the time campaigned a Rennsport BMW sidecar outfit and we would occasionally pop around for the odd bit of welding or to scrounge materials. Graham decided to fill in the free time until the sidecar events came around by racing a 125 tss Bultaco. A good second hand bike was duly acquired and was totally striped and the rebuild was started. It was whilst shot blasting the frame prior to a repaint that serious welding flaws were discovered, the worst of which was at the head stock, where there was precious little actual structural welding in place where tubes met at the headstock tube. The defects had been concealed with some sort of filler that then disappeared during shot blasting. The team had plenty of Reynold 531 tubing left over from constructing the side car chassis so a new frame was conceived for the 125 that was both lighter and stronger than the atrocious original.
It doesn’t bare thinking about as to the consequences of a frame failing during racing, and from the picture I posted and your own anecdotes it proves that all was not as it should be in the Spanish Bultaco factory.

Going slightly off topic but still about frames, there is a nice annecdote about Ken Sprayson, of Reynolds tubes fame, concerning him and his trusty welding gear being “high-jacked” in utter secrecy by the works Honda team in order to repair their frames that had failed due to the rigors of racing around the island. As Ken states in his book, the propaganda of the day affirmed that Honda frames never fail?

Going even more off-piste but still on the island in the late 1960s, there was the account of a nefarious night time liaison, in the back of a van which was parked up out of sight in a secluded lane, between the mechanic for, and the girlfriend of a race competitor. Our two secret lovers witnessed the clandestine disposal by the Yamaha team of a number of cardboard boxes of what turned out to be scrap engine parts, into the sea. Intrigued by all of this strange late night activity, investigation was called for after the Japanese guys had departed in their unmarked van. Fortunately for the mechanic, the disposal task was not totally successful for with the aid of a torch and some scrabbling around in the bushes and undergrowth and with no little risk of toppling into the sea below, one box was spotted and retrieved, and among its contents of rubbish were one heavily seized barrel, head and piston from a works RDO5 250cc vee 4 engine. Some weeks later whilst at my brother David`s house I had an exciting hour or so with these parts and was able to do a bit of measuring and note taking of one element of the most powerful 250 ever produced up to that point in time.


Trevor


Last edited by Trevor Amos on Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bkirkwood



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PostSubject: wacky 50s   Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:37 pm

Back in the day i had a Bultaco air cooled.While racing at Thruxton on village curve [flat out right hander before the chicane] the handling became strange a really bad high speed weave and then moving about under braking i finished the race to find the front down tube was completely broken above the engine mount considering your flat out for ages at Thruxton i suppose i was lucky.
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John Colter



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:18 am

Whilst on the subject of Bultacos (nothing wacky, really) A mate of mine was interested in buying a second hand 125 A/C six speeder. I went with him, late one evening, to have a look at this bike, and it was very clean, tidy and well maintained. We were offered a test ride - there and then, on the road outside. It was a fairly secluded housing development, with large front gardens, so there were no cars parked on the road.

My mate asked me to do the honours, so I found myself blatting up and down the road, in the pitch blackness, by the light of the street lamps. I've no idea what sort of speed I got up to, but was able to use all six gears. It was most memorable, flashing from one pool of light to the next - like blinking. It gave a tremendous impression of speed.

It seems the neighbours were used to that sort of thing.
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bkirkwood



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PostSubject: wacky 50s   Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:18 am

This might be a bit off subject as well but back in 1973 when i was getting my125 W/C Bultaco ready for my first TT a young lad who lived round the corner had started helping me cleaning things etc. His dad turned out to be a motorcycle traffic cop who called in to see how we were getting on when the bike was finished he asked me had i tested it, I said i can't test it here i will have to wait till i got to the island what you need is a Police escort be ready tomorrow afternoon that's how i came to be chasing a Police bike around the streets of south west London on an unsilenced Bultaco Happy days
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:59 am



Seem to have stirred up some great anecdotes about Bultaco exploits, thanks to John and Bill for those, actually I converted these machines as a young competitor but they were far too expensive for my meagre income. The realistic alternative was the Bantam, at least it was relatively cheap racing back then!
I was today emailed this assessment from a friend about Bultaco racers, it is a scan of a page from the late Brian Woolley`s book entitled;  Directory of classic Racing Motorcycles. I think the extract speaks for its self and is certainly not too complimentary toward the bike`s build quality and is echoed by the experiences of Bill and John.

Thanks to you all for your posts, regards, Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: Thanks for kind words...   Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:26 am

Thanks for kind words Trevor ...

Wished now I had bothered to get a decent camera and take some shots of BITZAs that appeared on the grass, their short histories and magnificent blow-ups... Frame breakage was frequent yet injury from such accidents not much at all. I think that when the frame is about to go the rider gets a bit of warning.

Vivid in mind -- at the moment -- was Alf Hagon´s 500 JAP at Writtle grass track blowing up. Alf´s bike prep was second to none yet that day the bottom 3/4s of his engine flew apart. Alf was battling in the lead with two others close and I was looking down the track as the pack came towards me. Quite suddenly the Short-4 JAP had spread it crankcase and innards all over the track. There was just the head and barrel left under the tank and Alf slowly coming to a halt.

It was called Short-4 not only because of its 4 studs holding down the barrel -- instead of 5 -- it had a shorter stroke than the 5-Stud, hence revved higher and had an aluminium con-rod. When I bought (Rayleigh Speedway team´s captain) Tom O Connor´s 4 stud he warned me to crack-detect the rod after every meeting -- and I did. It didn´t crack in two seasons of grass racing but after I´d sold the engine its rod broke after two grass meetings and my name was mud -- for a while.

CheerS!

JayBee -- coughing less and quite perky really....!!


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Jimmie



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:53 am



Last edited by Jimmie on Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:59 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Extra info)
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bkirkwood



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PostSubject: wacky 50s   Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:37 am

Thats the latter watercooled frame the earlier air cooled frame was very similar to a Bantam single loop with a welded on subframe. When the water cooled engines were developed with a centre exhaust port they cut the downtube from the headstock to just above the front engine mount and then built a smaller tubed wide angle duplex to clear the exhaust and mount the radiator it was the braced like the Forth bridge no more breakages the frame was that strong and handled well. Rod Gould put a Yamaha engine in and finished well up in the 250 world championship.
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:36 am



Here is a nice view of a 250 frame, minus the radiator, during restoration. There is a reference in one of the links that Jimmie posted about a guy who installed a 500 triumph in a 250 frame with allegedly no problems. If it can withstand the lumpy vibration of a heavy triumph engine unit then it must be pretty bullet proof.
Spot on about Rod Gould and his Yamtaco Bill, I saw him at Mallory once on a 250 Yamaha but can`t say if it was the Yamtaco or not, but he was certainly a very prominent competitor on the world stage.
One thing I couldn`t help but notice was the enormous diameter of the header pipe /port junction, particularly when compared to the main body of the pipe. Excessive exhaust port exit diameters have always been feature of the Bultaco racer range, did no one ever think to ask, why?

Cheers, Trevor
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:47 am



Found this lovely clear picture of short 4 Jap engine for you John, in slightly better nick than the one Alf had detonate under him!
Hope you are continuing to improve and will soon be back in action.
Take care , regards  Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: Ah -- Ah -- Ah....   Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:42 pm

Big sighs --- Ah! -- Ah! --- Ah!

So simple. Not even an oil pump... just metering drops with dead loss system... One of its well-known secrets -- everything loose -- low friction drag and on 16.5:1 CR on Puridin-laced methanol it was easy to flip over on the line.... as you´d expect of JayBee....

48 bhp at 5,500rpm -- I think it was?
About 3 bhp and 500 rpm more than the 500cc 5 Stud...

Wow!

After I´d sold my engine I borrowed the Hagon framed grass special for practice at Rye House track and that was real fun because with that engine in my RE Bullet -- 350 -- frame it had become known as "The Jelly machine".


Getting on a Bantam after taht was a bit of a shock --- reversed-

Thanks Trevor!

Cheers!
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john bass

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PostSubject: Second Thoughts....   Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:27 pm

Second thoughts on that pic Trevor ....

My Short-Four had Valve-spring covers, much less finning on the barrel and as I mentioned, some other time, an aluminium alloy con-rod which I assume was what Alf had, and the rod broke -- probably.  

What amazed me about Victor Martin's "shop" in Tottenham was the Old LADY there on the service counter:  you could ask her any question about any generation of JAP motors  and who might have owned them and  she´d tell you all the details;  sometimes even  who raced the particular  engine you referred to. I´d given her the part number of my engine and she immediately said, "Tom O Connor --  Rayleigh ... Briiiant rider, sometimes a bit wild -- off the track I mean. Why dunn you pop along to the workshop, you´ll find Jackie Biggs there."
Biggs was an Autralian dirt-tracker riding for one of the London clubs at that time -- later a Midlands club. . I spent a couple of hours with him whilst he was working on his engien. He rented this part of the W/Ss and   l have never seen such a tidy work area and tidier worker.
Jackie was doing well at that time. He was well up on points for a top notch championship at the time -- not sure which trophy that was -- and there he was chatting to a snotty-nosed would-be.yokel from the Exssex countryside...
It later reminded me of Les Graham when winning at Boreham -- years before my grasstracking -- where & when i was a track marshall. Les also allowed me to ask him questions even though he was busy with the MV....
The nicer ones seem to go first.

Many apologies for side-tracking the main issue.

Cheers.

JayBee....
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:03 am



Oh man, will you just look at that view!

How on earth do these guys perform these stunts, its all quite beyond me?

Trevor
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ptibbitt125

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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:22 pm

john bass wrote:
Second thoughts on that pic Trevor ....

My Short-Four had Valve-spring covers, much less finning on the barrel and as I mentioned,  some other time, an aluminium alloy con-rod which I assume was what Alf had,  and the rod broke -- probably.  

What amazed me about Victor Martin's "shop" in Tottenham was the Old LADY there on the service counter:  you could ask her any question about any generation of JAP motors  and who might have owned them and  she´d tell you all the details;  sometimes even  who raced the particular  engine you referred to. I´d given her the part number of my  engine and she  immediately said, "Tom O Connor --  Rayleigh ... Briiiant rider, sometimes a bit wild -- off the track I mean. Why dunn you pop along to the workshop, you´ll find Jackie Biggs there."
Biggs was an Autralian dirt-tracker riding for one of the London clubs at that time -- later a Midlands club. . I spent a couple of hours with him whilst he was working on his engien. He rented this part of the W/Ss and   l have never seen such a tidy work area and tidier worker.
   Jackie was doing well at that time. He was well up on points for a top notch championship at the time -- not sure which trophy that was -- and there he was chatting to a snotty-nosed would-be.yokel from the Exssex countryside...
   It later reminded me of Les Graham when winning   at Boreham -- years before my grasstracking -- where & when i was a track marshall. Les also allowed me to ask him questions even though he was busy with the MV....
    The nicer ones seem to go first.

Many apologies for side-tracking the main issue.

Cheers.



JayBee....    



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Slightly off topic - my father used to know Les Graham before WW2 - he got an agency from OK Supreme as a result. Most of the range had JAP engines, but my father was after the "Lighthouse" 250 OHC model, which he raced on grass and road. The road going OK Supremes had a reputation for being spindly in the cycle department - cup and cone wheel bearings for instance.
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Jimmie



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:42 am

Have we seem this before? Perhaps good as a supporting race for Bantam racers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKK-Q12VT4
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:49 pm

Wow, great stuff Jimmie. Some of those guys were really going for it, I particularly enjoyed the furious pedaling go on just to maintain momentum, some of the track side protection measures were a little basic though, scary stuff!

But hey, who wants to see, just Bantam racing, after witnessing that unbelievable spectacle?

Somewhere amongst my now scattered Wackie subjects is a picture of a stripped down, sort of GP version of a friction drive machine, if I can relocate it I will post it up.

Thanks Jimmie, regards, Trevor
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Wacky 50   Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:07 am



Here we go Jimmie, looking at this bike I can`t help getting a feeling of optimism over the reality.

cheers, Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: Bit Wobbly as well as Wacky...   Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:29 am

Bit wobbly as well as Wacky I´d reckon....
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les2012



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PostSubject: Pedals   Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:52 am

Thanks Jimmie, I thought that was without doubt wacky. Now I know where I've been going wrong with JS2. I'm now fitting a set of pedals to give me a few extra foot pounds and that will give those at the front something to think about.
Any more to come Jimmie?.

Les 2012.
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