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 Memories of Early BRC Days -- or Sloppy Nostalgia...

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Number of posts : 156
Registration date : 2011-07-25

PostSubject: Re: Memories of Early BRC Days -- or Sloppy Nostalgia...   Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:09 pm

Some more down-under memory lane photos - racing Bantams for off the black stuff.
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john bass


Number of posts : 1742
Age : 89
Localisation : Bensberg, Germany
Registration date : 2006-12-06

PostSubject: I had a Bantam 125 Scrambler...    Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:08 pm

I actually owned a Bantam scrambler in my Scrambling days which I used on the back fields as practice for scrambles & grass track for a short time. Didnīt seem powerful enough so I sold it and made a BItza 250 grass tracker. I had a garage full of bits aquired because I never charged real bikers for welding and blokes would leave bits as payment --- like a bent Velocette MAC rigid frame which I mofified to take an Ariel swinging arm. Ariel rear wheel and spring units had to go with the latter and 1937 AJS 250 engine, twin exhaust port , Norton gearbox, Matchless front forks and wheel ...

But back to the Bantam scrambler. I got it for a fiver. Seller reckoned it was too much of a handful for him!! Seemed quite lively on a country lane at the back of our house and in top, flat-out I aimed it at a `potato-clampī*** that was about 5 feet high and 20 feet long. I must have hit the sloping ramp at about 45mph
and thatīs all I remember except for seeing clouds in a sunny sky and sitting up on the other sloping end of the potato pile. Would have made an excellent film!!
but I was glad of no witnesses. A quick check showed the reason for the somersault -- the forks had no bottom-stop and the front tyre had contacted the mudguard to lock the front wheel. Funny thing the twisted forks were not damaged and I fitted hard rubber stops to prevent bottoming and went over the potato pile many times in style afterward....
I never rode it competitively because Iīd switched to grass racing and thought (as above) it better to have a 250....

Remembering this has me thinking -- then, and now -- how I wished Iīd not sold it and that I ought to have found out more about the machine. Someone must have done a good job on the motor because the bloke who bought it off me had considerable success with it on both scrambles and grass. That would be in the early 50sī ...

*** potatoes were piled up with straw and the pile was then covered in clay....

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Number of posts : 260
Localisation : Rayleigh Essex
Registration date : 2007-01-11

PostSubject: Re: Memories of Early BRC Days -- or Sloppy Nostalgia...   Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:41 am

john bass wrote:
That, Trevor, had me thinking of my first time of road-racing -- well riding then when I felt I should get off and push... That was riding a Bantam around that dreadful track Snetterton. Of all things it was a 150cc motor which had me in a 250 race and thinking during practice and in that dreadful situation of everyone clearing off from the grid leaving with me a screaming gutless contraption accelerating at about 1.75feet per second per second whilst the others had vanished into the old Norwich Straight -- that I should have built a 250 Villiers engined hovercraft after all, as my first intention had been -- or perhaps jacketing the 250 Villiers engine in a BITZA frame.

It wasnīt until a 125 engine had been obtained & tuned and I had learnt how to keep the revs at its max 8400 (bit more if the wind from behind) at all times possible and was competing against other Bantams just a little faster that I appreciated what road-racing was all about -- with only 3 gears and hardly any brakes...

I think you have answered your own question.

Quote :-
So it looks as if a Low-Cost*** Bantam, nothing fussy, with Formula similar 175 but 125cc long-stroke motor (good torque for fatties! and competitive in a special BANTAM Class of its own) LESS FAIRING could be as low a cost as 800 quid and the full-HiTech fly-blown, water-cooled Bantam 125 with all goodies plus skirt, three times-plus-a-bit as much.

Call the Low-Cost former, "The Original Bantam" Formula and include it in with the other two Formulae in VMCC races as now... Or you might take it a bit more humorous and call it "The Naked Bantam" formula?

Might it attract more to the Fold
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ray gray


Number of posts : 7
Age : 75
Localisation : NORTH ESSEX
Registration date : 2008-11-20

PostSubject: Re: Memories of Early BRC Days -- or Sloppy Nostalgia...   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:59 pm

Hi guys nice topic

I remember the AGM when Fairings and Alloy rims where voted in after several recounts ,it was that close.

the argument for Faifings that won the day went along the lines that in a tumble a bike with fairing had a good chance of slidindg of the track wereas a "naked" bike would land on footrests,bars and levers maybe digging in and launching with much more damage.

The Alloy rim argument was that you need to rebuild your wheels to fit 18" tyres and alloys are just as cheap and could be trued in the event of a accident.


Ps is there a spell check on here I realy need one.
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john bass


Number of posts : 1742
Age : 89
Localisation : Bensberg, Germany
Registration date : 2006-12-06

PostSubject: G.O.D. -- Good Old Days...   Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:01 pm

Sickly, Sloppy Nostalgia...

A Naked Bantam and `Continental Sportsī front tyre with `Continental Roadī rear...all for 80quid and quite competitive in Novice and Inter-Novice races. They were Good Old fun Days.

They are gone forever -- except in memory -- those G.O.D days.

-- and I have to repeat myself on here to partially enjoy them again....

Call me a DOG -- Daft Old Gitt -- if it please you but it pleases me enormously
to recall rushing around Brands -- just on a practice Wednesday, for instance -- `Beating upī a Norton Dominator for example with my 3-speed, naked Bantam. I regretted fitting a `skirtī but the engine-man (of our 3-man team) thought it worth it ... I felt claustrophobic with the engine rattles amplified inside the fairing.

Yes Ned, you are right, I did answer my own question -- just an Old D.O.G. I guess -- champing on toothless gums.

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Number of posts : 1065
Age : 57
Localisation : worcestershire
Registration date : 2007-06-15

PostSubject: Re: Memories of Early BRC Days -- or Sloppy Nostalgia...   Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:53 pm

Trevor Amos wrote:
As an alternative slant on this cheap racing debate, i made a few phone calls last night. These led to others being made , and so on.
The upshot of which was, i located a good RS Honda , ready to race with spare barrel/head inserts ,piston/rings, crankshaft, clutch
plates ,alternative gearbox ratios ,sprockets ,sundry items like seals , bearings and so forth. In fact everything to see the purchaser
through a full season of racing, and it would be competitive from the go get ! All of this for Ģ1500 --- what would you rather do ?
Get the appropriate software and it will tell you all you need to know ,if you can interpret what is being shown there ! ?
Garbage in ----- Garbage squared out !
Happy computing to you all ? Regards Trevor

Hi Trevor
I was discussing with another on a similar topic, he was of the same opinion as you, some people never manage to achieve their true potential, even when they are clearly very talented, i believe it takes more than just ability.

anyway the RS sounds cheap, thank for that useful piece of information.

I'll be putting this post in my scrap book, with all the other gem's you have posted recently.

you have my assurance I'm learning a great deal from these.

Thank you for the kind words.

kind regards!

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