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 Life after racing a Bantam...

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mjpowell

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Number of posts : 1074
Localisation : Lincoln England
Registration date : 2006-12-09

PostSubject: Life after racing a Bantam...   Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:20 pm

What do those once involved do after they pack up racing/making/mechanicing with Bantams?
Some disapear completly(and some return to the fold) and others more on to other bikes or even
different forms of competition.

One person who moved on from bantams and flogged all bantam related gear was Tom Miller. Luckily he flocked it(2xbantams,2spare cylinders,about 100 gears and many engine parts, frame jig, fairing tank seat moulds and much more) to my brother and I.
So he really did have a clearout, and after this started building a 250 single cylinder machine instead. The machine became the 'Tomic 200' and was campagned by Alan Roberts.. (Interestingly it had a stroke of 58mm - sounds familiar)

However Tom still did work for me(and others) on his old bantam's and now I think he has just as much bantam
related stuff as ever, and of course sprints a bantam too...

Mike

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john bass

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Age : 88
Localisation : Bensberg, Germany
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PostSubject: Hi Mike!   Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:34 pm

Hi Mike! I came into Race Bantam preparation and actual road racing quite by accident and left it because of a magnificent job offer in Germany/Canada -- more-or-less another accident -- and wished I kept more in touch ....

The above is a story too long for here and I know you don´t like replies that are longer than two lines -- but I have to add that it was an amazing experience meeting such folk who are so different from the man-in-the-street....


Last edited by john bass on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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john bass

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PostSubject: PS -- what do you do AFTER   Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:40 pm

PS -- what do you do after?

You relive it ---

-- in nauseating nostalgia!

" ... fourth on the first lap of the third race at the second Lydden meeting and finished second... and was third in the sixth race at the first Snetterton meeting of the year and the motor blew up and then I got a new fairing and things looked up after I´d myde the engine short stroke and ... and .... and ...."

Yyyyaaaawwwnnnn!!
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les2012



Number of posts : 123
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: life after Bantam racing   Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:53 am


I had so many years enjoyment with the BRC, never thought I would give up but 1981 other interests took over. I
joined the the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britian, an association involved in the collecting- shooting- development
and manufacture of the classic military and private antique firearms cr 1600-1870. Then I met up again with John and Mr Hall
at Lydden and now I'm relieving those years with JS1.

Les.
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Mick Jones

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Age : 64
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Registration date : 2006-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:59 am

Hi Les, i've held a Brown Bess and a Martini Henry (circa Crimea i believe) and boy were those buggers heavy, no wonder they didn't run around much.
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ted

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PostSubject: life after bantam racing   Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:25 am

I started racing bantams it 1975 when Chris Emmins who I was mechanic for got sponsorship from Gordon Pantrill on his 750 Yam. My last season racing was 1981 for about five years as a scrutiner while putting other riders out on my bike. George Farenden had a Bantam lying around so that was dug out and alongside my bike race prepared in the team Smiffy livery. He and Mick Potter raced these with a fair amount of success one year finishing second and third in the championship. This continued until George retired then Mick and I continued for another two seasons. Mick then went MZ racing winning the championship on a bike he built from the ground up. I used to lend my bike to selected riders from time to time; this led to my bike being ridden to wins at Lydden Hill by A future world champion. That brings me to the point of Mike’s question what did I do next. Well I took up surfing, league ten pin bowling, clay pidgin shooting, SCUBA diving, travelling and just going to race meetings to watch and chat. When I met Jan in 1987 we did a lot more travelling and going for weekends away to places of historic interest or natural beauty. I can’t say in this post the places we were lucky enough to have visited as it will take a lot of space, but I will say the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island just to give you some idea of the sort of thing we liked. When Jan got so fed up of old friends and I saying how much fun riding and racing had been she decided she wanted to learn, she had never been on a bike of any kind before she started here CBT. I got a road bike to go out for rides with her, and kept saying I felt vulnerable on the road with the amount of traffic in greater London. So in 2001(I think) I rebuilt some old bantams and started again and the rest is history!! Well all that was as well. Hope you find this of some interest.
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ted

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PostSubject: after bantam racing   Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:29 am

Mick you’re getting old and forgetful. You have held brown ale and a vodka martini
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Mick Jones

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:36 am

Lol Ted, nice one. By the way, my brother is an ardent traveller too, he did the Galapagos some time ago and recently returned from Antarctica, must like penguins i guess Very Happy
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ted

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PostSubject: life a b r   Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:06 am

Other chocolate biscuits are available in all good shops.
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john bass

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PostSubject: Life after Bantam...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:24 pm

Life after Bantam -- less `g force´ pain. Less instantaneous g-force pain!!

Strictly for me -- this is. Force = mass x acceleration.

Force = "body-weight/g x a" .... and when a = g it is the "body-weight x a/g" -- and with "a/g" being ONE -- as the body meets the tarmac it is with the force of "One g" --

that is, with the force equalling the body-weight - SplattOwww!!!....

I know it is because it still hurts long after life with a Bantam -- Aaawww!
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:46 pm

It`s a strange thing , tarmac never gets carted off to the medical centre but always the unfortunate rider!
Just such a thing happened to Phil Read when the rear chain flipped the rear sprocket on the MV he was parading and
chucked him down the road .
The circuit doctor diagnosed only grazes and bruising and , subsequently, provided the following piece of advice
as a warning : " Old men don`t bounce , they break " ! Phil was not best pleased .
Could that be a salutory warning for ageing returnees , and not a prophecy on what the unlucky might suffer ?
Oh , the MV also suffered only superficial scratching as well !!

Happy Monday everyone ! Trevor
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ted

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PostSubject: LIFE abr   Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:55 pm

Less fun!!!!!!!!!!!!! For all the old farts thinking about a return it’s just as much fun as when you did it first time around. You more than likely have more money now as well as time and if you leave money when you die someone else gets the fun from your labours.
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john bass

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PostSubject: Ayoop! Trevor ...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:32 pm

Ayoop! Our Trevor! ee´s woke up!

Q. for T... in the calcs for resonance wave reflection are the secondary and subsequent waves of any significance? I found after `running-in´ Icarus-1 at Brands the Dr Joe Ehrlich´s calculated pipe (came via Colin Neil who worked for Joe at Hatfield) did not respond to expectations and it took a lot more fiddling and farting... before I got it right.

Cheers!

JayBee -- for John-Boy -- I feel quite bright today -- sun is shining as well!!
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john bass

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PostSubject: Life After Bantam Racing...   Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:37 pm

Life after racing a Bantam ain´t worth living ---

-- on memories --

-- because its ruddy painful realising what has been achieved since -- and could have been done if only I had known what I know now...

-- moan moan moan ...!

Please Mike, give us something more pleasant to think about!!
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bennion

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:03 am

Having been down the road twice in recent years - each time collecting broken or cracked ribs - I concur with Trevor's warning that old geezers do not bounce !
After a severe dosh shortage forced my retirement in 1980, I took up parachuting to satisfy a self imposed adrenaline prescription. Landings in a tree and a cow pat were amongst the more notable achievements.
Used to do OKish at go-karting whenever the urge took hold.
Then one afternoon surfing, I came upon the Bantam website and forwarded the link to Alan Brown. The rest is history. Pandora's box was prised open...
Have to say, I look back on the years 1973-1980 with undiluted pleasure. Meeting up with mates that have remained in touch ever since such as Alan Brown, Pete Kynnersley and Barry Golding. Great also to see Ted, Mick and Ned in the paddock these days.
Is today's scene as good as the days of packed Novice, Inter and Senior grids with Jane Andrew bellowing from the loudspeakers "Mornin' Padok. Can we 'ave all Bearntams for Practice!" ? Yes I believe in some ways . But no, not in others. Not even close...
Cringe - nearly getting as soppy as JB!! Very Happy

Chris
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mjpowell

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:34 am

Just reading threw the posts quick... Trevor ,but what did you do instead? Ted why did you stop first time round? and why did George F pack up and go 125 racing? and Mick Potter why the change to MZ's? JB you should of stayed in the UK and raced!! Good job the bsabantam site was here to catch you again Chris. I feel the bantam racing now is more of a social gathering-but I like that..

Regards Mike
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john bass

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PostSubject: GODs Days...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:46 am

"GODs (Good Old Days)Days" -- weren´t they Chris!

Never to be seen again -- sob sob sob....!

I think about some of those Special BITZAs and a sort of tingle runs down my back -- how some ever made it past the scvrutineer, I mean, everything but the kitchen sink mangled to serve a positive purpose.

Cheers!
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john bass

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PostSubject: Lift me on ....   Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:20 am

Hi Mike!

What about next year, you lift me on and let me have a ride...?? I´ll be at the last Cadwell ....

If I last -- that is....

You are right -- sometimes -- sometimes I think I ought to have stayed in England but then I would have missed the revealing experience of going to America to get involved in the military testing of the HUMMVEE (Chrysler Defence and then General Dynamics with our German engine in...) complete Up-Cock of the testing for the Jeep-Replacement contract. The contract which the GM HUMMER won and thus finished off my lovely job... Seeing the American GIs at work in the Motor Pools was a real eye-opener I´d not have missed...

The testing cost only one life -- just ONE GI driver got drowned in St Jose Bay -- which surprised everybody attending the tests where HUMMERs and HUMVEEs were dropped out of aircraft or dropped by helicopter and driven over some really dodghy country....

Sorry! Just broke my 2012 resolution -- no more soppy-sentimental, sickening nostalgia -- and Cheezzuss! we are still in january.
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john bass

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PostSubject: I forgot...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:35 am

Fancy forgetting that?

I took up down-hill ski-ing which is somewhat like riding a Bantam downhill with NO brakes! (come to think of it -- like riding Icarus-1 when approaching any corner...!) we did so much overtime to keep the new Canadian R&D facility on target that I was allowed every Wednesday off (to go skiing in The Quebec Laurentians) during the winter of 1975.
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Mick Potter

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:32 am

Hi Mike and all.

Why did I take up MZ racing was the question from Mike. The reasons were various. At the time I decided to go MZ racing it was already clear to me that the Bantam racing club was declining. The prospect of building a Bantam of my own when I had (at that time) no easy access to engineering and the expectation that the club might fold at any time was not appealing. MZ racing had started the year before and with its tighter regulations I considered that it was easier to build a competitive bike also it appeared to be the natural successor to the BRC. Over 20 years have passed since then and both Bantams & MZ’s are still racing (how wrong was I). After 4 years of racing the MZ Sue & I decided to start our family & I was not prepared to risk my life while I had the responsibility of young children, so I retired from racing.

I returned to the sport that I first tried on school trips, downhill skiing. I started skiing before I had ridden a bike, I still ski and I will be skiing after I can no longer race. Skiing is the only sport that gives me the same high as racing a bike.

Time goes by and my children grow up, and then out of the blue comes a phone call from Ted. He is building a new bike do I want to ride it. The rest is resent history.

Mick.
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john bass

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PostSubject: I go along with that, Mick...   Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:44 pm

I go along with that Mick -- downhill ski-ing, there´s a fantastic feeling of mastering the skill required and then the doing it for fun -- much like motorcycle racing with far less aggro of anything untoward going wrong -- and hardly ever a break down....

In Nothern Quebec was a string of small ski hills just 3/4hr car drive from Montreal island. My favourite place used to be open the whole weekend -- downhill ski-ing under floodlight, fantastic!! The moguls and little bumps show up much better and doing it at 3 a.m. was thrilling....
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bkirkwood



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PostSubject: Life after bantams   Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:51 am

I started bantam racing in 1968 in 71 i moved on too modern 125s Bultaco,s and a Maico by the begining of 75 i was skint that was me done with racing motor cycles rode trials for a bit ran marathons and cycle raced around 2005 g Tony Smith offered me a ride on his Maico at Spa found what id been missing all these years done a few parades on a borrowed Seeley Suzuki even managed a track day in my wifes BMW . Hope too be out at 1000 bikes on my Maico that i finished just in front of Tony Jones Bantam in the 74 tt happy days.
Bill
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john bass

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PostSubject: Watersheds!   Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:15 am

The superior-academics call them "Watersheds".

It is where your whole life changes thro´some unforseen event and any plans you had for a future gang awry and are replaced by something totally unexpected. I had a great number of these: the very 1st was during the war. I had wanted to be a Spitfire Fighter pilot -- instead I ended up as a vehicle mech apprentice at an army apprentices school at 14... the war seemed to be ending too quickly so instead of waiting to get to 18 I went and signed-on in the army... Daft!!

It was a shock to my system -- first night I didn´t sleep for wondering what I had done to myself! mummy no longer there to tie up my shoe laces...!! There were many more Watersheds -- too much for here -- but like I said Bantam racing came to me by accident. At 9 years before BRC I should have been a Speedway star (as hoped & dreamed) -- I was on my way trying to achieve that -- when I was accidently awarded a State Technical scholarship which meant saying no to a Maldon dealer who wanted to sponsor me on the grass with plans of Speedway racing to follow.

I think it must be much better to have a complete change of life: occupation, habits and past-times than just drop out of bantam racing. The shock of the completely-different life takes away the LOSS of Motorcycle racing -- there is NOTHING to replace that!

And the Pits Scene! How I missed the intense interaction of concentraction on what has to be done ...-- whilst being friendly with the other riders, helpers, fellow clubbers and so on....
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Derek

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:33 am

Hi all

Nothing to debate about !! may be a reason why its quiet, I don't understand why we don't have more technically interesting posts, and when we do a lack of questions !.

Age - one reason why it's so important not to fall off or make silly moves, "just take it easy and we all enjoy".

I started in 77/78 I gave up in 85/6 found a women !.

returned in 1987/8, after getting married, 1987/8, I got fed up with racing so few, finally stopped in 2002 for a number of reasons

Derek
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tonydavis

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PostSubject: Re: Life after racing a Bantam...   Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:13 am

Not very good with exact years, but my old man took me to mallory around 74 and from that day I was hooked, MVs, Suzukis, Yamaha etc Read, Ago, Sheene and remeber John Newbold winning races that day. From that day on went to every meeting there and had a burning desire to race myself. My dad being a tight arse chose bantam racing and we bought a race bike from someone called Bob in Leicestershire for £80. We then bought lots of other bit that came up in our area and although i spent the first year pushing the bloody thing up and down that bloody hill at cadwell I finally got out and raced around 77. I worked in engineering so started to build something special and went for a water cooled mono shock special it never fulfilled it's potential due to some of the jobs peformed by work collegues that 'lets say didn't fully understand what was required' after all I was paying them in fivers, fags and pints. Ray joined in the fun around 1980 and got the best of the long stroke bits engine and did well in the novice and inters a year later I discovered proddie racing so got out in both classes at most Bantam and BFRC meetings. I lost my job around 82-3 and had to seel up first the bantams then the Proddie bike. I later went on to play classic cars mainly Austin had a Somerset and a a40 pick up I also did a couple of seasons Karting around the late 80s which I really enjoyed. At this time I got back into a trade first with ZF gears them ended up at Myfords. But to be honest I was bored out me skull in factories and went on to study photography and then spent the next 10yrs working as a freelancer and travelling the world. I also had a young daughter so most weekends were taken up with her and being a weekend dad, then moved to London around 96. It wasn't till I discovered the internet that I went trawling for bikes and bike sites. around 2004 I came across the early throws of this site and got chatting went to watch a meeting at Lydden and that's how it all started again. I built the green bike and had the usual teething problems and also got thrown off my old bike at Lydden and wrecked my shoulder. Around this time I discovered sprinting something I wanted to do from the onset,we also had our first son Louis and found it difficult to get time off and justify entry fees etc. So I would blag time off for sprints just to have a play, one time getting it into the back of my fiat punto! I then concentrated more on sprinting buying another X7 and then a series of LCs and have since won lots of silverware (all soft wins really). Got made redundant (had a another boy Gene) and bought a bike I've always wanted 748 and have since been given a 600rr thats now running mid 11s 1/4s with more to come. I'm gagging for some more racing but funds and childcare issues, I've got them most weekends and rarely get 5 mins away from them but every year around this time pencil in some meetings and start accumulating browny points so maybe this is the year. For the last 2 years i have been teaching bike mechanics to kids that have fallen out of the school system and part of the job involves going dirt bike riding so when I'm out on the track and getting paid to do that I guess it's the closest i'm gonna get to being a works rider. I own a really nice 79 Bultaco sherpa and have done a couple of ACU trials on it, bloody harder than you think but at £10 entry fee you certainly get your monies worth.

So to cap it all Bantams are my first love (i have a sprinter racer project on the go) but I love bikes and guess they'll always be a massive part of my life, my son Louis has started riding on a PW50 Yamaha so it's only a matter of time before all us boys are out playing...................
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