THE NEWSLETTER OF
THE FURNESS BRITISH MOTORCYCLE
ISSUE NUMBER 411 24th NOVEMBER 2008
Today’s editor-Lol Williams
o 27th November to 07 December. International Motorcycle and Scooter Show. NEC Birmingham.
o Tuesday 09th December CDC Children’s Christmas Party at Furness General Hospital. See below for details.
o Tuesday 09 December – Black Tie Meeting at Gilpin Bridge.
o Sunday 14th December – Club’s Xmas Lunch. Selandia (Morrison’s car park) 12 noon for 12.30.
Next Club Night is Monday 8th December at Roose Conservative Club.
Next Veteran’s Section Meeting at the Red Lion Lowick is Thursday 27th November then Thursday 11th December.
CLUB’S XMAS LUNCH
In 3 weeks from today this will be all done and dusted. Finito. Over. I require your menu choice and money to be with me by the next club meeting at the latest.
If the event goes true to form then it will be a good do. Personally I believe it to be very good value for the money, and at £16 its only 50 pence more than last year. The Selandia management have done us proud.
By Tuesday 9th December I have to pay a deposit, supply a table arrangement and your menu choices to them. You can see the reasoning for me going on at you to get your fingers out and give me your requirements.
This event has come a long way since Gordon Walker organised the very first one all those years ago. In 2005 we had 69 bums on seats, 2006 we had 70, this year I would like to see the same but to date (Friday 14th November) only 26 have filled in the order forms with another 5 promised. So come on people. Tell your friends and families what a good event they could miss out on. And yes, raffle prizes for the CDC will be very welcome. See you there?
I recently read an article on tyres, which said that 45% of us don't know the minimum tread depth. I couldn’t believe how high that figure was. Then as I read on I realised that I was one of the 45%. I've always thought that it should be a minimum of 2mm on the front and 1mm on the back. Or was that the other way round? How wrong I was. Do you know? Well, according to this article, there's supposed to be at least 1mm on front and back.
But just as worryingly, it said that 60% of us don't check the tyre AGE. How the hell you do that I don't know. The article didn't say. Given that when we ride we only have a few square inches of rubber between us and the road, I thought I'd better do a thorough inspection. I found plenty of tread, no cracks in the tread or walls, no bulges or fading. That’s a relief I thought. But how old are the tyres. I've only owned the bike for about 18 months, and there's no way of contacting the previous owner. Presumably, the only information is on the tyre walls themselves. The front tyre is an Avon Speedmaster mk2 (sounds old), and the rear a Dunlop K18/TT100.
The article also said that prolonged exposure to ultra violet sunlight will help the tyre deteriorate. But given that most, if not all of us, keep our bikes under cover, how else can a tyre deteriorate? Only with time, I suppose. These classics bikes don't do many miles a year, and are not ridden as hard as modern bikes, so won't wear as quickly.
If anyone can help me date my tyres, please let me know, or better still, reply via the newsletter. I'm sure other members would be interested. While your at it, do any of you know how old your tyres are? Does anyone have the original tyres on their bike? I'd love to know. Either way, keep checking your tyres.
In reply to the above your editor has done a bit of snooping on ‘tinternet. The wear bit needs correcting and explaining in more detail than Gaz has done. To be legal, and to pass the MOT both your motorcycle tyres must have a continuous band of tread of at least 1mm depth and across at least ¾ of the breadth of the tread. That’s the legal limit, however, the recommended limit is 2mm. (Mopeds are only required to have tread visible!! Rather you than me.) The penalties for illegal tyres can be harsh with up to £2500 and 3 points per tyre.
As for the age thing. Most tyres manufactured today are marked with a 4, sometimes 3 digit code on one side wall. On the 4 digit code the first 2 are the week and the last 2 are the year. So 1107 would be March 2007. On the 3 digit code 035 would be January 2005. All my bike tyres are date coded but ‘tinternet mentions that car tyres sometimes have the date code on the inner wall, this could make it difficult to find.
I also did a bit of snooping by interviewing a manager at one of the countries leading tyre service companies. He confirmed the above but also told me that there is strong evidence that tyres more than 5 years old, irrespective of tread depth, will result in an MOT failure if the EU autocrats get their way.
DIARY OF AN ALSO-RAN Part 1
Nick Penny’s 2008 RACING SEASON.
This year I raced just the one ‘Classic’ bike –
350 Gold Star - This is the same bike I have raced since 1994, fitted with a variety Goldie engines. It is an early ‘70s Morini frame fitted with Norton forks, Triumph 5 speed ‘box and, currently, a ’56 DB type 350 engine in fairly standard race trim. I built this engine last year from odd bits I had between race weekends, and it proved to be pretty reliable this year.
Last winter Eric Kirk had offered me a ride on his original 1961 AJS 7R. I entered the bike for the Pre-TT Classic races and booked my ferry before Eric changed his mind and decided to sell the bike. As it was a bit late to cancel my entry by then, I changed my entry and rode the Goldie instead.
22 & 23rd March – CRMC @ Pembrey. Dry/ cold. Easter was early this year and it
was ******* freezing!. 350 Goldies were in the same race as 350cc twins (i.e.
K4 Honda’s), so not much chance of a decent finish.
Sat. - In first race, I managed to pass two of the slower K4’s & had a dice with another but couldn’t get past. Very strong, gusty wind made riding a bit tricky. Much the same for race two but Nick Hawson riding another Goldie nipped past at ½ distance. I got a good drive out of Honda Curve (a very fast bend before the finish straight) and slingshotted past him down the straight.
We had a good ding-dong after that and got mixed up with a couple of K4’s. A good race.
Sun – Wet 1st race, wet/ dry 2nd. After a rather poor 1st lap, I gradually caught Nick Johnson (350 Goldie) but, just as I was lining him up, Nick Hawson passed us both in a ‘do or die’ move. I managed to pass Nick J, but couldn’t catch the other Nick before the race finished. 2nd race was a bit more sedate as the wind had got very gusty again, so I didn’t ride too hard.
Also on Sunday, there was a handicap race for riders over 55 years of age, which I entered. The track was dry by now and the wind had dropped a bit. A great variety of machines, from my humble Goldie to a rip snorting 850cc Triumph Triple. The handicapping seemed a bit strange – we were put on different rows of the grid; each row started at 10 sec intervals. I had a good
scrap with a K4 that had started ahead of me, passing him on the penultimate corner. He almost caught me on the line but I stayed ahead by 0.071 sec!
Result – 5th, 5th, 5th, 5th & 12th.
25th, 26th & 27th April – CRMC @ Anglesey. This circuit has been completely
redesigned since I last rode there a few years ago and a free track day was laid on for Friday.
Friday – Damp & drizzly – not too warm either. Had 3 practice sessions & found the circuit quite demanding with a variety of fast & slow corners. The surface seemed quite grippy considering the conditions. My gearing was way out, so I changed sprockets.
Sat. – Dry-ish then damp & cold. We were in with 250 singles (mostly Ducatis). In both races, I had close dices with Nick Hawson, who has gained in ability & confidence since last year (& he’s 30 years younger!). He beat me (just) in both races.
Sun – Very wet 1st race, damp 2nd. Had a good scrap with Nick in race 1, managing to get ahead, until my engine started miss-firing (water in the works) and I had to let him go. In race 2 we renewed hostilities, but, towards the end, I had a couple of ‘moments’, so backed off a little and was caught by Luke Scholter (riding his granddad’s Goldie – he’s only 17). I just beat him in the sprint to the finish.
Results – 6th, 6th, 6th & 6th.
Held at the last club meeting the AGM was successfully concluded. No trauma’s as in previous AGM’s thank goodness and what a cracking speech from Eric Preston in presenting the Duncan Trophy to Ray Moore. Other main points were; Sub’s held at £6. Tony Gee appointed to the committee. Members admitted free at the club annual show as long as you show your card.
How many of you bothered to check the accounts statement? If you did then you will know that this year you donated £907 to the CDC. £635 to the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance and £635 to the North West Air Ambulance. Well done everyone, you have done the club proud.
ACCIDENT BLACK SPOTS
Do you remember a few years ago when three young men were killed in a car accident on the Coast Road? The public called for, and got, a speed reduction on that stretch of road. This was only one of many such examples throughout Britain where speed reductions have been imposed in the name of accident prevention.
I am convinced that speed reductions are the wrong way to prevent such accidents. If a driver/rider (usually young and without much experience) is inclined to speed then a 30 or 50 MPH sign is not going to stop them. Do you honestly believe that vehicles will not exceed 50 along the Coast Road just because it is now limited to that? No, nor do I. There is a move afoot to reduce the speed limit in towns from 30 to 20 MPH. This won’t work either. Millom has had a 20 limit for several years but very few vehicles comply with it. (Mind you, Millom drivers are a law unto themselves, especially when it comes to parking) What is needed is for the powers that be to look at the road layout and road condition. A typical example is the junction at Greenodd where a busy road crosses and joins a dual carriageway. This has been the scene of many fatal accidents and improvements to the road layout has been looked at but apart from new cats eyes and re-surfacing nothing has been done to prevent more accidents. Indeed, just the opposite as the aforesaid improvements have made it possible for traffic to travel through this potential accident black spot at ever increasing speed. What is needed is for the junction to be altered to a roundabout. This has been talked about for years now but what has been the outcome. Nothing.
Does your vehicle insurance cover you for driving another vehicle, with the owners consent of course and only on third party cover? Yes? Well double check. One of the countries leading insurers, Norwich Union, has ended this cover on their policies. They justify their decision to scrap this cover as it is being abused by “18 year olds driving big cars for which they would not otherwise be able to get insurance”