Thursday, September 14, 2017

USCRA at MotoAmerica NJMP

America's premiere modern road racing organization is trying to broaden their appeal and have been dabbling in various support races.  For their second to last event, at New Jersey Motorsports Park Thunderbolt circuit, they contracted with the United States Classic Racing Association to put on a vintage race.  This was an invitational with 5 classes in one combined race: tank shifters, 250, 350, 500 and open.  It was a quality field with two Indians; Bultaco, Ducati, and TD1C 250s; three Honda CB 350s and a Yetman CB77, and Seeley 7R, and Drixton Aermacchi 350s; three Norton Manx's, a Vincent Comet, Triumph Daytona and an MV 500-4; and a BSA A75R and Honda CR 750.
I brought three Team Obsolete bikes.  The plan was for me to race a mid '60's BSA A50R, a 500cc twin which had been raced by Don Vesco, Dan Haaby and Jody Nicholas.  Canadian photographer and vintage race Doug MacRae was to race MV 500-4 and I would ride the ex-Dick Mann BSA A75R Rocket-3 in practice to get some action shots for an up coming article in Cycle World.
#11 is the BSA A50R and #7 is the MV 500 four
In our first practice Fri. morning, I had trouble with the throttle hanging up.  Then the bike started overshifting from 2nd past 3rd.  Then, it got stuck in a false neutral and wouldn't shift at all.  I pulled off at pit out and managed to get it into a gear and then couldn't get it out of gear.  A fellow pushed me back toward my pit with his Ruckus, but the clutch was dragging so badly that the motor started.  We put the bike up on a work stand and started to get to the selector mechanism, but had a lot of trouble getting the inner timing case off.  We were concerned about pulling gears out of engagement and losing the cam and ignition timing.  Then we noticed that a nut was missing from the cylinder base flange.  I borrowed a 5/16" C.E.I. nut off of Aleksey Kravcuk's MK VII Velocette KTT there on display.  But when I put the nut on the cylinder stud, it wouldn't tighten up because the stud was pulling out of the case.  At that point, we decided that this was a shop job and parked the A50R for the weekend.
So, for the 2nd practice, I rode the A75R triple.
The Dick Mann BSA A75R is up on the work stand in the background, #1
 Initially, I couldn't downshift it at all as the shift lever was too low.  I pulled in after one lap and we moved it up a spline.  Now I could downshift, but with great difficulty and the bike was geared a little short.  Doug MacRae was also having trouble downshifting on the MV four.  He didn't have enough room between the footrest and the  shift lever and when he'd hit a false neutral, the engine would die because of it's very light flywheel.  My problem was the opposite as there was too much space between the footrest and the shift lever and I had to slide my foot forward to be able to move it far enough.
Saturday morning, we put the only other rear sprocket we had for the triple on, 5 teeth smaller.  We just had one session which started with 10 minutes of practice, then a checkered flag and a return to the hot pit where we started a warmup lap for an 8 lap qualifying race.  Bob Coy, founder and leader of the USCRA, was very concerned about some one running away with the lead and making a boring race.  So he decreed that the leaders would swap back and forth for the first 5 laps, then could go for it on the last three.  Doug, on the MV, got the hole shot and led the first couple of laps.  Alex McLean on a 500 Norton Manx, Mark Heckels on a CR 750 Honda and I swapped back and forth.  I went by Doug, who was dealing with his shifting problems and Mark and I swapped back and forth.    After the 5th lap, Mark took off and on the penultimate lap, Alex came by me as I was dealing with my own shifting problems, and now the bike was geared to tall.  I was able to get back by Alex and that's how we finished.
After the race, we realized that we had another shift lever for the BSA with us.  Eli McCoy had brought another T/O A75R to display for sale.  It had a longer shift lever and we swapped that with the Dick Mann bike.
We stole the shift lever off the unnumbered Rocket 3.  This bike could be yours; it's for sale.
This is after we installed the longer shift lever
 We had no alternative for the MV however and, while he could adjust it up or down a bit (which helped marginally), Doug just had to deal with the shifter designed for Ago's little feet.
We had a short warm up Sun. morning and the longer shift lever on my bike was definitely better though not perfect.  For our race, the first of the day, Bob decreed that Doug on the MV and Chris Jensen on his Petty Manx Norton, would set the pace and we weren't to pass them until the half way point.  Also, it was decided to do a one wave start, not holding the 350, 250, and tankshifters in a second wave, as had been done Sat., to keep the bikes more bunched up.  Again, Doug got the hole shot and I followed him into turn #1, but then Kerry Smith came by on her CB350 Honda and she and I went back and forth a bit.  She then passed Doug when he was searching for a gear and I followed her.  Kerry wasn't playing to the story plan, but I was all for it as I was concerned that the choreography was looking phony.  Then, Rich Midgely came by both of us on Tim Tilghman's CB350 and I followed him.  Towards the end, Midge's bike started smoking heavily, not out of the exhaust pipes, but around them.  I thought that if he's leaking oil, I've got to get ahead of him.  As I went by, he seemed to slow and pull over.  I thought he was pulling off as he realize that he had a problem, but evidently he didn't.  Mark Heckles was following and getting covered in oil and Mark tried to warn Midge.  Between not being able to see and spending time warning Midge, Mark wasn't able to catch me and I 'won', expecting Mark to come by sometime on the last lap.  Luckily, no significant amount of oil got on the track and no one fell down.
The vintage presence was very well received by both the spectators and modern bike racers and negotiations are under way for the USCRA to put on a three or four race series at the eastern MotoAmerica races next year.
Doug, Eli and I stayed and watched the final race, the Superbike race, which was entertaining.  Toni Elias, who had cinched the championship winning Saturday's race, came around the first lap well back.  Apparently, his foot had got hit with some debris shortly after the start and he was very much distracted by the pain and dropped back.  He started marching through the field and it was a question if he could catch the leaders.  Rodger Hayden led the race until the last lap, but privateer Kyle Wyman was right with him, fading a little towards the end.  Elias passed Hayden in turn#1 of the last lap and apparently ran Hayden wide off the track and Wyman was able to pass Hayden also for a dramatic finish.
Mike Gontesky supplied a 250 Ducati for Tony Foale to ride.  It broke a piston and here he is finishing the installation of a spare motor.  Unfortunately, the spark plug didn't get properly tightened and blew out in the race.

Several great bike were on display including Aleksey Kravcuk's 1938 MK VII KTT Velocette and the 1912 Harley Davison on which Mike Gontesky completed the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bonneville Vintage GP

I flew back from the IOM Wed. Around 7pm, coming down with a cold on the plane, and flew to SLC Fri. at 11:30a.  I rode my M/C to the airport for the first time.  I used my '68 TC 200 Suzuki as it has a great rack that's useful for carrying big loads.

The M/C parking at JFK is free as is the AirTrain to the terminals.  It worked really well.
M/C parking at JFK
And, when I returned on the 'red eye' Sun.night, the bike was still there at dawn Mon. morn
Walt Fulton and Nancy Foote picked me up at the Airport and we drove to the track and got there just before Karl Engellenner arrived with the bikes, driving from Roseville, Ca.  We got everything unloaded and took the bikes through tech.
Mike Bungay had repaired and painted the fairing and Karl had mounted a new windscreen after my Sears Point indiscretion
Dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Tooele, then early to bed, as I was on a time zone probably somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.  
First practice Sat. went well, though we had to re adjust the front brake and clutch and Karl went to a bigger main jet.  After the bike's last outing at Sonoma in April, Karl discovered that one of the four front brake shoes was worn almost completely away, so he sent that shoe off to Vintage Brake and had it re-lined, then arced it himself.  So, things were still bedding in, but already the brake seemed better than before.  The second practice went better and I thought we were ready to race.
My first race was the bump-up class: 500 Premiere.  There were only three of us in the class, but my two competitors were formidable:  Helmi Niederer on the NYC Norton prepared Seeley G-50 replica and Andy Mauk on Keith Leighty's CB 450 Honda based racer.  We had Classic 60's and 500 Sportsman gridded behind us.  Andy got the holeshot and I followed him into turn #1.  I was able to pass Andy halfway through the second lap and led overall for about a lap.  But Andy came back by and then started to gap me and I thought that it was probably over.  But, after a couple of laps, Andy started to come back towards me and pretty soon, I thought that this maybe possible.  I passed him shortly before the the last lap flag.  We both put in our fastest lap on the last lap and in fact Andy's was about 2 seconds faster that he had gone up until then and fastest of the race.  He got the drive out of the last corner and came up along side me as we took the checker flag  and it was virtually a photo finish.  I thought I had the win, but couldn't be sure.  Turns out that I did win, by one hundredth of a second.  A great race.  Andy told me after that they were going to change the gearing (shorter) and move his transponder further forward on the bike.
My second race was the 350 GP and the seven of us in the class were gridded in front of the 350 Sportsman in the first wave and Novice Historic Production Heavyweight in the second wave.  Again, it was a formidable field: my teammate Walt Fulton on Karl's near identical sister bike, Jim Neuenberg on Fred Mark's short stroke 350 Aermacchi and Paul Germain on his DT-1 Yamaha, with which he had easily won the 250GP race run earlier.  I got the holeshot and led flag to flag, but starting the 2nd or third lap, Walt stuck a wheel in on me going into turn #1.  Being the gentleman he is, he didn't stuff me and it snapped me out of my stupor and I wasn't challenged again.  Walt finished a close 2nd, well ahead of Paul in 3rd.  A great day and the bikes seemed ready for Sunday.  
I had a problem charging my transponder..  I had charged it partially before leaving, but Fri. night it wouldn't charge more.  Sat., I borrowed a charging cradle from Ralph Wessel and, with much fiddling with the leads, it would charge, but the slightest bump and it would stop charging.  So, after dinner, J. Braun, a old friend from Connecticut who now lives in Tooele, helped me diagnose the problem and come up with a solution.  We checked the continuity and output of all components, and the problem seemed to be the plug between the transformer and charger cradle.  J came up with the idea of charging the transponder directly from a Battery Tender, but it wouldn't 'recognize' the transponder.  He surmised that there wasn't a strong enough signal from the transponder for the sensor in the Tender to recognize, but if we wired it in parallel to a motorcycle battery that was on the Tender, then it would charge.  But, J didn't have the equipment to make the parallel connection, so we took a trip to Home Depot and bought some alligator clips and wire, went back to his house and made up some connectors and it worked.  The transponder was fully charged in the morning.
Sun. morning, both Walt and I were thinking that we'd skip the first practice session as the bikes were ready and we were dialed in.  But, while checking over my bike, I found a broken spoke in the rear wheel.  Karl had spare spokes, as this is not the first time this has happened.  The spokes were too long it get into an assembled wheel, so I borrowed a Drehmel tool and cut the spoke shorter until it would go into the hole in the rim with a little bending.  This required letting most of the air out of the tire and pushing the nipple in.  Then we couldn't get the spoke to drop into the nipple so that it would pop out enough to turn it.  So, we had to dismount the tire and Art Kowitz in the adjacent garage had all the facilities to do this--his 'Tire Shop', a 35 gallon drum, bead breaker, tire irons, tire lube, valve core removers, etc., etc.  we soon had it all back together, Karl using a spoke nipple torque wench to tighten it.
Art Kowitz' Tire Shop
Karl torquing the spoke nipple
ready to receive the repaired wheel
So Walt and I went out for the second round of practice, and I only did three or four laps as everything felt good.  However, Walt did one more and, on his last lap, the bike started to vibrate a lot.  He and Karl found two broken motor mounts when he came in, and we jumped into yanking the engine out of the frame to see if we could get it welded.  After much searching, Walt finally found a track maintenance guy who said he could weld it.  When they started to reinstall the motor they found it wouldn't quite fit and we had to borrow that Dremel tool again and relieve the rewelded mount. I had to break off at this point to get ready for the 500 Premiere race.
Karl's bike coming apart to repair the frame
Karl (left) and Walt (right) deal with the shift linkage
Own an Sprint and you live under it.  Kenny Cummings photo
With the chassis off being welded, this was all that was left
The motor going back in being persuaded with a ratcheting tie-down
I had no confidence that I could beat Andy again as I figured he'd have his bike more dialed and he had turned the fastest lap of Saturday's race.  Andy got a great start and gapped me substantially by the third lap.  But, then again, he started coming back to me.  I caught him and passed him on the second last lap.  Somewhere in here my tach stopped working.  Andy passed me back and I passed him back in the corner onto the back straight.  At the end of the straight, he passed me back, but he got in too deep and off line and had to run off the track.  I took the last lap flag thinking that I had a fairly decent lead, but then my motor started misfiring and cutting out.  I started short shifting and was able to to nurse the bike to the finish.  After Andy recovered, he again turned the fastest lap of the race, but it wasn't quite enough and I won by less than half a second.
I never seem to be able to get a clean picture of Keith Leighty's 450 based Honda as he works on it in his trailer.  Keith on the left and half of Andy Mark on the right
Karl founded a bunch of trash in the fuel line between the fuel tap and and fuel filter and the line would barely flow any fuel.  This seemed to explain the misfiring and, after clearing the line, all seemed well.  Walt did a scrub lap on Karl's bike and he pronounced the bike ready.
Again, I got the holeshot in the 350 GP race and again I led from flag to flag and this time, no one put a wheel in on me, but apparently the jackals were not far behind.  I still had some misfire at part throttle and my fastest lap was the slowest of the four races, but it didn't effect performance too much and every else seem slightly slower.  Apparently, Walt tried to make a move on me on the first lap but ran out of room and had to check up and Jon Munns on his Sportsman CB 350 Honda and Jim Neuenberg got by him.  Walt got back by Jim after he watch him almost highside after he caught a bike slide and then got by Jon too, to finish 2nd again.
This makes 15 consecutive 1st in class (and more than half of them 1st overall) in the races I've been in on my own bikes. And, hats off to Karl who has built a couple of fabulous bikes on the foundation that Mike Bungay laid.
Motorcycle Classics again had a show/concours.  Here a rigid Matchless G-80
A mid '60's Triumph TRW.  I never knew they were made that late
There were three serious K models
Straight from Bonneville?
The BMW section
The only two Japanese bikes in the show: a Yamaha CS1 and a CX 500 Honda
In the middle, a beautiful Clubman Goldstar
There were not one, but two Suter MMX 500's at the event
This one was being rebuilt after a track day crash
Adrian Jasso's Suter had run on Fri., but had a clutch problem
The motor is a 576cc V-4, twin crank, fuel injected two stroke
Hold on tight
There always seems to be some interesting bike haulers at the Bonneville VintageGP
This was event organizer Tom Cullen's 1954 Flxible bus with a much newer motor
A work in progress

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Classic TT 2017

On Wed. the 23rd, I flew to Dublin on my way to the Isle of Man for this year's Classic TT as the advanced party to Team Obsoletes presence.  This year we were bringing the first Honda 250 six cylinder, the RC 165 from 1964 to parade at the Jury Festival the the Lap of Honour.  In Dublin, I ran into Bob Robbins who brought his Britten to be ridden by Steve Briggs along side Kevin Grant's Britten, ridden by Bruce Anstey in the parades.  We shared the flight from Dublin the IOM, then got a cab to the dealer where I had a rental van waiting for me.  
This year's rental van--6 speed, petrol, front wheel drive.
We drove into Douglas and Bob got checked into his hotel while I went to Manx Telecom and got a new SIM card for my Manx phone. 

From there, we went to the paddock where we were sharing a tent.  I unpacked our crate while Duke Video recorded and did a short interview as I mounted the windscreen and added oil.  I had a chat with Dave Crussell, who had a flat tire on his TZ750 in practice and almost crashed.  Bruce Anstey came by to check out the Britten.  I asked him if he's riding a 250 again and he says that he is and that it's really fast.  That evening he does an unofficial record 250 lap from a standing start.  Cameron Donald came by to discuss recording the Brittens at Jurby, as now he's a TV commentator.  He asked for a ride on the Britten at Jurby and Kevin Grant agreed.  I ask if he's racing the 7R again and he says no, that he's racing a 350 Petty Manx that Ken McIntosh has built esp. for this race.  Having raced a 500 Manx, a Matchless G50, and a 7R, he's completing the quartet.  Wants to become the first rider to do 100 mph laps on 7R and 350 Manx.  I talked to Ken McIntosh about Hugh Anderson who still doing well and is still fast.  I talked to Bob Millanship as he's waiting to go out for practice on a modern 250 Honda  with Ducati decal on it.  He's also racing a 350 Ducati in Classics.  Then I check into the Regency hotel and have dinner at the nearby Indian restaurant.
The next morning I go up to the paddock to load the bike, spares and tools.  We were told that our only opportunity to test the bike before the public events was at the short circuit at Jury.  While heading towards Jurby on the extremely narrow Sulby Glen road, I swerved to the left to avoid a wide on-coming truck and my left wheels drop off the edge of the road and into a bit of a ditch.  I would have been fine getting it back up on the road if it wasn't for the iron culvert right at this spot which bent both wheels and flattened both left tires.
The ditch that sucked me in

The iron culvert that did the damage
The result: two bent rims and flat tires
Now I was stranded and discovered that I had no cell phone coverage when I tried to call the rental car company.  Pretty soon, a friendly local (this is a bit redundant as it seems that all the locals are friendly) came by and asked if I needed a hand.  I explained the situation and he volunteered to drive further up the road to where there was cell phone coverage and make the call.  He returned after a while and reported that there was a recovery vehicle on it's way.  Meanwhile, the rest of the Team Obsolete crew were arriving at the airport and our plan was for them to drive directly to Jurby from there, and I had no way to tell them that I was stranded and probably had no way to get to Jurby for our last chance to test the bike before the Jurby Festival on Sunday.
While waiting for the recovery vehicle, I checked out these trunk carvings

presumably the mate to the other
The flat bed recovery vehicle finally showed up and the van was loaded up.  The driver was cool, rode bikes and his boss was a racing sidecar passenger and had won a TT.  He agreed to drive to Jurby, drop the van so I could unload it, load up the van and drive it to the rental car agency without me.  Rob, Sonia, Josh, and Seth arrived from the airport and we proceeded to to test the Honda 6.  I just did one lap of the 1.7 mile long circuit built on a disused WWII airfield.  I found the bike awkward to ride in part because it seemed that some saboteur had raised the footrest since I last rode the bike 19 or 20 years ago.  But also, the carburetion seemed off as it would initially accelerate well, but then go flat.  I could get through this flat spot by slipping the clutch or downshifting, and eventually figured out that even up shifting would get me through this flat zone and the motor would pull up to 17,000 rpm.  I went out again for a couple of laps and felt a little more comfortable, but decided that the gearing was too tall and suspected that the jetting was to rich.  So we change the rear sprocket to one two teeth bigger and went to one size smaller mainjets.  While warming up the motor to go out again, we found oil coming out the breather hose and the clutch didn't seem to want to engage.  Rob and Josh analyzed the breather system and decided that the hoses into and out of the breather canister had been switched.  We had run out of time, so it was back to the paddock in Douglas, except for one problem; we had no van.  So, Josh stayed at Jurby with the bike and gear, and we drove back and we  were able to borrow a van which I drove back to Jurby and found the gate locked.  Someone else showed up needing to get in and eventually he was able to contact someone who knew the lock's combination and we were able to get in.  Josh had retreated to a hut as it had started to rain a bit.  We got loaded up and went back to the paddock.  I got a call from the rental car agency telling me the van was ready for pick up, and Seth drove me over there.
 We had learned at Jurby that Thursday wasn't our last chance to test and that we could go back Friday.  So, I changed the sparkplugs to hotter ones and Josh took apart the clutch and deglazed the plates and readjusted it.  We loaded up and back to Jurby.  I did a couple of laps and it felt better with the shorter gearing, leaner jetting and hotter plugs.  There was no sign of oil out of the breather hose, so apparently it was a matter of the the hoses being switched and not a piston or ring problem.  I did 3 more laps. As I left the pit, the gearbox seemed to skip or jump in 1st gear, but 2nd through 7th felt fine.  We decide to lean out the jetting again, but when I went to go out on the track again, I couldn't engage 1st gear and realized that we had a serious gearbox problem.  Now, I realized that when I thought the clutch wouldn't engage the day before, it was actually 1st gear not engaged.
Seth had talked to a fellow, Mike Jones, the day before who told him that he had a completely equipped shop in Jurby and that we were welcome to use it.  We gave him a call and he described exactly where it was and where the key was hidden, so we took a look.  
Mike Jones was working on a White steam car for the Transport Museum
And, another White steam car, this one a red White as opposed to a black White
Mike's daily driver: a hotrodded LE Velocette
Mike claimed that his would do 75mph after the motor work he had done.
The man to contact if you want to make your LE a giant killer
After a little debate, we decided it would be better to work on the bike there than at our tent back in the paddock.  Though it was less convenient to where we were staying, the facilities were better, it was out of the public eye, and we wouldn't have the distraction of people swarming around asking questions. We all returned to the paddock in Douglas, as we had to pick up more spares (including a spare gearbox), and found Mike who gave use more details of where stuff was in the shop.  He couldn't come with us as he had to collect his father at the ferry.  So Seth, Josh and I drove back to Jurby and set up shop.
Getting ready to dive into the Honda at Mike Jones shop
 We pulled off the fairing, a quite involved process which required disconnecting oil coolers and at least 14 screws, then the six exhaust pipes (many bolts, collars and much safety wire).  
Seth starts to remove the fairing
 Josh drained the oil and dropped the sump.  
Sump removed
 didn't find any swarf in the oil or sump and, while we couldn't see much, we saw no evidence of broken gears.
Josh peers in the sump
 Next we took off the chain, gearbox sprocket, and selector cover and everything in the selector looked normal.  Armed with this information, we returned to Douglas and had the pow wow with Rob about how to proceed. One argument was to remove the motor from the chassis, flip it upside down and take the bottom off to reveal the gearbox.  The spare gearbox we had was for a RC 174 (297cc six) and we didn't know if it was identical.  There was some thought that there might be worn or broken dogs on first gear but some of us thought it more likely that it was a worn or broken pin in the shift fork that engages with the slot in the drum, or maybe the drum itself was damaged.  Before we took it apart, we found that it would fairly consistently go into first gear if we rolled the rear wheel backwards as we lifted the shift lever and fairly consistently not go into gear if we rolled the wheel forward.  The other argument was to not open Pandora's Box, put it back together, put the biggest rear sprocket we had (which was only one tooth bigger than what we had already changed to), and run it as a six speed.
The final decision didn't come until the next day, but it was to not open Pandora's Box. So Josh and I went back to Jurby.  I changed the rear sprocket, which required a longer drive chain, and cleaned the pipes while Josh reassembled the sump and selector cover and worked on diapering up some minor oil leaks. We discussed knocking off to go watch the first race, the Senior Classic.  Josh decided he want to stay and keep working, but felt strongly that things were under control enough that I should go spectate.  I drove a few miles to Sulby Bridge.  Jamie Coward led early on a Norton Manx with Josh Brookes second on the Paton (which John McGuiness use to win last year) and Maria Costello third on another Paton.  Alan Oversby stopped at Sulby Bridge with his 500 Honda Four smoking like crazy, but he and the marshals looked it over and found no leaking oil, so he was allowed to proceed.  He stopped in the pits at the end of that lap, carried on, but didn't finish the next lap, which surprised no one, as we couldn't imagine there was any oil left in the motor.  Brookes over took Coward but the thought was that Brookes would have to stop for fuel while Coward would not.  William Dunlop, on a Honda four, was closing on Maria and pit stops would be a factor.  Tony Anslie stopped in front of us when his front brake adjuster had backed off, but stalled the motor before he re- adjusted the brake and had some difficulty bump starting the bike, but finally did and carried on.  Brookes briefly lost the lead after his pit stop, but put in his fastest lap on his last and won comfortably, but Coward had the satisfaction of putting in the fastest single cylinder lap ever(110.057mph).  William Dunlop did overhaul Maria for third while his brother Michael retired on his MV-3.
Some of the Sulby Bridge spectator's bikes
A HRD series 1?
A Cheney Triumph
A Oneoff Suzuki DR Big
A 1927 AJS K12
Something we don't get this side of the pond: a Yamaha Tracker
I high tailed it back to Jurby and helped Josh put the finishing touches on the Honda and pack everything back up.  We had to drive back to the paddock the long way through Ramsey and along the coast road as the TT course was still closed and we listened on the radio to the commentary of Michael Dunlop riding a replica Gilera 500 four recreating the first 100mph lap by Bob MacIntire 60 years before.  It took forever to get back, but we were finally able to put the bike on display for the big crowd in the paddock.
Rob had organized a dinner back at the hotel and, in addition to the T/O entourage, was Jim Redman and his partner Michelle, Stuart Graham, Mike Nicks, and Paul Barrett and his wife Sue.  Jim and Stuart had both raced this Honda Six in the GPs in 1964 for Jim, and '65 & '66 for Stuart.  Mike is a long time friend and Journalist and wrote an article about the Honda in the program.  Paul Barrett is the fellow who fist arranged for me to race at the TT in 1982, providing a 350 Aermacchi, and teaching me the course. A lot of TT history was at the table.
Sunday it was back to Jurby for the Jurby Festival, which was bigger than ever with hundreds of bikes and something like 10,000 spectators.  There was some drizzle or mist initially, but it passed quickly and turned into a beautiful day, which has been the case for the six years that they've done this.  They asked us to warmup the Honda well away from the control tower for fear that they couldn't hear anything or be able to make announcements.  When it was time for our session, I went out on the bike first.  I had to slip the clutch quite a ways to start in 2nd gear, but once rolling, it was OK.  Twice I tried downshifting from 2nd to 1st, but it didn't engage.  I clutched the motor for the two slowest turns to be safe, but I might have been able to roll on out of the powerband (about 10-17K rpms).  And, even with the shortest gearing we had, I still didn't see 17K rpms in 7th gear at the end of the bumpy straight on the 1.7mile circuit.  I did 3 laps then, after explaining the situation as well as I could, Steve Plater took it out for 2 laps.  He managed fine and commented on how well the bike handled.  Everything seemed fine, but Steve elected not to go out in the 2nd session, preferring to save the bike for the lap of the TT course the next day.
John McGuiness was initially scheduled to ride the bike on the Lap of Honour, but he had a very serious crash in May at the Northwest 200 and his right leg is in an external fixator and he's non-weight bearing until next February.  But, Steve Plater was an excellent replacement.  Steve won two TTs in his short career on the Island and won a British SuperSport Championship.  He's a regular TV commentator.  And, he's smaller and lighter than McGuiness.
Monday's weather was dodgey, but at first it seemed that the parade would happen, as the rain wasn't expected until late in the day.  However, the mist wouldn't clear on the mountain and, after a couple of delays, it was decided that there wasn't enough time to get everything in and the day's program was postponed until Tues. when better weather was expected.
So Seth, Josh, and I took off to kill the afternoon.  Josh bailed out in Douglas to explore and fulfill his souvenir obligations.  Seth and I dove south to Santon and Murray's Motorcycle museum.  The place was packed with motorcycles and people.  Every square inch of wall space is covered with photos or old newspaper clippings.  There were a bunch of engines including a cut away early 4 cyl. Goldwing.  After we had our fill, we continued south, saying G'd day to the Fairies at Fairy Bridge, cutting through Castletown and Port St. Mary to the Sound at the very southern tip of the Island, overlooking the Calf of Man.  We checked out the seals, which attract a good crowd, then walked along the rocks as rain squalls came through.  It's a georgous spot and one of my favorites on the Island.  We headed north on the west side of the Island, stopping at Dalby and the site of Ned's house in the film "Waking Ned Devine", which was supposed to take place in Ireland, but was filmed in the IOM.  Then we headed up to St. John's, past Tynwald Hill, to Ballacraine, where we joined the TT course.  We rode the course to Barragarrow Crossroads where we took a right and cut through the center of the course towards Brandywell, but turned right again and headed south through Baldwin and Strong and back into Douglas.  We collected Josh and walked up the Prom, checking out the bikes, to a Thai restaurant curiously named 'Manila'.
Seth had to leave Tues., which was a much nicer day, and I drove him to the airport in the morning, then driving up to St. John's to meet a dear old friend, who I first met in 1983 at Nobles Hospital where she was working as a physiotherapist, when I arrive for the TT with a severely sprained ankle from a broken conrod on an XR1000 H-D at Mid-Ohio that previous weekend.  When I approached the Tynwald, I saw that there was a VMCC bike show assembling.
A VMCC bike show assembles in front of Tynwald Hill in St.Johns
 I checked out a number of the bikes and ended up chatting with Sammy Miller about the 500 Bianchi twin he had there.
Sammy Miller's 500 Bianchi twin

Miller said the front brake was diabolical and derided the linkage
The Bianchi rear brake
I thought his Kay replica Gilera four was much nicer than the bike Michael Dunlop had ridden on his recreation of Bob Mac's first 100 mph lap, as it had a proper Smiths mechanical tach and magneto with distributor.
The cockpit of Sammy Miller's Kay replica 500 Gilera four
Miller's replica had a proper magneto with distributor and opposed the the electronic ignition with Lithium Ion battery on the bike Michael Dunlop paraded on a 100 mph lap 
Sue arrived and we went across the street to Green's Cafe and had tea and a scone with jam and cream while we caught up and gossiped about mutual friends.  The show was starting to break up as the riders took there bikes on the day's ride, but we had a great chat with a couple of delightful older blokes who both rode BSAs (a Goldstar single and Rocket Goldstar) retrofitted with electric starts.  The older of the two (86) complained at some length of being a chic magnet and he couldn't get much sleep with the women  propping ladders against his hotel window and tapping on it through the night.  The younger of the two (74) regaled us with stories of his latest ADV ride from Santiago, Chile to Terra Del Fuego, and many others through South America and Africa.
A 1904 Rex.  These bikes completed the John O'Groats/ Lands End run, which must have taken weeks in 1904
Indian single
A post war Douglas with high pipes, ready for the Blackwater Enduro
A trio of Velos
A Ner-a-car
A 1930 BSA sloper

Sue and I said goodbye and I drove around to Ballacraine to watch the first lap of the Junior Classic race that had been reduced to 3 laps.  Michael Rutter ended up winning on a Honda twin, beating Lee Johnston on a replica MV-3, Johnston having to pit for a splash of fuel, while Rutter didn't.  But, I had to leave after the first lap as I had to get the fuel to the paddock for Plater's lap on the Honda 6, and it was slow going on the back roads to Douglas with the race on.
A spectator's Velocette Venom Clubman at Ballacraine
A Velocette Valiant at Ballacraine
And a rigid MAC Velo
The larger Lap of Honour parade went off first, then Plater did his stand alone lap.  After warming up the bike in Parc Ferme, I started the bike for Steve on Glenncuttery Rd. Some how, one of us got it wrong as he must have taken off in 3rd or 4th, as he had to slip the clutch forever to get going.  But thereafter, things went well, although he reported that he had to roll off repeatedly as it wanted to over rev with the short gearing.  Then we heard the report that he had stopped at Sulby.  I went to the race office to see if I could find out if I should go to Sulby Crossroads or Sulby Bridge to collect him and the bike, but eventually was told that Steve had arranged to get the bike and himself back to the Paddock.  Josh and I started packing up spares and readying the crate, as we were leaving the next morning, and speculating what went wrong.  Steve finally showed up and reported that the bike was running well until it lost power on the Sulby Straight and he clutched it.  The bike was covered in oil and it didn't take long to see that it had dropped a valve on #5 cylinder, as there was all sorts of piston debris around the bellmouth and some in the exhaust pipe.  Opening the throttle revealed a valve stem with no head.  We'll have to wait until we get it back to Brooklyn and take it apart to try to figure out which failed first, valve or piston, and if it damaged the rod and head.
It's disappointing, but Rob and Josh put a positive spin on the situation--the bike got more than half way.  Many people asked me if Rob was really upset and I told them no; his best quality is accepting the risk when you put a bike on the race track and he takes the crashes and blowups in stride.
I spotted this Zundapp Super Sabre in the Paddock
I have a soft spot for these
One of the high points of the week was this Flying Millyard.  Millyard, a retired Defense Dept. employee, started with a couple of cylinders and heads from a radial aircraft motor
Notice the cranked pushrod tubes.  In the radial aircraft engine, all the cylinders are in the same plane as it uses a master slave conrods.  But, in the Flying Millyard the cylinder are offset because the rods (which he made himself, along with the crank and crankcases)are side by side on the crankpin.  There are straight push rods in the cranked tubes.
The gearbox is a three speed + reverse out of an old car
The speedometer is proportional.  Millyard had the engine done in 3 months and the whole bike finished in 11 months.  He rode it some 300 odd miles from England.