In the middle of everything else that is going on, I have gone back to university to get a degree in Motorcycle engineering. Apparently this is my midlife crisis, despite a life time involved in motorcycles I have never been involved in the racing scene. I’m a big fan of BSB, WSB, MotoGP and of course the road racing with the likes of the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
An opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks into the degree course, a racing team came in wanting to work with the university to run a race bike in the Thundersport series. They had been trying to get this going for 2 years with no success, so what do you do. The next weekend I hired a car and drove up to see them 2 months later I had everything organised. I was now running a motorcycle racing team in collaboration with STP race products Luc Mamet our rider and my university UWTSD.
The short term plan is to run the team on a limited budget, using their current bike a Suzuki SV650 in the Supertwins class as a proof of concept. Hopefully this will enable us to secure some funding to run a GP1 bike next year. It is an ideal arrangement we maintain and develop the bike, Luc rides it and STP supply the service parts we need to race.
So the bike arrived in our workshop in the condition it had finished the last race of the season. It had been sitting in the corner of a workshop totally untouched so we decided a basic safety check would be a good place to start. Once we were happy the wheels would stay on and the engine would not explode it was time to see what we had to work with. To establish a base line we worked out the centre of gravity of the bike with and without rider, then took it to the dyno to see what we were dealing with.
After checking all the main safety concerns and ensuring the bike was secured properly to run we fired it up and put it through its paces. It wasn’t a bad result pushing out 71.1 BHP about right for a stock 2001 Suzuki SV650. Considering Luc had been 7th overall in the championship last year and getting podiums it was a good solid base to work from. The season had already started by the time the bike arrived with us at UWTSD, a few bureaucratic niggles had delayed the project a little. So it was decided to give the bike a complete overhaul and not ride for the championship this year but to get it right and learn how to do it. I will keep you posted on how it all goes.