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March 16th, 2016, 05:12 AM   #1
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Taffmeisters Race Season 2016

haven't done this for about 3 years or so but I am back involved in sponsoring a sidecar cross team. I actually sponsored them back last year from around May on. the rider's name is 'Rob Foden' and the passenger is 'Doug Wood'. they are veterans of 50 years approx but last year \was Rob's first racing a chair. he has done plenty of solo work.

they ran a 2011 WHT chassis with a standard 628 engine (of around 2004) that was standard. towards the end of the season it leaked copious amounts of fluids and when inspected I found that the cases were cracked from front to back.

results were fair and mid season 20th in the British Championships and 12th in the Clubmans was about the average.

I set the jetting in something like August which sharpened it up a bit and then set too on the suspension. new front and rear springs were purchased up a strength even though I guessed that stronger were needed. sure enough, this was a step in the right direction and so we beefed up the rear spring just in time for the final race at sandy old Canada Heights but the fronts remained the same.

clickers were set that day, ride heights and sags again and as the day went on the suspension was 'sweet'. at 50 these two are first in line to run out of puff but infact they train down the Gym and what with the suspension mods they hovered not round the ususal 20th buit towards 12th and 10th places. not a bad finish to the season.

on to this season then and Rob and I were pleased to hook up again. Rob ordered a brand new WHT chassis with GP spec Reiger shocks. both companies are Dutch.

on the 6th March Rob ran the outfit in with ex-6 times British Championship winning passenger Luke Peters in the chair and this past Sunday I was available and went along to Ashdown Farm near Wantage to help along. Luke was passengering again and Rob set too.

I started by weighing the outfit at all three wheels at once (with three sets of scales of course) and with the rider on board and then the passenger.

we lowered the MJ one to 165MJ and then later the PS came in but it is still rich I think with the 42PJ fitted.

then I loosened off all the springs and in a session after that I released the compression damping in both HS and LS mode.

the bike sat beautifully off a huge jump but the sidecar shock and fork shocks (2) still look hard. the pivot for the front loop has been moved back 2"/50mm and this affects the way the front wheel reacts: it now 'appears' to go up and down rather than up and IN to the headstock then down.

so this will take a little getting used to as my visual was so much easier when it was wrong last year. there are now heavier springs in the front but as of this week I hope to have a mix of one old spring and one new just to weaken it and soften the front end until the spring is broken in.

as for the engine well he has two. the first is mine and it is a 666cc long stroke engine with one or two tweaks inside but no real tuning other than the crank. it has no balancer and is re-balanced. the vibrastion at idle is a little intrusive and the rear wheel is a sight to behold as it makes "fuzzy" at tickover from left to right!.

however, it is very quick and Rob is happy with it. on Sunday some metal swarf came out with the magnet so we're re-assessing this engine. in the meantime, Rob's own engine will go in. this is a 628cc still with a road and track cam and a few tweaks. he'll judge how he likes the two types of engine.

so this weekend is the first round of the Clubmans Championship and it is the one that Rob is targeting this season. what with the engine change he has had a busy week. it is at Binsted in Hampshire near Farnborough.

let you know how it goes and yes!!!! i will get some photos up!

regards

Taffy
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March 17th, 2016, 01:07 PM   #2
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Pictures please!
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March 18th, 2016, 01:12 AM   #3
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sorry, I only took technical photos last week from about 12" away - except this one. better to follow.

regards

Taffy
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March 21st, 2016, 03:05 AM   #4
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turned up on Saturday and Rob had fitted his 628 engine that I'd rebuilt for him. new cases, new rod, DVSK, race cam and a few other items are in it.

the bike was all fluffy at the bottom end but turning the PS sorted this out a little but it is defo rich at idle on a cold spring day. every single time for a year I have taken all my jets with me but today of all says I didn't take them....tish! tish!

practice went OK, Doug the passenger said he was a bit rusty and was saving his best for the racing. Rob Foden - the rider - announced that the bike lacked the grunt of the longstroke motor and that he missed it. he said that he was having to use the clutch more rather than DRIVING off the corners.

the first race came for the 2016 Hadrian Marine ScX Clubmans Championship and off they went with Rob tucking into second. The leader was chief parts man at Trevor Pope's namely Rob Oldfield with a 'lassie' on the platform - yup a F-E-M-A-L-E!!!!!

Fay Barnes has been passengering since she was 14. RESPECT. good at her job - chosen on merit NOT some bullsh** correctness. because she's done the time and now she's good!

anyway, they won the race but Rob F started to lose places. gradually he dropped to 6th and came in to report that the Chair shock was collapsing on right handers and the bike would turn right visciously - not good and as I'm in charge of tech stuff I naturally enough had an excuse ready!

anyway, we beefed up the spring and the clickers as well as the sag on the rear shock a bit more (the springs are still being run in) and we were ready for race 2.

starting in about 4th, they gained one and lost one but on the last lap Doug got trapped and the outfit nearly tipped over, so 5th it was.

reports came back via mates and other riders that the bike was spinning up off all slow corners and with Jess Ballard there we agreed to go from 54 x 14 to 53 x 14 and try and lower the revs off the corner.

but was that wheelspin from too many revs or was it Rob using the clutch because the engine was 'fluffy' off the bottom I wondered to myself? mmmm?

anyway, in the third and final race they shot off into 3rd place but after 4-5 corners Doug wrenched his shoulder and they had to pull out and retire.

not a lot you can say really, not as young as they used to be? a young man's game? anyway, the Husabergs midrange is only second best to the Zabel 700cc 2Ts so that's nothing to be sniffed at.

not sure what happens now as Rob needs a passenger and he's out (he hopes) on Good Friday at Owlesbury also in Hamps I believe.

I have a Longstroke engine to look through and get back to Rob and may take it down on the Friday but have just 4 days.

Sparks is also repairing somer FC/FS racing stators and we may try them as well as lower this PJ. the 628 will probably stay in though for now.

some other young lads looked bloody quick and Rob and Doug are giving away 25 HBPMs to them. it seems a lot to ask especially when it is the young lads that get down the Gym and the old lads that don't have the time!

regards

Taffy

Last edited by Taffy; March 22nd, 2016 at 12:41 AM.
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April 10th, 2016, 09:44 AM   #5
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In the last two weekends Rob did a club meeting at Owslebury near Southampton which was a waste of time I'm afraid. Dug was feeling very sore and they circulated in the two races ar the back. they were going to give it some in the third race but the meeting was cancelled due to a lack of ambulance cover.

and so on to last Sunday for the first round of the British Championships at Frome. Dug was feeling better and on the evening before the meeting I swopped out the front springs that seemed like rock for two softer ones. I also removed the road and track cam and fitted a 5521 cam just like my 666 motor.

I'd checked first that the R & T cam had had the double valve clearance and then swopped it. I also fitted a 38PJ and when starting the engine the hesitancy off zero that Rob had been suffering from was all but gone. in the races on the Sunday and when revved "real time" it was fine.

however, I loosened everything off suspension wise on the front as the day wore on but still the front was like a rocck. we are now looking to go down a size AGAIN! Rob has two sets of the hardest springs and they have done 1 and 2 meetings each in total and won't be needed again. he's not amused!

this is all because the pivot point on the front loop has bgone back 50mm over Rob's old model. because the pivot point was so close to the shock the shock was collapsing in the second half of the travel.

In the meantime with the LONG STROKE MOTOR on my bench, I have been experimenting with:
53 chain and Sherco sprockets (18/36 and 17/34) and also with Husky 213 chain and sprockets also in 18/36 and 17/34. the Con Rod (145mm centres) has arrived and is very light and being lightly machined to get it down from 24mm to 20mm wide.

I want to stick to an alloy liner but one that is 9-11mm (not sure yet) longer and Mats Clementz stands by to make the packer.

anyone have an idea on where to get alloy muffs or liners made?

there's one more thing to tell you about this engine but it can wait for this time!

next week is round 2 of the British at Foxhills near swindon and the week after is round 2 of the Clubmans at Kettering.

Sidecar Chassis
because I built an engine for Rob from scratch it was valued not short of the value of his old Sc chassis so i took it off him as payment bought it home on the Sunday evening last week!

so now I have another kind of Husaberg in the shed. no engine as yet but we will sort something.

the idea is that i want to make some chassis alterations from ideas I have and then let Rob run it and see what he thinks... you didn't really think I wanted to start racing at nigh on 55 years of age did you?

Taffy

Last edited by Taffy; April 10th, 2016 at 09:49 AM.
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June 12th, 2016, 12:46 AM   #6
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haven't reported for a while, apologies for that, just so busy!

On the ScX front with Rob, results have at best been fair, Dug has struggled with his fitness and the youngsters are showing the pair of them a clean pair of heels!

we have had about 5 meetings called off this year. 3 to the weather or should I say that the organisers "knew" that all the motorhomes would get stuck so they called them off early in the week. also two because they couldn't get enough solo entries to back us up!

Just three weeks ago we did a British round at my local track: Wattisfield Hall and the outfit went well with no problems. a flat spot was cured here by no other dint than the fact that I took Rob's carb off and cleaned and set it properly. on the day she pulled really well. the week before, Rob had tried the FC flywheel and stator and likes it. I had to be sure that there was nothing but advantage from it and he assured me there was. but after a race I caughthim with a very high idle to which he said that he liked it like that. I questioned whether he could trust the light flywheel off slow corners because if he couldn't we should go back to the FE. but we set the idle back to normal, cleaned the carb and now it pulls well!

the gearing is 14 x 54 at this point so in order to weaken the power off the corners we geared it up to 14 x 53 and this is better, giving the bike longer legs. this is at a track with tight hairpins but for tracks without I'd like him to run 14 x 52 or even a 51 but it takes a long time to persuade Rob.... we'll see!

suspensionm wise we have been adjusting clickers and preloads, setting sags and testing. my conclusion was that Rob needed one 21.5/44 and one 23/44 on the front and this now works a treat!

on the rear we have a 98 which to my eyes is way too soft. I have done a lot of measuring without the spring fitted to work out the linkage ratios and where the bump stop starts etc. this confirms that the design of the linkage is wrong and that is nothing else: that the rear spring is way too soft, even though we have the hardest spring in the paddock.

the MJ is now a 162, the PJ is a 38. we've also tried a clutch set with all 1.4 steels. I modified the hub but alas Rob (practicing without my prersence) reported that even leaving the gate they had a slipping clutch. oh dear! who did the maths on that one..... (tum-te-tum!)

we want to test a QA throttle from G2 but they are funny buggers and don't seem to want to deal with customers. maybe they just like their own pretty web shop and in fact nobody can buy anything!

yesterday was meant to be a special day with lots of testing getting done but we hit troubles mid morning. Rob said that is didn't sound right and so on my own I took the bike up and down a lane. I couldn't hear anything so Rob took me. he had his helmut on and I didn't! so I now need fresh underwear as well!

soon it became clear that the mains had gone.

so after a suitable cup of tea and time for the engine to cool, we removed the engine. I really couldn't understand why the mains would go? there was no metal on the magnet or the filter so I know that this was that well known soldiers fault: General Wearandtear!!!!then I noticed the oil filter was burst and that even the metal cage was bulged out. then I blew on the oil cooler pipes and they were blocked.

we can also measure up the clutch while we are there and look for any other wear. Rob reported as we stripped it that even though the gearing has gone taller, they can now pull wheelies all the time in third gear. this will be the crisp pilot and the FC flywheel.

but h showed me two plugs: one an IXU24 and the other a DCPR8EIX. both have had the earths fall off? neither have overheated? any ideas before I open it tomorrow? (photo to follow).

we were going to test
12 x 58 gearing to run 4th as if it were 3rd.
a different swing arm spindle (can't say what but some of you could guess!)
the blue bellmouth inside the AFA
drop the needle to c7 from c8
try a 52 on the rear
plus some "crazy sh*t" that I need to know about before I design a new leading link fork.

regards

Taffy
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June 28th, 2016, 10:59 PM   #7
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so since the last report the engine has been rebuilt with my first ever set of NTN roller mains. the crank, although new, was trued up and a lesson for another time that you should check even a new crank! maybe this is why the mains went?

in all honesty I think it was the quality and quantity of the oil.....

anyway, Rob checked out the engine last Sunday week (the 19th) and reported more power! more torque he said and I put that down to the crank being trued alone, after all, we didn't really do anything else

one thing he did do was send a link to a bit of video a punter had put up on facebook so here is the link to it. have a look at it first....

note how there is a second bump after landing and the rear collapses further....

https://www.facebook.com/Ashdown-Mot...7478763026072/

from this you can see that our
rear spring is too soft.
we already have a hard spring and it has 10mm preload so a lot heavier spring is needed.

the rear linkage is wrong.
there is a second bump after the impact of a massive landing. no way should the shock have compressed again BUT it did and I have checked the linkage and it has gone "over cam".

the sidecar shock
given its short travel causes problems and unbalances the outfit.
best we can do is add some rebound perhaps.

on the Sunday just passed we added HSCD to help the second part of the travel.

anyway, Sunday 26th June
Milyon Mawser near Northampton
British ScX round

Rob and Dug with a combined age of 100 had a 17th, 18th and a 20th which took their points from 5 to 13. their lap times were as quick at the end as at the beginning but more teams managed to complete the third race. 2 or 3 outfits with similar (but still younger) riders were waisted in the 3rd race.

so the suspension is working. this has been 12 months work to here and with a new design of outfit in the winter which hugely altered our settings.

so now we will study the linkage system to see if we can improve it.
fit the new rear spring
with a stronger rear spring we think we'll need a (just one) stronger spring on the front and end up with a matching pair.

regards

Taffy
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June 29th, 2016, 01:34 AM   #8
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Hi
Nice readup , thanks for shareing
Congrates on the riders for not giving up to younger riders
That 3'rd wheel realiy makes thig much more complicated no ?


Nuno
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June 29th, 2016, 10:11 PM   #9
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well at least I have one reader!

there is always a generation gap when dealing with younger riders but at least with these two I feel equally at home!

regards

Taffy
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July 3rd, 2016, 02:51 AM   #10
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Taff racing

That's some good reading Taff there's a lot more to it than the average biker can take in
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