It’s been a long time since I posted & a lot has happened. The main issue is that I have been so busy, working & building bikes I have not had time to sit down and write anything.
So i’ve decided to give you a quick run down of what has been going on.
So lets talk cars first. I posted about the TVR getting a service in January. It maintains its status as a truly awesome car. Its use over the last few weeks has been light but every time it has been used it has been fantastic. I’ve had the roof down a couple of times as simply love it. I am looking into getting the seat backs wrapped in carbon, the front seats re trimmed and the niggling carpet faults fixed. The seat backs should be done in the next few weeks but I think the interior work and few paint faults might have to wait until the Autumn or Winter.
The Audi continues to do what it does best, it just keeps going however it is asking me for some attention and I need to do front struts and a wishbone along with taking the winter tyres off. I have a set of 5 spoke Audi wheels with summer tyres on ready to go. The big question is when?
Moving onto bikes. There is some big news. In November and with my thumb still in plaster I bought another bike. It has always been the eternal question 4 stroke or 2 stroke? So I jumped in with both feet and bought a 2007 YZ250. The first ride was a Carl Tiley race at Glanna farm, a venue I like a lot. I will post more about the bike, but my main fear was a lack of low down power, which it doesn’t suffer from. Secondly the suspension felt very bad. In the most part it just felt very soft. Further investigation showed that the bike had been sprung for someone who weighs a significant amount less than me. So without going into too much detail here I was happy with the bike as a first ride and my thumb felt good. Conditions were great but it was cold. Track n Trail allow a sighting lap prior to the race start. This is a great idea, it allows riders to have a quick warm up and get a feel for the bike and conditions on that day. It also gives a bit better value for money on the day. Initially I thought the 450 was the wrong bike to be on for this venue but as the race moved on I settled into riding the big 4 stroke. The lap was in the region of 10 miles, I really really enjoyed the track and venue and cannot wait to be ride there again. I’m not sure though which bike I would take. I also achieved my best result to date, I picked up second place in the trial class. Annoyingly I was in the lead going into the last lap but managed to drop to second somewhere.
Next up was a very very wet Tyr Shon Shenkin, its here that the 2 stroke advantage becomes clear. It is lighter and easier to start when the inevitable fall happens. It had been a while since I was in such challenging conditions, its a huge shame as the venue was stunning.
Before the year was out we ventured to Ingoldmells beach for a sand event hosted by Enduroland & Cotswold Enduro Club. Having never ridden on sand it was a lesson to be learnt for sure. Whilst the power from the 450 was perfect for the conditions as soon as the throttle was rolled off it felt like the wheels were set in concrete where as the 250 2 stroke felt much nicer when off throttle. It was here that I first had the chance to ride the bikes back to back but on sand I don’t think it was a fair place to make a proper comparison. It was a good day up to the point where the 250 stopped working. It later turned out to be a loss of compression requiring a new top end rebuild. Compared to the same job on the 4 strokes it was very easy.
With the 250 2 stroke out of action the 450 stepped up to the mark for the first event of 2012. Track n Trail held Round 1 of their 2012 season at the Tidworth tank training range. The venue is huge and gives endless possibility and variation in the course build. Track n Trail allow riders to complete a sighting lap prior to the race start. This is a great idea as it allows riders to get a feel for the course and conditions as well as warm up themselves and their machines. After the sighting lap I thought that I was on the wrong bike as the 450 felt a little heavy in places. Once the race got going however I settled onto the big 4 stroke and started putting the laps behind me. Other than a couple of decent falls I enjoyed a smooth trouble free race and finished in second place in the trail class. This was my best result to date, what a start to the 2012 season.
With the 250 running again we headed to Ashdown for a few practice days before heading to the opening round of the Cotswold Enduro Sloe Pete series. With minus temperatures & snow on the ground it was always going to be a challenge. Wymeswold is a flat track based mainly in field and a great MX track. However with the ground frozen solid we were not fully using the MX track and grip was in very short supply. I manged a reasonable pace but kept pushing to hard, having small falls, which lost me time. With an hour and a half passed the 250 stopped. I kicked and kicked the bike but it wouldn’t go. Luckily it turned out to just be a fowled spark plug.
Next up I headed to Caerphilly for the last round of the Carl Tiley winter series. With torrential rain the night before the track became very hard going, then the front brake failed. Another DNF.
On a final bike note the Supermoto is now rebuilt and has an MOT. I will talk more about this soon.
I’m sorry this is brief but I simply don’t have the time at the moment to write a full posting on each point.