Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The results

Very impressive, the results were out yesterday, just the day after the trial. i was pleased with how I'd done and can see where I could have done better. The weather was a key element. Had it been dry for a few days beforehand the trial would have been much easier.

 MarqueModelClassTotal Score 1235671011Sections 1 to 11 1213151617181920212223Sections 12 to 23
15KTM640LC4 EB2700080081170000000060410
3Moto MoriniKanguroB4400608093260001005060618
2MorganF4 3 WheelerC1571086121201266669312111989111291
9BSABantamD 0000008614 000RETIRED       

(Extracted from Ilkley and District Motor Club's WWW site)

The sections

Sections 1 & 2 were in a wet grass field and were fairly easy on a motorbike. The second involved riding across a camber and then turning up a hill. After finishing the section the descent was a little hairy and resulted in some wheel sliding after I locked the back brake.

Section 3 should have been OK. It was a loop between a road and a private track with a restart on the apex of the bend. I picked a nice level place for the wheels but failed to notice that my foot wouldn't touch the ground. Whoops!

Section 4 was a timed (slowest wins) crossing of a ford, not too high and not rough on the surface.

Section 10 was horrid as can be seen by the number of riders getting high scores. After an easy ascent there was a short descent towards a stone wall followed by a steep climb onto a track. At the top, which I didn't get close to, it got a bit steeper. The turn at the bottom meant that it was hard to get speed up, too much throttle would be almost as bad as too little.

Section 11 had a fair start through some rushes before turning into a short, bud clay mud ascent. There was a stepp near the top. If you got the line right the steep could be avoided up a ramp, if you missed it though the back end could fall a foot or so...and don't I know it.

After lunch I seemed to get a little more in tune with the action and things went a little easier.

Section 14 was the second timed section, a very easy piece of track. I didn't make much of an effort to go slow for fear of failure.

Sections 18 and 19 were on an 'incline' out of Pateley Bridge. We were delayed a little there as one of the marshall's Land Rovers got stuck. The lower section had deep mud for a 4 foot length. A gorse bush to the side provided a firm track. Enough revs and it was fine. The second stretch was longer and with less of a run up. The final fifth was a bit steeper and I eased off on the throttle too early. That was a big mistake as the ground was too slick to hold and obviously a restart harder still. Anyway thanks to a marshall I did make it to the top. More revs next time.

20 and 21 took place on a medium-wet piece of moorland. Section 20 was a longish ascent but with few hidden traps, 22 was a wet climb, hidden from view by a wall. The catch was a restart in the wettest part of the hill. Before and after was plenty of grip but having the rear wheel in the wrong spot meant failure.

Finally sections 22 and 23 were in a muddy copse. The first was a easy ascent on a curve, the second should have been OK but with my lack of control and a heavy bike I lost it on the first muddy slope. Other solo bikes got across without difficulty but it proved a stopper for the outfits.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

What a trial!

I'm back home from the Ilkley Classic Relaibility Trial which is held north of the famous moor in West/North Yorkshire. It was a lot shorter than the MCC events at a mere 70 miles but included 21 sections. Most of the sections were on private land but I understand that some of the tracks we used for access are legal unsurfaced roads. the tarmac mileage was nearly all on minor roads and the whole route was very picturesque and gave a glimpse into the scenery of the southern part of North Yorkshire.

I must say that the route card and marshalling were of a very high standard although in a few cases it appeared that the marshalls were mosr used to cars and asked us to stop in some difficult places. As there were only 53 competitors the sections often crossed each other or exited via the entry road. The keeness of the marshalls and the competitors' good sense meant that everything apppeared to go very smoothly with no serious hold ups.

The efficiency is such that I'm even able to post a picture today!

Some of the sections were prettry easy but even those had slippery grass. Some were terrors with slippery mud, awkward cambers and on quite steep inlcines. I'm sorry to say that I cam eoff a few times. A flood Kanguro is not easy to start and even harder to push. Thanks to the marshalls who helped me! To give more of a flavour some sections were marked out on grassy banks, there were 2 fords, both shallow and a number of greasy climbs. Soem sections included descents which is something you won't find in MCC events! even if the section didn't go down, you might need to... The final 2 sections were in a muddy copse of trees on a farm and most competitors that I watched failed one or the other. All in all it was more technical than the MCC events.

The scoring system was new to me and worth mentioning. The start of a section was indicated and then pegs were placed starting at 12 and working down to 1. In some cases all egs were present, sometimes just 12, 9, 6, 3 and 1. The idea is that you get a lower score the further through the section you progress. A clear gives you zero. I liked this scheme as it does mean that a fail at the last minute gives you a better score than a fail at step one. Obviously the pegs can be placed to fit in with muddy bits or steps.

The bike went well despite being on its side 3 or 4 times and managed 70mph (indicated) on the M1 on the way home. The lack of a sidestand was a real nuisance and I was glad of folks who voluteered to get a gate. At one point the bike was sliding downhill whilst on the stand.

An excellent day.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Little jobs

Today's first job was to investigate the stalling. After warming the engine up I used the hose pipe to spray a bit of mist around the alternator. Nothing happened so I squirted more. Eventually I just let water go in. The idle remained constant. From this I can't believe that a few drops of water are goinf to be a problem. As the cam belt and pulleys were wet I then went for a little trip to dry everything off. Just 30km on the road. The problem didn't recur, idle was fine at all stops although it did speed up as the engine got hot in a queue.

The chain had become slack during the Land's End Trial. From the chiaravalli website I found that the max wear lenght for an unsealed 530 chain is 256.5mm for 16 links. Mine is still shorter than that so I simply tightened it up a spot. As before, it must be tight whilst on the stand as the pulley releases the chain as the arm levels.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005


Today I went out for a little practice trip and found that the engine had a tendancy to cut out at low revs. After a few kicks it would restart and idle perfectly. It was a damp day and there were lots of puddles on the ground. I did wade a few of them as I know that there is a stream crossing in a forthcoming trial. Iwas wondering if thsi was water on the ignition coil.

Whilst out I did note that one of the carb breather pipes was caught between the tank and airbox and might have been squeezed closed. After removing it the problem went - but then again it wasn't raining then either. As I've had the tank on & off a few times this could be responsible for a chnage in running.

At home I experimented with squeezing the breather closed but thsi didn't make the engine stall. Of course, it is possible that a period of running is needed to make a vacuum or whatever. I've resited the pipe anyway.

Next job will be to get the front of the engine wet with the hosepipe on 'mist'. Also to examine the coil/wire connections and possibly spray it with PCB sealer.

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