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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm competing in a Provincial racing Championship called the Southland Cup. There are five classes: Formula 1, 2 & 3, Motards (Dirt bikes with slicks on essentially) and classics (pre '89). This is my third season competing in the Formula 3 class or Superlite as it's also known.

The technical bit:

I've copy and pasted the class rules below for those interested:

1.1 Multi-cylinder four Stroke up to 450cc
1.2 Multi-cylinder production based two strokes up to 400cc
1.3 Twin cylinder, air cooled, four stroke up to 750cc
1.4 Single cylinder four stroke 251cc - Open Capacity
1.5 Single cylinder two stroke 200cc - 500cc
1.6 Twin cylinder, 2 or more valves, water cooled 4 Stroke up to 650cc

Traditionally there used to be a lot of 400cc fours (GSXR/ZXR/CBR/FZR) from the late eighties and early nineties competing in this class but now we are down to one sole FZR400. There are a few Suzuki SV650's, the odd Kawasaki Ninja 650 but the hot ticket these days is the modified 600cc supersport with one cylinder disabled to turn it into a 450cc engine. It's playing the rule book a bit but it's legal. They are commonly referred to as a 'cripple triple'
A good 650 twin is putting out 75 RWHP whereas a cripple triple is more like 80-85. Plus you have the benefit of a supersport handling package with fully adjustable suspension and top line brakes.

I did my first season on a '94 model GSXR400 which was a hoot (15,000RPM anyone? :eek:), but by seasons end I was sick of giving away 20HP to the guys out the front.
So for 2017 I switched to a 2007 SV650 which cost me twice as much as the GSXR but had been set up properly for racing and came with a 2nd set of rims with wet tyres etc. AFAIK the motor is standard apart from having a power commander and a full titanium M4 race exhaust system fitted and then Dyno tuned. It's a quick bike!
Chassis wise it has a lighter custom made aluminium sub frame fitted to the main frame which is aluminium also.
Suspension is Ohlins fully adjustable shock at the rear and up front I'm running the conventional SV forks with Race tech springs and gold valve emulators to provide some compression damping adjustment.
All of the fiberglass is aftermarket race stuff. The curved rear tail section is a Honda RS250 copy and the main fairing is K6/K7 GSXR600 copy. It's an 'unusual' look :)
I painted the bike myself and the local sign writer did the graphics of my sponsor (Killeen Auto Electrical) for free as part of his own sponsorship.

The racing bit:

The whole racing thing kicked off for me by doing some track days on my road bikes. I did two on my CBR250 one season and then the next season I did two on my CBR300. I was wanting to do more but bad weather seemed to coincide with the track days so that was all I managed, but I had the bug! :D

My first season of licenced racing in 2016 was a huge learning curve for me and a big leveller. I had always thought of myself as a fast rider but I soon found out that it's one thing doing it on the road and another at the track. I tried to compensate for my lack of experience by pushing harder which only resulted in me leaving the track on two or three occasions because I over cooked it into corners with too much speed on. Luckily I never fell off the bike or even worse took out another rider. Basically it's like any skill you learn in life. You have to practice it to be competent at it, you can't expect to be good at it straight away.

Over the course of that season (15 races) I went from being last to the middle of the pack and got my lap times down to a respectable level. Highlights would have been passing someone for the first time on a track (yes!) and getting 11th out of a field of around two dozen riders at the Burt Munro (World's fastest Indian fame) Memorial races at the seasons end.
They say a good tradesman doesn't blame his tools but I felt the GSXR was holding me back from realizing my full potential. At the end of the season I had a test ride on an SV650 that was for sale. OMG! It was a revelation. It felt like a point and shoot machine after the slow steering GSXR. And the torquey motor was so forgiving, you didnt have to be between 10 -13,000RPM to get any serious propulsion. A deal was quickly sealed!

Over the off season I did some track practice on the SV and bettered my previous best lap time on the GSXR by 4 seconds, so things were looking promising.

Because our practice sessions are not timed we just assemble ourselves on the grid using an honesty system. If you think your a gun then you go for the front row and newbies to the back etc. In the first race of the 2017 season I backed myself and put myself on the front row. There must have been a few raised eyebrows inside of a few helmets ha ha. But I had noted that there were no cripple triples there that day and I had a hunch that with my ridiculous low body weight of sub 60kg and my new found Horse Power I could make it to the first corner first and then the plan was just to make them get past me. It could have back fired on me spectacularly but luckily I got a good start and did indeed take the holeshot and even went on to win the race. I was ecstatic (but tried to keep a lid on it!), it was the first chequered flag I had ever taken and so unexpectedly.
That's OK though, I got sorted out by a faster rider in Round two of the competition...

Long story short I managed to get podium finishes in most of my races last season but the main thing from the points standing was that I finished all 18 races. No DNF's through mechanical issues nor falling off etc. I turned up for all six rounds (three races per day) so yeah, I was pretty focused. The pay back was I ended up winning the class championship. In some ways I felt a bit lame as I knew I wasn't the fastest rider of the season, but that's the way championships work, your rewarded for consistency.

2018 season so far...

Unfortunately the numbers seem to be dwindling every season. Often now there is only around half a dozen of us in the F3 class at any given round. For that reason we race together with the Motards who are suffering from the same issue. Our race results are kept separate though.

Round one kicked of pretty well for me in March. I had done some adjustments to the bike in the off season- changing my springs for softer ones up front to match my body weight and increasing my static sag by backing off the preload adjusters. This gave me increased feel at the front end when pushing hard. I was 2nd in all three races behind a cripple triple but managed to stay in touch with him in the first two races and knocked over half a second off my PB. The last race was disappointing though as I dropped off the pace for some reason and he got away from me. Still, 66 pts (3 x 22) for the day was a good start to the campaign.

Round two yesterday was a real mixed bag. We got practice and Race one done in the dry in the morning but the rain set in after lunch. It was wet for race two and atrocious for race three. Worst I've raced in. I was surprised they sent us out and if I wasn't chasing companionship points I would have stayed in. I had more slides than I care to remember and was just happy just to stay on the bike and finish the races.
In the mornings dry race I manged to pass one of the cripples for the first time ever but he got me back down the main straight with sheer HP right on the finish line. I lost by half a bike length. Bugger.
In the wet races I was so far back I didn't even know where I was. I'm $hit in the wet, I freely admit it! :D

So I will have to wait until the website results table is updated before I know here I stand but it's early days yet. We have round three in May then we take a three month break for winter before getting back into it in September for the last three rounds. Will keep ya's posted on the progress of #22

Thanks for reading. :)

20171105_103638 (1).jpg
I dunno why it turned my photo, it wasn't uploaded like that!
 

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Great story to share, I am similar I started as track days and decided I would try to race also. I'm really confused how it all works and really need to practice more. I'm not looking for or expect any podioum visit. I want to learn and have a good time doing it. Too be able to walk away at the end of the race and see my sons smiling face is my trophy. Thanks for sharing!

OMG did you really post about another bike other than the 400?I'm just teasing you good luck bring home the championship again this year
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Round 3

Well it was supposed to be today but apparently the club could not secure ambulance services for the day so the meeting was cancelled. First time I've heard of that.

I'm actually pleased because I've had a cold the last couple of days and it's raining this afternoon so it would have been a repeat of Round 2 with a dry practice and first race in the morn and then two wet ones in the PM.

I'm leading on points at this stage but only because the fastest rider this season didnt go out in the two wet races at Round 2. Gotta be out there to win! :D

Hoping to re-schedule for nxt weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Actual Round 3

We got our last round before winter done today after a weeks postponement and it worked in our favour as it was dry and calm all day whereas last Sunday it rained in the PM.

It was cool though, we hit a high of 10 degrees (50F) at 2pm so the morning practice and race one were done on a very cold track that didnt afford a lot of grip. Saw a bit of sun in the afternoon and were able to push a bit harder but it wasn't an ideal day for going hard out. No one fell off which is always pleasing.

The first thing I do on arrival is scour the pits to see who my competition is for the day. There were none of the 600cc supersports with one cylinder disabled (cripple triple) in attendance, so I was quietly confident going into race one after a good practice session.
I got the holeshot as usual (I dont weigh much!) but had to fight off a few challengers for the lead position. Notably a real good experienced rider on a Yamaha FZR400R (4 cylinder). I had to give myself a little talking too after this as he is probably 10 - 15 HP's down on me in the power stakes.

Race 2 after lunch I got my race face on and won by half the length of the main straight. I was still a full second off my PB time but given the track temperature I didnt beat myself up too much over that. Main challenger was a rider on an air cooled Ducati 750.

By the third race the track was warming slightly and I was keen to improve on my times but I forgot to reset my timer before I went out. Dang! I felt like I went better and the bike was sliding a bit in places so I knew I was pushing it which is good. I dont mind slides if they are semi-controlled :D

So a hat-trick of wins today which puts me in a comfortable lead in the championship, but I wasn't really challenged. I find I need someone faster than me to chase to really get going and do my best times.

I've decided I'm going to compete in the National Championship series this summer in the Pro Twin class, so this is why I'm keen to better myself continually. It's only a four round series so not too much of a commitment financially or time off work wise etc. I'm hoping too one of the rounds will be held at my local provincial track.

But anyways, today was loadsa fun, definitely got the blood flowing on a late autumn day!

28378292_566968020328578_2591213749116586972_n.jpg

P1000253.jpg
 

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I want to see you racing the 400..!

@Kiwi Rider You will be posting some race videos of you I trust, You look great in that photo.... I think some 400 race videos would be awesome...

I just found out we do have a track about 60 miles from me... I'm to old to race - you young guys would eat me alive, but Id love to do a track day for the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Kiwi Rider You will be posting some race videos of you I trust, You look great in that photo.... I think some 400 race videos would be awesome...

I just found out we do have a track about 60 miles from me... I'm to old to race - you young guys would eat me alive, but Id love to do a track day for the fun.
Never too old mate! We have a heap of guys at the club competing well into their sixties. I encourage you to go along for a fun day out.

I would love to ride the 400 in my Formula 3 class but it would be like shooting myself in the foot from a points point of view.
We had a guy in my class yesterday on an R3 race bike with all the go fast bits and he was 2 seconds per lap slower than myself (with nearly twice the HP's) around the track which is impressive. This guy rides at a National level though.

I dont have a GoPro or such like and they are not allowed in licenced racing here, so no footage sorry.
 

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@Kiwi Rider You will be posting some race videos of you I trust, You look great in that photo.... I think some 400 race videos would be awesome...

I just found out we do have a track about 60 miles from me... I'm to old to race - you young guys would eat me alive, but Id love to do a track day for the fun.
I am 50 and entered my first race last month. I beat people half my age and half my weight. Never to old to race. Come in 1st, come in last doesnt matter its all about the fun.

In the 1000cc group we have a 62 year old guy. Comes in last 99% of the time but he is there every race with a smile on his face.
 

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We got our last round before winter done today after a weeks postponement and it worked in our favour as it was dry and calm all day whereas last Sunday it rained in the PM.

It was cool though, we hit a high of 10 degrees (50F) at 2pm so the morning practice and race one were done on a very cold track that didnt afford a lot of grip. Saw a bit of sun in the afternoon and were able to push a bit harder but it wasn't an ideal day for going hard out. No one fell off which is always pleasing.

The first thing I do on arrival is scour the pits to see who my competition is for the day. There were none of the 600cc supersports with one cylinder disabled (cripple triple) in attendance, so I was quietly confident going into race one after a good practice session.
I got the holeshot as usual (I dont weigh much!) but had to fight off a few challengers for the lead position. Notably a real good experienced rider on a Yamaha FZR400R (4 cylinder). I had to give myself a little talking too after this as he is probably 10 - 15 HP's down on me in the power stakes.

Race 2 after lunch I got my race face on and won by half the length of the main straight. I was still a full second off my PB time but given the track temperature I didnt beat myself up too much over that. Main challenger was a rider on an air cooled Ducati 750.

By the third race the track was warming slightly and I was keen to improve on my times but I forgot to reset my timer before I went out. Dang! I felt like I went better and the bike was sliding a bit in places so I knew I was pushing it which is good. I dont mind slides if they are semi-controlled :D

So a hat-trick of wins today which puts me in a comfortable lead in the championship, but I wasn't really challenged. I find I need someone faster than me to chase to really get going and do my best times.

I've decided I'm going to compete in the National Championship series this summer in the Pro Twin class, so this is why I'm keen to better myself continually. It's only a four round series so not too much of a commitment financially or time off work wise etc. I'm hoping too one of the rounds will be held at my local provincial track.

But anyways, today was loadsa fun, definitely got the blood flowing on a late autumn day!

View attachment 1627

View attachment 1629
Congrats on the win, looks like you melted your tire quite a bit. I am sure you had a great time doing it. :3tens:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Congrats on the win, looks like you melted your tire quite a bit. I am sure you had a great time doing it. :3tens:
Thanks Bro, I meant to add a comment about the tire. I wanted to point out my huge chicken strips to show that it's not all about maximum lean angle. To race effectively you want to be getting the bike picked back up as soon as possible so you can get full throttle back on again. Too much throttle at maximum lean angles is risky business. Yesterday in particular because it was cold I was very aware of this.

But yeah, I did have a great time thanks.
Time to strip the bike for winter maintenance work now. I'm going to send the rear shock away to get serviced and I want to flush my radiator, change plugs, check valve clearances etc.
 

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We got our last round before winter done today after a weeks postponement and it worked in our favour as it was dry and calm all day whereas last Sunday it rained in the PM.

It was cool though, we hit a high of 10 degrees (50F) at 2pm so the morning practice and race one were done on a very cold track that didnt afford a lot of grip. Saw a bit of sun in the afternoon and were able to push a bit harder but it wasn't an ideal day for going hard out. No one fell off which is always pleasing.

The first thing I do on arrival is scour the pits to see who my competition is for the day. There were none of the 600cc supersports with one cylinder disabled (cripple triple) in attendance, so I was quietly confident going into race one after a good practice session.
I got the holeshot as usual (I dont weigh much!) but had to fight off a few challengers for the lead position. Notably a real good experienced rider on a Yamaha FZR400R (4 cylinder). I had to give myself a little talking too after this as he is probably 10 - 15 HP's down on me in the power stakes.

Race 2 after lunch I got my race face on and won by half the length of the main straight. I was still a full second off my PB time but given the track temperature I didnt beat myself up too much over that. Main challenger was a rider on an air cooled Ducati 750.

By the third race the track was warming slightly and I was keen to improve on my times but I forgot to reset my timer before I went out. Dang! I felt like I went better and the bike was sliding a bit in places so I knew I was pushing it which is good. I dont mind slides if they are semi-controlled :D

So a hat-trick of wins today which puts me in a comfortable lead in the championship, but I wasn't really challenged. I find I need someone faster than me to chase to really get going and do my best times.

I've decided I'm going to compete in the National Championship series this summer in the Pro Twin class, so this is why I'm keen to better myself continually. It's only a four round series so not too much of a commitment financially or time off work wise etc. I'm hoping too one of the rounds will be held at my local provincial track.

But anyways, today was loadsa fun, definitely got the blood flowing on a late autumn day!

View attachment 1627

View attachment 1629
Congratulations on the wins, good ridin'! :3tens: It sure does seem like you had a great time! :smile:

Do keep us informed on the progress with the bike :nerd:, the service etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Congratulations on the wins, good ridin'! :3tens: It sure does seem like you had a great time! :smile:

Do keep us informed on the progress with the bike :nerd:, the service etc.
Thanks, I got a bit lucky at the last meeting as my main rival who usually beats me didnt turn up because it was Mothers day. With only being a 6 round comp you really can't afford to miss a round as that's potentially 75 points (3 x 25) gone begging.
Good for me though, now have a 41 point lead with 3 rounds to go.

Ive got a handling issue with my bike that I'm really keen to get on top of. When I'm pushing really hard coming out of corners under power and leaned over it starts wagging the rear end. It's controllable but a bit unsettling and there is a temptation to back off a bit, which is obviously not what you want to be doing!
The suspension setting adjustments I've made so far havent got on top of it so I need to do a track hire and spend a whole day just trying out radical changes to geometry and such like to see what works and what doesn't. I'm going to get a longer chain and try the axle further back in the swing arm, change the rear shock length, slide the forks up and down in the yokes etc etc.
Need to get it sorted 100% before the nationals next year.

All the best for your track day next Sunday!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Round 5 Southland Cup

I see it's been five months since I updated this thread. No wonder I was rusty out there today Lol.
OK so we had three months off for winter and I sat out round 4 last month as it pretty much rained all day. The few people who did turn up mostly fell off by all accounts.

I'm feeling very tired tonite but it was a good days racing. Due to a poor turn out (this is becoming a theme unfortunately) they lumped formula 1, 2 and 3 together. This ended up making me ride harder as I was keen to beat a few of the F2 boys if possible.

Practice went OK, we had a dry cool track and I wore thermals under my leathers but by the time race 1 rolled around the sun was poking through. I was a bit slow out of the blocks and a fellow F3 racer on a Ninja 650 came under me at a corner on the first lap. I wasn't expecting this and had left the door wide open for him. I managed to stick on his tail and got past him on the third lap and went on to cross the line in sixth place over all, but I'd seen the rear end of a couple of CBR600's that I reckoned were possible victims if I got my act together.

The brocolli and bacon pasta dish I had for lunch must have energized me and i did indeed manage to beat the CBR boys in race 2 and 3 after lunch. In race 2 I was about half a second off my PB but unfortunately I forgot to turn my timer on for the last race. doh! This was doubly annoying as in the last race I was trying some different gear selections at one spot on the track where I lose time so wanted to see if it helped. Because one of the F1 class racers withdrew with a mechanical issue I got third in both those races after lunch, so was pretty pleased with the days results.

I'm still having issues with my rear end moving around exiting corners under power and have decided to go back to the stiffer spring in the rear the bike came with. Lots to work on before the last round in November.

The local photographer guy from the paper was there as usual and put this shot of me doing my thing up on his fb page tonite:

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hawwwt!! Werk! :3tens::3tens::3tens::3tens::3tens:
Thanks, I'm sure the detail to colour co-ordination was not lost on you Lol. :biggrin:

I find the racing a cross between having a ball and scaring the crap outta myself at the same time!
 

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Thanks, I'm sure the detail to colour co-ordination was not lost on you!

yeah..I noticed...:grin::devil::grin:.. seems you have a natural flair for coordinating.. and thats umm "ok"...
I couldn't catch the colors of your shoes though...I am sure they match.. jus'sayin...
 

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Thanks, I'm sure the detail to colour co-ordination was not lost on you Lol. :biggrin:

I find the racing a cross between having a ball and scaring the crap outta myself at the same time!
LOVEEE the color coordination! It's perfect :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
...
I couldn't catch the colors of your shoes though...I am sure they match.. jus'sayin...
Of course! RST Tractech Evo's . Love these boots, cant fault em
Oh and they just happen to match my RST leathers and gloves. :grin:
Helmet by Airoh.

rst-tractech-evo-iii-sport-ce-boot-black-red_1.jpg
 
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