Bike preparation is underway

Air filters - New v Old

Air filters – New v Old

Just thought I’d share some photos to prove that I’ve finally taken the bike off it’s stand, sorry I mean the trailer.

Stripping down and servicing my #1 bike for the first time

Stripping down and servicing my #1 bike for the first time

Having been unable to get my CBR400 running on any more than 3-cylinders when doing the deal for the CB500s, I chuckled at the irony when today I couldn’t get the flaming CB500 running either. I changed the spark plugs and air filter, added some fresh fuel and hey presto she burst into life – filling my garage with black smoke – which disappeared once the bike warmed up, woo hoo!

I’ve also fitted some new Renthal handlebars and grips, done a mini service and started to remove the much damaged exhaust system.

Renthal handlebars & gwips

Renthal handlebars & gwips

Bad bits – There’s a water leak coming from the water pump housing, so I’m hoping it’s just the o-ring and not the pump itself, as that’s a £150 fix.

I’m taking the bike into REPS Motorcycles on Monday to run it on their dyno and have a few servicing jobs done that are beyond my tool box.

My bikes have arrived

Following an epic day out on Saturday with my friend and 1998 CB500 Cup team-mate Steve Reynolds, owner of The Plastics Surgery, I am pleased to announce that I am now the proud owner of not one, but TWO Honda CB500 motorcycles.

Steve Reynolds, grateful for day release?

Steve Reynolds, grateful for day release?

Spare bike in the Landy

Spare bike in the Landy

One bike is already in race trim and requires minimal fettling, although we won’t let that stop us from stripping and rebuilding it, whilst the second bike resembles little more than a heavy lump of metal and plastic, as it doesn’t have any wheels or forks attached, so that made moving it around somewhat awkward and it made the trip back from Stoke sat in the back of Steve’s Land Rover (right).

There are only 10 weeks until the season begins, although Xmas and New Year are going to reduce preparation time to more like 9 weeks, so the pressure is really on now to get everything sorted in time. Wish me luck!

Back on a CB500 after 16 years

1998 CB500 Cup race at Donington

1998 CB500 Cup race at Donington

Yes, it’s true, 2015 will mark sixteen years since I last raced a CB500 – and 7 years since I last raced anything at all. I cut my racing teeth in the 1998 and 1999 British Honda CB500 Cups, finishing 4th overall as a novice in ’98 and then winning my first British championship race during the ’99 season, so it should come as no surprise that I have a huge soft spot for the 500cc Honda twin.

The series is now hosted by Thundersport GB, a club whose racing categories can all boast the greatest club racing talent and depth of field in the UK, and that is certainly true in the (now re-branded) Thundersport 500 category.

For me, 2015 will be a learning year (at least the first race), I’m rusty as hell and no spring chicken any more, bah humbug! It would be nice to score points from the start and then get in amongst the top-6 before the end of the season.