The year was 1978......21years old I was......thought I was going to take on the world.
After many trips to Baitings Dam (Ripponden) to spectate I just had to have a go. I mean I was so fast and skillful on the road, i was bound to win !
A friend of mine was also interested and we decided to go 50/50 on an old YDS7. We spent a few months painting and generally tidying the bike up which included having the crank rebuilt and new seals. We then entered at Baitings. Man, we were well and truly thrashed.! Not only that but we soon learnt that bike sharing is a pretty bad idea...running out of class.....causing confusion for the organisers.....etc so I decided to convert one of the CB72s that my Dad and myself had accumulated over the previous few years since I'd bought my first one when I was 17 to pass my test on.
I guess unbeknown to me at the time Dad was teaching me to how repair parts, make what you haven't got and generally learn those engineering skills that are with me today. I shall be forever grateful.
The tank we fashioned from copper cut from an old hot water cylinder, the seat we made from sheet fibre glass stiched together with wire and then resined together.....the carbs were from the 305cc CB77 and the internal jetting and needles were Amal as we were running methanol and Amal sold suitable components. Sprocket blanks were turned on the lathe to suit different tracks. The cam was reprofiled to race spec (I can't remember by whom) and high compression pistons were also fitted to suit the fuel.
I raced it in that spec for a year. I was improving......But I wasn't winning.....
I needed more power !"
You may know Ian by his alter ego Albert Crackleport who you will find at the splendid Vintafaker blogspot. Compelling reading but keep your Yorkshire phrase book handy if you are not from these parts.
I already have part two, coming soon........