WHY F5 Bears
The idea is a clubman class – smaller bikes lower costs – Tyres last 2-4 meetings vs Big bikes maybe 1 day 🙁
Bikes are up to 904 2v Ducatis / KTM singles to 690 / Bonnie 900s and other similar including the evil that is Aprilia RS250s (the current king of the class)
I’ve been in this class for around 19years now and when I first started I’d come home from work on Friday evening (commuting on my “Race Bike” a 600 Monster bike) – spend 40min removing lights etc and be ready to race … Monday I’d get up a bit early 40min later I’m riding the same bike to work … these days I’m a bit more committed and have 2 “rolling” wrecks – bikes that the Government (RMS) think are Write Offs and therefore cannot be used on the road.
In those 19 years only really raced in F5; sometimes I would cross enter a spare bike when I had one into F3 or something else – there is no such thing as too much racing.
I’ve race 4 bikes (main bikes – if you don’t count turning an MHe in to a Race Bike as a spare :))
- M600 – main commuter bike did 160,000km in Sydney – with 4,000 racing – $9,000 total hardware 1999 – 2006 RIP
- M620 – 600 was old so upgraded this bike did over 120,000km with maybe 10,000 racing – did some work to this bike so maybe it cost me $13,000 2005 – 2012 RIP (bits do live on in Frank)
- M696 (aka RatBear) – Stat Write Off I built as a race bike has 9,245km on the clock all TRACK – cost $7,000 to build (was a bit expensive as it was one of the first 696 wreck and I had to buy a retail dash) and maybe $4,000 since on Pipe / minor Engine work – 2011 – current (as a spare) – Around 1500km per year
- Frank N’Cati my current bike a 900ss motor in a 620 Monster – Stat Write Off parts bin ran over budget around $7,000 (donor engine needed clutch/piston etc) planning another couple of K – 2017 – Current Main Bike
So around $40,000 in 19 years with nearly 300,000km as road bikes as well (and spares for other road bikes – I ride 696s and 620s as road bikes) that’s around $2,000 per year and a no point did my race bike own me more than say $8,000.
Some say I’m a bit mad riding around at the back of a BEARS grid with Panas, 1098, 998 etc but racing in F5 has been a buzz that hasn’t broken the bank remember I get at least an extra meeting out of my tyres over the big bikes. The sad part is I’ve seen people do things like destroy S1000RR that was on HP etc which to me is madness
I’ve developed lasting friendships and had massive highs duelling for last place (or so)
Come join me
Day 1 – Practice / Races 1 & 2
Not a great day Frank N’Cati (Ducati 904 SS/620 Monster hybrid) had been playing up a previous track day and was the same in qualifying this morning – running rough off slow turns – BUT during the first race by turn 2 it was horrid … wouldn’t pull at all … did 3 laps but was worried about killing her so pitted and after much arm waving and screaming at pit crew (thanks Adam) and checking with officials I swapped to RatBear (696 Monster) who was set for damp (Rosso Course III Front) but was shuddering under brakes so mainly used engine braking (scary).
Came in as started to do wheel swap and set up RatBear when I thought I’ll just check the battery – 9v … Jumpstarter on battery and it ran clean … so swapped the battery from RatBear in to Franki went out for a lap cheeky lap (with approval) and she was back to this morning roughness so its alternator / rectifier (only 11.5v at 4,000rpm) started to fiddle and noticed the connector – rectifier to loom – was “sloppy” wacked on a cable tie and away we go 14.3v at 4,000rpm So last race of the day despite being stuck behind 2 bikes for a couple of laps put in a just off PB (1:53.7 I think) on last clean lap
So good and not a complete stuff up
Need to do better at the starts
Day 3 –Races 3 – 5
Ok Sunday … 3 races and hopefully some better results …
First it was dry so swapped RatBear back to a SuperCorsa front and noticed the cause of my issues on Saturday – bit embarrassed despite doing 100s of wheel changes I finally stuffed one up and didn’t full tighten the front axle maybe 0.2 mm free play … note to self – “check and check again”
In general Frankie ran OK back to where it was at the end of last year still the odd stutter off corners … sometimes … but none of Saturdays issues … cable ties fix everything (almost)
Race 1 bad start (as always tooo slow and careful through Turn 1 – basically every start EVER) chased down regular F5 KTM guys Andy, Simon and Dean (who had tyre and suspension issues) over the first couple of laps then matched speed with a couple of the F3 guys Aidan (5secs ahead) on Bill old 1100 and Tom (maybe 3sec ahead) for a fun ride but no action – the pointy end of F5 had long gone so maybe 4th – points are not yet official
Race 4 repeat but less fun at the beginning and closer to Aidan
Race 5 Repeat BUT was seriously shattered by Smarty who on a borrowed bike with limited set up and heap less HP (696 Monster) blew past me out of 1 in the first lap and past Aidan into 2 – and then cracked a 1:48 (lap record for F5 was 1:49 last year until RS250 were moved to F5 at the start of this year)
So I start the year in the mid to back of the F5 class not where I planned. Next up MacPark in SA over Easter one to the FUN tracks and maybe the BEARS social event of the year (after AGM)