It's been a quiet five months here on Clubman Classics, I put it down to reasons of a 'domestic nature'. Nothing to do with the missus, let's just say I'm learning fast that houses are a bottomless pit of work and money.
Entering both the 250 NSU Manx and the 350 Norton Manx in the BHR races in 2013 means I certainly have my work cut out. It also gives the other team member of Clubman Classics a chance to see the fruits of his winter labour in action more of the time - as long as I don't break them! The list of jobs needed to get both bikes race ready is long and arduous, but with just over a week to go before our first outing at Mallory Park for Round 1 of the British Historic Racing series on April 21st, the machines are very nearly track ready.
Following the last 250cc race of the season at Cadwell Park last year, (I very luckily missed Angela Cragg who came off on the Mountain - I hope she's fully recovered now) and where I secured a result of fourth in class, third if you discount the guest rider, the NSU Manx's motor has had a rebuild with an all-important balance factor adjustment and new timing settings. Last year's machine was underpowered and because of the vibrations difficult to hang on to. The niggling oil leak issues only drained my confidence further.
The 350 Manx on the other hand has had even more work done, including a high-level pipe and Lansdowne-spec fork internals. The last time I rode this bike was at the Spa Bikers Classic in 2011, where it ran rough the whole weekend, with poor handling. Competing on it for the first time in 2013, I'm looking forward to the extra power of a 350, albeit in a very similar chassis to the NSU Manx 250.
With both bikes booked in for rolling road sessions at JHS Racing in Keynsham this week, I can't wait to bump-start the season, hopefully with reliable and competitive companions.