We had a few problems at Cadwell and my son Richard wrote an atmospheric piece for "Yowl"
When I read it, I wrote the following to Ted Parkin, who is concluding his editorship of "Yowl" with the Dec 04 edition so as to concentrate on his F1 & F" sidecar racing aspirations, with the aim of competing in the sidecar TT in 2005. He will be much missed and we wish him all success with his ambitions.
I read Richards piece in Oct Yowl with appreciation and pride.
I think a follow up is in order, so I submit the following for your consideration.
Further Scott racing adventures --- persistence rewarded.
I read my son Richard’s account of the August Beezumph and VMCC events at Cadwell Park with a poignant mixture of emotions. First and foremost was the pride I felt in reading his so evocative account of our trials and battles to overcome obstacles. In my minds eye, I saw him refusing to be defeated and working resolutely towards success.
As parents, we are always a little concerned for the future well-being of our children, but after this display, I can die with a calm heart, but perhaps, not yet awhile!
The second emotion, was sadness that we had such problems and these were so publicly aired.
I remember the quotation that “Whatever does not kill me, makes me stronger”!
I know that through problems that highlight weaknesses, comes the opportunity to overcome those weaknesses, but who amongst us enjoys demonstrating our flawed humanity to our peers?
I thought it might be interesting to give some background to Richards account of the Cadwell meetings and to give a brief account of the following meeting at Three Sisters near Wigan.
After my crash in 2003, I had looked for a rider to keep the Scott name visible at historic racing events. In hindsight, I was very lucky to be introduced to Paul Dobbs. Paul is a full time development and test rider for Triumph Motorcycles.
His recent projects included the 2.3 litre new “Rocket Three”. His wife Bridget is a designer with Triumph and like Paul, loves to race. Paul was unhappy with the Scott’s handling and after trials with various tyre combinations, he concluded that there was not enough weight on the front wheel. He asked that the seat be taken forward about three inches and my idiosyncratic “Brooklands” type bars replaced with Vincent Straight type. As I have a long tank, it was necessary to raise the seat above the rear of the tank, in order to move it forwards. It is not a beautiful solution, but ok for a trial. Paul pronounced the change a success and I pondered over how many years I had endured the handling problem that had been solved so easily. I reflected that I rarely ride a bike, but that Paul rode every day and experienced so much variety. Paul has raced modern two strokes for several years and recommended that we use modern synthetic two stroke oil at much leaner proportions in the Scott. I had no evidence against this, so we changed as suggested.
I had not raced the bike since my crash and as it is not registered for the road, I could not test it their either.
During early 2004, I was perplexed when Paul told me that the leading rider in the class, Ian Bain, had a significant power and speed advantage. We had not changed anything, so perhaps Ian had found some more GO!
We come to the Beezumph event, where I was to ride on the Friday and Saturday of that event, then Paul would ride at the VMCC races on the Sunday. I went out on the Friday and was horrified! I admit that the new riding position was uncomfortable and strange to me, but of more importance, it would not GO and it would not STOP. It was Lacklustre! How had Paul Dobbs managed to get wins on it in this condition?
I was puzzled, for if one thing had characterised the bike it was that it always performed the same and you put it in the shed after a meeting and when you dragged it out for the next meeting, it went exactly the same!
We had changed the mag, which had a retard curve on, and the oil. We jetted down significantly and altered the timing.
The bike started to perform better. The brakes had been relined so needed to bed in. I was mortified when an internal screw holding a high flow transfer port cover came loose and caused damage. I suppose that it is far better that it happens on my engine and not to a customer. In my own defence I have since implemented a belt and braces modification to make it entirely secure. During our hectic timing and rejetting exercises, I had had a slight nip up, but although unwelcome, it should not have caused problems. The aluminium, chrome lined barrel is durable and has only one thou wear in 27 years racing. Considering the final race on Sunday was with a piece of the LH piston missing, it went well.
After we returned home, I stripped it completely. I was astonished to find that instead of the internals all being nicely oily from the Castrol R 40 I used for years, the internals looked as dry as if they had been washed in a solvent.
The bore where I had had a nip up, did not so much show evidence of a scuff, but it looked like it had been metal sprayed with a thin coating of aluminium. It looked like there was an almost total absence of lubrication.
If this is modern synthetic lubricants, then they do not suit a Scott engine!
I rebuilt the engine with new pistons and reverted to the Castrol R 40 and the same settings for ignition timing and carburation I had used since 1986. The only modification was to fit a 60mm long ram tube to the carb intake, as this had given an increase in both power and spread of mid range torque on dyno tests. Other than this it just had a good general fettle.
Paul Dobbs had recently returned from the Manx GP, where he took his standard framed 500 Gold Star with new 50 bhp Dutch engine, round at a touch over 95mph. Paul had not ridden at Three Sisters before and so decided that Saturday was to be a learning day on the Scott and Gold Star, and Sunday would be the day for serious racing.
He had good placings for the first three rides on the Scott, but just prior to his last outing, it started raining heavily and several riders fell on the slippery circuit. As though to dispel any thoughts of “taking it easy”, Paul drew a front line grid position. The narrow 21” “Speedmaster” front tyre seemingly found grip denied to others and Paul won handsomely!
On Sunday, Paul had four starts on the Scott and won all four races. Where there was another class with later big twins racing together, Paul headed them home also, with the leading riders in his class, half a lap adrift.
Paul recorded almost identical best times on the Scott as on the 500 Gold Star on what admittedly was a circuit that favoured the nimble handling of the Scott, although, of course, the bumpy sections favoured the spring frame Gold Star.
The Scott not only performed handsomely, but was entirely trouble free.
Paul Dobbs is returning home to New Zealand this Christmas, but was so happy with the Scott at Three Sisters, that he is planning to return next year to have a real go at the VMCC championship. I am only sorry that I had not ridden the bike earlier to identify the changes.
The word round the paddock is that Roger’s Scott is now full of Yamaha TZ internals!
In your dreams! Alfred did it first!
I have decided to look out for a Silk Scott into which I can put one of my engines as both a test bed and a nice light bike to ride. I wonder if one would be eligible for any classes of historic racing?
Finally, I thank Ted Parkin for the spirited way he has edited Yowl for us. I realise that as he is a “mature hooligan” racer at heart, then we of similar ilk, have enjoyed the inclusion of articles with a competition theme.
Good luck with your sidecar TT ambitions and thanks for setting an example of “Living Life to the Full!”