Snetterton, October 2015, Endurance Legends Track day

October was the month when the 2nd test run was due to take place. It is for this reason that I decided to travel to England to have the chance to also meet a few people from the 400 Greybike Forum. I decided on the dates 16.10-18.10.2015 for my travels. The “Endurance Legends Track Days”. So on Wednesday, the 14.10.2015, I packed my van, booked a ticked for the tunnel and then set off for England on Thursday morning. The drive to Calais went quite quickly. It was only upon arrival in Calais that there was a lorry strike that blocked the tunnel. After we had endured a 4 hour delay, we drove in the direction of Snetterton from Folkestone. The weather became increasingly modest. Upon arrival in Snetterton that evening, we first of all went straight to the race track to take a look round there before heading to our hostel. After a quiet night, we went to the race track the next morning around 7 AM. Our accommodation was an excellent choice, super clean and a great breakfast – just what we wanted. But what luck! St Peter wasn’t smiling on us that day and it started pouring down. Nevertheless, we unloaded our bike and equipment and went to register. We learned there that everyone had to attend the driver’s briefing, otherwise we couldn’t take to the track and then afterwards had to make all the relevant sound checks. A maximum of 105 db at 8000 rpm was permitted. We passed with 101 db. Now it was back to the van to jack up the motorbike, because driving was unthinkable at that point. First of all, I wasn’t in possession of any rain tires and secondly I had no intentions of driving in such weather.

As midday arrived, St. Peter closed the floodgates and luckily it was almost dry by 3 PM. Straight into my gear, tyre-warmers on and right onto the race track by 3:40 PM, which is still very new to me. I started having problems with my helmet after around 5 laps. Fog: typical for England!! The helmet was totally fogged up from the inside, I couldn’t see anymore so I had to abort my turns. Helmet disassembled, all cleaned up, checks done on the pinlock and everything put back together again. In the meantime, we also got to know some nice lads from the island. What a crazy bunch! Mike from the forum was there with his nearly serial-production Honda VFR 400 and a couple of other 400 series. At 4:15 PM I wanted to get back on the track because someone had put down some oil on the back straight and the whole bend itself. I decided to then only return to drive there on Saturday. Mike, Florian and myself left and spent the evening in a typical English pub, with very good food, rounding the day off with a couple of beers.

It was quite cold on Saturday morning but the track was dry and we could start at once. Mike decided to change groups, so it meant that we could race together. Of course, we began very slowly around the track. I knew that after my 5 laps the previous day that nothing could be taken for granted. But I was still very hopeful. I encountered Sam Billing from the forum at midday. I was finally able to put a few names to faces. Sam had also sent me a full picture of himself, so I could take a look at him. There was a problem with the cable harness in the afternoon, I suddenly lost power on the track and the motorbike only had 2 cylinders in action. What was it all about? The fuel pressure was fine but there was just something wrong. Straight into the box, bike placed on the stand, cladding, tank and seat bench off. We very quickly found the cause of the problem. A cable from the ignition coil was broken directly on the plug, it pays off when cable harnesses are put together yourself. You can find the error quickly in such a case. In no time the new plug was crimped and the motor was running perfectly again. Back on the track to do another 2-3 rounds. I was picking up speed from turn to turn, the gear ratio wasn’t really suitable. The gear ratio on the bike was too long. Yet it also looked very good in the log files. In the evening we invited everybody out since we were due to go back home on Sunday morning. We met Mike and his wife again in the pub that evening and exchanged a few stories about motor-biking among other things. It was a very very nice evening.

Sunday morning then, we went home. After about 8 hours, we drove into the garage, unloaded everything quickly and got into the bath. It had been a very relaxed event in England, which was something I had not expected. Everyone was very kind, no one had a knife between their teeth. Great. The circuit had included a paddock, which I also liked a lot. Loads of inviting green space on which to camp, with tables and chairs already set up. The bike also ran well for two days, apart from the broken cable to the ignition coil. I can fix it: conversion to fuel injection was worth it, as its much more moveable than flat slide valves. Now, fine tuning of the maps is still lacking. But here, I think I’ll get the help of a professional, so I don’t end up going in the wrong direction. One way or another, I think horsepower would still be able to find it.