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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 335 > PROJECT LIKELY FAIL PART X


After much begging, bleeding knuckles and chewed nails, Charlie finally went racing.


Charlie, asleep at the ‘bars.

So, this was it – the culmination of a nine month build, calling in all of the favours I could possibly muster to turn the rolling frame and box of bolts that was languishing at the back of the Fast Bikes lock up, a mere shadow of Benjamin’s beloved 30-year-old TZR250 2MA, into a race machine. Not content with restoring this bike to former glories the final part of this plan was to take it to Norfolk and race what we had built in the final round of the Yamaha Past Masters (YPM) series, around the Snetterton 300 circuit. Gulp…

For a non-racing, mechanically challenged person like myself with no on-track or road experience of two-stroke machines, this project was hugely ambitious. But with a whole heap of help from friends of Fast Bikes magazine, colleagues and local dealer Phoenix Yamaha of Trowbridge I was in a van, packed to the gunnels with fuel, tyres, warmers, paddock stands, spare suits, helmets, sleeping bag, measuring jugs and tools, with MSV’s Snetterton plumbed into my sat-nav as my destination to see if ‘Project Likely Fail’, would do exactly that, as in, fail!

I arrived at the circuit early evening, laid out my R&G garage mat and rolled the labouring TZR into its position in the pit garage. I say labouring as I arrived with a problem, well, a couple actually that not been helped by the fact I had run out of time and never actually ridden the TZR. Thankfully I had done my research. A run out on the Club Bike (detailed later) had rewarded me with enough time deep in the bosom of la vie YPM to know that they would help me. One person in particular that is – Len Whalin, one of the point men for the YPM and the man that hosts the #100 Club Bike, designed to introduce riders to the TZR racing experience.

It was Thursday night and he got to work immediately on my front wheel, which was binding on the front disc. There were lots of elements that were creating this problem and numerous attempts to right this caused a couple of hours of anguish. As it was, the real problem was running the larger front wheel. The entire paddock runs with a larger rear than standard but few move away from the standard front. I had the foresight to have that with me so to cut a long story short, back in it went. The front now running freely, Len could turn his attention to other things and I continued to prep my TZR for the following day.

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About Fast Bikes

In this month's issue of Fast Bikes .... - Bike hacking secrets - unlock your ride's hidden potential - The best bits of 2017 - road, tracks, kit and bikes rated - Track toys buy now play later - Retro Renegades old school's cool, but does it still rule? - Can small capacity equal big fun? - Know your brake lines - BMW K1200S Buyer's guide - Racing rules: make or break - Project TZR grand finale - Rocket RON interview