A new club racing category is coming for next year that might interest a few folks that have considered DD but fancy a bigger bike but still not so expensive....
Golden Era Superbikes
The year 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the Honda Fireblade, the bike that arguably signalled the beginning of the end for true 750cc Superbikes. Do you remember back when the sharpest blade in the box was a Yamaha YZF750, a Kawasaki ZX7RR, Suzuki GSXR750 SRAD, a Honda RC45 or even a beautiful little Ducati 916?
None of those bikes were particularly good road bikes, but when you stripped all the clunky and ugly road bike detritus off of them and they stood there in their race prepped glory, just waiting to be spanked around the race track, their true purpose was revealed. At world level they were seemingly ridden by a highly talented and committed bunch of axe wielding maniacs and the racing was simply fantastic. Marco Simoncelli would have looked like a girl scout compared to that lot and the appeal of Superbikes was infectious and spread far beyond motorcycle fans. Indeed it was the very popularity of Superbike racing in the 1990s that brought about the ‘born again biker’ phenomenon. In the UK market Grand Prix were in decline with a low point of just 6 works bikes on the premier class grid and a crowd figure reputed to be less than 10,000 for the British Grand Prix. Superbike racing was where it was at and the crowds flocked to both Donington Park and Brands Hatch to watch Scott Russell, Giancarlo Fallapa, Yasutomo Nagai, Colin Edwards, Aaron Slight, Carl Fogarty, Anthony Gobert and a host of other riders who didn’t complain about a bit of fairing bashing, they actually expected it!......and so did the fans.
Traction control?........ No. Fancy electronics? Er…… No. Great racing? .........YES
Watching some old footage from Hockenheim in 1995 got me thinking about what had happened to all of those fantastic bikes and all of the others that were ridden at around the same time from clubmans events at Darley Moor & Lydden Hill, through nationals at Brands Hatch & Donington Park to international meetings like Daytona (back when it was a real Superbike race). A few calls and e-mails later gave me the answer, they’re still out there but there isn’t seen to be a dedicated and attractive race series that they can be competitive in. Due to this, the bikes are very underpriced for what they are. A quick google and ebay foray found no less than 7 Kawasaki ZX7Rs, 5 Suzuki GSXR750SRADs and a smattering of other suitable bikes all for under £2000. The Hondas and Ducatis were more expensive, but then again they were at the time and I found one lovely 996R Ducati that still gave enough change from £5,000 to buy a decent set of tyre warmers. For me this looked like just the thing I’d been looking for, a budget priced championship where the bikes looked anything but budget. The only thing needed was a simple set of rules that would be designed to keep the costs controllable and allow in specific bike models and years that fitted the spirit and ethos of the class.
“Golden Era Superbikes” will run from the start of the 2012 season within the Thundersport GB Championships running to pretty much the old WSB formula of 750cc 4 cylinder bikes and up to 1000cc twins & triples with a few tweeks to help keep it cost effective. To simplify it a model list of eligible motorcycles will be issued to include all of the following machines:-
Ducati 888 all models (926 & 955 kit permitted)
Kawasaki ZXR750 all model years (840 kit permitted)
Yamaha OW01 all model years (840 kit permitted)
Suzuki GSXR 750 SRAD all model years
Honda RC30 all model years (810cc kit permitted)
Kawasaki ZX7R and RR all model years
Yamaha YZF 750 all model years
Yamaha OW02 R7 both model years
Honda RC45 all model years
Ducati 916 all model years
Ducati 996 all model years inc 996R
Aprilia RSV Mille & Mille R up to 2003
Suzuki TL1000S & TL1000R up to 2003
Honda VTR 1000 SP1
Triumph T595 up to 2001
MV Augusta F4 750 Oro & S models to 2002
The regulations will be “Open Class” with no tuning restrictions, but restricted to parts that were available before 2003 (except tyres). Interchanging parts between compatible models will be allowed as will any suspension and any wheels. Period engined specials will be catered for on a case by case basis with a view to accepting models that fit in with both the time period and the spirit of the rules (NR750 oval pistoned bikes need not apply).
If you’ve got one of these bikes and you want to race it, or if you just want to know a bit more about it, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
or give us a ring in the office 01455 842600