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2nd September 2005


Beezumph 14 - A Classic Trackday

Classic Bikes and Trackdays go together like Bacon and Egg or Morecombe and Wise. Martin Gelder has ketchup on his chin and short fat hairy legs...

They're smiling inside, honest.

All the people pictured on this page are smiling. Some of them might look a tiny bit nervous or lost in deep thought, but that's just a side effect of having so much fun. I can guarantee that if they weren't visibly grinning as the shutter clicked, they were beaming from ear to ear a few minutes later. If they're anything like me, they're still chuckling now at the memory of a day spent lapping Cadwell Park in the company of a hundred other cheesy grins.

That's more like it; Ian Stewart's 1000cc T150V and Patrick Armstrong's 900 Speed Triple.

If your cherished old clunker has even the faintest trace of sporting spirit running through its oilways, you need to take it on the track. Really. We've got a feature on trackday versions coming in a future edition of RealClassic magazine, but all you need to know for now is that Tridents, Rocket Threes, Commandos and Bonnevilles were the GSX-Rs and Fireblades of their day. They were built to perform, to be ridden hard.

Clinton Alexander's 750 Norton Commando.

And what better venue to blow out the cobwebs than Beezumph, the Trident and Rocket Three Owners Club annual rally and trackday. It's a three day weekender with the track open to British and European (but not Japanese - shame they don't let original CB750s and Z1s out with their British contemporaries) bikes on Friday but reserved for Brits only on Saturday. There's also an autojumble, a barbecue and all the usual rally attractions.

Just time for one last visit...

But the track is the focus, for those spectating as well as those riding. Bikes are grouped into classic, intermediate and expert, based seemingly on rider ego as much as any ability to lap at a particular speed. In reality, there are fast riders in the classic group and steady ones with the experts.

That's me with the throttle pinned; got to keep that Commando behind me for as long as possible...

But it really doesn't matter once you're out on track. I spent much of the day lapping at similar speeds to a 750 Commando and a Hinckley Speed Triple, but got passed twice in most sessions by a Gilera Saturno. There was one other Morini three and a half on track; rider Pete Farrell reckoned my bike was quicker than his on the straights but I knew that if I hesitated for a moment going into a corner he'd pass me on the inside.

...Although getting passed by this bloke was unavoidable.

Another Morini, another Cheesy Grin.
Random Commando Stuff on eBay.co.uk

I'm addicted to trackdays; I was devastated when I thought I was going to miss my annual fix after the Morini Riders Club day clashed with work commitments. Booking into Beezumph gave me the shove I needed to get a load of little jobs sorted out on the bike (more on that in a separate story) and it was obvious that I wasn't the only one; the standard of bike preparation was as high as ever.

John Butcher's tidy T140

I had to leave early on Saturday morning to catch a plane to Japan (life is tough, sometimes) so I missed most of the rally activities, judging, prizes and the like. I'll be back next year, though; either to Beezumph or the Morini Riders Club day. You should be there too…

Ready for Saturday Where else would you rather be on a lazy Friday? Sometimes, A Transit just isn't enough...

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