From the Blog

Getting it together

You may recalls that, quite some time ago, I had a little “whoopsie” with the Shadowfax. I had taken the bike to a show and, on return, I had rolled it out of the van and parked it on the footpath so that I could go and open the garage. Just as I turned my back a strong gust of wind blew up and the bike toppled off the sidestand and fell over, causing the damage seen above, as well as this..

…and this..

To say that I was peeved is an understatement but I knew that I could get it fixed so I wasn’t as worried as I might have been. You may wonder why a bike that was a race bike HAS a sidestand at all but Kent decided to leave the sidestand tab on the bike when it was first built as he felt that it wouldn’t impede ground clearance and also provide a means of supporting the bike while it was in the pits if they didn’t want to use the paddock stand. As it turned out, it was a wise choice because the bike spent many years as a road bike once its racing days were over so having a sidestand was a necessity. When we restored the bike we decided to leave it there in the interests of originality.

However, it was always a concern to me that the stand was too straight and made the bike stand up a bit too upright. I have always been going to fix it but it never happened. A repair job at the amazing Redback Racepaint, in Canberra, who sprayed the bike to start with, and the fibreglass bits are all back to good as new.

Fitted back on the bike and you’d never know.

And, before I take it out again I also fixed the sidestand. A quick trip down to my local muffler man in Dapto and the application of some heat in the appropriate area and the stand is now less straight and the bike leans over much more safely than it did. An expensive lesson, nonetheless. I have two shows coming up this month so I will actually be able to display the bike, which is good. Both are charity events so I will be able to support them.

Last weekend’s MotoGp event at Motegi was intriguing yet again. While the main race was a little like a high speed game of chess, the circumstances of the championship battle sort of necessitated that. This time it was the Ducati man who cracked first, leaving Marquez a lap of pre-flag celebrations and then an extended piece of theatre as he celebrated with his fans. A few friends have criticized the arcade game thing, calling it childish. These sad people totally missed the point of it being an expression of Marquez’s boyish enthusiasm and an illustration of the fact that, despite the pressure of his situation, he has not let it age him or make him take it too seriously. I thought it was terrific. Most of the sour-faced denizens of the MotoGp garages these days could take a lesson from him.

Marc’s 5th MotoGp win and 7th title altogether has inevitably raised the GOAT nonsense yet again. I say it is nonsense because the title is meaningless. Despite the number of records that Marc has broken and continues to break, there is no way that you can compare riders of different eras and legitimately rank them in order of greatness, there are simply too many variable factors that prevent you from doing so. The fact is that Marquez is undoubtedly the greatest of HIS era by a colossal margin. Rossi was undoubtedly the greatest of HIS era as Doohan was was of his and so forth. But Rossi fans would do well to temper their enthusiasm with the fact that it is now NINE YEARS since he last won a world title. Because he has continued riding throughout that time it is easy to think of it being just a couple of years since he lifted his last world championship, but it’s not. Marquez is still only 25 and shows no sign of wanting to retire or try another form of mototsport. There seems no reason to believe that he will do so in the foreseeable future and no reason not to expect him to eclipse and pass Rossi’s record of 9 world titles.

This weekend is Phillip Island. I’ll be watching the live feed again. I did several trips to the GP at the Island years ago and each time I swore that I’d never go back. The huge amount of walking that has to be done, the distance that you have to travel from the bike parking area (in motorcycle boots which are NOT made for walking) and the distance you are back from the track militates against my enjoyment of the event. Yes, I know it’s atmosphere and all, but I get all the atmosphere I want at the Classic and I do it close up and personal AND I can get into the pits and talk to the riders as well. 🙂

With the MotoGp title decided it will be fascinating to see how the new World Champion approaches the next three races. My guess is that he will be even more ruthless than he has been all season. The title chase in the minor classes, especially Moto3, will be great though Bagnia looks pretty impregnable in Moto2. It is good to see that Mike Jones has been drafted into the Ducati squad to replace Bautista (who moves up a rung to the “works” team to replace the injured Lorenzo). It will be good to have some Aussies to cheer for. Miller will be the local favourite but I am starting to think that Jack has jumped the shark.

Oh, and on the subject of the Shadowfax, you may recall that the old Honda tacho finally expired some time ago and that I have been looking for a replacement.

Well, the other day when I was at my local bike shop picking up Scooter, I mentioned to Brad that I was looking for a replacement. He scuttled out the back of the shop and came back with this, “Will this do?” he asked. I certainly thought that it would.

…and it does. It is just a dummy, it doesn’t have to work but it bolts in exactly where the old 900 tacho went. Score.

Well, that better do me for today, catch you soon.


  1. http://dunc says

    glad you got it back to show and shine condition

    only comment on the race thing
    I watch all the moto 2-3-GP and watch all the riders in there pit boxes and they all give a wave or a smile when the cameras are there during practice or qualifying, even the moto3 up and comers
    except marquez
    he never acknowledges the camera at all and stares away watching the screen
    bit damn uppity in my opinion of him
    why i dont like the guy
    he must be glad honda has deep pockets for bike repairs as his bike destruction in QUAL and FP is massive every race as well lol

    • http://Phil%20Hall says

      Funny that. He is the happiest and most approachable rider in the paddock. He’s always smiling for the camera, he never blames his equipment or another rider if something goes wrong, in his interviews he always talks about how much fun the race was even if it was incredibly tense and he always thanks his crew. I have been told that he is the only rider in the paddock who eats his meals with all of his crew, doesn’t sound “uppity” to me. He has had the same crew since he started (with the exception of Puig replacing Suppo), that doesn’t sound uppity either. I think you just don’t like him!! 🙂 As for crashing, Honda wouldn’t give a damn, he is winning for them and advertising Honda all over the world. Have you considered the fact that the reason why he crashes so much is that it the way he finds the limit? And that is the reason why he wins so much, because he knows exactly where that limit is. Also note that he doesn’t crash in races…that tells you something too.