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Old 5 Jul 2011, 09:26 (Ref:2922201)   #1
ascarracinguk
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ascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Bike engined race cars

hey guys n gals, looking into the possibility in a couple of years time moving from karting and getting a race car, ive always loved bike engined race cars so was toying with the idea of a formula jedi/rgb car/radical clubsport/sr4 and was just wondering what the respective running costs would be for each car, how often do engines need to be rebuilt etc, tyres, are there any pitfalls/ things to look out for/ how reliable are they... any info would be really useful

thanks in advance

adam
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Old 18 Jul 2011, 16:41 (Ref:2928164)   #2
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I'm currently running a young guy in 750 MC Bike Sports, and have had some exposure to RGB previously.

I'm not really a bike engine fan as i think they are too fragile in a car. However saying that plenty of people totally disagree and seem to be able to run many seasons on the same well looked after engine.

The bike sports cars are fantastically quick for what they are. RGB also, and i think they will definately make a man out of you and make other sorts of cars look pedestrain in comparison.

One thing i would say is to really get a handle on the engine preparation and find yourself an engine guru with pedigree like Andy Bates at AB Performance. Our experience so far this season is one race weekend for two blown up R1's and one detonated ZX10. Another competitor in a similar car has blown up 12 R1 engines in the last two seasons. They really require installing properly and looking after and the R1 and some of the other engines are usually recommended to be avoided for reliability reasons.

I'm not a fan of the Radicals, because they are fairly agricultural and the factory control the price of cars and spares very strictly so you'll spend a lot of money on any repairs. Saying that Radicals also have their own championships so you have the option to run in a few different series with the same car.

If you go RGB then Andy Bates will obviously recommend his Sabre, which might not be a bad option depending on your budget. If you want to run at the front i'm not sure there is a better option available currently.

In bike sports the front guys are changing tyres every race they claim. We are planning on half a season on a set. Running in Class C its less competitive and we can get away with it.

My driver has budgetted for £11k a season, we have blown that this season with the engine issues, but, if you get on top of the engine reliability then i think thats probably a fair budget.

D.
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Old 18 Jul 2011, 20:10 (Ref:2928242)   #3
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I would have thought if you ran something like a Global GT that is already set up well, by yourself, with the odd test, camped at the track, and 2-3 sets of tyres a year you could run for what £6-7k?? or is that totally un-realistic??

Similar or slightly less for RGB series maybe? I think the RGB forum have a few cars for sale and they would be set up and run well already.

From the sounds of it getting the engine set up well is the trick. RGB series has been going for 10years + and people running bike engined cars for a lot longer so there should be plenty of people to ask for advice.

Also there are plenty of RGB racers blogs, (search google for that) and you read up on and get a feel for building /working on a car.

I would love to race in Bikesports but, for me, 10k is alot of money. You do get plenty of race action but I need to wait to race something
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Old 18 Jul 2011, 22:26 (Ref:2928311)   #4
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I am surprised to read the post saying the engines were unreliable as I always had the impression that Jap bike engines ran like clockwork which is why the use of them was become so popular. Interesting insight.
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Old 19 Jul 2011, 09:16 (Ref:2928466)   #5
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Me too, as I see (for example) the Legends cars running Yam 1200s and 1250s, and they have very rarely suffered engine failures in my time of watching them. Must be a matter of tune levels I suppose.
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Old 19 Jul 2011, 10:31 (Ref:2928495)   #6
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Trouble is that I think that bike engines in bikes are designed to be lubricated by the fact that the bikes moves around & lean over both ways whereas in cars the engines are in a virtually fixed plane. Get the lubrication right & the reliability might be OK. But I'm only regurgitating some stuff that i read somewhere ages ago & am no engineer!
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Old 20 Jul 2011, 16:29 (Ref:2929053)   #7
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I thought Motorcycle engines were dry sumped, at least my old Norton Dominator back in the 60's was!
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Old 20 Jul 2011, 17:26 (Ref:2929078)   #8
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I thought Motorcycle engines were dry sumped, at least my old Norton Dominator back in the 60's was!
My BMW K1200S is dry sumped but most are wet sumped. Because bikes lean into a corner oil surge through is much less of an issue (BMW did it to mine for packaging reasons). A lot of kit car companies sell dry sump or accusump kits for bike engined kit cars so I guess it's an issue.

As for reliability, my ZXR400 blew up fairly spectacularly every 14,000 miles without fail despite mostly being used in traffic commuting. My K1200S breaks down a lot (it's been broke for the last year) but that has done 80,000+ miles and the engine internals are perfect barring the damage caused by BMW mechanic not knowing how to use a torque wrench and threadlock properly.
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Old 20 Jul 2011, 17:45 (Ref:2929082)   #9
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I thought Motorcycle engines were dry sumped, at least my old Norton Dominator back in the 60's was!
not so with modern stuff
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Old 13 Aug 2011, 06:10 (Ref:2939145)   #10
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Chaps

I used to be Formula Rep for Bikesports, so know a fair bit about the cars and the characters, and it's a bit off the mark to say that bike engines are unreliable in the Bikesports context.

My own car (a Speads RS06D) has a, wet sumped, tuned '03 R1 installed and has (tempting providence) run like clockwork even though we're pulling well in excess of 2G in some corners.

Indeed, the fact that Radical actually guarantee their engines for 30 hours might indicate that there is nothing wrong with with a well installed bike engine in a sports racing car.

I know the owner(s) of the car(s) that have eaten 12 engines in two seasons pretty well and their problems with their engines ('06 R1s) remain a mystery but are not related to oil control. Rather, they are burning heads and pistons. Both cars are Global GT Lights as, I believe, is Elite Motorsport's, car. It's worth saying '06 R1's have an excellent reliablity record when installed in Jedi single seaters (which are much faster and grippier than Globals) which leads me to think that the problems they have had are installation related.

By the way, something bike engines don't like doing is being used to slow 500kg of car, so you DO have to be sure to be accurate with your downchanges and/or fit a slipper clutch - as I have.

So, to summarise, if your engine is good, your installation is right, you cool and oil the thing properly, and you don't kick the sh*t out of your crank in the braking zone...happy days.
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Old 13 Aug 2011, 06:57 (Ref:2939153)   #11
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Whoops!

I got so carried away with engine stuff that I forgot to answer the OP's questions fully.

What it costs is a bit of a variable but my pal, JP, reckoned he did a full Bikesports season (including petrol for the tow car) for about seven grand.

Because I'm forever developing my car, I've never done a full season - or anything like it - and being busy and useless, I get someone else to prepare and repair my car, tow it to the circuit and provide on circuit support. It's also a very complex car so, adding in all of those factors, I spend a LOT more.

So, all in all, if your doing most of your own your own spannering and not forever launching the car at the scenery, I reckon 10k might be a reasonable budget for a full season in Bikesports and around the same for RGB.

On the subject of tyres, it's certainly true that, in the Radical Club Cup, they are fitting new tyres like they're going out of fashion but, for Bikesports, two or three sets per season should be plenty.

As for what car to buy - as much as I hate to say it - I think buying a Radical is a no brainer, really.

Global Lights are now a bit long in the tooth and Speads ownership can be only slightly less painful than root canal work without novacaine, so I'm dead jealous of the proven products with good support and spares availablity that Radical owners enjoy.

What model of Radical is largely a matter of where you want to be on the grid. A tidy, upgraded, Clubsport will be cheap to buy and run, but won't get you right to the pointy end, whereas a PR6 will be more expensive to buy, will get you to the pointy end but, at the pointy end, you'll find yourself running with the big boys with big wallets. On balance, for Bikesports, a 1300/1340 Busa engined SR4 isn't a bad choice and will give you lots of fun in the mid-field.

Hope this is of help.

C 'J' S
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Old 18 Aug 2011, 15:38 (Ref:2942562)   #12
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what !! CJS recommends a radical !

hows that machine of yours doing anyway ??
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Old 20 Aug 2011, 03:24 (Ref:2943213)   #13
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what !! CJS recommends a radical !

hows that machine of yours doing anyway ??
Hello Stranger

Yes. Shocking isnít it!

But as I said above, if you want to actually DRIVE a solid bike engined sports racing car (and donít want to spend an absolutely fortune developing a car and sitting in it while the wheels fall off; the brakes melt; and the suspension collapses) then a Radical is the kiddie.

In fairness to Speads, most of the problems that Iíve described, above, came to pass because - as you know Ė we went mad with the aero; added a shed load more downforce; and more or less doubled the wheel rates to keep the whole deal off the ground. This said - even if you leave well alone Ė a Speads owner will never enjoy the easy life; spares availability; and support package that The Big R can offer.

As for my car, as you may know, I hit oil in qualifying at Brands and dinged the LHS on the Armco. The damage wasnít too heavy but, what with most of the damaged parts being one-offs, they are time consuming and expensive to replace.

As was also, at the time, 3 monthís away from getting married and the look of complete hatred that my, then, fiancť gave me whenever she sensed that my thoughts were drifting towards repairing the car before our wedding I canít describe.

However, the deed is now done; Iíve pushed the go button for the repairs, and weíll be good to go for early testing and a full season.

But Iíve said that before havenít IÖ.
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Old 21 Aug 2011, 13:09 (Ref:2943665)   #14
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We have recently completed our own race car with a Suzuki Hayabusa engine in it.

We have dry sumped the engine and are hopeful that we wont be having any issues with the car engine wise.
It has had a fair amount of tyme on a chassis dyno during tuning and had done a few test day and a couple of race events so far with no signs of engine troubles.

Hopefully the reliability will continue.
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Old 21 Aug 2011, 13:27 (Ref:2943667)   #15
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We have recently completed our own race car with a Suzuki Hayabusa engine in it.
Interesting. What is it? Pictures?
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