This is my bike
I started classic racing with a Honda XL250 K0. Lovely bike for short track but a little bit boring on the long straights.Than I switched to a 750 Honda, an over bored Four Daytona replica. Wiseco pistons, high compression, Keihin racing carburetors, Megacycle cams, almost hundred HP. Very fast bike, I was always first… up to the first corner, but from that point on, I would just be fighting against my bike, not the competitors. Than I found the golden mean: A single cylinder English racer.
The heart of the bike is a BSA engine, made by a Dutch guy, Jan DeJong. He specialized too in manufacturing beautiful Gold Star replicas, with larger valves and compact combustion chamber. I still bought a six speed Quaife gearbox and a Newby clutch and gave them to my mate who welded a Seeley MKIII frame around it, with steering angle and tha rake of a Honda NSR250. First I used a Roadholder fork, shocks and wheels from my own stock. My other pal made the petrol tank from a thin alumunium sheet (maybe too thin, it suffered two cracks because of the heavy vibration of the BSA engine.
The result was a well-mannered bike, weighed less than 120 kg, such a great pleasure to ride, as long as you dont want to push really hard. I remember I was on the Rijeka racetrack in Croatia, there were two straights followed by tight corners. It was a nightmare, when I tried to shorten the brake distance and turn in a steep angle after it. As I squeezed the brake lever, the front end started to jump forwards and backwards like crazy during the braking, and then up and down on the corner. After ending up on the gravel twice, thats when I began to think about how to improve the stiffness of the suspension.
While I was studying to be an engineer, one of my teachers (he was a very practical guy) advised me to model the structures from soft materials, e.g.from aluminium wires and test where they distort under loads. This is what I did and I followed his instruction and discovered that the Seeley MKIII frames weak point is the area above the cylinder head, where the upper tubes are crossing each other. To make the frame stiffer, I welded a downtube from the steering head to the engine case. The first problem solved, the bike was smooth even at hard braking. Regarding to the jumping forks which were not adjustbale, the damping was „accidental” and not adjustabe, and the yoking of the front spindle was too weak. To modify the old Roadholder was a disaster, so let’s create a new fork! My Ceriani replica GP35R was born after many years developing and testing, with fully adjustable damping system and wide yoking clamps for the spindle, see www.caferacersuspension.com/forks.html. Works perfectly.
I really enjoy the bike now, sounds and runs easilly like a modern superbike (I raced against them during a drag weekend, okay, some of them were a bit faster, but only some tenth of a difference). I never have to wrestle with it, like the big Honda four, I’m feeling she is for me and not I’m for her.