Hurtle Goes Racing - Part 3: Preparing A Race Bike - Add Lightness

Author: Dave Roberts   Date Posted: 25 August 2015 

Hurtle Gear Racing BikeThere's going to be a moment when this bike is lovely to look at. In fact, I thought it might have been a little bit ordinary when I took possession of it late last year, but it's August now and I've decided it's quite pretty. Having said that, there's more to this than looks.

The rules regarding the Historic racing code are easily available at When you start looking at what has to go on for all the classes, there are a few things that are specific to the class itself, but the biggest thing that seems important is the general stuff. The lights, indicators, mirrors, ignition switch had to go.

There's no need any more for the rear fender. Off with the stands. Little stuff but it gets us in the racing frame of mind. So at the start of this racing process I shared that I had no knowledge. Indicators and the fender were easy, I just unbolted them. The switch blocks that made them all work were easy too. Turns out that since we don't need the lights, the switches can be just unbolted and taken off. I followed the wiring back to the harness, and it was easier than I imagined. Everything unplugs, so now I have blank plugs and I'm lighter by several kilos.

The stands were harder, not because it was difficult to do, but in my mind I couldn't come to grips with not having a stand. Not to get too far ahead of myself, this was resolved when I got to the track and found everyone working their way round it. So I did my first couple of tuning days with the stand all wired up, but still there weighing a couple of kilos. Fast forward to my first race day, it had simply been unbolted and stuck in a box of Pantah Parts.

There are a few things that need to be done. Of course when I unbolted the headlight I made a honking big hole in the front of the bike. Some people I know are good with metal and I measured the hole, and asked them to cut me a circle of aluminium to fit it. That's been stuck in the hole with Sikaflex. I'm sure that's not how the experts do it, but this is about me learning, and it looks OK at this point. I know the Sikaflex doesn't paint well, so I'll need to figure that after the season finishes, but for now, the plate's funky, and it's an issue I solved.

There's a requirement to ensure that any oil carrying parts of the motor are protected from contacting the ground in the event of falling off. I don't weld. One of the plans for this was to find and use good products we could recommend for the store. So we emailed  LSL, who make really good quality handlebars, controls, pegs, etc etc etc, and asked them about crash protection for a 35 year old Pantah. They offered to send me a kit for the later monster, and told me I might have to modify it. Turns out it didn't require any modification, fitted up in minutes, looks great, meets the rules, and given that they actually didn't charge me for this one, it makes me feel like an internationally factory supported rider.

So I don't have the capacity to weigh the bike. I know it's lighter and simpler now. Plans are afoot to sort out how to get a real weight, but for now, I know I've unbolted more than 5kg, and probably as much as 10. I've also had to think a few things through, and it's making me more in tune with what has to go on.

More fun stuff soon..... 

Pantah side view

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