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iainb

Why Do Speedway Bikes Run on Methanol?

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1 hour ago, iainb said:

Not ALL fossil fuels are bad, just like not ALL plastic is bad. It's the big emitters and the big single plastic users that need to change to allow acceptable use of fossil fuels and plastic. A big part of all motorsport is the noise and I don't think you're going to get that without some sort of internal combustion engine. I don't see why we can't live in a world where some fossil fuels are still used for motor sports, vintage cars etc. While the rest of the world has moved away from them

...also in running steam locomotives.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...also in running steam locomotives.

Now we're talking Steamway :cheers:

 

Edited by iainb
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Rich said:

Formula Grasstrack Association run 125 Hondas, very model specific, nothing too modern. I think the association Daniel Smith may be referring to is any Governing body such as the ACU or FIM. Like it or not, fossil fuels are being phased out and I don't think changing from an environmentally friendly fuel like Methanol to petrol is acceptable. 

Sorry I was wrong they used to be Bantams good point but I'm not talking about changing fuels. What I'm suggesting is a class of racing that is affordable using stock engines and frames. The IOW Shale Racing are using 250 methanol Jawa engines though these are still bespoke and expensive !!

https://www.dirthub.co.uk/appleton-masterclass-at-island-masters-shaletrack-opener-race-report-results/

There is a world beyond the BSPA, BSPL and the SCB.

Edited by Pieman72
Grammar

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21 minutes ago, Pieman72 said:

Sorry I was wrong they used to be Bantams good point but I'm not talking about changing fuels. What I'm suggesting is a class of racing that is affordable using stock engines and frames. The IOW Shale Racing are using 250 methanol Jawa engines though these are still bespoke and expensive !!

https://www.dirthub.co.uk/appleton-masterclass-at-island-masters-shaletrack-opener-race-report-results/

There is a world beyond the BSPA, BSPL and the SCB.

IOW are providing different classes and competitions throughout the meetings but the Island Masters is still 500cc laydown engines. I do think that 250 speedway machines do provide good racing and better range of trackcraft to generate and maintain speed plus they don't pick grab drive as hard as their bigger counterparts. 

All this aside riders won't / can't just drop their existing stable of equipment if forced to use new/standardised/stock or whatever engines. The only way that will take off is running as a separate entity / class that grows in stature over the years until it becomes the dominant force in a similar way that laydown engines replaced uprights.

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15 hours ago, Ray Stadia said:

If there was a switch to battery, surely you would get the explosive instant power, similar to a current methanol burning engine, but you wouldn't get the braking effect from an electric motor, but maybe that can be overcome. On the other hand, 4 bikes going round without the distinctive noise and, although reducing these days, due to riders using synthetic oil, the smell, will be the final nail! :unsure:

Recently watched an all electric flat track race on an oval. The winner was an ex British champion on an expensive and very well set up Alta developed with his help in the US. He was amazing on it and set times that would have seen him podium in the Pro class final. However despite the speed  there was very definitely something missing with regard to excitement.

On the other hand you would instantly do away with one of the biggest problems Speedway now has as a city centre sport.

Personally I don't think there is anything to be gained by moving away from methanol engines. Large manufacturers aren't going to invest heavily in Speedway, the sales numbers would be miniscule in their terms and the exposure largely to non motorcycle people when it comes to Speedway fans.

Speedway engines are expensive to maintain if you think of it as an hourly cost but in per race terms not quite as bad. An awful lot of that cost could be lessened by a standard engine rule that didn't require the engine to be full of parts that cost 2 or 3 times as much as those from the manufacturer. That would also let more riders do their own general servicing with perhaps one visit per year to a tuner/ engine builder. I think a minimum stroke /return to long stroke - engines would benefit the sport in many ways. The fact they burn a clean fuel should be used as a positive in promoting the sport.

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Perhaps running petrol engines as a separate class with different engines of the same capacity could drive some interest. I hardly think a speedway meeting is going to be climate changing and electric is a non-starter. There are loads of petrol engines out there the only problem is separating them from the drive train? Look at the F2 bike surely a stock engine Sachs etc is going to be cheaper particularly if a good order is placed.

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As stated above electric bikes are on the rise both in terms of production and popularity. Plus they will be far more utilitarian than a Speedway bike. Why are there far more moto x bikes and riders around than speedway riders? its simple and clear economics, why would anyone (sane) buy a bike that they can only use on tracks miles apart and when they are told they can (and often have to pay for the privilege) when you can buy an off road bike and ride it at a multitude of places. The future of oval racing is likely to be electric and likely to be a flat track crossover. Why anyone currently is looking at or developing new engines and engine parts for speedway is beyond me as its akin to making bodykits and engine mods for reliant robins.

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Naa it will be the death of speedway. The noise and the smell is what makes so addictive. Motox tends to be spectacular on electric or conventional perhaps more so with electric as they are so powerful. The engines don't need to be developed as they are already in production. There are a plethora of engines on the grass that work perfectly well even a BSA B34 !! Speedway fans have been brainwashed into accepting this standard of racing washed down with a £5 lager and a dodgy burger it's getting a bit stale and boring.

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13 minutes ago, Pieman72 said:

Naa it will be the death of speedway. The noise and the smell is what makes so addictive. Motox tends to be spectacular on electric or conventional perhaps more so with electric as they are so powerful. The engines don't need to be developed as they are already in production. There are a plethora of engines on the grass that work perfectly well even a BSA B34 !! Speedway fans have been brainwashed into accepting this standard of racing washed down with a £5 lager and a dodgy burger it's getting a bit stale and boring.

My first grass bike was a BSA Gold Star 350 cc (B32)! Running on methanol. 

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I bought a bike that previously had a Velocette 350 with a Triumph 350 piston. I went to the recent VMCC Warwick Grasstrack meeting admission....a £10 donation to the club entertainment superb, value for money incalculable.

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32 minutes ago, Pieman72 said:

Naa it will be the death of speedway. The noise and the smell is what makes so addictive. Motox tends to be spectacular on electric or conventional perhaps more so with electric as they are so powerful. The engines don't need to be developed as they are already in production. There are a plethora of engines on the grass that work perfectly well even a BSA B34 !! Speedway fans have been brainwashed into accepting this standard of racing washed down with a £5 lager and a dodgy burger it's getting a bit stale and boring.

It may well be the death of speedway but the same could be said of the move to laydown engines, short stroke engines, the move away from castor oil, the silencers the list goes on. The fact is that they are all "progress" and sports that embrace progress continue to evolve and thrive and those that cling onto the past fail. Even the same sport can be more and less successful depending on the approach it takes if you look at cricket or darts for example.

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4 hours ago, iainb said:

Now we're talking Steamway :cheers:

 

Fabulous! :t:

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21 minutes ago, Sings4Speedway said:

It may well be the death of speedway but the same could be said of the move to laydown engines, short stroke engines, the move away from castor oil, the silencers the list goes on. The fact is that they are all "progress" and sports that embrace progress continue to evolve and thrive and those that cling onto the past fail. Even the same sport can be more and less successful depending on the approach it takes if you look at cricket or darts for example.

But....the so called progress, hasn't translated into more fans and more tracks. :unsure:

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1 hour ago, Pieman72 said:

Naa it will be the death of speedway. The noise and the smell is what makes so addictive. Motox tends to be spectacular on electric or conventional perhaps more so with electric as they are so powerful. The engines don't need to be developed as they are already in production. There are a plethora of engines on the grass that work perfectly well even a BSA B34 !! Speedway fans have been brainwashed into accepting this standard of racing washed down with a £5 lager and a dodgy burger it's getting a bit stale and boring.

 

41 minutes ago, Pieman72 said:

I bought a bike that previously had a Velocette 350 with a Triumph 350 piston. I went to the recent VMCC Warwick Grasstrack meeting admission....a £10 donation to the club entertainment superb, value for money incalculable.

I'm not so sure about MX, seen electric bikes there and exactly the same problem with the lack of noise, whether it is something that we would get used to I'm not sure, after all nobody was ever going to watch Speedway again when silencers were introduced.

Grass Track and Speedway are similar but not the same though, what works on Grasstrack won't necessarily transfer to Speedway. I went to watch the upright Championships a couple of weeks back, really good value for money with lots of races. Plenty of old bikes there with the pre-75 class and some of the racing was excellent throughout the classes. Not a big difference between the uprights and laydowns to watch, for my money though the best to watch were still the modern 500s. Whether that is because it is what the younger lads ride or the bikes it's difficult to say but it is what the younger competitors want to ride so why risk losing them?

I regularly rode a modern 450 MX bike on shale ovals until a couple of years ago and now ride a 750 Norton (old one). It's not much like riding a Speedway bike. The tyres being road legal rather than knobblies are what makes it difficult but put Speedway tyres on and we would only be able to slide coming off the corners because we just don't have the flywheels to turn in on the throttle consistently when there is a lot of grip.

Some of the racing, especially in the Pro class at DTRA Flat Track meetings is incredible but apart from family and friends attracts one man and his dog to spectate live on a good day, and it's normally free. For some reason though it seems to be really press friendly and attracts good coverage Europe wide, was popular on TV, especially with racers from other disciplines, a few years back too.

Speedway can't afford to do that because if the riders aren't paid they wouldn't be able to race in a league for long. However I think what the IOW are doing with running modern bikes as the main event team sport then other classes in support is the way to go. The Speedway should still attract those wanting team events and the other classes add value to the evening. Even if the additional classes only bring a few friends through the gate it's still a chance to show Speedway to a new audience.

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1 minute ago, Ray Stadia said:

But....the so called progress, hasn't translated into more fans and more tracks. :unsure:

agreed and sadly not but is that because the sport has just taken these changes out of reactionary moves and necessity rather than thinking about how to improve the product as a whole. Laydowns could have been easily outlawed at the start, silencers could have actually been developed to produce a smoother power curve rather than the quickest whilst just sneaking under the db limit. Whilst all promotions are only driven by self interest there will be no future. Build a team with the best 7 riders in the world if you can afford it but there will be no spectacle as the opposing teams simply won't be able to match up. 

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