TT2012 – First Practice Update

A steady start for me in the first night of practice. Plans were changing right up to the last minute. The Norton had some teething issues just before we left for the Isle of Man and these were still being sorted, despite a massive effort from the Norton team, up until the practice started.

I decided to run my ZX10 first as it is the bike that I know the best. With a different refreshed, but same spec, motor fitted I lined up on the road first next to Michael Dunlop and promptly stalled as the marshal tapped my shoulder – what a tit!! The clutch set up of this engine is hugely different to my Thundersport motor and it caught me out, this is now top of my list of things to sort out. Eventually on my way it was quite clear that the chassis was a mile off! The bike was shaking it’s head everywhere to the point I was holding on whilst it took me for a ride!

I came in after the first lap and lengthened the wheelbase also, with advice from Richard of Maxton suspension, made some changes to add more weight to the front end. Second lap and the bike was a clear improvement. Still weaving and shaking in the fast sections but it was a definite step in the right direction. Flat out in top gear along Sulby straight I had to sit up into the wind and back out of the throttle as the bars were flapping that hard, not pleasant. Some more adjustments at the end of the lap and the bike was transformed. I finally began to trust that it wasn’t going to suddenly try and break loose into a huge tank slapper. This made the third lap much more enjoyable. I got held up plenty and generally took my time for the whole night so no lap records were broken.

Finding my way back around the circuit and correcting chassis problems were my main goals which I think were achieved. Some more changes and laps Tuesday and I think the bike will be somewhere near. I should also get a run out on the Norton, which we only narrowly missed getting an outing on Monday. Anyway that’s pretty much the news of night one, I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes.


Posted: May 29, 2012


Ian Mackman