2017 racing action kicks of with World Superbikes in February. Here’s our lowdown on what’s new and what you need to know.
From the road to the track – what goes in to a BSB series race bike
The BSB season has well and truly begun. Jordan is race ready and so is the bike! But it wasn’t when Team HARIBO Starmix first got their hands on it… check out what Jordan and the team have to do to get the road ready Triumph 675 to a Superstock 600 race ready version of itself.
My Team HARIBO Starmix Triumph 675 Superstock 600 – race number #24
In the Superstock 600 class at British SuperBike (BSB) we are only permitted to change or remove certain items for racing. All the standard road equipment like headlights, horn and road-stands must first be removed. We then fit lightweight race fairings. In order to maximise performance, the road-going exhaust system is replaced with a stainless-steel racing exhaust; we use Scorpion’s Red Power system. And to complement that system, we’ve fitted a Bazzaz EFi fuel computer as a piggyback system over the standard 675R ECU. The Bazzaz EFi helps keep the fuel injection running at optimum performance, so that the fuel-air ratio isn’t running too-rich nor too-lean.
Engine modifications are illegal in the BSB Superstock racing class; we are however allowed to fit a thinner cylinder-head gasket to increase the compression ratio, and we replace the standard air-filter with a high performance MWR race filter. With all these changes, our 675R engines can produce almost 130bhp., and with suitable gearing, the bike can deliver on-track speeds of around 170mph.
The Triumph 675R comes complete with world-leading Ohlins suspension, however my Ohlins shock and forks have had their internal-workings enhanced by the Harris Performance / Ohlins race support team. A simple sliding marker on the fork-leg will show us at-a-glance how much fork-travel I’ve been using out there on track; we’ll then use that visual clue, plus some clever electronic motion-sensors to help us figure-out how and whether we might need to change suspension settings or swap the weight/strength of the bike’s road-springs; each rider and each race circuit places unique demands on a bike’s suspension; even the changing weather conditions will make a difference eg. when it start to rain we always need to soften the suspension settings and/or (if there’s time) reduce the spring weight too.
Although the 675R comes ready-equipped with brilliant Brembo brake callipers, we’ve also fitted a pair of Brembo’s own brake discs (they’re among the best that money can buy). We only use these higher performance Brembo discs when I’m riding on dry tarmac. When racing in the wet we’ll change back to standard discs; you don’t want harsh braking when it’s wet out there; if anything you need the softer feel that the standard Triumph discs provide. Our brake pads are renewed before that start of each and every race; we use DP Brake pads as we believe they are the best aftermarket pad for this bike; they give the rider brilliant feedback and a reliable and gradual bite; we renew our pads more often than necessary to help optimise brake performance and to ensure rider confidence too). We’ve also upgraded from the standard brake pipes; we always fit the special stainless-steel hoses by HEL Performance; when these are used with Motul’s Racing Factory brake fluid (RBF 600) the combination means I never need suffer a spongy brake lever.
After each and every session out there on track, I’ll come back in and chat things through with our Racing Principal and my mechanics; we’ll review how the bike is handling and any need for advice on my riding style; I’ll then update a control book, for example, if there are any settings that we’ve agreed need to be changed; maybe a change of gearing or suspension, or even just to move the angle of my handlebars. My control book always stays with the bike; it helps me to focus my thoughts and pass them on to my brilliant mechanics (Cy and Spud) – ready for them to make the changes under the supervision of James our Team HARIBO Starmix Racing Principal. Cy and Spud will then strip the bike’s bodywork, clean and service as required, and complete the required set-up changes – ready and immaculately-presented for my next session out there on track. They’re a great team; I couldn’t imagine racing at BSB without their skill, advice, enthusiasm and stress-releasing humour.