BIKE (UK) - - KNOW HOW - by Ben Lind­ley

THE JOY OF buy­ing, rid­ing and main­tain­ing a £1000 track bike is that you don’t re­ally ever have to worry about drop­ping it. Which is good. ‘Tracked’ bikes are usu­ally miss­ing all pa­per­work, in­clud­ing the V4 (log book) and any ser­vice his­tory. Check the frame (VIN) num­ber on the head­stock hasn’t been filed off. If it has, walk away. If not, check the num­ber by en­ter­ing it on isit­ They’ll also sport bat­tle scars. Don’t be put off by this, but make sure you check wheel align­ment, run the engine and test gearbox ac­tion. Ask the owner when it last had a ma­jor ser­vice (the oil and fil­ter are usu­ally changed af­ter ev­ery track­day). If you’re un­sure whether they’re be­ing truth­ful, fac­tor in the cost of a valve clear­ance check. On the plus side, sec­ond-hand track bikes usu­ally come with plenty of track para­phena­lia: pad­dock stands, spare tyres, and some­times even tyre warm­ers. This is still true of the odd thou­sand pounder. It may look like you’re get­ting a great deal, but there is al­ways an el­e­ment of risk: you won’t know whether the clutch is slip­ping un­til you drive hard through third gear, for ex­am­ple. These bikes work hard, but not harder than they were de­signed to. Keep on top of main­te­nance, and give them a reg­u­lar fair­ing-off clean. This way you get to know the bike, and can spot is­sues be­fore they turn into prob­lems. Then you can con­cen­trate on the hi­lar­i­ous task of over­tak­ing that 2018 sports­bike rid­den by an owner scared of drop­ping the thing.

‘These bikes work hard, but not harder than they were de­signed to’

The fastest bike round Cad­well Park? That’d be a bike with no out­stand­ing „nance

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