(Jacob Rumans) #1



Tuner, engineer,rider

The‘C’ word!


o, Idon’tmeanTHATCword. I
mean corners.They’reall over the
place. Just when you’reenjoying
yourself, havingabit ofablast, some
killjoy goes and plonksabig turny corner
thing intheway.
Youmay be underthe impressionthat I
don’t like corners.No,I’m just not very
goo datthem. There aren’t anyata ll on
Madeira Drive in Brighton; that suited me
fine afew yearsago. Iblastedalongthere
withoutacareint he world at thewro ng
side of 160mph and simply blazed the
valvesin my Katanamotorinto oblivion
over the bumpy bit at the end, which was
fine, occupational hazard, etc. Thething
is, therewere no corners there. I’d been to
the sprint at Hartlepoolacouple of years
prior to that and guesswhat? Somebody
had graftedalong, sweepy bit on the end
of th etrack. Isaid: “Isthat bit at the end
acorner?” The reply was: “NarPip, this is
asprint, theydon’t ‘ave corners mate.”
It wasacorner.Acornerwith railings,
and bollards, andwalls, but there was a
straw bale and an arrow pointingaway
from thehard,heavy,pointybits, so that
was all right.Irode around Mallory on a
works XR69 many years ago. Nobody
warnedme, that placeis full of bloody
corners! They’reeverywhere.Left, right,
long sweepyones, avery tighty righty one
and areally nasty one that bends in the
exactshape ofaDevil’sElbow,66.6
degrees. OneofSuzuk i’stestridersfelloff
there and gave his leganasty bang. I
could have helped him out there. If he’d
gone slower,like me,hewouldn’t have
fallenoff! Notrocket science; corner
coming: slow down. And there are other
benefits too,such as reduced wear on
outside edgeofboots, less stress, win-win!
Somebodytold me theyhad corners in
America.We wentover to checkafew years
ago, but didn’tfind any.There wasakink
in the roadabout 30mileswest of
Galveston, butIthinkitw as just road
works ,otherwisenope, juststraight roads
and pick-up trucks. Oh, waitaminute, they
do haveacorne rinAmerica. They call it
‘TheCorkscrew’!Yeah right, coursetheydo,
harrumph! Not like in Italy, they have
prope rnames fortheir corners:Variante del
Rettifilo. Love thatItalianstuff.No idea

what it means, might beadrink, or atype
of pasta,but it still soundsgreat.
And what about those Germans?
Predictably,their corner names are brief,
efficient,Teutonic: Nord Kurve,and
predictably,Sud Kurve...boring!The
Aussiesresistedthe temptation to name
their corners after marvellous marsupials;
imagine Platypus Curve,Devil’ sDash,
Wombat’ sWobble, or how about
Phalangeriformes Firkle?Theyplayed safe
andrustledupafew hero es to give anod
to: Stoner,Gardner and Doohanall get a
mention, butpoor old Croz, justbecause
he hailsfrom afew miles across the
Tasman Sea, no mention. If itwas up to
me Croz, I’d nameawhole bloody circuit
after you,mate!
IknowI’vepokedfun atthat America
andIknowtheyhaveafewroads up there
(so-calle d‘canyons’ andsuch) ,but what
about thePicosinn orthern Spainand the
Dolomites betwixtItaly andAustria? Now
we’re cookin’.Atypical day’sride through
theDolomites islike thebestroller-coaster
in the world...twist, turn, up,down, for
mile aftermile. Andthinkingabout it (am I
tempting fate here?)Inever fell offoncein

abunch of Giros andafew goes at the
5000 Curvasint he Picos.Iactua llylike
twisty roadsin the UK andabroad (mind
you, Cowclap Corneront he Pwllhelito
Morfa Nefyn road (see March 2013,CMM),
requires some imagination andcreativity;
the mixofwarmt h, smoothTarmacand fun
are hard (somemigh tsay impossible..)to
beat. Or evenaroad like thePassOfThe
Cattleover to Applecross,although it’s not
particularly smooth and rarely warm,will
put agrinonmyboat, all day, any day.
And as someone who’sspentabit of
time going instraight lines I’ve had my
puny body battered too many times trying
to ge tfrom A-to-B by theshort estroute.
I’ve fallenoff in thestreet outside my
workshop(off aDemm Dove: oh the
shame,andthe pain), on Pendine Sands
(how stupidis that?),and evencavorting
down the billiard table smoothtarmacat
Santa PodImanaged tolaunch myself
into apassable triplesalchow,with atwist,
result: brokenribs, dented pride, visit to
A&E. Nar,Ithinkinf utureImight stick
to twisty bits, but not goingtoo quick
you understand.Imay be daft, but I’m
not stupid!cmm

YZF750) at Sywell.

98 /classic motorcyclemechanics
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