Face to Face with Gus Kuhn Motors
Motor Cycle News Extra December 1969

To many would-be racers the production machine class appears to offer a cheap and easy entry to the world of road racing.

But while the initial cost of the machine may be considerably lower than the outlay for a pukka racer, there is no room for skimping machine or personal preparation.

With the production class attracting more and more interest from factories and dealers, the competition is naturally getting tougher and the newcomer to racing and the private owner will find it harder and harder to get among the leaders.

Part of the battle can be won in the workshop, on practice days and in the paddock with a pre-race check.

Mick Andrew, winner of the production race at this year's Hutchinson 100 and Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey, who provided the winning 750cc Commando, have compiled ten hints to help guide the private production racer.

  • Know what gearing to use for each circuit and keep a note of these, if your machine is a 750cc Norton gear for a maximum of 7,000 rpm for short events but down a little to 6,800 for long races.
  • Check all components that can possibly work loose. These should be wired or locked up in the most suitable way.

  • Check points, tappets and chains after every race. Any loss of adjustment can often indicate trouble to come and provide vital information on how the machine is running.

  • Make sure the riding position and control layout offer the best possible comfort.

  • Make sure the bike starts first kick every time. Practise getting into gear and moving off rapidly.

  • Do not try to fit non-approved components. It's not worth it.

  • If you fall off during a race and the machine suffers fairly heavy damage, think twice about continuing. There may be something damaged that cannot be spotted in the short time available.

  • Do not run on worn tyres. Replace after 50 per cent wear. Tyres on production machines can always be used for normal running with safety after their racing life has ended. Always check tyre pressures on race day.

  • Always try to walk round a circuit or in some other way learn its characteristics other than during the official race practice period.

  • Check clothing and riding gear. Never turn out looking personally scruffy - and the same goes for the preparation of the machine being raced.