Tag Archives: Gordon Jennings

Scott racer developments

One of my main aims for this year for my ’32 Scott racer was to set up the carburation properly for petrol again, having decided to move away from Methanol. Methanol worked really well, and the power characteristics really suited the three speed box. The bike was fast and really responsive to ride with the single overbored Amal type 89, but I worked out that the venturi area was less than optimum and resolved to improve that.
With the single carb, the shape and position of the torque curve was pretty much exactly what I’d expected based on the calculations I’d made using Gordon Jennings formulas relating to port time/area relationships. Basically, the you need a certain area of port available to enable adequate gas flow at a certain revs and that area increases as the revs increase as the gas has less time to pass through it. Nothing I have done over this winter should change that torque curve shape too much, as I’ve not changed port timings. Changes in exhaust pulse characteristics relating to the increase in temperature anticipated with the change to petrol will make a difference, and quite possibly not a beneficial one but we’ll see.

Vee twin manifold
Vee twin manifold
I do expect that the new fuel system, using a pair of 1″ Amal type 76 carbs on a vee type manifold, should keep that curve from tailing off quite when it does at the moment. I spent hours setting up the float heights and chamber positions so I hope it works. The extra breathing coupled with an attempt to tune the inlet lengths to work better with the slightly extended inlet timing duration I have on this engine should in theory pay off. With the single carb, you could see an inch or so ‘stand off’ of mixture blown out (and sucked back) at low revs. The longer tracts will help eliminate that. I have also spent a significant time working on the head profile to try to allow a more direct route for the flame front to move to the extremities of the combustion chamber but there’s a fair bit of finger in the air stuff… with a bit of borrowed knowledge and the rest; ideas formed through slow but incremental observation of what has already happened.

So, with a completely new fuel system, I need testing to get it right. The most straightforward way for me to do this is by getting onto the dyno that I’ve been using for my other tests so far. This time though, not to do a run but to do a full set up.

So this week, I’ve booked a morning at Alan Jeffery’s dyno in Plymouth, run by Steve from GT motorcycles who seems to spend most of his time tuning NSR 500 Honda GP bikes for people all over the place. A good man to have on-side.

I’ve tried to make sure that I’ll be ready to make the most of it. Roger sent me his block of main jets,IMG_5138 so I’ve got changes to make. I’ve fitted the exhaust temperature sensors to enable me to use that information to help establish whether we are too lean. I’ve got a couple of plugs from a different heat range and on top of that… I also picked up some AVGAS as I’ve been convinced of the advantages of this over even the higher octane rated unleaded from the forecourt.
I’ve also ordered a radiator hose connector which allows the fitting of an 1/8″ temperature sensor and at some point I’d like to fit one of these to go with my Scitsu rev counter which (although it probably needs servicing) stopped working altogether when I switched to methanol.

Hopefully, I’ll get a better result that the first dyno run I did last year. That gave a maximum torque figure of around 38ft/lbs at near to 4000 rpm and a maximum horsepower of 33 at 5000rpm.

I really want to get out to do more racing this year and I really want it to be competitive.

Holiday thoughts..

I’ve been away in France for a few days Holiday with my wife and our little girl and I thought I’d take a couple of motorbike magazines with me that I’ve never bought just to give me something to stick my nose in (as well as Jennings book on two stroke tuning, Tuning for Speed and a a great book about some of the lesser known stories from within the drama of the Tour de France). One of these was ‘Practical Sportsbikes’ which seems to be largely written by one man but has some really interesting bits and pieces in it. Mainly aimed at people who are interested in 70’s, 80’s and 90’s sportsbikes and still actually doing things to them to make them faster or better. One bit was concerned with the re-commissioning of a Suzuki RGV 250, which I’ve always had a soft spot for after having sat on one at the 1989 motorcycle show at the NEC. Anyway, they had decided to fit a programmable ignition unit which gave them the opportunity to pre-program advance curves and also to alter the timing using a plug in remote control. After realising that this wasn’t something that was that far beyond the realms of possibility, I wondered about using this on the Silk Scott racer, since no firm ignition set up has been defined as yet, beyond the use of the flywheel as part of the generator and ignition trigger.

Roger working on generator flywheel.
Roger working on generator flywheel.

We're hoping it's all going to work out...
We’re hoping it’s all going to work out…
I wrote to the manufacturer mentioned in the piece at the beginning of the week outlining my interest and telling him the current situation.
I’ve had an email exchange this week which has been interesting. He admits that the benefits of an advance curve are likely to be greater in a higher revving engine, but he reckons that all engines benefit from it. It also gives speedy possibilities to set up in a dyno session, where the timing can be changed very quickly.
I’ve never had an advance curve on the system I run on the Super Squirrel and I’ve always thought it was fine. Without actually putting it on a dyno, It’s pretty difficult to know though.
He also says that the spark output is really good at low revs which means good starting… much better than a PVL system he said, which didn’t really crank out the voltage until the revs were higher. That would be nice.

The programmable ignition system is ‘zeeltronic’ (apparently popular according to this magazine article) and the website is here:


They do systems that also control exhaust valves at different revs but the one he specified just does a couple of ignition curve programmes.

It certainly means that there wont be the fiddle of trying to make sure that the pickup assembly is adjustable. Apparently you set the pickup to sense the trigger just before the range you are going to be using and then the actual ignition firing points are decided by you in two programmable maps.

Also, since we won’t have any ignition or oil pump related gubbins hanging off the doors, I think that we should also do a set of reed doors for it such as Roger made for his brother’s bike back in the late 1960’s. Recently he’s had more castings made as they were used on the ‘phased transfer’ engine that Bob Collet has designed and built using Scott components as a basis.

Reed valve doors as designed, made and fitted to his brothers bike in the late 1960's
Reed valve doors as designed, made and fitted to his brothers bike in the late 1960’s
The more I think about it, the more I reckon that although reeds can be restrictive to flow in high revving two strokes, with the engine speeds that we are using there could well be a distinct advantage and with the high comp head and a resonant exhaust, it could be significant!