Ray Stringer: In his own words

 11 February 2002 00:00

R1basher: Hi Ray, I'm gonna be club racing a '98 Blade in the open class...obviously I'm gonna be down on power against R1's. The engine is currently standard, what sort of power do you think is achievable?

RayStringer: Well basically it depends on how much money you want to spend. The best value for money is a good quality exhaust pipe, a set of flat-slides and an airbox.

Gsxer400: What does it cost to run a 4 man team?

RayStringer: It's in the region of about 2 million. It depends on what bikes you go for and what standard you are going to do it.

Namezippy: Where is the money coming from then?

RayStringer: It'll all be disclosed in the next couple of weeks

Youngbikerkev: What do you think of the new 9R?

RayStringer: I've not really had anything to do with it as yet, so I wouldn't like to say until there's some sort of feedback, and we've had one on the dyno here to test it.

Mark: Congrats on the new team! I have a 2000 model VTR SP-1 used mainly on the road...I would like to upgrade my suspension, what's the best option...I'm 12 and a half stone wearing my kit...Thanks

RayStringer: For me, always, always Ohlins, it's the only suspension to use. Front forks, the best guy to modify them is Ken Summerton.

Mrvampire: Ray - I own a 96 ZX 7r P1 with a Yoshimura slip on can. I suffer a flatspot at 4,000 revs what can I do to reduce / remove it?

RayStringer: Dynojet kit. The slip on can creates a lean spot and the only way to cure it is a dynojet kit.

Weebleswobble: How well do you think the GSX-Rs will do?

RayStringer: I think the first team to find how to harness the power and stop them wheelspinning will be the most successful. The Ducatis will still have an advantage becuase they are a twin and will put the power down better

Frank: Do you think that Sean can win the title this year?

RayStringer: Absolutely. If you'd seen the fire in his eyes when we were interviewing him for the job, you would too!

Thomas: I have a 95 blade model rrs, and love it to bits. I've done quite a bit to it and would like to fit a single-sided swingarm. I've heard you can slot in a vfr fp-fs model arm, but all seem to have done it to later models than mine...I don'twant to lose any of the handling that it has now, but would like to do it for cosmetic reasons...

RayStringer: I've been told that the vfr swingarm would work, and I can't remember who does the conversions, but I do remember that it has been done at one time. If it's a different length or alters the linkage ratio of the suspension then it will affect the handling

1117: Where are you Ray?

RayStringer: At my desk. I'm actually looking at my emails on my computer at the same time!!!

Atom: Ray, wht do you think about Michael Meachers plans to crack down on bikes in the countryside?

RayStringer: I know who he is. I didn't know that letter had been leaked. Not overly impressed. People are going to relax and do what they enjoy somewhere. I'm a keen green-laner myself, so I like to get out there and go greenlaning

fwebb: Is there an easy way in which to test if the rear suspension is functioning as it should. i.e. how do we know when it should be replaced/repaired?

RayStringer: In general, if the suspension seizes up, or if it is too slow on rebound, if a bearing dries up. If the shock breaks you'll lose your rebound damping and when you push the bike down, the bike will follow your hand back upr eally quickly

Stephenfarrar: How do I get the centrestand off my 1999 cbr600? It`s siezed up, and even though I`ve used half a can of WD40 on it, it still won`t move freely.

RayStringer: Er...the pin will have to be drilled or ground out, probably.

Dojy: so how exactly can you stop a head gasket from blowing?

RayStringer: Laughs...well first of all you have to make sure all your faces are flat, and what we've found works is if you've got a borderline head gasket problem is a hydraulic flange sealer, like you'd use on a pipe. It's an industrial product, made by people like Loctite, but it does work quite well.

Youngbikerkev: Ray, I’m only young and I plan to be a bike mechanic have u any advice to where I should start

RayStringer: There's no easy way into being a bike mechanic. Certainly a race bike mechanic starts off by being a gopher.

Dant: Need a gopher?

RayStringer: Thanks all the same, but no, we've got plenty at the moment If you've got the right aptitude then you start by making the tea, and end up working on race bikes!

Richwm: Ray, I'm a bit of a lanky lard boy @6'1 and 15 stone. Any tips for suspension setup on a RRX Blade. I am going through front and rears at the same rate, is this normal?

RayStringer: Er, no it's not normal. Sounds like you ride too far over the front, try more preload on the forks, more stiffer fork springs. Either that or get on the gas more to make sure you wear the back out first, same as everyone else!!!!

Dojy: I had a rd350 ypvs which kept blowing the base gaskets........the bike had a wisco high compression kit fitted and all surfaces milled flat and head scimmed..... it kept blowing them every 500 miles... any ideas why?

RayStringer: If it blows the base gasket, it's just an uneven surface. The compression of the piston has absolutely nothing to do with the base gasket.

1117: Don’t be riding them Ducatis this year ray cos you know what happens !!!!!!!!!!!!

RayStringer: Happens to who?

Youngbikerkev: Whats your favourite bike Ray?

RayStringer: My favourite bike...I think I've got to say the 998R. For looks and for performance as a bike on the track, which is where I come from obviously.

Daveb: Who do you think will win the BSB/WSB and GP titles this year?

RayStringer: British...Hislop is going to take some stopping if he's on the gas. GP, it's absolutely got to be Rossi, and World Superbike, Bayliss will do it again. The obvious ones really.

Namezippy: How much do you rate Katoh?

RayStringer: Highly, very highly. It'll be interesting to see, they're talking about putting him on a V5. He'll be the one who might be able to give Rossi a run, if he adapts to four strokes.

Atom: Who is your favourite rider, past and present?

RayStringer: My all time hero was Freddie Spencer. He wasn't around for long at the top but when he was no one else saw where he went! And he won the 250 and 500 together didn't he. Favourite at the moment has got to be Bayliss, because he's such a good all round guy. He has as much time for me now, when he's a world champion, and I'm just a pleb, as he did in 97 when we were racing together.

Namezippy: What about the British lot

RayStringer: It's got to be Hizzy He’s got that much natural ability

1117: Why do crancases on dukes break more when you ride them ray?

RayStringer: That has to be someone I raced against. It's because I used to rev em too hard and I was too heavy!!

RayStringer: 1117, have you broken any ducati crankcases?

Dojy: any idea where i could get an engine t o fit into a kwak kr1....... kr1 engines are damned expensive and rare...... someone suggested a rg250 lump.....i can change the mounts to fit anything but it needs to fit into the frame right....ideas?

RayStringer: Er, go for the RG lump. The only place you'll find the KR lump is in a museum!

1117: Well you didn’t admit it the time about the revving

RayStringer: 1117> who are you?…Gary? I'm going to tell Bozzy you're not working! Bollocks.

Atom: If you where not a tech guru and team manager ...what would your profession be?

RayStringer: Engineer.....but on the motorcycle engineering side, that's what interests me.

Ollie t: ive got aZX7R I BOUGHT IN GERMANY, IVE BEEN TOLD IT MAYBE RESTICTED TO 99BHP AND THAT I CAN FIND OUT BY THE CHASSIS NO. OR ENGINE NO. IS THIS TRUE

RayStringer: It is true yeah, but you'll have to talk to Kawasaki UK about it, and the restriction is the cams and I think deadstops in the flights as well.

Richwm: Do you think Hodgson will be a WSB champion, Yes or No?, If no why?

RayStringer: I would like to think so. Maybe this year.

Badbhoy: The threads are starting to go on the drive sprocket shaft,can anything be done or is it a strip down and repair job, keep losing drive sprocket nuts and lock washers,bike is an FZR600.

RayStringer: Yeah, basically it's a strip down, and a new shaft job.

jgtgogs1: Can a ZZr 400 K model be dynojetted, if so would there be any marked improvement in throttle response

RayStringer: They can be improved over standard, but it can't be dynojetted.

Chriscat: I've just bought a Thunderace which suits me great but it sounds a bit weedy - is fitting an end can any more complicated because of the exup system?

RayStringer: No, but the Thunderace runs very lean if you fit an end can without a dynojet kit.

Dojy: What do you think about custom bikes...I don’t mean Harleys...I mean proper hardcore hardtails and streetfighters and the like?

RayStringer: We do some work with streetfighters and I quite like streetfighters, but again because of my racing background I like something with suspension you can set up for corners, so hardtails are out for me. But I'm too old and fat to go and race a streetfightered Ducati next year

RayStringer: Thanks for all your questions and it's been fun, but I've got a few race bikes to go and fiddle with. Hopefully I’ll do this again sometime soon if I didn’t get to answer your questions today.