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KP RacingKarel Pavich is one of just a handful of women worldwide in the sport of motorcycle road racing.
Karel made history by becoming the first woman to win a solo NZ National Championship when she won the 2006 title in the 250GP class.
It is a tough and unforgiving sport, but there is something about racing a motorcycle that doesn't compare to anything else......
....."I just love it" says Karel
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Getting ready to race this season » Wed, 24th Aug 2011After some time out to build the Pro Rider training business,Karel is getting ready to get back on track.
She will be returning back to racing this season in the Post Classic classes with the TZ 350 she hopes to return to Phillip Island with in January 2012.
She will initially be racing a ZXR400 in the pre 89 Post classic class.
Withdrawn from Phillip Island » Tue, 14th Dec 2010It is with real regret that we have had to make the decision to pull out of the Phillip Island race meeting in January 2011.
There are several reasons that have forced this decision.
During dyno testing of the bike in preparation for the race meeting, we discovered that the last good crankshaft in the TZ350 needs to be replaced. Other major engine parts are also showing signs of wear and tear since the race meeting at Phillip Island in Sept this year.
As awesome and strong as this bike truly is, its age means that certain mechanical parts inevitably wear out and need to be replaced. The crankshaft will cost over $2000 to replace and it needs to be sourced from Europe. The time involved in that process brings us too close to race time to have everything fitted and running without a massive amount of pressure. The amount of money we need to make this event happen is an unrealistic goal for us at this time.
We are desperately disappointed, but we have turned our attention to what is possible. We are now concentrating on working towards the Barry Sheene memorial race meeting in Australia in April 2011. This is entirely achievable, provided we can get the sponsorship we need to enable us to do what needs to be done, to make that meeting. We need $10,000 to achieve this.
Your sponsorship is more important now than it has ever been.
Help us to achieve our goal of getting to the Barry Sheene race meeting in April 2011, to continue flying the flag for Kiwi Women in motorsport.
We cannot do it without you. Please join the KP Racing Team and help move us forward.
Thanks so much to those sponsors who have so generously become a part of the team, $1500 has beenraised to date, so there is a wee way to go……
New Sponsors on board » Tue, 16th Nov 2010A big thanks to the people that have become a part of the team with some sponsorship assistance.
Bill Irwin - the Bike Museum
Great Event - Maxine Cook
Anne Michelle - Electrolysis
Russ Mattsen - Mattsen Guitars
Gary & Anne Webber - WeDoWebsites
Andrea & Robert - Hot Yoga Nelson
Shelley Carppe - Bayleys Real Estate
Ngaire Service - NJ Business Services
Marion Edwin - Optimise
Jon & Cheryl Harrey - Te Mania Wines
Topliss Brothers - Topliss Bros Precision Engineers
Click here to visit the sponsors page
Bugger - we need a new crankshaft » Fri, 12th Nov 2010During some Dyno testing of the bike in preparation for Phillip Island, we have discovered that the last good crankshaft in the TZ350 needs to be replaced. With the bike being 30 years old, it is inevitable that everything will wear out at some point and unfortunately we now need to spend over $2000 to replace just this one part which we will need to source from Europe. In fact, right now, we need $4000 on engine parts and repairs and until we do this, we are unable to run the bike. So, that has put a fairly big stop to progress at present - so your sponsorship is even more urgent now.....
Seeking Sponsorship for 2011 Phillip Island Classic » Wed, 20th Oct 2010
I have a proposition for you. I'm looking for sponsorship to help me achieve my goals of personal and professional development, and of continuing to encourage Kiwi Women to get into Motor Sport. I'm asking you for an investment of just $100, to help me achieve that.
I need $15,000 in order to do this, which includes some racing in NZ as a build up. This is to cover the cost of racing tyres, shipping, racing fuel, engine parts and spares - including a new $2000 crankshaft, travel, accom, transportation etc
What I'm offering in return for your investment of $100 is:
(please do not feel limited by that number…)
• A presence on a dedicated Sponsors page on my KP Racing website with your logo or name
• A direct web-link to your own website
• An exclusive after-race Sponsors' Networking function will be held in Nelson, on Thur February 10th 2011, to which you will be invited, to mix and mingle, and increase your opportunities to do business with fellow Sponsors.
• Regular email updates about the progress of the KP Racing Team
Please email me if you would like to be a sponsor for the 2011 challenge.
Australian Historic Championships 3- 5 Sept » Wed, 8th Sep 2010Things started off fairly challenging for me when I went out for my first practice on Thursday morning and we had an engine seizure at the fastest part of the track on lap 4.
After Lester had worked really hard on rebuilding the motor, we figured that it was most likely due to the Aussie Av gas being a lower spec than ours in NZ, which caused a problem for our high compression motor.
Friday practice went well, but I missed my Qualifying session due to a clutch problem. Sat morning qualifying was cancelled due to wet weather and we had a very short warm up session where I realised immediately that my Dunlop tyres were not providing any grip at all,
having never ridden on them in the rain. We fitted an Avon front which made the bike 50% better and since I hadn't qualified, my best practice time was used which put me 7th on the grid.It was a field of 19 bikes in the Period 5, 350cc class.
Race 1 was in the wet and I finished in 6th - I didn't get a very good start due to wheel spin on the rear tyre off the start line. But the new front tyre was good, however the rear was still lacking in any real grip and I had a few "moments" especially into the fast Turn 1.
Race 2 started OK, I had a reasonable start and was 4th into Turn 2. The tyres felt good as we had fitted an Avon to the rear also.
I made a couple passing manoeuvres into 2nd place and was feeling quite comfortable as the rain had stopped and the track was drying. I held 2nd for another 3 laps and then lost 2 places again on the last lap finishing in 4th place. It was a good race.
Race 3 started well, I was 3rd into Turn 2 but exited in the wrong gear so lost a couple of places, and the conditions were tricky as part way through the race, it rained, then stopped so the track was damp, but not wet… and since I was not very familiar with these tyres, I eased up a bit as others were crashing and I wanted to bring the bike home in one piece. I finished 6th in the race.
Those 3 races made up the Historic Championship, and I came away overall in 4th place.
All in all, I am happy with how the weekend shaped up as it was very much a "bedding in" session for the new chassis - which feels fantastic, and also for me since I have had just a couple of races over the last 18 mths. We came away happy that we can put a good plan together as preparation for the Island Classic in Jan 2011, so that is our goal, to go back there with a solid set-up, plenty of preparation, testing and racing between now and Jan 2010.
Kiwi Team Results
Andrew Stroud won the championships for the 3 classes he entered, it was
fantastic, consistent riding from one of our most accomplished Kiwi racers
Nick Cole was 2nd behind Andrew in the period 3 senior class, Ginger Molloy won his class as well, and overall the Kiwi team did great…..
click here for highlights of the Kiwi Team <Click here
Phillip Island Here we come! » Thu, 19th Aug 2010Phillip Island here we come!
Australia Historic Championship Sept 3- 5
I will be racing at the Australian Historic Championship meeting at Phillip Island Sept 3-5 as part of the 27 strong Kiwi team attending. Our bikes are in the container being shipped to Phillip Island for 4 days of spectacular racing at this awesome & challenging track. I will be onboard the Yamaha TZ350 which will be a great chance to fully test the new CMR Racing chassis on the bike, as Phillip Island was where the chassis was broken beyond repair on this demanding circuit in 2008. For various reasons, there has been limited racing for me over the last 18 months, but I am ready to give it my best at Phillip Island.
Preparing for Phillip Island » Tue, 27th Jul 2010We are preparing for the Australian Historics meeting at Phillip Island on the Yamaha TZ350. Looking forward to trying out the new chassis here as well.
Pukekohe on the TZ350 » Sat, 24th Apr 2010It was a combined Auckland Motorcycle and Post Classic Racing Association club day where we rolled out the TZ350 for the first time in 15 months.
Racing at the Phillip Island Classic in 2009 resulted in a badly broken frame, and after fitting a CMR Harris replica chassis we were keen to see how well it handled.
Everything went really well and we were not disappointed with the way the bike handled and turned on the bumpy Pukekohe track. We had a few teething problems but overall came away with a pretty good set up for the bike and our best result was a 3rd placing in the 2nd race. There was a good turnout of Post Classic bikes for this meeting.
Results from Pukekohe Classic » Thu, 11th Feb 2010Karel had a good weekend at the Pukekohe Classic meeting over the weekend of the 6/7 Feb
The meeting is a very popular event, which attracted some notable riders including UK racers like Stan Woods & Lea Gourlay as well as Kiwi greats like Ginger Molloy, Hugh Anderson, Andrew Stroud, Dave Cole etc.
After more than 12 months away from racing, it was a case of Karel easing her way back into it, and this was also the first time she had raced the Norton which is a 630cc Manx owned by John Fraser.
Friday practice went without any real hitches and she was starting to get comfortable on the bike, which has quite different characteristics to the Yamaha racing bikes she has become used to.
After missing the practice and first race on Saturday due to technical glitches, she finished 4th in the Open Modified class in her first race. Her best result on Sunday was a 2nd in the same class.
Overall, it was a successful weekend and she enjoyed being a part of this Classic meeting.
Karel to ride at Pukekohe Classic » Sun, 3rd Jan 2010After nearly 12 months off which has included shoulder surgery, Karel will ride at the Pukekohe Classic Feb 6/7 this year in her first foray into Classic racing.
The bike is a Manx Norton and she is looking forward to the challenge of riding a different class and bike at this popular classic meeting.
Proposed ACC Levies » Tue, 20th Oct 2009This is your chance to have your say before Nov 10
> Click here <
PRO Rider NZ National Motorcycle Show » Thu, 20th Aug 2009The PRO Rider NZ National Motorcycle show is being held in Nelson 13th Sept.
Celebrating the Britten motorcycle with a movie night, celebration dinner and motorcycle show Sept 11- 13.
For all things motorcycling - dont miss it!
Karel to launch Rider Training business in Sept » Sat, 25th Jul 2009Karel is launching her Motorcycle Rider Training business called PRO Rider in Sept this year.
It is Karel's aim to provide a safe, fun learning environment that will enhance the riding experience of motorcyclists whilst minimising their risks on the road.
Karel has been riding motorcycles on the road, racetrack and off road for over 30 years. In 2006 she became NZ's first woman to win a NZ Road Racing championship. Today she still competes in Australasia, successfully road racing modern, classic and post classic machinery. She also competes in Vintage MX for fun and road rides.
She is keen to share the passion, skills & experience she has for "two wheeling", helping others get the most out of this sport in a fun, friendly and rewarding environment.
Karel is an NZTA Approved Motorcycle riding Instructor aiming to introduce a variety of interesting courses so riders can "up skill" themselves, becoming better, safer riders regardless of how many or how few years they have been riding.
For more information click here
NBS Continue Support for Karel » Thu, 23rd Jul 2009Nelson Building Society have continued their support of Karel and KP Racing this year.
"It is great to form these partnerships with local businesses like NBS, I really appreciate the support and it gives NBS a way to support what I am doing in the community too" says Karel
New Bike and Class of Racing » Mon, 8th Jun 2009I have been fortunate enough to secure a new sponsor who owns some beautiful classic motorcycles including a Molnar Manx Norton which we will be campaigning in Classic racing next season.
This will be alongside the post classic Yamaha TZ 350 we are currently running.
We hope to have the Manx Norton ready for testing in the next couple of months, which we are looking forward to with great anticipation. It will be a real honour to ride such a lovely bike and we would like to thank John Fraser for giving me this opportunity.
Guest Speaker - Heels on Wheels - Motorcycles Unleashed Exhibition » Sat, 4th Apr 2009It was an honour to speak at the Motorcycles Unleashed exhibition which is a fantastic celebration of Motorcycling in New Zealand. The exhibition runs until May 09, check it out if you can.
Successful Ride Day at Rupauna » Mon, 2nd Mar 2009We had a very successful ride day for Ulysses riders and friends at Ruapuna Raceway in Christchurch. Here is some of the feedback from the riders.... watch this space for the next one...
"I think that was my main benefit from the day, I did a lot of experimenting, and feel that I control the cornering now, instead of the corners controlling me. My confidence in my riding has grown in leaps and bounds. Thank you all so much for a wonderful day, I went home on such a high!"
"I have improved my confidence in cornering and braking - really like the explanation of using knee pressure on the tank whilst braking hard-have to practice that one. Heaps more confidence in corners, using the right gear and braking before entering the corner, keeping on the gas and acclerating out of it, simple stuff but easy to forget."
"Braking, cornering , handling and a relatively safe environment to push the bounds a litttle (or a lot - depending on your disposition !) all added up to a fun learning experience."
"I think what I got out of it the most was a chance to push the boundaries of both the bike and my confidence."
"The most valuable thing for me was learning how to shift my weight in corners and use counter-steering more effectively."
"I certainly would be a starter for any future track day and would encourage anyone wanting to learn some advanced skills for your riding to attend. The skills you learn on the track don't necessarily need to relate to going faster, if I need to turn harder into a corner I now know I could move my body weight off the bike as I have practiced it in a controlled situation."
NZ Cylinders - New Website » Sun, 1st Mar 2009NZ Cylinders specialise in the repair and replating of usnicom, nicom, nicosil, nikasil, chrome or electrofusion cylinder bores in New Zealand.
Ph 0800 295463 Grant or Sheryl
Island Classic Results » Wed, 28th Jan 2009After unpacking the container on Wednesday and getting set up in the Garage with the rest of the Kiwi team, we arrived for practice on Thursday at the Phillip Island racetrack.
Our practice went well, the bike was going well, I was feeling comfortable and was happy with my lap times at end of day. I was looking forward to a great weekend.
During Fridays practice and Qualifying - we experienced a battery failure which affected the ignition system and had to compromise with alternative batteries that would only last a few laps, so we did not get the consistent practice we had hoped for. The qualifying session saw me finish in 7th place out of a total of 44 entries in the combined
350/500 class. We located a new battery pack for the bike by end of day which cured the problem.
In the International challenge race on Sat, I experienced a problem with 6th gear which meant we had to replace it or we could not continue to race. We managed to locate a gear from an Australian competitor (thanks Bill!) and Lester & Craig worked until 10pm that night stripping the motor and replacing that gear in the gearbox.
Results from the four 350 Forgotten Era races
2 x 5th place, 2 x 6th place.
Best lap time 1.54.20
While we had a great weekend, it was a bit disappointing that I wasn't able to break into the top 3 at this meeting and improve on my lap times significantly. The bike was competitive enough, but a couple of things let it down as it is a very demanding circuit for the 350 GP machines. Unfortunately we ran out of time to try and rectify the front end handling problems.
There were some very experienced competitors at the pointy end, however, my whole team worked hard to keep the bike working and reliable over the 4 days. Lester & Craig put in a lot of hours on the bike and Jo & Andy were there to help keep us on track too, so it was a great team effort.
Thanks to ALL Sponsors
I wish to thank all my sponsors for your support this season, I absolutely could not do this without such valuable support. (Click on their logos on our website for more details)
2009 Island Classic » Tue, 27th Jan 2009We had a good weekend at the Island Classic, with 2 top 5 placings in the 350 Forgotten Era class. This class had a record number of entries - 44, including many Yamaha TZ350s. Full report to follow.
Ready for Action at the Island Classic » Sun, 18th Jan 2009Lester & I head over to Melbourne next week to begin our 4 day campaign at the Island classic which is held at one of the worlds most revered race tracks, Phillip Island - 2 hrs south of Melbourne.
There are a total of 16 Kiwi riders making the annual pilgrimage to one of the most popular Australian events in Classic and Post classic racing. We will be joined by support team Jo & Andy White from Nelson and Craig Longhurst from Melbourne. Once the container is unpacked on Wed,
it is 4 full days with practice on Thur & Fri, and racing Sat & Sun. I am expecting to have up to 8 races over the weekend, and will be looking for the top 3 results we had last year. There is a great line up of Australian riders for the International challenge including ex World 500cc Champion Wayne Gardner, as well as a host of Australian champions. The international challenge is a series of races for the top 13 qualifiers from Australia, NZ & the UK. So, we are ready for this challenge - not everything has gone to plan in our build up for this, but we are now ready to have an awesome time at what is undoubtedly my most favourite racetrack!
We will keep you posted!
Media item » Wed, 17th Dec 2008Newpaper/website article by Andy McGechan.
To view this article on the Yamaha website - click here
Sat 13 Dec - Ruapuna » Tue, 16th Dec 2008It was a clear day at the track on Sat morning, but unfortunately not all went exactly to plan when we first ran into electrical problems which saw us miss the practice session. We found the cause in some coil wires which we fixed then we were on the grid for the first CAMS (Classic Action Motorcycle) race.
I was in the lead by first corner, with the bike going well until the front straight when I felt an engine seizure about to happen. I stopped the bike and Lester discovered we had indeed seized one cylinder.
Fortunately, it wasn't too bad (thanks to NZ Cylinders replating) and Lester & JB were able to rebuild the bike so we could get out on track again within a couple of hours.
We had run the bike too close to the "edge" and found the limit. Once we were back up and running I had 2 sessions on the the track, winning the last race with the bike performing well.
We came away at the end of the day happy that we now have a reliable fast bike to ship to Australia and are looking forward to the challenge of the Island Classic in late January.
Bike display and talk at Nelson Building Society » Thu, 4th Dec 2008We took the TZ250 race bike into the Nelson branch of the NBS on Wed morning, where we spoke to the staff about our upcoming race season. NBS recently came on board as a sponsor, so it was a good oppportunity to introduce ourselves to the local staff. It is a big help to have the support from the Nelson Building Society. Manager Peter Havill even got to try the bike for size.
Ruapuna, Christchurch CAMS & King of Ruapuna race meetings » Sat, 22nd Nov 2008This was a chance to get back on the bike again and we raced the Yamaha TZ 350 on Sat in the pre-82 Post Classic class. Getting back on the bike, with it fully rebuilt and repainted was great. We have the ignition system working reliably now and overall are really happy with the bikes performance. It was a fairly low key meeting which saw me take 2 x 1st Place with fairly convincing margins.
Sun 23 Nov King of Ruapuna
We had a couple of complications with the TZ350 on Sunday which took some time to sort out. We missed the practice and went straight into racing. The 350 went well and I was competing in the Formula 3 class with all the "modern" bikes. I got back to my personal best lap time on the 350 but we ran out of time during the day to go further with it. The engine now needs to be rebuilt from the crank up for Australia.
On the TZ250 in the Formula 1 & 2 class, the 250 is starting to struggle against the horse power of the bike bore bikes, but I was within 3 secs of my personal best which I was happy with
Upcoming Events » Mon, 10th Nov 2008Our Upcoming Event - Sat/Sun 22-23 Nov Ruapuna
Saturday 22 Nov CAMS (Classic Action Motorcycle)Xmas Race meeting on the Yamaha TZ350.
Sunday 23 Nov Motorcycling Canterbury King of Ruapuna on the Yamaha TZ350 and the TZ250
These events are preparation for the Island Classic in Australia in January
Rebuild » Sun, 9th Nov 2008After our "incident" last month, both me and the bike are nearly ready for action again as we prepare for our next meeting at Ruapuna on 22/23 Nov. This is still in preparation for the Island Classic in Australia in January. In preparation for the arduous 4 days racing there, the bike has been fully stripped to just the frame and Lester is rebuilding everything, including the engine.
Racing machines like this put all parts of the bike under enormous stress as they are designed to operate at their peak performance. It will certainly be a better bike again after this rebuild.
Ruapuna Race Day » Sun, 19th Oct 2008The day started well with a practice on the 250 even though the track was half wet.
The 350 practice also went well with the bike showing some promise with the new ignition system.
We had only tested it the day before on the dyno back in Nelson, and it looked like we had finally found a solution to the issues we have been having with it. It was definitely showing signs of having a lot
more torque on the track.
TZ250 - Senior (F1, F2)
Race 1 on the 250 went well, my start was a bit slow however, I settled into a good pace by end of race and the 250 was going well. I was happy to go forward for the day from here and the bike was going really well.
TZ350 - Junior ( F3, pro twin)
I only got 1 lap into the race when I had a front brake failure (eek!) at the end of the front straight doing around 200km on the 350. With the front brakes not working I was left with just the rear to try to scrub off some speed before I ran off the track onto the dirt where I was thrown from the bike, landing fairly heavily. Luckily, I did not seriously hurt myself and although my riding was over for the day,
both me and the bike are repairable and we will be back at Ruapuna again soon as we continue our build up for the Island Classic.
Unfortunately incidents like this are part of the racing game, they cant be predicted, and I do feel lucky that I did not hurt myself more or break some bones. My leathers and helmet protected me from any serous damage here.
Next meeting is Nov 22/23 at Ruapuna
Video » Wed, 15th Oct 2008
Interview at Manfield with Karel - also racers Sam Smith, James Smith, Jay Lawrence
TZ350 on the Dyno » Wed, 15th Oct 2008With our next race meeting coming up this weekend, we are still trying to sort our new ignition system, which Lester has been testing on the Dyno. This is where we simulate race conditions on a "rolling road" with the bike connected to a computer that monitors the performance of the bike
including torque, horsepower etc
Manfield Raceway » Sun, 28th Sep 2008Summary
There was quite a bit of disappointment for us this weekend, but we have at least come away with some answers on the new ignition system and now have a bit more work to do to try and get the TZ350 sorted in the next 3 race meetings before the Island Classic.
It also showed that I need some more track time to get back up to speed after 6 mths off the bike. The next racing will be at Ruapuna in Christchurch on Oct 19th. We will stick to our plan of running both bikes at the next 3 meetings and are determined to have a really good package for the Island Classic. Onwards and upwards!
Thanks to Jo & Andy for their valuable help this weekend too.
Both bikes look really stunning and certainly attract their share of attention as much for their awesome colour as for their uniqueness. There are very few TZ racing machines on the racetracks in NZ now.
Video » Thu, 2nd Oct 2008
Check out the video from Karel's 250GP New Zealand Title win.
Nelson Motorcycle Show - Sun 14 Sep 08 » Tue, 16th Sep 2008Nelson Motorcycle Show, Founders Park Sept 14th
This show went really well attracting approx 5,000 people on the day.
We had the Yamaha TZ350 and our 1993 TZ 250 on display which attracted plenty of attention. I also had a guest speaking slot where I did my DVD presentation and answered questions. It was great to get amongst the local community like this and I always enjoy the chance
to talk to the interested public. This show was a really well organised fund raiser for the Whakatu Rotary club. Well done guys.
New Sponsor - NZ Cylinders » Sun, 7th Sep 2008Thanks to NZ Cylinders for supporting KP Racing with their cylinder replating services this season. They specialise in the repair and replating of usnicom, nicom, nicosil, nikasil, chrome or electrofusion cylinder bores. Ph 0800 295463
Lets hope we dont need them too much this season!
Island Classic 2009 » Sun, 31st Aug 2008We are heading over to the Island Classic again in January 2009 - this is your chance to support the KIWI TEAM of 20 riders at the famous Phillip Island Racetrack for the ISLAND CLASSIC.
Feel, see and breathe 3 days of excitement at Australia's biggest annual Classic motorcycle race meeting.
Email me for group travel package options and come and be part of the "kiwi village"
Classic Motocross - Dovedale, Nelson » Sun, 3rd Aug 2008Both me & the bike were all set for some fun in the mud on Sunday, except there was 42mm of rain overnight which created a huge amount of surface water everywhere. What also made it challenging was the reasonably high and fast flowing river we had to cross just to get to the MX track.
So after the first practice, I headed across the river again for my first race and got stuck in a hole in the river, sending me and the bike into the drink for an unscheduled swim. BUGGER!
So, we spent most of the day "drying" the bike out and getting it going again, but unfortunately (or fortunately - looking at the state of the mud-encrusted riders) I didn't get to race again.
It certainly was a rather challenging (and disappointing) day for me, however, I will be back on the motocross bike again soon.
New Sponsor - Kerstiens Chocolates » Mon, 14th Jul 2008Nelson based chocolate manufacturer Kerstiens have become a new sponsor for the upcoming season. We welcome them on board and thank Marcel and Fay for their support.
Classic Motocross - Tapawera, Nelson » Wed, 18th Jun 2008Lester had the YZ 250 finished in time for its first outing at the Classic Motocross Tapawera, Nelson.
It was a stunning day and I had 7 races and REALLY enjoyed the riding. By end of day, I was feeling much more confident in the dirt. This is a whole different ball game to the tarmac!
It is a bit more forgiving in some ways too. There's heaps to learn but its so much fun.
It is a bike or what??? » Sun, 25th May 2008The Yamaha YZ250 is being given the full treatment by Lester - it was a complete bike when I bought it and I am sure it will be again! However, with Lester rebuilding it - it will become fast, smooth and reliable - and no doubt will prove to be a bit of a handful in the dirt as many of these old peaky 2 strokes are! I am looking forward to having some fun on it.
Winter Training - Vintage MX » Sat, 24th May 2008After riding a friends VMX bike at a recent local event, I have now purchased a Yamaha YZ250 so I can have some winter training (and fun) as a lead up to our road racing which will start again in Sept. It has been over 8 years since I was on a dirt bike and I had forgotten how much fun they are.
When things don't go to plan » Thu, 24th Apr 2008TZ350 - Fri April 18
We were hoping to do some more development on the TZ350 in a half day test at Ruapuna, but fairly early on in the day, we had a crankshaft failure, leaving the bike sidelined for the rest of the weekend which was very disappointing.
TZ250 - Levels Raceway, Timaru - Sat April 19
It was a cold day although sunny, with fresh snow on the surrounding mountains as we arrived at Levels raceway. We went there with just the TZ250 running since the 350 was out of action and we had a DNF (did not finish) in race one as we lost front tyre grip in the cold track conditions, then preceded to have an engine failure in the last race.
Overall it was an extremely disappointing weekend, coming home with both bikes needing repairs.
Upcoming Events » Thu, 3rd Apr 2008Test Day Ruapuna Raceway, Christchurch - Fri April 18
We will test both the Yamaha TZ350 and the Yamaha TZ250 for a half day at Ruapuna as a lead up to racing at Levels the following day.
South Island Cup Race Day - Round 1 - Levels Raceway, Timaru - Sat April 19
This is the first round of the Sth Island cup where we will be competing on the TZ250 in Formula 2 class and on the TZ350 in the Post Classic 350cc class. We are looking forward to a great day of racing here.
This will most likely be the last race meeting until the spring as we spend the winter on further development of the TZ350 and trying to secure the funding we need to go forward.
Race Report - Pukekohe Raceway » Tue, 11th Mar 2008Post Classic Support class.
Final round of the NZ National Road Racing Championship.
Due to the tragedy at the racetrack on Sunday, the post classic racing on Sunday was cancelled.
Saturday saw us make just one of the qualifying sessions as we chased a few minor problems with the bike, as it had been in storage in Auckland since it came back from Phillip Island, giving us little opportunity for the bike preparation we needed. However, I qualified 2nd fastest behind Dave Ogden, (just missing pole position by 5/100ths of a second) from a field of 13 bikes.
Unfortunately due to a mechanical failure which caused fuel to leak on the start grid on Saturday - I was unable to start my first race.
It was a disappointing weekend for me, but none more so than for the friends and family of Derek Hill and Phillip Harrison - our condolences to all the friends and family of both riders.
Upcoming Events » Mon, 18th Feb 2008March 7 - 9 Pukekohe raceway, Auckland
Post Classic Support class - Final round of the NZ National Road Racing Championship.
The Yamaha TZ350 has now arrived back into Auckland from Australia and we are looking forward to competing at Pukekohe in March. Lester has some preparation on the bike to do once we collect it in Auckland and then it is 3 days at the Pukekohe Racetrack. As the final round of the NZ National championship, it will undoubtedly produce some top racing in all classes.
Racing also includes a TT title race for all classes.
Barry Sheene Memorial - Sydney, Easter Weekend - WITHDRAWN
With the Island Classic meeting being so demanding on us for engine parts, we are not in a position to contest this meeting with the adequate back up of spares we require.We hope to be able compete there next year.
Nelson Mail Article Tues 5 Feb » Thu, 7th Feb 2008To view this article on the Nelson Mail website - click here
Island Classic - Karel Takes a Win » Tue, 29th Jan 2008Philip Island Grandprix Circuit, Victoria, Australia
Thursday 24th Jan - Practice
We unloaded the container and set up the pit garages on Wed so were all ready for our first practice day on Thursday. We only got 4 laps into the first practice session when we had an engine seizure at the end of the main straight which is the fastest part of the circuit. Lester & Craig Longhurst rebuilt the motor fairly quickly and we got onto the track in the afternoon to try again even though we were unsure if we had found the cause. This time the bike only did 3 laps before the same thing happened and now we had done quite a bit of damage to the 2 engine cylinders.That stopped our practice for the day and Lester & Craig did a full engine strip down that evening to again try to find the cause of the problem which was proving elusive.
Fri 25th Jan - Practice/Qualifying
We were keen to see if we had fixed the problem from Thursday, and the first practice went well with no hint of any seizure or other problems. It appeared a faulty igntion system had been the cause. In the 350 Forgotten Era class which was combined with the 351 - 600cc class, I qualified in 7th place outright from a field of 36, behind Australian motorcycle racing legends like Robbie Phillis - (Multi Champ & World Superbike rider), Mal Campbell (2 x Australian Superbike champion),and Jay Taylor (350cc Phillip Island lap record holder).
This was made up of the top 13 qualifiers from each of the 3 countries - Australia, NZ & the UK. I set a new personal best lap time in this qualifying session to qualify in 25th place from a field of 39. I was the quickest 350 in this field which included unlimited capacity machines and riders like ex World Champ Wayne Gardner and fast Kiwis Dave Cole and Paul Dobbs.
Sat 26th Jan - Racing
Race 1 started well for me (a bit too well as I was penalised with a jump start).I had an excellent race to finish in 2nd place but due to the 10 sec penalty for the jump start was relegated back to 3rd. I set another personal best lap time of 1.54.03 which was to be my quickest lap time for the weekend.
The international Challenge race did not go well for me as by the afternoon the temperature had climbed to 33c in the shade and some long waiting on the start line meant the bike and clutch overheated so I was
unable to complete this race. Lester & Craig replaced the clutch that afternoon and we missed the 2nd International Challenge race.
Sun 27th Jan - Racing
The next morning was cloudy but the wind had picked up and we now had a headwind coming off Bass Strait onto the main straight.
Race 2 started OK for me and before long I was in 3rd place behind Malcolm Campbell and Jay Taylor which is where I finished.
Race 3 and my start was not so good which meant I had some work to do to get near the front of the field after dicing with fellow Kiwi Brett Grice.
The bike was going really well and we had good top end speed down the straight which saw me finish in 2nd place - my best result so far.
Race 4 went well from the start, I got the holeshot to the corner but was passed by Jay Taylor who then had a bike problem, allowing me to get past. I led the race for the next 3 laps to the finish in 1st place taking the chequered flag. I was very happy with the win.
The next 2 International challenge races saw me finish in 22nd and 20th places amongst the mixed field of bikes but they certainly were not my best races as my starts in both these races let me down.
Overall we were happy with the results, even though it didnt start very well for us. Lester & Craig did a great job to keep the bike reliable after we sorted the ignition problem. The engine damage that occurred because of this meant we had to run a lower horsepower engine, but it didn't seem to compromise our results too much. It was still a fast bike and handled the high speed circuit really well.
The Kiwi team came 3rd in the International challenge as there was a fairly high attrition rate with some of the other bikes in our team and the Australians had an awesome team of riders mostly on large capacity machinery.
Overall it was a good weekend for us and we came away with trophies for the 1st, 2nd and 2 x 3rd placings.
Phillip Island Classic » Mon, 28th Jan 2008Philip Island Grandprix Circuit, Victoria, Australia
It was a fantastic weekend at Philip Island and although things didn't start off that smoothly we came away with a 1st, 2nd and 2x 3rd placings in the 350 Forgotten Era class onboard the Yamaha TZ350.
It was a huge team effort to put it all together and keep the bike performing well in the changeable conditions and we are really happy with the weekend and results.
Full Report coming soon....
Ready for Phillip Island » Sun, 20th Jan 2008We are ready for the Island Classic and looking forward to 4 days at the track from Thu-Sun 24-27 January. There are a total of 13 Bikes going over from NZ and the Kiwi team for the International Challenge against Australia and the UK is made up of the following riders:
NZ National Championship 250 GP class, Ruapuna, Christchurch » Sun, 13th Jan 2008This was a one off round for the 250 GP class, which is no longer a national championship class.Although the entries were small for this class, we had a great weekend starting with the Friday practice where the bike was back on the track for first time since the Dec. crash.
On Sat there were 2 qualifying sessions followed by the first race. I qualified in 2nd place, which was a bit disappointing as it was well off my personal best lap time. However, the weather did play a part in the bikes performance as it was VERY hot. With 35c in the shade and a track temperature of over 50c, it was not ideal conditions for the rider or bike. The race was red flagged and stopped early due to an incident on the track, which left me in 2nd place.
On Sunday there were 2 races including the GP Title race and the day dawned a little cooler thankfully. Lester & John were still diligently chasing some lost power in the bike as the extreme conditions had made the bikes performance sluggish.
The first race on Sunday started well for me, I was leading on the first lap when my foot slipped off the foot peg, and nearly sent me off the track while I was trying to get around the next 2 corners. After only 5 laps, the race was red flagged again, when I was in 2nd place. This was a bit frustrating as I was feeling confident of my chances of a win.
The Final race of the day was the GP Title Race which I was keen to win, I got a great start, was in the lead by 4th corner and was never challenged. I won the race by 6 secs to take the GP title and trophy. It was a great race and we were happy to get the result we were looking for this weekend.
This is an excellent lead up to the Island Classic on the TZ350 which is in less than 2 weeks.
For the full calender of Events go to Events
Once again, a huge THANKYOU to all my sponsors and supporters -
your support is very much appreciated and we are very excited about the upcoming racing in Australia
Yamaha TZ350 off to Phillip Island » Thu, 3rd Jan 2008The Yamaha TZ350 has been packed in a crate and sent to Auckland where it will be shipped in a container with approx 12 other bikes to Melbourne for the Island Classic end of January.At this event we will have 4 days of racing on this fast and challenging track. There will once again be an Australian and a UK team in the International challenge although both the NZ & UK teams are much smaller this year. We are happy with the bike preparation for this meeting and are looking forward to some great racing at this world class racetrack.
Upcoming Race meetings
12/13 Jan 08 NZ National Championship 250 GP class - Ruapuna Christchurch
This is a one off meeting for the 250 GP class, which is no longer a national championship class.
26/27 Jan 08 Island Classic - Phillip Island Australia
Yamaha TZ 350 - Post Classic class
For the full calender of Events go to Events
Once again- a huge THANKYOU to all my sponsors and supporters -
your support is very much appreciated and we are very excited about the upcoming racing.
Ruapuna Test/Race Day » Tue, 11th Dec 2007Fri 7 Dec - Test Day for Yamaha TZ350 Post Classic
We decided to concentrate on just the TZ350 for the Friday as this was the last test day for the bike before the Phillip Island Classic in January.We had made some changes to the front end to try and get it handling better, were testing a new Dunlop front tyre and had a bigger capacity radiator to help with the water cooling.
Within 3 sessions on the track, I had reached a new Personal Best lap time and we were really happy with the set up we had going into race day the following day.
Sat 8 Dec - Race Day on the Yamaha TZ350 Post Classic
The day was quite cool with gusty winds all day, which had an impact on the bikes handling, so I struggled to better my lap times on Sat, although the bike was clearly going very well.... probably a bit too well as on the final lap of the day we had a mechanical failure at the end of the straight which finished racing for the day. As part of the development on this bike, we found the edge this weekend and it is much better for this to happen here in NZ, rather than in Australia. Lester will build in a bigger safety margin as he rebuilds the engine this week.
Overall, we were happy with progress made and we will crate the bike up this weekend for shipping in the container to Melbourne.
Yamaha TZ250 GP- crash
I had 1 practice session and 1 good race on the TZ 250 and at the beginning of race 2 had a slide coming out of the 1st gear hairpin which resulted in me being high sided off the bike. Although I was unhurt except for a couple of bruises, the bike did not do so well and will need some repairs before the next race meetings in January.
I was able to get back on the TZ350 after this fall and had a really good race (before the engine seizure), so although we broke both bikes this weekend, it was still a good meeting, where we came away with lots of learning.
January will be a busy month for us as our preparation and build up for the race meetings ahead continues. For the full calender of Events go to Events
Ruapuna Test/Race Day » Mon, 5th Nov 2007Friday at the racetrack started wet so we used the conditions for some practice on the TZ 250 on full wet tyres since it has been a couple of years since we rode in the wet there. The track was grippy and the tyres brilliant, I really enjoy riding in the wet on these Bridgestone tyres.
The track had dried by late morning so we started testing on the Yamaha TZ350 Post Classic bike.
We needed to test:
New expansion chambers - which Lester had put many hours into designing and building himself
New tailpiece seat position - we raised it and moved it back to try and make me fit the bike better
New Dunlop rear tyre as we had used Avon's previously.
Front end handling.
We were happy with the bike as the new chambers have given us more power where we needed it without compromising top end speed. The seat position was more comfortable for me and we were really happy with the way the Dunlop rear tyre was working.
Sat 3 Nov - Race Day on the Yamaha TZ350 Post Classic
I did 1 practice session and 2 races on the TZ350 and we achieved our target lap times in the first race. The bike is handling OK, although we still need to do some more testing with the front end set up - Ruapuna is quite bumpy in places and there are 14 corners around the track so it does test a bikes handling. The bike makes good mid range and top end power now with the new expansion chambers Lester has made.
Overall we were quite happy with the results and information we gathered this weekend as we work towards the Phillip Island Classic in Jan 26/27 in Australia.
Sat 3 Nov - Race Day on the Yamaha TZ 250
We did one practice and 3 races on the 250 on Saturday. We had put a new set of tyres on which really helped in getting my lap times down to within 0.5 secs of my personal best time. The bike is fast and reliable and continues to give some of the big 4 stroke bikes a run at Ruapuna, as we run in a Formula 1 and 2 combined class.
We fried a clutch in race one so Lester rebuilt that for the second race.
We are working towards the NZ National championship 250 GP class
at Ruapuna Jan 12/13
This is the only national round for this class since it was dropped last year
Upcoming Test/Race Day » Fri, 26th Oct 2007Upcoming Race Meetings
Fri 2nd Nov - Ruapuna Test Day
Sat 3rd Nov Ruapuna Raceway
Lester has been working really hard (more like every spare moment) to get the Yamaha TZ 350 ready for our next track sessions.
We hope to have most of the teething problems sorted by the time we get the bike back on the track next weekend and we also have a new set of exhaust pipes to test.
We are looking forward to a really productive 2 days at the racetrack for both racing bikes.
For the full calender of Events go to Events
Ruapuna Test/Race Day » Tue, 9th Oct 2007Fri 5 Oct - Test Day
Friday was fine but became quite windy in the afternoon.
We tested the Yamaha TZ350 further which went quite well, although we had a couple of hiccups during the day. I also did a few laps on the Yamaha TZ250 which is going really well after a recent engine rebuild.
Sun 7 Oct - Race Day
The early morning started with a huge storm which cleared and was then fine all day except for gusty winds in the afternoon.
I did one practice and 3 races on the TZ250 in the Formula 1 & 2 class. There are just a handful of 600 and 1000cc 4 strokes running in this class and no other 250GP bikes, so these races are much more about getting me back up to speed on the bike than results.
I did one practice and 2 partial races on the TZ350 as we had a couple more hiccups that needed attention during the day. By the final session we were starting to get some speed into the bike and I was feeling a lot more comfortable on it. It is showing a good turn of speed on the freshly rebuilt engine.
At the moment these test/race days are about developing the TZ350 and getting it right for the Phillip Island Classic in late Jan 2008.
We have another weekend in Nov and again in Dec which we hope will give us enough time to get it well sorted.
On the TZ250 we are working towards 250GP class national round at Ruapuna, in early Jan 2008.
For the full calender of Events go to Events
It has been quite challenging running two bikes on these days, but it does give me plenty of well needed track time - even though the bikes are quite different in their characteristics, with the 350 running narrow treaded tyres and the 250 on modern slicks. It is quite interesting to see what has developed over the 24 years or so between the two grand prix machines.
They look awesome together in the pits and do attract a bit of attention in that vivid orange colour.
Manfield Entry Withrawal » Mon, 17th Sep 2007DUE to incorrect entry information by the host club - we have withdrawn our entry as this meeting is NOT being run on the extended track which we wanted to use for setting up the TZ350's handling. The short bumpy track is not really suitable so we have withdrawn from that race meeting.
We will instead go to Ruapuna on Friday 5th October as an additional test day.
Nelson Mail Feature » Mon, 10th Sep 2007The Nelson Mail ran a whole page feature with story and pictures in Saturdays paper.
To view this article on the Nelson Mail website - click here
Test Day/Race Day at Ruapuna » Sun, 9th Sep 20072002 Yamaha TZ250 GP
Ruapuna Raceway Test Day Fri 7th Sept
The day was cold and crisp with the snowy mountains in the background at Ruapuna, but we had a good test day with the TZ250 with the focus on getting me back into "racing mode" after 6 months off the track. We had 5 sessions on the TZ250 and I was feeling quite comfortable after that, although I was still lapping around 6 secs off my personal best lap time.
Ruapuna Raceway Race Day Sat 8th Sept
It was a really warm and lovely day in Christchurch for Race day. I raced in a combined class which is Formula 1, Formula 2 & 250 GP. My starts were a bit rusty which meant I had quite a bit of ground to try and make up on the field after getting away at the back. Good starts are SO important! For the 3 races, all my starts were poor, however, we still had some good racing and the TZ250 has proved to be a VERY fast bike after some recent modifications. It had no trouble keeping pace with some of the larger capacity bikes and I finished the day 3 secs off my personal best lap time which I was reasonably happy with.
1980 Yamaha TZ 350G Post Classic
Unfortunately we had a few teething problems with the TZ350 which prevented us doing any testing on the Friday, but Lester had the problems diagnosed by end of day. That meant the Sat race day became our test day and we ran the bike in short sessions at the back of a racing class so we could do the necessary testing required. We encountered a couple more hiccups with the bike, but by the 3rd session of the day, we had it running well and at the end the day we reasonably happy that we have some reliability and performance from the bike.
We are looking forward to the next race meeting in 2 weeks at Manfield (Fielding) where we can keep developing the bikes capabilities.
For the full calender of Events go to Events
Lester & I would like to say a huge THANKYOU to all our sponsors and supporters and to John Beresford (JB) and Jo & Andy for their Pit Crew assistance at the racetrack.
Without this team effort, nothing is possible!
Season's Campaign about to start for Karel » Mon, 3rd Sep 2007After a few months away from the racetrack - we are ready to start the seasons campaign with a test day at Ruapuna, Christchurch on Fri 7 Sept followed by a King of Ruapuna Race day on the Sat 8 Sept.
We will be racing 2 bikes for most of the season.
2002 Yamaha TZ250 and 1980 Yamaha TZ350
Focus for the Weekend
TZ350 - Thoroughly test the recently acquired and rebuilt bike for handling, performance, reliability etc.
TZ250 - begin the season and build up my "racing fitness" after the winter break.
I would like to say a huge THANKYOU to all my sponsors and supporters -
your support is very much appreciated and we are very excited about the upcoming racing season.
AMP Scholarship Award for Karel » Tue, 28th Aug 2007On Tues 28 Aug in the Grand Hall at Parliament, Karel was awarded an AMP Scholarship presented by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen and CEO of AMP Jack Reagan.
There were 13 scholarship recipients selected from over 800 applicants. These included a Soprano Singer, Basketball Player, Product Designer, Chef, Researching Doctor, Freestyle Skier
Each year AMP awards scholarships to individuals they believe show outstanding dedication, committment, determination and passion for their chosen path.
This will help Karel continue pursuing her goals both on and off the racetrack and she is very honoured to be considered worthy of this prestigious award. Go to Photo Gallery for photos
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