The much anticipated new RMKD Kawasaki ER6 supertwin was ready for the teams debut at the Manx Grand Prix, in which our year has been based around. Changes to this bike was using the injected fuelling system, as well as upgrading to a Versys swing arm. In addition, the short circuit carbed 650 was brought, and a third stock ER6 machine.
After a traumatising ferry journey (especially for Roger) we were ready for the first evenings practice - starting with the speed controlled lap. Nick got as far as Braddan Bridge before a faulty valve in the front brake master cylinder brought him to an abrupt end - less than 2 miles into the course. An extremely frustrating outcome, especially as the bikes had been meticulously prepared in anticipation for the event.
24 hours later and the bike had been repaired after a successful test at Jurby (a good do in itself!). The team was very nervous as anymore problems on our second newcomers lap could bring an early end to the meeting for us. Monday evening and Nick completed the speed controlled lap with no issues, followed by his first lap of regular practice without an instructor and a lap of 94MPH average.
Tuesday and Wednesday evening practice went without a hiccup, steadily increasing the lap speed to an average of 102.42MPH. That turned out to be the last practice before the races, as two consecutive attempts on Thursday and Friday on the carbed bike were halted at St Ninian's and Crosby respectively with electrical gremlins.
The newcomers race eventually arrived on Tuesday evening, feeling like forever since we were last on track. Nick started first on the road for the 650 class, and after being passed by hard charging local rider and eventual winner Dean Osborne, he managed to stay on his back wheel until the Gooseneck of lap 1. A race average of over 105MPH and a fantastic 3rd place finish was the result. The injected RMKD bike also one of the fastest through the Sulby speed trap at 139.5MPH.
The final race was the supertwins, again increasing the lap times, with a standing start lap of 106.8MPH. A 17th place finish was the outcome - slightly disappointing losing several places on the last lap due to several yellow flags.
Thank you also to the tireless help of Colin Peters, whom not only fueled for us but also helped in every aspect of the meeting; as well as keeping us sane and entertained throughout the fortnight. Also, thanks to Richard for his assistance in getting the bike ready for the newcomers race.
Thank you to Adrian Earnshaw and the Mike Hailwood Foundation for their help and generous contribution.