By Trevor Jackson
A NEW outfit for father and son Limestone Coast sidecar racers David and Steven Jones will be officially unveiled this weekend at McNamara Park.
The pair will showcase the F2 machine – based around a GSXR 600cc engine and built by David – at the Laurie Fox Memorial SA State Sidecar Championships, with the hopes of a good performance.
The pair has tasted plenty of success over the years, with their recent exploits on a Period 5 outfit nothing short of impressive.
The step up to the F2 category is nothing either has not experienced before.
David claimed an Australia title aboard an F2 back in 2003, while the pair won Australian titles on the Period 5 machine in 2017 and 2018, along with various other successes.
David has around 30 years of racing behind him, while Steven has competed for the last 20 years, starting out in his father’s outfit in the sidecar, before moving up to his own setup.
“We have had some success, mainly due to Steven’s riding,” David said.
“He actually has the lap record at Mac Park on a modern 1000cc Yamaha he had a few years ago.”
David has been building the bike for the past two years, which he said was ready about 12 months ago but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is yet to be ridden in anger.
However, somewhere in the vicinity of 10 laps have been completed in testing at McNamara Park and David was pleased with what he saw, with the outfit handling well straight out of the box.
The bike was built loosely based on an English Ryde frame, designed by David with his own “experimental” touches.
“I looked at pictures of this Ryde chassis and made a few changes myself,” he said.
“I put a longer swingarm on it out the back to make it track a bit better and I put wider wheels on it.
“They normally run a nine-inch rear and six-inch sidecar wheel but I have made it an 11-inch rear and a nine-inch sidecar, mainly to try to get as much weight over the passenger side as possible so the passenger can basically sit there and not have to work as hard.”
The wheels were machined up from billet aluminium by David, which he said saved him a lot of money.
In fact, a complete new outfit from England would cost in the vicinity of $90,000, where he has spent around $15,000 on his.
“I must admit their technology is probably a lot more advanced than mine,” David said.
David said the main idea to go back up to an F2 sidecar was simply the desire to build one.
“I have always wanted to build an F2 and I thought this was as good an opportunity as any,” he said.
“I have spent the last two years building it up – it was actually ready probably 12 months ago, but Mr Covid put a stop to that.
“I bought a lot of stuff from England, like the shockers and a few engine parts and got the boys from Portland Exhaust to make up the exhaust system for me.”
Now it is a matter of time in the seat, with a change of rider designated for the new machine.
“We sold both our outfits and bought one – the Period 5 – basically to save costs,” David said.
“We were going to swap about with each riding now and then, but I seem to be passenger most of the time.
“Steven is a better rider and faster than me and I don’t mind being passenger.
“But this is my bike so I get the handle bars this time.
“Steven has forcefully volunteered to swing for me.
“Dad took seniority for a change.”
This weekend is about ironing out any issues which may arise, with one real goal.
“I am not expecting to go out and win races with the new bike,” David said.
“I would certainly like to be up the pointy end, but being realistic, if we can run mid-field to top I will be happy.
“If it goes as good as it looks and if we can finish all the races and be sniffing around the front I will be happy.”