Top 10s

Ten Reasons Why You’ll Love C90 Endurance Racing

Visordown had a crack at C90 endurance racing at the weekend. Here are ten reasons why you should give it a go!

THE HONDA C90 is like the Ford Model T of the motorcycle world; with over 100 million built, the machine is known as the bike that mobilised the planet. But with around 4hp, a single make race series might seem like a strange fate for this commuter bike. But that’s exactly what makes the Plop Enduro such a fantastic event.

Organised by the Scarisbrick and District Armada MCC, the Plop’ has been running for over a decade and raises money for the Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes charities. Three endurance events are held throughout the year at Anglesey, Cadwell and Mallory Park. Each event is a team endurance race, with the winner being the team with the most laps completed within the eight-hour timeframe.

As with any race meeting, there are rules, with laps docked for infringements but, overall the event is run in a very relaxed and unintimidating manner, excellent if you were a team of amateur racers or first-timers. That said, with 100 bikes on the track (and off it at times!) the on-track action is frantic but hilarious! Here are the top ten reasons we think you should give it a go!

10. Cost effective fun

Racing cannot get much better value than this, with a half decent C90 going for under a grand, another £100 on some go faster goodies and a night or two in the shed is all it takes. The entry fee is £280 per team which, when split three or four ways, means the actual cost of hitting the track is less than a night on the town. C90s also don’t seem to be depreciating much, meaning the chance of selling it on when you’re done with it and not losing any money a very real possibility – so long as you don’t crash it!

9. It’s like racing, only slower

I’ve ridden on track lots, on big bikes, small bikes, trackday bikes and touring machines – and even at Mallory Park on a C90, where 95% of the lap is flat out, the Honda Plop is just as enjoyable to ride. You only ever really use 3rd and 4th gear and the brakes are so poor you end up not using them. Just concentrating on two gears and a pinned throttle means the rest of your brain can focus on your line and trying to carry as much corner speed as you possibly can.

8. And don’t think slower means no overtaking!

I’m pretty sure there were more overtakes in ten laps of Mallory than you get in an entire MotoGP season – and I’m not exaggerating. The racing is ‘fast’ and frenetic. You can regularly find yourself at the back of a group of ten or 15 bikes on the start-finish straight, picking up an enormous, multi-bike slipstream as you go. With the speed you can carry into and around Gerard’s bend, you can quite easily pick your way through the gaggle of bikes and come out at the front of the group down the back straight. The problem now is that the group of following bikes are now benefiting from your slipstream and can all too easily slip past you before the next corner.

7. It’s as much a social event as a race

For most competitors, the Plop is a bit of downtime between other types of club racing, which gives it a very chilled out atmosphere. The night before the event, the paddock was awash with teams milling around looking at each other’s bikes and having a drink and a BBQ. It’s an ideal place to bring the family for a night away in a tent, or even crashing in the back of a van if you’re a team of mates.

6. Where else can you race against BSB stars?

Yeah, I know – BSB riders regularly take part in trackdays that you can attend. But then they are sat on their £100k race bikes and are generally only visible as that spec in the distance. Riding the level(ish) platform of the C90 you can race against them - until they teach you a lesson about corner speed at the hairpin and disappear down the straight. And yes, that happened to me: I managed to slipstream past Suzuki BSB rider Richard Cooper (above), only to see him brake about 10 yards later than me into the hairpin and carry about 5mph more speed through the corner. After that, the hope of getting back on his coat-tails was long gone!

5. Six into a corner does go

With the widest part of the bike being your elbows, the normal rules around how many bikes can pass an apex next to each other do not apply. The hairpin is a prime example of this, with three or four lines available to you, there are frequently multiple riders all sharing the corner at the same time, all coming out within feet of each other.

4. Give the folk in MX gear a wide birth!

If there are one species of Plopist to try and avoid it’s the ones in motocross boots and off-road lids. Flying off jumps 30-feet in the air must do something to the racing mind of this type of rider as they seem to have no fear or spatial-awareness whatsoever. My advice? If you see a brightly coloured, but still muddy, MX boot in your peripheral vision – abort the corner and relinquish the apex immediately. There is a good chance of a yellow or red flag if you don’t!

3. Cable ties are a racers best friend

Wardrobe malfunction? No problem – cable tie it. Bootstraps broken? No problem – cable tie it. Leg fairings cracked in a crash? No problem – cable tie it. If you haven’t got a pack of multiple sizes of cable ties at the start of the race – there’s a good chance you won’t finish.

2. Open to all

Motorsport doesn’t get much more inclusive than this. Male or female, young or old, everyone can have a crack at the Plop. All you need is a bike licence, or an ACU licence for the youngsters, and you’re good to go.

1. The charities are the real winners

If you ask most bikers to name two charities that they can fully get behind, the Air Ambulance and the Blood Bikers are normally mentioned. The entry fees raised from each event support the two charities all bikers hope they never have to need. The support from the Plop Enduro was there for all to see at Mallory, with a BMW R1200 RT that was bought thanks to the donations made by the event riding a lap of the course prior to the event.

For more information on the Plop enduro head to one of the links below:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PlopEnduro

Website: sdarmada.co.uk/

Massive thanks to Vast Visibility for inviting us along and DJ for the pics.

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