Introducing James to the Members


Hello everyone! Thanks for clicking into the Blog section and taking a look at my first (ever) Blog! The idea behind my ongoing Blogs is going to be discussing important issues I feel are relevant to the No Limits Racing members.

For example, my first technical Blog will be about tyre and compound choice for Round 1 at Silverstone. Then after that I shall do a follow up Blog on the what I found from the weekend and then what tyres would be suitable for Round 2. As well as any ideas I choose to write about, I am open to suggestions and requests from the members. Remember I am here for you! Bringing this support in house will benefit you as a member the way no other club member will get! Email anything suggestions into me at racesupport@nolimitstrackdays.com

So onto the content of my first Blog. I thought I would now take the opportunity to introduce myself to those that dont know of me, and reintroduce myself to those that do! It would also be a good idea to explain what we plan on doing at No Limits to benefit our members. 

I started in the Motorcycle industry in 2003 when TT legend Bill Smith gave me a job at his multi franchise dealership in Chester. I started out being the young kid with no experience but liking the idea of anything that involved fast bikes! Without going into too much depth I spent the next several years working my way through the dealership, learning about all parts of the shop and the industry overall. Soon I was managing the workshop and then I moved into managing the parts and accessories department and overseeing the stores department as a whole. I learnt an awful lot from my time with Bill Smiths, and made many friends and customers along the way that I still have today! 

Whilst working one Saturday afternoon in the summer of 2005, Bill came up to me and said "be here at 630 tomorrow morning. Make sure you have your riding gear.". Ill never forget him saying that to me. I had no idea what he meant but he had already taken me all over the place to do all kinds of fun things to do with racing, so I went with it! Sunday came, he was waiting in the van for me when I got to the shop and simply said "your driving, head towards Bala and then wake me up". BOOM flat out snoring within seconds and I was still none the wiser as to what was going on. An hour or so later we hit Bala, I woke him up and my genuine love of motorcycle racing started to begin. "Your racing today at Tonfanau. Ill direct you there but for now keep driving straight ahead". In the back of the van was a 2005 R6 that had just come back from the TT. My Argentinian friend, David Paredes, had used it to race there with it famously being seen on TV on fire in the pit lane!! We rocked up at this little unknown to most race circuit, took the bike out of the van, got scruitineered, signed on and then Bill got me a lap of the track with the clerk of the course.

A lap of Tonfanau doesn't take long on a bike. Jay Devine does it at 100mph average in about 30 something seconds I think. Kerbs, poor tarmac, 2 tight corners, 1 fast corner and a whole load of sheep shit. Yes sheep shit! Sounds strange, is strange, but the best racing of my life was that first ever race meeting. The R6 leaned against the van all day in the grass paddock. Bill didnt bring stands for me, or tyre warmers, or anything for that matter! The bike was massively over geared as it had TT gearing on. I think I was 2 up 3 down when i needed 2 down 5 up for the circuit!! But I was that wrapped up in enjoying myself nothing bothered me. In a race paddock was where I wanted to be somehow, for the rest of my life! And fortunately it pretty much has been! Life started to revolve around my racing and going away helping the new guy at work, Ian Mackman. Between my racing and going away with Ian I had the most fun you could imagine! Good times. 

In 2009 I stopped racing to open my own race shop. Sad times in some respects as I left Bill Smiths and had to stop racing to fund the shop, but Im glad I did what I did now. No regrets at all. Working for myself made me learn new things I hadn't seen or done before in many areas of life. The big start I had in this business was when I was fortunate enough to get a gig working for No Limits Trackdays at Oulton Park. Mark Neate got out of the car, looked me up and down, simply said "alright crack on" when I introduced myself and the start of something special was formed. For the next 7 years I worked at many No Limits trackdays providing a race support service. I also provided support at other race events like EMRA and the Wirral 100. I would also work in BSB as a mechanic and then as a Pirelli tyre fitter in this time as well.

During my time working for myself I employed a few people including my best mate ever and right hand man, Alasdair! Many of you who know me will know Ali as we went everywhere together! Another employee was the afore mentioned Ian Mackman. Ian is a great guy and fast racer! I spent a good few years at the TT with him, my favourite being 2014. I got one of my best mates, Ricky Leddy RLR Motorsports, to build a all singing and dancing superbike motor for my GSXR1000, bought a GSXR1000 Superstocker and convinced my mate Bushy to lend us his GSXR600. Ian had previously won the TT privateers championship and we were hopeful he'd do them same again. He rode brilliantly. The bikes, on Ohlins suspension and Dunlop tyres, worked perfectly and Ian achieved his fastest ever lap. Apart from one incident in pit lane, when the wheel man couldn't get the spindle through the second pit stop wheel (yes that was me), he had superb results and we left as a very happy team. Those bikes went onto hold the absolute outright lap records at Anglesey on both layouts. GSXR's rule! 

I like to think my area of expertise is race bikes in general but specifically tyres and bike set up. Im a qualified ohlins technician and I have also worked around many other suspension brands in all kinds of paddocks. I really enjoy setting a bike up for someone but, I really pride myself on the tyre knowledge I have built up and become known for over the years. Ive worked for Dunlop and Pirelli Metzeler at numerous events including BSB and the Isle of Man. Tyres are a big part of what we do in racing. The cost and the grip cannot be compromised if you want to get the best from you and your machine! Whether it be what compounds to go fo, what sizes to run, the pressure required or many other questions surrounding tyres, and pretty much anything to do with a race bike (I have built fair few in my time for many fast racers), I feel I will be able to help you out.

No Limits bringing me onboard is really exciting and something Ive dreamed of doing for a long time. It means you are going to get never before experienced support from an in house infrastructure. I am genuinely here for you and your needs. Its a fantastic opportunity for all us involved. Right now you will find the Pirelli tyres that are supplied to you at the special No Limits pricing are available to order online. The Metzeler tyres are soon to be loaded on as well. This means when you book your race meeting online you can also add tyres, and other products as I load them, to your basket and checkout all at once. This means you know your meeting entrance and tyres have been sorted all in one go! The Tyres will be available for you to have fitted at the race meeting you have just booked on for and, if there are any problems with that, I will call you and discuss it through with you. 

We are also working hard on securing the very best products at member exclusive prices for you! Hopefully next week we can launch some really exciting news on maybe 2 or 3 top brands becoming involved with the championship which only benefits you guys more and more! This is now more about you than ever from a support side of things. I am purely focussed on providing you the best support, best products, best advice and best prices all in one place. All breaking news will be launched on this Blog so keep checking back for details. Dont worry though our social media crew will link everything in as well for you, so you shouldn't miss any breaking news! 

Also the website is going to be a hive of activity in the coming weeks before the first round. All products I load on will be at members rates. These rates aren't available through anyone else so check on the website for what you want or call me at work. If I am not at my desk the phone diverts to find me on my mobile, so you should get me easy enough 9-5 Monday to Friday. If I am busy, Mark B or Toni will help take your enquiry for me and I'll get right back to you as soon as I'm free! 

I am sure there are some things that need confirming and other questions you will have to ask me about the year ahead. These will all start to be answered in the next few days for you either on here or via email correspondence. Feel free to call me anytime at No Limits ext 815 to get anything cleared up or tyres and parts ordered up

So, now some 14 years after I started in the industry (when at first I didnt no what a cam chain tensioner was or what it did, never mind what the "foo foo valve" was that the workshop foreman kept asking me to check on PDI bikes 😆😂) I find myself still fortunate enough to be involved with racing. The fact that it is with No Limits just makes it even more perfect for me! Im going to sign off this first Blog now and crack on. I hope you have enjoyed not only the read, but also the knowledge of myself and what I am doing here a No Limits Racing for you. Remember I want to hear from you guys, so please get in touch! 

James