Exclusive – Replay Racing: first liquid-cooled Casa SSR 265 + BGM RT | FEATURE
Earlier this week we were invited down to Replay Scooters to take an exclusive behind the scenes look at Replay Racing. Chalky White was just finishing the preparation on one of the three bikes the Kettering based multi-championship winning tuning house will be fielding in this year’s BSSO Scooter Racing Championships.
Those of you who follow scooter racing will know that Chalky announced his retirement from racing after winning last year’s championship (his fifth overall), as did rider, current Group 4 and Group 6 champion, Darren Conneely. In a shock about-turn, Replay Racing are not only back for 2018 but they also have two completely new scooters, both with very different engines. Plus second rider, Taylor Sturgess on his Group Six bike.
Liquid Gold – Group Six Casa Performance SSR 265 Scuderia LC
Yes, that’s right, this is the first liquid-cooled Casa SSR in the world and you can see it in action at Mallory Park this weekend for the first BSSO meeting of the year.
How did that come about?
Chalky and Jon Gilbert visited EICMA at the end of last season and got chatting to Dean Orton (Rimini Lambretta Centre/Casa Performance on the new Lambretta stand. The prototype SSR LC cylinder was on the stand, it interested Chalky straightaway and the seed was sewn with the renowned two-stroke tuner. Maybe his racing retirement would be short-lived after all.
Fast-forward to just after Christmas and an engine casing and a box of parts arrived at Replay from Rimini, obviously Chalky was keen to see what he could do with them. He said his first thoughts were ‘How am I going to improve on this because it’s an absolute beast’.
It’s a good powerful barrel straight out of the box”
So how did you improve on it? “Just normal kind of tuning stuff really, I took any sharp edges off, improved the inlet, gave it a bit more width on the exhaust port. I tried to blueprint it a bit, took any high spots off and changed the reedblock to a V-Force.”
You can hear Chalky talking more about tuning and his background in the accompanying video below. The youthful-looking 62-year-old is far too modest for his own good but talks about tuning with a glint in his eye and a smile that has horsepower written all over it…
Darren Conneely had planned to sit this season out but the temptation of riding something a little bit special was too hard for him to resist. He didn’t take too much persuading to jump on-board the new Replay Racing Group Six bike, and he’ll also be riding their new BGM RT-powered Group 4 bike, which is being supported by Scooter Center Cologne. The choice of RT kit will no doubt surprise a few fellow competitors but Chalky enjoys a challenge.
We asked double 2017 champion, Darren Conneely what made you decide to quit? “At the end of the 2017 season, having won both the group 6 and 4 championships I decided to stop racing scooters. With the time commitment at the weekends and the feeling that I had achieved what I wanted, it just didn’t float my boat to do the same thing again. In true Conneely fashion, best to quit while you’re ahead! When Chalky and I discussed what we wanted to do in 2018, we both agreed it was time to take a break from the championship. The plan was to take the group 6 out for a few races and just have a bit of fun. Anyway, best-laid plans and all that…”
Was it the need for speed that changed your mind? “Not long after our conversation, Chalky mentioned he had spoken to the guys at Casa Performance and the idea floated of running one of their Casa 265s in Open class”.
I had witnessed how fast those things are first hand when both Luca’s (Fucccini and Zani) hammered past me on the back straight at Cadwell. I knew their engines were capable of something special, Chalky was up for it, and so I said why not!”
Rockingham track day
Darren got to ride the Casa cooler for the first time at Rockingham last weekend on a cold, damp and miserable day. It was probably even gloomier for the bike riders who he obliterated during the track day. Darren was out with the fast group and ended up with only one bike in front of him before the session was red flagged after a bike crash.
You can see some on-board clips from Rockingham in the video above. We’ll also be getting some blogs from Replay Racing as the season progresses.
BGM RT goes racing
The BGM RT top end is a great road touring cylinder kit. It’s not overly revvy and has a relatively simple four-port layout with no fancy bridged exhaust ports. It was never designed to go racing but this year Chalky White is using it in Darren’s Group Four race bike.
Chalky talks us through it in the video above and seems fairly confident it’ll be able to live alongside the more commonly used Mugello engines, he’s currently only one horsepower down on last year’s Group four bike and hasn’t over tuned it. He says there’s more to come if they need it. It’s certainly going to be an interesting season.
Want to help SLUK with BSSO coverage this season?
We aim to give as much coverage to this year’s racing as possible but unfortunately can’t be everywhere. We’ve asked a few riders to give us an insight into racing from the rider’s seat. We’ve got Mikey Bonett racing for both JB Tuning/Casa Performance and Scootopia. We’ve also got Zack Tingle racing in the Scomadi Cup and Martin and Chris Cook from Chiselspeed, plus the lads from Replay Racing. We’ll also have images from every round by Lee Hollick.
If you want to get some exposure for yourself, your sponsors or your team we’d be happy to hear from you. Even if you’re ‘just’ a regular spectator get in touch at Editorial@ScooterLab.UK.
You can find out more about the BSSO meetings and championship here.
Replay Racing uncovered
SLUK Driver screen now available