'toevoegen aan favourieten' - add the blog to your 'favourites'.

Friday, December 29, 2006


As you can see Gordon's all 'Naked' - but at least he's on his wheels at last!
Now comes the time consuming process of building a race bike; there are several major hurdles to overcome - but with lots of luck, and some serious work, I'll be on him for some Spanish testing in February!
Gordon and I are borrowing Simon's van (again) and nipping off to Uncle Peter Day's in Cambridge next week; where hopefully he will let me help (or hinder) him to make so new body bits. Sub frame, footrests, oil tank and try and modify the swinging arm to allow the fitment of Gordon's new rear shock absorber.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Claus

Well, you wouldn't believe it, but Santa has called today with some presents for Gordon.
Steve and Sarah Jordan from Jordan M/Cs have sent what looks like a set of forks to me!
Oh, and uncle Phil from 'Dunlop' thought some new shiny boots would look just the job.
Then the Auto Restorers 'Frost' gave me a parcel for Gordon, full of 'goodies' to start his season off just right.
"It must be nice to have special friends like these" I told Gordon!

Friday, December 22, 2006

In the frame...

Just before I started Gordon's re-build I compared his frame to another 'special' frame I have.
This one is really 'top shelf' stuff; it's another project that I've had on the back burner for a while.
It would suit a KTM or BMW motor having the chain on the right side.
The main differences are the weight and the steering head angle. The head stock and swinging arm pivot points are machined from billet alloy not cast, not to mention that Gordon is about 3 kg heavier and £20k cheaper!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

That'll be the Day - Peter Day to be precise.

The swinging arm pivot spacer was very badly corroded to the point that I had to replace it, however, the budget said "NO".
But after a phone call to Peter Day he offered to machine Gordon a new one.
What a star, he turned it round in a matter of days.
Now I can start the re-build and with lots of luck get him back on his wheels before Christmas.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Shaving and saving!

Before I sprayed the frame and swinging arm in lacquer I sawed off as many unwanted lugs, clips and assorted bits as possible. Mainly to tidy up the frame making cleaning easier, looking at the mess on the floor of the garage I collected as many of the bits as possible and adding a bit for filing/swarf it added up to approximately 200g in weight! Yes I know I probably lost more weight in sweat doing the job but all these little bits of weight add up.
I'm looking forward to weighing Gordon and see what he will end up at.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wheely good start with an excellent paint finish.

I'm really pleased on how the wheels have turned out - they're great; and the frame and swing arm are lacquered now - top job this weekend!

The products I bought from www.frost.co.uk have done the job brilliantly.

However, I am still looking for a motor to borrow so I can start the rebuild whilst Gordon is having Christmas at his Uncle Martins.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gordon's going to get a 'make over'

I've been looking for a paint product to use on Gordon's frame and swinging arm, I wanted to try and keep the natural finish that got after I had them shot blasted at Guysons the other week.
A clear laquer that would protect them but not add too much weight, plus I wanted the wheels satin black (easy to keep clean...Hee Hee).
I found a company called Frost, they specalise in vehicle restoration and associated products.
After a phone call and some sound advice I have found just the right paint for the job!

I want to get the wheels, frame and swinging arm done this weekend ready for the re-build next week (with luck).
Got the wheels warming up on the front room radiator as I type - optimum temperature and all that - the Missus ain't too happy though...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I knew Gordon had done 23,000 miles and expected a certain amount of seized bolts, worn out bearings etc.

I naively thought "they won't be that much to replace" - Wrong! The bearing at the bottom of the shock was £36 plus vat, swinging arm spacer £54 plus vat..... and so on.
It's begining to look like I'll be busy on a lathe turning down new spacers etc.
Next job is painting the wheels and going to get the engine and forks back from Gordon's "special friends" where they have been tuned and fettled.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Just got a letter from Slipstream..

Hi Mike,
Just wanted to let you know Gordon is doing well and is coping without his other bodyparts, he was a little upset when you left, as all kids do when they first go to school. Well since you've been away Gordon and Martin have bonded and a great friendship has blossomed, I think we will all miss him when he's gone. He's always messing around and he makes us laugh all the time, he's really happy now he's found a new family and we're all taking good care of him. The operation will take place soon and he will of course be tranquilised before we give him a heart transplant. Here's Martin and Gordon yesterday, Martin won't put him down for 5 minutes, trying to get any work done around here is a nightmare! Well better go I can hear everyone freaking, must mean Gordon's done another number two over the work-bench, muggings here has to go and clean it up….

Mark - Slipstream Tuning

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More wining and designing...

Getting desperate now to get weight off Gordon without spending any more money.
I've bought some files and drill bits so I'm going to see just what I can do - within reason and budget.

The wine helps me think less clearly - it's got to help!

Had a quick saw and file with the frame over the weekend and then weighed what I managed to take off - removing just some lugs and lumps I managed to save 600g! The rear caliper mounting plate is quite heavy so I'll be interested to see how much I can save here. The rear disc is also heavy so that's going to receive the 'big drill' method too!

The motor should be ready mid December with luck then I can start the build for real. Long term friend Peter Day has offered to spend some time with me making various components (sub frame, battery box, oil tank etc) at his workshop as soon as Gordon's back up and on his wheels.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More bits and pieces...

Most of the components have now been bead blasted, courtesy of Tim at Guyson; once Marc had explained stuff, they let me have the use of their demonstration room and all it's facilities.
So as soon as I get the rear suspension linkage seals and bearings I can start the rebuild.
The next thing I need to work out is the wiring loom, I just CAN'T wait.....Not!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sneaked in from the garage...

After a couple of hours this afternoon at the Guyson factory in Skipton, Gordon is now even allowed in the house.
The frame and swinging arm were a bit scabby to say the least, and there was no way of tarting him up without him looking scruffy - so it was 'down to the metal' to start with.

I was hoping that if the finish was smooth enough I would be able leave him unpainted; however, the blasting did it's job, taking all the paint and debris away but has left the surface a little rough - thinking about it - I'm going to paint him again.

Not sure what colour yet, any ideas? Anyone got any tartan paint?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

There, there Gordon...

Come on Gordon, you know that it's for the best.

Martin and Roy at Slipstream are very nice, and they will really look after you.

I'll stay at home and get on with your other body bits...

Click on the photo to see how scared Gordon really is.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More sweat and tears

Now the engine is out of the chassis I was able to pull out the forks and shock ready to be refurbished / serviced / replaced (whichever is applicable) and drop the engine at Slipstream.
I also carried out some careful measurements of the chassis, comparing them to a TZ250 chassis I measured earlier in the year. I was quite surprised to find dimensionally how similar they are the main difference being the length of the swinging arm, but most of the other measurements are very close.
What has surprised me is the contrast in build, for example: the front engine mounting bracket and spacers weigh almost 2kg! yet the front wheel spindle is hollow and very light.
Now without suspension and engine Gordon is looking very sad laid on his side, but it will not be long before he is completely stripped ready for rebuilding.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Engine out.

After a weekend of struggling at last I have managed to get Gordon's engine out of the chassis.
Easy...NOT, I'm still suffering with my left thumb injury so lifting and fiddling is quite hard work. I have to admit I had to resort to a bit of 'butchery' here and there with bolts shearing and rounding off, culminating in me sawing through the header pipes to remove them to get to the front engine mounting bolts, nasty!
On the up side; weight is falling of him. I'm going to borrow some fishing scales to accurately weigh all the components that come off, I will list them and their weight and for all us 'sados' see what the total comes to.
More to come......

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Product support being sought.

I've enjoyed riding hard to secure my place in teams that have helped me win championships over the years - where I just had to turn up and race - but I am also enjoying this project with Gordon, taking me back some 20 years, where absolutely everything is under my control.

Just starting to strip him down to drop the motor out and start on the race prep, it's a bit scary to realise I have no race infrastructure at all!

I've emailed a few companies tonight to see if they can help me with some basic work shop supplies - I'll keep you posted if I get a response.
If anyone has any ideas about who might be able to help, please contact me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Weight loss begins...

Well Gordon tipped the scales at 166.5kg with no fuel in the tank; boy have I got a weight loss programme for him!
Started pulling all the 'not required' bits off and the starter motor alone is 3kg with its gears etc.
With 23,000 miles under his belt and 10 years of wear and tear most things are 'reluctant' to come off easily. The exhaust stud snapped off with several more components rounding off as I undid them.
What have I let myself in for?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Let the work commence!

Well I have finally cleared some space in the garage to start work on Gordon. First thing is to weigh him to see how much work I have to do!
At the moment I have only one set of scales so an accurate weight is hard to work out, but at 85kg (front) & 82.5kg (rear) it doesn't look too good.
However, the weight distribution is almost 50/50 is standard form so I will have to work on moving some weight over the front end.
First, get him down to his bare bones and clean what components I'm going to keep, then next week I'm off down to Martin at Slipstream to drop the engine off so they can work their magic!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

European project

On holiday in Texas and wandering round an off road dealer spotted this XR650 Honda, the engine unit looks small and compact ... Hmmm could you squeeze it in a Minimono?
I fancy having a go and at these prices its hard to say no! Brand new complete machines £2600.
One of the guys in the shop races one and reckons 70 BHP is no problem, and they do 1000 mile races off road too.
I wonder how much weight I can get through hand lugage?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Not a bad run about.

While out looking for xr650 motors I spotted this in the traffic. Apparently Mr. Dell himself was driving it. Mind you I am in Texas...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gordon, he's alive...

So, now the bike's named - Gordon, and yes, for all you doubters out there, he does actually run.
Keep coming back to check out my blog as I am slowly making progress.
I can hear you all now - "Mike Edwards is mad..."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back home

I was at the NEC for the ACU helping to promote their new Suzuki Trophy one make series. Being there for four days I thought I would have loads of time to sort out some deals for myself, however I didn't take into account how busy I would be talking to people interested in the new series.
In the few moments I had away from the stand I managed to speak to several people who were interested in my idea with the SZR. I think everyone secretly likes backing the under dog and with this project and its limited (very) budget an under dog it is!

If I'm going to run the standard wheels the biggest issue will be limited tyre selection, Dunlop look like they have just the tyre for me, but first I must test them, once the bike is back together.

A world renowned manufacturer of blasting equipment (Guyson) based locally have offered to sand/bead/or vapor blast anything I need, so frame, wheels and just about everything will go there first.

Photo is me giving the 'hard sell' about the new ACU Suzuki Trophy Series on the Dunlop stand.

The highlight of the show for me was someone has already offered to buy the bike at the end of the year....Cool.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

NEC show ideas

Well at the NEC show with my begging bowl, going to do the rounds and see if I can come up with product support and goodies for the SZR.
Meantime, I'm looking for an engine for my European Minimono project, all I need then is a chassis to put it in and a pile of cash to run it for the 2007 season, EASY......

More at the weekend.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's landed!

Collected the bike from the salvage guys today, my friend Simon ran me over there in his van and brought it home.
It was described as a runner with a rattle and when started the engine smoked! Well after 10 mins or so we got it running. They were right about the smoke but the engine sounded fairly quiet, I was expecting a 'death rattle'.
I'm working away for most of this week so I will not be able to do much to it, however, now I have more of an idea of it's condition I can start ringing round for bits and bobs that I will need.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

First step!

Well I couldn’t wait to even get the bike back to Harrogate; I just had to start something going.
E mailed my friend Zweitze Rooske the Dutch Ohlins expert and asked him to build a rear unit and check out what he could do with the forks. No matter how much power you end up with it's through the suspension and tyres that the power goes down, there’s no point in trying to go fast without the right suspension set first!

Next, I rang Martin Sweet at Slipstream Tuning to ask him the best route to go down with regards to engine tuning, he said he would do some 'homework' and get back to me with a price.

Picking the bike up Monday morning, up date then.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weekend thoughts

I've had several ideas over the weekend and made some calls, and now have to make the most important decision of all about this project.
Where do I want to end up on the grid!
I'm confident that with a heap a cash thrown at it the front row is a definite possibility, however, a heap of cash I ain't got.
As soon as it arrives on Monday the first thing to do is weigh it to give me a starting point. I have no illusions it's going to have to go through a big weight loss programme but that in itself will eat into the budget.
Next is to strip it down to its base constituents, engine, frame, folks, wheels etc. and see how much that lot weighs, this will then give me a more accurate target weight to aim for.

So lets see what Monday brings. Oooh I'm getting excited.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Well, I've gone and done it now.

Yes, the bike's been bought for £454 - and now as I don't even have a van, and can't even drive at the moment, I've asked my friend Simon to take me to collect it next week.
I've lots of ideas - I just have to sort them into some sort of order.
First I better think where I'm going to keep the bike :) - and then where I'm going to find the money to transform it with.