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Friday, March 30, 2007

Gordon up for Grabs.

It's a bit sad, but I have to admit that the non existent budget just can't keep pace with the bills. In order to get through the season, I'm going to have to in effect ‘sell’ Gordon off now to pay his bills and see the championship through.
At the moment I am thinking along the lines of a strictly limited sponsor membership club, 100 tickets at £60 each.
One membership number will be drawn on June 16th 2007 and Gordon will be available to take away once the last race of the championship has finished at Cadwell Park, UK on October 7th 2007.
Here you can see some of Gordon's mates rushing off to buy sponsor memberships. Click here to find out more: 100 Sponsor Membership Club

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hold still, this won't hurt.

All the bits and pieces for repair and or replacement are now well on their way to be ready for next week; although I am still looking for some additional wheels.
I am back at work full time at the moment, and doing some ACU training work at the begining of next week - but I should be able to squeeze in enough time with Gordon to get him back up and running in time for further testing at the end of next week.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Riding and running in first time - Gordon at Ledenon

Ledenon was the first time I had actually ridden Gordon.
Luckily I had to run him in anyway, so I could gradually suss him out.
2,000 revs first session, then 4,000 then finally 6,000 revs before I could 'open him up'.
You can hear how windy it was - also listen to the 'famous last words' at the end!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jobs to do list.

Although I got Gordon back on his feet and back on track, he is still a bit sore, and needs some bits and pieces sorting out.
It is all accumulative damage, broken sub frame, exhaust can, master cylinder, fairing and seat unit need repairing/replacing. An assortment of other brackets, plates and the radiator will need some attention too!
An expensive testing trip in many ways but so much information has been gained, I can now go to Brands with Gordon knowing where his strong and weak points are. Its only then while among his own we will see if all the hard work will get him on to the rostrum.

Friday, March 23, 2007

If it's good enough for Freddie...

Once I was happy enough with Gordon I got 'Bill' out for a run round.

A BMW R1200S - I was pleasantly surprised how he behaved on track. Once I had dialled the Ohlins suspension in, he was most competent.

The Freddie Spencer school uses the pillion experience to help to assist with the understanding or 'feel' of throttle and braking techniques.

Another of Mariska's excellent photos captures my fellow supermono rider Jan getting an insight.


Without a fairing Gordon looks a mean Street fighter.

However he still was a long way from being right. But after some drastic suspension adjustments he is starting to feel much more the race bike I was looking for.

Lots of work back home to do before his next test prior to the first round at Brands.

Shark attack!

Good morning from the last day here at Ledenon.

Gordon looks slighty better in the morning sun than I remember leaving him last night.

Can't say the same for my leathers though, they still look like they were mangled in some kind of shark attack!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ready for a small glass of wine.

Well after a lot of hard work I've managed to get Gordon back on his feet.

Just had some good news from the UK, Dave Bennett has generously donated his spare FZR400 wheels to Gordon, the front which I need right away.

Destroyed my leathers as well - bu$$er!

Another great action shot from yesterday by Mariska.

Up and atom.

Bodged, sorry effected some repairs and as luck would have it there is one of Gordon's Dutch cousins here so I have found an original SZR front wheel to borrow.

With a bit more work I should be able to get back on with the job of testing this afternoon.


It would be easy to blame the wind, but to be honest I was simply riding hard - as this is what testing is all about; I am not here to ride round.

Mariska was just in the right place to snap Gordon feeling s0 sore he couldn't get in the recovery van without some help.

Just running through the damage and cleaning Gordon up at the moment.

Main problem is the front wheel is damaged, just as well I fitted the crash bungs that Stuart gave me yesterday or it would be an early bath....

Time to finish jobs.

Well it is sunny again still some wind though.

Have dropped the forks another 10mm as Gordon is still a little lazy at turning.

Plenty of time to get other jobs finished, just tidying up the starter, you can see the works Jawa supermonos of Jan and Libor in the background.

Gordon is learning to speak Czech now with his new friends.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First track action shot.

This first action photo of Gordon is by Dutch photographer Mariska Grob.

Chopped 15mm of the fork spacers earlier with a hacksaw while they were still in situ. Tricky or stylish?

Seems a bit better but the wind is so gusty now that I have called it a day and doing a few more tweaks.

Spring has sprung.

The second day is just as sunny again with a little less wind.

Been at it again for a couple of hours this morning twiddling and fiddling with things.

But that is what testing is for. Will let you know later how things go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First day is fine.

So far so good. After doing plenty of laps I can now see Gordon's good points and where we still need to do some work.

At the moment I am working on suspension settings.

Now he is run in we can really get to work tomorrow.

Mistral keeps on blowing.

Good morning from Ledenon. Apparently snow everywhere but here, the Mistral wind is keeping us clear.

First session 2,000 revs. Gordon wants to get going but I said no!

The front is too hard. The rear too soft.

Monday, March 19, 2007

On a mountain top.

South of France - fantastic at the moment. What's the weather like back in the UK?

Waiting to get in the circuit; just enough time to finish up those little jobs.

Gordon is eyeing up the goats...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gordon's new friend.

Still with no transport arranged for the season, Gordon had to think of some way of getting to Ledenon.
Usual van hire companies won't let you take their vehicles out of the UK.
Ryder Rental do though - Gordon tried to be cheeky and blag a free van.
"No can do" said Richard at the Castleford depot "but I will try and get Gordon a decent discount".
That'll do - now we're on our way!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The timings right...

Roy from Slipstream called at Brands Hatch where I was today to get Gordon timed up just right with his stroboscope before we set off to travel down to the South of France to test him proper.
The good news is I had modified the starter by removing the tyre from the kart wheel, and now it works fine.
The bad news is Roy left me with the bill for the tuning....eeekk
I will report again from Ledenon soon.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mk1 starter fails...

Mk1 starter fails...
Originally uploaded by no1bloke.
Just thought I would try the starter on Gordon before we head South.

The bad news is the ratio of the kart wheel diameter is all wrong and the motor can't overcome Gordon's compression.

Onwards to Brands and back to the drawing board.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Found something out anyway...

Well, if there is something that I have found out doing this project it's that I can't weld - for toffee.

I can plan, cut out, and organise the individual components - but after making a right mess, I know that welding is definately not my thing.

Luckily, Stuart Gregory came to my rescue; he heard about the 'Gordon' project from Ian E. and got in touch to see if he could help with anything.
Stuart has a small business making crash bungs, and has all the equipment in his garage that I wish I had.

Thank goodness - Stuart has done a fantastic job, and welded the starter together for me; that's one more thing I can cross off my list of jobs to do before leaving for France.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Missing the minimono...

A couple of Gordon's mates came to Mallory today to watch me put Phil's minimono through it's paces for what is likely to be the last time for quite a while.

They weren't very impressed with what I did to the bike, and have rushed off back to Gordon to tell him not to let me anywhere near him...

Too late, we're setting off for Ledenon at the weekend, the ferry's generously been organised through Wayne at Norfolkline

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Starting the starter

Starting the starter
Originally uploaded by no1bloke.
With the need to get Gordon a engine starter I have now sourced the components, I just need to get it all together! It should make a good 'before and after' photo.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Exclusive Gordon Items.

You can now get exclusive 'Gordon' promotional clothing, click here for the link:

Gordon's Gear

Friday, March 09, 2007

Better weather for this clip.

At least this clip is in daylight - and it's not raining!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

Well it's so close now that Gordon says he can almost taste the bubbly!
Now fully dressed but unpainted Gordon looks quite the part. Only a few bits and bobs to get done before we go to Ledenon testing prior to the first British Championship round at Brands on the 14th of April.
Not 100% sure what colour scheme to run with, any ideas....Send me your thoughts by clicking on 'comments'.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Update on progress

Now that Gordon is so close to his initial completion, I thought it would be interesting to see what he weighed in at.
The target weight was 135kg. With the budget being very limited exotic materials were not available - so obviously using things like standard wheels etc has limited the weight loss.
However I was very happy to see that he tipped the scales at just 133kg, having saved some 33kg.
Not exactly light but no heavy weight either!

New battery and some time with the soldering iron and the wiring harness was finally ready too!
It was great to hear him fire up at last - all be it just for a few moments.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just over 21 weeks and it feels fantastic!

I admit it has been difficult, with a day job I can mostly only do stuff on a night - and I really, really wanted to get Gordon running.
So late last night, about 11.15pm it happened, although cold, wet, dark and quite miserable - once he fired - it felt fantastic - thanks to Steve and Genge for being there to help at his rebirth!

Friday, March 02, 2007

A thing of beauty...

... is a joy forever.

Peter has done it again.

I have to admit - I almost wept when I saw the new fuel tank - how can Gordon ever thank Peter enough for his work?
I try, but whatever I say seems useless compared to the fantastic'ness of Pete's work.
Once again, a million thanks Peter, you are truly a Special Friend of Gordon's.