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The Long Day Up Challenge – Part I

OK, it’s time to get the begging bowl out!

To all MOTO-MATE customers, wanna-be customers, friends, enemies, you name it!

I have signed up for a crazy bike related cancer research charity fundraiser event. It’s called the “Long Day Up challenge” (it was the Long Day Down originally but got reversed a few years ago).
If you’ve never heard of the Long Day Up Challenge event, you can read up on it here: http://www.thelongestdaydownchallenge.co.uk/index.html

My mother was diagnosed and treated for cancer a few years back. I also have had the dark cloud over my head in the past few years, but was diagnosed clear. So I have since wanted to do something positive and contribute to research around cancer.

The Longest Day Challenge 2020 – The Basic Rules

Ride from Lands End to John O’Groats between sunrise and sunset (the 2019 route was just over 1000 miles)

NO motorways, and with 5 mandatory sign in check points on route

And on a bike costing £300! (max.!)

Supporting Cancer Research UK with a teapot!

I have acquired, with lots of negotiation and waving the charity flag, a suitable LDU bike. A 1991 Suzuki GSX750F, which is completely standard but has stood full of stale fuel for the last 8 years. So the cards are gummed up solid and it’s rotten as a pear. From 20 metres it looks pretty good, but under the plastics it’s horrible.

A rusty fuel tank has to be replaced by something scabby in pink!

The tank is rusty inside and the bottom feels really flaky! But someone on the OSS forum has gifted me a red replacement.

The exhaust is rotten, but it came with a spare, which looks to me to be from a different model.

It is waver-thin, and a little rotten
The oil cooler, one hopes, had better days

The oil cooler has clearly seen better days. But a cheap replacement is on a boat from Canada. Will it ever arrive? Been already on the way for over 6 weeks…

The carbs are bunged up beyond belief, so a bubbly ultrasonic bath will await them.
The brakes don’t work.
Shock is knackered as is virtually anything else I touch.

The bike cost me £400, which means it is over budget but was judged to be in the spirit of the event. The fun side effect of this is that I cannot really spend any more other than what is allowed in the name of safety i.e. tyres and brakes. The teapot, known as turdpot to others, has taken up position on the bench, ready for the strip down to commence soon. I’ve booked some time off work to get it started and all being well up and running. Failing that I am into long nights in the garage.

So, if any of you lovely people want to throw a few pounds to Cancer Research UK for my pain, you can make a donation on my page: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/phil-nichols

Just need to get the bike built now!

Wish me luck and thank you.

P.S. Some time has passed since originally writing this and getting it posted on the website so unfortunately the event has been postponed due to the Corona virus but will go ahead once we have freedom of movement again and I will update this blog with details as they become available.

Stay tuned for part II

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