Buying a moped after a few beers to go endurance racing – uh oh!!!!!!!

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So I’m down the pub one Friday night at the beginning of last year with a few biker mates, and we start talking about different events we can go to and Chris mentions something he saw online called Nifty Fifty Endurance. 

You just know from this point onwards that it’s going to go downhill quick!

Google was tasked with finding the website, videos watched on said website and a quick look at the rules and regs to see what we needed to enter. By this point we were a few beers in …..

Teams raise funds for their favourite charitable organisations. Each team can consist of up to four riders who aim to complete as many laps as they can around a specially prepared Motocross track for 5hrs. Each team are using mopeds and scooters which have engines of up to 90cc’s!

While still at the pub, eBay was tasked with finding us the basis of what we needed. Another beer later and collectively we’ve bought ourselves a Suzuki TS50ER which I’m told needs a shed load of work doing to it to get it up to regs.

Another beer later and we’ve entered the first event of the year in two months time. There are four events during the year in total.
When will we learn, don’t drink and go on eBay!!!!!!!!!! but not bad for one evening down the pub!

Here is a shortened version of the regs:

* Moped must be a model originally sold for the road in the U.K., no pit/mini bikes;

* Exhausts must be road legal and from a bike originally intended to be sold for the road;

* All glass must be removed including plastic light lenses;

* Both front and rear brakes must be in good working order;

* Kill switch fitted if there is no ignition key;

* Accessible fuel tap must be fitted unless has an electronic fuel injection system;

* No machines can be replaced by a spare machine once the event is underway (that’s lucky as at this moment in time we do not have one machine that complies with the regs, let alone a spare!);

So the bike arrives and we go round to Chris’ house to survey what we have actually bought a share of.

OMG! Just how much had we drunk! Here’s a pic! Um…. Some work needed then ……. it had no engine, petrol tank, seat or exhaust. 

How the heck we managed to buy what basically was a frame with two wheels, I can only assume was down to the amount of alcohol that was consumed!

Chris had in his shed (as one does I suppose) an old RM50 that was, um, how shall I put it, not roadworthy, so we borrowed from that the engine, petrol tank, seat and half the exhaust (the other half came from eBay). Welding was required to fit the petrol tank and seat and as Giles can weld, it came back home with us.

Aside from the major items (I class engine and fuel tank as major!!!), a brief list on work to be done and challenges found:

* down gearing;

* nylon sliders for top of swing arm to protect it from chain wear;

* exhaust; road legal silencer and heat shield;

* front brakes – these are non existent at the moment;

* return spring for rear brake;

* take off pillion foot pegs;

* both front and rear brakes need fettling;

* move arm round on spindle to adjust brakes both ends;

* swing arm pivot and spindle need greasing;

* throttle cable needed;

* seat;* petrol tank;

* engine;

* side number boards;

* race numbers.

The guys wanted to name the bike as apparently you’re supposed to name your vehicles – I never have. Some deliberation took place (they all kept coming out with girl names) so I entered Jensen into the pot and guess what – Jensen won! Yay!!!

We had to come up with a team name for our entry and after yet more deliberation we came up up with ToS5ERs on Tour taking in the name of the bike.

So not being mechanically minded, my main part in all this was sourcing and ordering parts for Jensen, making tea and bacon sarnies, completing the paperwork for our entry (we all needed a licence to enter); making tea and cakes, sourcing side number boards and race numbers; making tea and bacon sarnies and chasing licence paperwork for our entry – I gave the first set of licence forms to the guys to complete but these went astray so I arranged a drink down the pub with a fresh set of forms and pens and got the guys to complete them there and then so I could take them back with me!

Giles did the necessary welding on Jensen so the engine, exhaust, seat and petrol tank were all present and correct. Jensen was beginning to take shape and was looking like a bike now. There was no silencer on the exhaust so when it was started up for the first time I thought we were going to get noise complaints from the neighbours! A silencer was quickly sourced and ordered to attend to this problem.

Jensen went back to Chris’ now so he could do some fettling and the remaining jobs the week before the first event were:* remove a link from the drive chain, it was at the end of the limit and loose;* remove side stand;* grease various bits;* sort handlebar guards.

Jensen was ready to race.

We arrived early doors at the site for our first event and set up camp. As there were five of us and only four could compete, I was not racing today. It was March and the ground was really wet and muddy so I thought it would be a good one to sit out as it would be hard going in such conditions and there were bound to be teething problems.

Okay so a lot of the other competitors clearly took this event a whole lot more seriously than us Tossers did but we took Jensen to the start line ready for the off. I was glad I had sat this one out, the ground was wet and boggy and Jensen kept getting stuck, others had new tyres, we were still on the old ones it came with.

We encountered a few running and teething problems and then the clutch went. We managed to borrow one but we only managed to do a handfull of laps before Jensen expired. A great day was had by all but we had some work to do on Jensen before the next event in a six weeks time.

By the next event the ground had dried out massively and I was one of the riders today. OMG it was brilliant fun, I wasn’t the quickest by far but I was having a great time and enjoying the jumps. 

Jensen was massively outclassed by many of the other machines but just kept going. We managed to complete the whole 5 hours and did 95 laps. An absolutely brilliant day, we went home very tired and muddy but with huge smiles on our faces.

The third and fourth events I was unable to go to as unfortunately I was on holiday for both of them but the other guys went and although the Jensen’s electrics eventually died on the last event, they had a great time.

The camaraderie in the pits is great, teams helps each other out to get bikes repaired and back out on track, there’s lots of laughter and jokes flying around and there really is a good feel about it all.

At the end of the day, everyone is there to have a laugh, do a bit of racing and raise some money for charity.

If you want a fun day out with a bit of racing, I would definitely recommend you look into doing this but perhaps not buy a bike off eBay when in the pub after a few beers …….