Small time racer

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I’ve just had one of my best biking buzzes of 2004 – and it was on a 50cc moped!

As a page designer for MCN, I’ve ridden some of the best road bikes that have arrived at the office this year, but racing a little 50 around a kart track was right up there with it.

MCN was invited to join Orange Racing, one of the leading Moped Mayhem teams, for the final round of the series on Sunday, October 31.

So I trundled up to Sunderland with a caravan – and a separate team of MCN boys who were racing a Honda C90.

It was really cold, especially as there was no room in the caravan and I had to kip in a tent. And I also missed Saturday’s practice because of awful fog that curtailed matters.

Thankfully it cleared up and Sunday arrived with bright sunshine as we awaited the race.

And riding Orange’s Aprilia RS125, with an RS50 engine, was a great experience. I’ve no idea where we finished the six-hour endurance race and I don’t really care because it was so much fun anyway.

I was there primarily to help develop a four-stroke bike – a Honda CB100 that’s been sleeved-down to 80cc – but that was running badly so the project was shelved for the day and I was given a go on the RS.

It was like being 16 again, when I used to slip the clutch out of corners on my old Kawasaki AR50 to keep things moving. I love bikes that you have to work hard to ride, and this suited me perfectly.

The Warden Law kart track was slippery as the day started, but ended up dry and I found myself really getting to grips with things. I was doing 20-minute stints before handing over to my team-mates Henry, Mark and James.

At the end, the Orange backroom boys Mark and Simon offered me the chance to ride for them at any time next season. And I reckon I’ll do it, especially if it’s in summer rather than a damned chilly October weekend in Sunderland!

For more info on Orange Racing at and the Moped Mayhem series at

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff