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Preparing for Lejog

Well the M20 did 120 miles non stop yesterday without any problems bar the speedo packing up, and I was not too sore this morning. Even my suspected broken wrist was OK so I'll put them off plastering it tomorrow. So I am feeling a lot more confident about my Land's End to John O'Groats adventure. I plan to leave Land's End around 1st May.

I'm sorting the toolbax and will tie spare cables to the control cables to save faffing in the event of a failure (very ISDT!)

I'm running a new rear tyre but the front is WD so I'll get e new one fitted. Battery new as is the electronic regulator. Restored magdyno. All fasteners checked for tightness. I'll check points and timing as part pre-trip service.

This trip will exceed the lon trigest I done previously by about 800* miles so any other suggestions for preparing and underatking a long distance trip will be gratefully received.

* Oops I forgot, I've to ride to and from the start and finish points so add over 900 to that.:grimacing:

Re: Preparing for Lejog

Hi Dean...Where are you starting from?...I've done a couple of 'end to end' runs and they are pretty enjoyable, though grinding out the motorway miles can be a bit tedious in places.....Contact me off forum if you want to discuss any aspects of it...Ian

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Re: Preparing for Lejog

G'day Dean,

For long trips I like to take lots of spares but the for the bare minimum I take kick start return spring, gearbox ratchet and pawl springs, spark plug, both chain half links and joining links, a spare inner tube and an assortment of CEI nuts and bolts.

Re: Preparing for Lejog

I had to google "Lejog" not heard it called that before.

I would recommend a solid copper head gasket if you haven't got one already, I carried a couple of the old copper asbestos ones spare on an Italy and back trip and used them up.

Also make sure your clutch is adjusted properly with the angle of the lever on the gearbox being spot on, after a few long days an unnecessarily heavy clutch gets very painful.

Apart from that well done for picking an M20, its the right machine for the job, IMHO.


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Re: Preparing for Lejog

Ian, Matty, Rob, many thanks for your helpful advise.

I understand the head gasket issue. When I stripped the barrel off following a seizure after 700 miles since a rebuild I found the composite gasket nearly burnt though near the exhaust valve. Riased the carb needle a notch and fitted one of TT Joohn's solid copper gaskets. Running fine now as I am starting to push her a bit harder.

At 50mph top speed I'll be giving motorways a miss mind.

Ian. I'll contact you off forum to tap into your wealth of experience.

Re: Preparing for Lejog

Unfortunately and inconveniently the motorways were, in places, constructed over the top of the old trunk routes...I think you may find there is no practical alternative in some areas unless you like meandering well off your route in traffic jams...Ian

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Re: Preparing for Lejog

My mate Tim has booked in for this on his Indian Woodsman (Trials Bullet really) Lizard in Cornwall to Inverness over 4-5 days and supossed to be avoiding all mororways?? Ron

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Re: Preparing for Lejog

Hi Dean

Sounds like quite an adventure, I'd like to hear more.

I live just outside Inverness, beside Loch Ness, if you think I could be of any assistance get in touch for contact details.


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Re: Preparing for Lejog

Well things have moved on a bit in my preparations (despite the winter bug and the wife in hospital with pnuemonia).

I have just about planned a route avoiding motorways but including (handily) the BSAOC Bham summer camp near Craven Arms.
Leaving LE on the 1st May the plan gets us to JOG on the 8th.
There will be a few nights camping so the poor old bike is going to be carryinhg some weight. I set up my old backpacking tent to see if it was still OK (only just over a kg. It was but I don't seem to fit it anymore and in any case I didnlt need to make all those night-time trios when I first bought it). So, a 3 berth tent it is then. Add an proper airbed and thick square sleeping bag, pillow, medication and I am going to wish I'd rebuilt that rear wheel. At least I'll never be going fast enough to come to any real harm.

The route takes the fast A roads from LE to Bristol then over the Severn Bridge and up through Monmouth, Hereford and over the Runcorn Bridge. The A6 to Kendal and then a number mix of A and b roads with run parallel to the M6 and A/M74 to Paisley.
Over the Irskine Bridge and follow the A82 skirting Loch Lomond and on to Fort William. Then to Inverness alongside Loch Ness and up via Wick to JOG.
While there I suppose I should take the slight diversion the Dunnet Head (the most northerly point of the mainland).

I anyone is near and wants to join for part of the ride it would be nice to have some company.

Bike preparations procede.

I have fitted usb charging points and sat nav holder to the handlebars (I may paint them drab so no-one notices) and a double set of reflectors to the rear that include led rear and brake lights. The rear now looks like Blackpool illuminations, but, while I won't get complacent, it might give me a little extra mobile phone user protection!

A new front tyre replaces the WD one whose walls were so hard you'd never replace it at the side of the road.

I took her out for an unladen run yesterday to see if increasing the main jet to 180 would overcome a bit of full throttle hesitancy (I don't think it did). Having got over 1000miles on the clock since the rebuild I am starting to work her harder and am pleased to report she did not nip up this time. Given the lack of horses I am going to have to push her up the rev range id we are going to cover the distances we need to fully laden.

Help please:
I am putting the tool kit together and cannot remember, of all the pullers I've got, which is the one for the mag sprocket. Can anyone remind me of the dimensions?

Re: Preparing for Lejog

['Given the lack of horses I am going to have to push her up the rev range id we are going to cover the distances we need to fully laden...']

I would suggest you adjust your schedule as required to allow you to use the bike at its most comfortable cruising speed...The secret of success with an M20 on longer trips (or any older British bike) is, in my experience, not to operate it at the limits of its performance envelope...

On that basis they are extremely reliable if well assembled and prepared...Conversely trying to get them to do something they aren't really capable of is likely to be problematical...

You have to remember you have little power, plenty of weight on board and are using the bike in an environment it wasn't made for...There were few places in the old days where it was possible to maintain a cruising speeds towards the upper limits of the range for any length of time, so this capability was not really 'designed in' at the outset...

I'll reply to your e mail this evening...Ian

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Re: Preparing for Lejog

Thanks for the words of caution/sanity Ian.

I appreciate the limits of the bike and what to expect of her, but I am still learning what these are in practice. I do not plan to cruise at more than 50 but have to learn to change down in time.

In planning my daily mileages I have (hopefully) allowed more time in each day than needed on paper but given your suggestion I am going to get up and set out earlier each day. More time on the bike: what's the downside:wink:

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