Elsewhere on the site you can read about Mist Suzuki - the all British team competing in the ultra-competitive European Superstocks championship. Mist was set up by Mike Edwards and Steve Jordan, which is how the name came about, and is one of the most dedicated and under resourced teams you'll find outside the British Armed Forces. Their results are down to sheer hard work, determination and ability - there's no megabucks financing keeping them going, just a few small deals.
One of the most interesting companies supporting them is GiveMetheKeys.com - a web site set up and run by Mike Edwards primarily as a means of funding the race team. The idea is simple. A fixed number of tickets are sold for a fixed price, and one of them is guaranteed to win a specific prize. The total value of the tickets is rather more than the total prize cost, obviously, but the winner gets a prize for a heck of a good price and the profit goes into the race team.
Now we bikers are a canny lot, and tend to look at things like this with an element of suspicion. Not unreasonable, but in this case unfounded. MotorbikesToday are happy to throw our endorsement behind the scheme - it's genuine, above board and completely legitimate.
So what's on offer?
A race winning Cagiva Raptor 650, complete with copious spares, tyres, extra wheels and a complete season of race entries for MRO's MiniTwins series. That's one hell of a good prize, and possibly the cheapest and most enjoyable way you'll find to get into racing. MiniTwins is a friendly but very competitive series, the bikes are quick enough but reasonably unthreatening and the race budget isn't beyond the reach of a normal person.
The Raptor is one of the quickest and best handling bikes out there, and is possibly the most completely sorted having been fettled by some of the best in the business.
givemethekeys.com sponsored Matt Bond, a promising 18 year old, in the MRO MiniTwins series for 2005. Having supplied two race prepared SV650 machines for Matt to use they also decided to promote their involvement in the series by lending a MiniTwins spec. Cagiva Raptor 650 to Mike 'Spike' Edwards (ex-British 600 Champion) for a one off ride at the Silverstone MRO round.
Mike convincingly won two races and was beaten by just 0.006 seconds in the third. Mike and the team weren't too disheartened as it was team mate Matt Bond who beat him on the way to taking the lap record.
Matt went on to win the next nine MRO races and also took the lap record at each of the four circuits he subsequently visited.
This is the same Cagiva Raptor 650 that Mike rode at Silverstone. As well as the bike givemethekeys.com will also be giving away spare wheels and discs, race entries for one of the MiniTwins series and enough tyres for the season, well, 5 fronts and 10 rears plus a pair of wets which should be enough for most riders.
With Ohlins suspension all round, upside down forks, four pot Brembo calipers, fully floating wavy discs and GPR steering damper this is easily the highest specification machine in the series.
The total package is worth over ten thousand pounds, but you could buy a ticket for just £20.00 and win the lot. Tickets will continue to be sold until 4th February 2007, the last day of the London Bike Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London, to ensure the lucky winner is able to contest the 2007 race season.
The draw for the prize will then take place seven days later.
There are some tweaks to the prize, depending on how many tickets are sold, and the real beauty is that if there aren't enough sold to make it financially viable then everyone gets their money back. Oh, and there are a maximum of 1000 tickets to be sold, so your odds are far better than winning the lottery. Better yet, the plan is to improve the odds of winning should not all tickets be sold by the closing date. The various elements of the prize will be split up in to 'packages'. Should all the tickets not be sold by the closing date the winner can take their pick of packages to suit their circumstances. So they get the bike plus one of the three options:
Package 1 - A season of race entries for the MiniTwins championship chosen by the winner
Package 2 - Five front and ten rear MiniTwins legal race tyres
Package 3 - Comprehensive spares package, including 2 x extra front wheels, 1 x pair discs, yokes, clocks, radiator, swing arm, fairing frame and spare set of painted bodywork
The way it will work in practice is this.
250 tickets sold - Cagiva Raptor 650 Race Bike, plus spare wheels with wet tyres
500 tickets sold - Cagiva Raptor 650 Race Bike, plus spare wheels with wet tyres, plus 1 package
750 tickets sold - Cagiva Raptor 650 Race Bike, plus spare wheels with wet tyres, plus 2 packages
1000 tickets sold - Cagiva Raptor 650 Race Bike, plus spare wheels with wet tyres, plus all 3 packages
As I said earlier, if ticket sales do not reach 250 by the closing date then all entrants will receive their money back.
I'm putting my money where my mouth is and buying several tickets as Christmas presents for mates. Hell, I'll probably keep one for myself as well, though negotiating permission to go racing again with my boss may be something of a challenge...
Come on - it's a great opportunity to get something very special for very little money and it's a chance to support a team that's nurturing British talent on the international stage. That's pretty special...
So log on to www.givemethekeys.com and give it a try!