Looking along a long straight road amidst lush green farmland

Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

...It's about bikes...and travels...mostly on bikes!

Lake Bala North Wales bathed in warm sun

Oh summer where for art thou? Ren is missing the warmth of summer but when it returns he'll be complaining about the amount of traffic on the roads.

What's New?

Oh The Shame Sharon's Keeway hasn't run for a while. Will it start? Or is this the end of the road for Zen's adventures...
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs It's a wonder Ren even manages to step outside the house! The only thing to fear is fear itself. Unless you're Ren then everything is scary it seems.
Oxford Heated Grips Brief Review Pocketpete doesn't suffer from frozen fingers on a frigid morning. In fact his fingers are on fire!
Honda CB500X At 30,000 Miles Ren's shiny new CB500X is now a 30,000 mile dirty dawg. What does he think of his purchase so far?
Seasonal Shenanigans 'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you're Ren. He's mooching around cursing everyone and everything. Be warned - there's a risk of a slightly upbeat ending.
Spain Is Slowing Down Too Spain is dropping their speed limits on some country lanes. Times, they are a-changing.
Strange Screen Aerodynamics CB500X If we learn from our mistakes why isn't Ren the wisest sage of all time? Curious aerodynamic cause and effect are today's lessons.
A Look At The Honda C125 Cub Honda has re-invented the C90 into the new C125. But who is it really for?
Lessons from Devon Ren is pondering the problems with the trip to Devon.
Kawasaki Ninja 400 Test Ride Review So what does the Hobbitses thinks of Kawasaki Ninja 400s? She has to ridesis them to makes her mindes up. Scarees it is.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Royal Enfield 500 Classic Test Ride Review Ren - The Ed said :-
It's not all about speed is it Chris. That said I was riding around Wales the other weekend and one chap was on an Enfield 500. He had no problems keeping up because there are riders out there that keep roughly to the speed limits. I sense from your comments and others that this is a bike for those who actually enjoy the pleasure of motorcycling.

19/1//2019 8:00:43 AM UTC
Royal Enfield 500 Classic Test Ride Review Chris said :-
Hi, great article, really enjoyed the read.

My wife got her licence 18months ago and when looking for a bike for her we both test rode a classic 500. I enjoyed it so much I promptly traded my 2009 Harley in on 2 Classic 500's. Now we ride together.

The vibrations were very bad to start with, however after 3000km I'm finding that they have reduced a lot, although it was frustrating running them in at such slow speeds. But, well worth it.

These bikes are not fast at all but, every time I ride I find myself grinning, this is old school motorcycling that brings back memories of my first few bikes, all old singles.

A pleasure to ride.... Once you have it run in and the vibrations start to smooth out.

19/1//2019 4:08:33 AM UTC
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs Ren - The Ed said :-
GraemeC - I very nearly bought one then I remembered I'm tighter than a ship's rivets. I have a cunning plan...

Ian Soady - I know what you mean - but. If everything is buttoned down ie. the rocker cover is still on then the rest of the engine catches light dirt all he time. I'm not quite sure "suck" would suck with the same force as "blow". Worth considering though. And yes I do have a vacuum cleaner. Somewhere.
17/1//2019 6:25:53 PM UTC
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs Ian Soady said :-
Suck is better than blow.....

Tape some small diameter tube to the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner (yes Ren I know you don't have one but Sharon will lend you hers) and use that to suck any bits up before you remove the old plug then again once it is removed. Blowing always has the possibility it will send bits where you don't want them.
17/1//2019 12:29:33 PM UTC
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs GraemeC said :-
Good point - clean the hole before starting. Have you tried those tins of compressed air (used for cleaning IT components)? Maybe not enough pressure, but they do have a straw to direct the blast. Might work....
17/1//2019 11:20:35 AM UTC
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs Ren - The Ed said :-
In an ideal world GraemeC I'd have a long thin artist's paint brush and an airline. I'd use the paintbrush to loosen the grit and dirt then the airline to blow it out.

I did have a suitable skinny paintbrush. I don't have an airline. I ended up fixing a thin straw from a WD40 tin to a bicycle pump. A couple of sharp firm pumps down each recess was sufficient...this time.

I really do need some compressed air. BUT I don't require it often at all. As such I'm thinking of making something I can pump up with a regular foot pump that holds enough air to blow out dirt from recesses and to seat the bead of of a tyre. Hmmmm....
17/1//2019 11:11:23 AM UTC
The Fear Of Tightening Spark Plugs GraemeC said :-
Hi Ren. Another spark plug fear I have, especially with plugs which are set in a deep recess,is the possibility of a piece of grit or other crap dropping into the cylinder when you remove the plug. In addition, when installing a new plug there is an opportunity to dislodge crap at the bottom of the hole when you are fiddling around trying to get the thread started which then falls into the engine. Can you imagine the damage being caused by that grit? I found this "fear" overrides the "tightening" fear, and is actually worse. Just another thing to worry about :)

Don't have nightmares :)
17/1//2019 10:09:41 AM UTC
CBF 125 No Lights - Again Ren - The Ed said :-
It's a 2013 registered RKS 125. I'll add an image of the engine code that'll help identify the model

17/1//2019 9:53:39 AM UTC
CBF 125 No Lights - Again KS R said :-
Ace looks same. What year is Sharon rks
17/1//2019 6:35:36 AM UTC
CBF 125 No Lights - Again Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi. I'm guessing you're talking about Sharon's RKS125? I have an image, I hope it'll be helpful.

16/1//2019 10:58:47 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Ren - The Ed said :-
Pocketpete - I'd need to think about this more but. Hosing the bike down thoroughly should provide enough water to remove the salt and not simply create a briny solution which would be worse for rusting than dry salt.

That said it has been my experience that a thoroughly dirty bike provides a layer of protective gunk. My bikes do suffer surface layer rust but not deep damaging rust as I've seen on some regularly cleaned bikes. This is a whole can of worms and I'm sure there are a million opinions.

Upt'North - I recall my first motorcycling visit to Scotland and my first time as an adult. I came through Glencoe and I too was stunned. As an experienced Highlands rider now I'm also aware there are even more breathtaking views to be found. Glencoe is just the doorway.

Thanks for the tip on the leatherish thing under my seat. You're a star you really are.
19/1//2019 8:08:18 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
I've seen Glencoe in all seasons and it's nearly always looked like that. Although when you see it in all its glory, well, amazing. I was up there with Er'Indoors probably around 2009 on the CBF1000, we'd just set off from the King House (?) after a slap up breakfast and parked up shortly after in the piper's lay by and Er'Indoors was reduced to tears by its beauty. I told her to pull herself together, there were pegs to scrape.
Ren, do you know there's a leatherish thing under your seat?
18/1//2019 11:17:43 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
I have many memories of climbing and camping at Glencoe in mid winter, usually just freezing rain but sometimes there was deep snow.
And my friends wonder why I moved to Southern Spain.
18/1//2019 10:55:55 PM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
I have been using my bike since 1st Jan to commute to work. Yes I have actually got a part time job. Got to pay for my daughter's house. I've been cleaning it using Sharon's method. No acf50 for me. I came home today the bike is covered in salt. So how do I clean it.

Wash with muc off then rinse off and clean with Williams wash and was. Then mc94 ptfe spray. I usually rinse off with the hosepipe. Is this going to create a rush making brine.

What's the best way to get rid of salt?
18/1//2019 7:19:58 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Then this afternoon in a totally unrelated incident I took the seat off the 500, I needed some 12v goodness. Look what I found. DOH!!!

18/1//2019 3:54:37 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I have a cheap leather case to protect my phone when it's in the tank bag or what not. Then last week it disappeared. This week I've been making do with a bubble wrap postage back cut down to fit...

18/1//2019 3:53:04 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Dammit Jim!! I'm really miserable now. Mind you I reckon today would be, well, frankly bloody freezing up there.

Anyhow here's an image of Glencoe in winter. Brrrrrrr!

18/1//2019 9:14:44 AM UTC
Jim said :-
Shetland Islands in January has a lot to recommend it!

18/1//2019 7:55:39 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Well it's positively miserable outside. I was sat here wishing I was in Ullapool but then I saw an image from The Isle of Harris where the snow is getting thick. I wish I was in Ullapool...in summer.

16/1//2019 9:14:05 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
The more I test the less confident I am...

15/1//2019 12:48:32 PM UTC