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Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

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

Sharon reaching into her jacket

Sharon might be packing a pistol to shoot Ren with...

What's New?

Torquay By Ferry Sharon and Ren bob along the ocean waves to see what Torquay is all about. Context dear boy, context.
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Being awkward is something Ren does very well. His awkwardness does lead to what might be a quite an important question.
Z250SL Tappet Check And Adjust A guide on how to check and adjust the tappet shims on Kawasaki's excellent Z250SL. With just a little help from Snod.
Rocks And A Better Brixham Sharon And Ren scrabble over rocks on Dartmoor and Ren reviews his opinions regarding Brixham
ButtFast And Buckfast Abbey Ren is having and uncomfortable day. There are things that should not be shared and Ren is sharing them here. Oh dear.
2019 CB500X First Look Ren takes a look at Honda's new and maybe improved CB500X. It also appears Honda must read this blog.
The English Riviera - Urgh The dynamic muppets take a haphazard tour of The English Riviera. What will the crankiest two-wheeled twit make of it all?
Bikes And Walking PocketPete asks a very important question. Can you ride a motorcycle then go for a hike? It is rather spoiling his days out.
Head In The Clouds Sharon is calmed by the wonders of Northern Spain's wondrous scenery as she returns to the comforts of Potes.
Wandering Home From Shell Island Do hot water bottles work in sleeping bags? Will the dynamic muppets ever get off the island and back home? No-one really cares.

Latest Posts

Long Term Honda CBF 125 Review Ren - The Ed said :-
I have to admit I'm "Honda". I'm also interested in frugal motorcycles because I'm tight. I enjoy powerful fast motorcycles but I feel no desire to own one nor do I know of anywhere I could fully realise it's potential even if I had the skills.

I always desire more readers for this website and the route to that would be faster bikes, wheelie tutorials and suggestive looks from beautiful models. Thing is I'm not a fast rider and the only times I've done a wheelie I've pooped myself. We do have Sharon who'll give me a dirty look - not that kind of dirty - more a look of disgust at my gross habits.
10/12/2018 09:26:59 UTC
Long Term Honda CBF 125 Review Ian said :-
It's not ABS , but linked or combined braking as Honda call it.I don't know how it's done with 2 different brake types so i am curious too , i will let you know.

Thanks for the advice , i will try and stay on smaller roads.I want to go slower but will need to adjust my attitude.The main problem i can foresee is a frustrated white van/bmw/audi up my arse on these country roads ,it's bad enough in my Ka. Hopefully i will just pull over and let these busy , important people past , at least i won't be able to chase after them and give them a good talking to. Joking aside , i only work part-time so can hopefully get out at some quieter times.

Even though you are used to the small bikes ,i can see what you mean about owning bigger bikes , each vehicle needs a slightly different attitude.

When i went to the local Honda dearer , i really liked the cb500 x or f , all the bike i would ever want or need and the crf250 , apart from the seat.I was also intrigued by the sh125 ,never owned a scooter but would love to try one.Lastly , best of all the cb125f.I see you own or have tested all these on here so a similar mindset.
08/12/2018 14:27:04 UTC
Long Term Honda CBF 125 Review Ren - The Ed said :-
With a drum rear brake I'm very curious to know how the linked braking system works. Be sure to let me know once you get the bike Ian.

Take your time. I know you're an experienced rider but it's been a while so ease yourself in gently. The biggest thing will be adjusting your attitude. You're no longer the fastest thing out there on a smaller bike so not only do you have to reign in the speeds but also the ego. That's the bit I still struggle with even after what 8 or 9 years on 125s. It doesn't help that I own a larger bike too.

When you're riding down a quiet countryside back lane at a gentle pace, absorbing the fresh air, admiring the hills and valleys, quietly passing by farms and sheep then you'll think to yourself "There is no better bike at all for this".
08/12/2018 11:59:41 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Ren - The Ed said :-
Derri Boots. As far as I can tell they are basically wellies. I'm aware they used to be popular with bikers back in't day. However Pocketpetes link doesn't seem to offer motorcycle specific "hardened" boots for riders.

I do have some old boots I could remove the extra thick sole from and play with making some kind of strap on system. Hmmmm. I reckon Ebay might sell buckles or ratchets or siimilar as a method of getting a secure fit. This will of course end up being a Ren bodge so don't expect it to be pretty.

If a pair of boots proves itself waterproof for a (good) few months then it might be worth having the proper sole fitted once I'm confident about them. Food for thought folks.
08/12/2018 11:52:04 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Borsuk said :-
Large quantities of Dubbin at regular intervals, worked fine on my hillwalking boots for 30 years (same pair), seems to be working on my biking boots so far.
I was thinking about the removable option for the wedge as well. Either a similar arrangement of straps as a set of crampons or an over shoe with the sole attached to the bottom.
07/12/2018 23:36:51 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese bill said :-
in the days before I found waterproof boots I had from army surplus store waterproof over boot. A bit like flexible wellies that rolled up for storage and went over your bike boots then tightened with a lace outer but no seems, they also were good for the long walk in wet grass to bathroom when camping, like big waterproof slippers :-) the soles were semi rigid and grippy. Now have Dainese AW boots used for both road and trail riding and never let water in even when river crossing. Not sure if the still make them.

07/12/2018 22:15:07 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Stuart said :-
Dunlop used to do steel toe cap trials wellies back in the late 70s 80s.
07/12/2018 19:37:53 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Rod said :-
Wellies don't leak - fact. Is there a market out there for suitably re-enforced wellies for bikers?
As pocketpete pointed out the wellies for bikers were called 'Derri Boots', not sure if they are still available.

07/12/2018 19:00:14 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese Stuart said :-
Just had a look and they are a lowly 9mm. As you say 40 may be stretching things.
07/12/2018 18:00:03 UTC
CE Approval, Disability And Dainese pocketpete said :-
Surely no one can be tighter than Ren lol. But what he loses by his small pockets he more than makes up with oodles of free advice and help. If money was not object then I would certainly go down the daytona boot route.

I also used to use Derri boots in the winter these were free when I was a police officer they were a bit tougher than wellys and a bit warmer as they had a furry liner or a sock type liner. ...
07/12/2018 17:43:20 UTC

Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Upt'North said :-
I think any additional addendum would have to include no damage should be inflicted on the police vehicle. They cost money you know. Our money!
27/11/2018 08:37:52 UTC
NigelS said :-
Police pursuit rules were changed back in the summer and the Met are reporting a fall of 40% in moped theft. Despite the urban myth, it never was against the rules to chase a little shit on a stolen moped/scooter if he/she/it wasn't wearing a helmet but what has changed is that the pursuing police officer can now knock them off the bike. I think we should all write to our local PCC and ask that the following phrase should be added to the latest advice to the Police "and the officer, having knocked the scumbag off the stolen bike, should stop his/her vehicle, select reverse, and run the bugger over, taking great care not to add further damage to the bike lying on the road"
26/11/2018 17:57:27 UTC
Borsuk said :-
By the time I'm next in the UK my 125 will have been standing for about 5 months with a half tank of petrol in all weathers. I'll drain a pint out of the bottom of the tank before I start her and see if there is any water layer in the fuel. Unfortunately I don't have any water finding paste at home so I can't just dip the tank to see. I have a 5 liter can that's been sitting here for about 6 months now, might see if I can get a sample of that from the bottom.
25/11/2018 18:17:52 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Wished I was lucky? Maybe I am?
Jam jar blog. Classic.
25/11/2018 16:24:16 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Hi Nigel.

Actually, by the 50s and 60s virtually all engines had alloy pistons - even my 1932 Sunbeam had one... And it's often people with "classics" who are complaining the most loudly about ethanol. But many of these are stuck in the 1960s anyway and resent anything that disturbs their rosy view of the past.

I do agree that possibly it's other additives that give people problems with fuel lines dissolving etc.

Up t'North: some of your points are valid. However, I have not (ever) had any fuel related problems whether due to unleaded, ethanol or mysterious additives. I can happily leave a bike with a half full petrol tank for 6 months and it will start first kick. But maybe I'm just lucky.

I will report on my jam jar in due course.....
25/11/2018 14:10:32 UTC
Upt'North said :-
What harm could there be in a little fuel additive?

1) Water accumulation in the fuel tank - ethanol absorbs water from the air. The water condenses in the fuel tank and will pull the ethanol out of suspension with the petrol. This is bad news because it strips the octane out of the petrol, leaving you with a layer of octane-poor fuel on top and a water-ethanol layer mixture on the bottom. If this gets sucked into the combustion chamber, you will have poor starting and very rough running with potentially engine damage.

2) Deposit is like to build up - Ethanol when mixed with water readily forms Gums in the fuel system much quicker than fuel without Ethanol. These Gums coat fuel system components including filters, carburettors, injectors, throttle plates and will then form varnish and carbon deposits in the intake, on valves, and in the combustion chamber.

3) Lower fuel mileage, Decreased performance and acceleration. Ethanol contains less chemical energy than petrol does, and this means less mileage for the driver. 3-5% drops in mileage are expected.

4) Corrosion of internal engine components - Water contamination may cause fuel system corrosion and severe deterioration.

5) Contaminants in fuel system – water, degraded rubber, plastic, fibreglass and rust may get drawn in.

6) It could encourage microbial growth in fuel. Ethanol being organic and hygroscopic may allow the growth of fungus.

7) Short shelf life - as short as 90 days

8) Corrodes plastic and rubber - Ethanol is a strong, aggressive solvent and will cause problems with rubber hoses, o-rings, seals, and gaskets. These problems are worse during extended storage when significant deterioration could take place. Hoses may delaminate, o-rings soften and break down, and fuel system components made from certain types of plastics could either soften or become hard and brittle, eventually failing. Fuel system components made from brass, copper, and aluminium may oxidize. The dissolved plastics and resins now in the fuel could end up in blocked fuel filters or gummy deposits.

9) Melts Fibreglass - bikes and boats with fibreglass fuel tanks can have structural failure as the Ethanol will break down and pick-up some of the materials the tanks are made from. Again this material, dissolved from the tank, can be carried through the fuel system and can cause damage to carburettors, fuel injectors and can actually get into the combustion chambers.

Although I'll still sleep tonight and hopefully the sun will come up in the morning.

25/11/2018 13:37:02 UTC
NigelS said :-
I remember Cleveland Discol which was taken over by Esso in the 60's (??) I think and also another one from that era, National Benzole (Mr Mercury on the sign). In fact ethyl alcohol (ethanol) has been used in engines from the earliest times. In 1927 Henry Ford developed an engine to run on 100% ethanol because he was fed up with the Texan oil producers' cartel and their control of petrol prices . . . what goes round, comes round! I think you have a point Ian about 'scaremongering' but it should also be remembered that in the 50's and 60's engines were a lot more basic, mostly with cast iron pistons and Octel fuels which aided valve lube etc. There are also a lot of other chemicals which go into modern fuels which were never there 50 years ago. I have noticed that the smell of petrol has changed significantly over the years (and no, I'm not a 'sniffer' but if I spill it in the garage the fumes come up into the airing cupboard mysteriously!).
25/11/2018 11:43:54 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
"Have you left the top off of the jam jar to allow evaporation? "

I didn't fancy an open jar of petrol in the garage while I'm waving blowlamps etc around - but I do take the point. It is only half filled so there's as much air as petrol in there. Maybe I should put a pinhole in the lid to mimic the breather hole in a petrol tank cap?

I've been hearing scare stories about petrol for decades. Remember "Unleaded fuel will wreck your engine"? Well it didn't. I wasted quite a lot of money having the valve seats in my Commando changed even though the originals would have been fine.

Those with long memories (perhaps I'm the only one here although I struggle to remember what I did yesterday) may remember Cleveland Discol which was very popular in the 1950s / 60s, especially in the North East of England. It contained up to 20% ethanol and I'm not aware of any problems caused by it. Of course we didn't have the internet to spread fear and despondency.......

A considered view below. ...
25/11/2018 10:52:10 UTC
NigelS said :-
I first found Gorilla snot in an MZ TS125 which I restored a few years ago and I had to completely strip the carb and (look away now) poke bits of wire up the main jet. The tank was a right off as it had rusted inside so badly because the student who owned it couldn't afford to run it and it had stood for two years half full without being started once. The other piece of kit I've owned which succumbed to Gorilla snot was a Kipor generator which had stood for less than 4 months. I tried cleaning the carb, new fuel lines, removed and flushed the tank but nothing. In the end I took it to the local lawn mower mech and he had a go at no little expenseI might add and although I ran it was as rough as buggery and wouldn't power a reading lamp let alone a whole caravan so I'm afraid it got recycled - viz. the skip at the end of the row labelled 'scarp metal'. Henceforth I have run all garden appliances, my PTWs and in fact everything petrol on Esso Supreme and the World has run smoothly round the Sun ever since.
24/11/2018 17:48:53 UTC
Rod said :-
I have encountered the green gunge on two occasions. The last was on my sons KTM which had not been used for about one year. The green gunge was all around the float chamber, and had blocked the slow running jet.
Have you left the top off of the jam jar to allow evaporation?
24/11/2018 17:19:25 UTC

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