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?

Brake Clean Pocketpete's been cleaning his brakes. Does he really need to replace the bolts though or are Honda yanking his chain?
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Desperately clinging to the wreckage of his beliefs Ren is trying to justify why he doesn't always replace his sprockets. Has he got a point or is he talking out of his backside as usual?
O-Ring Free Zone Ren has a terrible confession to make. He is committing a heinous crime against the common wisdom which involves a non o-ring chain. Amongst other things.
Pumping Losses What are pumping losses in a 4 stroke engine? Ren tries very hard to explain but we're still not really sure.
Brake Fluid Change Pocketpete's brake fluid is being refreshed with help from Ren. It's a simple task but as with any motorcycling things there's a hundred ways to do it.
MPG - The Bike Or The Rider? Motorcycles use fuel. But what governs that consumption most, the rider's style or the design of the vehicle? Rod has got his thinking hat on.
CB500X Strange Sprocket Noise Damn that damnable chain! Actually today's problem is the front sprocket. Or is it even a problem?
Maximum Load Weight What is the maximum load you can carry on a motorcycle? Is there even such a number? There is and it's not as much as you might hope.
Houston - We Have A Problem Pocketpete has sprung a leak since the tappet service. Can he fix it? And why is (another) Honda dealer trying to sell the wrong kind of coolant?
Stop N Go Tyre Plugger Observation Ren's had to fix a puncture with his puncture fixing thingy. It does work, but not *quite* how he'd expect
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Royal Enfield Himalayan Test Ride Review Borsuk said :-
Read a French owners blog, the noise is from the headlight unit, the lens and outer casing has a bit of a gap. If you take the lens off and wrap the edge with insulating tape it kills the noise.

23/2//2019 10:31:43 PM UTC
Royal Enfield Himalayan Test Ride Review Rick said :-
Just ordered one after a test ride.
I agree with Bob, it has a noisy screen. The seat's too soft and there's not much power. It's for a relaxed trundle down the road, at legal speeds that took some time to achieve.
Yet it seems fine and is somehow highly enjoyable.
NB there's been a constant queue for the demonstrator and the dealer (Suzuki &Honda, now also RE) says it's been the most popular demo bike he's ever had. Low price and something different.
23/2//2019 6:40:20 PM UTC
Brake Clean Bill said :-
The red patch is locking compound which is activated by the friction of tightening, probably why they feal tight when fitting.
23/2//2019 10:47:27 AM UTC
Pumping Losses Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I know there was a massive fuss when Mercedes' F1 engine achieved 50% efficiency. Impressed? That was only in absolutely ideal situations along with regen from the turbo and braking and and and and etc etc etc. Car engine are lucky to get around 30%, some modern designs a little more in again ideal scenarios.

Much as I love a petrol (or diesel) engine the benefits of electric are plain to see.
22/2//2019 6:30:07 PM UTC
Pumping Losses Mr Maffs said :-
Efficiency is energy out / energy in and it is always < 1. If you could manage to convert all the heat energy available from a gallon of fuel into the same amount of power from your engine you'd have an efficiency of 1 (or 100%). I haven't done the maffs, but I guess you'd be doing well to get 50%, and the other 50% is wasted - heat, noise, pumping, friction, and energy pouring straight into and out of the exhaust pipe.
22/2//2019 6:09:21 PM UTC
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Ian Soady said :-
"What surprises me are the huge variations in experience. "

I suspect that a lot of it (like tyre life) is down to riding style. I've always been what I consider to be mechanically sensitive in my style although my consistent 55 mpg may suggest that I'm not too gentle...

Maybe the shock loadings from dropping the clutch, changing down without matching engine revs etc cause extra wear? I confess I don't know.
21/2//2019 3:29:44 PM UTC
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Rod said :-
In my experience the two thing which help chains last are regular lubrication and adjustment, and do not use the bike in bad weather as the rain will wash off the lubricant.
I also use a mixture of grease and oil, I have always used gear oil and grease and it seems to work so I have never tried old engine oil.

I did have one bike where I only lubricated it at the regular service intervals and never adjusted the chain once in all the time I owned it. The chain still did not need adjusting or replacing after 19 years and nearly 60,000 miles!!

This was because it was shaft drive.
21/2//2019 12:21:53 PM UTC
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Pocketpete said :-
Is it just luck how long a chain lasts.

I sprayed Castrol lube and put chain wax on my old chain. Lasted 7k. Thus ones lasted 4 so far and I adjusted the new one once by a tiny amount. The only difference is in using old engine oil and grease to lube it. It certainly looks like it will last longer.

I suspect quality control is poor from Honda. Looking online chain life varies from 6k to 25k. That's a big variation.
21/2//2019 10:38:41 AM UTC
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
What surprises me are the huge variations in experience. From Ian only adjusting a chain once in 20k, Snod preferring to change sprockets more often than chains, Pocketpete killing a chain in 7k and my questionable habits. I've seen 37k out of a chain right down to about 9k.

Is it our individual use scenarios, care regimes, motorcycles and riding styles or is it possible chain quality itself is in fact VERY variable? Even between chains from the same marque and model.
21/2//2019 6:51:04 AM UTC
The Chain Wears The Sprocket Snod said :-
My chains will often see at least a couple of rear sprockets and several front sprockets, I think the last chain on my CB250 saw at least 5 fronts in it's 40K mile life! Keep the sprockets in good condition and the chain will last a long time, in my experience. That was a DID VM though, the JT Z3 on my Z250SL does not seem to be faring so well at a paltry 9K..
20/2//2019 10:15:01 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Upt'North said :-
Borsuk, right there, that's funny.
STD.........we need Emoji's at times like this.
I've managed to avoid both..........so far.
22/2//2019 9:44:59 AM UTC
Borsuk said :-
Sorry Pete but having an interest in cruisers and scooters is not an age related thing as I am probably the same vintage as you and wouldn`t touch them with a barge pole. My brother in law who is slightly younger than me has a BMW cruiser which is a bit better than having a Harley but I still consider cruisers the mechanical equivalent of an STD. They are out there but if you take the correct precautions you will never get one.
I own a Himalayan and I don`t think they nice, they are functional and tick my requirements boxes which is what I wanted more than aesthetics.
The interceptor is nice, in fact very nice.
19/2//2019 1:44:34 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oii! Don't be blaming me for you turning into a reasonable, sensible and unfortunately dull old man. I may show you the path to dullness but it does not mean you have to follow it.

There is only one hope for you. You need to buy a head down ass up supersport bike that is so complex and esoteric you couldn't possibly service it yourself. It must only ever be touched internally by vestal virgins who have completed a 16 year course in mechanical mastery. You must only ride it twice a year when the sun shines and the wind blows from the south. Otherwise you must merely admire it as a source of beauty and pride. I... I think they call them Ducati Panigales.
19/2//2019 12:45:46 PM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
I'm sure I'm not well.

The bullit looks really nice. The royal Enfield 650s looked nice. Even the Himalayan looks reasonable.

I'm sure I even looked at a Harley the other day with more than a passing interest of cruising in the same gear all day.

It must be an age related mental disorder. What's happening. I even spent a couple of hours looking at Suzuki scooters and comparing them with Cubs and other brands.

I've always hated these bikes.. I've been infected with some sort of old man disease. Its since ren did my rappers.
19/2//2019 11:33:38 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Diesel Ford?!? I'll not have such language on this website Upt'North. Now obviously a diesel motorcycle, that would be nice. And practical, especially if it had a towbar and trailer. Oh and an extra wheel or two just in case it snows. Maybe some doors and a roof? It would help if it was built by a long established marque too.
19/2//2019 8:33:33 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Thanks Bill, I didn't think they would be made anywhere else. I've seen the Bergen too.
Ed, sweet, peachy, hmmm hmmmmmm, but practical no. But then again if we wanted practical we'd sell our 2 wheeled beauties and buy diesel Ford's. But obviously not drive them because they'll destroy the planet, apparently.
Which sort of goes full circle because just about everything we buy is made in China with coal burnt power.

18/2//2019 11:41:08 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That Bullet is sweet. It is rather like the BMW R9-T and the CCM Spitfire, lovely to look at but nowhere for luggage!!
18/2//2019 8:58:41 PM UTC
Bill said :-
US pro and Bergen are both Chinese manufacture with names trying to sound like somewhere else.
That's why the are cheap and favourites on market stalls. You get what you pay for but for occasional home use could be OK for the price.
18/2//2019 7:36:55 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Yes Ian the warranty always justified the price but not for home use. I have never had a problem getting repairs to Snap On kit either.
But on a different note. What a peach.

18/2//2019 4:08:37 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I have a snap-on 1/2" ratchet that I bought about 40 years ago when I was temporarily flush. A couple of years ago the ratchet drive became a bit erratic. I bumped into a snap-on van outside a tyre fitters and spoke to the driver and he came round to my house and replaced the ratchet drive for me. Completely FOC. The lifetime guarantee means what it says on these tools.

That ratchet, although it's had a hard life, still looks and performs beautifully. The Yanks do know how to make tools, although some of the old British ones I still have (Williams superslim, Snail, King Dick and Shelley) are still working well.

Like you however I couldn't justify the cost for what I now use tools for.
18/2//2019 2:29:27 PM UTC
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