The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

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?

Options Plug CB500X - Does It Work? Pocketpete's getting all electrical today. Can he bodge on an option plug and can he work out the mysteries of LED lights?
Shell Island - It Only Pours You can't win them all. Ren is having one of "those" weekends in what otherwise should have been a pleasant trip to North Wales
KLX 250 The Little Bike That Could Bob reviews his Kwakker KLX250. It is way more than a dirt bike with lights, especially now Bob's had a fettle inside the motor.
The Bike Is Behaving Strangely Today Rod's Inazuma 250 has been just fine but today it is acting in a most peculiar manner. Can you help Rod diagnose the issue he's having with his motorcycle?
Recommended Ride - Dolomites Loop Upon the advice of an overly friendly German Upt'North goes for a ride. Thankfully he listened, it was Upt'North's best ride ever. So far.
Recommended Ride - Roman Roads to the Cotswolds There's history and scenery mixed with straight and wiggly roads on Ian's route. Have a brew while watching gliders then a walk around pretty Burford.
CB500X Cheapo Screen Deflector Pocketpete's Bling Blog part two. This time in a bid to fix Honda's useless aero package China delivers a screen deflector. Will it make any difference?
Recommended Ride - South Birmingham Mr Soady Esq takes us on a merry jaunt around the wiggly bits of the lands just south of Birmingham city.
CB500X Cheapo Radiator Guard Pocketpete has a plan. Looks like the "X" is staying but changes are afoot. He's sprinkling the farkles.
Splish Splash Santander The beauty and grandeur of the The Picos means Sharon does not want to leave, ever. It's back to the city, ready to sail home. Fear not, there's still pleasures to be found.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Shell Island - It Only Pours Bob said :-
I did years of rallying, the Dragon and the MZ Rider's Club Winter rally were the worst, did all the big MAG rallies and lots of club rallies - can't be bothered with it now. I sometimes think about going wild camping but I wouldn't be able to ride where I want to ride with the bike all loaded up with camping gear.

What I'd like is it to be the sort of person who can sleep anywhere, there was a chap turned up to one of our club rallies on and MT500 with a square of tarpaulin - he made a lean-to with his bike and the tarpaulin sheet and slept on the ground in his bike gear! I am totally in awe of that.

For myself I need comfort and quiet in order to sleep, I've had enough of clambering out of a wet tent, bleary eyed and wobbly from sleep depravation and thinking "why the hell am I doing this?"

I have used my van a couple of times, park up on a quiet lane and sleep in the back next to the bike - that's as close to camping as I'm going to get these days.....

22/3/2019 9:22:15 AM UTC
O-Ring Free Zone Ren - The Ed said :-
I've got some spray on folk lift chain oil, kinda like spray on grease. I didn't think O-Ring chains were a thing back in '79 either, but then I was only 8.
21/3/2019 8:53:26 AM UTC
CB500X Adjusting The Tappets Ren - The Ed said :-
Thanks RoryD. I'll try that sooner or later. Glad to hear the bike is fine. What I'm not so pleased about it you're getting a bit like Borsuk. "Oh just a casual run over Aviemore", yeah, great, thanks. Just mention the beautiful Scottish mountains while I'm sat in a scruffy terrace on the edge of a big city. Great. Pfffft.
21/3/2019 8:50:28 AM UTC
Shell Island - It Only Pours Ren - The Ed said :-
Dry bed, wifi and freeview?!? Amateur. Lightweight. Wuss. I'm not envious, not at all, no, not at all. There's nothing like sitting on a hard top box at 0600 while holding your tent up in a storm. It's what makes adventurers adventury. Imagine that, being all warm and dry and comfortable and safe and cosy and being able to dry your kit while watching the news reports of the terrible weather. No at all envious. Much.

Damn you Bob! If I'da known I could have bunked with you :-)
21/3/2019 8:39:07 AM UTC
O-Ring Free Zone Chris Bell said :-
1979, I bought a new CB 650 Honda supplied with a none O ring chain, Honda later changed them to O ring due to them only lasting 3000 miles. I used fork lift chain oil brushed on with love super regularly and got 13,000 in one year as I remember, maybe I did smoother wheelies lol, then I flogged it.
20/3/2019 11:15:50 PM UTC
CB500X Adjusting The Tappets RoryD said :-
Re the "whole fairing" business, Ren, I found it almost unbelievably straight forward. After taking off the side panels you remove the 4x black bolts attaching the black plastic cowling to the radiator, the 2x chrome bolts attaching the fairing to the top of tank and the 2 at the rear of the fairing that that face backwards. The whole thing is then only held in place by 2 substantial bolts up under the headlight that attach to the lug on the front of the frame. So you simply have to disconnect two electrical connections behind the left side of the fairing and remove these two bolts - and the whole unit can be eased away forwards surprisingly easily.

Took the bike south over the Dava Moor this morning to Aviemore to catch the train to Edinburgh for work meetings - and amazingly it still seems to be running well, so I couldn't have forgotten to reconnect anything major! Back tomorrow and then off to a "Yes Bikers for Scottish Independence" rally in Inverness on Saturday ..... therapy that gives some of us a degree of hope in these desperate political times.
20/3/2019 9:06:34 PM UTC
Shell Island - It Only Pours Bob said :-
I was there too! I stayed in Penmachno from Friday to Monday.
On the Saturday I was out riding in the 50MPH wind and driving rain - I actually struggled to get back because the Police had closed all but one of the main roads south to Betws-Y-Coed from the north.
In the car park on the top of Great Orme I was standing leaning 30 degrees into the wind, it was a second gear job riding up the rock becuase of the cross-winds.
I had fun riding through some 2 ft deep floods on the back roads.
As for camping - pot that for a game of soldiers, I like a warm, dry bed, Wifi and freeview!
20/3/2019 3:29:59 PM UTC
CB500X Adjusting The Tappets Ren - The Ed said :-
Cor! Well done Rory.

I really must work out how to do the "whole fairing" thing as in some ways it could be a lot easier. And yeah, I used CB500X.com to glean the information and get me going, damn useful it all was too. You got any details regarding removing the fairing as you did?
20/3/2019 8:39:09 AM UTC
CB500X Adjusting The Tappets RoryD said :-
Many thanks to Ren for this blog as I think I may have successfully undertaken my delayed valve clearance service (c.20k mls vs 16k) thanks to the clear instructions here - and on the CB500X forum. All 4 exhaust valves were tight (.20 to.22) altho' inlets were all within tolerance. Micrometers and shims were all new to me, and the dis-assembly required was mind-boggling in comparison to my last bike - but at least it's only every 16k miles (4 years for me), and not every 3k as it was for the Inazuma.

Took the shortcut someone on the CB500X forum suggested for removing the fairings by simply undoing 8 screws & 2 bolts, disconnecting a couple of plugs and easing the whole thing (incl. headlamp & instrument panel) away forwards. Image of the whole fairing hanging up next to the crash bars, from where it surveyed me as I nervously followed Ren's instructions for the rest of the process. Ren's advice re removing the top coolant pipe was good - esp as I was replacing the coolant - and I left the pair valve attached to the tray rather than detaching it.

- RoryD


19/3/2019 11:40:51 PM UTC
Shell Island - It Only Pours Upt'North said :-
Gordon Bennett Borsuk, with you and Er'Indoors you've got a football team.
No wonder you like going for a bike ride.
Upt'North.
19/3/2019 6:57:23 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Jim said :-
Thanks both. Luckily the dealers I've visited locally seem content to allow an accompanied test ride, so hopefully I'll get to try something. And even if just sitting, it'll be great to be doing it with a real purpose now.
22/3/2019 9:58:52 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Feeling your joy Jim.
Regarding Ed's point (spoil sport), OK, he's right. I've bought bikes after just sitting on them for a while, likewise the pillion on the back. There are usually enough reviews to read on every bike out there and if from a dealer it's fine. If buying from a private seller insist on at least a pillion test ride, if they won't do it walk away.
Enjoy your hunting.
Upt'North.
22/3/2019 9:52:09 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Woohoo! Well done Jim.

Just a note - depending on their insurers some shops may not allow you a test ride until you've held a licence for over 12 months. Or 2 years, it depends on their insurance. Also note many will have a £1000 excess or even more. Basically before you get all giddy do tell them you've just passed your test and ask about damage excess.

As a new rider I'd recommend the Kawasaki H2R, preferably the full power version as the street model is only 200bhp. You can pick them up for less than £40,000 if you shop around. Watch out for track raced ones though, they might be low mileage but they'll have been thrashed. `
22/3/2019 8:38:07 AM UTC
Jim said :-
Well folks, that's the Mod2 passed today, so I'm now fully licensed. 3 minor faults I felt was OK, I had counted four so happy with that. My test coincided with the schools coming out, so I was dodging Chelsea tractors much of the way. Interestingly, I was the only pass out of the seven tests conducted today - normally about 70% get through.

Off to spend this weekend abusing the good nature of the local bike dealers and trying a few different machines. Thanks to all those contributors who've given their advice so freely since I found this site, it's forums like this that might get the internet a good name.

Cheers

Jim
21/3/2019 10:56:16 PM UTC
Henrik said :-
All the time in the world yes, but then again Noah got 540 years old, so who am I to say ? :-)

As for flat earth, that is one of the big questions we have to struggle with

As always I rely on my personal coach JP Sears, (see link)
https://youtu.be/KvAk9718Jo8...
21/3/2019 11:36:41 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
I didn't know Jules Verne was a tattooist.
He must have all the time in the world to get that done.
Doesn't he know the world isn't flat, or is it?
Upt'North.
21/3/2019 11:24:24 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
While I have no objection to tattoos I'm not really "into" them. I have 2 little ones. I must say having a map of the world could be handy in case you get lost. Thing is, he's going to have a hell of a time looking at it on his back.
21/3/2019 8:55:24 AM UTC
Henrik said :-
Tattoos bores me max, but this one made me smile :-)


21/3/2019 4:49:49 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
These are the welded version.
Don't worry Ed, still £0.00.
Upt'North.


20/3/2019 5:06:53 PM UTC
Henrik said :-
Correction: import-fee not 12 but 22 euro
20/3/2019 12:27:37 PM UTC
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