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Is Dafydd's 250 A Lemon?

Blog Date - 08 September 2017

By Dafydd Monks And Ren Withnell

This is a copy of the start of a conversation Dafydd and I had on Facebook. Dafydd was venting his frustration at the level of motorcycle maintenance he's had to carry out on his Inazuma 250...

Hi Ren, just wondering what your experience of things wearing out is. My lemon of a 250 now needs the fork seals and rear wheelbearing doing - not to mention the exhaust has sheared at the cat. I've also had to do the front bearings, both calipers, and ignition coil in the past year. Bike is 3 and a half years old with 32 thousand on the clock and I'm wondering if this amount of things going wrong is typical?

Right - let me think...

32 Thousand miles. In the motorcycling world this is "ridiculously high mileage" which in my opinion is in itself ridiculous. At 3.5 years old your bike is not too old to find in a shiny motorcycle showroom as a quality used machine. But then as soon as the mileage is mentioned your bike would immediately end up in an auction or in the corner of a back street end-of-life dealer. Of course if it were a car it would be a prime average mileage one careful owner forecourt marvel.

Fork seals? Yeah, 32k for fork seals is not brilliant but unsurprising. I have done one on the CBF125 at 59k, the other is still going. My NTV600 Revere was purchased at 30k and needed both of them doing immediately but those then lasted for a further 37k. My old bikes, circa 1990s, seemed to pop fork seals with such regularity it was boring.

Pulling out the fork seal retainer to swap the seals
Fork seals, yeah, they'll need doing sooner or later.

Wheelbearings. Once again my older bikes seemed to chew bearings quite often but my later machines, they seem to last a lot longer. The rears in the CBF125 have been done while - worryingly - the fronts are still fine at 66k. I'm not surprised that you've had to change them. 

My CBF125 does have a healthy appetite for rear sprocket/cush drive bearings though. I change these almost as a matter of routine when I change the chain and it's not uncommon to change it in between either. I keep a stock of 6203s and I barely notice doing it these days, it's almost like changing the oil I've done it that often.

A 6203 bearing with the markings clearly visible
I keep a stock of these I change them that often.

I *KNEW*! I just knew the exhaust would be a weak point on the Inazuma. Mild steel and rather skinny in places. While I'm not surprised I am very disappointed. The exhaust on the CBF125 is now 8 years and 66k miles old and is still in good stead although it is on the slippery slope to demise. The exhaust on the Fazer 600 rotted through around 35k but it was also 11 years old. The CLR125 City Fly rusted through as did many of my older bikes. Suzuki really ought to have fitted a stainless system but price dear, price.

The mild steel and skinny exhaust on the Inazuma 250
It looks a bit feeble even brand new in the showroom. Aftermarket and stainless is the solution.

Have you had to replace the callipers or merely strip and service them? I've already had to strip and service the ones on the 500, I'd expect nothing less. Replacing them though...hell no! They ought to last at least 50k and 5 years easily. Maybe, just maybe replace a piston that's corroded but not the actual calliper.

A clean brake calliper that's been stripped for servicing
Stripping and cleaning the brakes is just part of servicing.

The ignition coil. Never had to replace one, that's just bad luck that pal. HT caps, ignition switches, but not coils. I've cursed myself now have I not.

Do you mind if I use this in a post?

How is your bike holding up to the stresses of actually being used rather than kept in a warm dry garage except on dry Sunday afternoons? We'd love to share your tales -

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Reader's Comments

Pocketpete said :-
I got rid of my Indian for the cb500x. I was worried about the 250 which suffered extensive rust the the bottom of the exhaust. Lots of bits if corrosion. And sticking brakes.

The Hondas much better quality and obviously ren's a good teacher of basic maintenance. I've always had Suzuki in the past maybe never again.
08/09/2017 10:44:20 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I imagine Pocketpete meant Inazuma not Indian.

I don't think the Zuma is a bad bike. Considering it was roughly 3/5ths of the price of the CB500X you can't expect it to match it in every detail. A saving of about £2,000 leaves more than enough room for a stainless exhaust and a few repairs. We'll see how much work has been required on my 500 when it's reached 32,000 miles.
08/09/2017 13:50:06 UTC
David said :-
Hi Ren,

My SH125 is now 3 years old and has done 6000 miles. The fork seals are leaking and the head bearings are notchy.
I ride through winter on it and my bike is left outside so I suppose it has had a bit of a hard life. Its otherwise been faultlessly reliable up to now. Question is whether to trade it in for a Forza or tricity 125....the latter looks good for wet, greasy winter roads.
27/09/2017 06:03:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I am awaiting an experience on a Piaggio MP3 David. Otherwise I have zero experience on the 3 wheeled scooters so it's hard to form an opinion about them. Logic suggests there should be more grip at the front end which can't be a bad thing.

That said would it not make sense to change the steering bearings on the SH125 and sort the fork seals? It's hardly a big task, even if you get the shop to do it it'll be cheaper than a new bike.
27/09/2017 17:43:57 UTC
David said :-
Your right Ren. It's usually better to hang onto vehicles.I just fancy something different to do the same tedious journey and I can persuade myself that I deserve something new for that....
The tricity seems aimed at beginners yet it offers double disks up front and ability to front brake separately. The word "fun" has been used in connection with it! I'm going to test ride a used one shortly. I think the seat and suspension won't be good as a Forza though.
27/09/2017 20:32:11 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
I think I mentioned in my inzuma review the state of the exhaust when I got rid of it.

Very flimsy and rusty after only 1 year.
27/09/2017 21:03:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You're going to have to ride the Tricity, that's the only way to answer the question.

I do understand David, there's a hankering for a new or different bike all the time. If you've got the pennies and you've justified it to yourself then yeah, live a little huh? Would you buy brand new or used?
28/09/2017 09:33:30 UTC
David said :-
I'm thinking of buying new as it as updated model (with 1 more Hp!) plus there is the 2 year warranty aspect. By the way my car is a 12 year old Subaru and worth less than the scooter! The thing I thought might be less good about the Tricity is the exposed metal between the front 2 wheels, which gets back to the original topic. Riding over the next 6months exposes the bike parts to salt, chemicals etc from our roads which to me seems worse in the UK than other places.
28/09/2017 16:17:54 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I can't really comment on other countries use of salt etc as I've no experience of it. In Norway and Canada they just give up and accept the snow, in Texas they don't get any. We're a temperate climate so we're right in that spot where we need salt.

The problem I've found with warranties is the cost of servicing to sustain them. It's always worth checking the service intervals AND the service costs. That could help make the decision, with an 8k service interval on my Honda 500 it makes a big difference.

Is there anything on the internet regarding the Tricity's build quality? Yamaha have a good reputation so it ought not to rust before your eyes, then again many models from many marques are being built all across the globe. My 125 was made in India and my 500 Thailand and while neither is perfect they're both "as expected".
29/09/2017 14:18:56 UTC
said :-
Hi Ren, I had a brief try in a year old tricity yesterday. Compared to my sh125 it was less refined engine and transmission wise and the 2 wheels up front didn’t increase my confidence in the bends. The roads were greasy so it was a reasonable test. I was a little big for it too with the bars too close, so I’ve ruled it out. It looks like it’s designed for cobbled roads in attractive European cities! Cheers, David
12/10/2017 21:15:13 UTC

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