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Thoughts On The CBF 125

Blog Date - 16 February 2015

By Hugo van der Meer (AKA "Monk")

I have a few friends who ride and they have always given me the impression that riding is a great thing to be involved with/in. They all know why I haven't taken up riding... some 30 years ago I did have a bike, an MZ 500, which was given to me by a girlfriend as a present, I know ladies like her are few and far between. 

Anyway, I confess to riding it "illegally". I was a bit of a tearaway at the time as I'd just left the army after 9 years and excitement was a bit lean. So anyway I decided to go for a spin on the MZ and to cut a long story I short crashed into an unlit builders skip full of concrete at night and landed in hospital for three weeks with all sorts of damage to mind... and body.

a grey gentleman with beard standing in front of his honda cbf125
"Look, it was a long time ago and I was young, OK!"

Never been on a bike since, that was 1984. Fast forward to 2014... September. I woke up one morning and I'd been dreaming about a black motorcycle? I don't know why but I telephoned a bike shop near me and asked if they did CBT courses. No they didn't, but the bloke who answered the telephone said he was a CBT instructor and worked for a riding school not too far from me and gave me the number.

Cutting a longer story even shorter this time...I went along one very warm sunny September Sunday morning to take the CBT course. I had no idea what to expect, all the gear and no idea comes to mind. I was given a talk and then taken to the bike I would use for the day, a CG 125, lovely bike to ride and very forgiving. I won't go through the ins and outs of the day, perhaps another time if anyone is interested. I passed the CBT training, no problem.

Now what do I do? A couple of days later I telephoned the bloke at the local bike shop as he had given me his card (good business man or what) on the CBT day and spoke with him about buying a 125. The next day I went along and saw a couple of second hand bikes but didn't like them so left the shop empty handed. 

A week later he called me saying he had a couple of Honda CBF 125 bikes just come in and would I like to have a look at them? Silly question. When I did see them I couldn't believe how great they looked, nice, new, shiny bikes! I spoke to the mechanic at the shop about mpg and engine issues if any and he was very positive about the engine. With words that were music to my ears he said they are bullet proof! I bought one on the spot.

hugo stands next to his shiny black cbf 125 with a smile and thumbs up
"CBF 125 Sir?" "Yes please, that'll do nicely thank you."

My reason for going with the CBF125 is the fact that they are made for the job of learning to ride. They are very forgiving and comfortable to ride. I've ridden for three hours non stop in varying weather and road conditions and the bike has never 'moaned' about anything. I don't 'thrash' it but I think if I did it wouldn't be a problem. I like the feel of the bike and the freedom I have gained by having it. No more waiting for or relying on unreliable trains or buses. The fuel consumption almost doesn't happen I guess 100 miles or more on a tank of juice which costs about £15.00 and the way I ride a tank lasts for ages. The insurance is cheap and so is the tax at £17.00. I like the feeling of being able to hop on my CBF 125 and just go. I enjoy filtering through long lines of miserable car drivers and love the feel of the wind, as long as it's not too fierce... I don't fancy being blown off the bike.

hugo riding along the road on his bike, all kitted up and with bright jacket
Hugo in dynamic action...go HUGO!

I guess biking isn't for everyone but the therapeutic value alone is worth it. If I feel fed up or things are getting on top of me I jump on the bike and ride somewhere. It doesn't matter where and when the warmer weather comes I'll be going farther afield to enjoy that experience. I can't wait to get a bigger bike and feel the exhilaration of a new biking experience but for now my CBF is my cup of tea and biscuits and never lets me down... what more could anyone ask for. Happy Biking All!

hugo sat on the honda looking at the camera with his helmet still on
Is that fear, excitement or both in Hugo's eyes I wonder.

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Reader's Comments

Ren - The Ed said :-
BIG thanks to Hugo for this!
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Monk (AKA Hugo) said :-
It's a mixture of both Ren...you've done a great job with the piece. It was fun posing...and interesting recalling the crash... and the feelings it brought up while I was writing about it... the captions underneath are great and say it all far better than I could. I hope your faithful readers will at least enjoy my ramblings. Thanks mate!!!

All the best as always,you're a genius by the way!!

Monk... AKA...blah blah blah:-)
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Ren - The Ed said :-
I think my readers will be happy to hear from someone else for once! I hope to publish more of your ramblings as they come to mind.
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Sharon said :-
Very much enjoyed reading your ramblings Monk.

Totally understand when you say about jumping on the bike when you feel fed up. I have had a stressful time lately with one thing and another and I swear I have managed to keep sane and smiling through it all thanks to my bike.

Really nice to hear from another new rider. May the good times continue and the miles on the clock keep on growing.
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Monk (AKA Hugo) said :-
Thanks Sharon,

It means a great deal to hear that someone who has been biking for far longer than me continues to be both thrilled and calmed by the biking experience.

I'm astounded at how much the bike helps to induce a kind of 'meditative state' even though I'm always ultra alert when riding,continually mindful of the ubiquitous sleepy car drivers who invariably cut me up mostly at roundabouts for some unknowable reason. Almost got wiped out yesterday doing a right hander at a roundabout,just before my exit van coming from the left whizzed straight in front of me, fortunately I didn't panic and managed to avoid the side of the van!Oh well!

I was speaking to one of my oldest friends, a confirmed biker for the past 30 years-( currently on a Moto Guzzi California Vintage)- the other day and he said providing you don't kill yourself whilst riding, charming, bikers generally extend their life span by quite a few years simply by riding, it does something to the cells apparently...I've no idea if this is correct?

Anyway, trying to get the CBF up to 500, currently at 380 so not too far to go to that service. If I don't manage it the Honda recommendation is 500 miles or 6 months so which ever arrives at the finish line first... it'll be 6 months at the end of March, I hope I do the miles rather than the date!

More anon,

Thank you both for a chance to air my perceptions, it's great to be able to do so.

Monk... etc (-:

Come on a few more sunny days and we're there!
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Ben said :-
Hi there,

I am looking to get rid of my 1996 CB250 and get a CBF125. Its going to be used purley for my daily commute of approx 26-28 miles round trip.

Are there any common problems with these bikes that you can summarize?



Regards
Ben
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben.

If you read around the blog or use the search tool at the top of the page you can see I''ve written quite a lot about the CBF 125.

Known issues are "kangarooing" when hot, fuel pump. Occasionally clutch basket gear rings crack, a slower than engine revs "click" at tickover. Early models came with "TVS" tyres which are terrible.

BUT!!! This is the best selling motorcycle in the UK. Many thousands are sold and they are considered very reliable indeed. They are very fuel efficient and cheap to run. Being common there are lots of aftermarket spares and parts in breakers. I find mine very comfortable on my 25 to 40 miles commutes.

Still, the 1996 CB 250 was also a great bike :-)
...
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Monk (AKA Hugo) said :-
Hallo Ben,

Interesting that you are looking at a smaller engined bike. Nevertheless, my sense is that the CBF 125 is definitely the way to go.

In my limited experience, of my bike, and riding in genral, I can safely say that after 6 months, of careful riding, I have had nothing but fun from the bike. I don't go too far and have only done 412 miles on her but it's always been comfortable.

Maybe take one for a test ride and see what you think.

The bike, as Ren has said, is seriously fuel effecient, with a full tank costing around £15.00 and probably doing a shade of 125 miles, maybe more, on a tank.

The downside, for me at least, is the silly plastic fairings and tiny little, almost not there 'windscreen', other than that a lovely little bike which I thoroughly enjoy. Good luck with your search.

All the best,

Monk.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
I don't know how you're riding your bike Monk but I get 300 miles before I have to fill up my tank! Try using 3rd, 4th and 5th gears!

It might be because it is new and not fully run in yet.
www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/honda/cbf125 ...
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Monk said :-
Whooops ...you are of course 100% correct on the milage...I must pay closer attention to what I'm doing and not be so spaced out...I'm off to do 100 lines as punishment...100 lines of writing that is...!!!
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Ren - The Ed said :-
100 lines! Good boy. I hope it is interesting and informative whatever you're writing about.
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Monk said :-
So do I. I'm looking at posting something esoteric with regard to biking. I've got a few ideas which I'll put here as soon as the muse nudges me hard enough in the cerebral cortex!!
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Hi guys said :-
Thanks for that.

I am interested in a smaller bike for commuting purposes. My BMW K75s is a great bike, but too heavy/expensive for the commute from South to Central London on a daily basis. In the snow and ice, the CB250 was absolutely brilliant.

As mentioned before, I am looking into importing a CBF 125 from India as it costs approx £600 out there at current exchange rates (if you add say £200 shipping and say £300 for vat and paperwork), it maybe still be a bargain.

The CB250 is a great bike,but its not that fast (all the newer 125cc bikes and small scooters zoom away) and I am reluctant to pay the £38/yr road tax on the CB. For the BMW £80 (ideal for long journeys and a turbine smooth sounding engine) and Honda £38, my road tax is much more than my comprehensive insurance!!)

I have recently bought a Honda Anf 125 which is great and ideal for commuting.I dont like the gearbox shift (4 gears, all down), and the lack of a clutch lever, but its light and easy to manoeuvre

I took a New Honda CBF125 (4500 miles on the clock) and Honda Wave 110i (500 miles) (successor to the Anf 125) a out for a long test ride last week. I wasnt that impressed with the CBF 125,uphill it struggled, but the Honda Wave was much better, than I expected!!
IMHO, the 110icc engine is eager than that of the 125 (I have ridden a few other CBF 125s since and still feel the same!)

Is insurance more expensive on imported bikes even if they are to UK spec?


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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hello! I do rather love my CBF but I read with great interest what you say about the Wave 110i. It has been on my list of bikes to try out for some time. My biggest issue with the Wave though is the tiny fuel tank. It'd be fine for London hacking but with about 120 mile range it would be useless for touring Scotland or anywhere else remote.

Still I really must have a go on one one day.
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Monk said :-
My CBF 125 has never given me any issues up hill to be honest chaps. Maybe because it's new, I don't know?

Anyway... I'm thinkiing about writing a piece on getting back in the saddle after a major tumble, like the one I experienced all those years ago.

I've been researching PTSD syndroome, specifically around biking, great book, which is deeply expensive, called:- 'Back in the Saddle Again: How to Overcome Fear of Riding After a Motorcycle Accident' by Brenda L Bates. I'll hopefully post something over the next couple of weeks, involved in lot of music in too many studios currently so time is a bit tight... having it first editied by our illustrious literary leader Ren(Le Pen!):-)

More soon....

As ever...Happy Biking...

Military riders being inspected in a line
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Monk said :-
Apologies for the terrible spelling...another reason why we all need our illustrious leader!!!

A lady fills a vintage motorcycle in a very old picture
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Illustrious leader...yeah...I could get used to that.

I've just looked up the book on Amazon...£100! Yikes that's an expensive book. I'd love to read your thoughts about post-crash mentality. I've been through it myself you see, some 13 years ago.

Cool pix as well!
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John Deville said :-
look here Ren................

Back in the Saddle Again: How to Overcome Fear of Riding After a Motorcycle Accident

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=Back+in+the+saddle+again
:+How+to+Overcome+Fear+of+Riding+After+a+Motorcycle+Accident&x=0&y=0

I take it that is the book you are talking about?
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Looks like it John! A damn site cheaper than the version I saw. Odd...very odd...
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Monk said :-
Ok if you're into Kindle. I prefer paper but it's worth a read if you have had an experience similar to mine or yours Ren. It's pretty 'clinical' but does raise some interesting points. I recall reading your piece regarding your 'tumble' Ren and I did find it difficult to read as it does bring up issues of riding and the incidents that can occur regardless of how good a rider is at the controls. I'll gather my thoughts and cobble something together about mine and hopefully go into a bit more detail about the actual smash than I have above.

I'm pretty busy currently but I will get round to sending in some of my meanderings as soon as poss 'O Illustrious Leader'!! :-)

Happy Biking each...

test
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Monk said :-
Couldn't resist this one to....hope no one minds...

Old motorcycles
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Monk. My crash was certainly an experience and one I hope never to repeat. But life is for living.

When I lay in intensive care with tubes aplenty and all that nonsense a nurse said to my mother
"Well there's at least one thing Mrs Withnell, he'll not be getting on the bike again."
"Oh he will, as soon as he can, he will"

I put my mother through hell and yet it was she who encouraged me to ride again. She knew motorcycling had been my life before and she knew I wouldn't be the same "Ren" if I wasn't to ride again.

I recall getting back on a bike after 7 months, I was just mastering walking again. It was a bright sunny February day. For the first few minutes I was terrified. Then I opened the bike up on a straight and a BIG HUGE penny dropped..."This is why I ride. This is why I live."
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Monk said :-
Hallo Ren. Whilst I unfortunately remain too busy to cobble together a few paragraphs concerning the psychology of getting back to riding post collision, or, 'accident' if you will I thought I'd take a little bit of time to briefly write about my, unfortunate, experience of irresistable force meeting immovable object. I hadn't had the MZ 500 that long and as I have said was riding it illegally ie never passed a test )-: although I had ridden quite a few bikes at the time. Anyway...I was visiting a friend in hospital, The Royal Free in Hampstead, London who was recovering from bowel cancer, unfortunatley it took her a few short months later, after the visit I got on the bike and off I flew. I don't really know what happened I do know that I was hammering the bike along a fairly long stretch of urban road when I came to a sudden undignified and very abrupt halt!

I'd ridden, full tilt, and still on the bike, thrown, head first, into an unlit builders skip full of paving slabs and concrete at probably 60-65 mph, bounced backwards and unable to take my hand of the throttle smashed into it again. I don't know how long this went on for but it left me broken and bleeding on the road. I remember hearing someone shouting but who it was I have no idea. I was in and out of consciousness and recall the ambulance arriving and one of the crew bending over me to whom I asked that immortal question 'Am I dead'? To which he replied, 'not yet' charming, I thought. Anyway, off to hospital, yes, you guessed it the same hospital where I had been visiting the lovely Muriel, incidentally the very same girlfriend who had given me the bike...the word ominous is now floating around in the air.So...three hours later after much stiching of head sorting off arms and legs and general medical help I arrived on the same ward as Muriel! Who visited me from her bed the following day, irony now floats above me like a brooding cloud!I was fortunate, I think, to survive that crash and it did stop me riding for 30 years. I couldn't get back on a bike even thought I have tried time and time again it did not happen to scared or something. As we all know I recently bought a CBF 125 and di and do ride it. The day I picked her up from the dealer I was so scared I asked one of the chaps who work there to follow me home incase I fluffed it he looked at me in disbelief but I was completely bricking it. He refused politely and said I'd be fine. I wasn't 'fine'. But I got on the bike and gingerly rode the 6 miles home, stalling 11 times, once on a roundabout and the rest, for whatever reason, at traffic lights, junctions and what have you!I still get a frisson of bottle going when I don the bike gear and just about the time I'm adjusting the lid strap my stomach is going over. But once I'm in the saddle and off it all goes and, like dear old Ren, I remember why I'm overcoming fear and living the best high I know and that now, and certainly not before time, it's perfectly legal!

The butterflies still return but I now see them as a fellow traveller and not a warning of doom or gloom.

Happy Riding people and please... be careful out there!


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Monk said :-
Again, sorry about the spelling chaps, I was rushing as usual but I think you get the gist of it...
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Riting is about comunikation Monk. Wile I try to spel corectly I dont think we need to be pompus about it. We understand :-)

I think I might put together some more details of my crash. It's an odd thing because I've moved on and that's in the past and life is for living and all that. I don't want to dwell on it any more. But perhaps my experience and yours could be interesting, maybe even helpful to other readers.

It is under consideration.
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Monk said :-
I fink it s onlee write that we shoud alow peeple to express themsehelves in thir oun wiy.

It s impotent to reed betwen the lines, as thiz iz wot givz experence idz meening. Fankks four yor understanin g!

Luuk fourwood to reedin moor ov yoor forts on ryedin and fallin oof sune!

Al thee Bets Mayt!


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Henrik said :-
For my part I guess the subject and tread here is interesting, more could be said, to dwell is ok, as long as it doesn't prevent us from moving on. I did hit a van, (a
VW transporter), a few years back on the Innova, as I attempted to pass him suddenly he did turn left, right in front of me, without using hes indicators. I was thrown sidewerts, but somehow managed to get the wheels down in position and stop in a controlled manner. I did rip off hes side-mirror with my chest, after plowing up most the side of the car with my right handle, (as far as I remember from the insurance repport 3 "body-parts" of the car had to be renewed after), yet I didn't loose the grip or balance, what I will never get to understand ever.

Now something important, the bike could still drive, and I just continued to work,
right side of the body had all sort of funny colors, but I assumed that nothing was broken, and nothing to cry over, BUT,... two days later suddenly I did feel I was about to be strangeled, I had an developing inner bleeding right over my right lung,
pushing it flat so it was almost out of function, it was from the clash with the side-mirror on the car, took 6-7 weeks on reduced speed getting back on tracks

So never be to quick to feel safe after a crash, never sign under any insurance- papers before some weeks are gone, and a rutine-check is a good idea always,..
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Monk said :-
Henrik...thank you for sharing your story it's important to share the issues around biking and other road users often lack of understanding in terms of what it means to be on two wheels. I'm not well currently, being attacked by a brutal bout of influenza for the past two weeks, but I did want to thank you for a story which touched a nerve in me and I suspect will touch the odd nerve in other riders also.

All the best and happy biking...

Monk


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Henrik said :-
Thank's Monk, hope you get rid of the influenza quick :-)
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh Monk...is it Man Flu or the real flu? Get better soon, the weather's improved and there's some riding to be done!

Henrik, it's a scary thought to walk away from a crash with what you think are some bruises only to find a few weeks later the damage was a lot worse. Keep safe folks!
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Monk said :-
Chaps... it's really bad stuff this flu brutalised me and laid me seriously low... had to cancel five gigs, including rehearsals, over the past two weeks. I'm recovering but it's a feebly slow process. I'm itching to get out on the bike but I'll have to leave it until next week as I'm feeling weak as a kitten... it's a good job my wife is nurse and looks after me, I must admit I'm milking it a bit...and why not!!!!


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Monk said :-
I'm wearing the lid so you don't catch my germs...considerate or what!!!How ill am I? Guess...

703072
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Haha! Brill pics. I know REAL flu not just moaning about a cold flu can really take it out of you. Keep strong Monk, keep on battling through.
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Monk said :-
Thanks a million Ren... you've definitely cheered me up. I actually went out to a mates this morning for a bit of a jam...on the train unfortunately, had to take a snare drum and stand with me, don't have a car anymore, thankfully...

Only out a couple of hours and he had to drive me home as feeling a bit weak again. at least I made the effort!!!


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Ren - The Ed said :-
Glad you're on the mend Monk. Take it easy though, recovery seems to take longer the older you get. Jammin' with a snare drum, you da man :-)
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Monk said :-
Thanks Ren...my mates got a studio in his garden. I took my new snare to test it out with his, kit he was a drummer in a blues band but he's taken up alto sax so it's nice to be able to go over to his and have a little play on his kit whilst he's noodling away on his alto...if I'd been feeling better it would have been for longer but hey ho as they say...whoever they are!! Take it easy and have a goodun, as we suverners sometimes say. Oh yeah...less of the old....:-)


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Monk said :-
New Gretsch snare...not as beautiful as the CBF 125 but... a very close second in my mind...what's left of it!
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Tony Wilkins said :-
Couple of comments on this thread. I have had my CBF125 for a year now.Its my first bike and having passed my test I do have it in mind to get a bigger bike.
However. 135 Miles to the gallon, £18 quid a year to tax, about £100 a year fully comp insurance :)

For the main my riding is on minor and B roads here in North Wales and for this its really ideal,small and light, you can almost pick it up if need be....well almost !

The only downside for me is on quicker "A" roads, especially on hills. Yesterday I was on the A5 travelling from Corwen towards Betws y Coed. Maintaining 55 - 60 mph until on a short stretch where the road goes uphill a bit, the carriageway divides into two lanes in my direction, the incline means I am slowing, even going down the box a gear. A car comes to overtake, cant manage it before the two lanes becomes one again and ends up right under my rear wheel leaving me no where to go, cant go faster, cant slow down, cant get out of the way.Why they just did not go past, ok double whites ahead but clear road, or back off I know not. Its these situations I wish I could just blip away from them.

I think that looking back on issues / accidents is a positive thing.Luckily I have only had two slow offs, both my fault. Maybe I would think different if they were major and painful !

I do like my CBF. A little bit more power would be nice at times though.

Does my bum look big in this?
UTC
said :-
Excellent post Tony and great pic of the bike and the vista! Interesting that I have similar experiences with my 125, although I'm still in the getting used to it stage and potentially a bit older than most 'learners.' I do wish, sometimes, for a bit of extra oooomphhh to get me out of issues with those often naughty, 'cagers'. My feeling is that the 'speed' issue is the only 'downside' to the 125, for me everything else is a serious bonus. If I ever pass my test I'll probably get myself something like a 750, maybe a 900. Having said that I know that I'll keep the 125 and will definitely ride her for many years to come.

Happy biking....Monk


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Monk said :-
This would be the one for me!!
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Tony and Monk, speed can be a problem on a 125 with a hill! BUT, but it is my opinion the pros outweigh the cons for a 125. I have been checking my mileages and I've worked out I've done 10,000 miles on my CBF 125 this last 8 months.

CBF 125 - 10000 miles / 130 mpg = 77 gallons used
Typical 500cc - 10000 miles / 70 mpg = 143 gallons used

143 - 77 = 66 gallons saved.

At £1.09 per litre make fuel £4.95 per gallon.

66 * 4.95 = £327.

I've saved £327 in fuel alone over an economical 500cc machine in 8 months. Chains are cheaper, tyres last longer and are cheaper and so on and so on. £327 is enough to take myself and the gf off on a 2 week camping tour of Scotland and still have enough left for a weekend away! No contest.

Anyhow did you read my post about riding slowly? Check the link.
www.bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=751 ...
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Monk said :-
Faultless logic Captain!!! Thank you.Blue sky thinking par excellence!!!


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Ren - The Ed said :-
What is this "Blue Sky" you talk of? Remember I live in Manchester...
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Monk said :-
Depending on where you live mate,I definitelty spotted some 'blue sky' last month when I was in Timperely!! Take care mate.Before I forget, I've just read your great post on the Manchester Bike Show, I left a little comment!!!


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Tony Wilkins said :-
I'm with you on the economy side of things Ren. I would love to keep this little bike till it falls apart from under me.

Towns and small roads there is no contest. The 125 wins for me. Sometimes though you have to link things up with faster roads and that's when, for me, it would be nice to have a bit more umph.

I dont mind so much dual carriageways strangely. There is more room for faster cars to overtake and I have had far less close passes on them.




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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Tony. Yeah it tends to be the busy single carriageway main roads where the 125's can be scary. AS you point out on a dual carriageway and even a motorway there are lanes to pass you by which means you're a minor hindrance. On a single carriageway safe passing places can at time be few and far between. I particularly noticed this in Scotland early on this year.

To be fair to most drivers they will wait patiently till the correct stretch of road appears. As riders we tend to notice and remember the minority that are just too impatient to wait for that right time.
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Monk said :-
Quick update. Bike has now had first service, running like a dream. Was out on her this morning for an hour had a great time, weather not bad, traffic heavy but filtering past them all was a good game!!!!Possibly the best ride so far mainly because my confidence in the bike and my abilities as a rider have improved exponentially...sorry about the big word there I don't know what came over me!! Buzzing like a very large bee currently! Oh, the beauty of having a bike in the sunshine!!!


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Monk said :-
I had a quick look at this in the shop earlier...very nice, may be the one as soon as test taken and passed! Kawasaki 900 VN classic...drool droool! Although if any one knows any issues I should be aware of with this model please enlighten!


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Monk said :-
...Or the 1700 Nomad might be nice... although could be a bit too large for the likes of me! Short legs, long body...
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Ren - The Ed said :-
You getting all "Cheesy Rider" on us Monk? When I was but a younger man I promised myself I'd own a big phat Harley by the time I was 25. I never achieved that goal. Now in my maturity I find I have the means to own a Harley yet find myself gravitating towards the smaller bikes once more?

What's that all about? Life is a peculiar thing but there's no point fighting against it.

And remember "Loud Pipes Save Lives"...but after 4 hours on the motorway you can't hear your own thoughts any more.
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Monk said :-
I am Ren... I definitely am. It's interesting as I oft fancied a Harley at many points in my life but now do not? I spotted the VN in the local dealer whilst hanging about for the service on the 125 to complete and thought Hallo, the reason, I think, is this... that I long for freedom and being a bit languid my brain keeps telling me that the comfort and effortless riding on a bike like the VN would suit my philosophy of being laid back, sturdy, reliable and ruggedly good looking!!! Stop laughing at once!

Plus she has really nice pipes man! Any way mate who knows it may never happen...it's a 'pipe dream'...oooooo... went the crowd!


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Ren - The Ed said :-
Well Monk the fun in life is chasing dreams. Crack on fella, get the test done, save the pennies and you too could be living the dream in a laid back style.

Pipe dreams...urgh...please no more said the crowd...enough already
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Monk said :-
Just had a conversation with the chap who runs the training school I passed my CBT with, I'm going over to his, in a week or so, to have a 'comfort' ride on a 500...can't wait!
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Ren - The Ed said :-
You're going to love it Monk. Test soon eh?
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said :-
I have a feeling I will Ren. In terms of test, because of the recent illness I had to cancel the theory test so as soon as I've done that I'll see what the trainer thinks and put in for test as soon as. Bricking it before it even happens but it has to be done. Feels a bit like going for a job interview!!!!


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Ren - The Ed said :-
It's only a little test, what's the worse that can happen? You have to try again?
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Monk said :-
I know mate, I know...paranoia roolz unfortunately...It's the old falling off again scenario that's doing it.

I know if I don't do it first time I'll do it until I get the licence. I don't know what's wrong with me to be honest I think it's that I want it so much, actually more than anything poreviously that's perobably why I never took the test years ago...I just wanted to ride bikes and bugger the rest of it...rebellious then pretty much the same, up to a point, now, only this time I know I've got to go through with it to do the stuff I won't without getting pulled over and nicked, not a good idea but when young...not that it ever happened...I just somehow wasn't bothered, it was the buzz of riding, it still is, but it has to be legally this time around... sorry I'm going on a bit here but you understand Ren.!Talk about spilling the beanz... Mad eh.


UTC
said :-
Hang on, my spellings gone nuts aswell.Perobably? Poreviously? Amongst others. Thats analysis causing paralysis that is!


UTC
Monk said :-
A little bit of light relief.
UTC
Monk said :-
Nice day, here, for going out on the bike so I'm going...thought for the day...


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Motorcycling - it is a rather stupid concept if you apply logic...
UTC
Monk said :-
Just been out again. Lovely day...cut up by two vehicles on two different roundabouts, I must be getting used to it because it didn't rattle me in the least.

The bike is running really well and handling well to. I'm going for the 500cc ride on Wednesday morning, for four hours, no idea of the route but I'll be starting with the instructor, I'll try and lose him if I can, from St.Albans in good old Hertfordshire which is full of a good deal of country roads with loads of bendy bits!! I'll try and take some pics if I get the chance and post them here, for any one interested. Ren..who needs logic?

All the best and happy biking...
UTC
Monk said :-
Well...what a nice day we had today on the 500 kawasaki something or other. I was too excited to catch the full name of the bike other than I know it was a Kawasaki 500! Only one pic post ride out, which is not all that great but it gives some indication of the superb ride. To cut a long story very short, as you must be getting bored with me by this time, the look on my face says it all!I must say that 20k ride back home on the 125 was painful after the 500, it felt like I was sitting on a dinky toy ( If the truth be known...and forgive me for saying this, but, I felt like an elephant riding a circus bike on the way back)...sorry 125, I love you really...but I love the 500 more...I know..terrible...

Happy Biking...


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Why you turncoat you!! I'd love you to write up your learner experiences?
UTC
Monk said :-
:-) But Ren mate...that 500 was bliss, deeply responsive and steady as a rock in the wind, I won't go into the thrill of the windy country lanes, I think you know what that's like on a warm sunny day, albeit a tad windy...I'd be happy at some point mate to write about the L experience. Where do I begin, from the CBT day onward I guess would be about right, up to the current ongoing stuff with the trainer in St. Albans who I've been with since the CBT in late September last year... would that do?


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You do what makes you happy Monk! Life is short. I'm not anti big bikes you know, I'm just too tight to run them that's all. I do keep on looking at Honda's CB500X though...grrr.

The bigger bikes are more steady and planted. There is definitely a thrill too when you crack the throttle open and WHOOSH! The world starts going past very rapidly. Check out the link below re: the most savage bike I've ridden so far...
www.bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=243 ...
UTC
said :-
Thinks O
O ^__^
o (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/ ||----w |
|| ||
If a 500cc bike produces the grin factor that I experienced yesterday, what will a 900cc or a 1700cc bike produce? Now There's a thought.
UTC
Monk said :-
I love the 125 Ren, it's the old story for me of finding something that gives me a kick as opposed to something reliable, steady and trusted like the Honda 125, a lovely bike...I don't know that I'd actually want a bigger bike once test done but I have a feeling that owning one, along side the CBF, which I was out on for the first time this morning in a thunderstorm and lived to tell the tale, would give me the choice of either experience and would, hopefully, not break the bank, or leave the wallet moths homeless!!

Your piece on the Husaberg FS570 was excellent, as always...honestly read like something I would write which means that we share similar issues around the comfort, and, dosh zones:-)

I'll get something together re: learning experience and email it to you to have a look at before you post.Busy with drum stuff currently but soon as I get a moment I'm on the case
UTC
Monk said :-
Dream of a day today, flying about on the CBF 125, big grin, in the sunshine, sweating buckets but loving it. Stopped off in a little village, not too far from me and just sat in the sun looking at the bike thinking what a beauty if it wasn't for you my little chrome and black beauty, is that a bit too anthropomorphic?, I'd be stuck on a bus, or train, or worse, at home, looking out of the window dreaming about exactly what I'm doing now!!!!

Bit of a small fly in the ointment, as well as the ones splattered all over me visor,I was also dreaming about blatting along on a Kawasaki VN 900 classic...but...you can't have everything...

Bye for now and ...happy, sunny, biking...


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Those are the best parts of motorcycling aren't they, those moments where you're just glad to be alive and out there on 2 wheels.

I think hankering after another machine is a typical biker thing. Whatever you ride it'll be just a bit too slow, too fast, too big, too small, too heavy, too light, too shiny, too dull and so on and so on. I know people who claim to have the perfect bike for them and yet I can still see them eyeing other models.

We're never happy, but in a good way. I think it's what drives us on and keeps on tweeking our interest.
UTC
Henrik said :-
Different purpose, different times in life, and different locations, on the small forrest-tracks in my Swedish residens even a 29" MTB is preferable ;-)

To me the changes are uplifting and welcome, a handfull very different bikes,
slightly overlapping, would be ideal, but all those "chosen ones" I would likely keep, side by side, getting to know in deept, ideally,..

Only a few types of MC's that I directly dislike, Harley Davidson is one,..
UTC
Monk said :-
Henrik. Interesting post. Agreed that change is a great thing and to be embraced at all times. My feeling is that a collection of bikes of different types would be superb, not enough time to ride all the bikes I like the look of, not to mention funds to purchase same. I feel that my trusted Honda CBF 125 will always be my favourite bike and anything else I ride will be an extension of what my 125 opened the door to, if that makes any sense at all.

I also have to agree with you regarding Harleys... whilst I do like cruisers I prefer British, not technically a 'cruiser' but the new-ish Bonneville Newchurch, or Japanese, Kawasaki 900 VN Classic, as from having been up close to a Harley I found it lacked something but I'm not certain exactly what that something was...?


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
What is your problem with Harleys Henrik and Monk! Yeah yeah yeah they're agricultural and somewhat overstated but come on...the name, the history and so on and so on. They're iconic.

But then when every non-biker learns you ride a motorcycle they immediately assume it's a Harley and see you in leather chaps, cut-off and tattoos. I used to want to be a "real" biker like that. I still like Hogs but I can't see myself ever actually owning one.

Fair play to them though, they're starting to develop some interesting electric bikes which is a total departure from the tradition they've built over the years. Be interested to see where it all leads in time.
UTC
Monk said :-
I don't honestly know Ren...I'm just not convinced by them maybe it's all the 'hype' that's surrounded them for yonks. I do like some of the bikes I've seen built on 'American Chopper'by OCC and Mr Teutul senior though, as I do like a nice 'chopped hog' as long as it's not a Harley!!!:-)


UTC
Monk said :-
A pic of my best mate on a bike I'd like anyone to tell me what it is? Is it military? Answers on a postcard to Ren...the Ed!


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Looks like a WW2 BMW outfit. Which of course means it could be a Russian Dneiper, Ural or other Eastern Bloc marque...
UTC
Monk said :-
Ren...Your reply is interesting. The bike was always parked within the environs of the local park which is quite near to the canal, which runs through the park (Cassiobury). The pic was taken about two years ago, there has been some 'regeneration' of the park recently and, sadly, in my view, the bike is no longer there. It's a great looking bike and to hear that it's potentially a WW2 outfit is excellent.I'm glad we took the pic, it's an historical document now...isn't it?
UTC
Monk said :-
I see Honda have recently brought out the entry level Honda CB125F. The specs look great comes in some interesting colours. I'll stick a pic of the yellow one here for anyone who wants to to drool over!

Happy Biking...

Monk


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hey Monk. I've had a close look at the new CB125F. Our CBF125s are made to a budget and that does show in a few places but overall the finish is acceptable. The new CB125F looks like it has been built on an even tighter budget.

To see the bike in the flesh feels a little disappointing after seeing Honda's exotic promotional shots.
UTC
Monk said :-
Hallo Ren...the reason I posted this is because the chap I do my training with has just bought four for CBT training, but I haven't seen them yet. I'm going on a 500cc four hour thing on't Wednesday afternoon so I can have a proper look then. Good to hear from you, looking forward to reading your thoughts on the recent escapade darn sarf, unless you've already posted something and it's hiding... somewhere?!

Enjoy,

Monk
UTC
Monk said :-
Nearly forgot...had a gig in north Harrow yesterday afternoon...you know the north Harrow, near that London, the going to of which frightened the life out of me...I thought what, would Ren do?...he'd go...so, jump on the trusty 125 and set off...with map as advised by said Ren...got lost a bit...nerves...but made it there...did gig...got back...good ride!

The moral of this tale is... overthinking something, whatever it is, can cause 'paralysis'...it's taken me months to deal with the above journey which is actually something like 7 miles away, on not deeply busy roads...thanks to Ren for this one.

Happy trails,

Monk
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm working on it as we speak!!
UTC
Monk said :-
I wait with baited breath....a pic attached from a recent visit to the manor...

...it was on Thursday, with Liba.The food was excellent..shame you weren't there to savour same. Ah well... c'est la vie mon ami.

Best wishes,

Monk


UTC
Monk said :-
Right that's the theory test passed!!!! 09:15 this morning. signed into the test centre, then stripped of all my belongings, which were locked into secure locker with a key tied to a piece of wood which I was told to look after. Keep your licence with you when you go into the computer room?Why?In case I forget who I am and why I'm there?Sit at computer...start test 50 questions and as I progressed I began to feel uncomfortable.Had I got any right?Then the feeling I'd not passed but keep going.50 questions and 20 minutes later a three minutes break then on to the hazard perception test!CGI pictures of roads and streets and all kinds of madness flash before me...watch out for that tractor hurtling down that country lane...a bit toy town but ok. 14 hazardous scenarios later I leave the room, eyes on stalks, brain on a downer. Go and get my stuff from the locker and sit on one of the ubiquitous blue plastic bucket seats to await my fate. Somewhere in the distant fog I hear my name...walk to the man behind the desk who hands me a letter...'well' I ask, 'what's the verdict'? 'Read the letter' he says...ofcourse I can't focus...hang on... what does it say...Congratulations! You have passed the Motorcycle driving theory test! You must have heard the scream of joy where ever you happened to be at around 10am this morning, 8th of July 2015,it was me unable to keep it together and calmly and simply say thank you and good morning. So I've done it. After that joyful result I actually went off to do some motorcycle training on a 500cc and did some slow riding manouvres, figures of eight and a bit of zig zagging. My mind wasn't completely on it...I was still in front of that computer!


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Wahooo!! Go Monk! Right that's the easy bit done then. And no excuses now for not knowing your highway code.

Onwards and upwards and to mod1 then mod2. Always remember you are doing this for pleasure so don't stress it.
UTC
Monk said :-
Thanks Ren.I got a 43 on the multiple choice, so just scrapped in, but managed a lively 62 for the haz. perception test. I'm still getting mmy head round the fact that I actually passed!Instructor reckons that I'm doing well on the 500cc Kawasaki and it won't be too long before mod 1, just need to stop wobbling on the u-turns!

All the best mate,

Monk

Says it all... apologies if I have just frightened your horse madam....


UTC
Monk said :-
I know it's been a awhile but as no none is reading this anyway I think it's safe to say that I've passed Mod 2 and got myself one of these...


17/01/2016 22:47:11 UTC
said :-
I still have keyboard slip...but also a Kawasaki 650 Vulcan S ABS...which is a serious result for me after 16 months of training!Looking at going to Portugal and Spain...not neccessarily in that order...geography being what it is.
17/01/2016 22:50:55 UTC
Monk said :-
Almost forgot the have a cigar shot...

449910
17/01/2016 23:24:54 UTC
Monk said :-
Above Mod 2... this one is Mod 1.

Mod 1
17/01/2016 23:26:40 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Woohoo! Full test done and dusted and big bike purchased. That's fab news Monk. So ya went for the Kwak cruiser. I've been looking at that machine and it is a rather appealing package. It's got the tried and trusted ER6 and Versys motor is a stylish low rider style. I reckon that'll be a winner.

Now, before you set off to far flung lands you're gonna have to get your ass up here and show us ya new toy. Good to hear from you and congratulations.
18/01/2016 16:36:53 UTC
Monk said :-
Cheers Ren...apologies for taking so long posting but I really didn't feel right posting before passing...We might be moving up your neck of the woods, well Halifax, Sowerby Bridge or even outskirts of Manchester... at some point...as soon as I've given the bike a bit of a run in I'll give the A1M a go and cruise over your way, without doubt, again, at some point, probably when the weather brightens up.

It's a lovely bike and, of course, you're totally on the button with the engine...she handles like a dream,responsive as anything, smooth as silk, and loves corners!I'd definitely recommend a test ride, if you haven't already, you'll love it!

More anon...all the best... as always. Has Sharon done her Mod 2 yet?
18/01/2016 21:01:27 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I could tell you the rest of Sharon's story, but then I'd have to kill you.

I'm glad you're liking the bike. I think I might take one out for a spin some time because I liked the Versys and I'd be interested to see how it handles in a cruiser frame.

Aaaah, Halifax, the place of my birth. Thas'll have ta learn the lingo if tha's comin opp North though. And bring a jumper or two, it's blooming freezing!
19/01/2016 08:37:38 UTC
Monk said :-
:-)! I'd like to hear the full sp on Sharon though even if it means forfieting my life!!In terms of the Vulcan, live long and prosper, it's a bike Jim but not as we know it,Kawasaki 650,you could perhaps do one of your (in)famous test ride pieces and let us all in on the benifit of your knowledge and experience of possibly every bike that's ever been built!

I'll afta learn t't lingo me od tatty watter tha' nose!!!

More anon mate...all the best as always
19/01/2016 09:34:59 UTC
Monk said :-
Just thought I'd share a couple of lines and a couple of pics regarding my experience this afternoon on the new addition namely the Kawasaki Vulcan 650 S ABS which I picked up yesterday and thought I'd go for a spin...

Firstly, I have to say that I definitely frightened myself on the new bike!The throttle response is phenomenally quick, and I felt the pull as the acceleration kicked in...phew! It was a bit wet, after yesterday's deluge, so I did experience a couple of back wheel wobblies whilst turning right, brand new new tyres, but nothing too difficult to correct.

It's a case of getting used to the huge difference from a 125, even though I did my training on a 600, riding the Vulcan is a different ball game, no instructor blahhing in my ear so... no reference point...your own your own son!!!

All in all I did frighten the life out of myself with the new 'power' but I'll get used to it...eventually!

More anon...

No what do I do???!!!
23/01/2016 15:24:34 UTC
Monk said :-
Geronimoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


23/01/2016 15:26:27 UTC
Monk said :-
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!


23/01/2016 15:27:48 UTC
Monk said :-
oooooooooooooooooooooooooNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!


23/01/2016 15:29:00 UTC
Monk said :-
Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!


23/01/2016 15:29:46 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You go easy tiger! 650 cubes is gonna have a fair punch at the back wheel and I'm finding the roads quite greasy. Take ya time and it'll all come to you when it's ready.

Sharon HATES cruiser style motorcycles but I think I'm developing something of a soft spot for the Vulcan. She'll go mental if I got one ... hehe!
23/01/2016 15:35:26 UTC
Monk said :-
Yep... them thar roads is mydee greezy thar pardner! Sorry... no idea why I wrote that in cowboyeez?

Yes mate, I definitely need to get used to the new power to brain ratio!

Go on. get a Vulcan...Sharons madness won't last and she'll soon warm to the new 'woman' in your life!!! :-)It is a serious piece of kit though mate, no kidding.

Ok Ren...thanks for your always welcome reply, just off for another spin...it's addictive!!

(PS...When do we all get the lowdown on Sharons Mod 2 experience)???
23/01/2016 15:47:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Monk - see the main page...it's here...it's finally here!
23/01/2016 16:44:51 UTC
 

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