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Argh - My Wires Are Melting!

Blog Date - 11 April 2016

Sharon is leading us back to her place after a massive detour which comes after a day filled with more detours, being lost, losing fellow riders, assisting at an accident and a cup of tea at J&S in Northwich. We are both somewhat tired and frazzled, I've made things worse by asking Sharon to lead on a route she does not know. I'm cruel like that.

So as we approach Warrington my mood is not lifted as I casually look down below my speedometer and see something unusual, something different in amongst the nest of wires that live within the half-fairing. Black sludge or slime. What? It...it looks like dirty grease but there's no way in hell any grease could get up there. Oh poop, oh pants, oh heck my wires are melting and that's molten insulation gathering around whatever it is that's getting hot. Damn and blast!

Damn this bike to hell! I just knew that 51,500 miles on a 125 is TOO MUCH! It's knackered, it's way past it, it's done for and I might was well just park the thing up and let the worn out piece of junk burn itself out. I guess it's done me well, I guess it owes me nothing. Once I figure out how to get home I'm going to go and buy that CB500X that is for sale at J&S and have done with this 125 and all 125s. I'll get rid of that god awful lemon of a 250 as well. I won't need 2 bikes if I have 1 good one will I. I'll have more space in the shed too and and and and and and....

Why is it melting? Looks like the speedo cable has worn through some wires nearby, maybe that's causing a short? Oh...hang on I fitted a LED side light bulb yesterday, maybe that's drawing some weird current I mean I know the CBF 125's lighting circuit is actually AC not DC and LED's don't work with AC. S#!£ the wires lead under the tank I might explode at any minute! Sharon is in front and she's not slowing down and and and and and and and..........

But why is the bike still working? With that much molten plastic surely at least the indicators should have packed up by now? I can't smell any burning plastic but then at 40mph any smells will waft away instantly. Is it getting worse? Any minute now I'm going to come to a grinding halt in a plume of smoke and I'll have to ditch the bike and run away before we all go BOOM!. The bike feels fine though. I need to stop and have a look I really do.

Eventually Sharon stops at a red light and I pull alongside. She complains that it is mean to make her lead after such an arduous day already but I don't give a flying monkey! I'm at least expecting to require a tow truck if not an ambulance and a fire truck. "I'll lead" I shout. A quarter mile later I find a safe place to pull in and as I stop I brace for the fumes and perhaps the fire.

Nope. Nothing. I can smell the warmth from the engine but that's quite normal. Tentatively I remove a glove and brace myself for the burns as I stick my hand into the gloopy wires. Cold. Slimy. Slippery. It is blooming grease!! It actually is just plain ordinary grease that is dirty hence it is black like the wiring insulation. As I ride away I think to myself how wonderful the CBF 125 is. How well it has lasted, how easy it is to ride, hell I think I'll buy a crashed one and use the parts from that to keep this one on the road FOREVER! Still...wouldn't mind having a punt at that CB500X. 

Melting wires below the speedometer on Ren's 124
Yes it looks like grease NOW...but at 40mph with a vivid imagination it could be anything.

Oh...you want to know how the grease got there? Easy, I worked it out on the way back to Sharon's. I've recently removed the front wheel twice to sort out a leaky bead. Each time I've replaced the wheel I've re-packed the bearings with grease. I suspect this over-greasing has sent some up the speedo cable where it has escaped just below the meter. I love my 125 I do. it has "character". Still want that CB500X though.

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Reader's Comments

Trazymach84 said :-
I would recommend a Yamaha YBR 125. Here is another one that has gone 70 000 miles without any engine repairs: https://translate.google.pl/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://mundoenmoto.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_8717.html&prev=search
11/04/2016 17:40:54 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Trazymach84. 70,000 miles is some going! It looks like the owner keeps the machine looking very tidy too. It is good to see these little bikes can do the business when they're looked after properly.
11/04/2016 21:02:56 UTC
Daf said :-
As she may have mentioned at Manchester bike show, my missus, Emma rides a YBR... she's ,only' done a few thousand on it in the year that she's had it, but in that time we've both been very impressed with the build quality, how well it puts up with her commuting on it on the expressway, and how easy it is to fettle! Parts are also dead cheap...
Don't worry, Ren, I've got my eye on the new CB500s to... for when the Inazuma wears out. Thinking I'll go with the X myself...
12/04/2016 11:17:27 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I suspect you may have a wait on your hands Daf for the Suzuki to wear out. Whatever else you say about Suzuki they've always been pretty good at putting an engine together so it ought to last quite some time. It'll probably be the cycle parts that let you down before the motor. We'll have to wait and see.

And yes yes yes...I keep on hearing just how good the Yammy YBR 125 is. I suppose I'll have to get one of those next and ride that into the ground to prove/disprove the theory for myself. Dagnammit, that's another 4 years and 50+ thousand miles to go before I can finally let go of the whole 125 thing!

Anyhow where's a young lad like yourself getting the pennies to go out buying CB500s from eh? Either that holistic business of yours is going great guns or you're really a bank robber at the weekends.
12/04/2016 18:45:58 UTC
Daf said :-
Well, I've put quite a few miles on it so far so it's looking good! It's just shocking how high it revs! But beyond that I've had no complaints with the engine - I think it's a generally better engine than the CBF250 if I'm honest - though the valves need checking more often. I daresay you're right on the frame, cycle parts and running gear going before the engine...

Haha, you mean you _want_ to let go of the whole 125 thing? I Thought that you were either a mashochist or wanted to prove a point - don't tell me that you see yourself moving beyond the 1/8th litre size???

And I don't at the moment! I have a large piggy bank full of good air at the moment - that will turn into the 'Zuma replacement fund. I'm hoping the Zuma lasts me at least 3 years before I need to replace it with the CB500(x or f). Hopefully they still make them then and parts are still easy to come by!

12/04/2016 22:12:10 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
What revs is the 'Zuma doing at 70? I recall it being about 8,500 which is only 500 more than the CBF250. I thought it *sounded* revvy but being a twin remember there's one bang per rev (roughly, depending on the crank configuration). The singles only bang every other revolution. My Fazer 600 at 70 was doing about 6k revs, being a four cylinder this sounds like a single at 24,000 revs! (12,000 bangs per minute = scream)

I...I still love my 125s. Yes there are times when I'd kill for more power but then I find myself in thick traffic or narrow lanes and I think "this is the best bike ever!" My problem is I want 125 economy and ease of use, 1,000cc power and 1,800cc luggage capacity.

As for the piggy bank have you tried selling your body? I did, but half a packet of crisps and a cigarette butt was all I made (in 3 years). You're younger than me, you might do better.
13/04/2016 05:52:01 UTC
Ross said :-
Spot on Ren, my Inazuma shows a 'gnats' under 8500 at an indicated 70mph, but I believe the speedo over-reads a bit. It does feel busy at those sorts of rev's but doesn't feel strained and is still smooth...nothing to suggest it wouldn't be happy to sit at those rev's all day.
13/04/2016 13:05:53 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
All speedometers are a little generous Ross. Different engines make different noises, I prefer the lazy drone of a single even though I know a twin or a four is not under duress at the same revs. The problem is me not the engines.
14/04/2016 12:15:54 UTC
 

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