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8,000 Mile CB500X Review (& Service) Borsuk said :-
The terrifying thing about new brakes and tyres on a vehicle is you realise how bad they must have been before you changed them.

North Coast 500 2017 Mark smith said :-
It gets better every year and is never disappointing, meeting loads of great people renewing old friendships and starting new ones can't wait for next year

Renewing My Photocard Licence - The Easy Way - By Ren Withnell Ren - The Ed said :-
I was vaguely aware that Northern Ireland had a one or two different things to the mainland UK but reading your recent posts Matt Mac I am learning there are quite a lot of things that are different. Next you'll be telling me you can't get hold of Holland's pies or gravy on ya chips.

Honda SH125 Mode Test Ride Review Ren - The Ed said :-
Look the question is how many motorcycles does a motorcyclist need? The answer is N + 1 where N is the current number of motorcycles the motorcyclist owns. There is no such thing as too many motorcycles, there is only a lack of space to keep them in or a lack of funds to keep them all going.

That back box is not hideous. In my world that back box is essential.

Honda SH125 Mode Test Ride Review Ted said :-
Oh why do WE (the collective WE) keep buying these things?

I have a very little used, about 1100 miles in 7 years, fully undersealed from new LML/Vespa 150cc scooter.
The CB500X, it's not going to rain today......Sooo, I'm outta here !

Then, I spot this lovely little Honda 90 Cub, 2001 on a 51 plate, all really solid. Electric start just "Whizzes" round to let me know the motor is working (have not investigated any further....probably won't) and it is so easy to slide the choke leave, turn the petrol on and 2nd kick it fires up straight away. With my big heavy size 11 I have to do little more than rest my foot on the kick start to get it running.

As soon as I can get am MOT booked locally it will be done.

The day I bought it, while it was still taxed, I had a ride up and down the road, this baby pulls like a train. Runs out of steam after about 40 mph, but gets there pretty quick for a little bike.

Usually a BUT somewhere...Do I keep it now I have got it how I want it, of see about selling it on/trading it in for an Sh125i......Possibly a low miles pre owned
I know I would be disappointed in the MODE.

Yes, I have taken that hideous great black box off the back, it was spoiling the aero dynamics ;-)

2001 Honda 90 Cub

Renewing My Photocard Licence - The Easy Way - By Ren Withnell Matt Mac said :-
Dear Editor ,I read your driving licence renewal with interest, in N Ireland or Ulster as we call it, Coleraine County Hall handles the driving licence renewals . This is just another difference , we are British part of the United Kingdom, we at least can drive to Coleraine. We will probably still have the paper part for a while yet.We had the plastic card licence for years as it was like an identity card,prior to this the old liçence had a photo as well.I know you said this was an old post,it was just another of abnormalities between us and the mainland .2

Z250SL Radiator Fan Protector Ren - The Ed said :-
It'll do the task it's meant to do and that's what matters.

Replacing CBF 125 Head Bearings (Tapered All Balls USA) Ren - The Ed said :-
Re-reading this after a couple of years have passed and reading you broke the first bearings makes my stomach turn. It's a horrible sickening feeling when you have the parts and the tools but not the right instructions. Does this washer or that washer go here or there? Will it make any difference? What if I get it wrong and it all falls apart at 60mph?

All we ask for are clear, concise instructions.

Thanks for sharing Michal Wicenciak

Replacing CBF 125 Head Bearings (Tapered All Balls USA) Michal Wicenciak said :-
Here's my story. I got CBF125 for headstock bearings replacement. Just like here - replacing ball bearing with tapered rollers bearing.I'm not sure about the supplier, but the code on the bearings box was AB22-1029. Inside there were 2x bearings with races (only difference between them is the inside hole diameter, races are identical), 2x washers (one thin and one thick), 2x seals (one with larger hole than the other). I did it wrong at first. I put thick (fat) washer on the stem first. Then I beat the lower bearing on. Then I realized I may have done it wrong and started to take the bearing off again. I broke it, and the seal too. I had to buy another set. Then I found this guide, which has saved me some hassles. Ren describes that he had to put washer, because without it - there would be contact of bottom yoke and headstock. In comments someone wrote, that they didn't put any washer at the bottom and clearance is there but "paper thin". I ended up using thin washer and all was fine. Enough threads at the top visible. Also - once I put top bearing on the stem - I wanted to fit supplied seal but the factory one (the nut with plastic skirt) worked better! I did not have to take the offending lip off, just grease it all up and it made good seal. So from the whole supplied parts I used 2x bearings with 2x races, 1x washer (thiner one) and 1x seal (bottom). Rest is what was already on a bike, when Honda fitted their originals. And YES, the top race sticks out a little out of headstock but it does not matter. How is the steering now? Super light, bike is very keen to lean now. Whole bike feels much lighter.

Honda CBF125 Steering stem with tapered roller bearing fitted.

Knocking CBF 125 said :-

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell Ross said :-
Thanks CrazyFrog, l'll add the MDS to the list of possibles (I'd not heard of them before) and see if I can find one local to me to try on.

Z250SL Radiator Fan Protector pocketpete said :-
Looks pretty effective, hopefully will save you buying an expensive fan for the forseeable future.

Spare Parts for the Keeway RKS 125cc Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ajmal. Sounds to me like your chain is either very loose and needs adjusting or it's worn out and needs replacing.

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell CrazyFrog said :-

I have an MDS200 helmet :- https://billyscrashhelmets.co.uk/mds-md200-crash-helmet-review/

Comfortable (for me!), built in sun visor, pinlock ready visor and a SHARP 4* rating. They're made by AGV...
billyscrashhelmets.co.uk/mds-md200-crash-helmet-review/ ...

Spare Parts for the Keeway RKS 125cc Ajmal said :-
Hi...anyone knows why does the chain hits the chain protector? Is it because of the Re arm or because of the rear suspension?

Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge Ren - The Ed said :-
I had to look up where the Corinthian Gulf is...

An elegant solution you say? I was on a campsite. I only had basic tools with me. I was hardly in a situation where I had access to a lathe, swathes of sheet steel and other suitable flat materials, grinders, gutting tools or even basic measuring tools. Give me a break!

As stated previously we have already engineered a better looking and more permanent solution. Details to follow soon.


Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge Ian Soady said :-
All this reminds me of a favourite passage in Zen and the Art.....

Pirsig's artistic mate had a BMW whose handlebars had become a bit floppy as the clamps weren't gripping the bar. Pirsig's solution? Shims. Mate became quite keen until Pisrsig dug an old beer can out of the bin and started cutting it up to make said shims. Mate absolutely horrified at the idea of fixing his expensive Bavarian steed with old junk and stormed off. Pirsig said that of course this was the perfect material; cost nowt (or the US equivalent) and would be similar material to what BMW would have used themselves.

Or to put it more briefly, an engineer is someone who can make for 10p what any fool can make for a quid.

However, most of the engineers of my acquaintance do at least make some effort at an elegant solution.......

See you can't get away from me even when I'm enjoying a coffee overlooking the Corinthian Gulf.

Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Ted! We have actually done a more permanent fixture just this weekend and the results of this will be brought to this website quite soon.

There's a lot of things like this or bicycle chain guards than can be fixed with just a little ingenuity, lateral thinking and the use of a good hammer. Some folks just spend money, some folks just make things work

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell Ren - The Ed said :-
Never used a flip front helmet, sorry can't be any help there. You've clarified my point though that just because one Caberg model fits it isn't a certainty that other Caberg models will fit.

Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge Ted said :-
Good job well done.
Although not the sort of thing you might carry about with you, how about a short length of that square section, flat bottomed plastic guttering?

Can be cut with snips or a small hacksaw and filed to any sort of pretty shape the good lady's hear desires.

Somebody recently came to me with the broken bracket end of the chain guard on their young sons bicycle, I cut the bottom off a deodorant aerosol (Slightly thicker than the body of the can) Hammered it flat on the back of the vise in my garage, drilled a couple of holes in the right places and found a 5mm bolt of a suitable length with a nut and a couple of spring washers.....little lad went away happy, so did his mum.
I havn't seen them in a couple of weeks, so I reckon it is holding up fine.

Possibly this might be like the "temporary" repair you have made Ren......another of those Round TUIT jobs ;-)

Who was who said, "It might not be the best solution, but when it worked I just stopped thinking about it"

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell Ross said :-
I'm due for a helmet replacement and quite fancy a 'flip front' type this time...anybody here got any experience with this type? I'm currently wearing a Caberg Ego... which seems easy to type in, ahem! ;) ... which I've been very happy with and I thought the logical replacement would be the Caberg Duke, but it's a different shape and my nose touches the top of the chin bar! If it helps, I'm looking in the £100 to £200 price bracket and have noted Ren's points above.

Tappets, Shims And Plugs Ren - The Ed said :-
There are good reasons why valve opening systems became covered and bathed in oil. Something to do with keeping dirt out and lubrication in I think.

And as for that evil 2 stroke Arrow - no tappets no but noisy smelly exhaust, worn out piston rings and bad fuel economy? Give me fiddly tappets any day.

Anyhow all this will be irrelevant when the electric motorcycles take over. No tappets, no piston rings, no shims, no oil and some might say no soul. I'm not sure about the soul thing, I'll wait to see for myself.

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell Ren - The Ed said :-
All our heads are uniquely shaped. I've been fairly lucky that my head seems to be AGV shaped and AGVs, while not cheap are at least affordable. I know Arai helmets are expensive.

It is worth noting though that for myself not all the AGV models have been a good fit which indicates that from model to model the fit can change too. Just because previous Arais have fitted it doesn't guarantee the next model will.

As such whenever you're in a place that sells motorcycle helmets it's still worth trying on new and varied models. You may just find that company ABC's new XYZ model is also a great fit.

Buying A Motorcycle Helmet - By Ren Withnell Keith m said :-
I used to really struggle to find a helmet that fitted until a dealer got me to try on an Arai and it was like putting on an old pair of carpet slippers. I've tried lot's of other manufacturers as Arai's are so expensive but keep going back to Arai because they fit my head.

Tappets, Shims And Plugs Ian Soady said :-
.... and the valves are exposed so you can do the tappets without taking anything off at all!

Or even better, with the Arrow there aren't any tappets to adjust.......

Tappets, Shims And Plugs Ren - The Ed said :-
Dead easy mate - not!! The hassle is getting to the engine not particularly being inside it.

We need a vintage bike like Ian's Sunbeam. No plastic fairings to do battle with, no silly undertank tray and no complicated computers or sensors. I daresay our modern digital motorcycles are more reliable though.

Tappets, Shims And Plugs Pocketpete said :-
Sounds easy but it obviously isn't. I can't wait to see you do mine.

Believe or not I've never actually seen the inside of an engine.

Mines done 8000miles so a long way to go. Maybe do it at 14000

Honda CMX500 First Look Ren - The Ed said :-
Ah *that* Brian! Hello once again. Yes I think the NC500 will very soon become a victim of its own success it seems. Well next time I'm oooop norf I might just take up your offer of a ride. I am hoping to get to Harris/Lewis next year to visit a friend who lives up there now. You'll be "en route".

Honda CMX500 First Look Brian said :-
Up north means just that , Inverness ??
Further to my recent email on NC500 , the Ullapool annual folk music festival has cancelled future dates because of lack of accommodation for those attending ,due to it all being booked up by nc500 folks.
But there again a hotel in Helmsdale is re opening for tourists on the route , so it aint all bad . Swings & ...........

Honda CMX500 First Look Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh my, that does look rather good in black Brian. Let me clarify, Sharon is doesn't hate cruisers but they're just not her style, her thing. Just the same as you might like rugby but not football. Originally Sharon wanted hyper sports bikes with fairings and head down ass up riding positions. She's mellowed a bit since then.

Whereabouts is "up north" Brian? Even if Sharon doesn't want a ride I'd certainly like a go so I can write a proper review!

Honda CMX500 First Look Brian said :-
Had my cmx500 since early summer having moved from a CB500F, purely to be able to get on easy and flat foot too , with the onset of the usual arthritis.
It’s every bit as good as the CB500F as you might expect using many of the same bits. It’s quick off the mark and cruisers at whatever speed you like comfortably right up to the ton. Oh and 84 mpg to boot on an average run round the Highlands.
It revs a bit higher at 60 so I have changed front sprocket which helps a lot. So far maintenance seems easy but could do with a manual before tackling tank removal etc.
Only other mods made are heated grips, decent screen & removed silly rear seat.
The suspension and seat have mellowed over the months , as they were harsh to start.
Can’t see why Sharon wouldnt enjoy this one, if you’re up north anytime she’s welcome to try it.

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Ren - The Ed said :-
I don't know if you are aware but the CBF125's crank is a pressed up needle roller bearing affair. While these are very strong oil choice is critical.

As the needle roller rolls around it forms a ridge of oil in front of each needle. If the oil is too thick the oil ridge won't move out the way fast enough. This apparently causes high pressures and damage. I found this out on a CD200 Benly with noisy tappets. To quieten the tappets as a youth I'd used an oil thickener.

I reckon a 20w50 would be ok but I'm loathe to try at risk of damaging the crank. A 15w40 would be ok as the thickness is the same at running temperature.

CBF 125 Oil Consumption ybr125 said :-
The 15w40 oils are genneraly stronger, thicker, resist shearing better. I would especially recommebd diesel engine oils like Movil Delvac mx 15w40 in your bike. thicker oil should resist consumption much better. 20w50 should also be fine for a tired engine and will give better oil pressure due to larger clearances which developed.

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm already running Halford's basic 10w40 motor oil. Are you suggesting the consumption won't be a problem because the oil is cheap or that the thicker cold startup viscosity will reduce consumption?

CBF 125 Oil Consumption ybr125 said :-
Move to a cheap 15w40 oil, it should cut down on the consumpton problem.

Into Tywyn Ren - The Ed said :-
I'll add a link to our visit to Aberdaron in 2008. Lovely little place.

Why...why do you HAVE to maintain 60mph? Using the Snake Pass and the motorways - A55 according to Google maps your trip is 172 miles. at a constant 60mph that's 2.87 hours, about 3 hours. At a constant 55mph that's 3.13 hours, just over 3 hours. Bearing in mind with traffic, corners, junctions and the like actually maintaining a constant speed is impossible. I bet the difference between setting a max speed of 60 and a max speed of 55 would be measured in seconds.

I think the only time you'll be frustrated is when you have to climb a steep hill such as into Blaenau Ffestiniog if you go that way. I admit when I did it on the 125 with luggage I was down to 30mph in places. It's all part of the fun.

Be sure to take some pictures and let us know how you get on. Speaking of rain - just wait till the next installment :)
bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=45 ...

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Ren - The Ed said :-
I...I suspect it is down on power although it's not hard to start. If it is down on power it happens over such a long period of time that you don't notice, much like watching your children grow. If I were to ride a much newer CBF125 I may be surprised, much like when a relative who's not seen the kids in a while exclaims "Oh my haven't they grown!"

I'm not seeing any smoke at all, either on startup or general riding. When Sharon was following me the other day she never mentioned a cloud of black soot emanating from my derrière.

The next time I change the spark plug I may do a compression test, I have one of then lying around. I'll also stick my nose into the airbox, I'd not considered looking for oil in there.

Thanks Bob, good calls.

Honda CMX500 First Look Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Matt Mac. The new 900 Street Twins have quite a low seat height but they're still a leeeeeetle bit too big for Sharon, she is very small.

Yes indeed on average woman are smaller than men and I would expect motorcycle manufacturers to know this. So why are the only motorcycles available to shorter ladies cruisers? Ladies want sports bikes and adventure bikes and every other type as well but unless they're reasonably tall there's no hope. It drives Sharon nuts.

Every time I call Sharon a hobbit she beats me terribly. I take this punishment on behalf of the readers so they can have a laugh.

Into Tywyn Bob said :-
You're certainly not afraid of the weather you two! Tomorrow I'm setting out to ride 170 odd miles from Sheffield to Aberdaron for a long weekend, but I'm staying a cottage with a log burning stove!
It will be the utltimate test of whether I've made a mistake buying a "little" 250cc (KLX250S) bike.
Depending on how the trip goes I'll either stop obsessing about it or buy that G650X / DS644 / DRZ400 on Evilbay....
If I'm spening the whole time strung out in 5th gear with the revs wound up and having to crouch to maintain 60MPH then that'll be that I think.

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Bob said :-
Is it down on power and / or hard to start?
It might just be stem seals, rather than rings / bore.

My XR125 (23K miles) uses a little oil but it's only the stem seals, it smokes a little on start up but doesn't smoke under normal use and compression is still OK.

That might be the place to start - a compression check.
The other thing would be to see if you're getting oil in the airbox which would indicate blow-by from worn rings.

Honda CMX500 First Look Matt Mac said :-
Dear Editor ,I have a cousin who is a similar size to Sharon ,she rode a Bonnie for years , then changed for a Yamaha Dragster . I know the Dragster is lower how she got onto the Bonnie is anyone's guess but the T120 were lower anyway .l just mentioned this as women are smaller in statue than men and this style may suit .ps would never dare call my cousin a hobbit ! ??

CBF 125 Alternator-Stator Problem said :-

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Ren - The Ed said :-
Nah the owd beast has been and still is a good 'un. It owes me nowt and I probably owe it a lot.

Daf - there will be an autopsy. I myself and perhaps quite a few other people would like to see what the internals are like. BUT...but if it's all the same with you I will try and procrastinate that autopsy for as long as possible. I'd like to reach 100,000 miles but I've still got 32,500 miles to go before I get there. Actually I'd like to see 200,000 miles! Actually let's go into lorry distances here, I'd like to see half a million miles.

I don't want to end up with a "Trigger's Brush" situation though. If the motor lets go then that will be that. I'm not thinking of replacing the motor then replacing the fuel pump then replacing the computer then replacing the injector just so I can point at the bike and say "It's done XXX thousand miles that". There are other 125s out there I'd like to destroy - I mean try out.

CBF 125 Oil Consumption CrazyFrog said :-
Run it till it drops Ren, it certainly doesn't owe you anything does it?

CBF 125 Oil Consumption Daf said :-
Though the diminutive CBF is getting on a bit, you've had a bloody good run from it! when the oil consumption gets too ridiculous (or you lose compression and it doesn't run/smoothly) it would be really interesting to see you overhaul the engine/see if it's possible for a home mechanic to do so! Would make a really interesting article series!

Review of the Honda ANF 125 Innova - By Peter Hawker said :-

Here's To Paul And Ian Sharon said :-
Hi Chris,
Thank you for the link to the lovely song by James, such a talented young man. I am so sorry to hear that the problems with his health are ongoing.
My own daughters illness is not curable unfortunately. It is a life long autoimmune disease called Graves. They cannot cure it but just try to manage its numerous side effects such as severe thyroid problems, constant migraine, eye disease and heart problems amongst others. Little is known about Graves disease so we spend most of our time being bounced from one department to the other with no one helping her. It's frustrating and heartbreaking. But we battle on, looking for answers and hopefully some relief and help.
I wish you and James all the very best in your own battles.

Kawasaki Z 250 SL Review Ian Soady said :-
The wiring and connectors are standard stuff but the switchgear is fairly poor. Starter motor (a huge car-style thing) is Valeo and much of the ignition is Bosch so should be fairly reliable. But as it's all 30-odd years old it needs a good going over. There are some well-documented shortcomings including fuse box and starter relay which will receive attention.

Tank and other painted parts are off ready to take to the painter when I return from our trip to Greece, and stainless exhaust system also stripped to be taken to be polished.

Borsuk - I think that is the fairly standard layout for most bikes these days. I don't want to change the right hand switch however as it's integral with the twistgrip. Not the best layout......

Kawasaki Z 250 SL Review Borsuk said :-
My bike light switches are set up the same as Sharons, including flash switch.
Might be an Asian market thing.

Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm hoping to do a proper job soon. I'll cobble summat more permanent then Sharon can make it look smart and professional.

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