The city of Nice seen from the surrounding hillside bathed in sunshine
small image motorcycle loaded up with touring gear Home Contribute Contact BAT Chit-Chat BAT Facebook Page BAT Stickers! Ren's Biking Blog Sharon's Biking Blog Guest Posts Bike Reviews Bike Gear Reviews Bike Tips Travel Stories Travel Tips Repair And Restoration Interesting Links Support BAT

Posts And Comments

The home page only lists the latest 10 posts. This page lists them all at 50 posts per page. This is just a tool to allow you to catch up on any posts you might have missed - that's all.

Newer Items
125 On-Off Roaders? Bob said :-
My XR125L is doing 103 MPG....

Managing Expectations Ren - The Ed said :-
The church is quite unlike anything I've seen.

Regarding plans - other than the ferry which has to be booked our plans are flexible. We may or may not go to the Pyrenees, we may or may not head south, we may or may not head central. It depends on the weather, our mood and fate.

Ian I know you like France but civilised? Have you seen their toilets?

Muc-Off Bike Cleaner Review Ren - The Ed said :-
Seasonal greetings Michael! Sharon and I use a mix of gear oil, grease and used engine oil as lube. Cheap, effective and as you suggest the fling takes muck with it.

I can't comment on cleaning. My definition of cleaning happens when I remove parts and use paraffin or petrol to get oil\lube off.

The Trouble With Trouble Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh Latchy! I'd be more concerned about the forthcoming zombie apocalypse. If the zombies are riding ZZR1400s your little Striple 765 just ain't gonna cut it.

What you really need is a XR 650. That way you can go off road giving the zombies the slip (sic) and ride into the hills avoiding the tidal wave. I think it's best to be prepared for all possibilities.

Are You A Terrified Learner Rider? I Was Ren - The Ed said :-
Aaawwww Sharon, the BAT junior riders are growing up and passing their test! I feel so proud.

Enjoy the journey Louisa. Keep that take it easy and little steps mentality though, there's no rush.

Are You A Terrified Learner Rider? I Was Sharon said :-
Fabulous news Louisa.

Well done on passing your test. Can not wait to see some pics of your new bike. Of course the learning never ends and neither does the fun. Exciting time ahead for you. x

Managing Expectations Ian Soady said :-
"Next year we are off to Spain "

I hope you will take the first opportunity to cross to the civilised side of the Pyrenees.......

Managing Expectations Henrik said :-
Ren, its borgund stave church in Norway,.. well worth a look

Spain sounds nice, and a little more secure from rain than France, if you choose the right time and place. Spain and Romania, perhaps the Alps,.. is what I could think of in Europe. But I am a "norse-man", prefer being up here ,..

Cool that the ferry is booked, a touring-plan without a deadline, is not a plan ;-)

Look forward to read about it, my sister was there, to study architecture, if you by mistake hit one of the bigger towns make sure to see the buildings made by Antony Gaudi ,.. they are almost alive somehow ...

Muc-Off Bike Cleaner Review Michael Stride said :-
Dirt Mag{g}io = Dirt Magic, unless you're Italian and shit hot at baseball !

Muc-Off Bike Cleaner Review Michael Stride said :-
Folks, GT85 is great for cleaning an oily rear wheel, if you use a chain oiler, as I do. I gave sprays and waxes the heave-ho, they gunk up the final drive sprocket area something terrible over time, even the so called non-fling ones. I have some Dirt Magio biodegradable for a hurried wash, or any car shampoo when not pushed for time. An occasional wipe down of the drive chain with paraffin on some kitchen roll is very good, although it stays clean for a long time, now that I lube it with EP 90 gear oil. The fling off with this takes most of the crap with it.

An early Merry Xmas 2017 to you all.

The Trouble With Trouble Ian Soady said :-
Excellent Sharon. I wish more people would think like that.

"More power keeping you out of trouble" falls into the same mythical category as "laying the bike down to avoid a crash" (errrr, that is a crash) and "loud pipes save lives" (no they don't they just irritate people).

Sadly people believe all these things because it's rufty-tufty biker talk.

A similar but slightly different category is calling cars "cages" and their drivers "cagers". They're just other road users and like most riders are doing their best not to either be hurt or to hurt anyone else. Using slightly derogatory terms doesn't achieve anything.

The Trouble With Trouble Latchy said :-
You obviously did not predict outrunning a tidal wave from behind you, therefore a zzr1400 would be suitable he he.

Are You A Terrified Learner Rider? I Was GJ said :-
The last couple weeks the Mod 1 Test Centre on the Saturday has been ice bound so therefore I have avoided lessons those days at the site. The school only has access to the DVSA Mod 1 test site on the Saturday each week. Provided I manage everything at Mod 1 test site test will be booked therafter.

I'm really in no rush as I'm not wanting to get used to a new motorcycle over the winter months. So I'm still at the same stage I was. In Scotland at this time of the year the weather dictates things.

I'm looking to have things all done and completed by the end of Feb 2018 at the latest when my current insurance runs out on the CB125F.

Are You A Terrified Learner Rider? I Was Louisa said :-
Hi there,

Another update - I passed mod 2 first time with 2 minors. Wow, I've done it - can't believe it. Collecting my new bike soon and onto the next stage of my biking journey!

GJ - How are things going with your tests? :)

Managing Expectations Ren - The Ed said :-
Drop me a line Borsuk - I'll let you know dates and you can give me a rough idea of which area you reside in.

Managing Expectations Borsuk said :-
If your thinking of passing my way Ren let me know.

Damn That Leaky Fork Seal Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben

I CAN NOT recall where I got the data from for the CLR125. I've had a look online and found this information which I cannot guarantee is correct...

Other than that I suggest you visit your nearest Honda Motorcycle dealer. Hopefully they should be able to furnish you with the correct details.

Managing Expectations Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Henrik. I know our trips are the sort of trips anyone can manage and for some readers that's the appeal. Of course that does not mean we don't still dream of making much larger and longer trips.

Next year we are off to Spain - we've booked the ferry so apart from disasters that's our next big trip. In the meantime I hope to squeeze in as many shorter trips as I can.

I hope everything is well in DK and that picture is one crazy looking place - A church of some kind I'm guessing?

Managing Expectations Henrik said :-
Ren, I like your writing in this article, it reflects some mature wisdom, such as not to worshipping any fellow human beings as god, and not expect much in the first place,...

People you never have meet F2F, IRL, is also not what you think :-)

I also don't read these types of books any longer, my time is to pressures,.

We do it each our own way, at least I try, not to let others define the word "adventure",..

I come to this site every now and then becourse I like the honest, and more humble and realistic articles I find here. You are real people, not something from a ferrytale, or something wanna-be. The shit-days, the thinking, the people, and funny small details from the everyday life got covered also

I admire what tours you manage, given the cards you got to play with,..

Only car trips for us this year, our parents are old, and we used our weeks off to tour with them, while they are still there, next year might be to late

Then that was an adventure as well, something to look back to, and something to say later "I am glad I did it", despite the fact that I will NOT write a book about it :-)

Borgund Stave Church

Damn That Leaky Fork Seal Ben said :-
Hi mate just reading your post and I’ve got the same thing happen to me left leg soaked in oil , plan on changing it Saturday but can’t find the oil fill level on line just wonders if you could help me out with the specs on the fill level would help a lot cheers mate ben

Clr 125

Managing Expectations Ren - The Ed said :-
Sharon enjoyed Bernard Smith and Cathy Birchall's book "Touching The World".

Everyone is different. Everyone travels differently. I understand the attraction of the GS1200, all that power and the ability to haul heavy luggage. But then the C90 attracts far less attention, has far greater parts availability and no-one thinks you're a wealthy westerner. There is no perfect bike.

That Nick Sanders and a few others have used sports bikes. Personally I can't think of anything worse but the fact they've used them to great effect demonstrates suitability. Go figure.

CBF 250 Tickover SOLVED! Ren - The Ed said :-
It was hellish tight to get to the pilot screw! I found a watchmaker's screwdriver could be wiggled and angled in there just enough to make basic adjustments but it was still a pain in the backside.

These sort of things...

Watchmaker's screwdrivers

Managing Expectations Tony W said :-
I like Nathan Millwards books. Sydney to London on a 110cc postie bike!

Ted Simon rode a 500cc Triumph did'nt he?

Never understood the BMW GS thing. Great bikes yes, but I would not like to pick one up on my own.

Whatever floats your boat I suppose :)

CBF 250 Tickover SOLVED! Chris said :-
Hi I was wondering what tool you use for carb adjustment? It's amazingly tight to get at the pilot screw.

Managing Expectations Ren - The Ed said :-
As you know I'm not a big reader Ian. As such I'll have to leave any comparison to Sharon. Thing is Sharon isn't reading as much as she used to either. Life, paint and motorcycling keeps on getting in the way.

Traveling means different things to different people. For some it is about badges and stickers to show where they've been. For others it's about scenery. Some it's a challenge to overcome.

I started out as a young man with something to prove, isn't that what being a young man is about? That is still within me but age dulls the drive. I'd say these days I'm driven more by curiousity to see a place and explore. I also really enjoy meeting people. This surprises me because I'm not much of a people person.

Managing Expectations Ian Soady said :-
The one "adventure traveller" I think it's worth paying attention to is Ted Simon. His Jupiter's Travels* is superb. It is far more about his interactions with the people he met along the way, than boring details about the bike and other riders, and his own responses are very illuminating. Much more so than the long way up/down/round characters who often seem to pass through with the places and people having no effect on them and vice versa. Still less those who seem to be determined to go as fast as possible and break "records".

*BTW I seem to remember I lent/gave you a copy of this (delete as appropriate).....

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review Ian Soady said :-
"Carbon Steel is stupid and doesn't realise stainless steel does not need protected."

I like that!

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review Borsuk said :-
Looking at the photos and the thickness of the hanger I think you have a galvanic corrosion cell there. Normally at work we fit nylon sleeves over carbon steel bolts and nylon washers under the nuts when they are connecting to stainless steel to insulate the SS from the carbon steel. This stops the carbon steel from sacrificing itself to protect the stainless steel.
Carbon Steel is stupid and doesn't realise stainless steel does not need protected.
We do it mostly for flanges but in some areas we do it for brackets, gratings etc, depending on the location and materials being connected.
The thickness of your hanger wouldn't take long to eat its way through if there is a corrosion cell going.

Dissimilar Metal Bolt Insulation Hit.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
Yeah, it's still rideable.

I have been quite thorough in my cleaning and maintainance of the motorcycle in the just over a year of ownership.

Riding through the winter months does take it's toll but you would not expect it to rot and rust like that. The motorcycle is kept outside but it's covered. You might expect that type of lug to fail over time but certainly not in just over a year.

It's the only issue in the period of ownership.

It just makes you wonder what else has been done on the really cheap.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review Ren - The Ed said :-
I should blooming well hope so. Am I right in thinking the bike is still rideable?

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
In regards to exhaust muffler it's been passed on to get permission for whole exhaust to be replaced under warranty. Honda dealer does not envisage it being an issue for replacement. They expect to be able to carry out replacement shortly after warranty replacement agreed.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Latchy said :-
Yes but the area that the pads contact was dished, the outside pistons were seized solid and only the inside pistons were pushing the pads outwards and also the disc, in time ruining it by dishing the disc. The pads were suitably tapered by this stage. Hope this makes sense.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ian Soady said :-
Some discs are actually made like that eg the fronts on my Guzzi.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ren - The Ed said :-
Imagine your typical dinner plate - a flat area approximately 6 inches in diameter with a further inch and a half all around that is slightly raised to stop your tea from falling off the plate. The centre of Latchy's disc was the centre of the plate, the actual friction area was dished upwards just like a dinner plate.

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have thought it possible.

My Fazer was the same as Latchy's. They are a very good, solid and well made machine - I just never quite gelled with mine. It was like dating a good looking caring woman who met your every need and yet somehow, for some unknown reason you just don't love her.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ian Soady said :-
Good result.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Stephen Latchford said :-
Update, I've now done 1000 trouble free miles, and I really like this bike, it is a quality item. The brakes of course we're in a right state being neglected, so bad that the left brake disk had been pulled so far outward that it was binding on the inside of the caliper, and had the appearance of being dished. Ren will confirm this and for both of us was a first.
I stripped and cleaned/renewed seals, pads and banjo bolts and bleed nipples, new stainless pad retaining pins, etc.
Other than that I fitted heated grips, and a brighter headlamp bulb and did the conversion so both lamps come on. 38,000 miles and counting.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review Ren - The Ed said :-
Blimey!! So it's the lug that is welded to the exhaust to suspend the rear. While I would expect it to get rusty it really really ought not to rust right through. Certainly not until the rest of the exhaust is on its last legs.

That's not good. I wonder if it's happening to other CB125Fs.

Cheers GJ

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
I'm actually surprised that it did not fall off whilst going over a bump etc.
Essentially it's rotted/rusted through.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
From the exhaust muffler.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
Here is the pic from the exhaust.

125 On-Off Roaders? Ren - The Ed said :-
Definitely something modern. Not necessarily cutting edge but as the post suggest I'll be looking for something a couple of years old.

I have no issue with the concept of an MZ (CZ, Jawa) other than the 2 stroke motor's relatively poor fuel consumption. Like I said if I wanted to do 80mpg I'd use the 500.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ren - The Ed said :-
I'll add the link to my plug cap issues on the 125. However the 125's cap sails in the wind and the rain so failure is more likely. ...

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review Ren - The Ed said :-
OUCH! Yeah the tyres and service will sting you a bit. Yes the general advice is that punctures near the sidewall ought not to be fixed. Plugging a tyre on a small bike isn't really an issue to be honest.

You'll have to send those pictures of the exhaust hangar. I'm not quite with you where it has broken and I am more than intrigued.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ian Soady said :-
Oh, and plug caps? I had a mysterious problem with my lately departed Honda Super Four. It would start and run beautifully but after a few miles would cut out when stopping for a roundabout etc. I tried everything I could think of and eventually checked the resistances of the plug caps - one was showing an intermittent infinity reading.

I had assumed that any problem with a single cylinder would still let it run on 3 but the Honda design meant that each plug earthed through the other one somehow so if one wasn't connected the other wouldn't fire (still can't work that out). So it effectively became a very poor 200cc twin. A new cap (weel I bought 2 as they were cheap enough) and HT leads and it was perfect.

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Ian Soady said :-
There's an old saying - carb problems are almost always ignition trouble. And vice versa......

When I first had my 955i Tiger I foolishly let my brother out for a run on it. When he returned some 2 hours later with the exhaust ticking and tyres smoking and well scrubbed, he left it on the drive as he disappeared into the night.

I put it away in the garage only to find it wouldn't start the next morning. I had checked all the fuses, made sure there was fuel in and was starting to strip off the side fairings when, like Bob, I checked the kill switch. I never use it but said brother had stopped the engine with it. I was somewhat peeved.

125 On-Off Roaders? Bob said :-
+1 for eastern bloc metal.
I've had numerous MZ and Jawa and they were all fantastic machines.
I just assumed you'd be after something modern

Poorly FZS600 Fazer Bob said :-
We've all been there, I've had a cylinder head in my hand and then noticed the kill switch set to "off".
To be fair you tend to automatically think "carbs" when a bike runs like poo, but it often is ignition. I don't think I've ever needed to replace a plug cap, I have for cosmetic reasons, but I've never had a failure.

Honda CB 125 F Test Ride Review GJ said :-
An issue with the Honda CB 125 F.

The exhaust muffler has come clean away from the motorcycle. The fitting that held the screw and nut in place on the exhaust has rotted away and sheared off. I've sent pictures to my local dealer and am awaiting a response. Motorcycle is just over a year old. It's still under warranty.

Other than that issue motorcycle has been fine.

Although motorcycle now due 5,000 mile service.

That's getting done along with new chain, sprockets and new front and rear tyres. Tyres are getting done now with the service as I managed to collect a nail in the rear tyre on my last outing on the bike. Discovered it as I was washing the bike and doing a few checks. Very near the sidewall so I don't believe it could be plugged. Although I'd rather avoid plugging a tyre in any case.

Going to an expensive visit to Honda this time.

Givi Handguards (HP1121) Review Pocketpete said :-
Yes nothing will stop a determined thief you can only just make life a bit harder for them.

Wish I had set the garage alarm.....

Oops i forgot to set it don't tell the police and insurance company..

At least my cameras activated.

125 On-Off Roaders? Ren - The Ed said :-
I am open to the idea of "non big 4" motorcycles - Sharon's Keeway has been an eye opener. On FB it's been suggested I look at the Derbi - I've seen them at J&S and I do rather like them. I've heard of Reiju but I know nothing of them, I'll see what I can find.

I had no engine problems at all with the CLR125. I ran that up to around 45,000 miles. The exhaust was the issue, if you loot at the image you'll see I had to "create" my own.

Crazy Frog. Please! I have a customer who's MZ crazy and a member of the MZ owners club. He's always harping on about the merits of ancient Eastern Bloc engineering and that's fine. I...I....I just can't get past the whole 2 stroke thing. Economy wise I might as well use the 500.

Older Items
image used for spacing
Valid HTML?