The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

...It's about bikes...and travels...mostly on bikes!

A storm rolls in to a broad sandy beach

Winter is coming. If winter isn't coming it's because it's already here. Subject to Covid, petrol supplies, food shortages and the horrors of "The Festive Season" - it's time to permanently affix the waterproofs, thermals and big jumpers. I'm going in, wish me luck!

What's New?

I Could Have Taken That Corner Faster With his delicate ego Ren is always frustrated with his lack of pace, ability and bravado. Fear not, he's rationalised the situation into a whole philosophy. Sharon puts him right on the matter as usual.
Time To Go Home It's the final day and all that's left to do is ride home. It's also time for Ren to reflect on this excursion.
Motorcycle Positives Philosophical as ever Ian Douglas views motorcycling as a good thing for our physical and mental health - subject to a few important caveats.
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad A brief note from the one and only Bogger. It would appear he has a self control issue when it comes to impulsive purchases of the powered 2 wheeler variety.
Spooky Ian gets all metaphysical regarding his purchase of a new-to-him motorcycle. Was it fate, or are we actually steering our own mental ships? He never mentions the bike he's purchased though...
A Challenging Day In Northern Ireland It's time to leave Northern Ireland but logistics, health and electricity are conspiring against The Dynamic Muppets.
CB500X Beginner Bike? We all knew it but Ren is finally coming to terms with the fact he's a failure. Honda's CB500X is apparently only really quick enough for novices and newbies.
Captivating Coastlines And Countryside Culture Sharon and Ren are joined by Rob as they take on familiar ground, an easy day's ride in alluring surroundings. There's a little culture shock to round off the last evening.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 14 After an epic 2 weeks of touring southern England Rev! Mick is making his way home.
Underwhelmed In The Sperrins It's time to explore some hills, maybe mountains in Northern Ireland. Thing is Ren's not sure they're up to the task in hand.
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Latest Posts

Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad RobEll said :-
I think you have it Ren! Ha spoilt I may be but wealthy, unfortunately not so. I juggle a few grands worth of a bike budget and hp the rest as oft I need to. I should really bite the bullet and just buy the '98 Divvy which is all I can realistically afford with my costly ankle biters to feed. Alas. Hey ho, maybe the Enfield 350 Meteor is next to test ride?? I know not a v-twin, ha! I can never rest on a single bike idea...
26/01/2022 23:07:56 UTC
Royal Enfield 500 Classic Test Ride Review said :-

26/01/2022 16:16:02 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad ROD¹ said :-
I think we all look at all the biking options and wonder if this or that model would suit our needs.
I think the problem many of us have is that we do not know which compromises we can live with.
This I believe is a head vs heart thing. Your head tell you that the best compromise is a bike somewhere between 300 and 500cc but your heart wants more and you constantly look at that 1600cc option.
It was at the age of 38 years I found a bike which really suited me, and I kept that bike 19 years. The bike was a heavy slow handling tourer, a Kawasaki GTR1000.
After 19 years I convinced myself that a smaller lighter bike would suit my needs, but after years of trying smaller bikes I have returned to a heavy tourer and I am happy again. I do also have a 125cc light bike which I use as much as the tourer, and having the two bikes gives me the best of both worlds.
26/01/2022 16:14:44 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ere Ed, you got me thinkin, I've had the Pan 8 years this April. Cannot be so. It blummin is, bought for about 2 bags of sand 8 years ago. Crikey.
26/01/2022 12:16:32 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well I think you're all a bunch of overly wealthy spoilt brats!

Errr, no, actually I think as nab301 says it seems to be an intrinsic part of the motorcyclist's predicament. While I personally tend to keep my bikes for some time I still avidly watch/read reviews on various models and ponder, longingly, what it may be like to live with each and every one. I'd love a massive Gold Wing so I could waft along in luxury to the south of France. I yearn for a 250 crosser so I could go play in the mud someplace. I fancy a mid-spec eleccy motorcycle for that instant silent power and cheap running costs. I'd like a Guzzi for their style and character. There's no single bike that could possibly satisfy my every desire and this is what I believe drives riders to plough through an plethora of machinery over the years.

Why do I keep mine? Primarily because I'm tight, it's an expensive occupation constantly trading motorcycles. I like to set the bike up the way I want it which usually involves devaluing it, making trading even more costly. I like to get to know my machines inside and out which involves self-servicing which devalues them. I do about 3 to 5 times the average annual mileage which devalues them.

Beyond the fiscal issues? While I may hanker for other models I understand that any new motorcycle is NOT going to be perfect, no bike ever is. Presently my 500 has (as far as I can tell) the best power to fuel economy ratio, the best comfort for my size and shape and is fulfilling my needs. As and when a model appears that offers a better fit to my needs I will consider it seriously.

26/01/2022 10:49:17 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad nab301 said :-
I think looking and researching potential new bikes is all part of biking , and possibly even more fun than actually purchasing new ones... From 2014 after purchasing a mint 10yr old 600 Bandit from a local dealer I spent nearly 6 years chopping and changing second hand bikes with the same dealer , taking test rides and enjoying everything from Guzzis to Triumph Bonnevilles , a CBF250 and many more . Unfortunately (Irish based) Brexit messed up the dealers source of used bikes and he ceased trading ...
I haven't found a similar bike shop since.
Words of wisdom ? if you can afford it , and you're happy doing it, do it , life is too short!
26/01/2022 00:05:10 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad RobEll said :-
I'm glad I'm not the only eejit who has a perfectly good or excellent bike but feels the need to trade/swap/buy anew...but. Six months. That seems to be around the time I get itchy boots, again. My nice, new to me Tracer is very nice and in an objective light, almost perfect for me in all senses. It's practical, light, more powerful than I need, handles well and I can tour for hours pain free. Still, I find myself scouring the national bikes ads like a fool possessed, again. A nice, characterful Vee-twin blat is what I'm feeling I need, not particularly quick, in fact I'd prefer a low revving lump which lollops along the nice B-roads in my locality. Is there a term I've not yet heard of for this greed? It seems common enough amongst my fellow two wheeled obsessors, that we cannot just do with what we already have. Any words of Wisdom or castigation welcomed. What am I thinking?!
25/01/2022 22:35:51 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Tour-A-Plank is on Sharon's 250 and I think this scoot would be too big for her diminutive proportions. As for me? I certainly wouldn't dismiss it but according to Honda it returns 80mpg, I'd like to see real world figures. If that's the case there's no advantage over my current 500 really. Oh, except the space under the seat. And the leg protection. And the adjustable screen. And the simpler twin shock setup. But no, no advantage.
25/01/2022 21:25:37 UTC
CBF 125 Injector Explained Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I wouldn't have bodged it like that. I'd have used some araldite mixed with old bathroom silicone sealant, then added the zip ties. Amateurs.
25/01/2022 21:19:21 UTC
I Could Have Taken That Corner Faster Marv said :-
On my trip to Scotland last year, whist waiting for the ferry to Barra, I got chatting to a couple of friendly Scottish bikers on who were in their late 20s.

They said that we should meet up, as we were all heading in the same direction. I was a bit reluctant, as I thought with the powerful bikes they were on, they'll probably ride quite a bit quicker than I'm comfortable with.

A few days later, we met up at the Calanais Standing Stones on the isle of Lewis...Before we set off, I warned them that I'm on a much slower bike than them, and given I'm in my 40s I'm probably going to ride much slower than them too, so I'm just going to stick at the back while they zoom off towards the horizon.

Much to my surprise, they rode at about the same pace as me, were sensible riding through towns and villages and were perfectly happy at that pace.

I was surprised! I guess not all youngsters are hooligans on bikes...I guess I missed that bit, as I didn't get into biking until my late 30s.
25/01/2022 19:44:45 UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Normal Welsh weather? If by normal you mean changeable from warm desert to frozen tundra via tropical rainforest then yeah, pretty normal.
27/01/2022 17:59:21 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Isn't that just normal Welsh weather......but drier?
27/01/2022 17:50:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
There's nothing like a bit of dramatic weather to enhance the wonder of Wales.
Posted Image
26/01/2022 22:53:04 UTC
nab301 said :-
Ian , maybe I should add that I haven't been on an aircraft since the 80's......
24/01/2022 19:54:55 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
With apologies to Jeannette Winterson: "Who wants to be normal when you can be happy in self isolation?"
23/01/2022 11:20:08 UTC
nab301 said :-
Back to normal ? Multiple criss crossing vapour trails , haven't seen them in a long time....
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22/01/2022 18:27:45 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Just because it's a monograde doesn't mean it won't have additives (although you're right there won't be any to change viscosity). In the bad old days before multigrades my Norton would have had 30 grade in winter and 40 in the summer. If you tried to start it with 40 grade in minus temperatures you'd never be able to spin it fast enough.

Lots of ill-informed folk say you should still use monogrades in engines like mkine but multigrades are fine as long as changed at sensible intervals.
22/01/2022 10:42:50 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
No Ed, never made the M61, only the M6 to the A69. J43? Which is about halfway home from North Staffordshire. Albeit this trip started near Ashbourne, Derby’s.
Like most trips these days it's either to christenings or funerals, unfortunately this was the latter. Also like most trips these days the roads are too damn busy.

21/01/2022 16:38:16 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well if you must know SAE 30 will be a straight 30 weight oil. Strictly speaking it could be called 30w30. The advantage of such oil is that there's no additives to alter the weight at different temperatures thus there's no additives to break down. This is NOT an excuse to ignore regular oil changes in your lawnmower.

M6 you say? What unfortunate set of circumstances led you to be traversing that delightful roadway? You'd have been a lot closer on the M61 to BAT Towers but none-the-less the M6 is a road oft used by myself.
21/01/2022 15:42:16 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Is this going to be an oil thread?
Do I need popcorn?
What's wrong with SAE 30 mower oil?
I do love a January oil thread.
I drove through your lovely county yesterday Ed on the glorious M6, didn't see ya, come to think of it only saw one motorcyclist in 250 miles, didn't half look cold. But it wasn't you, it was too clean.
Now, back to oil.

21/01/2022 14:47:17 UTC
Random Link - Muc-Off Bike Cleaner Review

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