A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

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

Steep hills and hardy grasses on a narrow lane at The Mull Of Kintyre

It's summertime now and the rain has gotten warmer. Where are you planning to explore then huh?

What's New?

Fruitless Overtaking Is persistent overtaking the only way to make good progress or just an unnecessary additional hassle that offers very little gain?
Puig Screen For Kawasaki Z250SL Review Sharon has been suffering from wind. Hopefully Puig has a screen that can help. But will it be pretty as well as purposeful?
A long Way Up for a Tartan Sausage Upt'North has the regrettable task of riding around the Scottish Highlands in glorious sunshine and having to eat sausages. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.
Summer Holidays Commuting Bliss Even the curmudgeon that is Ren has unwittingly enjoyed a brief moment of the summer holidays. Is there hope or is this just a hiatus?
Upcycled Oil Dispenser In a bid to save the world Ren has saved one small bit of plastic from the world's oceans. Probably spilt more oil than the Exxon Valdez in the process but still.
The Tour-A-Plank Tale Sharon won't let Ren mess up her pretty 250. Ren hates Sharon's luggage. It's a quandary in a problem wrapped up in a conundrum with a dilemma. Ren might have the answer(ish)
Going Home With Elan, Valley The Elan Valley. Over-hyped or actually worthy of it's accolades? Sharon and Ren check it out on their way home.
Honda CBF125 Service Check Short A brief guide to getting the ECU computer error codes out of a Honda CBF125
More Brecon Beacons It's all waterfalls and nature today with a little motorcycling thrown in.
Breathtaking Bute Sharon would like a lazy, laid back and chilled day. Unfortunately she has brought a Ren with her. He's not so bad when he stops flapping.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Fruitless Overtaking Bob said :-
It depends.
If I'm behind a car and I can see there are many more cars in front I might stay put. But if I'm out in the hills and there is just one or two (or three or four) cars then nothing I'll go for the overtake.
Incidentally, on a low powered bike like the KLX I've found the best overtakes are to be had on corners. The sort of corner (typically right handed) where you can clearly see that the road ahead is clear - I've noticed that most people will not attempt an overtake and therefore you are unlikely to get carved up when going for the "nail it and overtake six cars at once" option!
21/8/2019 1:49:34 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Upt'North said :-
I truly believe that one of the joys of motorcycling is not sitting in traffic queues, either stationary or moving. When there's a gap of 4 feet and I'm 3 feet wide then it's an opportunity to make progress. Overtaking in a car is usually pointless because there will nearly always be traffic ahead. Unless of course you're on a dual carriageway etc.
I have been known to pinch a few mph to complete the overtake safely but generally ride around the speed limit. That's when passing those three or four cars by filtering makes good sense, the overtakes are done with and that's got to be safe.
I also think if you are the type that follows other vehicles it is easy to be out of the vision of other vehicles at junctions etc.
Filtering is of course different for all involved, I would like to think I'm a considerate and safe filterer but I will not sit in queues for the sake of it. When filtering I would also normally put the main beam on to increase visibility and that works well.
I find it strange when you're riding up to road works for instance with miles of stationary traffic that some bikes sit in the queue. Why. Safe filtering is not only OK, it's legal.
Just don't filter in Germany. They don't like it, they don't like it a lot.
20/8/2019 5:32:52 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Ian Soady said :-
Nowt wrong with overtaking. But it's recognised as the most dangerous manoeuvre you can carry out on a bike. The combination of high speed, being on the "wrong" side of the road and the difficult-to-resist feeling of "Oh, I can just take one more" often leads to grief - and that's before you factor in other road users who won't be expecting you to whistle past at double their speed (and often on the wrong side of double whites as displayed on a clip on BBC news the other evening).

When I had the mighty Tiger 955i, overtaking was so much easier than it ever had been before (or since). A mere twist of the wrist saw me past the vehicle in front before they'd even noticed me. But it was so tempting to just fit one in before that looming bend which did lead on occasion to arriving at said bend with far too much way on to be comfortable. In any case as said it often only got you to the next queue quicker. The Norton and Guzzi have broadly similar performance characteristics which means overtakes are occasions to be noted and celebrated!

On the other hand, many of the roads in the congested midlands and elsewhere are so clogged that riding becomes a chore.....
20/8/2019 4:23:21 PM UTC
Epilogue - Scotland In Winter Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers Mike. I've come across your blog before once or twice :).

I can find various Exped Synmats on Ebay for around the £70 make which is a bit ouch! But as long as it's reliable and lasts then it may be worth the investment. One for consideration
20/8/2019 3:05:54 PM UTC
Epilogue - Scotland In Winter Mike Taylor said :-
Hi Ren.

I really enjoyed your write up. Hats off to you for camping up here in winter time. That's pretty hardcore. I do some camping trips on the bike, the best thing I've found for sleeping on is an Exped Synmat. They're really expensive but as comfy as my bed at home. If you're interested I've left a link to my own blog for you to check out.

All the best.

20/8/2019 2:19:40 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Ren - The Ed said :-
49hp is more than enough for corruption. Let's face it some politicians ride bicycles...
20/8/2019 12:14:25 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Borsuk said :-
So with only 49 HP I won`t become too corrupted then, Phew, that is a relief.
19/8/2019 11:42:07 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Ren - The Ed said :-
With power comes corruption, with absolute power comes absolute corruption. The more powerful the vehicle the easier the overtake thus encouraging the overtake because it's easy. I'm far far less likely to overtake on the 125 than I am on the 500 for obvious reasons.

I'm just more aware that it's not worth the bother to me if all I'm going to do is gain a few seconds here and there. Same at the lights - why filter to the front passed 3 or 4 cars? If there's a long queue then maybe I will but for a few car lengths? I'll just have a stretch and admire myself in the shop window.
19/8/2019 5:11:21 PM UTC
Fruitless Overtaking Jim said :-
It's a funny one, this. I subscribe 100% to this philosophy when driving my car - no point in exposing yourself to danger to gain one place in the queue that's just round the next corner. I'm teaching my youngest son to drive just now and have given him the same advice. However, I've noticed on the bike I'm much more likely to take on the overtake if it's safe, just because I can. Strange old world.
19/8/2019 4:32:12 PM UTC
CBF 125 Worn Out Clutch Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Cryo, useful stuff :)
19/8/2019 8:48:33 AM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Ross said :-
Ren, you've got mail!

Upt', sorry to hear about the dodgy B&B, Tenterden is one of the nicer towns in the area but can get crowded in summer but is an easy ride to the tunnel...if you go across country on the minor routes there's some good riding roads to be found. ...ummm, I didn't understand what you said at the end there! :/
21/8/2019 8:22:59 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-

Point 1 I'm not a Manc. I live in the Greater Manchester suburbs but I wur born in Yorkshire. This explains why I am both tight and hate football. I av no accent, I spek proper not like rest o you lot.

Point 2 it's not the Frankfurter Trail, more like the Frankenfurter Trail. If you know, you know.

Point 3 I cannot promise to visit Charleville Mezieres but it's on our route. I have found a campsite on the outskirts and added a star to my Google maps. If it proves to be a let down you will be made to pay.
21/8/2019 9:53:09 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ed the Ed, I'm sure you're all planned out with regards your Ed on the Frankfurter Trail (there's a theme building here) but......if you're riding through Northern France, Charleville Mezieres is a fine town once you get through the industrial and suburban sprawl. The very centre of the old town is a little gem of a place and was a real surprise to our good selves a few years back. Metz centre is interesting too but on a bigger scale. Make that much bigger scale. But C M is worth a ride if time and the route allows.
Of course I realise one man's treasure is another's "what a s..t hole".

21/8/2019 9:34:31 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Borsuk, I was talking to a Canadian recently who loves his Scottish ancestry, don't they all, but admitted to watching "Still Game" with the subtitles on. "I just can't understand a word they say". Irony there somewhere.
21/8/2019 9:25:31 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ross, we stopped in Tenterden overnight last year enroute to the Chunnel, nice town but crap b and b.
It's a nice place to stop for a night although I couldn't understand a word they said, thee knoost fathe.
21/8/2019 9:20:28 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Excuse me.......did a Manc just comment on accent. You're fishing for a bite aren't you.
21/8/2019 9:16:01 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
It's a possibility Ross. Don't go handing out your details here on the page otherwise you'll end up with several random reprobates with accents you can't understand!! Drop me a line ren@bikesandtravels.com.
21/8/2019 8:32:27 AM UTC
Ross said :-
Ren said: "I keep it quiet because I don't want a reprobate from the North East turning up at the Channel Tunnel... "

Are you going from the Channel Tunnel? That's just down the road from me...got time for a cuppa on your way through, I'll buy!
21/8/2019 8:28:05 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Glaswegian reprobates? How would anyone know if a Glaswegian was a reprobate or not because no-one can understand a blooming word they say! Need subtitles.
21/8/2019 7:27:51 AM UTC
Borsuk said :-
What about Glaswegian reprobates, are we acceptable?
20/8/2019 6:24:05 PM UTC

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