Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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

Ren's dirty and well used CB500X covered in camping kit

Autumn is upon us as the nights draw in and the weather changes. Is it time to put the bikes to bed for the winter? No of course not! It's not like Ren's bike could get any dirtier could it.

What's New?

A Better Bolt In the interest of moaning Ren gripes about the means of tightening bolts. In the interest of being positive maybe he's found the solution too.
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 3 After a 4 year rest (blimey) Mark decides the GN125 could do with another ride out. But where to go? North. Way North. Way way way North.
Thank You For The Curse Ren is having a minor issues with gaseous leaks. Never one to take responsibility for his own actions, guess who he's blaming for his predicament?
The Wonder Of The West Coast Andy is up on the West Coast of The Scottish Highlands now, and it shows with his achingly beautiful pictures.
CBF125 Rear Tyre And Chain Again Fancy an existential crisis? Or a moan about "professionals"? If you're lucky there might be something about tyres and chains inbetween, but don't hold your breath.
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 2 Mark rather enjoyed his Highland trip on the Suzuki 125, so why not go just a little bit further this time? Maybe dip a toe into Europe?
To Fix Or Not To Fix Or How To Fix Ren's CBF125 has a drink problem. It's taste for oil is reaching the point of at least considering doing something about it. Should he, and if so what should he do?
Bealach na Bà Ain't So Bad Andy is making his excuses for a late start today, but it's all self-inflicted. It's time to be overwhelmed by the not really scary Applecross road.
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 1 Mark has quite an exotic history of powered 2 wheeled velocipedes when a humble 125 crosses his path. Reluctantly he takes it for a little spin to see what it's like.
Big Trips On A Small Bike Mark has a story to tell...
See More What's New

Latest Posts

To Fix Or Not To Fix Or How To Fix Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I remember you telling us the tale of some bike you re-ringed and it killed the crank Bob.

Thing is - was it the additional compression or was the crank already struggling? These are the things we'll never know without CSI levels of scientific investigation. As for Chinese metallurgy they seem to have gotten it right on Sharon's Keeway. Admittedly though this may not apply to a (very) cheap piston and rings of unknown origin.

I do agree with the good low mileage engine. Buuuuuuut looking at the rest of the bike...
20/2/2020 10:29:43 AM UTC
Thank You For The Curse Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Bill - yes I have been grunting and groaning for a good number of years now. Simply standing up involves at least an "urgh!" if not and "eeeoooourgh!". What puzzles me is I never actually chose for this to happen, I never noticed it becoming a thing until it was too late and it became a thing. It just crept up on me without so much as an "excuse me".

As for Ren's tyre repairs. I need legal assistance. You see being a cheapskate and a bodger means I don't wish to offer any warranty of comeback on the repairs. Otherwise I'll be bankrupted within the first few days.

As for tyre furniture there might be some mileage (sic) in that! I need to invest in a new blade for the jigsaw, oh and the best way to chop a tyre in half is with an angle grinder. How do I know this? Experience boy, experience. Smells like burnouts when you grind them though.
20/2/2020 10:25:11 AM UTC
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 3 Upt'North said :-
Gud on ya Mark. Nice write up.
20/2/2020 9:22:53 AM UTC
To Fix Or Not To Fix Or How To Fix Bob said :-
If you put a new top end on it you'll knock the crank out in very few miles - been there and done that - a tired old crank under a new piston with all that lovely compression.
I wouldn't put a chinese aftermarket piston in it anyway, it's all in the metallurgy (which I don't think they get to a large extent).
A good low miles engine is what you want. It'll only take a morning to fit and your set.
19/2/2020 3:15:32 PM UTC
Honda CB1100RS Review Chris said :-
Hi Tom,
I know I'm late to this party but just read your review of your bike.

I've been pouring over youtube videos and tests and can honestly say that the press launches are crap reviews all on the same bike they all take turns on and filmed in the same place in spain even the video shots are same at different points just the mcn guy or bennetts ins guy, visor down guy riding on the CB1100rs,all have read the spiele and all sound the same,there all out there on the jolly nothing wrong with that but i realised years ago if its a review you want ask a rider or two in a bike park,and get a test ride.

Your review spoke to me rather better,and I must say it chimed with my own bike journey of 41 years.
I still have a pack of classic sport bikes I've a TL1000sv original full power and can say that the handling issues were bogus,the uk press were the only ones who complained about the issue,Now i also have a fire blade 954rr a legend of a bike but beware They shake their heads far worse than any tl under full throttle,Didn't hear about that in the press did you.

7 years ago my wife decided that she wanted to get on the back again but she just hates the seating position on sports bikes,so asked me to get a 70's style retro like our old z650/4 kawa.

i found a great little Rear Suzuki GSX750w Inazuma,86 horse,220kg great seat,and very old school retro (my mates instantly stopped ringing me to go on rides with them)I learned to ride and look at the scenery again,i now ride the type of roads you have started using and enjoy this bike in a much different and enjoyable way.
my problem is slowing down after years of hooning around,I'm not cured completely its a work in progress,reality struck though when a 25 year old guy we were riding with, himself up front lost his front wheel on a dirty bend and ended up under a 4x4 ,4 of us trying in vain to revive him.
It's never put me off riding and it has not really slowed me down but 9 years later i'm still working on it.But the point is my old GSX is brilliant kit.
Today i spent my (low pay out) private pension money,every penny, i've just bought a Honda CB1100RS,the wife sat on it and likes the way she can swing a leg over easy,the seats a bit roomier, its going to get 1 tooth down on the front sprocket and two up on the back to cure the lack of pull.
It's an old timers instant performance hit, all bikes should do it,all mine have it, there all geared up high to get them through the noise regs, best mod you can do and its cheap.So on that basis i hope my new CB1100rs is going to be ok,If not its your fault.Do you Still Have It? Chris.
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19/2/2020 12:15:45 PM UTC
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 3 Ian Soady said :-
Great report and pics - many thanks. Sounds exhausting!
18/2/2020 11:10:21 AM UTC
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 3 Mark Noel said :-

Actually, no. When I was there Scandinavia was experiencing record summer temperatures, typically 20C each day. I was walking in shorts and T shirt most of the time (much to the delight of the mosquitoes), although it was very much colder at night. I had to cross several snowfields where the surface was rock hard.

This far north the ground is permanently frozen because the mean annual temperature is below zero. As a result the soil is heaved into hummocky polygons which I had read about in textbooks but never seen in life.

Trekking here in winter is a very serious proposition and would require winter-grade shorts and a much thicker T shirt. Still, it could be fun though!
18/2/2020 11:03:28 AM UTC
Big Trips On A Small Bike: Part 3 Snod said :-
It's nice and everything but innit a bit cold like?
17/2/2020 10:13:31 PM UTC
Thank You For The Curse Bill said :-
If the tyre shop doesn't take off you could give this a try
17/2/2020 8:49:16 PM UTC
Thank You For The Curse Bill said :-
Ren, have you started making a noise when you get up from the chair?
It's not a specific age I known some grumpy old sub 40 year olds it's a state of mind.

When will you be opening Rens tyre repairs as you are not taking over Norton?
17/2/2020 8:08:48 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Jim said :-
Cheers for that info Ren - looking at a used Triumph. I'll post more later.
19/2/2020 9:53:54 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I've only been there twice in my life but there's a couple of things that might help. They are owned by MotoGB who also own - ahem - Millenium Motorcycles (St Helens), Orrel Motorcycles, Preston Superbikes, Bolton Motorcycles, Wigan Motorcycles, In2Moto (Warrington) and probably a few others I haven't remembered. While part of a group the shops do seem to be individually in competition with each other - within reason.

MotoGB are the importers for Sym and Royal Enfield and several other names. They're a big business.

What bike or at least brand are you looking at Jim, and are you looking new or used?
18/2/2020 4:01:24 PM UTC
Jim said :-
Hey folks - does anyone have any experience of Robinsons of Rochdale? Thinking about buying a bike from them.
18/2/2020 2:44:18 PM UTC
Snod said :-
£5 a night and £1 a litre is actually more than I expected, I thought it was dirt cheap out there?
17/2/2020 9:38:38 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
Our current location, Oualida
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17/2/2020 4:28:33 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
Our current location, Oualida
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17/2/2020 4:28:33 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
It not quite what I thought it would be.
There is a damn site more greenery than expected. We are currently going down the west coast and there is a major dedesertification programme going on. So far the only sand I have seen is on the beaches. Most of the towns we have stayed at have discovered tourism is an industry and are upgrading the main streets and seafront areas to bring in more tourists. I have been to other parts of Africa over the years but this is the first time as a tourist, it is a lot more civilised than downtown Lagos or Luanda.
Even the local driving is not as manic as I expected, no worse than Spain in my opinion and a lot more sensible than Trinidad where they build a car around the loudest horn they can find then just press the accelerator and horn at the same time and ignore the traffic laws.
Diesel is around 90p a litre, petrol a pound, Local food and camping prices are cheap, average £10 a night for a TT and 2 people including electromactrikery. Place we are at just now is £5 per tent for one person, i think, another £4 per person extra. Most places we've been are flat rate for tents I think, cant say I have really looked.

Upt, by ICE do you mean the stereo in the van or the Wife. :-).
17/2/2020 4:21:34 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Aaah Morocco. What are you making of Morocco? I am told it is a happy stepping stone away from Western culture but not TOO deep into African culture? You agree? And yes you are having far too much fun Borsuk, we'll not be having any of that happiness or pleasure here on Bikes And Travels! Sort yourself out man.

Storm Dennis didn't do much here in the grimy North West although the news tells me it caused more havoc in Wales and Yorkshire. Any issues up your end Upt'?
17/2/2020 9:11:03 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
In Morocco? In the TT with an ICE.
You're having way too much fun Borsuk.
I bet it's blummin warm too, we've even got a storm named DENNIS to endure, I mean Dennis?
15/2/2020 9:34:59 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
Yes the half van things. I am currently in Morocco. They are everywhere here, from simple trailer versions to full tuktuk types.
The wife and I are touring in the (cover your eyes upt, ) SPTT.
15/2/2020 8:13:04 PM UTC
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