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!

2 motorcycles with luggage with stunning Welsh mountains in the background

Spring has sprung, now we have a few months of warm pleasant rain to enjoy after the cold and miserable rain of winter. What excitement and adventures will this year bring?

What's New?

Prologue - Galloway Coast 2023 The wheres and whys are explained in Ren's usual "looking for excuses" style. There's method to his madness, if only he could explain.
Exploring The Galloway Coast The Title page for The Dynamic Muppet's short break to Galloway's coast. What can be learned with just 4 nights in this area?
Heading Home Day 2 It's the final day's short ride home which means Ren's reflecting upon the Devonian excursion. Before that there's a village in need of some looking at and tea to be drunk.
Heading Home Day 1 The real holiday is over, it's time to do the bit that no-one really wants to do and that's go home. England is a lovely place but sometimes you're just not in the mood.
40mph Everywhere Are we becoming a nation of dawdlers and if so, is this really a bad thing? Ren mulls over the need for speed versus the modern driver.
2 Days Of Nothing With bad weather, ill health and camping frustrations this could be a disaster. Luckily it turns out to be more of a damp squib really.
A Key And A Quay With the weather hanging on in there it's ride time again. Ren manages to accidentally find somewhere nice before leading them all astray. Not to worry, there's cake.
North Devon Sat-Nav Adventure On the first day exploring North Devon Ren manages to lead the merry crew into the non touristy bits of the the Exmoor coastal area. This ain't no country for Harleys.
You Only See The Interesting Bits Is your life dull and uninteresting? Yeah, most people's lives are, it's just that they only tell you the interesting bits. Except for some folks, they tell you the boring bits too.
Dawdling Into Devon Another easy day's ride sees the Dynamic Muppets into the delights of Devon. There's a mish-mash of roads to negotiate and the weather ain't helping.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Prologue - Galloway Coast 2023 Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
We have been. You too will have to wait to see what we found there.
25/09/2023 18:42:54 UTC
Prologue - Galloway Coast 2023 Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ahhhhh, D and G, lovely indeed and like you say very manageable from the Midlands area.
There used to be a good butchers in Creetown and the Galloway Smokehouse do some great hot smoked fish, the cafe does some cracking lunches too. I seem to remember buying venison from Willy's (?) in Creetown one Christmas but my whisky haddled cells may have that wrong.
Have you been or are you going. I hear there's a storm brewing.

25/09/2023 15:55:46 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog Ian Soady¹ said :-
If ,you washed your bike less often than Ren you'd be into negative territory which is an interesting philosophical question....
23/09/2023 16:37:55 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog said :-
The Hunter looks interesting, too. I wonder how the Royal Enfields' finishes would hold up to the sort of care Ren bestowed upon his 125. I suspect my bike would suffer similar treatment, albeit with less mechanical sympathy, fewer washes, and more infrequent servicing.

I also wonder about parts availability, especially in the long term.

I've just seen it's possible to buy a new Meteor for £3399, which is only £100 more than the used one I sat on, and a new one would have a 3-year warranty and bike recovery service. However, I'm still thinking along the lines of a used Inazuma or Z250SL or similar for now.
23/09/2023 12:22:49 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I've gotten my eye on the Hunter too Scot-in-Exile. On paper the Z250SL wipes the floor against it with 6 more BHP and about 30 kilos less to drag around. However numbers don't give the full picture, I'm hearing good reports with the bike having great character and being a delight to ride. It's all about what you're looking for, if you want to take the motorway to the south of France in a day you want a Gold Wing or big BMW. If you want to look around and see things and places and take it all in then the Hunter will do perfectly. And it'll have enough oomph to get you there and back well enough.
22/09/2023 18:59:41 UTC
Prologue - Galloway Coast 2023 Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Aha Scot-in-Exile - you will have to wait in antici......pation to see if Sharon and I managed to stumble across the A710. Admittedly it seems quite likely as you HAVE to use the A710 to get to Kippford where we had the static booked.
22/09/2023 18:53:24 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog Scot-in-Exile said :-
As a Royal Enfield owner (New Classic and Hunter, I can say that all bikes with the J series 350 engine are much livelier than the average 125. Top speed is governed by a limiter at 71 mph, although I believe this is not fitted to the Hunter, which is much lighter than the Meteor and New Classic and therefore will be quicker to reach its upper limits.
These engines are very tractable and continue to loosen up once past the initial running-in period of around 1200 miles. As long as you are not looking for a motorway machine they are very capable, and so far, in my experience reliable machines.
22/09/2023 18:19:53 UTC
Prologue - Galloway Coast 2023 Scot-in-Exile said :-
D&G has sooo much to offer. Try the A710 coastal road, sandy beaches, castles, ace grub. It’s all there waiting to be found.
22/09/2023 18:07:52 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog Upt'North ¹ said :-
If you still have problems with your glasses check these out.
The constructor full lens works well in a helmet and comes in different strengths.
22/09/2023 16:23:39 UTC
Sharon's Biking Blog David said :-
Thanks again.

You and Sharon made a nice job of the fan protector, Ren, and it sounds like the bike has been reliable other than that. The smooth power delivery sounds good, too. Perhaps the bike would be too small, though. I'll just need to try it for size. I had hoped to get away tomorrow, but it looks like it will be another week or two before I get some time to wander around a bike shop.

I did have a sit on an old BMW R1150RS, but it wasn't in great condition, and it's probably not the wisest choice for a returning biker. It's also likely to be expensive to run (tyres, road tax and fuel economy etc), and it's quite a heavy old lump.

I also sat on a used Royal Enfield Meteor 350. I can't remember much about the physical bike, but watching some online reviews it appears to have similar performance to a 125, albeit with a bit more torque. I think it will get to 60mph on the clock and be happy sitting there, but although top speed is supposed to be an indicated 70mph it looks like it will struggle to get there, and won't hold that speed going up hills or into headwinds. I'm not too fussed about top speed (I've also been considering smaller capacity bikes) but I think it might be borderline too slow when riding on A roads. I was thinking the Inazuma might be a decent compromise - not too fast, but able to mix it with traffic on most roads.

Anyway, I'm keeping an open mind for now! I'll also look at the Versus 300 Upt'North mentioned.

Last time I couldn't get a helmet to fit with my glasses, but I now have different glasses, so I'm a bit more hopeful.
22/09/2023 15:01:33 UTC
See More Comments

Latest Repair-Chat

Go To Repair-Chat Ian Soady¹ said :-
I had a Boyer on my Norton Commando and it was great - well most of the time. I did go off it on a French trip where I spent hours trying to find a carb fault which turned out to be a poor contact on the horrible pre-insulated crimped bullets which Boyer saw fit to use. Actually, I'm having a déja vu moment as I've just gone through a very similar process with the XBR. I was convinced it was a carburation problem till the bloke who recovered me when I'd broken down told me it was the CDI when I described the symptoms.

As Nigel says, earlier versions of the Boyer system like the one on my Norton did default to full advance with low battery but I understand the later digital ones have cured this.
05/09/2023 11:41:18 UTC
nab301 said :-
Interesting comments on the workings of cdi units . Ian mentioned Boyer units and while I never used them I know plenty who have on more modern Enfield singles which were equipped from the factory with points ignition until the mid noughties. Strangely , from what I've read about these units they appear to revert to full advance if battery voltage is low which can be problematic for legs/ ankles if kickstarting or sprag clutches if using an electric starter.
04/09/2023 12:49:48 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I think there are at least 3 ways to detect engine speed:

1. Measure the peak voltage from the pulser coil as Ren suggests.
2. Time the length of the pulse.
3. Measure the attack slope of the pulse ie how long it takes from 0 volts to maximum.

I'm sure all of these can be incorporated into the hardware quite easily (although personally have no idea of how) and probably can be adjustable by using appropriate varfiable resistors.
04/09/2023 11:26:18 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
So CDI. If the pickup is set to say MAX advance, say 40 degrees BTDC, the CDI receives the trigger pulse at 40 degrees BTDC. Now without the use of a microchip the circuitry has to delay the spark, to say 7 degrees at idle. I'm certainly no electronics expert but the only logical way to "read" the revs without a microchip would be the current/voltage from the coils. Low current/voltage = tickover, high current/voltage = high revs.

The capacitor is only allowed to discharge and cause the spark at a certain level of "fullness". Low current/voltage charges the capacitor slowly, takes longer to reach a certain value. High current/voltage charges the capacitor quicker. Hence the slower revs creates less charge which creates more retardation.

I'm sure a real electronics expert will be able to explain how I'm wrong.
04/09/2023 08:06:30 UTC
Glyn said :-
And that's the way our little group works, they'll never get any of my money and will never understand why they go out of business in the end. They probably just buy in and sell out without ever understanding the product very well. It's this brave new world apparently that relies on the Ponzi scheme stipulating that there's an endless supply of punters. In my day, the hardest thing to get was the customers so you had to treat them well. Advertising is easy nationwide or even global now so access to the buyers is far easier and cheaper... Remember the days of Yellow pages?
02/09/2023 18:14:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Ooooooft! Yes how rude. One has to assume one of 2 things - either they have sufficient business to not worry about upsetting customers - or they're on the way to closing and don't care about upsetting customers.
02/09/2023 10:29:45 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
01/09/2023 18:27:56 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Oh, Carmo, the supplier has now told me never to order from them again. I will have no difficulty complying.
01/09/2023 11:12:26 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Yes they do have advance as the signal that triggers them has no advance mechanism (at least on the ones I'm familiar with). I don't know how it works but suspect that it is a retarding function rather than advancing as how can it advance before it gets the signal? I believe that some devices work on the time difference between the positive and negative pulse. They are pretty complicated beasts inside I understand and my knowledge of electronics is far too limited to know.

There are essentially 2 main types: AC where the unit receives AC powwer from the alternator and internally rectifies it (like my XBR) and DC where it's powered by the battery (like the Boyer Bransden units beloved (or not) of Norton Commando and Triumph twin riders).

The diagrams below may inform......
Posted Image
01/09/2023 10:15:08 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yep, more or less what I'd have expected too Ian.

Now someone somewhere mentioned advance on CDIs. Do CDIs have advance? It is my (albeit limited) understanding that CDIs are incredibly simple things. The coils in the stator charge the Capacitor, then a trigger (typically on the alternator rotor) triggers the charged capacitor to discharge into the coils hence the spark.
31/08/2023 18:26:47 UTC

Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat nab301 said :-
Ian, the flexi exhaust look much better than I'd imagined it would when you mentioned it a while back .
26/09/2023 17:17:39 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
timing side.
Posted Image
26/09/2023 16:26:49 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Looks better with the silencers aligned with the top frame tubes. That flexi tubing is great!
Posted Image
26/09/2023 16:25:48 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I think it looks very smart Ian, I agree about the purist comment, these things from new would have been fettled and bent from day one.
I can't see why the carb once set up won't do the job.
Good work fella.

26/09/2023 11:08:32 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Mostly pleasure but sometimes pain. I'm hoping it will be a nice light bike for ambling around the local lanes. And who cares what the purists think?
26/09/2023 09:59:21 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well that carburettor and flexi-zorst ain't gunna cut the mustard with the purists! Do you plan to enter into some pre-something-or-other trials? Or is this just for the sheer pleasure of doing it?
25/09/2023 20:03:04 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
The other side. Again just loosely assembled. I've also put some oil in the tank and turning the engine over with the kickstart seems to show it flowing - certainly on the return side.
Posted Image
25/09/2023 16:59:40 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
A bit more progress on the Tri-Greeves. Oil tank all sorted out and plumbed in (pics to follow as it's on the other side). Chain fitted - it needed a cranked (half) link which was difficult to find. Chinese Mikuni copy carb fitted - no idea whether it will work but the correct monobloc is in a right state and this was only £16 delivered from China. But the major step forward is starting work on the exhaust - this is the left (drive) side one with the polylock flexible section inserted and a "chopper pot" silencer. I did try a chrome one but it made everything else look too scruffy.

The exhaust is in place but not finally snugged down but I'm pleased with the look and I think I can see how to sort the rear brake pedal out.
Posted Image
25/09/2023 16:03:06 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Nab 301,
I live down by Dingle in Kerry. I think if I started driving Indian style it would scare the living Bejaysus out of everyone.
That said I have seen some very strange driving in Dingle on occasion. There used to be an Auld fella, now dead, who would turn down Main Street as he had always done despite it being made one way up hill only.
Living it up in a lounge in Delhi Airport. Seven hours till LHR plane.
19/09/2023 15:40:58 UTC
nab301 said :-
@ Rev. Mick , I don't know, apart from the oncoming traffic on a Dual way It seems a bit like Ireland to me! although the powers that be don't seem to rate it badly from a legislative point of view .
Southern Ireland, Driving offences incurring penalty points, see link below with lots of other inconsistencies.

Speeding , 3 points and €160 Euro fine rising to €320 euro if not paid on time
Driving against traffic flow on motorway, 2 Points and €80 euro fine rising to 160 Euro.
Failure to turn left entering a roundabout 1 point and €60 euro fine
I haven't met any oncoming vehicles ( yet ) on motorways but I have met vehicles travelling the wrong way around large roundabouts or on the link roads under motorways.
19/09/2023 14:57:20 UTC
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