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?

Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 10 (And 11) It looks as though Armageddon is on Rev. Mick!'s horizon and yet another fine day is to be found on the UK's roads. When you're touring Innova style there's nothing can stop you.
Alas Woe Is Me With a spring in his step and a grin on his face Bogger sets forth for a weekend of fun and frolics with friends. It's just a blummin' good job his friends are incredibly useful and well stocked.
Of Work And Holiday Fears In between working far too hard and the fear of middle aged spread Sharon manages to squeeze into her bike gear and change into holiday mode. It's time to try and forget work and enjoy the ride.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 9 (And Some 8) After trains and repairs Rev. Mick! is back on two wheels. He seems to be having a fabulous time returning to the haunts of his youth.
Sauntering Up To Dumfries It's a slow slow start to this year's Northern Irish adventure. There's no rush and not rushing is something Ren isn't very good at. On the other hand Sharon is so laid back she's horizontal.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 6 (And 7 And 8) Mick is having one of "those" days as his tour of south west England continues. Not to worry, there's still much to see and think about before reaching the haven of family.
The Whyfors Of Our Impending Return Ren unnecessarily tries to justify their return to Northern Ireland. Sharon takes out Ren with a fiscal left hook. Is there any hope?
Northern Ireland Under Grey Skies Join Sharon and Ren on an another trip to Northern Ireland. It ain't the grand European Tour but it is perfectly pleasant. It sure beats working for a living.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 5 Mick finds his way around Dorset using every back road he can find. For himself and the Innova this is a perfect match made in heaven.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 4 Mick receives the soaking of a lifetime before finding the wondrous beauty of Dorset. Beyond that he could tell you but he'd have to kill you.
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Latest Posts

Of Work And Holiday Fears Ian Soady¹ said :-
You're always very welcome as far as I'm concerned Sharon. Although I'm not a fan of magical realism, that quote is very apposite....
25/10/2021 13:44:11 UTC
Repair And Restoration Glyn said :-
It's front fork refurbishment time. The damper rods can be a pig to remove but there's plenty of advice on the web. When removing the retaining bolt the damper itself just spins inside the lower fork arm so I made the pictured tool to restrain it. Simply a 24 mm bolt attached to a rod that drops down to engage in the top of the damper. There's a very little amount of force required, just enough to overcome the locktite on the bolt. It all came apart and was cleaned up. However, when I came to fit the new seals and covers, I had received the 41mm tube items instead of the 38mm used on my pre 2002 Divi. Now I have to wait to sort it out. It could be me ordering the wrong parts but I bought them from a well known supplier and I had to put the details of my bike in, I wouldn't have thought I'd get that wrong, would I?
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25/10/2021 12:18:27 UTC
Of Work And Holiday Fears Sharon said :-
Thanks for the welcome back, much appreciated. When one has been gone awhile you can never be sure if you will be welcome back or you will get a door slammed in your face. But as the author Isabel Allende says “True friendship resists time, distance, and silence.” So I thank you for you true friendship. Yes despite the new temporary job I will always be the bookish librarian at heart so the book quotes shall continue.
24/10/2021 17:13:20 UTC
Repair And Restoration ROD¹ said :-
The linked brakes and servo on the BM are also a challenge.
I have had good results with a length of clear plastic pipe and an old ink cartridge refill syringe.

The same principal as Ren sucking the nipple!

I can't believe I just typed that...

24/10/2021 11:51:41 UTC
Repair And Restoration Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
300 miles for £15? Normally I expect 300 miles from the 125's tank and that's about £13-£15 at the moment. But that doesn't take into account the general wear and tear and running costs of the vehicle. At 94,000 miles I'd also need to include half a litre of oil into my consideration.

I'd suggest sucking really really hard on the bleed nipple. Don't try this in public or when your partner is watching. Don't ask me how I know.
24/10/2021 08:02:59 UTC
Repair And Restoration Glyn said :-
That's a nice offer Ian thank you. However, it does appear that you are a round trip of 300 miles from me down here in Hampshire and so, like you and Ren on the price conscious thing, I'm thinking £15 on the brake tool might be more cost effective than the price of the 35 litres of fuel in the car. It's only Ren that could travel 300 miles for less than £15.
23/10/2021 13:23:57 UTC
Repair And Restoration Ian Soady¹ said :-
I'm almost as much of a cheapskate as Ren.... The trouble is buying a tool for one job then never using it again. If you're anywhere near Redditch you're welcome to borrow mine. It is a bit flimsy but did the job.
23/10/2021 11:28:31 UTC
Repair And Restoration Glyn said :-
I didn't think that price was that bad Ian, I was expecting more when I clicked on the link. Having done 50% of the job (rear calliper), I'll try the old method first and then go from there. I have the front Calliper all rebuilt now but can't refit it because I have the forks out replacing the seals, shims and covers. I had to make a tool to stop the the damper rod turning inside the lower assembly whilst trying to remove the bottom bolt and have managed one side so far. Considering theres only 375mL of oil in each leg its odd that I seem to have about 2 litres all over the garage floor and thats after I emptied the majority of it into the oil bucket that I have for such things.
23/10/2021 08:40:03 UTC
Alas Woe Is Me Upt'North ¹ said :-
Nigel, you must realise that's how you save money......
Good job fuel's cheap.
22/10/2021 11:12:44 UTC
Alas Woe Is Me nab301 said :-
Quote "Ahem, I said well over 70mpg."
Unless my eyes are deceiving me, the air filter looks fairly grubby , ( assuming that's the intake air filter and not some sort of filter for the transmission area) I wonder what it would do to the gallon if you changed it !!.
On the original problem , does the broken belt get jammed in and lock the rear wheel? Not something you'd want to happen on a busy motorway....
22/10/2021 10:56:19 UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Upt'North ¹ said :-
RE have apparently confirmed a 650 Himalayan in two guises, an off road inspired version and a soft tourer(?), but they're two years off. No surprise I know but interesting nonetheless.
25/10/2021 10:20:01 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Enjoy Espania. It may be warmer than Melrose.
Gala and Melrose is a nice area, as I'm sure you know Gala is really just the large town of the Borders, Melrose has a lot of interesting history, Roman history too and some long distance paths go through there. You could ride the A68 all day everyday from Soutra to Corbridge.
The Borders railway also connects Gala to Edinburgh.
We'll have to have a coffee when you visit.

25/10/2021 10:10:02 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
We are flying to Alicante, from Dublin as they decided to dig up the runway at Cork, I did muse why not during Covid?.

It is just pre trip nerves, it always happens, once 100m up the road it all drops away and I am dealing with being on a trip.

Innova put to bed and wrapped up. We have step throughs hired out there. There is just miles and miles of limestone mountains in the Costa Blanca, very quiet smooth country roads, great rock scrambles, Via Ferrata and Hill walking.

Oh UptNorth. Daughter has just first NHS permanent job in The Borders Region, based in Galashielsand Melrose, so I am looking forward to an Innova trip over. Will have to pick your brains as to great rides. Have an uncle in Consett to visit too. The area looks amazing and somewhere I have sadly missed. Usually I am heading North for the highlands or South from the highlands. More rolling hills and lots of trees and rivers.

Spain first though and 27° sun on my tired old bones.
25/10/2021 09:14:54 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
KiwiJeff. Firstly I approve of using the garage as a kitchen, this brings the important kettle much closer to the motorcycle, thus reducing time wasted traversing between the two while tinkering. You are however at risk of having the garage "decorated" with unnecessary accoutrements such as "home sweet home" pictures and a "nice" tablecloth being placed over the tool cabinet. Do not allow this, it's the thin end of the wedge.

If your partner in crime is reticent about having the Bandit in the shiny new kitchen, why not place it in the living room instead? Obviously you're lucky to have a garage but we know motorcycles deserve nothing but the best. I'm sure you would feel better knowing the Bandit is warm, dry and secure in the living room? Even better - try the bedroom!

As before though, do not allow fitment of "nice" things. Cushions are especially dangerous.
24/10/2021 11:43:00 UTC
KiwiJeff said :-
I have the best kitchen ornament at the moment one Bandit centre stage. House kitchen bare walls as has been gutted and awaiting new kitchen tomorrow so garage converted to kitchen. Ren should be pleased we have all the camping gear and he can be assured we have camped a lot and know how to do everything on a Ren budget! My next problem is how to have the Bandit centre stage in the new swish kitchen I dont fancy my chances the TI will have strong opinions about that plan no doubt.

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24/10/2021 08:55:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Is it excitement or fear Rev. Mick!? Or a bit of both? Where are you off to?

Much as it pains me, the future of motorcycling is uncertain. What is certain is this too shall pass. Horses were once the only form of transport, now they are consigned to very expensive pets ridden once a week for leisure. Motorcycles are still transport in poorer countries but to us they're much like metal horses. Expensive toys ridden once a week for leisure.

I see in my lifetime the end of petrol powered motorcycles as a common sight. Will they be replaced with electric/ hydrogen/nuclear/dilithium powered 2 wheelers? I hope so but I could see the safety lobby putting an end to public use on the roads.

The future is uncertain. Maybe we won't have roads any more? Maybe we'll teleport or digitise ourselves. We'll be flying around in our personal pods. Who knows but in the meantime I'm just gonna ride what I got while I'm allowed.

I'll be sat in my rocking chair boring the young ones with tales - "when I wur a lad we used to travel at 70mph on hard unpadded tarmac roads on two wheeler contraptions suspended on rubber balloons. We 'ad liquid high explosive between us legs over a metal engine running at 500 degrees. Parts were moving and changing direction 100s of times a second and at any time they could all just disintegrate. Other road users may not see you and cut across your path. Kids these days, don't know they're born!"
24/10/2021 08:36:12 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Well fellow BaTs, I am switching into trip mode. It was all and idea not long ago something that's a nice thought but it ages away. Now the plane is actually leaving Dublin on Wednesday. We've hired S******s for two weeks even top boxes. Via Ferrata, Rock Scrambles, summits and sun and nice food. As my good friend said what could possibly go wrong!

I hate the bit before setting off, three months ago thinking about getting at up at 04.30 to get on plane but that's next Tuesday night. Also I want to be off now. Herself always tells me she has lost me there weeks ago when I am off.
23/10/2021 00:16:15 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Well fellow BaTs, I am switching into trip mode. It was all and idea not long ago something that's a nice thought but it ages away. Now the plane is actually leaving Dublin on Wednesday. We've hired S******s for two weeks even top boxes. Via Ferrata, Rock Scrambles, summits and sun and nice food. As my good friend said what could possibly go wrong!

I hate the bit before setting off, three months ago thinking about getting at up at 04.30 to get on plane but that's next Tuesday night. Also I want to be off now. Herself always tells me she has lost me there weeks ago when I am off.
23/10/2021 00:16:14 UTC
KiwiJeff said :-
Had a laugh about your museum comment Glyn maybe we are all going to end up with shed ornaments eventually or garage queens as they call them in the States hopefully not to soon, the fun police can't take all activities away! I'm waiting for Ren to wake up and explode about having to buy a noise and emission compliant exhaust for the rusted out straight through pipe on his long suffering CBF. Now where's my tin hat and face shield for the flying spittle and froth!
22/10/2021 22:55:59 UTC
Glyn said :-
I don't think my 1997 Divy exhaust system twin silencer system ever had any Cat parts fitted. When the innards are so rotted away that they are blasted out the end they certainly wouldn't pass any emmisions test anyway. If all that is true the new silencers I've purchased will certainly by quieter than the originals and so may not attract the attention of Mr Plod. As a 24 year old bike with no original exhaust parts available what is one to do? I'm hoping for grandfather rights here, failing that I have to start a museum.
22/10/2021 21:02:32 UTC
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