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

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?

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.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 13 In typical chilled out fashion Rev. Mick! is making his way slowly towards the ferry. There's still plenty of time to explore ever more back roads and to dine well. It's a hard life.
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Latest Posts

Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad Bogger said :-
Aye I've seen it me old cocker. Did give it a bit of thought, but decided on the plain old Forza 350.I can always change it at some point if need be.

I await Rens 'You've got too much money Bogger'. If only, if only eh?

24/01/2022 16:43:40 UTC
Ere Dad, I Got It Wrong Again Dad David Barwick said :-
Hey Mr Bogger,

Have you not seen the new honda 350 adv? only £100. more (new) than your Forza 350.
May be still time to change your (pre-order) mind?
Only negative I can see, only 3-colour choices (adv) v 5 (Forza)
The new model has up-graded suspension, with double fork-yokes (single on Forza)
looks like a much better all-rounder (made in Honda-Italia) scoot.

David Barwick, Norfolk.
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24/01/2022 10:38:40 UTC
CB500X Beginner Bike? Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The terror and trauma of seeing my muddy machine has caused you to fall off the wagon Bogger? I suspect my bike is a scapegoat, it'll be the excitement of getting that new 350 scoot you can't cope with.
24/01/2022 08:37:16 UTC
CB500X Beginner Bike? Bogger said :-
Still trying to recover from the shock of it all to be honest. However I did get a delightful present from Sharon.

Bogger....Back on the drink again
23/01/2022 15:59:39 UTC
Time To Go Home Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yeah, you wanna be more careful about what ya sayin Upt'. I'm gettin a hankering for a ride and I'm wondering if Northumberland might be a suitable destination. You might find yourself with a dirty CB500X dripping chain lube on your driveway.

Hmmmm... I'ma gunna see if I still have your email address...
21/01/2022 19:01:03 UTC
Time To Go Home Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, glad the other 5 could put up with you.
We also like Dumphries and Galloway. Very underrated by many and unvisited by many more; who will claim to "have done" Scotland.
Nights are opening up Ed, won't be long now, it's 4.40 pm on the 55th parallel and still light. Blummin lovely.
21/01/2022 16:31:23 UTC
Inspiration elliot calderbank said :-
glad i found this page Ren.

21/01/2022 09:42:58 UTC
CB500X Beginner Bike? Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
My current CB500X was purchased Nov '19 with about 750 miles on the clock (ex-demo). It's just about to get it's first MOT this morning and it's at 18,180 miles. So I've had it, what, errr... 2 years 3 months give or take. The valve check is only due at 16k but because I'm STUPID I checked them at 8k and 16k. I'll check them again now at say 25k and then probably every 12-20k after that.

While it's only 3 years old because I'm not the cleaning polishing type and it gets used in any weather - it looks like it's 10 years old already. Sharon and I visited Bogger last weekend and when he sees my bike it causes him actual tangible physical and emotional pain.
21/01/2022 08:44:13 UTC
CB500X Beginner Bike? Marv said :-
How many miles has yours covered now, Ren?

If you've checked the valve clearances twice, then it must have covered some decent miles.
20/01/2022 21:46:16 UTC
CB500X Beginner Bike? Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes Marv, it makes sense. How much of what we feel is cold hard fact and how much is in our head? Our senses are easily deceived by our mood and out beliefs. That's one hell of a picture and I really really REALLY wanna go ride!
19/01/2022 09:39:48 UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat 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
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I hate to say this Ian but the shop assistant in question has been there a very long time - so much so I wouldn't be surprised if he was the owner, if not perhaps a member of the family. Definitely not a spotty teenager fresh outta skool.
21/01/2022 08:46:18 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
You pay peanuts you get....
20/01/2022 11:54:50 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Local car parts shop today. It's been there for donkey's years. I'm buying a small bottle of DOT4 but checking out their oils...
Shop assistant - "Hey mate, can I help?"
Ren - "Just gerrin some DOT4 - what 10-40s ya got?"
Shop assistant - "WD-40?
Ren - "No, 10w40."
Shop assistant - "Don't get asked for that much these days, we got these... Wassit fer?"
Ren - "Me motorbike."
Shop assistant - "Ahhh, ya mean 4 stroke oil."
Ren - "???"
Shop assistant - "You want 4 stroke oil don't ya? We got this." Shows me a small bottle marked "SAE30 4-Stroke" (for lawnmowers etc).
Ren - "These are all 4 stroke oils, your 0w30, 5w30, 10w30..."
Shop assistant - "Yeah, no, this is 4-stroke, it says here see, these others are all car oils"
Ren - "Really?!?!"
Shop assistant - "Been working here since I was 16 mate, I've learned a few things."
Ren - "I'll, errr, ahem. I'll just take this DOT4 please."

18/01/2022 18:46:09 UTC
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