Looking along a long straight road amidst lush green farmland

Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

...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?

Benelli Leoncino 500 Brief Ride Review A long look and a short ride on Benelli's Leoncino 500. There's a lot to like for the price.
Considering The Alps If you're into exploring but not big miles then how do you explore far away places? Ren ponders his options including one daydream and one entirely unmentionable.
CBF125 Servicing - Again Just another service on the CBF125. It begs the question - something's got to give it's just what and when.
Exploring Arran and The Mull Of Kintyre There's wildlife and scenery aplenty for Andy as he explores Arran and The Kintyre Peninsula. "Mixed" weather is keeping him on his toes though.
Sympathy For The Clutch Ren is issuing a Christmas Appeal - SAVE A CLUTCH! I'm sure he'd welcome all donations for his favourite charity - himself.
Whoops! Ren spends the morning humouring a salesman. Then he sets himself up for a fall. Spot the idiot.
UK And The Epilogue After an early start the Muppets return to good old Blighty where they catch up with BAT reader Ross. Poor Ross, he doesn't know what he's gotten himself into.
Bad Weather, Brilliant Roads Andy's first proper ride into Scotland is proving to be a cracker even if the weather is dire.
Familiarity And Food As the end of the trip draws near the surroundings become familiar. But will the Dynamic Muppets survive without sustenance?
Trouble, Tired And Transport There's trouble this morning so it's not the best start. Throw in a grumpy Sharon and a scowling local and you have another day on the road.
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Latest Posts

Benelli Leoncino 500 Brief Ride Review Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Jeeez! Ya can't win. Stick the caps where they're accessible and you have to worry about them going walkabout. Stick them where you need universally jointed limbs, more tools than a workshop and a degree in spacial dynamics and everyone moans about access.

An no you can't say knob, someone might be offended. Call it a cap, no, someone might think it's a baseball cap with a rude logo on in. Call it a "threaded retention item with indentations to assist manual operation for a fluid retaining vessel".
7/12/2019 7:22:30 PM UTC
Considering The Alps Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Borsuk - I spek reet proper English I does. It's you posh folks as ruin it fer us commoners.

According to the actual bona-fide LOG BOOK V5 I can tow 950kg braked, 730kg unbraked. There are countless charts out there and countless rules. I'm going off what the log book says as that is from them Government people, not that they know what they're doing...

If I broke my bike on a trailer I'd be upset. If I broke Sharon's bike on a trailer then I wouldn't need to worry about it because I'd be dead. This is the primary reason I WILL NOT be making a trailer as per Ian's suggestion. I'm happy with DIY handguards and mudflaps and the like but a trailer? If that goes wrong it could go horrible, terribly wrong.

The Motolug does have suspension.

As stated Sharon wouldn't leave her daughter unless everything was OK. In an ideal world Beth has surgery, Beth recovers from surgery, Beth's a bit wobbly for a few months, Beth improves and Sharon feels happy to travel. If Sharon ain't happy we'll be just having days out in Wales. But yes, Scotland is just amazeballs ain't it. And yes, avoid the NC500 in peak periods otherwise you might as well go to Blackpool. There's a lot of Scotland that ain't the NC500 and is staggeringly achingly beautiful.

7/12/2019 7:14:57 PM UTC
Considering The Alps Upt'North said :-
Yes the NC500 covers some beautiful areas and is well worth a visit.
Personally we wait for the decent weather to be forecast and then head North which precludes riding the 500 because of its popularity.
Thankfully Scotland is a big place with lots of quiet spots which are to our mind more in keeping with the bonny wee Scotland of our memories.

7/12/2019 6:37:38 PM UTC
Considering The Alps ROD said :-
Ross, A quick look at the towing capacity for Ren's car shows 1000kg for a braked trailer and for an unbraked trailer as the one in Ren's picture it is 680kg, so towing weights should not be a problem.
The speed restriction in the UK when towing a trailer is 50mph on single carriageway roads and 60mph on dual carriageway roads and motorways. The speed limit in France is now 50mph on single carriageway roads and it seems that vehicles towing a trailer can travel at the same speed, so the restrictions are not that bad.
The trailer tyres must be set at the correct pressure for the load that is being carried, or the trailer bounces around and shakes whatever is being carried. This is more important when carrying light weight loads as your neighbour's push bikes.

Upt'North, I really must get myself up to Scotland next year. I have not been for a few years now, and fancy the NC500.
7/12/2019 6:15:41 PM UTC
Benelli Leoncino 500 Brief Ride Review Snod said :-
Ohhh I see it now, yes. Perfect to be nicked by kids, just like the radiator cap..
7/12/2019 10:48:09 AM UTC
Benelli Leoncino 500 Brief Ride Review Upt'North said :-
Looks like the header tank "Knob". Can you say knob?

7/12/2019 10:18:27 AM UTC
Considering The Alps Upt'North said :-
Ed, first, life sucks at times and you're all in our thoughts.
Secondly,Sharon needs to be close to her girl and Scotlands lovely, nuff said.
The Alps will be there another year and you'll SAVE money. We stuck to Scotland this year and it was amazin. Absolutely blummin amazin and it's 5 hours up the road from you, definitely nuff said.
7/12/2019 10:15:23 AM UTC
Considering The Alps Ross said :-
Just a few random thoughts on your trailer idea.you've probably already considered them but I hadn't seen them mentioned here.have you checked the towing capacity of your car? Some modern cars seem to be rated strangely low on towing capacity, don't really know why!? Towing a trailer will restrict the speed you can travel at legally, will the reduced speed still allow you to travel far enough in the time you have? A neighbour carts around vintage pushbikes to various shows and re-enactments (!) and found with a trailer the bikes were being shaken around so much they were suffering damage so he's reverted to a rack mounted on the rear of his car and not carrying so many at a time (he did rather pack them on the trailer so this might not be an issue with your proposed posh one), I'm wondering if the small wheels and lack of suspension might give your bikes a hard time on a long trip? I'd hate to see your shiny (!!) new Honda get damaged and god knows what Sharon would do to you if you shook Envy to pieces!
7/12/2019 8:38:11 AM UTC
Benelli Leoncino 500 Brief Ride Review Snod said :-
Almost looks reasonable save for the rad begging to get punctured by stones and the exhaust looking like it's almost touching it(!).

What does the shiny silver knob do where the carburettor should be?
6/12/2019 11:36:42 PM UTC
Considering The Alps Borsuk said :-
Not my fault you southerners can`t speak your own language properly.

6/12/2019 9:33:10 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat ROD said :-
Yes Snod, The B664 to Uppingham and on to Melton Mowbray is one of the best roads, but then much of better parts of the road are in Leicestershire.
So although Northamptonshire has some nice countryside the roads are not that inspiring.

The best thing about Northamptonshire is that most places in England and Wales are in easy reach.
I am about 90 miles from the east coast, about 150 miles from the Brecon Beacons, 200 miles from the Lakes, 260 miles from Cornwall, and 150 Miles from Dover or Portsmouth.

The Motolug area of the Cotswolds is much nicer and is around 60 miles away.

The "Light brown patina" I referred to is the colour of the rust..

5/12/2019 1:43:50 PM UTC
Snod said :-
Recommendations for Northamptonshire? The B664 to Uppingham and then use the B6047 to come back down.. Or maybe don't and just stay away from it :D
4/12/2019 8:38:25 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Northamptonshire? You're not tooo far from Motolug, the take-apartable trailers people. Might be down there soon. I've passed through Northamptonshire many times but it's not a place I've explored. Is it worth a few days around there to look around? Recommendations? I don't mean museums and fine art galleries, I mean good roads and splendid scenery.

Light brown patina? Are we talking about my subtle sun tan or the inside of the 125's engine? I'm afraid it's not a sun tan, much like the inside of the 125 it's years and years of baked on used engine oil. If we're talking of the patina the outside of the 125 has achieved then that's mostly dirt, salt and oil coloured.
4/12/2019 8:32:33 AM UTC
ROD said :-
Ren, I am firmly based in the southern softy belt of Northamptonshire.
I have no intention of trying to compete with your years of dedication to the fine art of achieving that perfect light brown patina.
3/12/2019 4:27:49 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That's like one of them wildlife calendar pictures Jim, good shot squire. Not too many of the red squirrels left around here, I believe they're a little more populous in Scotland?
2/12/2019 3:24:46 PM UTC
Jim said :-
Walk was terrific, thanks Ren. Great wildlife, loads of deer, golden eagle, but this was my favourite.
Posted Image
1/12/2019 10:26:23 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
By 'eck Jim that looks PROPER cold there! How did the walk go? Chilly toes?

Rod - remind me where you are. And no, it takes years of special dedication to achieve the "finish" of my 125 that you're all so envious of.

Upt' - how pristine is your garage? And yes you are a big Wussy, Wussy, Wuss, Wuss and I am more than that childish.
1/12/2019 8:55:01 PM UTC
ROD said :-
Yes Upt' You are of course correct.
Its just that I normally clean the worst off the bike when I get back, but it was getting dark so I will have to leave it until tomorrow.
I did say almost as dirty as Ren's bike.
1/12/2019 5:53:35 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
I believe you probably exaggerate Rod, there can only be one bike that colour.
1/12/2019 5:15:58 PM UTC
ROD said :-
Just back from a Sunday afternoon ride. The bike is almost as dirty as Ren's bike!
Not as cold down here, but lots of crud about, and the roads were being salted when I was on my way back.
1/12/2019 5:06:20 PM UTC
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