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!

Ren's CB500X in a sunny car park in North Wales

Spring appears to have arrived, so we can now look forward to warmer rain and more daylight in which we can enjoy the rain. Heck, we might even enjoy a summer one day this year!

What's New?

Off To The New Forest It's time to move on once again and head even further daaan saaaf. The New Forest might be quite lovely but given the foul weather Sharon and Ren won't be finding out today - in fact they are struggling to see the road ahead.
A Walk In Dinton There's a simple and lazy day ahead of The Dynamic Muppets today with not much planned. This eventually leads Ren to his new career as a Surrealist Artist Extraordinaire. Soon he will be famous and rich?
Stonehenge On The Cheap, Salisbury On The Hoof It's time to take in Britain's most famous monolithic structure - Stonehenge. Salisbury is also going to endure a good dose of looking at as well.
Stones and More Comfort It's time to depart the rally and head even further daaan saaaf. There's plenty of time for tea and to explore some ancient standing stones. What will the next 3 nights' accommodation be like?
A Look Around F1 Country Ren offers an all too lengthy explanation of his uncouth approach to museums before taking in some quintessentially English countryside.
Down To Akeley It's the first day of the southern adventure and already Ren is reclining in sumptuous luxury. So, err... what's changed?
Prologue - It's Not Up North Happenstance and circumstance is the driving force behind this trip's direction. Ren explains it all.
Monuments, Masonry, Forests And Fascination Title page for Sharon and Ren's first exploratory adventure in quite some time.
Build Quality Frustrations Entropy is a terrible thing if you like your motorcycle looking just like new. Ren looks at Keeway's and Kawasaki's limited efforts to keep the rust mites at bay.
Even More Tyre Trouble Does Ren have a special superpower? How can one motorcyclist have so many issues with simple rubber rings? Maybe he's just cursed. Or he's an idiot. He's an idiot isn't he.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Off To The New Forest CrazyFrog said :-
I wear an open face helmet in the summer Ian, but far too much of a wimp to wear one in the winter! Brrrrrrr
27/06/2022 18:08:06 UTC
Off To The New Forest ROD¹ said :-
Lovely looking Brough Superior Ian, how did you get to ride such a great bike?
27/06/2022 18:06:17 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ian Soady¹ said :-
Of course those of us who refuse to use full face helmets don't suffer this sort of problem.
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27/06/2022 14:14:17 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I've seen them CrazyFrog but I've yet to try one. The ultimate solution is to not breath. This takes a little practice but after a while I only pass out after a couple of minutes rather than seconds.

I also find the shape and fit of the helmet makes a difference. Look at motocrtoss helmets - the chin bar sticks out quite a way. This aids with breathing while bouncing around a track at high speads. As such Adventure style helmets share a similarly long chin bar which helps with keeping the misting down (helps, not eliminates). If your chin bar is within say a half inch of your face your breath doesn't clear so easily.
27/06/2022 08:51:11 UTC
Off To The New Forest CrazyFrog said :-
Yes, I've had that happen with pinlock inserts too. Most annoying because they aren't cheap either. I'm currently trying one of these, and so far seems a reasonable solution. Not perfect because you do get a bit of misting still 1st thing, but soon clears and seems OK after that.
25/06/2022 20:58:33 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
My experience with the Pinlock system always ended up with the seal giving up. It is my understanding they work on a combination of "double glazing" and some magical anti mist property of the plastic (not sure if this is true or internet here say). As such the seal and how tight the pinlocks press the insert onto the visor is important. If this seal fails, even microscopically, rain gets between the insert and the visor. You end up with your own private swimming pool to peer through.

What I suppose most folks forget is the sheer amount of abuse I dish out on my kit. My helmet will typically get on and off my head at least twice a day, often more. It gets carried around shops and cafes, into and out of work and the like. It gets frozen solid and manically heated by the elements including rapid temperature changes going from cold outside to warm inside (at work, not at home you understand). All the movement and expanding/contracting takes it's toll. Throw in sun and ice and things can't cope.

The ultimate solution would be a miniature windscreen wiper and a heated visor. This is probably technically possible these days but then you'd have to run a wire from your lid to the bike for power. And your alternator would need more power for this AND the sat nav AND the heated clothing AND the phone charger AND the heated gloves AND the heated grips AND the heated seat AND the pillion entertainment system AND the driver alertness monitoring system AND the speed limiting system AND the crash prevention system AND the cruise control AND the ABS AND the traction control. I'm sure there's something else I've forgotten.
25/06/2022 20:24:51 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ross said :-
Nice write-up again Ren, thanks. The white cliffs obviously can't be Dover...there's no migrant's in little dinghy's!!

Interesting your comment on Pinlock's failing, in what way do they 'fail'? I've only had to replace a couple because they get scratched, and they do scratch REALLY easily, or the odd plastic pin has broken...otherwise I think they are a brilliant bit of kit, wish they'd been available in my youth when I was ridding all year round!
25/06/2022 19:39:08 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes we were close to that caravan - but hopefully the image will explain why. I was eeking out grass rather than gravel as the dry hard earth come gravel can damage the tent floor somewhat.

I have tried Bob Heath's little bottles of visor treatment, I've had some sort of waxy stick that you rub on and polish in, I've even applied RainX before now (for visors not car windscreens). They all work - for a short while. That's great if you carry it with you at all times and have the patience and wherewithal to apply it at each brewstop and overnight stay. I haven't either the patience or wherewithal.

A dab of soap or washing up liquid with water helps against misting for a half hour commute but not much more. Visor inserts (Pinlock) are GREAT! Until they fail which they do relentlessly usually when you're 300 miles from home. When they fail they are worse then no insert.

I now avoid "ratchet" visors if I can because of the limited options for partial opening - much preferring a simple friction mechanism. Crack the visor a little, more depending on the level of misting. Accept you will never see as well in the rain as the dry, slow down and look harder.
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25/06/2022 18:19:01 UTC
CBF 125 Injector Explained Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Scrapers, razors, Stanley knives, credit cards, chemicals, special chemicals, 2 hours in the oven, blowtorch... ain't nuffink gunna shift that base gasket 'cept patience and determination. Believe me, I've been there twice.

€67!!! I feel queezy just thinking about it.
25/06/2022 18:04:37 UTC
Off To The New Forest Ian Soady¹ said :-
You're a bit close to that caravan Ren - hoping for a cuppa?

Although I avoid rding in the rain these days when possible I found that Pledge or mr Sheen furniture polish on the outside of the visor made a huge difference and made the rain bead up and fly off just by turning my head to one side. I also use an anti-mist liquid made by Rain-X on the inside (don't let the polish touch the inner surface) whch helps a lot. all far better than the old days of Mark 8 goggles filling with water and the elastic strectching so they slid down my face.

Oh by the way you're near Sammy Miller's museum which is worth a visit although I realise you're back home now. You'll have to get up to date and blog in real time......
25/06/2022 14:56:30 UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat ROD¹ said :-
52 ltrs each side. I like plenty of room, and the bike is the same width as the BM with panniers.
I should be free from working commitments in about one month, but the plans and destination changes each week.
27/06/2022 17:58:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
They look MAHUSIVE them boxes!

I concur, putting heavy things in high up top boxes on lightweight motorcycles causes some "interesting" handling characteristics. It is remarkable how much 4 cartons of milk, 1 large bottle of cordial, a weeks supply of meat and potato pies and 5 tins of baked beans weighs when doing the weekly shop.

Yes - the luggage and the higher speeds will drop your economy. The more aerodynamic and the less weight - the better. If you can stick to slower back roads the difference will be small, it's the motorways and dual carriageways at over 55mph that will hurt your wallet.

Where are you planning to explore ROD?
27/06/2022 08:58:35 UTC
ROD¹ said :-
Side view of the bike.
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26/06/2022 18:40:48 UTC
ROD¹ said :-
The last fill up on the 125 was 121mpg, but it is usually about 115. The best I have achieved is 136mpg.
Ren, as an experienced 125 tourer what does the mpg drop to when loaded? When I use A roads and keep up with the traffic the mpg drops to 85-90 and when talking to a group of youngsters last year they confirmed that their 125s would return 75mpg when ridden hard.
The panniers are not attached to the tank, but are further forward than the norm.
I have fitted them in this position because when I first got the bike I experienced a few handling problems with the top box heavily loaded and in the usual position behind the seat. As a new seat was only £27 at the time I decided to drill holes in the seat base and fit the top box where a pillion would sit. Handling problems solved.
When I fitted these large panniers they needed to fit just forward of the top box, hence the more forward position.
With the bike fully loaded with all the camping gear the handling is quite acceptable, but I have had to fit three thick washers over the front fork springs to help with the feel when braking and the suspension. The extra weight also means I have to use the gears more, and hold the throttle wide open for longer periods, this is why I am concerned if the bike will still give good fuel economy when loaded.
26/06/2022 18:36:20 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Is it an optical illusion because those side boxes LOOK like they are on the tank! I figure they're in the regular place?

My 125's touring days are behind it as I expect the motor must go POP! sometime soon. Buuuuuut... I concur. I can get 120-140mpg out of the 125 and 80-90mpg out of the 500. I'm hankering after a nearly new 125 but I've nowhere to park another bike and I really do want to squeeze the last outta the current CBF125.
25/06/2022 18:44:16 UTC
ROD¹ said :-
With the ever increasing cost of fuel, I have been setting up the 125 for touring.
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25/06/2022 15:32:01 UTC
Upt'North said :-

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24/06/2022 17:56:14 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Leaving Green Spain tomorrow for the northern plains around Leon and Burgos. Hoping it warms up, around 60 here today and plenty of wet.
Gave the BeaST a once over and a quick clean. 2 psi put in the rear tyre.
The new tyre inflator thingymabob worked a treat.
We were hoping to go back through the Picos, but the weathergods have different ideas. Not too disappointed as we'll be travelling on new to us roads and we had three good days upt hills on the way down.
On the coffee price front.....
Two very large espresso's and 4 pieces of excellent madeira cake.....
Fuel is a bummer though at up to €2.45 for premium.
We were witness to La Nocha du San Juan last night. Loud, hot, fishy, noisy and 50 m from the balcony.
Av a gud un.

24/06/2022 17:54:50 UTC
Borsuk said :-
They probably call it Green Spain in comparison to the Tablones area where they filmed parts of the spaghetti westerns. The technical term for that area is desert if I remember right.
The Spanish and Portuguese do good fish in my opinion. So does Brasil but only if onshore and freshly cooked. Offshore is a different kettle with disastrous results.
23/06/2022 16:31:09 UTC
Upt'North said :-
The fish is good.
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22/06/2022 23:00:09 UTC
Random Link - CBF 125 Fuel Pump Removed

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