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!

The rear wheel and chain of the CBF12 in bits

Spring is here, winter has passed - yey! Now we get to stay at home and tinker with out bikes without frozen fingers. Great...

What's New?

Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Bogger is a brave man. He's coming out of the closet to declare his undying love for, well, I can barely type this... Scooters.
V85 TT Moto Guzzi Test Ride Review Just before Covid-19 Lockdown nab301 nabbed himself a test ride on some Italian Adventure Machinery. He's making comparisons against his eclectic experiences.
Fuel Injection Absolute Basics While this is not a full and complete explanation of how Fuel Injection works, it ought to be enough to get a grasp on what the magic pixies are up to with your petrol.
CBF125 Dies On Tickover Ren's bike went home in a van on Friday the 13th. Is it dead? Of course not but he's not really sure what the problem is, erm, was, erm, could be?
The Pant Fridge Bogger brings us the ultimate guide to refrigeration for the roving motorcyclists. This only leaves one question - clean or dirty?
Out Of The Good Stuff, Into The Weather After The splendour of The Highlands and West Coast of Scotland Andy is now at the top of the country. Is there much to report?
On Waterproofs For The Insouciant Staying dry on two wheels? Cheap or expensive? Careful or careless? Ren believes there's only 2 ways to keep the rain out and his choice is obvious.
The Wonder Of Even More West Coast Andy is exploring the remote and lonesome shores of the North West of Scotland. Geology, beauty and single track, all in another day's ride in The Highlands.
Viking Cycle Asger Motorcycle Jacket Review Ren's been asked to review Viking Cycle's Asger Jacket. Well it'd be rude not to. But at this price point can he expect much?
A Better Bolt In the interest of moaning Ren gripes about the means of tightening bolts. In the interest of being positive maybe he's found the solution too.
See More What's New

Latest Posts

Fuel Injection Absolute Basics Mark Noel said :-

Yes, we all knew that EFI was coming our way, courtesy of the Eurocrats in Brussels who, having eaten their sprouts, decided to make things more complicated for us in the name of cleaning up the environment (a noble cause) and binding us to the techno-motor mechanics who understand this stuff and charge large fees accordingly.

My only experience of an EFI propelled motorcycle was brief ownership of a Moto Guzzi V7 Special. Like all things designed in Italy it was svelte and gorgeous, rather like Sophia Loren, but it surged at low speed, unlike Sophia Loren. When trickling through traffic at modest RPM it seemed that the computer could not decide exactly how to solve the multiparametric polynomial equation that determined how much distilled petroleum to squirt through the thingy that resembles the hair strainer on my bath plug. Perhaps Sophia's flaxen locks had got in there during our warm up?

If fuel injection was introduced to improve emissions then it does not make any sense to mandate its use on engines under 250cc which are already doing an eco-kind 80+ mpg. Yet that is what we see fitted on today's small bikes. All that technology requires additional materials to manufacture, with associated environmental costs. The same applies to the new breed of cars where the engine stops after a few seconds halted at the lights, then are re-started, causing additional wear on the started motor and battery which then have to be replaced sooner, thus needing more metal to be dug out of the ground.

Until there is a real threat of being sent to Guantanamo for riding my 125cc motorcycle without fuel dejection then I will stick to machines that have carburetors, even of I do need to wear a tweed jacket, brogues and a Stadium cork helmet to look the part. Sophia was cool in that too.

Phew. Now I can climb down off my soap box made, of course, from organic, fair traded material!

2/4/2020 11:42:42 AM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Upt'North said :-
Ed, you kind of missed my point but I think I didn't make it well either.
Scenario......I wake up at 0730 in proper Northern England,think, fancy some fresh bread from the bakers toasted for breakfast, oh and I'll get a paper and a bottle of milk whilst out and about. Look out of the window to see sideways rain, ice, snow, puddles, you get the picture. Right I'll now take ten minutes getting kitted up and another ten getting kitted down or do I just jump in the motor. That's a simple decision for me in an area where traffic is not an issue.
2nd Scenario......I wake up at 0730 in an Italian city and it's already 70 degrees with zero wind and not a cloud in the sky, I really fancy some fresh coffee and cannolis, pull on the Levis and White T, pudding bowl helmet and shades applied managing to look like Steve McQueen without even trying (how do they do that?). Whilst out I stop and chat to some buddies before returning home. The bike is still clean, I'm not wet and I am met by Sophia Loren doing the dishes. Now that's what I meant.
When scootering is like this no wonder it's popular, you are also allowed to get away with motoring murder on Scooters, especially in Italy. There must be a clause in Italian Traffic Regulations that clearly states none of it applies to scooters.
Climate, you have to love it. On that note its a dry morning in Wooler but with 46 mph winds from the W and the feels like temperature is 28. That's Fahrenheit. Which in centigrade is blummin freezin.
2/4/2020 9:14:55 AM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The point with the scooter in wet old blighty Upt' *IS* the weather protection. When you see those leg covers as fitted to Bogger's 300 I imagine with a helmet and good jacket you'd be toasty warm. No more wet crotch and soggy boots - he just needs a set of ®Ren's-Amazing-Hand-Guards and ®Ren's-Amazing-Screen-Extender and it'll be WARMER than the car.
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2/4/2020 8:45:16 AM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Upt'North said :-
French Womble.
I do think scooters make a lot more sense in warmer climes. They would make a great little nip out to the shops motor but not in wet old Blighty where you need 15 layers in June, never mind January.
Good luck with your rationalisation when times allow. Do you live in the warmer dryer France?
1/4/2020 9:24:45 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Womble said :-
Funnerly enough been thinking about trying a scooter. I currently have four bikes and am trying to get down to two. But want to sell all 4 and start again. Scooters are quite popular here in France and basically used as an alternative to a car. I'm looking at one which I could use for shopping/everyday use and for two up touring. Things that appeal are the underseat storage pillon comfort and the fact that you can move leg position easily. So will give one ago when the current situation eases.
1/4/2020 2:53:26 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Bogger said :-
Looks like I've already won the non argument. The Tucano leg cover, hmm. I used to think they were dreadful and resisted buying one for ages. But another mate has an SH and just kept going on how good they were.

I eventually bit the bullet. He was totally correct. They are brilliant. Warmer, dryer what's not to like. I'll admit they don't look the best, but my word they work.

Bogger...the converted
1/4/2020 12:41:14 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
SCOOTERS!!! Do I have to change the name to SAT not BAT? Scooters and Travels? Pfffffft.

Unfortunately, and I'm chocking here, I can see the advantages.

Firstly with step through there will oft times be a lot of options to move your feet. With many scoots not having foot controls it is nice to shuffle around and change positions easily. Step through also makes getting off and on a lot easier. With your legs "within" the vehicle if you fall off you won't trap you knee between the tank and road as I did about 20 years back. With a side-swipe from a car you've a tiny bit more protection too.

The auto constantly variable transmission makes life a lot easier in town and for learners too. Just twist-n-go no faffing around with clutches and gears. Do bear in mind though these things are NOT maintenance free with belts and weights and pulleys wearing out.

Most have some sort of usable underseat storage with a degree of security.

It is only my oldschool wannabe badass biker that spoils my appreciation of them. There's nowt wrong with scoots so if it's what suits you then get one!

1/4/2020 10:06:38 AM UTC
CB500X OP (Power) Plugs Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers Allen. Just be sure to get the wires the right way around. It won't do any harm to try charging an old phone or similar before you fry the sat nav
1/4/2020 9:54:48 AM UTC
CBF125 Dies On Tickover Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Bill - the IACV is way upstream of the engine so I see no way oil could get in to foul the IACV. If it were sticking I would be looking more at the air filter letting muck through.

I can see the logic of excess oil causing the lambda sensor to send the wrong readings. I'll take a look at the tilt sensor too but all I can do is test the wiring and check with a multimeter what happens when I tilt it.

nab301 - hot and cold plugs should be a simple concept. But then, erm, a cold plug is better for a hot engine so does that not make it a hot plug cos it works better in a hot engine? No Ren no, stick with cold plug is a plug that runs cold, hot plug is a plug that runs hot. Sheez.
1/4/2020 9:52:44 AM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Steve said :-
This is a timely thread for me because at 70 years of age i am beginning to feel the cold on my winter bike ( Royal Enfield Himalayan) It is not my upper body or hands that get cold as my electric vest/heated grips take care of that. Its my legs and feet that feel it,esp if it rains and they get wet, so I have been looking a scooter and the leg and feet protection look great, although your legs and feet are not completely covered I am thinking that most of the wind and rain will be deflected. Thanks for any comments & advice
31/3/2020 9:59:53 PM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Upt'North said :-
Just read that Garner sold the 961 engine including all tooling to Jinlang way before Norton demised and whilst still taking orders for new bikes and obviously customers money. He's a piece of work isn't he?
Apparently they will use it in forthcoming bikes designed in Italy but obviously manufactured in cheaper labour markets.
2/4/2020 9:28:17 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The 2 pins "grab" a slot in the end of the cam to move it to the selected position. Soft cams for low revs giving good economy and torque, hard cams for high engine speed performance. Having seen a couple of reviews the complaint is there are now 2 steps, 2 powerbands in the rev range so to speak. This is all well and good till you're either off-road or mid corner and the cams swap causing unexpected changes in power output. And of course it is another thing to go wrong.

I'm always torn in my feelings about product development.

On the one hand I just see blatant consumerism for the sake of profit, ego and capitalism. The idea of buying a new bike because of the new colour scheme alone is just an environmental catastrophe. On the other hand consumerism and capitalism can lead to improvements in fuel economy, safety and even... dare I say - fun! It's a balance thing, I'd rather we tipped the balance toward useful improvements leading to sales rather than changes in colour and a new shaped rear light.

But yeah, lots of low mileage and very clean used motorcycles ain't a bad thing for folks like myself.
1/4/2020 10:46:15 AM UTC
nab301 said :-
Interesting video , I guess an electrically operated "pin" engages with the scroll gear on the end of the cam and drives it across to a different cam profile?
As you say manufacturers have to keep upgrading even if it's just new colour schemes every year, it's what keeps sales
figures up and shareholders happy but lets not forget it keeps us supplied with relatively inexpensive vehicles compared to say 40 years ago as a percentage of our income.
Think of Enfield India , they produced the same 50's based bike barely changed right up to the noughties , there was no need to upgrade , you just got you bike overhauled or customised it yourself , sales remained static. Then, Introduce new models , new markets , sales approaching 7 figures but like all bubbles I guess they have to burst sometime , I think 2018 was the last year of growth , certainly in the home market?
30/3/2020 3:34:06 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I was looking at the all new GS1250 details online. It now has variable valve timing. It's a 2 stage affair and rather than explain it I'll add a link to a video that will do a much better job.

The idea is to have great low end torque and massive high end power. Great. But sheeeeeez I mean really? You know my feelings - "no need" and "my 500 already exceeds all speed limits". It all brings to mind HDTV, 4k and now 8k. BMW need to, have to, totally must find another upgrade, a new edge, a things to say "this is better" otherwise what reason is there to upgrade your 2019 BMW GS1250A to the 2020 BMW GS1250A?

I suppose this is why boxers now how the power to destroy their drive train?

Some of Honda's most reliable models came out after their debacles in the 80s. The NTV range of motors which came out in 400, 600, 650, 750 and 800 sizes (some going that) were bulletproof as were the VFR's although they were complicated. The Pans too just worked and worked and worked.

30/3/2020 8:59:03 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
That's when boxers did what they should, kept your boots waterproof and didn't have enough power to destroy the drive train.
Nice picture.
29/3/2020 5:21:21 PM UTC
Bill said :-
The good news was the VF500 generally had no top end issues but there is always a but their weakness was a batch of soft big end bearings. So during a trip to the Dutch tt pulling hard a big end started tapping. Did an oil change at camp site but no big metal pieces, so set off for UK, no European breakdown cover, gradually every time at low revs the oil light came on. Nursed it back to Calais and once on UK side AA recovery to home.strip down revealed big end failure and crank damage. More bad news Mr Honda does not supply oversize bearings. At the time there was a one make race series the VF500 cup from memory, so after much research I found a company in Essex who could machine the con rods to except glacier bearings they had commissioned a batch of and machine crankshaft,as they had done several of the race engines. When done I rebuilt the engine and it ran beautifully but, another but,I never had 100% trust in the bike again for a long trip, despite the bottom end being better than new so it was part exchanged for a BMW boxer in spat against complicated engines.
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29/3/2020 12:03:31 PM UTC
nab301 said :-
According to an old copy of UMG (used motorcycle guide (A5 sized magazine)) that I have, incorrect valve adjustment led to early engine demise on the Vf750 @ as little as 30k miles but the VF 1000 had gear drive cams (along with huge mass (530lbs,) ponderous handling and fragile gearbox) which obviously turned up later in the VFR750.
28/3/2020 10:29:58 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Utter FILTH!! Now, this all gets a little hazy. As I understand it was either the VF750 and/or the VF1000 that came direct from the factory fitted with chocolate camshafts. This faux pas nearly crippled Honda which lead them to create the seriously over-engineered VFR750. Am I just repeating pre-facebook-facts or is there any truth in these tales?

I would ban him obviously Upt' except, well, erm, you might have noticed there's no login system?
28/3/2020 7:39:26 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Bill, "The Man" said to keep it family friendly and you post pure sexiness.
If it isn't talking about the knob on your gearbox it's this.
Ban him Ed. Go on.
Naughty boy.
28/3/2020 1:30:03 PM UTC
nab301 said :-
My favourite colour scheme for that bike.
28/3/2020 1:26:45 PM UTC
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