The city of Nice seen from the surrounding hillside bathed in sunshine

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?

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.
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Latest Posts

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
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes nab301 said :-
I'm not against scoots and have taken a test ride in recent years on a Tmax 500 , and very recently the Electric Piaggio. The Tmax has plenty of go but ergonomically it didn't suit me and now that I think about it, one of my first PTW projects as a pre 16 yr old was a 3 speed lambretta 150 that I did speedway on around my parents front garden.
It ( the garden ) was just big enough to allow me to grab second gear with the back end dancing around all over the place. Obviously it wasn't a twist and go , and required a certain dexterity with the left hand (Twist grip operated ) gear change.
Overall in the twist and go context I'm at present happier with a clutch and gear lever but would never rule them out if needs must.
31/3/2020 2:15:21 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes said :-
See, see. I knew I was right. You need to try one out U'pt. I'm not small but the SH300 fits good.

Previous to the SH I had a Piaggio Beverley (stupid name) 350ST. A better scooter than the SH in almost every respect. Faster, larger tank, much larger under seat storage and better fuel economy to name but a few.

However the Honda is Much, much better build quality and IMO uses better materials for is construction.I was fed up of constantly fettling the Bev it to keep it in good order. For a weekend bike the Piaggio would be brilliant, but not for the daily commute.

Previous to the Bev I had a Yamaha Majesty 250 again another great scooter, but the seating position made my back ache after 35mls. Both the SH and Bev are a more upright seating position. Keep on scootering guys.

30/3/2020 6:23:59 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Bill said :-
They are great fun, I bought an SH300 due to bad hips making knees either side of tank painful on bad days. Unfortunately somebody liked it as much as me and removed it from a parking place. Like you say deceivingly fast from standstill to 50mph. I replaced it with a Yamaha BWS125 not as quick but very light and still beats the cars in the traffic light sprint, and has some off road ability.Dont think I would ever only have a scooter unless the arthritis dictates otherwise.
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30/3/2020 6:10:57 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes Upt'North said :-
Scooters, scooters!
Blummin, Flippin Scooters!
Never owned a proper scooter, unless a Vespa that I could never start and gave to the ragbone man or a Honda Bog Seat counts. The Honda Bog Seat did run and run well.
Big scoots are intriguing, like the Silver Wing or Burgman but they seem a bit tight for a big lad.
30/3/2020 5:19:17 PM UTC
Scooters Are Better Than Bikes John Scotcher said :-
I agree completely. I saw the light about 12 years ago and have had a Honda Forza 300 for the last 6 years. Scooters are the perfect answer for using around towns and cities. It also allows me to keep my Honda CB500X and Triumph Street Twin for longer journeys and days out only.
30/3/2020 5:08:25 PM UTC
CBF125 Dies On Tickover nab301 said :-
I should have said afaik the -9 at the end of your plug number is the preset gap , that is .9mm
30/3/2020 3:05:28 PM UTC
CBF125 Dies On Tickover nab301 said :-
As Bill says and I think I mentioned in the rebuild thread there is so much oil going through that engine that even using the correct low ash catalytic friendly oil it is more than likely causing problems .
As you say The higher numbers in NGK are the cooler running / harder plugs so you want the lower number hotter / softer plug . Back in the day it was all a bit confusing with the old Champion plug numbers , A 7 or 6 was a very hard plug or even something like an N3C needed for Triumphs and Velocettes and a 10 or 12 was a very soft or hot running plug favoured by old Triumph cars and the like.
30/3/2020 3:00:51 PM UTC
CB500X OP (Power) Plugs allan wright said :-
many thanks Ren

roger that with multimeter (will do)

appreciate your response re:sat nav conn.

stay safe in these troubledC19 times

30/3/2020 12:34:38 PM UTC
CBF125 Dies On Tickover Bill said :-
If not the plug then possibly oil is getting into the IACV from the engine side causing it to stick intermittently. Iridium plug will allow you to use a bigger gap so fatter spark.
I still wonder as the burnt oil is going down the exhaust, is the lambda sensor being contaminated thinking it running rich the ECU will lean the mixture by injecting less fuel. You have already been on closed throttle when slowing, so no injection as rpm drops to idle with closed throttle and at normal running temperature the ecu should select idle map for fuel level (duration injector open) and ignition timing to match the air flow via the IACV the lambda sensor then verifies the air fuel ratio is correct,lean or rich. I also think your model has a cat within the silencer the oil could be contaminating the cat which can also effect the lambda sensor readings.It is like a perfect storm you could have oil contamination that effects the sensors and at a particular point the injection is being switched off. One other thought have you checked the tilt sensor is securely mounted and its plug is clean? Intermittent faults are always the hardest to diagnose.
30/3/2020 10:25:34 AM UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat 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
Bill said :-
Yes Leyland town but only for work not to live although have been in the Eagle & child
This was my commuter in nice weather

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28/3/2020 11:04:35 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Whipper Snapper!!! WHIPPER SNAPPER!!!!! There aren't enough capital letters and exclamation marks to convey my disgruntlement properly!!!!!!!

I've forgotten what I was disgruntled about now. Oh well. And why am I standing in the kitchen? Am I hungry?

Bill when you say Leyland I'm guessing not only Leyland Trucks but at the town of Leyland? One of my old stomping grounds as a yoof that. The Eagle and Child pub is where this young greasy rocker started hanging out with the greasy bikers and somewhere in the melee of beer and herbal remedies I became addicted to motorcycling. I'd like to say "Halcyon Days" but no, I wouldn't go back there emotionally. I'd like that young chap's body back though.

In all seriousness I don't mind the truck talk. We're not strict about keeping on topic at all, just keep it family friendly.
28/3/2020 8:18:29 AM UTC
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