The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

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The CBF125 at 95,000 Miles

Blog Date 16 March 2022

It's taking a long time. It's taken me around 7 months to cover a measly 5,000 miles. At this rate it feels as though we may never find out if the long suffering CBF125 will (will not) make it to the 100k mark. 

The speedometer's odometer shows 95,000 miles on the CBF 125
Little by little, bit by bit.

Now gainfully employed once more it has been pressed back into service for commuting, the poor thing. It spends nights in the shed protecting the 500, it spends days chained to a fence in any and all kind of weather. 

My commute should be about 7 miles each way taking around 20 to 25 minutes, but where's the fun in that? I have a considerable dislike for following the same route relentlessly, day in, day out. As such each morning and most evenings I take an alternative option. This usually takes around 45 to 50 minutes and covers anywhere between 10 and 20 miles. If the weather is dire and it's been a hard day at the coal face I'll head straight home, otherwise I take a random detour.

This is helping build the miles. 

As previously stated this machine's touring days are behind it. I still trust it enough to use it for more extensive local duties. Last Saturday we covered around 90 joyous miles. A trip to Warrington to collect some bits, then off to St Helens for some social interactions, then off to Maghull to kick a bike tyre or two, then Southport for a brew, and then home.

The engine did drink more than a drop of oil, other than that it was a wonderful ride on a cold but pleasant March day. Also noteworthy is that the next working day the bike felt better for having endured a longer ride with a few stretches of motorway. Sometimes even an old engine needs a damn good thrashing to clear the cobwebs from the combustion chamber et al. 

So for now I shall continue to throw oil and fuel at it just to see what happens. Sharon has kindly offered me the use of "Zen" - the Keeway RKS125 for as and when the long suffering CBF125 throws in the towel. I find it hard to comprehend but I still, after all this time and these miles, find myself enjoying my time with the bike. Onwards... rattle rattle clack clank rattle rattle clunk thud rattle rattle... 


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Reader's Comments

Henrik said :-
Its simple, principially it should be possible to maintain forever ,.. but it might not make sense

Guess I would try to reach 100K, as a milestone, and then kill it out of mercy

The new improved CBF125F sure looks nice btw


18/03/2022 17:46:46 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Forever!? That's a very long time Henrik. I take your point but to achieve this would create "Trigger's broom". Not being English you'll have to Google Trigger's broom then it'll make sense.

The engine is still original inside and out save for the clutch, clutch basket, front brake and alternator. It's had replacement forks, exhaust and all the usual wear parts. Other than that most of it is original. It sure drinks oil now and I have considered replacing the rings but to be frank I think Snod is right, the shock of refreshed compression and return of power would likely kill it.

As for the new CB125F? Yeah... But... I still think the old CBF is nicer looking to my eye, Sharon says I have zero taste or style and she's right. There's still plenty of low mileage CBFs out there and I know my way around them a little now. Better the devil you know?
19/03/2022 06:38:58 UTC
Bogger said :-
With your new found wealth I think you should buy a new CB125F.

Bogger
19/03/2022 09:27:33 UTC
Borsuk said :-
If you have enough money any piece of machinery can be maintained forever.
Most companies draw the line at the point it becomes beyond economic repair. Then its time to get a new one as it has reached the point of being a money pit.

19/03/2022 10:26:36 UTC
Bogger said :-
But Ed the CB125F can do 180MPG. Those figures must make you sit up and take notice, a little bit.

That's Bolton to Ullapool on a tank of fuel.

Bogger
19/03/2022 11:13:26 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Yes, Bogger, one tank of fuel and 6 gallons of Castrol GTX.
I'm a little perplexed actually......nothing new I spose. But......how has Ed kept it going for 95,000 miles with the front brake fitted in the engine. He's good in't he.
All joshin apart, well done Ed.
Now, what about the end......it needs thought.....
Ride it off the White Cliffs of Dover, high tide obviously.
Viking funeral pyre on the Bolton canal.
Bury it with full motorcycle honours.
Upt'North.
19/03/2022 13:32:07 UTC
Glyn said :-
Generally speaking, the magic 100k miles is not such a big thing these days, especially on cars. However, back in my youth, it was unusual for such distances to be traveled in the life of anything. I remember an Austin A35 we were traveling in got there in the middle of the New Forest. We jumped out, folded the front doors onto the front wings (because the leather straps were broken), linked arm and doors and sang Auld Lang Syne to it. It seemed relevant at the time.
19/03/2022 17:54:44 UTC
Henrik said :-
Glen: Get the point, and did the google,

Funny, would have never made sense from the words "trigger" and "broom" without this reference :-)

Taste is taste, I like the new CB125F, if I ever get one it will be seccond-hand with low milage

In case just a "try-out", if I could live with it, also for touring the mountains in Norway heavy loaded

Would sure reduce some costs, future-economy gets a little shady these days, as I soon retire partly


Latest CB500X 2022 is still the no 1 dream ,.. but most important is to afford being on the road


20/03/2022 18:25:51 UTC
Henrik said :-
(Should have been "Ren:")
20/03/2022 18:41:27 UTC
Henrik said :-
Glyn:

You are right, all vehicles being more likely to reach the 100K mark relatively easy

Also they are more reliable during their lifespan, I remember the 60's and 70'2 and 80's

Today I rarely se a broken car in the roadside anylonger as I did before, and foremost things work

But they will not reach the same absolute possible age IMHO, far from,..

Back in the days you could keep a car going for for 30-40 years, working on it,.

They was simple, posible to fix, model-lines lasted long, so did spares

Today they are ever-changing, so not possible to supply spares for decades

Much more dependancy electronics and specialised components that will not be available more than 10-15 years
20/03/2022 19:40:21 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
The only thing stopping any vehicle travelling 100,000 miles + is time, money and practicalities.
I agree that any modern car should be capable of 100,000 miles as long as, regular servicing is carried out although there will be big bills along the way. Ask me how I know.....thank you BMW.
When it comes to a small cc motorcycle now that's a different kettle of sardines. Yes it will get there but whether it is practical or logical is open to debate. Although Ed's bike has never seen a sponge and soapy water I suspect it's had regular oil changes and whatever else it needed to remain reliable but that is rarely the case with these bikes. They're ridden into the ground by pimply teenagers who are only riding it because they can't afford a car.
It is also a fact that most bikes in the UK are definitely Sunday afternoon bikes with many only going to the MOT station once a year then being wrapped in blankets for another 12 months. That's why it's "news" that Ed's is approaching the magic 100K.
Upt'North.
21/03/2022 09:21:59 UTC
Glyn said :-
It is made worse by the throwaway age. We used to keep old vehicles going because it was the cheapest option. Now that has been reversed. The Ed has done many things to keep the CBF running on top of regular servicing. It's quite likely that the cylinder head coming off would have written it off for some owners. By and large the ability to repair things has seen a decline and with it the demand for spares. I,m not sure where the environment sits here betwixt the maintenance of the old verse the build of the new. I,m amazed that it's far easier to buy a top hose for a 1951 Austin A35 than it is for a 1991 Kawasaki.
21/03/2022 14:00:15 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Glyn,
I was chatting to a mate not so long back who now only PCP's cars over three years. With man maths it all seemed to make great sense.
No brakes to change, or tyres, or exhausts, included servicing at cheaper rates, no sitting looking at ebay for days trying to find cheaper elusive parts.......we'll see.
Upt'North.
21/03/2022 16:20:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Regarding 100,000 miles. I would expect a car engine and a larger bike engine that's been maintained well to reach the 100k mark. But - bear in mind the CBF and most other small engines are a)revving quite hard b)working quite hard say 80% of the time. Imagine your 1.6 car engine being run at 3/4 to full throttle most of the time and regularly running at, I dunno, 130mph hour after hour. Think of the revs - I'd say I'll be running between 4 and 7k most of the time, pretty much double a car engine's pace.

It's a fair argument things are different now. Most car owners see PCP and the many variations therein as "my car costs me £xxx per month plus fuel and insurance" as opposed to "my car cost me £20 grand...". The notion of jacking up your car, removing the wheels and merely checking the brake pads for wear brings out my neighbours. I get sympathy such that I'm far far too poor to pay a mechanic and would I like a cup of tea? "Just checking the brakes" causes confusion. Regular readers will know my neighbourhood is not at all posh nor wealthy, yet most seem to be happy to shell out rather than get their hands dirty.

I did discuss PCP with a sales bod at a shop. Turns out if you do more than 4,000 miles a year on your 'sickle then PCP definitely ain't for the likes of me. That £120 per month really REALLY only works if your end-of-contract trade in is actually worth something... 40,000 mile motorbikes ain't worth anything apparently.
21/03/2022 17:18:47 UTC
ROD¹ said :-
4 to 7k. That is why Ren can achieve this mileage on his 125, along with regular service intervals.
I believe that many riders of 125s use 9 to 12k.

21/03/2022 19:05:24 UTC
Bogger said :-
Ref maintenance and 'doing jobs' on the driveway. I am sure that in our Cul-De-Sac of 37 houses, I am positive that I am the only one who works on my own cars and or bikes or indeed the house. I have never seen anyone do anything, apart from the odd person washing a car, on rare occasions.
I was on the roof on Sunday, removing moss from the roof tiles and gutters and cleaning the windows, soffits and facias. I really don't understand the strange looks from the neighbours. Is it me, perhaps.

Bogger..... living life on the edge
21/03/2022 21:24:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Driveway? DRIVEWAY! I'd kill for a driveway, luxury I tell ya, LUXURY. Kids these days don't know they're born fixing their cars on their own private land. Real men have jacks under the car "aaat ont street" and we have to watch out no-one runs over our legs as we're clambering under the engine. Driveway, pffffft.

Cul-De-Sac too! Posher than Her Majesty herself that Bogger is. Ain't got no plebs wandering aimlessly up and down your street (except when I come to visit) as there's nowhere to go.

The issue Bogger is you live in such posh, executive, luxurious surroundings the general populous expects to see a van outside your house with "Tarquin Fortesque's Upper Class Property Services" emblazoned across the side when you're having your roof and gutters cleaned. If you're fixing the car you should have at least a van stating "Jarvis And Mountbatten Elite Vehicle Services" on the panels. As for actually getting your hands dirty? Good heavens man, you're single handedly reducing the area's value by 40%.
21/03/2022 22:20:15 UTC
nab301 said :-
Ren , looking at he speedo will it really do 78mph in 5th? !!
As for modern cars I think the engine lifetime is calculated at around 300k kms.
Nigel
21/03/2022 22:53:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That, nab301, would be the reddest of the redlines. I.E. the "3" at 47mph is the max speed recommended for that gear - ON STANDARD GEARING!! 78mph? Downhill with a tailwind I've seen an indicated 72 once upon a time. Halcyon days.

22/03/2022 14:23:51 UTC

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