Motorcycle and Scooter appreciation

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  • Be careful with whatever you do. If you crash it could be nasty with something (homemade)

  • For sure. Trying to think through the best means to have zero nastiness in a spill.

    Drawing up maybe cutting high density foam inside the seat as the backrest bump to avoid adding anything hard or sharp. Would prefer a nice smooth solid alu loop though.

  • I mean...

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  • I'll just leave this here ...

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  • Do like the axle stand - worried about the front caliper - nice tinsel.

  • Nice LC!

  • That LC looks mad!

    Tl:dr update.

    My GN125 has been getting some miles. Weather hasn’t been ideal for long days out, so only short trips to gain confidence and experience.

    Since the carb/etc clean the bike has been getting better and better. I’ve been plying it full of Redex and 99 Octane Shell V-Power. Minimal extra cost for the 10L tank and all the detergents to try clean out old shit in the engine. After a new battery the bike starts and runs better, and it’s also got new Oxford indicators front and rear and new Oxford LED tail light. The tail light looks a bit naff til I get a new plate holder, but better than the shitty old non-oem lights.

    With a bit of bending I got some metal-reinforced dirtbike hand guards to fit, so coupled with the Puig mini windshield/screen I am enjoying much-reduced wind pressure on my chest and minimal chill on my hands. The guards made a significant difference, though probably not as much as muffs would. I can feel buffeting on my helmet and increased noise at one tucked position at ‘speed’, but it’s not awful. Of course, speed on this little thing is like 50mph. It touched 60mph today...twice!

    Covered just shy of 370 miles in the last month, mostly 30-50 mile trips to nearby villages and along narrow country lanes keeping off the fast roads. Lots of urban crawl/slow speed/junction practice too.

    Slowly getting better with rev matching and smooth engine braking, and trying to leave shifting up a gear til later - before I’d shift quite early maybe 8k, I was barely ever touching 9k rpm, let alone the red line between 10 and 12. Generally I’m keeping it cruising at 6k, which sounds much healthier than ragging it like a kid on a dirt bike.

    Had a fair share of idiots not giving way, or even looking, as well as a ped staring me right in the eyes as he walked directly at my front wheel to brake-check me. There was a little bit of a rear skid, but not as bad as the short squirrel-y skid on wet downhill toward a roundabout outside a petrol station. Live and learn, anticipate, don’t assume, cover front brake, etc.

    Still going quite slow around roundabouts and some corners, and on unfamiliar roads I’m well below speed limit. Feels awkward doing 40 in a 50, but when strong winds are slamming me from the side, I don’t want to take risks. People can pass me if they want. Whenever I can get it over 50 I am, but there are so few stretches with clean and well-maintained road that I’m quite conscious of the shitty broken road on every turn.

    Also grabbed some Richa gloves at crazy low cost from Mega Motorcycle. Got some amazing armoured ‘Evolution’ summer dirt bike gloves that have been comfortable on the bmx, and today the weather was so mild that the mid-season ‘Duke’ gloves were just warm enough on the motorbike.

    Tl:dr? I’m enjoying a 125 motorbike.

  • Great to get a sense of your enthusiasm, I have had many winter rides in the past and it's so much better in the summer. You will feel champion in spring while the rest of the biker community starts dusting off the creaking bits.

    I wouldn't take roundabouts too quickly this time of year either, only takes a patch of diesel mixed into the cold damp and there's little to no saving it. Look out for places like Wandsworth roundabout where the busses fuel up in the depot and then spill a little diesel from the full tanks as they go round the roundabout.

  • For sure! The bike running a Cheng Shin/Sava tyre combo lowers my confidence after years of riding fancier brands on road bikes, but then on the bmx Cheng Shin’s take some doing to lose traction. Taking no chances regardless, but certainly even more cautious than if I had some fancier winter-proof options. Tyre upgrade may come once I decide how long I keep the bike for*.

    I doubt I’ll be hitting London til springtime, but for sure it’s an issue here in Wiltshire as well. I noticed thanks to the overnight rain and slow-to-evaporate damp roads lots of diesel patches. That wiggle outside the Shell garage was more than enough for a warning.

    *Really stuck whether I can even afford to upgrade by the time I get the full unrestricted license. Probably I lose a little money on the resale, but gotta decide what’s best overall. Really do fancy a 125cc tour of Europe, but worried it might get frustrating after a taste of bigger bikes. MOT in March - not sure I want to invest too much more until I know if it will pass. 12month MOT is a lot more saleable than 1 month or fail, regardless of tyre choice. 12 month MOT and fancy tyres will be necessary before a tour of any kind.

    ...I’d love to have the money to keep this as well as have a ‘proper’ bike for serious riding. Would gladly strip it back to make a little cafe racer.

  • I stuck with my 100cc for a little while after passing the test. Just to spend the money on some better riding equipment and save up a bit. It's all pretty personal but I've never had a bike I didn't love regardless of price.

    I once bought a TZR250 for £200 from a crack den in Battersea on christmas eve! Rode that up and down my street all day christmas day :) Went on to become 3 TZR's just to keep me supplied in parts. Most of my biker friends seem to go through 2 bikes a season, or at least 1 new one. I've had the same one for 16 years so I guess I'm lucky to have found something that suits me.

    One thing about bigger bikes is all the bills are bigger, in some cases much bigger. I think it's also pretty serious if you get caught doing any silly shit when you've only just got your licence, and then the insurance is crippling. I like the 300cc class at the moment, enough power for motorways but light and smaller bills.

  • Crack den? Hmmm... well I’m in Swindon so there should be a surplus.

    From the camera/longboard/bicycle obsessions it’s easy to understand how people would get buy and sell syndrome, and have a different bike every opportunity. Kind of trying to outgrow that though.

    The cost is certainly a big blocker for me. When the trainer guy said he gets 30/40/50 mpg out of xyz if he’s being good, I’m pretty sure you can get that from most modern efficient cars. Suppose it’s not a fair comparison, a little hatchback to a litre bike. And yup, I have the fear it’s not just that running cost, it’s parts, tax and insurance. Something up to 400cc would be nice though.

    The GN’s original rating was something like 87.5mph/2.7L per 100km. I’m certain I’ve been getting better than that, 100mpg at least. Makes cheap chilled touring seem doable.

    Tax £20, insurance around £160 one-off including some add-ons. Bike £625, plus parts/maintenance which have probably pushed it closer to £800 to get reliable, and then a small chunk on top like the windscreen or whatever.

    Short of a Lexmoto, I’ve struggled to find a single 125 for less than a grand on gumtree/ebay/autotrader/facebook. Almost guaranteed to need that £2-300 on top to get roadworthy whenever listed below £1500. For sure I want to find my crackden bike, but that may or may not happen in the future.

    I’d said to myself if I can keep the total cost under a grand, then I can’t be too upset.

    Still kinda want a litre biek tho.

  • The litre bike will come :) Modern litre bikes are insane though, there's really no need for it away from a track, it's almost impossible to use fully use them on the road now they can break the national speed limit in 1st.

    You'll find out what you want a bike for and that cuts the choice down a bit. Unless you end up needing 2 or 3 to cover the bases which is pretty legit if you tour, commute and like track days.

    When I bought my crack den bike it was because my neighbour was smoking it and thought I might be a touch for a few hundred on christmas eve. It was his junky mates bike. The deal went down at 10pm christmas eve in a dark garden in Battersea, not a traditionally busy time for bike dealers :) I had to pay for that bike per ride, every time I got off it it needed something replacing! Still loved it with a passion though.

    The 400cc class is great. Main weakness with small bikes for touring that I found was weight carrying. They can have issues with the suspension if you load them 2 up and luggage. It's nice to cruise at quiet rpms on the larger bikes but that's a real expensive luxury. Ask most bikers for a touring story and it'll be the time they went to Spain on a 250cc that broke down every day, not last summer when they did it on a GS.

  • For sure. Since watching F9 on Youtube I’d consider something like a V Strom as a future desire, but only since I’d already been pining after a Royal Enfield Himalayan every time I went past the dealership.

    I’d gone in some months ago to just feel out prices, and it looked way too big, the Continental GT and Interceptor looked more like my kind of bike. However already I’m wondering about those extra dirt roads I could one day travel, that my low little bike won’t survive.

    The little GN125 is certainly a baby-sized cruiser. If I tour it’ll be like when i cycled to Berlin, with every gram considered. Going solo, after spares I’d only want a few kg of luggage strapped down tight. I don’t see the point in carrying a house.

    Gonna stick some Hayabusa stickers on the 125.

  • The V Strom is a lot of bike too. If you like travelling light it's probably way bigger than you need. You'll also need to think about singles, twins, v-twins, straight 4's etc. I've only really owned twins because I prefer the torque lower down and don't like to rev an engine hard.

    Sounds like you've got a good fit with the GN already.

  • Knock the exhaust baffles out and put some termignoni stickers on too :)

  • Yea I can see why they have a reputation as a confidence-inspiring learner bike. Low to the ground and basic as hell.

    Maybe it’s just the first bike/new bike thing. I’m loathe to try others and find out what I’m missing, especially when I haven’t eeked out the most from this one yet.

    It seems silly to try upgrade and customise a 26 year old learner bike, but I’d happily invest in better tyres and maybe air/piggyback rear shocks and whatever else to keep it running under me for the longest time, if that’s what suits. If I was to grow out of its capability it would be nicer to strip into a cafe racer for running errands, than sell.

    There’s so many variables like you say. I do like the sound of the GN at lower rpm, and the engine rumbling along at 6k. Not a big fan of the sound of high revs, but then I haven’t even hit 500 miles. Bet my needs change after a summer of riding, and certainly after a real tour. Might hate it. Can’t imagine myself on a Harley, but can’t see myself doing >100mph on a Ninja either.

  • I really want to stick a performance can on it, for shits and giggles. A neighbour across the way has a real bike and it sounds so smooth and angry.

  • Talking of piggybacks... frustrating that the affordable options seem to go the same way as the big bore kits I’d looked at - full on rebuild necessary.­cks/­ml

    Edit: maybe the ‘Endurance’ sealed Royal Enfield might be better for the same money...

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  • They still work!
    Edit: nevermind can’t upload.

  • Got a baffle since and wrapped it in glass wool. It’s boring now

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  • -Total length: 132 mm
    -Handle length: 125 mm
    -Diameter L/R: 22/24 mm

    Are those 7/8? My bars are 1”. I’d love something similar. Quirky, soft and thicc

  • Yes, they are for 7/8” 22 mm bars.

  • Trying to upload again. The old small block Guzzi collection is steadily growing.

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  • Thanks for the link. I've fitted these on my TU250GB but not ridden them yet as I've still to get the lessons and test knocked on the head. I must check the pressure out and see how they are.

  • Had long message. Somehow it all got lost. In short, no news on RFY quality then?

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Motorcycle and Scooter appreciation

Posted by Avatar for coppiThat @coppiThat