Tuesday 30 July 2013

500,000 miles

It's hard to be exact but from my records I reckon I've just completed half a million miles on motorcycles. I started riding in July 1974 and I've owned only 16 bikes. This means an average of 12,800 miles per year and 31,250 miles per bike (not bad since none of them were new). So what next? I currently ride about 15,000 miles a year so 1 million kilometres (621,504 miles) should be achievable in about 8 years. I might hit three quarter of a million miles if I'm still riding in my mid 70's but a million seems out of reach unless I'm still going into my 90's, but you never know.  

My older FJ1200 just about to go round the clock

Thursday 25 July 2013


All the bikes either need tyres or will soon need tyres so I bought three pairs. They are all Avon AM26 Roadriders. I've used them on the CBF and found that they have good grip & wear. I'm also going to try a pair on the FJs. In the past I've used Avon Storm/Azaro radials on the FJs. The Roadriders are a little cheaper but mostly I'm hoping for greater mileage. I'm sure that tyre compounds are getting softer. I used to get about 5,000 miles from an FJ rear but the last one was bald at under 3,000 miles.

I bought my tyres from Buster's Accessories. website

Tonight I fitted a rear to the newer FJ

I remove the disc to avoid damage during fitting

Home made bead breaker

The critical part is the blade that pushes the bead

Cutting through the bead with an angle grinder makes removal easier (don't do this in the garage - there is considerable smoke)

Tyre soap on the bead & wheel rim allows the tyre to seat properly

I use this stand to balance the wheel and make sure it's seated

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Confessions of a peppermint drinker

I've got a good crop of peppermint in my garden. It was there when I bought the house 12 years ago and it seems to be spreading. I don't like to see waste but the uses of the this herb seem limited to chewing gum & toothpaste. I've started drinking tea made from the leaves. Quite pleasant with a little sugar. I'm not sure if it does any good (or harm) It tastes strongly of menthol and I suppose might clear your tubes if you had a cold.  

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Me, a horse and Frank Zappa in the middle of a field

Our horse, Fritz, injured a tendon running about in his field and is now on box rest for a few weeks. I take him out for a couple of hours each day for exercise and to eat some grass. He can't go out with the other horses since more running about could cause permanent damage. He's an old fellow now 24 in horse years = about 70 in human terms.

It's a pretty boring task but that's where Frank comes in. I've downloaded some of his albums to pass the time in the field. Frankly (ha ha) I wouldn't listen to some of them unless I was trying to kill some time (his work varies between genius & unlistenable). Today's albums were "Burnt Weeny Sandwich" & "Chunga's Revenge"

The weather has been warm & dry over the last couple of weeks but my compassion will be tested when it starts raining.

*thinks* - "What the hell is a Burnt Weeny Sandwich?"

CBF Gear Change Modification

My Honda CBF 250 has a linkage type gear change. There is a bit of slop in the linkage. The reason for the free play is that the joints in the linkage are just a bent rod into holes which tends to wear. I thought I could improve the design. I bought a couple of 8mm rose joints and these were simple to fit.

I got the rose joints from Engineers Mate via eBay for £3.26 each inc delivery ($5)

Original gear lever

Joint is bent rod secured by a split pin

Rose joints & rod I made from a length of brass

Rose joint

New gear lever arrangement

*** update ***

This joint was first used on German aircraft in WW2. They were later made by Rose Bearings Ltd in the UK & HG Heim Company in the US where they are known as heim joints. My joints were made in China, of course.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Antique Road Sign

 Weight restriction sign, Goathland Railway Station, North Yorkshire, last weekend.

Road Kill

Bike safety message on fire engine, Whitby, North Yorkshire, last weekend