Friday 27 June 2014

CBF Spring Clean 2014 - Part#5 (Final)

The spring clean is finished for another year and the little bike is looking quite good. The work is not intended to produce a show bike, it's to protect my investment and hopefully extent the life of the bike for a few more years. The CBF is fairly easy to work on, and the built quality is reasonable. I did a bit more work than I expected because there was quite a lot of corrosion. That’s the price of riding all year in our damp climate.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

CBF Spring Clean 2014 - Part#4

The oil cooler was looking a bit rough so I removed it for painting. The steel pipes near the cooler were heavily corroded and this could have become a problem. I cleaned and repainted everything. I used high temperature paint but this is hardly needed since the cooler barely gets warm in the Scottish climate. 


The rear shock was also rusty. This isn't a problem since it isn't leaking and is working ok. It can't be seen but I cleaned it and gave it a coat of stone chip paint anyway.

The frame behind the engine was pretty rusty

 Is painting the rear sprocket going too far?

The bike needed yet another chain, how can a 22 bhp bike chew through so many chains?

The cam cover had a slight leak so I removed it to replace the gasket. I checked the clearances while the cover was off. One valve was a little tight so I swapped the shim. The CBF has a "shim under bucket" arrangement which means the camshaft has to be removed. This is a bit of a pain, but at least access is good on the CBF.

The camshaft is in perfect condition after 43,000 miles and this little fellow spins pretty fast.

 Checking the shim thickness before swap.

Thursday 19 June 2014


Exploring a place we hadn't heard of previously. But the South of France in summertime can't be bad. By Ryanair from Edinburgh to Beziers.

 My now customary pose beside the destinations board

 Some kind of fair was going on in the local park when we arrived in town.

 I wouldn't want to meet this fellow during a walk in the woods.

 Camargue horses

 Trophies were being handed out

 Rose wine at 5 Euro a bottle

 Our apartment was above the bar overlooking a square with a statue of Aphrodite
***Correction - this is the Greek sea-godess Amphitrite***

 Our view across the Herault

 The Cathedral of St Etienne is an impressive lump of medieval basalt

 The town has many old buildings with a typically Southern European faded grandeur.

 How cute is this pair?

 Getting a bit hot for this Scotsman

"The Glory of the Republic" statue was originally erected in 1909 but was destroyed by the Vichy government in 1941. It was only replaced in 1995.

***Update - re-reading the plaque this may be the original statue, it was "enlevee" (abducted) in 1941*** 

***Update#2 - no this is a copy, the original having been melted down presumably for the German war effort***

 Beaucoup de bateaux at Cape d'Agde


 I snapped this on a roundabout whilst passing on a bus. It depicts the sport of boat jousting.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Past Bikes - MZ ETZ125/251/301

For 15 years between 1994 & 2009 these basic two stroke singles provided me with commuting and winter transport. In total I rode 70,000 miles on these smokers from East Germany.

In January 1994 I found myself commuting on icy roads on my FJ1200. Realising that this was not a good idea I got the little ETZ125 from my brother. The bike proved to be an adequate commuter for a couple of years. It's memorable achievements were getting me to work in December 1995 when the temperature fell to -15 deg C and completing a 400 mile round trip to a rally at Applecross in the north west Highlands.

Prior to the CBF250 I rode a pair of MZ Saxons (250 & 300 cc). Over the years the two bike eventually morphed into one. They were well suited to the horrors of a Scottish winter. The best feature of the bikes was the enclosed chain. Rubbers tubes and a plastic cover protected the chain against the elements. The bikes were mostly reliable but both suffered gearbox failures due to the use of crappy bearings.

The little MZ laughs at winter weather

Touring with 10 bhp. At least you have time to look at the scenery.
Saxon on its way to Applecross
It didn't often look this shiny
Some repairs were occasionally required
Honey, I'm home!
And that brings me to the end of this series of posts.

Monday 9 June 2014

Classic Racing at East Fortune

An excellent day out on Sunday at the classic racing at East Fortune with Malcolm & Ron. Malcolm took us a less than direct route to the races because he wanted to try out his newly acquired Kawasaki W650 on the twisties. We took some great roads through the countryside in warm & sunny weather.

 Harley outfit

Yamaha TZ700

Adler 250 - this engine was copied by Yamaha

MV Agusta triple racer. So beautiful it's worth two photos - it's a pity you can't hear the howl of the engine.

Honda 500/4


Another great sounding bike - a Benelli 4
 Yours truly trying out the W650 and very nice it was too. The retro experience is added to by the kick starter (its got electric as well, of course) and it is easy to kick.