Wednesday 28 January 2015

Built to Last

I'm not riding much at present due the winter weather and I was out in the garage this afternoon looking for something to do. I've got an old Black & Decker drill I've had for ages hanging from a cabinet on a stand. I use it for grinding, de-rusting and polishing. So I took it apart. There's not a lot you can do except for removing dust & fibres (from polishing discs) and lubricate the few moving parts.

I use the drill a lot and I noticed that it was manufactured in 1986. 29 years of use - not bad going. 

Ho hum - roll on spring.

Friday 16 January 2015

Images from the Garage

The winter weather means no "Tales from the Road" so here's some snaps from the garage

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Bad Suit (again & again & again)

Two years ago I featured Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona wearing a suit of questionable taste to the European Footballer of the year award ceremony. It seems that this was not a one-off and the diminutive goal-scorer did the same last year and at the ceremony earlier this month.

metallic red suit for the 2013 ceremony
purple for 2014

And there's more! he's wearing a flowery number to pick of the Golden Boot Award in 2013 (for Europe's top goal scorer)

Friday 9 January 2015


For a while my CBF250 has had a slow puncture in the rear tyre. It would deflate over a couple of days and stop at about 10 psi. It wasn't a problem because I was doing short journeys so I just pumped it up regularly. But just after Christmas I was washing the bike and spotted the head of a screw in the tyre. The tyre was just about done so I replaced it.

Screw head
Inside the tyre
This made me think about a couple of things. Firstly the advantages of tubeless tyres. Although the screw had completely pierced the tyre it only went down slowly and didn't completely deflate. A tubed tyre would have got flat immediately. Also if a tubeless tyre deflates the tyre will stay in place on the rim. A tubeless doesn’t. Years ago I was returning home from work on a busy motorway when my MZ Saxon with tubed tyres had a puncture. I ended up riding at 50 mph on the rear rim. Luckily I was able to stop in the central reservation but it was a very dangerous incident.

Also what do you do if you get a puncture out on the road? I carry a tubeless repair kit. This consists of plugs that are glued in place. The hole has to be reamed out and the plug glued and inserted with a tool. The tyre is then inflated with CO2 capsules. I've had to use this type of kit a couple of times over the years and it worked ok.

Tubeless repair kit

The kits I carry on the bikes are pretty old now but there are alternatives that don't require reaming or glue and I might get one. Anyone used any of these?

Gryyp Cargol


Thursday 8 January 2015

Into 2015

Firstly I'd like to wish all visitors to my blog a belated happy & healthy New Year.

The winter thus far in Scotland hasn't been too bad. It's been dull, dark & wet (of course) but not very cold with no snow so far and little frost. I'm using my Honda CBF250 on an almost daily basis for short journeys, but will go for longer runs if the weather permits .

My Yamaha FJ1200s are too big, heavy & powerful for winter riding and it's best to tuck them up in the garage until spring. Recently I gave them wash & clean and sprayed them with WD40 to keep corrosion at bay. Through the winter I occasionally attach a tender to keep their batteries charged. I've found that the cheap ones from Lidl work well. These can be left attached since they switch of once the battery is charged.   

I would also like to invite you to visit my other blogs (over there -->)

"Images from the Road" is a collection of photographs from my travels presented monthly or bi-monthly

"Buildings by Bike" is a blog where I visit local buildings of interest. I started this for the times of year when the weather isn't good enough to allow longer runs on the bikes.

I've no great plans for the coming year. More of the same really - getting out on the bikes in search of great roads & scenery and the odd motorcycle event like a show or a rally.

The CBF at Ayr
The FJs come out of hibernation
Battery tender