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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 10:37   #41
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It can't cost that much to buy the parts and do it yourself surely?
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 10:40   #42
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Mmmm, Triumph Tiger..... One of my dream bikes, great for us taller folk aswell.

The problem with head gaskets is you can easily buy a new one and fit it, but that's kinda like just changing a fuse that keeps blowing, there's usually an underlying cause. With head gaskets it's usually due to a warped head, especially if the head is aluminium and the cylinder block is iron (like most cars, essentially making your engine a giant bi-metallic strip). So its always best to get the head skimmed to make it flat again, and that takes specialist equipment, hence the cost.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 10:54   #43
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Yeah, I had the gasket changed on the CX500 before that one, but it wasn't a fix. I was forever fixing things that were failing due to age. Spent way too much money and time keeping the 500 running and just don't want to do it all over again.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 11:13   #44
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its always best to get the head skimmed to make it flat again, and that takes specialist equipment, hence the cost.
I beg to differ, if take a head off thats warped you'll find the cam(s) are usually harder to turn because the cam bearing carriers don't line up properly. If you skim said head you place extra stress on the cam, cam bearings/carrier and cambelt/chain. If you don't skim the head it'll straighten out when you bolt it down, and the cam will spin freely again. Decking the block can prove to be more worthwhile.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 12:05   #45
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Hi guys I have a few questions regards the license type options. I'm over 21 and would love to get a bike for recreation so would probably get a 125cc. I have a few questions just to clarify what RTT outlined at the beginning of the thread.


Can a person over the age of 21 choose which level of license to attain or is it just the DAS s/he is able to partake in?

If the above is true does the type of license gained affect the cost of insurance?
e.g. The cost of insurance would be cheaper for a rider with a Unrestricted license when compared to Restricted A license


Finally I was having a discussion with a newly qualified friend of mine (he now has an unrestricted license) He's a little shy of the money needed to get the 600cc he wants so he was contemplating a 125cc in the meantime. Despite his reluctance to do so I suggested it would be a good idea, as it would help hone in on his skills before taking the step up to a larger bike. He's not the lightest of fellas so I said riding a 125cc for a while would help teach him how to make better use of the gears and power available of a 125cc.

At which point my friend dismissed my claims stating that bikes simply "don't work like that". Now, I conceded in the discussion due to my lack of real knowledge, I have only ridden a motorbike for ~15mins so my opinion comes from what my mind thinks makes sense. So are my suggestions correct? I can't trust my friend as he goes by the principle of "I have a license therefore I know more than you" and in similar situations I have actually proven him wrong. On this occasion the opinion of a third party is greatly appreciated. I know it may sound like a trivial point but I'd rather not be led to think wrongly about something. So who's right?

Thanks in advance

- Jay
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 12:05   #46
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In the nicest possible way dude, you're 18, legally an adult, if you want a bike go get one!
Its not that i completely need my parents permission to get a bike, it just helps.

My problem with getting a bike is that i have no money at all and i have agreed with them that they will help me get it.

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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 12:40   #47
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Originally Posted by Red Eye View Post
Finally I was having a discussion with a newly qualified friend of mine (he now has an unrestricted license) He's a little shy of the money needed to get the 600cc he wants so he was contemplating a 125cc in the meantime. Despite his reluctance to do so I suggested it would be a good idea, as it would help hone in on his skills before taking the step up to a larger bike. He's not the lightest of fellas so I said riding a 125cc for a while would help teach him how to make better use of the gears and power available of a 125cc.

At which point my friend dismissed my claims stating that bikes simply "don't work like that". Now, I conceded in the discussion due to my lack of real knowledge, I have only ridden a motorbike for ~15mins so my opinion comes from what my mind thinks makes sense. So are my suggestions correct? I can't trust my friend as he goes by the principle of "I have a license therefore I know more than you" and in similar situations I have actually proven him wrong. On this occasion the opinion of a third party is greatly appreciated. I know it may sound like a trivial point but I'd rather not be led to think wrongly about something. So who's right?
I thought along similar lines to yourself and took this route to riding myself.

Always fancied a bike but was always talked out of it by mum and the missus, last year though I decided screw 'em and went ahead and took my CBT to see how I would get on, felt good so figured I'd get a 125 just to hone my skills and awareness for a bit, its been going well but after 6 months I really want more than what I have, I'm 22 stone and on hills I have to make the little lawnmower engine scream.

Its not too bad really, actually more than enough for my commute as on the A roads traffic is going between 40 and 60mph so I can keep up but boy do I wish I had more grunt, 11bhp is not enough.

I did buy a cheap chinese bike though (Jinlun JL125-11, 4 strke, parallel twin custom cruiser ) so perhaps if I had a better 125 it probably wouldn't be so bad but actually I've done a few thousand miles and made the odd mistake cornering etc and have been quite glad that I can't go much faster so there is probably some merit to sticking with a lower powered machine to cut your teeth.

Cheap to run and buy though bought the bike brand new and all my gear for about 1400, insurance was 60 TPFT and my helmet was a good chunk of that at 200. Anyone looking for Fatboy gear take a look at JTS biker clothing, you can get lots of Xs before the L Most bike shops I've been too seem to cater for small children

I'll do my proper license this year though and pick up something like a Honda VTX1800

Last edited by sandys; 2nd Mar 2009 at 13:12.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 13:03   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Eye View Post
Hi guys I have a few questions regards the license type options. I'm over 21 and would love to get a bike for recreation so would probably get a 125cc. I have a few questions just to clarify what RTT outlined at the beginning of the thread.


Can a person over the age of 21 choose which level of license to attain or is it just the DAS s/he is able to partake in?

If the above is true does the type of license gained affect the cost of insurance?
e.g. The cost of insurance would be cheaper for a rider with a Unrestricted license when compared to Restricted A license


Finally I was having a discussion with a newly qualified friend of mine (he now has an unrestricted license) He's a little shy of the money needed to get the 600cc he wants so he was contemplating a 125cc in the meantime. Despite his reluctance to do so I suggested it would be a good idea, as it would help hone in on his skills before taking the step up to a larger bike. He's not the lightest of fellas so I said riding a 125cc for a while would help teach him how to make better use of the gears and power available of a 125cc.

At which point my friend dismissed my claims stating that bikes simply "don't work like that". Now, I conceded in the discussion due to my lack of real knowledge, I have only ridden a motorbike for ~15mins so my opinion comes from what my mind thinks makes sense. So are my suggestions correct? I can't trust my friend as he goes by the principle of "I have a license therefore I know more than you" and in similar situations I have actually proven him wrong. On this occasion the opinion of a third party is greatly appreciated. I know it may sound like a trivial point but I'd rather not be led to think wrongly about something. So who's right?

Thanks in advance

- Jay
You are right, but he'll struggle to keep pace with traffic if he's a bigger fella. If I was him I'd wait and save for something with more grunt.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 13:44   #49
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I beg to differ, if take a head off thats warped you'll find the cam(s) are usually harder to turn because the cam bearing carriers don't line up properly. If you skim said head you place extra stress on the cam, cam bearings/carrier and cambelt/chain. If you don't skim the head it'll straighten out when you bolt it down, and the cam will spin freely again. Decking the block can prove to be more worthwhile.
Hmmm, my experience is with cars, could well be different with motorcycles, especially as the heads are smaller so I suppose it makes sense you can flatten them out by bolting them down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Eye
Can a person over the age of 21 choose which level of license to attain or is it just the DAS s/he is able to partake in?
At 21 or over you have a few options:
  • Take a CBT and ride anything upto 125cc with L plates
  • Take a CBT, Theory test and 'light bike' test on a 125, which allows you to ride up to a 125 with out L plates (complete waste of time in my opinion)
  • Take a CBT, Theory test and a standard bike test, this allows you to ride anything, but it has to be restricted to 33bhp for 2 years. (after the 2 years there's no re-test, you can just de-restrict)
  • Take a CBT, theory test and DAS intensive training course, this allows you to ride anything straight away. You have to be over 21 and the course will usually set you back around 600

Hope thats cleared things up for you, depending on your budget one of the last 2 options is best. And you can do what I did, which is take the CBT and buy a 125 to ride while you prepare for your test.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 14:13   #50
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Thanks to all for your input.

Thanks also to Shuriken for clearing up my options, I was also thinking about riding a 125cc whilst learning once I complete the CBT part of the course. Out of all the options CBT + Theory + Standard bike test is the most appealing as its the best price/result ratio for me. I would like to get a Yamaha YZF R125 ideally and wouldn't really mind sticking with it for 2 years, would encourage me to not waste money on getting a new bike. I'm only 8.5 stone so the power should do me fine.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 14:26   #51
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You say that now, but a 125 gets less exiting pretty quickly, don't get me wrong, I love my bike, but after about a month I was itching for something quicker. And now I've passed, I really can't wait to get a bigger bike.

Although you are a couple of stone lighter than me, and YZF R125s are pretty quick, so you might not get bored of it for 3 months
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 14:46   #52
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I don't ride a bike, but I've contemplated it and I know a few people that are heavily into bikes. I don't see a 125 as quick enough to maintain 70mph uphill, or to perform safe overtakes. My 1.2 nova was the same but it was much bigger than a bike and therefore much less vulnerable to anyone thinking about an unsafe overtake. I've moved up to a much faster car now but I don't drive any more quickly on the whole, its just nice to be able to overtake safely when needed, and keep the speed up through the gradients.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 16:28   #53
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A lot of 125s can maintain 70 uphill, (shame mine can't) especially scooters funnily enough, as they tend to be lighter.

Overtaking you're right about, I'll never go past something travelling more than about 45mph on my bike, it takes too long and therefore isn't safe. But as long as you don't try to go beyond the limits of your bike (or yourself) 125s are great fun and a great way to get used to motorcycles.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 17:25   #54
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From my, admittedly short, experience on a 125 I would say this; if you're over 6' it's not going to be comfortable. If you want to ride on a motorway it's not going to be safe, it'll be right at it's limit at 70mph leaving you nothing for overtaking/ unexpected situations. Where a 125 shines is around a city, the highest speed is likely to be 40mph, you can filter through gaps a supermodel would struggle to fit through and when the inevitable happens and you drop it it's easy to pick up. To me, having moved on from a 125 as soon as possible, it doesn't feel as though there's much in common between a 125 and my 850 or even the 500 I moved on to, they corner completely differently, accelerate and decelerate an order of magnitude faster and just feel completely different, to me anyway. In my opinion if your aim is to ride a big bike I don't think there's much advantage in riding a 125 for two years, I don't think you'll be better off on the big bike than someone who's done direct access.

This is just based on my experience, I did CBT on a 125 and then two days on it during the direct access so people with more experience of them will probably feel differently.

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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 17:36   #55
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The size, feel and whether you'll fit is all down to the type of bike, something like a 125XL varadero or a Honda VT125 Shadow will feel much like a bigger bike, speed is the main problem with my 125 (which is like the Shadow but with less power), being a heavy bike with a heavy rider it tops out at a shade over 60mph, most people think its a bigger bike than it is due to the styling.

Up large gradient hills it does struggle more torque would be nice, something like tog hill in Bristol I can just manage 45mph the extra 33% power of the Honda would probably have made all the difference to me.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 23:03   #56
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id agree with sandys, it depends on what type of 125 you buy. theres all types of bikes, with different power outputs and riding styles. dont buy a honda cg125 and expect it 2 be as fast as a rs125/mito.
as for which test to do, id say go for the full test/das (dependant on age) because then you will never have 2 do another test. theres nothing wrong with having a full licence and riding a 125.

if you want information on any 125's visit www.125ccsportsbikes.com/forums/
the guys on there helped me alot of times
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 08:53   #57
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as for which test to do, id say go for the full test/das (dependant on age) because then you will never have 2 do another test. theres nothing wrong with having a full licence and riding a 125.s
You don't have to do another test with the non-DAS test either, you just have to wait 2 years before you can ride an un-restricted bike.

I'd still recommend DAS if you can afford it, but if not, you still only have to take the one test, and the jump from a 125 to a 33hp bike will seem huge anyway.
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Old 4th Mar 2009, 10:45   #58
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I got a couple of questions;

Does anyone know of a jet-wash (high pressure lance) in or around Bristol? I need to wash the bike properly.

Completely unrelated, do you nod to other motorcyclists when you pass them on the road? I do and I've noticed that the vast majority of other bikers I pass will nod back, I really like it, what are your views?

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Old 4th Mar 2009, 11:16   #59
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... Does anyone know of a jet-wash (high pressure lance) in or around Bristol? I need to wash the bike properly.

Completely unrelated, do you nod to other motorcyclists when you pass them on the road? I do and I've noticed that the vast majority of other bikers I pass will nod back, I really like it, what are your views? ...
I'd be a bit careful with a jetwash. As the mechanics of the bike are exposed (unlike a car,) it can force water past seals and generally into places where you don't want water to go.

As for nodding or waving to other bikers on the road, all the time.
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Old 4th Mar 2009, 11:32   #60
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Yeah I've been warned about that but the bike was so filthy in all the tricky nooks and crannies that it'd take me weeks to do it with a bucket and brush so I reckon I'll give it a good going over with the lance then use Pro-clean and Pro-teckt(sp?) as recommended by my instructor (and fellow BMW nut), hopefully I will then be able to keep on top of it with a bucket and brush.

Glad I'm not the only one who nods, sometimes I get the feeling the passing biker just thinks I'm strange...

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