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Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

...It's about bikes...and travels...mostly on bikes!

Motorcyclist looking at the beauty of her surroundings

What's New?

XCP Professional Chain Lube Review Ren's review on XCP Professional's chain lube. Is it for the weekend warrior or can mechanical assassins use it too?
CB500X Side Panel Removal Ren's pictorial guide to removing and replacing the side panels on the Honda CB500X
No More New Bikes So was it worth buying a new motorcycle? Would Ren repeat the experience? I think he's just got too much money, that's the problem.
Racing Butterflies Sharon is getting to grips with the Z250SL and discovering the joy of having a bit more poke and go.
A Field North Of Scunthorpe 2016 Sharon and Ren go camping in a random field north of Sunny Scunny. But why?
Aprilia RS4-125 Review Pocket Pete finds himself riding an Aprilia RS4 125. Will it be too much for him? Can he cope? Will the bike buckle under his mass?
Something Has Burst...Is It My Bubble? After 2,500 miles on the 250SL what's news for Sharon? Is she filled with joy or has she been left feeling rather deflated?
Hawes And Bob's Memorial There's time for great roads, fun, laughter and laddish behaviour this weekend. Sharon and Ren also share a moment to remember the tragedy of a life lost.
Loading A Kawasaki Z 250 SL For Camping Camping...on a Z250SL? Are you MAD? Sharon is hoping to take the Kwakker for a short weekend away but will it allow her to take anything more than a toothbrush?
Williams Waterless Wash and Wax Review With Carnauba Sharon was gifted a bottle of "waterless wash and wax". Yeah right, that's going to be useless...isn't it?

Latest Posts

No More New Bikes Ren - The Ed said :-
FOUR Vigors?!?!? I know I liked my SLR650 but I never felt the need to own 4 of them. What's up with you Bob? By the way, I know of an old, rusted up solid and lifeless SLR650 for sale if you feel the need for another 650 single in your life.

Maybe hydrogen is the way to go. Maybe, just maybe someone somewhere will solve the battery issues in the future, we don't know. Hydrogen is still used to create electrical energy so either way we'll be running electrical motors of some description.

Unless of course the governments REALLY screw up and we end up with Armageddon. Either way the point still remains, make the most of your internal combustion engines while the going is still good.
No More New Bikes Bob said :-
Henrik, that'll never happen. Politicians desperate to show green credentials posit these policies, with no thought of whether it's possible or not. There simply isn't enough lithium on the planet to convert even 5% of the world's current vehicle stock to electric and who is going to build the hundreds of nuclear power stations needed to charge these vehicles up? Not to mention the national grid (of all countries) which couldn't handle the distribution duties either. Couple in the fact that nobody is even suggesting that we can build an electric version of a 43 tonne HGV and we'll be driving petrol powered vehicles for a good few decades yet.
The only viable long-term solution is Hydrogen, everybody knows this, but short sighted government policies have lead to the world-wide distraction of Lithium Ion powered vehicles. In decades to come these will be seen for the evolutionary dead-end that they are.

Ian Soady, yes I had a brief wobble there, but I've got four FX650 Vigors again now - and I'm loving every minute!
No More New Bikes Ren - The Ed said :-
I dare say I may live to see then end of the internal combustion engine as the primary means of propulsion. While I adore the engineering, noise and wizardry of the 4 stroke cycle I believe that electric motorcycles will be great!

Of course the other thing that will come in is the self driving vehicles in which case motorcycles will be confined to race tracks and curiosity events. In which case I'm doing as much riding as I can now and trying to make the most of it.
Frank Thomas Paddock Boots MX021 Review Ren - The Ed said :-
I have the same problem when I wear my Oxford bike jacket Mike... An endless stream of people thinking I'm a professor at Corpus Christi university. Hmmmmm.
Frank Thomas Paddock Boots MX021 Review Mike Stride said :-
I won't buy these boots {or the waterproof ones either}, in case strangers come up to me on the street and say, ' Excuse me Frank, got a light ?'
Waterproof, well made yet nondescript paddock boots are hard to find. I'm an undemonstrative kind of guy, albeit extremely handsome.
No More New Bikes Henrik said :-
In EU they are working on a total ban on selling new benzin/diesel driven vehicles starting from 2030, Sweden + Germany + NL has already expressed a possetive attitude, and more are likely to follow,...

So I guess in a few years it would have been a reality anyway, no more new bikes, anyway the new electronic etc. has made new bikes a no-go for me long ago
Sharon's Biking Blog Alan said :-

I have been reading your blog of the trials and tribulations, highs and lows of learning to ride a motorbike. I just did my CBT two weeks ago after my stepson presented me with a fait accompli. The sod booked me in for one when he booked his own. I haven't ridden since I was around 19 many, many, many years ago and even then it was my brothers Honda C90, not the most challenging bike to learn on, but was fun to ride. My stepson wants a Honda Grom but it's not my cup of tea, plus I can't flat feet the ground. I am not quite as petite as Sharon but my legs are on the short side. I am looking at a Yorkshire/ Chinese bike, the Honley HD01 or HD-3. Made in China for Earnshaws of Huddersfield to their quality specs. I think it may be on a par with Sharon's Zen as being decent in quality. To my untrained eye it looks like a clone of the Yamaha YBR125 at less than 2/3rds of the price so I think a lot of Yamaha parts will fit if I can't get original makers parts, especially accessories. So hopefully in the not too distant future I will become a full member of the biking siblinghood. I am a bit hyper self critical and like Sharon I really hate any kind of oral exam or having someone looking over my shoulder when doing things so reading her blog should help me as I practice for my full license. Like her I hope to get a lot of miles under my belt before I do my DAS. I did contemplate and intensive course but as someone said, theres a reason they are called crash courses. Fair weather and may all your rides be enjoyable.
No More New Bikes Ren - The Ed said :-
That's some bad grief having both bikes stolen and burned Doug. Gutted I bet. And yeah, scratched my new bike on Friday and I'm like "urgh, the beginning of the end".
CB500X Side Panel Removal Ren - The Ed said :-
The side panel is the easy bit. Just wait until you try to remove the fairing panels _ nightmare. I'll be doing a piece on those soon.
No More New Bikes Doug said :-
My YBR and Electra were stolen and torched last month, and after the insurance paid up started bike shopping again. I've bought new twice - a Kawasaki GT550 in '92 and a Royal Enfield Bullet in '04. I do like the "buzz" of getting a new bike, but my biggest problem is that as I get older, there's fewer new bikes I like the look of to choose from. So again have gone second hand, picking up a YBR Custom for £800 and another Bullet for £1400. I figured the money left over will go a long way in fuel and spares, and I won't have the sinking feeling when you see the first scratch/graze/dent.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
My friend's mother has dementia and barely recalls anyone or anything when he visits her. It's a terrible thing and it breaks his heart.

I'll be boring people to tears one day retelling the tales of how once I rode a 125cc petrol powered motorcycle all around the UK. It's hard to imagine being old but I know it's coming. When I was 30 it was really hard to imagine being 45.

But here's to today! My biggest concern is that my car (yes, I have a CAR!) is going for it's MOT. If it needs any work I have a problem. Unlike the bikes I have nowhere to park the car safely off the road to carry out any repairs. Wish me luck!
Henrik said :-
I think it will be a mix of joy and regret, but most joy, imagine sitting in a elder-home, getting no-where, when looking in an old album its partly like being there again, you might even discover things you did not notice at first, the corrupted memory get synced to reality, and you can say to your self "at least I did it while it was possible, I did not waste my life",..

Working with senile people pictures from their youth, relations, music,is being used in therapy lately with great success, and when you remember one thing, often another thing will follow and re-appear in your memory

So I guess pictures could even in some cases sustain the brains "lifetime", its a pain to watch people loose their identety. Someone I knew did visit her old mother often, and every time the mother asked her "who are you"

My grandmother did call, and was looking after my grandfather all over the elder-home I remember, when I came to visit her, "peter", "Peter", problem was, he had been dead for 11 or 12 years, it was up the hill,...

Yes you are right, as many trips as possible before its to late :-)
Ren - The Ed said :-
I too like to review the pictures from time to time Henrik. I am amazed, stunned and shocked by just how much I've done - and then forgotten about! The human mind is a peculiar machine.

I wonder though. When one day I'm too frail or impaired to ride motorcycles will the images and the memories be a good or a bad thing? Will I look at them with a smile and pride and say "I did that, I had a great time and I loved every moment" or will I be saddened and disheartened that I can no longer do that and hate being reminded of how good things were.

I suppose it's a choice. I can choose to remember with joy or be filled with regret at what I can no longer do. Who knows what the future holds, there could be war, illness, pestilence and famine so today I'm going to ride my 125 in the rain and smile.
Henrik said :-
Cool picture for sure Ren, my memory is not so good, the pics and albums are important, I often have a look back on old trips and roadmarks in life, in case I get old and handicapped these albums will be a comfort also
Ren - The Ed said :-
The pictures on the link are fascinating Henrik, very clever too. These are definitely an art and because they're obviously "unreal" they're not trying to trick the viewer into believing things are far better (or worse) than the really are.

The picture of the motocross rider is evocative. It poses the dream of riding and exploring vast lush mountains, all wild and free on two wheels. It makes me want to be that man!

Unfortunately the reality is different. I'd be scared on those really steep hills. Then I'd run out of fuel because there's no petrol stations close by. Then I'd be arrested for trespass and criminal damage because I'm churning up the farmer's grazing lands. Then I'd feel all useless and trapped by society and my distinct lack of skills. Before I know it I've given up motorcycling at taken up knitting instead.

That said...every now and then my reality can be photogenic too. Ullapool 2012

Skipping stones in the setting sun at Ullapool
Henrik said :-
Manipulative edits, very skilled work, funny ideas as well, there is a video about it also down the site

Nice weekend ! ...
Henrik said :-
For the reference :-)

Henrik said :-
Guess your got some good and right points about photos

Your fotos on this side works well to compliment the text

Depended on interest and emphasis one can take photos in many directions

Photos can be used also to describe/share feelings, emotions, atmosphere, etc

Manipulating deeply, like Ruslan, is not my style, but I remember one kayak-trip, where my wife said to me: "hey, the heaven was not THAT red", but any
way, that was how my memory was, that was how I did feel about that trip :-)

To "over-do" a picture can still serve a explanatory purpose ocasionally

Btw, our eyes are the most unreliable, and subjective, of all our senses, in case 10 people withness a car-crash, or a crime, they would probably repport 10 different versions if asked 30 minutes later

For albums like "old town" in Stockholm, and partly Öland, focus is on showing the beauty, and athmosphere, and share this. I will obviously frame tasty, to direct and keep focus where I want it, use maybe 10 minutes to get the building from the right angle, and wait until that damm car up in front has left the space, waiting for the right light is also nessesary. I also take some closeups sharing what details paints the hole picture, and much more, but I try not to manipulate still, in this kind of album, all depends

I share a off-road photo I found on the net, descibing a feeling, with-out being vulgar, or untasty, pretty close to what I saw in Rumania actually :-)

Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm left feeling somewhat inadequate when I see all these photos. I'm not sure how I feel about "post editing". On the one hand it takes away from the original photo but post editing not also an art form in itself?

I suppose I have no problem with the art of photography or indeed the art of photographic manipulation. That said women (and men) struggle to keep up with the idealised beautiful and photoshopped people they see in magazines. When I ride and see places I sometimes find I'm disappointed with the reality. Fabulous pictures which have been beautifully framed and perhaps altered cause would be travellers to expect far too much.

I guess my pictures on this website are my snaps. I do trim them and occasionally sharpen them up a little. I want readers to see what I've seen, in both its glory and its drabness. I don't want to paint the picture that life on 2 wheels is always wonderful and every rideout is a joyous experience.

Imagine if historians in 4,000 years uncover a copy of Vogue. They'll get a rather skewed notion of what life was like today.
Ian Soady said :-
Yes, I like those much more.
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