Blog Date - 11 November 2013
Well it has been done. The old Fazer has been chopped in against a smaller, less powerful motorcycle.
I've been agonising for well over 6 months about getting a new bike. A brand new bike. The CB 500 X really tickled my fancies but the 2 Honda dealers never quite put together a deal that made it all seem worthwhile. The Suzuki Inazuma ticked a fair few boxes but one dealer didn't manage to tempt me and the other one made me feel sick with his lack of product knowledge and downright lies. Because I'm so tight some people think I'm super rich. I'm not. I have enough money for a brand new bike but it would cripple my savings. If I were to spend 3 to 5 grand it needed to be something really special.
After almost 5 years of ownership I'd tired of the Fazer. It was a most excellent machine. Smooth, powerful, completely reliable over the 37,000 miles I rode it for and able to carry inordinate amounts of luggage. Considering my 600 was 12 years old it returned 60 mpg which is still comparable to modern fuel injected 600's of today. There was nothing at all wrong with the Fazer but...but I never loved it. We are all quite unique and I know the FZS 600 is a much loved model but somehow it was...well...just...allright. I shall not hear a bad word said about it, it just wasn't endearing to me.
So to the CBF. I was losing heart in the search for that special deal on that special new bike. Then I spotted a CBF 250 for sale at the back-street dealer who's website I look after. G and C Motorcycles is not a shiny showroom filled with mint motorcycles it's a scruffy garage down a short dirt track. I knew the bike would not be tip-top and Callum clearly stated in the advert that it already had a "Cat-D" insurance claim against it. But for £1,500 it was cheap enough and not too big a risk.
The CBF 250 puts out just a tad less power than the Suzuki Inazuma I'd been looking at. It weighs considerably less, tipping the scales at 154 kg fully wet at the kerb side. A brief look online suggests it ought to return 75 to 95 mpg and hold a steady 70 mph. That all suited me fine. A test ride on the bike confirmed a few more things. It's definitely not as quick as the Fazer!. It's a hell of a lot lighter and easier to ride. I love hearing that single thrumming away rather than the buzz of the four potter. It will do 70 mph and this particular machine seemed to ride straight and true. It also has massive tick-over issues.
A brief look online suggested carb problems or tappets. I suspected tappets as the tickover was rising as the engine got hot. I'll explain properly in another article one day. I knew this could be fixed but I've never actually done "shim" tappets before so I was apprehensive. Never the less Callum offered me a better than average exchange for the Fazer and I'd started to like the little 250. A deal was struck.
I enjoyed the ride home thoroughly. The goddam tickover needed adjustment at every stop and I missed the power on the motorway yet I relished the ride through my country lanes. It's so light! Corners are flicked around not piloted. The single pot motor may only produce a paltry 21 bhp but it's a determined little git that pulls like a shire horse up the steepest of inclines. It is rather like my CBF 125 that I already love but with that extra punch. Happy boy.
It now sits in my living room with the rocker cover off and the camshafts out. The tolerances on the tappets cannot be measured as yet...as there is NO gap!. Plans are in place to remedy this and give it a damn good service, something I think it's lacked in it's 10,000 mile life. I've been concerned about how much load it can carry. I need not be, the Fazer's rated at 173 kg, the CB 500 X is also rated at 173 kg, the sticker under the seat on the CBF 250 rates the maximum load at 175 kg. Go figure. Anyhow I'd better go, I need to see if I can find a shim small enough to at least calculate what size of shims I need...
Wellllll....it's cold and wet outside isn't it.
It's all apart, just got to get the shims sorted out.