Monday 26 September 2016

Scooter update

Sorry for being a bit quiet recently but I've not been able to access the Internet from my computer at home. Turned out it was a poor connection inside a cable, now replaced and I'm back on line.

Just a quick update about how I'm getting on with my scooter. I've been riding to work each day for two weeks now and it's been a hoot! It's very easy to ride, has more than enough power for riding in traffic, and some days I've commuted faster than I did on the Skorpion due to it being so much easier to filter between lanes due to it being light, narrow and the automatic clutch means you can concentrate more on the traffic.

After I'd used a full tank of fuel I thought I'd work out the consumption. Poor photos taken on my phone, but you get the idea.

After a week's commuting, the scooter had covered 132.8 miles and used 5.35 litres. That works out at: 113 mpg = 94 mpUSg = 2.5l/100km! A lot less than the Skorpion, and about a quarter of what the car would consume. Looks like a worthwhile purchase.

Friday 16 September 2016

Friday bike

SWM Gran Milano 440

Another old name from the past returning. SWM were an Italian company that specialised in off road bikes in the 1970s and 80s. The brand has been re-launched this year with a range of bikes, including the Gran Milano.

An unusual mixture of old (air cooled single cylinder engine, twin shocks), and new (fuel injection, upside down forks), coupled to unusual styling and hideous brown paint.
Not much detail other than they are built in Milan with funding from Chinese firm Shinerey, who supplied some of the parts.

Rather minimalist luggage!

It features a 445cc engine, weights 145kg, and costs £4,999 in the UK.

Monday 12 September 2016

Another purchase

About a month after buying my Triumph Bonneville, I've now bought a Honda PCX 125.

I'd featured the PCX a few months ago as my Friday bike, but hadn't even considered buying one them. This is the first (and possibly still only) scooter to be fitted with an 'Idling stop' system where the engine cuts out if stopped for more than a few seconds and starts again when you twist the throttle.

You can switch it off, but you get used to it fairly soon.
It also has a fairly large luggage compartment under the saddle that can easily take a full face helmet.

The question is, why? The truth is I can't really answer that question. Up until about two months ago I was happy with two MZ Skorpion Travellers, one for touring and one for commuting to work. Then I felt like I needed a change as I'd only been riding Skorpions for 16 years, and MZs for about 28 - almost half my life! I bought the Bonneville to replace my 'touring' Skorpion, and had intended on keeping the 'commuting' one.
However, I started to feel that a Skorpion wasn't the ideal bike for my commute - about 15 miles (25 km) each way, mostly slow traffic, with only about 3 miles (5km) where I could go over 50 mph (80 km/h). I started thinking about what would be more suitable and decided on a scooter. I've been riding bikes for 41 years but have never owned one.
I saw this one advertised near my work, contacted the seller, and went to view it. I took it for a test ride and within a couple of minutes it just felt 'right' and a lot of fun to ride, so I bought it.
I've already sold my white Skorpion and my silver one will be for sale soon. I've also got my Yamaha SZR660, which will be sold and that will leave me with:

Triumph Bonneville - 'touring' bike
Honda PCX125 - 'commuting' bike
1972 Honda CL350 - 'hobby' bike.

So, changed days in my garage!

Saturday 10 September 2016

Skorpion speedo cable

After 16 years my speedo cable snapped on my silver Skorpion. I'd read on the Web that a cable from a Ducati Monster fitted, so ordered one from Ebay. Link.

As you can see, it's the same length as the Skorpion cable, but higher quality and with a boot at the bottom end.

Fitting was straight forward, just a bit fiddly due to the fairing, but no real problem.

Cable in place!

The boot at the bottom of the cable clips over a lip on the speedo drive giving a (hopefully) waterproof seal.

This is the label from the packet. I assume it's a pattern cable, but it fits well, is good quality and more readily available than a genuine MZ cable.

Friday 2 September 2016

Friday bike

Attractive or ugly? - You decide!

MV Agusta F4Z

A collaboration between MV Agusta and design house Zagato, the F4Z has been built as a 'one off' for a wealthy Japanese collector.