Saturday, 6 September 2014

Honda XR125 2005

This is Lucy's bike at the moment... it's a lovely little thing that has helped her to really get to grips with riding both on road & off road, something she'll have more to say when she's got some time free...

She went to see this bike with her dad, (Who is a bit of a Cumbrian celebrity in the trials bike world, he's had shelves full of trophies from competing all around the UK & even now, when you talk to him, his passion for bikes just shines through)... anyway back to the XR...the guy was asking for £1200 at the time but with a bit of haggling they got him down to £1000 & chucked the bike in the van to get it home & get out on the road. I was in the States at the time & to be honest had advised her to wait until she had passed her test & could get something a bit bigger, but she was super keen to get more miles under her belt & so headed out to look at a few bikes. In hindsight she was right getting this bike as she has developed so much more confidence with her riding & has also managed to get in plenty of off road riding, once we changed the road tyre to knobbly ones...

The bike itself has undergone a few changes sine it's been in the fold too, for one it's had a basic service, things like oil, fork oil, air filter etc all of which clearly haven't been done in a fair while, (The engine oil came out like sludge & required a good flush to get it looking halfway decent!), this has made the bike much more responsive. The clutch comes into play right at the end of the lever release, so It's had a new cable & been adjusted, but it hasn't really made a change to the bite point, all it has done is made the clutch smoother & lighter to pull in & release, so maybe a little more research is needed on this.

If we were going to keep this bike we would be looking at replacing the wheels as they are sooo heavy! my god I was shocked when I picked them up to put a new tyre on... a fair proportion of the weight of the bike rests in the rims alone... changing these would make this bike handle better as well off road. The dry weight of the bike is 115Kg, so I'm guessing the wet weight is about 125Kg, so changing the rims would make the wet weight about 110Kg at a guess... phew... porky pig land for such a small engine!!

The tyres we've put on for the off road stuff are both from Midas, the rear is a C-02 & the front is an EF-08, both of these fit the rims, the rear is a 17 inch & the front a 19 inch which is a pretty odd size, but it is a road bike in reality so not so much I guess... They do the job pretty good on all the terrains we've found so far & coupled with Lucy's good balance & developing bike skills, they should handle all but the most challenging of terrains... they were also about £100 for the pair, dirt bike tyres are so much cheaper than road bike tyres, it's amazing, all that fun for a fraction of the price!!

Things that could be better on this bike are the front brakes, they are spongy, soft & not that great, even after a fluid change & a good scrubbing on the pistons... maybe braided hoses would sort that out, but again, the bike will be up for sale as soon as Lucy passes her final part of her test so it's not worth spending the money on it. The other thing is the rear footpegs, they are part of the rear brake system so unless you make a bracket to dot he job they do for the rear brake, they cannot be removed, which is a pain for the offroad stuff & as Lucy has just found out, slicing through her boot & heel very nicely!!