This is brilliant! I just wish my (Czech) father were still alive to give me a running commentary!
I pulled back the curtains last Saturday 17th November to a lovely sunny winter morning. After the usual cuppa and toast I decided to wheel out my “Winter Hack” and head off for a few hours. As I got outside I realized that even though it was sunny it was quite chilly.
I decided that my Honda CG 125 would be used this winter. It had a screen fitted, hand wind protectors, new tyres, a comfy seat, was running sweetly and was nice and light, she had a decent enough top speed of 65mph and doing over 100mpg was ideal for me.
Now for those of you who do not know me I am 6ft tall and 100kg and the little bike has no problem carting me around although when it comes to steep climbs it struggles a bit but still gets there.
I set off at 08.30 through Colligan Woods turning off at Kilbrien to follow the scenic road to the Nire Valley. I was glad of the screen and hand protectors but the tips of my fingers were getting cold. I was not the only one out and about as I met several farmers on the road heading off on tractors and the occasional deer hunter, as this area is a favourite spot for them. After reaching Ballymacarbry I followed the back road over the mountain into Clonmel and headed on for Ardfinnan and then into Clogheen bringing back memories of the great weekends we had in 2009, 2010 and 2011 at our annual Rally. Turning left in Clogheen I made my way towards the beautiful Vee with its views of so many counties and then onto Lismore, a heritage town that is really worth a visit and contains the most beautiful Lismore Castle, which is still in operation and owned by the Duke of Devonshire. It was built in 1185 and was owned at one stage by Sir Walter Raleigh the man who brought the spuds to Youghal, which helped me grow up big and strong to the 100kg I am today! Here is a link to the castle http://www.lismorecastle.com/ After Lismore I followed the River Blackwater into the town of Cappoquin famous for its Chickens and then on home to Dungarvan. All in all a lovely spin out on a lovely morning covering 120 km and the CG just purred along.
My CG was made in Turkey in 2002 and is known as the CG 125 M-1. Now before I bought it 2 years ago in Greystones, Co.Wicklow I was not aware that these were ever built in Turkey so I contacted fellow Jawa CZ Club member Mehmet Ozge Deren from Ankara and he informed me that they were produced by Anadolu Honda Group in Istanbul between 1996-2003. In April 2003 they finished their partnership with Honda Motors.
Anadolu Group was an old producer of the Jawa 559 and Turkish models Jawa Ceylan and Jawa Lazer. Now the Anadolu Group only produce Lombardini GR4 diesel engines for Italy and they import and market Lada, Kia cars and Lombardini, Antor and Honda generators and agricultural engines, some marine engines also. (Thanks to Memhet for the above info) I have to say the built quality of my CG is quite good as I stripped all the main components off to check the frame and there was no rust on it other than the centre stand. Some of the chrome is pitted but it is 10 years old so I can’t have any complaints on that front.
The CG 125 M-1 is the first model to have an electric start but still retains the kickstart. A safety circuit prevents the electric starter from operating unless the gearbox is in neutral, or the clutch lever is pulled in. It also retains the fully enclosed rear chain although the enclosure is plastic not metal. It also has a carburettor heater to prevent icing and an electronic ignition is fitted. The front forks do not have fork gaiters but I bought a pair on e-bay and fitted them. Mine has drum brakes front and back but they work very well and the clutch is very light and the 5-speed gearbox is smooth. For those of you interested in a little bit of history the CG 125 followed the CB 125 and was in production from 1976 until 2008 and has now been replaced by the CBF 125. Here is a really fascinating history of the CG and in particular how the development came about from the rather unreliable CB. It showed the attention to detail that the Japanese went to at the time and the practical solutions that they came up with to turn the unreliable CB 125 into one of the most reliable and robust motorcycles ever made and which went on to sell in phenomenal numbers all over the world and was the subject of several copies in countries such as China and Korea. See in particular pages 1-4. http://world.honda.com/history/challenge/1975cg125/text/01.html
There are some great stories of people who have used them for long distance touring especially in South and Central America. One couple I have read about recently actually left the UK on one to travel across Europe and on to Australia. One of the most enjoyable travel books I have ever read is a book called “Old Man on a Bike” which was written by a man called Simon Gandolfi. Simon decided to leave the UK and head to New York, buy himself a CG 125 pizza delivery bike and head for Tierra Del Fuego, which is at the very bottom of South America. By the way Simon was 73 years of age at the time. He actually has a new book launched in November 2011 called Old Men Can’t Wait which is covering the return journey at the age of 75! So it’s not too late for any of us yet!!http://simongandolfi.blogspot.ie/ Now I know what I am going to be reading over Christmas stretched out by the fire with a few cans of Kilkenny within arms reach.
By Seamus O Rourke
Performed by the Nomad Theatre Network in association with Livin Dred.
A Honda 50 Bike-run forms the background of a hilarious new play by writer Seamus O’Rourke. Five members of the Drumkarren Honda Club are sitting in a run-down shed in Co. Cavan, ready to embark on a Bike-ride, awaiting the other twenty members (seemingly “stuck” in a pub in Killeshandra). The Drumkarren Honda Club are about to discover that lots can happen in a shed in Cavan on a wet day with a Honda called Hilda! O’Rourke himself features in this production alongside a stalwart cast of John Olohan (Glenroe), Pa Ryan (Trivia), Aaron Monaghan and Clare Monnelly
A talented cast with a powerful script, the long memory and small town politics of every town in Ireland is given the open road to display themselves. One liners, plots, blackmail, scandal, all in a recognisable landscape. A winning combination. If you learn anything from this play it will be to be careful when dealing with Cavan farmers,who have an eye on your Honda 50.
Well worth catching if it comes to your area.
I was thinking what a tolerant lot we are and this note comes to mind...
I love motorcycles, and I love riding. Like many of you, what first drew me to bikes was not just the experience of riding, but the feeling that I'd become part of a special community - a brotherhood, really. Nothing calms me more than a long ride down the interstate, waving to the members of my beloved clan. Except when I pass Harley guys. I hate Harley guys. Hate, hate, hate. When they pass me on the highway, you know what I do? I don't wave. With their little tassel handlebars and the studded luggage and the half helmets - God, they drive me crazy.
You know who else I hate? BMW guys. Oh, do I hate those guys. I don't wave at them either. They think they're so great, sitting all upright, with their 180 degree German engines. God, I hate them. They're almost as bad as those old bastards on their touring motorcycles. You know what I call those bikes? "Two wheeled couches!" Get it? Because they're so big. They drive around like they have all day. Appreciate the scenery somewhere else, Grandpa, and while you're at it, I'm not waving to you.
Ducati guys - I don't wave at them either. Why don't they spend a little more money on their bikes? "You can have it in any color as long as it is red." Aren't you cool! Like they even know what a Desmo-whatever engine is, anyway. Try finding the battery, you Italian-wannabe racers! I never, ever wave at those guys.
Suzuki guys aren't much better, which is why I never wave at them, either. They always have those stupid helmets sitting on the top of their stupid heads, and God forbid they should ever wear any safety gear. They make me so mad. Sometimes they'll speed by and look over at me, and you know what I do? I don't wave. I just keep going. Please, don't get me started on Kawasaki guys. Ninjas? What are you, twelve years old? Team Green my ass. I never wave at Kawasaki guys.
I ride a Honda, and I'll only wave at Honda guys, but even then I'll never wave at a guy in full leathers. Never, never, never. Yeah, like you're going to get your knee down on the New York Thruway. Nice crotch, by the way. Guys in full leathers will never get a wave from me. And by the way, neither will the guys in two piece leathers. And I'll tell you who else I'm not waving at - those guys with the helmets with loud paint jobs. Four pounds of paint on a two pound helmet - like I'm going to wave back at that! I'll also never wave at someone with a mirrored visor. Or helmet stickers. Or racing gloves. Or hiking boots.
To me, motorcycling is like a family, a close knit brotherhood of people who ride Hondas, wear jeans and a leather jacket (not Vanson) with regular gloves and a solid color helmet with a clear visor, no stickers, no racing gloves and regular boots (not Timberlands). And isn't that what really makes riding so special?
With acknowledgements to Esquire magazine.
If Hendrix had lived he would have been 70 this November. Part of his talent was that he could make a guitar talk and be understood, even by my teenage mind. He had an interesting history. A good musician who's life style and dress code stopped him from being absorbed into other bands. He formed his own group and achieved fame in England and Europe when he played in Woodstock. He was what others faked. The real thing, he wanted to be more then a guitar player, he was writing a film script at the time of his death. The sand of time ran out too soon for this talent to succeed. But we must be thankful for what he has left us.
A surprise visit from my old friend Alan G provided the sample for this month. Alan knows what he likes, and what he does not like. I have failed to introduce him to a love of Ale, in fairness he does try the sample i have provided but so far I have failed to find an Ale to rock his boat. Still I knew when he came supporting 2 bottles that I was in for a treat. A lager but a treat.
on sale in Aldi,cost around 1.70 euros.
When you google the experts they describe the beer as sweetcorn, honeycomb aroma. Good grassy lager underscored with honeyed toast and almond; some Danish pastry tones. Clean cashew and bread stick linger.
I will not argue with them. It is slightly darker and has more complex flavours then a summer beer. The darker colour being the winter style. It has the body of a European beer, a food source, more bitter then sweet, but not overpowering in either direction. Well worth a try, and good enough for me to get a stock in since. A very pleasant Lager for Christmas. At 5.5% it is one to sip while reading your Christmas present or watching The Chocolate Factory.
6 soldiers pull up on a main street in Halifax, Nova Scotia as part of a parade. They're in a standard issue WWII type Willys Jeep. In the span of about 4 to 5 minutes they completely disassemble the vehicle and reassemble it and drive off in it fully operable! The idea being to show the genius that went into the making of the jeep and its basic simplicity.