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I am now the proud owner of  a Honda CBF125. An earlier blog sets out how I come to be a motor bike owner. Not only am I a proud owner but I have also thoroughly enjoyed the process of acquiring the bike.

The search for a bike -

As a follow up to the earlier blog I was advised that a Honda would be a good bet - they have four stroke engines and a reputation for being sound. 125cc is the upper limit I am allowed  as a learner driver (the bike is cool, but those L plates aren't), I really must get the next stage of the test out of the way. So I set out to look for a suitable buy.

My first thought was simply to go to Honda and take the interest free credit on a new bike - £2,420 paid back over some years. Not necessarily a bad option as the rules about being restricted to 125cc have created a somewhat artificial market in bikes of this size, and a good second hand one holds its value. But it's not really in my nature simply to go out and buy on that basis, so I started looking at the second hand market.

The predecessor to the CBF125 was the CG125 and it is possible to buy these very much more cheaply, as not only are they older but they have been superseded. So I began to trawl Gumtree and eBay. At about the same time I saw this article on a site called Social Media Examiner, and it clicked in my head that the techniques in it would also work for my bike hunt. Until I read the article I had heard of RSS but never really understood it. Now I think I get it. At the foot of each (for example) Gumtree search there is a line that looks like this

If you right click on this and copy the link url, you can then paste the link into a new Google Reader subscription. Google Reader then does the job of looking up new advertisements for you and highlights them in bold. Add a subscription to an eBay search  and each day you get a selection of new items to look at. Add searches for a CG125 on Gumtree and eBay and the daily choice is enormous. I'd recommend reading the article and adding Google Reader as a start up tab on your browser. 

The purchase

After a few weeks trawling through the new listings I thought I knew that a low mileage CBF125 would cost about £2,000, so when I saw one with 500 miles on the clock at £1,600 I was on it like a shot.  Apparently another buyer had left a deposit on the bike by the time I rang up, but my offer of same day cash was sufficient to elicit that the deposit was theoretical rather than actual, and I set off to Battersea. The lady who owned the bike kept it in her living room. The bike was better than showroom condition. I could hardly believe my luck. Her husband owned an MV Agusta and a huge touring bike, also kept in the living room. Their every day bike was outside under a cover. I think they can fairly be termed enthusiasts.

I could hardly wait to hand over my money. And they made me a cup of tea.  


I do seem to remember most of the training. I have ridden it about 12 miles. Far and away the most difficult thing to remember so far is to cancel the indicator after completing a turn

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Tags: motorcycle, rss

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Comment by Clive Carter on June 23, 2011 at 8:32

Adrian, like me, you have a black bike.

You might consider wearing something that makes you more visible to other road users: a hi-vi strap or jacket and consider an all-white helmet ...

Comment by Clive Carter on June 23, 2011 at 8:29

Far and away the most difficult thing to remember so far is to cancel the indicator after completing a turn

My experience also!

This is important and more than once I have been grateful for the caution of other motorists who have doubted the intention to turn as indicated, and wisely judged I have failed to cancel the indicator from a previous turn. One cannot always rely on the wisdom of others and it is far better to cancel oneself. One way to do this is to indicate (and cancel) at every opportunity so that it becomes a habit.

I will be interested to know what fuel consumption you report Adrian. Just remember to fill the tank to the same point below the filler cap each time and make a note of the number of litres to refill (and the distance travelled since last fill).

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