Saturday, May 28, 2011

My first petrol consumption figures.

I covered 185 miles using 7.05 litres. That works out at 119 mpg.

A lot better than my 32.6 mpg Lexus!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Over 50

First time over 50mph today. Not sure I'd want to go much faster on the little Lifan!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

High winds

It was windy in the Forest today. The bike didn't feel very stable with fairly strong side winds. I wonder if a heavier bike copes better? Day by day, I'm rapidly improving my control over the bike. Gear shifting problems now well behind me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

No choke

Started easily today. A couple of kick starts to save the battery was all it needed. A really good ride today. Everything is slipping into place. Gear shifting is getting easier. It's very lively in first and second and I'm trying to keep things smooth and easy as the engine is being run in. Sway to New Milton then on to Lymington. Popped in to AJ Bartlett to say thanks for yesterday's help. Then back to Sway.


I flooded the engine yesterday and a local mechanic popped out to sort me out from A J Bartlett. He told me that it was really only necessary to use the choke in really cold weather. During the summer in the UK the bike should start easily without any use of choke. I'm going to try this because I had been using maximum choke and that may have been the cause of my early starting problems.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Forest ponies

One thing I have quickly discovered. Ponies prefer cars! I noticed much more reaction from ponies as I approached on my Lifan today. Close to home I nearly had a problem as horses jumped into the road as I approached. Years of experience living in an area where animals are free to roam has made me very cautious. That saved me from a nasty fall today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday - a first longish journey

It's surprising how quickly I've got used to riding again after all these years. A bit tentative at first. I'm getting the hang of gear shifting and starting to gain confidence in handling the bike. Negotiated some quite difficult traffic conditions. All's going well - so far.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lifan Mirage J 2011

Here's the bike. On Sunday, I'll be having some refresher training. Studied the manual, ordered some training books and videos and just taken a ride round my village. Gear shifting a bit tricky!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chinese motorcycles

Chinese motorcycles have a terrible reputation on internet forums. But most posts go back several years. In Lymington, near my home in Sway, AJ Bartlett have been supplying and maintaining motorcycles since the 1950s. It has a small workshop and a few second hand bikes for sale. They also sell a small range of Lifan motor cycles and scooters. Jimmy, the owner, has been supplying Lifan 125 cc bikes for the past 3/4 years. He has had very few problems and says they are getting better and better. After thinking hard about getting a new 125cc Honda at about £3300, I decided to take the plunge and buy a Lifan Mirage J 125cc. Price new £1250. Less than the first years depreciation on a small new car.

So I will be able to comment on my experience with one Chinese motorcycle very soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting started

Taking up motorcycling after nearly 50 years since Lambretta days is quite a challenge. I decided to visit A J Bartlett in Lymington. Jimmy, who now runs the place, lent me a KYMCO People 50cc moped to try out. I quickly concluded that I wanted a little more punch and decided to start with a new cheap Chinese Lifan 125cc Mirage J. I take delivery tomorrow.

Meanwhile, armed with magazines and books, I'm going to mug up on the history of motorcycles. This new blog will be the story of another Fido retirement hobby!


A nice little automatic, so easy. But too much noise at 40 mph. I don't want to rush around but I prefer now to have a small motorcycle rather than a moped/scooter. 125cc will be enough to feel comfortable in the 30 - 50 mph range which is all I'm really after for now.