Lessons Learnt #2

Have you ever sat and wondered just why you bother with certain things?

I am no new man to bikes, having had them since I was 16, on and off, so you would think I would have got wise before now. I am a teacher of English too, so I should be able to read and decipher the words between words, the semantics of an easy text.

But no, I am human and because of that, I am sure I am as fallible as the next bloke.

Today’s little duo of despotic moments are testament to just that. The readers to this blog will know I had some trouble a few weeks ago with a rack and box, got help, took the thing off and tried to fix it myself. Bad idea! I am about as mechanically minded as a slug and I was forced into going to the dealer and getting them to do it.

I, after all, am the one who has a scrape on my Z250 many moons ago now and pushes the thing home, about half a mile. I put it in the garage and the following day decide to try and fix it. My Mum and Dad are on holiday abroad leaving me Home Alone at 16. Another bad idea. So, I strip the thing; tank off, down to the nitty gritty, engine out bit by bit till I get to the offending article, a rod of some description. It is cracked. Something to do with the camshaft, or something like that, I seem to remember. I get the new part, put it all together again and am left with a piece in my hand, thinking where the f*** does that go?

So I get dealers to do things now.

Today saw me go for my new hugger to be fitted to my beloved Biffa 650. It has been on order but each time I have tried to go down, the heavens have opened and I have been stuck, so I got there, left it with them, went for a smoke and a coffee, or should that be cofveve?

And chill.

Half an hour in, one of the mockaniks with the spanner comes waltzing round the corner at me and then into the shop area. I ask him is that mine? He answers that it is and that it does not fit. It is the wrong part. After my coffee, and a chat up of a lovely Polish lass, [there has to be some perks in life] I head on in to find four of them in heated debate as to what to do next. This is their cash flow that is being held up after all. They are all very nice and re-order one for me, of the right one.

Now here is where it went tits up, so beware all you young bikers, or old farts like me, who know no less, for the age of the bike you buy may just drop you in the clarts like with me today. If you check on the MCN Reviews for the CBF600, you will find two of them. The first goes from something like 2000 – 2008 saying some unsavoury things. Then there is a review of the bike built from 2008 onwards. A better review on the whole. [I may have mistyped a number there so apologies if that is the case].

Point of order being that although mine is a 2010 bike, it is not a 2010 bike! That is what I was told!

I asked them what they meant, thinking that I had been sold a pup, not the first time that thought has crossed my mind in recent times I can tell you, but he realised what he had said and assured me it was kosher as a 2010 bike, but that he meant it had been manufactured some time before that and had, no doubt, been sat in a showroom, waiting for Mr Right, with his big fat wallet, to come in and fall in love with her.

This is the deal you see, for my bike fits into that first MCN review category. It must do, for the serial numbers to be wrong on the hugger, for the later 2010 onwards bikes, apparently, have a wider hugger, with the holes drilled out in different places. So beware of taking what you think is a 2011 bike. It may just be a 2008 one that never got bought when the rush came in March or September ad then when it did get bought was registered as that year when new.

So, with all this in my head, I head off home, to put it bluntly, slightly pissed off, and then get pissed on! Yes, you guessed it; on the way home, the rain came in small amounts, just enough to get me moist. Now, before your eyebrows go over the top of your eyes at the word I used there, think on, I have not got any wet gear. So I am disgruntled by the time I get home.

But when I get home, there are two surprises waiting for me; a tiny camera for the bike, for when I go away next week [review to follow] and my new leather seat covers. Now I expected covers that simply slipped over the seats, where maybe I could add some gel pack into the space left, or some foam, to make the seat wider, or comfier.

What I got was this…


And this….


When I opened them, I thought oh, what have I done? I started calling myself all manner of names and then thought try the other one.

I got this… for the back seat.


More like it, thought I. But then I was confused again. Had I been given a tank cover as well? The first one was so big, it could almost be that.


But I was happy with the red stitching and the logo, for my bike is red and black.


So, I decided to have a look at the ad again on ebay and there, in plain print, I saw something so obvious, it might as well have been a bloody duck that flew into my face, slapped me round the chops and then buggered off again. There, in nice lovely font, were the instructions that this silly old sod had neglected to read clearly.

I had seen the image, fallen head over heels and bought, not really knowing that when they arrive, you have to get a heavy duty staple gun, remove your seats, front and pillion, and then proceed to staple these covers over the already bony, excruciatingly horrible seat.

Now I was annoyed for a second time but this gave way to a sense of relief in a way, because at that point, I realised something that had only, in a way, occurred to me, that could be true. I had asked some friends if their seat covers they had bought had space between cover and seat, when they flipped the cover over [thinking slip on covers] whereby a small piece of foam, cut to the shape of the rider’s seat, could be inserted, to make the seat slightly wider and more comfy.

They had said no, there was not enough space, but I looked at these and an idea began to form in this crazy 4XL head of mine. I could do this with these, so ten minutes later, a staple gun had been ordered, along with a 20 x 20 inch strip of foam. As to the foam, if it does not work, then no worries, it can be binned, but the covers will be able to be fitted by me quite easily.

Remember, I am talking about Bobby The Slug here! The air could go very blue when I do it. But I am prepared to have a go.

So, lessons learnt #2 as daftness once again reigns with this nutjob biker who fails to read everything. Well, I am male and I have had head injuries in the past due to a car crash, so they are my excuses and I am sticking to them both.

Happy trails!


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