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Old 02-07-14, 11:55 PM   #1
squirrel_hunter
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Default Operation: Commute

For the past 3 years I've been fortunate enough to live between a 5 and 15 minute walk from the office. But life is not like a vending machine, change is inevitable and so the news as expected was poorly communicated that we were moving office. Initially I was a little bit miffed but if the great philosopher Homer has taught me anything its that the Chinese have the same word for crisis as they do opportunity; crisitunity. I'm going to have to go back to commuting, but how?

Yes I could walk, but it would take to long. Yes I could cycle but I'm lazy. Yes I could drive the cage, but there is little to no parking at the new site. So its back to the bike for me. I used to ride all the time, for 10 years my only transport was my bike but I was starting to tire of it and not having to ride all the time, initially by learning to drive and then by not having a real commute made my time in the saddle far more enjoyable again so I don't want to loose that enthuasum for riding that I have regained these past few years.

The next consideration is the bike. Strechie has the same issue as me. For the distance that I have to travel (approximately a 4 mile round trip) I have to ask is the SV the best bike for this? Stretchie summed up his commute by Blackbird as a waste of tyre, and he's right. No real corners and a fair bit of unused potential in the bike. His solution was to buy a cheap Chinese 125. He plans to see if the reputation of these machines is deserved. I think this is a good idea, not the Chinese bit, but the 125 to commute on.

So the search was on, which 125 to get... I considered a fair few machines while helping Strechie with his choice. Something like a CR125 or DT125 - a trailie or off roader light and tall but having sat on one I decided it was not really what I'd wanted. I thought about the bikes I idolised at 16 and 17, an Aprilia RS125, a Cagiva Mito, I even thought of the 50cc versions and things like the Derbi GPR, the Sachs Madass. Then off to comedy like a Honda Melody. But sense took hold.

The Yamaha YSR80 is a bike I quite like but any would need a lot of work to bring it up to scratch, as would my TZR125, or a later model. I don't think using my TZR250 would be sensible and other 250 2Strokes would end up going the same way, but a RS250 is a bike to covert.

I think its time to rule out the strokers, 4 stokes are what i'm looking at. The Honda CG125 would do the job perfectly but doesn't have any style. Something like a VT125 has the style but isn't what I would call a commuter bike. Things were getting tough. Test riding bikes gave me a go on the Peugeot Satelis 250. Great bike for commuting and really useful, but it didn't really appeal at this point I want some fun.

A left field idea due to the distance was the Yamaha EC-03, an all electric bike. But Stretchie pointed out that this might be a bad idea due to the history I have of electricity falling out of my bikes.

More thought and KTM Duke 350 was my next idea, trouble is price is also a consideration so the 200 and the 125 was ruled out. But their racer styled one is cracking. I could always buy a 450cc crosser and convert it to one of those single cylinder road race bikes. But I need some thing to use from day one and not another project. And this is a hunt for a 125.

Then it dawned on me. There is one bike that fits the bill perfectly. I couldn't believe how long it took to reach the decision. I remember when it came out I thought it was just the greatest bike that had hit the street in the last 5 years. But it needed time to mature and have a second hand market. I did think about new as it is a cheap bike from the off, but some salesmen really know how to talk themselves out of a sale.

With the decision made on the make and model it was just a case of finding the right bike. So the search was on. I had chosen the colour I wanted, yellow, trouble is I couldn't find one all I could find was white bikes and I didn't fancy that. But then I had an idea... and white would fit.

So this thread is to document the evolution of a simple commuter bike as I intend to make a couple of modifications, planned or unplanned.

"But what bike?", I hear you ask.



"I recognise that" you say.



Yes, its a Honda. But which one?



Its the most awesome Honda MSX125.
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May I add here, GG is awesome and I think I am in love with Stretchie...he rocks my world!

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Old 03-07-14, 03:03 AM   #2
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Default Operation: Commute

Was the LHS bar grip an optional extra you didn't want?


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Old 03-07-14, 05:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Me likey. I think these are a great idea, a bike designed around a small engine rather than trying to be something it isn't.

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Old 03-07-14, 08:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Not come across one of those before. Looks like a decent bit of kit, almost certainly more fun, faster and cheaper than getting on the bus. Good luck!
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Old 03-07-14, 08:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Aye not to bad looking, maybe a bit hornet like.
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Old 03-07-14, 09:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Wow a quick Googlefu for images of this little beasty and a few people out there have gone to town on these bikes, please say you'll do the same....
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Old 03-07-14, 09:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Hopefully you don't look quite like this sat on it though....now wondering what I used to look like on my YBR..
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Old 03-07-14, 09:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Last one, maybe one mod too far...she is a 125 after all.
This bad boy reaches a stonking 60 mph flat out...can't wait to see what you do to yours.
Loved the last project.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

Sometimes your newsfeed just provides the right thing at the right time.


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Error: If you cannot see this video, then either YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed to play it.


Should save some time on the trip the the desk...

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Old 03-07-14, 11:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Operation: Commute

I see one most days - they are tiddly! Ooozes cool though

I had your dilemma for my 16 mile round trip commute and went for the cheap as possible option (tired old GS125) - which is working out well for me - 210 miles on 12 of petrol - cant help but smile when I ride it either
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