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Old 06-29-2018, 07:16 PM   #1
GB500guy
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Tiddler time, reliving my youth

I love riding my little '75 CB125. It's super light weight and nimble, handles really well, and is surprisingly capable on the rural roads around here. And I grew up riding Honda 50s and 90s in the 1960s when they were all the rage, so the little bike always rekindles fond memories. In 1964 the Beach Boys had released their song Little Honda which at the time made the wee bikes seem all the more mainstream and "cool".

My tiddler is perfect for short trips into town or to visit nearby friends. But every once in a while I get the urge to push the envelope a bit and take it on an extended day trip. This past Wednesday promised cooler temps so that was the chance for a challenging 180 miler with lots of hills to climb with only 122cc.

Link to google map of route



I headed downhill into Pleasants Valley, enjoying the smooth hum of the engine and the bicycle-like handling. This was gonna be fun!



Then heading north I recalled all those tiny-bike rides from 50 years ago on these same roads.






About then the old Beach Boys song infected my brain . . .



Meeting up with my buddy, we headed up 128 around Lake Berryessa and on past Lake Hennessee into the Napa Valley.



Is this one good looking little bike or what?



After a stop in St Helena to show off the vintage CB to the local Honda dealer we headed out Spring Mountain Road to enjoy its twisty road goodness and wonderful scenery.







Bathed in green light, we rode through deeply shaded tree tunnels. Midweek traffic was light and my little bike zoomed up hills and through tight twisties with ease, its newly installed Hagon shocks keeping new rubber stuck to the road.





Reaching Calistoga Road we headed north for a lunch stop at good old Buster's Southern Barbecue before heading up the short but always worthwhile bit of funky pavement, Old Lawley Toll Road.











Old Lawley starts out narrow and then gets really narrow.





Near the end we pause to look back at the view before jumping on Hwy 29 for a fun ride into Middletown.



From Middletown we turn onto Hwy 175 for a steep climb up Cobb Mountain. Long grades like this test the little bike's abilities. But once I accept that 8,300 rpm @ 60 mph is where the power is, and trusting the bike's reliability, I stop wincing and start reveling in using the little engine at its optimum. Steep climb up Cobb Mountain? No problem, I tuck in and crank the bike up to 65 and start the climb, as soon as speed drops downshift 5th to 4th and keep the tach at 8K+ and we cruise to the summit at the speed limit.

continued . . .

-Bill

Last edited by GB500guy; 06-30-2018 at 06:21 AM..
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:17 PM   #2
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Tiddler time, reliving my youth part 2

Continued . . .

We follow 175 to Loch Lomand and take a break before taking Siegler Canyon Road downhill to Lower Lake. I like to think the long downgrades help cool and rest the 12 little horses before the next WOT climb.









We roll through Lower Lake and turn toward home on delicious Morgan Valley Road, a deserted and OK paved road that winds through the hills like a snake.



The Beach Boys "Little Honda" ear worm returns.







It's not all paradise though. The many fires in recent years have really left some ugly landscape in huge areas. Sadly the first to grow back are scraggly fire prone brush rather than trees.



But soon we reach the crazy fun part, Berryessa Knoxville Road. Remote, deserted, very funky pavement and roller coaster fun. We dive down into it with big grins knowing what's coming.





Lots of water crossings (dry now) . . .



. . . and miles of pot holed roller coaster pavement, all in the middle of nowhere.





45 miles later little CB takes me back home. The small, flyweight bike has gone the distance without complaint, flicking through corners with ease. Somehow the feeling of doing so much with so little is exhilarating. Or maybe I'm just reliving the joy of little bikes from 50 years back, like playing with an old toy again. Life is good,

-Bill
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:30 PM   #3
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Super cool bike and one of my favorite areas. Have you done the little hike out to zim zim falls?
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:27 AM   #4
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Super cool bike and one of my favorite areas. Have you done the little hike out to zim zim falls?
Thanks byke. I have only looked at pictures of the falls. One of these days . . .

-Bill
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:41 AM   #5
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I'm envious of your bike.

Beyond cool and reminds me of my 4 speed CB50 in Belgium as a teen back in the day.

That bike could MAYBE do 45mph on the flats.

How about your 125?

65?
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:24 AM   #6
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Tiddler is exquisite!!

Thanks for putting us on the back.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB500guy View Post
Is this one good looking little bike or what?

Yes, and thankfully your photo skills also do it justice.

Is it really just a bike though? It sounds like it might also be a bit of a time machine and/or fountain of youth.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GAJ View Post
I'm envious of your bike.

Beyond cool and reminds me of my 4 speed CB50 in Belgium as a teen back in the day.

That bike could MAYBE do 45mph on the flats.

How about your 125?

65?
Thanks GAJ. Yep, 65 is about all she's got. Approaches 70 if you wait long enough and let the tach get into the red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
Tiddler is exquisite!!

Thanks for putting us on the back.
My pleasure!

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Originally Posted by zelig View Post
Yes, and thankfully your photo skills also do it justice.

Is it really just a bike though? It sounds like it might also be a bit of a time machine and/or fountain of youth.
Right you are. I think most any decent bike can make us feel a bit younger!

-Bill
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:34 AM   #9
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Is that the same motor as this?



Some older guy rode one at a trials event a couple weeks ago and he cleaned the section I was observing. It clearly had adequate torque and was very controlled climbing the loose, uphill dirt turns. Really impressive for an old 125 4T. He said he was going to put a piston from CB550 in it to make it a 175 and give it more compression.

Love your reports and pics. You have good taste in roads!
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Last edited by 2strokeYardSale; 07-03-2018 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2strokeYardSale View Post
Is that the same motor as this?



Some older guy rode one at a trials event a couple weeks ago and he cleaned the section I was observing. It clearly had adequate torque and was very controlled climbing the loose, uphill dirt turns. Really impressive for an old 125 4T. He said he was going to put a piston from CB550 in it to make it a 175 and give it more compression.

Love your reports and pics. You have good taste in roads!
Thanks for the comments 2stroke. Yes that XL125 is virtually the same engine, just a slightly different cam. They're versatile engines. I raced an XL125 in a few AFM production races very successfully back in the day with just a Yoshimura cam but stock piston.

-Bill
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:37 AM   #11
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Sadly part of the area of your ride, similar to my last ride, is under a Fire Warning.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:46 AM   #12
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Sadly part of the area of your ride, similar to my last ride, is under a Fire Warning.
Yes, we're eating lots of smoke over here lately.

-Bill
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:27 AM   #13
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Great shots as usual, Bill. Glad the tiddler still tickles yer pickle!

Happy riding,

'Tude
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