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RatBob

A word of advice to XVS 125 owners...

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Hi all, been a long time since I posted on these forums but I figured I'd come back to share some recent experiences I had.

I know a lot of people think that the XVS 125 isn't really capable of much more than 55-60mph. There were some slightly restricted imports due to laws in their country of origin, but most of them out there are just unrestricted 125s. Some have a lot of "optional extras" that add a fair bit of weight.

And that's fair enough. I used to agree to an extent. I own a bobbed dragstar, which has had a lot of excess weight removed and drilled out baffles. I was getting 55 up steep hills, and cruising around at 60-70 no problem on dual carriageways. I myself am 5'11 and about 12.5 stone ish. When I bought the bike, it wasn't even roadworthy. It had no indicators, no tail light, an illegal number plate, the ugliest side mount bracket I've ever seen, a mudguard that was trying to destroy the rear tyre, no indicators, and a bunch of other crap wrong with it. When it went in for it's MOT service, the mechanic (if you can call him that) found that the oil had gone white and had stuck the clutch plates.

Eventually the bike ended up on the road. I've ridden it nearly every day since I've owned it, in all weathers. I did all the usual maintenance and kept the bike in better condition than the previous owner did. It never ran fantastically, the battery would go flat a lot, it hated being in the rain, it didn't idle particularly well unless it was very warm.

It got to a point where we had a cold snap recently and it wouldn't start. I had to hook it up to external power, and a lot of cranking eventually got it started up. It was really not very well this time. Front pot gave a cold exhaust with plenty of velocity, back pot gave a very hot slow moving exhaust. I'd spent pretty much the entire time I'd owned this bike trying to diagnose what was wrong with it. I'd figured out that it wasn't the electrics, fuel, or air. The oil had been changed recently so I'd ruled that out too. The only thing I'd never checked or changed were the spark plugs.

I took it up to a local garage that I'd never used before, but knew one of the mechanics there as a "biker friend". This was the best decision I ever made with this bike.

The spark plugs were KNACKERED. Taking them out destroyed the threads. Before I knew it, I was waiting on gaskets so that the threads could be taken off and fitted with a heli-coil insert. Taking off the heads and side covers the mechanic discovered TONS of emulsified oil, like a sludge, covering the inside surfaces of the engine. It covered the rockers, timing chain, it was just everywhere. He spent a good part of the day just scooping it all out.

Putting it all back together, the bike now runs, but won't idle very well. The carb is going to be cleaned tomorrow which hopefully will get it back to normal.

List of things that have been/are being done to the bike so far:

-New spark plugs.

-Corroded bolts replaced with new.

-Engine flushed, and all new oil and filter.

-Timing re-set.

-Valve clearances set.

-Carb cleaned.

So if my 125 can get a confirmed 70 on a dual carriageway with spark plugs so bad that the mechanic said it's a miracle it even started, let alone run, and oil so bad that he said it's a wonder the engine never seized, then yours can too.

None of the problems with my bike are through any of my fault. It's through the neglect and ignorance of the previous learner owners that this has happened.

Here's a photo of the cr*p in my engine!

76368_300310173424135_352462708_n.jpg

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Never had a problem reaching 70 on my 125 draggie. Theyre a great bike, reliable, good build quality, look good, good economy. Only made for 4 years I think, so good ones arent as easy to find these days, but hold their value well. Even rarer are the 250s

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Always a 74mph top speed on my 125 Drag!

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must have took an awful lot of condensation to do that, check all your breathers are clear and clean

When I get it back from the mechanic I'll check those over. Problem is, I live to ride, so I go out daily in all conditions. Freezing cold, heavy rain, you name it. So if anyone has any suggestions to prevent this from happening, I'm all ears. Unfortunately I don't have access to a garage, so I have to keep it covered. My bike is my only vehicle, so I also use it to commute to work - this is only 4.5 miles each way, and I normally leave around 05:30am! Would I be able to prevent this problem by warming the bike up for longer in the mornings?

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yeah a daily commute of only 4.5 might me the cause try riding straight past work and head out into the countryside ;)

I read somewhere that 20-30 minute ride is sufficient time to boil off the water in the oil, but would love to know some of the variables. Is this something I'd have to do EVERY time I use the bike? Or is once daily sufficient? For instance, could I ride to work, ride home, and then go out for a half hour/hour ride in the afternoon/evening? Can I get away with doing it less often than that?

I basically just want to make sure that this doesn't happen again.

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I'd give it an Italian service every now and then ie full throttle high revs for 1/2 hour or so, ride like you stole it.

this gets the engine nice and hot and gets rid of most engine issues like you mentioned.

I do this with all the bikes and cars.

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hey there ..i have clocked up a few miles on my xvs and so far all is well, i have got a steady 65 out of mine although i have found the speedo to be showing the wrong speed (it is slow by 5mph) had to ride next to some one with a more modern set up as a test to fathom that out, there is plenty of poke in her so much so i can blow off any other 125 cruiser/commuter with ease, i do have highway hawk straight throughs on her i dunno if that changes the power any because i never had a go with the origional pipes on her as she was a junk yard dog, i also find i can get a quick start if i have a spoon full of cold beans out the tin about fourty mins proir to a ride, i tend to leave skid marks but the tyres are good because i lay them on the cotton in my undies, all joking aside though i did a 120 mile day trip the other day during a break in the weather and what i did find was that my loose boxer shorts did me no favours as my nads where rattling around like wreckin balls in an earthquake and i was left somewhat tender for a while, my tail bone felt bruised too, so as from then i have budgie smugglers as part of my essential bike gear.

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hey there ..i have clocked up a few miles on my xvs and so far all is well, i have got a steady 65 out of mine although i have found the speedo to be showing the wrong speed (it is slow by 5mph) had to ride next to some one with a more modern set up as a test to fathom that out, there is plenty of poke in her so much so i can blow off any other 125 cruiser/commuter with ease, i do have highway hawk straight throughs on her i dunno if that changes the power any because i never had a go with the origional pipes on her as she was a junk yard dog, i also find i can get a quick start if i have a spoon full of cold beans out the tin about fourty mins proir to a ride, i tend to leave skid marks but the tyres are good because i lay them on the cotton in my undies, all joking aside though i did a 120 mile day trip the other day during a break in the weather and what i did find was that my loose boxer shorts did me no favours as my nads where rattling around like wreckin balls in an earthquake and i was left somewhat tender for a while, my tail bone felt bruised too, so as from then i have budgie smugglers as part of my essential bike gear.

Glad you finally got going Jimmy

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hey there , thanks for the support, yes i am chuffed to bits about my now road leagal and fighting fit machine, i have got a nice natural confidence now too, i feel a bit uncomfortable in the wet on corners but besides that i am having the time of my life. i understand what people say about the lack of ppower etc but for me right now its ample, cheers !!!!!

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I'm with you jimmy, still trying to gain the brass balls to corner in the wet but in time im sure we will get there (or gain battle scars to woo the ladies such as Sacha)

Glad to hear you got the bike going.

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I'm with you jimmy, still trying to gain the brass balls to corner in the wet but in time im sure we will get there (or gain battle scars to woo the ladies such as Sacha)

Glad to hear you got the bike going.

Oh yes, chics dig scars... but they don't dig dead guys... so be careful!! :biglaugha:

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