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RetroC97
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 14 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: 19:37 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Learner Legal Classic Reply with quote

Hi guys (and probably girls) Very Happy

I'm 17, hence learner legal, and looking for a retro/classic bike to use as a bit of a leisure/commuter. I use a 68 Morris Minor as my daily, so the bike probably won't cover too many miles, though have missed biking ever since i sold my dreadful moped.
Not really into anything modern - hence the Morris Minor - so I'm looking for something pre 80's really.

Scooters and bikes considered, love cubs and I think a mobylette av89 i saw earlier.

Was just hoping for some suggestions from you experienced fellas!

Budget of around 750 to work with, as I want something that I can tinker with/break myself Laughing
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gbrand42
Brolly Dolly



Joined: 23 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: 20:10 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about a Honda Benley 125 or a CB125.

RD LC would be fun but I think a bit out of your price range.

Suzuki GP100 possibly?

Or a good old Honda 90

Just chucking ideas out there
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wodge
Nitrous Nuisance



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PostPosted: 20:28 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

gbrand42 wrote:
What about a Honda Benley 125 or a CB125.

RD LC would be fun but I think a bit out of your price range.

Suzuki GP100 possibly?

Or a good old Honda 90

Just chucking ideas out there


I went through the same questions a year or so ago and eventually got a RXS100. Yammy RS100 RXS100 are a lot cheaper than RD's. 100cc Two strokes are a hoot to ride and more fun than the usual CBT hack.

Unfortunately a lot of the learner legal bikes of yesteryear are no longer learner legal today due to their CC being over 125cc, so bikes like the later BSA Bantams are out due to their CC.

Look on fleabay and gumtree for suitable bikes near to you, it may be a good idea to look for a bike not based strictly on age and make but on condition and go from there..
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Mysteriass
Two Stroke Sniffer



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: 20:38 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Benley 125"

Dear lord...No!

All hands abandon thread
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GSTEEL32
Crazy Courier



Joined: 24 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: 20:48 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 125 market is sooo fecked now, due to getting a full license being to expensive.

I read the title, and immediately thought anything with a 2 stroke 100cc engine. Everyone forgets them, but they're the bollox, they really are.

If your thinking going a bit "modern" on your classic, I'd suggest an italjet 50cc thingy...... I'm still waiting to grab a 180cc italjet for sensible money .....
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 20:53 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

An MZ TS125. One on ebay for £500.

Or an ES125 if you can find one. Fugly bike but charming in an odd way.
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Oldie
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PostPosted: 20:58 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
An MZ TS125. One on ebay for £500.

Or an ES125 if you can find one. Fugly bike but charming in an odd way.


MZ is a good shout.

CB125's are fairly rare, but nice.

Bantams are nice to look at but haven't ridden one since 1974! No intention to either.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 21:12 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

For £750 you'll get a slightly tatty but well running MZ, or a pile of shit Japanese bike 30 years worth of 17 year olds have been attempting to "tune".
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RetroC97
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PostPosted: 21:34 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MZ looks a good shout! If it's still there on Monday when I get paid, I'll contact the owner. What about a 1960 2 stroke 125 Bantam? Or even a Mobylette Av76? Could be good fun to tinker with Wink
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grr666
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PostPosted: 21:53 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of budget I know, but I saw this the other day and I'd quite like it for sodding about on. This is F reg so 1988.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-TDR-80-Fully-UK-registered-/151399678745?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item23401fc319
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Kickstart
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PostPosted: 21:57 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

grr666 wrote:
Out of budget I know, but I saw this the other day and I'd quite like it for sodding about on. This is F reg so 1988.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-TDR-80-Fully-UK-registered-/151399678745?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item23401fc319


Gag bike might be a bit small for common use

All the best

K
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stevo as b4
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PostPosted: 22:04 - 14 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id say cheap (not sure if possible) 70's 100-125cc trail bike. They have chrome, and style and are quite good road bikes too, being devoid of long travel suspension, and are as well equipped as 70's roadsters too.

Just watch out for the 70's classic tax on anything that's stylish and interesting.
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Teflon-Mike
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PostPosted: 08:58 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggest poblem with learner bikes, tends to be learners who tend to have a lot more enthusiasm for powered perambubulation than they do know how, either for operating the things, or looking after them...

After about ten or twelve years, though, pretty much everything you can stick an L-Plate on has degenerated through all levels of botchery and butchery to the lowest common denominator of bare serviceability and unreliability, and there-after, through however many years of neglect as they rust in pieces, with possible occasional attempts to resuscitate them, often again, cruelly by Learners with more enthusiasm than know how or common sense... i mean, If they had any sense they'd buy one that worked.. its cheaper and easier! BELIEVE ME, I do a 'project' like this about every year! WHY? cos I iz M-A-D.. its the only explanation I can come up with!!

Anyhow..... 80's bikes? That was the Evo era, as the bike market moved away from 'every day' transport, towards occasional leisure implements, and the pace of development was rather frantic, with ever more specialized and technically sophisticated machines being evolved for 'niche' markets. In the space of barely a decade, we went from'one size fits all' utility machines owners had to adapt themselves to suit thier needs, like the Triumph 650cc Triumph Bonaville, to machines as diverse as the Honda Gold-Wing 'Super-Tourer', the Legendary Suzuki GSXR 'endurance Race Replica' 750 & 1100 sports bikes, Big petrol tank, big-single or twin, Paris-Dakar Replica off-roaders that have evolved into 'Adventure-Sports', the big-displacement two-stroke GP replicas, like the four cylinder Yamaha RD500, out of the factory 'customs' that have evolved into modern day cruisers; and all maner of machines around and in between...

Look at an the sales catalogues... for learner's, the mighty BSA corporation, in the 60's had offered basically two bikes; the 'cheap and cheerful' 175 two-stroke Bantam for the budget minded, or the more substantial, push-rod single four-stroke C15, for the more enthusiastic.

In the early '80's Yamaha, who had probably the most 'rationalized' range of learner legals, offered, an the RD80 'sports' and DT80 dirt bike, then they offered the DT100E twin-shock trail bike, and the RXS100 commuter, then there was the water-cooled RD125LC 'sports' and the DT125LC dirt bike.. there was also the TY80 and TY125 competition trials bikes, that could be sold fully road legal, and and.. well? There were a number of 'shopper' style mopeds and larger, learner legal step-through learner-legals, like the quite intriguing, shaft drive, four-stroke Town-Mate..... Honda's Learner-Legal catalog in the early 80's was even larger, and in fact I recall MCN commenting that they had calculated Honda offered more distinct different models of moped, to the UK market than Yamaha, Suzuki & Kawasaki offered powered two wheelers of ANY description! Ever more models being made chasing sales in a seriously shrinking market.....

Motorcycling in the UK was already in decline, as 2nd hand cars became more affordable, but, the 125cc Learner-Laws, making provisional licence entitlement valid for just two years and limiting L-Platers to 12.5bhp 125's, where they had been able to ride bikes up to 250cc of any power, indefinitely, seriously hastened the trend, and annual UK motorcycle sales took almost twenty years to pick back up to the level they had been in 1979, when DAS offered a fast track entry to big-biking, and motorcycling had become significantly a hobby interest than just a cheap way to work.

So, suggesting you want a 'classic' 125? well... you are limiting your options rather... there isn't much made before 1980 that is still learner legal.. and what was made after, little that looks particularly 'traditional'... AND to want to try and use it, in modern conditions, like you might a Moggy 1000?

Back when I was 17, I too had a Moggy Thou'... that was almost thirty years ago, and it was thirty years old THEN, and by the standards of cars of the day... still rather antiquated... even though, it had been mildly 'modernized'... still had rather questionable, non-servo assisted drum brakes all-round, and lacked syncro-mesh on 1st gear, but it DID have 12v electrics, converted to 'negative earth', so it had halogen headlamps, and I recall it did have radial tyres, at least on one axle! BUT, only barely managed to cope with the lighter provincial traffic of the late '80's.. actually, no.. it didn't! Drum brakes + cross-ply tyres + wet road, I recall I managed to slide under the back of a fucking TRUCK in the damn thing in an e-stop!! Since, I have had a couple of classic Leaf-spring Land-Rovers and an early Range Rover as 'toys', and my mother had a rather nice Triumph 2.5 Estate. The Range Rover, with servo brakes, power steering and a V8 engine, I could live with as an every day car. The Triumph? Well, my mother tried... it all seemed to 'work' just rarely all at the same time! Over-Drive unit being particularly niggeldy!

IMO you need to have a certain amount of masocism, to begin with, then a lot of empathy for the machine and even more dexterity to drive around its short-comings and those of other, ever less tolerant road-users, as well as 'nurse' the aged engineering to preserve any measure of reliability, with older classics..

And classic cars, are I think a lot better specified and closer to more modern motors in how much of that they need, or lack there-of they can tolerate, than can bikes... and that's before looking at lightweight, Learner-Legal bikes that tend to be even more fickle.

1980's motorbikes, and particularly Learner-Legals? they were still living in the dark ages in many ways... Most lightweights, and particularly the more traditionally styled utilitarian / budget / commuter machines, retained right up until the early 90's, simple 6v 25W 'AC-Direct' Magneto headlamps, that got brighter and dimmer with the engine revs, and even when it was bright.. it wasn't! Honestly, you'd have been better off with a candle in a Jam-Jar! Indicators? Not always fitted as standard, and even when new, were often not all that useful or reliable. Mirrors? Like indies, not required by C&U regs of the day, not always fitted as standard, and many bikes didn't even have a socket to screw after market ones to! We had to buy 'universal' ones that had a clamp to go round the handlebar... for which on a lightweight, there often wasn't room for!

THIS is the sort of basic 'equipment' you would not expect to find missing on even an older 'classic car', where you might not mind so much the lack of a heater, or built in radio, and consider wind-up windows and non self cancelling indicator stalk 'charming period features'

So.. of what there might be in your preferred arena.. its NOT the most every-day 'practical' in modern traffic conditions,... and often not all that easily upgraded or modernized; you cant for example slap an AC alternator from an Austin Mini, in place of the Morris's dynamo; slap generic Hella 7" halogens into the wings in place of sealed beam Lucas lamps, or upgrade to Marina disc brakes and MGB top link dampers or the like. they just dont haver that sort of interchangeability or off the shelf 'upgraded' available. And a LOT is not a great prospect for a low rent renovation or every-day DIY maintenance with poor component availability, both model specific and 'universal', like 6v electrics... there just ISN'T the number of vehicles or enthusiasts keen on preserving them in the bike world as for cars, to support the after-market business to do so.

So From the very start... I would query your 'plan'... and the viability of it... and as a 'Learner'?... Learners stall bikes.. in traffic... bikes don't have hazard warning lamps! And old bikes, particularly old learner-legals don't have electric starters!

I was jumping up and down on kick-starters in the 80's, when I was a learner, and the bikes were still notionally 'reliable' and not so want to conk out for seemingly no reason, let alone distinct newby numptiness... I REALLY wouldn't want to be in that situation in modern traffic!!!!

But 17 and supporting your own car? that's not something many 17 year old's can do on their pocket money these days... can you support a bike as well?

Or is the moggy sort of supported by some-one else and you have use of? If so, is there more to this 'idea' than you are telling us?

Is it perhaps that you want your own transport so who-ever foots the bills on the moggy cant call the shots on when and where you can use it, so much?

How much else are you hanging in the scheme?, in terms of hopes and aspirations for every-day all year commuting, or doing longer excursions, or learning mechanics, or saving petrol money etc?

Either which way.... £750... in the learner legal market... that isn't going to get you much.

It wont go all that far to get you ANY 125cc motorcycle, in a road-worthy state with an MOT on it, you can ride home, and expect to get you to and from college every day of the week without a lot of spannering between times... while there are more than plenty of optimistic newbies chasing such 'cheap' machines, to make it even harder to find even a slightly better than average one.

Of older stuff, more likely to attract you as a 'classic', I can tell you categorically that there is an AWFUL lot of scrap out there commanding 'silly' prices, and just as much prettily painted scrap, 'cosmetically' restored, demanding even more over inflated prices, and very VERY few useful little bikes out there that are mechanically restored to even the lesser standard of mechanical reliability and usefulness you might expect of a 'classic'.... from your classic car experience.

"Totally Rebuilt"... how? and with what? I've seen 'classics' with such claims that I could tell from e-bay photo's had not been stripped further than the major cosmetic bits, like tank and seat and mudguards! and others? Yup.. taken to bits.. and the same bits bolted back together, when they discovered how much a gasket set cost!

Like I said, I do about one of these a year; start with a £250 'derelict'... by the time you have got that scrubbed up and fettled and running well enough to present for an MOT... you'd be very lucky to get that far for much less than £750... could look really good.... but at that price... chances are it wouldn't be many miles of use before the weak links started to show, and you were taking it to bits again, to sort out little niggles as use found the things you missed in the rebuild or thought 'it'll do' before you suffer a more major 'resuscitation failure' like gummed rings that still let the engine run, but crack up and eat the cylinder and head after a few hundred miles, demanding an expensive rebuild, or bearings that seem 'OK' but similarly give up the ghost after a couple of hundred miles use and seize....

You might get a 'resuscitated' classic some-one has tarted up to MOT-able standard for that kind of money... if they have just done it for fun (like wot I do) and want to shift it on to do the next one... but, very high likelihood that you will be buying problems, and more than buying and resuscitating a derelict yourself, as you'll be the one sorting early mile niggles and probably resuscitation failures with the added hassle of having to 'undo'any poor workmanship by the original resuscitator, who probably wasn't that bothered about how well it worked 'long term' just how it looked on the short ride to and from the MOT man when it was 'finished'.

You say you want a 'leisure/commuter' bike.... that's toy and transport... two requirements that are uneasy bedfellows to begin with, in bikes, of any capacity, and even more so in Learner-Legals, before you add in the notion of genuine 'classic' interest to inflict even more compromises, THEN more, slap this £750 budget round the whole lot.

If I were offering advice to ANY newby, looking to get a 125, hoping to do so with just £750, and asking us what makes/models we think they should look for.... the answer would be, we could make hundreds of suggestions and you could browse the buyers guides for hundreds more, and you could research each in detail for their vices and virtues, to come up with a very short list of near 'perfect' bikes you might like... of which chances are, there aren't ANY for sale any where near you, if at all, and regardless of what the buyers guides say about the model... would mean little to nothing in regard to what you might find in front of you, IF you found something on your short-list to look at.. when that bikes performance, and reliability will be UTTERLY unrelated to what the reviewers reckon, and utterly down to how used and abused its been by umpety numpty learners since it left the show-room.... AND you couldn't afford to be all that choosy about what came along....

So, to limit the search in ANY way, is a compromise that is making life hard for yourself; limiting your search to pre-1980's bikes even more so, AND the compromises they are likely to bring, by virtue of their frequent lack of basic equipment, even further de-rated performance and reliability? Its a LOT of unnecessary compromises!

In the under £750 part of the Learner-Legal market, MOST stuff you could buy is likely to come with problems and niggles for you to sort.. BUT looking at stuff older than thirty years rather than younger than thirteen, you ARE almost going out of your way to get as much hassle as you can, rather than trying to avoid it.

I live with old bikes, that are 100% toy not transport I HAVE to rely on. ... and I have thirty odd years of messing with the bludy things, and when I have a problem, usually know what to do to sort it, and I have the tools and know how and money to fix it. More, I know whats most likely to give grief, and do a lot of 'preventative maintenance' to avoid faults before they happen; for example, I spend a about a week treating petrol tanks with a special renovation treatment, to get rid of rust and sludge that may clog the petrol tap or carbs, and to line and seal the inside of the tank, so that when pressed back into service, silt that might have sat in the bottom for twenty years plugging corrosion pin holes doesn't get washed out, causing a fuel leak, that a) is a pain in the arse, and expensive b) worryingly dangerous, especially as I smoke, and c) tends to ruin rather a lot of time consuming and expensive paint work, applied to the outside of the tank!

I DO have tiddlers in the stable, particularly Honda CB125 Super-Dreams.. for which there is little or no explanation really... BUT, a bit of an oddity, launched in 1982, they were rather novel and advanced for the era, with a full compliment of standard equipment, that did include, mirrors and indicators; and electrics were actually 12v, which was uncommon on a 125 then, while it's electric starter was almost unique. Proper hydraulic disc brake wasn't so rare, but still not so universal, and the little 4-stroke twin had a more than 'average' quota of power, and is capable of a genuine 70mph... and, they are reasonably well supported; a lot of the parts still still available off the shelf, because the motor has been used in other models now made in China, or are more common 'catalog' components, that are standard to so many more modern machines, like 12v indicator bulbs. So it's one, that's a more practical and usable 'every-day' classic, that works on modern roads like a modern bike... because it has all the features and standard equipment of a more modern bike... I have the experience to get the most out of their relatively limited performance, and the empathy to nurse them to conserve their reliability, and patience to not demand too much of them too often, and a full licence so I dont have a bludy L-Plate hanging off the back as a reg-rag to a bully-driver who HAS to be infront, while I can give them above average care and attention to maintain reliability, and can live with the things 'cos actually I don't have to... I can park it up and use the big-bike or the car if its pissing me off.. which is not actually that infrequent! But they don't look particularly 'classic' or even 'traditional'.. have little or no cult or classic cudos and remain as they have always been, something of an unloved under-dog.

Other bikes? As said, its all about the compromises you are prepared to make, and how much you are prepared to put in to make it practical and enjoyable, not just by way of upfront cash, but time, care, attention, hard work and MORE money.

But STILL what is actually on offer, for sale, when you go shopping for it, cash in your pocket to buy..... when the best laid plans of mice and men are like to amount to naught!

My advice, then is to think long and hard, and rather than ask us what we think might suit, go see whats on offer you could actually buy.. go look at it... ponder my warnings about pretty-painted scrap, and ressusitation niggles and failures; consider the performance and condition of Learner-Legals for sale, in general, and THEN think about whether there is a viable 'plan' here in any way shape or form. Whether you can afford and manage to live with any bike, before pondering whether you could afford and afford to live with a classic...

AND what you really want from it.

Your 17... you can, here and now, ride a 125 on CBT and L-Plates. You could, and its not a bad idea, take tests on a 125.. but ONLY a 125.. anything under 120cc isn't test eligible.. in fact some 125's are't either, but not so common.... but would only gain you an A1 125 only licence that's useful, as a once and forever CBT cert that means you never have to take repeat, and can carry pillions and use motorways if you want... but, here and now? Well, do you REALLY need a bike?

How many months is it until you are 19, when you could do A2 tests for a 45bhp big-bike? Back to the warnings... an old 125 now? How many of those months are likely to be 'wasted' not having a bike to ride, as you de-niggle an old cheap 125, or works are on hold pending saving up for parts?

Backing up... I do a project a year or so... as said, I can get a bike to a reasonable standard from a derelict for about £750 give or take, depending on how fancy I want to make it, or not... I have the luxury of being able to take my time, so I don't rush, and I do tend to let projects drag a bit so I can spread the costs and not leave my self short in haste to see it 'done'.... so they do tend to take the better part of a year.. one I'm doing at the moment, I'm doing to a slightly tighter dead-line.. I've given myself six months, 'cos I want it done and dusted and ready for an MOT before I have to start worrying about Christmas. But realistically that's not an unreasonable time for a full renovation project....

So suggestion for you... If you must have a classic... rather than trying to buy one ready to ride, and buying the problems its likely to begin... why not start from scratch and DIY it.. but a derelict and fix it up the way you want, paying attention and the money you want on the bits you think are important, and KNOW them bits are actually in the bike, and bolted up the best you can do them.... same sort of money, still a lot of the same risks, BUT.. at least you will know what you got, and wont have to undo any-one else's mistakes but your own....

Does that float? but of course, that would take half to a year out of them months till your 19th birthday.... add the de-niggling time after, and by the time you have a nice Learner-Legal actually working and working well... you'll probably be old enough to test for a big-bike licence.....

Begs another suggestion, IF you can live without a bike here and now.... why not do a big bike rather than a 125? Far better choice of more big bikes, and classic ones and much better chance that they'll be in better basic fettle to begin with, and have more 'expected basic equipment', like 12v electrics and mirrors! Work to do one's not a lot different; they still only have two wheels, one pair of handlebars, one petrol tank and stuff... and it needn't me much if any more difficult or any more expensive.. and you can still build it the way you want, and have all the added performance and every day livability that you'd struggle to get from a learner-legal, let alone a classic one.

Meanwhile... young person insurance is a pretty big burden to not have to bear, for a bike you don't really need, and probably cant make all that much use of... that money can go into the project, or towards a training course to get your A2 licence.... while at 19, insurance on a big-bike on a full licence is likely to not be much different to what you'd be paying now on a tiddler.... so you have time, to build your 'classic' bike, and one that you'd likely get more use out of, and more pleasure that, providing they still sell petrol in thirty years, you are likely to still want to own and ride, rather than want to get shot off as soon as you can ride something 'more'... or are fed up with the hassle....

I like tiddlers, and I do reccomend time on a tiddler... BUT.. for what you suggest you want? Its ways to skin a cat, and how much you can cram into a compromise. I think you are likely making it difficult for yourself and planning for hassles, pursuing a do it all, classic learner bike on a budget....

Buy a 'cheap' modern learner and just do the learning and commuting bit... and buy the best you can afford of whats for sale, sodf the age or the style.. just worry about it being useable.

Or.. take the learner / commuter bit out the plan and do a 'forever' bike that will always a be a classic, and spend whatever it takes to build it, as you can scrape it together, doing a project 'big-bike' for when you are old enough to ride it...

But either way, what we might suggest means little, its down to what is out there for sale, in budget that you can make use of, and what sparks your imagination when it comes along... we all seem to wast an awful lot of time making plans, looking for ideals and researching options, only to be hit by reality and buying something TOTALLY different, when it actually comes to the crunch.... that's life, not just bikes...

Get out there, look at some real bikes, in the real world, ponder what little wisdom I have offered on the matter... see where it takes you...

Meanwhile, try NOT to park that Moggy under the back of a flat-bed like I did... I'm sure finding replacement panels has to be harder/more expensive now than it was when I was 17, and there were still 16 year old examples popping up in what we called 'scrap-yards' you could walk around with spanners unbolting bits you wanted from for a couple of quid! Wink Oh and make sure you grease your trunions! Shocked
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Current Bikes:'Honda VF1000F' ;'CB750F2N' ;'CB125TD ( 6 3 of em!)'; 'Montesa Cota 248'. Learner FAQ's:= 'U want to Ride a Motorbike! Where Do U start?'
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Rogerborg
nimbA



Joined: 26 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: 10:23 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP, read Mike's advice in full.

Good news, you're now 19 and can skip the tiddlers.
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wodge
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PostPosted: 10:55 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phew.... That's over and done.... Wink seriously though, teff's website should be a good read for you.
Bear in mind it is very easy to upgrade 6volt electrics to 12volt on many older bikes and low capacity bikes are usually "world" bikes and so designed to be maintained with few tools, minimal spares and basic knowledge.

There is also a lot to be said for starting a project on a cheap bike of over 125 as long as you realise you won't be able to legally ride it and you are treating it as a learning experience.
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Mysteriass
Two Stroke Sniffer



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: 11:01 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teflon-Mike wrote:
Back to the warnings... an old 125 now? How many of those months are likely to be 'wasted' not having a bike to ride, as you de-niggle an old cheap 125, or works are on hold pending saving up for parts?


I paid about 400 for my bike a couple years ago. Went to buy it and it looked a wreck (still looks a wreck) but I didn't let that bother me because I never expect any better. I took it for a spin and used all the gears and it seemed OK considering there was no front brake and the chain was slapping around so much it was putting grooves into the swinging arm. (Should have let that be a warning sign but...I didn't) Hell knows how they got it through an MOT.

Getting it home, it looked a little different. As they do.

* Thing wouldn't go above 45mph.
* Intermittent "hurdy gurdies" and then dying on main roads.
* No front brake
* Notch in the centre of the steering that I kept "falling" into
* Nearly bald back tyre
* Rusty petrol tank
* Wouldn't Idle at anything less than 3k RPM without dying
* All Cables stiff including throttle which would stick open
* Pitted forks
* Lights go off when coming to a stop meaning I was augmenting lights with a bicycle lamp for several months
* Chain and sprockets were finished
* Seat was torn to shreds and absorbed water under my arse and let water down into the electronics under the seat
* Indicators were glow flys / MOT failure / How are your hand signals on islands
* Seized Engine mounting bolt

That was a couple years ago.

I've only just about got it sorted and some of that "sorted" means learning how not to get it angry and consequently pissy with me. I've been using it with all these issues over the years - working slowly through them - and so had plenty of time to learn. Those hurdy gurdies took me months to figure out. Essentially, keep the tank above half filled and never use the reserve which will block the carb with red death. Problem solved - or rather hot fixed - for now.

Each one of those jobs might seem easy, but they never are on an old knacker. That seized engine bolt was the worse, it took my bike off the road for weeks instead of hours. Every bolt is rotten, snaps and needs replacing even drilling out.

You won't believe how many times I've had the carb off. I've gone from a whole afternoon to sort the carb out down to under half an hour.

At the end of it all my bike is worth less now, with most of those jobs done, than it was when I first bought it. (No longer classic original - People never say to me, "oh what a lovely old bike, bet you've done some work on that!" they say "Wow, that looks like a worthless dog, woulda been worth money if you'da not done any work to it")

It's not worth me selling it because it's only worth half of what I've spent on it. After all the work I've put in...I'm kinda forced to keep it now and that's OK for me because I'm getting to be a sentimental old fart who doesn't like change...but...what about a young lad?

Want to be tied to your bike by a cherum of hard work and thousands of pounds worth of labour you've done yourself and not a lot to show for it?

What I'd do...if I were OP.

Get an old round headlight pushrod C50 on the car license. Sort of bike you keep for life, will run for life if not thrashed to death, and will appreciate in value.

Finally...if you haven't got a shed or at least some cover to work in...don't bother. You'll be in the process of stripping down half the time so where you gonna do it?
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 11:13 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

RetroC97 wrote:
The MZ looks a good shout! If it's still there on Monday when I get paid, I'll contact the owner. What about a 1960 2 stroke 125 Bantam? Or even a Mobylette Av76? Could be good fun to tinker with Wink


The MZ and bantam are both derived from the same WW2 German motorcycle (mirror images though).

I will say that in my oppinion, the execution is much better on the MZ but I preferr the aesthetics of the BSA. If you REALLY wanted to upset the BSA lot, you could transplant an MZ125 motor into a BSA chassis. I suspect it would fit fairly easily providing you can work out a way of flipping the back wheel. I'd recommend a plunger frame bantam for maximum annoyance.

The original DKW RT125 they were based on was a thing of beauty and simlicity but go for silly money now.

http://www.dkw-autounion.de/Motorradfotos/DKW_RT_125/DKW_RT_125-2_Jurisch_Standard_2.jpg
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Nexus Icon
World Chat Champion



Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: 17:07 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rogerborg wrote:
OP, read Mike's advice in full.

Good news, you're now 19 and can skip the tiddlers.


Genius.
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Kickstart
The Oracle



Joined: 04 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: 18:45 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

NKVD fan wrote:
Are things like the RD125 twin and Suzuki X3 still learner legal?


Not sure they are. I have a feeling last time we looked this up the grandfather rights no longer applied.

All the best

K
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Kickstart
The Oracle



Joined: 04 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: 19:02 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

NKVD fan wrote:

That's an arse, i assume the moped with pedals law is also dead then.


That is even stranger. They appear to have invented a couple of new licence groups to get around that one if I remember rightly. Hence an old licence still gives you one to ride the old moped with pedals, but a new 16 year olds licence is far more restrictive.

Last time I looked:-

http://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=3985471#3985471

All the best

K
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stevo as b4
World Chat Champion



Joined: 17 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: 19:14 - 15 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 15bhp 70's bikes like the KH125/GP125 etc would still be covered under the current 15bhp 125cc learner laws I assume? I know it's stretching things by a fraction, but I can't see why a 16bhp GT125 or RD125DX should not be legal for new rider's either, unless they come out over the power to weight ratio limits if these still apply?

TM had a good point though for the OP in that £750 won't buy a good/decent useable 70's classic 125 that is ready to just ride and enjoy. But once you get to £1000-1400 there's a few old classics out there, even things like KE125's TS125's etc.

Id avoid anything with the name RD or GT though, as these machines have long been priced up way above their worth, and now you have bikes like CB125T's and CM125's getting priced up in the same way to levels that are not realistic for cheap daily riders.

80's 125's have less classic tax on them, but you need to avoid the arms race model's and anything with loads of plastic and fairings on it if you want value for money and cheap easy to find parts.

An old Suzuki GS/GN125 for example of the mid 80's could be in budget for a running bike I would like to think.
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RetroC97
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 14 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: 00:48 - 16 Jul 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies guys!

A couple of things that I realise I should have made clearer in the OP. Answering some of TMs questions...

Yes, the minor is MINE - my first car, bought, ran, maintained, and insured out of my pocket. So no, not looking for any more 'freedom' in wanting to be able to use whenever I want - just freedom of being on a bike.
Yes, I will have sufficient cash to run the bike - Scored a well paying 'part-time' job, where I actually end up working about 40 hours a week.
I shouldn't really have used the word commuter at all. The bike will never be 'relied on' as the car runs perfectly as a daily. I want a toy that I can occasionally ride to 6th form/work on if its a nice day.
Doesn't have to be 80's, just not modern! I actually prefer 60s/70s style.
Big bike isn't an option, as I'll want to ride it before October 2016!
I can ride a bike pretty well - had a crappy ped - was a good experience though. Understand use of a clutch from driving and also using motocross bikes.
I know you probably see me as another 'know it all teen', though I do genuinely have fairly good mechanical know how and resources. I've kept the moggy on the road, and I'll be stripping the head this weekend to send it off to be skimmed to stop the head gasket leaking, and raise compression slightly. Also, a good friend of mine runs a classic engineering firm, where I get some good help/advice and they have any tool you can imagine!
I understand that a BSA or MZ will never be a daily for me, but I have a passion fro classic vehicles, and wouldn't really even consider riding or working on a modern instead.

PS, I'll try not to stick it under a lorry any time soon

Thanks, Callum
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