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Old 10-13-2014, 11:40 AM   #1
Junglizt1210 OP
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Wink The mighty Honda CG125 - 1 month and 2728miles / 4390km....

After reading so many stories and being inspired to write up a ride report of my own, I figured out I had a story worthy of sharing after I decided to take an unknown amount of time travelling after my job ended....



So hello there!

My name is Daniel, and I ride a Honda CG125. It's a bike that's known for it's reliability, supposed indestructibleness, economy and in the UK it's a bike a lot of people practice on or do their training on, and some commuters too. After riding it's 125cc's most people often move up to something 600cc+ here. It's a popular motorbike in SE Asia and South America as well I believe and I know there are one or two others who have done a trip on one of these including the "Old Man on a Bike"...

Here are two of my favourite websites about this fantastic little bike:
http://world.honda.com/history/challenge/1975cg125/
http://teflonmike.craywiki.co.uk/0_L...35_Cult_GC.htm

Why the CG125?

I'd been riding a previous model around London and the UK for a bit before and there is simply no better bike for economy or maintenance reasons. I'd been through two bigger bikes including a BMW GS and it just wasn't my cup of tea. It's also huge. This is small, fits really nice in small spaces, filters well and I always did a lot of that in London with my previous one. This one has a disc brake which the old one didn't so that's a bonus. I think the comical value of riding something so small was another reason...

I'd been working in Carcassonne, South west France for a total of 8 months and I already ridden it down there from London. Mum had suggested coming back home first and dropping my stuff off before setting off again. WHAT?

Mum has always been too sensible, and would be someone I would grow to ignore a bit... so given that I was so far South in a hot weather climate (for Europe) I figured I'd travel further south.

This is the hotel where I worked at, where one of my colleagues was setting up the tables for breakfast service:



My humble steed parked amongst the hotel's vehicles, which are small to navigate the small streets inside the fortified city:



A view of the Château Comtal and the lower town from the terrace near the breakfast:



There is an inner and outer wall around the medieval city of Carcassonne - this is the old road that goes between them:



And here's a picture from a nearby residential area of the medieval city. The count's castle, the Château Comtal, are the highest towers/roofs on the right of the city walls in the picture...



I'd delayed setting off for about 3-4 days and I haven't moved around much in life. I realised that packing your life into several boxes and sending them off is an incredibly difficult task to do - especially as I'm one not to waste and I recycle a lot of my waste. I managed to send home a number of large parcels before setting off on an incredibly loaded little bike... at 10:30pm, much to the confusion of the housemates of the building where I lived. They were nice though and it's sad to say goodbye and I wish I had a picture with them...

It was 10:30pm and it was time for one little ride to see the good old city where I'd worked for 8 months... riding up there isn't allowed during the day but its always a fun thing to do when you can in the evenings and early mornings. Riding up there and dodging the tourists is always a bit of fun. There's always a lot of them especially in the summer. Carcassonne is Worth visiting whether you have a motorbike or not - I highly recommend it!!!...

...I'm uploading the video as I type so the next post will have that clip so thank you and stay tuned!!
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
Junglizt1210 OP
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I forgot to mention the route of this trip.... France - Andorra - Spain - France - Italy - Switzerland - France - UK

.... as I've not mentioned where I'd be going previously...
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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I can't seem to work out how to change the title to something more simple... does anyone know how I can do that?

TIA :)
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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Sorry for the quality... the camera isn't the best...

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Old 10-13-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
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The CG is indeed mighty
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
Blader54
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Small bike, roaming around Europa....what could be better! Looking forward to this one!!
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:27 AM   #7
potski
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Hi Daniel,

Sounds like a good adventure and on an interesting little characterful bike.

Looks like you worked at the Hotel de la Cite, very posh; been in there a few times and Carcassonne many a time ( I live an hour or so away)

Looking forward to more.

Ride safe

Cheers
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:57 AM   #8
JettPilot
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I love the small bikes !!! I recently got a 250 just because I wanted something smaller and lighter than the 650's I normally ride. My wife also has a 100 that I ride more than she does I think riding a 125 across the country would be great fun. What is the top speed on the 125 when its just you on the bike, without a bunch of gear ???

Mike
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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Off to a good start. Subscribed.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:35 AM   #10
Junglizt1210 OP
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THanks for the replies everyone.... highly recommend a small bike! You see a lot more, that's for sure. I really took my time and was quite flexible, living like a free spirit/hippy at times!

Thanks Potski.. yes indeed I was, at the reception... where are you based? Somewhere in the Ariège judging by your pictures!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JettPilot
I love the small bikes !!! I recently got a 250 just because I wanted something smaller and lighter than the 650's I normally ride. My wife also has a 100 that I ride more than she does I think riding a 125 across the country would be great fun. What is the top speed on the 125 when its just you on the bike, without a bunch of gear ???

Mike


"How fast does it go?" - this was a question I was asked a lot whilst I was out there riding...

Here are some facts:

Top speed, bike only: ~70mph ~110kmh and using the best petrol (98 octane/super)
Typical speed, fully loaded during the trip: ~50-60mph ~80-95kmh
...and when going up a big hill.....: ~35-40mph ~55-65kmh

Engine size: 124cc
Tank: 13 Litres
How far can it go on 1 tankful?: 190miles / 310km +..! (e.g. Barcelona, Spain to Béziers, France)
Model: Honda CG125ES4, 2006 model
Brakes: Front disc brake, rear drum brake

Typical routes: mainly country roads, rarely (and very rarely) motorways. In Spain this was the N-roads, in France this was the N-roads (Routes Nationales) and the D-roads (Routes Départementales). In Italy, the SS roads and a small section of free Autostrada even though the minimum is a 150cc motorbike I was going faster and overtaking other vehicles, in Switzerland I was a bit cheeky and used the Motorway without buying the Vignette though I only did this late at night the first day I was there, after then it was the main roads.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:59 AM   #11
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05.09.14

After a little last ride in Carcassonne, I soon left and wanted to finally properly leave and make some progress. I rode towards the medieval town of Mirepoix that I'd heard good things about. I was told it was a medieval citadel as well (like Carcassonne) but a bit different. It was after 11pm... nothing wrong with a little sightseeing at this hour, right?





This is the town hall:





These pictures were taken in the main square, which was surrounding by old houses , some converted into shops and cafés and the like and then an old wall. I can't believe a town like this exists...

I rode a bit more and soon it was time to find a place to sleep......
....but then I'd never camped before and wasn't feeling like splashing out for a hotel either................. .......
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:15 AM   #12
potski
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Hi Daniel,

It's a really nice little spot Mirepoix, I'm not too far from there actually

Take it the RR is written well in retrospect, else you could have popped in for a brew? Where are you now?

Cheers
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:21 AM   #13
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07.14 - Just a few weeks before...

In the months before I was anticipating some sort of bike trip so some effort was made to save money for when I'd need it the most. It was decided that the trip would be done on a budget. I was thinking budget hotels (think Ibis Budget, 40€-45€ a night, that sort of thing.) here and there... it would turn out that I'd stoop lower than that...

In the weeks running up to my departure, I'd learnt online how to make a cooking stove for next to nothing from a drinks can that could be run on 90% alcohol so that was perfect and came just in time.

I made two trips to Toulouse to Au Vieux Campeur to buy some of my first outdoors Equipment. If you are in France and need some equipment, they are excellent and stock a really comprehensive range of everything, although there aren't that many of them (an alternative is Decathlon which is truly nationwide). Here's a picture of their store:



I bought a new camera to record some of the fantastic roads and areas I'd be riding through, as well as a new sleeping bag and a bivouac bag as I'd heard that this was a simpler way of sleeping for some hardcore guys out there. This turned out to be a good thing (simple to set up, just need to find a corner in an urban area and I could sleep there for the night) but also a bad thing (extremely restrictive for my while tossing and turning during my sleep which was bad enough in a sleeping bag alone as well as the exposure to insects and mosquitoes) later on.... but more on that later.

Parts of the road to Toulouse (the old N113 / D6113) were beautiful...



This is a typical SW France road though this kind of scene is disappearing (due to development, new roads, road widening, disease of the trees...). The trees either side are Plane Trees which were planted 100+ years ago to offer shade to travellers in the summer sun (summers down here can be 30-40°c) and either side are sunflower fields, sunflowers are planted a lot in France, I presume for sunflower oïl and other products.

This would be my cooking kit with my stove made from a can:



My first cuppa tea on the way back from Toulouse that night:

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Old 10-15-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potski View Post
Hi Daniel,

It's a really nice little spot Mirepoix, I'm not too far from there actually

Take it the RR is written well in retrospect, else you could have popped in for a brew? Where are you now?

Cheers
Potski
I was considering writing this as I was riding, but I realised as much as I wanted to meet other folk on ADV, I also really didn't want to tie myself into that obligation to get started and carry on updating my RR as I just wanted to be out there on the road. I later met some guys from the US on the ferry back to the UK who said something similar. Now that I've "established" myself and after my writing my first RR, I think it'll be easier to keep the forum updated and hang out with other inmates for the next time I am riding around...

I'm back in the UK now unfortunately! Hoping to work for a bit and then do it all again, though a lot crazier

And yes, Mirepoix, I'd ridden in the area before, the whole region is fantastic and it's just a shame that they couldn't keep me. There is everything nearby. Beaches an hour away, mountains and mountain roads starting from 15 mins away, lovely roads with Plane Trees also 15 mins away for a nice leisurely cruise, the Canal du Midi 5 mins walk away from where I lived, Spain and Andorra weren't too far away and a few big cities nearby (Toulouse, Montpellier) when I wanted something a bit different.

I'll give you a holla next time I'm down there, I have a few friends there now that I'll go back and hang out with one day ... and the roads... THE SEA, THE BEACHES and THE SUNSHINE!!

Are you from that region?

Junglizt1210 screwed with this post 10-15-2014 at 11:47 AM
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
potski
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Hi Daniel,

"Are you from that region?"

No, as you may well have guessed I too am originally from the UK, though been calling "la belle France" home for many years now...yes, it's a fantastic region and as you say there is everything nearby. We like the people here very much too!!

Hope we meet up next time you are over here.

Enjoying the RR, looking forward to more.. Subscribed.

Cheers
Potski
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