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Hi all. Long time no see. I sold my beloved XR125 upon passing my test and ended up with a £700 BMW F650. Quite liked it as a dual purpose bike, but after four years I was getting fed up with taking all the plastics off to do basic things, how heavy it felt and how hot my right leg got next to the exhaust! Last year it failed upon exhaust blowing- I think it's bollocks as I could't find a blow anywhere when I finally got around to looking this week. But I was so fed up with taking everything off to get to it that I had a look around eBay and found...


Honda SLR650 in the same colours as my old XR125!
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I'll admit I bought with my heart rather than my head. It was only an hour away and had a fresh MOT. I gave £1500 despite others selling recently for £1200- it had two brand new tyres and the bloke had just been made redundant so I felt a bit sorry for him. But most of all he was a nice bloke and sat at the pub for a good half hour whilst I gave it a proper test. From the first corner I was in love. It was so nimble compared to my F650. On paper there's only 10kg difference, but by God what a difference in the real world. I took it up a farm track and into a stubble field, and it handled like my old XR125- not as good as a Suzuki DR but certainly not the barge of an F650 where I was constantly feathering the clutch.

It looks to me like everything a bike should be. So simple, air cooled engine and everything accessible. Which is good. You know how I said I bought with my heart? I did have a good look over it but I managed to miss the crack in the downpipe (should be able to plate it in situ, I'm a pretty good welder) and the way one manifold stud has been replaced with an M8 bolt wound in (from memory the XR125 was M7, should be able to helicoil when the time comes)

I'm so in love that I'm looking for another. This is the bike for me- nimble around town, fun to ride (the F650 converted me to big singles!) and perfectly capable of a greenlane or field which I do a fair bit of for work. I'd also forgotten how much fun a bike is after a year without riding- collecting things from town becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Hopefully it'll be an appreciating classic, as I think they were fairly short lived in the UK market?

Good to be back here, and so good to have a Honda again. I must have thirty machines with Honda engines, and I can't believe I ever went four years without one of them being in a bike.
 

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Nice, been thinking of getting one to replace the Varadero 125 and NTV 650 as my winter hacks as the Pan is a bit heavy if it gets icy and the Varadero has winter tyres, but also for green laning when I don't want to take the XRV650.
 
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