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Buying the Dream

Honda CB125 'Super-Dream' Buyer's Guide

Cropped up on a Forum the other day. Lad, had spotted a CB125 Super-Dream for sale, but before going to look at it, wanted to know what to look for, so was directed to me for advice. I am NOT entirely impartial, I will at some point have one or two of these for sale, but what the heck, what's source for the goose and all that. Hopefully any-one looking to buy one of my bikes will reckon that they meet the standards I set for them!

Contents

Is a Little Super Dream the bike for you?

Anyway, the very FIRST thing you need to know is that the Honda CB125 Super Dream is a 'Classic', a very useful one, too, and it has an awful lot going for it, that can make it a very discerning choice of bike. BUT, if you just want cheap wheels, or a tool to pass your test on, your probably best to look elsewhere. You need to have a bit of 'enthusiasm' to actually WANT a CB125 Super Dream, and if your going to live with it, you ought to have a good idea of what they are, what their history is, and what makes them worth owning.

Already written an article, Learner Legals & Honda Super-Dreams, to explain why this little 'under-dog' of a bike is a bit 'special' and worthy of attention. But in short, it was in 1982 Hondas premier 'sports' 125 for the new 125 Learner-Legal market. A four-stroke twin cylinder machine, intended to compete head to head on performance against rivals single cylinder two-strokes, when Honda were still ardently committed to the four-stroke engine and campaigning the oval-piston wonders against the two-strokes in 500GP racing.

The legal 12.5bhp 'restriction' helped, the Super-Dream but it still had to be 'de-tuned' from the earlier models 16bhp to meet it, the same as the all new Kawasaki AR125LC and Yamaha RD125LC, and boasted as many technically avant-garde features, so it DID have the performance to match its two-stroke rivals, at least when they were standard and genuinely learner-legal.

Nearly thirty years on, its conservative styling and four-stroke engine mean the bikes now perceived simply as a slightly more sophisticated 'commuter' like The Legendary Honda CG125 that's the bench mark for the class. Testimony to the soundness of the bikes design and engineering, though, it was in production for approximately ten years until 1992, without significant change.

There are few AR's or RD's around any more, most thrashed to death by a succession of kiddie-go-quickly owners and their attempts at servicing and tuning (see 125's - Live Hard), and the few that have survived tend to be either basket cases offered for restoration, or over-priced teenage revival trophies. Its testimony then that the little Super-Dream not only outlived its rivals in the show-room, but also on the streets, where so many are still in use, and as often as every-day working commuter bikes.

As a potential buyer, this does bode well. There should be plenty to choose from, to be able to find a better one. And as I have alluded to elsewhere, this is an 'under-dog' motorcycle, which means generally undervalued, hinting that there should be bargains to be found... or at least better bikes for more realistic prices, as the bike has past the 'test of time' and shown itself basically sound and reliable and well proven.

BUT! It IS still an 'old' bike, and the youngest of them out there will be at least nineteen or twenty years old, with the majority being built between 1982 and 1986, quarter of a century, pushing thirty years. AND while its conservative styling and four-stroke engine have placed it in with the commuter bikes, its 12,000rpm red line certainly does NOT! This IS a 'sports-bike', and it was far more avant-garde when launched than Honda's current 'premier' CBR125, which in many ways is actually a lot more conservative.

Worth noting that many of the features of the modern CBR125 are actually no more 'advanced' than the 125 Super-Dream, particularly the important bits, front and rear suspension, brakes, and tyre sizes.

And while it may boast a water-cooled and fuel injected engine, that is significantly to meet modern emission requirements, not for reliability or performance, and it's rated power out-put is within a gnats, the same as the 'ancient' Super-Dream twin.

Meanwhile, the fashionable beam-style frame and sporty faired styling, offer little functional value to the motorcycle. That frame is designed for least manufacturing cost, not ultimate structural stiffness!

While the aerodynamics of the bodywork offer little practical stream-lining to help the bike go faster! And the small weather protection they might offer has to be balanced by the vulnerability, if the bike gets knocked off the side stand!

Compared to the 'Bench-Mark' Honda CG125, the little Super-Dream is in a completely different league. The CG might have gained electric start and disc-brake in its long and illustrious production history, but it was always a 10bhp 'budget' commuter, built down to a price, most in Brazil. Which is another plus point in the Little Super-Dreams favour, as a premier model, it was always built in Japan. It even says so on the generator cover. Which is a boast I'm not sure even the CBR can make, and even if it can, an awful lot of the 'bits' that have gone into building it will have come from Taiwan or China!

So, the Honda CB125 'Super-Dream' is a well proven, enduring little 'sports-bike' that has stood the test of time against its contemporary rivals, and STILL bears favourable comparison against modern offerings. And it can be viewed as many things, depending on your perspective.

It may merely be perceived as a slightly more sophisticated commuter, an alternative to the CG125. Providing the creature comforts of an electric start and disc brake, only found on the later models, a little more performance, comfort and 'substance' for want of a better way to describe the better finish and feel, without simply saying 'heavy'! (It weighs 125Kg, exactly the same as a CBR125 or YBR125, and a mere 9Kg, more than the CG! That's roughly the difference between a full tank of petrol and being on reserve, yet some people still insist THAT is a big deal! Usually older ones that remember it being a little heavier than an RD or AR)

Or it can be viewed as as a traditionally styled and budget-priced 'sports' Learner bike, a cheap alternative to the CBR125, or as likely the Chinese or Korean copies. But it SHOULD be perceived as a 'classic', and a very useful and practical one, that can still earn its keep as an every day bike, against the teen-age revival bikes, like the RD-LC or AR125 and such.

Its worth mention that a lot of owners reports of the Honda CBR suggest that its no where near as exiting as its avant-garde styling suggest it should be, and its actually a rather uninspiring ride, a commuter in sports bike cloths. The 'old' Super-Dream could probably stand the opposite allegation. Its a proper sports-bike in commuter cloths!

Ranking the bike against alternatives; nearly every-one I have ever met that has owned or ridden one, has said positive things about it, and they have nearly always been happily surprised by it. The main thing that people will tell you about them is that they were a lot of fun, and surprisingly fast, and comment on the unexpected wail of a little four-stroke screaming its way up to the 12,000 RPM red-line, yet not blowing up or demanding frequent rebuilds like the two-strokes, and starting on the button first of second prod, no matter what, and just 'working'.

A few people have criticises the bikes performance and handling, and I have been dogged by people suffering niggles and hassles, asking advice over worn bores and dodgy electrics, but for the most part, these can be explained by the old age and state of neglect or disrepair of the bikes in question. Good ones are pretty damn good, but its still a learner-legal 125, and an old one likely to have suffered a lot of abuse and neglect in the hands of a succession of newbie riders, and there are plenty of not so good ones out there! I know, all mine started out that way!

Super Dream Specs

Basic Specifications & comparison

  Honda CG125 Honda CB125TD Honda CBR125 Yamaha RD125LC Yamaha YBR125 Cagiva Mito
 
Engine 4-Stroke
Air-Cooled
Push-Rod
1-Cylinder
5-Speed
4-Stroke
Air-Cooled
SOHC
2-Cylinder
5-Speed
4-Stroke
Liquid-Cooled
SOHC 4v
1-Cylinder
6-Speed
2-Stroke
Liquid-Cooled
Reed-Valve
1-Cylinder
6-Speed
4-Stroke
Air-Cooled
SOHC
1-Cylinder
5-Speed
2-Stroke
Liquid-Cooled
Reed-Valve
1-Cylinder
6-Speed
Suspension Front: 115mm by 27mm Telescopic Fork

Rear: 80mm by Twin Shock, Swing-Arm

Front: 140mm by 31mm Telescopic Fork

Rear: 95mm by multi-link, rising rate, Mono-shock

Front: 140mm by 31mm Telescopic Fork

Rear: 100mm by multi-link, rising rate, Mono-shock

Front: ???mm by 32mm Telescopic Fork

Rear: ??mm by Cantilever Mono-shock

Front: 120mm by 30mm Telescopic Fork

Rear: 105mm by Twin Shock, Swing-Arm

Front: 120mm by 40mm USD Tele-Fork

Rear: 100mm by multi-link, rising rate, Mono-shock

Wheels Wheel-Base: 1297mm
Front:18-70/100 (2.75)
Rear: 18-90/90
Wheel-Base: 1350mm
Front:18-80/100 (3.00)
Rear: 18-85/100 (3.25)
Wheel-Base: 1294mm
Front: 17-80/90
Rear:  17-100/80
Wheel-Base: 1300mm
Front:18-70/100 (2.75)
Rear: 18-80/100 (3.00)
Wheel-Base: 1290mm
Front:18-70/100 (2.75)
Rear:  18-90/90
Wheel-Base: 1374mm
Front: 17-110/70
Rear:  17-150/60
Brakes Front: (Early Models) Expanding Drum
(Later Models) Disc with Single Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Expanding Drum

Front: Disc with Twin Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Expanding Drum

Front: Disc with Twin Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Disc with Single Piston Floating Calliper 

Front: Disc with Single Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Expanding Drum 

Front: (Early Models) Expanding Drum
(Later Models) Disc with Single Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Expanding Drum

Front: Disc with Twin Piston Floating Calliper

Rear: Disc with Single Piston Floating Calliper 

Performance Weight: 115kg
Power: 10.5bhp
Speed: 65mph
Economy: 90-110mpg
Weight: 124kg
Power: 12.5bhp
Speed: 70mph
Economy: 95mpg
Weight: 115kg
Power: 13bhp
Speed: 70mph
Economy: 70-100mpg
Weight: 115kg
Power: 12.5/21bhp
Speed: 72/81mph
Economy: 75/64mpg
(Restricted / De-Restricted)
Weight: 124kg
Power: 10bhp
Speed: 70mph
Economy: 80-100mpg
Weight: 129kg
Power: 14.5/31bhp
Speed: 73/101mph
Economy: 00/34mpg
(Restricted / De-Restricted)

Detail Specification, Variants & Other 'Family' models.

The CB125T, of 1977, was a derivative model of what is known as the 'Benley' family of little Hondas, based on a set of 'common' engine cases, though numerously different internal components.

The Honda 'Benley' was a 'touring' version of Honda's more sport CB 'Twins', normally distinguished by heavier styling, but always a single carburettor.

The earlier Benleys were based on the 'Dream' engine, nominally 175cc, but with different crankshaft and barrels, offered in various capacities from 125cc up to 250cc.

The CD185 of approximately 1975, though was an all new engine, distinguished by having  the chain drive for the camshaft positioned between the two cylinders.

Originally with 6v electrical system, points ignition and kick starting, later models gained 12v Electrics, electric starting, and 'contactless' CDi ignition. These changes came with numerous detail revisions to the outer engine cases to accommodate the different equipment, and significantly the cylinder heads and barrels.

Early engines had the points mechanism on the end of the Cam Shaft in the head, and a cam cover with individual caps to adjust the tappets, while the barrel featured the cam chain adjuster mechanism on the front of the engine between the exhausts, where it was repositioned to the back of the barrel on later models, between the carburettors.

The most significant feature shared by the Earlier engines though was a 360 degree crank shaft, both pistons rising and falling at the same time, on different strokes. This allows the convenience of a 'single' trigger lost spark ignition system, the one trigger firing the spark plugs in both cylinders at the same time. The 'lost' spark being that as the piston in one cylinder is rising towards Top Dead Centre on the compression stroke ready to be ignited, the other piston, will be rising on the exhaust stroke, pushing spent gasses out of the exhaust valve. So, if both spark plugs are triggered together, then the cylinder on the compression stroke gets ignited, whilst the spark in the other cylinder merely sparks in already burned exhaust gasses, and is hence 'lost'.

The CB125T, however has a 180 Degree crankshaft. This means that when one piston is at the top of its stroke, the other is at the bottom. This is a significant and important difference, and the CB125 is the ONLY model in the family that has such an arrangement.

The reason for it, is that with both pistons rising and falling together, the engine is almost as 'lumpy' and prone to vibration as a single, which is an impediment to reliability at higher engine RPM. But the whole idea of making a 'little twin' was to make an engine that could make more power from turning higher engine speeds.

Hence the idea behind the 180 degree crankshaft was to give the engine better 'balance' so that it could turn to higher RPM more reliably.

To aid this, the CB models were equipped with twin carburettors, as opposed to the single carburettors fitted to 360 crank models, and a completely revised Ignition system, was needed to provide sparks at 180 degree intervals, individually to each cylinder, though still by the 'lost spark' principle.

The 'Twin Shock' CB125Twin, shared a lot of commonality with other 'small' Hondas of the era. Intended to superseded the CB125Single, as a 'sporty' 125 road bike, many components are common with the CG125 which also superseded the earlier single, and the CB100N Overhead Camshaft Single.

The Honda CM125 'Rebel' was also introduced at around the same time, sharing many parts with the CB125T, though actually using a derivative of the Benley's 360 crank engine, and single carburettor.

The 1982 CB125 'Super Dream', was a significant departure, and the ONE important feature of the bike is the monoshock rear suspension.

For this model, Honda started with an almost clean sheet of paper.

The engine is a 'Benley' derivative, but gained the Benleys electric starter, and 12v electrics, as well as CDi Ignition, while retaining the CB125T's 180 degree crankshaft and twin carburettors.

The UK market model is known as the 'Reduced Effect' variant, as it was positively de tuned from the CB125T's 17bhp to a Learner Legal compliant 12.5, for the UK market, mainly through the use of a softer camshaft profile, and revised carburettors.

Other market models made a claimed 17bhp, as the Earlier T model. But it is NOT easy to 'de restrict' a Super Dream, either with parts from the European variants, or an earlier T.

The camshaft from the T model, I believe doesn't directly fit into the Super Dream cylinder head, due to it having a drive on the end for the points ignition, that the Super Dream doesn't have. Meanwhile the t carburettors have a different body and mount awkwardly on the Super Dream carburettor stubs and wont line up with the original air boxes, demanding their removal. as these form the battery tray, this means an alternative way of locating or supporting the battery must also be found.

Full power cam shafts for other market models may still be obtained new, as may many carburettor parts. However, many parts are discontinued, so it would not be possible to modify a UK Super Dream to 'Full power' specification, entirely with new parts, and what parts are available, would make it an inordinately expensive exercise, for very little practical gain.

Significantly 'unique' to the Super Dream model, is the frame, with its sophisticated monoshock rear suspension; the front forks, and the twin piston brake caliper. Petrol tank and bodywork.

Interchangeability between The Super Dream and other derivatives in the Benley 'family' is limited. Though it is common for Super Dreams with seized engines to have replacements sourced from, most commonly the CM125, as it shares the CB125's five speed gearbox.

Projects, Fixer Uppers, and Ride Away Deals

Right, these are old bikes. You cant really walk into a show room, pick the colour you want, haggle finance terms and ride it away with a warranty. Really there are three ways to get one. Find one that's survived twenty years with so little use its in reasonably good condition still. Or find one that's a complete wreck and do a renovation on it yourself. Or find one that some one else has found as a derelict or a wreck and fixed up, and sells on when they have done.

First question, Do you want a 'Project' or do you JUST want a bike to ride?

'Fixer Uppers' tend to fit in the middle, as either an 'easy' project, or a rider you don't mind having to do a 'Bit' or work to. But the warning is, crap rolls down hill. A rider can easily become a 'Fixer Upper' very easily without much encouragement, and a fixer Upper can quickly become an full on 'Project'.

Economically, if you want a bike to ride, its often far cheaper to pay that bit more for a bike that's a ride away deal, than hope to snag a bargain for a 'little' work. That  'little' work more often proves to be a lot, and often expensive parts, soon erode any saving, as can buying a 'cheap' rider that soon becomes a 'fixer upper'.

As for Projects, well, very FEW projects are financially profitable. Starting with a Derelict motorcycle, in all likelihood, the reason its derelict is because of some problem that meant it was cheaper to buy another bike than to fix it. Price of old bikes rarely goes up significantly, unless they do become genuine collectors items, but even then, good working examples are often cheaper to buy than the cost of resurrecting  a derelict, while 'concourse' machines, to get to the standard that actually stand them a chance of taking awards, normally costs far more then they would sell for.

I caution TIME and TIME again, the kiddology of so many taking on a project convincing themselves that all the time and effort and money spent is worth it, and the bike or Land Rover they MIGHT end up with, is worth every penny..... to THEM, maybe, if they see it that far, but the harsh reality is that on the open market to any one else, its rarely worth a fraction of the cost of the parts that have gone into it.

The ONLY way that a Project is in anyway economically realistic is IF you write off the costs as the price of your hobby, like building scale models to display on your mantelpiece, or playing golf or fishing, or something where you spend money to engage in a pursuit you enjoy.

Which means you have to enjoy the work. If you want a motorbike, and DON'T enjoy the challenge of frustrating and niggling little problems, and the hassles of finding bits, then you are on a fools errand, because you'll be wasting time that you could be spending doing something you actually like, or which is more useful or more profitable.

So taking on a Fixer Upper, that proves more demanding than anticipated, well? Have a look round the site, at my Project bikes. ALL of those were sold with the suggestion that they were 'easy fix' 'Fixer Uppers'.

Donna's 'Pup' was probably the classic example. That bike was sold on, with an add suggesting that it was a simple MOT failure needing no more than a pair of fork seals, included in the sale! to get it through its test and back on the road, being sold because the seller didn't have the time to do the work, and his wife, who was the bikes rider, had lost patience with him and bought a cruiser instead!

That bike, when I looked at the pictures, I could tell needed more than just fork seals. When I saw it in the metal, I started adding up the immediate works needed, which included new headrace bearings, and a suspension overhaul, at the very least.

Donna, accustomed to such 'wrecks' and having been lead to believe that they COULD be cheaply and easily fixed up, and got on the road with a 'friendly' MOT, honestly didn't think that it would take more than a bit of servicing and some paint to get that bike back on the road.

At time of writing, near enough the OTR price of a brand spanking new Honda CBF125 spent on parts alone, she has sort of realised that it doesn't work that way. She's also realised why so often the bikes she had didn't go very well, didn't handle very well, didn't inspire much confidence, or broke down so much!

But that was part of the exercise, one of the 'Project Objectives', for Donna to learn mechanics, and how bikes work, and to appreciate what's going on under her bum when she's riding. Getting a working motorcycle, more, one that inspired confidence and worked properly, that she could do her training and test on at the end, was a separate Project Objective.

If it was the ONLY project objective, It would have been a heck of a lot cheaper, and a darn site easier to have gone and bought her a two or three year old Yamaha YBR125, for about a thousand pounds, TWO FIFTHS of what this bike's cost! AND when she had got her licence, sold it on for probably within £100 of what we paid for it.

Please think long on that one. Doing a Project on a 125 'Learner Legal' so you have a bike to ride on a provisional licence and get your test, EVEN if you succeed, and turn a 'Fixer Upper' for a few hundred quid into a serviceable bike, which, when you have done with it, you can sell on for no more than you have spent.... well, buying a 'Rider' to begin with, for a little extra outlay up front, could have got you to exactly the same place.

Doing it via 'Fixer Upper', practically you are looking at bikes that will cost you in the region of £400 to buy. (see Ebay Advert Examples) Add just £50 for some bits and pieces, and £50 doesn't buy MANY, then add an MOT and some tax, and you'll have spent over the £500 that COULD have bought you a 'Ride Away' bike, that after three or four months use, and a concerted effort to get through your bike test,  you could sell on, just as readily for pretty close to what you paid. RATHER than mucking about with bits of rusty metal and greasy castings, annoying mothers, wives, flat mates or who ever with the tide mark round the bath, and the mess in the back garden, to MAYBE get to the same place.

IF you have to have a fixer upper or project, makes FAR more sense to look for a 'big bike' to do. Every aspiring 'motorcyclist', looks at the costs of getting a bike, they add up the cost of the licence, CBT, crash helmet, gloves, water proofs, then the test fees, and perhaps the price of a rider training course, then looks at the prices of bikes again, and is HORRIFIED. SO start looking to see where they can make some economies. And as the biggest single expense, they consider the price of the bike the best place that they can save money.

They then start thinking, that as they AREN'T going to keep the bike very long, they don't want to spend any more money than they have to on it, and looking further and further down the market, until they get to the conclusion that rather than buy a 'clapped out wreck' with an MOT, they'll buy an MOT failure and 'do it up', in the naive belief that that HAS to be cheaper, and will give them a 'better' bike for less money.

Unfortunately, the numbers rarely add up. In the Ebay Advert examples I've offered here you'll see that 'Fixer Uppers' tend to fetch almost as much money as bikes that are ready to ride away. In some cases, incredibly they sometimes fetch more!

One of the bikes in the Example Ebay adverts was a very useful looking bike, that was taxed and tested and ready to ride, with a lot of work done as running repairs. It bid to a fraction under £500 and I'm sure some one had snagged themselves a nice little bargain. Another bike in the examples, sold the same day, a few hours later, as an 'unfinished project' with an AWFUL lot of niggles that needed sorting mentioned in the description, down played as 'easy fixes' that made me wince, for £360. Adding £30 for an MOT to that, and another £15 for tax, makes £420, making it 'On The Road', only £50 or so cheaper than the bike that sold as a 'Rider'. I very much doubt that any one would sort the problems on that bike for under £50. Realistically, by the old double the estimate and then double it again, rule, £200 is more likely, and from what I know about these bikes, that's actually likely, and that it STILL wouldn't be a great well sorted bike.

Seriously, SO many people have the quaint idea that fixing up an old bike would be a 'fun' thing to do, or a cheap way to get themselves on the road, more people actually go looking for bikes to 'fix up' than there are wrecks for them to fix! And incredibly MANY of them will actually NOT buy road worthy and ride away ready bikes, because such a machine doesn't fit their idea of what a 'project' should be!

Ironically, a scruffy old bike that's already road worthy, is probably a far better project base than an old derelict. The bike is all there, serviceable and working. You can see what it SHOULD look like before you start pulling it to pieces, and you can pick and choose what work to do, in what order, depending on what's important to you, and probably NOT find so many problems along the way!

If you want a 'cheap' bike to get your licence on, please hear what I'm trying to tell you. DON'T buy a bike thinking that you'll make some huge saving by getting a fixer upper or project. Its highly likely that all you'll achieve is oil stains on the patio, and a lot of frustration.

Again, look at the ebay advert examples, and how MANY 'unfinished' projects there are! Nearly ALL of them started by people with more optimism than know how. And they don't get finished, as often, not because they don't know what they are doing, or are clueless mechanics, though some are. Normally its because they reach a point where they realise the actual enormity of the job, the costs, the time and the hassle, and concede that they were far more optimistic than they were realistic.

IF you are going to take on a project, like Donnas Pup, you HAVE to have clear Project Objectives, and be sure you are going to get 'value' out of the project, not just disappointment.

In Donna's case there were a lot of Project Objectives. As said, the first was to teach her mechanics, the second how motorbikes work, the third to build her a bike that was as good as it could be and would inspire confidence riding it, for her to do her rider training and tests on, and to keep as an every day, low running cost commuter beyond that.

As said, the value of the bike to do her test on, is negligible. We could have hired a School Bike for her rider training and tests for about £200, or bought a £1000 YBR125 of her own, she could use between lessons, that we could have sold on after for within £100 of buy price, ultimately costing no more than a hire bike. At the top end, we could have bought her a brand new Honda CBF125 for £2500, to do her training and tests on, and sold on after a year for perhaps £2000. So at MOST the value of being able to do training and test on 'the Pup' is practically no more than £200, the cost of a school hire bike.

Built to an almost 'as New' standard, and incorporating a few custom features and useful accessories, the total build price is not too exorbitant, in comparison the a brand new Honda CBF125, but unlike that it doesn't come with a warranty or guaranteed spares back up, and its instant resale depreciation is no where NEAR as good! Its a twenty five year old Honda 125. It may be a very nice very tidy bike, but on the open market, other nice tidy CB125 Super Dreams rarely fetch more than £800 or £900. IF some one was shown the receipts and the complete photo rebuild, I doubt they would offer much more than perhaps £1200, if that for the bike.

Now Donnas bike has been built to an incredibly high standard, it really is as close as you practically get to a 'no expense spared' renovation, but believe me, we have HAD to spare some expenses to make it viable, or even the 'price of a new bike budget' would have gone out the window! So really, she's achieved a £1200 bike, plus £200's worth of training tool, for about £2500, and a lot of hard work.

That MEANS the 'project' will have 'cost' about £1100 in parts, plus all the time, effort and hassle to put them all together, and make them a motorbike. The question IS, is the year of mechanics between buying and riding WORTH that money? Has she got £1100's worth of fun out of doing this project? Has she LEARNED £1100's worth of knowledge? And is the satisfaction of riding this bike, knowing she has built it, with her own hands, the way SHE wants it, worth £1100?

Only SHE can answer that question, and so far she has unequivocally answered 'Yes', and added that she could NOT have got a bike like this in any dealers, and she wouldn't have had anywhere near as much fun writing a cheque as she has twirling spanners, and she would have learned absolutely nothing about mechanics or how motorbikes work, and not have had anything like the confidence riding a new bike as she gets from this one, or the joy of a bike that's that bit different, unusual and generally 'special'.

So ultimately, she's happy with the outcome, and deems it worth the money and the effort. But its been a lot of both, and ultimately, no one else but HER can derive that same value.

Back to the start, If you want a bike to ride, DO NOT think that buying a cheap one, is necessarily a good way to go. It can very easily become a fixer upper, and that can just as easily prove to be a complete project bike.

If you want a fixer upper, just to get a cheap bike, again, there are far to many people all with the same idea. They are far too often proved disappointed.

If you REALLY want a 'project', REALLY think long and hard about it. You need an awful lot more than nieve optimism and enthusiasm. You really need a lot of dedication, and commitment, and you REALLY need to be realistic and practical about the economics, and practicalities of it all, and what you want out of the project BEYOND merely a bike to ride.

If you read the Blogs of the renovations of my bikes, or Donna's Pup, and the "How To" articles there's a lot there that might convince you a project is a lot easier than it really is, or that there are loads of ways to avoid having to spend too much money. BUT apply caution. at time of writing Donna's 'Pup' has been work In Progress for nearly a year, and that hasn't been unduly delayed waiting for pay days to be able to afford to get parts holding up work. Nor has it been unduly held up by finding the time to work on it, in and around work commitments, family, or domestic chores. The Corporal was Work in Progress for around five months. Again, unfettered by work commitments or financial constraints. AND aided by having my own store of 'ready spares', and a well stocked tool box.

These projects CAN be done. And they can be done to a good standard, and to a reasonable budget. But they are far from 'easy', and they are fraught with risks and problems you have to be pretty sure you can handle.

As a platform for a project base, or fixer upper, little bikes usually aren't the best candidates. As said, if you want to do a 'project' to give yourself a bike to take training and tests on, really, you'd probably be better of simply hiring a school bike, or buying a rider, you know is easily saleable. And if you STILL want a project bike, picking a bigger bike that you can build up to ride on your full licence. You will find far more and better candidates to play with, which are as easy to work on, and as cheap to get parts for, which have far less risk of not getting to completion, and be able to offset much more of the effort and expense against the greater use you can get out of them when built.

If you are still not put off a 'Learner Legal' project, then from experience, I can honestly say that choosing a Honda CB125 Super Dream you are making life difficult for yourself. They are great little bikes, but they are also quite cantankerous, and demanding.

For a novice mechanic, it's a lot easier to get to grips with the mechanics of a less sophisticated motorcycle, and starting out, I would advice considering something with twin shock rear suspension, a single cylinder engine, preferably air cooled, and preferably a two stroke, also something more common, with better spares support.

Of the old two stroke commuters that meet this remit, though, most are suffering quite badly from lack of both new and used spares. Probably the best bet for a first time project at the moment is the venerable Honda CG125. It has a cult following, and second hand prices are strong. As such its a bike you stand a much better chance of getting a little more out of in resale value for whatever you put into it.

Its also got very good spares support, with the model, still in current production, though not by Honda! Well, a variant of it is still in production, by Honda, but it is being built in China under licence, and other countries, and there are a lot of parts available in consequence through those channels.

The single cylinder engine means that if major engine work is required, the costs tend to be half as much. If a rebore is needed, It has a bigger cylinder to be machines, but its only one machining operation, not two. Piston might be larger, but it probably wont be much more expensive than one piston for a CB125 twin. It only has one exhaust pipe, and one carburettor, and one ignition coil, etc. And its a durable low tech little lump, with push rod valves, so its not much more difficult to work on than a two stroke, and less prone to damage than the Over head Cam twin.

The rear suspension is another big saving, it has simple twin shocks, which if completely knackered are about half the price to replace as the mono shock on the Super Dream, and it only has bushes to replace in the swing arm pivot, not in every joint in the suspension linkage! Front forks are still available reasonably cheaply too, rather than having to try and get old Super Dream items expensively re chromed.

The list goes on. Its not as nice a bike to ride as a Super Dream, and it doesn't have the performance of a good CB125, but as a potential project, it has FAR less areas where problems may be encountered, and far fewer complex assemblies where inordinate expense may be incurred.

Alternatively, if you want a fun little bike that will turn heads, and offer performance, and don't mind a little bit of extra work, then there's the Yamaha RD125LC or TZR125's. Popular little 'Teenage Revival' bikes, the Yamahas are in many ways easier to fix up than the Super Dream. They have a monoshock rear suspension system, but its a simple cantilever on the RD and a more robust and common linkage on the TZR. Meanwhile the engine, though water cooled, is a simpler two stroke single, that is not that much more difficult or expensive to recondition than a CG engine. And they fetch more realistic prices, making them that bit more financially viable.

The CB125 Super Dream, IF you want one for a project, is NOT the easiest, nor the most economically viable, then.

So IF you are looking for something to cut your teeth on and learn mechanics, really thing hard whether a Super Dream is the bike to do it with. You need to accept that its a little perverse, and a bigger challenge, and that the rewards aren't going to be so great. But if the challenge, and doing something a bit 'different' is part of your Project Objectives, AND you have a good clear and realistic idea of what you are taking on, THEN a CB125 Super Dream may be worth looking at. BUT, there are an awful lot of other, and possibly better projects you could do, you need to consider before committing to one.

Common Faults and What to look for

There are two or three stages of 'review' for a bike being offered for sale, and lots of different things to look for, some of which are more important than others, depending on whether you want a Project / Fixer Upper, or a Rider.

The first review stage is gleaning is much as you can from an advert, to decide if its worth pursuing. From what's in, or NOT in the advert, you can compile a list of queries to put to the seller to decide whether its worth going to see or not. Then you have actually looking at the thing. Firstly, an initial, 'over view', then a more detailed inspection, possibly test ride, maybe by some one with a bit of mechanical acumen, or even an independent engineer like an AA Inspection or similar.

But the starting point is always the adverts. So I have compiles a selection of recent e bay ads for Honda CB125 Super Dreams and critiqued them, telling you what I read into the advert. This should give you a good idea of a lot of the common problems these bikes suffer. But starting at the top.

AGE & Mileage.

Don't mean much on these bikes. A Honda CB125 Super Dream is going to be a twenty something year old bike. And a Learner Bike at that, which is almost certain to have had a succession of more clumsy and less clued up, learner owners. ALL 125 Learner Legals suffer this problem, and twenty something year old ones are going to have been around long enough that they have had a LOT of exposure to the kind of wear and tear Learner Legals get, on top of plenty of opportunity for neglect, abandonment and general decay. General condition, standards of maintenance, repairs and overhaul are FAR more important than the actual age or mileage of the bike.

For note, the model was introduced as an '82 Catalogue Model. In the UK, the earliest bikes registered were on an 'X' suffix registration. of the form ABC123X. This became a 'Y' Suffix in August 1983. Running out of year letters to stick at the end, they flipped the order round so for August 1984, they gained an 'A' PREfix registration of the form A123ABC, incrementing to a B, for August 1985 C, for August 1986 D, for August 1987, E, for August 1989, F for August 1988, G for August 1989, H for August 1990, J For August 1991. K for August 1992.

The Honda CB125 Super Dream had three 'updates' in its ten year production history. The first models produced from '82 to 84 were suffix TD-C. But this relates to the year of MANUFACTURE not the year of first registration. Bikes Registered on X, Y, A, should be TD-C variants, however UK demand for the model wasn't as great as Honda had anticipated, and dealers were running out TD-C models as late as 1987, getting, B, C, and in some cased D prefix registration numbers. The first updated model was the TD-E, which commenced manufacture in 1984 and remained until 1988. But while UK dealers still had stocks of unsold TD-C models, few were registered before 1987. Earliest TD-E's appear on D, though more usually E or F pre fix registration plates. Practically the only difference between TD-C and TD-E versions is the paint schemes, and TD-E's being badged as a CB125T 'Deluxe' rather than a 'Super Dream'. 1988 on TD-J models differ in having cast three spoke wheels rather than com stars, tubless tyres, and CV carburettors rather than slide carbs, as well as different colour schemes, again.. Few TD-J models were sold in the UK, the greatest number of bikes are TD-C's. TD-J's tend to be on G, H & J prefix registrations, though you may find a late registration that languished in a dealers show room longer than it remained in the official Honda Sales catalogues!

The 'average' annual mileage of a motorcycle is currently around 4000 miles, a very low figure, reflecting how many machines these days are kept purely for occasional leisure use. When the Super Dream was in the Current Catalogue, annual average mileages were around 6-7000. This was not uncommon for small capacity Learner Legals and commuters, that were far more often used as everyday transport, and many covered up to and some times beyond the 10K mark, close the the national average for a car at the time of approximately 12K miles.

Generally, the 'Little' Super Dream proved itself 'good' for a respectable 40,000 miles. Well looked after, models could achieve perhaps 60K miles, but few ever have been that well looked after. Most Learner Legals tend to survive as every day machines for around seven years, before falling into the 'cheap heap' bargain bin, where they probably need more work than they are worth. So a reasonably well looked after bike, doing say 7000 miles a year, could pretty well be expected to be at the end of its expected service life, at seven years and 49,K miles. Lower mileage machines might stretch that out to around ten years. BUT, on the Super Dream, the engines tend to start suffering anticipated bore wear in the engine at around 35,ooo miles. But the biggest 'killer' of Honda 125 Super Dreams, tends to be neglected servicing. Significantly oil changes and the internal oil strainer, which if neglected can lead to premature bore wear, poor oil pressure and ultimately cam shaft seizure.

Looking at one today, it's unlikely that a surviving machine has been in continual service since first use, and any example considered will have had periods of 'lay up'. Its also most likely that machines will have been taken off the road for a fault that was deemed too expensive to fix. Unloved for a long while, its possible that the price of a rebore or a pair of new tyres could have rendered a machine 'beyond economical repair'. Resurgence in the bike market, and new supplies of parts, particularly for these models, has made many 'Scrap' bikes more viable to repair, along with increasing resale values as older machines have established some sort of 'Classic' status.  This accounts for many of the 'Derelict' machines offered with optimistic prices, as well as a large number of 'unfinished projects'. But MOST of these bikes on the market today, if not actual Derelicts offered for 'restoration', likely to have been one. And if by some remote dint of chance, a machine has managed to avoid any lengthy lay ups or periods of dereliction and decay, to have survived in service this long, it can be presumed the machine will have had to have had quite a lot of maintenance and repair work undertaken as its been going along.

So, SIMPLY because of the age of these bikes, age and mileage should only be of notional interest. Overall general condition, is by far the more important thing to worry about, and a buyer should be looking more at the standards of maintenance and repair undertaken, (or not!) on the machine.

Crash Damage.

All motorcycles are vulnerable to crash damage, and Learner Legals, bear the brunt of the statistics that say Learners are something like nine times more likely to have a 'recorded' accident, than a qualified rider. The 'Recorded' bits important, stats are only made form accidents people report, either to police, emergency services or insurance companies. MOST Learners fall off at some point, often frequently! And with minor scuffs and scrapes and no one else hurt, these tumbles seldom make the stats. We could probably triple the probability of a Learner accident and still not even get close to the real likelihood of a bike being dropped. But, we can be pretty sure that the probabilities are so high, its pretty much an inevitability, and its incredibly unlikely that you'd go look at a 20 year old 125 that HASN'T been dropped or crashed. Most WILL have, and repeatedly!

But, they are Learner Legals. They are light weight machines, of limited performance, and they tend not to suffer 'such' heavy accident damage as larger, faster bikes. They still CAN, and bent forks, buckled wheels, and twisted frames still need to be looked for. But for the most part, the most common injuries are dented petrol tanks, bent handlebars, broken clutch and break levers, bent gear and brake pedals, scratched exhausts, shattered mirrors, bent and broken indicators, scuffed engine cases, and occasionally, cracked or 'holed' cases. In the parlance of the salvage dealers, what they tend to describe as 'light cosmetic damage'... though they often stretch that a long way!

'Light Cosmetic Damage' is the Bodger's delight, so many believing its all cheap and easy to fix, and you can save even more money by using second hand spares.... Unfortunately, the parts that are most vulnerable to 'LCD', are the ones you'll need, and the ones that will least frequently be available second hand! Though sometimes you can get 'lucky' and with things like cracked or holed engine cases, from engines that have been seized. Things like levers and mirrors though, you'll tend to buy new at around £15 a pair, and fixing LCD to get a bike through an MOT, with cracked indicator housings, can prove quite expensive! Anyway....

First of all, you need to look at the wheel alignment. Preferably with the bike stood up straight and on its centre stand. From the rear, the back wheel often looks like it is out of line, sitting a little to the left of centre. This is actually normal!

If the bars are 'off' to the front wheel, this could be just the foks twisted in the jokes, which is easy to sort out. But could be bent forks, or bars. OE Super Dream handlebars are actually quite strong, and being relatively narrow, often don't bend that easily.

 

 

 

Where to look for a CB125 Super-Dream

OK, well you want to buy one of these wonderful little machines. Where do you start? Where do you start looking for ANYTHING these days?! E-bay! It has a lot to answer for, and there's a heck of a lot of tat being offered on there for silly money, and more than a number of anomalies, like second hand CB125 gear-linkages being punted out at more than you can get a brand new pattern one for, but anyway.

E-bay is a pretty good starting place. Not the only place, but where most low priced bikes are being advertised these days. Other net resources include Gum-Tree, Pre-Loved and Piston-Heads as well as the more popular bike forums. These can chuck up some useful candidates, but they may not always be local or current. E-bay is pretty dynamic and usually has a good selection of bikes, at any one time.

Using e-bay, one bit of advice, ALWAYS try to see the bike before you bid, and DO NOT go into a bid frenzy, and pay over the odds, or pin your hopes on winning a particular auction. There's plenty of bikes out there, and if you don't win this one, there will be another along shortly!

But don't dismiss traditional media. Auto-Trader / Bike Trader are still going strong, as is MCN, though more ads are trade and prices more optimistic. Your local free-papers though often turn up great little bargains and are worth watching. But for real bargains, word of mouth often chucks up some of the best opportunities.

Example E Bay Adverts

Example Ad 01

Critique of Photo's:

Its red. That makes the bike striking and one people will look at. However, it is NOT the original Honda 'Candy' Red. The black stripe on the petrol tank, and black Honda logo are also poor approximations of the original graphics. Lack of graphics and badging on side panel and tail cowl, also indicate a low rent re spray. Lack of detailing in the recessed portion of the side panel that has been left red, where it ought to be mat black, again points to a quick rattle can blow over job to brighten up an old bike rather than something more sympathetic or contentious.

Seat cover is after market replacement, not original and has been poorly stretched leaving ripples. Square instrument binnacle, and headlamp and height of handlebars suggests original items. Switches appear original silver finish of earlier model. Exhaust is After market Motad 2 into 1. Close up shows down pipes which reflection of red mudguard suggests are in reasonably good condition. Also shows makers VIN tag on down tube, and engine with Honda logo on rocker cover, detailed correctly in red. Lack of marking on covers or engine, & semi gloss finish suggest this engine is original, and little touched, and remarkably unscathed.

Honda CB125TDC Superdream, stored for many years (from 1991) until I got it about 3 years ago, when I first got it I did a lot of work, spent money on parts then lost interest, subsequently it's been stored again for the last couple of years.
 
Work carried out include:
New brake seals, fluid and boot (plus pads if memory serves)
Decent secondhand 2 into 1 exhaust system.
Top end reconditioned, reground valve seals, new valve seals. Pistons are on 1.00mm oversize.
New Paint and laquer.
Replaced second hand clocks (I have originals) glass panel came away hence need for replacement.
 
All electrics work fine for MOT, lights, brake lights and indicators. Tyres all decent with good tread.
only work needed for MOT that I can find is that the right hand fork seal is leaking.
 
Engine wise, there is a misfire from the left hand cylinder (electrical I believe) engine is quite though with no unusual rattles or knocks. Electric start can also be noisy, although always works (I believe sticking rollers--a simple job with time!) Time is limited with myself hence putting it on here rather then sorting it out. (although I may do if I get a holiday sometime! lol).
 
The photo's make the bike look tidier then it is, although to be fair it's in good condition for it's age. Your welcome to arrange a look if you like. Contact me on XXXXXXXXXXX, ask for Rob
 
I can deliver the bike in Dorset for a small fee, any further I'm afraid you'll have to collect. You can ride the bike (although with a popping L/H cylinder) but with no MOT or Tax or insurance-- not a good idea.
 
The reserve is set on what the bike owes me, fairly low on what prices these wonderful machines fetch nowadays.
 
Please only bid if you intend to buy, the usual rules apply ect...
 
Thanks for reading, happy bidding!

Critique of Description

An unfinished project. This always begs the question, why hasn't it been finished? This is first in the list because as so MANY unfinished projects, ALL they can find to stop the bike getting through an MOT is the lack of a £3 fork seal! and of course they haven't got the time to do such a difficult job, after devoting SO much time and attention to painting it all up! See HOW To: Overhaul the front forks / Replace fork Seals. That is NOT a long of difficult task. Translated it means, "I'd like you to buy this money pit, so want you to REALLY believe its a REALLY quick and easy fix to get it road worthy and grab yourself a bargain" You can almost bank on 'it only needs a fork seal for test', really means "it needs FAR more than its worth to pass an MOT!"

New brake seals... that's curious. These do perish, but overhauling a calliper that age to fit new seals, I would be amazed that it didn't really need new pistons as well. They are, however about £35 a pair. So I would suspect that the old, and probably rusted and flake chrome pistons have merely been polished up with find emery and re fitted... they'll work, for a while, until the rough surface chews the seals up, and lets out all the 'new fluid' that the system would have to be re charged with, that should be replaced every couple of years anyway.

Decent Second hand two into one exhaust system. this was actually listed as a 'performance' upgrade. It is actually the Motad exhaust, and new these are about £180ish. Whether its a performance upgrade or not is another matter. They are a bit lighter than the original twin pipes, though don't seem to last much better. I have noticed they do seem to create a curious flat spot in the rev range though, annoyingly just about 8,000rpm, where if you are accelerating through fourth and about to change to fifth at about 55mph, it drops you back to these revs without enough 'oomph' to easily accelerate through it and get at the power the other side, so unless you really thrash the knackers off the bike in forth so you are above that 8000rpm when you change up, or you have a hill to assist you, it can effectively cap your top speed right there! Patern replicas of the original twin pipes are only about £125 a pair, and work well. A second hand Motad, which shouldn't have cost any more than £30 or £40 tops, would then be no bonus. The bike should have an exhaust pipe, and that one isn't likely to be any longer lasting than anything else, nor offer any more performance. It is one of the better looking though, but unless that flat spots been sorted out....may need getting rid of anyway. You'd have to test ride.... Oh you cant... he suggests you COULD, but then warns it would be illegal. Helpful that, you'll have to take his word for it wont you? Bet his answer to 'does it have the Motad flat spot at 8K revs would be, Cant say I've ever noticed" Well he wouldn't he bought it as a project and its never been legal for him to ride, to find out, has it?

New paint and laquer. See critique of photos. This is a not too bad attempt, but it isn't original, and a much better standard could have been achieved with very little more expense or effort. and its not mentioned whether the petrol tank was given solvent or petrol proof lacquer. If not or if so, but not properly cured, the first fill up spill on the paint work will ruin it all. Also note that only the red bits have been painted. Mudguard, tank side panels and tail cowl.

Second hand clocks. Sounds reasonable, but to be honest, there aren't many 'better' sets of instruments out there. The rubber perished around the glass then they let in moisture and steam up, the dial faces degrade, and in sunlight the needles go hard crack and disintegrate. They ALL do it, its only a question of when. Useful way to explain a set of instruments that's been attacked in a botched attempt to wind back the mileage though.....

All electrics work fine for MOT, lights, brake lights and indicators. A bold statement. But no mention of a new battery. without that, its actually very unlikely they WOULD work correctly for the MOT, as while they may WORK, MOT requires they work without any one light interfering with another. Tested on their own, probably work fine, but put the headlamp on, AND the brake light, one or other is likely to flicker without the charge damping of a good battery, powered just by the generator alone, the engine running at low revs. These kind of faults are sometimes 'hidden' by setting a high tick over. Indicator flashers on these bikes also have a habit of failing, quite often JUST before a buyer turns up to collect the bike.... And there are electrics that are not MOT testable items, like the electric starter motor or its solenoid. This comment SUGGESTS they ought to work, but doesn't actually say so.

Tyres all decent with good tread. Tread is only one requirement for a tyre. He admits the bike has not been in use since 1991. That's twenty years! Bikes that don't go anywhere don't wear out their tyres tread, but they do loose the plasticizers in the rubber than make them soft, then they perish. And these bikes have tubed tyres, and you cant see the tubes. I'd not bank on that half statement meaning that the tyres were good enough to pass an MOT. And even if they were, twenty years old, They would not be the grippiest. Budget tyres for this bike, which are new, and hard wearing are only about £40 a pair. Good tyres that have a lot of grip are about £80. Add £20 for new tubes to go in them.

Engine wise, there is a misfire from the left hand cylinder (electrical I believe) The ignition system on these bikes is a very rugged CDI system, that doesn't use points. The ignition timing is 'fixed' by triggers in the generator housing. There are no moving parts in the system, and the only way to really diagnose a faulty component is by substitution. Conveniently, this particular Honda twin, has two virtually independent, but identical ignition circuits, with two CDI units and two coils, and by swapping components from side to side, it can be possible to fairly easily identify the fault. If it Is electrical then I would wonder why it hasn't been found, rf if, actually it HAS been!

The other possible cause of a misfire would be the carburettor. As the easier to identify that would have been my first check. I would wonder why the chap hasn't mentioned the carburettor as the possible cause. Its another suggestion of an easy fix, "Yeah, probably just needs the muck cleaned out the float bowls". You know, like fork seals! But, we also have as a 'positive' sales feature, Top end reconditioned, reground valve seals, new valve seals. Pistons are on 1.00mm oversize. Putting the two together, then what he's really saying IS "Engine has had top end rebuild, but still don't work properly, and I cant fix it!"

This extends the possible problems considerably. We don't have an engine that's been properly reconditioned and 'sorted', or the suggestion of a 'good engine' that just needs a bit of tinkering to get it on song. We have an engine that's had a LOT of work, but doesn't work. So instead of looking at cleaning the carbs or fiddling with some wires, we might actually have to bury back into that engine and find out what's not been put together right.

Electric start can also be noisy, although always works (I believe sticking rollers--a simple job with time!) Yes, its a common complaint. Its a pretty simple, but robust system on this bike, and the starter is connected to the crankshaft by a chain drive with a freewheel like on a push bike. On bikes left dormant, the little ratchet can gum up, and it gets noisy and sometimes fails to engage. It is NOT a simple job, you have to remove the generator rotor from the crank shaft to get at it, requiring a special puller, and it doesn't just free off and get much better with a little lubrication as often suggested in these adverts. I know. I have tried it. Short of fitting a brand new roller clutch, forget it. Its a little idiosyncrasy of the model, and to be expected on a 'classic'... just give it a bit of chain lube now and again to stop it getting too much worse!

The photo's make the bike look tidier then it is, although to be fair it's in good condition for it's age. They certainly do, especially if you know what to look for in them! But the suggestion its in 'good condition' needs a bit of seasoning, FAR more than 'for its age'. Possibly, "For a bike left to rot for twenty years". That remarkably might actually run, though roughly.

BUT, bottom line is this bike is HIGHLY unlikely to be a quick and easy fix. Its a neglected barn find that some one has had the notion might be tidied up with little more than a bit of paint and some oil... having applied the oil and the paint and found far more and more difficult work to do, done some of it, and found it's still not working, so they want rid, because its becoming a 'money pit'.

If they have sunk enough money into it, and in the right places, and NOT messed things up too bad in the work they have done, at the right price, a bike like this could make a reasonable project base. But! You have to weigh up the pros and cons carefully. Taking on a part finished project, with problems, you might have to do more work than taking on a complete derelict, because you could have to UNDO all the work the seller has done, badly! AND with known problems, stopping THEM getting it 'sorted'.

This bike bid to £360, which is not untypical, many optimists hoping that it will prove an 'easy' fixer upper. But, add £60 to put the bike through an MOT, even if it DOES prove a cheap and easy fix, the saving is only likely to be £50/£60 over a bike sold as a 'runner' with tax and test already on it, ride away ready. As so many, it was re listed within the week, with a comment about 'time wasters'! Bidding to £310 at EoA.

Example Ad 02

Critique of Photo's:

First of all, its black but its too shiny to be the original paint. And it has no decals. And the title of advert actually said "Honda 125TD C , RED". Fork sliders incongruously are painted gold. Possibly the start of a black and gold JPS style paint scheme that never actually happened. First photo shows a round headlamp, which is non standard, and round instruments, from another bike. Indicators are also round and chrome, again non original items. Tail rail and seat rail are present and appear to have original rubber trim in place. Seat appears to have been re covered tidily. Motad 2 into 1 exhaust fitted. No close up pictures of detail. Looks tidy, but pictures don't flatter the bike, greatly.

OK BOUGHT THE BIKE OFF E BAY AND PASSED TEST IN AUTUMN SO GOT TO MAKE ROOM.

TAXED TILL JULY 31.  MOT TILL AUGUST.

PROFESSIONALLY RESPRAYED

NEW FRONT TYRE

NEW FORK OIL AND SEALS

NEW BRAKES

NEW CHAIN AND SPROCKET.

REPLACED LIGHTS DIALS AND INDICATORS (HAVE ORIGINAL SQUARE ONES),  HAVE SPARE ENGINE AND EXHAUST,  HAYNES MANUAL.

ORIGINALLY HAD TWIN CARBS BUT HAD PROBLEMS WITH ONE SIDE,  SO FITTED A SINGLE CARB OFF A CG125 WHICH RAN GREAT ALL SUMMER,  I PUT IT AWAY IN NOVEMBER AND ITS GIVING TROUBLE NOW.  HAVE ORIGINAL CARBS.

WILL START FIRST TIME BUT WHEN GIVING IT SOME THROTTLE IT DIES,  I THINK ITS TOO MUCH FUEL ? A BETTER MIND THAN MINE WILL KNOW? UNLESS FUEL IS OFF?

WILL SUIT SOMEONE WITH MORE TIME.  WOULD PREFERE CASH ON COLLECTION,  I CANNOT DELIVER SORRY

Critique of Description

TAXED TILL JULY 31.  MOT TILL AUGUST. Roughly 5months worth, at time of advert. Tax and Test make a bike road legal. so it tickes boxes straight away. But, the MOT isn't 'fresh'. Anything could have happened to it since last test. From first comment, OK BOUGHT THE BIKE OFF E BAY AND PASSED TEST IN AUTUMN SO GOT TO MAKE ROOM, I would guess, the seller bought it as a project bike last summer. August MOT co insides with the school and college holidays, so possibly rebuild by a student. He claims to have passed his test in the Autumn, so he fixed it up, got it tested, got his test on it, then layed it up for winter. Now, come spring wants to trade up to a bigger bike. That all sounds reasonable. Use he's given the bikes enough to have sorted out any post rebuild niggles. REPLACED LIGHTS DIALS AND INDICATORS (HAVE ORIGINAL SQUARE ONES), The non standard bits I noted from pics. Looks like he had ideas about an old school 'Cafe Racer' or perhaps just wanted to make it look a bit more 'retro' with the chrome indicators and round lamp. He has the originals, but no mention of whether he changed them because the headlamp lenses was too rusty to pass an MOT, and the indicator lenses cracked, and speedo needles lost, or if it was just mild customisation. PROFESSIONALLY RESPRAYED, it has been resprayed. Might even have been done by a professional. But its not been finished and without closer inspection its difficult to tell whether its any good, or been done properly with petrol resistant lacquer on the tank etc. And no mention of frame or cycle parts, means its probably only the tank and panels that have been prettied up. NEW FORK OIL AND SEALS, That accounts for the MOT then! That's a £20 job a laymen can do in a day with a little know how, but worth having been done. NEW FRONT TYRE from tread patern in picture, looks like a 'better' Mitchellin too. But, like, NEW CHAIN AND SPROCKET, these are service items, you expect the bike to have them. Like, NEW BRAKES, which could be anything from new pads and shoes to brand new calliper, hoses and master cylinder, and without elaboration, I'd presume the former.

So far this all sounds fairly reasonable, and quite useful. An old bike, spruced up to get some one on the road and through their test, that's done its job, and being offered for some one else to make use of in a similar way. But, we get to the 'sting'.

ORIGINALLY HAD TWIN CARBS BUT HAD PROBLEMS WITH ONE SIDE,  SO FITTED A SINGLE CARB OFF A CG125 WHICH RAN GREAT ALL SUMMER,   HAVE ORIGINAL CARBS. WILL START FIRST TIME BUT WHEN GIVING IT SOME THROTTLE IT DIES,  I THINK ITS TOO MUCH FUEL ? A BETTER MIND THAN MINE WILL KNOW? UNLESS FUEL IS OFF? WILL SUIT SOMEONE WITH MORE TIME

So, after implying that he bought it as a project, fixed it up, so presumably knows the bike and mechanics well, and is happy to spend time fiddling with them, now for some reason is vexed by a 'simple' carburetion fault?

The twin carbs on these bikes can give hassle, but they are a very simple slide carburettor, and you cant really get them that mucked up. fitting a single carburettor, is an intriguing solution, but to what problem? Immediately springing to mind is that the rubber inlet manifold its attached to the engine by was perished and split. A common problem, and the part is no longer obtainable new. A CG125 carburettor is more curious. The CG125 is a 9bhp single cylinder motorcycle, and without a manifold to attach it to both cylinders, it wouldn't fit.

Both the manifold and the carburettor, would also be hugely restrictive to this particular engine. The CG125 carburettor is sized and jetted to suit an 8000rpm, 9bhp 'economy' single cylinder engine, not a 12,000rom, 12bhp 'sporty' twin. and where did the manifold to fit it come from? This raises more questions than it answers, but HAVE SPARE ENGINE AND EXHAUST provides a clue. The CB125 engine is a variant of the Honda 'Benley' engine, which with different parts inside and out, is used across a number of models, significantly the CD125 'Benley' and the CM125 'Rebel' cruiser, both of which utilise a single carburettor and manifold. The CM Engine is also visually identical to the CB 'Super Dream' engine, and has a curiously horrible variable venture carburettor, with a diaphragm that is prone to perish, but close enough in body dimensions that it could be substituted for the CG125 slide carburettor. That could explain a lot.

BUT, if the bike is so adapted, the CM rebel engine is actually no more powerful then the CG125, at about 9bhp. It would not have the performance advantage the CB125 does, and would probably struggle to go much more than 60mph or so. The internals of the engine, and the ignition system is also very different to a CB125.

This NEED NOT put anyone off buying the bike. Its taxed, tested and functional. Is tidy enough, and serviceable, apart from the carburetion issue, which might possibly be solved by correctly jetting the carburettor for the twin, or fitting a Benley slide carb which would be correctly jetted for it.  But with restricted performance, it wouldn't offer all a CB125 Super Dream should, and so obviously messed around with 'on the cheap' attention paid more to cosmetics than the more important functional stuff, there could still be work to do, and it might not prove wonderfully reliable.

For a certain price, that might be perfectly acceptable, provided you know what you were getting. Unfortunately, this particular bike was priced with a high starting bid of £450, putting off bidders. But at close to that price, as a rider, to get through test on, or as a cheap commuter, it could be a reasonable buy. Unfortunately, I suspect that the starting price is set at what the seller has spent on the bike, and wants back, and is hoping it will bid high on the paint work and promise of spares. The bike received no bids for almost the entire auction duration, a single last minute bid placed at start price securing sale.

Example Ad 03

Critique of Photo's:

At first glance this looks like a pretty straight original bike, but there are anomalies. Its red, and I cant quite tell if it has been repainted. It doesn't look quite like the original candy, and there seems a slight mis match in colour between tank and side panels. I THINK this may be original, the metal tank faded slightly differently to the plastic side panels and tail. The graphics on the side panels look original, and looking at the stripes on the tank, I first thought they might be some Halfords car side stripes cut down, but on second look, the silver over red with black stripe between is the correct decal for a red bike this age, some one has just put a gold stripe beneath it. Silver mudguard though is not a chrome after market one, but from a different, silver 125 Super Dream.

Very useful looking, rear carrier with side bracing for panniers has been fitted and the indicators relocated to suit. Picture of speedometer doesn't show clearly the mileage, but does show the rain, NOT having leaked through the instrument case, which with its red stripe is nice and original, and contains dials that have needles that haven't disintegrated. Curiously though the speedometer seems to be calibrated all the way up to over 100mph! Ah! Its a Km/h clock. This isn't original! Though pic does show that the plastic trim around the ignition barrel is present and correct. Other shots show all sides of the bike, and nothing jumps out as 'wrong' The headlamp is square, the handlebars are the right height. Early metal switches are fitted and original. Indicators are correct. Twin exhausts are as original, though suspiciously un rusty. More scrutiny reveals that they aren't the original fit exhausts with separate header pipes and slip on silencers, but newer one piece aftermarket items. The seat appears in good condition, and isn't ribbed as proprietary aftermarket replacements. Pictures don't show clearly whether the top has the moulding of the original cover, so I cant tell if it the original, beneath which the old seat foam has gone a little soft, or if its a fairly well fitted replacement. If so, its possibly a reasonably well tailored 'scratch' cover completely DIY'd from Vinyl. Petrol cap is correct, and still has the leaf cover over the lock.

I have owned this bike for the past two years and used it for commuting and building my confidence before moving to a larger bike.

There is some service history from 2004 (stack of receipts, MOT's).. The speedometer has been replaced so the true mileage is not shown. 10826 on the clock and 28322 on an old MOT so the estimated mileage is 39148.

Since owning it has had a new starter motor, battery, chain, front and rear sprockets, rear shock, new pistons and head rebore.
This bike is 27 years old so there are a few marks and blemishes on the chrome. The headlight has a chip in the glass and I think the cam needs tensioning.

It has a rear rack which is great for a top box. The seat is in good condition with no rips. Electrics good. 60mpg.

Feel free to ask any questions.

No reserve. Low start.
 

Critique of Description

Item details provided the bike was being offered with four months MOT remaining and two months tax. An early spring sale, the seller presumably as suggestion, having bought it to get their test and get some experience before moving to a bigger bike, which winter out the way, they'd like for this summer.

Seller declared the 'estimated' mileage as 39148, from old MOT's and what's on the speedometer at the moment. Of course being a Km/h speedo, those could actually be kilometres, but it doesn't matter, he's tried to be honest. He bought the bike two years earlier, and whoever he bought it off, had the documents going back to 2004, suggesting it was probably reccomissioned around then by that owner after being left in some ones shed for a while.  Point is, its been in regular use for two years, possibly longer.

Sellers comments about work done, a new starter motor, (more likely second hand, but still) Rear Shock absorber (again, more likely second hand, but possibly a pattern part) suggests ongoing running repairs, as does 'new pistons and head rebore' (I think he probably means the barrel!) Admits to a chip in the headlamp lense and comments he thinks the cam needs tensioning. I think he means Cam Chain.

What's mentioned and how, doesn't suggest the seller is a trained mechanic, but he has done what's needed to be done, but more importantly has some idea that stuff DOES need to be done, and have a reasonable idea of where!

It is NOT a lot to go on, but what there is is very promising. It looks to ME like a genuine little bike that could prove very useful. Being red, it will get a bit more attention than other colours, but that 'ugly' rack, mismatched bodywork, and nothing particularly inspiring in the description, THIS bike, road worthy, ready to ride, and with useful life put into it in the work done, was bidding lower than some spares or repairs projects, that hinted at easy fixes... you know, 'just needs fork seals for test'.

This is a bike I would put on my shortlist and try to view before buying. It has promise as a 'rider', and could be a little gem, if not, it has more going for it to suggest reasonable reliability and performance than many other examples on offer. Selling for similar money to half finished project bikes, it would even make a better starting point for a project than many, as its all there, and it all works, and it might not need much to make it look like new again. Basically paint. It Bid to just under £500, at EoA, and I think some one might have got themselves a 'bit' of a bargain there.

Example Ad 04

Critique of Photo's:

Photo's show a Silver bike, in remarkeably standard livery. The tank stripes don't look 'quite' factory, but hard to tell what's wrong with them from the pictures. But they look original enough, as does the rest of the bike. Only thing that is obvious from the pictures is the after market seat cover, well fitted. This looks like a very respectable little machine, in above average condition. With picture of paperwork that may support the machines providence. Otherwise, not a LOT to go on.

For sale is my honda cb 125 tdc

the mileage is genuine and i have all previous service history and receipts for when the bike was bought new and all work that has been done to the bike.

I have restored the bike including an engine rebuild and respray of all the body work and frame was powder coated in 2009.

I have been riding the bike since november 2010 and am looking to sell because i have just bought a new big bike.

the bike has been stored in a locked garage and as the pictures show is very nice. the bike goes well for a 125 and runs smooth on both sides as recently had both the carbs balanced.

I hope i have covered every thing if there is there is any thing else that you wish to know call me on XXXXXXXXXXX

Critique of Description

Item details provided the bike was being offered with eight months MOT remaining and nine months tax. An early spring sale, it had a very high starting price on e bay, but drew no bids before being withdrawn, before auction end, sold privately.

The description is incredibly brief, the main selling point being a very low, 7,528 recorded miles and a lot of paper providence to support that. This suggests a machine that has sat in storage for a very large part of its life.

The seller claims to have 'restored' the bike, to have rebuilt the engine, resprayed the body and had the frame powder coated.

The mention of an engine rebuild suggests more than a cosmetic make over, and the powder coating of the frame implied a full ground up rebuild. But there is no mention of other important work, such as new head race bearings, I would expect to be fitted after a frame had been stripped and powder coated, or the suspension that would have had to have been removed from the frame, nor the forks or the brakes.

Now, I am shy of the expression 'Restored', used in bike adverts. Strictly, the term means that the machine SHOULD have been returned to its 'as new' specification and condition, and be EXACTLY as it would have come from the factory when first built, or as close as practically possible. In common usage, it can mean practically anything, but it suggests that a machine has had a lot of work done to it, and been brought up to a high standard of finish and functionality, with a lot of careful care and attention. Unfortunately, its often used to describe bodging an old wreck sufficiently to get an MOT, or to painting a heap of junk so it looks pretty!

From this advert, contacting the seller for further details, and possibly viewing the bike would be essential. There isn't enough info in this add to even decide if its worth short listing.

I actually know a little more about the bike, as the buyer actually contacted me via one of the forums to ask advice on it before he went to view, and passed on comments from the seller, when he called him.

Before calling, he was fully appraised of the tendency for neglected and abused 125 Super Dream's to excessive bore wear, and the cam shaft 'eating' their cylinder head, due to poor lubrication. Most often caused by neglecting oil changes, but more critically not cleaning the oil strainer inside the engine.

When questioned, the seller became a little coy about that engine rebuild, after being asked why, with so few miles it had needed one, and it was reduced in scale a little by the comment, 'took it apart to check it over and replaced a few gaskets to make sure it was all OK'. Which can roughly be translated, hopefully, as he followed the instructions in the manual for a service, and took the rocker cover off, checked the tappets, and adjusted the cam chain tension, drained the oil, removed the clutch side casing, and cleaned the oil strainer. Of course it could also mean he took those cases off, as instructed, looked, decided it was too complicated and put them back on again!

The lad went on to view the bike, and actually bought it, hence its withdrawal from auction. The extent of the restoration wasn't challenged further, but has become apparent it WAS simply a cosmetic make over of a long stored and little used machine. And the basic servicing had obviously vexed the seller, as when the buyer came to do an oil change, he couldn't remove the sump plug, which when it was persuaded out of the engine casing, proved not to have a sealing ring on it. This is the sort of thing you should expect, really buying ANY second hand motorcycle.

Overall, this is probably a much better than average example of the model, in nice tidy, and good serviceable condition. The providence of the paperwork and the low miles, isn't sufficient to make it a collectors bike, and the cosmetic make over, no where near enough to make it a concourse show bike. But as a tidy every day classic, its probably one of the better offerings out there, and worth in the upper reaches of the 'normal' price range.

Example Ad 05

Critique of Photo's:

Pictures show a barn find 'Project', that looks like it hasn't even been taken out the barn! Work has obviously been done, but the bike isn't complete, and in one piece! The front brake calliper is missing, the brake hose hanging limply by the forks. The front mudguard is black, but the side panels and tail cowl are either in primer or a non standard silver. Would seem that the frame and swing arm have been painted, but the rest of the bike, is in a 'bit of a state'. Before reading the description, my immediate reaction is that this is a derelict that some one has decided to have a go at fixing up, thinking, as so often, they'll get a bargain bike for a little elbow grease oil and paint. Painted the pretty bits, then discovered that sorting the important stuff is going to take far more work and money than its actually worth. In short, Pictures are suggesting I'm looking at some nicely painted scrap!

This is a listing for a 1987 Honda CB125TDE Superdream.

The motorcycle is being sold as an unfinished project.

All the major components are there such as the petrol tank, air boxes, exhaust system, instruments etc.

The motorcycle has been fitted with a new engine. The engine was bought from a mechanic whom assured me it was running superb.

The wheels are good.

The exhaust is good and appears to be almost new.

The motorcycle needs the petrol tank finished off and a couple of minor bits and pieces in order to complete the project.

The V5 is in my name and I also have the keys for the locks.

Unfortunately, I am, much to my annoyance, having to relist because of yet another time waster. Please think before you bid and only bid if you can buy and collect. You will need a van to transport the motorcycle.

Anyone with zero feedback don't bother bidding. My apologies if I sound harsh, but everytime I've had timewasters, they have been in this category. Also, if you have less than 10 positive feedback, again, please don't bother bidding. The decent members of ebay, and I am sure they are the majority, will understand my point of view.

No time wasters or hagglers please and cash on collection.

Anyone who wishes to waste my time will be reported to ebay without hesitation.

I will answer any questions one wishes to ask.

Critique of Description

The motorcycle is being sold as an unfinished project. Fairly obvious from the photo's, but as ever, begs the question, WHY is it 'unfinished'? People don't tend to sell project bikes they have invested so much time and energy into unless SOMETHING has disillusioned them.

All the major components are there such as the petrol tank, air boxes, exhaust system, instruments etc. Basically, it's NOT all there! That is the important thing to take from the comment. Personally I wouldn't call the instruments or air boxes 'major' components... the brake calliper we cant see I would deem far more important, and rather a lot more critical.

The motorcycle has been fitted with a new engine. The engine was bought from a mechanic whom assured me it was running superb. Well, from the photo's is obviously not a 'NEW' engine. Its used. And personally I'm not that bothered who he bought it off, or what assurance some other bloke gave him when he got it! Its an engine from another bike, with no providence. It could have come from a bike that was crashed, or stolen. It may have come from another Super Dream, or it could be a from any of the other (lower powered) Honda variants that share the same engine cases. The Honda CM125, CD125, or even one of the many Chinese build copies. It may be a 'good' engine taken from a bike that was running well but failed its MOT for clapped out suspension and knackered electrics, or rebuilt from the cumulative scrap of half a dozen old knackers that has variously seized top or bottom ends, due to oil starvation or thrashing, held together with silicon sealant and cornflake packets, rather than nuts bolts and gaskets! We DO NOT KNOW, and the seller is possibly no more able to say than we are. And on these bikes, decent engines are in short supply. Far too many are killed through lack of oil, every one wants a 'cheap' second hand engine, Because rebuilding them, completely is VERY expensive. Sure you can get the parts, but a rebore and new pistons is a £120 bit of work. Regrinding the valves and fitting new valve guides is probably another £80, and if the camshaft has chewed into the cylinder head casting, you can add about £120 more for a new cam, insert bearings for it to run in, and the cylinder head machining to fit them. And that's just the top end! Add a cam chain, and tensioner, and that's the best part of another £100, then you have the crank to contend with, which is a pressed up assembly that needs proffessional reconditioning, to replace the main and big end bearings, at probably £150 or so, THEN you have the clutch and gear box to look at.....  If an engine HASN'T actually siezed, but running a bit poorly, then £250 will get a rebore and recondition the head, and put a chunk more life and performance into it. Unfortunately, while the bikes still running, most put off such expensive work until its ACTUALLY seized, when its a LOT more expensive. THEN go looking for a second hand engine that's cheaper than a rebore.....

The wheels are good. For What?!? a Wheel barrow? They look round, which would be expected. They are alloy so they aren't going to rust. So there are three things to judge a wheel on. The bearings they run on, damage and finish. They don't have any 'obviouse' damage in the photo's but without checking them for true, you cant tell. Likewise the bearings. And they DONT look to have that good a finish on them! Comment means nothing.

The exhaust is good and appears to be almost new. There's an exhaust. Its shiney. Is it the right one for this bike? It MAY be almost new. Lots of people scouring e bay find exhausts for a Honda CB125, compare prices and bid on the cheapest. Only when they arrive from Tiwan do they find out they have bought the exhausts for the earlier Twinshock model that are a different shape, not having to clear the starter motor, and have the mounting lugs in a different location to suit the footpeg hangers...... Cheapest 'New' exhausts for these bikes are patern twin pipes, costing about £130. The two into one Motad and Micron are still available at just under £200. Serviceable second hand pipes tend to fetch around £30/£40. As a 'Feature', its one that is not ALL that significant.

The motorcycle needs the petrol tank finished off and a couple of minor bits and pieces in order to complete the project. Yeah, OK! This is another, "Just Needs Fork Seals for Test" type of comment. They REALLY want you to believe that they have done all the hard work, and you just have to do a little sanding and painting and bolt a few bits back on.

Come off it!  The carburettors are on the engine, the engine is in the frame, the wiring plugged in, the coils attached. four nuts two copper seals and two bolts and that 'almost new' exhaust could be on, and the engine run up..... So why hasn't it? Either they don't fit, or it's been tried, and it don't! Could be that the seller has just missed something daft, and its a loose wire or something, but I'd suspect something more major. AND 'minor bits and pieces'? sorry but sorting out the brakes I wouldn't call minor. Especially if the front calliper is missing or so seized its beyond reconditioning.

Comment about log book and keys gives some assurance its not stolen. But I don't like reading dire warnings about e bay 'Time Wasters'. If your selling a motorbike, advertising it for sale, you should expect them. If you don't want that hassle, you don't advertise on e bay, or place a 'private' advert anywhere else. You either take the vehicle to a dealer and accept a 'Trade' price for it, OR you call a scrap man to come and take it away for 'dead weight'.

Mention merely tells me, that the seller wants as much money as possible from the sale, and isn't prepared to put in any effort for it. If this is in an advert for an allegedly 'restored' motorcycle, implication is, the same attitude has been applied to the work done.

And ironically, its a futile and self defeating gesture. Tyre Kickers" are NOT going to see comment "No Tyre Kickers" and think, "Oh! Yeah! That's me! I wont bid on this one".... It wont stop them, and there's nothing he can do about it ANYWAY, so what's the point? What it DOES do, is put off the more genuine bidders that realise that the seller isn't prepared to be 'helpful', and like me, see even further and realise that he's put more into writing that futile warning, that he doesn't want his time wasted, than into giving ME a decent description of what he's SELLING!

Anyway, the description REALLY doesn't give me any idea that this is anything more than half painted scrap. Its not all there. And there's very little to give confidence that it COULD work, less that it could be made to work economically.

This REALLY is a big risk, and fit ONLY for spares or repairs. With other bikes I could possibly use parts from this bike on, IF it was cheap enough, It might buy it. As a potential renovation candidate, if it shows more promise after a bit of inspection and tinkering, I might have a crack at it as a project, and could ultimately, strip it and sell the piece parts on individually. BUT, knowing these bikes, knowing the bikes, like most derelicts, the bits people want to fix other bikes, will be the same bits this bike needs.

As a project base, this would be a HUGE risk, even for a pocket money price. Final bid at EoA was £155. Not ridiculous money for an unfinished project. Others with as many question marks have gone for as much or a LOT more.

Example Ad 06

Critique of Photo's:

Its green. Its mostly in bits. Its rusty. There's an engine that looks to be in mostly one piece, another that isn't. I'm looking at a pile of half painted scrap again.

One Honda cb125 twin for spares/parts/repair/project/headache etc

Ok this is the second item I've listed tonight & now i'm bored so here goes.

You are bidding on the bike (NO V5) & all the parts that go with it.

Thank you....

Ok a bit more info. I don't know if any of this works. There are bits missing (pipes, brake caliper possibly more???)

One of the engines has had a major top end seizure. The other has been partially dismantled. I have no interest in this whatsoever, so its over to you.

Any questions & believe me if you are interested in buying this wreck you should ask questions, then just email me & I will reply.

Critique of Description

Well, the seller is a realist about whet he's selling! It's an accumulated collection of scrap, that some one has tried turning into a working motorbike, and failed! Possibly the seller, or perhaps an over enthusiastic offspring. And he just wants rid.

Lack of a log book, is a little concerning. Without that one bit of providence, it could be that the bike proves to be stolen, or scrapped, and after lots of work and expense to make it fit for an MOT, prove to belong to some one else, or ineligible to be registered. It might be that the bike was 'abandoned' on a mates Dad in the hope he'd fix him, and the log book lost or never transferred, but either way, it is a concern.

I did actually make enquiry, as invited to find out more of what was in the boxes, hoping there may be some bits I need for my project bikes. Because realistically, this is obviously not a 'rider' and far from a quick 'fixer upper'. And its an AWFUL long way from being a  viable project base.

Its a collection of bits, that might be worth a 'punt' if you have another bike your fixing up. But in all probability, the bits you need wont be there or be serviceable anyway, as is always the case doing up derelicts, which was was the conclusion of my discussion with the seller.

Though the 'important' bits I was hoping for weren't in the boxes, I had wondered whether there may be some bits I might make use of, and I figured that it MIGHT be worth £50 or £75. It was a long trek to the sellers address to collect, and it would have almost cost me that in petrol, so I figured on a £60 bid, and the petrol as chance to get me out the house and a drive in the country.

The auction ended at £85. Some one, possibly closer, valued that scrap more highly, or more likely, some one hugely and naively optimistic, and possibly incredibly short of money, thought they might be able to make whole motorbike out of it again.... unfortunately, if they did, then its likely to see a flurry of parts being moved around, painted, and re arranged, before they give up, and it sits for however many more years before getting put in a skip, carted off by the scrap man, or punted back on e bay again! But, a fortnight later, a curiously similar bike popped up in an add "CB125 'Breaking', side panel £4.99. Many parts contact me with requirements"

Example Ad 07

Critique of Photo's:

It wants to be a LOTUS! Yeah, British Racing Green with a broad yellow stripe! Interesting choice. Suits the bike actually, though I think the yellow stripe is possibly a bit to wide. Maybe if it was a little narrower and possibly bordered with red.... anyway, obviously repainted. Also obviously in bits! The engine has been removed, and the top end stripped off. Original or pattern Twin Pipes, I cant tell, look in fair nick, but the tail rail leaning over the assembled bits, tells me that the bodywork is only loosely balanced on the bike for the photo's, it isn't attached.

Honda CB125 TD-C, In need of some T L C Engine was taken apart due to loss of power on one cylinder have had a look and found that one of the exhaust valves was not closing as it should. All parts are there to put this bike back on the road, the exhaust's are as good as new both tyres and the seat are o/k. Cash is fine on the day you pick it up
YOU KNOW THE RULES
NO RESERVE.

Question & Answer Answered On

Q: Hi I live in briton ferry and may be interested. Are all nuts and bolts present piston rings etc . why are you selling if you dont mind me asking ? also was valve repaired ? 03-Mar-11
A: Hi All parts are there, had it on a wim some thing to do get me out of the house but as i all ready have an MG and a P6 it all got to much and some thing had to go and as i would never ride the bike its got to go The valve only has to be ground in and put back. Hope this helps Keith
Q: Hi there: You have an ominous 'reserve' statement at the end of your auction description. What do you value a bike in two cardboard boxes? I am willing to make an offer around the opening bid price and collect, but there is no point in bidding if you want silly money for spares. Doug 28-Feb-11
A: Hi Doug Listing should read NO RESERVE and its more what you value a bike in one blue box and the rest on the stand

Critique of Description

The description is short, and doesn't offer a lot to go on. Certainly needs more than 'some' Tender Loving Care! Idea that the engine was stripped because of a leaking exhaust valve is a little curious. This isn't a common fault on these engines. Fact that it hasn't been put back together again, though, means its not a quick fix. It might go back together with just gaskets, but I'd suspect that it needs a complete top end rebuild and rebore.

Suggestion all parts are there to put the bike back on the road, I'd take with a large degree of seasoning. All the bits to make the bike complete again, may be there, but it would be incredible if ALL you had to do was twist spanners to get this bike through an MOT!

The biggest concern with this bike, is that the engine is in bits. It may have a little more chance of being a potential project base, but personally I wouldn't risk it. Chance it MIGHT all go back together easily and cheaply, as a 'Fixer Upper' is there, and better than many, but I think its still slim. Seller admits to being a classic car enthusiast, so if it could be done, surely he would have. As a potential project bike, if everything is there, it may be a reasonable start, but not in one piece, its a jigsaw without a box. Its making it hard for you. this is more a parts donor. auction Ended on this one at £155. Not an unreasonable price, for a high risk project, but a lot of work for not a lot of reward when a road worthy, 'Rider' can be procured for around £500.

Example Ad 08

Critique of Photo's:

I thought this was 'The Corporal' looking at the pics! Red. Original Decals, aparently all there, but faded, scratched & rusty! Even the scratch on the tank looks like one on the Corpral when I got it! Its not though. But like the corporal, its a derelict, that's been sat outside or in a damp shed. Obvious stuff in pics, the pillion footpegs are missing. Rear suspension looks a bit 'low' though that could be camera angle. Its sat on a side stand, in some pics, a centre stand in others. Equipment all looks original. top yoke cover is present. Original choke knob present. Black plastics are very faded. Seat cover, looks aftermarket replacement, and is coming off. But big query from pictures is the engine. Second photo, close up of engine. Its grey. This might have been removed and stripped for painting, but left to corrode instead, but it could also be from another bike. The CM125 'Rebel' Engine was silver, and could easily have furred to that colour. Ignition on that bike was different though, and the black generator cover, doesn't match the furred engine, adding to suspicion, aided by insulation taped wiring from it to the ignition loom, hinting where 'Super Dream' ignition would have to be adapted to fire the sparks for a 'Rebel' engine. Fork stanchions look shiny though, but one or two pics, hint they may have spots of rust. Would take closer inspection, but they may polish up and past test behind gaiters. Two into One exhaust looks like Motad system. Horn cover is missing.

This listing is for my HONDA CB125 TDC SUPERDREAM motorcycle which i am selling as spares or repair it is in fair standard condition for a twenty five year old motorbike . It as a 2 into 1 exhaust fitted which is in good condition it also has alloy wheels which clean up well i have had it running but its a couple of years ago now. The tank paint is faded on the top thats shown in one of the pictures.i have the v5c registered in my name currantly on sorn overhall ths is a standard motorcycle that just needs a bit of work to get back on the road or a good source of spares these motorbikes are quie hard to find in this condition ive been looking on ebay for months but never seen any honda cb125 superdreams for sale. Before i made the desision to sell mine any questions just ask cash on collection only good luck ad happy bidding!

Critique of Description

Well, first of all, he claims to have been looking for 'months' on e bay and never seen any Honda CB125 Super Dreams, claiming these bikes are 'hard to find'... Now, you see here, a selection of Adverts from e bay, ALL for Honda CB125 Super Dreams, all found since I bothered collecting them here. Following them closely on e bay, I have NEVER done a search for Honda CB125 and FAILED to turn up at LEAST one super dream in almost two years! There are normally half a dozen or more on offer at any one time, more in the summer, a few less in the winter. Either this bloke doesn't know how to use a search engine, or he's hoping you'll think 'rare' means 'valuable'. It doesn't. It often means, the opposite, especially if the 'rare' bike needs work and parts that are possibly even harder to find than the rare bike! As to the condition, that's not very rare either. Most of the bikes I've bought as projects looked a lot like this. In fact some of them actually looked a lot better! The advert doesn't actually say much about the bike, but those comments, plus one that the wheels will 'clean up easily' tell me he either has absolutely no idea what he's talking about, or would like you to believe that! Punctuation would help too!

Really there's not a lot to go on. Its a derelict. Pictures hint it may have the wrong engine, though that may be corrected on inspection, checking frame, engine numbers and V5. But suggestion he had it running some years ago, doesn't inspire confidence its a 'runner'. It's not 100% complete. The pillion footpegs and the horn cover are missing. Not critical components, but niggly ones, if you want to bring it back to original condition.

As a Project bike, this could be a reasonable base. It looks to be mostly all there and much as it should be, bar the quibble over the engine, which has a question mark over it anyway. But, his starting price was £200, which is pretty much top wack for a 'non runner'. And I can say with some certainty, that to make this bike sound and tidy will be a lot of work. The bodywork that doesn't look TOO bad in pictures, when lifted will be a lot worse in the metal, and to sort this bike out will be a down to the bare frame job.

As a Fixer Upper, I don't think this would make a very quick or easy fix. The cosmetics are probably the least of the worries. as said, the Corporal looked a lot like this when I got it, and painting it up and making it look good isn't actually all that hard or onerously expensive. Rust and lack of use will be the bugbear on this bike. The tank will almost certainly be more rusty inside than out, and need flushing and cleaning, and probably a new petrol tap, before you can even get petrol to the as likely as not gummed up carburettors. Getting it to run, might actually prove quite easy. Getting it to run well, I suspect may be some what harder. But after that, its likely the rear suspension is siezed and rusty. The forks are likely to have no oil or perished seals. The head race bearings be shot, and the brakes, will almost certainly need an overhaul of some sort. Then there's the wheels and tyres. Bearings in the wheels are sealed and maybe OK, but they aren't easy to clean up. The rim and spoke plates are anodised, but the hubs are painted, and bolted together with big warning 'Do Not Dis Assemble'!

I suspect that the Corporal was in a very similar state to this bike before the chap I bought it off acquired it. He was optimistic of a 'quick fix' and spent money getting it running, and sorting 'enough' to get it through an MOT, reviving, rather than renovating, with consequence it had all gone very wobbly and ultimately the engine seized within 1000 miles. I would imagine that any attempt to do a low rent revival on this bike would have similar conclusion!

Winning bid: £300.00

 

Example Ad 09

Critique of Photo's:

Its Black. And it looks pretty like the original factory livery. But for a 1987on TD E model. Advert describes it as an '86 TDC. There aren't a lot of differences mechanically, but the silver painted swing arm supports it being an earlier bike, in later cloths. 2 into 1 Motad Exhaust fitted. Bike isn't complete, it is missing the passenger grab rail, and footpegs. also the front horn cover. Pictures don't show clearly, but in the second the top yoke trim looks present. Instruments look original. Square headlamp looks original. Switches I'm not sure about. Earlier bikes had grey cases, later ones black, and I cant tell if they match. Front brake calliper looks original twin piston item, painted red.

Honda CB125 TDC

This is a 1986 model Honda CB125 twin which I have owned for nearly a year now. I was last on the road in September until the MOT ran out and has tax on in until August of this year.

Origonally I had planned to partly restore it so a friend could use it to learn to ride but not being able to find the spare time nor really having the space to work on the bike have both prevented this.

It is sold as a non-running for spares or repair, however I have completed a lot of work on the bike and it is complete so few parts (if any) should be needed to get it on the road again.

It origionally had poor compression, weak spark and some carburettor issues along with tired suspension and brakes - all of which I have paid some attention to.

The good:

New pistons and barrel fitted - I did not use genuine parts, but used the correct sizes to maintain the bike as learner legal 124cc. Compression is now good.
Valves reground, all fresh gaskets used, oil, etc.

Front forks rebuilt - The springs are tired but don't leak at least thanks to fresh seals. I have also painted them.
Front brake calliper has had new seals... And been painted red as it amused me!

Front pads replaced and brake fluid replaced.
Carburettors cleaned out.
Generator rewound and rewired - turning over to produce a good strong spark now.
The bike also have a strong battery, a Motad 2-1 exhaust with a minor scrape but is solid with no rust. Everything electrical works, the lights are all good and so on.
I have the V5 present in my name and a few receipts for what I have done.

The Bad:

It won't start!... I have had it running since rebuilding the top end but only breifly. I have had a mechanic take a quick look who has advised me that the valve clearances may be out and that the carbs need further tweaking.
It will fire if you spray some easy start through it so again I'm sure this is just a fueling issue that needs seeing to.

On top of that the rear brake isn't connected and the chain tension is wrong and the rear wheel has just been put on to move the bike. The lock is missing to lock the seat shut and there are a couple of other bits that need tightening up too.
Over all it's a bit tatty though nothing is disasterous - there are no dents in the tank and all the panels are present. Please see pictures.

Viewing is possible and I'm happy to answer any questions. Please remember that this bike is offered and spares/repair and is sold as seen.
The bike is located in Crowborough, East Sussex and must be collected from here. It will need a van/trailer/etc of course and cash on collection is prefered.

Critique of Description

Its a non runner, with tax, but no MOT,  but he hints it could be a quick fix. Notion its starts on ether, implies the carburettors are clogged up, or probably more likely, silt in the tank has clogged the fuel tap. Rebuilt forks are useful. Though I'm not sure why he has included separate picture of them not on the bike.

The mention of having used 'pattern' replacement barrels and pistons is, to me amusing. Yes legally, a bike must be under 125cc to be learner legal, however boring a CB125, even 0.5mm, two standard rebore 'over sizes'? My maths has gone wampy, but by my reckoning that doesn't 'quite' breach the 125cc limit. Anyway, bikes tend to be a couple of cc's under their nominal capacity, specifically so they can be rebored, but both competition regulations and the Learner laws provide for a machine to be rebored 'within manufacturers permissible service limits' so it would still be allowed even if it did breach the strict 125 limit, and practically, the small difference it makes, no one is going to know about it or be all that bothered! The REAL reason he's fitted new 'patern' barrel and pistons is because you can get them of ebay, from china where they are still made for the Chinese copies of the CB and CM engine, for about £90, which is less the price of a pair of OE pistonslet alone a rebore at a local machine shop! Not having to visit the Machine shop to have the barrels bored, then I would suspect that the 'valve grind' was actually merely lapping in, basically polishing the valves against the valve seats, a DIY job you can do in your garage with a bit of down with a sucker on the end and some lapping paste, if you have the time and inclination, or a reciprocating attachment on an electric drill. As opposed to actually having the head clocked up on a machine bed and ground with a rotating stone to get a flat smooth surface at the right angle, and similarly with the valve. But, that's presumption.

Rewinding a generator isn't a cheap or DIY job, and if done, I would expect it to make a big difference to the ignition. Disappointing though, when he mentions overhauling the front brake calliper he didn't mention fitting new pistons with the new seals. But I suspect that after spending what was probably considered a lot of money on the engine, to sort out the low compression, then finding the ignition didn't work, and more money on a rewound stator, economies were made, in this renovation.

No explanation of the anomalous bodywork is provided by the description. Quite possible this was fitted by previous owner to smart it up, and no one has actually been such an anorak as me to notice its not ACTUALLY the original bodywork for the bike. Or they have but didn't care! And to be honest, its got bodywork, and it looks pretty tidy and original, so no real reason to care, unless you want to restore for concourse events!

As always I'm always suspicious of unfinished projects touted with hints and suggestions that they would be quick fixer uppers. In this case though I think that it may actually be the case that the seller has simply not got the enthusiasm for the bike to see it through, and wants rid. The starting price was 99p, so no unreasonable expectations were implied.

With some fairly sensible work done to the machine, and nothing major lurking in there, it might be worth the risk as a fixer upper, for the right money.

As a project base, as always you need to beware buying one you have to undo more bad work than you would starting from scratch, but this doesn't look too bad. Mechanics have been put ahead of cosmetics, so he's started at the right end, with the right ideas, and its not prettily painted scrap. Auction Ended at £185

Example Ad 10

Critique of Photo's:

It wants to be a LOTUS! Yeah, British Racing Green with a broad yellow stripe! Interesting choice. Suits the bike actually, though I think the yellow stripe is possibly a bit to wide. Maybe if it was a little narrower and possibly bordered with red.... anyway, obviously repainted. Also obviously in bits! The engine has been removed, and the top end stripped off. Original or pattern Tein Pipes, I cant tell, look in fair nick, but the tail rail leaning over the assembled bits, tells me that the bodywork is only loosely balenced on the bike for the photo's, it isn't attached.

 

1987 Honda CB125 T Deluxe for spares or repair, some old MOTS, V5 logbook and Haynes manual.
COLLECT ONLY FROM WN7

Fitting for No plate light is missing.
Rear light lense is broken
Left hand bar grip is missing
Front brake is seized
Throttle is seized
No battery
Engine turnsover on starter
All electrics work
Tyres ok
2 into 1 motad exhaust fitted


THIS BIKE DOES NOT RUN... TRANSPORT WILL BE REQUIRED TO COLLECT...
 

Critique of Description

The description is short, and doesn't offer a lot to go on. Certainly needs more than 'some' Tender Loving Care! Idea that the engine was stripped because of a leaking exhaust valve is a little curious. This isn't a common fault on these engines. Fact that it hasn't been put back together again, though, means its not a quick fix. It might go back together with just gaskets, but I'd suspect that it needs a complete top end rebuild and rebore.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260750167408&fromMakeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

Auction Ended at £275

Example Ad 11

Critique of Photo's:

 

Hi, I am selling my Honda CB 125 TD Superdream. Thats the twin cylinder model.

It has sat in my garage for best part of nine years gathering dust. I always intended to put it back on the road, but never got round to it.

It runs, but it will need a bit of TLC and a good clean.

The only things I know need fixing is a broken rear light lense and the speedo cable connection to the gearbox is broken. A thirty minute job !

It has no tax or MOT but I did a lot of work on it before the last MOT, so it shouldn't need much doing for the next one.

Payment in cash on pick up..

For any further information call me: ###########..

Q: Hi, can you tell me what condition the forks are in. Ie, seals and pitting.
A: They are in very good condition. There are one or two slight marks high up, but none in the operational area. It past it's last MOT in that condition. The seals are good. I renewed them before the last MOT.
14 Mar, 2011
Q: Hi, what's the chrome work like, are the exhausts rusty? If so,would they clean? Thanks Russell
A: It's all very dirty, but there is hardly any rust.
10 Mar, 2011
Q: hello mate i was looking at your cb 125 and i just wondered if you have a buy it now price. I have been looking for something like this for a while and your not far away. cheers brad
A: I'm leaving it to the bidding
09 Mar, 2011
Q: hi mate have you got a buy now price ?
A: I have had a look at the prices of others similar to my one and they vary so much I wouldn't know what to ask, so I am going to leave this one to the bidders.

 

Critique of Description

 

 

Bidding ended on this bike at £320

 

Example Ad 12

Critique of Photo's:

Well, this looks fairly tidy. Cast three spoke wheels, and decals, indicate this is a CB125TD-J model. In red. Note that its a bright red, non metallic, unlike the earlier red bikes rich 'candy' finish. This was the start of Honda 'Cost Cutting' on the model, and many parts were made by Taiwanese or Chinese subsidiaries, rather than Honda Japan. Twin horns at the front, without cover are correct to the model. The chain guard and rear mudguard have suffered a lot of light fading though. Appears to have Motad two in to one exhaust fitted. Its lost the passenger grab rail, and it would seem the rear foot pegs. Engine looks a mess, and covers don't match. But instruments and headlamps all look original.

I'm listing this bike for my brother because he hasn't got internet access.

The bike was bought as part of a project to fix up but due to having no time or commitment to do it he as decided to put it up for sale.

The bike starts with no problems, all electrics work, brand new battery fitted with spare one also, there is age related marks and blemishes which is to be expected for a bike of this age, there is also a rip in the seat...

there is no v5 document with this bike, but before he purchased it he contacted the D.V.L.A and asked how to get the v5 document he needed for the bike and they informed him that he could pick up a form from the post office and send it off to get it.

as to my knowledge to get the bike road worthy, the bike needs to have new front seals done on the forks, mirrors needs to be purchased and installed. also there is no tax or mot on the bike.

The bike is pickup only with cash on collection

uk bidders only

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On 15-Mar-11 at 13:28:13 GMT, seller added the following information:
I forgot to mention.... my brother bought the bike off an old man that was cleaning his garage out, the old man didn't have any reg plate with it and he also lost the paperwork for the bike...and because of this my brother phoned the D.V.L.A up and gave them the vin numbers. as there is one on the frame and a different one on the engine which they informed him that it must have had a different engine put in and they said that it was ok...plus he also went to the police station and asked them if they could check the numbers out also, which they did and they told him that the search they did on the bike came back all ok and clear then informed him to fill out a v62 form to obtain the new paper work in his name and they would also provide the registration number on the new log book
For any further information call me: ###########.
 

Critique of Description

There isn't a lot to go on in the description. First thing that is worrying here is the fact that the bike doesn't have a log book, and there's a lot of excuses given for that. This wouldn't necessarily put ME off if I was buying this bike, but then, I would probably be looking at it as a 'Donor' for other projects.

Its a TD-J model, of which fewest were sold, and they differ from the earlier TD-C and TD-E in a couple of important areas. First is that they have cast three spoke wheels. These are a lot 'nicer' in they aren't such a pain to get cleaned up and make look good. But they are a 'tubless' rim, which limits tyre choice. (usually to the more expensive ones!)

Next, the model has CV type carburettors, rather than Slide carbs. This means that the throttle assembly is different, with positive push/pull cables. Good news is that the carburettor mounting rubbers are still available for them, as are most of the carburettor parts. Many parts for the earlier slide carbs have now been discontinued. However the parts are expensive. Most significantly the carburettor diaphragms. These are prone to perishing or splitting on most modern four stroke bikes after so many years, and normally a 'cheap fix'. On this bike however, the diaphragm, is very thin, so more prone to holing and perishing, and they are £90 EACH from Dave Silver Spares!

Comment says that the engine number doesn't match though, and that its suspected the engines been changed. Looking at the pictures I couldn't see clearly if it had the original twin CV carbs. Only one shot gives a glimpse of a carb, and I wonder whether this has had a CM engine fitted, with a single carburettor, as that would account for the silver colour of the engine cases, that don't match the gun metal colour a TD-J would have been offered in.

Advertsied with a £250 BIN price, its not unreasonable for a Spares or Repairs bike. As a 'fixer upper' it could prove fraught though. If that engine is a CM lump, it wont perform well. Then there's the potential carburettor niggles. But, I suspect that the 'biggie' for this bike would be getting a log book. YES you can apply for one off the frame number, but, DVLA would normally withhold issue until the bike has been MOT'd and passed a VOSA Vehicle Identity Check, where those non matching numbers may prove awkward, and the process more expensive than anticipated.

As a 'Quick' Fixer Upper, I'd be dubious that this bike could be easily and economically put on the road. For a more involved 'Project', I'd be even more wary. I would not want to spend a lot of time money and effort on a bike, BEFORE finding out if it can have a log book!

As a Spares Donor, though, this bike could prove very useful, and I suspect that the people that have bid it, so far to £180 have the same idea as me, that its worth more as parts. This could very nicely fix up a crashed Super Dream, providing nicely painted and original, tank, & bodywork, forks, handlebars, footrests, instruments, etc etc etc.

Auction Ended early on Buy It Now @ £250

Example Ad 13

Critique of Photo's:

Well, this looks familiar!

CASH ON COLLECTION ONLY, NO PAYPAL

TEL ###########

HONDA CB125 TDE deluxe SUPERDREAM 1987
12 months mot & tax

HONDA CB125 TDE SUPERDREAM,1987

12 MONTHS MOT, (NEW MOT TODAY 8/3/2011,)

12 MONTHS TAX (NEW TAX TODAY 8/3/2011,)

44853 on clock,

(the bike as only been 2 miles to mot station since rebiuld)

NEW engine REBUILT includes ==
new full gaskets set and oil seals
NEW bearings
replaced crank shaft,
new main crank bearings,
new Crank Bearing Left Hand ,
Crank Bearing Right Hand,
new gearbox crank case bearings,
new cam chain,
replaced cam chain tensioner sprung bracket assy.
replaced oil pump,
replaced camchain guide blade,
replaced cam chain tensioner blade,
new (44mm) Piston & rings,
new exsaest caskets, collets bolts,
NEW FORK oil SEALS,
NEW FRONT BREAK PADS
new battery
new steering lock
new clutch cable
new coils x2
new spark plugsX2
new back light lens
replaced non standard head light (round) better than standed,
new mirrors x2
GOOD TYRES

--------------------
givvi screen
Luggage rack with indercators (NON STANDARD)
V5 log book in my name
lerner legal
L PLATES FITTED
ALL ROUND GREAT RIDE READY TO RIDE AWAY,
only selling due to change in cercumstances,
---------------------------
free,
there are some self made canvas panniers and pannier bars free, throw in with the bike, if not required can be removed in seconds, also 2 x chains and locks for the wheels and a crappy cover for free,
--------------------------
SOME SMALL ISSUES,
few scraches to paint work, expected with a bike this age,nothing a good t cut cant put right,
may need tune up after rebiuld, carbs may need balencing (dont have a carb balencing kit),

today to the mot station, (NEW MOT TODAY 8/3/2011,),the first road test there is a small droplet of oil from the main drive shaft seal, as this is a new biuld this sould settel down, some hand spraying on front mudgaurd & back valence,

(just want to be honest )

THANKS FOR LOOKING,

Item location porth rhondda south wales  United Kingdom

(bike is sold as is no returns),: .
 

Critique of Description

Well, I first spotted this actual bike on E-Bay, when I was looking for a project bike for Donna. I cant remember the details, but it was advertised with ALL the usual suggestions of a 'quick fix', and sold for far too much money. It then re-appeared, about three months later, much as seen now, with the round headlamp and screen, with a BIN price I seem to recall of something like £900. Not selling, it appeared a month later, with a 'reduced' BIN price of £850. Again, I believe not selling. Both times suggesting it had 'full' MOT. Which is curious.... why would this bike now, less than a year later, be being re tested? Only plausible answer to that one, is that in its last to overly optimistic adverts, it actually DIDN'T have an MOT. The ads I seem to recall suggested that it had been fixed up 'as a project', so possible that believing all the work would mean 'easy' MOT they were going to get one as soon as a buyer pledged cash..... might also suggest why it didn't actually 'go'! Does make one wonder though, what's been happening to the bike in the last six or eight months. Has it been in use, without an MOT on it? I don't know. What I do know is that neither this, nor the previous adds, gave me much confidence it was a good buy, even at a more 'sensible' price.

So, now offered, I think, by the same seller, with a starting bid of £500, and a big list of major engine work. He mentions a new crank shaft and new crank bearings, about four times! Which does make me wonder! If it was a 'brand new' crank, it would have been supplied as a built up assembly with bearings. There are six of them, and you can only get at the two outer ones, the right hand and left hand, without having the crank shaft assembly pressed apart, reassembled and rebalenced. This makes me wonder whether it has had a 'new' crank, or its had a second hand one, with new outer bearings fitted. He mentions the cam tensioner blade a few times and the tensioner assembly. WHY you would change that AND both the blades I don't know. Bit that wears is the tensioner blade, of which there is only one, unless he means the slipper guide.

Received one bid at start price of £499, in last fifteen minutes of auction

Bought by TVChimp off BCF.... he's had nothing but 'hassle' with it.

Example Ad 14

Critique of Photo's:

 

honda cb125t,f reg ,been standing,no stand,....included in sale ,spare engine,currently shoehorened into a pit bike ,rough but has been heard running.the cb willrequire work to make roadworthy,...the v5 has been lost although it does have keys..tatty but all there...no reserve,no buy it now, if you bid and no other bids ,you win ,...payment by paypal or cash on collection only..... please be happy if you bid... no chipping on bid on collection. this bike is cheap ,,.....collection only,hence no p+p......goodluck..!
Question & Answer Answered On

Q: Hi I just wondered if you had a spare engine if you had spare carbs or a carb float as well that you would not mind selling separately? I really need the LHS carb or float if at all possible, Best regards Richard 14-Mar-11
A: hi matey,unfortunatly ihave no other spares for this bike ,sorry,goodluck though
Q: hi, could you tell me please if the bike starts and runs ok,also do all the lights and electrics work, and what work would it need to make it road worthy, regards, ged 14-Mar-11
A: ni ged, the bike has been standing a long time, the battery will be no good,although before it was left to stand everything worked ,but it didnt run,hence the reason for standing,..there is a nother engine included in this sale which i have heard running,currently fitted in ratty pitbike..toanswer your question..it will require quite a bit of work to make roadworthy,

Critique of Description

 

Auction ended at £205

 

£99 Start bid

Example Ad 15

Critique of Photo's:

 

Honda CB125TD-E 1987 D Reg. I used this bike to get back into riding having not been on a bike for many years. It was used until autumn then stored over winter. The Mot ran out in Febuary and its on Sorn. I also have the V5. The bike was running ok but now it will not start, The engine turns over but I suspect the carburettors need cleaned out and it generally needs some tlc, also the speedometer cable is missing and the clutch seems to be stuck. It would not take that much to get it back on the road and would make a good learner bike or cheap commuter. The bike is sold as seen and I would prefer cash on collection. It is located near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. I may be able to deliver it locally for a small fee.
 

BIN £250
 

Critique of Description

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120694781945&fromMakeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

 

Example Ad 16

Critique of Photo's:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1986-HONDA-CB-125-TD-C-SILVER-/120701433333?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item1c1a5db5f5#ht_502wt_932

Here we have for sale my Honda cb 125 tdc selling as upgrading to a bigger bike this is a 1 day listing as need room for new bike in garage

good bits

long T+T
rack and box
crash bars
also a few spares included in sale

bad bits

crack in the clock glass
could do with a good service

Been used daily and no trouble smooth runner

This item is advertised elsewhere so reserve the right to remove listing at any time

Bidders with less than 10 feedback please message me first before bidding

Cash on collection only

Must be collected as soon as possible as need room in garage
item is sold as seen

Critique of Description

Sold for £542

Example Ad 17

Critique of Photo's:

 

here we have my honda 125 superdream great bike runs but cuts out new plugs everythink working apart from front caliper which was missing when i bought it and ant got around to doing it or messing with bike i reckon carb could do with a clean out. no tax or mot. If need to no any thing please get in touch on 07740845228 well worth the starting price happy bidding no tyre kickers u win u buy

Critique of Description

Winning bid: £315.00

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1986-HONDA-CB-125-TD-C-RED-/230599526161?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item35b0cd8711#ht_500wt_949

 

Example Ad 18

Critique of Photo's:

Honda 125 Easy Fix/Non-runner

Bike has been laid up since last MOT in June 07. Needs a new battery and a bit of fettling.
Done no miles since last MOT so can't be much wrong with it :p
Bike is being sold as a non-runner due to no battery and needing a fettle.
It is located on the Isle of Mull, but can be delivered to Oban at cost to you.

Any questions, please ask.

May swap for a Trial Bike (Yamaha TY 250) or Quad bike with cash either way (all within Ebay rules)

Critique of Description

£300 start Bid, not bids

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1983-HONDA-CB-125-TD-C-RED-/200588884881?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item2eb4077b91#ht_500wt_949

Example Ad 19

Critique of Photo's:

 

CB125 TD-J 1988 F REG SPARES OR REPAIR

ENGINE RUNS FINE ..... WILL NEED NEW PLUGS AND BATTERY

AS YOU CAN SEE WANTS A BIT OF WORK BUT NOTHING MAYJOR

QUITE AN EASY LITTLE PROJECT OR A GOOD FOR SPARES LOG BOOK IS PRESENT

NO RESERVE

YOU BID TO BUY

LESS THEN 10 POSS FEEDBACK CONTACT TO BE MADE BEFOR YOU BID

DELIVERY POSS AT A COST NOT TO FAR AWAY PLS

Q: so there it nothing else wrong with this bike other than the battery and the plugs need replacing ?
A: front brake wants bleeding new intecators maybe a fe other things not sure thats why its only 75.00

Critique of Description

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HONDA-CB125TD-J-1988-SPARES-REPAIR-/320674184038?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4aa9abbb66#ht_500wt_949

Example Ad 20

Critique of Photo's:

1989 HONDA 125 TD-J TWIN

NEW MOT

RUNS WELL WOULD BE A NICE LITTLE BIKE FOR SOME ONE

PLEASE REMENBER ITS 22 YEARS OLD SO ITS NOT IN SHOW ROOM CONTIDITION BUT GOOD FOR ITS AGE

NO DENTS OR BROKEN PLASTICS OR RIPS IN THE SEAT

ENGINE CASEINGS HVE THE USAL SIGNS OF BEING WEATHERED

NO RESERVE YOU BID TO BUY

10 POSS FEEDBACK OR LESS CONTACT TO BR MADE BEDOR YOU BID PLS

CAN DELIVER AT A COST ...BUT NOT HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY
 

Critique of Description

From Same Deller as EG19

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HONDA-CB125TD-J-GOOD-LITTLE-RUNER-NEW-MOT-/320674199514?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4aa9abf7da#ht_500wt_949

Example Ad 21

Critique of Photo's:

This bike is for spares or repair i brought it about four years ago to use for work but never got around to finishing it all the keys and log book are with it. the bike will have to be picket up from hoo rochester kent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On 23-Apr-11 at 08:46:05 BST, seller added the following information:
hi to all watchers the bike was a runner three years ago when i put it in the shed and the gear box was good it needs a chain /battery /spark plugs as my boy has had them for his bike / it got a small rip in the seat /and it needs a number plate i do have a haynes manual that will be with it
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On 23-Apr-11 at 20:44:35 BST, seller added the following information:
hi sorry should have said it needs a feul cap to and the bike is sold as seen good luck
£329.43

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Honda CB Superdream 125 T C Reg Motorcycle. I have just purchased the bike. It is a classic bike in good condition for its age. The current mileage on the bike is exceptionally low at 6285 miles. This is genuine. The last keeper garaged the bike for 14 years and did not use it. We have had it fully serviced, a new chain fitted and the carbs cleaned, to ensure that it is running.

It is electric start and runs well. I was also going to replace the mirrors as they are showing signs of age. The tank is in good condition. The only paint damage is on the front wheel arch, minor chips. It also has a chrome luggage carrier at the back. It needs love but is a smashing little bike. Reluctant sale, I have acquired a bigger bike. Collection only.Bath area. Paypal or cash on collection. No time wasters please. To clarify I also have the last MOT from 1992 with 3350 miles on certificate. The previous owner had a stroke and was unable to ride it hence low mileage.

It comes with:

1 year tax until March 2012

1 Year MOT March 2012

2 x new keys which I have had cut plus the original.

Full Service completed

New Chain and Float needle

Starting bid:£850.00

Right £550 is on the expensive side for an old CB125 Super-Dream.
At that price is ought to be taxed tested and ready to ride away.
Should also be all there, be pretty original, and very tidy.
Should start easily, and idle quietly, with no smoke. Should rev cleanly and pull readily to an indicated 60 on the speedo.
will do 70+ but will take a bit more room. To 60 they are pretty spritely. If it struggles then it has problems.
Spares normally mean 'scrap', and why would you want them?
If the bike's worth £500+, you would bloody well expect the engine to be good and not need replacement!
And they are only worth anything (about £100 each) IF they work, and if they aren't in the bike, how do you know that they aren't Do-Do's with worn bores or knackered mains, that aren't worth squat?
(But if you get it, I might be able to find a use for them if not so great, I have two than I need to rebuild, and one that has a duffed bottom end!)
Things to look for, copied from something else I was working on:-
Brakes:-
The CB125TD-C was remarkable on its launch for a very powerful, twin piston, floating calliper front disc brake. Now usual on most bikes, at the time, disc brakes were the preserve of the more sporty models. Most commuter bikes sufficing with drum brakes, and many smaller capacity machines, with disc brakes having only marginally more effective, mechanical, cable operated callipers, not proper hydraulic brakes. But even then, a lot of bikes, and certainly the ones in the 125cc class, like Yamaha’s RD125LC or Kawasaki’s AR125LC, had only single piston callipers, where the little ‘Super-Dream’ had a state of the art, twin piston calliper, not seen on a lot of bigger bikes. These are also a very robust version of the Nissin calliper used by Honda still. However, as all brake callipers, they live in a hostile environment, and are prone to corrosion, and need periodic maintenance to prevent them seizing, and neglected the chrome pistons will rust and pit, demanding replacement of the pistons and seals. As the pistons tend to be fairly expensive (about £20 each) having two, makes this calliper twice as expensive to fix properly when the pistons have ‘gone’.
The rear brake is very effective, conventional, rod operated, drum brake, comparable to those of its peers, almost up to the models demise in 1991, when the RD125’s successor, the TZR125, first gained a read disc-brake.
Steering:-
The CB125TD-C was originally fitted with ‘cup & ball’ steering bearings. These are loose balls in a circular track, sandwiched by a second circular track, and are predominantly designed to resist loads end on to the shaft they support. These are more than adequate, and have a few advantages over more modern ‘taper-roller’ bearings which are conical rollers sandwiched between two chamfered rings, which are designed to resist loads both end on to the shaft and side on to the shaft they support. These bearings offer much better support for the steering, and can resist much more load, so don’t offer as much free movement, as well as needing less frequent adjustment, and usually lasting longer. Until recently, though the accuracy they had to be made to was a lot harder to achieve and they were far more expensive than cup-and ball bearings. Now however, the disparity is that much smaller, and there is little reason to use cup-and ball bearings where a taper-roller fitment is available.
Front Suspension:-
The CB125TD-C has conventional telescopic forks at the front, but with a usefully large 31mm diameter stanchion. That was a similar diameter to its peers like the RD125 or AR125, and the same diameter as the modern CBR125. For comparison, the CG125 uses a spindly 27mm stanchion. Hydraulically damped, (With ATF automatic gearbox oil, as standard) there is nothing ‘special’ about the CB125’s forks, apart from they work very well, and are very easy to service, or repair, and there is little excuse for them not to work wonderfully. Most though don’t, because they work well enough most people never give them a second thought until the seals ‘go’. Like all telescopic forks though, their Achilles heel is rust, and pitting on the chrome fork stanchions, which if particularly bad, demands their replacement, or re-chroming. As they need a special, ‘hard-chrome’ with precision ground surface, this can be expensive, typically around £150 for a pair of forks. If new stanchions are available, are often cheaper than re-chroming. Unfortunately, for the CB125TD, though they aren’t, meaning if the forks are bent or the chrome too badly pitted or flaked to be serviceable, the only recourse is better second hand replacements.
Rear Suspension:-
The CB125TD-C’s rear suspension is by multi-link, rising rate, ‘mono-shock’. Like the twin-piston front brake, this was state of the art sports-bike technology when the model was launched, and more advanced than the rival RD125 whose mono-shock was a simple fixed rate cantilever arrangement. This gave the little Super-Dream, very sure handling for a bike of its era, and is barely bettered by the contemporary CBR125. It is certainly far superior to the under-damped, ‘twin-shock’ rear suspension of the CG125 and other commuter bikes, including the contemporary CBF125 and YBR125. But, only when its well looked after, and few are. The multi-link arrangement has a lot of mechanics between the swing-arm and the shock absorber, and used hard, these wear, making the suspension sloppy and soggy, and often lowering the bikes back end, making the forks tilt backwards making steering ‘lazy’, resulting in a less than inspiring ride. But again, working so much better than usual commuter fare to begin with, few stop to consider this actually a ‘fault’. Left derelict, the joints don’t wear, they seize, which is probably just as bad. They need frequent attention, and servicing. This need not be too onerous, merely a periodic inspection and greasing, and early models, to aid such attention actually have grease nipples on the swing-arm pivots and the lower-link pivot, though that’s only three out of about eight joints! And if there is severe wear in the rear suspension linkage, it can be horrendously expensive to put to rights. Most of those joints have ‘split’ bushes in them, and they are around £8 each, making it £16 per joint. Times six. And if the inner sleeves also need replacing, it’s a lot of money. Mono-shock suspension units are also expensive to replace if they have lost damping effect. New, standard, replacements are around £80 (compared to roughly £40 for a similar pair of ‘twin-shocks’ for a conventional commuter) More sophisticated, ‘adjustable’ units, can be any tree times that price.
Wheels & Tyres:-
The CB125TD-C got Honda’s second generation ‘com-star’ style alloy wheel. Unlike a spoked wire wheel, this uses metal plates bolted between the wheel rim and the wheel hub, rather than wire spokes laced between them. Made of aluminium, it provides for a lighter, stronger wheel, which still has some ‘compliance’ in it, unlike a solid cast wheel. This was an important feature at the time, when cast alloy wheels were prone to cracking or fatigue fracture. Again, they were state of the art, but more importantly, they were a lot more stylish than the more functional looking earlier versions. They take 18” tubed tyres front and back, a 3.25 imperial size at the rear, a 3.00 imperial size at the front. I believe that that is roughly the same sizing as was fitted to the contemporary AR125, and a little larger than the fitment on the first RD125’s with 18” wheels. Later versions of the RD got a more fashionable 16” front tyre, and while 17” wheels would be the modern norm for a sports-bike, interesting to note that the CBR125 uses 18” wheels with very similar sized tyres on them. Ie “narrow”. This does have advantages, and for a Learner-Bike, most of them are very useful. One important point to note, is that they are not an obsolete size, and there is a good choice of tyres available in appropriate sizings.
They are, however a PIG to clean. The rims and spoke plates have a hard anodised finish, but they do tarnish over time, but the hubs are painted, and that can start t flake. But the main problem is that they gather all the road grime in almost impossible to get at crevices between the plates, which are attached at the rim with hot-rivets, and at the hub, with anti-tamper bolts, while the plates proclaim a stamping which reads ‘DO NOT DISASSEMBLE’.
Electrics
The CB125TD-C has a very good 12v electrical system. The bike had an electric start, again very avante guarde for its era on a ‘little’ bike, and to be sure it worked reliably, given they dropped the kick-starter of earlier models, they gave it a pretty hefty 9Ah battery and a big 150w generator.
Lighting is battery supplemented, so it doesn’t go dim with low engine revs, or off without the engine running as many small bikes do, and the headlamp is a pretty useful 45W tungsten lamp, with a good beam pattern from the square headlamp. At least the standard ‘Stanley’ made items. Aftermarket replacements, often with lower wattage ‘Halogen’ bulb actually aren’t so good, even though they may be brighter. There is a fully appointed dash-board with mechanical speed and rev-counter, both back-lit with the side-lights on, and tell-tales for the indicators and high-beam, and a neutral indicator lamp. There are brake-lamp switches on both the front brake lever and the foot-brake pedal, and the starter motor solenoid is wired so that the engine cannot be started in gear, unless the clutch lever is pulled in. There is no side-stand inhibit switch to cause ignition maladies, and the engine’s ignition, is a transistorised ‘CDi’ system with contact-less trigger, on a self energised circuit. (it has its own windings in the generator, so it doesn’t take power from the battery, but will only get power when the engine is turning over) Electrics are often a bone of contention on old bikes, but they aren’t particularly difficult on the little Super-Dream. Ignition faults are often something that vexes a lot of people, usually the fact that they cant find any power on the ignition circuits, because the engines not running, causing them to do a lot of fault finding by replacement, swapping lots of pretty expensive components like the coils or CDi units for no other reason than a bad earth connection. These, like any old bike, the CB125 has its fair share of. The important ones though are the earth for the regulator, the earths for the ignition coils and, and the earths for the indicators, which have hidden earth straps where they are rubber mounted. Most are easily ‘sorted’ though
Engine:-
The CB125TD-C has a four-stroke, parallel twin cylinder, air-cooled, engine, with chain drive single overhead cam-shaft and two-valves per cylinder. It has twin carburettors, and an electronic ignition, and is rated at 12.5bhp (The UK Learner-Limit when the bike was manufactured)
Originally conceived as a ‘sports-bike’, it revs very willingly to a 12,000rpm red-line, to offer comparably performance to the two-stroke sports-bikes of its era, like the Yamaha RD125LC or Kawasaki AR125LC. De-tuned from approximately 15bhp of earlier or other market models, it was not ‘restricted’ like the Two-Stroke Yamaha, and so not easy to liberate any cheap or easy extra power from. Conveniently this has tended to mean that they weren’t often bought by ‘boy-racers’ who meddled with the engines in misguided attempts to tune them! The engine design entered serial manufacture in 1977, and has proven itself a fairly dependable and robust unit, if properly maintained, especially in the smaller, less stressed 125 capacity.
It is a feature of this engine that the crank-shafts are supported on four needle roller bearings, with roller-bearings for the con-rod little end. These low friction bearings are one of the features that allows the four-stroke engine to reliably and safely rev to such high rpm. However, they are not tolerant of poor lubrication. Like many small Honda’s the oil filter is a strainer in the sump of the engine, that requires the primary drive cover to be removed to gain access. The maintenance schedule, suggests that the engine oil should be changed every 2000miles, and the oil filter removed and cleaned every second oil change. Neglecting these procedures is about the ONLY think guaranteed to kill them. Their other foible is for piston ring and cylinder bore wear that all engines suffer, leading to low compression, and associated high oil consumption. This engine, this is no more prone than any other ‘high performance’ motorcycle engine, apart from the fact that with only 12.5bhp, and a learner-owner, few recognise that it IS a high performance engine, and probably don’t even know that high-performance engines need the frequent oil changes stated in the maintenance schedule, and shouldn’t be thrashed from cold.
Cosmetics:-
Cosmetically, the CB125TD-C is ‘conservatively styled’, and unlike its two-stroke rivals, doesn’t boast any extraneous body-work, by way of fairing or belly-pan or anything. It was available in three basic colour options; Red, Black and Silver. Side Panels tend to crack at the top beneath the end of the tank. Lugs get snapped off. Should be plastic cover over the horn.
Look at the plastic tail cowl where it is bolted to the support rail under the seat. They ALL snap at the seat end. Rear mudguards crack around the mounting holes, inside, under the seat.
Look carefully at the headlamp & Indicators. Its all on a wire cage clipped to the yokes rather than blades on the forks. Any misalignment is evidence of crash-damage.
Should be plastic cover on handle-bars over the yoke around ignition switch.

Otherwise, very useful little learner-legals, See stuff on site. BUT they are NOT an 'indestructible' hack commuter like the CG125, they were Honda's 125 Sports-Bike offering to go up against the two-stroke RD-LD and AR-LC, on performance. Hardier then the 2T's, they have proved pretty tough, and incredibly many have survived as well as the supposedly 'indestructible' CG, BUT they rev to 14 thousand revs! They are a hi-po bike, and ought to get commensurate maintenance.

Plus side for larger learner, they are a big-bike in miniature, and have a lot of features and sophistication of a bigger bike. though they aren't huge.

Riding position though is pretty good, and they aren't too cramped for a little bike. I'm 6'2" and long in arm & leg. Its comfy enough, and there's no fairing or anything to get in the way of your knees and room to move about on the long flat saddle.

Cant think of anything else OTMH so best of luck....

 

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