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Broken odometer - have I been scammed?

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Hi guys, newbie here seeking advice from more experienced people.

Just did my CBT yesterday and took a trip up to London today excited to buy a Honda CBF125. A total bargain. Maybe even too good to be true... 2011 bike with 4000 miles on the clock, 12 months MOT with two small advisories, no visible rust, white, £925. Sweet.

Took it for a quick test drive around the block and it seemed to be great to me. Obviously I've been riding motorbikes for one day, so I didn't know to check all the nitty gritty. Honestly, I was so scared about riding the thing 2 hours home that I couldn't really put a coherent thought together. I'm 31 and have driven a car for ages, but this is new and scary. But the bike just seemed great.

Drove it back from central London to Brighton via A-roads (in the dark and a bit of rain. Managed not to bin it so that's something). First weird thing I noticed was that the fuel gauge was swinging about all over the place. I filled it with petrol and problem was solved.

Anyway, everything seemed to be fine but then when I was about half way back I noticed the speedo had stopped working. It had been working fine the whole way up until then. At one point it started working again for a few minutes but then went offline again. A while later I looked carefully at the mileage and the white number on the right didn't seem to be moving. Made a note of where it was and yeah that guy didn't budge the whole 30 odd miles the rest of the way home. Speedo didn't come back online either and still hasn't, even after a restart. Also the journey counter isn't working. So everything on the left-hand dial is completely inert. The rev counter and fuel gauge seem to be behaving themselves though.

So I don't know what that means. I'm so annoyed I didn't note the exact mileage when I set off cos then I'd know if it just stopped when the left dial broke. But I guess one of the following is the case:

1) Mileage on sale was honest, dial genuinely just broke for the first time on the way home.

2) Mileage on sale was honest but was only low because the speedo and odometer cut out every now and then, artificially keeping the mileage down.

3) The guys who sold it to me have fiddled with the bike and I've probably just paid £925 for a 125 with 40,000 miles on it which will earn me more in scrap than a sale because I can't say how used it is.

Sorry to post such a self-absorbed first post here but I don't know what to think or do so need advice from some more experienced guys.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by danpaveley
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Think that model has a cable driven speedo ( is there a thick black cable on the side of front wheel that goes to where the axle is and then dissapears up inside the fairing )

so i would hazard a guess the cable has snapped .This would stop the speed registering and the odometer not working .

it may have gripped briefly giving that resurgence but gave up completly ..

undo the cable end that is on the wheel end and try pulling out the inner metal cable ... it should have two ends with square drive heads on, if not you will see the snapped bit

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Wow I can’t believe how quickly those four replies have come in! Great community. Think I’m gonna like it here :)

Also didn’t realise how grumpy I sounded in my post. I’m actually just thrilled to have made it home alive with a sexy new toy to rag around town and park anywhere I like!

Btw, your responses could have been, “Call the police immediately,” or, “Yeah bruh you got boned soz,” or any number of differently-phrased things that make me feel anxious, but instead you’ve all gone pragmatically to the actual issue physically wrong with the bike, which is my kind of thinking!

Have locked and covered it for tonight (my first motorbike put safely to bed - you guys remember that feeling?!) so will have a look at those wires tomorrow and check. Worst case scenario is I get the speedo fixed and run the bike into the ground myself regardless of mileage. And it was under a grand so I’m happy whatever.

Sorry for rambling. Had a few wines to celebrate my first bike! Thanks again for the pragmatism :)

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Wouldn't sweat it. First bikes are sacrificial and even with a dodgy Speedo you won't lose much money on it, but it's likely easy to fix so get stuck in!! Part of biking is fixing stuff up.

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Btw, your responses could have been, “Call the police immediately,” or, “Yeah bruh you got boned soz,” or any number of differently-phrased things that make me feel anxious, but instead you’ve all gone pragmatically to the actual issue physically wrong with the bike, which is my kind of thinking!


Too many doom and gloom people on other forums, realistically if they were deliberately trying to fiddle millage I'd expect them to have made sure Speedo was working when selling :wink:

Personally I think mileage is far too overrated... Is the bike running nice, did it put a smile on your face (once you got home in one piece)? If so then who cares what number is written on a clock.

Welcome btw :thumb:

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Check the battery terminals too. I had this on a bike I bought once, and it turned out the terminals were a bit loose: there was enough contact to make a spark, but it was loose enough to make the clocks sometimes work and sometimes not (and sometimes flicker wildly like they were possessed)

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When machines are standing for a while and suddenly are used then occasionally one of them suffers a few minor problems, this is often due to things being shaken up, particularly if they have been working loose unseen before it was stored and that was simply not noticed by the seller.

I would check all connections you have access to, the battery terminals are well said. As for the other responses they are all pretty much on the money.

My own bike had some minor issues as well and once they were fixed it became a joy to ride, I am sure yours will be too.

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Slight change of tack here but this advice is based on a lesson I learned the hard way . DO AN OIL CHANGE ! I don't care what the seller has told you , just do yourself a massive favour and change the oil . And use proper bike oil . Enjoy your new toy ! By the way , it does have a mechanical speedo driven by an old fashioned cable , here's a link , not a difficult job to replace . https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CBF-125-Speedo-Cable-NEW-2009-2012/262584092930?_mwBanner=1&_rdt=1 Oh yeah, welcome to the forum .

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Welcome to TMBF mate. ...... 8-)

Yeah....sounds like the speedo drive cable has given up.....or possibly the speedo drive gear on the front wheel......disconnect both ends of the cable and rotate the inner cable...The other end should turn too......If it does, then check the speedo drive gear on the front wheel......attach the lower end of the cable to the drive, raise the front wheel off the ground and spin the wheel.....you should be able to see the inner cable at the clock end rotating..... 8-)

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Don’t mean to alarm you but some unscrupulous people have been known to loosen but not totally disconnect the end of the speedo cable at the clocks end.

This means it doesn’t flap around and is easily tightened at MoT time in order to pass.

This scam means that the speedo / odo would not usually work, however as it is not totally disconnected it can sometimes catch and give a reading.

However the same can happen if it’s not quite tightened up properly after being removed for a totally innocent reason.

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