February 2021

A friend had this rather unusual small bore V Twin from Honda's home market stable. Quite a few Japanese home market only releases make their way to NZ along with great numbers of used Japanese vehicles. They can make finding parts a little difficult as Dealers were never required to stock such parts here. Fortunately the internet can provide.

I have not had any experience of this bike before, but it's troubles were mainly due to long term storage and the inherent problems that can lead to.

The first would be that the dubiously clever inboard front disc was becoming a drag.

Not having any manuals to refer to this was a journey of discovery, and it was rather a fiddle. With the wheel released the outer housing had to be removed to uncover the caliper, but everything remained kinda stuck together as an assembly, so freeing the pistons was an act.

I achieved a result in the forward direction, but the brake was still giving resistance when pushing the bike backwards. Perhaps a bit of use would cure that.

The battery had died a long ways back, so a replacement was fitted and the checking of electrics began.

The front indicators had both been broken from their mountings, and the rears were kinda droopy, so I decided to repair the rear units while coming up with a plan for the front. No parts would be readily available so it would need to be a cunning plan.

Brewers droop..

Getting to them became something of a major disassembly trip, but I was able to convince them to behave in a more upright position and ensure they were working. After this it all went back together.

The front indicators were originally mounted to the fork stanchions just above the lower clamp and beneath the headlight fairing. They had been rubber brackets which were now beyond use or repair, though the light fittings themselves seemed to be usable. I decided they could be mounted directly to the lowest section of the fairing, which would have them slightly pigeon-toed due to the shape of the fairing, but they would look ok and would certainly function acceptably.

The fairing had a neat drop-down mounting arrangement.

I was able to drill the new mounting holes with the fairing still in place, and the wiring all still reached where it needed to go, so the result was obtained quite quickly and even better, neatly. And they worked.

The fuel tank smelled of very ancient fuel, so I pulled it off the bike and drained it, then flushed it with some new fuel which I also drained. It was then refitted and some new fuel added which I flushed through the carb float bowls. Nothing too nasty appeared to come out, so I figured it would be worth attempting a start.

While the engine cranked well there were no signs of life. I removed the spark plugs to inspect and clean them. I placed them against the cylinders and cranked the engine over, and a spark was apparent on both.

While looking at the plug wiring I was surprised to discover that there were two more spark plugs.! These guys were hidden down inside the cam covers. I wondered when they had last been discovered.

A new spark plug socket was required to get them out, a size I had never seen before. Once out it was apparent that these plugs had probably been in place from new. They had absolutely no electrodes left at all.

4 new spark plugs and we had ignition. I had to reduce the idle setting a large amount, which suggested this machine had been running with a serious handicap for some time.

It is always pleasing to find something awry and then know that you have made a significant improvement. However, the engine was not at all happy and it was obvious that the carbs were going to need a good clean out.

As they were rather tightly ensconced within the vee of the cylinders, it was only possible to get them out by also removing the inlet manifolds. So I did.

This got me the carbs on the bench where I could strip them down and clear all the blocked jets that the stale fuel had caused.

There was obvious evidence that a lot of fuel had gone off in these float bowls, so much wire brushing and various solvents were used to effect a good state of play. Some of the jets were extremely small, and I had to resort to tiny drill bits with which to clear the blocked jets. At such times, one wonders how these minute drillings ever manage to stay clean.

When I was happy that all the pathways I could identify were clean, the carbs were reassembled and refitted to the bike.

Now we had a happy running engine, so the only other considerations would be wof issues. I adjusted the rear brake and the brake light switch.

I also discovered the engine coolant header tank, which was neatly hidden beneath the battery tray. The tank was empty, and it took several topups and engine runs before the level remained steady, but after that it did not alter at all, so it was perhaps long overdue for attention.

That is the cap of the coolant tank at lower centre.

With that all done I was happy that the bike would pass a wof with no issues, and indeed it did.

So I gave it back to the owner.

Looking rather smart.

One of the sweetest shaft drive transmissions I have ever experienced.

Well done Honda.