Monday, 16 April 2018

My bike: Restoration update, the middle of the bike!

This week’s restoration update was to fit the Oil reservoir, coolent reservoir, airbox and battery box.

The oil reservoir fits very snuggly inside the frame and to get it in required the removal of the inner mudguard and the top shock bolt. With these removed I could lift the back end of the bike up to make the gap between the rear tyre and the frame larger and get the oil tank in to the frame via this gap. Once the tank was in I could re-fit the top shock bolt and then the rear mudguard which the oil tank bolts to it.

Next in was the air box, first connect the airbox to the carb and then bolt the air box to the frame. On the other side the battery box can go in with the coolent reservoir bolting to the bottom battery box mount. The oil res was then plumbed in to the oil pump and the coolent res water pipe routed roughly where it had to go.

Next the rear indicator mounts were de-greased, sanded, painted with primer and satin black paint.

Next job I fitted the rear cowling and checked alignment of the rear light in the bodywork, and its all looking good.

Lastly I stripped and straightened the front indicator stay, unfortunately one side has a broken tab. This part although cheap is a no longer available item, so it is going to a friend of mine who will fabricated a new tab and weld it on.

Monday, 9 April 2018

My bike, getting the loom on part 1

This weeks restoration update started with offering up the wiring loom to the bike, and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to anything to do with the loom!

Ok, so using the workshop manual you can carefully trace the route of the loom, so starting at the mid-point for the indicator relay/ rectifier and connected the wires that directly plum in to the motor I worked backwards to the rear light. Once I had the loom in place I re-fitted the rear light assembly and connected the wires to the loom. Next I re-fitted both the rear mudguard parts and bolted on the CDI, Rectifier and Indicator relay.

The next job is to get the oil and coolant reservoir, batter box and air box in place, so these all came to work for a scrub in the parts washer.

Tip: The owner’s manual doesn’t tell you how to do jobs like ‘fit the rear mudguard’ so its supper handy to also have the exploded parts diagram handy so you can see which part goes where and with what bolt.

Monday, 26 March 2018

my bike, restoration update, clocks

This week I have started to re-wrap some segments of the wiring loom using black electrical tape, its not that exciting hence no image!

The big job was re-building the clock unit. The top piece is held on by four screws and this in effect splits the clocks in half with the bottom half holding everything except the colour warning lights. The speedo and the rev counter are held in by two screws each on the back and one removed will just push out. The temperature gauge is held in by two screws accessed from the top but also has free wires and a rubber weather seal that needs carefully pushing through a small access hole.

Once the clocks were out I gave them a very careful clean and I also made the decision to leave the mileage alone. I know some restorers like to reset the mileage to zero but I felt the bike would be nicer if it wore its correct mileage as this is part of the bikes history.

To reassemble just revere the disassembly starting with the temperature gauge making sure the rubber weather seal is properly seated.

The only other job this week was I took the headlight sub frame to work to clean up in the parts washer prior to painting.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

my bike, Practical Sportsbike Magazine

My bike is featured in the latest Practical Sportsbike Magazine in the 'in your shed' feature, magazine out today!

Monday, 12 March 2018

my bike: wiring loom + frame/ fit

This week I have finally started on the wiring loom, a job I'd been putting off. To work on it I made a large clean work area to lay the loom out in its entirety. Using a foam clean and a rag I started just to clean up the loom and connections to see what repair work I need to do, thankfully the loom in itself has no issues apart from a bit of unravelling tape in some areas, some black electrical tape will fix this.

The clock unit is damaged and had been held together with some inner tube rubber and some dirt has got in to the speedo, thankfully I do have a replacement upper case for this already and I just found a replacement lower case on ebay so I will be able to completely repair this.

The other issue is the right hand indicator bracket which at some point has snapped off, these are discontinued and seemingly unavailable on ebay, so I need to fabricate a replica metal tab and weld it on to the stay to repair it.

The next job was to look at the exhaust which is currently mounted on the bike, the problem was that it didn't line up with the rear exhaust hanger (which is part of the frame). Firstly I wondered if the engine was mounted correctly, so I loosened the engine mount bolts and pulled it around, obviously nothing changed... so I re-torqued the engine mount bolts and had another think to what could be wrong?

Looking at the back of the bike it quickly became clear that the rear foot rest hanger was bent in, so I made lots of measurements and realised it was bent in by 25mm. With a dirty great big metal pole, lots of frame protection and some brute strength I pulled the frame hanger triangle out by 25mm and hey presto, the frame lined up with the exhaust and now looked square form the rear.

I would speculate that this part of the frame bent in when the bike was crashed on the right hand side in a previous life, as this part of the frame would damage it the exhaust was hit hard.

here was the problem, not detectable until I started to bolt things on again!
new gap!

all good again and ready for the next step
this image has the bodywork photoshoped on, just to see what it is looking like!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

My bike: more NOS parts for my build

Recently I have been trying to work on a couple of restoration parts and unusually I have thrown the towel in on both parts but for different reasons.

First up is the radiator, it was pretty clogged up with dirt and I could see a few damaged fins, after a good clean, de-grease and all round scrub I could see what I have to work with plan to sit down and un-pick the bent fins. It soon became apparent that not only was this a pretty hard it was going to be extremely difficult to get it to look uniform as the damage ran in to the core. I was also concerned that I may damage the coolant tubes creating a leak, so I decided it would be best to replace it and keep the old Rad for a rainy day. The new old stock rad was found on German ebay but there are a few around so availability is not to much of a problem although the rising prices are...

The next problem was the rear carrier, now the carrier is good its just the powder coat was gloss rather than the satin black I requested. I returned the carrier to the powdercoaters for re-painting and unfortunately it came back with a massive paint build up in the carrier area. I spent some time sanding the runs down and finishing with a fine wet and dry then I tried to blend it in with primer and satin black spray, again this is ok but quite disappointing. The problem with powdercoating is that it is hard to get off. It is done with an abrasive blast (usually sand or glass) and this can damage metal and deform it and I was unsure if the rack would be happy to get blasted for the 3rd time.
Checking on I noticed they had a NOS carrier and as I needed a few weird fixings I decided to bite the bullet and get it, problem solved. I also ordered a new tool tray and strap, as well... why not! 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Owners bikes: Dene Gorfin, MBX80 parts box special

Here is another MBX restoration from Dene Gorfin, he has previously done a stock build bike which you can see here. This time Dene wanted to put another bike together from parts he had left over from his previous build and not worry about it to much. I’ll think you agree it turned out pretty cool, especially with the NSR wheels!

""I’ve still got my white one and have decided to have a go and do another if I can source the bits as some stuff seems impossible to get i.e. twin calipers and fork legs for twin brakes for instance. I’ve got quite a few parts left over from the white one so that’s a good start and got a frame a month ago which has just come back from the coaters.
Just thought I’d drop you a few pictures of my latest which I finished off yesterday (when I say finished just needs a spring for back brake switch and some more fuel line) mainly using up spares from my previous MBX build, thought I’d build a ratbike to ride in winter but now decided a bit too good for that cant face the thought of riding it through salty roads.""

Monday, 6 November 2017

My bike; exhaust, brake pedal

This week I concentrated on getting the exhaust on but I hit a few problems. Firstly I wanted to paint it as it had a couple of storage marks on it, I used Hammerite Barbecue paint as it cures without having to put heat in to it plus you can get a nice matt finish with it.
The first problem I had was that the header mounting flange didn't line up with the exhaust studs by about 2-3mm... This is super weird as the exhaust is definitely for a MBX80, so I opened the holes up to 10mm which was the largest drill bit I had then slightly ovalised them to the point the flange slipped over the studs.
Once the exhaust was on it is a little out at the rear mounting point, by about 10mm. The hole physically lines up but just sticks out a little, you can push it in but its not the fit I would expect from a Japanese bike. This needs investigating a little more.

The next job was to replace the rear brake pedal with a new old stock item. This was purely cosmetic as my original was painted and I didn't feel comfortable with the originality of the bike like this. I raised this point on our Facebook group page about using parts with the incorrect finish and although everybody had a slightly different opinion on this I feel you got to go with your vision on how you want your bike to be?

correct finished pedal on the left vs powder coat on the right

Monday, 30 October 2017

Owners Bike: Fotios Grigoropoulos, Honda MBX50

Its awesome to here from fellow MBX enthusiasts from around the world and recently I was contacted by Fotios Grigoropoulos from Greece who has just restored Japanese import MBX 50. 

This is Fotios's story:
"I spent about 2 years for the parts from CMSNL and over 5000€! I had spoken and with Steve from MB5 club UK because I was looking for the original Honda Shop manual before I started to fix the engine. All the engine from my hands and it was my first job with all knew parts except the left crankcase cover because has the numbers and one friend of me helped me in the assembly because he has a shop and you see him in the photos.
You see the frame in my room in 2012 and I live in a flat apartment, as you do understand the reassembly wasn't easy in the apartment.
Today the bike has 800km and I spend most time for watching it. I want to have it in my living room but I don't know what to do because I want few times a ride. I am 43 years old. All these bikes came here in 90s as import from Japan.The MBX 80 must be perfect combination because it has the same light frame but 80cc engine and gives better performance."

The first series of pictures is of how the bike was.

And now for the restoration!