Monday, 15 June 2020

FWD-F: Twin disc UK 2nd gen model

I while back I had a conversation on our facebook page with an ex-owner who said he had a MK 2 MBX80 (rainbow) bike that was UK specification complete with twin discs. At the time I thought this was super interesting as I knew Honda only brought in the original MK 1 model in black and white for a couple of years, so what could this MK2 be?

The guy mentioned the dealer, Rustys in Scunthorpe and they just so happened to be a customer of mine so I reached out to them to see if they remembered selling the bike, keep in mind this would be 35 years ago. They mentioned they remember selling little Honda's but couldn't pin down any specifics, so I just chalked it down as interesting but without a bike I just had to take the guys word for it.

Fast forward to 2020 and I was contacted by a chap called Mark Roberts who had a UK MK2 bike. Better still the history of the bike is complete, first registered in 1986 on a D plate it was bought from The Honda Centre in Old Colwyn North Wales (now Colwyn Bay Motorcycles). Mark bought the bike in 89, subsequently sold it to a family member then bought it back it now stored and waiting for a light restoration. Apparently there were a few bikes kicking round North Wales which leads me to believe Honda imported a few bikes in 86 for a few specific dealers (like Rustys) who saw there was a demand for the bike but never included it in the official range.

What ever the full story was from Honda we may never know as Honda never nationally promoted the model and it didn't appear in any literature, but seeing some genuine UK MK 2 bikes makes for an interesting foot note in the models history.

Thank you to Mark Roberts for helping fill the gaps in this story and sharing your bike!

According to the parts listing on CMSNL this model is designated FWD-F and as a 1985 model, view the spare parts here:

Monday, 16 March 2020

How Many Left? MBX80 FWDD

According to the website 'How many left', there are 24 MBX80 FWDD's left in the UK, as of today just 7 are currently taxed and 17 are on SORN.

With this in mind I would like to open a register for all remaining FWDD's so we can catalogue all remaining bikes and what condition they are currently on.

If you have one of these bikes (specifically the UK FWDD please) please e-mail me a current photo of your bike and its registration for inclusion on the MBX80 register page. Please also state if you would prefer not to make your registration public and I will withhold it.

A250 PFL

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

My top 10 tips for completing a restoration.

My top 10 tips for completing a restoration.

1/ Have in your mind a clear vision of what you want to do, be it a show bike or tidy run around a clear vision of what you want to achieve will impact each decision you make.

2/ Join a club or group for the model you are restoring. You will see similar machines, get tips and advice and also make some new friends!
3/ Although ebay is great do also look past it for parts, look at where the bike was popular and look for shops in that country as spares will be more plentiful in countries that sold lots of bikes.

4/ If you are going for a factory style restoration, all bikes will need work so a £400 nail really has the same worth as a £900 runner as they will both need similar amounts of money spending on them.

5/ Strip the bike down in groups of parts or sub assembly’s and store all the appropriate parts in storage boxes. 

6/ Do all the power coating or zinc plating in one batch. Many painters or platers will have a minimum charge or batch price, so if you forget something like a side stand you will need to make minimum charge again to get it painted.

7/ Get the frame powder coated ASAP, once this is done you are always in the re-build process and physiologically this is good!

8/ Always do a dry assembly or test assembly before mounting a component properly, there is nothing worse than fighting to fit something with greasy bolts that won’t line up or getting a cable routed the wrong side of something.

9/ Take lots of pictures, buy all the owner’s manuals, workshop manuals and parts books you can find so you can double and triple check cable routing and decal placements.

10/ If you feel a job is to big, don't be afraid to ask for help or employ an expert!

The last thing, so technically number 11 is just to have fun and enjoy doing it!

Monday, 4 November 2019

Owners bike: Patrick Mees, red MBX80

This owners bike comes from Patrick Mees, whom like myself owned a MBX80 35 years ago so jumped at the chance to own another. The new bike has just had a full engine re-build and is ready to enjoy!
original bike
new bike

Did you own a MBX in the 80's and have you got one now, please get in touch and share your story!

Monday, 7 October 2019

MBX50, the creature from the black lagoon!

So... I seem to have acquired a MBX50, she is not pretty and she has missing wheels, but she was very cheap. In fact I have seen this bike before as a friend showed me it for sale on facebook and I remember commenting that I think its been stored at the bottom of the sea...

What we have here is a bike with a V5, some brand new gaskets and piston and a complete spare frame. To be honest my plan was just to sell the usable parts, maybe keep the engine to make a cross section for future shows and bin the rest, certinally the second frame is so rusted it is fit for the skip. But there is also part of me that thinks because of the V5 is it possible to save? Sure it will take a bit of cash to resurrect, but that depends on the final finish you want to achieve and of course finding a set of wheels.

So the question is, do I break it or save it?

rusty spare frame, this won't polish out!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

My bike restoration update, almost there....

Some new detailed pics of my MBX80, I have a couple of things I want to change but these are mainly the colour/ finish of specific bolts.

Monday, 18 March 2019

My bike, restoration updated, handlebar fairing

With the new faring mount fitted the nose fairing went on. The fairing is NOS and has turned a little yellow over the years, so I will t-cut it to try and bring it back, if I can't bring the colour back it might have to come off for painting.
This is another landmark moment as for the first time in this whole process the bike is 100% complete and working! There are several niggles to resolve like correct bolts and warning labels, but here it is.

My bike; restoration update, starting her up

Saturday 9th March,

Firstly I fitted the fuel hose and then I bought some unleaded petrol. I did a pre-mix of 15ml 2-stroke to 500ml fuel and added to the fuel to the tank.
I kicked the engine over a few times then turned the ignition on and a few kicks later the bike fired up!

Next I set the air-screw and the tick over and then turned the bike off, removed the fuel tank and topped the radiator coolant up up. Next I fitted the rear foot pegs, rear rack and mirrors.

The next job was to fit the handlebar fairing bracket and fairing, unfortunately for some reason the lower mount did not line up with the fairing so would not fit. A search on ebay found a NOS bracket with the correct lower mount so that was ordered as a replacement. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

My bike, oil pump bleed

this is a retrospective post as I did this job a couple off weeks back and forgot to post!

One of the most important jobs is bleed the oil pump and set the correct cable movement to that the throttle delivers the correct amount of oil with the fuel.

To set the cable you need to make sure the marks line up when the throttle is fully open, Honda say + or - 1mm on the tolerance of this, but its quite simple to get this spot on.

Next was to get some two stroke oil in the reservoir and bleed the pump. There is a 7mm nut on the top of the oil pump (the middle one) which needs loosening to expel any air. Access is very tight here and it helps to remove the airbox. I found gravity was not enough to get oil though the system so I actually pressurised the oil reservoir to force oil down the lines, through the pump and out the bleed screw. This sounds highly technical, but I just stuck my mouth on the filling neck of the res and blew hard! 

Next there is a second oil line which runs from the pump called the bypass line, this one I just bleed with a syringe.

**** Even after bleeding both parts the Honda manual recommends you add oil to the fuel (25-50 parts fuel to 1 oil) when you first run with the pump fully open.

""Made sure that there is fuel in the fuel tank (25-50 parts fuel to 1 part lubricant). Start the engine and run it for about 10 minutes with the oil pump control lever in the fully open position so as to force air out of the oil pass tube with the oil."" Page 2-7

Update - just on the above point, that would be 10-20ml of oil per 500ml petrol (1/2L)

My bike, restoration update, fluids

This week I started by bleeding the front brake system with DOT 4, filled the cooling system and filled the gearbox with oil (0.9l).

With the brakes, to save mess (DOT 4 is highly corrosive) I used a hose and a syringe on the caliper bleeding nipple, when the syringe fills you can just re-cycle the fluid back in to its container. You also need a clear hose so you can see any air bubbles that come out. For those who have never bleed a brake before its quite simple.
1/ fill reservoir and pump lever.
2/ pull and hold brake lever
3/ open bleed nipple (8mm spanner)
4/ close bleed nipple
5/ pump lever as this re-fills the lever piston.
6/ repeat until no bubbles come out of the bleed hose and the lever firms up.

*** you can reverse step 2 and 3 (it doesn't matter) but you have to close the bleed nipple before releasing the lever or it will suck the expelled air back in.

Next I fitted the fuel tap and filler cap to the fuel tank, fitted the tank mounting rubbers and re-fitted the fuel tank, side panels and seat. Unfortunately I don't have a fuel hose otherwise I would of ran the bike, so this will have to wait another week. Running the bike is also important to properly circulate the coolant, which needs to be re-checked after.

its me!