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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
My new Kenda K272s arrived last week. (Second time I've dealt with motorcycletiresmaniac.com [actually Cedar Rapids Tire in Iowa], and was very pleased with them again.) I soaked the fork springs and collars in phosphoric acid for a couple of days, then painted them with flat black Rust-Oleum. Also bought new rubber gaiters.

Woke up early this morning and spent a couple of hours in the garage before work. I got a lot done (unusual for me). Swapped out the front tire, put the forks back together, and reassembled the front end. Only afterwards did I give the wheel a spin and realize that the front rim is slightly bent. Well, crap. Unless it causes a huge handling problem, it's going to stay that way until at least after the Moto Giro on the 12th.

The headlight bracket I bought through Ebay arrived missing the inner half of each side, and no way are they sized for 27mm forks, as per the description. I'm going to just make up something myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Well, I was not able to ride the Honda 125 in the Giro today, but I was able to ride the bike for the first time today, even if it was only a couple of blocks with the headlight zip-tied in place. The missing parts for headlight bracket I ordered from China arrived, but of course still didn't fit the 27mm forks. Also, 6V turn signal bulbs to fit the aftermarket turn signals (the second set I bought) won't arrive for another couple of weeks...I had to order them from Slovakia (yes, really).

There is still a lot to do: not only do I have to resolve the headlight and turn signal issues, but the petcock leaks fuel, the used speedometer I bought off Ebay doesn't work (bummer), the new exhaust I made is little too loud, and the chain is hitting the chain guard somewhere (you can hear it in the video). Of course, once all that's taken care of, it will still need a proper paint job at some point. But it starts and goes and stops quite nicely! WOOHOO!

This was also my first chance to try out my new GoPro Chesty camera strap.

 

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Discussion Starter #28
I was actually able to spend a couple of hours in the workshop this morning. The first time in, um, probably 2-1/2 months? One of the reasons I've been doing nothing for the last few months is that my enthusiasm for this "quickie" project pretty much drained away with each new discovery of unseen flaws and damage. Electrical troubleshooting was a major headache, but fortunately I was not in a good position to just give up. I spent hours upon hours last fall with a multimeter and a test light. I had breached insulation causing intermittent grounding, several bad bulbs that were also intermittent, and the big culprit, bad switchgear. I bought a replacement left-hand switch housing around Halloween, which indeed solved most of my problems. I also had to buy a new clutch lever and perch, since the stock one was integrated into the switch housing; this is actually a good thing, since the old one was pretty buggered up. Anyways, work and family life has finally slowed down, I got my motivation back, and they both got installed this morning, along with new grips. I did some testing and discovered that all the wire colors are the same as stock, so I'll be wiring the switch in today or tomorrow.

This bike had been crashed much harder than I realized, and when I remounted the headlight I learned that the steering stop on the steering head tube is badly tweaked. Because if this, the headlight bracket hits the tank when turned all the way to the right. Not a hugely difficult fix, but it's yet another thing I need to address. Fortunately, I am back into it and trying to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. I'd really like to get this on the road so I can get back to the Bul bitsa project, which has been at full stop for well over a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Just as an update, I have finally sorted out all the major issues with this bike. The last issue was a bad float needle and seat (as you can see from the drips of fuel on the ground in the photo). Replaced that this morning before work, and then rode the bike to the local garage for a state safety inspection. Successfully passed, so I can finally get the bike plated. After that, I took the long way back home to fill up at a gas station that sells ethanol-free fuel, and the damn thing seemed to run like it should — clutch and brakes worked properly, it handled predictably, engine idled nicely and wound out well enough. There is definitely more to do, of course. The temporary stand-in speedometer is from a Honda NX50 Express SR, and the spray-bomb paint job is not fuel safe, so that's already lifting off in places, but there's nothing keeping me from riding it back and forth to work this summer.

 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Last Saturday, I rode the CL 19 miles to the KC Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club's Spring Show and back.

Overall it was fun, but I still have some teething pains to deal with:
  • The Express SR speedo (my FOURTH!) shot craps about 5 minutes into the ride and screeched noticably the rest of the trip, even over the louder-than-stock exhaust.
  • The gas cap leaks, dribbling fuel all over the tank. To add to it, the quickie spray-bomb engine paint on the tank isn't fuel-safe, and is lifting all over.
  • Making left-hand turns from stoplights, the bike would sputter for several seconds. I'm guessing it's the float level.
  • The idle varies dramatically between cold and warm. Couldn't find one setting for the idle adjustment screw that wasn't either coughing and dying or racing way too high at some point. I assume some additional carb work is in order.
  • The 6-volt turn signals are pathetically dim. My wife was riding right behind me and in bright sunlight she couldn't tell when they were on, even when she was staring right at them.
The bike cruises quite nicely at 45-50 MPH and handled just fine, though the brakes are a whole lot weaker than I remember them being back in high school! My cobbled-up exhaust held up fine and no parts fell off, so I guess that's something. I have to say, I am losing enthusiasm for this bike. I'm not sure how much I'll actually want to ride it once I get it all sorted, which dampens my motivation somewhat. I've toyed with putting an ad on CL and seeing what I can get for it, but I go back and forth on that idea. You can only sell something once, then it's gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
The last week or so, I've been thinking to myself that simply getting something akin to a brand-new version of the CL — with bright, 12V lights, a disc brake and generally less troublesome condition — would be nice. My local Kymco scooter shop had just gotten their first K-Pipe 125 in stock, so I went by to check it out yesterday. I'm not sure what I think of it. It has 17" wheels and a slightly taller seat than a Grom or a Z125, but the wheelbase is not much longer (within 2 inches of the Grom's, IIRC), which left it feeling like a BMX bike. There's not much motorcycle in front of you. The brake and shift pedals had noticeably kludgy construction, but other than that there were few places it didn't look up to Japanese standards. The really weird thing is that instead of the standard 1-N-2-3-4 shift pattern, it's four down (4-3-2-1-N). In the rest of the world the K-Pipe has an auto-clutch, so even though the U.S. version specifies a manual clutch with a lever, it retains the goofy shift pattern. Unlike the Grom, TU250, and others, it is definitely old school with a carb, manual choke and manual petcock. It does have electric starting and the choke lever is integrated into the handlebar controls.

While I haven't ruled it out, it feels a bit tiny and slightly toy-like. Unfortunately, there isn't anything other than CVT scooters anywhere in its price range. A Sym Wolf 150 or Honda Grom cost half-again more than the K-Pipe's $1995 price. Once you get to three grand, it doesn't feel like a big jump to four, where there are much more substantial choices such as the CB300F, TU250X, and GW250 Inazuma. Maybe it's worth putting the effort into the CL125 after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I haven't updated this in a long time, but I still have the bike, and it's still not completely roadworthy. The big issue was an electrical problem that I just couldn't figure out. I was having lighting issues that I traced down to left-side handlebar switch unit. I also needed a new throttle, because the original internal-cable twistgrip was sticking, so I bought all new generic switches, handlebar levers and throttle off Ebay. The functions of the switches didn't match up exactly to the originals, and they had a few extra wires, so I spent time trying to figure it out. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the headlight to come reliably, even though the handlebar switch was brand new and bench-tested perfectly. So, since replacing the switch unit didn't solve the problem, it had to be somewhere else, right? I traced wires all over the bike, repeatedly, trying to figure out the issue, with no luck. I ended up giving up and pushing the thing into a corner of the garage in defeat and leaving it there for many months. I concluded that I was just too stupid to fix it.

Well, last Saturday morning I started over, troubleshooting from scratch. I then discovered the bizarre reality of the situation. It was so unlikely a scenario that I once I discovered it, I didn't feel nearly so stupid.

 

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Discussion Starter #33
IT LIVES! Having just come back from a cruise through my neighborhood, I can report with some excitement that my ’74 Honda CL125S is officially back on the road. I haven’t ridden the bike hardly all since first getting it running two years ago. When I last posted, my a shakedown run 14 months ago revealed a multitude of electrical and carburetion issues, thanks to years of neglect and some stupidly executed “fixes” by a previous owner. Also, the third used, replacement Honda speedometer I’d purchased lasted about a quarter mile before its insides exploded. My original intention to keep it as stock as possible was finally abandoned completely, because the original Honda versions of the original parts were all either 1) impossible to find or, 2) obscenely expensive. The instruments, turn signals, switchgear, handlebar levers, and throttle have now been replaced with non-OE parts, removing nearly everything from the rider’s view that reminded me of my first bike to start with. Unfortunately, after four decades of poorly executed patches and repairs by a string previous owners, the thing was a diagnostic quagmire. Add to the mix a mismatched selection of “universal fit” parts made in Indonesia, and things got unexpectedly complicated.



First of all, I gave up and bought a new, generic mini "chopper" speedometer. Since the indicator lights were originally housed inside the speedometer, I also purchased a stand-alone idiot light panel originally from a Honda CB350 twin and swapped out the 12V bulbs for 6V. I need to strip my template paper off the bracket and either paint it flat black or give it a good buffing. (I'm leaning towards black, since shiny stuff can reflect the sun right back in the rider's eyes.) I also might relocate the speedometer a bit closer to the handlebars.



The biggest hang-up was an electrical problem that I just couldn’t figure out, despite tracing it down to the left-side handlebar switch unit. I also needed to do something about the balky throttle twistgrip (Honda’s weird-alice internal cable design). Since the original swiches, levers and throttle were all integrated into cast metal housings, I bought all-new, generic switches, levers, and external throttle off Ebay. After installing them, no matter how I tried, I couldn't get the lights to work properly. After messing around with it in my free time over the course of several months, I finally concluded that I was just too stupid to fix it, pushed the thing into a corner of the garage in defeat, and left it there for most of 2017. Well, one Saturday morning last month I gave myself a pep talk and started over, troubleshooting from scratch. I then discovered the bizarre malfunction that I demonstrated in my previous post. Once I'd figured out that the replacement unit was bad, I ordered an Emgo universal switch pod. That ended up being a fairly straightforward installation last weekend.



Meanwhile, I filled, charged, and installed a new 6-volt battery. Then, this morning before work, I hooked up the new throttle cable (actually intended for a TRX125 four-wheeler), rolled the bike out into the driveway, and give it a good kick. And another. And another. After enough kicks, I moved on to bump-starting. After numerous attempts and I had a good sweat going and it was clear that something was amiss. I pulled the spark plug and held it against the head as I kicked—no spark. Oh, crap, I had screwed up the wiring somewhere. Wait, I thought: the kill switch on this bike works by grounding the coil, not by disconnecting it. Could it be that easy? I switched the aftermarket kill switch to the “stop” position and give it another kick. My effort was met with a bright, blue spark.



I reinstalled the spark plug and moments later the bike roared to life. I fiddled with the idle adjustment screw and soon she was ticking over evenly, something I had never been able to make happen with the old, sticky throttle. I took it out for a couple miles around the neighborhood and it ran flawlessly.

Having the bike on the road doesn’t mean it's anywhere finished. The fuel cap still weeps slightly, the rear brake is only marginally effective, and the bike still needs a lot of cosmetic work including a real paint job. Unfortunately, so much time has passed since I finished the exhaust system that I’ll need to knock off some surface rust before I can shoot the pieces with high-temp flat black paint. I also need to play with the weight and volume of oil in the front forks and I might replace the somewhat dim turn signals with some better quality, brighter units. I haven't enough looked at the points.

But regardless of what needs to be done, I'm thinking I might ride it the 25-mile round trip to work some day this week. That will be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)


Well THAT didn't go according to plan. Got a high-RPM miss on the way to work, then it wouldn't start after work. Kicked and bumped it with hardly a pop. Gave up, waiting for AAA. I've had cycle coverage for 8 years without using it, so I figure they owe me.
 

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I put a multimeter on the condenser; zero ohms. From the looks of it, it very well could be the original condenser from 43 years ago.

Probably is, but ohms is a measure of resistance and you are dealing with a capacitor :| A capacitor (which is probably made out of mostly paper) acts like a little tiny solid state battery, it holds an electrical charge up to but not exceeding it's threshold capacity ;) hence the name capacitor and then it releases that electrical charge all at once or as needed. Measuring its resistance is not going to tell you much, it would be like measuring the resistance in a battery to see if it will hold a charge, you might get a reading but it means little to nothing to testing that component.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Probably is, but ohms is a measure of resistance and you are dealing with a capacitor :| A capacitor (which is probably made out of mostly paper) acts like a little tiny solid state battery, it holds an electrical charge up to but not exceeding it's threshold capacity ;) hence the name capacitor and then it releases that electrical charge all at once or as needed. Measuring its resistance is not going to tell you much, it would be like measuring the resistance in a battery to see if it will hold a charge, you might get a reading but it means little to nothing to testing that component.
My understanding was that when switched to the ohms setting, a multimeter uses battery power to force current through the circuit, and the resistance should increase as the capacitor charges. If it never rises from zero, it's not charging. Is this not correct?
 

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He's proven the capacitor is acting like a capacitor, personally I just changed them out because they were a cheap part and that was the best way to troubleshoot the damn things :|
Clean the points, clean the carb and kick the shit out of the thing a whole bunch to see what it does ;)
 
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