Project CBR600F: Making Progress

Over the past few weeks, I've managed to make a little progress.  I tracked down a replacement thermostatic switch and got it installed.  It's a direct Honda replacement, so it should work properly now.  If not, I guess I'll just hardwire it.

The new clip-ons are mounted but I need to drill holes for the control studs.  On my XJ, I went the lazy route and ground them off.  Turns out, it's really annoying to have switches that rotate when you use them! The brake master cylinder is at a pretty good angle.  At first I was going to replace it but I've been doing some Googling and it may be ok, we'll see.  I'm waiting on my grips, clutch lever and heated grip kit, then I can button up the controls.

Today, I got the oil cooler mounted and the lines routed. A rhyme!  The lines are just zip tied to the frame but it works.  I didn't have any flat stock that would work well but when I removed the horn, I realized it's mount was made of 3-4 pieces of flat spring steel.  Score!  The mount got recycled for my oil cooler.

With a Herculean effort, I managed to remove the old carb boots.  They were rock hard and split.  A few came apart in pieces.  Glad I found a set on Amazon.  They aren't OEM but at least they're soft rubber!

Next garage session, I'll get the intakes cleaned up and the new boots installed.  I still need to do the valve service but that will require more than an hour. Perhaps that will be my Father's Day project!

It's nice to have space to work again. 


Project CBR600F: Once Piece at a Time

This past weekend, I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours in the garage.  Most of that time was spent removing the cocoon of cardboard and recycling from around the CBR, and putting my tools away from various projects over winter.

Once that was complete, I rolled the CBR out of it's alcove, pulled the seat and tank so I could get a good look at what chaos I was in store for.  I started out by installing the starter/pulse generator cover and getting the wiring routed appropriately.

Thankfully, the unit I scored from eBay managed to include all the bolts (plus 2 spare!) and a usable gasket.  The previous PO (the guy who stuffed this bike into a ditch) had just cut the wiring from the old cover, so it took me a little bit to find it's connector mate.

Next I was able to pull the shattered thermostatic switch from the radiator. The fan had been hardwired to run all the time.  I plan on putting it back to the proper set up.  With the radiator mounted, I realized it is missing the oil line brackets.  A quick search on eBay and a set are on the way.  On the topic of the oil cooler, I will need to fabricate a way to mount the oil cooler off of the radiator.  It used to mount to the sub-frame that I will not be using.

The rest of the progress was little things like the battery box, passenger pegs (in all their 80's white paint glory), radiator lines and reconnecting the harness.  I still have a laundry list of parts I need to order but my budget doesn't match my needs right now.  Hell, I still don't have the title but it's not like I'll be riding it this season.


Project CBR600F

Look out!  There's a new project in town.

My garage now houses a 1987 Honda CBR600F Hurricane.  I purchased it from my cousin's boyfriend who bought it last year as a first bike and project.  Having no tools, no time and no place to keep it, he finally gave in and sold it to me for what he paid.  I figured, it's cheap, has potential and already lives in my garage, so why not!

It's had a hard life, passed from owner to owner, subjected to abuse and neglect.  There isn't a single piece of plastic on her and all the lighting is gone or broken.  Thankfully, the wiring harness appears to be intact.  It needs a good once over, including a valve check (thankfully, they are screw/nut adjusters).  I have no timeline for having her on the road, as this is definitely a back burner project.

I see some ratty potential! 

The radiator and oil cooler will need some new mounts fabbed up
since there will be no subframe used. 

Getting ideas on fabing a mount. 

Future home of an oval LED tail/brake light and some blinkers.

For gauges, I'll probably go with an Acewell all-in-one unit and make a box for the power outlets and other various warning lights. Another option is the Vapor from TrailTech but I like the aesthetics of the Acewell.  I learned my lesson on the XJ, if I use an LED backed gauge, the backlight feed is going on a dimmer so I'm not blind at night.

It feels damn good to have a bike again, even if it's a long term project.


Small Displacement Madness!

My bike lust has been focused on dual sports for quite some time but this winter a strange twist has developed.  Where I was once drooling over a KLR650 or DR650, I know find myself thinking about smaller bikes with less power.  I've always had a hankering for a DRZ400SM but I rode a TW200 once and it really made an impression.  Now, I find myself thinking about those big beautiful fat tires, big fuel mileage and little thumpy engine. 

Realistically, my riding will be 90% commute/fun and 10% long range.  The wee little TDub excels at city work and fun riding but long distance is not it's strong suit.  However, with a change in gearing it can run at acceptable US Highway speeds.  The tiny fuel tank can be swapped out for one from an XT350 which should yield about 180 miles before reserve.  The idea of minimal touring on such a small bike sounds good to me.  After all, there isn't anything to see on the interstate. 



With the death of EBR looking to actually be the end of Erik Buell's time building production bikes, another phoenix has risen out of the ashes!

47Moto was started by Mike Samarzja, a long time Buell design manager. The design definitely shows the EBR influence.  The first bike, the Mosquito looks like an absolute blast!  Boasting 90mpg and up to 90mph, adjustable foot pegs, and intelligent EFI.

The site promises future bikes, including the Firefly, a City-X Adventure bike! That definitely sounds (looks) like small version of my favorite bike, the Buell XB12X Ulysses.  

This looks like it could be the perfect bike for my needs. 

I hope they will be able to offer affordable bikes with great features and not become another failed start up. 


GS650GL Resurrection: Part 1

A few years ago, a friend purchased his first bike, a 1981 Suzuki GS650GL.  It's your average UJM in cruiser dress, sporting an inline 4 with shaft drive.  Shortly after he bought it, he couldn't get it started.  While digging into the cause, we found a lot of half-assed "work" by the previous owner (spit).  He decided to tear down the carbs and give it a good once over. This being his first dive into all things mechanical, it had a bumpy start, followed by some progress, then nothing.  His free time decreased until the little Suzuki sat in my garage, rotting away.

Flash forward, his wife is due in 3 weeks and the little 'Zuki was still hibernating in the garage at my old house.  I offered to get it back on the road but in exchange I could ride it until his life gets back to a point where he can start riding again.  With the deal accepted, it was time to free the bike from it's cocoon and move it to my new garage.

Under the cruiser guise sits potential for a fun bike!

Not as much room as my last garage but the space is better. Sometimes, less is more.

Within the hour, I had the tank pulled and drained, the carbs pulled and bowls off. 

Not too bad for a bike that hasn't run in about 2 years.

Since I don't own the bike, I can't make any permanent mods.  I plan on adding taller rear shocks, dropping the triple down about an inch, replacing the bars and fabing my own seat and mounts for a top case.

Stay tuned.


Mating Ritual: LS2 Pioneer and SENA SMH5

A couple of people have asked how I installed my SENA SMH5 on to the LS2 Pioneer.  It wasn't very difficult compared to my other helmets but the slider for the internal visor is right in the sweet spot for a Bluetooth module.

I used the clamp mount and positioned it just behind the slider.

The internal part of the mount is between the EPS liner and shell. It's going to take some force to get it in there, so don't be gentle with it. You may need to separate the mount pieces.  After the mount was in place, I removed the liner, neck roll and cheek pads to make installing the speakers and microphone easier.

A little gaffer tape helps keep the microphone in place. 

To avoid wind noise, keep the microphone off to the side.

Extra wiring hidden under the neck roll.

Left speaker in place.

There are no real speaker pockets but there is enough room to squeeze them in there.  It will take some trial and error to get them in a position that is comfortable and gives you the best sound quality. 

I used a zip tie to help keep strain off the wires and hold them in place.

I love this helmet.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Stay safe out there.