1987 Honda CBR1000

Despair Shop 15 – Sort that one Sherlock

It’s a rainy day- the workshop and store room are full so I have a choice of working in the rain or sitting in front of my PC typing nonsense. I chose to not work in the rain.

1987 Honda CBR1000 Dashboard / ClocksI just acquired a new project – a pretty nice low mileage Honda CBR1000f-h -f 1987 vintage. It looked tidy enough for such an old bike, it only had 27k on the speedo, came with a load of old MoT’s and seems to have been off the road for just over a year. The battery was totally flat but I paid the right money for it so don’t care if it turned out to be a breaker – it has been well looked after and there are plenty of good looking bits on it. It came with the fairing panels but they need some work and they had to come off so I could fully assess my purchase.

Anyway, first job was to connect up a good battery and see what happened. The oil light lit, the neutral light didn’t. I prodded the starter but there was nothing, pulled in the clutch lever – still nothing.

The lack of neutral light was a good clue – if the bike isn’t in neutral the clutch must be pulled in to turn the bike over. I suspected the neutral light switch but if it was only that then it would have turned over with the clutch pulled in. A quick wiggle of the wires going to the clutch switch had the starter solenoid clicking when I pulled the clutch in so that took me one step further. Only problem was I could hear the solly clicking obediently bit the engine still didn’t turn. I shorted out the two big fat terminals that go to the battery and the starter and she turned over a treat so I knew the solenoid was shot. I found one the same in my secret stash of treasure and changed it out. I connected the neutral light switch wore to earth and the light came on so that was nice. I prodded the starter and not only did it turn over but it actually started – something I wasn’t really expecting.

It ran really nicely except for a pretty bad leak in the exhaust – it’s down where the headers join the pipes but I haven’t had a proper look due to the rain.

1987 Honda CBR1000 neutral switchI have had to order a new neutral switch, I verified my old one was shot – it has a plunger that gets pushed in by the gear selector drum – when in neutral the wire is grounded by the switch. It was only 12 quid for a brand new one so that’s what I have ordered.

It’s a bit of a swine to get to as it is underneath the engine and if the exhausts are hot it’s best to not even attempt the job. Also if you run the engine with the switch out oil pisses all over your drive – ask me how I know.

It’s hard enough to see the neutral switch let alone get a socket on it – a 14mm deep thin walled socket did the job. Getting it back in was harder than getting it out as it just kept sliding down the socket. I put a bolt down the socket first too stop that happening and that made the job a lot easier.

The engine quickly built oil pressure with the oil light going out as soon as the bike fired. I let her warm up for a bit before gently revving, all good apart from that exhaust leak. I tested all the other electrical bits – everything works as it should except for the horn – I shall investigate that at some time in the future. I also noticed the fork seals need doing – the brakes are fine with the pads and discs appearing to be recent replacements. The tyres are tired but legal with about 2mm on them, the rest just needs a really good clean and polish.

1987 Honda CBR1000 front caliperSo I reckon this one is well worth saving, I shall get it done after I have sorted the RF600 I started working on some time back. The chopper build has taken up far too much of my time so I am a fair bit behind on workshop stuff at the moment, I also have my Triumph T300 based cafe racer to finish. I only started it 2 ½ years ago and these things shouldn’t be rushed 🙂

Scottie and Ian have some other projects lined up, I will tell you about them once we have decided what will be done and when but they should make for interesting reading – both candidates are a bit unusual and challenging in their own way. That’s it for this time so see you nest time, Dave.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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