15th January 2008, over night there had been significant rainfall leaving large amounts of standing water. Unfortunately on my way to work, at 5.30am I found a large puddle. some half mile later, all stop. As usual, the bike refused to restart. Luckily, or maybe not, I'd made it to the gate at work. I parked up and went to work. Lunch time arrived, so I decided that I would check it out. Key in, press start button, fires first time !! While checking round I can hear a fizzing sound, checking further, it is the plug that connects to the side stand switch. I got hold of it and could feel high voltage passing through it. There was much water and road debris on it so WD40 all over it to get home and then to fix the problem. At home I removed the 2 wires that I had left before.
They were in a state. After a clean I packed the plug with battery terminal grease and re positioned the plug under the seat. I had also noticed that corrosion had started on the terminals to the handlebar switches, so these were greased too. The brake leaver had become stiff, I took it off and after examination this was also due to corrosion. I cleaned it up so it was like new and applied a liberal amount of grease to it. Now it is like new too. Do try to protect exposed moving and electrical parts with a water resistant grease as this will also prolong the life of the bike.
3rd April 2008. I was on my way home from work when, off came the chain . Now I'd adjusted this up because it had become slack only 3 weeks before. With a loud clatter and sudden engine stop I rolled to a halt. I didn't know what it was at first, but the chain was a dead give away ! I threaded it back onto the sprockets. But no starter. Of course it was in gear. From neutral it started straight away. I rode home slowly as the chain was dragging along the frame? Further inspection showed me that I had a chunk missing out of the cover that goes over the front sprocket. Luckily this is not visible from outside and such force from the chain had pulled the left-hand-side of the wheel forward about half inch. I adjusted it all up and put it back together. I was lucky all is fine.
I knew that the chain had to be adjusted again, but I was waiting until the weekend. These things need attention and can't be put off. Something to remember for the future.
12th April 2008. First oil change. Not actually the first because I changed it at 300K after I'd run it in. Mileage 1800Mi / 3000K. Quite straight forward. 17mm sump nut in the middle of the sump drains the oil. It didn't appear to be particularly dirty, a kind of dark brown colour. Maybe this is a mixture of carbon and clutch lining? 23mm socket was required to get to the oil filter. Again no debris to speak of, quite clean actually. I blasted the filter with brake cleaner to be sure and re-inserted it. Now the book says that 1 litre is required. But full on the dipstick is 850- 900 ml? strange? There is a method to measuring the oil level too, which is in the CG125 Haynes manual. This is to measure the oil with the dipstick perched at the very end of the thread (not screwed in). This may account for the excess oil in the casing on the other side when I changed the oil first time as I just tipped in 1 litre.
Thursday 1st May. I arrived at work and while parking my Huoniao I noticed that the rear light was off, but as I made full left lock it came on? I checked again and this was the case. The back light only worked on full left lock. Very strange. At home time I re-checked the light, this time it didn't work at all? The lighter evenings help, no lights needed.
At home investigation needed. First off, change the bulb. Still off. Not that then! Seat off, all wires are intact and connected. Tank off, can't see any problems, the loom is in a kind of armour casing. Get out the multimeter. Numerous checks later I've found that the earth wire is green and the wire that carries power to the back light is brown with a white trace. There is no power in the wire? strange. Headlamp off, trace the power feed from the switch into the loom, all is good. The problem must be in the armour casing. I unwrapped the ends and cut open the armour casing carefully with scissors. Here I found that the wire concerned had disconnected from the loom.
Now there are 3 wires that come from the front end which join together with the rear wire with some kind of brass looking joiner. This is then wrapped in insulating tape. I cut out the joiner and used a new connector. I soldered the wire, strangely the solder didn't take to well to the wire, but good enough to hold them all together in the new joiner. Re-wrapped in insulating tape, and replaced into the loom. The new joiner has made the cable about 1.5cm longer, this may help.
15th May 2008 I got a top box off eBay. £35 delivered, quite reasonable, universal fitting.
It looks ok and with it's 41 litre capacity there is more than enough room for my crash hat.
Friday 23rd May. After some thought & an interesting email from Elvgren I decided to change the chain. I've been adjusting it about every 400 miles and a lot of slack has been taken out. My local bike shop said it's a '428' type, which it is and has 116 links (check your own to be sure). They kindly ordered one for me @ £18.50 . This I fitted. It is shiny silver metal, not black like the original, even better.
So after a massive 3600Km (2237 miles) the original chain had stretched 2 full links !! that is quite a stretch.
Saturday 7th June. Cleaning my Huoniao again, I noticed that one of the exhaust studs were broken. What to do? First off I sent an email to LS Imports to let them know that parts are required and sent them a picture so they can see.
What to do with it? Parts will be at minimum a couple of days and I cant leave it as it is. Luckily my brother, who also has a Chinese bike has a spare nut so this is not an issue. I needed to extract the stud to find out what the inner thread was. After some manipulation, out it came. I measured the thread at a standard M6 thread. Both ends are the same. Time to make some studs. I went down to my local car accessory shop and bought some studding. Removing the lower stud to get the length I produced two studs in about 2 minutes fairly easily. I fitted them in and locked them off with a nut and refitted the exhaust. Now the other side don't look too good, so I'll be changing those as soon as I can.
Strangely the same stud sheared again on 20th June, very strange.... I made a new one and borrowed another nut from my brother. This new breakage of the new stud got me thinking, so I went on the internet and searched for the properties of 8.8 steel fasteners. I found that, although 8.8 steel has good torsional strength, it is actually quite brittle. I searched for an alternative. Stainless steel is softer being an alloy compound, which in turn, allows for a greater stretch during the heating and cooling process. This also means that you can easily snap it if you over tighten. After a little more searching I decided on A2 grade stainless steel. This seemed to fit the requirements. I searched the net for a supplier, only to find a good source on eBay at Stainless Bolts. I made my order and quickly received the parts. Shortly after they arrived I had made the new parts and had fitted them. They are still in position on 29th July. Looks like problem solved.
LS Imports.... After three emails a week and endless ringing on both the mobile and land line number I have finally given up. I assume that there is no warranty for my Huoniao from these people. Trading standards have told me to write to them, which I will. But the support I have received from them has been poor at best and now is non existent. They are responsible for the warranty and are legally bound by English law to support these vehicles which they sell.
BAD LS IMPORTS!!
I've had a bulb blow in the speedo. That's fine in the daytime, but at night you have to drive on the rev counter. So, to change the bulb. First to release it. The big 14mm nut (green arrow) to release it from the bike & the speedo drive (yellow arrow) to be able to move it.
Then you can turn it up-side-down to see the two 10mm nuts. Once these are removed you can 'pull' the bottom plate away from the body leaving behind the rubber sealing thing, exposing the underside of the speedo. Now you can see the bulb carrier (orange arrow). This is a rubbery thing, similar to the one in the headlamp. It's quite tight, but once it starts moving it comes out easily.
28th September 2008
I have fitted new tyres to my HN125-8. After quite a scary moment in the wet a couple of weeks ago and a lot of thought I decided that my health is worth the cost.
I done a bit of searching on the internet and found lots of variation of tyre in the sizes fitted. One site had a free-phone number. I phoned the number and they put me through to my local depot, which was 'National Tyres' in Lincoln. I explained that I had found much variation on the size of tyre and needed some help in deciding which were most suitable. They said to bring my bike along so that they could check over the details with me. This I did.
The tyres are 'Radial' and 'Tubeless' which makes them special. There are 'cross ply tubed-type' tyres available, which are much cheaper. Alas, these are incompatible with the rim, so special tyres it is. Again there is a choice on quality, brand and price. I have bought the cheapest available. 'Metzeler' branded, they are a subsidiary of the 'Pirelli' brand . Very good tyres I'm told, we will have to wait and see when it rains. The wait probably wont be too long.
On the front is a ME22 3.25 x 18
On the rear is a ME77 Perfect 110/90 x 16
Fitted price was £109 inc VAT.
24th October 2008
The news is good ... the new tyres are definitely worth the money. Over the past 2 weeks I have had 4 mornings where the road has been wet. There appears to be no noticeable difference to the grip level in the wet compared to the dry. I have yet to try in a heavy downpour, but this is likely, sooner rather than later. Also the 'rear wheel steering effect' which I have read about and experienced seems to have disappeared. Overall the ride seems (personal opinion) to be 'softer', possibly caused by the softer rubber.