09 May 2010

Finally an update

Not much use over the winter period due to my new job providing a van. No commuting for me.

All has been well, other than the clutch slip & a number of dash bulbs failing. I've ordered some LED type bulbs as replacement from the eBay, but these have yet to arrive. I've now changed the front sprocket to a 16 tooth unit. I did this about two weeks ago when I replaced the chain. The first replacement chain has covered some 10,000 odd Kilometres & was OK really, but as I was putting on the new sprocket I thought it best to do the chain too. It has made quite a difference to the overall performance of the bike. Not an increase in speed as the 11 or so horse power stops me going much over 65MPH. The engine revs lower now & the bike feels more manageable with the different gear ratio. Sort of more grown up.

The clutch slip is quite an oddity. When the engine is cold and the weather is cold, it slips like it's missing until the engine gains some temperature. When it was really cold during the winter it actually slipped in 5th after more than 3 miles of travelling. It also tends to be a little snatchy when it is hot. This is a rather odd problem & is going to be difficult to find because now the weather has warmed up somewhat, clutch slip is almost non existent when the engine is cold. Confused I am. I have some time off in the near future. This may give me enough time to have a good look into this strange problem.

The Chinese Bike Forum has ceased. Luckily a new forum, 'Huoniao-Owners' has began life on the net & I have joined. I've found some interesting info & bought myself some ACF-50 which is kind of like a sticky WD40 which dries. This I've sprayed onto the frame to help prevent corrosion and prolong the life of my Huoniao. I also bought some alloy wheel cleaner from Halfords which is super at getting the crap off the wheels & has brought them up like new.


Wheel Cleaner

18th May 2010

My bulbs have arrived from Hong Kong . Time to get them in. Firstly the central bezel is a bugger to get off. The screws are exposed at the bottom end, collecting all manner of road grime, rain & flies etc. I managed to damage the head so badly that I had to drill it out, but not before breaking the plastic housing . The screws appear to be M5 in size, which is great, 'cos my local hardware store had loads in stock. A little bit of time & some 'Araldite Rapid' later the housing was rebuilt.

O M G !! Broken Casing

Glued Casing

Knackered & New Screw

L.E.D. Dash Bulbs

Dash Panel Bulbs in Holder

I also ordered a LED stop & tail bulb as I seem to eat through the standard type. Theory  is that if there is no filament it can't break . It is a direct replacement. There are lots of these types of bulb on eBay. Be sure to check you are getting a white one because this also lights up the number plate.

L.E.D. Staop & Tail Bulb

20th May 2010

The updates are coming thick & fast now .

Today I went to Coventry. That's a trek. Nearly 80 miles each way. That took about 100 minutes ( 1 & a half hours ). I'm sure that the seat wasn't designed to be sat in for that long. Anyway, yesterday I changed the oil for some Halfords cheap ( or not so cheap £8.99 a litre ) 10w40 semi synthetic motorcycle oil. Now this is a little early as I change the oil generally @ 3000KM intervals, but this one is at slightly under 2000KM. With the motorway work & sustained high revs I expected, as usual to see oil running down the left side of the engine casing, but..........  this didn't happen. There are only two possible reasons for this.

1. The oil is much thicker than the Putoline equivalent & can't get out.

2. The bigger front sprocket kept the revs low enough to stop the leak.

Or maybe it's a mixture of the two. Who knows, but the oil leak seems to have rectified itself without much intervention from me. I also gave the clutch cable a oil & tweak at the bars end which seems to have made all the difference to the gear changes and neutral can now be found really easily. I think that from now on I'll change the oil @ 2000KM & buy the Halfords oil in 5Lt container @ £23. Seems to make more sense to get it in the larger container.

26th May 2010

Since putting in the bulbs I've had them flickering, going off until banged, going off & staying off. The gear selection number works when it likes & the starter doesn't.

Off with headlamp. Then the seat & then the tank. Another go into the loom. Now I know these bike are made to a budget, but the wiring is poor. I bought some 3A & 5A 12V wire to replace the existing stuff & both are thicker then the original, which is like hair & mostly a dark brown colour, not copper & has a whiteish powder on it, inside the insulator. Also it doesn't solder very well, mainly because of this powder.

The bulk of the problems have arisen because of me moving the wires in the first place & these dodgy multi-wire connections which are scattered throughout the loom.

The starter. This didn't operate because the wire from the side stand switch plug (under the seat) to the starter solenoid had decided not to conduct electricity. I have power into the plug, through the bridge I fitted & more than 2 inches towards the starter solenoid, but no power at the starter solenoid. Strangely there is another (unused) plug under the seat which carries this very same wire, so I tapped off that as it is working.

The gear selector has been troublesome because of a broken wire behind the headlamp & the flasher tell-tale was inoperative because of a broken multi connector under the tank. All of these now work after many hours with my multi-meter & lots of new cable runs.

I have replaced the multi connectors with a computer part from Maplin. I have re-fed the single wire down to the back & the new fitting I've made resides inside the headlamp. I soldered the 4 wires to the long side of the plug & bridged out the short side. Then I put 10mm heat-shrink tubing over the assembly to protect it.

Computer Part From Maplin

 Original HN125-8 Wiring Connector

My New Connector

Unused Alarm Plug Under Seat HN125-8

1st July 2010

I've decided to change my front brake disc. The original one has given a oscillation ever since new, nothing major but, on anything remotely loose, the front wheel tended to snatch & lock which can be quite unnerving.  I ordered 4 new bolts as well just in case I had to drill out the original ones. £27 including delivery from Llexeter . On to the job. Firstly on to the centre stand. Open the top box & put in a tool box to weigh down the back end. The front axle bolt is 17mm on one end & 19mm on the other. Out with that & extract the wheel, being careful not to damage the pads. The 4 bolts that hold the disc to the wheel are 6mm allen bolts. I have a socket for this as I find allen keys a little flexible & sometimes uncontrollable. The socket wouldn't go in without it's friend Mr hammer, only a small tap got it in. They seemed surprisingly untight, so once turning they came out easily. The disc then just lifts off. I put the old & new together to see if I could see where the warp was. It must be very small because it's not visible, they look identical. The new disc just lays in position & then the new 4 bolts put in. I did these up by feel, tight but not too tight, if you know what I mean. I took out the pads & roughed them up with a bit of 80-grit sand paper, copper greased the edges where they touch & the pin & popped them back in. The wheel slipped back into position, bolt in. I done this up to 60lbs/ft (it's imperial, I know) & I was done.

The pads are now bedded in & braking is completely smooth, almost like a new bike . Just to point out that the brake is next to useless for the first couple of goes & it takes about 20 - 30 proper stops to bring it to near where it was.

Old Brake Disc

New Brake Disc

14th July 2010

I had a strange event the other week, so I thought I 'blog' it.

I was on my way to B&Q. I'd not long left home, about 4 minutes when, I felt a bump to my right heel. I looked down and the kick start lever was missing. I travelled back about 200yds to find it laying in the road. I picked it up & put it in the top box. When I returned home I tried to push it back on. My efforts were in vain, I had to remove the bolt that secures it to get it back over the spindle. I just can't work out how it came off if it wont go back on .. very strange?

23rd August 2010

I have painted my forks. This was prompted by a photo taken & uploaded to the Huoniao-Owners forum . > Link Here < . They were quite scabby & really did need sorting out. I decided on black to be the same as the rest of the bike. Using the same method as 'Johnnyboy', wire wheel on a bench grinder, I set about cleaning them up. After about 45 minutes they were in a paintable condition. I popped on some primer & then the black top coat. Due to work I had to leave them off for a couple of days. Yesterday I popped them back in & they now look new.

Corroded Fork          Corroded Fork

Painted Forks

Forks Re-fitted to HN125-8

28th August 2010

My horn hasn't worked for some time & looking at it, better days it has seen. I popped over to my local eBay shop and searched for a replacement. I stumbled across a nice ( proper ) chrome unit for £6, which I ordered. A couple of days passed & it arrived. It's a little smaller than the original, but does have 116db stamped on it. & it is louder than the original . I was taking the old one off when I noticed that one of the wires wasn't attached to the terminal . Never mind.  I fitted the new one & put on a new terminal & all is well & working again.

Original Horn

New Horn

Old Horn & New Horn

5th September 2010

Finally I have had the opportunity to investigate my persistent, intermittent oil leak. It has been better since I fitted the 16 tooth front sprocket, but of late, it has begun again on a larger scale, I believe. It has been troublesome for around 2 years, leaking lots or hardly any, quite an odd phenomenon. After a careful read of my Haynes manual I found a diagram of the oil system.

Engine Lubrication Circuit

This shows that only 1 oil gallery passes to the left side of the engine, all of the others are contained on the right. My leak is on the left, so this must be feeding it. Time to take the casings off to see if I can locate the exit point. I'd already established on a previous attempt, that the leak was near, or from the starter motor area. Once I'd removed the casings I inspected the gasket. This was all intact, in good order and reusable. I performed a clean up operation. I was bad, oily road grime, ek. Once cleaned inspection could begin. I searched, looking for a crack or split or anywhere that the oil could pass. It all looked in good order, and now cleaned, no trace of where the oil had come from .

Cross referencing the diagram with the disassembled engine I noticed that there was a 'core plug' in the casing, right on the top of the oil gallery, which would normally sit directly under the starter motor. This could be the only place that the oil could escape. It was at a bit of an angle. Probably pressed in badly at manufacture. I didn't fancy interfering with it, so a permanent seal was required. Off to my local car accessory shop. After some deliberation & assistance from the good chap there, we'd decided on 'Chemical Metal' as the most suitable seal.

Plastic Padding - Chemical Metal

I got this home and mixed a little up. Spread it on and in 10 minutes........ sealed. Put all the casings back and so far so good. Not a seep at all from it. Fingers crossed I not be losing oil any more .

Position Of Casing Core Plug

 Chemical Metal Covering Core Plug

13th September 2010

While on the Huoniao-Owners Forum 'Bushman' has told of his push bike speedo. This seems like a good idea as the factory fitted speedo waves about a bit which makes it hard to read. Off to eBay to have a search. I came across this unit which was delivered for £7. It reads up to 150 MPH/KPH , whichever it is set to. A bargain !!

It arrived promptly. I read through the instructions & set it up.

Bike Speedo

Now I only have one issue with it. This is that the sensor is designed to fit on the left fork & the cable isn't long enough to put the unit where I wanted it on the right. So I fitted the unit on the left, kind of under the rev counter.

Speedo Fitted In Position

The magnet that comes with the kit is mounted in a plastic frame to enable attachment to spokes. This is not ideal, so back to eBay where I ordered 10 (minimum quantity) small high performance magnets which were £2.50 delivered. I used the chemical metal I'd bought to seal my oil leak to secure it to the wheel hub. Ten minutes to set & the job was done. Now I'll have an accurate measure of speed.

Sensor & Wire Feed

During October I found a fuel leak. A thorough check lead me to the tank outlet. The weld where the outlet is attached to the tank was leaking. Not an easy repair. I decided to use 'Chemical Metal' again to seal this up. After several attempts there was still a leak.

Tank Leaking At Outlet

I ordered a new tank. I chose the latest type because I think that the styling is more suited to this bike. On 3rd November I fitted the new tank.

New Tank Fitted

Now repaired, I made my planned journey to London on 4th November. As expected I had a incident free journey other than the usual problems that motorway journeys have on a bike of this size. The lack of power a the top end is overcome by planning manoeuvres early and overtaking where there is a downhill stretch. The day as a whole was a success & mission accomplished. I stopped off at my Dads in Harlow on the way back making the total mileage for the day around 200Miles. I left Harlow about 4pm the following day to return home. After a short fuel stop I was on my way. About 25Miles from home I heard a familiar jingling sound. A shared exhaust stud, nothing can be done in the dark, just continue home and look at it later. On arrival home I put the bike in the garage to look at it in the morning when I found this.

Broken Cylinder Head

Broken Cylinder Head

A major setback as the MOT is due. This is partly my fault as I haven't replaced the bent right exhaust. It was hit on the motorway by something black that came over the barrier back in the summer 2009.  I was in luck, 'dnmouse' on the Huoniao-Owners Forum had a used head which he kindly gave to me. I found it impossible to get any seal with my right exhaust on this good head so I ground down a can top to fit in the port, exhaust sealed it in & then fitted the exhaust to hold it down, which works quite well.

2 HN125-8 Cylinder Heads

I took MY HN125 to have it's pre-MOT where they suggested that to pass I'd need a new rear tyre.

New Michelin Tyre

After having this fitted I took it in for it's MOT where it passed with flying colours.






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