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2005 CBR125R RS5 - A project!

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I found a 2005 CBR 125R RS5 for sale quite near by for £810. It looked a bit cooler than other bikes in the budget, and after a quick HPI it came up as a CAT C in 2006! So I told the owner the bad news, beat him down on price, and we agreed on £650 with a full tank of fuel and new tyres.

I drove it home, broke the gear selector being ham footed, had to limp on a bit in 1st gear, then pull over and ask a nice man called Dave for an allan key so I could re-fit it (a bit tighter this time..)

It was otherwise a nice (if not slightly nervy) 30+ mile ride home avoiding motorways trying to get used to the bike, the weather, and the fact the clocks were almost bouncing out of the cockpit on any bump or jolt.



Made it back, parked it up, and have since been starting to pull it to bits where needed, and will update you with progress as I go.

Plan is to service it, find any broken bits, fix/replace them, clean it up, upgrade a few bits to make it look smart, and then ride the thing a lot :D

Edited by malt_vinegar
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Pics as it was when I got it in the garage and started to pull the front to bits.








So, it looks pretty dirty, which is fair easy to sort, with a bit of elbow grease. Will slowly work my way around each part as I find it, and clean what I can.



Panels off, and there are a few missing tabs and cracks I will have to deal with somehow.


The offending wobbling clocks - There is a plastic push tab missing, its a meant to be a push pin in the rubber receiving hole on the frame. It looks like someone else has been in here before, plastic weld to the housing for the speedo, and the tab itself would suggest the accident in 2005 would likely be a front ender of some sort. The other mounts have seen better days, as some of the ring of plastic that should hold in the rubber mounts is a bit worse for wear. I suspect the wobbling has put them under quite a bit of strain, so I may do some work in this area, depending on how the push tab replacement goes.

The lights in the unit are all rubber mounted, push fit T10 type. So I shall LED these asap to get the clocks a bit brighter and using a bit less power.


These were mostly held in with tape, as such are covered in tape residue, along with the clocks and windscreen.




Closer look at the panels and lights. The lights have a couple of missing tabs, but they were rock solid when riding, so I think I can get away with just giving them some new bulbs and a tidy up. I have a T10 LED bulb on order, and a couple of BA20D options for the headlights in my parts drawers. Will have a play when it's back together to work what is best.





General "look how dirty it is" photos. Anyone know a nice easy way to clean the rad? I was going to spray it with a degreaser, or mild cleaning fluid, and go at it with a toothbrush? Bad idea?

I will see what I can do with the exhaust manifold/downpipe. I have painted them before on a Chinese bike, then wrapped them. I think I may try something similar here with that experience seemingly working ok, at least in the short term. However, polishing may work better and will possibly look nicer too.


A very dirty lower panel!




Engine and drive-train look in reasonable nick, apart from the chain! Sprockets are supposedly new, so I think I will just what a new chain on rather thank try to clean up the old one. However, it may just be a bit neglected. It is certainly too loose at the moment. Will play it by ear.







Indicators are all ok, apart from one dodgy rear, with the usual tape "fix". I will see if It can be made to look a bit nicer in the short term, but I suspect moving to LED will be both cheaper, easier, and perhaps help a little bit with weight and power usage.


A dirty front wheel! Brakes look in good nick at first glance, not checked the pads but they seemed to be working fine on the ride home.

More work to do stripping it, and I have all the service parts here next. So I think I will pull the tank and have a go at cleaning up the insides a bit whilst I am doing the air-filter/oil/sparkplug.

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what a really nice looking drive chain, snip it with the bolt cutters and put it quietly in the bin :lol:

It cleaned up ok, at least cosmetically, but due to be replaced later!

Ok, so I needed to sort the wobbly clocks!


This is where the tab from the back of the clocks should fit into the frame. I found a nice looking bolt that fits well enough.I plan to shrink wrap the bolt once its built up again, so it is tighter, but it will help with the location planning at the moment as its not quite fully tight.


The plan is something like this - Sand the nub back a bit to make it flat, then make a hole big enough to wedge the bolt in there, and finally epoxy it into place.


Drilling some holes.. The backside of this hole is only a cross of plastic, so could not make a nice deep hole and fill with epoxy easily. In the end I gave up with the drill, and just got the soldering iron hot, and melted my way through! (I removed the main clocks at this point to avoid accidental melting!)


Clocks removed!


Made my repository, and wedged the bolt in, and it fitted snugly enough.


In with Epoxy and starting to dry. I tested the location at this point, and was happy, so forged on.


A bit more epoxy, and added a nice stainless washer. mainly so that I can add an o-ring plus a couple of washers to the assembly later if I want to adjust the clock's angle.


Left to dry for a few hours, then test fitted! Sorted :D No more wobbly clocks! I can even add a nut if I fancy securing it further, but I think the bolt shrink-wrapped in black will do the job nicely.

Edited by malt_vinegar
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Put a T10 LED into the Rev counter to compare. I think I prefer the whiter light, will get them all changed over shortly, excluding the Main Beam, and Indicator lights, as they are coloured, and bright enough already :)


I think some more cleaning tonight, along with the service. Then that chain is crying out for attention!

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Right.. Lots more work done.

I have been using some stuff called "Whitemorph" to try and rebuild the fairings where they are broken. It looks like this:


It melts to look like this in hot water.


it can then be moulded by hand, and it sets slowly over about 10 minutes as it cools.

It sets as a hard non brittle plastic, and looks like it will survive pretty well as fairing material. It can also be painted, I am told. So once it is proven to hold, i will be giving the repaired parts a quick coat of paint where required.

I had a number of broken bits to tackle, here is process:


There are the side fairings that go between the top and bottom fairing sections. They are held in by the bolts at the top and bottom, but also are offered up with push tabs.

Only one of them is left, as you can see. So i melted up some whitemorph, and applied it to the leftover base panel


It starts out almost totally clear in hot water, and starts to cloud over slightly like above as it cools. I work hard when its hot to get it as tight and fully squished into all air gaps to ensure a decent grip.


Just a bit of shaping by hand to get it as close as possible to the original fitting whilst its cooling.


Once set, prize it out of the mount, and test that it fits the hole it needs to hit. You can see how well it moulds to the plastics here



These are nicely fitting in, and a little shaping with a file to round them off a bit to make them fit just right..


Both bits done and glued, and the panel is ready to refit.



I did a few panels with similar methods. Some needed shaping again after setting, but most were pretty much straight forward.



I then added in some whitemorph to fill some gaps in a fairing edge to see how well it does this job. I also managed to morph it behind some cracks on seams/corners on the insides of the panels to stop them cracking further, and falling to bits.


You can see how closely i can get to the original shapes with this stuff in that photo.



That last part was the largest part I made with whitemorph. A tab for the bottom fairings to join the mid parts was totally missing, and now it's rock solid!



Another totally missing tab that I rebuilt, worked perfectly again!

I then decided to change up a bit, and do some work on the HORRIBLE looking chain:


Looking MUCH better after some elbow grease, and wire brushing.



Starting to look a bit cleaner, and much less rattly than it was before :D

I also ordered a fairing bolt kit, as this one seems to be made up of just about every different bolt type know to mankind. Should neaten up the overall look a bit, and make maintenance a little easier going forward.

Plug and air filter are done, not dropped the oil yet, might get that done tonight hopefully. I even found a loose allen key and screwdriver under the seat!


They might account for some of the extra rattles!

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The bike is riding a lot more nicely now. Had a few blasts on it today after work and it feels a lot more solid.

I was only really out to get the oil warm for an oil change, but actually came back, sat down for a minute or two (Mrs and kids were out on a playdate) and got up and went out again :D

Oil change is now done, and there are a few more bits to clean (rear wheel, rear arch to start) but I will be taking it on a longer ride tomorrow to go play hockey and come back later on. I will be able to give it a run down some a-roads and blow out any cobwebs on the way hopefully.

I have found a slight fuel leak from the carb bowl drain screw once the bike is stopped. I tried all of my o-ring supplies, but none were a suitable replacement, so I wedged in a bit of rtv sealant around the screw head for now. I have managed to find the specific 1.3mm x 4.3mm o-ring and ordered it on from Germany for later this month.

I have also ordered a bit of carbon wrap to cover some of the black plastic panels on the middle of the bike. They are scratched up and part of the larger rear seat panel, so I didn't really want to paint them. This seems like the best option for now. I will need some HRC stickers to replace the ones that will be removed/covered to keep it looking mostly stock.

I had a go at fixing the broken indicator, but have found it to be a bit too hard to fix satisfactorily. As such I have ordered in some LED indicators. I do have some spare LED flasher relays somewhere, so should be able to make the change fairly easily.

I also decided that I was not comfortable running that chain for much longer and decided to order in the full chain and sprocket sets to give me peace of mind going forward.

Lastly, I am keen to look at the exhaust. The end can looks great and is in very clean condition, but the manifold back still looks a bit corroded and untidy. I will likely remove it and look to give it a coat of VHT exhaust paint once the garage warms up a bit.

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These arrived over the weekend :)


LED indicators, much smaller and neater than the originals. Some new sprockets and a chain. Gives me a few more bits to get started on.


The chain is a little better looking than the dead old one.


Fitting them is easy enough, and they are a lot smaller, and neater, and look a little more modern.

So, I decided to get on with getting the indicators working. However, as you will all probably know. Adding LED indicators is never quite as simple as it should be. I wanted to maintain my idiot lights on the dashboard, and simply adding the LEDs into the loom make them either flash too fast, not at all, or they all flash when only one side should. You can counter this with an LED specific Indicator relay in most cases but not here :D

It seems that on this bike, the idiot light for indicators in the dashboard are a bit off. They share a bulb for both sides, and as such, the Positive / Negative flip according to which side you use according to my testing. Not a problem on an incandescent bulb, but having that in the circuit with the LED indicators with an LED indicator relay swapped in seemed to stop them flashing altogether, and they just ALL lit very dimly when I hit the switch, and the idiot light was not lit at all.

Then I had an idea... The bulb was T10 size, and I happened to have some LED T5 bulbs. I figured I could use them in the original housing. If i joined the negatives together, and used the existing positives with a shared earth which I would have to add to the loom.

Its easier to explain in the picture:


Here you can see the two "positives" pulled from the rubber holder in the background, and the two T5 bulbs blob soldered together on their negative contacts. Now, when i indicate right, and apply an earth cable to the blob, the right LED flashes, and then if I press the left indicator, the left one does! Voila!

Now to make them fit into the original housing:


This rubber housing now needs three holes to include the new earth wire. So i heated up a small screwdriver with a mini blowtorch, and poked it through the middle. I had tried using a small drill bit, but the rubber does not drill nicely, and just closes up when the bit was removed. This however, made a nice wider hole.

I tidied up the soldering a bit just after this was done, as I had actually blobbed it all together for testing on the bike initially. Its a little neater, and narrower, with wider gaps between the wire ends to make it safer before I installed it.


Now we have something like this! Connected up the the bike, and it worked fine.


Installed back into the dash, and it works great! I also kept the factory wire colours to help keep it as easy to figure out what I have done if anyone else ever gets back here to find it.

Now I have flashing indicators, and a much neater look!

I have to admit, I had a bit of a schoolboy error at one point.. I kept finding the flash rate of the bulbs getting slower and slower, and each time I adjusted the screw in the LED flasher, it worked for a few seconds then got slower and slower again till it stopped... Turns out the battery of the bike was running low... I had forgotten to hook it up the tender, and ASSUMED I had a knackered LED flasher unit, bad earth or something else... Suddenly it all made sense, as the voltage dips, the flash rate lowered. DOH!

Changing tack a bit, I decided to have a go with some carbon "look" wrap I had found cheaply online, mainly because I had a new heatgun a few weeks ago, and little cause to actually use it.


Here I am starting my journey on a bit of the black plastics on the rear panels. I left the sticker for HRC underneath as a fall back incase I had to remove it all and start again, but actually quite likes the look of it once I started, so went with it. I may re-add the stickers over the top later if it proves to stand up the punishment of that spot.


And, a few heat gun applications, some relief cutting, and a bit of stretching and folding later, I had this! I was quite pleased with this, and only had a couple of issues to deal with:

1 - The cutting of the edge along the painted panel was nerve-wracking, as I was using a craft knife to try and get into the edge.

2 - The fairing bolt hole needed quite a bit of relief cutting, and was not as tidy as I would like - However, its hidden under a bolt :D




Loosely back on the bike.

I think I can do a better job next time having done this, and I also had a go with an offcut (so it was a bit dirty on the backside causing some imperfections) on a small trim part to see how I might go about doing more complicated parts, where using more than 1 bit of the wrap would be more practical..


I think this will work ok, and I will upwrap, and re-wrap this part later when I have more time and patience to see how it will work in these areas!

next up is to tidy up my new wiring a bit, shorten the cables, and make it look as stock as possible, then I want to see about adding a couple of things to the dash. Mainly a clock of some sort, and hopefully a gear indicator also! I think it makes sense to try these things whilst the bike is back in bits at the front again. I also want my fairing bolt kit to turn up from China so I can get rid of all these mis-matched bolts!

Up to date now, more updates to follow soon :)

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Wiring is all tidied up at the front, now to the rear!


Ahh, someone has been in here before too.... I shall snip down and tidy up the rather odd extensions/changes in here to make it look a bit neater...


Fairings back on, and the front now looks like this... A little bit neater I think!


Rear given the same treatment. Had some fun routing the cables down inside the plastics at the rear, but no issues in the end.

Now I can get the wrapped rear panels back in place, and see how it looks...



Pretty happy with that, now toying with the idea of wrapping that grey plastic panel on the front of the tank...

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The bike went for it's MOT, and.... FAILED

It had a binding rear caliper, which I managed to miss somehow.

Still, it was sunny, and I was outside, so I took some pics.



Quite happy with how it looks for the moment, some niggles to sort, but not looking too bad for an old bike!

I also made some downlight DRL for the nose, because I had some spare LED strip, and fancied giving it a go :D


They are not too overly bright, but light up the mudguard at night, and make a visual highlight to help being seen.


Its more of a mock up for now, but I like the idea, and will likely revise this to make it a little more polished. I have them run off the sidelight bulb circuit, so should be on all time.


Someone warned me about these fairing bolts, but I am willing to give them a go, as the fairings were held on with a total hodge-podge of random bolts. I will keep an eye on them though..

At the same time as ordering my new brake caliper seals, I also ordered a brilliant little bike lift!


Here it is, £40 worth, and supposedly good for up to 500kg. It is not meant for lifting a whole bike, but it will tilt it on a front or rear wheel to give access, which is all I need. Its also great because it folds near flat and takes up next to no space when not in use!

I could not recommend it enough if you do not have space for a proper lift! It made the brake job a LOT easier, especially as the bike has no centre stand.


Wheel out, bit mucky in here.


Brake system all out. Very easy to do once the wheel is out. Split pin for brake lever, 1 screw for a cable guide, and 1 bolt for the resevoir.


Pads out, and removed the piston, just by cranking the brake till it popped out, the just pour out the old fluid, and clean up any spills.


Mucky in here! Seals are all crusty and bulging out.


Old Seals, looking a bit worse for wear!


Seals out - and then I gave the recesses a good clean with a jewelers screwdriver. I also took the time to give the caliper as a whole a quick clean up whilst it was out.

Assembly is reversed, and I had to put in a new bleedvalve, as the old one was VERY knackered. Put in new pads too whilst I was there.


All done, bar the bleeding.


Lunched bleed valve, was a right pain to remove, but got there in the end!


Threw on the new chain whilst the wheel was off.


New fairing bolts fitted, and you can see the last bit of carbon covering I put onto the rather faded and scuffed clock/dash trim panels.


Another one.

Whipped it down to the MOT place for the free re-test yesterday, and they looked over the brakes, checked they worked, and handed me an MOT pass :)

Had a good long ride out Sat afternoon, and its feeling like a new bike. Much smoother with the new chain, and the bike just FEELS a lot more solid. Hard to explain, but I really just feels more sorted.

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Did a few more bits:

I was not too happy with the throw, and brightness of the standard lighting setup. I had read that only the left side was meant to work, which upon checking out the bulb types turned out to be BS, due to having dual filaments, and one was burnt out.


So, this was how much light it was throwing with one halogen bulb. Main beam was not much better either!


As a side point, i was also not keen on the colour they were producing...


So, first, I dropped in an LED BA20D replacement, that I knew worked well on my Monkey bike:


Straight away, it was much better!!!


Here it is next to the original main beam bulb from above to show the difference.


Now both changed, and low beam on both sides with LED to match the sidelight LED bulb.

Will have a ride out on it tonight, and see how it is in the real world, but it looks good so far :) I also want to check I am not blinding people!

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Riding about on the bike, the two things I was missing at the moment on the dash were a clock, and a gear indicator.

I searched high and low, and could find nothing other than the standard neutral light only position selector:


That is what it looks like as it is currently on the bike. Note only one wire, and this is only used for the Neutral light..

I had whipped this off before to get a better look at it, and one of the things I noticed on the backside is that there are 6 contacts, but only 1 wire. It seems very odd that Honda would make the base with 6 contacts, and not have an option to have a gear indicator! So i bought a secondhand one to get a better look at how it worked.


You can see what I mean in the above, with the 6 contacts. The smallest one is the Neutral light, the one to its left is first gear, to its right is second gear, and it rotates around anti-clockwise continuing.

I had an idea. I figured that if I can get to the backside of those contacts inside the sealed part of the unit, I might be able to make my own version, with all the contacts working. Which can then be hooked up to an LED display unit, to give me the gear selection i wanted!


Here is where I need to get into..


My early attempts were quite gently, seeing if i could prize, or scratch out the sealant. But it was taking forever to get as far as above, so I took a different route!


As you can see, I found this much easier going! You can see the backsides of the 5 unused contacts, and thy are nicely drilled and ready for solder. I tested the continuity from from one side to the next, and there were no shorts, and all the contacts checked out. Result! Now to make it work..


Haha, a bit of soldering, and its starting to look like this might actually work out.



No warping, no burns, and no breakthroughs, so this should be good to test. I went from lightest colour to darkest, with White as first, and brown as fifth.

I checked continuity of all the connections again, and no issues were found.


It almost looks oem from the contacts end.


Lobbed in some RTV sealant around it all, and smoothed it off a bit.

Done! Checked continuity again once it was dried, and all good. Now I have ordered an LED display (they all seem to go up to 6 gears), so I will have 1 wire not in use, but should be able to get it in the dash neatly enough with a bit of work.

The way the display works is quite simple. It has 1 12v feed, and 7 earths to correspond with Neutral, and the 6 gears (or 5 in my case). If you ground the wire for first, this displays a 1. So, you wire this up white wire, 2nd goes to pink, etc. As the selector moves in the gearbox, it touches each contact, completes the circuit, and displays the required number.

Looking forward to the wiring up on the bike next, it should be here by Sunday i hope!

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Next on the list, was knocking up a cable, and the required connectors.


Salvaging some connectors and separating the pins for re-use.


My boy and I got to work figuring out the wiring..


Soldering (badly!) the new wires back to the salvaged connectors, they has some heatshrink added shortly afterwards.

Repeat a few times:


Now, we have the makings of the loom/wiring extension


Old vs New


Back in place, fits fine.


Connectors, ready to be hidden away, with the original neutral light in place.


Stuck the light into the dash somewhere


Notched out a little hole in the clocks housing, to run the cable through.


Folded around, and wrapped under the housing.


Wrapping up the wiring extension to join the two parts.


Routing the cable through, with a little adhesive catch holder near the headstock.


All fitted up, and WORKING...

Well, mostly.....

I then discovered a little oddity of the position switch. On connecting everything up, the numbers were a bit backward, and third gear would not work at all..

I kept testing what I though was the third gear contact, and it was fine, but would never work! Then i matched up the connector when the gearbox was in third gear, and it was flipped 180 degrees to where I thought it was, and in the space where there was NO selector contact... So, i fired up the bike, put it into 6th gear, and "3" popped up....

Ahh, i figured it out!!

Pic to explain:


Right, so Red was what I assumed it was originally, with 6th gear having no connector, as it was likely a part that came from a 5 speed bike. I assumed the rotation was anti-clockwise as you look at the pic.

However, it turns out the rotation is clockwise... and 3rd gear has NO connector. So when I was flipping 1-2 and 4-5 around, it worked, but showed 6th gear as 3 on the indicator...

So, lesson learned! I will have to take the original part, and modify it, to add a 6th connector where the green 3 should be. At the moment, my plan is to drill a hole from the connector side, put a bolt through from the front, cut it short to length, drill a small hole in the inside, and solder a wire to that.before epoxy and re-silicone as before.

I think that will give me a decent connection, and ALL the gears connected. I also will change the display to a blue one, with a 7 speed display, as the 6 speed one counts 0 (N) and as such, there is no 6th gear indication. This new display is on order already.

However, its progress, and gives me the indication correctly on 1-2 4-5, blank on 3 and shows 6th as 3 :D So it will make sense to me only for the moment, till I get the new part made up!

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