Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Was Not The One I Wanted.....

The Honda 400 Automatic wasn't the one I wanted.

This weekend I finally got around to getting garage contents shifted around so that I could get a bike into the shop and up on the lift.  Both the Ascot and TW200 need some front end work, the new seals arrived weeks ago so one (hopefully soon both) of them were my targets but when 13 bikes are cozying in next to each other in the space of 23', it's nigh impossible to pull any one of them, even small ones out from the middle of the stack.

The 400A was on the end of the line and the reason that it had been put on the end had been absolutely forgotten by me, that is at least until I went to grab it and pull it free from it's Sardine-pack at Position #1.  Last year I'd rebuilt the front caliper and all summer the bike worked like a champ, at least the front end did.  When I went to move bikes around in the garage last fall to put them in their seasonal resting place, the front end caliper was locked tight.  I don't mean dragging.  I mean solid-I'm-not-going-to-roll tight.  I didn't have time, certainly wasn't in the mood to redo something that should have been done right the first time around.  So I literally I had to drag it out and even though I wanted one of the other machines that roll as designed, I decided to bite the bullet and get the old Honda dealt with....it's too much fun to leave stuck and unused until '18.

You can see the piston and the rubber seal just above it in my S.S. mixing bowl.  I must have contaminated the system somehow because that rubber seal is so large in diameter that when it nests and is constrained by the caliper assembly, it's squeezing so tight onto the piston that the piston won't release.

Parts are ordered.

As long as I had the bike on the lift, a few other things were taken care of.  The parking brake is working again.  You might not need one on this bike if you're in the flatlands but that just won't do in our neighborhood.  There's no gear transmission reduction to hold the machine in place so unless there's a big curb or rock nearby, parking (and walking away) is a challenge, a trait shared with the Twist-n-Go scooters.  That's fixed now.

The bike ran so well last summer once warmed up but I had way too much trouble getting it started when cold.  So the carb bank had to come off and there must be about 99% of the room required available to do so.  I've done this before so I know where that 1% hides.  Sure, it may look spacious but trust me, this will go much easier for anyone the 4th or 5th time and I should know.

Upon careful and thoughtful examination, I found my problem.  See this little curl on the end of the spring just above and to the right of my very worn cross head screwdriver? That keeper on the spring needs to be hooked on the tab and it was not.  In other words, pulling on the choke cable would activate one side but not the other.  Pushing the choke cable would positively open both sides, just not close them together.  I never saw or appreciated that fact last year when I had everything apart.

Once the brake parts arrive, this one will be buttoned up and rolled out into the newly opened up free space.  Yes, I could clean and polish but that just ain't going to happen.  When there's a bit more breathing room between machines, I'll hopefully be able to pick and choose my next target for the lift at will.


  1. ... it's a endless cycle... get it.. cycle..motorcycle.. YES! yet once again I slay myself... :)

  2. And that is why the universe dares not entrust a stable full of motorbikes to my care :)