Getting my bikes back running, I hope!

If it's broken or just needs tweaked

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Getting my bikes back running, I hope!

Postby bubbachicken » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:15 pm

Hello everyone, I have been gone a long time :( , but lurk now and then. I am FINALLY getting back on my financial feet after the Tennessee move several years ago. I still have the Honda CB650C, and she actually does not look bad, at least not given her age and recent infrequent maintenance. I had her up and running for a while last year, and then she fell into hibernation again, so I have to redo what I did again to get her up and running. The infamous VRR issue is primarily the problem (when coupled with lack of funds, it becomes a real problem). Now I have work and am making a living, application of some funds should remedy that issue. She runs pretty well when the carbs are clean, but I have to reclean again (sitting up a while, but now I have a new house and am moved in, I have the ability to do the work - hope I never live in an apartment again). Regardless, I need to install another new battery and clean carbs, replace the VRR (again... ugh :roll: ), and somehow the front calipers locked up when I replaced and bled the brake system (master cylinder, plus those cracked (but not leaking) factory original brake lines), replacing everything except the calipers themselves, so there is an issue there to resolve (ideas?). I got a lot of yellow tinted brake fluid out in the bleeding process. I am hoping just some maintenance is really the problem with the brakes. I also have to replace tires again because they are old (front tire was on the bike when I bought her SEVERAL years ago, about the same time as I logged into this forum for the very first time, but though it has lots of tread and still holds air, it is cracked and hard, rear tire is just worn down in the center, probably because as a member here stated, me on that bike is like I am always riding "two up" - I weigh 314 pounds at 6'2"). As I said, ugh.. :roll: With the new tires, I may have to do additional new research to get a harder center stripe on the rear one for more even wear.

Now the even more pressing issue is the Suzuki Intruder 1400 (1995 vintage). A friend passed away and his wife gave me this motorcycle. It has new tire rubber with nibs and until I took replacement it was in his shed in total darkness. I replaced the cracked fuel lines, and replaced the internals for the fuel tank last year, because my late friend ran and stored ethanol fuel in this bike and it positively reeked of sour gas and was leaking it all over the place when I took possession. I am certain I also have to replace the fuel pump because even with the battery I installed last year the pump does not run. It is either shorted or too clogged with ethanol goop, most likely. This bike has a battery that is located off the ground (barely) in an internal trap door compartment that is only accessible from UNDER the bike, which must be lifted to gain access to the trap door and allow the battery to fall enough to disconnect. Of course, you also reconnect it in mid-air from UNDER the bike... Stupid design :roll: . I installed a new battery in the original compartment back then (a ROYAL pain in the posterior and the back, quads, etc..), but somehow managed to melt a terminal while trying to start the bike after my fuel system replacement under and inside the tank. I also saw that he had worn the insulation off one of the battery cables somehow, so am going to have to replace at least one (and likely both, since I am there) of them. His painted on insulation vinyl does not seem to be a great idea, though it appears to be a ground cable. Still, as his battery was horribly disfigured and absent labelling, I could not be sure as I had no useful schematics at the time.

Anyway, I want to relocate the battery to a location OTHER than inside this hole while I am replacing cable(s). Maybe into a trunk I can place behind the seat? A side box instead? Has anyone ever done such a relocation on this or a similar model motorcycle, I would assume? Is the cable entering this battery dungeon to the rider's right side the ground cable? Is there another way to identify the ground cable? Crossing these cables during battery replacement may be how I melted the terminal.

A shaft drive bike of much greater displacement, I think this Intruder is the bike I should be riding more often for work commute and for recreational cruising, with the CB650C remaining my "fun" bike, or maybe I can sell the 650 for some value that I can put into the Intruder or my sailboat? Either way, the bigger bike needs to be running before I part with the smaller one, or give the smaller one to my wife (she occasionally expresses interest, but not consistently). Any ideas about these many issues are most welcome, as are any examples or photos demonstrating the process or results of such an operation. Also, if anyone has any observed outcomes that showed that leaving the battery location as-is would be wiser, I would be interested. I also would like to know if anyone has successfully extended the length or replaced the current battery cables in like bikes with something longer so at least the battery can more easily be serviced, should I leave the battery in that hard to access box. Would such extension/replacement of those cables make it impossible for the new battery to still fit in that box when it is buttoned up for riding? I really would rather an outside placement, though, in my heart of hearts, if such is not a BAD idea. :?

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Re: Getting my bikes back running, I hope!

Postby Volker_P » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:23 am

Welcome back! :D

good to hear things go better for you now and you find time for your CB again.

Be aware that a defective VRR can kill the rotor or vice versa. Multiple failure of charging parts is a hint that probably something else but the failed part is wrong. Possibly something tricky that only appears when hot or so. Or just a poorly insulated wire at some hidden place. I'd say high time for a thorough check of the charging system. And no bad idea to extend this check to the complete electric system on a close to fourty year old bike.

Front brake blocking is often related to the small hole in the master cylinder (see e.g. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2383 and viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13972).

Good idea to have new tyres. Really old tyres may still more or less work in hot summer but certainly will become an issue on colder or even wet roads.

Interesting to hear about the Suzuki battery. Lift a 1400ccm cruiser for battery access sounds weird. Well, after all, it is a Suzuki. :lol:
I probably would leave the battery where it is but lead a strong and well insulated cable (maybe even inside a plastic tube in case of critical edges) to the "+" terminal for charging or jumper cables.
Once you have a reasonable battery and the electrics is fixed this strange battery location should not be a problem any more. Hope the mixed up polarity did not kill or damage too much. But you should check cables and look for color changes at cables and components that could indicate possible overheating. So I'd say it is preferential to verify the present electric system status and get safe terminals (and place really striking "+" and "-" labels on them :wink: ) than considering placing the battery elsewhere now.
Cosky's great (free) online manual:

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