After months of work, Russ finally gets his Ninja 600cc working!
Hunter, Russ, and I celebrate with an 85-mile day trip during the three day weekend around Mount Diablo, through the legendary Morgan Territory.
Ridden over: Oakland, Canyon, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Morgan Territory, Danville, San Ramon, and home!
Russ and I changed our motorcycle’s oil and oil filters today. This was the first time I’ve ever changed oil in a vehicle — I guess it sort of was a life goal I figured I’d never get around to — part of understanding cars/bikes more! So it was a nice way to kick off the start of our 3-day holiday weekend.
The actual work on my bike was quite simple:
- 1 ratchet-able bolt as the drain plug to release most of the used oil into oil drip pan
- 1 ratchet-able bolt underneath to release the bike’s oil pan and oil filter section
Russ helped figure out those bolts which I could confirm with a shop manual PDF. Harder was sorting out what oil and filter to get/use and getting them. I went with:
- Valvoline SAE 10W-40 Motorcycle oil (for 4-strokes; non-synthetic; ideal for wet clutches) (AutoZone/Walmart)
- K&N KN-111 oil filter (local motorcycle shop)
Putting everything back couldn’t be easier — slipped on new filter to bolt/cover, ratchet-ed the two bolts back in, and poured in ~3 quarts of oil. I was happy parts were all in good shape and aside from some relatively dirty oil, no badness or surprises for my 35 year old bike. Phew!
my first oil change
removing bottom bolt and filter
garage work overview
Here’s a short video mid-way through a 50-mile day of canyons and twisties. Fun!
The “idiot lights” are working (still have to get the dang neutral light to turn off when in gear, but otherwise good 8-p)
and now you can hear my little kitty purr
Everything is working again with my greatly streamlined instrument cluster is in place! (Well my LED “idiot light” for “neutral” is always on now so one last adjustment/fix sometime soon!)
Whups, my new speedo’s turn indicator LED was only going on when left signal was running.
Thankfully, found this post on hondatwins that mentioned the orange and light blue bike lines were actually active lines for when left or right turn signal was on — not that they were positive and negative general lines. It also mentioned a (cheap/simple, yay!) fix to use two 3-amp diodes and tie them in together. A quick putt-putt to Radioshack and $2 later…
I focus mainly on that in this image, but also some other related notes.
annotated picture of wiring behind headlight
I also have my new speedo’s neutral LED light now turning on when bike is on (but not running) — will see tomorrow if it *also* properly goes *off* when shift up when bike is running.
OK, so I sorted out all my re-wiring and was able to replace my stock honda huge instrument cluster with a much smaller and streamlined single mini-speedometer with four instrument lights combined in it.
I used a CB400A wiring clymer manual image that I found online to sort out which wires connect where. I also cleared up quite a few wire clusters that no longer needed to leave the headlight wire storage area and made space for the new connections.
VERY satisfying! Can’t wait to fire her up tomorrow and hopefully the speedo/odometer work properly and track accurately. The indicator lights I could test (blinkers, hi-beam, as well as instrument backlight) work. Will see if my neutral light works tomorrow too (and hopefully will not see the “oil pressure” light come on ever )
Going with Dime City Cycles nice mini speedometer
mini speedo at Dime City Cycles
I’ll get my hands dirteh and post progress and/or pics as soon as it comes in!
Today I did much more than I thought I would — I pulled out and disconnected all instruments and relocated the ignition/key switch.
The plan is to combine the current speedometer/odometer with four of the seven indicator lights (neutral, high beam indicator, oil warning light, turn signal indicator) into a smaller chrome combined unit, and just plain omit the other three lights (parking brake, 1st gear, 2nd gear).
Now that I’ve done more than I had planned (“oh, maybe just two bolts today to see if I can figure out more what I’m up against…”) it is time to order parts!
Today Hunter helped me inspect, test-drive, buy, and drive 100+ miles home from a mom-n-pop custom bike modifier in California’s central valley.
We avoided the 5 and all freeways and started out with about an hour of “country roads” and farm roads that were mostly straight and flat. Next we nearly ran out of gas but recovered thanks to the “reserve switch” to fillup in Tracy. Finally, we started the fun curvy and up-and-down stuff through the northwest backside of Mt. Diablo and had a late lunch in Clayton. We wrapped it up through Moraga, and then our favorite twisty mountain pass up Pinehurst to Skyline Blvd and home
What an wild day!
I’ve named her “decaf” since she’s an automatic (with just “lo” and “hi” gears, no clutch) *and* a cafe racer style modified bike. I’m really pleased she did so well on the first ambitious ride all the way home.
Here’s some bike porn / pix!