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Home Repair And RestorationCB500X Major Service

Why And How

By Ren Withnell

Regular readers will know my CB500X is coming up for its 16,000 mile major service. They'll also know I've been in a conundrum about whether or not to do it myself (Rochdale Honda - Thanks). 

I'm doing it myself. I'm not doing it the usual way though. Typically I should lock myself in the garage for the day with my tools and an endless supply of tea. However, I don't have a proper garage, I do have tools but I don't have anyone to bring me an endless supply of tea. Poor poor Ren, everybody say "awwwwwwwwww".

A garage filled with tools, shelves and equipment and Sharon holding a tyre
Unlike Latchy's Garage and glamorous assistant I have just a scruffy shed.

No, due to my sad circumstances I am going to do the job slowly over a period of a few weeks. I have a trip to Wales coming up soon and I DO NOT want to get deep into the engine to change the plugs and set the shims with the trip looming over my head. I'll change the oil so it's fresh for the trip and work my way through everything else as time allows. 

The main thing I don't want to do is rush. Rushing is the very reason I'm loathe to pay for an overworked mechanic who's constantly under pressure to do more. I intend (best laid plans of mice and men) to do each task when time permits me to do it slowly and carefully. Experience tells me it will take me a lot of self control but experience also tells me this is the best way for myself. Some work well under pressure, me, I just collapse.

Ren pulls a funny face and looks silly
Expert - Ex as in has been, spurt as in a drip under pressure.

So lets see how all this pans out...

What's your spannering story? If you'd like to share it with the Bikes And Travels readers drop Ren a line - ren@bikesandtravels.com

Why And How Ren is explaining (or justifying) why and how he's going to (attempt) to service the 500X himself. I see trouble ahead.
What Parts Do I Need Fearful for his wallet Ren takes the plunge and purchases genuine Honda parts from a genuine Honda shop. Brave fool
Change The Oil And Filter It's the first and probably one of the most important jobs of the service. Luckily it's quite simple too - change the oil and filter.
Change The Air Filter (Cleaner) Ren's changed the air filter this time, or as Honda like to call it - the air cleaner. Luckily this one's not rocket science either.
Tappets, Shims And Plugs It's the big job, the tough task, the one Ren's been dreading. It's time to take the top off the CB500X and do the tappets and plugs. Wish him luck, he'll need it.
The Other Service Items Just like painting a room it's the fiddly little tasks that are often neglected. In the interest of being thorough (for once) Ren goes through the oft forgotten service items on the CB500X
Home Repair And RestorationCB500X Major Service Random Link

Reader's Comments

Bob said :-
Prioritise - as you are doing.
If I have a trip coming up I make sure I don't take on a job I can't finish in one session. So, oil and filter is easy and the most important.
Shims, well this can take a while. If you have a second bike you can start in on a Friday evening, then you've got Saturday to get down to the dealers and pick up the new shims that you may need.
Suspension, do the fork oil in one session, rear linkages in another.
That's how I work, a full service might actually take place over 3 consecutive weekends, with the bike in service during the intervening time.
That said, my new KLX250 needed shims and a camchain and whilst I am well capable of doing it myself on this occasion I simply couldn't be arsed and booked it in! Everything else I'll do myself.
06/09/2017 07:31:39 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Bob. You'll see in forthcoming posts what I've done so far.

Actually for the service the suspension is "inspection". There's nothing specific regarding changing the fork oil or stripping the bearings. BUT - I think on a cold wet winter's day stripping and re-greasing the rear linkage would be a worthwhile input of energy. If I was really smart I'd fit grease nipples too but I'm not. Ooooh, wonder if I can find them bolts with grease nipples on them in the right sizes?

"New" KLX250? By new I'm guessing new to yourself as opposed to brand new? Is it the same motor as Sharon's Z250SL? We'll need to check the shims in hers next year sometime and any information you have would be useful.
06/09/2017 09:54:46 UTC
Bob said :-
I don't think the engine is the same, the KLX250 lump has been around a while and they deleted the model for Euro4. Mine's a 2010.
With the rear suspension linkages it's more about stopping the bolts seizing in place that actually greasing the bearings themselves. Nobody ever bothers to do it and when some time down the line the bearings finally fail you find that the you can't get the bolts out.
On the Honda Vigor I developed a technique which involved a MIG welder and 1mm angle grinder disc and I could chop out the two bolts that always seize in a couple of hours.

06/09/2017 12:56:39 UTC
Ted said :-
Ren, you are a brave man indeed for tacking a job like this on the CB500X.

Mine was purchased with a mere 379 miles on the clock and has been in to my trusted local bike shop.
Allegedly Mr.Honda wants up to £600.00 for this 1st service?

J.B Bikes (Joe Barnes) in Wisbech was looking at about £150.00
"unless there are problems".
The amount of work involved was not done in a day, although I had the bike on the door step at 09.00 on the Tuesday.
4pm I get the call to let me know it will NOT be ready.....
I had spent most of my day at a friends in Wisbech drinking her tea and generally making a nuisance of myself...THEN of course, I have to ask if she will drive me home.
Yeh I know, stronging or wot!

Anyway, they are 1/2 day closing Wednesday so I wasn't holding my breath.
I get another call at 12.55 Wednesday....Am I in Wisbech, did I want to pick it up in the next five minutes, we have just finished Urgh....I am six miles away and my Tardis is off the road also.

OK, Thursday AM....

The bill, £202.08....what was the 8 pence was for ?
So I don't reckon they are looking forward to the next time I take it in;-)

So now I am looking at a BUS RIDE into town on Thursday morning
(God I hate sharing my space with people on buses.....maybe I should have been a bus driver....got a seat to myself ?)

Fortunately we had finished working on my mate Tom tractor mower so he was happy to offer me a lift to pick the bike up.

Then I get a text from my little tea sharing friend in Wis.....she is coming over my way to a boot sale Thursday AM, would I like I lift back when she is going back home around mid day...
Yippee, 2 offers....to hell with the bus !

I am checking my emails early Thursday before going out and BINGO, another local friend, she is always busy hurtling from one place to another.....has a life planned better than a military campaign.

When she is back from Pilates, any time after 12.30, I would I like a lift to the bike shop.

A bit like buses....nothing for ages, then 3 come along all at once.

Sooo, would *I* tackle the re shiming service.....NOPE.

I'll leave it to those "drips under pressure" ;-)

Give me some bits of metal and a big hammer, make a few screen brackets etc, but I just wasn't going to be that happy pulling apart a brand new bike and THEN having to get to the shop :-(

Very interesting article.


20/10/2017 18:57:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
This wasn't a task I took on lightly Ted. The actual work inside the engine is quite easy compared to some motorcycles. It's the act of getting to the shims that is the time consuming and fiddly pain.

My local shops have quoted me £400, "Erm, maybe £350, maybe more" and £500. I think you're 208.08 is more than far, considering I've spent £100 on parts alone (your guy will get them trade).

It sounds to me like you've got yourself a good circle of friends, I'm glad to hear that. I don't mind buses though. I don't use them often so when I do it's a novelty for me. It makes a satisfying change not to worry about traffic laws, crazy drivers and greasy roads.
22/10/2017 05:25:58 UTC

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