Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

Home Repair And RestorationThe Battle Of The Exhaust... - By Ren Withnell

Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 1

Never...NEVER...NEVER EVER...think that any job on a motorcycle will be easy. Don't ever think it'll just take 10 minutes. That lump of metal in the back yard is a huge money pit, time eater and consumer of your existence. That item that is the apple of your eye, the love of your life and the best fun you can have with your clothes on, will all too easily become a source of hatred, spite, bitterness and furious anger. That bike. That effing bike.The stupid pointless costly nasty waste of space. My bike.

The CLR 125 now has 28,000 maybe 29,000 miles on it now. The exhaust header is wonderful, beautiful gorgeous stainless steel. The silencer is crappy awful mild steel. It's also a very odd shape, molded and welded to fit around the airbox and the frame. It's not a cylinder with a hole at each end, it's pressed and shaped into various nooks and crannies. I've seen it rusting more and more and this winter it finally blew a hole. A bodge using exhaust tape, part of a computer case and several jubilee clips solved the problem temporarily. Yesterday the bodge and a bit more gave way.

I decided that it would make sense to remove the silencer, clean it up and get a nice solid patch welded on. So I removed the heat shield. Of course 2 of the bolts came out stiffly but successfully, the third one required the application of an angle grinder. No problem, it was easy to reach and the remains of the bolt came out without too much fighting.

Next the clamp. Of course that was rusted solid. After soaking with WD40 and a bit of heat from the blowlamp, it came off. Not that it came loose and was removed like it shows in the manual, it snapped off. No problem, I can buy a u clamp or jubilee clip to fix that up.

In the world of normal people, the silencer should now slip off the end of the stainless header pipe. Nope. In the world of Honda the strangely shaped silencer butts up to the frame long before it's due to slide gracefully off the header. It seems the header needs to be removed. No problem, 10mm spanner in hand I apply just a little pressure to the header bolts. SNAP.

8 years of water, salt, heat and mild steel causes rust. I'm guessing, but judging by the fact I put very little pressure on the spanner, the exhaust header studs must have been 50% rusted through already. Urgh. Problem. I guess I'll have to apply my stud remover. The stud remover only has 5mm of stud to grip to and all that happens is the stud chews up. Problem. I'll have to drill it out. I use the angle grinder to remove the last chewed remains of the stud and set up the drill with a nice new hss bit of about the right size. I can't drill it, the frame is in the way. Problem.

So I'll have to remove the head. I fight with the carburettor for a while to get it out of the way, remove the rocker cover, camchain, camshaft, engine mounts and some hidden allen bolts too. Each and every item is rusted, stiff, awkwardly placed and inaccessible. Finally the cylinder head comes loose...wahoo! I peaked too soon. The cylinder head bolts are fitted to the crankcases, which prevents the cylinder head from being removed as the frame is in the way.

Damn. Damn damn. Damn and blast it all. The motor has to be removed to gain access to the cylinder head. I left the bike at that point. I'm trying to decide whether to buy an new 125, buy a brand new 125, don't get another 125 and use the 600, fix this one and get a new one too and the final and most sensible option, give up riding bikes altogether.


Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 1
Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 2
Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 3
Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 4
Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 5
Battle Of The Exhaust - Day 6 - Success!
CLR 125 Exhaust Converted - At LAST!

Reader's Comments

Danny said :-
Exhaust bolts are the worst. Why oh why oh why do makers not fit stainless? Completely sucks. It not like they don't know this happens.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC

Post Your Comment Posts/Links Rules



Add a RELEVANT link (not required)

Upload an image (not required)

No uploaded image
Real Person Number
Please enter the above number below

Home Repair And RestorationThe Battle Of The Exhaust... - By Ren Withnell

Admin -- -- Service Records Ren's Nerding Blog