The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Repair And Restoration

Honley 125 Oil Change & Filter Clean

Post Date 5 Jul 2019

By Borsuk

Having read Pocketpete’s report on the servicing of his 500 and Ren's various tales of servicing his bikes I thought I would do the 6000 km service of the Honley. I decided I would start with the oil change, including the filter which I didn't do last time and later on do the valve clearance checks.

So, the oil change. Step one, drain the oil, easy peasy. Step 2, check and clean the oil filter. Right, get the Haynes manual out and see where it is. Hmmm, on the clutch side, inside the clutch area so the clutch cover has to come off. Seems simple, undo about 10 bolts, remove cover. 

Bolts out, cover not moving, look closer, starter motor needs to be loosened as it is bolted through the cover. Okay, get the bolts out, still no movement. Need to remove the kick starter, to remove the kick starter I need to remove foot pegs and side stand. 

To remove foot pegs would be easier if exhaust was out the way, two bolts at the manifold and one at the tail pipe. First bolt out, second bolt snaps off slightly proud of the manifold, ohhh bugger. Get the pipe off, it looks as rusty and scabby as hell, will have a go at that later.  

So finally I get the clutch cover off and get to the filter. After 6400 km there is some sludge covering about 20% of the filter surface so it was actually worth the effort. No sign of clutch material or metal swarf so that's a plus. 

The Honley 125 with the clutch cover off showing the inside of the motor
Close view of the clutch and other engine internals on Borsuk's 125

While I have the various bits off I give them a going over with the wire brush and rust converter. The exhaust is not as bad as it looks, it is mostly burnt Hammerite paint flaking off. The metal itself is quite sound and after treating and repainting with heat resistant paint it looks pretty good. So now we know for definite that Hammerite doesn't work on exhausts, though the non heated parts like the foot peg brackets have now been well slobbered in it.
Now everything is back together apart from the exhaust. I will need to get a few new 3 mm drills and drill out the broken manifold bolt. Hopefully I will manage that without needing to retap the thread or helicoil it.
Still got the valve clearances to check, I wonder what extra bits of the bike will have to be removed to get access to them? Doesn't help that all the pictures in the book show the engine off of the bike.

Now I know why it costs so much for a simple service.

The inside of the engine looks good, castings are sharp and smooth. Other than one bad bolt the body work and important chrome is in good nick, not bad for a Chinese clone.

If you'd like to share you "allegedly" simple motorcycle service task then click here.

Reader's Comments

Rod said :-
You have taken the plunge into owner servicing! It will get easier the more servicing that you do.
07/07/2019 12:08:50 UTC
Bill said :-
Hi Borsuk, if it's the same as Honda then it's a centrifuge and is not part of regular service and only done during strip down or possibly clutch replacement. But nice to know it's clean especially if the bike is not new to you.

07/07/2019 12:20:43 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I think Bill is right, that filter doesn't normally need to be touched. Did you need a new clutch cover gasket?

Was there a screen behind the drain plug as Bill suggests?

Good luck with drilling out the stud.......
07/07/2019 02:48:01 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Mine only has the trapezoidal shaped filter screen, nothing behind the plug. The engine has 156FMI as part of its serial number but going by the Haynes manual it is a 154 FMI engine which I think is based on the Suzuki engine.
The gasket appears to be some form of metal gasket, detached easily when I took it off, nothing sticking or damaged so it went back on. In retrospect I should have thinly smeared some liquid gasket or similar on the faces before rejoining which would mean changing it next time
Both the Himalayan and Interceptor are oil cooled so they have cartridge filters which are easily got at. Downside is they take the best part of a gallon of oil when doing the change.

After an hour or so's drilling I have a 3mm wide by about 2 mm deep hole in the broken bolt body so a wee bit more to go, about 18 mm or so. Had to stop play on Friday as I had the National Road Rally yesterday and the boy and I got back around 10 am so today has been a bust. We arrived at the second last control point just as they began shutting up. Two mins later and it would all have been for nought. The official milage/point we did was 520. The actual milage by my odometer was 649, total milage from leaving home to getting back was 830. And even with the seat reduced in thickness it was still comfortable at the end. No cringing buttocks as you sat down.
07/07/2019 10:58:15 UTC
Borsuk said :-
The good thing about the Honley is that it is cheap and cheerful. Its 2 1/2 years old now so resale value is probably less than the servicing costs, not that I usually sell my vehicles on to anyone but a scrappy. So if I destroy it while doing a service its not the end of the world and is good practice for when my other bikes get out of their warranty period. The main problem with the Himalayan is the 200 mile round trip to the dealers. So it will be home serviced as soon as the warranty expires.

07/07/2019 11:11:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
That engine is - to the best of my knowledge - copied from the Yamaha YBR125 motor. The Suzuki copy that is in Sharon's Keeway has an internal cartridge filter.

My CBF125 has the centrifugal filter and the metal gauze filter. Personally I wouldn't open the motor as part of the regular services but the gauze filter needs checking perhaps every 10 or 20k and while that's being done scrape out the centrifugal filter. I wouldn't use the liquid gasket! You'd risk blocking an oilway with that poop.

We need to hear more about your road rally Borsuk :)

08/07/2019 10:48:02 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Your right Ren. The 154FMI is a clone of the YBR engine. My entire bike is almost a clone of the YBR, there are a few small differences, the big difference is the 2 grand difference in price. I was parked beside a real YBR custom at Morrisons one day and the owner looked at his then mine, looked down his nose at me, sniffed disdainfully and stalked off.
Although my engine has 156 stamped on the data plate it is definitely a 154 engine. Good call on the liquid gasket.
I'll check the filter again after another 10000km. Hopefully I will get the exhaust bolt drilled out tomorrow. We have the grandkids at the moment so everything in the Sett is pandemonium.
I'll do a rally write up in a day or two.

Unfortunately I am at work for this years bike fest. I have this coming weekend free though, if anyone is wanting a riding partner.

As you can see the exhaust has come up quite well after wire brushing, rust converter and painting. Now all I need to do is get the bolt out and put it back on.0

08/07/2019 05:03:16 UTC
John S said :-
Did you manage to get the bolt out?
19/07/2019 07:17:40 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Not yet. Been too busy with finishing off other higheroriotity house projects and getting our caravan ready for a trip. I have the whole of Monday evening to get it out and the valve clearances done before giving it on loan one of my stepsons to use to practice for his A2 test.
20/07/2019 10:01:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The problem with life is it gets in the way of the things we want to be getting on with.
21/07/2019 10:39:44 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Ran out of time yesterday. Will need to finish it off when I come back next time. Such is life.

23/07/2019 12:25:48 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
It must be about time you retired Borsuk
24/07/2019 12:04:44 UTC
Borsuk said :-
God I wish.
25/07/2019 05:10:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes I'm long overdue retirement myself. Or, well, perhaps I'm just lazy.
26/07/2019 07:07:18 UTC
Borsuk said :-
The Honley is back on the road.

The brother in law drilled out the stud while I was at work and refitted the exhaust. The stepson brought it over at the weekend and I altered the extra rear lights so the top box is removable and changed the front wheel bearings, properly this time, no hitting them with a too small socket like last time.

The exhaust after about a hundred miles looks as scabby as it did before, I think the paint was okay but the rust converter seems to have succumbed to the exhaust temperature. I will do it again sometime but with only the heat proof paint. It only needs the metal wire brushed according to the blurb on the tin.
27/08/2019 07:09:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well aren't YOU the lucky boy! I wish magic fairies would come and do all the crappy jobs on my bike while I was at work.

I have as yet to find an exhaust paint for mild steel exhausts I've tried various heat proof paints and they all look good on application but soon enough just disappeared. If you do manage to find one that really actually genuinely works for more than 5 weeks be sure to let me know.
27/08/2019 08:09:06 UTC
Borsuk said :-
I was looking at a high temp paint / rust converter the other day in a destroy it yourself store which according to the blurb covered all the bases till I saw the price and nearly soiled myself. I think it was £47 for a 1/2 pint tin. Cheaper to replace the exhaust in the long term.
30/08/2019 08:25:50 UTC

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