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My CB500 performance upgrades

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alexibrow
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Location : West Sussex

My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Wed 13 Jun 2012, 9:50 pm

I bought my first CB500 back in April 2012. It's my fifth bike and fourth Honda, and it really is a cracking little machine. It does everything that I chuck at it, and returns great mpg at the same time. Given that I use it everyday for commuting (as well as occasional scratching), running costs are important.

Some pics:




Some great mods had already been done by the previous owner:

- Hagon shocks;
- Hagon springs in the front;
- Uprated EBC HH sintered pads all round.

Handles really nice on the Bridgestone BT45 tyres, and with the suspension sorted!

- Pipewerx Hawk SL can and link pipe: Hawk SL

It sounds pretty loud, and pops and crackles on overrun; judging from the spark plugs that I removed yesterday, it's running a little on the lean side.

I plan to remedy this by fitting one of these 6Sigma jet kits, along with a K&N filter in the standard Honda airbox:

6SigmaJetKit

Jet kit and K&N are on their way, so I'll post back when they arrive!
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fryatuck
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by fryatuck on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 7:42 pm

sounds a good upgrade Very Happy
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sun 17 Jun 2012, 12:16 pm

While I was waiting for the parts to arrive, I did this today:



MUCH better than the stock horn Very Happy
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mikeyg143
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by mikeyg143 on Tue 19 Jun 2012, 9:26 pm

can't you just get a larger main jet from davidsilverspares to complement the K&N and race can? lot cheaper
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Tue 19 Jun 2012, 10:59 pm

I could have gone that route, I suppose. Bit late now, as I've paid for the parts.

It depends what I get in the kit too, if it's a proper one there should be new pilot jets and needles, and washes to go under them.

They should arrive soon, I'll post some pics of the kit.
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mikeyg143
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by mikeyg143 on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 9:00 pm

(genuine question)

what's advantage of replacement pilot jets and needles? I was under the impression that the main jets were all you need to change as that's what's used at larger throttle openings
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 9:19 pm

The idea is that by fitting a matched set of jets and needles, the power and air/fuel ratio will be smoothed all the way through the rpm range, and for all throttle openings.
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wazzbo
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by wazzbo on Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:00 pm

Hi,I have ordered one of these 6sigma jet kits,as since I fitted a fuel end can and a K&N air filter I`m getting a lot of popping back on the overrun. hope this kit will cure it as I guess its running lean. I`ll keep checking on here to see if your kit is cures the prob.
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fryatuck
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by fryatuck on Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:03 pm

popping back on throttle down, maybe need it dyno'd
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:11 pm

@wazzbo wrote:Hi,I have ordered one of these 6sigma jet kits,as since I fitted a fuel end can and a K&N air filter I`m getting a lot of popping back on the overrun. hope this kit will cure it as I guess its running lean. I`ll keep checking on here to see if your kit is cures the prob.

Sounds like it is running lean. Mine does it as well, with just the Hawk can on it. I'm not going to fit the K&N until the jet kit arrives, then I'll do the lot together.

I am intending to get it on the dyno too, to see what it's putting out at the wheel.
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WillieD
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by WillieD on Sat 07 Jul 2012, 4:46 am

Hi,

I'm having similar issues with my CB after putting some K&N conical filters on it and a very tiny exhaust that gives zero back pressure. I went down the road of ordering my jets singularly but can't say if this solved the problem.

Due to my own stupidity I slightly melted the filter in the fuel tank and now it has a bit of shitindecarb. I'll upload some pics once I can and let you know whether the jet sizes I used are good once I've given everything a good clean out.


Last edited by WillieD on Sat 07 Jul 2012, 4:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fat fingers, bad spelling)
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 9:06 pm

OK, so I finally got round to fitting the K&N filter and the 6Sigma Racing jet kit.



This is what the kit contains:



- 2x 42 pilot jets.
- 2x 130 main jets.
- 2x 135 main jets.
- 7x steel needle shims.
- 2x nylon needle shims.
- 5/32" drill bit and self tapping screw, for drilling and removing the pilot screw covers (not needed for UK-spec bikes).
- Very small drill bit for drilling an extra hole in the slides.
- Comprehensive fitting instructions.

I removed side panels and petrol tank first, then removed the carbs from the engine. There are a lot of pipes connected to the carbs, so I took care to remember which went where.

Next I cleaned the exterior of the carbs, using an old children's toothbrush and half a tin of carb cleaner. I didn't want any grit getting in later on.

I tackled the tops first. I had to remove the choke linkage to get to one of the screws, but all the screws came out OK and I was able to remove the sliders from the carbs without any problems. I used one of the screws I'd removed from the tops to extract the needle holders, then I dropped the needles out of the slides and added two shims under each needle, as per the instructions, before re-assembling the slides. I haven't drilled the extra hole, nor clipped any length of the springs, as I don't think it's necessary for a road bike (apparently, this improves throttle response at the expense of part-throttle driveability).

I chose to leave the tops off while I turned my attention to the underneath, as I didn't want any problems with the needles fouling the main jets; I'm not sure how necessary this is though.

First I had to remove the water heater pipe to get access to a couple of the screw that hold the float chamber lids on. They were bloody tight too, I didn't think they were coming out but they did. Unfortunately, I chewed two of the screws holding one of the lids on, so I ended up having to use grips to get them out. With the lids off, I swapped the old pilot jets for the new, and installed the 130 mains as instructed. If it's still a bit lean, I'll try the 135 mains instead. I removed the drain screws, cleaned them, and reinstalled with a little copper grease on the threads.

I then reassembled everything. I also removed the pilot screws for cleaning, and set them at 2.5 turns out as per the instructions. While I was there removed the idle adjusting knob/screw, cleaned it and reassembled it with some more copper grease on the threads.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to oil the throttle and choke cables, which I did before refitting the carbs; I used a smear of neat washing up liquid on the inlet rubbers to help with easing the carbs back on, and they went on easily.

K&N filter in, tank back on, fuel tap to On, and it fired up almost straight away and sounded fine. It was apparent straight away that it didn't really need any choke, and with a tweak of the idle adjuster it ran very nicely with no choke almost immediately after starting the engine.

I let it warm up properly, adjusted the idle speed again, then synchronised the carbs; they were only a gnats cock out as it happened.

The end result is a bike that's idling more smoothly than before, it sounds balanced and revs freely off idle. I haven't had a chance to take it out yet, but I plan to tomorrow morning. I'll report back when I have done the road test!

More soon.
Alex.
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 9:37 pm

Standard jet sizes are 38 and 122 by the way.

There's one shim under each needle as standard.
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 10:21 am

The bike has now been ridden, and overall there's a definite improvement. However, it's not perfect.

The bike feels smoother, and feels more responsive. The smoothness is especially noticeable when coming on and off the throttle, and at idle. It pulls well right through the rpm range, at less than full throttle openings, but full throttle feels reluctant. The popping and crackling on overrun is completely gone, so as suspected it must have been running lean before.

From this, I deduce that the pilot jet and needle height are set very close to spot on, but that the main jet is a bit (but not a lot) out. The only way to be completely sure of course, is to book some dyno time. I plan to do this as soon as I can, but it could be a few weeks yet.

One other thing to report is that the throttle felt a bit snatchy round town before; this has also been completely cured, I suspect that this is mostly to do with having oiled the cables and properly synched the carbs, but the changed mixture settings may also have helped.

Overall, for the £45 that the kit costs, I'm impressed. I doubt you could buy the parts individually for much less, so it represents a decent saving over, say, a Dynojet kit. 6Sigma Racing have got pretty close to the right settings, but still reckon on some dyno time to get everything set up just right.
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wazzbo
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by wazzbo on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 9:46 pm

Hi alexibrow, I fitted my sigma kit this weekend and am well pleased with the result.I see you got a 130 and 135 main with your kit, mine came with a 130 and a 140. I fitted the 130 main jet as I thought the 140 would be a bit too rich Took it out for a test run ,did about 100 miles. The popping back on overrun is no more it ticks over as sweet as a sewing machine, pulls well right through the rev range and at light throttle opening runs very smoothly.I haven`t balanced the carbs yet but by the way it ticks over and runs I`ll bet a pound to a penny they are not far out,but will check `em when I get time.As you say it was money well spent, especially at the price, ( I offered them £25 and they accepted) I might need to tweak it a little as it settles down but its running about spot on so far
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 10:11 pm

@wazzbo wrote:Hi alexibrow, I fitted my sigma kit this weekend and am well pleased with the result.I see you got a 130 and 135 main with your kit, mine came with a 130 and a 140. I fitted the 130 main jet as I thought the 140 would be a bit too rich Took it out for a test run ,did about 100 miles. The popping back on overrun is no more it ticks over as sweet as a sewing machine, pulls well right through the rev range and at light throttle opening runs very smoothly.I haven`t balanced the carbs yet but by the way it ticks over and runs I`ll bet a pound to a penny they are not far out,but will check `em when I get time.As you say it was money well spent, especially at the price, ( I offered them £25 and they accepted) I might need to tweak it a little as it settles down but its running about spot on so far

Blimey, you got a bargain there mate!

How does it feel on full throttle?
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wazzbo
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by wazzbo on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 11:22 pm

it feels ok ,pulls well up to red line, but I don`t fly around these days (getting too old,ha ha) I mainly wanted the popping and banging sorted and things smoothed out a bit.
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 7:35 pm

So I've covered about 200 miles since installing the jet kit. The bike definitely pulls better through the rev range, more strongly than before, and I'm definitely hitting higher speeds at defined points during acceleration than before.

On the down side, fuel economy has taken a hit, down from around 57mpg average to 50mpg.

To be fair, I have been hooning about all week on WOT, and the roads have been dry and sticky for the first time in months! cheers
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sun 29 Jul 2012, 8:00 pm

Dyno provisionally booked for Saturday morning. Watch this space Cool
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sat 04 Aug 2012, 9:55 am

Just back from the dyno, which is at SBS Motorcycles in Lancing. The owner Podge is highly regarded locally for his skills in getting bikes set up properly.

As soon as he started it up and revved it, he knew it was running too rich, so the first thing he did was to take the baffle out of the exhaust!

On the dyno, it showed as still too rich. He recommends going down 2 jet sizes on both the pilots and mains, and removing one of the additional needle shims.

He then did another run with the baffle in, and the difference was noticeable: it took much longer to reach the rev limiter than it did with the baffle out. Podge said it's now way too rich. He said it must be using a lot of juice! So, the baffle is coming out again.

I'll get it back on the dyno once I've made the changes.
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 9:03 pm

Podge at SBS recommends this firm for sourcing the jets:

Allens Performance

For reference, these are the part numbers:

Main jet: 99101-393
Jet sizes go like this:
120 122 125 128 130 (122 is standard)

Pilot jet: N424-21
Jet sizes go like this:
35 38 40 42 45 (38 is standard)

Podge's advice is to go for:
38 pilot jet
125 main jet
One additional needle shim.

To recap, this set-up is for a standard engine with standard exhaust headers, K&N panel filter and road-legal can with baffle removed.
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mikeyg143
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by mikeyg143 on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 10:33 pm

So what's the peak power?!
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Wed 08 Aug 2012, 8:44 am

@mikeyg143 wrote:So what's the peak power?!

Kind of irrelevant at this stage, as it's not set up right.

I'll be back on the dyno as soon as the replacement jets are fitted. Power / torque run will be posted, I promise!
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alexibrow
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by alexibrow on Sat 22 Sep 2012, 7:14 pm

Just a quick update:

I can't afford to get the bike back on the dyno just yet, but I've made the changes as suggested by Podge at SBS Motorcycles, and it#s definitely very close to spot-on.

With the baffle out, it really flies! It is bloody loud though, so I re-fit the baffle during the week for the early morning commute!

It'll be interesting to find out what the power and torque figures are; although they're not going to be massively different from stock, they should be a bit higher and smoother through the rev range. We shall see.

I probably won't post any more updates until I have the dyno print-out in my hand!
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teamster1975
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Re: My CB500 performance upgrades

Post by teamster1975 on Sun 23 Sep 2012, 9:45 am

Nice! I'm glad to hear you've got it running sweetly! We just need the sun to return now...

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