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FIve years on a tango orange

mikethebike
mikethebike
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Post by mikethebike on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:18 am

It’s been almost five years since I last posted on the forum, not long after I took charge of my Tango Orange CB500s in 2013. At that time she had only manged to cover 19,000 miles in her 13 years since being registered, but since my name’s been on the owner’s record we’ve managed to push that up to nearly 60,000. So, that being the case, I thought I’d bring you up to speed with how the last 40,000 miles have been. 



I’ve really bonded with the bike - covering 250 miles most weeks on my daily commute in all weathers.  I had the reg/rec fail not long after the bike came in to my ownership, leaving me stranded on the side of the M20, but apart from that it’s been an (almost) fault free five years.



As for consumables, tyres (BT45’S) tend to last around 11- 12,000 miles (fronts) and rears around 10 (I never cane the bike and my daily ride on A roads doesn’t see me take it much over 60 most of the time).  Front pads last anywhere between 4-8,000 miles and rears go for 8 -12,000. Chains tend to last 20,000 miles – Honda or DID – I do have a Scotoiler fitted.  I had the rad replaced with a Chinese one at 33,000 miles after a small ‘off’ on a gravel strewn road saw the original one holed and uneconomical to repair.  The rear disk was changed around 32,000 miles as it had developed a slight warp, the rear wheel bearings lasted 36,000 miles and the head bearings were replaced at 44,000 – along with the battery. The front wheel bearings are still going strong at 58,000 miles!



The bike developed the notorious cam chain rattle at 40,000 miles, so the tensioner was changed, but within 12,000 miles it was rattling again.  The dealer where I have it regularly serviced said, on inspection, that the chain was actually worn not the tensioner, so last summer I took the bike over to Tony Galea at his place in Wickford in Essex and he replaced the cam chain with the engine still in the frame.  He confirmed the dealer’s diagnosis.  I can highly recommend Tony’s work – in the early noughties he did a replacement cam chain on a CBR1000F I had too.  I’ve had no rattles on the CB500 since the chain replacement and Tony also shims the valves as part of his service - he even stood me lunch!.  It worked out much cheaper having Tony do the work in frame than having the aggro of taking the bike off the road and getting the engine out. 



The headlight bulb lasted 51,000 miles and the sprocket carrier bearing finally cried enough at 56,000.  This was swiftly followed by the little original damping that was left in the factory shocks deserting a few miles later (replaced by a pair of TEC’s) and the original exhaust can blowing a large hole in itself where all the road crud gathers between it and the swingarm (although I had been frequently repairing it with Gun Gum and repair tape for around 4,000 before it finally gave in).  This has now been replaced by a Delkavic end can - which appears to have a much more fruity tone than the original.  However, the downpipes are still the ones the bike left the factory with back at the start of the millennium.  Finally, the swingarm bearings threw in the towel 1,000 miles later at 57,000 miles.



I’ve had most of the other things happen that tend to dog a higher mileage bike too.  The right hand side panel has a broken front lug.  I can’t seem to find another second hand one at a reasonable cost anywhere.  All the indicator rubbers are perishing - necessitating them being repeatedly bodged together with black gaffer tape over this winter.  I’ll replace them all in time throughout the coming year.  Also, the left rear indicator mount rotted through, so the indicator on that side is now bolted directly to the mudguard (replacement of the mount with a better condition used part is another job for the spring).  I have a Datatool Veto Evo alarm fitted to the bike and, although this has not been a problem, the led warning light has failed.  Also, the paint around the front mudguard mounting points has cracked.



 I had Daytona heated grips fitted when I got the bike in 2013 (although these are now choosing when they want to work – so another pair will be fitted before next winter) and the grips have been paired with Oxford Rain Seal  bar muffs over this last two winters – a combination which, although not the height of fashion, certainly helps to make riding in sub - zero temperatures much more pleasurable.



So, to conclude then…  I love my CB500! The mechanic that services it at my local Honda dealer rides one daily too – I guess you can’t get a higher compliment than that.  Although the dealer has tried his best to tempt me with the newer model – lending me one each time mine is being serviced, I really don’t like it.  It doesn’t have the character of my old bike and feels really ‘clinical’ to ride.  I’m hoping to see mine carry on for at least the next five years and, if the engine does eventually go pop I’d be more keen to replace it with another lump from another CB than buy a newer bike.   Besides, as well as being part of my life this past five years, mines been a media pin up too.  She's also featured in ‘Bikes of Your Life’ in Practical Sportsbikes magazine a couple of years ago, alongside all the bikes that came before her. 



So, that’s my last five years in (quite) a few paragraphs.



I’ll try not to leave the next post quite so long!



Mike Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Ps.  Orange bikes are faster!
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sullivj
the 900
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Post by sullivj on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:30 am

Nice write up Mike.

I have an orange naked one, that's on about 20k. 

Don't leave it as long to come back. Hopefully, we'll arrange another meet up in the summer.
wornsprokets
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Post by wornsprokets on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:42 am

Which issue were you in in practical sportsbikes, mike great write up by the way
mikethebike
mikethebike
Crotch Rocketuer
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Posts : 32
Location : Kent

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Post by mikethebike on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:52 am

Issue 58.  My mum was so proud! Very Happy
Fair Weather Rider
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Post by Fair Weather Rider on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 6:01 am

Nice one Mike.
davecb5002
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Post by davecb5002 on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 6:30 am

Very well written post. Smile
wornsprokets
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Post by wornsprokets on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 6:34 am

I am sure i have that issue i have to have look
ceejay
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Post by ceejay on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 7:47 am

Nice post, 5 years in the making! Interesting about cam chain going at around 52,000 mark, mines on 30k, waiting for tensioner to go. Guess he used a rivet to install the new cam chain without removing the engine? Do you know if the guides got replaced too?

Seen an orange one in the wild only once, at Muswell Hill, can't remember if faired or not but they couldn't have made many in that colour!
mikethebike
mikethebike
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Post by mikethebike on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 1:14 am

The chain was the only thing Tony replaced this time - with a riveted link as you say.  He's been doing the same thing for well over 30 odd years so I'm guessing that he would have let me know if he'd had noticed anything else in the top end that was wearing and needed to be looked at too. He did tell me that he has never had a replacement riveted chain fail that he's fitted in all the years he's been doing them, so you’re in safe hands if you ever need to call on his services. 

He did the job with me watching on all day.  I have to say that the cams themselves looked spotless to me when he removed them to do the valve shims, despite having covered 52,000 miles by that time and, reassuringly, when I originally contacted him to book the work he said that in all his time of doing in frame replacements he'd never heard of a cb500's chain actually letting go.  Just as an aside - he'd also got some tasty 80's sports bike restorations underway on the other benches in his workshop when I was there too. 

The whole job including cam chain replacement, valve clearances, new iridium plugs being fitted, balancing the carbs and another couple of odds and sods that he picked up while going around the bike came to around £350.  I'm guessing it would have cost a lot more than that in labour alone for my regular dealer to do something similar, what with all the hassle of trying to get an 18 year old engine out of the frame with the notorious front engine bolt issue to deal with, before they even got to opening the engine itself up.


Last edited by mikethebike on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 1:44 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : grammar)
ceejay
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Post by ceejay on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 5:52 am

Thanks for the info! Sounds excellent, will keep him in mind. £350 for all of that is a bargain in my opinion, especially as the process of changing shims it's fresh in my memory (got it back together today)!
mikethebike
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Post by mikethebike on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 8:25 pm

As I say, he comes highly recommended. I have an old Kwak Gpx750 that's a long term restoration project and am considering getting him to do the chain on that for me this summer too. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a website.  I'm not sure if he even has a email address!  Smile

His contact details are:
Tony Galea Camchain Services
Unit 15 Andersons Industrial Park, Lower Park Rd,  Wickford,  SS12 9EJ 

Tel 01268 735355

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