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Complete guide to what I did to restore the motorbike

In 2010 I found what I thought was a really nice looking bike but in need of some love and attention to get the bike back up onto her feet and running well. The original eBay advert said that all parts were present and that it just needed to be reassembled.

After paying approx £350 for the bike, I went to collect the bike. Found all the parts in the garage (I was given the key for the garage and then the bike key and log book would be brought up to me when he passed via work). I got all the bits loaded up on to a borrowed bike trailer and with my dad driving we hauled it back home.

When I got the bike home I was very pleased and got straight in to looking what needed to be done. This is when it sunk in that not all the parts were there and things were not going to be as simple as 1 2 3. I took time to make a list of all the work I could see needing doing to get the bike road worthy again.

At this time I was off work with a severe dislocation of my shoulder so I had a lot of time on my hands. Id had 2 operations and now was in the rehabilitation time where a lot of movement was the best thing for my arm. This project was perfect for that as I could take breaks when needed and there was enough movement to help strengthen the arm.

The main parts, frame/wiring/tyres/forks were all in good condition but the engine had been poorly repaired from its blown head gasket. I decided that rather than strip the engine down which has next to no parts to replace any bolts, seals or piston ring, I would get another engine. I found a nice NC21 engine with loom and TDI unit on EBay for a few notes. I won the auction and carted the engine back home. Dropped the old engine out and fitted the new one with the NC24 loom. Got the carburettors refitted and tried to start the bike. Nothing, no attempt at firing and I was now left scratching my head. I had heard that there is a wire different between the NC21 and NC24 bikes. I changed the loom and put the NC21 TDI unit onto the NC21 loom and she fired up first time.

A couple of minutes later I had a shout from behind me of "turn that off its late". I had forgotten I was wearing ear defenders as there was no silencer on the bike. It sounds gorgeous but a tad illegal if I was to take it on the road. Things were made worse me being in a small garage which echoed the sound around the place. It was so loud it drowned out the TV from the other side of the wall.

I was happy, the bike was running and I had just a few more things to bolt in place, clean up a few other bits and I would have a running bike. I got it all reassembled, got the fairing repaired, primed and then painted in bright Ford Focus RS orange. It looked stunning. I got the decals in place and I was happy. I had a nicely running bike in a very clean state.

I used the bike for a few weeks and started to notice a couple of problems developing so I was using it less and less. The issues were as follows.

1. Cold starting was a problem.
2. Regulator was failing as the battery was not charging up.
3. There was a small coolant leak.

At the time of these issues I got into talks with Dynatek about a set of coils to replace the standard ones and also got talking to Motad about a new exhaust collector for the bike. I got a new high torque battery and improved regulator unit to replace the faulty unit. As for the cold start issue I got new carburettor to engine rubbers and clamps as I found an air leak around that area.

With the coolant leak I put in some ceramic leak sealer hoping this would stop the leak. It did at first but then carried on. I could not put my finger on the leak at all. It wasn't until I got back off a long ride I saw where the leak was coming from. The radiator cap was leaking so the catch tank would take the fluid but steam could escape to the atmosphere.

I didn't fit the coils or exhaust to the bike at the time of getting them as I was planning on doing another refurbishment on the bike. I was very happy with the bike especially getting it featured in the 400greybike forums calendar.

It was in 2012 it was decided that as she started life in a sorry state and I had got it up to a reasonable condition (which got the bike featured on the calendar for the 400greybike forum) I would do the bike justice and get her running and looking the best I could. It was a great achievement in my eyes I thought to get the bike on a calendar, If be it only a small production run of it.

I was riding it only on an occasion as I was working stupid shifts in a call centre and never really got around to using it over the winter due to not being confident in the freezing conditions (previously owning an ER5 with less power and more weight I was confident winter rider, now on this I was not so sure). I had taken it out one cold day to show that it was on the road and on the way home I went down a recently resurfaced road to find the combination of tar residue, water and frost was lethal. I didn't come off but rode the whole road with my feet planted on the road. That was lesson learnt. Where on my ER5 I would have been able to handle that road a bit better, the NC24 didn't like it and my confidence from my shoulder not being perfect and not riding in nearly 2 years made it a choice to wait until better weather to get my confidence back for all year riding again.

This is when I decided to get her up to an excellent condition, I had to fix a few niggling issues with the bike also so this was perfect timing.

I had bought myself a 4 -1 Stainless collector, Supplied from Motad with a nice thank you email from them due to helping them with a couple of inputs into its design, one being the removable collector so you can get the sump off without having to remove the engine.

Having scoured eBay for a link pipe, one came up with a race exhaust. Bought it and sold the exhaust can and did a deal with MTC (Max Torque Cans) for a nice end can for the bike.

I got myself a nice set of Dynatek 30000v coils for the bike with HT leads to match which would need a bit of custom fitting doing due to the size. I'm hoping that this is the cause of the slight hesitation miss-fire from 9000 rpm - 11000 rpm. I have replaced the battery and rectifier on this already and it is charging at a nice 14v. If it's not the coils then I will be back to scratching head.

I was in need of a new radiator due to the silly little leak and after a bit of discussions, negotiated with GPI Racing in China for them to make the coolant pipes and Radiators. So I sent a Radiator and pipe set off to China to be made up. They did a wonderful job of making the new radiator. Just a bit of bending of one bracket was needed and making an adaptor for the temp sender (It has a blanking plate for racing in place). It fixed the water leak I had from the leaking pressure cap and a small unplug-able leak at the bottom.

Had a lot of parts powder coated with many thanks to Worcester Powder Coaters to match the new fairings that I got direct from the factory instead of the Hong Kong resellers. This saved me a good 50 off the Hong Kong price and it came with more "free gifts" too.

I replaced all the rear brakes, cleaned up the front brakes. I fitted a braided line to the rear brake. Cleaned up all the parts on the rear end and then rebuilt it from there. I replaced all bolts that I could with stainless ones; some needed custom machining to fit which I had done with thanks to a local company in Redditch.

Working from the swing arm up I replaced as many bearings, bolts and other parts that I could to make sure this bike lasts more than another 25 years. I then got the engine cleaned up and I painted that with engine paint. All looked lovely. I fitted the frame around the engine and built everything up on a work bench. It wasn't until I wanted to fit the radiator and swing arm I realised my errors. I had to get the bike off the work bench and it weights a lot.

When it was on the floor I set about finishing the bike off. I got it all together and found the fairings were not a perfect fit but a bit of tape across one join is not out of place and you wouldn't know its tape either.

I still have the niggling problem of cold starting issues and also there is a hesitation to accelerate when warm from 9000rpm up to 11000rpm. I think this is down to jetting which is standard so will when I have the time and money get the bike dyno'd and set up correctly for fuel efficiency but also curing the problems.

I would like to thank all that have helped with this project which is why I put this website together. I would like to say thank you to Honda for making such a beautiful bike in the first place and hope you get to see this site to show the dedication I have put into this bike.