So… today saw the hottest temperatures in this country since 2006! We hit a whopping 32 degrees celsius. And my CBF125 ticked over the 1000 mile mark. I did feel like celebrating but my jubilations were cut short…
On my commute home, about 25 miles into the journey, after maintaining a constant 50-55mph (most of my journey is high speed dual carriageway) as traffic started to slow, I also slowed in order to prepare to filter through it. All of a sudden the engine lost power and the whole machine lurched forward. It continued this repetitive lurching as the engine would momentarily gain power and lose it again very quickly. Almost like sitting on top of a hopping kangaroo! When I came to a stop at a roundabout, the engine cut out, but I could restart it again, only for the lurching to continue. Check out my video of a portion of this whole incident (but note that the time/date is incorrect as I have not set it properly on my camera, so please ignore it):
So I managed to limp the bike to somewhere I could safely park up (after riding it like at 20-25mph this for a few miles with traffic driving dangerously close behind me and overtaking very fast – it’s not easy to find somewhere safe on the A13 or A130!), and called Hondacare breakdown assistance, to be told I’d be in for anything up to a 5 hour wait for help, as they were very busy! Bear in mind also that we were forecast heavy thunderstorms this evening, and as you could imagine, I was rather ‘concerned’. So I waited. And after 45 minutes I decided to start the bike up and managed to ride home without any further incidents. Here’s the interesting part – if I was in neutral or in gear with the clutch held in, the engine would rev freely. This issue only occurred when the engine was under load, and after letting it cool down for a while, the problem was gone.
Now, I was aware of this problem occurring on the CBF (see here and here) but this was the first time it has happened to me personally. It seems Honda may well also be aware of it, as other CBF owners have heard accounts of their mechanics saying they have seen this particular problem a lot. From what I can glean by a little research, it may be down to a batch of faulty fuel pumps that are installed in the 2010/2011 models of this machine. One comment here suggests that this machine has been recalled by Honda, but I have not found any further evidence to support this from anywhere else. It seems to affect people more in start/stop traffic, like in a busy city centre. Today was the hottest day I have ever ridden this bike in, and this is a very serious issue (potentially dangerous depending on where it happens to you!), so if anyone else has any information or experiences relating to it, please comment here!
It’s also interesting to note that with all the hype about fuel injection being more reliable than traditional carburettors, I never had any fuelling issues with my YBR in nearly 40’000 miles of riding, besides the float bowl rattling loose due to vibration, which isn’t a mechanical failure/fault anyway, just needed to tighten some screws up. Oh and the floats being knocked out of alignment when I was involved in the collision that wrote that bike off (easily fixed by reseating the pin they pivot on and it’s running great again – zero cost to sort out). Fuel injection frustrates me as I can’t troubleshoot or fix any issues with it myself – it’s a bunch of black boxes that you just replace. Although, the fuel economy of my YBR wasn’t as good as my CBF!