How-to: Front disc brake calliper servicing

Since the arrival of the Haynes manual, I’ve not thought it overly necessary to keep posting how-to’s, unless I were undertaking an undocumented procedure. Performing a partial strip down and service of the front brake calliper is one such procedure. I do this every 2’500 miles, as I ride during winter when the calliper and its components are extremely vulnerable to road salt. If left unchecked, the brake will bind, internal components will seize and sorting out that mess will be complicated and possibly expensive. A stitch in time saves nine and all that… Continue reading

How-to: Clean the engine oil filter strainer.

At 7’500 miles, the service schedule dictates that the engine oil filter strainer is cleaned. This is located inside the engine, and such, is not so straightforward to get at. Small capacity engines like our beloved CBF’s, don’t tend to have much in the way of oil filtering – they rely more on regular oil changes to keep everything running smoothly and don’t have an external, throw-away filter that you replace every-other oil change, unlike bigger engines. if this small strainer gets blocked with dirt/sludge, it’s curtains for the engine. So how do we check out the internal oil filter on the CBF125? Read on…

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CBF125 Service Data Sheets

To save myself leafing through pages and pages of workshop manuals, I’ve put some of the most useful information needed when servicing the bike together in the form of these ‘cheat’ sheets. Hopefully these will make things easier, such as when you’re going around the bike tightening up various fasteners to their specified torque settings. The check-list can also be used as part of keeping an accurate, detailed service history on the bike. No more need to rifle through the pages of a service manual. Please note that this information is to supplement that found in the owner’s and workshop manuals and should be used in conjunction with them. Enjoy!

  • CBF125 Specifications – Full listing of the most important specifications for the CBF125, including bulbs, fluid types/quantities, etc. Print it and fill in the specifics for your bike (frame number etc).
  • CBF125 Chassis Torque Settings – The most important chassis fasteners to check tightness of every 5’000 miles.
  • CBF125 Service Check-list – Print this and use it to keep a comprehensive service history, whilst doing things in the most efficient order.

How-to: Fit fork gaiters on the CBF125

Fork gaiters are fantastic. I absolutely love them. Why? Because in 40’000 miles and 3 winters I never had to touch the fork seals or stanchions on the YBR as I had fitted a pair of these! They provide protection against the elements and more importantly, stone chippings flicked up from other vehicles, which will chip the chrome away, letting rust set in, forming pits which will tear fork seals apart. This will result in leaking fork oil, which, if left unchecked, could lead to damaging the fork’s internal components, poor suspension performance (a safety issue as the bike’s handling will suffer!) and an MOT failure. Replacing the seals alone is not enough because the pitted stanchions will just damage the new ones quickly again. You can get the stanchions re-chromed or buy new ones (or even clean out the pits and fill with an epoxy like Araldite, but that’s time consuming and requires skill). But, why spend your time, and possibly a lot of money depending on what you choose to do, on that when you can easily prevent these issues in the first place? Continue reading

How-to: Check and adjust valve clearances on the CBF125

On an engine, valves are situated in the cylinder head (‘top end’) and their job is to let fuel-air mixture in to the cylinder for combustion and to let burnt exhaust gasses out. The CBF125 uses the traditional ‘tappet and lock nut’ method for setting valve clearances, which is very common, if not universal, on simple, small displacement engines. The term ‘valve clearance’ refers to the gap between the tappet and top of a valve stem. The tappet is a small part that is part of an assembly called a rocker arm and it is the part that pushes on the stem of the poppet valve to open it. That gap is there for a very good reason – as the engine heats up, these components will expand and the gap will be filled. If there is no valve clearance (gap too small), you could bend the valve or it will be forced open a little, causing poor idling, excessive fuel consumption and/or poor running (depending on which valve is the culprit). If the valve clearance is too great, with a large gap between the tappet and valve stem, then the valve stem and tappet will wear more quickly as they’d be colliding against each-other with more force. The valves may also not open fully, which will cause poorer engine performance/idling. Continue reading