Saturday, January 9, 2016

Honda Motorcycle USA kiss my grits

I don't remember if I mentioned before that Honda Motorcycle USA sucks.  I got my sister in law's 1989 Honda CBR600F a few years ago.  She doesn't ride anymore and it had been sitting for some time.  Originally it was supposed to be a "get it running" project, but years later and a fair amount of dollars in, there it still sits.   I did, for a while, get it running but had some problems with the carburetors (four of them) and it never really was right, then it sat over another winter and that was that.

While it was running I tried to get paperwork from Honda USA to import it.  They don't do that.

Seriously, that was their answer.  Identical in every way to the bike sold in the US of A, a bike which I owned at one point brand new in 1989, they don't issue compliance letters.  Can't import it.

Fast forward to today.  I have a work around, but only if I can get it running without putting too much more money into it.

Rebuilt the heads, new valve seals, lapped all the valves.  Just making sure cause it had a funny hesitation.  No bent valves, good news.

Installing new cylinder base gasket and I bend a piston ring.  Aagh!  They are really small and really thin, I bent one.

OK, not the end of the world, I can just put a new ring on.  Except that they don't make them any more.  No Honda dealer in the United States has rings listed for that bike with stock cylinders.  No aftermarket ring maker lists rings for that bike with stock cylinders.  Boring out the cylinders (and getting new pistons and rings) is cost prohibitive for this bike.

Got a note from someone on the CBR forums that a dealership in Australia had those rings in stock so thought I'd check it out.  Sure enough, still listed.  Thought it was a bit odd but maybe New Old Stock, just been sitting around for a while.

Brainstorm: call the dealer in Vancouver (Canada) and see if they have any.  Bingo. They don't have them but they can order them and have them in by Tuesday.

What the hell?  If dealers in Australia and Canada can get these rings why can't dealers in the United States get these rings.

Oh, now I remember.  Honda Motorcycle USA sucks.

Starting to get excited again.

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