Who would like to hear about my summer holiday?
There is a cry from the back of the internet – “Get back to work you lazy so and so” and I suppose that sooner or later I must. In the meantime though I’ve been playing with Little Project. Just like in the Bobby Ewing post, as I lazed around the pool (did I mention I’ve been on holiday?) I decided that my last couple of days before going back to work would involve dropping an engine into the frame and riding off into the wide blue yonder.
You will remember that I have approximately four engines. We need to generalise slightly here because there are four lumps of Tokyo’s finest bits of metal all with components missing. A cylinder head here, an engine cover there, so the first challenge was to decide which of the four was to become the beating heart of Little Project. Ideally it should be the original Little Project engine but rather surprisingly all of the nuts and bolts that hold the engine casings in place are rusted, rounded and/or sheared. A couple of hours on the workbench with the impact driver did nothing to improve this so I’ve moved it to one side for one day when I am really bored. The numerically astute amongst us will quickly have gathered that this brings us down to three engines. Two with engine numbers starting CB125 and one starting XL125.
You’d think that when old Soichiro Honda issued his instructions to build a range of single cylinder 125 motorcycles he would have said something along the lines of “Okay chaps, we will build a trail bike, a trial bike, a sporty number, a commuter and then if we’ve any time left over we can knock up something for rounding up sheep, let’s use all the same bits and just stick different bits of plastic on them, oh, and just glue a bit extra on the forks of the off road ones so they’ve a bit more movement”.
The manual lists twelve different carburetor types for the 125 engines alone. The wiring system is different on the XL to that of the CT and the CB is different to them both.
Still, nothing ventured… The XL125 engine does not have a cylinder head on it. This isn’t necessarily a point to rule it out but when I have two engines that do then they are going to be favourites. I checked the compression on the two CB125 engines (I did this really technically by putting a kick start onto each of them and turning them over whilst holding my finger over the spark plug hole) and they both seem to have at least some compression so it was a case of using one of these. But which one?
After much debate with myself about the various benefits of this engine over that engine that included things like “This one has a wire coming out of the points and the other one doesn’t” and “this one seems to have some oil in it” I chose the cleanest one. This was roughly based on the principle that somebody in the past may have loved it more. Based on these principles, you probably wouldn’t want me to adopt you but we all have to start somewhere.
So I put on my (not even slightly) pristine overalls and extracted my polishing cloth from where I had left it (fortunately I sniffed it first, I’d previously used it to wipe up some battery acid so it probably would not have been ideal for cleaning the new Little Project motor) and got to work on cleaning up an engine.
Then I put it in the bike. It looks like this.
from one side and it looks like this from the other.
Now I’m not saying for one minute that we’re finished. But. There’s an engine. In Little Project.
Buoyed by this I decided to look more closely at the electrics. If you ignore the fact that everything above a certain point has been sheared off then then the wiring loom is (sort of) complete. All I have to do is work out where all of the bits from a CB125 engine plug into their respective CT125 slots and Bob’s your uncle (I’m not sure how well known that saying is, it may just have been used by my Father, but it means that everything should be plain sailing). Oh, and of course I need some points, and an ignition coil. These are minor points in the grand scheme of things though. After all, there’s an engine in Little Project!
For the rest of the week I plan to scratch my head over the carb collection (sadly this doesn’t involve choosing pasta, rice or potatoes) and just possibly put attach the CT125 stickers that I have been putting off doing for several weeks.
Thanks for popping by. I do hope you come back again.