CB400X Gear Indicator Mod

This has got to be the easiest to install, yet useful mod I’ve added to my CB400X. Being a somewhat budget bike, the Honda CB400X does not come with a gear indicator. And because the gears are so close together – especially gears 5 and 6, I found myself searching for that phantom gear 7 on many occasions.

The gear indicator with the MT090 connector fitted.
The gear indicator connects directly to the OBD / diagnostic port of the Honda CB400X. That’s the red port under the seat on the RHS of the bike.

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CB400X DVR Installation

Say CHEESE! Snap, snap!

With the number of irresponsible road users these days, sometimes all it takes is just one idiot to bump into you and subsequently deny all responsibilities to cause your insurance claims to shoot through the roof. Worse, it was recently reported that sham accidents and motor insurance fraud is on the rise. The cheapest form of insurance against such cases would be an on-board video recorder to capture the evidence if you ever run into such incidences.

The Vsys T2 1080p FHD front and VGA rear DVR system.

After evaluating various DVR solutions, I’ve decided to go for the Continue reading “CB400X DVR Installation”

CB400X 12V Power Distribution

While I’ve previously connected some electrical devices to the Honda Options Connector on my CB400X, they were done rather crudely. Instead of splicing the wires, I opted to squeeze them through the connector. While this resulted in no physical damage to the existing cable wiring, there were 2 possible issues…

No wire splicing. Just squeezing through the Options Connector Plug. NOT the correct way to do it.

Firstly, there’s no way I can ensure a secure connection. A little bit of bike vibration may just shake the connection loose. But secondly (and more importantly), in order to squeeze the wires through the connector plug, I had to use a very small diameter wire. Now, I’m not sure the actual AWG of the wire I used as it wasn’t printed on the insulation sleeve, but I’ll estimate it to be either a AWG22 or AWG24 multi-strand insulated copper wire.

Here’s the thing – the circuit is protected by a 7.5A fuse. That’s the good news. But the bad news is Continue reading “CB400X 12V Power Distribution”

Ikea $0.60 Helmet Hook Hack

I was searching for a place to hang my helmet off my bike. This is especially useful at the Singapore-Malaysia immigration borders where I’d need to remove the helmet for proper identification. Some people choose to hang the helmet over the mirrors, but I don’t like that as it may inadvertently adjust the mirror angles.

And then I chanced upon some spare s-hooks purchased from Ikea. Enter the Grundtal S-Hook! $2.90 for a pack of 5pcs – and boy! Are they useful!

That’s less than $0.60 each!

For starts, they make a perfect handlebar-end helmet hook! Continue reading “Ikea $0.60 Helmet Hook Hack”

CB400X LED Aux Brake Light Installation

Safety has no compromise. In my recent 2,000km tour to Thailand, I experienced one of the heaviest downpours when traveling along the Malaysian North-South Highway (NSHW). Visibility was so bad that many vehicles had their hazard lights blinking as the crept along. I had a riding buddy close behind me, and over the Sena Bluetooth comms, I queried…

“Hey JC, I’m gonna lightly hit my brakes. With my tail lights turned on, can you help me take a look to see if the OEM Honda CB400X brake lights are obvious enough, or do you think I should add an auxiliary brake light?”

I tapped on the brakes lightly and intermittently.

“You should add an additional brake light.”

The CB400X brake light connector.

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Wiring up for power on the Honda CB400X

Having recently purchased the Honda CB400X, I’d love to have the option of adding on electrical accessories. I have previously wired up my Pulsar 200NS and added a relay and a fuse to help isolate the circuit from the rest of the bike’s electrical system. The main reason being that if an add-on accessory fail and short circuits, you don’t want it to affect the bike’s other electrical system.

While researching on how to wire up the CB400X, I realised that Honda has already included a fused ignition-on feature built into the bike! No messy relay needed! And this is done via the 4-pin MT090 options plug found underneath the seat.

Schematic of the power wiring on the CB400X

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Wiring USB Power on my CB400X

My very first DIY mod on the CB400X – wiring up for USB power!

Now, I’m super-dependent on my mobile phone (who isn’t these days??). My iPhone 8 is not only my communications device, but also my GPS navigator. With the screen kept on and GPS active, it takes a huge toll on the phone’s battery. Ideally, it should be hooked up to a USB power source to keep the battery charged.

I’m still awaiting for some other electronic accessories to arrive via mail order. Meanwhile, I’ll need to keep my iPhone happy. So I did some research on how best to tap a 12V source only when the ignition is turned on. Turns out that Honda has an Options Plug tucked neatly underneath the seat which provides a source of 12V (always on) and 12V (only available when ignition is on). Perfect!

Location of the Options Plug where a 12V (ignition on) source can be tapped.

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Pulsar 200NS Rear Monoshock Settings

The Pulsar 200NS comes with an adjustable nitrox-charged monoshock rear suspension. Although the damping is not adjustable, the spring preload is.

At my recent tour to Betong, and because I was riding with a group, I realised that when it came to corners, I seem to hesitate quite a bit more than the other bikes. It could be a case of chicken, or that my Pulsar was the most underpowered bike. But when I was discussing this issue with a fellow biker, he suggested that it could be due to the suspension setup of my motorcycle.

The Pulsar 200NS rear gas-charged mono suspension comes with NINE (9) levels of adjustment settings, with 1 being the softest and 9 being the hardest spring preload. The factory default setting is a very soft level 2. While this may be suitable for most “average sized” solo riders, heavier riders (like me) or riders with pillion and / or luggage should increase the preload for better damping.

Level 2 – the default rear shock preload setting on the Pulsar 200NS.

I tried borrowing various suspension wrenches from various people, but unfortunately Continue reading “Pulsar 200NS Rear Monoshock Settings”

Pulsar 200NS Engine Oil Anomaly

This is crazy… At the Sunday Morning Ride, I was just talking to a fellow biker about carrying an extra bottle of engine oil for a long trip. And when I returned home after the ride, washed and waxed by bike, I realized that my oil inspection window was… EMPTY!

I had initially thought it was still “warm” after the ride and allowed some time pass to allow the oil to flow back down. But checked the oil window the next morning, still empty – no matter how I tilted my bike. 🙁

So I thought the high RPM run on Sunday might have something to do with it. No external oil leak was observed. So my worst fear was an internal engine oil consumption – aka oil “burning” up. Was it an engine gasket issue? Perhaps a valve oil seal failure? But it was only 17,000km since my engine was rebuilt in Chiang Mai, and I’d be very disappointed if an oil leak or oil consumption occurred.

As a temporary measure, I added Continue reading “Pulsar 200NS Engine Oil Anomaly”

Detailing the 200NS Exhaust

Yes, I’ll admit it. I pamper my ride. A lot. And it isn’t just my motorcycle. I do that on all my previous cars too.

The 200NS comes with a black-painted exhaust header instead of some shiny stainless steel. It’s been some months since I painted the exhaust header on my 200NS, and there are some new signs of very, very light corrosion. I’ve had good experience with Rustoleum’s High Heat paint on the exhaust and still have more than a half-can remaining.

Rusty exhaust header on my Pulsar 200NS during my 2016 SE Asia Tour.

I recall someone asked me if the exhaust stays black (forever) after the Rustoleum High Heat paint treatment. While I would love for it to be the case, the truth is that I will have to periodically repaint it. Well, that person subsequently mentioned that it was too much of a trouble for him and he was really looking for a more “permanent” solution. Dude! It doesn’t exist! Even polish and wax have to be periodically re-applied! Unless, of course, your machine is a showpiece and remains perpetually in display and not used at all. Continue reading “Detailing the 200NS Exhaust”