DIY $3.50 Exhaust Header Rust Removal

After quite a bit of use, the once-shiny stainless steel exhaust headers on the BMW R1200GS is beginning to look a little dated. Thick brown-black crud and rust has collected on its surface and looks like it’s slowly eating into the metal. I’ve seen some YouTube videos on an inexpensive homemade solution to rust removal….

$2.50 for the bottle of Harpic, and $1 for the Scotch Brite sponge pad.

Yes – Harpic! That magical toilet cleaner also works great on the stainless steel exhaust headers! Continue reading “DIY $3.50 Exhaust Header Rust Removal”

How NOT to Disc Lock Your Motorcycle

Keeping your motorcycle safe while touring in a foreign land is important. The bike is, after all, not only your primary trip companion, but could be your only transport home too. A simple disc lock may be enough to deter the casual thief from stealing the bike – although it won’t stop the really determined ones from lifting it onto the back of a truck.

But, is there a “wrong” way of doing it?

In my recent 1000 Corner Malaysia ride, a fellow riding buddy had a brilliant idea he picked up from a YouTube video. To make it really difficult for the bad guys to brute force crack the disc lock by drilling it, lock it such that the keyhole opening is facing the INSIDE of the brake disc instead of the usual OUTSIDE.

Secured with disc lock and keyhole facing the INSIDE of the brake disc. Ooh… reminder cable too!

Continue reading “How NOT to Disc Lock Your Motorcycle”

V-Sys M2F DVR install on the BMW R1200GS LC

One of the must-have electronic accessories on a motorcycle these days is an onboard digital video recorder, or DVR. A DVR hooked up to the bike not only helps capture those amazing biking moments, but also serves as a faithful witness in the event of an accident. And since I had some time on a Saturday morning, I decided to go DVR shopping.

I had eyes on the V-Sys M2F dual full-HD Wifi DVR for some time now. I did a little research on Carousell, and found a local seller that goes by the name of “apexmotorcycle”. Headed down to their shop along Changi Road with the intention of picking up the unit and installing it myself.

Boy! Was I in for a rude shock!

Continue reading “V-Sys M2F DVR install on the BMW R1200GS LC”

LED Fog Lights install on the R1200GS LC

With my $5 relay-switched power setup installed, I can now go ahead and slap on some fog lights / aux lights on the BMW R1200GS LC.

Some inexpensive high-quality Chinese waterproof motorcycle LED fog lights. Not everything on the BMW has to be an expensive Denali, Clearwater, SW-Motech or Wunderlich.

Continue reading “LED Fog Lights install on the R1200GS LC”

Wiring up for power on the BMW R1200GS LC

I would love to install some electronic accessories such as fog lamps, USB power and DVR camera (just to name a few) to my newly acquired BMW R1200GS LC. As I was researching on how to wire up to supply power to these components, I’ve come across a diverse range of opinions from the “unlike the Japanese bikes, you should never mess with the CAN-bus system of the BMW” to the really expensive solutions such as Fuzeblocks (USD90) and Hex ezCan (USD170).

While the above gadgets have some additional fanciful features to justify their price tags, in reality, I was searching for a simple, elegant, inexpensive solution to power my electronics without interfering with the CAN-bus on the BMW and must also not fry the onboard electronics of the R1200GS should any of the add-on electronics decide to turn rogue.

I was pretty impressed by the BMW R1200GS LC under-seat super-neat layout.

Continue reading “Wiring up for power on the BMW R1200GS LC”

How to keep your motorcycle boxes fresh

Do you keep your motorcycle helmet in your topbox or side cases? What about your riding jacket and riding gloves? If you do, like me, then you’ll find that the boxes start to smell after awhile. Now here’s a tip…

The odour obliteration device! A handy pouch hanging from the corner of the inside of my top case.
SGD$1.90 for a 2-pack. They last for about a month each – so that’s less than a dollar for every month of topcase freshness!

The added advantage is that this leaves your helmet and riding gear smelling fresh and ready to wear when you return to bike from that lunch / dinner / shopping stop!

Clunky gearshifts? Try this first!

It’s been a tad over 7,000km since my last oil change. And of late, I’ve noticed that gear changing on the 400X seem to have gotten a little clunkier. Definitely not as smooth as I once remembered it to be.  And so there I was contemplating the decision as to whether I should pamper my machine with some fresh engine oil.

But then, this clunky gearshift appears to be rather random too – sometimes shifting from one gear to the next feels like the gearbox of an agricultural tractor; but on other occasions, it could feel as smooth as a well-oiled precision machinery. And so I figured that it shouldn’t be the case of the engine oil approaching end of life.

As the clutch lever is pulled in, the cable pulls on the clutch-release lever of the clutch housing assembly.

Continue reading “Clunky gearshifts? Try this first!”

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.

Continue reading “CB400X Gear Indicator Mod”

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”