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!

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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.

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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.

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Honda Motorcycle Starter Relay Safety Recall

Most affected owners *should* know by now that Honda had a massive recall on multiple motorcycle models due to a potential failure in the starter relay switch. A failure could lead to a fire or even the bike suddenly stalling – which is a potential accident risk. The potentially faulty starter relay switch seem to affect multiple Honda motorcycle models manufactured in 2014 and 2015. My CB400X is a 2014 model. *GASP!*

Being the 3rd owner of the vehicle and only recently acquiring it, I have no idea if my bike’s starter relay is affected, or if it had been swapped out. And since this is a SAFETY issue and a possible FIRE HAZARD, I decided to be prudent about it and do some investigation myself.

Location of the starter relay on the CB400X.

The starter relay switch is located on the Continue reading “Honda Motorcycle Starter Relay Safety Recall”

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”

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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My poor, poor CB400X…

I don’t trust the previous owner of the bike.

Just before the handover, he had agreed to replace the bike battery (it died while viewing) and perform a once-off engine oil change. I specifically asked if he used a fully-synthetic oil – and he said YES; though he couldn’t recall the oil name (red flag!). So he arranged for tow and got the agreed stuff replaced.

Mobil Super 4T 10W50 mineral oil and the removed Yuasa battery.

Firstly, Mobil Super 4T is a mineral oil – not synthetic. Next, the manual calls for 10W30 viscosity on the CB400X / Continue reading “My poor, poor CB400X…”