A month or so back my Honda CB650 went on the disabled list, owing to the fact that the oil spray from the leaking cylinder head was messing up my work pants. I looked into retorquing it, as I had done to the XS650, and saw that it was a much bigger job AND that many more experienced CB650 owners didn’t think it likely to work.
But in the process of searching for a solution, I ran across this one guy on this forum who said his solution wasn’t to fix the leak, but to stop the spray. He shoved nylon rope (so he said) into the fins, blocking the cylinder head joint; oil that sprayed out was thus caught by the nylon rope, which he would replace from time to time, and his pants and shoes were kept clean.
Now, nylon (or poly) rope doesn’t have that high of a melting point, but I know from experience that natural fibers can actually take quite a lot of heat. So I got a roll of sisal twine (not actual rope) at Wal-Mart and ran six wraps (really, three wraps of doubled twine) around the engine at the base of the cylinder head.
I’m calling this the Redneck Rope Trick. Not saying the original guy was a redneck, but I am, so there you are.
So tonight, having done this oh-so-technical fix to the Honda, I decided to take time to test ride both my 1980’s.
First I did a 33.6 mile loop on the XS650, running the Deer Ridge – Irish Ridge road. Saw some deer, didn’t hit any. Burned 0.6 gallons of gas, so 55 MPG or thereabouts. Still no oil weeping out of the head… perfect!
Unfortunately, when full, gas weeps out of the gas cap. Guess I need a new rubber washer for that.
Also, the aftermarket mirrors from 2FastMoto I put on are crap. I really want a set just like the ones on my Honda CB650, so it’s off to eBay to see what I can find.
Next I took the Honda out, running over to Knox City, then north to Colony, a couple of my favorite roads. Coming back down toward La Belle from Colony, I turned off and took Deer Ridge to Midway, then instead of continuing on Irish Ridge I went on down to Lewistown and thence home. About 42 miles, altogether. Saw more deer near Deer Ridge State Park, but again, didn’t hit any.
The CB is SO MUCH smoother than the XS. This should surprise exactly no one. But the XS is so much nicer on city streets… it’s geared a bit higher, and doesn’t need to be shifted as much. And it sounds GOOD, throaty and assertive.
I am the proud owner of two frickin’ awesome vintage bikes, and I could not be happier. So glad no one could see me laughing maniacally as I whipped them down the ridge roads…