Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've had this '65 Honda S90 for a couple of years now and was thinking about riding it a bit this summer. But decided to go straight into a restoration instead.
When I found it in a barn, it was complete and original for the most part. Which is one of the things I put a high value on. Having just over 1800 miles on the odometer was also a big plus, however is was cosmetically challenged to the point I wouldn't be able to consider it a survivor.
Here is what it looked like when I got it home


After transferring the title into my name, I just let it sit for a couple more years while I was doing other projects. So now it was time to get it started and see how it ran. I always do this before a restoration so I know what is needed for the engine. I went ahead and hooked in a 6v battery and remote fuel feed, cleaned the carburetor, points and checked the timing. Also reset the valve clearances to .002 inch. and put in fresh oil.

Here's a video of it's first run in a bunch of years. Fluid leaking out at end of video is gas from a bad bowl gasket, even though it looks like oil.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl-reAY6qoY
Bike ran good with no smoke, shifted well, but I didn't take it out for a ride due to a few spokes flopping around. The charging system wasn't working. But if your familiar with this model, you know you got to drop the motor to get at the rectifier. Hopefully it will be just a wiring or connection issue.

So now it's time to get this thing tore down, parts bagged and labeled before sending out the part painted parts for media blasting and paint.
Here I'm getting ready to lower the motor.


The whole tear down process is only a few hours with most time taken up by snapping pics for later reference and bagging and labeling all the fasteners.
Since this is hardly my first rodeo with S90's, even riding them in the '60s for that matter, it has been my experience that any barn find S90 will have been the home for mice inside the frame. This one didn't disappoint me in that aspect either. Sometimes I think I could get hantavirus just looking at a dusty old S90.:frown:
With chewed up wiring pulled out of the frame, it's time to get rid of the rest of the nest.


Fast forward from late July till now, as I've haven't had time to work on the S90 project, due to being out on the road to shows, auctions etc., always trying to bring more projects to my shop. :)
Finally got my parts picked up, an S90 in a box;)


Laid everything out to make sure it was all there. Some assembly may be required:biggrin:


Since I also have another red '65 S90 parts bike with really close VIN to this one, I was able to change out some of the crustier parts.
Here I've already redone the front shocks and boots then pulled them through the lower tree, then put on the fork ears and top bolts to keep them from collapsing.


I realize everybody has there own method of assembly, and mine are quite different depending on model I'm assembling as well. Here I've set the forks with lower tree into the wheel clamp to hold vertical so I can place the 21 balls onto the lower bearing race with a little grease. (this image didn't come out as clear as I expected:confused:)

In this position it is easy to lift the empty frame and set the frame neck right down on the lower bearing.

Once the frame is in place it's time to put the remaining 20 ball's (upper bearing is just slightly smaller than the bottom) on the upper race.


Here you can see it's ready for the upper tree after the top bearing is in place.


Not that I've got the bearing adjusted the upper tree goes on and then it's just a matter of putting in the pinch bolts and redoing the top bolts after putting in some fresh fork oil.


Well I hope I can make some steady progress now that I'm back on it, as I sure hope to have it in show condition before the snow flies!
Updates to follow (soon I hope:wink:)
 

·
Six-String Jockey
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
Boy, does that bring back memories for me! Too bad we don't live closer to each other. We could have a blast on our Super 90's!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Boy, does that bring back memories for me! Too bad we don't live closer to each other. We could have a blast on our Super 90's!
It's probably a good thing you two don't live closer! Grace's Annex building would soon have annex's of its own and Grace would have to come out of retirement to support his addiction , I mean hobby! :p
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Finally a little more time for this project and update.
It's time to put into the frame the main wiring harness as well as the ignition switch. This bike has the early 3 position switch instead of 2 position. The non removable battery box always makes it hard to get your hands inside the frame to reach any wire, so I use a wire or fish tape to assist.


After installing the brake light switch and pulling it's wire's up over the back of the battery box, then the rectifier is put inside the frame as well. The nut for grounding it is just above the brake light wire hole to the right. Ignition coil and condenser (still on the table) are next attached to the two post's on top of the engine. Hopefully all will work as engine removal is the only way to access it! :mad:


Finally, engine is in place!! :) Since I work by my self and need to be innovative at times, I just took the bike off of the center stand and carefully placed it over the motor, rather than lifting the motor up, so I can get the first bolt in from the correct side, and just work the rest in by tilting it which ever way is necessary.


With engine in, I can now lock in the center stand with the rear brake pedal and light linkage. I then went ahead and installed the swing arm followed by both rear shocks.


Before installing the rear fender, it's easier to pull both hot wires through the frame for the brake light as well as tail light. Grounding for both elements go back through the backing plate to the bracket, then the fender and frame, to the battery. Wire's exit the tip of the frame through a rubber grommet.


Rear fender is mounted with 4 bolts, and tail light wires are pushed or sometimes pulled through a very small channel on top of the fender. Lots of fun if the channel has been damaged, :icon_mad: but thankfully these are NOS fenders.


After grinding out a little new paint for grounding, the tail light bracket is installed and the wires connected to the socket leads. Tested with 6v too make sure everything works, and we have LIGHT! :biggrin: Also put on the rear fender mud flap.


Moving to the front of the bike, the front fender is carefully squeezed up between the forks and bolted in.


Then the front tire is mounted making sure the brake stay on the fork is in place.


Getting too hot in the shop, so I think I can find something around here to take a cool down ride on, and forget about this for awhile. :71baldboy:
Later!!!
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,857 Posts
Great post! Thanks for making the time to take the pictures and put them up. I love stuff like this.

And that bike is going to be flat out sexy!

Two questions: I know zilch about that kind of machine. Were the fenders originally painted? I thought I remember seeing one about like yours that had chromed fenders, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering that correctly.

Also, is that spray paint on the engine? If it is, what kind are you using? Regular hi-temp type, or is there something better?
 

·
Troublemaker
Joined
·
2,517 Posts
I wish I had the patience, time, skill, and money to do something like this. I'm only lacking all of it!

Great job, don't ever quit restoring history to better than new!
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Great post! Thanks for making the time to take the pictures and put them up. I love stuff like this.

And that bike is going to be flat out sexy!

Two questions: I know zilch about that kind of machine. Were the fenders originally painted? I thought I remember seeing one about like yours that had chromed fenders, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering that correctly.

Also, is that spray paint on the engine? If it is, what kind are you using? Regular hi-temp type, or is there something better?
That model was sold in the US from late '64 through '69 with quite a few small changes through out the production run. Chrome fenders replaced the "cloud silver" painted fenders at the start of '68. So your right, I'm sure you've seen chrome fenders on a few later models.

The engines were painted and clear coated from the factory. I use Duplicolor 1650 Ceramic Cast Coat Aluminum Engine Paint, seems to match original very close and is durable once cured. I don't like to clear coat, as that tends to yellow very quickly and looks bad where ever it gets scuffed from wear. However I do clear coat the frame and all pieces, which the factory did not do. So my restorations are a bit more shiny than original.

Thanks everyone for following along and your comments!:)
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Getting back to work on my S90 project, so it's time for a small update although some parts didn't arrive as soon as I thought they would :( , such as a new tube for rear tire. So I went ahead with installing the speedometer with new bulbs into the original plastic head light bucket.


Tube finally showed up so I put the rear wheel assembly back on the bike and attached the brake stay.


......along with the chain and guard.


After verifying the switches and wiring were good from the handle bars, I set them back on, so now I can roll this thing around if I need to get some other bike maintenance done. :)


Wiring is good to go inside the bucket, so on goes the headlight!


......but wiring is not good here! I'd mentioned that it had a charging problem as well as some wire damage I thought was caused by mice, well it was a whole lot more extensive than I thought. Had I looked closer I would have tried to find another main harness immediately, as this wasn't only chewed up but melted together. Not sure how it even ran so good when I first checked out the engine. When I began to remove insulation from the harness, I could see that the damage went way up to the first junction and beyond, with me having to pull the melted wires apart like string cheese.:mad: I ended up also finding a previous repair about midway had pulled apart. At least I'll be able to slip in a new main harness without engine removal, which is gonna happen as soon as I can locate the correct type. So far I've seen 3 different types for different regions of the world. Looks like a PO had hooked up something wrong and fried it. So far I've replaced the entire green wire which grounds the instrument assembly, handle bars and head light, as well as the complete black wire which provides 6v's to the ignition system, horn, neutral light and brake light. It's also going to take a bit of time to remove all of the temporary wiring used to hook up the incorrect battery that the PO had installed.

....oh well, at least the engine is looking good :biggrin:

Here's the left side with the polished covers uncovered.

For now I'll just complete these repairs temporarily and move along, as replacement later will be quick and easy. It's always frustrating to see that a PO's work can really mess with your patience. Think I'll just relax and watch some football today.
Hopefully more progress later!
 

·
Six-String Jockey
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
Ahhhh . . . there's NOTHING like a good wiring problem. They make you feel like the whole world is nothing but butterflies and rainbows. ;)
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Back on the S90 project. I was having an intermittent electrical problem (I know the worst kind) that was being caused by a loose solder joint on the ignition switch body, that grounded the frame to the battery. This didn't have any effect on the speedometer lighting or headlights or even the horn, because that has another ground path straight from the battery to the headlight and handlebars. Took a few minutes to figure out why the neutral light would work only when it wanted to.
Here's the culprit :confused:, and it wasn't that way when I initially checked all the switch positions. :icon_mad: But it is possible that it may have been already cracked, or there must've been an ancient ghost mouse still living in the frame somewhere.:mad:

So now it should be just a matter of finishing those connections I took apart before I finally just pulled the switch back out.

Went ahead and installed the carburetor and air cleaner assembly. The early S90 air cleaner pieces are becoming unobtainable, so was glad I had everything between the parts bike and this one to complete that assembly.

The fuel line is for temporarily firing it up from a remote fuel source when I'm ready. Than I'll shorten it to connect to the tank later.

Newly patched up main harness and fuel line up over the bike. Cables for speedometer, clutch and front brake now installed, adjusted and ready to go! :71baldboy:


Cable routing on the right side.


Setting on the tank with petcock and new gas cap.


Next I put on the tank panels and badges. Was hoping to get a better picture of the the side panel than what you see here. This picture has so many reflections, including myself in front of the badge, you'd think it was all beat up! It really is a near perfect panel :p


Here's the right side of the tank, and as you can see I've already put on the knee grips as well as the new seat.


Here's a better picture of the seat and left side. :wink:


....and finally to finish of the day, the muffler has been installed along with some mirrors. I'll be looking for a better muffler later on, but this should suffice for now. It does have a couple of little dents in it as well as some rash on the end. As I'd mentioned earlier, the older style muffler such as this, is all but impossible to find.:(


So for the next update, this project should be finished up. The new rubber for the passenger pegs should arrive soon, and then I'll put in some oil and fire it up, as well as take it out for some outdoor shots. I probably won't ride it till next spring, as I hate putting gas in the tank this close to winterizing time.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
23,605 Posts

You guys that restore things have much more patience than I.
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So for the final update, as this project is mostly wrapped up! The last items to arrive were a new ribbed front tire, since the original had severe age cracking. Also the rubber for the passenger foot pegs arrived and were installed immediately. Electrical has been sorted and engine fired. New tire may get installed later this fall or next spring, at any rate before going for a ride!
So I finally took it off the lift and outside for a few final photo's.



Actual mileage at time of restoration :biggrin:


......and one shot in the shade of my backyard :icon_cool:


So now with average first snowfall only 2 weeks away :mad: , it's time to think about winterizing a bunch of bikes. I generally don't work much on my bikes during the winter, but mostly spend time chasing down hard to find parts and relaxing :coffee: . Not sure yet which bike is up first for a restoration next spring, but should either be my '66 Yamaha Big Bear or the '61 Honda CB92 Benly Super Sport. After that a whole bunch more before I die...if I'm lucky! :) :wink:
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
Very nice.
 

·
Shaper Of All Things Metal
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
That is plumb purty! ;)

Really have to take my hat off to you for doing the job right... EVERY time.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone for all the kind and encouraging comments, all in all I enjoy putting these bikes back together and doing the electric and mechanical work, but it also helps to have an amazing metal worker. This bike had mice living it so long it was beginning to rot out from the inside, due to copious amounts of mouse pee which apparently is quite corrosive, beside carrying the potentially deadly hantavirus disease which is not unusual in my part of the country. :( After media blasting it revealed many pin holes in the frame by the motor mounts, that were filled back up with metal.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top