ANY QUES­TION AN­SWERED OWN­ING & RID­ING Q Can I re­place my head­light with an LED ver­sion?

If we don’t know the an­swer, we’ll find the per­son who does What’s the per­fect choice for my first pad­dock stand? What makes a good mid-80s restora­tion pro­ject? Q

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

I want to con­vert the head­light on my 2001 Kawasaki ER-5 to LED and put run­ning lights else­where to in­crease my vis­i­bil­ity. Is it le­gal and where do I start? Rupert Vin­ing, email

An­swered by Chris Dabbs, MCN


I need to look af­ter my Honda CBR125 my­self so I am look­ing at get­ting pad­dock stands for the front and rear. What do I look for? Alan An­der­son, Eal­ing

An­swered by Keith Rois­set­ter, In­fin­ity Mo­tor­cy­cles You re­ally only need a front stand if you are chang­ing tyres, and I’d leave that job to the pro­fes­sion­als. A uni­ver­sal rear pad­dock stand will hap­pily fit your you can add run­ning lights.

Mount­ing the units and rout­ing the wiring safely and se­curely is the chal­lenge. You will prob­a­bly have to make spe­cial brack­ets and the wiring loom on your 2001 bike may be tired and the earths are likely to be in poor con­di­tion.

The next snag is con­nect­ing the LED lights’ skinny cables to bike for rou­tine main­te­nance. I pre­fer the cup de­signs that fit un­der the swingarm, in­stead of hooks that re­quire swingarm bob­bins to be in­stalled and can foul the ex­haust. Plus, the CBR doesn’t have threaded sec­tions to take the bob­bins any­way.

Buy from a rep­utable firm, as there are some very cheap and nasty stands out there that will fold like origami, even un­der the weight of a CBR125. the nor­mal-sized cables in the loom. The eas­i­est way is to use Ja­panese bul­let con­nec­tors. Sol­der the skinny wire to one bul­let, and crimp the other side with a crimp tool. Be­sides the usual in­su­la­tion, the sol­dered con­nec­tion would need in­su­lat­ing from vi­bra­tion and cor­ro­sion with RTV sil­i­cone sealant or a semi- flex­i­ble glue, such as CT1.

The wiring side is dead sim­ple – take a tap off the feed to the tail light or pi­lot light and use it to power your ex­tra run­ning lights. The small draw of the LEDS is un­likely to need ex­tra fuses. But be­cause your bike is ex­posed to wa­ter, vi­bra­tion and road dirt, the joins have to with­stand that at­tack. I’m han­ker­ing af­ter a Ja­panese bike from my early rid­ing ca­reer as a restora­tion pro­ject. I started rid­ing in 1982 and had a suc­ces­sion of dif­fer­ent bikes through the mid-80s. The list in­cludes a Suzuki RG250, early Honda CBR600, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R750, Kawasaki GPX750R and a Honda CB1100R. Are there any makes or mod­els that I should avoid, per­haps be­cause of spares avail­abi­ity? John Welling­ton, Cas­tle Barnard

An­swered by John Wyatt, Ris­ing Sun Restora­tions Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha all have half-de­cent spares avail­abil­ity, with Suzuki the best of the bunch. For ex­am­ple, you can still pick up an orig­i­nal 1982 Suzuki GS1100 fuse box.

How­ever Honda de­cided to con­trol their spares’ qual­ity and stock lev­els by buy­ing up a lot of their Ja­panese spares sub-con­trac­tors in the early 1970s. So there are fewer Cb-se­ries fuse boxes and in­di­ca­tors gath­er­ing dust on shelves.

For­get a CB1100R for that very rea­son, and be­cause a donor bike will cost you £15,000, but a jelly-mould CBR600 is new and cheap enough to con­sider, as are GSX-R750S and GPZ900S.

I’ve a Honda Su­per Black­bird that’s given me years of good ser­vice, and runs fine if I make short jour­neys. But when I stopped for fuel on a longer run re­cently the bat­tery was stone-dead. When I called out the AA man, he was able to jump-start it eas­ily enough and the charg­ing cir­cuit seemed to be work­ing so I was able to ride home. Any ideas? Ray Grant, Southend

An­swered by Colin Barnes, Chas Bikes This seems to af­fect quite a few Honda mod­els as they get older. From my ex­pe­ri­ence it’s usu­ally a fail­ing reg­u­la­tor-rec­ti­fier. It seems that a fail­ing reg-rec can cope with a short jour­ney, but on a longer run it over­heats, then shuts down un­til it cools down. It will only get worse, so a re­place­ment is in or­der.

Al­though they’d bring the ER-5 bang up to date, there are no roadle­gal af­ter­mar­ket LED headlights There are no le­gal af­ter­mar­ket LED headlights avail­able yet, but De­mon Tweeks War­rior from £17.50 Mo­togp from £34.99 Spe­cial brack­ets may be re­quired for r

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