CBX400/550 Know How

Please le me know if you know some other useful information for continuously running CBX400/550 series.

Take attention please. In almost case, these information are depended on reporter's personal experiences. Please let me know if you have some different experience.

So sorry, Japanese page has more tips...


I got Honda original maintenance manual arround $25 in Japan at spring 1998. But I don't know the situation about support service of Honda for foreign countries.
Just information.
Whitehorse Press has. many motorcycle documents.

I found one. CBX 550F Four manual on the website of Haynes Motorcycle Repair Manuals series.
I have never seen the contents of this, please let me know if you have some useful info about English or another language manual.
(Yasu. yasuda@bakkers.org)

For daily use

  • Do not use a large keyring or many keys attached ring for your ignition key.

    The weight of them pulling down on the ignition key / steering lock unit wears the barrels inside the lock and makes the lock unusable after a while and a replacemant necessary. After I had learned this from experience, I only ever put the ignition key in the lock by itself.
    (From Phil.)

  • Be careful when removing the side covers.

    The plastic tabs that hold the side covers on break very easily and I have not found any adhesive that will successfully stick them back on. Replacement side covers are VERY expensive.
    (From Phil)

  • Flush out the brake master cylinders with fresh brake fluid at least once a year.

    The rear cylinder is prone to rust and it can be quite unnerving to be riding along and have your back brake slowly jam on and slow the bike to a crawl.
    (From Phil)

  • Information from Bas in Netherlands.
    1. Metzeler tires give the best overall handling, even when they wear out (at least that's my experience: Bridgestone sucks)
    2. every time you drive: check the oil level & pressure of the tires.
    3. every 5000 km: change the oil & oil filter, battery level.
    4. every 10000 km: change the air filter, the spark plugs, adjust the valves, clean the carbs.
    5. When necessary: tires, brake pads, chain, pressure of the shocks.
    6. Original brake pads are way to expensive. EBC brake pads do fine and cost less.
    7. Don't lose covers: they cost a fortune.

    Typically Trouble

    After I started this CBX enthusiasts page, I heard many CBX trouble cases then found the typically trouble.
  • The engine makes strange sound arround 3500rpm. Tititititi...

    It is the signal of cam chain tensioner problem.
    CBX's twin cams are driven by cam chain. The automatic chain tentioner is included but this is not work well in many cases.
    My CBX makes strange sound arround 3000rpm or 3500rpm. 'Titititi...' and this noise disappear over 6000rpm. In high rpm area, arround 8000rpm, engine makes excellent CBX exhaust sounds without any problem. After I changed the cam chain tensioner / slipper, the noise arround 3500rpm completely disappear.
    An engineer said, in usual case, only we have to re-tension by adjust the tentioner every 20,000 km. But in my case, I cannot adjust it because the slipper was broken and I have to replace it. There is no way.

  • Starter motor full of oil.

    The engine oil leaks to inside of the starter-motor. The hardened oil seal behind the bearing is the main reason. Change the oil seal and the bearing.

  • Trouble shooting tips from Axel (abloess@gmx.net) in Germany.
    1. for the front wheel shimmy : Use Cone Bearings which are a little bit smaller and paste it with Glue (that's not joke). The frame Fittings are not cylindric.
    2. Stop oil Consumption by mixing oil leak stop made by Liqui Moly into the older oil.
    3. Jerking front forks can be tuned with silicon grease putting into the washer ring lips and under the dust covers. Alternative Tyres if allowed are 90/90-18 51H A48 Michelin front and 110/90-18 61H M48 rear.
    4. for leaking front Forks : Use 25 mm Washers on each side into the Fork and no air pressure.
    5. for cam chain rattleing : Dismount the mechanism and shorten the spring a little bit and after this shorten the rubber sleeve 10 mm.
    6. The best muffler in original design is an 4-2 Exhaust made by Sito and much cheaper. If you want to order it in Germany here is one Adress : http://www.motorradladen.com/ but you have to use the original pipes.
    7. It's possible to install catalytic converters made by PROTERRA.
    8. Putting 20mm rings into the spring suspens. buyin' a new cam chain tensioner and shorten the spring cover 10mm.
    9. If you need brake pads only use original spare parts http://www.mrc-gmbh.com/ Best adress in Germany for used parts.
    10. if your front fork only works with pressure use silicone or vaseline.
    11. Under the dust cover and side covers can be repaired with "uhu 2 component" (glue).

    For backing on the road.

  • After over three years off the road, my CBX550 is back on the road.

    All the repairs are done and it is registered and I am riding it, even though it is Autumn, coming into winter here. I had fork seals replaced, carburettors overhauled, rear brake master cylinder replaced, tank cleaned out (very rusty), exhaust welded of some holes, new tyres and tune up and I am back on the road. (I am smiling as I type this)
    (From Phil)

    This page is administrated by
    Yutaka Yasuda. (yasuda@bakkers.org)