Honda NT400Bros - project

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Franz, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    So here's another one to be done until yearend. Got one legally registered Bros in Bangkok, transferred by then to my old place in Bowin.
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    Now will redo her completely for my partners biking pleasure and the re-register to CNX. Got a second invoice one from Pikey which I will only use for spares. Frame was already recycled.......
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    The yellow bike was in the hands of a local mechanic......The 'Snail' David helped but just shook his head in disbelief. Now both engines are for a redo 2=1 at Pistonshop; I haven't got the time and patience anymore because this consumes every weekend where I should be out and riding with my mates......But anyway I'll do all other parts of the bike as can be done in the small hours every evening. First thing was to strip them both down to nothing. next was to get the better front forks installed, oil in them was smelling like hell, think was still the original one from >/= 12 years ago, second was to remove the ugly black paint from the original Aluminium frame which is a beauty in itself and fit the original handle bars again. Had to cut some new threads into them first because somebody used to tighten them so much so he removed completely the threads and broke off one screw......
    So here's a first pictures of the stripped frame and all other parts still strewn over my private hobby workshop...... :wink:

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    Will do some updates in time, cheers, Franz
     
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  3. mbox999

    mbox999 Ol'Timer

    Hi Franz,

    Nice project...you should find spares easily too i got some of my spares for the bros at red baron where they had quite a lot and fairly cheap.
    I know some people like those sideboxes for touring but consider a magnetic tankbag instead for the bros.Looks much better and the weight is also centered) I used to have one for my 650 bros.Beautiful bike with "muscle" look and great power and sound( i had an kerker exhaust mounted - the one on the pics is the original one).
    here some pics from a few years back when i had the bros & shadow...

    mbox

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  4. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Mbox999, why did you sell this nice looking NT650 ? Really good looking bike. Spares are no pompemm for me as I have 2 and will do 2=1. As for the sidecases, they're gone, will fit a topcase only as this still gives me enough storage for daily trip necessities. See you had the high handlebars installed, still considering if I should do the same but find the current and original short and low ones not too uncomfortable. Cheers, Franz
     
  5. mbox999

    mbox999 Ol'Timer

    Honestly, the bros looks great...but lacks comfort, but besides that i was having eyes for something else then...so both bikes had to go and than i had a Honda vfr 750 K than a vfr 750 FG and finally a vmax 1200 ( and a freaking wife :) )
    mbox
     
  6. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Ohhhhhh. I'm gonna love watching this thread. Great project bike Franz :D !! So what do you have planned for this thing?

    One idea i had was turning one into a lighter Africa twin for roadwork action and mild dirt road trips:

    *Triple clamps and forks from an XR250
    * Spacer in the shock to extend the travel (owner of YSS should be able to do this mod), or take measurements (eye to eye length) and look for a longer shock substitute.
    * have a larger tank panel beaten over here from aluminum sheet metal to increase the riding range or just reshape the stock tank for another gallon is cheaper.

    Sorry I missed the gathering at your house last week as I was on a trip. Would of loved to catch up with you. See you around.

    Justin
     
  7. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Justin, this one will be turned into 'original state' again, no mods, no additions other than a topcase, getting asked by my better half now already every day: 'when is the yellow one; my bike finished ????'. Well no choice here but once SRX6 and NT400 are finished I'm gonna look for a rego SRX4 which then will be rebuilt to a semi bike as these ones give you more clearing, are narrower and even easier to handle. Simple technique will also make it a favourite for some not too heavy offroading.

    Well whenever you are near HangDong, why not drop in for a beer & chat, can be workdays in the eve after 19:00 or during weekends, you're always welcome !!
    Cheers, Franz
     
  8. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

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    That bike looks familiar :shock:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Justin,

    If you (or anyone else) are looking for a donor bike to fulfil your "Africa Twin 400" dream, we have a non-plated 400cc Bros for sale here at the shop. The first 25k snaps it up!

    Cheers,

    Pikey.
     
  10. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Penetrator, yes that's the one from Tony's & Pikey. Was already taken apart to the last bolt months ago and awaits its parts to be used wherever necessary, nice runner this one but frame had to go as no plate only invoice and I didn't want to run the hurdles of making it legal..... :p , cheers, Franz
     
  11. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Whatever happened with the Bros project Franz ? Just bought 1 in the UK and looking for some inspiration as to what to do with it.
     
  12. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Penetrator, sorry posted the finished project on some other thread and can't remember. To cut a long story short:
    Finished it and it looked sweet, gave it to my former partner, by then he hit a road crossing drunken Somchai in Phrae; luckily had still the parts from the scrap one and could get it back to it's former glory. When we separated, after a while he ran out of money so sold it back to me. Then my engineer needed a bike, so he bought it but now that his wife will give birth to No.2, he's not allowed to ride it anymore and had to sell it to some farang. It's somewhere in CNX but I don't know where.
    Some fotos in restored condition:

    [​IMG]
    Strange, but this bike in yellow looks really cool.
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    Have seen one in orange, also nice colour for her.
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    Any attempts for me to fit topcase or sidecases didn't work out favourably in the overall layout of the bike, looked fugly at best.
    So good luck with yours !! Get yourself a good repair manual and try to Photoshop some fotos in different colours so you can get an idea as to what colour suits yours best. Cheers, Franz
     
  13. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Another excellent job you did there Franz. Did the fly screen make much difference at speed ?

    Here's a pic of mine from a few days ago:

    [​IMG]

    It had been in a front end shunt when I got it, forks were bent and steering was slightly anti clockwise. I had the forks straightened but the handlebars/top yokes were still not in line so I changed the bottom yoke and it's still a wee bit anti clockwise. Top yoke doesn't look bent but I can get 1 cheap so will probably try changing that too. The valve clearances need doing but apart from that it's in very good nick, only 33'000km on the clock with paperwork to back it up since it's been in the UK. Was thinking about a colour change, electric blue or maybe candy red with original Bros stickers but the Black and silver theme is growing on me. Might just add some black and white or black and silver chequered flag striping and strip the gun metal grey off the fork lowers, either leave them polished aluminum or spray them black. Not sure if I'll keep the exhaust as is, thinking of maybe shortening the connecting pipe and cutting the can down a bit so it's more in the position of the original, or maybe putting a short megaphone on it. I'll mess around with a pic in photoshop and see how it'll look. But it does sound great with what's on it.
     
  14. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Penetrator,

    No, screen was only there to give it some more protection against all the moscitoes that gather on the handlebar and speedo housing, easier to wash. You wouldn't need one as this bike tops out at around 150-160km/h and needs some time to do this, depending on your choice of sprockets.

    Forks: yep that's the issue with the Bros, the forks are not what one would expect today, try to get some good ones on Fleabay and change all sealrings and also the headbearings, use a thicker oil than SAE10. Also have a look if the caliper/discbrake are in the right, centered position, change also the wheelbearings, they cost no fortune.
    As for the exhaust, I like yours although shortening it a wee bit might make it look even better. Forget about the original one, you need a heavy lifter to fit this ugly heavy mass of metal.
    Just check how your center stand is limited in upwards position because once the original muffler is gone, so is the limiter for the center stand and the chain will scratch on it. For any work you need to do on the engine you will start to appreciate the aftermarket one as the original one is not easy to remove as stuck between header pipes and backwheel, I can tell you a P.I.T.A., sound is also like two dogs farting........................
    All in all your bike looks sweet, just take my advice, the original paint is always the best one even if not so beautiful like one would have it but if there are no deep scratches keep that one and just try to repair some small worn places. During the time this bike was built, it was still some way above the quality we get today. I mean prices have come down, manufactoring has been much more automated and if anyone builds a bike that lasts 20 years, hell, that would mean for them no sale for this customer for the next 20 years.............
    Another careful examination should be with the carbs, carefully read the manual as they are jetted differently, the front if I remember right has a slightly smaller main jet and the back a bigger one to have it more rich as the back one gets hotter. I used the Haynes one. Also the carbs should be balanced from time to time.
    Mine had some issues with worn axles where it drew some air. Another one is to change the diaphragms as when too old they do not offer enough tension and bike sometimes starts to stutter at higher revvs, first you could try to give it more air in removing the little snorkel on the airbox.
    One more glitch is with the tensioner wheel for the backwheel where you get your chain adjusted. Many of these bikes had some 'Johns/Somchais' with no proper tools work on it and using a bigger screwdriver to tension the chain. With this, some of the teeth are gone and it is very difficult to turn it both directions.
    In the end I just opened the main washer on the axle a bit too, so to have easier access to the centering wheel. Worked perfect.
    Yeah and the plastic rear fairing, all the fitting holes have broken off of mine so I had them rewelded with new plastics.
    Good luck for your repair work & restoration !! Rgds, FR
     
  15. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the advice Franz. I checked the valve clearances a few days ago as the engine's a bit noisy on tickover when cold, but everything seemed pretty much perfectly adjusted. There's also a bit of noise between 3'500 - 4'500 rpm when warmed up too. Engine pulls really well and I'm fairly confident the 33'000km on the clock is genuine, I've got all the old MOT's and service receipts since it came to the UK in 1999 and when I took it for it's MOT there was a couple of guys in the shop who had experience of Bros's and both said it looked genuine. Looking for an original rear right indicator for it, same type as the spares bike you had that I did the Mae Hong Son Loop on. If I cant find 1 in the UK will try in Thailand next time I'm over.
     
  16. Cruising

    Cruising Ol'Timer

    Lovely machines guys. How hard is it to source parts for these bikes here in Thailand?
     
  17. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Cruising, very hard to find spares here. The bikes that are still in use even miss some original parts. My favourite used parts shop in Pattaya opposite the Lotus-South has sold all of their parts & bikes already to a scrap dealer. Fleabay is the only chance; both the Bros 400 & 650 use similar parts. Rgds, FR
     

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