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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at an 'Adventure' type bike for a while..although yes, any bike could be an adventure bike, granted. The plan stemmed from a chat with a friend. Big star wars fans and I said we should go to Tunisia and check out the star wars sets from way back in 1977. morocco also appeals...but what bike. He's gone for a Yamaha T7, but give this trip is probably a year away, I thouht I could get something a bit more interesting. I've restored/built cars and I've partially refurbished bikes, but time to take this to another level on bikes. Having seen the Harrys garage series where Harry Metcalf took AT's to Morocco got me onto the idea of an earlier bike. RD04's are fairly slim pickings in the UK, so looked at two. Actually decided on one....right colours....then looked at another which was in better condition, cheaper, BUT the colours take some getting used to!

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It's a German import and in really nice condition for the age, but I'm part way through stripping it down. So far, only one bolt broke...one of the two holding the heat shield on. Once cleaned, bolts look almost like new...things like the rear suspension linkage still have the gold passivate on them...so someone has looked after this bike. 67k KM on it. It has a non original front sprocket and the chain was a tad tight, but it's done very little mileage and the output shaft seems good...teeth in good shape and no shaft movement/play, so happy about that. As I take it part, really pleased with the condition. I'm stripping to the frame and will have it blasted/powdercoated (I'm not a great fan of powdercoating...but willing to give it a try..there seem to be some good specialists out there. The seat cover will be changing and the overal paint scheme will be something more RD03 like. I kow it's a rare colour..probably for good reason and I may languish in 'originality hell' for changing it.....
 

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Well done on your purchase. Colourwise, I agree it's an acquired taste - reminds me a bit of the Honda CBR600 I owned in the early 90's which had the 'Benetton' paint job with similar green and pink bits 馃檪
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, since some international travel, I've picked up Covid, so I've been self isolation in the garage. the aim is, as soon as I'm covid free, I'll be going to this place:


Has anyone had any experience? Seem to know what they are doing.

So to this end, the strip down continues:

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Engine out and starting to clean. Zero play in output shaft and splines all good. Even a Honda oil filter...probably a sign of good care...maybe! I laid the engine and frame down on the right side on that adjustable platform and just lifted the frame off...with some slight jiggling. I can lift the engine....but just can't lift it high enough to get it onto my work bench. I'm blaming lack of shredded wheat and covid!

Things like the suspension linkage are all really good..not bad at all for a 30 year old bike

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I need to take a few things off the frame still...which I had at least cracked the front lower engine mount bolts while the bike was whole as getting leverage with my longer bars quite difficult!


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The center stand will also come off and be blasted/coated, along with the side stand and the two frame coloured lower front engine mounts. The rear subframe, the jury is out, as it looks really good, but I'll strip everything off and make a judgement on that soon.

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A lot of dirt, but pretty nice in my view.


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And the front calipers. God knows when the brake fluid was last changed. Not sure what it was, but some rust coloured 'gunk' came out..thick slimy deposits..you can se the colour on the right side caliper. Pulled the pistons, nothing to rust in there, bores good, no corrosion compromising the dust seals, but the slider rubbers on one badly twisted/deformed, so its looking like new pistons, seals..maybe even vapour blasting and powdercoat. I like the pale gold colour, so I'd like to replicate that vs a very yellow gold colour. We'll see. Once the frame is away, I'll start going though the nuts and bolts I've bagged and labelled and see what I need to get replated. In the whole strip down process, three seized bolts. One early on when removing the crash bars...saves with penetrating fluid and perseverance, one on the exhaust shield..snapped....understandable...and one on one fork, where the metal strengthener bolts onto the front and back of each fork along with the mudguard. Some careful drilling needed....as I'm not sure how well even my smallest extractor will work on such a small bolt..looks to be M6. So after telling friends I didn't want any more car restos'...I'm now doing a bike resto.....but enjoying doing this..and should be a far shorter time scale, given the condition of the bike anyway.
 

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I'll follow your resto with much interest. Is that Windridge Coatings in Broadstairs? If so, they're fairly near my neck of the woods and I've indeed used them quite a few times over the years on a resto of my CB750 and also on various garden furniture - I've never had any complaint about them.
If/when you rebuild the calipers, I'd advise using OEM seals - I've used cheaper aftermarket ones before and they are not as robust, typically allowing moisture to get into the dust seal grooves, which causes corrosion in the grooves and the pistons to bind.
Anyhow, look forward to seeing updates on progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep, little bit of a hike for me, but not too bad..I'm in Sevenoaks. I know they appear to do a lot of powdercoating.....but want someone who has experience on bikes. I've shied away from powder coating in the past, as many don't do any priming/rust protection beyond blasting. Windrige seem to profess expertise, so good to have a vote of confidence..or at least no issues!

Thanks for the advice. I want to use new seals for sure and OEM will always be my preference, so thanks for the tip!
 

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Yep, little bit of a hike for me, but not too bad..I'm in Sevenoaks. I know they appear to do a lot of powdercoating.....but want someone who has experience on bikes. I've shied away from powder coating in the past, as many don't do any priming/rust protection beyond blasting. Windrige seem to profess expertise, so good to have a vote of confidence..or at least no issues!

Thanks for the advice. I want to use new seals for sure and OEM will always be my preference, so thanks for the tip!
I too live in Kent and have been looking for a powder coaters near Ashford. The one that seems to get good write ups in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics is True Fusion in Cranbrook (TN17 2AF (01580 714444)). They also do Cerakote. I've not used them (yet) but have planned to take some engine covers over there when the weather's warmer.
 

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A lot of German bikes are only ever registered for use in the summer months due to the winter temperatures & conditions, so older bikes can be in surprisingly good condition. That and the fact that owners usually have a car as well that they鈥檒l use whenever the conditions are poor.

I look forward to seeing the rest of your restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I too live in Kent and have been looking for a powder coaters near Ashford. The one that seems to get good write ups in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics is True Fusion in Cranbrook (TN17 2AF (01580 714444)). They also do Cerakote. I've not used them (yet) but have planned to take some engine covers over there when the weather's warmer.
OK, I'll check them out. I've not had anything cerakoted, but I've been interested in it. I've had exhaust headers ceramic coated, but that was Zircotec....a very different product...seriously heavy duty. They coated an exhaust slip joint by accident for me. I thought I could just lanish it off with an angle grinder and flap wheel. Not a chance! just polished it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A lot of German bikes are only ever registered for use in the summer months due to the winter temperatures & conditions, so older bikes can be in surprisingly good condition. That and the fact that owners usually have a car as well that they鈥檒l use whenever the conditions are poor.

I look forward to seeing the rest of your restoration.
That probably explains the condition. I have quite a few of the TUV certs with the paperwork. It did very little mileage/km's when here. Hope to change that!

I'll keep things updated. Doing my normal bag and label of parts, so things are progressing!
 

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A true observation on German bikes. My 1990 RD04 is of German origin and was in really great order when I got it at 27 yrs old/47k km. I subsequently found out (with ref. to the engine number) that it's the restricted power version, but the way I ride it that does not matter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A true observation on German bikes. My 1990 RD04 is of German origin and was in really great order when I got it at 27 yrs old/47k km. I subsequently found out (with ref. to the chassis number) that it's the restricted power version, but the way I ride it that does not matter!
Ah, what is this 'restricted power' version you speak of!? I should check! (rushes off to do a forum search!:ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ah, I see. Min falls into this catagory:
Market - Germany (Honda Area Code "G/50P")

Restriction on inlet rubbers only.

Engine Nos: RD04E-3000001 to 3002245 for 1990,

Engine Nos: RD04E-3100001 to 3101536 for 1991 and

Engine Nos: RD04E-3200001 to 3201605 for 1992

Inlet Rubbers (called "Insulator, Carburetor" by Honda), Part No: 16211-MS9-710

so I'm going to check my rubbers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ah, I see. Min falls into this catagory:
Market - Germany (Honda Area Code "G/50P")

Restriction on inlet rubbers only.

Engine Nos: RD04E-3000001 to 3002245 for 1990,

Engine Nos: RD04E-3100001 to 3101536 for 1991 and

Engine Nos: RD04E-3200001 to 3201605 for 1992

Inlet Rubbers (called "Insulator, Carburetor" by Honda), Part No: 16211-MS9-710

so I'm going to check my rubbers! here the restricting blighter!
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Ah yes, it was the engine number as you say, not the chassis number as I wrongly mentioned above... time dulls the memory!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ah yes, it was the engine number as you say, not the chassis number as I wrongly mentioned above... time dulls the memory!
well, my rubbers have no restrictions, so I can only assume it was derestricted at some point. I'm glad it did not fall into the category of alternate cams, jets etc....that would have been a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The strip down continues....thie lower race was a pain to remove, but I got there!

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and removing the shear bolts rom the ignition switch was, as ever, a pain, but they came out!
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I turned my attention to the front master cylinder..some kind of seperator is in the bottom...but had to remove it, as loads of 'something' under it

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so that will be replaced, while the sight glass wasn't really clear:

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So that came out as well

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But tere was still a mounting ring left..

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so out came the blind bearing puller which worked well

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and the front subframe stripped. this will be blasted and cerakoted I think.
 

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That lower race is indeed a pain to remove. What method did you use? I recall that I used a small angle grinder (very carefully), giving it a final push with a cold chisel.
 
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