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 Post subject: The stuff that Dreams are made of... (1997 Honda Dream 50)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Many of you have read up on David's Honda Dream 50 from his thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=18171

And also a friend who picked up a Dream 50 as well like here:
Image

Well, that guy was me! I've been wanting to make a thread for quite some time but never got around to it because I moved back to Tokyo and had to wait more than a few months to finally shipped the bike to me. Now, I got the bike at my new place and hit the ground running on upgrades, tuning, and full on engine bore-up kits! I will be trying my best to post what I did, how I did it, and why in the following posts. Many upgrades and tunes I, sadly, didn't take pictures of but I can do my best to recreate what I did. More importantly, I have tons of info on the bore-up and fun numbers like torque specs. and how to break the head bolts... :roll:

So as it stands, it is a 50cc with a bore-up to 89cc via Takegawa kit. IT has high cams and a full race exhaust from S-Precision. The rear shocks are cheapo auction style but do the job well and front fork outer springs are (maybe) S-Precision as well. More to come!

Image
Image


Last edited by Sideglide on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:04 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 493
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Yes!
I've been waiting for you to post this up! Can't wait for more!

Cheers,
David

_________________
1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1973 Honda Life // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS // 1996 EK11 March 1.3 // 1997 AC15 Dream 50
My Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/nakazoto/home


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:22 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Im jealous.

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:05 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:19 am
Posts: 59
Location: surrey, bc
looks fun.


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Sorry for the long wait, updates coming tonight (Japan time)! Also found out there is a Honda race shop near my place, with a Dream as well as old authentic race tanks and goodies. I will see if I can get an interview going for JNC!


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:41 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
So, as the story goes, I wanted to get a Dream50 after seeing (and sitting) on David's bike. We had talked about him selling it to me but in all the talk, he found a renewed interest in the bike and decided to keep it. I hit the web to see if I could find a shop selling one that wasn't too expensive (over $2000). I checked online auctions, used dealerships and low and behold, there was a bike for sale very close to where I worked, and for about $1800 listed.

David and I went over to the shop to take a closer look. At the time, I had never driven a bike nor even a license to own one yet but knew i needed something. The bike ran...so-so. It was chattering with evidence of a tired engine (43k km/h on the Odo) and was less than perfect. We talked the seller down a little bit and decided to think about it. I was fighting all my urges not to buy on the spot. That turned out to be a good call. A month and a half down the road, after trying to find a substitute that wouldn't eat up all my money in repairs for months and months, we tried the seller again. As it turns out, they hadn't sold it and were in talks to have it put up on Yahoo Auctions by a brokerage house. After some clever acting, good negotiation skills by David and his lady, it was bought for $1500 with a year's worth of insurance thrown in!

The ride back to David's garage was harry for him but we got it back. (bone stock)
Image

As I said, the engine was pretty tired and kick starting it too many kicks and a little luck. Within a week, we replaced the oil pump with a high flow Takegawa pump (had to drill out a passage that was a whole mess involving stripped bolts), new oil filter, fresh Honda oil and it was running much better! The engine still had a valve slapping sound but at least it was running! By that time, I had gotten my license and riding began!

The carb was also a definite source of trouble. I got a hand me down from David since he recently upgraded his carb and the bike was even better! So much fun and freedom!

Another week went by and more parts were coming in to either prevent future breakdowns or little dress up parts. I am a big proponent of having working brakes. I decided to order all new pads, brake lines, and brake cylinder rebuild kits. They may have not been needed, but I wanted to have the best I could get as a new rider. The crazy story of the brakes is coming next....

In the mean time, here's one more pic to tide ya over:Image

Yes it's in an apartment. On the 11th floor. 2 minutes from Nagoya station.


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 493
Location: Nagoya, Japan
I've done a lot of interesting things in my life, but I can safely say that on your balcony was the first time I've ever sat on and started up a motorcycle 11 stories in the air!

_________________
1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1973 Honda Life // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS // 1996 EK11 March 1.3 // 1997 AC15 Dream 50
My Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/nakazoto/home


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Yes, It's surreal to ride it (briefly) out of a room on to a balcony and see the Nagoya skyline. It was a thrill for a few of the ladies too ;)


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:17 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:56 am
Posts: 38
Location: TN, USA
Sideglide wrote:
Yes, It's surreal to ride it (briefly) out of a room on to a balcony and see the Nagoya skyline. It was a thrill for a few of the ladies too ;)

I couldn't help laughing while reading this, lol.


I love what you've done with the bike, it looks great! The gold rear shocks really set it off IMO. Hope you enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
I left off with the brakes. As mentioned, I always make it a priority to change/refresh the braking system with any new vehicle purchase. With cars, it was a brake fluid flush, new rotors and new pads. With the bike it was new fluid, new pads, new lines, and newly rebuilt master cylinders. The rotors looked OK and may have been replaced previously by the amount still left on it after 43k. I decided NOT to get new caliper pistons but I DID get new seals for them.

I ordered all the parts and in a week they were in. I went to David’s place since that is where my bike was being stored at the time/all the time (sorry Dave!). Since the calipers were coming out, and I’m an artist at heart, I decided it needed some metallic gray paint as well to hide the tired looking calipers from the day of light.

Honestly, the rebuild of the front and rear master cylinders were a piece of cake! I decided against buying the $150 repair manual cause, how hard could it be? That mentality works 90% of the time. Next up, I hit that 10%. While rebuilding the calipers, I took out the pistons and, stupidly, installed the fronts backwards. The piston is a cup-shaped piece of metal. The “bottom” of the cup should slide into the caliper first. I slide the “top of the cup” in first. While I didn’t know it at the time, it was going to be the bane of my existence for the next 3-4 hours. With David’s help, we started to bleed the rear (easy) and then the front…taking its sweet time….then more time…..then more time…..more bleeding…and more, and more, and more…. What the hell!!

No matter what we tried, the caliper still seemed to not get primed. Hands started to cramp and brains started to twist. I hated the brake lever. My enemy! Finally, after getting angry, then more angry, we realized the piston was reversed. Instead of the brake fluid pushing from the bottom outwards to put pressure on the brake pads, then rotor; the piston was acting as a cup and just slowly filling with fluid just like a cup does. Easy now right? Nope.

The next step was to get the pistons (2 for the front) back out. Since they didn’t have pressure built yet, they were completely nestled inside the caliper. There was no way to pull them out. We had to pump MORE fluid into the caliper until the pressure finally caught up and began to nudge them outwards.

One side was starting to move faster than the other, I was able to get one side out, flip it around the correct way and install back in (so the system would still hold pressure to get the other out), and worked on the last one. That one came out after getting a strip of rubber to grip the tiny rounded piston that still barely wanted to come out and play. Got that flipped and installed and everything was finally buttoned up.

All said and done, the floor, our clothes, hands, and pride was soaked in brake fluid. My brain had trauma from this experience but at least my body would survive the road haha.
The front:
Image

The rear:
Image

A look of painted caliper from the rear:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
I'd like to take a moment to share a great resource I still use for this bike:

http://www.cmsnl.com/

This site has online parts for sale. I have not ordered through them yet since the dealers are so close to me, but I DO use this site to find out the part numbers for parts i need to order through the dealer. It also can double as a basic repair guide with the parts explosion diagrams. They also separate by model destination so it's possible to find parts (alternate) found in diff. regions.

Give it a look if there is something you want to order but just don't have a part number.


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
The last pic posted eludes to a few other “upgrades” I went through.

They say that adding aftermarket wheels is the #1 mod people do to cars with the most satisfaction. I would agree with that. Not always do performance upgrades give you the satisfaction that lasts. Sure, a fast engine is awesome, but seeing a little “show” can sometimes be better than the “go”.

I had the stock foot pegs on and they weren’t doin it for me. Besides that they were beat up, They were short for my big feet. The Honda replacements were almost $10 per side, so I opted for some aluminium ones I found on Rakuten.co.jp (an online site that acts like a virtual mall-of-sorts). I got them for $15 as a pair and they came knurled. This was key if I ever was in the rain and it helped me keep my feet on the pegs in corners.

Stock peg circled in green (ignore the rear fender)
Image

My new knurled alum. pegs:
Image


The next “mod” was to get the fake tank strap to look a little more authentic. On Yahoo Auctions they have real tank straps from the CR110s but for the price of a black market baby (a clean one). I decided to head over to the hardware store and buy some washers. With a bit of silicone to hold them in place, they looked very realistic! To make it better, I might cut out the center bit of rubber so the tank paint shows through the centers. The inset size is also the same diameter as a ¥100 yen coin. I might get another strap and glue those in for added fun.

Regular:
Image

Mine:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Around the same time as the brakes upgrade, I deleted the rear fender off the bike. This happened about the same time the air box was yanked in favour of a carb trumpet. I ALSO deleted the battery in favor of a capacitor block (Thanks to Dave). All this together transformed the look of the bike from a retro bike to a proper café racer profile.

The airbox was pretty easy, just shed the covers, airbox, filter, and snorkel. By doing this, the battery lost a place to rest. The capacitor block made by David was 1/3rd the size and rested under the seat backing.

This is like David’s setup (his pic):
Image

The black wrapped block here (very hard to see but it is near the plumber’s metal strip):
Image

Now, with that out of the way, I could delete the rear fender. Doing this created 2 problems. There was nothing to keep the wiring running under the tank and seat from being exposed to the elements, and the license plate and rear brake light had nothing to attach to.

I once again reaped the benefits of David’s trials and tribulations on his Dream50 by getting him to make me a plate out of sheet alum. To act as a rear wheel guard and took his idea of a rear lamp mounting arm.

Guard plate:
Image

Our taste in styling is a bit different. The stock lamp had to go. It was big, bulky, and was a child of safety regulation, not slick styling. I found a nice oval rear lamp that I liked that came with a license plate bracket to boot! With some leftover stock from one of Dave’s builds, I made a new mounting arm and transformed the look completely.

Here's the license plate and rear lamp bracket.
Image

What the bike looks like typically:
Image

David’s rear lamp assembly:
Image

My rear assembly:
Image


Last edited by Sideglide on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:08 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Yet a few more fun bits to play with. I bought off Yahoo Auctions a heel guard made by S-Precision. I think this actually is 50/50 form and function. There have been a few times previously that my spidey sense has gone off and I pull my foot back (pre-new pegs). Here it is:
Image


I also bought some brass bolts for the engine cover. The cover itself is sealed but doesn’t really function as far as keeping oil from leaking so I didn’t feel bad in putting on weaker metal bolts. I like the look and really pops off the ample amounts of surrounding silver bits.

Image

Finally, with all this safety going on, I needed to dial it back (for the thrill, right?) and hacked off a bit of the chain guard to better match the lines of the bike. It also got a coat of paint.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Time to talk about shocks. Honestly, this bike was never meant for me. What I mean is, I am a 82kg, 6 foot 1 or 2 guy that towers over this bike. If the tank wasn’t as stretched as it is, I would look down right goofy on it (still do Im sure). Either way, the suspension wasn’t cutting it. I would bottom out on occasion from the rear travel. David wanted to keep his style all authentic as possible. I was more into a mix of both, tastefully done of course. I opted for a set of run of the mill coilovers with a separate oil chamber. They are fully adjustable and were rated for a 350cc bike. At least the larger engine rating would maybe help displace my larger body was my thinking. The rear suspension set me back $50. A laughable price compared to my first coilover setup I purchased for my ae86 back in 2002; and I had to build the damn thing. Even more so was when Greddy first came out with their F+R coilover setup that I got at cost for $1400. So imagine my surprise when the rear suspension for the Dream cost less than a cover charge in Tokyo.

For the front, I really wanted to go outer springs. But I couldn’t find any. They were mythical in scarcity of finding them. David grabbed a set on an auction out of nowhere so I opted just for a fork flush.

*Mental note: Remember that if you are changing the fork fluid without a stand, to do it one at a time.

I made the mistake of doing one fork, then, before recapping the fork I just filled, loosened the other and the whole front sunk like a rock. Fluid blasted out like uncorked bottle of champagne. The fork fluid flush was worth it. With that and also adding a bit more than stock to get it firmer, I was able to have better feedback and control of the bike.

After David decided to do his monster project of grafting the Dream 50 onto a CB125T (nuts!) , he sold the outer springs to me and I finally got a well-balanced ride and closer to hitting my asthetics.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
I’d like to take a moment and talk a little about making repairs easier. Ya see, tiny screws suck. They are weak, offer little grip even with a Phillips head screw driver, and are hard to reach. Flathead screws are even worse. For that reason alone, I began replacing all of them with socket cap head screws (Allen/hex style). Not only that, but also stainless screws to keep a new look. On a car, this can get stupid expensive, on a bike with most of the screws being small, it is manageable even with a budget. Not only that, they are stronger, offer more grip for loosening/tightening, and can be accessed easier because of the many angles of force it will accept. All the tools I need to adjust them can fit in any jeans pocket.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of... (cafe racer UPDATED
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Moving on, it’s time to address the lighting of the bike. Thankfully, this is a 12v system. I have a friend that has a bike (CB50) running on 6v currently (haha, get it??) and is running into problems with compatibility and parts options.

The Dream 50 stock has a decent set of indicator lamps and headlight. But it was too visible and tame looking for me. They distracted from the lines of the bike. Besides, race bikes don’t need to indicate! Haha.

Stock:
Image

I eneded up getting some pretty small indicators that retain the overall shape of the stock ones. They also mount in the same location. The bad news is they are made of plastic all around and gaining access to the bulbs requires squeezing the lens to release it from the housing. This is fine now, but over time, it will become brittle and crack. I plan on getting a new set that are made from metal and have access screws.

Next up, I wanted to minimize the electrical strain on the capacitors (remember, there is no battery). As it stood, running at night with the headlight on and indicators flashing caused all lights to get dim. To me, that doesn’t sound too safe at night. I wanted to go LED.

I found the right bulbs on:
www.aliexpress.com
The price was about $5 for the rear lamp, and $3 for each indicator. The down side is, to get free shipping I needed to wait several weeks for delivery. Still, it was better than the massive amount of cash you see on ebay or a local auto supply store.

** A note on buying these. Measure, measure, measure the housings the bulbs will go into before ordering. I ordered a few different sets just to be safe and it saved me. One was BARELY too long, the other just right. On housings that are larger, this isn’t really an issue.

*** Another note: Make sure you buy the correct bulb socket. Most auto shops in America use 1157, 1156 and call it good. There are also international codes. Here is a diagram I made up to sold the confusion when ordering:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of... (cafe racer UPDATED
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
cont...

When I got them, I still had a few issues. The first was that the electrical draw from the LEDs are so small, that excess voltage coming off of one indicator would light the others. This is because in the stock wiring harness, they are all looped together. One reason for this is that there is only one lamp on the tach that is lit to indicate a turn signal. The other reason is that stock incandescent bulbs draw so much voltage that if one is turned on, the excess voltage goes to the other bulb but is not enough to light it.
Single indicator on tach:
Image

All of this means that I needed to get some beefy diodes (A3) and wire them into the harness to sponge up the excess voltage when a turn signal is on. It sounds confusing but was pretty easy to do. I headed down to Akihabara (15 minutes away from my home) and found the right diodes:
Image

Then I used these Honda diagrams as templates for my wiring guides:
Image

Image

Here is after I soldered the diodes:
Image

And these are the LED bulbs:
(2 diff. types for the gauges)
Image

And the rear taillamp:
Image

(Sorry, no pics of the turn signal bulbs)


Last edited by Sideglide on Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of... (cafe racer UPDATED
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
cont...

With the rear and turn signals all taken care of, it was just the headlight that was the last draw (hahaha). The problem with THAT, is that there isn’t anything really made for bikes (that Im aware of) that is bright enough to be used in low-lit areas. There are some that are only for city riding aka it lights, but you can’t see anything without street lamps. I tried to make a light that would fit the headlight housing by using a tall “tower” LED but that failed when the bulb socket fell apart. I might try this again sometime in the future.

The best I can do is to install a toggle switch on the headlight so it is not on all the time. Currently, the bike ran the headlight all the time whenever it was on. I bought a $1 tiny switch and wired it into the low-beam handle control. So, with the low-beam ON and the toggle switch OFF, the headlight was also off. This means if I ever had an emergency or was riding in say, a tunnel, I could always have a headlight by switching the hi-beams on.

One thing I could do was buy a new headlight assembly. The current one had a glass reflector but was showing its age with scratches and a haze. I always like yellow headlights so I went for a SEV Marchal look. The down side is the bezel on the new assembly was plastic and the stock was metal, but I can live with that.
The black is new:
Image
Image

The new assembly was pretty cheap (around $30 shipped) and the reflectors are better angled. I can tell ya, people walking on the street really get out of the way when they see the yellow creeping up on them!

But, going back, I said there was a second problem to the indicators. The LEDs caused the flasher rate to triple. In the car world, this is super annoying. For the Dream, it was actually kind of nice. It wasn’t too fast to be shaming, and in all honesty, I want other drivers to notice me. I could have installedthose “Hershey’s Gold Nugget”-looking resistors for each signal but I am OK with the flash rate. There are electrical flasher relays you can buy (instead of the mechanical ones that most older bikes have, causing the flasher issue) but the Dream had the flasher relay integrated into the handle controls. It would mean I would need to break into the controls and fiddle with super tiny components…I’m OK.

Here you can see the size of the new indicators and the LED bulbs inside. They are super bright and can be seen from all angles!
Image

LEDs
Image

With new headlight:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff that Dreams are made of... (cafe racer UPDATED
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Ever since I got the bike, I wanted to swap out the exhaust. What I really wanted was a set of Yoshimura pipes. They mimic the stock setup with one pipe per exhaust valve. The problem is they are long discontinued and go for near $1000 used. Takegawa also has a “Megaphone” but I didn’t really like that one either. I had looked around for a S-Precision setup since they are known to actually race Dream bikes and makes performance parts for them but they too, we a bit too expensive.

One day I found a set used on Yahoo Auctions and jumped at the chance. The results were this:

Image

Gotta love the class of shipping them in a beer box ;)
Image

Big!
Image

After a complete cleaning and repainting with hi-temp semi flat paint, they now look like this:
Image

The sound is wicked and mean. People used to get out of the way at night from the yellow headlight, now they do it during the daytime from the pipes roaring down the narrow streets of Tokyo! The increased airflow on the pipes meant that my jetting was thrown off and was losing a bit of power.. so I needed to fix that right quick!


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