Engine oil – 10W-40SAE. It is best to run in a re-built engine with a quality standard mineral oil to allow the pistons & rings to become conditioned. I would recommend its continued use, changing regularly at 1,500 miles for engine longevity. Change more often if used for short journeys only. Always choose a motorcycle oil to keep the gearbox nice and smooth, it has additives not found in car oils. In the 1970’s I used Castrol GTX 10W40SAE in winter and Duckhams Q 20W50SAE in summer, that engine did at least 45,000 miles without trouble. Castrol Act>Evo 4T is 2011 product and I’m told that Duckhams Q 20W50SAE has been discontinued.

   NOTE: Do not use synthetic or semi-synthetic motorcycle engine oils or car engine oils on this machine, under hard acceleration the clutch will slip. I have just replaced the clutch plates and fitted 10% stiffer EBC springs, tried using Motul 5100 10W40SAE semi-synthetic once again and the clutch slip was gone. I’m now testing Hein Gericke fully synthetic 10W50SAE and so far no problems, other than, clutch lever is a little heavier to pull and is tiring in slow moving traffic.

   Oil pressure – Honda quote 64 p.s.i. although one commentator recons 40 p.s.i. is more the norm.

    Super lube synthetic grease (PTFE) is recommended for the swinging arm, caliper bracket and other chassis bearings. It has excellent dielectric properties and should not seize!, it also has a very wide operating temperature range.

    Drive chain – Adjust and oil every 500 miles or sooner. Every 3,000 miles or at least once a year I clean the (non o-ring) chain with white spirit and re-lubricate in a hot chain wax bath made by Putoline. So far this has helped the HD chain to cover 12,000 miles and measured around half worn. Tip: it is worth lublicating around the split link at regular (250 mile) intervals, it is the weakest point and always seems to have some corrosion when removed.

   Fuel – Premium Unleaded 95 research octane number (RON) is fine for all Honda’s from this era. High octane fuels like Shell V-Power 98 RON, BP Ultimate 97 RON or Total’s Excellium 97 RON may keep the engines valves etc. a little cleaner if you believe the hype?. Stale fuel can cause starting problems, do not store over winter. E5 fuel contains 5% bio-ethanol from sugar, wheat and rape seed, this should pose no problems either, that said alcohol absorbs water and may therefore accelerate fuel tank corrosion unless it contains corrosion inhibitors. Tesco is the only retailer to supply E5 fuel as standard Un-leaded in the South East and North West of UK. E85 fuel is not suitable and would cause severe over heating due to running very lean.

   Fuel additives promise so much, but a 2007 “Fifth Gear” laboratory test proved otherwise. All the additives found in the large automotive sheds yielded an “INCREASE” of 2% in fuel consumption and were considered a total waste of money. Large oil companies spend millions on research and the necessary additives are already in the fuel you buy at the pumps.

Known problems:-

    Major oil leaks have been found on the oil pump pressure switch. Replacing the switch is the only cure.

    Always use a new aluminium sump plug washer when changing the engine oil. A used (crushed) washer has little give when tightening and can result in a cracked sump pan!. The last “Genuine Honda” washers were only 18p each so why take the risk. If when changing the oil you suddenly find you are without a new washer, anneal the old one by heating it to cherry red with a torch.

    Oil has a shelf life of 3 years after which the additives start to settle out and moisture be absorbed.