Readers Tips

This section is for tips sent in by you.

Send in your hints and tips and I'll post them here so that we can share them with the rest of the worldide Honda Hornet Hardcore.

Please note: all tips listed are just suggestions and ideas and not necessarily 'Honda' practice.

John (aka Wun Tun) has a wheel alignment tip...

"Rear Wheel Alignment - Loosen the rear axle nut a bit so that you can make adjustments to the chain. Slacken off the adjusters a few turns and slide the rear wheel forwards. Then tighten the adjusters such that the markers line up on both sides. Adjust fo 1.2" to 1.6" of slack in the chain at it's tightest point. Now for the final alignment bit. With the rear of the bike up on a paddock stand or similar, spin the rear whel by hand and you will hear the chain whirring on the sprockets. On the left hand side only, alternatively tighten and lossen the adjuster while spinning the wheel and you will hear the whirring noise get louder and quieter as you move the spanner up and down. Find the quietest position and the chain will be perfectly aligned. Re-check the slack and adjust for the correct ammount of free play by moving the adjusters an equal ammount on both sides. Tighten the lock nuts Tighten the axle nut to 65lbf-ft and off you go."

Calum has a few additions to the WD-40 treatment list...

He says: "Don't forget to clean the Radiator cap. Wipe regularly with WD-40 to stop the black chrome finish on the rad cap giving way to mild rust or corrosion. Also, while you're at it, coat the two radiator side strips to prevent oxidisation spots. The bolts which mount the front callipers to the front forks quickly start to dull. Keep them coated in WD-40 too."

Next up is Al from Ireland...

He says: "If you keep your Hornet outside, use two covers. The canvas ones let water in after a while, so when they do, give it a good wash and they go nice and soft. Then buy a plastic cover. Use both of them, in all weathers. The soft canvas protects the bike's paint work and the plastic keeps the water off. If you use a plastic one by itself, you get loads of condensation, which is a killer for the bike."

Simon Hunter has a top tip for cleaning up corroded and dirty pipes...

He says he managed to get them looking pretty reasonable and nearly back to orig condition...
1. use a hose to get as much of the crud loosened - follow up with a tooth brush.
2. Get the finest grade 'Wet n' Dry' sandpaper you can and apply liberally - you'll be able to get around the back of the pipes if you try.
3. with the bulk of the rust removed, then try 000 grade steel wool with a bit of Fairy Liquid and go over all surfaces again.
4. 99% of the pipes will be looking pretty good by now. Apply Autoglym Metal Polish with the 000 steel wool - you can go harder here.
5. then buff with steel wool/ cloth combination - Be -oooot-t-iful!!!!

Gary Smith sent in a top little tip...

He says: " I've Discoverd a handy way of getting flys and shit out of the headlight rim....

Dip a cotton bud in Mr Muscle and clean round the rim. It gets rid of all the flys easily...."

Sam sent in a helpful tip...

He says: "Here is a tip that wont take lot's of elbow grease and still get the front pipes looking like new.

Use a spray on wheel cleaner (Turtle Wax Wheel Clean) and watch the crap dissolve, bring up the pipes to a dull sheen. Then use a metal polish applied to a cloth and buff to a shine.

BUT - be careful when spraying, put a cloth over the engine to protect the aluminium as the cleaner contains Hydro Chloric acid."

Al's back with another tip...

He says: "Cleaning the Hornet can take hours. Don't try to tackle all of your Hornet at once.

Break it into 4 zones.

1. The forks and front wheel.
2. The rear wheel, swing arm, sprocket, chain and mnoshock spring area.
3. The engine.
4. The 'top' ie: tank, seat, clocks etc.

Wash all the bike as you normally would, then really go to town on one of those zones.(unless you've got more time)
Use the tips in the main tips section on whichever zone you're cleaning.
You'll find you really focus on things that normally get over looked and it looks the business."

Steve C wrote in with a handy hint...

He says: "A super little gadget for loosening and tightening your oil filter is the "Boa-Constrictor", which is simply a plastic handle with soft plastic strap which wraps around the filter housing.
Also ideal for getting the tops of ketchup bottles!
Less than a fiver, I got mine from Homebase... Much better than chains and metal straps."

A cleaning tip for the downpipes from Erik...

Erik says: "Here's a cleaning tip to get the exhaust pipes clean and looking as they were when you get your brand new Hornet.
You can use a cleaning product for glass ceramic kitchen appliances made by 3M (Scotch Brite) or similar.
It removes the black spots, and the brown colour they go after months of riding.
!However! Be careful - DO NOT use it on plastic or painted parts, it is quite agressive."

A tip for keeping you hands dry in wet weather - from Speed Angle...

Speed Angle says: "Don't use your skiing-gloves when it rains, but wear surgeons-gloves beneath your racing gloves.
You'll keep a good feeling and response without getting wet and cold.
They're sold nearby every university for the students of medicine. And they're cheap. I heard some professional racers in moto-GP use them, too."

A tip for cutting the rear mudguard down from Richard Boese...

Richard says: "Leaving a stubby piece of the mudguard in place to retain the original reflector looks a bit odd and doing the job is prone to slip ups when cutting.
My solution - buy a stick on reflector that can be positioned under the tail light. I did this with an NWS tail Tidy (see photo), but I'm sure the same could be done with the standard tail unit if it was being cut.
The only thing I did to make room for this was cut the surplus dealer advertising of the edges of my number plate. You may think that the position under the tail light means it is hidden and it is, but only if you are standing within 2 paces of the bike. From further away, or from a car or rider's point of view it is easily visible."

Mark Szolkowski shares a Hornet cleaning tip...

Mark says: "Here is how my Dad cleans his Hornet - and mine!
For the stainless steel exhaust pipes, he didn't fancy using wire wool. So he bought himself a Black & Decker with flexible attachment (i.e. Dremmel kit) and felt pads with Autosol cream. After about an hour, the pipes look like chrome with no scratches. As for the crank case, he uses the same technique but for the nearside lower half of the crank case (which isn't lacquered) he uses Super Aluminium polish from Carnells for 3.50 a tub which works, removes oxidisation and gives a really good shine which is better than what he gets when he uses Autosol instead.
The engine is shiny, ridden in all weathers, job's a good 'un!"

Send in your tips and hints and I'll post them here.

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