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Thread: My ongoing 1981 Honda CB125S/185/200 project

  1. #1
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    Default My ongoing 1981 Honda CB125S/185/200 project

    I have had this 1981 Honda CB125S which I bought South of Birmingham,AL. back in 2015'.
    I completely restored it from the frame-up.

    20180202_143203_resized.jpg
    The above picture shows it with the XL185 engine installed in late 2017.I rode this little bike across the USA from W. PA. out to Winters,CA. in 2016 after restoring it during the Winter of 2015/2016' bit by bit up in my 4th floor apartment in Delmont,PA. which is in Westmoreland County,PA. I lived there for 3.5 years.I had the 125cc engine pumped with a 145cc big bore cylinder which allowed me to cruise at 60-65mph steady(laying low on the bars,flat over the tank)to reach my destination;it got 75 miles to the gallon even on an Interstate,steady state cruising.I didn't know anyone out here so the best I could do was make the journey,stop and speak with a few residents at this Senior apartments in Winters(I never lived in a Senior place before),I then grabbed an application and headed back to PA.The reason I made the trip was,I had to see the place to decide if it might be right for me..
    I filled-out the application,submitted/sent it to CA. and received an acceptance to my request by mail in early April 2017';I then moved everything I could carry in my old Volvo pulling a 5x8' UHaul trailer out here to Winters,CA.
    Last edited by grcamna2; 05-24-2021 at 01:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Can't imagine doing long distances on a such a small bike even when young let alone as a Senior.
    Impressive, grcamna2.
    2@ \'78 GS1000

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve murdoch View Post
    Can't imagine doing long distances on a such a small bike even when young let alone as a Senior.
    Impressive, grcamna2.

    Steve,I've grown accustomed to it.I originally had a dark blue 1982 purchased for a good deal used back in late 1986 when i was living in New Haven,CT.I had to sell both it and my 1975 Yamaha RD350(which I deeply regretted) when I moved from there in 1987'.I always loved that bike and it had the ability to keep me feeling like a kid in high school.I did some research in 2015' sitting in my apt. in Delmont,PA. and realized that an early 80's XL/XR185 & XR200 engine will bolt right into the 1981',which is the first year they had CDi ignition in the CB125S(same type as the 185/200)and will not require me to need to continue messing-around with points.I looked on craigslist and found this bike for sale for $600 with a title,it just needed work.I went out and got it and restored it over that Winter.
    The bike is small enough(versatile)to fit into my life in Many ways.The larger engine allows me to be able to keep-up on an Interstate in the right lane at 70mph which is legal,although I need to duck down flat at that speed because the bike is so light.I have always dreaded getting stuck in traffic on 2-wheels which isn't what bikes are made for:they're made for 'cruising-through clogs & stressful situations' imo.The little bike is only 225lbs and any time I want I can turn into a 'push-bike'/scooter type of arrangement;I can hop off the bike and go up on the sidewalk(or along the curb) as a pedestrian which gives me more freedom to walk-away from traffic/stress if I need to:walking is one of the best excersizes as we all know .I can also take the bike apart and fit it into 2 boxes and put it on a train or plane if desired,then assemble it when I get to my destination.The bike is the next step-up from a bicycle(which I also love riding)and sometimes I get into a town I want to have a better look at and I turn the bike off and just easily walk it through town so I concentrate more on what the town looks like;I may never pass that way again and I want to 'soak it up' through my senses.I can also ride the bike out in trails('green trails',some of them are on google maps,I can go exploring) because it's light and slowly motor-along through the green woods,etc. until I reach a point where I want to get back out on the road and roll-along.I've been known to park the bike close to bike-racks because it isn't much larger than a moped;sometimes bicyclists get upset because they've had bad experiences with mopeds on the road somewhere? and say to me verbally or with a note that it's not good,etc. lol Where I live in these apartments,parking is a pain;I've parked it in the same spot together with my automobile(I have done this in PA. also) and others weren't too put-out about it.I suppose what I'm saying is,it's a 'low stress ride' which I enjoy and the gas prices out here in CA. are difficult so it's a 'win-win' for me !
    I really need to keep an eye on the bike though:the last thing I would want would be if it was stolen.

    Edit: of course I certainly do look forward to getting and slowly restoring my 1983' GS750ES
    Last edited by grcamna2; 05-24-2021 at 11:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Honda-IansHonda125.jpg

    I've a softspot for the 125! The bike above a perfect match to the one I learned to ride on! It was definitely easier on it, back when speed limit was 55mph and 175cc is a definitely an upgrade!
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 06-19-2021 at 10:19 AM.

  5. #5
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    So, does it now have a 200?
    "Thought he, it is a wicked world in all meridians; I'll die a pagan."
    ~Herman Melville

    2016 1200 Superlow
    1982 CB900f

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS1150Pilot View Post
    So, does it now have a 200?

    No,I removed the XL200R engine I had just installed because of a cheap china piston & rings that didn't seem to seat-in properly,plus a need for valve guides that I thought would be ok:top-end issues.The bottom-end and transmission/clutch(5-speed trans rather than the 6-speed in my XR185 engine)are excellent in that XL200R engine.I now need to save my $ for my newly purchased 83' GS750ES which is scheduled to arrive here early next week ! I reinstalled my XR185 hybrid engine with a new repro Made in Japan camshaft and rocker arms designed for the stock XL185 engine which gives the engine lots more MPG and better torque/response in midrange operation.The XR185 engine is running great although still that nagging high rpm vibration which a visit to the machinist in Loomis,CA. will certainly fix.

    I originally removed my XR185 hybrid engine which was running good,but because of the vibration in the high(6500-8500+)rpms I felt while on Interstate 80.I used to live in West PA. in Westmoreland County from Oct.13' to April 17' and during that time tried to find an independent Powersports Machinist who would do crank rebuilds,bore cylinders,valves and valve guides,etc for me to a nice close tolerance.I had tried 3) different machinists who were So independent that my 'small jobs' were 'put on the back burner' to collect dust and never got done.I finally found this one man(Eric)in Mt. Pleasant,PA. who's Father used to own the local Kawasaki dealership in that area.He had his own shop on the side of his house where he worked for motorcycle customers.I found out later he didn't like guys with Honda's but Loved customers with Kawasaki's and I didn't realize that at first.He did 4) crankshafts for the 185/200 Honda engines(the same 57.8mm stroke) for me and so far all of them have had issues later-on.I removed the one Eric originally did for me back in 2016' from my XR185 hybrid engine in early 2018' because of vibration(I found out later it had a worn-out lower rod bearing/crankpin)and just to get her back on the road again I ordered an Ebay crankshaft that was in very good looking condition as far as machined surfaces and bearings:low miles excellent in fact.The thing I didn't like was that the Ebay crankshaft had some deep gouges in both flywheels,as if it had been kicking-around somewhere.I installed it and it was better than the one I removed whom Eric had 'rebuilt' using the exact same used parts because he said "it'll be fine". I'll remove the nice Ebay crankshaft eventually and have the machinist in Loomis true-it for smooth running
    Last edited by grcamna2; 06-19-2021 at 05:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    How many motorcycles do you own?
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob S. View Post
    How many motorcycles do you own?

    Hi Rob S.,
    I presently own my little 1981' Honda CB125S with 3) extra engines.I'm also really looking forward to take possession of my 'new to me' 83' GS750ES and begin the repair process as soon as it arrives here.

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