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Thread: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

  1. #641
    Rusted shv18's Avatar
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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Hi All,

    So after riding around like crazy on my new Green Elephant (link: https://www.xbhp.com/talkies/superbi...nja-650-a.html) it was time to pay attention to my obedient and reliable housewife: my "littlebird". Being engrossed with my Ninja for a while i wholeheartedly admit that i was inadvertently ignoring my Honda CBR 250R for a while to the extent that i had actually forgotten about it till i realised that a month of half had passed since, i had last seen my CBR. Well what can i say, "absolute power corrupts absolutely!!" Regardless, it is now time for the second part of the story on how we finally managed to identify the hidden electrical gremlins on my CBR and the necessary steps taken to rectify them once and for all...

    So get yourself a bucket of popcorn and let us begin with the story then..


    THE AFTERMATH (PART 2)

    It was time to pay a visit to my CBR as i felt guilty of ignoring her for near about a month and half. So the first thing we did was to remove the Amaron AGM battery from the terminals and check the voltage at the ends considering the fact that my bike has been lying idle for a such a long time, it may have potentially lost a signifiant amount of charge and may not crank my bike... but to my surprise Amaron had still managed to retain 12.79-12.80 volts! Let us not forget that by now the battery has turned 3.5+ years old and all the signs were pointing towards very healthy and functional cells inside the battery. So kudos to Amaron for making such a reliable and resilient battery which has proven itself over due course of ownership, even after being taken to extreme sub zero temperatures it still never skipped a beat.



    Pic 1: SOC (State of Charge) of Amaron AGM Maintenance Free battery after 1 and half month of non-usage. Totally worth it and highly recommended in place of Exide!!

    While i was in Guwahati, i managed to visit Vinayak Honda to place order for rear brake light switch. To my surprise one unit hardly costs something like Rs. 55-60/- so will not exactly pinch somebody's wallet. After i came to know about the price my OCMD kicked in and i ended up getting hold of 2 units (one for installation and one for back up!!) I had placed a call to @psr sir who by now had studied the electrical layout of Honda CBR 250R and suspected that the Fuse box in someway might be the culprit: may be due to a lose connection or some wire fraying. I decided to inspect the fuse box of my CBR by taking it off from its position, after checking it for a while i noticed that when the fuse box was re-installed in its place, the wires coming from the bottom of it were in a very close proximity to that of the metal retainer plate which holds the battery in its place. I conveyed the same to @psr sir who then suggested that potentially due to vibrations or rider sitting on top of the seat the fuse box wires may flex a bit and at times may be coming in contact with the metal retainer plate of the battery thus, effectively providing a path of grounding to the wires which may cause shorting - end result 30 Amp master fuse on starter relay blowing up! When i raised a query regarding how is it possible considering the fact that wires below the fuse box seemed to be insulated and no fraying of the wires were found, he suggested it is possible due to high moisture and wet type climate my "Littlebird" has been consistently exposed to which may provide an electrical path thus making things conductive and result in shorting.

    So the cheapest way to isolate the wires below the fuse box from ever coming in contact with the metal battery retainer plate was to install a cheap/free insulator in between which would completely negate this from ever occurring. So the mechanic sourced a used rubber tire tube and cut it to the required length. We then made an incision in the centre of the rubber tube so that the metal battery retainer bolt can go through to secure the battery properly. The rubber insulator was double checked for fitment, the fuse box was re-installed and then we put the battery back inside and tightened the bolts on the retainer.









    Pic 2 - 5: Installation of new rear brake light switch. Local Jugaad rubber insulator inserted between the battery metal retainer and the fuse box effectively isolating the wires below the fuse box from coming in contact with the battery metal retainer clip.

    We then replaced the earlier master 30 amp fuse which had blown up in the starter relay. After checking all the connections, the ignition switch was turned ON and then one by one, all the the electrical lights were turned on: Blinkers, headlight, parking light and then intermittent usage of front and rear brakes individually to confirm whether the 10 amp fuse controlling the same or the 30 amp master fuse would decide to blow up again. After 5-6 trials, without cranking the engine, we kept the bike on rest for like 2 hours and again followed the same process... and you know what both the 10 amp fuse and the 30 amp master fuse didn't blow this time!! So in short what @psr sir and i had effectively managed to do was to find a rather unexpected culprit which was causing this electrical issue on my ABS CBR 250R. I was on cloud no. 9, totally elated that finally we had fixed this electrical issue and that i can finally head back home taking her with me. However, as luck would have it, she still had few more surprises stored up her sleeve.
    @psr sir suggested to crank the engine and confirm that during starting process, if the either of the fuses don't blow then we have successfully resolved the issue. When i turned the ignition switch and engine kill switch to ON position and pressed the thumb starter, the vehicle cranked immediately, however the mechanic noticed some massive sparking taking place on the LHS side of the wiring loom which was coming towards the RR (Regulator Rectifier) and the fuse box area. We immediately turned off the bike and then inspected the section. After a while it became clear that we had to dis-assemble the fuel tank, the airbox from the bike in order to access the wiring loom and the point where the sparks were found to be taking place. I was utterly shocked and pissed off considering the that by now this supposed simple fuse change procedure has now turned out to be much bigger issue and that it is the 3rd and possibly the biggest electrical fault we had discovered so far! Something related to wiring loom, i suppose i was praying in my mind hoping that we should not end finding something major and nothing expensive hopefully since, i was planning to put her up for sale soon...

    Since, the OEM wiring loom was installed in the deep recesses of the motorcycle, we also had to take out the battery and the loom connection to the RR unit so that we can remove the wiring loom and inspect the affected area. Trust me when i tell you this, unless you or your mechanic knows how to dis-assemble the airbox and the hoses and connectors and put them back in place on your Honda CBR 250R i would not let anybody touch my bike as one has to go through a plethora of connections: both electrical and various hoses in nature! The Electric starter basic layout gave us an idea as to how the wiring was done for the system to be operational. One must note in the image below that for Indian model, we don't have a side stand switch in the connection on our respective Honda CBR 250Rs.











    Pic 6 - 10: The diagram representing the electrical starter wiring set up. Note that no side stand switch is present on Indian version of CBRs. Location where sparking had occurred at the time of starting my CBR 250R. The mechanic had to take out the fuel tank, the battery, the airbox and associated hoses and electrical connectors in order to access the wiring loom (running on the LHS - interior side of the motorcycle chassis).

    Once, the mechanic carefully removed the RR unit and the wiring loom connector to the RR unit (from underneath), we finally managed to removed the wiring loom from the retainer clips on the LHS side of the frame. We then inspected the affected area and found big brown and rusty markings on the electrical tape wound on top of the wiring loom. I shared the same with @psr sir and he suggested to make an incision in the wiring loom to see which wire had lost insulation and was coming in contact with the chassis to cause a spark. The mechanic, using a blade tool very carefully cut through the rubber cover and the OEM electrical insulation tape and then immediately we found the master culprit!! There was a single black wire located at the outside away from the wire bunch running inside the loom which had frayed and was more or less devoid of any rubber insulation one normally finds on electrical wires. We also found huge amount of sticky, gooey and watery kind of formation inside the wiring loom which was quite disconcerting. @psr sir confirmed that this was moisture and water ingress which had managed to percolate inside the wiring loom and the sticky substance was most likely the gum from electric insulation tape wound from the factory which now had become weak, weathered and now had mixed with the moisture and water ingress and probably couldn't evaporate from inside due to weather conditions and also due to shielding or isolation provided by the layer of electrical tape on top of the wiring loom itself! This was one heck of a discovery as so far i have never seen so much moisture/water ingress and a frayed wire like ever in any of the motorcycles i have owned so far!

    The mechanic and i decided to inspect the wires bunched together inside the loom in order to see if any other wires had become weak or frayed, if that was the case, we probably had a massive headache awaiting us! Luckily we found all the other wires inside the loom were healthy except this black wire. @psr sir after going through the electrical wiring diagram confirmed that the black wire located outside the master looms was most likely one of the 3-phases coming directly from the stator coil of my CBR which at some point of time had frayed a little, Due to high AC voltage generated by stator coil and the nature of AC current itself, all it needed was a small path to come in contact with ground/metal chassis body add to the wonderful watery/moisture ingress inside the loom - all of these combined gave a perfect environment for the AC current find a path and thus, it was busy making small sparks which over a period of time managed to burn through the insulation rubber and the electrical tape itself. If one closely looks at the black exposed copper wire, one will notice that the amount of wire exposed the rubber insulation frayed is not flat lined instead is elongated quite unevenly which confirms @psr sir's theory! This was going to take a while so the mechanic had closed the Throttlebody intake port of the motorcycle with a plastic bubble wrap to avoid dust particle from entering inside it.















    Pic 11 - 17: Post removal of wiring loom from the chassis we found brownish deposits on the electric insulation tape. On further inspection we found black wire to be completely frayed though uneven. The loom inside had significant deposits of water/moisture+gooey/sticky substance. Intake port was covered with bubblewrap to isolate it from dust.

    After having a chat with @psr sir it was decided to leave the bike as it is and expose it to sunlight, in order to allow the moisture inside to completely evaporate from now the exposed area we had created. This would enable us to inspect the internal wires inside the loom again and also to have a better sealing once, we start the process of re-sealing the loom again. This meant i would have to delay this process once again - few more days of running around with my green elephant then! Anyways, after a week of sabbatical, i landed up at my mechanic's shop and then we started the process of insulating the affected area and also re-winding the loom with fresh electric insulation tape. The ones my mechanic sourced out are standard electric insulation tape, available anywhere even in B towns and villages. When we inspected the loom again by now the moisture level had gone down by 70%. It was still sticky and gooey but much better than we had witnessed a week back. Since, the wiring loom was covered in dirt and dust, the mechanic first cleaned the whole loom with a moist cloth. we then took the frayed black wire, and sealed the naked copper wire with insulation tape. Since, we had identified the culprit and found that Honda had kept this wire located on the outermost LHS side of the wiring loom, we simply repositioned it to the bottom side of the wireloom which in theory would keep it away from coming in contact with the chassis should for any reason this kind of environment occurs again. What me and the mechanic did find that there was only one loop of insulation tape wound over the wiring loom which i guess has been done as a part of cost cutting. Since "absolutely no compromise on anything" was my motto for the day , the mechanic was instructed to make multiple loops and create at least 4-5 layers of insulation tape, wound one over the other without compromising on flexing of the wires to completely isolate and negate this issue from ever occurring again.

    While he was at it, we also found little bit of moisture ingress in the wiring loom splitting to RR unit, the earthing ground wires and the wires going to the fuse box. So one by one we cleaned up those sections of the loom and then started winding fresh insulation tape over the OEM older lot in order to remove any possibility of such occurrences from taking place in any part of this section of the wiring loom. We also noticed the insulation tape to the bottom end connector to RR unit and the earthing wire (3 green wires) had started coming off so they also were not spared from this treatment.. what can i say my OCMD always gets the better off me!!

















    Pic 18 - 25: Electric insulation tape being looped multiple times, at least 4 05 layers thick to provide adequate protection against the environment and wires from ever coming in contact with the chassis. The tape can be found in any local electrical/hardware store across India and abroad.


    Once, i was satisfied with the job undertaken, the mechanic then started the tedious process of putting the wiring loom back in its place, put the airbox and the various connections back and then re-installing the fuel tank on the bike. He then put the battery inside the battery box and post insulating the metal retainer with the jugaad rubber insulator, he tightened the nuts holding the master power wires at the respective terminals of the battery. We checked and double checked everything to confirm that all the connections both electrical and mechanical in nature has been done alright. After we were convinced, it was time for the real test. we turned the ignition key and engine kill switch to ON position and then pressed the thumb starter and then i got the biggest smile on my face when i found my CBR 250R coming back to life in half a crank. Everything was back to normal and fully functional.. there were no sparks coming out from the earlier area which confirmed that the insulation and winding of electrical tape we had done was doing its job and now my CBR was back in action! Just to be sure that the battery was getting adequate charging voltage, the multimeter was hooked up to the terminals of the battery to inspect the voltage sent to the battery by the RR unit. I was very happy to see the nos. displayed below, we also revved the engine at first to 2,500, then 3,000 and finally to 5,000 rpm to confirm whether consistent voltage range of 14 - 14.40 volts is being supplied to the battery and to my relief the voltage supplied was well within the specified range which confirmed that the RR unit and the stator coil were healthy and operating normally. After letting the bike idle for about 15 minutes, we then turned off the motorcycle and after letting it rest for 10 minutes we checked the voltage at the terminals of the battery. I was happy to note that the battery was still retaining a charge of 13.19 - 13.20 volts which is within the range of a healthy AGM battery.





    Pic 26 - 27: RR unit sending proper charge voltage to the battery. Post 10 - 15 mins the AGM MF battery was found to be still holding its charge just fine.

    So finally once everything was checked and double checked, we then cranked the bike and she started at half a second.

    So if one notices, from a supposed simple job of replacing just a blown 10 amp fuse we ended up finding, isolating and eradicating 3 major electrical gremlins by the end of this mega exercise! I was happy with the fact that whenever she is put up for sale, the new owner will never ever have any such issues for the remainder of the operational life of this ever reliable motorcycle which gives me immense satisfaction. It was my way of saying thank you to this "obedient housewife" who took care of me and even though she was suffering from a major electrical fault, she still managed to bring me back to my destination without breaking down!! This is by far the most reliable motorcycle one can own in India.

    I am sure to an untrained eye, all these list of issues may make one feel as if this bike is riddled with issues. However, if one applies common sense and take note of the torture sessions and wet climate she has been exposed to, such little problems are expected! I would request @psr to kindly elaborate as to why a major electrical fault like this occurred on my bike and what possible precautionary measure other Honda CBR 250R owners can take to keep their bike away from such issues on their respective bikes in present and near future. I will testing my CBR for another 200 - 300 kms to see if the necessary steps we took are holding up just fine and she is back to being happy and fully functional. After that she will be deemed ready for the next leg of the journey with a future owner.

    This was one heck of a discovery and something new i learned from my Honda CBR 250R knowing full well that this will help me with my green elephant and future acquisitions to especially when it comes to identifying, isolating and taking care of electrical issues! Hope we learned something new today


    Until then...


    Cheers,
    Last edited by shv18; 07-11-2018 at 09:13 PM.
    A quote by a toilet, " use me well, keep me clean, i would never tell anybody whatever i have seen.." :P

  2. #642
    psr
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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Quote Originally Posted by shv18 View Post
    Hi All,

    .................................................. .................................................. ..........

    I am sure to an untrained eye, all these list of issues may make one feel as if this bike is riddled with issues. However, if one applies common sense and take note of the torture sessions and wet climate she has been exposed to, such little problems are expected! I would request @psr to kindly elaborate as to why a major electrical fault like this occurred on my bike and what possible precautionary measure other Honda CBR 250R owners can take to keep their bike away from such issues on their respective bikes in present and near future. I will testing my CBR for another 200 - 300 kms to see if the necessary steps we took are holding up just fine and she is back to being happy and fully functional. After that she will be deemed ready for the next leg of the journey with a future owner.

    This was one heck of a discovery and something new i learned from my Honda CBR 250R knowing full well that this will help me with my green elephant and future acquisitions to especially when it comes to identifying, isolating and taking care of electrical issues! Hope we learned something new today


    Until then...


    Cheers,
    The problems faced by you are unique, and is especially seem to be tailor made for you....as someone associated with automobiles and their electricals, and electronics, these are part of usage.
    Since you live in a place of high non evaporating humid condition , condensation of moisture in every nook and corner takes place, and compounding the problem is the fact that you had recently traveled to hilly terrain with sub zero temperatures. If you had been in places where dust and grime is more, then all bearings open to atmosphere would have perished ... So in short most of the problems in your bike are specific to the place , and the travel you do , and not bike specific.(Except Earth Wire mod)

    The best any biker can do for his ride is to keep the bike clean, not subject it to repeated exposure to water or moisture( repeated pressure water wash) do service at periodic intervals , and keep it as dry as possible , externally...

    Good Luck.
    When Was The Last Time,You Did Something For The First Time.

  3. #643
    Rusted shv18's Avatar
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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Quote Originally Posted by psr View Post
    The problems faced by you are unique, and is especially seem to be tailor made for you....as someone associated with automobiles and their electricals, and electronics, these are part of usage.
    Since you live in a place of high non evaporating humid condition , condensation of moisture in every nook and corner takes place, and compounding the problem is the fact that you had recently traveled to hilly terrain with sub zero temperatures. If you had been in places where dust and grime is more, then all bearings open to atmosphere would have perished ... So in short most of the problems in your bike are specific to the place , and the travel you do , and not bike specific.(Except Earth Wire mod)

    The best any biker can do for his ride is to keep the bike clean, not subject it to repeated exposure to water or moisture( repeated pressure water wash) do service at periodic intervals , and keep it as dry as possible , externally...

    Good Luck.
    Thank You sir for your inputs. However i feel learning from my experience above, i would recommend those owners who are living in similar wet type conditions, especially in hilly and coastal areas to consider the following steps to ensure that such problems don't ever crop up on their respective motorcycles:

    1) WD 40 is your best friend. Once in a year, periodic spraying of the connectors especially those recessed inside the bike should keep them healthy and clean and fully functional.
    2) The wire loom has got the insulation taping which is only one layer thick. I suspect the same location where the wire frayed on my bike, it is a potential failure point for other CBR owners as well as the bike ages and the gum of the insulation tape wear off naturally due to ageing. If owners tape that section with fresh electrical insulation tape (will hardly cost 30 bucks for raw material!! ) this will ensure that even if the wire has frayed for some reason, it will never come in contact with the metal chassis thanks to a thick barrier due to multiple layers of taping on it thus avoiding any sparking or potential source of fuse blowing up.
    3) Installing a cheap/free rubber insulator between the Battery retainer clip and the fuse box will completely isolate it from the wires below the fuse box from ever coming contact with the bike: though in my experience this would be more applicable with ABS bikes as i have noticed on the ABS model, the fuse box is located comparatively closer to the battery clip than the NON-ABS one.

    Hope this helps...

    Cheers,
    Last edited by shv18; 07-11-2018 at 09:09 PM.
    A quote by a toilet, " use me well, keep me clean, i would never tell anybody whatever i have seen.." :P

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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Hi,
    Can I take the Shell Rimula R4 HDEO and FZ oil filter to the Honda SVC for servicing or do I need to get it done outside only?
    Thanks.

  5. #645
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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Quote Originally Posted by aman111 View Post
    Hi,
    Can I take the Shell Rimula R4 HDEO and FZ oil filter to the Honda SVC for servicing or do I need to get it done outside only?
    Thanks.
    Why would they allow you to use something you are not buying from them? Then again there's the thing about OEM recommended products. And should a Honda service centre allow you to bring in a Yamaha oil filter?

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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Quote Originally Posted by Zapps View Post
    Why would they allow you to use something you are not buying from them? Then again there's the thing about OEM recommended products. And should a Honda service centre allow you to bring in a Yamaha oil filter?
    Thanks for the reply.
    I need to get a full bike service, so do I tell them to skip the oil and oil filter part?

  7. #647
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    Default Re: The story so far.. My Honda CBR 250R

    Quote Originally Posted by aman111 View Post
    Thanks for the reply.
    I need to get a full bike service, so do I tell them to skip the oil and oil filter part?
    There's nothing wrong in trying to do that.

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