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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought you would all enjoy a video I put together of rebuilding (sorta) my new non-working 1990 EX500. I kind of modeled it off a Mustie / Watch Wes Work style video, so hopefully it's not too long / boring. There are some funny bits and some tips throughout the video as well.


I had to do a fair amount of carburetor work. Like, pulled the dumb thing off 3 times to try to get it working. First time, all I did was clean it out with some carb cleaner. Second time, I removed the jets and cleaned the passages (not sure if I did it well enough). THIRD (and final) time, I took everything apart, soaked it, blew air through every stinking passage, removed the idle air mixture screw, cleaned that, reset the float positions to the stock 17.5mm setting, then put it back together. After that, it FINALLY ran like a dream.

Prior to that, I was having trouble where it would idle okay for 2 minutes and then once it warmed up it would die. So I figured clean the jets and call it a day, but that didn't solve it. It would change it's idle speed randomly (start up and idle at 2k rpm, then ride around for a bit and idle at 4k rpm, then died at a traffic light...???). Needed to do a serious overhaul on it.

Besides that, needed new oil and filter, clutch lever needed the slack removed, needed a new battery, Needed a new air filter and the air filter housing cleaned up (old one turned into cheese cubes), and that's pretty much it. Carbs definitely took up almost all of the time though.

I hope you guys enjoy the video.

Also, has anyone seen this color style before? I did a bunch of Googling but couldn't find anything with this pattern.

54568


54569
 

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Since it has a Corbin seat and (Cobra F1?) slipons, it appears that the PO had it repainted. The stripe looks kinda salmon colored(?) Two things need to be checked: the flywheel. If you pull the smaller of the two inspection caps on the left side of the engine you will see one of two things. First is six separate magnets as you rotate the engine (clockwise) using a socket and breaker bar. If that is the case, it will be money very well spent to obtain an upgraded flywheel so that those magnets do not come loose and make a total mess inside. The other thing would be if you see what is one continuous shielded magnet with no gaps between. That is the upgraded flywheel.

Second is the cam chain tensioner between the exhaust headers on the front of the cylinders. If the bolt in the center of the cap has a 10mm hex, it is also going to go bad, or already is. If it has a 12mm hex on that bolt, it is a "Gen2" tensioner and is good to go.

How many miles? Unless the master cylinder and caliper have recently been re-done, they will be in need of service, if only due to the passage of time. Neither is all that difficult to do and there are vids here and elsewhere to lead you through it.

Yeah, those are Cobra F1 slipon mufflers. They were discontinued long ago but, IMO, are truly excellent pipes for the EX. Fully rebuildable, just three rivets for a re-pack. A little Mothers or Maguire's aluminum polish and you can make the cans look excellent. Mine have lasted 21 years now.

More to follow.
 

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yes it's a custom paint job. only the tank is near stock. you get a clue on the absence of EX decals.
this is the paint scheme for a 1990 (blue) only difference is it's marked GPZ not EX as this is a Euro model. but the paint and logo's would be in the same place.

54570
 

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suggest to "date code" those tires as well, otherwise a nice find!
 

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I've seen that color combo before... on Hondas. It looks great on the ex-500. Somebody obviously put some time, money and TLC into that bike; The F1 slip-ons, frame sliders and that great paint job. You'll find it's a lot of fun to ride.
Thanks for the video. Good job on that and good luck with the Nighthawk. Those were great bikes too. The 550 was one year only, IIRC, and not a lot of them were made compared to the 650. I had a 650 and it had some nice features. They're also virtually maintenance free. Hydraulic lifters, on a high rpm engine. That's Honda for ya.
 

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Awesome project-turned-successful!!!

Yes, those are Honda colors but...they look great on your EX.

Nicely done!
 

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Since it has a Corbin seat and (Cobra F1?) slipons, it appears that the PO had it repainted. The stripe looks kinda salmon colored(?) Two things need to be checked: the flywheel. If you pull the smaller of the two inspection caps on the left side of the engine you will see one of two things. First is six separate magnets as you rotate the engine (clockwise) using a socket and breaker bar. If that is the case, it will be money very well spent to obtain an upgraded flywheel so that those magnets do not come loose and make a total mess inside. The other thing would be if you see what is one continuous shielded magnet with no gaps between. That is the upgraded flywheel.

Second is the cam chain tensioner between the exhaust headers on the front of the cylinders. If the bolt in the center of the cap has a 10mm hex, it is also going to go bad, or already is. If it has a 12mm hex on that bolt, it is a "Gen2" tensioner and is good to go.

How many miles? Unless the master cylinder and caliper have recently been re-done, they will be in need of service, if only due to the passage of time. Neither is all that difficult to do and there are vids here and elsewhere to lead you through it.

Yeah, those are Cobra F1 slipon mufflers. They were discontinued long ago but, IMO, are truly excellent pipes for the EX. Fully rebuildable, just three rivets for a re-pack. A little Mothers or Maguire's aluminum polish and you can make the cans look excellent. Mine have lasted 21 years now.

More to follow.
Nice looking bike! Not a fan of Corbin but that is just me, your back side may differ (they screwed me with their supposed great MC boots years ago and just assume stay with a stock seat covered with a Sergent Seat cover.) Side bar story: So, my 04 EX was purchased back in 07 for $1500 with 1500 miles. Now, I have almost 50,000. It came with some rashed exhaust pipes that bothered me, I was looking for some on Ebay and eventually as luck would have while walking around one of South Floridas largest flea markets, what do I see on the ground? I see a brand new set of EX500 chrome exhaust pipes sitting on an old Cobra box. I ended up getting both brand new pipes for $15.00! I bought a brand new oem gasket that cost more. LOL. Reason I am telling this story was is, I was trolling Ebay and found someone parting out an EX500 with these Cobra slip-ons on it. I ended up buying them, doing a full re-furb with Moose packing, stainless safety wire holding the stuff, new rivets and some welding (first rate re-furb) I tried them on my bike and ended up flipping them on Ebay covering what I put into them and maybe making $25. Crazy world, if your patient and you have time, there is nothing that you can not accomplish
 

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You sure that Corbin boots and saddles are the same company? I seem to remember...
 

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You sure that Corbin boots and saddles are the same company? I seem to remember...
Same address for shoes and saddles, they discontinued them. The boots were advertised as the "Worlds most Comfortable Boots" they were not and this customer bit the dust. I ended up giving them away to someone before Ebay existed and that was the end. I had a few of their saddles that I bought new and was ok with the one on my Nighthawk. I had one I got for one of my VeeFRs and rode with it for maybe 20,000 miles, I swapped back to the stocker one day just on a lark and never looked back. In my opinion they cut down on your leg room and are super hard seats. I had my EX seat sent to a doode on the internet that used dual density foam and tailored it to my riding position, finished it off with a Sergent Seat cover and am happy as a pig in poop.
 

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I had my EX seat sent to a doode on the internet that used dual density foam and tailored it to my riding position, finished it off with a Sergent Seat cover and am happy as a pig in poop.
Im looking at other options besides the corbin aswell. who is this dood on the interwebs you speak of? Is he still in business?

Also did you do the cover, or did dude do it and you just supplied it?
 

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Im looking at other options besides the corbin aswell. who is this dood on the interwebs you speak of? Is he still in business?

Also did you do the cover, or did dude do it and you just supplied it?
For more information contact Spencers Motorcycle Seat Mods, 878 SW 36th Terrace, Palm City, Florida 34990; (772) 418-9712 - I got this off a Website, I used to have his website on my favourites on my old lap top before it self destructed LOL. Guy is good, he only will work on a stock seat, he puts the old seat cover back on with the original staple holes so that you would be hard pressed that it was even worked on. From there, at a later date after riding with the new seat (it was a marked improvement as I was spending alot of time commuting on that EX, 75 miles a day!) I wanted to dress up the bike and ordeedr a Sergents Seat seat cover. It came with french seams and orange stiches. Pretty sick looking, I always use a local auto upholstery seat convertible shop that did work on my jeep. He charges 25 bucks to install them and they always come out titz (I have three of these seat covers)
You made me laugh when I read your request/interest - good luck Peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since it has a Corbin seat and (Cobra F1?) slipons, it appears that the PO had it repainted. The stripe looks kinda salmon colored(?) Two things need to be checked: the flywheel. If you pull the smaller of the two inspection caps on the left side of the engine you will see one of two things. First is six separate magnets as you rotate the engine (clockwise) using a socket and breaker bar. If that is the case, it will be money very well spent to obtain an upgraded flywheel so that those magnets do not come loose and make a total mess inside. The other thing would be if you see what is one continuous shielded magnet with no gaps between. That is the upgraded flywheel.

Second is the cam chain tensioner between the exhaust headers on the front of the cylinders. If the bolt in the center of the cap has a 10mm hex, it is also going to go bad, or already is. If it has a 12mm hex on that bolt, it is a "Gen2" tensioner and is good to go.

How many miles? Unless the master cylinder and caliper have recently been re-done, they will be in need of service, if only due to the passage of time. Neither is all that difficult to do and there are vids here and elsewhere to lead you through it.

Yeah, those are Cobra F1 slipon mufflers. They were discontinued long ago but, IMO, are truly excellent pipes for the EX. Fully rebuildable, just three rivets for a re-pack. A little Mothers or Maguire's aluminum polish and you can make the cans look excellent. Mine have lasted 21 years now.

More to follow.
I will take a look into the flywheel and the chain tensioner! When I do oil change next (probably within 500 miles) I'll take a closer look.

Also yes, I believe they are the Cobra F1 slip-on's. They sound pretty good!

Also, I believe yo uare correct with the painting. Looks like they did a tape job or something to get that extra stripe. No clue where the other decals went though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yes it's a custom paint job. only the tank is near stock. you get a clue on the absence of EX decals.
this is the paint scheme for a 1990 (blue) only difference is it's marked GPZ not EX as this is a Euro model. but the paint and logo's would be in the same place.
Yes it looks like it! Not really sure where the decals on the front fairing went. Looks like they put a piece of red tape though for that stripe (it extends around the back of the fairing piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
suggest to "date code" those tires as well, otherwise a nice find!
I will! I think the old owner mentioned they had them replaced about 5 years ago, but we all know how sometimes people can fib a little to get the sale...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've seen that color combo before... on Hondas. It looks great on the ex-500. Somebody obviously put some time, money and TLC into that bike; The F1 slip-ons, frame sliders and that great paint job. You'll find it's a lot of fun to ride.
Thanks for the video. Good job on that and good luck with the Nighthawk. Those were great bikes too. The 550 was one year only, IIRC, and not a lot of them were made compared to the 650. I had a 650 and it had some nice features. They're also virtually maintenance free. Hydraulic lifters, on a high rpm engine. That's Honda for ya.
Ugh, that Night Hawk is such a pain. Yes, they only made the 550 for I believe 2 years (and really only in the Netherlands or something). I snapped a piston ring and it was such an ordeal getting replacement parts for it. I was calling up piston ring manufacturers trying to get a minimum order of like 20 or something, but all they could do was like 500. Ugh. Slow going project for sure. This was was much more fun and gratifying.

Thanks for watching the video :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice looking bike! Not a fan of Corbin but that is just me, your back side may differ (they screwed me with their supposed great MC boots years ago and just assume stay with a stock seat covered with a Sergent Seat cover.) Side bar story: So, my 04 EX was purchased back in 07 for $1500 with 1500 miles. Now, I have almost 50,000. It came with some rashed exhaust pipes that bothered me, I was looking for some on Ebay and eventually as luck would have while walking around one of South Floridas largest flea markets, what do I see on the ground? I see a brand new set of EX500 chrome exhaust pipes sitting on an old Cobra box. I ended up getting both brand new pipes for $15.00! I bought a brand new oem gasket that cost more. LOL. Reason I am telling this story was is, I was trolling Ebay and found someone parting out an EX500 with these Cobra slip-ons on it. I ended up buying them, doing a full re-furb with Moose packing, stainless safety wire holding the stuff, new rivets and some welding (first rate re-furb) I tried them on my bike and ended up flipping them on Ebay covering what I put into them and maybe making $25. Crazy world, if your patient and you have time, there is nothing that you can not accomplish
That silver and orange color is awesome! I love it. I bet black and orange would also look really good too.

Btw, any chance you remember the rebuild pack ID or part number or anything for the Cobra exhaust?
 

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That silver and orange color is awesome! I love it. I bet black and orange would also look really good too.

Btw, any chance you remember the rebuild pack ID or part number or anything for the Cobra exhaust?
Cobra part number 4081 - but decades out of production now. I used Fly Racing packing and wrapped the rolled up fiberglass in Helix stainless steel screen to keep it from blowing out quite as fast. FMF also makes 4-stroke specific fiberglass packing, as it differs from the two-stroke variety. You'll need 6 stainless 3/16" pop rivets to close them back up. Can get those anywhere but do not use aluminum rivets - they're not up to the task.

The cobra slipons are really nice sounding, very durable and don't mess with tuning. I may even have some NOS "F1" stickers for the cans, as Cobra sent me all they had left when I asked. Believe I have some in blue.
 
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