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A Hornet rises again!

  1. The Hornet rises again!

    Those who ride regularly with me on Tuesday nights will already know that I recently “made a spontaneous decision to test the Hornet's off-road capabilities” with disastrous consequences. The good news is that, with a bit of work, the Hornet regained its fighting capacity. Tough little bike.

    Aligning the triple tree

    That’s two pieces of wood attached to the upper and lower clamps. Although the forks were perfectly straight, I still felt that the steering geometry was a bit off after it had been twisted in the crash. So I dissembled the front end and tweaked it to perfection.


    Normally, I hang the bike from the handlebars in order to work on the front end. Since I needed to loosen the triple tree, I needed to find another way to support the bike. I cut a piece off an old handlebar, stuck it through one of the holes in the frame, and then added my bar ends into it. This crossbar allowed me to lift the bike by the frame.

    Replacing the instrument cluster

    Rather than spending $300+ on a good Koso unit, I decided to go with an Ebay Chinese knock-off of the original cluster. I’d read that these instruments are junk but, because I only needed the casing (my original Honda speedo and tacho survived the crash) and not the instruments themselves, I decided to go with them anyway.

    When the gauge cluster arrived, I decided, for a laugh, to take the unit for a test run. The tacho read at about 50% of the value it should indicate. The speedo is actually fairly accurate, but is slow. If I accelerate from zero to 80kph, the needle makes to 80 several seconds after I do.


    Dissembling the unit revealed more about its crapiness. Some of the things I noticed are:

    The stock cluster has a thick gasket underneath the top cover, presumably to prevent moisture from seeping in. In its place, the Chinese cluster has nothing. Since my gasket survived the crash, I switched it into the new unit.


    In both clusters, the backing lights of the instruments sit under enclosures to dull their effect. In the stock cluster, the enclosures are metal, which provides a more reflective surface that helps dissipate the light around the inside of the case. In the Chinese cluster, these enclosures are just plastic extensions of the casing itself.


    The odometer and trip meter in the stock speedometer is lubricated with oil, as one would expect. The Chinese unit is lubricated with nothing.

    Just look at where OIL is printed on the warning lights on the Chinese cluster – it’s not even nearly centred.


    Unfortunately, I broke the shaft that the trip meter is mounted on in my original speedo, so I had to take the one from the Chinese unit and carefully modify it to fit with the Honda components. The end had to be made slightly narrower; whereas the notch that the second circlip fits into had to be extended (it wasn’t in the right spot). That was a pain of a task.


    Unfortunately, after all that, I discovered that the original speedometer doesn’t fit in the internal casing of the Chinese cluster (the tacho does). So I still have to wait for a replacement of the internal casing (that will accommodate the original speedo) to be delivered before I can complete the project. In the meantime, I’m using the Chinese speedo, which took me and the Hornet safely on our annual Great Ocean Road camping trip:



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  1. jack_1313
    No need - I only use celestial navigation.
  2. Viscera99
    Good stuff Jack. What's the plan for an encore? You gonna bodge together a fully working GPS out of duct tape, tooth picks, and a casio wrist watch? :)
      jack_1313 likes this.
  3. yum
    Wowee! Good job.
    Where's the kitchen sink? Surely you can fit more on that bike :)
      jack_1313 likes this.