Scooter Noob: 1985 Honda Elite CH150

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by steelrain760, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Hey Everyone,

    I'm new here, I have a 1985 Honda Elite CH 150. I have been riding since I was 21 years of age. In 2011 I acquired my MC license using the CH 150 when it was running at the time. After that I use to ride a '06 GSX-R 600 for a couple years then randomly stopped. Anyways, I’m going to start with a semi long back story of the bike, so bear with me as I hope you find this intriguing. Mind you don’t have any pictures to show since the start of this “restoration” But you’ll find some current ones below of what it looks like now.

    So the bike was passed down to me from my parents in which it sat in their garage for as long as I could remember, maybe at least 10-15 yrs. Prior to that my parents had acquired it from an older couple who were the original owners. Apparently the wife mainly drove the bike and I guess one day she had laid it down on accident due to unknown reasons. After that she never rode it again, therefore it sat in their garage for almost 2 decades.

    Before I turned 21, I decided to yank it out of the garage due to curiosity to see if I could get it running again. With the help of my father who knew a thing or two, we did just that. From the get-go the hoses, fuel lines were all clogged up and brittle, we did what we could given our cheap budget at the time. Took apart the carburetor to give it a good clean, nothing seemed seized. The gas tank on the other hand was rusted on the inside and was a complete pain to clean. Brakes seemed in working order, aside from the squeakiness. Tires were original and almost balled. Cosmetically the bike had some missing pieces here and there, some of the body panels were cracked. Made a few trips to the bike salvage yard to see what we could use. With the help of some epoxy plastic resin we were able to repair most of the panels to keep them intact. After several weeks of work the bike lived once again and was ready to hit the road. The bike ran semi decent, only topped out at about 40 mph, was having idle issues and the battery we installed was not the correct size and was resting on the carburetor. After riding the bike for a few months I decided to park it for a while, that’s when I started to ride a GSX-R. After couple years I sold the GSX-R and got into the Mazda tuner car scene, which eventually led to track days. Now I compete in a regional Spec Miata racing class with SCCA.

    Approx. 3 yrs ago felt the itch to ride the scooter again but this time wanted to do it right. For starters I had ordered all new OEM hoses, fuel lines, clamps, carburetor insulator,carburetor bolts and gaskets. Also ordered a few other needed parts including a new battery box and the correct size battery. Tossed in all new Honda fluids and she was ready to roll once again. The bike ran like a champ compared to its old previous state. At that point I was riding almost every day to and from work, no more than 5 mile round trips. Occasionally I'd take it cruising around town to stretch its legs. Well one day went cruising around town, just so happen to be WOT when I had to do some emergency braking and evasive maneuvering, causing me to lock up the rear end, fish-tailing to a stop. Was able to make my way around the accident when I noticed my rear end felt wishy-washy. Pulled over to see what the problem was, of course a flat tire. At that point I had forgotten that the tires were original, therefore the tires were old and almost bald which didn’t help my case either. Well I guess from locking up the tire, it was just enough wear to flat spot the tire down to cause a blowout. Called a family member to come help take the bike back home. Well once again the bike sat in the garage because I lazy and didn’t want to bother with it. Mind you all this happened in a 6 month time span.

    Which now brings us today, 2.5 yrs after the tire blow out. Last week dropped the bike of at a local shop for new tires and brake shoes. I went with the Michelin S1 tires per the associate’s recommendation. Wanted something that would grip real well, I don’t care much for longevity. The battery that I had bought 3 yrs ago was shot, so ordered a new one. Removed the Carburetor for cleaning, siphoned out almost all the gas that sat in the tank. Tossed in some fresh 91 octane to run it through to help clear out what ever maybe gummed up in the lines. Over the weekend drained the motor and transmission oil and tossed in AMSOIL 10w30 Synthetic Small Engine Oil and about 2 oz of AMSOIL Motorcycle Octane Boost into the gas tank. Aside from 30+yrs of paint blemishes and scratches, I gave it a nice wax job. Now the bike runs in tip top shape, I can hit approx. 45-55 mph with 80% throttle on semi flat roads with small inclines, As I start to climb various hills I will be WOT to maintain 45 mph or so, greater the incline my speed drops near 35-37 mph at WOT.

    Finally here are some pics of what it looks like now. Oh! I forgot to mention the bike only has 3,961 miles on the odometer as of today

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    At some point this week I will want to drain the coolant and toss in fresh AMSOIL 50/50. I already ordered a new Gates Powerlink Drive Belt, figured the original is obviously old and probably cracked. To my knowledge the transmission case has never been opened, so I’m quite curious. Which now brings me to several questions regarding the clutch and variator stuff. Should I replace all that and put in something sturdier, new roller weights, stiffer springs etc.? Also does my bike have a GY6 transmission? Been doing somewhat extensive research only to find there isn’t hardly any aftermarket parts for these bikes. I saw that rolingwrenchdenver.com offers a good amount of stuff but nothing CH 150 specific, or would my bike fall under the Chinese Scooter Part section?
    #1
  2. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    cool but your better off with gear oil in the tranny in the long run.
    #2
  3. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Any specific gear oil weight you reccomend?
    #3
  4. minimac

    minimac Long timer

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    Maybe send a PM to an inmate here, Roaring Todd. He traveled extensively on a CH150. He knows that machine intimately.
    #4
  5. Tromper

    Tromper Sagaciously Annoying Supporter

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    Looks like the Elite 125/150 may does use engine oil in the final drive if I'm reading the manual and such correctly.
    Jack's says 10-30. The manual suggests 10-40 with the usual temperature caveats. Gotta admit I would be inclined to a synthetic there though dino would probably work fine.

    http://www.jacksscootershop.com/honda_info.html
    http://www.motorscooterguide.net/Manuals/Honda_CH150_Service_Manual.pdf
    http://www.jacksscootershop.com/maintenance/Honda_CH150.html

    Are some links. Use 'em at your own risk. I don't own an elite 150, thought about one for fun, but have not pulled the trigger.
    I do suggest you go through the manual an Jack's maintenance schedule.

    Yup, replacing aged rubber stuff ain't a bad idea. Also dropping your coolant, & flushing your brakes is a great idea.
    Kind suspect that the amsoil coolant is magic fairy dust at magic fairy dust prices, but it won't hurt to use it 'cept maybe your wallet.

    Rollers and springs 'n stuff. If you want a bit better acceleration and climb a lighter weight wouldn't hurt, maybe check and see if folks are recommending sliders for this bike. They worked wonders on my Kymco, but are noted widely as no impact on the HD200. I would be surprised if the OEM ones are dead at 4k miles unless you do a lot of steady state WOT running. Doesn't hurt to look though, maybe deglaze the clutch while you're in there since you're doing the belt anyway. Far as performance clutches go, you can go there, but the more snap you get the less modulation you get so you lose low speed maneuvering to some extent. It's all a trade off, & springs are cheap though. Full clutch some bikes yes, some no..once again I'd do some research and see what folks are saying. This is an old bike so someone's bound to have tried something.

    Hope that's helpful.
    #5
  6. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    Welcome. I love those cool looking '80s Honda scooters. Strange, but I hated them back when they were new. Time changes things. Now that I can't buy a new one, I want one. I don't know how many parts are still available for them. Does it have tube type tires or tubeless?

    Considering the time and mileage, I would just replace the belt and rollers with stock parts, and leave the rest of it alone. The clutch is obviously still working. The clutch only has 4000 miles on it, not enough to wear it out and it does not deteriorate like some other parts. I always recommend sticking with stock parts unless you have a good reason not to.

    I have a Genuine Stella 150 2 stroke, and the local vintage Vespa shop (the Stella is an exact copy of a Vespa P series made in India) recommended using 10w30 non detergent oil in the transmission/gearbox. There is a difference between the Stella and the Elite. On the Elite, the gearbox only houses the final drive gears. On the manual transmission Stella, it is a complete transmission.

    I use Ford Motorcraft Gold coolant in my liquid cooled bikes. IMO, it is one the best coolants around, and is made for aluminum engines. It also has a lot of anti corrosion properties that regular green ethylene glycol does not. Been using it for over 10 years with no problems.
    #6
  7. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

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    I would follow JerryH's advice. I wouldn't try to hot-rod a 30 year old bike. Just get the aged old rubber stuff replaced and make it reliable. Maybe keep your eyes out for new plastics, and get an ongoing search/notify going on ebay.

    Did you try http://www.hondaparts-direct.com/ for parts. I found them to have pretty good prices and the parts I needed (admittedly for a modern bike) were easy to find, with the way their site is laid out.

    The suggestion to reach out to an ADVRider CH150 guru (Roaring Todd) is also a good one. You can learn more from those guys in a 10 minute phone call than 10 hours of surfing the forums.
    #7
  8. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

    Joined:
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    I've rebuilt a bunch of these mid 80's Elites. When they are set up properly and exercised a bit they will run up to 55-60, depending on how heavy you are. Just use the factory specs for lubrication and fuel. You put in high octane fuel, and an octane booster, both are unnecessary and will probably limit performance a bit. Octane is a chemical measure of how explosive gas is at temperature and pressure, the higher the octane the less explosive it is. It stops pre-ignition with hot running and high compression engines, and Elites don't need it or want it. Just fill up with regular.

    The rear reduction housing uses motor oil. Gear oil is much thicker and won't lube well at the very high rpms the bearings have to carry. If you look up bearing specs you'll see that the faster the bearing turns the thinner the oil has to be. Use good quality lube, but no heavier than 10-40.

    You bought good tires, which will help your speed, but keep them at 28 front 32 rear. If the pressure is too low, it will slow you down. Make sure you replaced the valve stems when you did the tires.

    Make sure the by-starter works right. It probably does, but if it doesn't seat all the way you get lousy gas mileage and low top speed. It takes about 5 minutes running to get completely closed.

    I almost forgot. Jack@jacksscootershop.com not only has lots of good info, he can also find parts and will work with you to get your Elite running right. Send him an email with your want list.
    #8
  9. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Thanks, I think 10w30 should be fine as I live in almost perfect weather conditions everyday here in SoCal, if I have to i'll switch to 10w40 down the road. As for the AMSOIL, I run it in all 3 of my passenger vehicles including my Spec Miata racecar. I'm a AMSOIL Dealer so I get everything at wholesale, so cost isn't really an issue. When I ordered the tires and brakes, I had a shop do the brake and tire install and adjustments. Everything seems to be handling just fine. Still doing my homework on roller weights, clutch etc. So it maybe a while before I make some major adjustments.


    Thanks Jerry, Yup uses regular tubeless tires. So far seems like there's no clutch problems, I may replace everything with stock parts to get a good baseline, then upgrade/tune as I go. I'm just looking to get that extra little kick at take off and have more consistency while going up hills etc. I have toggled between Ford Motorcraft Green and AMSOIL in my passenger vehicles, at this point it's just preference, haven't tried Motorcraft gold yet.
    #9
  10. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the octane insight, will take that into consideration, regular it is. I haven't checked the tire pressures yet, as I figured they were okay coming out of the shop, but will make the needed adjustments. I shall look into the by-starter see if it is seated right, not sure exactly what part that is but i'm sure ill find it with ease and a little extra homework.
    #10
  11. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    This is all great info guys, much appreciated! I guess this thread can and will serve as my build thread of the bike. Stay tuned for updates.
    #11
  12. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

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    Re. the premium fuel comments, the gas stations advertise better detergent packages with the premium fuel, which may have something to do with why the OP was thinking about it.

    I would probably stick with 87 octane from a top tier gas station (Shell, Mobil) and mix in a bit of Techron fuel injector cleaner per instructions in the next tank of gas. That stuff works like gangbusters.
    #12
  13. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    I typically toggle between Chevron and Costco for all my fuel needs. Should I switch up to (Shell,Mobil) fuel stations for 87 or will my said stations sufice?
    #13
  14. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    You're fine with Chevron and Costco. The scooter was built 30 years ago and ran well then. It'll run well on those sources.

    The bystarter is a weird gizmo on the carb that allows a richer mixture at start-up, and uses electricity directly from the stator (alternator) to heat up a pellet of wax inside, which expands slowly and pushes a plunger with a needle valve pin on it. That pin closes off the extra jet and plugs the extra air circuit. I know it sounds like Tom Swift and his Electric Grandmother, but it's true. There are two wires to it, yellow and green. Yellow is the hot wire, but only when the engine is running. Green is ground. Once you find it on the carb, follow the cable until you find the connectors. They are behind the center cover, under the front of the seat. Clean them up and check the resistance between them toward the bystarter. I think it should be 5 Ohms or less, if I remember right.

    You can find service manuals on the internet, free.
    #14
  15. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Perfect, Sounds easy enough to look and check for. I already have a full service manual downloaded.
    #15
  16. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Few parts came in today. Gates drive belt and a pair of new OEM blinker covers, left and the right. Previous covers were broken off.

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    Arrived in ts original packaging, on they went before work today.

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    Looks like i'll be breaching 4k miles here in the next few days.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    Only reason I say gear oil is that what randy whom runs the ch250 group says to use.
    #17
  18. steelrain760

    steelrain760 Adventurer

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    Drained and replaced the coolant earlier this morning. I thought I had some AMOSIL coolant laying around, instead I had Ford Motorcraft green, so I used that instead. Popped off the right fairing cover to make sure everything looks good. on the inside. Found that the right rear blinker connector was starting to get brittle, so I zip-tied it to keep it in place for now. I guess I need start looking into updating the connectors for better reliability, Any suggestions on connectors options?

    [​IMG]

    Also based on my service manual, looks like the Breather Separator, its drain hose is old and cracked. So i'll be looking into replacing that.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: I saw on the schematics that there's an option for with or without that brown old tube, is having that tube necessary or can I delete that and have one continuous drain hose?
    #18
  19. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    It's just a drain hose, no pressure in it. I'd do whatever it took to make it nice and not leaky. It seems to need the right angle corner in it because there's no room to go straight down. I've shaped a few hoses by heating them up a lot with a heat gun and forming them, but the right angle is going to be tough.

    Save the old clamps! They're very nice.
    #19
  20. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    looks cherry! Keep it as stock as possible for reliable and long running. You can get rid of many of those hoses, they are usually some type of breather, emissions or vacuum hose...consolidate as many as you can to reduce vacuum leaks.
    #20