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General service?

badgopher

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I bought a 2014 NC700X a couple weeks back. I'm slowly rehabbing it - it seems in fair condition, but I have no service history for the bike. I've got to get the tires swapped, they were so square you could have used them as rulers, and 6+ years old besides. I'm not up for doing that myself yet.

But it looks like the routine service for the bike is to flush brake and coolant, then replace the oil filter and oil, and since it's at 7500 miles I should do the valve adjustment.

I watched a video on the valve stuff, I think I can do that myself, seems straight forward overall. And oil swap is simple, done that. My questions:

1) Who makes good feeler gauges? Never needed any before!

2) I'm worried about replacing the coolant and brake fluid. I've done a lot of hydraulics work, but we cheated with vacuum pullers half the time, or had to spend a long time burping them, and I worry about getting an air bubble in the brake line and killing myself. Any advice here?

3) I haven't inspected the brake pads yet (Bike's been parked since I bought it, until I get it fully rehabbed), but proper depth on those is basically 'wear grooves visible' right?

4) Chain tension seems proper, anything else I should double check?
 

halfSpinDoctor

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1) Who makes good feeler gauges? Never needed any before!
I just have cheap ones off of Amazon and they work fine. Other tool snobs may have better suggestions

Note of warning: The YouTube channel 'Honda NC750X Stuff' has a great video that demonstrates the valve clearance adjustment (posted May 2017), but he incorrectly gets cylinder #1 and cylinder #2 backwards in the video. He actually does them correctly, but the narration is incorrect.

There is also an excellent step-by-step guide with pictures on this forum.

2) I'm worried about replacing the coolant and brake fluid. I've done a lot of hydraulics work, but we cheated with vacuum pullers half the time, or had to spend a long time burping them, and I worry about getting an air bubble in the brake line and killing myself. Any advice here?
Some people like a hand vacuum pump for bleeding, but for a bike I find that with my long arms, it is easy enough to just reach up and grab the front brake lever with my left arm, and use a box end wrench to open/close the bleeder valve with my right. (Or reach the rear brake pedal with right arm).

I usually start by sucking up all the old fluid out of the reservoir with a syringe, replacing with fresh, then bleed until the color changes. Make sure to keep topping up the upper reservoir every 10 bleed cycles or so, so you don't inadvertently suck up air.

COVER THE FRUNK WITH A CLOTH - the brake fluid will destroy the paint. Also, get some tubing to fit over the nipple and make sure that is really secure - I had a tube pop off and spray fluid all over my face and clothes once.

For the rear brake, unbolt the reservoir, pull it out from under the rear inner fender, and zip-tie it in place to the outside of the bike temporarily. That will prevent it from tipping and spilling over.

For the coolant - don't flush! (i.e. don't try to run water through the radiator). Just drain, refill, then run the bike to warm it up and "burp" out bubbles. If you Google "burp coolant system" you will find good instructions.

3) I haven't inspected the brake pads yet (Bike's been parked since I bought it, until I get it fully rehabbed), but proper depth on those is basically 'wear grooves visible' right?
Basically, yes.

4) Chain tension seems proper, anything else I should double check?
I would check to make sure the rear wheel is straight; i.e.-- that the two adjuster bolts and lock nuts that you "back out" to pull the axle rearwards in order to tension the chain are evenly adjusted. On my bike, the previous owner only backed out one of the two adjusters, resulting in a crooked back wheel, mis-aligned chain, and a bike that pulled severely to one side. If the bike pulls to the left, that indicates that the rear wheel is crooked to the right (i.e. the right-side adjuster is further back than the left side).

I have a motion pro "chain alignment tool", but honestly a metal ruler or just your eye is probably good enough for this.

Most importantly -- enjoy your new ride!!
 

670cc

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Assuming the oil and filter were changed at 600 miles, the oil filter is not due at 7500 miles. Oil filter change is recommended every 16,000 miles. But since you have no record of service done, maybe you should change the oil filter(s) now.

If you do a valve check, you are going to dump half the coolant when you move the radiator out of the way. What I do is just refill with fresh coolant at each valve check and call it good. There is certainly no reason to “flush” the coolant. On later model maintenance schedules, valve checks are at 16,000 mile intervals.

Brake fluid change is easy with just a screw driver, wrench, plastic hose, and a drain pan, and a few shop towels. Since your 2014 doesn’t have the 2012-2013 three piston front caliper linked brakes, that makes it easier. Just don’t let the reservoir go dry and you won’t introduce air.

The brake pads have wear indicators on them. My stock front and rear pads went over 50,000 miles before reaching the wear indicator. For yours to be anywhere close to worn at 7500 miles would be unusual.

I find the feeler gauges that have an angled tip to be easier to use on the NC engine. Here is a totally randomly chosen example. No endorsement. https://www.amazon.com/Mayata-Stain...&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584345030142446&th=1

I have no patience for poorly edited, overly long how-to videos. I use the Honda service manual and I recommend you buy one, too.
 
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halfSpinDoctor

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If you do a valve check, you are going to dump half the coolant when you move the radiator out of the way. What I do is just refill with fresh cooolant each valve check and call it good. There is certainly no reason to “flush” the coolant.
That's what I do as well.

This reminds me-- make sure you get compatible coolant (silicate-free). I just get the Honda Genuine Type 2 Coolant. You can either get "Honda Genuine Long Life Type 2" (car) or "Honda Pro HP Coolant" (bike). It is established that it's the same thing. The color doesn't actually matter, and the bottle HP coolant may or may not match the color of the factory coolant (mine didn't; the bike contained green, and the HP pro is blue. And now it's a pretty cobalt blue color)
 

670cc

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That's what I do as well.

This reminds me-- make sure you get compatible coolant (silicate-free). I just get the Honda Genuine Type 2 Coolant. You can either get "Honda Genuine Long Life Type 2" (car) or "Honda Pro HP Coolant" (bike). It is established that it's the same thing. The color doesn't actually matter, and the bottle HP coolant may or may not match the color of the factory coolant (mine didn't; the bike contained green, and the HP pro is blue. And now it's a pretty cobalt blue color)
Good point here. Do not use any random type coolant you might have around. Coolants with silicates added are known to damage the water pump. Not to mention the confusing wide variety of coolants now on the market, Dexcool, HOAT, OAT, etc. Stick with the Honda stuff.
 

badgopher

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Cool. I'll probably stick with the valve check and an oil change then, and just top off the coolant. It probably doesn't need the oil change, but since I can't tell how old it might be, and it's pretty simple, I'll do it while I'm there. I'll inspect the pads, and make sure the front and rear reservoirs are good, and do the brakes in a few thousand more miles.

Or I may just have the shop do it when I have them do my tires, if it's a cheap throw-in.
 
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