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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello yall!!

This is the first time me posting anything here although I have read a lot of (i mean a lot) articles, especially project builds here prior to buying my to-be project bike. A lot of nice and helpful people here, Kudos to dat!

So, away with the story....
To admit some things about myself, Im a great automotive lover in general, but I actually prefer cars and other four wheel vehicles. I know my fair bit in general about cars n all but really low when it comes specifically to bikes. Although Ive been riding bikes since I was 12-14yrs old. But it simply was a really convenient short-travel method for me than an actual passion, so to say (I know, I know, bear with me....)

With very limited motorcycle power-limit allowed in my country's law, still there were and are admirable amount of different bike models. Most are just functional, low cost hence dime-a-dozen cheap ones but there are gems too. From Honda-Suzuki and similar to bikes like Ducati, KTM and elegant ones like Royal Enfield, there are an acceptable range here. But one bike I really let sink into my mind was the CD series of Honda. I knew nothing about models or whatsoever when I was 6-8yrs old but an Uncle of mine had a CD200 RoadMaster in pristine condition. It simply was his baby. He was a watch-mender and the best and respected one at the city where he lived. I guess its more appropriate to say that his bike worked like a well mended watch. That low slung, long and prestige look and the bassist rumble of the twin stole my heart. This love went under with years pass by and I was involved in my studies, higher studies n life. Honda always helped me, I had a Honda C50 Little Cub back then which I kept in pristine condition for 7 years until I sold it. Then simply for practicality I bought a Honda Dio 110 Scooter. From classic standards it was nothing, but the bike was solid, upto date and was very reliable.
Me being more inclined towards cars, ironically my daily driver was this bike, as going to work and running for all other chores in the city was a pain in the posterior with the car due to heavy density of traffic and not enough parking. But after one year I felt something was missing. Then I took a bold and cataclysmic decision.

  • What I missed was the involvement of driving (Im that type who prefer manual control over convenience) The Dio scooter being very easy and fast, didnt have any gears (CVT) hence no clutch, nothing. Just squeeze the throttle and wroom. Even my previous C50 without manual clutch had 4 gears.
  • What I loved to have an alternative was a Honda CD series bike, which sparked back when a relative bought a CD125 Twin. I rode it once and fell in love instantly. Like a crying little baby over toffee, I simply wanted one.
  • What I craved for was to do something own of myself, rather than having what everyone else had. I didnt want to restore one to its original condition, but to modify it with my design skills and other automotive tastes.

Combined these three together and I ended up selling my loved-till-the-end Dio and buying an old beaten up, yet running CD125. After going around FB clubs and forums, I decided what I needed was a CD125T Benly model, which has 5 gears and is CDI 12V. The other model CD125 Twin is a Platinum point 6V with 4 gears. Now 4-5 gears arnt much different, compared to my relatives Twin, I feel that Benly's 3rd gear is just comparatively short to make do. But I like going through gears. But the 12V was a must for me hence my conceptual modifications included a lot of LED work. Converting a 6V to 12V was an extra deviation for my project. And I was really interested in buying an older model, which would save me money on modifications and according to our local law, Number plates issued before year 2000 (older registration templates) are somewhat customize-able and I wanted to do that. Above year 2000 plates are in the new registration template and are only issued by the Department of Motor Traffic.

So after a lot of dreams, sleepless nights of looking through ads and calling up a lot of em, I ended up finding one. in CD series there are almost all the models of many years here, CD50, CD90 Benly, CD95, CD125 Twin, CD125T Benly, CD185/200 Roadmaster. Anything below 125 was too little for me, anything above 125 was too expensive for me. From 125, Twins can be found everywhere, but Benlys are very hard to find, and owners wouldnt sell. What I found was perfect for my scope of search, it was a Benly model, it was registered in 1997 which holds those customize-able plates (Model 1992, had been brought to my country reconditioned in 1997) and was in need of a lot of work here and there, which made my bargain easier and led me to buy it for around $715 USD. (usually a well maintained one of same decade would cost at around $1020-$1050 USD)

Condition when I bought it on 20.06.2017
Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Mode of transport

Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Mode of transport

So me being not much of a motorcycle guy (although I ride a lot), never being owned a used motorcycle before, never had modified anything other than paddle bicycles as a kid, at 24 years of age I bought my first tasteful and project-oriented motorcycle :)

Topic breakdown with direct links to each post:
Preliminary Assessment
The Concept
The Plan
Stage 01: Repairing/Conditioning

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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Preliminary Assessment

Welcome. Nice bike.
Thanks mate. But trust me visuals apart this bike was not in a nice condition. Not almost dead either but just hanging in there condition.

So visual-wise the bike overall looks fairly okay. Everything is in its place, paint is okay and all. Silencers and knee guards are all rusted. I didnt care for it much coz I didnt like the knee guard anyway, and I have other plans for exhaust mods (Assuming Ill be able to find/fabricate a duo). Half of the lights didnt work, only left side signals and indicators on the cluster worked. Non of the brake/park/head or even cluster backlight worked due to various this n that electronic and switch problems. Despite having two double horns up front, non of them did work but testings showed that its a problem with the horns, switch worked fine. A thick burning smoke would come out if I turn the key to the P (park light) mode! :eek: ((wut now))

Engine tappets were making all sorts of ticking noises. And it was gulping and going breathless when throttling, not all the time though, when she run, she runs fine. So amidst some good service the engine looked, sounded and felt promising (best known as rock solid stuff) Bear with me as Im not any practical mechanical expert on bikes, although I know and study in theory. So tappets was tappets, that engine problem has to be either ignition or carb related problem. Petrol lines seemed fine. Talking about petrol, initial and even further personal inspection showed that the petrol tank despite in need of routine cleaning was in very good dent/rust/hole-free condition. Saves quite some pain. Spark end caps were seal-broken due to aging, leaking water into plugs when in rain or while washing. Gearbox seemed fine but doesnt feel that perfect snap when shifting. Clutch wasnt engaging well.
Front has so many problems. Fork arms do not have their oil seals, hence have lost its hydraulic power and was basically just two solid poles. Probably coz of that stiffness all bearings of the wheel had worn out, front drum brake wasnt working at all. Throttle cable was a mismatching replacement or a handy-job from another bike or something, wasnt smooth rotating. Cluster guage glass was shattered, probably due to extreme sunlight/aging. Speedo needle is bouncing everywhere like a little hyperactive kid, assume either cable problem or needle magnet worn out. Choke is stuck.

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Cosmetic-wise, although it looks clean, there are a number of little bends and dents here and there, needs fixing. Seats looks fine but all rusted like a junkyard ship under the covers. Needs total replacement.
Due to smoking problem and seeing a couple of hand-made totally-not-professional joints here and there in wires, I assumed the harness will have to be replaced to have a clean system. But the 12V battery is holding awesome, bike being a CDI snaps to life just with a gaze on the self start button. Idling is solid.

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Lots of these small issues were not seen when I bought it, but some fairly visible ones were noted, and was heartlessly used as points to reduce the price :oops: In the end, compared to the prices of good condition models of same era, Im happy with my bargain.

Ill post what Im about to do with it as soon as possible.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Repairing & tweaking will result in a fine bike.
Yes, thats my hopeful aim. A friend who knows about these bikes with experience said after checking that with a proper resurrection attempt, this can become a great runner again. So Im glad.
Restoration work falls in between my modifying plans, so I have to keep everything going under one plan. There are certain broken accessories and stuff which I dont need to worry about as Im to install custom parts replacing them.

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This should be an interesting build. Welcome.

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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I, like you like cars. But a small CC motorcycle is fun too.
Ahh, thats a MG Midget yeah? Must be great to cruise in weekends with the top dropped.
I dont have such an world-exciting car, what I have is a 1999 Toyota Carina Si 1.8l which is enough for me to love. Its one great family car with ample space and power for its cost, very comfy for long drives, and runs rocksolid for decades if well maintained. Best thing I like about is that Im lucky to own one of those cars before the era where everything got electronic. These cars are electronically assisted, but still the driver gets all the feedback from the car, and when I drive I instantly get one with my car. I feel every inch of the car and its behavior. I love it compared to newer automated and electronically controlled cars which are more concerned on safety and comfort-ability, but not driving pleasure. And although I dont have a completely kitted garage at home, I atleast do my fluid checks, change oil, wash, vacuum and wax it myself. I let the professionals do the rest at its best.

This also is somewhat a resurrection project itself too.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Alloy wheel Automotive design

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The Concept

Most of these bikes in local which are modified are customized to be bobbers and cafe racers, which is nice but I always have a thing of owning something slightly different from the rest. Doesnt need to be crazy and out of the world, but something subtle, yet outstanding, while also being very much functional and original or factory-spec looking.

So after looking at a couple of dozens of images of the Benly from different angles, I adhered to the same curvaceous body line that the bike has. So I decided to leave the bike at its classic low and long look, while giving it a touch of modern world with accessories. Being a designer, I just couldnt help myself but to do atleast a rough rendering of my idea (which is hung above my working desk..... for motivation these days ;) ) which is attached below.

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It doesnt have much difference at a glance, but thats what I wanted as I said before, subtle, original looking yet little bit different from ordinary.

Expected changes:
  • Convert all lighting except headlamp to LED, smaller lights compared with original ones.
  • Replace headlamp to a crystal reflector with clear lens.
  • Reduce (not remove) chrome where possible.
  • Replace exhaust mufflers with custom-made aluminum slash-cut straight pipes with adjustable DB killers.
  • Change number plates to custom classic ones (hence the choice of old reg. no. bike as explained in the beginning)
  • Change seats with classic Enfield-style spring mounted seat with a removable small pillion seat.
  • Convert front drum brakes to hydraulic disk (requires changing of forks, hub, handle with sump, etc.)
  • Slightly increasing the rear tire size (requires also decreasing the rim size by a tiny amount)
  • Custom lowered handlebar, switch controllers, small single gauge, etc.
  • Custom metallic black color with matte powder-coated engine and chassis with engine side cups and top buffed

Engine, chassis and everything of the powertrain and mainframe will be kept or regained to original factory-functional condition.

I will post my 3-stages plan soon.

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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The Plan

From my assessment over the whole project and all my requirements of "the dream", I have categorized my whole project into three main stages.

Stage 01: Repairing/Conditioning
  • Running repairs
  • Services, extensive cleaning and grease/oil
  • Replacement of worn out / low quality parts
  • Adjustments and tuning of engine, transmission and powertrain system
  • Clean, repair and condition of electrical harness and controls

Stage 02: Modifying
  • Replace the light system and fittings with LED/Halogen
  • Replace cluster gauge and extra necessary indicators
  • Replace handlebar with all controls, handles, raisers, etc.
  • Replace seating with classic spring-mounted seats
  • Customize number plates and mounts
  • Adjust/repair all necessary side panels, fenders, etc of existing outer body parts
  • Buy/fabricate custom stainless steel silencer-muffler set with adjustable DB killers
  • Upgrade front drum brake to disk brake system with forks and spoke hub

Stage 03: Finishing
  • Paint body panels with 2K metallic black paint
  • Paint chassis and accessories with matte black
  • Paint rims and hubs with matte black
  • Powder-coat the engine and parts with matte black heated paint
  • Buff the magneto cover, clutch side cover and cylinder head cap and seal with a 2K clear coat
  • Final finishing touches and adjustments

Massive list I know, but I wont be getting to do this often, or probably never again, hence Im gonna use my one chance to its fullest. :)
Will see how it goes (optimistic, hopeful, enthusiastic, fingers crossed)

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Stage 01: Repairing/Conditioning

Ive been dead quiet over here, but work has been going on rapidly.

To cap it all to some extent, after thinking about it for a while, I took the wise decision of handing over the foremost and foundation of the project, Running repairs to the professional. I know nothing about practical mechanical repairs, certainly not a damn thing about Benly bikes. I could learn but it will take too much time. After deciding that, next was who Im gonna hand over my new dusty n rusty pride to. There are atleast 3-4 motorcycle workshops in 2km radius of my house, but I didnt want to give it to a handy man who does a bit of everything. So after asking around throughout a day, I found out about a guy who lives about 4-5km away from me, who 'supposedly' is really experienced and specialized in repairing and rebuilding Japanese bikes. Long story short, went to meet the guy who was far in from the main road, doing his work at his home, didnt have any marketing strategy not even a sign board, but still there was a CD125 Benly (same as mine) CD125 Twin, CG125, CBR 250, CBR 250 RR undergoing repairs which mostly convinced me enough. So after chatting for a while and hearing on his verdict on my bike, I took a chance, or a leap of faith, and handed over my baby to him and came back home.

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Next day I went to hear him and he having stripped down my bike gave me a list of parts which he will need from me bought, and a couple of parts which he claimed he can repair. Some of those parts were still usable to an extent but on first occasion I firmly said that I dont want any low quality or half failed parts in my bike and has no intention of taking it apart for repairs in every 3 months or so. Because its a very well known fact that these bikes with original parts and proper maintenance (which is of very low effort) lasts for even half a decade before requiring minor repairs. Im firm in having trust on my vehicles to go wherever I want, whenever I want without any sudden and uncomfortable failure situations. I do my part by frequently checking and maintaining fluids, cleaning, etc. and I need the vehicle to do its share of running great. Otherwise its a fail vehicle for me. I need every little bit to the switch and the nut working precisely, so this bike which in the future will be used almost everyday has to be in tiptop and practical condition for me. Thats why the mechanic who was also a true Japanese bike lover told me whats worn, whats low quality and whats best. So I came back with a huge list which I only knew will cost 'a lot'. He would start the repairing and cleaning the bike till then.

Turquoise Fashion accessory Leather Padlock Metal

Some dishwasher-style sponge thingie instead of the proper air filter foam

Auto part Automotive engine part Carburetor

Tampered but recoverable original Japan carb

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Going shopping

Went shopping and bought expensive goodies!

Tire Automotive wheel system Automotive tire Auto part Plastic
Plastic bag Plastic wrap Comfort food
Plastic wrap Plastic bag
Automotive wheel system Auto part

  • Transmission shaft
  • Transmission paddle with rubber shifter-cap
  • Choke knob with cable
  • Accelerator cable
  • Clutch cable
  • Clutch lever
  • Air filter foam wrap
  • Front wheel bearing set (2 pieces)
  • Rear wheel bearing set (3 pieces)
  • Rear brake light bulb
  • Rear brake switch spring
  • Rear brake drum shoe-set
  • Front headlight bulb
  • Front running light bulb with holder
  • Spark plug caps (both)
  • Chain
  • Chain swing-arm rubber
  • Transmission sprocket wheel
  • Rear sprocket wheel
  • Horn (single 12v)

85% of the parts are original Honda, rest is Japanese parts. Nothing cheap or duplicate goes in.

A boot full of spare parts, a face full of happiness, a wallet full of air ;)
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