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Old 10th September 2010, 14:26   #16
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QUOTE=JEHU;2062006]Dear All,
I have a 2005 May, Kickstart version of the Unicorn. I have clocked 50k+ as on date with brutish assault on the engine cos of long rides,tank high water logged subway wades, 115+ with a pillion, non stop for 30 mins plus and now I see oil leaks in the cylinder.I'm unable to do more than 90KMPH now,but yet it starts in a single kick and pick up is fine and the engine is smooth as ever. I dont want to part with it faithful pal and hence want to repair it with minimal interference to the engine. The service centers say different things. Some say the rings have to be replaced, others that the engine needs an overhaul with new cylinders and oversize pistons.

I do have a 2005 unicorn and recently been advised to go for an overhaul. The bike has done 50000kms but the engine still feels smooth. The manager told me that I can go for new engine block and same co. sized piston if i don't want to go for the crap rebore stuff. The estimate would be around Rs 9000.


I would suggest you to check with your service centre.
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Old 10th September 2010, 14:36   #17
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Originally Posted by akshaymahajan View Post
My Pulsar 150 Dec 2007 model has clocked like 17000km and during my last service the SA told me that my bikes engine will be due for an overhaul soon.
I was shocked but he said its kind of the normal life span.
There's no difference in the performance, it can still do like 105kmph but consumes a little oil. Like 500ml in 5-6 months. And apparently a little white smoke which I have never noticed.
Is there any other problem or is it really the piston rings and all?
Your bike seems to be consuming oil , whitish smoke is a sure sign that engine oil is getting into the combustion chamber. A complete overhaul might not be required just get your piston rings especially the oil ring checked.

Engine life depends a lot on the initial running –in of the engine, if you have raced the engine to high rpm levels during initial running –in then there are chances damage to piston , rings etc.
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Old 10th September 2010, 14:36   #18
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Originally Posted by rranjith_kum View Post
Well with regard to the oil consumption I would say its little bit on the higher side. Just check it with the service manual! How many kms do you clock in this time period. Is it like continuous intercity travel ?
One way to precisely nail it down would be to keep an eye on the engine oil consumption but then since yours is a wet clutch bike I would say better would be to get your spark plug inspected. Then when you are really sure its case of oil burning then try to get your rings and the clearances checked.
No. My bike does around 2000 kms in 6 months these days. But is never left unused even for a week. Spark Plugs were cleaned during the service. I asked him to change them but he said they are ok. They have been there since the bike was bought so will probably change them in a few days. Will get a compression test done whenever i feel something is not normal. Thanks.
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Old 10th September 2010, 15:45   #19
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Originally Posted by akshaymahajan View Post
No. My bike does around 2000 kms in 6 months these days. But is never left unused even for a week. Spark Plugs were cleaned during the service. I asked him to change them but he said they are ok. They have been there since the bike was bought so will probably change them in a few days. Will get a compression test done whenever i feel something is not normal. Thanks.
I tried to mean to look at the sparkplug for signs of oil combustion.
Spark plugs were cleaned ?? Did it have any sort of gawky stuff ? then it is a clear sign of oil burning.

500 ml for every 2000 km is

Last edited by rranjith_kum : 10th September 2010 at 15:48.
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Old 13th September 2010, 18:24   #20
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Originally Posted by rranjith_kum View Post
Wait a minute, you see oil leak in the cylinder, where exactly ? is it through the head ? If you still feel that your acceleration is same and your engine sounds smooth, then why do you want to ment it. As long as you have frequently changed the oil at regular intervals and maintained it, I should see no issues with the so called misuse in your bike. Just go to a real guy, who knows his work. He can surely help you out.

As a previous unicorn driver I would say the same thing too never do anything to your bike's engine.
Yes the oil is leaking from the cylinder head and through the spark plugs too. The HONDA service center adviced an engine overhaul which might cost 9k and more. Some genuine mechanics said that it can be repaired for 1500-1600 bucks.

I had mated a K&N to the carb and ran the engine on Castrol Synthetic for nearly 25k kms.I doubt if this would have added to the aforementioned probs. It doesn't go beyond 90kmph, whereas I've done 125kmph as the max speed even until it was 30k kms old (more so when it had te stock air filter) I also had NGK double point spark plug and the bike always pulled a wheelie when I threw the clutch with a half twist of the throttle. Will I ever get it back
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Old 13th September 2010, 19:12   #21
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I strongly believe that you should also check for your valve clearances, if you can see oil leak through the cylinder head and the spark plug.
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Old 26th April 2012, 10:39   #22
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Default Re: Unicorn engine overhaul

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Originally Posted by kkg View Post

I do have a 2005 unicorn and recently been advised to go for an overhaul. The bike has done 50000kms but the engine still feels smooth. The manager told me that I can go for new engine block and same co. sized piston if i don't want to go for the crap rebore stuff. The estimate would be around Rs 9000.


I would suggest you to check with your service centre.
Thanks for this suggestion. I did go for an overhaul after much thought, just a couple of months ago. They've broken the NEUTRAL GEAR SWITCH and hence there is a perennial OIL LEAKAGE. I couldn't source the switch yet as none of the HONDA Service centres have stock of that.

Other problems are
There seems to be a mild tappet sound at idle and till 40KMPH. The vehicle is quick off the blocks with a decent pick up, but maxes out at 80KMPH.It used to touch 95KMPH before the engine overhaul. There are some visible oil leakages around the cylinder head, but not so pronounced as it was before the overhaul.

Please advice what should be done now
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Old 26th April 2012, 10:51   #23
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

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Originally Posted by fireblade007 View Post
I asked the repair cost at a local mechanic who is known to be quite good. He quoted me 6k Rs for the repairs. He told that he will resetting the crank and reboring with an oversize piston etc. I was not interested in such work. I wanted to replace the damaged parts.



Don't know whether its characteristic of unicorn to get engine works around 50k kms.


Yes I have abused it. I had a notion that the engine was bullet proof. I had ripped it considerably .especially about two years ago when I used to take it to high rpms in every gear. That ripping phase lasted for 7-8 months. I stopped as I couldn't handle the fuel bills. Was only getting about 35-40 kms per litre. So I can't put the blame completely on the engine

I guess, I'm a rough rider too. But HONDA's service quality and spare parts availability are abysmally low and I've been hearing repeated complaints about this from my friends to whom I had recommended HONDA Uni and Activas. The Activa's engine failed in just 38K KMs despite being taken care well and being used softly. The other Unicorns were losing power once past 35K or so and the Authorised Service Centers were not able to diagnose it.

Still, I wanted to add one thing. The sustained 100+ speeds that I had done on my Uni were ample proofs to its build quality and nothing is eternal-HONDA UNICORN too. So lets not blame it
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Old 26th April 2012, 18:57   #24
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

I am not a honda basher, infact I used to praise Unicorn's smooth engine and always use to emphasize that Honda achieves smoothness in engines by extracting less power with respect to the cubic capacity of the engine. But not only my friends I have heard many cases where Unicorn's engine was not able to go beyond 50k kms. I ultimately conclude that the reliability superiority of Honda is only a eyewash and Honda engines nearly last the same or with my experience infact less than the Indian made Bikes like Pulsar,TVS. Nothing to boast off. On the contrarary I noticed that I have seen quite a few Hunk,CBZ who have crossed 70 K easily without any such problems, why only Honda Unicorns engine having problem when it was supposed to be the latest revision of the engine as compared to CBZ and Hunk? I doubt the high fuel efficiency of the engine to be a culprit.(I might be wrong) But surely I wont tell anybody to take a Unicorn or Activa for its reliability reason at least.
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Old 26th April 2012, 21:19   #25
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

My 2005 Unicorn has now crossed 60,150kms and still runs like dream. ZThe engine still retains it's refinement and the only replacement of parts I have doe is the coneset and chain and sprocket plus rear tyre. It is steadily returning an average of 68km/ltre. It seems to me that the the reported problems in this thread are due to heavy abuse and lack of maintenance. Off course, I do agree that Honda service is a nightmare.
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Old 28th April 2012, 15:02   #26
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

Motorcycle engines in India have a design life of 50,000 kms. So, I guess the overhaul is quite a normal happening. Agree that some engines survive upto 80k, 90k kms but engines are like people. Each engine has a different soul and features. We cannot expect every engine to last like that. At times quality of fuel, service center guys skipping oil change, all these things lead to an early death. But thanks to the new market trend, we can do a half engine change in less than 5 hrs and at a reasonable cost. I have done 40,000 kms on my 2007 unicorn. Fingers crossed as i'll be completing 50,000 in another 6-8 months.
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Old 4th December 2012, 18:48   #27
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

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Originally Posted by sharanvenu View Post
Motorcycle engines in India have a design life of 50,000 kms. So, I guess the overhaul is quite a normal happening. Agree that some engines survive upto 80k, 90k kms but engines are like people. Each engine has a different soul and features. We cannot expect every engine to last like that. At times quality of fuel, service center guys skipping oil change, all these things lead to an early death. But thanks to the new market trend, we can do a half engine change in less than 5 hrs and at a reasonable cost. I have done 40,000 kms on my 2007 unicorn. Fingers crossed as i'll be completing 50,000 in another 6-8 months.
My cousin's 10 year old Splendor had crossed 1,10,000 KMs when he sold it and it was without a single engine overhaul. Another cousin still has his Yamaha Crux and even after 9 years and 1,12,000 KMs it still returns 50+KMPL without any engine overhaul. My brother in law has a 2004 Bajaj Boxer AT which is around 60,000 KMs and is abused to the core by getting just 1 oil change or water wash in a year but still gives him consistent 60+KMPL. He hardly changes the bulb or has replaced his OE battery. I'm just given to the conclusion that 100CC bike's engines last much longer in India than their 150CC counterparts.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 22:31   #28
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul not required, costs.

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HI Fireblade !

An engine overhaul at only 50 K kms ?! I expected Honda 2 wheeler engines to come up for such repairs only around the 100,000 kms mark, could you find out the reason for the same ? Is it a characteristic of the Unicorn engine or some problem with oil, fuel, etc ?
Hello, i have encountered a similar problem with my unicorn 2005 model, kick start. The bike 's odo reads 47400km and for the last 2 years I have experienced a rattlling sound in engine. I always serviced it in honda authorised showroom. When I asked them about this problem , they told me it would cost somewhere around Rs9000 to 14ooo only to open up the engine. Another authorised service centre (Haiku honda) said engine's rebore has to be done.
But when I read through the forum in Team-BHP I learnt that a honda engine would need a rebore not before 1lakh kms. And that the problem in engine would be minor. So I decided to give my bike to a service station outside the authorised dealer. I reside in North-east Bangalore , likely Castrol Bike zone was near by. Gave my bike to them, a mechanic test drove the bike and said it would require a day to service. They did a decent job on diagnosing the problem in engine. It was a broken valve timer , which were replaced with a genuine honda spare by Castrol Bikezone itself. Now the bike rides as good as new. The work done was a general service, oil change, battery replacement . The main problem of oil leak from engine also resolved. And the bill was 2900 only.
Was very pleased with their service.
Castrol bike zone
Pro : one to one attention
: prompt service
: honest owner & mechanics
: professional service

Cons: the front disc brake was a lil sluggish
: forgot to replace the high beam bulb which was fused.
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Old 25th March 2013, 11:54   #29
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul done, costs.

My 2004 unicorns odometer shows 35000, but it had done closer to 42-44 k kms.

Now the problem im facing since 2 months. Clutch is weak, hence pick up is not as good. Needs change. 3rd gear results in a loud hemming sort of sound. the engine area next to the rear brake pedal gets super hot these days even with proper idling and riding slowly in city speeds.

Is the engine's time up? My mechanic says it's drinking oil but no compression loss and can last another 10k if ridden sedately. And what about the oil filter? Even the HASS guys do not clean it at every interval.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 10:43   #30
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Default Re: Honda Unicorn, engine overhaul not required, costs.

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Originally Posted by arjun_b2 View Post
Hello, i have encountered a similar problem with my unicorn 2005 model, kick start. The bike 's odo reads 47400km and for the last 2 years I have experienced a rattlling sound in engine. I always serviced it in honda authorised showroom. When I asked them about this problem , they told me it would cost somewhere around Rs9000 to 14ooo only to open up the engine. Another authorised service centre (Haiku honda) said engine's rebore has to be done.
But when I read through the forum in Team-BHP I learnt that a honda engine would need a rebore not before 1lakh kms. And that the problem in engine would be minor. So I decided to give my bike to a service station outside the authorised dealer. I reside in North-east Bangalore , likely Castrol Bike zone was near by. Gave my bike to them, a mechanic test drove the bike and said it would require a day to service. They did a decent job on diagnosing the problem in engine. It was a broken valve timer , which were replaced with a genuine honda spare by Castrol Bikezone itself. Now the bike rides as good as new. The work done was a general service, oil change, battery replacement . The main problem of oil leak from engine also resolved. And the bill was 2900 only.
Was very pleased with their service.
Castrol bike zone
Pro : one to one attention
: prompt service
: honest owner & mechanics
: professional service

Cons: the front disc brake was a lil sluggish
: forgot to replace the high beam bulb which was fused.

hello, after two months of service , the problem of oil leak from engine has resumed in my bike
will be going back to Castrol bike zone to enquire. But does anyone know the probable reason as to why oil leaks are present. I recently changed the broken valve timer . what else could be a problem ?
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