Common parts I find missing or worn on 1982-1983 BIG REDS
This is just a quick post of the parts I found missing or worn on while restoring a 1982 and a 1983 Honda BIG RED 200E. I am not going to get into some the common worn parts like brake shoes or drive chain in this article. I did not have complete machines to start with so to make complete restorations I needed to scavenge some parts off of a few different 1982 - 1984 BIG REDS I have sitting around. If you didn’t already know the 1982 and 1983 BIG REDS share a lot of parts and some parts from the 1984 model are the same too. This list will give you some things to look for when buying a BIG RED or some things to consider before starting a restoration. Here is my list in no particular order:
Tool Kit – The tool kit were located under the seat on these BIG REDS. I have been surprised when buying BIG REDS when I take the seat off and find the tool kit with most of tools in it. Like many other vehicles the tools get lost or removed over the years. Surprisingly tool kits are still available new (without tire pressure gauge) and of course used.
Chaincase, chaincase plugs, and clips – In my experience all or part of the chaincases are missing. I can definitely see a reason for this. The chaincase makes maintaining the drive chain difficult due to the lack of access. For this reason the complete chaincase assembly did not stay in place on many of these machines. Many of the chaincase parts are not available new but they can be obtained used.
Neutral indicator – The 1982 and 1983 model BIG REDS did not have a neutral indicator light on the dash pad. What they did have was a plastic pointer that was installed on a splined shaft near the bottom right of the recoil starter (rip cord).
Air cleaner bracket – This bracket is used to keep the air cleaner element in place. I don’t know why many of these are missing as they don’t hinder disassembly, reassembly, and element maintenance that much. These bracket assemblies are not available new but can be obtained used.
Headlight grommet – This is the rubber grommet that installs in the back of the headlight housing and is missing on many BIG REDS. I can see this happening since it can get dried, cracked over the years especially if the BIG RED was stored outside. The grommet is not available new and is difficult to find in good condition used. It does give the headlight a much cleaner look as opposed to just a hole in the back of the headlight housing.
Front fork dampers – I have only found one set of these that I think operated properly. They are a sealed non-rebuildable unit used to dampen the front fork as opposed to the more common oil damped conventional fork that is rebuildable and used on the 1985-1987. It is very difficult to find these dampers in working condition used. Even if you could find the dampers in good condition I don’t think they would make much of an improvement.
Center section of rear rack – The 1982 – 1984 BIG REDS had a center section to the rear rack that needed to be flipped up in order to access the toolbox. Many 1982 -1984 BIG RED owners removed the center section so they did not have to deal with this. Plus the rack was retained by rubber tabs that would wear and tear over time. You can find these used on ebay.
Battery hold down – These are missing on many BIG REDS and I am not sure why. Lazy owners during a battery change? I’m not sure. They are not available new but can be obtained used. A battery should be retained properly for safety and maintenance reason. You can find these hold downs used.
Muffler/spark arrestor - The majority of the spark arrestors on the end of the mufflers are rusted out badly or gone all together. I just end up welding on a tailpipe to the muffler since it is hard to find a used muffler/spark arrestor in decent shape that could even be repaired.
Air cleaner bracket - Many BIG REDS I buy do not have the air cleaner bracket that helps keep the filter element in place inside the airbox. These are available used.
For me these “little things” make a restoration just that much better so it is worth the effort and expense to include these parts.