Replacing the Sight Glass

It’s common for the brake and clutch master cylinder sight glasses on Hondas of this era to deteriorate, become opaque, and even crumble and leak. Mine are no exception so I’ve replaced them with mineral glass watch crystals.

Old Sight Glass
Old sight glass. Opaque and weakening.

Once the original sight glass looks like this it is very weak. You can put your thumbnail through it or a piece of gravel at freeway speeds can cause a leak. If you lose your brake or clutch while riding you’re going to have a bad time.
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Brake Switch

Dirty brake switch
Dirty brake switch

Well my brake switch was broken. The rear brake pedal would activate the brake light but the front brake lever wouldn’t. I checked on the brake light switch and found it wasn’t working and was quite warm. With some patience and a couple of small flat head screwdrivers along the seam I was able to open the switch. It’s fairly simple as far as switches go, it’s normally closed and with the brake lever in its normal position it depresses the plunger which opens the contacts and breaks the circuit. When you pull in the brake lever it releases the plunger which brings the two contacts together and completes the circuit. In my case the contacts (red arrow above) were dirty and adding resistance to the circuit.
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Back On The Road

It’s been 16 months since this happened:

Accident damage
Cold morning, cold tires, cold pavement, and too much front brake.

A year and a half later, several eBay auctions for parts, lots of wrenching, some missteps, a little rewrenching, and it’s finally back on the road. There’s still some more cosmetic work to do, but I’m happy to see it rolling again.

Back On The Road
Back On The Road

The operation was a success!

Now with stock front-end and chin spoiler.
Now with stock front end and chin spoiler.

My bike has finally been transformed from a mongrel back to a mostly stock 700S. Somehow I didn’t notice it when I bought it, but it came with a 650 front end instead of a 700S front end. I scrounged all the necessary parts off of eBay and finally had the time to switch everything over. Tonight was my first ride on the new setup. Continue reading

The Resurrection of a Thirty Year Old Motorcycle