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The Honda CT110 motorcycle is a lightweight 110cc machine designed for commercial and agricultural use. The “X” model as used by Australia Post is the result of years of continuous development and millions of hours of operation. The 4-stroke engine is extremely reliable, very low maintenance and simple to service. It uses unleaded petrol.
When operated continuously at highway speeds constant attention must be paid to the oil level as a minor drop in the small quantity in the sump (half a litre) will have a marked effect on running temperatures. All riders MUST check and top-up their oil each evening (oil the chain at the same time). It is strongly recommended that a check be also made during the day, such as at the lunch stop. A bike that is using more than normal oil or has an oil leak may need to be topped up more often to avoid low oil levels.
Hold the bike level or put down the centre stand. The oil is checked with the dipstick thread touching the case – do NOT screw the dipstick in to check the level. Check immediately after stopping or if cold, run the engine for a minute or so before checking. Keep oil to the top mark at all times.
The CT110 has a four-speed gearbox operated through an automatic centrifugal clutch. The bike must ALWAYS be started off in low gear and gear changes are carried out in the normal manner with a foot shift. Riders must back off on the throttle between gear changes, as they would do in a conventional manual clutch bike. Unskilled use of the throttle during gear changes results in harsh changing and extreme stress on the bike, particularly clutch and chain.
Gears are; Neutral – right down, then four gears up. There is a green neutral light in the speedo. The bike should always be stopped and parked in neutral, as it is possible to start in gear with the centrifugal clutch. Always check for neutral before starting.
Fuel capacity is approximately five litres including about a litre in the reserve. When parking the bike for some time such as overnight, the fuel cock must be in the horizontal “OFF” position. If left on, it is possible for fuel to flood the intake system making the bike difficult to start. We encourage you to normally ride with the fuel cock in the up or “RESERVE” position rather than with the cock in the down or “ON” position. While this is not how you would normally ride your own bike we are trying to prevent the bike from running out of fuel before switching on reserve. Running out of fuel at high speeds does cause superheating of the engine and can be the death of a postie bike. We suggest that at every rest stop or every 100km you stop and top up your bike with fuel from the 5L jerry can provided. We have also found that bikes that have run at high speeds (70km/hr) that are then turned off for a break or refuelling can be so hot that the engine can warp while it is cooling. We therefore recommend that upon stopping, you let the engine idle for 3-5 minutes to let it cool slowly.
You should inspect the tyres, particularly before starting out for the day, for punctures or low pressure.
The headlight remains on at all times. Get in the habit of shutting down the bike with the key. If you use the handlebar kill-switch it is likely the ignition key will be left on with the headlight and flatten the battery.
To start the bike it is a good idea to set the park brake (on the hand brake lever) in case you forget to select neutral. Key – on. Check neutral light. Fuel – reserve. Retract right stand if in use. If cold, pull choke lever – up. Throttle slightly open. Kick start (bring the lever back with your foot, don’t let it fly back by itself.) warm up until bike will run without choke (get the choke down as soon as possible to avoid excess fuel in the engine.)
Hot start is the same except the choke is not used.
Honda recommends the CT110 brakes be used together. They warn that, particularly on wet or loose surfaces, independent use of either front or rear brake will hamper stability. Although the CT110 brakes are quite adequate, those accustomed to bikes with hydraulic disc brakes, will notice increased pedal pressure is required and performance is less. Be aware of brake fade on long steep down-hills and use a lower gear for engine braking.
Rider’s Maintenance Responsibilities
The Honda CT110 is a lightweight machine designed for continuous stop-start riding. It is not designed as a high-speed highway tourer. On a long journey such as this, the rider must constantly attend to his bike to ensure it is always in top condition.
If you hear or see something coming loose, leaking, wearing or not performing its function, stop and correct it immediately. If you do not have sufficient knowledge or require tools, consult other more experienced riders or ask for assistance from the support team.
The support team will not carry out routine maintenance or minor repairs within the normal capacity of a competent motorcyclist. They will be available for advice but basically are there to act as an RACQ/NRMA get you out of trouble service. There is a definite point where they will “turn off the life-support machine” for bikes which are terminally ill.
At each stop, take 10 seconds to look over the engine in particular, for leaks or signs of overheating. In the evening have a thorough check of the whole bike – you will be topping up the oil and fuel so another minute may be the difference between you getting to the destination or not. Every few days run over the whole machine with spanners, testing every nut and bolt you can see, for tightness.
The speedos will be marked at 70kph – this is your cruising speed all the way to the destination! Occasional increases, such as on a downhill run, up to 80kph will do no harm but the temperature and engine stress curve rises dramatically over 75kph. Be aware of “long distance speed creep” when the rider becomes used to the noise and subconsciously slowly increases the speed. If the bikes are going to survive you must have discipline.
The seat on the CT110 is surprisingly comfortable for long periods of time (One would imagine the average postie who sits on them for 5 or 6 hours a day would have complained long ago if this was not the case). A very strong recommendation is the use of a sheepskin seat cover. The difference this makes is quite remarkable. It is not just a comfort feature but is a real safety item, reducing rider fatigue considerably.
Another major discomfort and fatigue factor was found to be the small, hard handgrips. The test team agrees gloves are essential or for those who want to ride bare-handed, you should purchase a set of the relatively cheap after market soft grips and fit them at the start or on the first night stop.
Honda recommends tyre pressures of 25psi front and 33psi rear. Australia Post, because of heavy loads, uses 32psi front and 36psi rear. Riders should select which setting suits their weight and riding style. The test team chose the Australia Post settings.
The rear springs should be adjusted to your weight. On dirt roads they should be set as soft as possible while avoiding regular “bottoming”. Our mechanics will preset all rear springs.