My Honda Activa 125 at 52000 kms: Suspension oil leak & other updates

Upon riding Blu the next day, I noticed at once that the handlebar has become quite jittery. It was bouncing all over the place for even the minute imperfection on the road.

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I was just telling how fuss free Blu was running and BAM! trouble.

My FIL was out with Blu and I was told that it suddenly started pulling left and when checked with a local mechanic, it was told that the cone set (bearing connecting handlebar to stem) has gone kaput. Blu had been running on the factory part for 50k Kms and through some very bad roads for about one third of that mileage so I was not that surprised when the part failed. He then asked the mechanic to replace the cone set and deliver Blu home, which the mechanic did by end of the day. It cost me Rs. 1100/- for part and labour which seemed very high. But since the mechanic was an acquaintance I did not raise a concern. I thought the issue was resolved but worse was yet to come.

Upon riding Blu the next day, I noticed at once that the handlebar has become quite jittery. It was bouncing all over the place for even the minute imperfection on the road, not to tell about the pothole filled and dug up areas. I told this to my FIL and he said he will take it back to the mechanic for correcting it. I didn’t want to trouble him hence took Blu myself there. The mechanic didn’t give excuses but checked the front end and told that the bearing setting might have come a little loose causing the bouncing. I didn’t know any better and he asked to leave Blu so that he can do the repairs properly taking required time. He even dropped me off at home, so far I didn’t have any reason not to trust this guy.

As promised he brought back Blu in the afternoon and told me the issue was resolved. I didn’t use Blu till two days after and observed that the bounciness have definitely gone down a couple of notches but it was still there. My BIL while visiting also told that the handling of Blu felt funny. Now I was quite sure the repairs done was not right in spite of my wife telling me its all in my head. What does she know?

While I was checking Blu again I was shocked to see that the right pipe of front suspension was leaking oil. It has blown the seal. Could this be the issue. This time I decided to cut my losses and take Blu to a HASS which is what I did. I asked them to send me photos of the problems on Whatsapp and also keep me updated on the repairs.

This is what I was told, the oil seal was blown, not surprised since left pipe seal was replaced earlier, it was only a matter of time and kms the second one failed. Secondly the fork right pipe needs to be replaced since it has been bent because someone had installed it upside down earlier!. Who else than my friendly neighborhood mechanic. And because of the wrong installation of the pipe, the new bearing also had cracked and now I needed a new bearing too. The HASS sent me images but I’m not technically inclined to read them. So I gave the go ahead to replace the pipe, oil and bearing and I got Blu back by evening and he was back to his normal smooth self. It set me back by Rs. 2240/- but learnt a very valuable lesson too. Some pictures:

Front suspension oil leak:

Wrongly fitted pipe:

Damaged bearing (new)

This FNM had lots of customers so I was not worried giving Blu there, also he didn’t make any excuses for his work and was very convincing that he would resolve my issue. Well now I know to never go there ever again. Had Blu been given to HASS the first time, I could have saved about two thirds of the total amount spent and needn’t have replaced suspension components. Well no use crying over spilt milk.

Odo now stands a smidge above 52k kms.

I absolutely forgot about one thing, remember the dancing speedometer issue I had, well not anymore, the new cone set seems to have resolved the issue. Well it was resolved at the first replacement and after the final replacement at HASS I can confidently say that the issue is gone for sure. Have tested the same on some unforgivingly broken roads and the needle remains steady. So YAY.

Now on the side note, while I was at the HASS, I enquired about changing the handlebar of Blu with that from Activa 6G but I was told in the negative. They are not compatible.

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