Honda CBR 500 Riders Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After two years of commuting 400+ miles a week 3 seasons out of the year in Michigan, I've decided having a bike with ABS is no longer optional with the increased rain intensity, distracted drivers, and an out of control deer population. Now, I know someone's gonna say it: "It's too much work and costs too much money to retrofit ABS on to a non-ABS model. Just sell your CB500F and buy one that already has factory-installed ABS."

Call me sentimental, but I don't want to sell my bike. A retrofit job doesn't sound like it's going to be easy, but I believe I can get it done in a few weekends using mostly used parts for < $500. If it happens to save my neck just once, it will have been time and money well spent. For posterity, I'll keep this post updated as I make progress.

I want to do this with a minimum of cuts and splices. Ideally none, but I will have to fab up something for the indicator light. I've got 3 options depending on what I can find.
  1. Find a full CB500F/X wire harness from an ABS model and swap over the entire loom.
  2. Same thing, but with a CBR500R harness and hope I don't run into any fitment issues. It looks like there are some subtle differences.
  3. Leave the existing wiring harness in place, cannibalize an ABS harness, Frankenstein the ABS wires and connectors on to the existing harness
The first option or second option would be the cleanest, but potentially a lot more work. The factory service manual has easy to read cable routing diagrams along with a colored wiring diagram, so that makes it less daunting. Still trying to track one down with no broken connectors or cut wires.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
776 Posts
I've seriously modified some of these bikes down to engine internals and redesigned suspension I've made myself. And still I wouldn't do an ABS retrofit - as IMHO it doesn't worth it.
However I respect those "holy fools" who are single minded enough to follow their ideas through whatever.
You seem to have all (determination and service manual) what is needed to follow your desire, so all I can say - Good luck.
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You seem to have all (determination and service manual) what is needed to follow your desire, so all I can say - Good luck.
Thanks, man. I was able to find all the big ticket items used on eBay. With any luck, all of the correct parts will shipped to the correct address no worse for wear. Here's what I ordered. I went with a CBR500R harness because it was the only listing I could find with clear pictures so that I could confirm the parts number was correct and none of the connectors were broken.

72716


At this point, I'm into it for $310. I'm anticipating more expenses (fasteners, brake fluid, new crush washers) but they should be minimal. Everything should be showing up in the next few weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I went with a CBR500R harness because it was the only listing I could find with clear pictures so that I could confirm the parts number was correct and none of the connectors were broken.
Don't sell your old harness. The CBR500R has two headlight bulbs (harness has a 4 wire connector), the CB500F one dual-filament bulb (harness has a 3 wire connector = 2 "hots" and a common ground).

Splice the 3 wire connector to the CBR500R harness.

I don't know if there are other harness differences.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
776 Posts
ECU?
I'm not 100% sure, but I imagine they are different between the models with abs fitted and not
All ABS functions are handled by the control circuitry on the ABS brick, the ECU has no function in ABS related issues on these bikes.

Don't sell your old harness. The CBR500R has two headlight bulbs (harness has a 4 wire connector), the CB500F one dual-filament bulb (harness has a 3 wire connector = 2 "hots" and a common ground).

Splice the 3 wire connector to the CBR500R harness.

I don't know if there are other harness differences.
Good thing, that Honda is frugal, and logical in production. The whole headlamp and front wiring is on a separate sub harness, with standard connectors to the main body harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
The ABS system will help you out in a panic situation which you did not anticipate but there is no substitute for riding with skill.
No doubt you'll get the job done but it is not the end of the story. Good tires and proper braking technique is more important.
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The ABS system will help you out in a panic situation which you did not anticipate but there is no substitute for riding with skill.
No doubt you'll get the job done but it is not the end of the story. Good tires and proper braking technique is more important.
I won't argue the value of proper technique over electronic intervention. ABS is no substitute for proper baking technique in the same way that a helmet is no substitute for proper braking technique. I do practice threshold braking whenever I get the opportunity, but I'll take all the help I can get.
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
OK, I'm making progress. All the parts have been delivered. Everything looks good except for the rear module-to-caliper brake line. The listing was correct, but the part they sent didn't match the listing so I'll be sending that back. I finished pulling the original harness and compared the two.

harness1-0.jpeg

All extra ABS connectors aside, here's the one major difference...

72727


The connector for the front sub harness is shorter on the CBR500R. I'm hoping there's enough slack and I can reroute things slightly to make it work. If not, I'm probably going to look for another sub harness from a CBR500R. If that doesn't work, I'll have to lop of both ends and make an extension harness. I doubt it will come to that, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
OK, I'm making progress. All the parts have been delivered. Everything looks good except for the rear module-to-caliper brake line. The listing was correct, but the part they sent didn't match the listing so I'll be sending that back. I finished pulling the original harness and compared the two.

View attachment 72726

All extra ABS connectors aside, here's the one major difference...

View attachment 72727

The connector for the front sub harness is shorter on the CBR500R. I'm hoping there's enough slack and I can reroute things slightly to make it work. If not, I'm probably going to look for another sub harness from a CBR500R. If that doesn't work, I'll have to lop of both ends and make an extension harness. I doubt it will come to that, though.
Try taking the tape off the R harness, you might gain the slack you need or a different rout for it. Then re-tape it.
I seem to remember working on a car that had some wire slack taped up.
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Finally, it's that time of the year when I can relax a little bit on the snow blower maintenance and repair and get back to tinkering with cars and motorcycles. Today I was able to get out to the garage and mount up the ABS module and route the brake lines. Attaching the module to the frame was pretty straightforward. Mostly the diagrams in the manual are really helpful. This one wasn't so great.

72809


The rubber portion of the hoses have the banjo fitting at one end and the flare nut fitting at the other. On the flare nut side, both hoses have brackets with threaded holes that are clearly meant to be attached to something. It wasn't immediately obvious to me where those attachment points were.

72810


It took a little bit of trial and error, but I'm pretty sure I figured it out. The hard line to the caliper hose looks like it goes directly over the top of the valve cover straight to the top of the radiator where the attaching point is. The line for the master cylinder takes a slightly different path which appears to end inside the top of the frame near the bank angle sensor.

72811


Attachment point for the caliper hose right above the radiator has to be correct because that's the only way it will fit and the guide pin on the bracket lines up perfectly. I'm pretty sure the other one goes in like so. That's where it would make the most sense to me. If that's not right, I'm at a loss. For reference, that pic was taken facing the right side, directly behind the head tube.

72812


Next on the list is getting some metric bolts to fasten the brackets down, tightening up the flare nuts front and back, and then installing the new wiring harness, reinstalling the airbox, top tray, etc. I won't be putting everything all the way back together until I'm reasonably sure I won't have to take it apart again in the immediate future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Sone people just like to spend money and do things the hard way I guess.
I'm one of those - why not just get a different bike people I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Some people just happen to enjoy mechanics and engineering. Maintaining and modifying their bikes (or other vehicles) is as as much a hobby as riding it is. And thank goodness there are people like that, so those who us who are not into such things can take out bikes to them to do it all for us!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
I can and do ALL maintenance on my bike and every car I've owned.
I've tore apart engines and rebuilt them.
So I am one of those you post about!
Thank goodness!
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sone people just like to spend money and do things the hard way I guess.
I'm one of those - why not just get a different bike people I guess.
Listen, I love spending money and doing things the hard way. I'm trying to resist my natural inclination to walk into the BMW dealership and buy a fully loaded 2021 S1000R in San Marino Blue, or buy a wrecked S1000R on copart and retrofit, I dunno, the entire thing on to my CB900F.

I weighed my options and this was the most cost-effective solution by a landslide. I tried to find a 13-15 CB500F ABS so that I wouldn't have to take a loss on all of my relatively expensive accessories (Corbin seat, two windshields, luggage rack, PC-V). I never found one that wasn't halfway across the country. Even then, buying and selling vehicles can be such a frustrating time void that it's anyone's guess as to whether or not that would have been easier.
 

·
Registered
2014 CB500FA
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I overlooked one really important detail when parts shopping. The rotors are different between the ABS and standard models. Definitely in the front, maybe in the rear as well. The tip of the front sensor will just barely make contact with the pulse ring if the standard rotor is used. Found that out the hard way on my initial test ride. The sensor is probably still functional, but I picked up another one anyway just to be on the safe side.

72840


Its really obvious now that I know what I'm looking for. You can see the flange around the mounting points that allow the pulse ring to seat better in line with the rotor. I could probably get away with finding some washers and different fasteners for the sensor to add the correct air gap, but in the spirit of keeping things OEM I decided to order the correct rotor and be done with it.

45251-MGZ-J01 - Front Rotor, Standard
45251-MGZ-J11 - Front Rotor, ABS

43251-MGZ-J01 - Rear Rotor ??
43251-MGZ-J02 - Rear Rotor ??

I'm not as sure on the rears. The Honda parts diagram lists the same two part numbers for both models. I couldn't tell the difference by looking, but seller I bought the rear pulse ring from sent the a rotor along with it, so I'm going to take some measurements of each to confirm. If there's any difference, it's probably in the sub-millimeter range. It didn't appear that the rear sensor was actually making contact with the ring, but still a little too close for comfort.

Turns out there was plenty of slack in the front headlight/cluster subharness to make the CBR500R main loom work. It fired right up on the first crank with no warning lights on the cluster.

IMG_9274.jpg


I still have to get the correct rotors fitted and wire up the indicator light before I can call it 100% finished, but I'm pretty sure I can still come in under budget. The total comes to $435 including the ~$25 idiot tax for accidentally shaving off the tip of the front abs sensor. I've still got some wiggle room in my <$500 goal to get things sorted out if I have to.

Now, here's the last question. How do I wire in the abs indicator and make it look as clean and factory original as the rest of the install without going way over budget on a used instrument cluster?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
776 Posts
Now, here's the last question. How do I wire in the abs indicator and make it look as clean and factory original as the rest of the install without going way over budget on a used instrument cluster?
Use an external LED abs indicator. The oem non-ABS instruments have no LED and current limiting resistor populated on the PCB, so even is you connect up the wires it won't light up. The worst part is not soldering on a LED, but the in line resistor not accessible being under the LCD dash. So go for an external LED.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
I overlooked one really important detail when parts shopping. The rotors are different between the ABS and standard models. Definitely in the front, maybe in the rear as well. The tip of the front sensor will just barely make contact with the pulse ring if the standard rotor is used. Found that out the hard way on my initial test ride. The sensor is probably still functional, but I picked up another one anyway just to be on the safe side.

View attachment 72840

Its really obvious now that I know what I'm looking for. You can see the flange around the mounting points that allow the pulse ring to seat better in line with the rotor. I could probably get away with finding some washers and different fasteners for the sensor to add the correct air gap, but in the spirit of keeping things OEM I decided to order the correct rotor and be done with it.

45251-MGZ-J01 - Front Rotor, Standard
45251-MGZ-J11 - Front Rotor, ABS

43251-MGZ-J01 - Rear Rotor ??
43251-MGZ-J02 - Rear Rotor ??

I'm not as sure on the rears. The Honda parts diagram lists the same two part numbers for both models. I couldn't tell the difference by looking, but seller I bought the rear pulse ring from sent the a rotor along with it, so I'm going to take some measurements of each to confirm. If there's any difference, it's probably in the sub-millimeter range. It didn't appear that the rear sensor was actually making contact with the ring, but still a little too close for comfort.

Turns out there was plenty of slack in the front headlight/cluster subharness to make the CBR500R main loom work. It fired right up on the first crank with no warning lights on the cluster.

View attachment 72841

I still have to get the correct rotors fitted and wire up the indicator light before I can call it 100% finished, but I'm pretty sure I can still come in under budget. The total comes to $435 including the ~$25 idiot tax for accidentally shaving off the tip of the front abs sensor. I've still got some wiggle room in my <$500 goal to get things sorted out if I have to.

Now, here's the last question. How do I wire in the abs indicator and make it look as clean and factory original as the rest of the install without going way over budget on a used instrument cluster?
You have done a great job, and if the ABS saves just one spill it was worth it. 👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
43251-MGZ-J01 - Rear Rotor ??
43251-MGZ-J02 - Rear Rotor ??

I'm not as sure on the rears. The Honda parts diagram lists the same two part numbers for both models.
The final digit of a Honda part code is the subcontractor designation, so when that changes it means a newer version of the same part. And checking the Fowler's catalogue it shows that J01 brake disc from the 2013 and 2014 bikes has been discontinued and replaced by the J02 that has been used on subsequent models.

If a newer part was not compatible with one it replaces the parts classification number, the middle group should also change. That indicates the models on which a part was first used. There are lists online for decoding these, but they are all to be out of date.

MGZ definitely refers to the original 500 twins released 2013. But looking at parts which were changed with the major revisions I would assume MJW refers to the 2016 models, and MKP for the 2019 ones. The codes do not change when they get used on newer models, or even different bike models entirely, which is why so many MGZ parts are still used on the latest models.

A minor revision could be because a part has been improved somehow, though sometimes it can be as simple as a change of supplier. Although both version seem to be supplied by Sunstar as they carry the same designation of "DISK, RR. BRAKE (SUNSTAR)"
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top