Honda EX3 Restoration Project Update

Finally I have the time and resources to continue restoring my Honda! Last update was a full year ago, here. Since then we moved from Laguna to Sucat, P’que and the bike went from a nice dry garage to an open air parking lot it shares with our car near our condo.

Forunately I didn’t skimp on a motorcycle cover from Blades, which kept the bike completely dry through 2 or 3 typhoons and lots of rain in between. I see a number of bikes with cheap covers that eventually tear and end up looking ragged. Clearly whatever I spent on mine (I think it was approx. P900), has been a better investment because now they need to spend for another one, not to mention repair whatever damage water has caused on their bikes.

So anyway, back to mine. Here it is!

honda ex3 restoration

Glorious isn’t it? No?

Well it’s stripped obviously, then sanded and is covered here in primer.

The previous owner totally butchered the thing it turns out, which I obviously couldn’t have noticed when I bought it.

honda ex3 restoration

The long nut used to retain the piece of metal which holds up the seat and rear fender had completely rusted out, and a welder was needed to remove it.

That particular piece was also hacked, it turns out, as it is supposed to look like this:

honda ex3 restoration

This is a screenshot from the PDF I got for it (from a very friendly Honda parts store, details later). It’s that thing on the lower right. It goes under the seat and holds the seat together along with the seat lock, and the rear fender goes beneath it. The previous owner for reasons unknown, chopped off the ‘tail’ part of it, leaving me with a hunk of useless metal. But not to worry, because I now know where to buy parts!

Parts Buying

The very very first step I did before having it painted was to get it started again. It was already running well when I bought it, so I wasn’t worried I didn’t start it in almost a year. I hired a mechanic at a nearby motorcycle store to come over one Saturday to give it a service (change oil, tune up, new fuel filter and some fuel). As a testament to how wonderful this thing is, it started on first kick! No wonder this is the most popular vehicle in the world.

The mechanic told me that there were parts available at nearby Naga Road, Las Pinas, so I went and gave that a try. After a lot of asking around with tricycle drivers (who would be knowledgable with these things), I ended up at Bentalls, on Naga Road, Las Pinas. (tel. 8711572, 8722240).

The only parts I could get though, were 2 rear shocks in blue (thank God I told the painter to buy sky blue paint), and minor accessories like rubber for the footrests. I decided then that it’s silly to waste time with smaller stores and to just go ahead and go to the source of all Phil. motorcycle parts, Caloocan. I went there last week and again, after some asking around, I found the mothership.

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And it didn’t disappoint. The first thing I asked for was an EX3 seat, and the salesman loaded a PDF file to get the part number on a computer in front of him, made a call on their intercom and..

honda ex3 restoration

I decided to get other parts to make the trip as worthwhile as possible. The area that needs most work on the bike is the rear area, so I ordered a rear fender.

honda ex3 restoration

I also bought a speedometer, the lock and key that attaches the seat to the rear fender, and 1 or 2 other things. Total haul was less than 9k.

Triumph was a fantastic help. The salesman claims they have everything and if they don’t, we could order it. But the biggest help was that they provided me with a Parts Manual in PDF format!!

honda ex3 restoration

This is an amazing document that helped me trace which parts I needed EXACTLY. This is what I used in the image above that made me realize the metal item that attached the rear fender and seat was chopped / modified by the previous owner. For example, check out the wiring harness page:

Check out for example, the Wiring Harness diagram, which is invaluable for when I decide to rewire it:

honda ex3 restoration

And how about the breakdown of the parts needed to get the front fork area to original again:

honda ex3 restoration

There is NO WAY IN HELL I could’ve found that out without this. This is porn to guys like me. I’m certainly obligated towards Triumph now and they’ll definitely be the first people I’d go to if I need more (and I will for sure).

So anyway, here it is now painted, which the rear fender.

honda ex3 restoration

It’s being painted now, then I’ll be going back to Triumph next week to get that metal part, and maybe a few more things if budget allows. It’s just an MRT 1 trip anyway from where the wife works, I can park the car and take the train and be back to fetch her afterwards. Can you tell I’m excited?

What next?

I’ve tallied approximately P14k in costs and I’m putting a cap on it for now. My goal is to just get it running reliably for occasional nearby trips to my basketball game or a place where I can go running in the evenings and that’s it. After the paint and getting that metal thing to attach the seat I’d have achieved that.

If I’m going to spend anymore on it, it’ll probably be around Feb or Mar next year, in time for summer. I plan things like that to spread costs, because I know its too easy to end up blasting your life savings away one time on projects like these and feeling like a dick later. This way I get a usable, cheap bike that helps keep the car from needless wear and tear, but is still very pretty and a worthwhile project. It’s not a classic by any stretch (at least not yet), but amongst the choices of motorcycles out there, I’d rather have this than any of the fancy new ones, which really aren’t fancy at all if you think about it, because the technology is the same.


I wanna end this post with some of the hilarious hate comments I see whenever I google Honda C70 and especially, Honda EX3, which as I explained, is the model number used to indicate it was made (or at least passed through) Malaysia. Local Honda ‘purists’ say that the only model worth collecting is the C70, and treat the Malaysian version as some kind of bastard child.

I particularly like this one at a popular classifieds :

honda ex3 restoration

I love thedalhin mo na lang sa dagat, pakapitan mo na lang ng talaba at tahong, kikita ka ap‘. I swear I doubled over laughing. And this:

honda ex3 restoration

At least above was educational, because the owner explained the only difference was the clutch linning, CDI for EX3, compartment, headlight clamp at decals. I learned something there.

Next update: Electricals, wheels and tires, and registration!