Honda Parts Lists
In order to facilitate the servicing of its products, Honda publishes Parts Catalogues in both printed form and on microfiche; the microfiche are essentially scanned copies of the parts book pages in a relatively inexpensive and compact format. In addition, dealers often have access to subscription- or CD-based computer systems, which allow them instant access to parts information for dozens of motorcycle models. In whichever guise they may be found, the format and content of all three of these information sources vary somewhat, depending on model and market, but they are essentially the same. As shown in the sample page below, each page contains an exploded diagram of the parts in a related parts family, along with the description of each part and its part number, and an indication of the applicability of each part to the models covered by the particular Parts Catalogue.
Both the microfiche and the printed books are readily available to order from Honda dealers (at least for current models), but as the books are mainly published for use by dealers and independent repair shops, only a limited number are printed for each model, and depending on the model, only the microfiche may still be available. Microfiche cost about $10/£6 each; Parts Catalogues somewhat moreif available at all. Because few individuals have access to microfiche readers where they work on their bikes, various solutions to the unmet need of Honda owners for accessible part numbers and diagrams have developed. Some people buy the microfiche and copy the whole thing out on a public library microfiche reader/printer. Various groups of Honda owners have also gotten together, purchased parts microfiche for their bikes from Honda dealers and arranged to have the microfiche scanned and copied onto CD-ROMs, so that the part numbers and diagrams could be easily printed out on home computers as needed and used in the garage.
Some years ago, Honda's legal representatives learned about this practice and put a stop to the distribution of one such CD-ROM on which was then being distributed (at cost) on the VF/VFR Mailing List. But not before a hundred or so copies were distributed (allegedly). We could editorialize about the logic of stopping the distribution of documentation that could only realistically result in people buying more Honda parts, but this appears to have been Honda's policy for some time. However, an increasing number of Honda dealers (and others) active on the Web now have developed various means of making OEM parts information available, which means are now apparently considered acceptable to Honda--at least if you're a Honda dealer. In the United States in particular, the emerging dealer practice appears to be to try to make the microfiche pages available, but with the part numbers hidden or deleted (presumably so that the numbers can't easily be used elsewhere). Dealers with this sort of online parts-ordering facility include World of Powersports, Bike Bandit, PowerSportsPro and Bike-Parts.fr.
As there are other reasons to want to see OEM part numbers (apart from using them to shop around for the best price on parts), these attempts to withhold information can be somewhat annoying... (BTW, on the latter two Web sites noted above, it is still possible to view the OEM part numbers by choosing to View the Source code of the Web pages you are interested in. A very revealing discussion about concealing HTML code can be found here...)
Some Honda dealers have devised ways to allow subscription access to part numbers, which may be a solution if you are only interested in viewing part numbers for a few different models. Into this category fall the U.K.'s Powerslide Bikes as well as France's Bike-Parts.fr (see link above). Still other dealers provide unfettered access, such as Ron Ayers Honda in the United States and Internet Bike Parts Shop in Japan. (An honorable mention must go to Motofiches.com, another French site that used to have parts diagrams (though not part numbers) for a dozen makes of motorcycle available on-lineuntil one by one they were removed due to threats of legal action. Recently, the site featured only microfiche for KTM and Suzuki motorcycles, but its forum functions as a global swap-shop and information source for microfiche (and pirated service manuals) for every bike imaginable. Well done Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha!)
Not to worry, into the gap created by these legal threats from the large manufacturers have charged dozens of entrepreneurs, operating on auction Web sites such as eBay, who kindly offer to sell CD-ROM copies of copyrighted parts catalogues to all comers. One wonders why, if they're not willing to put a stop to this practice (they are most certainly aware of it), manufacturers like Honda don't offer parts microfiche on CD-ROM themselvesor at least allow enthusiasts to distribute the information to like-minded individuals without charge?
Enough editorializing: Some Honda dealers' Web sites now have interactive OEM parts pricing facilitiesuseful if you've already found the part numbers (perhaps for a non-U.S. model bike) but just want to check if the parts are available through the U.S. Honda distribution network. One such dealer (with excellent pricing as well) is Service Honda. In the U.K., Powerslide Bikes (see URL above) allegedly has the same type of "part number checker", but it never seems to work properly... Another good source of Honda parts in the U.K. is David Silver Spares, though they do not have an interactive part number look-up facility. See this page for more information regarding David Silvers.
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