Shed Reshuffle, Charging Scarlet’s Battery And Sylvie Gets A New Kickstand

Last week, I started noticing Sylvie’s kickstand felt a bit wrong when I put it down. I checked it when I got home and found that the loopt that sticks out was starting to break!

The next day when I got home, the loop broke off completely.

As the stand was very hard to use without the loop, I ordered a second-hand one.

While I was waiting for it to arrive, I decided to rearrange the shed a bit. The bike lift, chopped CB250RS frame, and spare CB250RS wheels went up the back of the shed.

The spare CBF250 rear wheel went onto the wheel stand. I put the paddock stand on top of the wheel too, to keep it out of the way.

Some less frequently-used tools went on the back of the spare frame.

I had a quick look at the seized motor while clearing tools off the bench.

I put some more tools on top of the bike lift while it’s not in use.

I stacked a few more things at the back of the shed.

I updated Sylvie’s to-do list to include the side stand.

Then I moved Erica and Scarlet back into the shed.

It’s a little crowded but I’ll be reminded to work on them more this way!

Finally I hooked up the charger to Scarlet’s battery.

While it showed a charge without power connected, I suspected this would change.

Sure enough, the charger showed it was charging as soon as I connected the power.

I was expecting this to be everything I had for you this week, but a parcel arrived today!

It was well-wrapped inside the padded bag.

The springs were cable-tied to the stand to keep them neat.

So I set about replacing the side stand. Here’s the broken one.

After removing the nut from the mounting bolt, I found it was still attached quite firmly.

There was also a small bolt behind it holding the side stand switch in place.


With the small bot and switch out of the way, I was able to remove the main bolt.

Although the springs and some caked-on grease held it in place, the stand came off quite easily at this point.

Here;s the broken stand and the replacement side-by-side for comparison.

After cutting the cable tie and unscrewing the bolts, I knew I had to keep the switch mounting bolt but could replace everything else.

I manouevred the replacement stand into place.

Replacing the switch was a little trickier than I expected, as I hadn’t thought to bring a light with me.

For those of you trying this at home, there’s a small notch on the switch that needs to be lined up with the mounting post for the springs.

Once the switch was back in place, I put the nut back on and tested that the side stand switch still worked as expected. I’m pleased to report that it does!

Here’s the broken stand. The nut, mounting bolt and springs are still fine so could be kept as spares or resold.

Finally, I updated the to-do list!

I also kept the loop, which could probably be spot welded back on by someone with basic welding skills and more expensive tools than I currently own!

Maybe this week I can finally start troubleshooting the electrical faults on Erica and Scarlet! You’ll find out next week…

Prepping Erica For Electrical Testing And Assessing Achievments

Tonight, I decided to charge Erica’s battery in preparation for testing the electrical system.

This was before I turned on the trickle charger. The battery seems to be holding some charge despite not starting her all winter so far.

Once the power was turned on, the charger correctly showed the battery was charging.

I decided it was time to review the list of tasks for Sylvie and rewrite it.

While cleaning up Sylvie’s list, the list for the seized CB250RS motor was inadvertently rubbed off and faded.

Sylvie’s list has been updated!

I took the opportunity to rewrite the list below as well.

Finally, I reviewed the other 4 lists. Scarlet’s had an item to check off!

I put some fresh cans of WD-40 and Inox on the shelf with the empty ones. Tme for a clean-up of the empties, I think?

I found Sylvie’s original grips – if I haven’t replaced the handlebar by summer, I could always replace the original grips on the spare bar!

Finally, I got a nice shot of Sylvie.

Next week, I hope to have finally made some progress on her electrical issues!

Sylvie Gets A New Tyre And A Windscreen

In the weeks since I rebuilt the carburetor, I got new rear tyre fitted for Sylvie and the loan of a Suzuki GS500 to ride to the nearest place to get a coffee while I waited.

After getting Sylvie back once the new tyre was fitted and being told to take it easy on the new tyre, I promptly dropped her in the early morning frost at the first roundabout on the way to work. Luckily my motorcycle pants took the brunt of the fall and I came out of it with nothing worse than some loose mirrors, a scraped bar end, a slightly sore knee and a badly bruised ego!

I decided that the bent handlebar might have been partially to blame, considering I’ve managed to drop the bike twice recently. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and order a replacement. The same seller happened to have the only genuine Honda aftermarket windscreen for a CBF250 that I’ve managed to find for sale, so I snapped that up too.

Before I knew it, my parcel had arrived!

While the packing could have been better, nothing was broken except the cable ties holding the handlebar to the box.

I decided to wait until the weekend to try installing things, yesterday I started cleaning off the part number stickers the seller had put on them.


I noticed during this process that the handlebar seemed a little bent, although better than the one it was replacing. I decided to use my spare CB250RS handlebar as a reference point to check the difference in angle between the ends of the replacement handlebar.

While I  did my best to bend it back into shape, the end result wasn’t noticeably different in photos.

I realised that I may not be able to remove the heated grip from the clutch side of the current handlebar without destroying it, as the melting point of J B Weld is pretty close to that of rubber and plastic. I opted to settle for fitting only the windscreen for now.

Installation was relatively simple, as the windscreen mounting brackets are held on by the headlight bolts.

The view from the riding position was not much different. 

I’ve found that while riding I can now see the reflection of the front indicators when they flash and there seems to be a little less drag. Overall I’m pretty happy with it.

I’ll try to get next week’s post published earlier if possible, as soon as I figure out what I’m doing with bikes for the rest of this week!

Sylvie’s Carb Overhaul Part 2 – Keihin VEA2A Reassembly, Refitting And Setting Idle Speed

After dismantling and cleaning Sylvie’s carburetor in the last post, I needed to reassemble it!

First I installed the pilot jet, needle jet seat and idle screw.


Next I fitted the main jet


I opted to set the idle screw between the stock setting of quarter turns back and the 3 turns back it had previously been set at, So I set it to 2.5 turns back from full tension.

I then installed the float valve and float.


Then came the float  and float retaining pin.


I checked the float height with vernier calipers and confirmed it seemed to be within specifications. I coated the float bowl o-ring with some rubber grease and turned it upside-down to provide a convex surface towards the body of the carburetor as I didn’t have a replacement o-ring

I refitted the float bowl. When replacing the float bowl drain plug, I noticed the or-ing had perished. I replaced the perished o-ring with a small section of fuel hose as a temporary solution.

It seems to fit quite well.

Next cam the air cut-off valve. I coated the diaphragm with a thin layer of rubber grease

I replaced the spring, held the cover down firmly and replaced the screws.


Next cam the throttle cable bracket.


The needle holder tube was next. I replaced the needle, retaining spring and clip.


Once again I covered the diaphragm with a thin layer of rubber grease before carefully replacing the needle holder tube.


I replaced the spring and pushed it down gently but firmly.


When replacing the top cover on the carburetor, I made sure to replace the cable guides in the same corners they were on originally.


I reinstalled the heater and reconnected its cable


I fitted the cable clip and replaced the cable to its original position.


I refitted the top hoses, then started reconnecting the other hoses.


At this point, my fiancee observed that the carburetor looked like a mechanical heart. I told her that this was a pretty accurate comparison considering the function a carburetor performs.


I was having trouble getting all the hoses to connect properly, so I compared the lengths of the hoses on Sylvie’s carb with the example pictures in the service manual. First, I switched the top hoses around to a position where they fitted better.

On inspecting the rest of the hose, I found that some sections were considerably shorter.

I took them apart to replace them with longer hoses and found the joint I hadn’t replaced was clogged with dirt! This probably explains the weird  flooding issue I had after replacing the broken joint and reconnecting the loose hoses


After replacing the short sections with fresh pieces of fuel/air hose, I had a much better looking carburetor!

The idle adjuster knob was next to go on. Next was refitting the reassembled carb!


After replacing panels, Sylvie was back together at last!


I jump-started her from the my car’s battery, let her warm up and adjusted the idle speed. As the stock setting is 1400 rpm +/- 100, I set it to 1500 rpm according to the on-board tacho.

I took her for a ride and enjoyed her improved responsiveness!

I took a video of the first ride after the carb rebuild but haven’t had time to upload it yet. I’ll try to get it up in time for next week’s post.

After the successful ride, I ticked off another item on Sylvie’s to-do list and took a well-earned break.

I’ve had a new rear tyre fitted on Sylvie since the carb rebuild – more on that next week!

Sylvie’s Carb Overhaul Part 1 – Keihin VEA2A Disassembly And Cleaning

After removing Sylvie’s carburetor in the last post, I discovered the next day that I was supposed to remove the resonator from the bike before removing the carburetor. To make replacing the carburetor easier after the rebuild, I removed the resonator as per the instructions in the manual and put it aside with the other parts I’d already removed from the carb.

I then set about disassembling the carb and cleaning it. I started by removing the hoses from the carburetor.

Once I had finished removing the hoses, I put them aside with the resonator, throttle cable bracket and idle adjuster.


Next I started dismantling the carburetor body. First was the top cover, mounting screws, fuel hose guides and main spring. I made sure to hold the top cover down firmly while removing the screws so as not have the screws and/or spring fly across the shed!

Next I removed the vacuum piston and needle holder assembly.

I carefully turned the needle retaining clip and tipped out the needle, clip and spring. I then turned the rubber membrane inside-out to minimise accidental damage to it.

Next I removed the air cut-off valve cover, again holding the cover down while removing the screws to prevent loss of screws and spring.

I carefully removed the spring and diaphragm from the air cut-off valve.

Moving to the base of the carburetor, I found an electrical connection not mentioned in the manual. I carefully removed it. Checking the parts catalogue for the CBF 250 6 carburetor on, this turned out to be the carburetor heater assembly.


Next, I removed the float bowl screws, followed by the float bowl.


The buffer plate, float pin, float and float valve came off next



Onto the jets at last! The main jet and needle jet holder came out first. A 7mm ring spanner came in handy here.

The slow jet was next.


The final part to remove was the idle screw. I made a note of the current number of turns back from full tension before removing it.

I also found the needle jet seat when checking the carb parts (it was originally behind the needle jet holder)

With the carburetor fully disassembled, I prepared my trusty little ultrasonic cleaner.

A drop of dishwashing detergent in water is all I used as a cleaning solution.


I started with the main carb body and ran the ultrasonic cleaner for the maximum cleaning cycle – 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

As the carb body didn’t fit completely in the ultrasonic cleaner, I rotated it in several orientations and ran it through the cycle again.

And again…

I ran the rest of the parts through at least one cycle each too.


I used a bike pump and some spare fuel hose to blow air through all air channels in the carb body,as well as through the jets and other internal parts, then packed the parts away for later reassembly.

If you don’t have access to an ultrasonic cleaner or would prefer to clean your carburetor with solvents, Threebond Engine Conditioner is highly recommended.

In the next post, I will cover checking, reassembly, refitting the carburetor and resetting the idle speed.

Sylvie’s Carb Is Removed And Ready For A Rebuild

This week, I finally managed to spend some time working on Sylvie’s carburetor.

The first step was getting to the carburetor, which meant removing the seat, side panels and tank.

After removing the side panels, I made sure the fuel tap was set to the OFF position before attempting removal of the tank!

I removed the front fairings from the tank to prevent damage to them while the tank is not on the bike.

After removing the tank, I disconnected the main fuel lines from the carburetor.

The single electrical connector was next to come off

Followed by the choke cable

And the throttle cables

I loosened the connectors on the carburetor boots to the airbox and engine, then tried to maneuver the carburetor out,

The mounting bracket for the throttle cables got in the way, so I removed it.

Evidently I was not  turning the carb the right way, as after removing the mounting plate, I noticed the idle adjustment looked a bit bent. I removed it too.

One more twist…

…and the carb was finally out!

By this stage, it was getting late, so I made some room in the shed and moved Sylvie so I could put her away for the night.

I updated Sylvie’s to-do list while was in the shed.

Finally, I put Sylvie and her parts away for the night.

Today, I set about disassembling the carb and cleaning it – more on that in my next post!



The Very Strong Spring Is Stretched And Sylvie’s Stand Is Fitted

Last week, I had been beaten by a very strong spring and gave up trying to fit Sylvie’s centrestand on my own. This week I got some help, as recommended in the instructions for the identical stand I’d tried fitting on Jack before I sold him.

First up, I remembered that I hadn’t fitted the retaining washer and split pin to the stand axle, which should be fitted to ensure the stand stays on!

So I unwrapped the shiny new parts.


I then fitted them to the centrestand axle and the split pin was bent to keep everything in place.


After multiple attempts to pull the spring with a spring stretching tool from a trampoline, we hadn’t made any progress. My friend had tried applying some extra leverage to the spring stretching tool and it snapped in his hands!

After taking a break to apply a band-aid, my friend had a brainwave! There was an old guy-rope from a tent or tarpaulin in my carport, which he hooked into the spring. we put the hook from the large spring on the loop in the rope and ran the rope behind the rear sprocket and around the bottom of the the rear wheel hub. This gave enough leverage for him to stretch the spring by bracing against the rear wheel while I guided the hook of the spring over the slot on the centrestand.

Stretching the inner spring again was much easier.

Finally, Sylvie’s centrestand was fitted!

I’ll be stripping and rebuilding the carburetor next week, so hopefully Sylvie will be running again in time for me to ride her to work again when I return from parental leave.