Tidying Up Eric’s Tail End

More parts arrived for Eric today.
They’d already been partially disassembled to be packed for shipping, which saved me a fair bit of time.

To prevent losing dropped parts in the grass, I flattened half the box the gazebo came in and parked Eric on it while working.

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The rear brake assembly was the first concern, as it was hanging a bit loose.

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A few parts from the brake assembly that arrived today, and voila!

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Next up was the tail light, which meant removing the seat and seat cowl as they are now screwed firmly together.

Pulled out the temporary bolts holding the side rails, loosened the nuts on the rear shocks and flipped the side rails forward

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Unscrewed the seat mounting bolts and off came the seat.
Unfortunately the back of the frame did too as I haven’t got it welded back on yet!

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Here you can see the chopped wires for the old tail light

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I lost a washer into the bottom of the rear mudguard and was VERY glad to have a telescopic magnet to retrieve it with!

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The tail light removed and its replacement for comparison:

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Bolted it back in and connected the matching wires.

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Slotted the rear of the frame back in

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Flipped the side rails back and bolted the seat on again and I’m done for the night!

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The rear brake doesn’t seem to have much effect so I’m probably looking at a new set of brake pads further down the track. That’s a problem for another day at this stage though!


I Am Jack’s Replacement Tank

When we last saw Jack, he looked like this:

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After replacing the mirrors, adding the missing grab rail and fitting heated handgrips, he looks a bit better these days.

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It was still bothering me that he’s been beaten up in the past, as these won’t exactly polish out!

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So last week, I ordered a replacement tank and left tank fairing from a wrecker in Sydney I’ve used before. After some minor issues with their choice of courier, it was waiting to be installed.

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As I was running low on fuel today anyway, I figured it was as good a time as any to swap it over.

Off with the seat!

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The top of the air box is missing – I have one on its way from a genuine parts dealer in Europe. Once that arrives I’ll probably replace the air filter too.

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Off with the side panels and existing tank fairings!

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One mounting bolt holding the old tank:

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A last look at the old tank and the tank pad design that inspired Jack’s name.
I’ll miss this guy, despite the pad itself being a cheapo replacement for the original.

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Once the tank was off, it was a simple matter of unplugging the fuel gauge sensor and unscrewing the joining flange nut for the fuel tap.

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Plugged the new tank in and connected the fuel tap, and popped it on.
The new tank came with a decent tank pad, so I’ve retired the pirate until it needs replacing again.

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Looking a lot better!
While this tank does have a few minor scratches, they can be polished out.

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Not pictured here is draining the few hundred millilitres of fuel left in the old tank directly into the replacement, as I needed both hands and didn’t want to hold my phone that close to open fuel tanks to take photos anyway!

After cleaning off the white paint marker with alcohol and orange oil, he’s looking pretty flash:

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Finally, I took the car down to the local servo, filled up a 5 litre fuel can and topped up the tank so I can get him to and from work for the rest of the week. Must remember to turn the fuel tap on in the morning!

In Which Nix Falls Repeatedly

Yesterday was a busy day! Not many photos though.
I found and bought many nuts & bolts a couple of suitable clips.

I put the panels back on Nix.

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Screwed the seat cowl onto Eric’s seat

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Attached the side rails to the top of the rear shocks with M10 1.25 pitch nuts

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Bolted the seat on, after discovering that the engine bolts were either too long or too short to attach the side rails  properly:

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Full bike shots from the left

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and from the right

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I decided I wanted to try the bikes side-on in the gazebo.

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I put more fuel in Nix and took her for a quick blat around the block. Not being used to the lower riding position and slightly heavier weight, I managed to drop her but only at low speed onto the side that was already cracked. I picked her up, rode home and decided to move the bikes out of the gazebo to make room to load Nix onto the trailer as I bought a loading ramp.

Nix’ stand sunk into the dirt, she fell on Eric and her seat got torn.

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After picking her up, I loaded her on the trailer, put bricks behind it, put Eric on his centre stand, then gave up for the night and had a cider!

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First Attempt Starting Nix – New Plugs

When we last saw Nix, her spark plugs looked like this – or rather, they didn’t!

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So this morning I went and bought new spark plugs and a spark plug socket with a wobble bar.
These particular plugs are the alternate option, so they run hotter than stock.

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Checking the gaps they seemed to be about right out of the box:

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So in they went. At this point I was very glad I’d bought a magnetic plug socket/wobble bar combo!

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Now I actually have something to connect those high tension leads to!

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Now they fit properly!

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After putting the tank on, I gave starting her a try. Success!

I noticed a lot of smoke coming from the exhaust, so got a video of that for troubleshooting purposes.


Next step is fixing the smoke!

She’s Missing That Certain Spark

Armed with a 5 Litre fuel can, I was all set to try starting Nix this evening.
She turned over fine but just wouldn’t start for some reason.

After double-checking the high tension leads to the ignition coils (my first time working on a twin so I’d forgotten there was another one) I found the second one also wasn’t connected.

After fixing that, I discovered that the plug caps didn’t seem to be gripping the plugs at all.
On further inspection, I found the reason – no spark plugs!

Right cylinder

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Left cylinder

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I guess they go on this weekend’s shopping list!

Nix’ Box Back In ‘n’ Bits Back On

With no parts arriving today, I decided it was time to get Nix’ air/battery box back in.

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Having checked the Service Manual I knew I’d need to take the back of her frame off to do this.
First up, off with the seat!

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Rear side fairings off

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Next up – the tank

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Obviously the battery comes out next!

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Ok, now this cross-bar is in the way of the carbs for re-fitting. Off with it, too!

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Tail light is next.

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Rear mudguard . What’s with the wiring for the rear indicators?

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The rectifier needs to come off the wheel arch next!

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Easy enough…

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Not sure what this is – maybe the fuse box? It’s in the way regardless, off it comes!

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Radiator reservoir – there are a lof bits in the way here…

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Off it comes!

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All the little electrical bits from the other side…

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Meh, they’re detached, that’ll do!

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There were a couple of springs for the seat clip here. Could have sworn I took a photo of them?

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Right, all 6 bolts and the other bits it’s attached to removed, I can finally move this part of the frame out of the way!

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The box that needs to go back in…

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Halfway there…

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Second half in! Just the lid to go now…

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Now to put it all back together!

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There were extra Magical Mystery Wires attached that didn’t seem to do much apart from split off the rear indicators for some reason. I decided they could go – put them aside just in case, though…

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I figured it was time to look at getting her front fairings back on.
I was reminded of that old Pedders suspension ad at this point

“As you can see here, the left side is fine…”

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“…but on the right side, we have a problem.”

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“Well, Mr. McFarlane?”
“She’s in your hands, Mr. Pedder.”

(In other words, It looks like there a few repairs needed on the fairings)

Left, centre and right front fairings from inside:

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Detail of the crack and missing tabs on the right front fairing

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Someone seems to have decided that using a screwdriver was taking too long here:

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The mount is missing completely on the left side…

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But at least two of the mounting tabs are still attached!

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Closer view of the left fairing

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And the right one

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And finally, the tabs that were broken off:

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I’m not sure if the fairings are worth fixing or if I should replace them.

While full sets of aftermarket fairings are available, a new set would dramatically increase the total spent on Nix so far.

Another option is to get another cheap ZZ-R250 with intact fairings and and either use Nix as a donor bike or take the fairings off the other one. As I’ve only found one reasonably priced one so far, this would mean switching to a bright yellow bike or mixing and matching black and yellow. Not sure how I feel about that…

A few other things I forgot to take pictures of:

  • Tested the lights.
  • Adjusted the front brake light switch sensitivity.
  • High tension wire from the ignition coil to the spark plug was not connected –   reconnected it.
  • Speedo cable was disconnected – reconnected it.
  • Reconnected fuel hoses to tank.
  • Inside top parts of front fairing seem to be missing.

Tomorrow I plan on checking if she starts with fuel in the tank. I’ll post a video if I’m successful – wish me luck!

Eric Goes Strapless and Once More (With the Right Lever This Time)

So I checked the mailbox today after sending the wrong lever back to the seller via Express Post on Saturday and found this waiting for me:

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Not one to make the same mistake twice, I figured I’d have a look at where it needed to go and check the retaining bolt before opening the plastic packet this time! 2014-05-20 18.52.07

Looks about right – let’s try them side-by-side.

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Sweet, time to fit it!

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Now I just need the front bracket for the master brake cylinder and I can take that wire off and actually use the brake!

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Speaking of things to take off, I have a replacement fuel tank strap on order with some other matching locks, so this broken one needed to come off.

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Turns out the lock is more for looks than anything else, as it was surprisingly easy to pop open with no obvious damage – so much so that I’m not going to post how I did it here!

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Unscrew the mounting screws and it’s removed!

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A quick look in the tank shows a few rust spots but pretty good condition for a 32-year-old tank that’s been empty for several years:

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The underside of the cap could do with a de-scale though!

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The cap goes back on to keep the rust out…

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And finally a shot from the riding angle!

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