Side Panels And A Brake Lever For Sylvie

This week, I got a couple of parcels that contained  few more parts for Sylvie.

First up were the replacement side panels, which were very well packed against damage in transit.

These looked to be in very good shape. The mounting pins were intact, they had all the spring clips, and I even found a couple of the mounting screws on one of them.

I also got a small satchel that contained an aftermarket brake lever.

So of course I fitted them all!

I started with the brake lever. Here’s the old bent one and the replacement.

I took my infant daughter out to watch Daddy work on his bike. She was happy to be outside but got bored pretty quickly.

Off with the bent lever and on with the new one!

The power cable for the right heated grip ended up on top of the handlebar when I swapped the handlebars over back in winter.

It had been bothering me since I first noticed it, so I decided it was time to fix it.

For some reason I decided that removing the brake cylinder from the handlebar was the first step!

I realised my error but took the opportunity to readjust the position of the brake lever and right mirror.

I traced the cable back to the plug and removed the tape.

After unplugging the connector and correcting the cable routing, I taped it back up again and took my daughter back in to Mum as she was getting cranky and hungry – my daughter that is, not her Mum!

With the side panels ready to swap over, I set back to work on the bike.

I started on the left side.

Off came the left panel.


This left panel was originally from Jack, but was swapped out with Sylvie’s original left panel to help the friend who bought Jack from me close the sale to his new owner.

The new left panel’s mounting pin went in first


Next the centre screw was loosely fitted as a guide, then the rear and top screws.

Finally, the centre screw was “buttoned up” tight!

Shiny new panel!

The same process was repeated on the right side.

While this panel looks better than the one on the left did, it also has a snapped mounting pin

I snapped this one myself while removing the tank a bit too enthusiastically when I worked on Sylvie’s carburetor a while ago.


With the old panel off, it was time to fit the replacement!

The mounting pin was first again, followed by the centre screw loosely fitted as a guide.

The rear and top screws were next.

FInally, the centre screw was “buttoned up” nice and tight too

The old panels on the table for comparison.

I checked my front tyre and realised it needs replacing pretty urgently. It would also appear that I corner more heavily into the right! Now that I think about it, this might have been due to the bent handlebar I replaced? It was the right side that was bent, after all…

The rear tyre is still looking pretty good, although the “chicken strips” could be a bit narrower. Not bad going for a naked road bike though!

Finally, I took some full-frame shots of Sylvie, for comparison purposes.

I’m expecting a few more parts for Sylvie, so next week’s post will be fitting those.

I’ve also made some progress with the air compressor as I’ve learnt a lot about it after some research, which I’ll post about it later this week.




Melting Glue, A Solution, Starting CB250RS Engine Teardown, And Some Rubber Grease

As predicted, the mornings were much colder over the last week. I found that while the  grips were quite secure when turned off, the contact cement melted whenever they were turned on, creating a safety issue as the grips then rotated freely around the handlebars!

I decided a better method of attaching them was needed, so I did a bit of research and found that other riders had reported success with both high temperature gasket sealant and J B Weld. I decided to go with J B Weld, as I have used it for fairing repairs in the past and had some already on hand.

On Friday morning, I managed to drop Sylvie while making a u-turn on the way to work. I overshot the corner and got the front wheel caught in a ditch next to the road!

Luckily, I wasn’t badly hurt, and there was no damage from the drop apart from the right mirror and master brake cylinder needing to be twisted back in place. Unfortunately, I didn;t catch any of this on the GoPro, as it ran out of space and stopped shortly after I left that morning.

I’m not sure if the melted glue contributed to overshooting the corner. Needless to say, this made me even more determined to make sure the grips were properly attached!

I turned the grips on for a few minutes first to heat them up.

I took off the bar end weights and they slid right off! The handlebar under the left grip was totally clean, while the right one had a few burnt pieces of contact cement left on the throttle tube under it. I stuck them all together to clean up the throttle cylinder.

I thoroughly cleaned the inside of the heated grips and the throttle tube with methylated spirits.

I found the J B Weld and some scrap cardboard to mix it on.

I gave the left end of the handlebar a good coating.

I put a little J B Weld inside the left grip for good measure


Then I coated the throttle tube with J B Weld too.I left a space at the end to allow for it to spread when the grip was fitted.

I ended up getting some JB Weld inside the throttle tube, so I dismantled the right switch block so I could clean it off before it set.


I ran the bike for a few minutes with the grips on maximum heat.

Then I put the bar ends back on and left the J B Weld to set for several hours.


While I was waiting, I started dismantling the spare CB250RS motor.


I found a spare sump plug and fitted a temporary washer with an o-ring, as I didn’t have any aluminium crush washers.


I started by removing the rocker covers.



Next I removed the tacho drive

Then I loosened the cylinder head cover bolts.

After removing the cylinder head cover, I removed the remaining mounting bolt for the cam chain tensioner and used a nail to lock the tabs in place. I realised at this stage that I needed a cam chain breaker before I could continue dismantling as I can’t turn the engine over to turn the cam in order remove the second mounting bolt on the cam sprocket.

I covered the top of the cylinder head with a soft cloth to keep it relatively clean until I have the right tools to continue.


I checked the heated grips the next day and found a zip tie I had forgotten to cut when I first installed them.


I cleaned out some excess J B Weld and applied some rubber grease inside the throttle housing, as the throttle had been sticking a bit. It was much smoother after that, and snapped back quicker when released than it ever had before!

Unfortunately, I was a bit rough with the heated grip when cleaning out the J B Weld, so I cracked an internal structural component on the throttle side grip and it’s a bit crooked now. I tested the heated grips and thankfully it doesn’t seem to have had any impact on their operation as they both seem to work correctly.

I’m still waiting for the replacement mirrors to arrive, and I’ve sent a message to the eBay seller. It seems they’ve disappeared between being sent by the UK Royal Mail and arriving here in Australia, and Royal Mail doesn’t provide any tracking on economy packages. I’m taking the seller up on their offer of a refund. I’ll order another set with tracked shipping later – probably from a different seller though!

Sylvie Gets Heated Up – Transferring Heated Grips From Rosie

As I’m in Australia, winter is almost here. The traditional date after which it becomes acceptable to turn on heaters in Canberra is Anzac Day – April 25th. This is also the last week of the second month of our autumn/fall season in Australia.

With the cold weather approaching, I decided Rosie’s heated grips would be more useful on Sylvie.

I decided this week that it was time to transfer them over while it’s still mild enough to work in the carport in the evenings.

With the “bark buster” hand guards installed on Rosie the first step was to remove them, so I started with the left one.


With the hand guards removed, it was surprisingly easy to remove the heated grip.

I repeated the same process on the right side.

The grip was once again fairly easy to remove.

Next I traced the power cable back to the battery. The positive wire has a small fuse box on it.


The negative wire was a little harder to spot.


Power cable removed.

The last part was the control box. With all the other cables removed it came off easily.

With the heated grips ready to install, I needed to remove Sylvie’s original grips. Having removed the left one before, all I needed after removing the bar end weights was a little dishwashing detergent and a lot of effort!

The right grip was a little trickier but dishwashing detergent and effort did the trick again.

I fitted the heated grips and discovered that they moved freely.

After a brief search in the shed, I found some old rubber contact cement.

I applied some to the throttle tube and handlebar.

I found that a far more liberal coating was required and changed the position of the left grip  so it wouldn’t obstruct any switches.

I changed the position of the right grip to match the left one when the throttle is not in use.

I fitted the control box the the clutch mounting bracket. I covered the exposed parts of the metal mounting bracket with black electrical tape so it blended in better with the clutch mounting bracket.

While waiting for the glue to dry, I put a spare pair of grips on Rosie.

I reinstalled the handguards too.

I put the original grips from Rosie in a ziplock bag to go with the other CBF250 spare parts.


I removed the seat and tank to feed the power cable through.

I connected the power cable to the battery and tidied up the cabling, but forgot to take photos. I gave the grips a quick test and found they turn off automatically if the engine isn’t running. I started Sylvie and tested them and they seemed to work properly, but being late at night I didn’t want to run the engine for too long.

Finally, I packed up everything back in the shed and updated Sylvie’s to-do list.

Hopefully the mirrors will arrive soon so I can fit them.

If they don’t arrive this week, I’ll either be attempting to unseize the piston in the spare CB250RS engine or trying to figure out what’s causing the electrical problems on Erica and Rosie.