New Brake Pads For Sylvie At Last!

This week a parcel arrived with some parts inside.

Sylvie’s brake pads and the pillion peg plate had arrived.

Having delayed replacing the old pads for too long, I fit them as soon as possible.
I started by bleeding the brake lines a little to loosen up the brake caliper.

I loosened the caliper bolts and had removed them before I remembered that I would need to remove the brake pad retaining pins first.

I put the bolts back in and removed the dust covers for the retaining pins

After the pins were loosened,I removed the brake caliper and pins and took the old brake pads out. One of the pads was down to bare metal, as I’d suspected.


The new brake pads were substantially thicker, so it took a while to push the pistons back in enough to get the pads in.

Once the pads were in, I maneuvered the caliper back onto the brake disc.

It took a while to get the brake pads in the right position for the pins to go back in. Next time I’ll try to remember to put the pins n before putting the caliper back on the forks!

With the caliper back on the forks,I replaced the dust covers for the mounting pins and checked the brake fluid level in the master cylinder, as the brake lever had gone slack. I found there was no fluid visible in the sight glass, so off came the cap.


The plastic cover underneath the cap seemed to have a lot of air behind it.

I put the cover aside next to the cap.

The diaphragm seemed somewhat concave, so I carefully removed it. Sure enough, the master cylinder was practically empty.

I placed the diaphragm on top of the plastic cap.

I packed a clean rag around the master cylinder in case I spilt any brake fluid.

I already had a bottle of DOT4 brake fluid on hand.

I bled the brake line until there were no more bubbles and replaced the diaphragm and plastic cover.

I replaced the cap and screwed it down firmly.

With the front brake pads replaced at last, I moved on to the left pillion peg.

I nscrewed the mounting bolt and took off the cover.

I left the bolt with the cover to ensure I wouldn’t lose it.

I forgot to order this part with the parts order before I swapped the pillion footpeg parts  to the rider position. Fortunately I didn’t need to ride with a pillion before the missing part arrived.

The plate went over the peg before the rubber cover was repalced

Finally, I returned the  pillion peg to its usual position.

That’s all for this week – although I did get more work done on Khaleesi it wasn’t completely finished, so I’ll include it in next week’s update after Khaleesi goes back to her owner.



Bonus Post – A Fuel Tap And Tank Swap For Erica

After setting up the mats, I took a couple of days break and decided I’d wheel Erica out into the sun to test the threshold ramp. It certainly made getting the bike out easier!

I decided to take a couple of full-view progress shots.

After trying unsuccessfully to kick-start Erica, I thought the leaking fuel tap in reserve position might be related, so I set about draining the black tank.

While draining the tank, I removed the seat in preparation for swapping the tank over.

I put the glovebox cover back on the rear cowl so I knew where it was and it wouldn’t get stepped on.

The fuel tank turned out to have about 3 litres of fuel in it.

I put the side panel on to p of the seat, as I didn’t want to risk stepping on it either!

THis side panel still has all 3 mounting pins intact and I’d like to keep them that way if possible.

I unlocked the tank cover and removed the cap to help get the last of the fuel out.

While I was at it, I removed the fuel tank locking strap, as its lock matches the rest on Erica.

The tank was placed over a suitable receptacleand turn upside-down to get the old fuel tap off.

I put the fuel line aside on top of the side panel for safe keeping.

I then examined the old fuel tap. The filter, o-ring and reserve pipe seem to be in reasonable condition so could be re-used.

THe tank was sloshed around until all the fuel that was coming out was out.

Tee frame was looking a bit bare, especially with only one tank mounting rubber.

I figured I may as well put the blue tank on Erica to get used to it. Although it has no visible dents, it’s sorely in need of repainting! Compared with the fuel cap from the black tank, this one has also lost a lot of its paint…

I unlocked the fuel cap cover and removed the fuel cap. The interior of the tank seemed to be in pretty good shape.

I removed the locking strap in preparation for fitting the original one again.

I compared the bases of the fuel caps from both tanks. The black one seems to be in better shape.


After a short break to photograph the blackboard lists for the Hondas (more on that in the last post) I dug out the aftermarket fuel tap. While there are a few differences from the leaking genuine one, it still has the right overall style and will do the job at least until the bike is running again!

I fitted the lid and locking cap from the black tank to keep the locks matching.

The thread for the tap was nice and clean already.

On went the aftermarket tap.

The fuel line was replaced next.

I pulled out the box of assorted CB250RS spares.

I found the grommets for the tank mounting pins.

I re-fitted the grommets to both sides

Popped the tank on.

I put the worn fuel cap on the black tank to go with the spares.

I put a small piece of rag inside the replacement fuel tank to make sure the fuel going in from the old tank was as clean as possible.

After pouring in the fuel from the drain pan, I found very little in the way of visible contaminants.

I replaced the rag and repeated the process for the fuel in the fuel can. This fuel had almost no visible contaminants.

I removed the mounting grommets from the black tank.

I sprayed them with Inox prior to removal.

To make sure they last as long as possible, I applied rubber grease to restore some of their elasticity

Once wiped off, I put them aside in the ziplock back I’d originally stored the grommets  from the blue tank in.

I fitted the leftover tank strap on the the black tank and put the tank away with the other larger spare CB250RS parts.

I noticed some discolouration of the front mudguard and rubbed my hand over it without thinking. Looking down, I saw shrivelled-up blue paint flecks on the ground and realised I’d just rubbed off some paint that brake fluid had dripped onto from the leaking master brake cylinder. I’ll have to rebuild or replace that master brake cylinder bore repainting!


After all that, I didn’t manage to get Erica to start after all. I’ll have to have a look into the electrical issues and maybe try another battery.

In the next post, I finally make some progress on the seized spare CB250RS motor at long last!

CB250RS Parts Transplant – Indicators, Lights, Brakes and Finally the Muffler Arrives!

This weekend, I continued transferring the lights, switches and clocks across to what used to be Bruiser as the muffler was still yet to arrive.

I started with the front indicators- they were removed from the frame and disassembled.

All parts were then sprayed with electrical contact cleaner and left to dry.

Meanwhile, I fitted the headlight mounting bracket.

With the bracket securely attached, the indicators went back on.

I called it a night and decided to get more done this evening after work.

When I got home, a parcel had arrived from Germany – my muffler had finally arrived!

As it was raining, I opened the parcel under the gazebo.

Not wanting to get the muffler wet already, I took it to the shed and unwrapped it fully.

It is definitely rated at only 12.5 KW, but anything is an improvement over just a header pipe and at least this one is a genuine part from this series.

I cleaned up the left muffler for comparison.

Next up, I decided it was past time to refill the master brake cylinder for the front brake.

The inner cover seal had warped a little from being exposed to air in an empty cylinder on one side and rust from the metal plate inside the lid on the other side.

I sprayed both parts with Inox and gave them both a good clean.

I filled the reservoir with fresh DOT3/J1703 brake fluid.

I placed the rubber seal under a magnetic parts dish to flatten it slightly.

Then I remembered the metal plate inside the lid, so I put the lid back under it.

I pumped the brake lever until brake fluid came through the tube to my brake bleeding kit, then pumped some more until it came out more blue than yellow.

I topped up the reservoir with more fresh DOT3/J1703 fluid to the high mark

The inner seal looked a bit less warped by then, so the cover went back on.

I got a phone call, so took a break at this stage and continued work until fairly late in the night. As this post is already a little late, more on that tomorrow!

Switching Controls, Clocks, Locks, And Switches

This week, I started transferring the switches and controls across to the now-empty handlebars on what used to be Bruiser.

Here are the nearly bare handlebars before I started:

And the switches and controls I am transferring across:

First up, I removed the instrument cluster/clock assembly (ignition switch, instrument lights, speedo and tacho) and put it aside.

Next I removed the choke cable from the carburetor.


With the choke assembly off, I removed the clutch cable and left switch block connectors.


Removed the clutch lever and left switch block from Eric’s old handlebar and installed on the other one.


Fitted the clutch cable at both ends.


Time to remove the throttle cables.



Disconnected the right switch block cables and removed the throttle and right switch block assembly.


The switch block was held on with a single screw that has seen better days. I swapped the screws out from the spare and replaced them with the damaged screw when re-fitting them on the other handlebar.


Slowly building up the controls on the recipient frame, while more and more of Eric is going in the spare parts box.


The carburetor was next to come out.


The left grip had always looked a little out of place. I have another throttle assembly with a matching one in the spares box if I remember correctly though.

The left end of Eric’s handlebar is totally bare now!

To get the brake line out, I had to remove the front badge plate.


Removed the handlebar clamps next, as the headlight/indicator mount is held down by the handlebar.


I decided to remove Eric’s handlebar altogether.

I left the indicators on the headlight mount for now, although I’ll probably dismantle them and give the exposed surfaces a good clean with electrical contact cleaner before reassembly.

The front mounting plate needed to come off the forks before the brake line culd be removed.

While I had access to it, I removed the steering lock.


I tested the lock with the ignition key to make sure it still worked and that it was definitely a match.


Onto the complete frame it went!


I removed the master brake cylinder and Eric’s handlebar was free at last.


I put it with on the shelf next to the seat and spare red tank.

I finished removing the brake line.

Then I replaced the banjo bolt in the front brake assembly.

I fitted the mounting bracket to the front forks on the complete frame, making sure the brake line and wiring loom had been passed through it  during assembly.


Connected the brake line to the front brake assembly, ready to bleed fresh fluid through.

I tightened up the handlebar mounts again and called it a day.

Reassembly will continue this week, Hopefully the right side muffler will arrive soon too!

Scarlet Gets Some Attention At Last


I haven’t posted  any updates on Scarlet in a while for personal reasons. This doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing with her in the last 12 months, however!

Although I haven’t written about it previously, I have replaced the head gasket, adjusted the valve clearances, replaced the regulator/rectifier with a brand new aftermarket one and replaced the clutch friction plates and finally filled her up with fresh oil..

I also took my usual amount of photos as I went along, so these will be added in future posts.

Last weekend I decided to try starting Scarlet again, since she hasn’t been run for over a year.

This of course meant swapping the known working battery back from Eric again.20170129_093745 20170129_093805 20170129_094200

I had to open the cover to Eric’s tool compartment, as the top of it was  blocking the battery.


Scarlet’s looking great but the battery that was in her didn’t seem to be working.


I pulled the battery out to see if it was the problem.

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This is not a healthy-looking battery!


Swapped out for the one that I know works well enough to start Eric.

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Off with the seat to check wiring connections.

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Nothing obviously wrong here, so off came the tank to check further along the wiring loom.


Fuel tap to the OFF position


Disconnect the fuel line…


Pop off the left side cover…


And finally remove the tank!


Here’s the aftermarket regulator/rectifier. I’m not sure if it could be the source of the electrical problems.


Also looks like this clip has seen better days!


I reconnected the original reg/rec temporarily to see if there was any improvement. No change to the lack of neutral light, even after several kicks of the starter.


I figured I may as well at least replace the cable clip, so I grabbed the spare one from Bruiser.


It looked a little thirsty, so a squirt of Inox was applied and the residue wiped off with a rage.

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I gave her a bit more of a polish with Inox and found the summer heat was getting a little too intense, so I put her back together and called it a day.

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I’ll need to spend some time checking over the electrical troubleshooting section and wiring diagram again. I have some ideas on where to start, so will test my theories before next week’s update.

My Third Annual Start And/Or Ride A CB250RS Day

For many Australians, today is a day of celebration. For most indigenous Australians, it is a day of mourning.

For me it is both, yet neither.

19 years ago on this day I had the saddest news of my life.

RIP Mum. 

In light of this, January 26th has been my Annual “Start And/Or Ride A CB250RS Day” for the last few years.

Today, I got Eric to start again for the first time this year and confirmed that Scarlet’s battery is still in reasonable condition.

I gave Eric a thorough look over to confirm everything I already knew about that needs attention, and discovered a few things.

The fuel tap leaks when in the Reserve position and drips onto the engine. Not ideal, considering the small tank capacity. This was a new discovery.


While the left muffler is complete, the right one is only a header pipe (hence the exhaust note when starting him). This one was already on the list, and I’ve found a likely aftermarket bolt-on candidate.

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Another known issue -the right side panel is missing, so I borrowed Bruiser’s to cover the battery for now.

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His mirrors are currently on Sylvie, so he’ll get them back when Sylvie’s are replaced.


The fork seals are leaking terribly and the fork oil probably needs changing, or at least topping up. This was another new discovery.

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The front brake master cylinder has no fluid whatsoever and could use a better cover.. While this was on the list, I’d forgotten about it.


The lights don’t seem to work at all, the rear tyre is flat, and last of all the rear of the frame has been chopped by a previous owner who was planning to turn him into a cafe racer or bobber. These are also known issues.

I’m thinking the best course of action at this stage is to remove Bruiser’s engine and transfer Eric’s engine and all the working parts onto Bruiser’s frame.

It’s also way past time I gave Scarlet some attention, so expect more vintage Honda updates in the near future!

A Cheap Tankpad, A Front Brake Bleed, And A Blat Down the Highway

With the only work Sylvie needs now being primarily cosmetic (despite my plans to do more with her long-term) I decided it was time to invest in a tank protector.

Budget being a little tight, I ordered a cheap tankpad.


I cleaned the tank with “metho” (methylated spirits) prior to application.

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After placing it in position, I removed the protective plastic film.

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Looking swish! 

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While riding, I’d noticed that although the front brake was nice and responsive, the brake fluid looked both a bit low and a bit stale.


Checking the cap, I confirmed that replacement brake fluid needs to meet DOT4 standard and was reminded to clean the cap before removal.


Fortunately, I had some DOT4 brake fluid already.

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I found my trusty magnetic brake bleeding kit in the shed.


Onto the disc you go!


Of course the hose has to connect somewhere. I popped the dust cover off the brake bleeding nipple

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Connected the hose from the bleeding kit…



And it was time to remove the master cylinder cover.

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I put the cover aside with its screws.

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Bled out all the old fluid…

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Topped it up with fresh fluid and put the inner cover on…

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Then screwed down the lid.

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Much better!

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After topping upthe brake fluid, I of course needed to test the front brake.

So I put my tailbag on Sylvie…

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Put a couple of bottles of water in the tailbag, filled up her tank and and went for a quick blat about down the highway to Murrumbateman and back again.

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All in all, not a bad Sunday afternoon!

P.S. – The cheap tankpad really was cheap! This is what it looks like just over 100km of riding later:


Oh well, better a cheap tank pad getting scratched up like that than the tank. That’s what they’re for, after all!