Erica’s Still Not Sparking – CB250RS Ignition Troubles

This week, I spent some more time on Erica’s electrical system.

I tried kick starting her a few more times with no luck, so I decided to check the spark plug.

While the plug was a little dirty, it didn’t seem too bad.

I checked the spares box and found another plug to test with. Unfortunately this plug was in worse shape than the one I’d taken out!

I decided to try it anyway.

while replacing the plug lead, the cap came off altogether! I pushed it back in as hard as I could and tried starting Erica again.

I still didn’t have much luck with getting a spark, so I decided to use some contact cleaner to get the soot off the better of the two plugs. The result was far better than expected!


I still wasn’t able to get the engine to kick over, although the compression sounds good. I decided to cut my losses and clean the other spark plug before giving up for the day.

I’ll have to find the spare spark plug coil and lead in my spares collection, although I’m thinking the battery might be too far gone to salvage. Hopefully I’ll have some time to test out this theory soon.


More Work On Erica’s Electrics But She Still Won’t Start

This week, I had some time to work on Erica again.

The first thing I did was take another look at the battery I’d taken from Erica and tried to rejuvenate. The electrolyte was looking quite low in some cells again, so the battery may not be salvageable. I topped up the cells with demineralised water again just in case.

The smart charger at least showed a usable voltage after topping up this time, which seemed like a good sign.

The battery cage has seen better days, as there is a surface coat of rust on it. I’m not too worried about that at this point, that will be a cosmetic issue to fix later.

I decided to clean the battery terminals before refitting the battery.


The battery once again seemed to have enough charge, so I replaced in its original location.


I unlocked the fuel filler cap retainer and added a few litres of fuel to the tank.

I put the seat back on top and tried kickstarting the bike a few times.

I wasn’t able to get ther to fire up and there was still no activity on the lights, so I reconnected the charger and tried the key in the Park position. To my surprise, the tail light came on! There’s clearly a bit more work than I thought to be done with the electrical system.

Finally, I slid the rubber for the kickstart lever back on, as  I;d left it after never fully removing it some time ago.

I’ll have to go over the wiring diagrams a few more times and order some replacement terminals before I tackle re-soldering the missing wiring inside the headlight – while I’m at it I’ll give the switches and fuses a thorough check as well.

How Not To Remove A Flywheel

Just a quick update this week, as I had other things to fix unrelated to my hobbies.

This week, I decided to try my luck with the flywheel puller and removing the flywheel from Rosie.

I started by making sure the thread on the puller was well greased.

Unfortunately it didn’t help, as the puller just wouldn’t thread properly in the stripped thread.

I did succeed in stripping the thread on the puller, however.

Next week, I’ll be working on Sylvie and maybe Erica or Scarlet, time permitting.

Returning to Rosie – In Which I Chase A Dropped Part And Break A Socket

With Sylvie both not in need of immediate attention and generally running well, I finally spent some time working on Rosie this week.

What type of bike is Rosie, new readers may ask?

Rosie is a KLR650 I started a top-end rebuild on some time ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as careful not to drop any parts back then and I managed to lose a part down the cam chain cavity, so she’s been half-disassembled for several years.

The parts had been moved from one bench to another and had gathered a layer of stuff on top.

The first step was of course relocating said layer of stuff.

Rosie’s original fairings have faded to a rosy pink from the factory red, which led to her name.

One of the front side fairings has been replaced by a previous owner so the decals seen on the other one are missing completely.

I’d decided to take the side cover of the motor to retrieve the lost part some time ago but had never finsihed, so I resumed the process this week.

The cables attached to the stator ran behind the front chain guard.

After a quick reference pic, off it came!


I’ll give it a bit of a clean before putting it back on.

I rested the stator cover on the footpeg and the brake lever.

I carefully removed the outer gears and bearings.



The part that had fallen down looked to be stuck behind the rotor, so I set about preparing to remove the rotor.

The centre mounting bolt was quite tight.

It took a fair bit of convincing but I was eventually able to loosen it.

While the bolt seemed undamaged from the removal effort…

…I can’t say the same for the first socket I used on it!


I realised I would need a flywheel puller, so I repurposed the inner bolt from my old chain tool that had a damaged thread.

The thread on the end had been damaged by a misplaced spring when using it but a few minutes on the bench grinder took the burrs off.

It fit very well in the hole for the mounting bolt.Eventually I realised the flywheel puller needed to go in the outer thread though!

Fortunately I remembered that I had bought a suitable flywheel puller some time ago and had never used it!

This one had an M22 thread, which is the exact size I should have needed.

Unfortunately, I found was that someone had stripped the thread inside the rotor when it was removed at some stage in the past!

That’s all for now, until I figure out how to remove the flywheel without a puller!

I’ll have a look at what can be done on the other bikes if I can’t find a solution in time for next week’s update…

Filling In The Cracks – Work On Khaleesi Nears The End

This week, I finished up most of the work on Khaleesi.

I started by cleaning up the shed and sorting the pile of old parts from Khaleesi

I found my J B Weld and mixed up a small amount.

I filled the cracks in the bottom of the engine casing and put a thin layer around the bottom to keep the cracks from spreading further

I checked the charger and found that the connector was connected to a circuit that had  some sort of overload that didn’t work with my charger, so I took the side cover off and attached the trickle charger’s clips directly to the battery.

Finally I tightened the front sprocket nut to the specified torque and replaced the front chain guard.

I didn’t have any suitable oil to top up the lost oil, so I’ve let Khaleesi’s owner know and he’ll top it up.

The two remaining tasks are to to tighten the gear shift lever bolt and loosen the chain a little and she’ll be picked up next weekend.

That’s all for this week – hopefully I’ll have some time to work on my own bikes again in time for next week’s update!

Khaleesi’s Rear Wheel Replaced And New Chain Fitted

This week, I replaced Khaleesi’s rear wheel now that her owner has organised a thinner profile rear tyre.

The first step was replacing the sprocket carrier with the new sprocket on it

I was trying to prevent the disc still from scraping on the brake mount but hadn’t taken enough photos at the right steps of wheel removal, so I wasn’t entirely sure how the spacers and washers had been fitted previously.

I decided to try the spacer and its matching washer together at first.

I fitted them on the inside of the brake mount

I applied some fresh grease to the axle

The rear wheel was originally from a KR1S, so I had some trouble fitting the spacers and washers in the right order.

After swapping the spacers and washers around quite a few times, I got to a point where I was satisfied that the disc was scraping as little as was possible on the brake mount and moved on to the chain.

I removed the clip master link and put it aside.

I was having a lot of trouble getting the chain onto the front sprocket, as it seemed to be getting wedged against the engine. I realised this was because I had mounted it with the flat side toward the engine! After removing it and flipping it over, I no longer had the problem and the chain fit nicely.

I measured the length the chain needed reducing by fitting it without connecting the ends and moving the chain tensioners to the lowest point.

At first it seemed to need 13 links removed. As motorcycle chain links are in pairs, they can’t easily be shortened by single links.

I pushed the rear wheel hub as far forward as it would go and found that the 120-link chain needed 7 pairs of links cut out, for a total reduction of 14 links.

With all the trouble I had replacing the rear wheel, I took it off again just to check there was a bearing on the brake disc side. There was, so I think the KR1S spacer missing from the axle might be needed to fit it properly.

I removed the extra links rom the chain with my chain breaking tool after grinding the end of the pins with a carbide wheel on my rotary tool.

I lined up the chain on the rear sprocket and fitted the master link and o-rings.

I put the cover plate on, then clamped it with my chain tool.

With the slots on the pins clear of of the cover plate, I fitted the clip with the split end at the bottom so as to be at the opposite end of the clip to the direction of travel.

I adjusted the chain tensioners and fitted a split pin through the castle nut and the hole in the axle.

I bent the ends of the split pin back around the castle nut.

I had some spare rubber glue, so I glued on the loose LED strip indicator.

I found that Khaleesi already had a connector cabled to the battery that fitted my trickle charger, so I sprayed it with some electrical contact cleaner and hooked up the trickle charger.

That’s all for this week – hopefully I’ll finish the remaining work on Khaleesi in time for next week’s update!

Wiring Up Sylvie For Trickle Charging And Picking Up A Plethora Of Parts

Because I’ve been using the heated grips a lot more now that the frosts have started and have a fairly short ride to and from work, I decided to fit some wiring to allow a trickle charger to be connected in order to prevent a flat battery recurring in the dead of winter.

The trickle charger had a connector on the charge cable where the clamps connect.

I found a jumper cable that uses the same style of connector at my local electronics store.

I bought a couple of crimp connectors while I was there

I cut the cable in half, as I might be able to use the other connector later.

I stripped the ends of the wires and crimped the connectors on.

I took Sylvie’s seat off and found one of the reasons I’ve had trouble getting the clips that hold the sides on in the right place when putting the seat back on.

I trimmed a little triangle out of the top layer of padding.

I took the left side panel off to get to the battery.

Once the side panel was off, I attached the new cable.


The side panel went back on and there was hardly a trace of the mod.

I connected the trickle charger and the expected lights came on before I plugged it in, indicating both that the polarity of the cables was right and that there was still some charge in the the battery.

I then switched the charger on and made sure the battery was charging. 

I also made a day  trip to Sydney to pick up some CB250RS parts and a spare swingarm for Sylvie that a friend from the forums I’ve traded parts with before had brought with him while he was visiting Sydney for other reasons.

The swingarm came with the wheel mounts and chain adjuster plates

This rack was custom-made to fit the a CB250RS, so hopefully I’ll get one of them road-ready again over the winter and I can use it!

The parts included a full set of original indicators, a brand new inner tube still in the box, a mirror, several 50 master chain links and an assortment of brackets and clamps, including the original headlight mounting nuts, which will be very useful for restoring the original electrical connections on Erica’s headlight!

That’s all for this week. Hopefully I’ll have some new brake pads for Sylvie soon!