Sylvie Demands a Sleep-In, Her Bearings Arrive And I Suspect The Front Brake Pads

Just a short update this week, as I was celebrating my baby daughter’s first birthday over the weekend.

Last Monday Sylvie refused to start until I gave her a jumpstart from the car after not being ridden for a couple of days over the weekend. This wasn’t completely unexpected, as 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’m planning on fitting some wiring to allow a trickle charger to be connected in order to prevent this issue recurring in the dead of winter.

The replacement front wheel bearing kit for Sylvie arrived this week!

I was quite impressed with the kit.

While these looked like excellent aftermarket parts, I decided to take another look at the front wheel before fitting them as the noise seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the front brake caliper.

The pads seemed quite worn, so I decided to hold off on removing the front wheel until I have ordered some new brake pads and possibly a new brake disc. I’ll have to check the disc thickness just in case…

That’s all for this week. Next week I’ll most likely be making a weekend trip to Sydney to pick up some spare parts I’ve been offered for free if I can collect them!
Hopefully I’ll get some shed time in soon as well.


The End Of My Holidays, Sylvie’s First Inspection Anniversary, And A Not-So-Smart Charger

This week I gave Sylvie some attention, as I’ll have finished my holidays by the time this post is published. It will also mark the first anniversary of my post about her successful rego inspection!

As expected, the battery had no charge after not riding for nearly a month!

This of course meant that the seat came off so I could access the onboard toolkit and take off the side panel to attach the charger.

I connected my newer “smart” charger.

It turned out that the charger wasn’t smart enough to recognise a flat motorcycle battery, as the fancy electronics seemed a bit confused by the apparently totally flat battery.

So I hooked up the trusty old trickle charger.


The lights indicated that it was charging, so I left it on for about 8 hours.

It seems to have had no problem charging the battery, as when I turned on the ignition again I found everything to be working as well as ever. I started the bike and let it warm up for a while.

Despite the temperature being 39-40°C (102-104°F, for any readers not yet using metric measurements), I put on my gear and went for a ride!

I’m happy to report that apart from needing fuel, no other issues came up.

That’s all for now – I’ll see what I can work on for next week’s update!

The Parts Transplant Continues – CB250RS Motor Replacement

After removing the motors from Bruiser and Eric, it was finally time to install the working motor in Bruiser’s old frame.

First I collected the bricks from around Eric’s stand, as I would need them for raising Bruiser’s frame.

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I also needed to pick up the mufflers! I hung the right header pipe up next to the left one.

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There was room for the left muffler there too.

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I’ve ordered a right muffler but it most likely won’t arrive until next week.

Next I had to remove the seat, rear fairing and rear mudguard.


I found a safe spot for them on top of the shelves.


Next was the tank, so I could see what I was doing.

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I put it on top of Sylvie’s old rear wheel  (I should probably either sell that or get a new tyre and keep it as a spare!)


With a bit more room to work around the frame, I scooted the motor into a better position and moved the bricks near the legs of the main stand.

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After lifting the frame up and putting the main stand onto the bricks, I moved them back a bit so the motorbike lift would fit in better.

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With the bike lift in place, I put the motor on it and raised the motor into the frame.20170304_143555

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I gave the mounting bolts a good blast of WD40. Photos on the left are before, on the right is after.

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It took a bit of effort but finally I was able to get all the mounting bolts back in.

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I lowered the bike lift, took it out and removed the bricks from under the main stand.
A fair bit of oil came out considering none had come out when I drained the oil, so I mopped it up with an oily towel and put the oil tray back underneath.

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I decided the sump plug should go back in next.

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Next I reattached the gear shift lever.

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Connected the High Tension lead from the ignition coil to the spark plug.

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As there was no regulator/rectifier on the frame, I removed Eric’s

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I mounted the regulator/rectifier and gave all the electrical connectors a thorough spray with electrical contact cleaner.

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I’ll need to move the lights, switch blocks, speedo and tacho to the other bike, so I started by taking off the headlight. from the front of the housing.

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Since the headlight was working when Eric was run last, I took lots of photos of how everything was connected before unplugging everything.

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After removing the headlight housing, I disconnected the tacho and speedo cables and decided to call it a night.

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Both Bruiser and Eric are now just half-bikes. I’ll need to stop thinking of them as separate bikes soon!

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More on that next time!

Sylvie Has A Screw Loose And Her Predecessors Confound Me

This week, I noticed that one of the screws holding on Sylvie’s chain guard on had disappeared.


After lifting it up, I realised it was only being held on by the front bolt!


Fortunately, I found a temporary replacement.


Ready to ride again!

Getting back to the CB250RS’s, I was still trying to figure out what’s going on with Scarlet’s electrical system. I started by having a look at the wiring inside Eric’s headlight.


While enough seems to be connected  to start the bike and get a neutral light, not much else was working last time I ran him.


I checked my slightly modified wiring on Scarlet…

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I noticed a blue wire that didn’t seem to be plugged in, but it was only one headlight connection that may have come loose when I removed the headlight from the housing.


I plugged it in anyway.



There was a black connector with two sockets that didn’t seem to have anything connected to it., so I had another look at Eric’s wiring. The same connector had nothing plugged in either!

I decided it was time to consult the wiring diagram in the Haynes manual.

This proved surprisingly unhelpful, so I checked my PDF copy of the Honda workshop manual as I remembered seeing a picture of the cable routing in there.

Unfortunately, this just shows the main connection blocks and is in black and white.


As the weather was rather hot, I gave up for the day.

Checking the Honda manual again, I found several wiring diagrams. After consulting the list of Honda Motorcycle Area Codes at, I found the correct one for the Australian version.


This tells me two things:

  1. I need a physical copy of the official Honda shop manual!
  2. I’ll have to spend more time working this one out –  I suspect maybe the fairly amateur wiring changes I made so long ago to get Scarlet working may have failed.

Maybe it’s time to swap Eric’s motor over to Bruiser and swap the wiring loom over to Scarlet…


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.

Cleaning Rusted Chrome, A New Speedo For Scarlet And Regulator/Rectifier Woes

Back in October, I did a fair bit of work on Scarlet.

One afternoon, I decided to polish the mufflers.After spending most of the day polishing with NEV’R DULL and aluminium foil, this was the result.

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There’s still a bit of a way to go on that…

The same month, I managed to track down a genuine NOS (New Old Stock) replacement speedometer for Scarlet. As you may recall, I had partially repaired the speedo twice already and it seemed to get stuck quite regularly.


The parcel in which the speedo arrived was well-packed to prevent damage. Inside I found the original box, containing a speedometer with 600 metres on the odometer.

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The first order of business was to remove the old speedo.

After removing the ignition switch, I took out the mounting screws from the rear of the instrument panel.

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Here are the two speedos side by side for comparison. Guess which one is the new one!


Shortly after the photo above was taken, I dropped the old speedo and broke its face.


Not to worry, I still had the new one!


I fitted the new speedo into the instrument panel and replaced the front cover.20141025_100740

Ignition switch back on the back!


Here it is mounted and ready to use.


Just in case I need a speedo for Eric or Bruiser, I glued the old one back together.


Later in October, I received what I thought was a simple plug-in aftermarket regulator/rectifier for Scarlet.

First up, I removed the old one.


The new regulator/rectifier looked pretty much like the old one at first.


The seller had listed it as being a direct replacement for several models of older Hondas, including the CB250RS. Unfortunately, on closer inspection I found that the connections were completely different and one wire was missing completely!


The old one went back on for now. I’m still looking for a suitable replacement or NOS regulator/rectifier. The lesson learnt here is to ALWAYS check what the old or missing part should look like before ordering a replacement.