Repairing Sylvie’s Broken Indicator Switch

Last week I had a rude shock when Sylvie’s indicator switch completely stopped working while I was riding home from work.

As I needed the indicators working in order to be able to ride her to work the next day, I had a look through the CBF250 spares box and found Jack’s original left switch block.

The switch had lost all spring and wasn’t switching the indicators on in either position.


I removed the headlight cover and unplugged the cables from the switch block.


I unscrewed Sylvie’s left switch block and prepared to remove it.

I noticed the switch lever was completely loose, as it fell out when I was trying to wiggle the switch block past the clutch lever. I put it on the tank while I looked at the inside of the left switch block.

After checking inside the spare switch block for reference, I tried simply replacing the loose lever and screw and re-tightening the screw..

I reconnected the switch block terminals, turned the ignition switch to the On position  and tested the indicators. I was pleased to find they worked again!

I disconnected the cables, threaded them back through, reconnected them again and replaced the headlight.

That’s all for this week’s update. Next week, I’ll hopefully continue troubleshooting the electrical issues on Erica.


Starting Scarlet Again And Swapping Sylvie’s Handlebar

This week, I decided it was well past time Scarlet got started again, so I filled up a fuel can and topped up her tank.

After this, I cranked the kickstarter a few times. She still starts, but there’s a definite flooding problem with her carburetor…

…so I added a carburetor rebuild to the list of tasks for Scarlet.

Having bent it into a close approximation of the right shape, I decided to have another go at fitting Sylvie’s replacement handlebar.

Although the shape isn’t perfect, it’s not too bad…

Definitely looks better than the old one!

While giving attention to the handlebar, I remembered that the indicators have been a bit intermittent. I decided to have a look at the left switch block.

A good blast of this should help!

I gave the switch a good treating with the cleaning spray and made sure to move it into all positions.

After the spray had evaporated, I tested the indicators and they seemed a bit better. I then turned on the heated grips for a few minutes.

While waiting for the grips to warm up, I removed the left bar end weight.

With the left grip heated, I was able to twist it loose from the J B Weld with a bit of effort.

Rather than risk breaking the throttle cylinder by twisting the right grip, I opted to remove the right side controls all at once.

Off came the bar end weight, then I unscrewed the right switch block, split it and slid it as far along the handlebar as it would go.

I unscrewed the mounting bolts from the front master brake cylinder and right mirror and returned to the left side.

The left mirror and control box for the heated grips were next.

Unscrewed the bolts and off they came!

I removed the left switch block next.

Looks like a dead spider in there! That can’t have been good for the switch mechanism?

There’s a bit of corrosion in there that should be cleaned out when I have more time.

I had to remove the choke cable from its collar to get the switch block off.

I kept all the loose parts nearby so they could be found for reassembly.

The caps over the handlebar mounting bolts came off next.

I’ll order some more, as this one isn’t really going to do much once it goes back on!

The J B Weld came off the chromed handlebar without too much effort, so the choke lever collar came off next.


I removed the rest of the caps.

These are only chromed plastic, so I’ll order a new set.

Off came the handlebar mounts.

The old handlebar just before removal.

With the mounts off, I maneuvered the handlebar out of its remaining cable ties.

Replacement handlebar above the old one for comparison.

Installation was a reversal of the removal process.

I fitted the bar ends and took a break for dinner.

After dinner, I went out and mixed up some J B Weld to hold the left grip steady on the handlebar.

My stepdaughter wanted to help, so I got her to hold the  heated grip. She was very interested in how it went onto the handlebar!

I only applied a thin coat of JB Weld to the handlebar this time.

After we put the grip on, my stepdaughter want to climb on the bike!

I got her to hold the bar end weight in place while I screwed it on.

As the bike was on the main stand, I let her sit on it again and told her how to start it this time. She really got a kick out of that!

After my little helper had gone inside, I re-fitted the protective caps.

Finally I turned the heated grips on for a few minutes to help start the curing process of the J B Weld.

After riding today, the replacement bar has made a big difference.

That’s all until next week!


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!

Bruiser Is Stripped Nearly Bare – CB250RS Seized Motor Removal

I’d been preparing to remove Bruiser’s motor, so last night I set to work.

I’d left the oil to drain overnight, so first I removed the waste oil tray.


The remaining cables were removed from the right side of the motor and the bike lift placed under the engine. Its lowest setting seemed a little high to be useful, but I left it there just in case.

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Next I disconnected the gear shift linkage.

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Although the chain had already been removed from Bruiser, I removed the front sprocket. 20170301_210810 20170301_211259

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The front sprocket, retaining plate and bolts will be added to the spares box.


Next I started removing the front engine mounting bracket.

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I’d already removed the main bolt from the cylinder head brackets while removing other parts from Bruiser, so I removed the two remaining bolts.

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I threaded the two bolts through so as not to lose them before adding the assembly to the parts box.


The top rear engine bolt was next.

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It was far easier to remove than I expected.

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The rear bolt was a little trickier, as the motor was starting to be pulled down by gravity. The bike lift came in handy after all!

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With the rear bolt removed, I was nearly done!


I’d forgotten to disconnect the cables leading to internal electrical components, so I quickly  disconnected them.

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The motor came free with a little more maneuvering.20170301_214416

I cleared a space on the bench for it and placed down some sheet rubber and an old towel from my box of rags to absorb any excess oil.


Bruiser was now just a shell of the bike he once was!


The gaps will be filled in soon enough though.


While clearing space on the bench for the motor I found a number of parts that must have been missed while rebuilding Scarlet’s top end, including the missing stopper plate for the rear brake pedal and the bolt from the cylinder head mounting brackets

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As I’ll be attempting to free the stuck piston, I’ve propped up the old motor with an old scissor jack for now.


Tonight I tackled removing the “good” (running) motor from Eric. More on that next time!


Bruiser Gets Prepped For A Parts Transplant

Last night I started removing parts from Bruiser to replace with working parts from Eric.

I started with the throttle, kill switch and main light switch on the right switch block.20170228_191456 20170228_192541

Switch block off the handlebars


I loosened the handlebar clamp slightly to remove the headlight holder and right switch block together.


With the right switch block removed, off came the clutch lever/left switch block and front master brake cylinder



Throttle cables disconnected.


THe master brake line was threaded through the retaining plate on the front forks, so that was next to come off.


Rubber stoppers for the headlight frame removed.


A bit of WD40 to help loosen up the bolts..


Brake line disconnected at the caliper…


Ans the front brake line and master cylinder are off!

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The triple tree and front forks have seen better days, so I’ll probably rebuild Eric’s and use those.


BOlts and retaining plate removed.


Next up was the tacho cable.


Another squirt of WD40 and the retaining screw turned easily.


Tacho cable removed from the engine.


Next up was the clutch cable.

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The stopper plate looked easy enough to remove. It’s only one bolt, right?20170228_195525

It came out a little bit, then stuck tight.


So I decided to remove the kickstart pedal while waiting for the WD40 to work its way in.

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The stopper plate bolt was really stuck! After starting to round off the bolt head with a 14 mm open-ended/12-point ring spanner, I switched to a 14 mm hexagonal socket. Two broken cheap 3/8th-inch socket wrenches later, I switched to my higher quality SupaTool 3/8th-inch socket wrench and finally got the bolt out!


Fortunately, these flange bolts are still a common Honda part, so I’ll be able to get a replacement for about $2.50.

After working up a sweat wrestling with the stuck bolt, I decided to clean up the frame and rear mudguard/fender with some Inox and a soft cloth.

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With the fender and frame looking a bit nicer, I gave the handlebars and the top of the triple tree a once-over as well.

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Finaly, it was time to drain any old engine oil before attempting to remove the engine ready for the “parts transplant”

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The sump plug looks like it could use a new crush washer if the engine is ever re-used, as the current one is decidedly crushed!


Bruiser is looking much better and ready for new parts to be fitted.


Eric will be the donor bike, since his frame is unlikely to pass a rego inspection unless welded back together.


Tonight, I removed Bruiser’s engine. Photos and more details will be in the next update!