CB250RS Parts Transplant – Front Wheel Swap, Mufflers, Some Fiddly Bits, And Temporary Livery

I had a busy weekend reattaching things!

First  up, I wanted to swap out the front wheel as the tyre was quite flat, the spokes are rusty, and the brake disc looks almost as grooved as a record from the same era as the bike!

Fortunately the donor bike had a front wheel with a nice firm front tyre, very little rust on the spokes, and a brake disc in much better condition.

After removing the castle nut and split pin from the left side of the axle, I was a little puzzled as to how to removed the axle, as I hadn’t looked at the right side closely before. The axle is held onto the right fork with a similar type of bracket to those used to to hold the the handlebar to the triple tree and the  to hold  the master brake cylinder in place on the handlebar.

Once the bolts had been removed, it was remarkably easy to remove the wheel and axle

I removed the brake pads, as I was planning to transfer them to the other set of calipers along with the wheel.

Next it was time to remove the sub-par wheel and put it aside to think about what it had done

The front brake pad retaining pins had other ideas about my plan to replace the front brake pads, so I gave up on that for now. I applied a fresh coating of grease to the axle on the good wheel, maneuvered it into place and loosely fitted the castle nut.

After tightening the axle clamp on the right side, I secured the castle nut and replaced the split pin.

I cleaned up the spare speedo cable gear and found the speedo cable. The retaining screw was missing from the one I had fitted with the wheel, so I used the one from the spare.

Speedo cable fitted at both ends!

While I was concentrating on the clocks, I fitted the tacho cable too.

It was getting somewhat late by this stage, so I left further work until the next day.

First order of business the next day was to make sure I put oil in, so I don’t forget before attempting to start the bike again! I opted for generic supermarket 10w50, as it’s cheap and doesn’t have come with fancy friction modifiers and additives that make most modern motor oils unsuitable for wet clutches. Regular readers may remember these as the “attachments” referred to in the CBF250 Shop Manual while troubleshooting Jack’s clutch slippage!

After filling up the oil enough for a cold engine, I popped the black tank and the red duck-tail and seat on, to remind myself how close I was to completion.

I removed the chain from the donor bike and after a quick inspection and a shake I decided not to re-use it. The black crescents in the middle image are all the perished o-rings that fell out when I shook the chain gently a few times. The close-up on the right shows how few o-rings are left.

I decided to keep the clip-style master link as a spare in case of chain emergencies if I don’t have a chain riveter handy.

I figured even without a chain it would be useful to have a working rear brake again, so I started with the stay bar.


Moving further back, I saw the right side mounting plate was missing.

I realised the rear wheel stay bar wasn’t going to do much if the rear wheel wasn’t securely attached, so I removed the parts I needed from the donor bike.

I fitted the axle stopper plate, chain tensioning bolt and rear brake arm.

I fitted the rear brake rod – making sure all springs were in the right places – and reconnected the.rear wheel stay bar.

At last, it was time to fit the mufflers! First, I needed a pair of pillion pegs, as they also have retaining brackets for the mufflers. One was still  attached to the donor bike, so off it came!

I placed the mufflers on either side of the bike, ready to fit. I opted not to fit new gaskets just yet, as I’ll need to remove the mufflers again in order to access the rear axle when I fit a new rear sprocket. I also fitted the rear brake lever and stopper plate.


Right muffler in place.

Connecting the muffler to the cylinder head was trickier than I expected, as one of the mounting bolts is significantly shorter than the other. It seems the mounting plate on this side has been replaced with one thinner one than the standard part at some stage to compensatate.

I reattached the cylinder head mounting bracket and tidied the cables through it  while I had the socket wrench out.

Left muffler in place.

No problems with  connecting the muffler on this side, as the threaded rods are standard length on this side of the cylinder head.

I decided to mount the rear indicators after straightening the mounting hardware. First up were the grommets.

The metal collars for the mounting screws went in next.

The mounting arms were screwed on and earth wires run through the holes in the rear fender/mudguard.

Indicators were attached and their cables run through the mounting arms and through the holes in the fender/mudguard.

Finally the cables were plugged in and the luggage compartment replaced on the rear fender.

Finally, I replaced the tank, duck-tail and seat and called it a day.

Not bad for a weekend’s work!.

All that remains now before finally getting a roadworthy check are swapping the front brake calipers so the pads match the disc, then replacing the mirrors, fuel line, front mudguard, front sprocket, front chain guards/covers, rear sprocket and chain!

I’ll also be re-fitting some side panels eventually , of course!

I’ve also been researching options for restoring the original colour scheme and livery – I’ll post more on that in a future update.


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!

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!

Eric Donates An Engine (And Another Few Parts) – Another CB250RS Motor Removal

On Thursday evening, I started Eric and ran him for a while to heat the oil so it would drain better.
I also confirmed that the headlight works while he’s running, so there are less electrical issues to sort out than I thought!

When removing the sump plug to drain the oil, I discovered the sump plug was loose and had already drained the oil for me – or possibly I’d never replaced it after I last drained it!

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At least this sump plug had a crush washer that wasn’t crushed!


With the oil drained, I made sure the fuel tap was off and started thinking about which parts to remove.


The mounting bolts for the rear rails were first.


Followed closely by the single mounting bolt for the seat.
The tail fairing still has the now extremely rare 2fitycc.com vinyl decals on it!20170302_184637

With the seat removed from Eric, I remembered why I was swapping the motors over.


The seat had to go somewhere, so I put it on Bruiser’s frame for now.


The replacement seat mounting bolt was left on the seat until needed.


The rear rail mounting bolts were next.

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The mounting bolt removed.


Rinse and repeat for the left side!


The mounting bolts for the rear rails on Bruiser were just loosely placed long hex key bolts originally bought as part of a replacement screw kit for Eric’s engine. They are much thinner bolts and were never intended as a permanent solution.

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The rails definitely look better with the original Honda bolts in place!

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I disconnected the tail light and rear indicators…

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…and then removed the whole rear mudguard/fender along with the chopped-off piece of frame.

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I’m pretty sure this would fail a rego inspection unless the rear rails were bolted in place extremely tightly. As I recall, the seat shifted considerably when sat on and the cuts to the frame were visible even with the seat on.


The modified rear section of frame could possibly be welded on but I lack both the tools and experience for the task. I’m pretty sure J B Weld would be spotted and draw further attention to the fact that the frame has been cut in the first place. I also don’t have the budget or time to book a mechanical engineer to certify that any potential repairs or modifications don’t cause the bike not to be compliant with the Australian Design Rules (ADR)


I removed the number-plate holder and rear fairng/tail light assembly from the mudguard/fender proper.


The rear fender on its own, just before going into the parts box.


Eric’s rear shocks had a long dome-headed nut and large chromed washer. Off they came!

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With nothing holding them on, the rear bars were removed complete with indicators. The indicators looked a bit crooked!


The right rear shock on Bruiser’s  frame was quite rusty, while Eric’s was in much better shape.

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Off they came! Bruiser’s shock on the left, Eric’s on the right.


The better shock was mounted on Bruiser”s frame, along with the dome-headed nut

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I’d run out of room n my spares box, so the spare shock went onto Eric with the standard nut to hold it on at the top.


The left rear shock on Bruiser’s frame was in better condition, so only the nut and chromed washer were transferred across.

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Time to remove the tank!

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It turned out that the fuel line was stuck fast to the tap and the carburetor inlet.

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After a few attempts to wiggle it off, the hose broke at the carburetor end so will need to be replaced when I top up the oil after the parts transplant is complete.


The left side panel was still holding the tank down, so off it came too.

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The tank was removed from Eric, along with the single rubber stopper. I’ll need to track down another one from somewhere eventually.

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Rubber stopper transferred to Bruiser’s frame and the tank mounted temporarily.

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Eric is looking more like the half-a-bike he was when I first got him.


Back to disconnecting things from the motor!
First was the tacho cable.

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Next the High Tension lead to the spark plug.

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The crooked indicators had been bothering me, so I set about disconnecting them from their mounting posts.

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Next I removed the post from the rear bar, freeing up the mounting bracket.


Finally I removed the metal collar and rubber grommet.


RInse and repeat on the other side.


The metal collar and and rubber grommet have been shown still installed as a reference for reassembly.


All the right-hand indicator mounting hardware disassembled.


Both rear indicators and their connecting parts. Some of these need straightening before re-use.


Back to removing the motor again!
I removed the gear lever linkage.

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The front chain guard was next.


The front sprocket bolts and retaining plate came off next.

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Front sprocket was removed from the drive shaft and put aside with the other spare parts.

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I disconnected the wiring connector blocks

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Removed the retaining bolts from the carburetor sleeve

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The header pipe where the right muffler should be was next.

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The left pillion peg was next, as it shares a mounting bolt with the left muffler. It was followed by the muffler.

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The wiring connector blocks for the remaining internal electrics were disconnected.

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All the wires and the overflow hose were moved out of the frame, and the oil draining pan moved safely out of the way.

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The clutch cable was disconnected next.

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At last we move on to the mounting bolts! The cable here was passed through and put aside with the others still leading into the motor.

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The brake stopper plate was next.

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I put some bricks under the main stand to raise the bike enough support the motor on the motorbike lift, then removed the rear brake pedal.

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The bricks gave enough clearance to fully extend the motorbike lift and lock it in place to support the motor.


Once the mounting bolts were removed, the motor came out pretty easily!

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After having a break from working on the bikes last night, I’ll be installing the motor in Bruiser’s old frame and starting to transfer the rest of the parts over the weekend.

Scarlet Gets Her Mojo Back

I’ve been determined to get Scarlet working again, so I decided to have another look at the electrical system.

Of course, the first order of business was to remove the battery

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Before swapping the wiring looms over on Scarlet and Eric, I decided to follow up a suggestion from from a member of the 2fiftycc.com forums, who had mentioned it might be worth replacing Scarlet’s CDI box with a known good one.


I put the battery on to charge for a little while before attempting any electrical troubleshooting.



Remembering that Eric seemed to have no trouble starting, I thought it a fairly safe bet that his CDI was in working order. Off it came!

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Looks pretty serviceable.


Scarlet’s looked ok at first…


…but on closer inspection it didn’t look so good. Scarlet’s old CDI is on the left, the replacement from Eric is on the right.

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There was still a noticeable difference after spraying both sets of terminals with contact cleaner.


As the one on the left seems to have burnt out, it won’t be going on Eric. I may have spare somewhere for when the time comes to start him again.

After fitting the replacement, I had a quick look at the terminals inside the connection block.

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A quick dose of contact cleaner on those before connecting the CDI.


The CDI did the trick. Scarlet started!

There is still a bit of work to do, as none of the lights seem to be working. This is the best progress I’ve made on Scarlet in forever though!

I moved Eric back into the shed and parked Scarlet next to Sylvie.

They look pretty good together.


If I can figure out the rest of the electrical gremlins, Scarlet will be re-registered soon!

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!

November’s New Acquisition – Fred’s Fizzer 400

Back in November, I had decided I wasn’t buying any more bikes until I had a shed to work on them in.

I was kidding myself, of course!

Through a thread on my favourite motorcycle forum, I found a 1992 Yamaha FZR400 going cheap. The original pics from the seller showed a bike with half the fairings removed but carefully put aside.

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Carbon fibre exhaust…

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Redline zone starts at 14K. This looks somewhat familiar…

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Tyres look decent and the brakes have been serviced with EBC replacement parts, it seems…

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Fairings in reasonable condition…

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A replacement exhaust manifold was thrown in as well for some reason…

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I contacted the seller and went for a closer look.

After talking with the seller for a while and hearing how much he had enjoyed riding the bike and being filled in on some of its history:

  • The bike had been low-sided at slow speed after the fairings were removed as he’d preferred the look of it naked.
  • He’d made a custom insert for the air filter.
  • He had been planning to replace the exhaust manifold with the spare one (from a different model Yamaha 600) to eliminate the EXUP but never got around to it.
  • Battery had been replaced with a sealed one but was flat as the bike hadn’t been ridden in over a year since the registration had expired.
  • He’d removed the rear mudguard, welded up a fender eliminator and fitted mini LED indicators at front and rear.
  • Tyres and brakes had been replaced shortly before the rego expired
  • He was selling to raise cash towards accessories for a brand new Triumph!

I offered him 10% less than his listed price and we had a deal.

There were a couple of logistical issues with getting the bike to my place:

  • The bike wasn’t running or registered and therefore couldn’t be ridden away.
  • The bike wasn’t Learner & Novice Approved even if it had been running and registered.
  • The extra parts would have been difficult to carry on the bike.
  • My car at the time wasn’t set up for towing a trailer.
  • My trailer wasn’t registered.

Luckily, the seller had a bike trailer and was keen to make room in the garage as he was expecting delivery of his new Triumph the next day, so he delivered it to me!

The mandatory “just bought it” photo:


The next day, I hooked up some jumper leads to the car and gave jump starting a go. I took the opportunity to give the electrical system a quick test as well and was most impressed with the result!

Cut to several months later, I now have a day permit organised to take it for a roadworthy check tomorrow – provided the battery charges enough overnight…

More specifics on the repairs to follow!