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!


I Helped A Stuck Rider (And Had Another Shed Cleanup).

This evening I had to make a stop for fuel right after work, as I’d hit the reserve level on the way to work.

After getting most of the way home, I saw a rider stopped on the side of the road. I pulled over and asked if he was ok. He thanked me for stopping, and let me know he’d run out of fuel and his reserve wasn’t working for some reason.

He lived not far from my home and asked if I could give him a lift near his house so he could organise to come back for his bike. I agreed, and was just reorganising my luggage to make room  for a pillion passenger when he let me know his reserve was working again and he’d got the bike started.

He asked if I’d mind riding behind him to the nearest petrol station to make sure he got there without further issues. I agreed, of course!

He waved me on just before the last set of lights before the petrol station and yelled out one more “Thank you!” as I passed and turned off towards my suburb.

No photo or video unfortunately, as I stopped using the GoPro on my daily commutes a couple of months ago!

Earlier this week, I’d realised the shed was getting cluttered again, so it was time for a cleanup!

I started with the stray spanners, hex keys and and gloves on Erica’s seat.

The stray cardboard was next.

The spanners should have been here.

I put Erica’s battery on to charge, so I can start her again later and have another look at the electrical system. I needed somewhere to put the air tools and old brake lever, too.

The remnants of flat-pack shelves were getting in the way too.

I left a fair bit of clutter behind after soda-blasting and even had trimmer line I’d left on the floor.

All a bit of a shambles, really…

Not to mention the random cardboard with recently-replaced parts somewhere under it!

There was a bit of a gap on the shelf that needed filling, so the cowl I’d used as test piece for blasting went back there.

The new air hose and tyre gauge fit nicely over the pole on these shelves.

A few spanners went back in the right places on the peg board.

A layer of soda dust was wiped off Erica’s seat.

Sylvie’s old headlight was rescued from the cardboard.

The CBF250 headlight was boxed and the air tools were stacked under the blackboard. The spare dented CB50RS tank will be sand or soda blasted another day, so I decided to get it off the floor while I was at it.

Tucked away neatly on the shelf again.


The older ones were cleared from under the trickle charger and Scarlet’s seat cleared of soda dust.

Sylvie’s old side panels and bar ends were retrieved from under the cardboard.

I bagged and tagged the bar ends.

The side panels and bar ends found a home under the workbench, near boxes containing similar parts.

The old brake lever went in the box with the headlight under the chalkboard.

The air tools were stacked more neatly and the warped veneer panels that once were the back of a shelf were put under the boxes to flatten them again.

Stray cardboard was removed and the floor was finally visible again!

The sand blaster spec sheet and troubleshooting guide were put somewhere they’ll be found again.

Almost lost under here was the mounting pin that broke off one of Sylvie’s side panels.

I made room for the blasting gun on the peg board.

The mounting pin was left near the side panels so as not to go astray again.

The tub of blasting sand found a home on a shelf.

And some random parts were left on the clipboard for visibility. THe top one is either a fairing mount left behind from Nix or a random mounting washer from one a CB250RS headlight bracket or instrument cluster.

The tags from the replacement side panels went on top of the old ones to remind me to re-tag them.

All in all, the she is slightly more organised than it was when I started!

Side Panels And A Brake Lever For Sylvie

This week, I got a couple of parcels that contained  few more parts for Sylvie.

First up were the replacement side panels, which were very well packed against damage in transit.

These looked to be in very good shape. The mounting pins were intact, they had all the spring clips, and I even found a couple of the mounting screws on one of them.

I also got a small satchel that contained an aftermarket brake lever.

So of course I fitted them all!

I started with the brake lever. Here’s the old bent one and the replacement.

I took my infant daughter out to watch Daddy work on his bike. She was happy to be outside but got bored pretty quickly.

Off with the bent lever and on with the new one!

The power cable for the right heated grip ended up on top of the handlebar when I swapped the handlebars over back in winter.

It had been bothering me since I first noticed it, so I decided it was time to fix it.

For some reason I decided that removing the brake cylinder from the handlebar was the first step!

I realised my error but took the opportunity to readjust the position of the brake lever and right mirror.

I traced the cable back to the plug and removed the tape.

After unplugging the connector and correcting the cable routing, I taped it back up again and took my daughter back in to Mum as she was getting cranky and hungry – my daughter that is, not her Mum!

With the side panels ready to swap over, I set back to work on the bike.

I started on the left side.

Off came the left panel.


This left panel was originally from Jack, but was swapped out with Sylvie’s original left panel to help the friend who bought Jack from me close the sale to his new owner.

The new left panel’s mounting pin went in first


Next the centre screw was loosely fitted as a guide, then the rear and top screws.

Finally, the centre screw was “buttoned up” tight!

Shiny new panel!

The same process was repeated on the right side.

While this panel looks better than the one on the left did, it also has a snapped mounting pin

I snapped this one myself while removing the tank a bit too enthusiastically when I worked on Sylvie’s carburetor a while ago.


With the old panel off, it was time to fit the replacement!

The mounting pin was first again, followed by the centre screw loosely fitted as a guide.

The rear and top screws were next.

FInally, the centre screw was “buttoned up” nice and tight too

The old panels on the table for comparison.

I checked my front tyre and realised it needs replacing pretty urgently. It would also appear that I corner more heavily into the right! Now that I think about it, this might have been due to the bent handlebar I replaced? It was the right side that was bent, after all…

The rear tyre is still looking pretty good, although the “chicken strips” could be a bit narrower. Not bad going for a naked road bike though!

Finally, I took some full-frame shots of Sylvie, for comparison purposes.

I’m expecting a few more parts for Sylvie, so next week’s post will be fitting those.

I’ve also made some progress with the air compressor as I’ve learnt a lot about it after some research, which I’ll post about it later this week.



Experiments With An Air Compressor After An Unplanned Break

Regular readers may have noticed there was no post last week. With a small child, life sometimes gets in the way and I simply ran out of steam! Thankfully, I’ve recuperated and recharged so will be back to regular weekly updates whenever possible.

This week, I bought a second-hand air compressor with the intent of getting started on prepping Erica’s fairings.

The seller mentioned that he didn’t know the brand, thought it might have been home-made, and didn’t know any of its specifications.As it was only $50, I decided to take a chance on it anyway.

It came with an accessory kit the previous owner had bought.

I stopped by my local Bunnings hardware store on the way home to get a couple more tools and a cleaning kit to go with it. I also had the customary sausage on bread with onions on my way in.

Closer inspection once I got it home revealed that at the very least, the pump used was a Clisby brand one made in South Australia, with a delivery rate of 3 cu ft/min (around 85 L/min in modern SI measurements).

CIisby Engineering are still going strong but I couldn’t find any info about my compressor on their website.I tested it by pumping up some car tyres and discovered a leak at the bottom where the recoil hose was attached under the pressure gauge.

I found an online “click and collect” deal at Supercheap Auto that offered a sandblasting gun and 10 kg of garnet sand blasting media for less than the normal price of the sandblasting gun alone, so of course I took the deal!

Rather than trying to troubleshoot the leak, I opted to replace the hose entirely, so it was off to the hardware store again! I decided to get a connector and accessory pack that included a hose, and picked up some safety goggles and dust masks while I was at it.

To sort the leak out, I started by removing  the old recoil hose and adaptors from the compressor.

The new hose had male connectors on both ends while the old one had a female connector on one end, so  I was glad to have the extra connectors!


I decided to put a quick connect plug on the tank in case the recoil hose ever needs replacing again.

I opted for quick connect sockets on both ends of the recoil hose.

I fitted a quick connect plug to the tyre inflator.

I had a few options when assembling the air gun. As I already had a tyre inflator with a built-in pressure gauge, I opted for a classic configuration.

While I knew the compressor was probably a little underpowered for the garnet sand in the sandblaster gun, I decided to test it out anyway. As it didn’t come with a quick connect plug, I fitted one to it too.

Before the assembly, I set up a small work area with some cardboard and scrap pieces of an old flat-pack shelf.

I decided to test on and old spare rear seat cowl originally from Scarlet. One side was taped to mask it before blasting.


The garnet sand medium was quite coarse, so the results were rather unimpressive.
I had expected as much, as the operating pressure for the sandblaster gun with its normal sand medium is 90 PSI. I discovered while using it that the safety cut-out switch on the compressor kicks in at about 95-100 PSI, so it was hard to build up enough pressure for effective sandblasting. I had to release the tank pressure a few times in order to reset the safety switch, so it was very slow going.

Done for the day, I packed away the remaining spare parts in a drawer of my “fiddly bits” storage box and gathered the leftover used garnet sand together for quick clean-up the next day.

The next day I decided to test further with bicarb soda, as the lighter medium wouldn’t need as much pressure. I masked the opposite side of the panel for the test run.

It just so happened that Aldi had 1 kg boxes of cleaning bicarb this week, so I bought a couple.

After filling the sandblaster with soda, I gave it a test run. Due to the sandblaster being gravity-fed, I had to stop and refill the sandblaster at least twice and ended up going through the whole box of soda, but didn’t trip the safety cut-out at all. I even folded up the cardboard floor and re-used the bicarb for another round. Although it was less effective at removing the decals, the result on the paint was noticeably better for less effort.

The left side was sand blasted, and the right was soda blasted.

I put the leftover bicarb back in the box and wrote USED on it in big letters

I have some side panels on order for Sylvie, so next week’s update will probably be short and sweet.

Sylvie Gets A New Tyre And A Windscreen

In the weeks since I rebuilt the carburetor, I got new rear tyre fitted for Sylvie and the loan of a Suzuki GS500 to ride to the nearest place to get a coffee while I waited.

After getting Sylvie back once the new tyre was fitted and being told to take it easy on the new tyre, I promptly dropped her in the early morning frost at the first roundabout on the way to work. Luckily my motorcycle pants took the brunt of the fall and I came out of it with nothing worse than some loose mirrors, a scraped bar end, a slightly sore knee and a badly bruised ego!

I decided that the bent handlebar might have been partially to blame, considering I’ve managed to drop the bike twice recently. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and order a replacement. The same seller happened to have the only genuine Honda aftermarket windscreen for a CBF250 that I’ve managed to find for sale, so I snapped that up too.

Before I knew it, my parcel had arrived!

While the packing could have been better, nothing was broken except the cable ties holding the handlebar to the box.

I decided to wait until the weekend to try installing things, yesterday I started cleaning off the part number stickers the seller had put on them.


I noticed during this process that the handlebar seemed a little bent, although better than the one it was replacing. I decided to use my spare CB250RS handlebar as a reference point to check the difference in angle between the ends of the replacement handlebar.

While I  did my best to bend it back into shape, the end result wasn’t noticeably different in photos.

I realised that I may not be able to remove the heated grip from the clutch side of the current handlebar without destroying it, as the melting point of J B Weld is pretty close to that of rubber and plastic. I opted to settle for fitting only the windscreen for now.

Installation was relatively simple, as the windscreen mounting brackets are held on by the headlight bolts.

The view from the riding position was not much different. 

I’ve found that while riding I can now see the reflection of the front indicators when they flash and there seems to be a little less drag. Overall I’m pretty happy with it.

I’ll try to get next week’s post published earlier if possible, as soon as I figure out what I’m doing with bikes for the rest of this week!

Sylvie’s Carb Overhaul Part 2 – Keihin VEA2A Reassembly, Refitting And Setting Idle Speed

After dismantling and cleaning Sylvie’s carburetor in the last post, I needed to reassemble it!

First I installed the pilot jet, needle jet seat and idle screw.


Next I fitted the main jet


I opted to set the idle screw between the stock setting of quarter turns back and the 3 turns back it had previously been set at, So I set it to 2.5 turns back from full tension.

I then installed the float valve and float.


Then came the float  and float retaining pin.


I checked the float height with vernier calipers and confirmed it seemed to be within specifications. I coated the float bowl o-ring with some rubber grease and turned it upside-down to provide a convex surface towards the body of the carburetor as I didn’t have a replacement o-ring

I refitted the float bowl. When replacing the float bowl drain plug, I noticed the or-ing had perished. I replaced the perished o-ring with a small section of fuel hose as a temporary solution.

It seems to fit quite well.

Next cam the air cut-off valve. I coated the diaphragm with a thin layer of rubber grease

I replaced the spring, held the cover down firmly and replaced the screws.


Next cam the throttle cable bracket.


The needle holder tube was next. I replaced the needle, retaining spring and clip.


Once again I covered the diaphragm with a thin layer of rubber grease before carefully replacing the needle holder tube.


I replaced the spring and pushed it down gently but firmly.


When replacing the top cover on the carburetor, I made sure to replace the cable guides in the same corners they were on originally.


I reinstalled the heater and reconnected its cable


I fitted the cable clip and replaced the cable to its original position.


I refitted the top hoses, then started reconnecting the other hoses.


At this point, my fiancee observed that the carburetor looked like a mechanical heart. I told her that this was a pretty accurate comparison considering the function a carburetor performs.


I was having trouble getting all the hoses to connect properly, so I compared the lengths of the hoses on Sylvie’s carb with the example pictures in the service manual. First, I switched the top hoses around to a position where they fitted better.

On inspecting the rest of the hose, I found that some sections were considerably shorter.

I took them apart to replace them with longer hoses and found the joint I hadn’t replaced was clogged with dirt! This probably explains the weird  flooding issue I had after replacing the broken joint and reconnecting the loose hoses


After replacing the short sections with fresh pieces of fuel/air hose, I had a much better looking carburetor!

The idle adjuster knob was next to go on. Next was refitting the reassembled carb!


After replacing panels, Sylvie was back together at last!


I jump-started her from the my car’s battery, let her warm up and adjusted the idle speed. As the stock setting is 1400 rpm +/- 100, I set it to 1500 rpm according to the on-board tacho.

I took her for a ride and enjoyed her improved responsiveness!

I took a video of the first ride after the carb rebuild but haven’t had time to upload it yet. I’ll try to get it up in time for next week’s post.

After the successful ride, I ticked off another item on Sylvie’s to-do list and took a well-earned break.

I’ve had a new rear tyre fitted on Sylvie since the carb rebuild – more on that next week!

Sylvie’s Carb Overhaul Part 1 – Keihin VEA2A Disassembly And Cleaning

After removing Sylvie’s carburetor in the last post, I discovered the next day that I was supposed to remove the resonator from the bike before removing the carburetor. To make replacing the carburetor easier after the rebuild, I removed the resonator as per the instructions in the manual and put it aside with the other parts I’d already removed from the carb.

I then set about disassembling the carb and cleaning it. I started by removing the hoses from the carburetor.

Once I had finished removing the hoses, I put them aside with the resonator, throttle cable bracket and idle adjuster.


Next I started dismantling the carburetor body. First was the top cover, mounting screws, fuel hose guides and main spring. I made sure to hold the top cover down firmly while removing the screws so as not have the screws and/or spring fly across the shed!

Next I removed the vacuum piston and needle holder assembly.

I carefully turned the needle retaining clip and tipped out the needle, clip and spring. I then turned the rubber membrane inside-out to minimise accidental damage to it.

Next I removed the air cut-off valve cover, again holding the cover down while removing the screws to prevent loss of screws and spring.

I carefully removed the spring and diaphragm from the air cut-off valve.

Moving to the base of the carburetor, I found an electrical connection not mentioned in the manual. I carefully removed it. Checking the parts catalogue for the CBF 250 6 carburetor on, this turned out to be the carburetor heater assembly.


Next, I removed the float bowl screws, followed by the float bowl.


The buffer plate, float pin, float and float valve came off next



Onto the jets at last! The main jet and needle jet holder came out first. A 7mm ring spanner came in handy here.

The slow jet was next.


The final part to remove was the idle screw. I made a note of the current number of turns back from full tension before removing it.

I also found the needle jet seat when checking the carb parts (it was originally behind the needle jet holder)

With the carburetor fully disassembled, I prepared my trusty little ultrasonic cleaner.

A drop of dishwashing detergent in water is all I used as a cleaning solution.


I started with the main carb body and ran the ultrasonic cleaner for the maximum cleaning cycle – 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

As the carb body didn’t fit completely in the ultrasonic cleaner, I rotated it in several orientations and ran it through the cycle again.

And again…

I ran the rest of the parts through at least one cycle each too.


I used a bike pump and some spare fuel hose to blow air through all air channels in the carb body,as well as through the jets and other internal parts, then packed the parts away for later reassembly.

If you don’t have access to an ultrasonic cleaner or would prefer to clean your carburetor with solvents, Threebond Engine Conditioner is highly recommended.

In the next post, I will cover checking, reassembly, refitting the carburetor and resetting the idle speed.