Inflating, Gluing, Sketching And Shielding

This week I got a new mic for my GoPro!

I also finally made a start on re-covering Sylvie’s seat.

I’ve recorded another video this week, should you care to watch it:

I cleaned up a bit first, then put Scarlet on the centre stand and brought out my trusty second-hand air compressor to inflate her rear tyre.

My tripod mount for the GoPro broke, so I repaired it with some 5-minute epoxy.

I measured up the old seat cover for Sylvie.

I used a chalk marker to make a rough outline of the original seat cover.

I realised that this wouldn’t be big enough, and marked around the original line.

Having learned from previous experience, I measured the final size against the existing seat before cutting out the final shape.

I decided to sew the two pieces of non-slip matting together before measuring and cutting the final shape, so the seat cover is on hold again for now.

While the audio quality on the external mic was reasonable without WiFi on, there is unfortunately a common issue with GoPro Hero cameras where enabling WiFi causes horrible audio interference when using an external microphone. This is somewhat problematic, given that remote control for early GoPro cameras is via WiFi only.

I decided to disassemble the mic and check if it had any shielding. It didn’t, of course!

I tried applying aluminium tape to the insides of the external mic to shield it before reassembling it, but it made no difference.

I even made some progress on getting the sockets back in their places in the large set too!

That’s all for this week. While I made some progress on the minor tasks on the bikes this week, there’s still a lot more to work on!


Revisiting Sylvie’s Seat Cover Triggers Shed Spring Cleaning, While Scarlet Looks A Bit Flat

This week I was hoping to make another attempt at recovering Sylvie’s seat. However, when I opened the bike shed I immediately decided it was time to clear out the shed again instead as I’d let too much stuff gather in the doorway!

I also noticed the pegboard ws looking a bit bare, so I set about sorting the mess out.

Most of the spanners had accumulated at the entrance on top of a parts box along with an assortment of other tools, sprays and old parts.

The sprays went onto the spray can shelf.

The grease and o-rings went back on the shelf below.

The assorted washers and velcro cable ties went on the shelf below.

The cap went back on the Inox can.

I have a space for spare wheels that had a gap in it.

The spare CBF250 wheel hadn’t made it back there, so I rectified the situation.

The wheel had been sitting on some scrap cardboard, so that was relocated too.

The box for my grandfather’s large socket set had lost almost all its contents.

I spread the corrugated cardboard over Scarlet’s seat and tank and transferred loose tools and parts onto it to keep them at waist height.

Returning to the socket set, I flipped the plastic tray back up the right way and referred to the diagram on the lid to start replacing its contents.

The long socket wrench was on top of the tool pile, so it was returned to its rightful place.

Next, the spanners were transferred to  the cardboard and sorted.

After sorting, the spanners were returned  to the pegboard and neatened up.

I started sorting the larger sockets next.

These nwer sockets aren’t part of the old set and are usually hung on the pegboard by their tags.

These older sockets were returned to the set though!

I could almost see the parts box by this stage, so I became more motivated!

The small spark plug socket found its way home too.

The smaller socket originally came from several sets.

This thick rubber glove had been separated from its mate, so it was moved aside too.

The next layer of parts was 2 old CBF250 chains, so I set these aside with the old sprockets

I scooped up the smaller sockets and random other items and tools and found that quite a lot of the random items were not bike-related.

The larger sockets with tags were returned to the pegboard.

The pile of tools got steadily larger as the random items were set aside and moe sockets joined the pile.

Meanwhile, the top of the parts box came gradually into view.

A couple of the tools were from onboard toolkits, so they were set aside.

The zip-lock bag was used to keep the tools together temporarily until the full toolkit was in all in one place again.

A few more pieces made their way back to the socket set.

Finally the top of the parts box was free!

I removed some of the rags from inside it and sealed the lid properly.

I moved it out of the door way to the back of the shed and put the old chains and some of the rags on top of it.

Finally the entrance of the shed was less cluttered!


I looked more closely at the remaining items in the doorway.

Amongst these items were another small socket set and a can of electrical contact cleaner.

The contact cleaner went on the shelf with the other sprays.

The socket set went with the smaller sockets and some parts were returned to it.

The non-slip matting I had intended to make a seat cover from this week was left with the remaining tools.

I found a spare CB250RS clutch plate set on the floor too, so that was set aside with the tools for the next stage of clean-up.

The staple gun was left with the non-slip matting to remind me to work on Sylvie’s seat. next time I look in the shed.

Scarlet’s rear tyre was looking somewhat worse for wear, so that will need attention soon too,

Looking for a few more small items to clean up, I found two of my JIS drivers and several other screwdrivers on the end of the workbench.

The JIS drivers an spare Philips head screwdrives went in the bottom drawer of the toolkit,

The yellow-handled Philips screwdriver went back to its place

Finally I cleaned out the clutter from the top section of the toolbox and closed it up

Now that the entrance to the bike shed is less cluttered, I’ll hopefully be able to get on with working on bikes again!

While I didn’t make any progress on any of the bikes this week, I’ve found plenty to keep me busy as a result of the clean-up!

That’s all for this week. Once I’ve cleaned up a bit more, I’ll have another go at re-covering Sylvie’s seat, take a look at Scarlet’s rear wheel and keep investigating the electrical gremlins with Erica and Scarlet.

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.

Tackling Erica’s Electrical Issues – Part 1 – Refilling And Hopefully Rescuing The Battery

This week, I took a closer look at Erica’s electrical issues.

I decided to start at the most obvious place – the battery. This of course meant removing the seat.

The right side panel needed to come off too. I’ll need to either repair or place this panel at some stage, as the repair made by a previous owner of these fairings is starting to show its age!

At first glance, it appeared that the battery was completely dry.

A closer look with the battery holder out of the way confirmed that this was very likely to be the case. I removed the battery, put it on a piece of scrap wood and set about topping it up.


I took off the filler cap and looked inside. There was no electrolyte in sight, so I topped it up with demineralised water.

I remembered I had kept the leftover battery acid from each time I bought a new battery, and that I also had some battery conditioner left from last time I’d topped up a battery.

I topped up the cells with a mixture of electrolyte and demineralised water, then put the battery on top of the piece of scrap wood on the shed floor where it wouldn’t get bumped or knocked.

I connected my “smart” electronic trickle charger and found the voltage was quite low – around the 6 volt mark.

The voltage was dropping rather than rising after a few minutes and I also couldn’t switch modes without the charger giving me an error, so I decided to connect a small car battery charger instead.

I checked the battery with the “smart” charger again after a few hours and found the battery had enough charge for the battery to be detected properly.

I set the charger to motorcycle mode and left it to charge fully.

That’s all for this week’s update. In Part 2, I’ll check if the battery seems to be charging correctly and keep working on Erica’s electrical system.


Scarlet Gets A Custom Luggage Rack

This week I turned my attention to Scarlet, the other CB250RS.

Her “duck tail” had been looking a bit bare, so I thought it needed covering.

Having looked at the small box of parts I was given recently, I remembered the custom luggage rack I’d been given with it.

The brackets had previously been secured with U-bolts around the rails.

I opted to stick with the same mounting method. Of course, the nuts needed to come ff the U-bolts in order to fit the rack.

First the left side.

Then the right.

I held the rack in place and manoeuvred the U-bolts around the corners of the mount, then turned the rubber strips and metal plates to hold the sides of the rack up.


Next, I pushed the ends of the U-bolts through the rubber strips and metal plates.

Finally, I tightened the nuts to hold the rack securely.


While it’s not a purpose-built accessory for this model, the general look is consistent with Scarlet’s styling.

That’s all for this week. I’l see what I can find to work on next week!

Erica Gets Some TLC At Long Last

This week, I turned my attention to Erica again at last.

I remembered the box of parts I’d been given contained a spare set of headlight mounting nuts.

In order to fit them I of course needed to remove the retaining screws from the bottom of the headlight rim.

I removed the headlight and unscrewed the temporary bolt from the left side of the headlight (the right side when facing the bike)

As I used 13mm hex head bolts and nuts to replace the missing original bolts, I had to switch spanners from the normal 12mm or 14mm sizes normally found on Japanese bikes to remove the temporary washer and nut.

I fitted the mounting nut on the right side and moved onto the left side.

I added the temporary nut and washer to the pile of spare parts.

I fitted the left side mounting nut. I’ll need to solder another wire to this one at some stage to replace the one that was cut off.

While working on the headlight mounts, I noticed the right front indicator wire had a bare solder joint, so I removed the indicator.

I decided I’d also replace the indicator mounting post, as the spare indicators came with those too.

I loosely attached the replacement indicator and plugged in the wire.

I removed the indicator from the mounting post in order to fit the post before reattaching it firmly.

I noticed the indicator lens had some scratches on it, so I found the least scratched one from the spares.

I mounted the spare lens and screwed it down tight.

I put the old indicator  on the post and left it with the spares.

Erica’s starting to look quite smart from the front now. Hopefully the changes to the electrical system help sort out some of the gremlins!

That’s all for this week. I’ll charge her battery again and see if it’s made any difference soon.