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.

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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.

Khaleesi Goes Home At Last And A Temporary Floor Is Placed

Just a quick update this week, as I made the final adjustments to Khaleesi’s chain this week and her owner came over and collected her, freeing up some shed space at last!

The shed floor under Rosie had been slowly bowing, so I took the opportunity to move her out and placed a piece of scrap particle board flooring over the bowing.

I put Rosie back on the centre stand and found the scrap of flooring held her weight much better.

I tidied up the space where Khaleesi had been.

Finally, I moved Scarlet back into the shed.

That’s all for this week. Hopefully I’ll have time to start working on these two bikes again soon!

Wiring Up Sylvie For Trickle Charging And Picking Up A Plethora Of Parts

Because 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 decided to fit some wiring to allow a trickle charger to be connected in order to prevent a flat battery recurring in the dead of winter.

The trickle charger had a connector on the charge cable where the clamps connect.

I found a jumper cable that uses the same style of connector at my local electronics store.

I bought a couple of crimp connectors while I was there

I cut the cable in half, as I might be able to use the other connector later.

I stripped the ends of the wires and crimped the connectors on.

I took Sylvie’s seat off and found one of the reasons I’ve had trouble getting the clips that hold the sides on in the right place when putting the seat back on.

I trimmed a little triangle out of the top layer of padding.

I took the left side panel off to get to the battery.

Once the side panel was off, I attached the new cable.

 

The side panel went back on and there was hardly a trace of the mod.

I connected the trickle charger and the expected lights came on before I plugged it in, indicating both that the polarity of the cables was right and that there was still some charge in the the battery.

I then switched the charger on and made sure the battery was charging. 

I also made a day  trip to Sydney to pick up some CB250RS parts and a spare swingarm for Sylvie that a friend from the 2fiftycc.com forums I’ve traded parts with before had brought with him while he was visiting Sydney for other reasons.

The swingarm came with the wheel mounts and chain adjuster plates

This rack was custom-made to fit the a CB250RS, so hopefully I’ll get one of them road-ready again over the winter and I can use it!

The parts included a full set of original indicators, a brand new inner tube still in the box, a mirror, several 50 master chain links and an assortment of brackets and clamps, including the original headlight mounting nuts, which will be very useful for restoring the original electrical connections on Erica’s headlight!

That’s all for this week. Hopefully I’ll have some new brake pads for Sylvie soon!

The Bikes Get Some Air And I Have Doubts About Sylvie’s Bearing

Just a quick update this week, as I’ve been busy clearing up the carport in order to assemble another shed in it for a workshop. This of course meant moving all the bikes out temporarily!

Rather than leave the bikes I’m not riding out on the front driveway, I moved them into the yard and made sure all their side stands were supported so they wouldn’t sink into the ground.

Sylvie was squeezed back into the available space in the carport, as she’s my primary mode of transport.

I’m still waiting for the other parts for Sylvie to arrive and the grinding noise from the front wheel hasn’t stopped, so I thought I might be able to use the bearings from the pare rear wheel. Unfortunately, they’re not the same Honda part number, so they’re unlikely to be the same size!

I’ll be ordering an aftermarket bearing bit that includes dust covers, as it’ll be half the price of the genuine ones.

That’s all for this week, hopefully the parts will arrive soon for Sylvie and I’ll be able to fit in a bit more bike time next week…