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.


Re-Covering Sylvie’s Seat Again, With Limited Success

This week, I decided to re-cover Sylvie’s seat yet again, as the cheap non-slip matting had worn out quicker than expected from the grippy section of my motorcycle pants.

I took the seat off in order to remove the previous layer of covering.

I decided to try a different type of PVC rubber non-slip matting this time.

I removed the previous cover and checked the extent of the wear.

The previous layer below was still in good shape, apart from the small patches of duct tape and the impression from the layer above.

I ued the previous cover layer as a template and cut a piece to size.

I set to work with the staple gun and  soon discovered that this type of matting was less stretchy than expected, so I was not entirely happy with the result.

I finished it off with black duct tape until I have time to cut another piece

I popped the seat back on Sylvie, as I need to ride her this week and don’t have a spare seat.

While I’m not entirely happy with the result I like the finish on this material, so I will use the remainder of the roll to make another cover. I may even get adventurous enough to cut several pieces and sew them together…

That’s all for now. I’ll see what I can come up with for next week’s update!

Sylvie’s Seat Re-Covered And Starting Scarlet Video

This week, I decided to re-cover Sylvie’s seat again.

I picked up some non-slip matting to cover it with.

I set to work with the staple gun and was pretty pleased with the result!

I gave it a coat of waterproofing spray to prevent it soaking up water if it rains.

I propped it up on an empty can of waterproofing spray.

I popped the seat back on Sylvie to see how it looked.

I’m pretty happy with the result!

Finally as promised, here’s the video of Scarlet starting again.

That’s all for now. I’ll see what I can come up with for next week’s update!

Scarlet Sprung A Leak, But Still Starts!

I had been smelling petrol fumes while in the bike shed lately – this week I found out why.

The fuel tap was leaking! Either I bumped it while putting the tank back on, the washer has perished or the fuel tap has simply seen better days – it is over thirty years old, after all!


The nut was a bit loose, so I tightened the it by hand and reattached the fuel line between the fuel tap and the carburetor.

While I was working in the shed, my stepdaughter came out to see what I was doing as dinner was nearly ready. She wanted to climb on Erica, so I snapped a shot of the next generation of motorcyclist.

Meanwhile, I’d taken Scarlet out of the shed to replace the battery before trying to kick-start her.

I’m pleased to report that she started with very little effort, so the carburetor rebuild seems to have worked!

Finally, my stepdaughter decided to try the back of Erica’s seat. She found it very comfy!

I’ll try to get some video of Scarlet running in time for next week’s update!

A New Charger, Scarlet Still Floods And Testing A Scratch Repair Kit On Erica’s Spare Tank

I picked a couple of new things from Aldi this week to keep me busy while I wait for a replacement chain and sprocket set for Sylvie.

While the faithful old trickle charger has served me well over the last few years, the fact that it’s switched to trickle mode hasn’t always been an accurate indicator of a battery that’s ready for use. With Scarlet’s battery on it over the last week, I decided to switch the charger over to Erica to help with the electrical troubleshooting.

Here’s a better view of the new charger.

Some assembly was required,

No tools were needed to put it together, so assembly only took about a minute.

The clamps seemed fairly sturdy and the colour-coded connector and nuts were a nice touch.

After following the instructions to make sure the new charger was in motorcycle mode and checking Scarlet’s battery, the new charger indicated that Scarlet’s battery was in fact charged.

In addition to the bright green LED, the outer box of the the battery symbol flashes to indicate a fully charged battery.

I decided to try the new charger on Erica, as the trickle charger was on slow charge mode. It shows 12.2 Volts but the electronics were clever enough in motorcycle mode to show that this battery still needed more charging.

The clamps were a little trickier to connect to a motorcycle battery still installed on a bike but held quite securely once positioned correctly.

After a few minutes, the voltage had increased slightly. I’ll see how this battery goes over the next week or so.

I turned on Scarlet’s ignition but no lights were working, so I started her up and found she started easily but stalled without choke and was dumping fuel fairly quickly. In order to confirm the source of the fuel, I moved Scarlet out onto some scrap cardboard on the lawn.

Sure enough, after running the motor for a few minutes a puddle started to form.

You can see exactly how fast it was coming out in the video below.

There was quite the puddle of fuel after only a short run.

After investigation, I confirmed the fuel was coming from the fuel hose at the bottom of the carburetor. Time for a rebuild or to swap out the one on Erica, it seems…

I also noticed the spring that connects the brake pedal to the brake light switch had come off, so I decided to fix that. The first thing I noticed was that the switch was sitting way too high up.

I lowered the switch as far as it would go, then reconnected the spring.

Then I adjusted the switch height and tested it by pushing down the brake pedal with my hand and checking the switch was pulled down as expected.

I took the opportunity to get a nice photo of Scarlet from the right before putting her away.

I moved the cardboard into the shed before putting Scarlet back, so I can hopefully catch any further spills before they hit the floor.

I decided to test the scratch removal kit on Ericas spare tank (the black one). I wasn’t expecting miracles from it, as it”s only really intended for minor scratch removal.

Here’s how the tank looked before using the scratch remover.

And here’s how it looked after.

To be honest, it just looks a bit more polished! I haven’t given up on it completely though, I’ll see how it goes on the minor scratches on Sylvie’s tank at some stage.

Next entry will be fitting Sylvie’s new chain and sprockets.

Providing there are no problems with Erica’s carburetor, I’ll probably do another  CB250RS carburetor swap and/or rebuild shortly after that before returning to electrical fault-finding.


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!


Sylvie And Erica Get Some Attention Again

Firstly – apologies to any regular readers for the late update! I’ve been pretty busy lately with non-bike-related things.

I received a parcel from a fellow CB250RS owner and member of the forums yesterday!

Inside was a well-wrapped…

…CB250RS headlight!


Although the surround is a bit damaged…

…the headlight itself is in good condition!

I also tried starting Scarlet last night. Unfortunately all I succeeded in doing was flooding the carb and getting fuel on the floor.

I decided to give the chrome a bit of a polish instead.

While I was at it, I polished the duck-tail fairing.

I gave polishing Erica’s seat cowl a go too

While it seemed to have a noticeable effect on Scarlet…

…this was not so much the case for Erica, however.

The tank was noticeably improved though!


The side panels are a similarly lost cause.

I gave Scarlet’s tank a polish too. It turned out quite nicely.

I’ll have a bit more free time over the next couple of weeks, so I will see if I can make some more significant progress for the next entry.