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.


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 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!

Scarlet Gets Some Attention At Last


I haven’t posted  any updates on Scarlet in a while for personal reasons. This doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing with her in the last 12 months, however!

Although I haven’t written about it previously, I have replaced the head gasket, adjusted the valve clearances, replaced the regulator/rectifier with a brand new aftermarket one and replaced the clutch friction plates and finally filled her up with fresh oil..

I also took my usual amount of photos as I went along, so these will be added in future posts.

Last weekend I decided to try starting Scarlet again, since she hasn’t been run for over a year.

This of course meant swapping the known working battery back from Eric again.20170129_093745 20170129_093805 20170129_094200

I had to open the cover to Eric’s tool compartment, as the top of it was  blocking the battery.


Scarlet’s looking great but the battery that was in her didn’t seem to be working.


I pulled the battery out to see if it was the problem.

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This is not a healthy-looking battery!


Swapped out for the one that I know works well enough to start Eric.

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Off with the seat to check wiring connections.

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Nothing obviously wrong here, so off came the tank to check further along the wiring loom.


Fuel tap to the OFF position


Disconnect the fuel line…


Pop off the left side cover…


And finally remove the tank!


Here’s the aftermarket regulator/rectifier. I’m not sure if it could be the source of the electrical problems.


Also looks like this clip has seen better days!


I reconnected the original reg/rec temporarily to see if there was any improvement. No change to the lack of neutral light, even after several kicks of the starter.


I figured I may as well at least replace the cable clip, so I grabbed the spare one from Bruiser.


It looked a little thirsty, so a squirt of Inox was applied and the residue wiped off with a rage.

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I gave her a bit more of a polish with Inox and found the summer heat was getting a little too intense, so I put her back together and called it a day.

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I’ll need to spend some time checking over the electrical troubleshooting section and wiring diagram again. I have some ideas on where to start, so will test my theories before next week’s update.

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!