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!


Jack’s Back With Company – Meet Sylvie!

A lot has happened since my last update!

First up, I’ve sold two  bikes – Jack was sold to a friend of a friend and Nix was sold a few months later.

I’ve changed jobs twice, got engaged and finally, my fiancée and I have a baby due in May!

The friend of a friend has proven to be a great friend, as he’d bought a bigger bike and has loaned me Jack for a few months after he heard about my trouble getting Scarlet running again!


Not only has he loaned me Jack, he’s also found and donated another CBF250F to me that was in need of some repairs and a new home. Meet Sylvie!


We’ll get to know Sylvie a lot better in the next update – she’s already had a bit of a facelift!

Fred Builds Shed – Part 5 – In Which Bruiser Is Boxed In And Becomes a Bench

(Part 4 of Fred Builds Shed. Read Part 1 herePart 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.)

Last instalment, I had managed to fit 4 project bikes and parts from 3 other bikes in the shed but still needed a workbench.


My late grandfather’s bench was sitting unused at my grandmother’s house. I managed to fit it in the back of my station wagon last weekend.

At around 10 pm on Monday night, I started looking at how it might fit in my shed.
After measuring the frame, I realised it might just fit around one of the little Hondas.


I looked at the space around Eric, but the temporary shelves right behind him and power cabling above and behind were problematic.


I looked at the space around Bruiser and the more I thought about it, the better it seemed like it would fit.


After moving the box of parts off the seat, I had a better look.


Still a bit high to work around, so the seat came off.


I realised the tank would get in the way of the cross-bracing, so it came off too.


After removing the cross-bracing from the bench frame, I maneuvered one side behind Bruiser.


Looking good! Now for the other one and the cross-braces on one end…


Success! Getting the cross-braces to fit on the other end proved a little harder though…

20150525_230212 20150525_230928 20150525_225441

After shuffling Bruiser forward a bit, I was able to get the top cross-brace on.20150525_230304

A bit more shuffling and I was able to get the bottom one on too.20150525_230940 20150525_231001

One of Nix’ spare mid-fairings was going to have to move though!


The benchtop went on next, complete with bench vice.


A bit tight against Rosie’s handlebar!


Much better storage space though!


How am I going for time? Hmmm, it’s not that late.


What else can I do and still be inside before midnight? Stack all of those parts better, maybe?


Still room to get to some parts of Bruiser once I get Rosie back on the road…20150525_232619

These would look better above the workbench! I could hang Nix’ spare fairings up on this side…


Hmmm, it’s a bit late and I do have work in the morning.


I called it a night at that point and decided to start sharing the tale of my shed.

On Tuesday night, my girlfriend and her daughter came over. I wanted to show off my progress in the shed and the daughter wanted to sit on Rosie to get a better look. The result was far too cute not to share!


I still have a few more ideas on how to organise things a little better, as the plan is to work on the bikes more and return to semi-regular blog updates soon. You’ll notice these improvements in future posts if you keep reading…

(To be continued?)

Filtered Air, Luggage Hooks And A Frame Bolt

I finally managed to track down the plastic frames to hold the air filter in, along with the filter itself and the sealing screws I didn’t know were missing in the form of a rather battered airbox from the local bike wrecker.


 I also managed to get hold of a set of mounting screws for the luggage hooks I bought for her a while ago.


I finally got the chance to install them on the Saturday before the gazebo disaster struck.

Firstly, the seat and rear grab handle needed to come off.

20140823_155330 20140823_155337

Next were the rear “duck tail” fairings

20140823_155852 20140823_155845


I tried installing the luggage hooks first to test out the screws.

20140823_161549 20140823_161543

20140823_161600 20140823_161553

After realising that the rear fairings weren’t going to go back on over the luggage hooks, I took them off. I already suspected that the air filter frames weren’t getting in the airbox without disassembly, so I started to dismantle the rear sub-frame in order to remove the airbox.

Standard first step is to disconnect the battery.


Next I unbolted the coolant overflow bottle, noting that it was pretty much empty.


After removing the battery, the rear sub-frame needed to be unbolted to get the airbox out.


At this point I noticed something fairly important was already missing!
There should be a hex-drive or “Allen” bolt where that hole is. It seems the previous one had fallen out after I put the airbox in last time.


 I dismantled the rear sub-frame in much the same way as previously shown, pulled out the airbox, put the frames and air filter from the battered one in and put everything back together. Unfortunately I was in too much of a hurry to take photos of the process, as I was losing the light by this stage!

After screwing the luggage hooks in I realised I hadn’t taken many pictures and got a couple of the final result.

20140823_183803 20140823_183815

Then I got a picture of Nix from her “good” side.


After a short week week last week due to shoulder pain putting me out of action for two days, I was keen to get the missing bolt replaced.

On my way home from work on Tuesday, I discovered the left side indicators weren’t working at all! As it was cold, wet and dark, I rode her home extremely carefully and checked the wiring yesterday morning before leaving for work. While I was looking at indicators, I replaced the left front one as I’d been given an advisory to replace it when she had her rego inspection. As I was getting ready for work, I once again forgot to take photos!

A hectic work  schedule prevented me from managing to pick up a replacement frame bolt until today, so I installed it tonight.


Finally, I got a shot of Nix from her “less good” side.


The last few things Nix needs will be adjusting the rear monoshock, replacing the missing “glove compartment” cover along with any missing bolts and finally giving her a good clean and polish!

Nix’ Noticeably Nicer Nature, Securing and Sprucing Up Scarlet

On Friday lunchtime, I visited the local bike wreckers again and left with a set of replacement mirrors, a spare left indicator and a seat in a reasonable state of repair.

I fitted the seat and right mirror immediately and noticed a considerable improvement in how she rode. If she has a personality, it seems to have improved dramatically since she has been registered and got some attention.

On Saturday I removed her damaged and mismatched right fairing.

2014-07-12 22.37.58


the damage wasn’t that major,so I’ll give it the same repair treatment I gave the other fairing panels when I have time.

2014-07-12 22.41.43



The replacement right mirror mount needs a good clean to remove the writing the wrecker left on it and possibly a bit of a touch-up on the paint.

2014-07-12 23.34.34

The mirror itself is fine, although also in need of a good clean.

2014-07-12 23.34.43

The left mirror mount is in much better condition than the old one.

2014-07-12 23.35.05

The mirror housing is a bit more scratched, so I may end up putting the original one back on.

2014-07-12 23.34.53



Although it looks repaired, the original right mid-fairing is definitely in better condition than the matte black one!

2014-07-13 23.47.51

While it has a few small tears in the pillion section, the replacement seat is also a definite improvement! I’ll probably re-use the strap from the original one once I can get the screws out that are holding it on. I broke one screwdriver bit attempting to remove it before I realised the threads on the screws holding it on seem to have been deliberately crushed at a certain point – possibly at the factory to prevent them from unscrewing from vibration.

2014-07-13 23.48.03

All up, she seems to look a bit happier.

2014-07-13 23.48.57

The left indicator is still yet to be replaced, I ran out of weekend so it can wait!

In between removing Nix’ right mid-fairing and waiting for the J-B Weld to set on the original, I worked on Scarlet.

First I fitted her new battery and swapped the right side of the toolbox with the one I bought for Eric, as this one has a lid.

2014-07-13 00.02.22

While it’s authentic for Scarlet’s year of manufacture I’ll probably replace it with Bruiser’s eventually, as that one can be latched and opened with a motorcycle key or screwdriver.

2014-07-14 01.01.02

Despite the mounting bolts being round and devoid of screwdriver slots, I managed to remove the broken helmet holder lock from Scarlet and replace it with the one from Bruiser. This meant that both of the locks fitted to her now unlock with the same key I use for her ignition switch.

.2014-07-13 12.32.18 2014-07-13 12.32.30

I had been bothered by the amount of rust on her handlebars for a while, as well as the mismatched handgrips after replacing the throttle assembly.

2014-07-13 13.15.24

I swapped them with Eric’s but forgot to get a photo during daylight, so took one tonight instead.

2014-07-14 01.00.28


Since all three of the locks fitted on Scarlet now matched, I decided to try my luck with fitting Bruiser’s steering lock, as Scarlet didn’t have one at all when I got her. After quite a bit of WD40 and cleaning out of the lock mechanism with fine wire, I discovered that Bruiser’s steering lock didn’t have a broken piece of key in it after all, just a lot of dirt and grit. I managed to clean the mechanism up enough so that it worked with after applying a little “elbow grease” to the key.

2014-07-13 14.41.492014-07-13 14.55.25

Since this will be the final lock unless I replace the seat cowl, I tested it after fitting.
Left is locked, right is unlocked again.

2014-07-13 14.55.41 2014-07-13 14.55.53

All up, not a bad weekend’s work – Nix and Scarlet now only have one major and one minor issue each.

Nix still appears to be slowly leaking either fuel or oil (relatively minor) and the rear shock needs adjusting or replacing (fairly major in terms of comfort).

Scarlet’s right front indicator still doesn’t work (relatively minor) and she’s still running too rich to idle without stalling (fairly major).

I went to ALDI this evening and found a special on Brasso and Silvo, so I grabbed a bottle of each. Once I get the problems above sorted, I’ll get onto de-rusting and polishing any bare metal or chrome I can find!

Nix’ Numberplate, Repairing Fairings And A Battery For Scarlet

After last night’s excitement, I decided to take it easy today.

I got up early and took Nix’ Inspection Report to the Motor Vehicle Registry to get her registered. I left with a shiny new number plate and 3 months’ rego and still managed to get to work on time.

Once I got home this evening, I moved Nix back into the gazebo and put her number plate on to remind me she’s registered now and I need to keep working on her.

As I had bought a new battery for Eric when I only had the one CB250RS, I figured it was time to prepare it for charging so I can fit it to Scarlet and her current battery can go in Eric.

2014-07-10 21.19.16

Being a pre-charged dry battery, this meant filling it with acid and putting it on to charge for at least 2-5 hours. Battery acid is corrosive, as the picture on the box the bottle of acid came in so helpfully reminded me. This of course meant donning old clothes that are pre-ventilated with acid holes thanks to recklessness last time I filled a battery plus an extra pair of pants underneath for good measure. This time I also wore rubber gloves, as I prefer the skin on my hands to retain most of its external layers!

2014-07-10 21.20.392014-07-10 21.19.41

On removing the bottle of acid from its sealed plastic bag and taking off the childproof lid, I found the expected foil safety seal. For some reason they really don’t want this stuff leaking out of its container in transit – I can’t imagine why!

2014-07-10 21.24.10

After carefully pouring the acid into the battery yet still managing to spill acid everywhere, mopping up said acid with paper towels before removing my rubber gloves to operate my phone camera, I put the battery on to charge. It appears that my charger is not in fact faulty, as the lights indicated that it was charging the battery.

2014-07-10 21.36.142014-07-10 21.41.17

After a few minutes, I realised that leaving the battery on the floor in front of the gate was not the brightest of ideas, so I cleared space on the shelf for it and put the charger on the shelf above.

2014-07-10 21.49.06 2014-07-10 21.49.31

I took a break for dinner, got the spare fairings for Nix out of the shed and found my brand new tubes of J-B Weld.

2014-07-10 21.57.372014-07-10 22.01.04

The directions advised wearing gloves, so back on they went!

2014-07-10 22.01.41

According to the tubes, the black stuff is the steel resin and the white stuff is the hardener.

2014-07-10 22.04.13

I used a small piece of the orange box I’d used for jury-rigging Nix’ indicator to mix it with.2014-07-10 22.04.28

Wow, if you mix black and white you get grey – who knew?2014-07-10 22.05.00

I applied it liberally to the broken corner piece of the front cowl and the cowl itself.

2014-07-10 22.06.39 2014-07-10 22.08.45

I held them together for a few moments, then rested the cowl on a bottle of high-quality oil to keep it relatively steady while the J-B Weld sets.

2014-07-10 22.11.35

I had a fair bit left over, so I figured I’d fix the right mid-fairing from Rosie that I’d accidentally run over with Nix.

2014-07-10 22.12.072014-07-10 22.13.22

Since there was still plenty of resin left, I moved on to Nix’ original right mid-fairing, starting with the crack above the indicator.

2014-07-10 22.20.49 2014-07-10 22.27.17

Since it seemed to be going pretty well so far, I decided to try re-attaching the two mounting tabs that had been broken off before I bought her.2014-07-10 22.41.19

I remember these pieces were attached to the mid-fairing at some stage but they also used to be attached to each other.

2014-07-10 22.45.15

I figured I should fix that first and reattach the whole piece later.

2014-07-10 22.46.01


I moved on to the left mid-fairing from the spare set.

2014-07-10 22.48.07

The combination of the crack above the indicator on this one and the single reamining mounting tab had prevented me from considering mounting it on Nix when I replace dthe right mid-fairing. It looks like it might be useable as a spare once the resin sets now.

2014-07-10 22.47.542014-07-10 22.53.20

Finally I found the mounting post for the left mid-panel from Scarlet that I’d snapped some time ago by taking it off Eric too roughly.

2014-07-10 23.06.26 2014-07-10 23.07.17 2014-07-10 23.07.23

If these turn out well enough, I’ll give this stuff a go on the fairing I just broke!

Slippery When Wet

Having had a successful day with the replacement indicator and passing the Rego Inspection, I rode home from work in heavy rain. After a slight hiccup with needing to switch the fuel tap to Reserve I thought I would get home without incident.


I was crossing the second-last set of traffic lights before home when a ute in front of me braked suddenly on the opposite side of the intersection. I braked too suddenly and too hard on the rear brake. Nix and and I then had a disagreement about the way a motorcycle should stop when braking suddenly in the wet. I thought Nix should be vertical, but she apparently wanted to be horizontal.

Yep, I crashed her. I got up and hit the kill switch after I stopped sliding, then picked Nix up and parked her on the median strip. I did a quick damage assessment of myself and the bike. The first things I noticed were that the right mirror was completely gone but the holder was still there and that a chunk of vinyl was missing from the rear of the seat

To their credit, several motorists stopped to ask me if I was ok – one had even parked as soon as they saw me go down and walked over to ask me if I was alright. I assured them all that I would be fine except for a couple for bruises and thanked them for their concern.

Once the traffic had cleared, I got back on Nix, started her, and went to the local servo to fill the tank.

Once I got home, I checked the damage to Nix, myself and my riding gear more thoroughly.

Thankfully, the bike is still rideable.

2014-07-09 18.56.39

The rear of the seat is torn – interestingly the part I repaired seems fine!  This might be testament to my determination to fix it as well as I could.

2014-07-09 18.57.39

The right mirror is trashed and the right mid-fairing I had just replaced suffered a fair bit.

2014-07-09 18.57.572014-07-09 18.57.122014-07-09 18.58.36

Somewhat ironically the replacement indicator is fine apart from a couple of minor scratches!



2014-07-09 18.57.02

My rain pants got shredded at the right knee and hip – they were relatively cheap, however.

2014-07-09 18.59.092014-07-09 18.59.27


The right elbow of my jacket got a bit grazed, as did the toe of my right steelcap.

2014-07-09 19.09.502014-07-09 19.10.31

The physical damage to myself was fairly minor – slightly grazed knee, slightly bruised hip and right elbow. The bruised ego might take a little longer to heal!

2014-07-09 19.20.45 2014-07-09 19.22.06

I’m glad I was wearing steelcaps, leathers and wet weather gear, as this could have been a lot worse.

Oh well, at least I walked away from it and was still able to ride her home with nothing more than a couple of bruises and I already have the roadworthy certificate!

A replacement mirror, seat or seat cover and fixing the original right fairing are now top of the list after checking for any obvious oil or fuel leaks and finding the problem with the rear suspension..

After my experinces with Nix so far I’m wondering if she actually hates me or just didn’t like the idea of being sold again so soon…