A Chain And Sprockets For Sylvie

I got another parcel last week.


The new chain and sprockets arrived, with a catalogue from the seller’s company.

After checking my chain breaking tool, I realised it had seen better days.

The 520 pitch pin was burred and bent from the last chain I riveted and the spring I’d replaced the original with hadn’t fared well.

I de-burred the pin with my rotary tool.

After checking the pin was straight, I found a new spring.

I reassembled the chain breaker and prepared to remove the chain.


After locating the master link, I discovered that the old chain had a clip link, so the chain breaker wasn’t needed to remove it!

After removing the clip, I found I couldn’t pry the link out.

Moving the chain to a different position and WD-40 didn’t help.

So it was off with the wheel and there was room to move the chain a bit more freely.

A bit of brute force and the master link was finally freed up!

The old sprocket was next to go.

The new sprocket went onto the wheel.

Back on went the wheel.


With the rear wheel back on, the front sprocket cover was next to come off.

The front sprocket had definitely seen better days.

The new sprocket wasn’t going on the spindle without a good clean first!

Once the oil residue was cleaned off, the new sprocket went on.

I got a shot of the new chain with the old for contrast, then fitted the new chain.

The rivet link was easier to fit with the ends of the chain on the sprocket.

The o-rings were lined up and the outer plate put in place.

Then came the process of riveting the new chain. First up, I moved the master link to the bottom of the chain loop and pressed the plates together with the chain tool’s pressure plate.

I ended up switching between several different configurations to get the master link riveted.

FInally I managed to get a decent rivet on the chain without over-flattening the ends of the pins.

I cleaned up the rust and oil from the front chain cover.

The mounting bracket got a good clean too.

The cover went back on and I cleaned up the outside.

Here’s the new chain with the tension adjusted and rear wheel tightened .

Sylvie’s list got an update – I’ll revisit this in the next post.

My stepdaughter had been helping me clean up, so I got her to stand still long enough for a couple of quick post-cleanup shots. Note the oily hands!

I got a lot done this week, so will cover more in the next update.


Basic Maintenance – Sylvie’s Slack Chain Is Tightened, Re-Oiled, And Her Flat Tyres Inflated

I’ve been a bit unwell this week, so haven’t done a lot with bikes. However I’d noticed a fair bit of chain rattle while riding lately, so this week I checked chain tension.

This chain has definitely seen better days!

First I loosened the axle nut and the chain tensioners

To make sure the axle was pulled back evenly on both sides, I used the depth finder on my vernier calipers.


The distance from the left swingarm rear cover to the end of the thread was about 31 mm when the chain was at the right tension.

As it happened, the other side was at almost exactly the same distance!

I tightened up the axle nut again. Looking at the wear guide, it’s definitely time for a new chain!

To keep the chain going until I have the budget for a new one, I made sure it was lubricated.

Even at the right tension, there are a few stiff links. Hopefully with adequate lubrication, they’ll get a bit more movement back.

My partner had pointed out that the tyres were looking a bit flat, which I had expected  with the colder weather. What was unexpected when I found my tyre pressure gauge and checked the pressure was that the rear tyre was so flat that it didn’t even register below the minimum 5 PSI the tyre pressure gauge registers! The front tyre wasn’t much better at  around only12 PSI.

This was considerably lower than the recommended 33 PSI on the manufacturer’s sticker.

So I got out a manual bike pump and set to work. Once I was tired of pumping, I measured the tyre pressures again.

The rear tyre was considerably better at about 22 PSI.

The front tyre was still only at about 17 PSI.

As I needed to get some fuel for the next week and test the difference that correct chain tension had made, I decided I’d use the air compressor at the local petrol station (less than 1 Km away) to fill the tyres up completely.

I’ve ordered a centre-stand from Blue City Motorcycles to make replacing the chain a lot easier next time. I’ve bought parts from them before and found them to have excellent service and reasonable delivery times from across the other side of the country. Hopefully it will arrive soon!

CB250RS Parts Transplant – Sprockets, Chain, Side Panels, Mudguard And A Fuel Line

This week, I started with removing the rear wheel from the donor bike and salvaging the sprocket from it.

The sprocket and the wheel it came from…


And the sprocket after cleaning up with degreaser.

Next was the rear wheel from the “recipient” bike


This sprocket looked a lot worse for wear.


Almost like a saw blade compared to the donor one!

One of the bolts from this wheel had a 13 mm nut on it. I cleaned all 12 mounting bolts and nuts up with some degreaser and picked the best-looking ones

While the wheel isn’t in the best shape, I figured I can put a new tyre and new sprocket on it ready for when the bike needs a new chain. I put the better sprocket on the wheel as it had the better tyre before taking a short break for lunch.

After lunch, I compared my three front sprockets. I opted to use the right-most one as it had the least wear.

I cleaned up the primary drive shaft before fitting the sprocket.

The sprocket and the locking plate in place, fixed in place with the mounting bolts.

I opted to re-use the spare chain for now, after a liberal coating of “rust buster” spray.

Adjusted the chain tension, tightened the axle nut and fitted a split pin.

I popped the side panels in place and re-fitted the front mudguard.


I removed the front brake caliper from the “donor” bike and placed it in my bench vice to have another crack at loosening the stiff screw on the rear cover.

It chose not to cooperate, so I brought in the heavies – a small sledgehammer and traditional impact driver of the style from the days before they were all motorised. The recalcitrant screw soon saw the error of its ways!

Getting back to the chain, I realised the rear chain guard was a bit warped, so I retrieved the one from the “donor” bike and gave it a once-over with Inox.

Fitted and looking good!

The lower front chain guard was next. I fitted the plastic one too but I must have been getting tired by this stage, as I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of that step!

The helmet holder that matches the ignition, fuel and steering locks went on next, but was only fitted loosely as I’ll probably switch all the locks with Scarlet’s later.

Finally, I cut a fresh length of fuel hose to replace the piece that had been broken off prior to the parts transplant.

I haven’t started the bike again yet, I’m saving that for next week!

CB250RS Parts Transplant – Front Wheel Swap, Mufflers, Some Fiddly Bits, And Temporary Livery

I had a busy weekend reattaching things!

First  up, I wanted to swap out the front wheel as the tyre was quite flat, the spokes are rusty, and the brake disc looks almost as grooved as a record from the same era as the bike!

Fortunately the donor bike had a front wheel with a nice firm front tyre, very little rust on the spokes, and a brake disc in much better condition.

After removing the castle nut and split pin from the left side of the axle, I was a little puzzled as to how to removed the axle, as I hadn’t looked at the right side closely before. The axle is held onto the right fork with a similar type of bracket to those used to to hold the the handlebar to the triple tree and the  to hold  the master brake cylinder in place on the handlebar.

Once the bolts had been removed, it was remarkably easy to remove the wheel and axle

I removed the brake pads, as I was planning to transfer them to the other set of calipers along with the wheel.

Next it was time to remove the sub-par wheel and put it aside to think about what it had done

The front brake pad retaining pins had other ideas about my plan to replace the front brake pads, so I gave up on that for now. I applied a fresh coating of grease to the axle on the good wheel, maneuvered it into place and loosely fitted the castle nut.

After tightening the axle clamp on the right side, I secured the castle nut and replaced the split pin.

I cleaned up the spare speedo cable gear and found the speedo cable. The retaining screw was missing from the one I had fitted with the wheel, so I used the one from the spare.

Speedo cable fitted at both ends!

While I was concentrating on the clocks, I fitted the tacho cable too.

It was getting somewhat late by this stage, so I left further work until the next day.

First order of business the next day was to make sure I put oil in, so I don’t forget before attempting to start the bike again! I opted for generic supermarket 10w50, as it’s cheap and doesn’t have come with fancy friction modifiers and additives that make most modern motor oils unsuitable for wet clutches. Regular readers may remember these as the “attachments” referred to in the CBF250 Shop Manual while troubleshooting Jack’s clutch slippage!

After filling up the oil enough for a cold engine, I popped the black tank and the red duck-tail and seat on, to remind myself how close I was to completion.

I removed the chain from the donor bike and after a quick inspection and a shake I decided not to re-use it. The black crescents in the middle image are all the perished o-rings that fell out when I shook the chain gently a few times. The close-up on the right shows how few o-rings are left.

I decided to keep the clip-style master link as a spare in case of chain emergencies if I don’t have a chain riveter handy.

I figured even without a chain it would be useful to have a working rear brake again, so I started with the stay bar.


Moving further back, I saw the right side mounting plate was missing.

I realised the rear wheel stay bar wasn’t going to do much if the rear wheel wasn’t securely attached, so I removed the parts I needed from the donor bike.

I fitted the axle stopper plate, chain tensioning bolt and rear brake arm.

I fitted the rear brake rod – making sure all springs were in the right places – and reconnected the.rear wheel stay bar.

At last, it was time to fit the mufflers! First, I needed a pair of pillion pegs, as they also have retaining brackets for the mufflers. One was still  attached to the donor bike, so off it came!

I placed the mufflers on either side of the bike, ready to fit. I opted not to fit new gaskets just yet, as I’ll need to remove the mufflers again in order to access the rear axle when I fit a new rear sprocket. I also fitted the rear brake lever and stopper plate.


Right muffler in place.

Connecting the muffler to the cylinder head was trickier than I expected, as one of the mounting bolts is significantly shorter than the other. It seems the mounting plate on this side has been replaced with one thinner one than the standard part at some stage to compensatate.

I reattached the cylinder head mounting bracket and tidied the cables through it  while I had the socket wrench out.

Left muffler in place.

No problems with  connecting the muffler on this side, as the threaded rods are standard length on this side of the cylinder head.

I decided to mount the rear indicators after straightening the mounting hardware. First up were the grommets.

The metal collars for the mounting screws went in next.

The mounting arms were screwed on and earth wires run through the holes in the rear fender/mudguard.

Indicators were attached and their cables run through the mounting arms and through the holes in the fender/mudguard.

Finally the cables were plugged in and the luggage compartment replaced on the rear fender.

Finally, I replaced the tank, duck-tail and seat and called it a day.

Not bad for a weekend’s work!.

All that remains now before finally getting a roadworthy check are swapping the front brake calipers so the pads match the disc, then replacing the mirrors, fuel line, front mudguard, front sprocket, front chain guards/covers, rear sprocket and chain!

I’ll also be re-fitting some side panels eventually , of course!

I’ve also been researching options for restoring the original colour scheme and livery – I’ll post more on that in a future update.

Eric Donates An Engine (And Another Few Parts) – Another CB250RS Motor Removal

On Thursday evening, I started Eric and ran him for a while to heat the oil so it would drain better.
I also confirmed that the headlight works while he’s running, so there are less electrical issues to sort out than I thought!

When removing the sump plug to drain the oil, I discovered the sump plug was loose and had already drained the oil for me – or possibly I’d never replaced it after I last drained it!

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At least this sump plug had a crush washer that wasn’t crushed!


With the oil drained, I made sure the fuel tap was off and started thinking about which parts to remove.


The mounting bolts for the rear rails were first.


Followed closely by the single mounting bolt for the seat.
The tail fairing still has the now extremely rare 2fitycc.com vinyl decals on it!20170302_184637

With the seat removed from Eric, I remembered why I was swapping the motors over.


The seat had to go somewhere, so I put it on Bruiser’s frame for now.


The replacement seat mounting bolt was left on the seat until needed.


The rear rail mounting bolts were next.

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The mounting bolt removed.


Rinse and repeat for the left side!


The mounting bolts for the rear rails on Bruiser were just loosely placed long hex key bolts originally bought as part of a replacement screw kit for Eric’s engine. They are much thinner bolts and were never intended as a permanent solution.

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The rails definitely look better with the original Honda bolts in place!

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I disconnected the tail light and rear indicators…

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…and then removed the whole rear mudguard/fender along with the chopped-off piece of frame.

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I’m pretty sure this would fail a rego inspection unless the rear rails were bolted in place extremely tightly. As I recall, the seat shifted considerably when sat on and the cuts to the frame were visible even with the seat on.


The modified rear section of frame could possibly be welded on but I lack both the tools and experience for the task. I’m pretty sure J B Weld would be spotted and draw further attention to the fact that the frame has been cut in the first place. I also don’t have the budget or time to book a mechanical engineer to certify that any potential repairs or modifications don’t cause the bike not to be compliant with the Australian Design Rules (ADR)


I removed the number-plate holder and rear fairng/tail light assembly from the mudguard/fender proper.


The rear fender on its own, just before going into the parts box.


Eric’s rear shocks had a long dome-headed nut and large chromed washer. Off they came!

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With nothing holding them on, the rear bars were removed complete with indicators. The indicators looked a bit crooked!


The right rear shock on Bruiser’s  frame was quite rusty, while Eric’s was in much better shape.

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Off they came! Bruiser’s shock on the left, Eric’s on the right.


The better shock was mounted on Bruiser”s frame, along with the dome-headed nut

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I’d run out of room n my spares box, so the spare shock went onto Eric with the standard nut to hold it on at the top.


The left rear shock on Bruiser’s frame was in better condition, so only the nut and chromed washer were transferred across.

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Time to remove the tank!

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It turned out that the fuel line was stuck fast to the tap and the carburetor inlet.

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After a few attempts to wiggle it off, the hose broke at the carburetor end so will need to be replaced when I top up the oil after the parts transplant is complete.


The left side panel was still holding the tank down, so off it came too.

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The tank was removed from Eric, along with the single rubber stopper. I’ll need to track down another one from somewhere eventually.

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Rubber stopper transferred to Bruiser’s frame and the tank mounted temporarily.

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Eric is looking more like the half-a-bike he was when I first got him.


Back to disconnecting things from the motor!
First was the tacho cable.

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Next the High Tension lead to the spark plug.

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The crooked indicators had been bothering me, so I set about disconnecting them from their mounting posts.

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Next I removed the post from the rear bar, freeing up the mounting bracket.


Finally I removed the metal collar and rubber grommet.


RInse and repeat on the other side.


The metal collar and and rubber grommet have been shown still installed as a reference for reassembly.


All the right-hand indicator mounting hardware disassembled.


Both rear indicators and their connecting parts. Some of these need straightening before re-use.


Back to removing the motor again!
I removed the gear lever linkage.

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The front chain guard was next.


The front sprocket bolts and retaining plate came off next.

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Front sprocket was removed from the drive shaft and put aside with the other spare parts.

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I disconnected the wiring connector blocks

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Removed the retaining bolts from the carburetor sleeve

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The header pipe where the right muffler should be was next.

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The left pillion peg was next, as it shares a mounting bolt with the left muffler. It was followed by the muffler.

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The wiring connector blocks for the remaining internal electrics were disconnected.

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All the wires and the overflow hose were moved out of the frame, and the oil draining pan moved safely out of the way.

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The clutch cable was disconnected next.

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At last we move on to the mounting bolts! The cable here was passed through and put aside with the others still leading into the motor.

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The brake stopper plate was next.

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I put some bricks under the main stand to raise the bike enough support the motor on the motorbike lift, then removed the rear brake pedal.

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The bricks gave enough clearance to fully extend the motorbike lift and lock it in place to support the motor.


Once the mounting bolts were removed, the motor came out pretty easily!

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After having a break from working on the bikes last night, I’ll be installing the motor in Bruiser’s old frame and starting to transfer the rest of the parts over the weekend.

Final Tweaks Before Inspection – Scarlet Rides Again!

Last weekend I went through the very final stages before Scarlet’s rego inspection.

First up – rear brake shoe replacement.


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To replace the brake shoes, I needed to remove the back wheel.

This meant removing the split pin from the rear axle nut first.
The multi-grip pliers from the onboard toolkit were just the tool for the job!

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In order to get to the rear axle without major space issues, I took the mufflers off.
I figured it would be a good time to fit the exhaust gaskets and replace the missing nuts for the exhaust mounts too.

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The nuts came off easily enough

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The clamps and flanged nuts for the mufflers. The nuts are 10 mm, for those of you playing at home.


The rear mounting bolts also hold the pillion pegs on.

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Mufflers off – these bolts are 14 mm and needed a socket wrench to remove easily.


Once the mufflers were off, I had more room to work.


I took off the rear chain case to make it easier to remove the chain and made a mental note to replace the missing chain case bolt.


Next up I removed the front chain cover.


This chain is a non o ring chain with clip master links. We’ll come back to these.


Before I removed the chain, I loosened off the chain tensioning nuts

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The rear brake assembly was next.



I also removed the bolt form the rear brake stabilizer bar.



I removed the axle nut – this one is 22 mm. I realised later that I didn’t need to remove it, just loosening it would have done.


Finally the chain itself could come off. I pried off the clip from the master link with a flat-bladed screwdriver, removed the plate and the master link came out easily.

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The chain ready for cleaning.


A closer look at the components of the clip-style master link.


I put the chain in an old plastic bucket and soaked it in kerosene while I removed the wheel.

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I loosened off the chain tensioners a bit more until I could swing them down enough to remove the axle retaining plates



The wheel lifted out easily. I took a couple of reference photos so I could see how it went back together after disassembly.



The brake shoes were pretty worn.


The new ones are on the left, old on the right.


Fitted the new brake shoes.


After starting to reassemble the axle, I realised I didn’t have the shoes lined up correctly. They should be flush as per below.


A bit of axle grease to go with the elbow grease involved in all this work!


Reassembly – looks like everything is on the right order!

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Lifted the wheel back into the slots on the swingarm and greased the retaining plates before putting them back in.

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Swung the chain tensioners back up and tightened the axle nut to hold them in place.

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After scrubbing the chain with a toothbrush it’s noticeably cleaner.

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Threaded the chain back through the front sprocket and reassembled the master link on the rear sprocket.

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A flat-bladed screwdriver is very handy for pushing the clip back on.

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At this point, I was ready to put everything back together, until I noticed the damaged plug from the left crankcase cover.

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This could have been a major cause of oil leakage and is pretty much not what I want to see on a bike I intend to ride!


Luckily the left crankcase cover from Bruiser was in great condition!


To take this cover off, I needed to remove the gearshift pedal.

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Out came the sump plug.


Good thing I had that bucket handy from cleaning the chain!



Once the oil had drained, I removed the cover. As the stator is attached to it, there was a fair bit of magnetism holding it on.



The old gasket and bolts placed in approximate positions for reference when refitting. Two of the bolts hold the lower chain guard on.20140913_143041

Stator mounting bolts removed.

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I figured I might as well replace the gasket while the cover was off. Luckily, I’d already bought a complete gasket kit in expectation of a complete motor rebuild. The replacement paper gasket is at the top, the original plastic one at the bottom.

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Bolted the stator onto the replacement crankcase cover and put the sump plug back in before reassembly to save time.


I noticed some corrosion/crud in here and cleaned it out before replacing the cover.


Put the new gasket on.


When replacing the cover, I replaced the washer over the gear selector axle before easing the bottom corner of the crankcase cover onto it.


While replacing the crankcase cover, there was a strong magnetic attraction that “sucked” it into place.


After bolting on the crankcase cover and lower chain guard, I reconnected the neutral switch wire to the neutral switch. It’s held in place with a spring and washer.

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The collar for the neutral switch was missing, so I used the one from Bruiser, then replaced the gearshift pedal.


After refilling the engine oil, it was on to the chain. Out with the trusty chain oil!



After oiling the chain and sprockets, I replaced the front chain cover.


Adjusted the chain tensioners to approximately matching settings.

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Reconnected the rear brake stabiliser bar and brake pedal

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Tightened up the rear axle nut and replaced the split pin.

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Finally, I moved on to the exhaust gaskets. At first I thought that there were no exhaust gaskets fitted but they were just completely crushed. The old gaskets are at the top, the new ones are at the bottom.


The new gaskets were a tight fit, so I tapped them in place with a hammer and the extension bar from Scarlet’s toolkit.


I replaced the flange nuts with the new ones from the engine bolt kit I bought months ago but never got around to using.

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Bolted the rear mounts back on with the pillion pegs.

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With the mufflers replaced, it was time to start her up!

After a quick run in neutral to test her performance, I decided to give her a polish with the towel I’d mopped up the spilled 20W-50 with while replacing her oil. She came up a treat!

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Unfortunately after a quick test ride, I noticed that while the speedo seemed to work, the odometer didn’t. As I’m planning to take her on some long road trips, this could be an issue!

I swapped the speedo for another one that had a broken needle and broke both the tacho needle and the speedo needles in the process. The tacho needle was able to be glued back together but the speedo one broke so thoroughly that I replaced it with a piece cut from a broken translucent orange plastic box I had. It’s on my list of “things to fix longer-term”.

The good news is, she passed a rego inspection today so will be registered as soon as possible!

Wheels, Sprockets And A Chain (Plus Some Electrics)

On |Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to try a replacing the fuel hose and spark plug in Scarlet, put a chain on her and attempt fixing the lights.

First up, I put some chain lube on Bruiser’s chain and set about locating the master link. There turned out to be several of them!

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I found a section that had two master links in a row, prised the clip off one and removed the chain.

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Ae I will be re-using Bruiser’s chain, then plan was to remove the rear wheels and just swap the front and rear sprockets over until I get around to replacing them altogether, as it’s generally recommended to replace the sprockets with the chain.

Removing the rear wheel from Bruiser was easy enough, I just needed to remember to disconnect the rear brake and brake tension bar from the right side of the wheel.

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It was then time to remove Scarlet’s rear wheel. The first thing I discovered was that the mufflers I’d just put on needed to be removed again to get the wheel off.

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That done, I set about removing the wheel. THis turned out to far more difficult than Bruiser’s had been. One reason for this was probably that the axle had been put in backwards, as some of you may have noticed from the photos above.

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The small sledgehammer came in quite handy for pushing the axle through the wheel hub with another axle.

I compared Scarlet’s wheel with Bruiser’s and noticed a major difference in the style of sprocket and the mounts for it – I suspect Scarlet’s rear wheel was replaced with a similar one at some stage!

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I noticed the damage to the hub on Bruiser’s wheel and decided to pull Eric’ rear wheel off and compare it – if it was the same as Bruiser’s I’d just stick the sprocket on it.

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I had a go at removing the sprocket, then realised that it was on too tightly for me to remove without damaging the hex drive bolts and or standard nuts on the rear. I also noticed that the tyre was quite worn and the brake drum had no brake pads at all, so I decided I’d cut my losses and just fit Bruiser’s wheel to Scarlet.

During the re-fitting, I discovered something that would have made life a lot easier while taking the wheels off. There are little metal plates that fit into a gap in the swingarm that is covered by the chain tensioners. Removing these meant that I could assemble the entire axle and simply slot it into place!

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After that, the plates slip into the gaps and hold the axle in.

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The wheel slides back down.

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The chain tensionsers flip back up and hold the plates in place when tightened. Very clever design!

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Next up, I removed the front sprockets from Bruiser and Scarlet

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Bruiser’s sprocket is on the left, Scarlet’s is on the right.

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Even though Scarlet’s original front sprocket is in better condition, I’m re-using an old chain so I’m keeping the sprockets with it. I’ll keep the other one as a spare for now.

With the sprockets fitted it was time to fit the chain and a new split pin to keep the axle nut in the right place.

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With the chain done, I moved on to the fuel hose.

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At the top is the old fuel hose, which was a bit shorter than it should have been.

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The old hose is on the left, the new one on the right. A tighter fit should prevent fuel leaks at the tap and air leaks at the carburetor!

Next up, I moved on to the spark plug. The old spark plug versus the new one

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The new plug and fuel hose in place.

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I decided to check Scarlet’s air filter and found it in a sorry state – the foam filter element was missing completely!

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I checked Bruiser’s air box and found the filter there was complete and even nicely oiled!

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I transferred the filter to Scarlet, then set about swapping the throttle and right combination switch with the one from Eric, as the knob was missing from the light switch and it had the original handgrip.

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I had to take the tank off to disconnect the throttle cables and my new fuel hose just popped straight off, so I cut a slightly longer piece and made sure the circlips were properly fitted this time!

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As I had noticed a missing connector for the front wiring assembly that I can’t easily replace with the same connector, , I decided to make my own magical mystery cable to do the same job.

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By this point I thought I had everything connected, so I fired Scarlet up to test the lights. Scarlet now starts on the second or third kick most times with the new spark plug, so it was definitely worth fitting!

Strangely, none of the lights were working apart from the brake for some reason.After having another look at the cabling on Bruiser and Eric, I realised I had missed the connector for the left switch assembly. It turned out to be still behind the headlight case, so I pulled it through and connected it.

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After a quick test, I found that high beam wasn’t working. Checking the bulb showed it had a blown high beam element, so I swapped the headlights over and retested – Bingo!

For some reason the indicators still don’t work properly – that’s a task for later in the week, along with fitting the brand new battery, idle adjustments and/or carburetor servicing.