Unboxing And Filling A New Toolbox, And The Future Of The Vlog

It’s been really hot in the Australian summer lately, so I didn’t get a lot done over the New Year break.

I did unpack and start filling a new toolbox though, here’s a video about that and the future of my vlog series:

Here’s the toolbox when I first unpacked it.

I started by picking up all the loose spanners.

II moved things around quite a bit and the spanners ended up in the top drawer.


THe old toolbox is more suited for general DIY and is a lot smaller!

I placed a board on the wire shelf to give the toolbox a bit more support.

It’s a lot more stable now, and easier to get to than the old toolbox

As far as further updates go, this blog was only ever meant to be a way of sharing my hobby with my friends and anyone else who may be interested. Facebook changed the rules for automated posting from WordPress blogs so I created a Page, which now nags me to update regularly. I then put further pressure on myself by creating a dedicated YouTube vlog channel that I intended to update weekly and the quality of my blog posts seems to have suffered as a result.

I’m finding it really hard to work full-time and help look after two kids during school holidays while updating two blogs and a YouTube channel every week!

Accordingly, I’ll be updating this blog fortnightly until further notice (but still on Mondays). There won’t be a season 2 of the motorcycle vlog for at least a couple of weeks, maybe longer.

If you’d like to see more videos from me, check out my main YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/techheadfred. Updates won’t be as frequent but I’ll put up a bike video when I can.


Repairing And Re-Waterproofing Motorcycle Pants

This week was very wet, so I had another go at repairing my motorcycle pants and re-waterproofing them. Here’s a video overview:

The velcro hooks on the fly of my motorcycle pants had completely worn off. As it was a very wet week last week, I decided I’d repair the pants with spare velcro from my old tailbag.

First up, I removed the velcro from the tailbag.

Next I cut the velcro into smaller pieces and sewed them together before sewing them onto the fly of the pants.

With the fly repaired, I gave the pants a fresh coat of waterproofing spray.

I also found that the clutch detection switch I reparied not long ago stopped working agian in the wet weather, so I probably need to buy a new switch. That’s a project for the new year though!

That all for this week – I’ll see what I have time for by next week.

Inflating, Gluing, Sketching And Shielding

This week I got a new mic for my GoPro!

I also finally made a start on re-covering Sylvie’s seat.

I’ve recorded another video this week, should you care to watch it:

I cleaned up a bit first, then put Scarlet on the centre stand and brought out my trusty second-hand air compressor to inflate her rear tyre.

My tripod mount for the GoPro broke, so I repaired it with some 5-minute epoxy.

I measured up the old seat cover for Sylvie.

I used a chalk marker to make a rough outline of the original seat cover.

I realised that this wouldn’t be big enough, and marked around the original line.

Having learned from previous experience, I measured the final size against the existing seat before cutting out the final shape.

I decided to sew the two pieces of non-slip matting together before measuring and cutting the final shape, so the seat cover is on hold again for now.

While the audio quality on the external mic was reasonable without WiFi on, there is unfortunately a common issue with GoPro Hero cameras where enabling WiFi causes horrible audio interference when using an external microphone. This is somewhat problematic, given that remote control for early GoPro cameras is via WiFi only.

I decided to disassemble the mic and check if it had any shielding. It didn’t, of course!

I tried applying aluminium tape to the insides of the external mic to shield it before reassembling it, but it made no difference.

I even made some progress on getting the sockets back in their places in the large set too!

That’s all for this week. While I made some progress on the minor tasks on the bikes this week, there’s still a lot more to work on!

A Busy Week, So Sylvie Gets A Refuel And Recharge

This week, I had planned to get more done on the shed cleanup and finally start on re-covering Sylvie’s seat.

It turned out that my week was busier than expected and I have been waiting for a better mic to arrive for my GoPro after the disappointing audio in last week’s video.

Sorting the sockets unfortunately didn’t progress this week.,

I did get around to organising most of my GoPro accessories and moving them to the shed though!

So, what do you do when you haven’t had time to buy fuel for your daily rider, let alone work on it? Make a POV video of some basic maintenance, of course!

I had noticed Sylvie’s fuel gauge getting to low on my way home from work on Friday evening, but thought I’d have time to refill before needing to ride again.

I had filled a fuel can when I stopped to fill the tank of my car, so I took off the fuel cap and filled it.

I spilt a little fuel on the tank, so it as wiped off with a clean rag.

I replaced the fuel cap and flipped the cover back over the keyhole.

Since I hadn’t ridden all weekend, I popped the left side cover open to attach my trickle charger to the battery.

The cable was easier to plug in one-handed when wedged between the seat and side panel.

With the cable connected to the trickle charger and the charger turned off, the fully charged indicator lit up to confirm the battery still held some charge.

After switching on the power point for the trickle charger, the lights changed to indicate the battery was charging.

That’s all for this week’s update. At least I didn’t have a flat battery or empty fuel tank to start the new week with!

Toppling Tools, Sorting Sockets And Changing Covers – Shed Spring Cleaning Continues!

This week I was hoping to start re-covering Sylvie’s seat. However, when I opened the bike shed I found that the pegboard had fallen over and all my spanners were spread across the shed!

I stood it up again but it’ll need some sort of stand before I spend the time to organise it this time, as I don’t want to keep repeating the process indefinitely.

I’ve recorded a video of this week’s adventures in the shed from this point onward, should you care to watchit:

I picked up some of the larger spanners and set about sorting the small sockets. The small ones on the right below are Imperial sizes.

The metric ones covered the top of this small box.

For want of permanent home, they went into a zip-lock bag.

The Imperial sockets followed their example.

I found a serviceable bike cover in the shed that was going unused, so I covered the Fizzer with it.

The old one had become a victim of the elements, so it was disposed of.

That’s all for this week. While I didn’t make any progress on any of the bikes again this week, there’s still a bit of work to go on the clean-up!

Organising The Pegboard And Starting On Khaleesi

This week, I continued organising the shed so I could get to my spanners and made another timelapse video in the process.

Here’s the shed from outside before I started.

A better view of the organised pegboard.

I found a few stray tools that don’t belong on the pegboard – some JIS screwdrivers that belong in the toolbox and a cheap set of spanners I don’t use on vehicles due to poor quality.

This was the mess on the floor in front of the bikes.

I had left a space for this spanner on the pegboard, as I knew it was somewhere nearby!

Much better!

Sockets in the box of bolts? This is what I end up doing when it starts raining unexpectedly!

This bolt had escaped the box altogether!

Another socket out of place.

With the wayward sockets out of the bolt box I finally was able to close it again.

The stray socket was reunited with is siblings.

More random bits and pieces on the floor.

The bolt box was relocated to the bench without losing the rest of its contents and the side-cutters and sockets left on top of it until they find a more permanent place.

The inside of the shed was slightly more easy to get to again at last!

I even looked a little less cluttered from outside compared to when I started!

With the shed more organised, I started looking more closely at the damage on Khaleesi.

The plates below the front sprocket came off first.

First was a single JIS screw that needed my large JIS driver to remove.

The other mounting bolts were 8mm.

Once the plates were removed, I disconnected the Neutral switch lead connector and the 8mm mounting bolts.

With the bolts removed, the larger part of the cover came straight off.

The part that had broken off was held on by a 10mm nut.

The nut wasn’t all that was holding it in place though. The oil seal around the selector shaft was badly bent out of shape and unusable.

With the oil seal out, it still wouldn’t move!

Some gentle persuasion with a ball peen hammer and a small pry bar soon took care of that.

I don’t own a MIG or TIG welder and I’m not very skilled with my arc/inverter stick welder yet. I also don’t have any aluminium arc welding rods, so I didn’t attempt to weld these aluminium alloy parts back together!

Fortunately, it didn’t look like there was any internal damage other than to the gasket.

I put all the parts and tools aside on a clean scrap of cardboard in front of the bike lift so they are out of the way until the new cover goes on.

Finally, I covered up the remainder of the external shift mechanism with a shop rag.

I’m waiting on a replacement cover, sprocket and chain from Khaleesi’s owner before I can finish work on her, so that’s all for this week.

I’ll continue sorting the bike shed next week. Hopefully some of the parts for Sylvie I’m waiting on will arrive too!

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.