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!


The Bikes Get Some Air And I Have Doubts About Sylvie’s Bearing

Just a quick update this week, as I’ve been busy clearing up the carport in order to assemble another shed in it for a workshop. This of course meant moving all the bikes out temporarily!

Rather than leave the bikes I’m not riding out on the front driveway, I moved them into the yard and made sure all their side stands were supported so they wouldn’t sink into the ground.

Sylvie was squeezed back into the available space in the carport, as she’s my primary mode of transport.

I’m still waiting for the other parts for Sylvie to arrive and the grinding noise from the front wheel hasn’t stopped, so I thought I might be able to use the bearings from the pare rear wheel. Unfortunately, they’re not the same Honda part number, so they’re unlikely to be the same size!

I’ll be ordering an aftermarket bearing bit that includes dust covers, as it’ll be half the price of the genuine ones.

That’s all for this week, hopefully the parts will arrive soon for Sylvie and I’ll be able to fit in a bit more bike time next week…

Shims And A Tailbag

Just a quick update this week due to lingering cold weather leading to a house full of sniffly people. Hopefully the weather will warm up soon and allow us all time to get better!

Last week, the shim kit arrived!

The packaging seems very professional.

The vendor also threw in a couple of stickers…

Another sticker was included in the box.

All in all, very neatly presented.

While I’ve since seen essentially the same kit advertised with less slick branding for about AU$30 less including postage, I’m still impressed with the presentation overall.

Funnily enough, Sylvie has been behaving herself since I have the shims ready to replace. Maybe they’ll go in the FZR400 first at this rate…

I also set up the tail bag on Sylvie so I can pick up a couple of small items from the local supermarket on the way home if need be.

Of course, since Sylvie is readily accessible from the street in my carport, I removed the tailbag and left only the straps on her overnight!

I’ll test it out during the week and see what else I can get done for next week!

Sylvie’s Constant Stalling Comes To A Head

Although I’ve updated Sylvie’s to-do list after replacing the handlebar and finding I didn’t need to replace the heated grips after all, I’ve found a new issue that needs attention!

Recently Sylvie has been stalling at idle with increasing frequency. Although this has been happening for a while, it wasn’t as noticeable as it has been for the last week. After doing some research and ruling out the carburetor as it was only rebuilt a few weeks ago, I suspect I may need to check and adjust the valve clearances, so this has been added to Sylvie’s list.

As it happens, the CBF250 valve clearances are adjusted using 7.5 mm shims. The FZR400 takes the same diameter shims, and as I’ve never checked the clearances in either I decided to get a shim kit with a variety of shims of different thicknesses.

This means that each cylinder head will theoretically only need to be removed once to check and adjust the valve clearances, provided I get enough shims of the right sizes in the kit.

Since the shim kit will take a couple of weeks to arrive from the US, I’ve been compensating for Sylvie stalling at idle speed by applying just a smidge of choke to keep the revs up.

Hang in there Sylvie, hopefully I’ll have you running properly again soon!

In the meantime, I’ll be ordering a few small parts for her such as the bolt caps for the handlebar mounting brackets and a replacement screw for the one missing from the right switch block. Hopefully they’ll arrive before the shim kit!

I’m also checking a few small things on the other bikes as and when I find the time.

This week I double-checked Scarlet’s fuses as part of the electrical troubleshooting.


All seem to be ok, so I’ll try swapping out the wiring loom with the spare one sometime soon and see if anything improves.


Prepping Erica For Electrical Testing And Assessing Achievments

Tonight, I decided to charge Erica’s battery in preparation for testing the electrical system.

This was before I turned on the trickle charger. The battery seems to be holding some charge despite not starting her all winter so far.

Once the power was turned on, the charger correctly showed the battery was charging.

I decided it was time to review the list of tasks for Sylvie and rewrite it.

While cleaning up Sylvie’s list, the list for the seized CB250RS motor was inadvertently rubbed off and faded.

Sylvie’s list has been updated!

I took the opportunity to rewrite the list below as well.

Finally, I reviewed the other 4 lists. Scarlet’s had an item to check off!

I put some fresh cans of WD-40 and Inox on the shelf with the empty ones. Tme for a clean-up of the empties, I think?

I found Sylvie’s original grips – if I haven’t replaced the handlebar by summer, I could always replace the original grips on the spare bar!

Finally, I got a nice shot of Sylvie.

Next week, I hope to have finally made some progress on her electrical issues!

Bagging, Tagging, Reorganising, And Some Spare Keys At Last

Despite a very busy Easter long weekend, I still managed to find some time to spend in the shed!

With the replacement mirrors for Sylvie having not yet arrived, I found I had time to reorganise a bit in the shed.

Despite tidying the spare parts up from the floor, I still had a pile of tools on the right side of the shed near the door.


The blackboard was woefully outdated, apart from updating Erica’s name.

I decided it was time for a fresh start, so I cleared it and wrote new headings.

The next day, I decided I didn’t like the spacing i’d left on the right, so I planned the layout on paper and started again.

I also realised I still had some sorting to do and needed a bit more room to work on that seized engine.

I reorganised the left bench space a bit and picked up the stray tools on the bench in the process.


After another day spent mostly with family, I started sorting the loose sockets.

Having been motivated to get the Fizzer ready to start again by the possibility of a swap for a ZXR250, I put the battery on to charge.

While the swap fell through, I figure it’s time to see if I can finish another project, so I’ll be ordering both the A and B kits from when my budget allows for it.

I also spent a fair bit of time time bagging and tagging the spare parts left over from the CB250RS parts transplant.

I stacked them neatly in the parts boxes and put heavier parts too large to bag on top to hold them down.


The smallest parts box went back on the shelf with an old soft rag on top before being tucked away under Erica’s final tank.

Despite it being a public holiday Monday, I finally got around to getting some copies of the keys cut for Scarlet, Erica and Sylvie, so I’m less worried about losing my one and only key for each of them now!


Over the next week I’ll try getting the Oxford heated grips off Rosie and installing them on Sylvie, as it’s getting quite cold in the mornings as autumn draws to a close.

Hopefully the mirrors will turn up too and both Sylvie and Erica can get a little closer to their respective original styles!

Sylvie Awaits A Wheel, A Possum Hitches A Ride and A Roving Staple Gun Is Replaced

This week’s update was going to detail Sylvie’s rear wheel swap.

Unfortunately the wheel has taken longer to arrive than expected, so by Sunday I was looking for something else to do with Sylvie to bring her closer to being road-ready.

I took the cover off Sylvie’s front wheel while cleaning up the carport and was stared at for a moment by a startled possum who was clinging to the front wheel! The possum immediately jumped away, bounced off the cover over the rear of the FZR400 and hid under a sideboard at the back of the carport. I wish I’d been able to get photos or video, as it was incredibly funny to watch!

This possum was found inside the old wall unit in my carport about a week ago, so it may have decided it lives here – here’s a photo of its last appearance


I decided after looking the seat over and finding a piece of thin black rubber foam while cleaning up that maybe the rubber foam could be used to re-cover the seat and simply be waterproofed afterwards.


Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find my staple gun despite hours of searching through cupboards, the garden shed, the bike shed and the chaos that is my study, so nothing more exciting than starting the bike had happened by Monday evening.

Determined to make some progress and have an update tonight – I have a schedule to keep after all – I went off to the local hardware store to buy a replacement staple gun and a staple remover.

Armed with said implements, I removed Sylvie’s seat and set about removing the torn cover.

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I then stapled the foam rubber on and cut it to size as I went.

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Once I was happy with my handiwork, I took it outside to spray with waterproofer

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Just in case it rains, I put it back on Sylvie and covered her up.

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Not bad for an evening’s work!

Hopefully the wheel will arrive soon. I’ll have some other parts on order tomorrow to keep me busy for the next couple of weeks regardless…