More Work On Erica’s Electrics But She Still Won’t Start

This week, I had some time to work on Erica again.

The first thing I did was take another look at the battery I’d taken from Erica and tried to rejuvenate. The electrolyte was looking quite low in some cells again, so the battery may not be salvageable. I topped up the cells with demineralised water again just in case.

The smart charger at least showed a usable voltage after topping up this time, which seemed like a good sign.

The battery cage has seen better days, as there is a surface coat of rust on it. I’m not too worried about that at this point, that will be a cosmetic issue to fix later.

I decided to clean the battery terminals before refitting the battery.


The battery once again seemed to have enough charge, so I replaced in its original location.


I unlocked the fuel filler cap retainer and added a few litres of fuel to the tank.

I put the seat back on top and tried kickstarting the bike a few times.

I wasn’t able to get ther to fire up and there was still no activity on the lights, so I reconnected the charger and tried the key in the Park position. To my surprise, the tail light came on! There’s clearly a bit more work than I thought to be done with the electrical system.

Finally, I slid the rubber for the kickstart lever back on, as  I;d left it after never fully removing it some time ago.

I’ll have to go over the wiring diagrams a few more times and order some replacement terminals before I tackle re-soldering the missing wiring inside the headlight – while I’m at it I’ll give the switches and fuses a thorough check as well.


Tackling Erica’s Electrical Issues – Part 1 – Refilling And Hopefully Rescuing The Battery

This week, I took a closer look at Erica’s electrical issues.

I decided to start at the most obvious place – the battery. This of course meant removing the seat.

The right side panel needed to come off too. I’ll need to either repair or place this panel at some stage, as the repair made by a previous owner of these fairings is starting to show its age!

At first glance, it appeared that the battery was completely dry.

A closer look with the battery holder out of the way confirmed that this was very likely to be the case. I removed the battery, put it on a piece of scrap wood and set about topping it up.


I took off the filler cap and looked inside. There was no electrolyte in sight, so I topped it up with demineralised water.

I remembered I had kept the leftover battery acid from each time I bought a new battery, and that I also had some battery conditioner left from last time I’d topped up a battery.

I topped up the cells with a mixture of electrolyte and demineralised water, then put the battery on top of the piece of scrap wood on the shed floor where it wouldn’t get bumped or knocked.

I connected my “smart” electronic trickle charger and found the voltage was quite low – around the 6 volt mark.

The voltage was dropping rather than rising after a few minutes and I also couldn’t switch modes without the charger giving me an error, so I decided to connect a small car battery charger instead.

I checked the battery with the “smart” charger again after a few hours and found the battery had enough charge for the battery to be detected properly.

I set the charger to motorcycle mode and left it to charge fully.

That’s all for this week’s update. In Part 2, I’ll check if the battery seems to be charging correctly and keep working on Erica’s electrical system.


Scarlet Gets A Custom Luggage Rack

This week I turned my attention to Scarlet, the other CB250RS.

Her “duck tail” had been looking a bit bare, so I thought it needed covering.

Having looked at the small box of parts I was given recently, I remembered the custom luggage rack I’d been given with it.

The brackets had previously been secured with U-bolts around the rails.

I opted to stick with the same mounting method. Of course, the nuts needed to come ff the U-bolts in order to fit the rack.

First the left side.

Then the right.

I held the rack in place and manoeuvred the U-bolts around the corners of the mount, then turned the rubber strips and metal plates to hold the sides of the rack up.


Next, I pushed the ends of the U-bolts through the rubber strips and metal plates.

Finally, I tightened the nuts to hold the rack securely.


While it’s not a purpose-built accessory for this model, the general look is consistent with Scarlet’s styling.

That’s all for this week. I’l see what I can find to work on next week!

Erica Gets Some TLC At Long Last

This week, I turned my attention to Erica again at last.

I remembered the box of parts I’d been given contained a spare set of headlight mounting nuts.

In order to fit them I of course needed to remove the retaining screws from the bottom of the headlight rim.

I removed the headlight and unscrewed the temporary bolt from the left side of the headlight (the right side when facing the bike)

As I used 13mm hex head bolts and nuts to replace the missing original bolts, I had to switch spanners from the normal 12mm or 14mm sizes normally found on Japanese bikes to remove the temporary washer and nut.

I fitted the mounting nut on the right side and moved onto the left side.

I added the temporary nut and washer to the pile of spare parts.

I fitted the left side mounting nut. I’ll need to solder another wire to this one at some stage to replace the one that was cut off.

While working on the headlight mounts, I noticed the right front indicator wire had a bare solder joint, so I removed the indicator.

I decided I’d also replace the indicator mounting post, as the spare indicators came with those too.

I loosely attached the replacement indicator and plugged in the wire.

I removed the indicator from the mounting post in order to fit the post before reattaching it firmly.

I noticed the indicator lens had some scratches on it, so I found the least scratched one from the spares.

I mounted the spare lens and screwed it down tight.

I put the old indicator  on the post and left it with the spares.

Erica’s starting to look quite smart from the front now. Hopefully the changes to the electrical system help sort out some of the gremlins!

That’s all for this week. I’ll charge her battery again and see if it’s made any difference soon.

Re-Covering Sylvie’s Seat Again, With Limited Success

This week, I decided to re-cover Sylvie’s seat yet again, as the cheap non-slip matting had worn out quicker than expected from the grippy section of my motorcycle pants.

I took the seat off in order to remove the previous layer of covering.

I decided to try a different type of PVC rubber non-slip matting this time.

I removed the previous cover and checked the extent of the wear.

The previous layer below was still in good shape, apart from the small patches of duct tape and the impression from the layer above.

I ued the previous cover layer as a template and cut a piece to size.

I set to work with the staple gun and  soon discovered that this type of matting was less stretchy than expected, so I was not entirely happy with the result.

I finished it off with black duct tape until I have time to cut another piece

I popped the seat back on Sylvie, as I need to ride her this week and don’t have a spare seat.

While I’m not entirely happy with the result I like the finish on this material, so I will use the remainder of the roll to make another cover. I may even get adventurous enough to cut several pieces and sew them together…

That’s all for now. I’ll see what I can come up with for next week’s update!

How Not To Remove A Flywheel

Just a quick update this week, as I had other things to fix unrelated to my hobbies.

This week, I decided to try my luck with the flywheel puller and removing the flywheel from Rosie.

I started by making sure the thread on the puller was well greased.

Unfortunately it didn’t help, as the puller just wouldn’t thread properly in the stripped thread.

I did succeed in stripping the thread on the puller, however.

Next week, I’ll be working on Sylvie and maybe Erica or Scarlet, time permitting.

Returning to Rosie – In Which I Chase A Dropped Part And Break A Socket

With Sylvie both not in need of immediate attention and generally running well, I finally spent some time working on Rosie this week.

What type of bike is Rosie, new readers may ask?

Rosie is a KLR650 I started a top-end rebuild on some time ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as careful not to drop any parts back then and I managed to lose a part down the cam chain cavity, so she’s been half-disassembled for several years.

The parts had been moved from one bench to another and had gathered a layer of stuff on top.

The first step was of course relocating said layer of stuff.

Rosie’s original fairings have faded to a rosy pink from the factory red, which led to her name.

One of the front side fairings has been replaced by a previous owner so the decals seen on the other one are missing completely.

I’d decided to take the side cover of the motor to retrieve the lost part some time ago but had never finsihed, so I resumed the process this week.

The cables attached to the stator ran behind the front chain guard.

After a quick reference pic, off it came!


I’ll give it a bit of a clean before putting it back on.

I rested the stator cover on the footpeg and the brake lever.

I carefully removed the outer gears and bearings.



The part that had fallen down looked to be stuck behind the rotor, so I set about preparing to remove the rotor.

The centre mounting bolt was quite tight.

It took a fair bit of convincing but I was eventually able to loosen it.

While the bolt seemed undamaged from the removal effort…

…I can’t say the same for the first socket I used on it!


I realised I would need a flywheel puller, so I repurposed the inner bolt from my old chain tool that had a damaged thread.

The thread on the end had been damaged by a misplaced spring when using it but a few minutes on the bench grinder took the burrs off.

It fit very well in the hole for the mounting bolt.Eventually I realised the flywheel puller needed to go in the outer thread though!

Fortunately I remembered that I had bought a suitable flywheel puller some time ago and had never used it!

This one had an M22 thread, which is the exact size I should have needed.

Unfortunately, I found was that someone had stripped the thread inside the rotor when it was removed at some stage in the past!

That’s all for now, until I figure out how to remove the flywheel without a puller!

I’ll have a look at what can be done on the other bikes if I can’t find a solution in time for next week’s update…