Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

It's been a while....

Well, I knew I'd neglected the old blog a bit but it's been more than a year ! Someone who shall remain nameless has given me a couple of subtle nudges over on Facebook so I will try to make more of an effort in future - hopefully that will also give me a kick up the arse to get some more worthwhile Stuff sorted out.

Slight progress was made today with the two SRX400 projects, more of that in a bit.

I was up bright and early today to attempt my first run in two weeks, thanks to having been struck down with some Dreaded Lurgy.  As it turned out, it may have been early but I wasn't very bright.  I wasn't sure whether I was meeting my running friends at 9.00 or 9.15 but I walk/jogged down to our meeting point and arrived at 9.06 then did some stretching and jogging on the spot while I waited until 9.15. No-one in sight so I assumed I should have been there at 9.00 and set off down the track to Ironbridge. I won't bore you with the details but about 7km later I arrived at the Ironbridge, feeling reasonably ok.  I stopped for a breather and to decide where to go next but while walking I felt a sudden sharp pain in my hip/lower back and found myself struggling to walk comfortably.  I decided to walk for a bit and text home if things didn't improve.  Things didn't improve and I tried texting but either the phone or the network weren't playing and I resigned myself to limping home.  A bit further up the road, my friends came running past - they'd been delayed and I must have missed them by seconds.  I was quite surprised it had taken over 7km for them to pass me - I must have been doing ok until my injury.  There was nothing they could do so I carried on limping and wincing. I eventually got home, phone still useless, having covered 7.7 miles in a long 2 hours and 20 minutes.  I can now tell you from experience that being warmly dressed for a run does not mean you are adequately dressed for a long walk - I was frozen and it took me ages to warm up enough to venture outside again to play with motorbikes. My fingers wouldn't work properly for more than an hour !

Several mugs of tea later and having searched in vain for my overalls, I eventually got togged up in Better Half's Caterpillar overalls and ventured out into the mess I call a garden.

Some of you will know that I have two Yamaha SRX400s. One was bought as a runner, a tatty but pretty little thing that I think must be one of my favourite bikes ever.  Sadly, while on holiday last year I dropped it on a bollard and made a huge dent in the pretty blue tank.  Tanks are hard to come by and I eventually bought another SRX on ebay just so I could have the tank.  It was a bargain £165 and although rusty, too good to just use for spares.  The long term plan is to tart them both up and keep them both. The short term plan is to get all the black bits from the "spares" bike on to the running bike and use it, while getting the "spares" bike tidied up and running and getting the dented tank fixed.  This will probably take much longer than I'd hoped, due to lack of funds.

Today's plan was just to swap the black bits for the blue bits. Simple, yes ?

Yesterday, I discovered the black (undented) tank had a quantity of water in it. This proved quite a challenge to remove. I couldn't just tip it out - it needed shaking, twisting and lots of hard work to get it to splash out a bit at a time, followed by soaking up the last dregs with an old towel inserted through the filler cap hole.  It is now hanging up to dry out in the conservatory.

The two bikes are from different years and there are some differences.  They are both twin-shock (later models were monoshock) but we'd already noticed the wheels are different.  Closer inspection showed differences in the way the pillion pegs are mounted.  Blue bike has brackets for the pillion pegs and I'd previously removed these - they're redundant as I don't take pillions.  On the black bike, the pegs are mounted on the swingarm - that must be fun.  You can see the difference in the photo:

On the blue bike the footrest bracket mounts where the small plate can be seen above the rider footpeg in the picture.  I thought the little aluminium plate would look nice on the blue bike, so I quickly removed it from the black bike and went to fit it to the blue bike.  I found that not only were the threads on the frame different but the holes were differently spaced - the mounting holes on the blue bike were so much further apart that I can't even slot the holes on the aluminium plate to make it fit.  That was disappointing as I think they would have neatened things up nicely. I may try to make my own some time in the future.

Next job was to switch the tailpieces around.  Now that was nice and easy - no differences there, even the damage to them appears to be consistent !
The damage isn't too bad and the tailpieces were straightforward to fit, I just took the opportunity to fit nice new stainless caphead bolts and washers. My workshop/conservatory may be disorganised chaos but my nuts, bolts and washers are nicely arranged:
The front mudguards proved puzzling. First I undid the bolts holding the black mudguard to the black bike. It took a lot of wriggling and manoeuvring to extract it from between the forks but it finally came free. Next I removed the blue mudguard from the blue bike - that came free with no effort at all. I compared the two mudguards and they appear identical.  I fitted the black mudguard to the blue bike - no problem at all, no wriggling or twisting, it just went straight in. I fitted new stainless bolts and all was well.  I then tried to fit the blue mudguard to the black bike and just couldn't manage to wiggle it in between the forks. I gave up before I was tempted to use brute force.  Damn thing can just rest there for now....
I managed to switch one of the sidepanels but one of the bolts on the other one had been rounded off and will need drilling out.  The drill battery was on it's last legs so is now recharging.....
This is the progress so far:
Not terribly impressive really, is it?

In between swapping round black and blue bits, I proved to myself how very un-bright I am today.  The black bike came without a CDI unit but I have since bought one from someone in the Thumper Club.  One of my plans for today was to try it out on the blue bike, to check it all works. Having removed the appropriate side panel from the blue bike I went to look for the CDI unit.  All my SRX bits are in a plastic storage box and I was sure it would be there. It wasn't.  I turned the living room upside down looking for it, without any joy. I started to wonder if I'd imagined buying it.  I looked again at the shelf where the plastic storage box had been kept.  Next  to the space where it had been was a small cardboard box.  I opened it and unwrapped the bubble wrap - there was the CDI unit ! Why didn't I look there to start with ? It's one of those days....

Plan for next weekend:
Test CDI unit;
Fit new filler cap to black tank;
Fit petrol tap to black tank;
Fit black tank to the bike that was formerly blue;
Fit CDI unit to black bike;
See if black bike will run (it should do - there was a video of it running, using a borrowed CDI unit, on the ebay listing)


  1. Nice one SFB, good to see you back on the blog, even if you didn't have the most productive day!

  2. Good to see ya back on the bloggy there Starry Firebirdy.

    Machines from Nippon were technically a wee more advanced than the Brum/Coventry samples but they seemed make one model obsolete as soon as it came out by improving the next version.

    A BSA was/is easier as parts for one year could fit the next no probs (for the most part).

  3. Unnamed ....?welcome back HAZEL,.... (NOT HELEN).

    attempting this on the new phone...tricky but doable.
    Hows that Batavus?