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Project Zeal, Introduction

So this is what happens when I’m on Trademe at midnight…. I accidentally the whole motorcycle.

Yup, once again trademe is to blame for this. This had been on my watchlist since it was listed, with a low start reserve. When it came to the day it was closing, and the bidding was still really low, I couldn’t help but watch and see what happened. Sure enough, being midnight, no one was around to bid. One person had set an autobid, so once I exceeded that, it was mine.

The photos showed a complete bike, and one that didn’t actually look bad. The seller had this to say

I had a skid on this and got spooked, so it ended up sitting in the yard until the registration lapsed. It’s was running when I parked it up, but has been sitting so long now it’s probably only good for parts. So, so sad šŸ™

So yes, the rego is lapsed, and it hasn’t been on the road for 4 years. Apparently it last ran 2 years ago, but not since. It’s also been sitting outside this whole time, and it’s taken its toll.

This is the photo that caught my eye

It’s a pretty cool looking bike.

So, what is it?

It’s a 1993 Yamaha FZX250 Zeal.

It’s a JDM only (except for a few late-model ones released new into the Aus market) high revving four-cylinder, four-stroke bike. It has about 40hp, 6 gears, and a slightly more upright, relaxed riding position. Despite what my better half says, it’s a fairly small bike but should suit me well.

I finally had the bike transported from another suburb, to my house today. I couldn’t do it myself as my only car with a towbar was the S401 and that’s now gone.

The transporter was very good, and kept me updated on when it was picked up

And when it was delivered (since I was at work)

I came home after work and after getting it into the garage, had a good poke around it. The first issue was immediately obvious; either the front, rear, or even both, brakes are seized and binding. This makes it a real dog to push around.

I got there though

Cosmetically, it’s not bad. Some paint fade, some scuffs and scratches, and a badly torn rear seat are the bulk of it. Theres also some surface corrosion, and general grot (and lots of spider webs and spiders)

A quick check of the basics was in order.

Oil? Check. Black and thick, but it has some.

Front brake fluid? Check, it has some, but it’s gross.

Rear brake fluid? Check. Also has some, but a spider tried to come at me bro when I went to take the cap off. I presume it’s also gross.

Coolant? I saw something sloshing around in the bottle, so I guess so.

Fuel? Once I Ā freed up the lock on the cap, and pried that open, yes, its half full of the most rancid smelling petrol ever. Will turn it into a 50:50 new:old mix for the mower. Free fuel, and better than disposing of it. The Mustang will love it.

The tank opening had some rust (and grot), as did the cap. It’ll clean up OK though. I can’t see much inside the tank, but the fuel wasnt obviously full of flakes of rust, and what I could see in there appeared to be nice clean metal. Hopefully it’s not all rusty.

Unfortunately the front forks will need rebuilding too. One seal is completely buggered, the other is leaking, and the forks are really soft.

Once I worked out how to get the seat off (key on the side. Turn it one way and the helmet holder slides open and closed, turn it the other and the rear seat pops up. One 8mm bolt to release the front seat) I opened it up and checked the wiring and battery.

Battery is flatter than a flat thing. Will try reviving it with my charger, but it’s likely toast now.

The clutch lever has a lot of play, and doesn’t seem to be disengaging the clutch. The lever looks like its been rotated forward too.

The plan?

Drain and replace ALL fluids.
Recondition/replace front and rear braking system (hoses appear OK, no swelling or cracking)
Free up clutch and gearing
Rebuild forks
Remove, strip and rebuild carbs
Drain and inspect fuel tank
Replace fuel filter
Replace spark plugs

I want to try to fire it up sooner rather than later, so I can check that the engine isn’t complete junk, so I wont be doing it in any realĀ order. Brakes, fluids and fuel will be the priority.

It should be a nice rewarding project. Eventually I’ll get it back on the road, legally, and enjoy winding that engine up to the 15,000rpm redline.

First things first though, I need to tidy up Scooty and get that sold.

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