A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Home Repair And Restoration

Z250SL Radiator Fan Protector

By Ren Withnell

Job Date 8 Oct 2017

In the previous post (Z250SL Cooling Fan Cowl Bodge) I bodged a crushed beer can to cover the exit to the radiator fan cowl. If you can't be bothered to read the previous post basically the original cover isn't large enough to keep dirt out of the fan...OK?

The small cover has behind it a crushed beer can making it bigger to keep dirt out of the fanIngenious! Or blooming ridiculous. Probably the latter.

Even I, king of the bodges, accept that we really need a more permanent cover. 

So we need a piece of sheet material. I have some old computer cases and that's the right kind of metal. But... But the mounting for the original cover isn't a sturdy affair and with a larger piece of steel as opposed to a small piece of aluminium I had concerns that the new cover may at least flop around a little. It's a contender, but not ideal.

We could do with a piece of tough but lightweight plastic. So it is we find ourselves walking around Homebase picking up anything plastic. Bins - maybe? Decorative plastic baskets? Washing baskets? We touch, wobble, twist and discuss the properties of garden planters, washing up bowls, tool boxes, paint tubs and everything between. We finally agree on a paint roller tray - the plastic is tough and flexible but not too flexible and at £1.49 it's not too expensive to be cut up.

A regular paint tray for a roller brush has a big rectangular hole cut out of it
Well that's £1.50 wasted if it doesn't work.

The original cover has a bend in it. Plastic can be bent but incredibly conveniently the roller tray has a nice angle already set in the plastic. It's not an identical angle to the original cover but near enough as not to worry. I mark out a rough template and use my Dremel to cut it out. A little more Dremel work sees some mounting holes with the rubber grommet fitted and I make a test fit. It's fine.

Everything is rough and ready, if it were me I'd just lob it on there and call it quits. I know Sharon well enough to know that won't do on her motorcycle though. I pass the piece of roughly cut plastic to her along with a few files, a Stanley knife and some sandpaper. I find it best to leave her to it so I head out and buy something to eat instead.

Upon my return the item is ready and I fit it in a matter of moments. 

The new cover in situ under the radiator on the Kawasaki Z250SL
It's there, it protects the exit of the cowl and it looks fine.

My only worry is heat. We've had a jolly good ride since the new cover was fitted and the plastic has not turned into a soft gooey dripping mess. That was on a cool, wet and windy day though. I wait to see what happens on a hot sunny day in traffic with the fan blowing full tilt. I *think* it will be fine, but I'm not totally sure. 

The cover is hardly noticeable from the side of the motorcycle
The black plastic just blends with the rest of the engine and radiator.

The good thing about riding the motorcycle on a cool, wet and windy day is I can see how effective the new cover is. Stopping and looking reveals the underside to be wet as expected but the inside of the cowl is not even wet. This bodes well, if the road spray is not getting in there then the dirt ought not to either.

Do you feel like you're doing R&D for your motorcycle manufacturer? We'd like to share your experience. ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

pocketpete said :-
Looks pretty effective, hopefully will save you buying an expensive fan for the forseeable future.
10/10/2017 4:22:06 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It'll do the task it's meant to do and that's what matters.
11/10/2017 12:13:52 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Looks pretty good. I knew you could do it if you tried.
16/10/2017 1:37:21 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I can do many things if I try. I often just lack the will to try.
16/10/2017 2:18:32 PM UTC
Ted said :-
"Lack the will to try", yeh right....
I think Sharon should be rightly proud of your modifications.
perhaps all of their new 250s should be supplied with a free paint tray?

Since spending a whole £5.00...+ another fiver on P&P for a short original screen for the CB500X, I have been out playing.
Probably getting more frustrated at NOT getting it right.
I'm still not sure I am totally happy with this screen set up.
It does now deflect over my previously battered crash helmet.

I had tried the short screen at the bottom, and then bolted my longer screen above it...NOPE.
Tried my original 2016, longer screen with a Give A660 I had clamped on to the bars....novel idea as the givi was an inner screen and obviously moved when steering.
Still not happy.
Sooo, sorting out some 1/2" steel tubing, flattened off the ends enough to be able to bolt on to the screen (needs a bit of a twist in the tube) and the other flats bolt onto the sides of the original screen brackets.
You can probably see I have this set quite high at present, thus working on the theory I can lower by the couple of inches on the bracket, OR If need be later, cut the bracket down and drill a couple more holes....only time will tell.

CB500X screen 1
19/10/2017 7:39:18 AM UTC
Ted said :-
Screen pic UPDATE 2

19/10/2017 7:42:50 AM UTC
Ted said :-
CB500x Screen....Update

19/10/2017 7:45:29 AM UTC
Ted said :-
CB500X screen....FINAL?


19/10/2017 7:47:42 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Blinkin heck Ted! You're putting me to shame with your bodging and experimental skills. The only problem is your craftmanship. The squashed metal tubes are far too neatly done AND you've bothered to paint them in MATCHING colours. Personally I'd just leave them to rust but each to their own.

Please keep me appraised of the final outcome. We should go into business, I'll make plastic fan cowl covers and you can do screen extenders.
19/10/2017 9:48:43 AM UTC
Ted said :-
Xenter will possibly be next Ren.
Many moons ago I reclaimed a Perspex screen from an old Honda 50 cub,

Cut a bigger hole out of it to fit around the headlight on my LML (Yes a scooter ;-) when I bought it new in 2010.

I keep looking for the proper brackets for the Xenter.
No joy as yet, but my Sheet Metal Work and fabrication skills from a life time of being locked away in a workshop are finally paying dividends.
If you can buy one, MAKE IT !

TH CB 500 screen saga was driving me crazy, I just had to walk away from for a while.

I have a feeling it will at least get lowered those couple of inches, maybe more after a few longer rides.

PAINT....Easy Peasy.....Hammerite Smooth red is about as close to the Honda colour without breaking the bank.

I still like your ingenious use of a paint roller tray.
£1.50 well spent.

No good just doing that thinking outside the box stuff, sometimes we just have the throw the box away and start from scratch.

More for another time when I have got more time to play outside.

19/10/2017 4:06:40 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Ted - keep us posted. If it ain't relevant to a page stick it on the Chit Chat page.
20/10/2017 8:39:57 PM UTC

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