The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Repair And Restoration

Z250SL Tank Rubber Issue

Job Date - 01 September 2019

Written By Ren Withnell, Job done by both Sharon and Ren.

In preparation for a forthcoming trip we are changing a wire on Sharon's Kwakker. 

This wire is presently a USB A to USB mini B. The A end is under the rear seat ready to be plugged into a 12v socket to USB adaptor. The wire runs along the frame to the font of the bike, up via the steering and into a Sat-Nav case on her bars. The mini B end is in said case ready to power her Sat-Nav.

A silvery coloured wire runs along the frame of Sharon's 250 for charging the sat nav or phone
The wire runs from the 12v socket to USB to the front where the Sat-Nav is.

But the Sat-Nav is poop and out of date. She wants her phone in there. Which takes a micro B plug. Which means we need to remove the rear seat, front seat and offside side panel. While I was removing the offside side panel I lose a tiny rubber "damper".

On the side of the tank is a metal tab, which ought to have a little rubber cover but it's missing
There ought to be a rubber cover on that metal tongue.

I also notice that on the offside the tank is "loose". Not loose as in ready to fall off, loose as in the rubber bush between the tank and frame seems to have a lot of play. It's not a disaster or an impending failure but it's not right, it's not as it should be, it doesn't give me that warm cosy "just so" feeling.

The tank mount has a rubber dampener or bush on the Z250SL
There's a lot of play in this bush, more than I'd like.

Later I have a look online. I can purchase not one but 2 of the rubber dampers that I managed to loose for about £2. It's not worth not buying them and replacing the missing one at that price. It also transpires that the tank mounting rubbers are about £3. I did consider "bodging" the tank rubber with some old inner tube, zip ties and super glue. At £3 for 2 new rubbers it's not worth the effort. I place my order from and it arrives within 5 days as advertised.

At Sharon's the next weekend we replace the tank mounting rubbers. It's an easy enough task and now the tank feels secure, it has that "just so" feeling that I was looking for. Job done, happiness, sorted. I'm just surprised the rubber had collapsed or perished or given up that's all.

The new rubber in place and the tank back in situ
New rubber in place and the tank is secure once more.
A new rubber cover over the tongue on the tank that secures the side panel
And a new rubber cover for the side panel mount on the tank.

As the tank rubbers had come as a pair we'd replaced both. Now I am looking at the original rubbers as removed not half an hour ago. Something is not right. Prey tell, can you also see what is not right?

2 round rubber bushes, but one is noticeably smaller than the other
Is it me, or is something amiss here?

They are different. They are different in size. The larger one was the one that was correct, the smaller one was the one where the looseness was felt. Obviously, blatantly, clearly and evidently obviously this was the cause of this looseness. What the deuce?!

How did this come to pass? 

Option 1. The Z250SL came from the factory like this. One random rubber mixed in with thousands of the correct size? Maybe they'd run out of the correct size and thrown a few of these in just to get them out the door? finger trouble, picking the wrong item from the belt? 

Option 2. At service time the original correct rubber went walkabout and this smaller option was thrown in to get it out the door. 

We will never know. We can never prove anything. This will always be a mystery. However this issue is now resolved and without too much wailing or gnashing of teeth.  

If you have your own motorcycling tales to share then click here.

Reader's Comments

Bob said :-
It's not just shrunk over time?
Kawasaki seem to use very soft rubber on their bikes. I've had a number of older Kawasaki machines and things like this have happened a lot. On my KE100 the clocks used to slap backwards and forwards, the fault was that the rubber sleeves around the mounting bushes had shrunk.
On my KLE500 the inlet rubbers had shrunk so that they wouldn't stretch over the carbs anymore and the fuel tank was loose because the mounting rubbers had shrunk.
Even on my modern KLX250s I've noticed that the rubber boot over the clutch adjuster have fallen apart (on all 6 bikes).
At least Kawasaki have good and cheap spares back-up.
2/9/2019 1:09:59 PM UTC
Snod said :-
£3 for only two bits of rubber? Look at Mr Moneybags over here.

I'll have a check for this when I take the tank off for the valve clearances, give me a month or so and I'll report back.
2/9/2019 9:48:30 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
No Bob it's not shrunk! The rubber feels normal. The correctly sized rubber at 3 years old and 20 thousand miles was still a good fit and working as I'd expect. But yes, rubbers do wear and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable the replacements were. I dare not think how much Honda might have charged.

Snod - moneybags? Maybe you've seen my executive suite at the Hilton? Or my fully Snap-On stocked, heated and secured workshop? Obviously you'll know about the private jet with the on-board garage? Financially Bikes And Travels brings in enough money to furnish this lifestyle. Ohh? The scruffy house and tin shed? That's just for blog, gives it a down to earth feel.
3/9/2019 9:14:59 AM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Maybe they realised they had a design problem and upgraded the rubber bits. They sometimes upgrade bits when they realise it's not right.

When I reported rust on my abs rings they told me at honda that I could have new ones which appeared to have totally different paint. They changed them when they did my tyres. The news ones didnt seem to rust and were a deeper grey colour.
4/9/2019 8:00:41 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
I'm a little surprised those weren't stainless Pete.
Hope you're still fixing OK.
With regards Ed's rubber issue, there's no way they've shrunken or worn. I would think they were wrong at fitment. I'd have hoped Kawasaki would have posted a couple out to you.
4/9/2019 9:24:15 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm 100% sure the tank rubber hasn't magically shrunk or worn away. It is the wrong rubber that's all. I'd assumed the rubber had collapsed so I'd ordered the new rubbers. I suspect Kawasaki would simply say "...prove it..."
5/9/2019 8:54:29 AM UTC
Snod said :-
Had the tank off mine today, thought of this post and checked the rubbers.. Both seem correct and don't allow much slop. Sharon got unlucky somewhere!
20/10/2019 7:31:15 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I think it's what I'd call "finger trouble". Someone picked up the wrong rubber from a big pile of rubbers...
20/10/2019 10:26:43 PM UTC

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