|02-10-2009, 07:18 PM||#1|
Got the knack.
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Central Ohio
Something old, something borrowed, something blue: My blessed TTR250 project.
I lucked into a steal on a 2002 TTR250 with pretty low miles. A local guy picked it up in a divorce-fire-sale from a guy who rode it 100 miles, broke his hip and it sat until his wife sued his ass. The purchaser tried to get his wife on it, she didn't like the height, and again it sat for a while almost unused. I didn't really have much interest in it myself, I pretty much purchased with the sole intention of riding it for a week or so to say I did, and then selling it to a buddy or someone who was more interested in it...I hadn't considered a 250cc bike for my DS fun and was happy with my DRZ...or so I thought. But, a funny thing happened on the trails behind my house. I found the little blue beast to be (as Baby Bear would say) "just right". It just fit me, in feel, size, power, everything. It just sang to me in a way that brought back my youth spent on a 175 2-smoke. It's simpler than the DRZ, had a 6th gear, easier to work on, etc.
But, there was a problem...the DRZ I had just finished decking out, and the TTR wasn't street legal, and I didn't need or want 3 bikes to maintain, so I had to make Sophie's choice. I put the DRZ and the TTR both up for sale, with the promise to myself that whichever sold I would be happy to have either as my thumper and I wouldn't look back.
The DRZ went bye-bye, so I was now looking at a blue 2-fiddy as a project which I was pleased with. First thing was to sort it out, make sure it was as it should be mechanically to my dual-sporting satisfaction. I found no damage or problems that were major, which was good. The TTR had came with a road-title, which made the conversion very easy from a legal standpoint...just add the stuff and buy a plate, done.
Around this time I had some financial setbacks around the house, and my play money disappeared. This would complicate things, but I took this as a challenge. I told myself I would not spend over $500 on the bike, no matter what.....bringing my total completed project in well under $2k, do-able, but I'd have to be resourceful.
The bike was bone stock, so I did my homework and learned of its weaknesses the carb/pipe being principle among them. So, using the Ebay/Live.com discount I located a Pro-circuit T4 for the sale price of $250, brought down to $175 with the discount, and I got all the jets from a Thumpertalk guy who had ordered spares....he gave them to me for the shipping, so I was under $180 for the re-jet and pipe.
This went very smoothly, and the new pipe opened the bike up very nicely....way better throttle and response. So, there's one thing down.
The next big expenditure would be a DS kit. No way I could swing a good high-end kit, so I paid long attention to the sale ads and finally found a guy selling an Electrosport Dakar he had bought and given up on....I scored it for $175 complete, knowing it might not be serviceable but I risked it. Luckily, I found that the wiring harness was for the TTR230 and that was what led him to concede the harness wouldn't work, but a quick call to Electrosport fixed this and they sent me a new 250 harness in trade. A couple hours later, the kit was installed and working perfectly! Awesome, but I'm running low on funds and there's lots to do....
From here on out, I had to be really creative and patient. Not much money, but lots to do!
First thing was getting the lights to LED as the 150watt stator needed all the help it could get if I were to power heated grips or an accessory. So, a quick trip to Dealextreme found me a plug-in 3w 1157 bulb for $8, and a relay for $4. Half way there. Ebay led me to a pair of take-off flush mount CBR signals for $6 shipped (used), and a pair of long-stalk front flashers for $10 to my door. That took care of all the lighting for under $30.
Now it came to the bars and handguards. Big money here, I feared, but alas good fortune found me again. Iron Pony had a scratch & dent Oneal aluminum mini-bars with the CR high bend, for $8, perfect....even in blue to match the bike. Perfect! Found a set of pillow grips and a set of Moose aluminum handguards on Craigslist locally for $25!
Scored a speedo off a '78 DT100 for $10 off ebay, which mated up perfectly to the odo cable and is even accurate.....checked by the GPS to be +-1 mph at top speed.....it's like providence!
Needed a dashboard to mount the speedo, so I cut down an aluminum construction yardstick and sanded it clean, cut it, dug wire & a waterproof 12v socket out of the sale bin at the local trailer place for $3. Struck up a conversation with the guy that owns it, he has a TTR230 and my promise to help him change tires gets me some primary wire, a fuse-holder, fuses, and several other little bits for free. Oh, and he made me a custom set of jumper-cables that terminate to my 2-prong OEM for my tool kit. The hits just keep rolling.
A stop in a local cycle shop by my brother found me a brand new in the plastic rotor protector for the TTR250, a gift for my birthday....so that one was free. He also picked me up a Uni filter, and a pack of oil filters. I knew getting him laid in Pittsburgh would pay off someday, imagine how it might have been better if she hadn't been a dude in drag!?!?
So, now we're almost there.....what else do I need? Gearing...the PO had overtightened the chain and the sprockets were getting shark-finned with premature wear....so I tossed them and an ebay find got me OEM gearing set of Sunstar front and rear steel sprockets and a DID O-ring for $80 shipped, didn't wanna go bargain-bin with that stuff so I spent my last dollars on that.
At this point I had spent just a hair over my $500, but I made up for my excess by beating up a neighbor kid and stealing his lunch money. Went to a good cause, but I digress.
As I'm finishing the mechanicals a buddy of mine convinced me to go with him to a big flea market, and on our trip there I found a guy selling a lot of dirt bike stuff....and nabbed several things I could use - including a Tusk fender bag with tire irons in it, an ATV style tank bag, a Cornwall Tools motorcycle/ATV jack and a brand new set of Dunlop D700 series tires.....and I traded it all for a Taurus .38 revolver. I'm sure the flea market guy was legit, he had "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed on his knuckles. A finer testament to virtue I know not.
No $$ spent there, and now I was about complete.
About the only thing I haven't done to date is a set of shields for the handguards, a skid plate and a proper set of folding mirrors, but all in good time. For now, my beg-borrow-steal-wheel-deal Yamaha is done and I've test-run it with big grins on my face. It's such a wonderful, balanced little trail bike and with the exception of highway top end, it's got splendid road manners....hard to believe Yamaha never made this bike a DS ride here in the states...it puts the XT225 to shame, and until the XT250 it made sense.
Anywho, here's the gal as she sits today....
My custom "ruler" dash setup:
Here's my $6 little CBR rear flush-mounts....bright as can be and very tiny:
So, there's my tale of a great bike for the cheap. And, since there's not an offeeshul TTR250 thread I feel better for having started a thread about it.
The Rant-Fu blog & podcast ->Rant-Fu
swingset screwed with this post 02-10-2009 at 07:25 PM
|02-11-2009, 08:53 AM||#2|
Off the road again..
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Nice work. Shows what can be done with a patience and a tight budget. Too many folks get hung up on spending $15k on a bike and farkles. Well done.
For Sale: Micatech V2 Panniers and SW Motech Racks for Yamaha Super Tenere.
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