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Old 07-04-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
Africa woody OP
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Wink My first re-build 1990 Honda XR250R

OK, here's the story. I've been on a 2006 CRF230F for the last 5 years, and i must admit that it is the most willing and capable bike anyone could ever hope to own. But given that we're riding in the Inanda valley most of the time, and that in full kit i'm up near the 100Kg mark, I've always felt that i was asking a little too much of the little beast. And at 6ft tall i did feel like i was too big for the bike. The other draw back apart from the frame size and the suspension was definitely the drum brake at the back. Over the years I've adjusted my riding style to never rely on the rear brake, always only the front brake or motor compression, this made for some very close calls at times. But regardless of all the above, this little CRF took me everywhere any of my KTM or WR mates went, maybe not as fast but she always got me there in the end with very little complaining and always with the rubber side down, just the way i like it. She's now available for sale if anyone is interested.

So, for the last couple of months I've been looking around at possibly getting an XR400R, (I have a little thing for XR's) But never found anything worth giving up the CRF for, until now. I've managed to find a 1990 XR250R in OK condition at a reasonable price. So I collected her and brought her home so that i can get started on my first re-build project.

I'm having to commit to 6 months of no bush riding so that i can give myself enough time to get this project done properly, so the KLR will have to scratch that itch.

Condition of the bike as she stands now:
Disk brakes front and back in good nik
Tyres will need to be replaced front and back
Rims are perfect
Fork boots are vrot
Fork seals will need replacing
After-market bars and bar-riser fitted so that's sorted
De-compresion cable and lever non-existent
Clutch feels very stiff so will need to have a look at that
Rear suspension will need to go to DC Suspension for an over-haul
Frame is sound but will get a powder-coating
Foot pegs will get replaced with wider ones
Gear changer is buckled - will replace

Plastics are all intact but as can be expected, covered with various random stickers and very weathered, so those will need some TLC. A good mate of mine has a printing company that specializes in vinyl bike sticker kits so I'll get that all sorted and looking awesome again.

The motor, even on a very cold northern KZN morning, started on the second kick without the benefit of the de-comp. My biggest concern is the very noisy top end. She sounds like an industrial sewing machine at the moment, i suspect the cam is eating the head, so the motor will need some serious looking into. I'm hoping it's not too serious (expensive). If anyone has been down this road before or has any advise, please dont hesitate to drop a comment - all are welcome.

The photos that follow are of the outgoing CRF and the in-coming XR starting with the pick that was on the original Gumtree ad, and followed by some randoms.



This is what was on the gumtree ad



And after she got home, i do hate it when bikes are covered with random stickers, so they all had to come off.





And this is what she will look like when I'm done, hopefully.



Wish me luck...
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1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

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Old 07-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
aposaric
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Good luck :-) It looks healthy for a start :-)
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
Africa woody OP
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Originally Posted by aposaric View Post
Good luck :-) It looks healthy for a start :-)
Thanks for that, She looks ok but she sounds very sad. A bit nervous about opening her up, going to find some nasty stuff in there I'm sure. But nothing that cant be fixed.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
RFVC600R
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I think it's odd that the XR250R's engine looks more modern than the CRF230.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:13 AM   #5
Switchblade315
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that bike did not have a manual hand decomp. it was auto decomp from the kick start best i remember. the rattle is more then likely ether it has never had the valves adjusted or it needs a timing chain.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
RFVC600R
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Do a compression test, reset your valves and decompresion unit. You might have a good engine still.

Then again, I had over 190psi on my 600 and it still dropped a seat a few months later lol.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:38 AM   #7
Africa woody OP
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The Weekends work

An update on the weekends efforts.

Started the great strip-down on the magnificent XR250R. To be honest, i was having second thoughts about this bike during the week, stressing about how bad the motor condition is going to be, stressing about the availability of spares and what the cost will be to get this bike to the condition i want it. And doubting my ability to do it myself which is ultimately what i want to do. With this in mind, i'm going to need a lot of input from those of you who have been down this road before. Id rather learn from the mistakes made by others.

So once the new Tusk clutch was fitted to the CRF i started with the XR. As expected, lots of miss-matched bolts and nuts and some tight, rusty, and semi-seized, so plenty of penetrating spray was used, and from time to time the trusty hammer helped.

First off - the plastic bits. No problems here, and I was not surprised to find the filthiest foam air filter i have ever seen.



Next was the exhaust, again no problems here either



Getting some of the motor mounting bolts loose took some serious persuasion (hammer) but i prevailed and without much fuss she was out.





Did a good visual of the frame and found no cracks or serious damage, so once everything is stripped off she'll go for a good re-spray.

The motor still frightens me, but I have a workshop manual and I'll put on my big boy pants and have a good go at it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Once the motor was out I decided to pack it in for the day so that's as far as i got. Will spend some time on the plastics in the evenings seeing if i can get some new life out of those tired old things. Lots of elbow grease and i'm sure they'll be back to there original beauty or pretty close at least.

Any tips or advise is always welcome, no matter how trivial.
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1982 Honda XR200R - 1989 Yamaha DT125 - 1985 Kawasaki GPz550 -
1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

Everything that is good in life, happens because of motorbikes...
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:49 AM   #8
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Laugh

Lurkin time!
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
Africa woody OP
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Got tinkering..

Spent some time in the workshop last night, decided to start cleaning the plastics. I failed hopelessly with the before and after photo's, will try and get that right in future..

First was to get rid of the old and scratched blue sticker from the RH side cover. That was a mission all on its own, eventually resorted to some paint stripper which did the job quickly and easily, but i suspect it's responsible for the yellow tinge left behind. But clean non the less. A new blue sticker will hide whats left behind.



The airbox side cover was a different story. As was getting the foam air filter clean. Fortunately the filter itself is in perfect condition and is now clean and dry ready for a proper oiling. Used some de-greaser and paint brush on the side cover first...



And was still left with this...



So decided to use the air filter cleaner that was left after cleaning the filter and got a much better result..



The headlamp assembly is going to need some fixing, i see someone tried before but never got it fixed. I'll see if i can weld it at some point.



But it's clean now and will also get a sticker treatment.



Will have to get some plastic polish if i want to get everything back to an original condition, but with this being a dedicated bush bike that will be prone to scratches and involuntary lying down, i might leave them as they are. They aren't too bad. Any suggestions??



The front fender has been cut and i'm thinking of replacing it with something similar to the current CRF fender in white. Will see how that goes though.

That was where my energy ran out... Tonight i'm hoping to start on pulling the rear suspension and swing-arm.
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1982 Honda XR200R - 1989 Yamaha DT125 - 1985 Kawasaki GPz550 -
1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

Everything that is good in life, happens because of motorbikes...
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
Africa woody OP
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A busy weekend

Got tinkering on Friday evening... After collecting the newest addition to the family, which can be seen here next too the KLR.. It's actually my brothers, bought for his young boys.





But the plan for the evening was to get the back-end off the XR, didn't think Id have time to get the front off.










And without much hassle the rear swing arm was off - The rear axle was as dry as sand paper which explains why the rear wheel felt a little tight. Checked all the bearings and found them all in good condition.





Realised the airbox doesn't come out with the rear shock in place. Must remember to put that back in before the shock.

And as easy as that it was all done.




Checked and greased the neck set bearing. All good so left that in place. Now for a good rub down with a wire brush and sand paper and get started with the re-spray.

Looking forward to getting this thing back together. Will get the frame sorted and get it back to a rolling chassis before i start on the motor. That's going to be when the real fun starts.
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1982 Honda XR200R - 1989 Yamaha DT125 - 1985 Kawasaki GPz550 -
1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

Everything that is good in life, happens because of motorbikes...
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #11
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Best of luck. take your time,enjoy the build.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:23 AM   #12
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Looking good. Best tip l can give you is get a couple of dozen large zip lock bags and a permanent marker.
Label each bag and keep all the bits from getting mixed up. Makes the reassembly much, much easier!
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:20 AM   #13
Africa woody OP
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it continues

A little update on our progress so far. The frame is off for sand blasting and priming, and then off to get spray painted. I was tempted to go the powder coating rout but with this bike being for the bush a good spray painting would be more than suitable. Powder coating tends too chip when dropped on rocks etc.

The motor, (and here I had to concede defeat), has been sent in to Tom Saddler who comes highly recommended and is a bit of a specialist mad scientist when it comes to these old 4T motors. So far the inside of the motor has been full of nasty surprises, but i will persevere with this as I believe she's going to be an amazing bike when she's done so it will all be worth it in the end. We'll be doing the rebuild from the big-end up, with some machining work to sort out some nasty wear on the top end which I suspect has been the cause of some oil starvation. Hopefully we'll be able to get it all sorted.

Will have some more news pretty soon as we start putting together our shopping list. If anyone has and tips on online stores for XR250 spares please feel free to post a reply. OEM parts in South Africa tend to be very expensive and the 250 was never well supported here so i will be relying heavily on imported spares.

Till next time.
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1982 Honda XR200R - 1989 Yamaha DT125 - 1985 Kawasaki GPz550 -
1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

Everything that is good in life, happens because of motorbikes...
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
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If you haven't seen it yet, check out the 250r thread. Lots of good folks and tons of info. Good luck with it. When I did my frankenbuild on my XR, I bought some parts from local Honda, and some off ebay. Servicehonda has also been good to me but don't know if they ship outside of US.
If I remember correctly, you're not the only 250r rider on that continent. Seems like I remember one in Kenya and another closer to you. Maybe they'll chime in in the 250r thread posted below and help point you in the right direction.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ghlight=xr250r

A couple of build threads to keep you motivated.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ghlight=xr250r

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ghlight=xr250r

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ghlight=xr250r
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:23 AM   #15
Africa woody OP
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Progress.....

Greeting fellow folk of the XR variety.

So, the motor is open and we have a few problems. First of them is with the head which i might need to replace, so if you have one please let me know. The problem is that in the center of the cam shaft where the oil supply comes up, this is very badly worn to the point that there is very little oil pressure to the top end. (Has anyone repaired this before - is it a common thing?) The rest of the motor seems to be ok. The usual wear and tear but very happy to see a perfectly smooth bore, the piston unfortunately has 2 valve shaped notches in the top, so we'll be replacing that as well as the valves and rockers. The big problem is the cam, and Honda South Africa has very little support or interest in a 1990 XR250R. My plan is to import where I can and only source local if I really have to. Anyone that can help me out with bits and pieces I would be super grateful.
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1982 Honda XR200R - 1989 Yamaha DT125 - 1985 Kawasaki GPz550 -
1982 Honda MBX50 - 2006 Honda CRF230f - 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
1990 Honda XR250R - 1982 Honda CX550

Everything that is good in life, happens because of motorbikes...
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