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Old 01-21-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
blanc OP
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Honda XR250 BAJA

Hi

Who here has experience with a XR250 Baja? It has a steel tank, electric and kick start but is missing the dual headlight setup. Are they a good bike? The bike in question has a mere 8000 miles and is garaged

Steve
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:04 AM   #2
RED1
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Its just a more road oriented version of an XR250, shorter softer suspension, different gearing and steel tank as you know as plastic tanks are illeagle in japan for road going bikes.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:38 AM   #3
blanc OP
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Cool any Idea what they are like on the road?
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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any experience of same? Quite interested in this bike as a road tool for geeting licence and mountain rides etc
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:34 AM   #5
heilong
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I live in Russia and most of the XR250s here are japanese domestic market models. I've got a japanese version XR250 (not Baja) that is very similar to Baja. There are several major and a lot of minor differences between the american-spec XR250R and these japanese bikes. I'll outline the key differences here and you guys can ask any questions if you want. I've done work on almost every part of the bike (except the bottom end) so I know almost every bolt and nut, and how it differs (or not) from the XR250R. So:

Here is a Google-translated japanese page with the key specs compared. ME08 is american-spec XR250R, MD30 is japanese-spec XR250 (including XR250 Baja): http://translate.google.com/translat...jp%2FME08.html

Body: The japanese XR250 has a metal tank, normal version is 9.5l (sorry guys but you have to convert to gallons yourself, I'm a metric dude), Baja's originally had the same tank, but from year 1998 or 2000 (I don't exactly remember) they have a bigger 14.5l tank. I've found a guy with a Baja who was willing to trade tanks with me and now I have a 14.5l tank, it weights 4kg - same as a 22l Acerbis plastic tank for XR250R. The frame has different mounting points for the tank, so fitting an XR250R plastic tank isn't exactly a bolt-on job. I've bought and later sold the 22l Acerbis just because I couldn't mount it perfectly, and I'm a perfectionist... For me, the metal tank is not a con, for some it may be. The newer XR250 Baja also has a slightly wider seat than the regular XR250, to match the wider tank.
There are passenger footpegs provided, they're quite high so not very comfortable (especially for tall passengers), but I've managed to do 500km in two days with a girl and she's still alive after that :) It's curious that while the subframe is almost identical to the XR250R (the only differences are some welded wire harness tabs), the weight capacity is listed as 150kg (rider+passenger), while the XR250R lists 100kg (one rider). I'm going to reinforce the rear subframe as it's known to crack (at the cross-member).
The gear shifter pedal has a foldable tip with replaceable rubber.
The chain guide is different and is mounted further backward. I've bought a Moose Racing aluminum chain guard and had to drill new holes in it to mount properly (because of the different location of the mounting tab on the swingarm).

Brakes: The front brake master cylinder is different, brake pads have different part numbers but are interchangeable with XR250R ones. Otherwise, the brakes are the same (or mostly the same, all parts interchangeable).

Intake: Japanese bikes use a CV carb (Keihin VE88), it works well but doesn't have a sharp throttle response (as all CV carbs). The carb-air cleaner boot, carb-cylinder head boot, throttle cables, throttle tube and throttle housing are all different (incompatible) with the XR250R. Some of the parts (throttle cables, carb spares) can be hard to get.

Engine: Japanese bikes have different (less aggressive) camshaft, heavier upper cam sprocket and cam chain, no manual decompressor (they do have an auto-decompressor on camshaft), electric starter (it has a downside - due to the space used by the starter, it's harder to remove/replace the carb for cleaning/servicing). The piston has a lower compression ratio of 9.3 and the engine can thus run on any gas. Most of the engine parts from the XR250R can be installed on the japanese bike, e.g. I'm replacing the camshaft, cam sprocket and chain and piston to american-spec stuff.

Transmission: The gears are a bit different. The final drive gearing is much higher because the standard rear sprocket is 40-tooth. Really bad for off-road use, but can travel at 120-130 kph on road. I've replaced it with a 45-tooth one (all sprockets are compatible with XR250R), now it's quite good off-road and I usually don't go over 110 kph on road (most of the time 90 kph is my road speed). The stock chain is an o-ring one (I dunno about XR250R). The plastic front sprocket cover doesn't have any holes and packs up with muds fast, so people either replace it or make holes in it. XR250R cover doesn't fit, because one of the mounting holes is farther away (the left crankcase cover is different due to the bigger alternator).

Exhaust: The header has smaller diameter where it joins the midpipe. The stock muffler is steel, relatively heavy, and is very quiet.

Electrical: The alternator is much bigger and outputs 204W at ~5000RPM, so it's possible to add more additional equipment. The XR250 headlight uses a standard 60/55W H4 bulb and is much brighter than the wimpy 35W XR250R unit. The Baja has a dual 35W/35W headlight that uses an expensive and hard-to-get lamp. The light is reportedly good (haven't seen it in action, myself), however the aluminum frame around the headlight is prone to bending in crashes. I didn't like the non-standard bulb and this bending story (and also the design) so I bought a regular XR250, but some people swear by the XR250 Baja. The headlight is always on when ignition is on (except when pressing the start button), there is no switch to turn it off (some people install a custom switch). The bike has a bigger R/R (due to a bigger alternator), a battery, some versions have an electronic (LCD) instruments panel. Turn signals and brake light are all standard. Both front turn signals are half-lit when not showing a turn (most of the japanese bikes have this feature for added visibility).

Suspension: Shorter travel (and probably softer, but I'm not sure) suspension. The front fork parts are mostly interchangeable with the XR250R, however there are no compression adjusters, and the springs are different (dual-springs layout, thus they are 2-step progressive springs). I've replaced both fork and shock springs with rising-rate progressive springs from HyperPro. I'm not really sure why the front suspension travel is less than XR250R, because both the fork and shock internals are the same. On the rear, I think the shock absorber is the same, the shock linkage arm is different.

That's about what I could remember, might have missed something else.
In summary, the japanese XR250 (especially Baja) is a great street-legal dual-sport bike that isn't very good off-road in the stock form, but at least change the rear sprocket to a bigger one, and it'll do ok off-road. But not as good as XR250R, obviously, mostly due to the significant added weight and the CV carb. Maintenance-wise, some parts can be hard to get, this is especially a problem with parts that are not interchangeable with the XR250R parts. Some aftermarket upgrades might not fit without modifications or at all. On the other hand, Zeta Racing (Japan, sold in USA thru Wheeling Cycle Supply) makes a lot of really nice aftermarket upgrades specifically for japanese market models, including XR250, I've got a lot of their stuff on my bike. They have a really good skid plate, stainless exhaust header, great aluminum silencer (by Delta, a division of Zeta Racing).

Questions are welcome.

My bike:




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Old 04-03-2011, 03:47 AM   #6
heilong
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Forgot to mention that the Japanese bikes do not have a kick starter in stock form. A kick starter kit was previously available, but parts suppliers told me the kits are discontinued, so they're hard to find. I've managed to buy a used (looked like new) kick starter spindle from ebay, and also got a new kick starter pedal, so my bike now has both e-start and kick. But this upgrade has set me back around $210.

Here is another link to google-translated page with lots of info about Baja.
http://translate.google.com/translat...%2F19960600%2F
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
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Is there a way to get those rear passenger pegs here in the US?
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
zazz
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Nice post on the differences between japanese and regular xr250! This is my japanese xr250 originally in motard form. I was always wondering what the differences were but could never get a straight answer.... I was also looking for a kickstart kit.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:16 PM   #9
heilong
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Here's a URL, hosted by me, containing all kinds of service manuals and parts fiches for the XR250 (American XR250R and XR250L, Japanese XR250/XR250 Baja/XR250 Motard, Brazilian XR250 Tornado). Included is the japanese XR250/Baja/Motard parts fiche and a service manual (in Japanese) for years 95 and above. These 2 books were bought by a group of enthusiasts from the Russian XR250 forum forum.pmoto.ru, including me, then scanned and converted to DjVu by me.
fiche: http://doc.razorscript.com/moto/honda_xr250/fiche/
manuals: http://doc.razorscript.com/moto/honda_xr250/manuals/
gearing calculator: http://doc.razorscript.com/moto/hond...ring_13-45.xls


jvle95, if your subframe has the mounting thru holes for the pegs, you could probably order the pegs and the mounting pins, washers and cotters. Let me know if you do have the mounting holes and I can get you the part numbers. Or you can look them up yourself, see the URL above. Not sure if the OEM parts suppliers sell these parts in USA, though. You may be better off buying some aftermarket universal passenger pegs, I'm sure it would be cheaper as well.

zazz, you can search ebay.com.au for kickstarter kits, my friend bought two complete kits there (to resell). The part number for the complete kit is 08U78-KCZ-000
It's a rare item, though, hard to find. You will have better luck buying a used kickstarter spindle assembly from an american XR250R, you can then buy either used or new kickstarter pedal, you'll also need a few small bits like a new right crankcase cover gasket, a bushing and a gear that fits onto the transmission shaft, a seal for the kickstarter shaft.

Tank-related pics:

My XR250 (the rust on the fork uppers is fixed by now ;)


14l XR250 Baja tank I've got in exchange for my 9l XR250 tank (powder-coated in "traffic red" by now, not yet mounted ;)


The 9l XR250 tank I had before. The tail is mounted the same as the plastic tanks (AFAIK).


In short, it's a metal tank and is mounted in a fashion usual for road bikes with metal tanks. The XR250R has screw mounts for the front (different attachments welded to the frame). I've had my hands on a 22l plastic Acerbis tank and couldn't get it to mount perfectly without modding the frame (re-welding the mounts). Didn't want to weld the frame, and sadly I'm a perfectionist, the end result was satisfactory but not excellent, so I sold the tank and the aluminum mount adapter plates I fabricated. The guy who uses it now doesn't have any problems with these adapter plates.

heilong screwed with this post 04-21-2011 at 12:40 PM
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:58 AM   #10
bushcraft biker
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luggage rack

hi heilong
Really nice bike. I would like to know from where you got that luggage rack and bags. I really like them and would like to get some for my baja too :)
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
heilong
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Originally Posted by bushcraft biker View Post
hi heilong
Really nice bike. I would like to know from where you got that luggage rack and bags. I really like them and would like to get some for my baja too :)
Thanks. It's already sold, because I moved to Thailand. Got a KLX250 here...
I bought the rack and bags from a Ukrainian company Kozak. Here's the website (in Russian):
http://kozak.ucoz.com/load/aksessuar...ki_120/2-1-0-4
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:50 PM   #12
Guy Jinbaiquerre
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XR250 Baja owner here, checking in from Japan! Great little bike for the dirt...

__________________
IBA # 42657
96 Honda XR250 Baja
09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #13
heilong
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Originally Posted by walkerrn View Post
hi heilong,

This thread and particularly your posts seem to be the authority on Bajas on the internet, so thanks for that. Ive recently picked up a 2002 Baja which im currently doing up, and have a few questions.

I see in one of your tank pics you had the standard LCD screen installed, although in yuor full bike pic it looks like an aftermarket model? If thats so, what model is it? Ive looked at the Vapor trail models for Xr250 but the mounting seems different to what is currently installed. (I do have the dual headlights though).

Also im having trouble finding turn signals that i can be confident will mount on my bike, can i be sure any universal models will fit? Any recommendations? Again, its the dual headlight frame that concerns me,

And as a matter of interest, what are those red lugs on the engine casing called exactly? Im sure i saw a set of these along with a stem nut in different colours, wouldnt mind a set myself :)

Cheers
Hey, thanks, it's really nice to hear this! Although I have already sold my XR250 (because I moved to Thailand).
Congrats with the Baja! My bike initially had the original digital instrument panel (LCD), which I sold and installed a TrailTech Vapor instead. I had the regular XR250 (non-Baja), so I'm unsure if the Baja has the same mounting bracket, this might be also dependent on the year and if it originally came with the mechanical speedo or the digital one. I used the original bracket for the installation of Vapor, as well as the TrailTech's aluminum protector/dashboard, which I had to drill two holes to match the bike's bracket's hole spacing. Combined with a couple of long screws and a stack of washers, this was my install.

I only used the stock turn signals, so can't really give advice on these. Also I don't have experience with the dual-headlight.

If I understand your question correctly, the "red lugs" in the left crankcase cover are aftermarket engine plugs (for timing inspection & crankshaft holes) sold as a set, made by Zeta Racing, a Japanese company that makes accessories for a lot of Japanese market bikes. I ordered Zeta's stuff from Wheeling Cycle Supply in USA, actually.
Since then, I changed my opinion about these shiny bits - this stuff mostly is nothing but bling. They don't even save weight, because the original plugs are also aluminum, so it's just for the red shining factor. On my current bike I don't bother with looks-only items any more. Although if you have a lot of spare money, go for the bling :)

Have fun with your bike :)
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
madnomad
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Hi heilong,

Thanks for the detailed post. It's really great! I have three of these XRs: one XR 250S, one XR 250 3S and one XR 250 3V! I love them for globe-trotting.

I am really impressed with the alternator output! Is it really 204 W??? That's a lot!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:23 AM   #15
heilong
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Originally Posted by madnomad View Post
Hi heilong,

Thanks for the detailed post. It's really great! I have three of these XRs: one XR 250S, one XR 250 3S and one XR 250 3V! I love them for globe-trotting.

I am really impressed with the alternator output! Is it really 204 W??? That's a lot!
They are nice. I sold mine though, as I moved to Thailand, where I have a Kawasaki KLX250 (Made in Thailand).
I haven't made any measurements regarding alternator output, but it can indeed power a pair of auxiliary lights and not drain the battery. I also changed the taillight/turn signals to LEDs to conserve a little more power.

Your trip sounds really interesting! And I would love to travel in Greece someday. So far I've been in Cyprus and Crete, and liked both, never been on the mainland part, though.
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