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1984 Honda CR250RE

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  • 1984 Honda CR250RE

    Ah, so, um... I bought this on an impulse on Tuesday - it was advertised as an 1988 model and I am worried that I did the wrong thing by selling my '88 KX250 - that my '88 KX125 won't be enough to keep me even vaguely competitive in the Retro MX series this year.

    Being an '84 model makes it eligible for the Retro series, and also eligible for the Heaven VMX series - so I bought it. (Further excuses include the bit where they're the best and most modern feeling pre-85 MXer, my '84 KX125 project might not be ready for the Post-Classic National Titles in late March and the 250 will be a better choice for the Harrow Vinduro).
    Oh, and not to mention the uber-ferals I bought it from - I kind of felt like I needed to save it...

    I got it home, rode it around the back yard a few times to make sure there were no major dramas, and then stripped it down. Typically, I forgot to take "before" photos - suffice to say, it was an ugly but complete, running bike.

    Frame went into the bead-blaster at work. It turned out to be a bloody good frame - not perfect, but way better than most 28yo dirt bike frames with no cracks, no dodgy threads and really only a minor dent in a lower rail to bother mentioning.
    Here is it, just after being painted (note the ultra-expensive, pro-level paint booth):

    The only thing surer than death or taxes is old Hondas' magnesium clutch covers being corroded out. This one was pretty good really, with only two pinholes into the gearbox oil.
    This is my fix - keep the magnesium and the water completely seperate from each other, using litres of JB Weld - same approch seems to be working with the KTM125. The seal was almost new, so I've tried to save it - time will tell.
    Obviously, the repair is not quite finished, but you get the idea.
    (There was a good, used clutch cover on Ebay a few months back - it ended up selling for significantly more than I paid for my whole bike...)

    The clutch basket is good, the compression is good, and there's no slop in the main bearings so I'm leaving the motor alone for now.

    I spent the last few days of smoko/lunch time absolutely busting my asre on the bike - my boss commenting that I'd be able to go home early if I worked like that all the time. If I worked like that all the time, I'd be dead within a week...
    Anyhow, this is the pile of bits that are basically ready to go:

    The front hub had been painted silver, so I pulled the wheel apart to repaint the hub and clean the overspray off the spokes.

    The swing arm and linkage bearings were in amazing condition - the best I've ever seen on an old bike. One bolt was seized in it's bush, but I drilled it out.

    The lower fork legs are heavily roost damaged (and looked like poop), so I painted them black like the 85/86ish works bikes. I think I regret this, but will make my decision once the bike is reassembled.
    The '84 model should have black fork boots, but they look awful, so I bought blue ones.
    Stupid me forgot to bring the springs, caps and damper rods home, so I can't reassemble the forks this weekend, as I had intended.

    Tyres, sprocket, handle bars, air filter, grips, clutch lever, front number plate and chain were all "in stock" (ie: crap hanging around in my shed).

    The pipe is not too bad, but the muffler is shocking. I can fix both, but it's ~$400 for a new DG pipe and muffler - I'm not sure whether to fix both, or wait until I've got the spare cash.

    Seat cover is wrong. $50 to get a new one in the correct colour with the correct graphic - that's a no-brainer.

    Tank needs to crappy too-red paint scraped off and generally cleaned up.

    One other deviaton from stock is that I fitted '84 KX250 bar mounts - they move the handlebars forward about 10mm:

    The plastics are my biggest stress from here. I can get new guards and side plates for reasonable money, but radiator shrouds seem to be impossible. The shrouds I've got are OK - I've cleaned one up fairly well, but the colour seems pretty washed out.
    The side covers are both rubbish, so a new pair is pretty much unavoidable. I'm trying to work out whether it's worth cleaning up the existing mud guards is worth the time/effort, or whether I should just buy the new bits.

    I've also got to rebuild the rear shock - easy enough job, I'm just waiting for the new seal head to turn up.

    I'm hoping to keep the total outlay to under $1500. More updates as things happen/as I work out how to get photos from my phone to the PC... (the photos you can see were taken on the wife's phone).
    Last edited by Spac; 27-01-2013, 12:48 AM.
    Beta 200RR

  • #2

    It's a pleasure to read about this rebuild

    I'm looking forward to reading the ride report.

    Keep up the momentum, re use, clean up and use existing as much as you can is my only advice until you get a few hours use or rides out of it, but you've done this sort of thing already, more than I have.

    Good luck and thanks for posting
    Current: 250 & 125 2T & 250 4T


    • #3
      Spac glad to see another old mxer saved from the clowns. Try Dead Dog Racing for a better pipe. I'll get you some links to places i have used to get parts for my 500


      • #4
        I fixed a pipe for dead dog think it was a 85 don't know if they are the same but it's a good pipe ask for Wade.
        Evo MX for great stickers and seat covers
        VMX Unlimited for parts
        DC Plastics
        Maier Plastics


        • #5
          Excellent job so far and good work on the pictures and captions .
          As you stated, would have liked to have seen a before/after comparison
          Time and tide . .


          • #6
            I love it. I'm looking for an early 80's 250 at the moment and want to do exactly what you're doing.

            Keep the updates coming.

            To achieve great things we must live as though we were never going to die.

            2013 KTM 250 EXC Six Days


            • #7
              Great read so far. I love the buying excuses... 'Best and most modern feeling pre-85 MXer'.' Classic.

              Keep the pics and info coming!
              2011 Husaberg TE330

              2006 Cagiva Mito Pocket Rocket

              Two Stroke Performance

     - Donate today!


              • #8
                I love seeing a good rebuild thread, great work Spac!
                Current bikes: 2016 FC450; 2012 Husqvarna TE310; 2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (used as current race bike); 2004 GSXR1000 (road bike); TTR90 + TTR50 (for the kids!)

                Previous: First that was 'my bike' Suzuki TS125 Ag Bike with dual range gearbox!; Dad's 1982 Husky WR125 to learn big bikes and he still has it!; 1990 something DT200R; 1987 GSXR750; 1996 GSXR750 (stunt bike); 2001 GSXR750 (track/stunt and road! abit of everything that bike); 2004 Husky TE250; 2005 GSXR1000 (PTR tuned ASBK spec race bike); 2008 GSXR600 (superstock race bike);

                Sponsored by: RHOK (Racing Helmets Of Karbon); DataFlow Racing; Team Cunningstunts (one of the founding members); Mark Dykes Carpentry, Stunt'd PhotoGraphy

                2014 FXRRC Pro Twins Champion


                • #9
                  THanks for the encouragement lads.

                  I did absolutely nothing on it yesterday, tried to make up for that today...

                  Weather was good this morning, so I went al fresco.
                  This was at lunchtime - everything went to gether smoothly, but cleaning old over-spray off cables and wiring took ages.
                  Similarly, there must have been more wrong engine mounting bolts than I realised, because I spent ages re-organising them in an attempt to get them all to fit properly, but just couldn't make it happen.

                  The frame colour has been messing with me a bit. Sometimes it looks like a good match to the plastics, sometimes it looks too orange, other times the plastics look too pink. I'm not worried about the colour mismatch, but I am keen to get my head around what the problem actually is!

                  The previous owner told me that "I adjusted the brake up too much and now it squeaks" - I knew there was more to it than that after a bundle of washers fell on the ground when I removed the rear wheel...
                  Today I worked out that the bush for the floating rear brake is missing.

                  I'll dig through my pile of old backing plates and see if anything can be made to fit, as a first step.

                  The worst bit of the bike is the radiators. New Chinese ones are $180/pair which is fine, but the originals ones are still are OK. It's not a priority right now, so they went back on.
                  I did a really lousy job of squirting some aerosol black on them, after taking the time to straighten the mounting points up. They sit on the bike really well, which makes me feel less-bad about how ugly they are.

                  Pulled the clutch cover off so I can finish the repair. What a cluster-fudge. You've got to fit the brake pedal to the bike before you fit the motor into the frame, otherwise you can't get the brake pedal into place (I learned this the hard way on my '86 125).
                  But you can't get the 250 clutch cover off the motor when the brake pedal is bolted in.
                  No to mention the bit where you can't get the rear linkage together with the brake pedal bolt in...
                  Anyhow, the clutch cover needed another small repair. Two of the mounting bolts had been massively overtightened in the past, flaring out the magnesium of the cover. After a bit of thought and a few unsuccessful experiments, a sheet-metal drill bit and a very steady hand proved to be the answer. I'm calling it the poorest man's mill!

                  Funny story on the forks: I went and dug out the forks that were on my '87 CR125 when I bought it, just so I could tension the front spokes. I knew the 125's forks weren't the correct '87 model forks, but has assumed they were from an '86 model.
                  Then I noticed the code cast into the lower legs was the same as the 84 forks... Turns out that the 125's forks are actually from an 84 250 (or maybe 500) and are in much better condition that the originals.

                  Then I took the forks back out so that I can replace the seals in them. I also fitted the new, genuine front guard that I bought for the 125 but have never fitted because it's the wrong colour.
                  Not surprisingly, it's the wrong colour for the 250 too...

                  (Note the colour difference between the guard and the back of the front number plate)
                  I think Honda might have supersceded all of the 1983 to 1990-something CR guards to the a generic 'close enough' red. Either that, or they're had a shocker...

                  Tomorrow's goals:
                  Fit new seals to the forks & put forks/wheel back on bike;
                  Make a decision on whether I'm buying new rear guard, or just sidecovers.
                  Make a new front wheel spacer to replace the too-short water-pipe one it came with.
                  Start cleaning the exhaust so I can make a proper judgement about whether I can be bothered repairing it.
                  Last edited by Spac; 28-01-2013, 11:02 PM.
                  Beta 200RR


                  • #10
                    Very cool spac! :grinning-


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dmcca View Post
                      Great read so far. I love the buying excuses... 'Best and most modern feeling pre-85 MXer'.' Classic.
                      Actually, I'm more serious about the modern feeling bit than you'd think. The older Vintage bikes require a different riding style to the modern stuff...

                      At least when you've got decent long travel forks, a linkage rear, a disc brake, and relatively good power, the jump back to a modern isn't too big.

                      If I've been riding the moderns, it takes way too long to get my brain back for the one or two VMX meetings I do per year.
                      Beta 200RR


                      • #12
                        Nice, love rebuild threads
                        2013 Husaberg FE 350
                        1986 XR 350R



                        • #13
                          Great work spac i have tried to phone you over the last few days but you don't seem to answer ?. If you goggle search the sites i posted you can find your rad shrouds and other stuff.


                          • #14
                            top job so far , watching this thread with much interest who doesnt love the old motoxer rebuild , nice work your doing to Spak keep up the good work


                            • #15
                              So, progress has slowed... The Boy got tonsilitis last week, work's been busy, been riding, dringing beer and all of the usual excuses...

                              Main thing I've done since the last update was clean up the tank and the radiator shrouds. Can't find any of the 'before' photos of the tank, and none at all of the shrouds (grrrr).

                              Here's the tank halfway through: Paint stripped, scraped back and sanded with 320 and then 600 grit wet paper.

                              Finer sanding (1200 grit in this photo, I think):

                              Then 2000 grit and some silicone spray:

                              That linkage bolt that had to be drilled out - here's the photo:

                              And (most importantly) I got the "Before" photo of the bike off my phone:
                              Beta 200RR


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