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Old 05-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
marine_mike OP
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Question Upgrades for an 80's enduro

OK gents. Here goes it.... At home I have my '82 Suzuki SP250 waiting for me. My plans are to pop some dents out of the tank and give her that "salty dog" military look in OD green. Now I was looking to do some upgrading, but it's hard to find any info about newer parts that are compatible with her. I was going to upgrade the electrical to 12v, but that's way beyond simple from what I've read. Here are some of the ideas that I have....

1) Brighter lights
2) New muffler (old one is rusted at the end). I was looking at slip ons but am unsure as which one to get.
3) Rear shock (not sure how old the current one is)
4) Some kind of armor to protect her from my newb skills.
5) I really want to narrow the seat some...but even I can appreciate a freshly covered old school seat.
6) Some kind of rack for gear on the back.

Any ideas or info is greatly appreciated. As for those that would say to leave her be.....I have an itch to make her my own.


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Old 05-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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I feel your pain. I have an '87 Honda XL250R that I bought new when I was a 20-year-old LCpl in Hawaii. I still have the bike and have been going through it over the past few weeks... new carb & intake, LED lights, AGM-type battery, new bars, etc.

First off, dig around on eBay for a while and get a Suzuki Factory Service Manual for your specific bike. Clymer's, Haynes, and Chilton manuals only show you enough to really piss you off when you need lots of detailed information.

I believe you're going to have quite a time finding bolt-on goodies for your SP. Even when it was new, it wasn't a terribly popular bike, and not a lot of aftermarket farkles were ever made for it. If you or a bud have some fabricating skillz, you could end up finding some universal-fit type stuff on various online catalogs and tweak it to fit.

Dig around on eBay too. I was fixing up a bud's '82 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim while he was in A-stan, and it surprised me how much stuff for his bike was out there being parted out, used but serviceable. Just keep at it and stuff will turn up. 10 pages worth this evening...

http://motors.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_...506.m270.l1313

12V conversion may be out of reach though, seeing as you'll need a 12-volt alternator that fits that engine. A 12V Regulator / Rectifier and Ignition Module can pretty much be bolted on in place of the stock SP parts. I swapped some of that stuff in on a newer Triumph I used to have, and it worked great.

I had an '87 DR200 for a while, with its street-legal counterpart being an SP. I believe it was 12-volt. Perhaps the later 12V 250cc engines were pretty much the same as your '82 except for alternator upgrades. Perhaps.

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Stretch67 screwed with this post 05-11-2012 at 12:50 AM
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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Thanks. I have the supplemental service manual, but that's aimed more toward the mechanic's side. I'll probably do the LED lights in the signals and speedo. I'm hopping that might free up enough juice to throw one of these on and just replace the bulbs.

I've found an option or two for the slip on muffler. I found a you tube video of a guy that put a crz muffler on his SP 250. They are on ebay also. I figure that by the time I'm done with this Bike...it'll be time to move on. I was the same way with my jeeps.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:21 AM   #5
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I have a similar bike, a TS 250 plated 2-stroke. It's so ugly and beat-up that no one would ever steal it. I've been tempted to fix it up, but it's got so many achilles heels that it's best as a town/fun/errand bike. Running a 2-stroke around town is insanely fun. It's bone-reliable, starting on the fist kick every time.

The problems I think are most difficult are:

Range. The tank is tiny, and with a 2-stroke you are lucky to get 40-50 miles out of a tank. You will be hard-pressed to find an aftermarket tank, and if you do it will cost a fortune.

Suspension. The suspension of the early 80s sucks. No other way to put it. And being 30+ years old, the springs are likely shot. I was debating putting in some stiff springs, but finding them will be an issue, and the cost will be high. (3-500+)

Brakes. The drum brakes are scary bad. The front is almost worthless and cannot be improved.

My advice? Enjoy it around town. Dumping money into it is a futile exercise. If you want a Dual-sport, save up and buy an old XR and dump your $$ into that.

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Old 05-11-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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I agree with Off on every point - especially the brakes. Put a front fender on it and accept it for what it is. Any money you spend on it it would serve you better going towards a better beater.

About brakes, one of the reasons my XT200 hasn't been ridden in 20 years is the tiny little cable operated drum front brake. The front brake cable on that bike already parted once and put me in a fence.

If you really want to make it ride worthy forget about suspension because it is hopeless. To me, the first order of business would be finding a donor front wheel and hydraulic disk brake setup.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
Looks like mine to a tee except mine is a 4 stroke. I'll just learn on this one and work up to a KLR or the like. I still plan on painting it because I just have that itch to take it apart to put my mark on it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:26 PM   #8
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I would research the gn250 and see if the electrics could be retrofitted to your sp. I almost bet that there was a modern update to engine over the years.

6 volt lighting sucks no doubt the boys dt125 was horrible to ride at night....
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zecatfish View Post
I would research the gn250 and see if the electrics could be retrofitted to your sp. I almost bet that there was a modern update to engine over the years.

6 volt lighting sucks no doubt the boys dt125 was horrible to ride at night....
You sir, are awesome. I spent some time researching it. If it has been done, no one's posting it, however, I did send a couple of emails to people with parts for both bikes and asked a few favors. When I get back to the states in June.....I might go ahead and open her up. Not until I'm sure. If it is possible, I'll have to change out the reg/rec, batt, lights (obviously), stator, and if I'm not mistaken the ignition coil. I'm looking into the DR series also as possible donors.


***Update...it's looking like the DR parts are compatible....but I just can't find out if it's 12v or 6v.***

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Old 05-15-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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Make her yer own!

You can still add a number of your own farkles to make her your own! I admit the 6 volt system sucks, but I get more compliments with my SP 250 than I ever did with my other bikes. I even stopped at the local beemer shop open house the other week and a lot of the GS guys were commenting on my bike and the fact that that is where it's at. Simple,reliable and I can fix it myself! Have fun with it!

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=BoomerDL;18692548][/QUOTE

What did you use for the ammo can rack? Could you post up some pics of it? I was trying to figure out how to mount storage on the exhaust side without melting something. The end of my exhaust is rusted, so I was looking at a slip on to replace it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #12
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You can still add a number of your own farkles to make her your own! I admit the 6 volt system sucks, but I get more compliments with my SP 250 than I ever did with my other bikes. I even stopped at the local beemer shop open house the other week and a lot of the GS guys were commenting on my bike and the fact that that is where it's at. Simple,reliable and I can fix it myself! Have fun with it!

Nice looking runner!
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