'78 XL250, practically free - still worth it?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by bpg, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    I might be able to point you in the direction for a decent exhaust, too. The guys are right. You won't make any cash on the deal. I paid $450 for mine. The guy wanted $600. Some would consider $450 too much, but she ran well, always starts and is pretty stock. You won't do any motocross with it, but its a good single track bike and a decent in-town commuter. I live at 8,600 ft. asl, so mine is a little gutless. I can't adjust the ring for jetting, so I'm trying to find out what I need to fix the situation.

    Anyway, for a hundred bucks.......come on. Even when you upgrade she'll be a reliable back up.

    Post some pics!!!!!
    #21
  2. ruh roh

    ruh roh hey Yall

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Central Ark
    Heres my 78 xl125, I paid $50 for it with the engine in a box. Some kid started to fix it and never did, so his momma wanted it out of the garage. Ive had it about 10+ years.

    *edit* - You are feeling sleeeepy, SleeeeEEEEpy. Send me his phone number. Sleeeeeppppy*

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    That looks like a fun scoot!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, I'm not hating on Beemers or anything, but the ride reports that I read are when folks piece together an oldie. I love vintage!
    #23
  4. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    Well, look for my upcoming reports, she's strapped to my cage and heading home w/ me this afternoon!
    #24
  5. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    YES!!!! Post pics!
    #25
  6. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    258
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I was gifted a free 81 Honda CB900C that was borderline basketcase material. It cost me $1000 to go through it, carb kits, tires, brakes, voltage regulator, stator, battery and misc parts. I rode it a season, decided I liked street bikes, sold it for $900 and got something else.

    Morale of the story: The XL is doable but you won't make any money off of it. Just ride it and enjoy.
    #26
  7. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    Yip, I'm leaning on just investing enough to keep it semi-safe and using it as a cheapo learner/spare bike - couldn't ask for an easier to ride dirt bike, or a street-bike that's easier to watch crashing onto pavement, LOL!:D
    #27
  8. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,420
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Dude - a hundred bucks is nothing! Get the thing and have fun! Fix what you can yourself without putting money in it. Let it be a practice bike for workind on carbs etc.

    If you get pulled over and don't have a title give the bike to the cop and walk away! It's only a hundred bucks ... you'd have to pay that to rent a scooter 3X at ones of those resort places.

    Heck - try adjusting the valves. If you succeed great! If not - you got some education and it was only a hundred bucks.

    Sure it could be a money pit - just don't make it one. You already said it's fun to ride when you get it started. I bet in the right town you could easily get your 100 bucks back by building a cool jump on a dock and jumping it into a lake! Heck then you could get another $35 dollars by dredging it out and selling it for scrap!

    Sorry - just having fun with ya! My only point is, if you buy it don't think you are responsible to fix it up, restore it or that you can't buy a "real" bike later cuz you already spent a 100 dollars.
    #28
  9. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,420
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    OK - here's another idea to justify $100.

    Compared to the average SUV you save $100 in gas every 400 miles of driving.

    Airline flights are really cheap one ways now a days - about the same as gas in an SUV.

    Next time you are visiting family or on business in a place aprox 400 miles away take the bike instead of the SUV. Use the bike for transpo while you are there and when you leave drive it to the airport, leave it in the parking garage and fly home. (At this point you'll be glad you don't have the title in your name.)

    With any luck, 6 mos later if you have to go back to that same town the bike might still be there and you can fly in and get around on it. (Of course this wont work if your a heavy packer :) )

    Of (a little bit of risk and faith in humanity involved) - you could park it in a place with a tin can to hold some money. Lock it up with a combination lock. You could put a sign on it "$10 a day for transpo". Then have your phone number. They call you - give you a card # and you give them the combination. (Forget the tin can - I wasn't thinking) When they are done they lock it up again. If they screw you, you've only lost $90 dollars. If they sue you you disavow the whole thing - remember the title is not in your name.
    With any luck you'll get a customer a day and in 3 mos you'll have made $800. Heck with a crappy seat, people might take it back after an hour and you could potentially get 3 customers a day.

    If you think about it your business would be saving lots of gas, encouraging other business men to travel, and making the world a greener, better place to be. All because of an old XL250!
    #29
  10. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    Totally worth 100 bucks. You could part it out and make money on it, but thats a VERY BIG NO NO with old hondas! :deal Havent played much with a 250S but I did have a 500S for a while- very fun bike. Lots of parts available at the dealer still, just be prepared to pay $$$. Another site for you to check out: www.oldrice.com and look up the XL board. LOTS of good info.
    #30
  11. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    Well, so far so good!

    Clamping the bike to the wheel chock for the trip down home freed up the frozen fork (still need oil, seals and dust caps), Techron cleaned up the carbs (and I installed a fuel filter as insurance against future issues), and just did a valve & CCT adjustment this evening. This thing now starts cold in 1-3 kicks and is running GREAT!
    :norton

    Still waiting for a few parts, and lots to do yet (finding all kinds of loose/non-stock/non-METRIC!:eek1 hardware, but with some drilling and running a tap through, all threads have cleaned right up.

    Even with the 20+ YO, bald 50/50 rear, she climbs hills like a champ, and is a friggin' blast in the tight trails... Think I'm going to try a Kenda Trackmaster II out back and a Cheng Shin C183D up front (keeping with my cheap-ass theme!:D).

    For that matter, anyone have any 10mm mirrors (standard Honda/Suzuki/Kawi) they can donate to the cause?
    #31
  12. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    Any pics yet? I just added a desert tank to mine. Also researching how to switch the 23" front rim out for a 21".
    #32
  13. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    I have some static pics - gonna try to get some of the ol' girl in action today... :D

    Tell me more about the desert tank - I assume it's bigger?

    I actually like the 23" front (as far as how easily it floats over obstacles), I just don't like the drum brake associated w/ it!
    #33
  14. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    Its a Don Vesco tank from the 70's. I think 3 or 4 gallon. I got it for 10 bucks on ebay. Plastic. I really like it. I used it on my '74 xl350 for awhile and it was great. Ugly, but great.

    The drum brakes do, infact, suck. I've been in some hairy situations.

    BTW, there is a 78 xl250s exhaust on ebay right now. First one I've seen in the year I've been looking. Weren't you looking for one? Problem is, its currently at 55.00 with three days left. Like I said, its the only one I've seen, it'll probably break the bank.

    Mine came with a cut pipe (LOUD!). I sourced a full exhaust on craigslist in Maine, of all places (I live in Colorado, but own land in Maine and stumbled upon in accidentally - it was 20 miles from the house where I grew up - who'da thunk?). I'm actually repainting the cut pipe today and putting that back on. I'll save the full exhaust for when I might need it. Anyway, doing a google search for "xl250 parts bike craigslist" might not be a bad thing. They might ship for the right price.

    Post those pics!
    #34
  15. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    Here she is:

    [​IMG]

    Removing years of shoddy maintenance!:D
    [​IMG]

    Out on a local powerline:
    [​IMG]

    Adjusting the valves - sounds and runs even better now!
    [​IMG]

    Sketchy hill climb - wet/grassy southern clay + bald 1980's all-terrain tire = loose back wheel!:evil
    [​IMG]

    In da woods:
    [​IMG]

    A (little) bit o' air:
    [​IMG]

    My buddy (on Katoom LC4) at watercrossing.
    [​IMG]

    Just ordered some new front and rear tires - being able to hook up vs. sliding will be like getting 10 more HP!!:D
    #35
  16. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    For a hundred bucks, you stole it. How hard was it to adjust the valves? I've never done it on any bike. Needs to be done, though.
    #36
  17. bpg

    bpg Off Trail

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC (summer back home in western PA)
    Not bad at all - check out my thread in the XL-two fitty forum, I was asking for specs (no manual - shop or owners!), and there were a few good replies as to specs and procedure. Let me know if you have any questions!
    #37
  18. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,172
    Location:
    Kiwiland
    I just bought a 21 inch rim with the same number of spokes. threaded 1" more thread onto each spoke. Shortened each spoke 1" and laced it up.

    Seems to work fine so far.
    [​IMG]

    DR650 footpegs fit fine too.
    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. wheelgun

    wheelgun Not a wannabe..a usetobe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Front of the Junkyard, Colorado
    how much would you say you have invested in the rim altogether?
    #39
  20. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,172
    Location:
    Kiwiland
    2nd hand rim - $10 or so and a couple of hours leaned over it rolling longer spoke threads and another hour or so to lace it back up.

    Did the conversion in April '05 and havn't had a single problem.
    [​IMG]

    It's a lot lighter too now...
    #40