XR250L owners check in

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by slip, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    Aug 12, 2011
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    167
    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    Great! But you know.... You will be kicked off the forum if you fabricate your own cooler and don't do a write up on it. :lol3
  2. Beltway

    Beltway Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Peoples Republik of Takoma Park, MD (Wash. DC)
    So I need a more street-oriented tire, say 80% street/20% dirt.

    While I would appreciate input on make/model selection, what I really need help with is sizing. Not many DS tires available in the stock sizes, and I am not sure how far i should deviate.

    For the front, it looks like I'm going to be stuck with 90/90-21. Wider doesn't sound bad, but I know that a wide tire on a narrow rim can cause the center of the tire to get pretty sharp. Not ideal, but it is what it is.

    There are a few options for the rear. The Shinko 705 comes in 100/100, so slightly narrower with the same sidewall height. The Pirelli MT-90 and Avon Distanzias come in 110/80. Stock width, but with a much smaller sidewall. I figure the result will be an effectively taller final drive ratio. Might need to put on a slightly larger countershaft sprocket/smaller wheel sprocket to compensate.

    My inclination is to go with the Pirellis front and rear. I never skimp on tire quality, and the Shinkos strike me as second rate. Thoughts?
  3. Slipinn

    Slipinn DevilDogMarine

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Bradenton Florida
    I have never used the Shinko tire's but everyone I have talked to that has love them. They report no major problems and good wear for them as well.
  4. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

    Joined:
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    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    I've had Sinko's and they were fine on the XR. I agree on tire quality, though these days there's quite a few quality choices that are affordable.

    If you're truly riding that much street, Kenda 761's a have great grip on pavement and gravel trails, but are worthless in mud.

    But more to your question, my XR 250L likes them sized at 90/90 21 and 120/80 18 as you can see it likes basically stock sizes, not sure just how oversize you were thinking. I'll go a bit further for explaining the sizing with riding conditions. I had some very interesting experiences with them sometime ago getting hit with very strong side wind on open pavement at speed. I was getting about 35 or 40mph gusts from the side, I was on a long flat open road through hay fields and cow pasture (hey I'm in Maine) at 55pmh. My XR is stock height, so the bike feels like I'm sitting on the mast of a sailboat, off trail. The Kenda's stuck like glue to the road and didn't send me off into the cow pastures. I think the fairly narrow mostly street tires with good tread design did what they should and transferred the weight, maybe some wind pressure, down to friction on the tires and kept me upright, and riding straight.
  5. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Dec 1, 2004
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    Itasca, IL
    Going to go check out a '91, with 4600 miles on it, tonight. I've read thru the entire thread and don't seem to see any "you gotta check for this!" type issues.

    Sounds like Dad bought the XR for his daughter to ride (Dad has a cruiser) but she can't kick it over (and either is too petite to do so or isn't interested in learning). So, it's been sitting for the better part of a year (so she says). I've seen pictures, it looks to be in nice shape and is garage kept. I'm guessing that if the fuel wasn't stabilized, it may be cranky and need a carb cleaning. The turn signals appear to be Kawasaki KLR units (round instead of the Honda square) and the c/s sprocket guard is missing. That's all I can tell from the pictures. It supposedly has new(er) tires. They look like IRC GP-1 or something similar. I would hope to take it for a spin to make sure the clutch, brakes, lights, tranny, etc. if we can get it started.

    Did I miss anything?
  6. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    Dec 11, 2006
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    2,279
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    Take a can of HEET or other spray starter fluid and a screwdriver to remove the airbox side cover. If it won't kick start, remove the air filter and spray a shot into the carby. It might be enough to overcome any gunk in the jets and float bowl...

    Be prepared to bump-start using 3rd gear. Hope for a sloping driveway or street out front.

    :ricky
  7. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Itasca, IL
    Good call on the starter fluid & screwdriver. Although, some of the pictures I've seen, with the bike, show a big toolbox in the garage. So, Dad may have both. But, I'll take them along to be safe.

    I'll try to check in here until just before I see the bike (which should be around 6 PM Central Time - my wife has an iPad). if anyone else has any other suggestions, please post. Thanks! :D

    UPDATE: After looking at the bike for two minutes, 'Dad' indicates that the motor has two oil leaks. Sure enough, the head gasket and base gasket are leaking. I passed. The look on their faces was priceless. Now I understand why the daughter indicated she's had lots of interest but no buyer. $1800 is way too much for an XR that needs that level of attention (IMO). The search for a nice 250cc thumper continues....:cry
  8. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    Did you get it? There's a 101 simple but vexing things that might make that thumper sluggish to kick, none the least of which is it's a thumper. Even though it's a 250 bringing it up to compression WILL make a difference especially if you have trying to kick it over. Also, it's harder for people not familiar with kick starting to not pull down on the throttle when kicking through - generally just several twists of the throttle before kicking is all you need to get a bit of juice in. If you find yourself twisting the throttle every time you kick, you're introducing more fuel and it will take more kicks to get it going. Depending on the bikes preference for choke, full out or half way can make a huge difference. Again, super simple stuff which is vexing on an older, cold, four strokes. I agree, I would not want to see an oil leak on an XR, they are usually real tight, but if those gaskets are the only problems why not offer $850 and see if they'll take it. That would go a long way to helping the girl get a two stroke she could kick over, and get you potentially a very nice bike for under a grand. Anyway good luck in your search for one of the coolest old four strokes out there!

    Hope things went well for you either way.
  9. ramotorcycle

    ramotorcycle Trail Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Well, I finally got around to digging the bike out. I've been riding my DR350 to work, but this is actually my preferred bike--I really like the light-weight and nimble feel.

    And I got a picture, just to give you an idea of what it looks like.

    [​IMG]

    I failed to put any fuel stabilizer in last winter, but she started on the 3rd kick this Spring. I've found that with a richer pilot, a very clean carb, and having the choke adjustment set so that the throttle is raised by the choke cam when the choke is pulled, it starts super easy with no throttle. Once warmed up, it's a one-kick bike.

    I still would like to put an XR250R carb on to get perfect low-end response. I have a 1995 XR250R, and it really is a fair bit snappier. I plan to bump the main jet up on this by 1, maybe 2 sizes too.
  10. vtduc

    vtduc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    229
    Here's my recent find.......1993 w/ 8K miles. When I purchased it a month ago, the bike had good bones but needed a little TLC. New wheel bearings, caliper rebuild, a few misc parts, and some paint yielded a nice little XR. I still need to play w/ the carb jetting, as it's a little cold blooded, but overall I'm happy with it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. ramotorcycle

    ramotorcycle Trail Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    That's in very nice condition, especially paints and plastic, for something with 8K miles. 8K miles on these bikes can be a long drive if it's been used off-road.

    Congratulations!
  12. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    Lucky bastard! Looks friggin brand new!! Now go out and ride it in the mud or something. :muutt

  13. vtduc

    vtduc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    229
    Thanks......(It didn't look quite that way when I purchased it :wink:)
    But, everything was there and the engine sounded tight w/ no leaks. The valves were all good, one being at the top of the range. Supposedly it had been rather gently used to ride around some adjacent farm fields by the previous owner. I don't have any history for the first owner.

    Mid displacement dual sports don't seem to come up for sale very often in my neck of the woods, so I decided to grab this one. Of course, now they'll be popping out of the woodwork !

    I've decided to replace the steering bearings w/ tapered ones, and I'll do the front wheel bearings, flush and R&R front caliper, and replace the fork fluid while I'm in there.

    I purchased some ATF thinking that was used in the forks of that era, although I'm not certain of that. I think I also have some 5W and 10W fork oil kicking around on the back shelf.

    Between needing a lot of choke when the bike is warming up and the pinging I can hear if I accidently lug the motor at WOT, I definitely need to look at the jetting. I'm currently thinking of going up one size on the pilot and main jets, which seems to be the common direction for basically stock bikes. I suspect the current passages might be slightly varnished / blocked, but we'll see when I get in there.
  14. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    +1 on that. There's an excellent chance you've got the crud in there, and what a difference it will make to clean it out! I periodically run some Seafoam through my bike to ungunk it, that's a maintenance thing you can consider after getting in there with your hands.

    Good luck with your excellent bike! :freaky
  15. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    I finally had enough of my Shinko's which are excellent on the street and fine on hard pack gravel, but totally unsafe with everything else. After much looking around, I landed on what I hope will be a good match for my XR, Michelin T63.

    [​IMG]

    I've trolled enough chat's and reviews to figure that for the blend of on/off I do I should be using something along this line. I've read and can now say they are a fairly spongy rubber so I would expect they will wear well on the road. They have a very interesting pattern if you look, a staggered break on that center knob which makes me think as I've read, they won't drift much on the pavement, but a good ride next week will tell.

    [​IMG]
  16. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    Aug 12, 2011
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    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    Did a ride today from Lewiston to Augusta then Waterville and back all on hot top of various degrees of condition. Some just laid which was a bit greasy, some more crumble than hot top, and everything in between. The T63's handled it all well, some drift in wind gusts at 50mph but very mild. I did ride down a deep rut in one section of pavement and the rear felt a bit squirrely because I think the knobs were trying to climb the sides when they hit. Otherwise a very good match for the XR!

    [​IMG]

    Here's the front which actually shows the most wear, if you can call it that. Though not planned this way, because
    I was in the mud the previous day and didn't wash my bike down, you can see quite nicely the areas where there
    was road contact over a 100 mile stretch were the mud is rubbed off.
    [​IMG]
  17. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

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    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    Rebuilt my rear brake this morning, working way better. I realized I should have taken some photo's or video since there's not much out there specifically on the XR 250L, but its pretty straight forward.
  18. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

    Joined:
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    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    Just recorded some on road riding with my Optrix case and iPhone, way easier to use than GoPro.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qvsToakAn08" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  19. JohnPainter

    JohnPainter XRing

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine somewhere up north
    A very warm and humid day, here in Maine, perfect for a ride so that's what I did. I added a K&N airfilter and I have not found the bike to run rich, and it clearly has better top end! The Michelin T63's are surprisingly good on the road and of course off the road, at least when you're not waiting for the trains.

    [​IMG]

    And waiting....

    [​IMG]
  20. Zerg

    Zerg Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I Joined the 250 Club today just traded my 650L for this super clean 96 250L (and some dough). I was getting too crazy off road with the 650 and spent too much on it to crash it up so ill crash this up instead. Got it from a honda Honda mechanic who does vintage racing with hondas. He got it from a honda tech who had all the services done at the honda shop. 1900 for it with 10k miles on it its a 96 has the clark tank DG pipe and a seat with 1 inch added. I also got all the stock parts. This thing feels like a toy after riding the BRP. Looking foreword to riding this around now, this thread is helping me get over my separation anxiety with my other bike.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    And for when I crash it up...
    [​IMG]
    That ratty bike on the right blows my mind it starts no problem after sitting for over a year with year old gas in it its the reason I got another 250.