HONDA CRF250 RALLY OWNERS

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ferdiepick, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. mcso

    mcso Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan

    I'm running a 120/90 Dunlop d606 on the rear with stock chain but I also changed front sprocket to 13t from the stock 14t.
    JungleDeath likes this.
  2. Stinky

    Stinky Team Hematoma

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    553
    Location:
    NW WA
    Good to know mcso. Unfortunately for me I’m running 14/42 so I’m probably going to have to get a longer chain. I will report back when things get sorted.
  3. Phmode

    Phmode Most of the gear, little idea!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    There are loads of posts in here about this. The simplest way is to fit a grease nipple, loosen off the bearings and pack the headstock with grease, then adjust correctly. Ten minute job

    There will be no damage to the bearings if it has just been delivered.

    Search 'zerk' from minkyhead for piccies etc.
    djfoell likes this.
  4. Ed@Ford

    Ed@Ford Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,683
    Location:
    Dearborn MI
    BUT, all this zerk install is unnecessary unless you do serious wet sloppy muddy riding offroad. Put in quality waterproof grease. But don't avoid doing something. Replacing rollers is trivial....banging out the cone races isn't too bad...pressing in new ones, in my experience is a REAL pain in the A$$, plus multiple re-snugging of the bearings is inevitable.
    JungleDeath likes this.
  5. rexbro

    rexbro Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    420
    Location:
    SE PA
    ....
    I’m on the fence regarding the zerk fitting install. The purist side of me doesn’t want all that extra grease filling up the head tube. The practical side of me would rather hit the zerk fitting with a couple shots of grease periodically and clean off the grease that squishes out rather than take it apart every so often. The OCD side of me considered machining a LDPE spacer to slide over the steering stem to take up the extra volume the grease would occupy.

    I’ve done my head bearings twice since I bought my Rally new in May 2019. The first time was definitely attributed to lack of grease during assembly at factory. Initial bearing pre-load was ok though. I used waterproof bearing grease and properly packed and reassembled the steering head. I had it adjusted perfectly and it was smooth as silk... for awhile. This was back in January at around 20k miles. I just recently had to service it again at around 37k miles. Not a bad service interval mileage wise but a pita for the miles I’m putting on the bike. There was some visible wear on the lower race but not enough to warrant replacement yet.

    I ride in the rain a lot so even with waterproof grease the moisture and dirt are getting in. IMO the “seals” are really more of a dust guard than true seals actually keeping contamination out. The other issue is how the bearings work in use. They just do a slight side to side partial rotation in use rather that complete rotations. This keeps the same grease and/or contamination building up rather than circulating like grease In a rotating bearing would behave.

    The zerk fitting is on my list of possible mods and I would definitely recommend it for those that ride in very wet or dirty conditions. I would strongly advise at least cleaning and properly greasing and adjusting pre-load even on a new bike.

    I just turned over 39k miles yesterday and new tires are going on in the next couple weeks. I’m going to check the feel of the steering head at that time and decide how to proceed. :ricky
    Nick MN and twaldron like this.
  6. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country

    I vote for the HDPE spacer and the zerk fitting.
  7. Nick MN

    Nick MN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    859
    Location:
    USA - Minnesota
    39k miles on a 2019 250cc thumper!? Thats damn impressive! How has the motor and clutch been holding up? I have a 2019 as well but hardly any miles in comparison. Thanks!

    -Nick
  8. rexbro

    rexbro Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    420
    Location:
    SE PA
    Next time I have it apart I’m going to get some measurements and see what I can come up with. It may not be worth the effort though.....:hmmmmm


    Mine is a 2018 bought as a leftover 5/19.
    The motor, intake, and exhaust are completely stock and it’s running really well. I did upgrade suspension, brakes, and controls though. I don’t beat on the bike and have been pretty good with the maintenance. Tires are my biggest expense in wear items.
    The clutch amazingly is still working well even though it has always had a light pull and felt “weak”. I have a full clutch setup that eliminates the stock judder plate/spring setup (EBC friction plates, new stock driven plates, Barnett springs) ready to go in but if it ain’t broke.... :ricky
    Nick MN likes this.
  9. hookeniggy

    hookeniggy Good at getting lost

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,094
    Location:
    Santa Pola, Spain
    The tight head bearing caused my front wheel to wash out at one time, i'm pretty sure afterwards, wonder if this should be addressed with Honda or if a Dealership should have this on their checklist before they hand over a new bike to the customer, i was lucky because i was riding off road, but i've been scratching my head several times about this, i never have front wheel washouts, but this can cause serious injury when riding in traffic.
  10. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    937
    Had the same problem ,lower bearing no grease and rusted up.
  11. minkyhead

    minkyhead Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,430
    Location:
    uk gods county
    thats the point of packing the head for me ....we all know they need grease but theres zero way water can get to them bottom bearing s ..touch the bars with your little finger and they will glide past point and fall under their own weight ..shit video off me phone

    when i pulled the rally stem after three years to put the 450 front on this is how the bearings looked [​IMG]
  12. Phmode

    Phmode Most of the gear, little idea!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    This is the UK. Rain is the norm, he says in the fourth week of a national drought...
  13. Phmode

    Phmode Most of the gear, little idea!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    I'm confused. The grease occupies otherwise empty space. Why would you need a spacer?
  14. rexbro

    rexbro Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    420
    Location:
    SE PA
    My thinking was a spacer to reduce grease volume initially. Grease is messy and will migrate out through the seals as the temperature increases. Also less to clean off if disassembling for inspection or repair.
    When pressurizing the grease “chamber” the grease will follow the path of least resistance - not necessarily going where it is needed most.
    Thinking about it more I’m considering more of a cup with a lip or o-ring seal that would push the grease through the bottom bearing and race only.
    The top bearing on my bike has been no problem and shows no sign of contamination or wear. It will go a lot longer between service intervals.
    Right now these are just random thoughts that float through my head. :hmmmmm :ricky
    JungleDeath and Nick MN like this.
  15. hookeniggy

    hookeniggy Good at getting lost

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,094
    Location:
    Santa Pola, Spain
    Thanks, will check, i do fair amount of mud, rain riding, curious what mine looks like, bike's from december 2018, so a little over a year of riding.
  16. Nick MN

    Nick MN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    859
    Location:
    USA - Minnesota
    I'll be checking mine asap as well. Might spray some canned snake oil up there until I can properly do the necessary job.

    Thanks for the heads up everyone!

    -Nick
  17. northumbrian

    northumbrian Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Rothbury UK
    What a neat fix, my bike has 300 miles on and the preload on the headset seems good, but the thought of dry bearings ( as I have found with the rest of the bike) is a worry.
    Nice explanation from Minkyhead ( cheers Marra ) that’s the next job on the to do list.
  18. JungleDeath

    JungleDeath Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Bike purchased 11/18. Photos taken 7/19. Symptoms: steering felt notchy, a little on the tight side. As per service manual, adjusted steering nut several times and could not get it to feel smooth. Tore it down:
    Upper:
    20190718_190335.jpg
    Lower:
    20190718_190524.jpg
    20190718_190407.jpg
    20190718_190448.jpg
    I did not change out the races. Out is the easy part.
    Ordered All Balls Racing kit from Moto Sport (USA), packed the bearings properly, new upper and lower seal. Adjust the tension on the upper lock nut so the forks flop left and right with light resistance. Test ride.

    The lower races were not damaged but if not attended to, would have. Getting the lower bearing off I used a little heat and a brass drift. Cleaned everything and put the lower triple in the freezer for about a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. New seal on, I used an aluminum pipe that fits the inner bearing surface (light grease on the shaft) and gently pounded it down tight and evenly seated. Done.

    Oh, and just in case you havent felt any sadness recently...makes me lust for the Zeta triples. And yes, the scale is in pounds. As in almost, 5 of them. (facepalm)

    20190720_083623.jpg
  19. Brokenoldbiker

    Brokenoldbiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2020
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    The Zeta triples are nice, but I figure it will be a lot cheaper to take 5 pounds off my ass. Started a veggie diet, right after I bought a freezer full of prime meat. Sometimes I am a little slow.........
    78er likes this.
  20. BEEF706

    BEEF706 King of the dumb dab

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,088
    Location:
    Rio Rancho NM
    A few words about how capable the “Africa Single” is. Just did a 5day, 1300 mile mostly off road (about 70%) trip on mine. Terrain was everything from technical rocky double track that was more like single track. (And I like and ride trials so when I say technical I ain’t kidding :muutt) to flat out clay roads where we were spending long periods of time at 65 or a bit more. I dropped it 3 times, once in the technical rock section, rolled a rock, it bounced sideways and my giant loop bag, didn’t let me dab, once when my buddy on his Africa twin Got bounced into a hole and I went to go around and hung a rear wheel on a rock low speed and my short legs were waving in the air, and this morning at breakfast when I fell over in the parking lot cause I’m a dweeb. It hauled my 215 pound but faithfully everywhere including a 20 mile stint on the interstate to link up the final bit to our hotel on the last night. No mechanicals, the rear Tire is roached, and I lost a sleeping bag due to some bad straps. Before and after pics B428F24C-0EB7-4034-A17F-24FCCF7F8372.jpeg B0ACE709-3248-413A-B190-31B4B737BF76.jpeg 6CDFFB06-86CB-4DC3-8B88-7D00A6726172.jpeg
    78er, Hannda, Phmode and 11 others like this.