While my Honda Giorcub project is in a seemingly-perpetual state of disassembly and waiting for parts or for me to get off my lazy ass and actually turn some wrenches on it, I have been feeling the bug to get something specifically off-road oriented for years now. When I was a kid growing up in Alaska, everything we did was off-road because there simply weren't that many roads to be on in the first place. Honda ATC three-wheelers, quads, dirt bikes - all spring and summer, and even most of winter if you didn't have a snowmobile, you were riding something meant for "off-highway use". Despite my personal savings having experienced a bit of a hit due to kitchen renovations, being out of a job for around 8 months and living off my savings, and so on - I'm back on my feet with a new job and I decided it was do-or-die time to get a dirt bike. I had long been looking at various Chinese pitbikes and enduros but at one point I eventually decided one Chineseum powerplant at a time is enough for my fleet (at least until I get my GF some sort of pitbike to learn on ). So I went on the hunt for a Japanese enduro bike. My criteria - had to be affordable, had to be in good shape, had to be 2-stroke because ain't nobody got time for adjusting valves and replacing cam chains on some XR250R from the Mesozoic era. First hit I got was a KDX 220 from the mid 90's. In photos it looked great, but we all know how that goes. I took a bus over to the guy's house who was selling it, he lets me into his garage and I start looking over the bike. Dude tells me the crank was just rebuilt with fresh bearings and seals. Everything looks fine, but then we fire it up and my heart sinks. It sounds like there's someone with a hammer smashing the cylinder every revolution of the crankshaft. I have never heard a rod/pin bearing sound so bad. It honestly sounds as if there ISN'T a piston pin bearing. I tell him about this and he is, obviously, quite upset at me raining on his parade. I tell him he should either invest in a gasket kit and take a look at it himself and fix it before something explodes, or he should sell it ASAP to someone too stupid to know what that sound means. Next hit was a Honda CRM250R, made in 1989 - just like me! Photos also looked OK, but I wouldn't be fooled that easily! I drove out to the guy's house and we started looking at it. He was a really nice guy, very accommodating of my examination and requests to pull off half the bike. He said the wheel bearings were replaced but aside from that he hadn't touched much of anything as he wasn't a mechanic and it had always worked. That's a heartening thing to hear because at least you know it wasn't bodged with JB Weld and zip ties inside. One thing I saw right away was the brakes were absolutely neglected and it was borderline unsafe to ride as-is. The important thing was - the bike ran like a Swiss watch and didn't make any weird noises. I had the guy drive it to my house a few days later early in the morning. We did the exchange and he left with his filthy lucre in hand, while I stood around grinning like an idiot. I had just bought a bike that was as old as I am for good money. I probably WAS an idiot, but damn it I couldn't say no. Here's what it looked like when I got it (seat removed for dramatic effect). The stickers were all faded and I don't particularly like fake "sponsorship" stickers anyway. I was all about that crap when I was 16 but now that I'm nearly twice that age, my tastes have changed a bit. So that stuff had to go. Cleaned her up a bit and she started looking presentable! Next order of business - we've gotta do something about those brakes. The front caliper was absolutely buggered - one piston completed seized, both pistons chipped and deformed, the seals shot. I did some part number research and it turns out that while nobody says it, slightly newer calipers from all manner of Honda CR's and XR's from the 1990's and out to 2007 and beyond will absolutely bolt straight onto the CRM fork and work just fine. So I ordered a very nice XR250 caliper from a 2004 or so bike and slapped it on. Judging by the brake fluid that came out of the front and rear brakes, it had never been changed either. Some EBC brake discs were ordered to replace the 30 year old Honda OEM discs that were worn so thin, there were stress fractures around most of the outside of the discs from the cooling slot to the outer edge of the disc. Said discs were mounted along with some fresh sintered pads. As you can see, the previous owner did a bit of a bodge job trying to re-cover the seat. I removed the radiator shroud decals (at this point only the forks have their ugly faded Castrol decals left, but those are coming off soon as well). I've ordered a reproduction seat cover from the UK in a different color, and am looking for a good place locally to get some reproduction decals made to order. I'm not going to give away the direction this build is going to go right away, but it'll become obvious at some point. I also cut off the ancient fork boots, and was surprised to see the legs themselves in great shape. Fork boots will also be replaced, eventually. On the list of mods I'm currently looking at: 1. I want to fab up a replacement silencer for the exhaust, as the stock Honda unit weighs a million tons and the more aggressive Mitas C18 rear tire I have mounted rubs on the side of it during full suspension compression. Thankfully I have a neighbor who TIG welds and skilled labor like that is extremely cheap here. I'll probably end up designing the silencer myself in Autodesk and have him fab it up for me. 2. Handlebars need to be replaced. I've already taken a few low speed crashes on this bike while getting used to riding woods again after more than a decade away from dirt bikes, and they were already bent when I got it. 3. New headlight unit that's not terrible. The stock Honda unit may have been OK 30 years ago but at this point it's almost more effective to just duct tape a flashlight to the bars. 4. Skidplate for the lower frame. The previous owner already made sort of bodgy expansion chamber protector out of aluminum sheet, so that's sticking around - it's actually quite useful despite looking pretty jank.