Honda XL230 - The Time Machine

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by pekingduck, May 22, 2018.

  1. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    All done with the Suzuki 650BTS Mongrel, time for a new project, time for another single, but smaller.

    One of my first jobs was as a parts guy in 1974 at a little Honda shop. SL70s, SL100s, CT70s, XR75s, nice small, fun bikes. I had a Grom a little while ago, went on some fun 100 mile rides, but not quite the same.

    My friend Andy had a spare 2003 CRF230F engine, and my friend Alex had a spare 2003 CRF150F engine, so I needed a couple chassis. At a swap meet a year ago, I bought an SL100 and an XL100, both in rough shape. As I had other projects waiting, I decided to just make one bike, the XL100 with the CRF230F engine, and gave the other project to a friend. The CRF230F has a 6-speed, and electric start. Sure, there are knockoff 250cc Chinese motors, but I wanted a real Honda motor I could order parts for.

    IMG_7674.JPG
    The 100,125,150F,185,200,230F vertical engines share the same basic engine architecture over 45 years, and have the same lower engine mount spacing, so they will basically interchange. (Not the CRF150R or XL175 engines). After the first couple years they went to a 2-piece head, moving the top engine mount rearward.

    My goal was a street legal playbike, looking somewhat stock. I would be adding a later model disc brake front end from a 2003 Suzuki DRZ125, with a 17" front wheel. Nowadays, that tiny single leading shoe brake would not be enough. Besides, the disc front end was $75 off Craigslist.
    s-l400.jpg
    The seat and exhaust and sidecovers would be original SL/XL100 style, but I had found an already painted gas tank on eBay for the later XL125 for $150. As a proper paint job in the area is $400 just to do a tank, I'd live with the compromises. The mounts were a little different too, but I could make them work. I planned to keep it below $1500, but I'm more than halfway there already.
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  2. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    My friend was building the SL100/CRF150F I gave him, and he made up a nice pair of head steady brackets, since, like on my engine, the top engine mount was moved from on top of the head to the rear, just above the intake manifold. These are definitely heavy-duty, made from welded steel strap.
    Unfortunately, I didn't figure my cylinder was taller because of the stroke increase, so it didn't fit. I had to redrill the holes, but its hidden under the tank.

    IMG_7678.JPG
    Also, the front tank mount had to be moved forward to fit the later tank. The original front mount was a hollow tube welded in the hole that protruded about 3/8" on either side, with those rubber mounts capping them. I drilled them out with one of those stepped drill bits., and drilled another hole to slide an 8mm clear through.
    The allen bolt head was the perfect size for the rubber cap, and I tapped a round aluminum spacer the right size as a "nut" and mount for the other side. I filed a taper on one side of the "nut" since the frame was at a slight angle, which helps lock the "nut" in place.
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  3. Honda-50

    Honda-50 Vet Lurker

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    Vewy cwever PD!
    #3
  4. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Uh-oh, first big problem. I ordered a used stock carb off eBay, didn't think about how tall the carb was, and looks like there will be a problem with carb clearance. The cylinder is a little taller, and the carb is undoubtedly taller. Plus it was meant to fit in a different frame/tank combo. And I had already bought a new OEM throttle and cables. So I may have to put a cutaway in the tank, and bite the bullet and have it all painted. I'll know in a couple days.

    s-l1600.jpg
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  5. Honda-50

    Honda-50 Vet Lurker

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    Get a shorter/non-bell-crank carb. If you want old Keihin, maybe something from an XL175, but the SL/XL125 shouldn't be too small - you're not racing the thing. Or a new OKO from Mid-Atlantic Trials in about 28mm might do the trick (& not too terribly expensive). Don't hack the tank!!!
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  6. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the tip! I didn't know about them, and they are half the price of a new OEM carb, and unfortunately, pretty much what I paid for the used one. :( Of course, I can resell it along with the throttle.
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  7. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    My friend Barry machined up a stem to press into the Suzuki (or Kawasaki) forks that I got cheap. I was told they were off a 2003 Suzuki DRZ125; they are 30mm with factory gaiters, the triple clamps look right, but the wheel is a 17", so nothing is jiving.
    I installed them w/o bearings just to see how it would look. I have the old original tank, and would love to repaint it and the fenders in the original green, but too expensive. Anyway, a preview. It definitely looks weird with the 17" front wheel, but may look better with the headlight and fenders and pipe on. The SL/XL125s had 21" front wheels, the SL/XL100s had 19". IMG_7729.JPG
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  8. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Here's some update pictures. Fenders and headlight fitted roughly, but they will be painted.
    I am running a nice, undented, stock pipe without the baffle. Wasn't a simple bolt on since the cylinder is taller, so the rear mount won't quite line up. The exhaust studs on the CRF230F head are 7mm instead of the old 6mm. They are also shorter, because the CRF used a 5mm plate assembled on the pipe.
    Untitled.jpg IMG_7737.JPG

    The XL100 uses a cast steel finned clamp that pushes split collars. Since I didn't have access to longer 7mm studs (or bolts), I had to drill out the holes, shorten the cast clamp on the mill, and cut the split collars with a hacksaw. I had some 7mm cap nuts, so I bolted it up and re-drilled the rear mount plate. The pipe clears the frame and engine, but as close as 1/4" in places.

    IMG_7733.JPG
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  9. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    I wanted to replace the stock steel 17" rim with an alloy one to match the front, and someone gave me one. I was cleaning the mud and gunk off and found out why it was free. The previous owner couldn't get the tire off so he cut the bead with a carbide disc, but cut into the rim. I'll try to get it welded, and then powdercoat it. IMG_7740.JPG IMG_7738.JPG
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  10. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    JB Weld to the rescue! :evil

    Kidding :beer
    #10
  11. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Got the used stock CRF250F carb in and....it's not even close! Not just too tall, too much junk on the left side.

    IMG_7746.JPG IMG_7757.JPG IMG_7759.JPG
    So tomorrow, I will take Honda-50's suggestion and order up a new OKO from Mid-Atlantic Trials. I'll send the pictures to them for their advice.

    In the meantime, I looked at the rear shocks, which were not stockers - 14.25" long and kind of stiff, although the springs looked thin and tightly wound. I took them off and could see one had a bent shaft, explaining the stiffness. Fortunately, I had a used pair of Hagons with adjustable dampening the right size.
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  12. fast1075

    fast1075 Fasterizer

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    Don't forget the old tried and true Mikuni VM option if the OKO thing does not suit you.
    #12
  13. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    Have you seen the bike on Silodrome?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Might give you some ideas or directions to go, on NOT go...
    More HERE
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  14. EnduroRdr

    EnduroRdr Woods Racer & D/S Rider

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    Agreed:

    I’d try a 28mm VM body (or maybe a 32mm) before you cut or modify anything.

    Google the Sudco catalog. Lots of parts there to help with carbs/cables/etc.
    Also google jetting mikuni VM series you will likely need to re-jet and that booklet will be very useful.
    Even if you use a different brand carb it’s a great resource.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #14
  15. dbarale

    dbarale Squiddly slow

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    How do I put this nicely?

    What a turd.
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  16. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Well, I took Honda-50's advice and ordered up an OKO carb from Mid-Atlantic Trials. They are more forgiving jetting-wise. You can dial-in the Mikuni VMs perfectly, but you might spend more on jet needles, needle jets, slides and jets than on an OKO carb. And time. This bike should be done in a week.

    Roger at Mid-Atlantic Trials was very helpful. He set up the jetting per his experience, and included extra main and pilot jets. I sent him pictures, he did measurements, and it should clear on top. The only thing is, the mixture and idle screws are on the left side, and may be obscured partially by the frame. Mikuni VMs are available with right side adjustment in 24mm and 32mm, not the 28mm needed.

    K10128.jpg

    Also, I had the rim repaired for just $10, and I can't tell where it was.

    before after.jpg
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  17. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Waiting for the carb, which should be about 4 days, so decided it's a good time to strip the frame and have it powdercoated. My local powdercoater is quick, inexpensive, and sandblasts on site. This is important, because corrosion on a blasted frame starts quickly, and I've seen the resulting powdercoating start cracking or bubbling.

    Frame, swingarm, and 15 smaller pieces is $200 in black, and another $50 for 2 fenders and the rim in silver. I took a picture of all the parts so that when I go to collect it, I can be sure it's all there. I dropped it off early in the morning, and they would have it done the next day.

    powdercoat.jpg
    The swingarm had pressed-in rubber bushings with a steel sleeve that needed to be removed so it could be capped off. It is such a tight interference fit, any powdercoat or even roughening of the surface would make it harder to press the new bushings in. Same thing for the steering head bearing races that were removed and capped off.
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    Since the bike was all apart, and the rear wheel unlaced, I had all the hardware plated in bright cadmium (blue cad). Rather than clean, paint, or replace hardware, my local industrial plater would plate a 5 gallon paint bucket full of hardware for $75, their minimum. (I did that once, and it took forever to sort it all out.)

    Fortunately, I had just the bike's parts, plus a few loose pieces and another set of spokes. With spokes, make sure you count them before, and lace all the spoke nipples together with safety wire (I found this to be not too good an idea - either the plating build-up on the spokes made them too "thick" or the thread crests were beaten down by other hardware in the tumbling). I will revert back to threading the spoke nipples onto the spokes backwards.). These places are used to plating huge batches of the same item, and stuff can get lost. It is series of dip processes to clean and plate them, so any rounded nuts and bolts will come back bright, but rounded. It will not cover nicks, rust corrosion, or scratches. When I dropped it off at 8:00am, it was ready by 11:00am. Well worth it. Check out the exhaust pipe clamp.

    cad plate.jpg
    #17
  18. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    I didn't plate the sprocket because the SL/XL 100/125 use a 428 chain and the CRF engine had a 520 front sprocket, and countershaft splines were different between the two. I looked through the very helpful JT Sprockets catalog, and found the CB200T used the same rear sprocket bolt pattern, so I ordered up a 39T which would match the gearing (13/39) of the street legal CRF230L. The JT Sprockets catalogs have all dimensions, and have a great cross-reference.

    I also ordered handlebar switches, starter solenoid, a used throttle, and a clutch cable.

    The rear wheel bearings were shot, full of dirt, so I ordered new ones, with a seal. Almost all motorcycle/car ball bearings are metric, and if you look up the measurements (inside dia. x outside dia. x width), it will have a standard bearing number. In this case, 15 x 42 x 13, it is a #6302. Any 6302 bearing would fit, but you can get them with a rubber seal on one side (6302 RS), or on both (6302 2RS). This seal doesn't mean it's waterproof or dustproof, but will add more protection. I ordered the 6302 RS with one side open so I could pack more grease.
    They also are available with one or two metal shields on the side (6302 Z and 6302 ZZ).

    BRM_6302.jpg
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  19. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    I got home to find 8 small packages at my door, c/o the USPS. The carb came in, and measured about 2.1", which should be enough space. I'll know soon enough. The intake side of the CRF230F carb shows the bore is offset, towards the bottom of the casting, and the rubber intake manifold opening, 38mm in diameter has a 29mm offset hole to match. The OKO carb intake has a 35mm outer diameter, so I need to make a 35mm to 38mm sleeve, but with an offset, if possible.

    IMG_7755.jpg

    g
    #19
  20. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    I'd be inclined to make a new manifold and just match port everything at once.
    #20