The Honda XL (and other vintage singles) thread!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by dorkpunch, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Ah, okay. Certainly nothing wrong with Frankenbikes. :D

    I'll be watching your trip thread. Be safe and have fun. :ricky
  2. 1Gopokes1

    1Gopokes1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Ok

    I could not resist and picked up a 78 Honda 250XLS today I plan on giving it to my daughter for Xmas as her 1st commuter bike. Odometer show 4600 miles

    1) carb leaks when ever gas is turned on...so I assume it needs a rebuild

    2) I would like to convert it to Disc brake on the front......I assume I have to swap the fork tubes

    3) needs new fork seals...would like to do the disc conversion 1st

    4) good source for parts

    Thanks
  3. CiscoSF

    CiscoSF Been here awhile

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  4. rob

    rob Been here awhile Supporter

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    Subscribing as I have a '73 XL250 and soon it will have a '78 XL250 next to it.
  5. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    ..and both of those are good looking bikes, welcome.
  6. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    1) If you can find a Keyster kit, it's pretty easy to do.

    2) Ambitious, probably the best approach is change the whole front end out, triples and all, with a bike with a disc. Trying to adapt something to the current forks and have it be safe... anyway I assume that mod is because you want a safe bike for your daughter.

    3) Obviously unneeded if you swap out the front end.

    4) http://cmsnl.com , http://davidsilverspares.co.uk , http://hondarestoration.com , http://www.siriusconinc.com/
  7. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    I'll take a stab at #2, well sort of. I was thinking the same thing in regards to my 1980 xl500s until I actually rode the thing. the front brake is fine, the rear is where these bikes really lack in stopping power. and since I made a stock shaped fiberglass fender I have another reason not get rid of the stock front. The tire issue may eventually force me to rethinking my decision to forgo a front end swap.

    That all said the fork seals on a cb 750 have the same inner and outer diameter as the fork seals on the 1980 xl250s and xl500s. I would suspect that the cb750 fork lowers could be swapped out with the stock lowers which would let you keep your same length front end and spring rate by using your stock fork tubes or something pretty close to that and just add some lowers with a mounting point for a disc brake caliper.

    No idea about a front wheel or rotor, never got that far in my mental exercise , and I should stress that this is all just speculation. I do know however that the front end off of a mid 80's xr with the rfvc engine has a stem that is a couple inches longer and forks that are 6" longer, but it does have a 21" front rim with a disc.
  8. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    Last week I posted about blowing the headlight in my 1980 xl500s and that as an alternative to the $50 6v sealed beam I had ordered a unit from dratv.com with a replaceable bulb for $27. the unit is meant to be a direct replacement for the K2 and newer ct90's along with many other small hondas from that era. The unit comes asymbled and ready to install and packaged in a box that is labeld "TAIWAN NOT CHINA COPY, too funny! I pulled the clips to remove the bulb from the chrome rings because the ring is not commpatable with te Xl 500 headlight bucket. here are all the parts.

    [​IMG]


    The socket is a two piece affair with the part the attaches to the reflector being plastic and the part that holds the bulb being metal. the whole unit will fit in the xl500 headlight ring but it requires a slight flex of the ring to fit, nothing drastic but you might be inclined to think it won't fit but it will. Here is a comparison of the new lens held over an OEM bulb for size comparison.

    [​IMG]


    I didn't measure the difference and it would fit the ring better if it were smaller with it does work. I used the supplied clips to hod it to the ring which means I will not have any side to side adjustment. the reflector seems to be a bit shallower which I'm guessing will give me a broader beam and won't throw it as far out. All the electrical connectors plug right up to the stock Xl connectors.

    I think a better install would be to take a stock sealed beam and cut/grind a hole in the back of the reflector (which is metal for those that may not know) that matches the hole in the supplied reflector and just use the supplied socket and replaceable bulb. This would allow you to retain the side to side adjustment. In both of the stock bulbs I have the chrome is pealing away from the reflector So I need to find a good condition OEM bulb that is blown for a good(free) price.

    Edit: I was right about the light pattern being wider and not reaching out as far. I will definitely be looking to modify a stock sealed beam bulb to fit this bulb holder.
    Ruffian likes this.
  9. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    Well, problem is going to be width, the disk fronts on the fours tend to be a lot wider than a drum front will be, so you really need to change the triples too. At that point it's really the whole front end. If the goal is a safe conversion that is out of your hands, I'd lean on the side of changing the whole front to something you know works and just relacing a 21" rim to it, if that's what you want. The street fronts will have cast in bar brackets, and headlight mounts will be different, like for a 7" headlight vs a 5". It will be a lot heavier though (because of the steel disc), and probably lighter duty (because it's not made to be beaten in the dirt). I've seen it done a few times, with CB350 (disc models) front end, CB550 and CB750 front ends. Some relaced for 21s and some left as 19s. It's all about making the center stem the right length and using the right taper bearings.

    The other option is to use a full width double leading drum, a dramatic improvement over a single leading conical. As stupid as it sounds, back then front brakes on a dirt bike where barely used, so they're pretty weak, I always refer to the early XL front brakes as early antilocks. :lol3
  10. Dualsport4ever

    Dualsport4ever Been here awhile

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    I must say, most times I see an old XL (or other vintage bike) done in non OEM colours they always just seem to look ugly and wrong (to me, at least). Your '86 looks beautiful! - like it was always meant to look like that. Excellent job. I especially like the silver engine. Well done.
  11. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    I learned to ride in the early 70's and those early drums with a knobby on the front had two options, free wheel or locked up. modulating the stoppers was not an option like it is with disc brakes. On black top a drum brake the front is just fine.

    There are two other brake options. The stock front came with twin leading shoes on some models, mostly the R versions but not all R's. There is also a larger size drum. I have no idea what model or what year other than it had a 23" rim. The brakes are nearly an inch larger in diameter. This is what I have on my 1980 Xl500s. My original rim had several cracks and I ended up snagging one on ebay. The manual I have is for all the 500, 600 and some 650's in all the various versions of X's,L's and R's. it does not list the size drum I have, But I'm 100% positive it came off of an xl or xr. Would be super cool to have it in a twin leading shoe.

    In my mind the whole point of using the cb750 fork lowers was to make the swap easier by keeping the stem and triples from the Xl and just adding a lower with a mount for the caliper. You could then use any 21" xl wheel, likely requiring spinning up some custom spacers, and then fabbing a custom mount for the caliper. To me that would be much simpler than swapping stems or doing what many do and making up some Rube Goldberg looking spacer/bearing adapter, which would still leave you with the whole geometry issue.

    To the OP I would suggest adjusting the brakes and put some new shoes in if it needs it and try it out. Properly working drum brakes are not as bad as most people make them out to be.
  12. theraymondguy

    theraymondguy Been here awhile

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    1987 CBX250H

    [​IMG]

    Has an electric start (hah, suckers!) version of the same era XL250R engine. Single carb with a split manifold, SOHC, 6 speed.

    Feels and rides just like the new CBR250, has equal power but drum brake in rear - actually better off this way as the CBR disc has a tendency to lock really easily.
  13. BoldNewGraphics

    BoldNewGraphics Adventurer

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    I must say, theraymondguy, that is a BEAUTIFUL bike!
  14. welder

    welder Long timer

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    That tank is off a honda tl125
  15. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Yup. And the bike is a TL125 with an XL250 tank on it, so if we put 2 and 2 together... :evil. Trying to get a title figured out before we do much more on it. Would like to use it as a vacation scooter. Lots easier to haul than the 640.
  16. Beak

    Beak Oglyarchy Hunter

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    Thank you, I appreciate the kind words.
  17. mightyshocks

    mightyshocks n00b

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    Anyone have a good lead on where to purchase a 6V coil for the '76 XL350? Is eBay my only option?
  18. theraymondguy

    theraymondguy Been here awhile

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    Thanks BNG, I think so too. :wink:
  19. Tugboat56

    Tugboat56 Adventurer

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    Rebuilding the top end of this CL100 motor - found it had a cam chain that had never been adjusted and it had flopped against the inside of the tunnel to create this

    [​IMG]

    I had previously changed the oil, and the oil that was in there had a good bit of aluminum in it. I ran the bike for a bit while trying to get the carb jetting right. Now, I've drained the oil again prior to tearing down the top end and it didn't have nearly as much sparkle to it. Here, though, is the centrifugal oil "filter."

    [​IMG]

    Here is the old cam - not much wear at all.

    [​IMG]

    I'd already bought a "new" head that's in good shape and its matching cam, and had new valves installed and the seats cut. Also have a new cylinder, piston, rings etc that I'll be installing.

    I guess what I'm wondering now is what to do about whatever residual aluminum flakes that may still be down there in the bottom end. Again, this motor had undoubtably been run for some time while the damage was occurring, and by looking at the cam & journals it had never been enough of an issue to block any oil passages or cause any wear. Can I just flush the bottom end with oil or kerosene or something?
  20. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    A lot of the crud in the centrifugal filter is from the clutch discs and other than replacing the clutch discs I wouldn't worry about it. if the bike dissent have why shifting issues not related to a worn clutch, ie poping out of gear or skipping gears when shifting, then I would pull the oil pump gears and if they are within spec I wouldn't split the case. I suppose o would qualify that by saying that assumes that the small end of the rod looked good and the crank bearings feel smooth.

    I'd clean the centrifugal cleaner but I wouldn't worry about flushing the bottom end. The break in process for the new top end will clean it out.