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XR200R Pit Bike Project

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by JagLite, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I have a lot of fun riding the Honda XR80 I bought for my wife but I just don't fit on it.

    I am 6'-4" at 190 lbs. and also over 60 so I don't bend as well as I used to.

    I really like the fun that comes with riding a bike with little wheels at the lower speeds they restrict you to compared with the normal 21" front and 17/18/19" rear wheels that are much better as the speed goes up.

    I can understand the popularity of adults racing pit bikes on dirt and paved tracks.
    Small bike for BIG fun! They aren't fast but they sure make you laugh.
    They are also light, and easy to ride.
    I think more wives/girlfriends/kids would learn how much fun riding is if they start on a little bike.

    So I decided to build my own pit bike with 17" front and 14" rear wheels.

    I wanted a bike with a bit bigger frame so I decided to use a Honda XR200R as the base for the build.
    It is still a small bike, sort of midway between a full size bike and a mini, maybe similar to the Beta Cross Trainer and KTM Freeride.

    I had to watch CL for about a year before one came up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is a '93 with lousy suspension and a lifetime of typical Honda play bike abuse and neglect. :cry

    I took it for a ride to make sure it was worth tearing into and it was just fine for my needs. :muutt

    So I kept looking for a good suspension & wheel donor and eventually this RM85 was listed on CL:

    [​IMG]

    The plan originally was to use the front and rear ends complete and just weld the linkage mounts and shock mount for the RM swingarm & shock to the XR frame:

    [​IMG]

    But it was going to create more problems, so I followed the direction other 200R owners have gone and picked up an aluminum XR250 swingarm that uses a disc brake:

    [​IMG]

    About that time there were two more XR200R bikes on CL cheap, one complete, one roller chassis.
    Often a spare bike will have a part I need so I bought them too:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They are an '01 and '02 so both have the lower quality suspension than the early '80's bikes had.
    The seller said the one with the engine was his first bike and it was running great until after his last ride but now it wouldn't start.
    No worries I thought, Honda's are tough! :lift

    Besides, they are parts bikes anyway.

    Ok, time to get started on the pit bike project since it is winter shop time. :loco

    Summers are for riding, the other nine months are for projects. :scratch

    [​IMG]

    First will be to modify the XR to use the disc brake from the RM so I cut the master cylinder mount off the RM frame to weld it to the XR frame.

    I prefer to do messy work like cutting and grinding outside of the shop so I set up my work table:

    [​IMG]

    Then I added it to the XR frame:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then by cutting both the RM & XR brake pedals I was able to combine the parts into a setup that worked while retaining the stock XR location:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall layout for the brake assembly:

    [​IMG]


    The new wheel bearings arrived that would let me use the larger 17mm XR250 axle in the RM wheel:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was going to bore out the RM wheel bearing spacer but it is hardened steel and my drill would only scratch the surface so I found a piece of steel pipe that would work and put a piece of it in the mini lathe:

    [​IMG]

    The mini lathe is a new (used) tool that I am learning how to make things on.
    This spacer is the first job.

    [​IMG]

    Good fun!

    Reinstall the engine for reference:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Checking sprocket alignment:

    [​IMG]

    And linkage alignment showed that I needed to trim a bit off the right inside face of the link mount on the swingarm since I was using a different year link with the newer (disc brake) swingarm, so:

    [​IMG]

    High tech precision tools, eh?

    [​IMG]

    I will make a spacer for the left side of the link bolt:

    [​IMG]


    I decided to put the bike together to see what frame tabs I could remove and what I may want to weld on before having the frame powder coated while we are on vacation.

    During reassembly I noticed the left side cover was cracked so I decided to pull the one off the parts bike and see if it was in better condition.

    [​IMG]

    And what did I find when I pulled the screws out and removed the cover?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    NO air filter at all! :baldy

    Mud, dirt, and a couple stones are in the airbox...:yikes

    Only the flame screen was keeping rocks out of the engine for who knows how long. :becca

    I'm glad this was a parts bike and not one I bought to ride. :muutt
    But it is a Honda so a rebuild should have it running strong for another 20 or 30 years. :thumb

    Back to the pit bike assembly:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All looks good. :hide

    Actually it looks UGLY! :fpalm but that will change for the final assembly with new paint, seat, parts, and pieces.

    Checking for suspension clearance:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next step, bigger foot pegs for my boots
    #1
    shinyribs, XR4EVER, Te Hopo and 9 others like this.
  2. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Budget BIG pegs the SPD way:

    Measure feet, measure existing foot pegs, subtract one from the other and decide how to make the math work.

    Then search through scrap steel stock pile (and it is a small pile to dig through).
    I wanted 3/4" x 1/8" steel about 24" long but didn't have any.
    Option 1, go to hardware store and buy a piece.
    Option 2, cut the piece of 1-1/2" x 1/8" steel I did find in half.

    I went with option 2:

    [​IMG]

    It was much warmer outside than it was when I cut the pieces for the rear brake set-up, that day had been 4F, this day was in the teens and much nicer.

    Once cut in half I had the material so I started bending to see how it might work:

    [​IMG]

    That looked like it might be ok so I tacked it together and tried it on the bike to make sure it cleared when it folded up.

    Then I continued welding:

    [​IMG]

    Final with additional stiffeners installed:

    [​IMG]

    Then I bent the second one incorrectly and had to cut the end to shorten the width... :loco

    [​IMG]

    Have welder, can fix! :thumb
    Actually, I am only a beginner welder but I am getting better with my grinder. :hmmmmm

    All welded up so now to notch for grip:

    [​IMG]

    I used my grinder wheel to make the shark teeth and it went pretty quickly.

    And done:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to move the foot pegs back on the XR but the way they mount and where the kick starter is makes that not so easy to do.
    So I added to the REAR of the stock foot pegs which will effectively move my feet back about an inch and a half.
    Normally you would center the additional width on the existing foot pegs.

    I'm happy with how they turned out and look forward to using them this summer.

    They are going with the frame and assorted small parts to be powder coated:

    [​IMG]

    The plan was to take the parts to be painted before leaving on vacation so they would be done and ready to be picked up when we return.
    Only problem is that the powder coating shop took the holidays off :dunno

    And we leave before they reopen.
    All the plans we make, eh? :(

    So now it will be another delay after we get back while I wait for parts to get painted.
    And ordering a long list of parts to finish the build.

    Then it will be the fun part of building with nice clean painted and new parts. :wings

    I'll be back after 3 weeks of :jkam
    #2
  3. brownvv

    brownvv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    938
    Location:
    colorado
    awesome build! I love the footpegs, and moving them back that way was a great idea. there is something magical about the xr200 engine. I have one in a bbr aluminum perimeter frame that uses cr85 suspension and wheels. I am going the opposite direction with mine and putting full size 18/21 wheels on it. I am going to lower the footpegs and move them rearwards also. before I bought the bbr, I had planed on a build similar to the one your doing. the swingarm seems like a fairing easy swap.
    I can only shake my head when I see bikes without air filters. I have seen it way too many times, even more common and just as bad is seeing them with a bone dry foam air filter.
    #3
    JagLite likes this.
  4. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Thanks! :wave
    I hope it turns out to be as fun as I think it will. :beer

    I can always make up a second set of wheels for it with 21 & 18 so that I will have the option to go fast. :ricky
    But I have other dirt bikes to go fast on, they just aren't as fun to ride around with the kids when we go camping.

    Your BBR frame bike must be a blast! :wings
    Less weight and much better looking.

    I have posted the picture of the no-filter airbox on various forums and many have commented about buying a used bike with similar problems. :dirtdog

    I think it would be very wise for all of us to check the air filter when looking at a used bike to buy. :hmmmmm
    Most of us pull the dip stick and look at the oil, run it through the gears, and other things so it makes sense to check the air box.
    But I haven't checked, I will now.

    We're all packed and ready to go to the airport... in an hour.
    I don't know if I will be able to check my favorite website, ADVrider much, if at all for the next two weeks.

    Hopefully I won't suffer from withdrawal too severely.
    :eek2
    #4
  5. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    The Big Mitten
    I'm tellin' ya - snag an ATC200 engine and put it in one of those roller chassis.... GREAT FUN!

    I prefer the '84 - '86 ATC200S, but many models will work.

    The auto clutch is an absolute hoot!
    #5
    JagLite likes this.
  6. brownvv

    brownvv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    938
    Location:
    colorado
    vacation is over, where are some pictures... even though I am still building my bbr xr200, I want to build bike like this with the xr frame as well.
    I am thinking.
    cr85 forks with 21 front wheel
    xr250 aluminum swingarm and disk brake
    18 inch rear wheel
    cut off the stock subframe and try and graft a cr85 removable sub frame on it
    cr85 seat, side covers, rear fender. maybe the cr85 tank or a slightly larger similar one
    #6
    JagLite likes this.
  7. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I'm back! :wave

    No progress because the frame and parts are at the paint shop (the powder room? :D )

    I ordered a new headpipe from XR's Only and got the email from them that it is being prepared for shipment and they will notify when it ships...
    Still searching for an affordable rear shock though, without success.
    If I have to go new it will probably be from Works Performance but I really hate to spend that much money on a shock for a little play bike.

    I have been working on my Rickman and Drifter since my vacation so don't think I'm sitting around watching TV! :dirtdog
    #7
  8. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Excellent plan! :clap

    Are you aware of the great threads on Thumper Talk for the XR200R?

    XR200R Modification Guide

    XR200R Weight Reduction

    183 lb XR200R

    That's where I got all the information to help me build my bike.

    As it turns out, the aluminum swingarm I got on Ebay that was sold as an XR250R is actually from the XR250L.
    I found an XR250R swingarm on Ebay and bought it, only to discover that it is the wrong year and won't work at all...
    That was my fault, I got what year fits wrong so I am back to using the "L" swingarm since it will work.
    The obvious difference is the "R" has an open slot for the axle and the "L" has a closed slot.
    The weight between the two swingarms I have is very noticeable but they aren't from the same year so I don't know if that is true for all the "L" swingarms.
    The "L" swingarm being obviously heavier of course but it is aluminum.

    Now I need the special bolt that is used at the swingarm to linkage attachment, it is back ordered from Honda of course and it is not a bolt used anywhere else.
    I may have to try and make one on my mini lathe... But it would be so much better if I can find one, new or used.

    From the threads above on TT, I found what year swingarm, linkage, and shock will work well with the stock frame.
    #8
  9. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I agree! :thumb
    I am looking for an ATC engine now, but here in Alaska it is a very limited market.
    If I have to pay shipping to get an engine up here I will just get a new China clone engine.
    I do really like the idea of the auto clutch with gearbox, sort of like a Recluse (sp?) clutch kit for a small bike.
    I have the other XR frames to play with...
    #9
  10. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    The Big Mitten
    I happened to be in the local (hour away) motorcycle junkyard on Tuesday.
    They had at least 10 ATC200s of various configurations, with 3-4 of them that would be good for this project.
    It's a farming area, so there would have been a bunch of them used by the farmers back in the day.
    They are still used by the ice fisherman - there's a couple of them around here.

    A shock... I've used an 83-87 ATC200x rear shock, the clevises I think are right but it's shorter - only 12" long.
    Aluminum body, remote resivour, rebuild-able. Way too heavy of a spring, but you can fit something else.
    Less travel, but for a pit bike that might be good.
    The XR200's had aluminum shocks '86-90, these had resevours and were rebuild-able, the later ones were steel body, non adjustable, non rebuild-able.
    #10
  11. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Ah, yes... the farming areas are probably great for ATC's.
    I paid $200 many years ago to ship a used bike engine up from outside, I'm sure it is more than that now.
    I keep watching and have a search setup on CL to alert me if/when one gets listed here.
    Yep, that's the shock I'm looking for. Also used for several years on the XR250R.
    I could just get a new one on Ebay that is the correct length from China.
    It looks good so it must work good, right? :D And only $100 too. :nod

    I called the Powder room and they hope to have my frame done this week.
    I ordered new tires and tubes yesterday.
    Need to order a carb rebuild kit next.
    #11
  12. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I've been Framed!

    [​IMG]

    And I am tired too...

    [​IMG]

    Now I can start bolting things back together :-)
    #12
  13. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Even though I was working on two other projects I cleaned the build table up ready for bike assembly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope to spend some quality time this weekend working on it.
    #13
    sparkingdogg, JB2 and brownvv like this.
  14. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Eastern shore of MD
    hey, nice project. what is the fat tired bike on the other table?
    #14
  15. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    That is a V-Strom 650 project that is using a TW 200 14" rear wheel with 180 tire, the front is 18" with a 130 tire.
    It will be getting a new subframe, fuel tank, seat, suspension, and other bits.
    I call it my T-Strom :D
    #15
    Pezz_gs, Te Hopo and GR0NK like this.
  16. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,671
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I love me some XR200's! They're getting hard to find. I picked up a 2001 a couple years ago from a guy that totally rebuilt it to race AHRMA vintage races, which happened to be exactly what I was buying it for. It was clean, he added a new Works rear shock and a different head...I haven't researched it but the head doesn't have the auto compression. I believe it's been bored a bit larger too. The darn thing run's so well I haven't had to do a thing to it.

    I picked up an 87 off an ADV inmate last year, it's in good condition and has the longer travel suspension. I dropped a new clutch in it and it runs good. I need to go through the bike before I race it.
    [​IMG]
    #16
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  17. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I thought about cleaning the engine and repainting it, then decided to leave it as is and work on more important things.

    So I wrapped the frame with foam to protect the paint and then installed the engine.

    Or should I say I installed the frame?

    [​IMG]

    I have learned from experience that the frame is much lighter than the engine so it is easier to lay the engine on its side and lower the frame over it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It took a few minutes to wrap the frame and about 20 seconds to install the frame and drop the first engine bolt through.
    A few more seconds to install two more engine bolts and then I stood the frame up and then installed the front and head mounting plates and bolts.

    [​IMG]

    Then I started sanding the aluminum swingarm to get rid of all the scratches, gouges, and pits so that I can polish the arms.
    That is going to take a lot of time.
    I tried power sanding it and will try to get finer grit discs and pads but I think I will end up doing a LOT of wet sanding by hand with finer and finer grit paper before I can start buffing it...
    I will paint the center cast section satin black.

    The special bolt I needed to install the shock linkage arrived at the dealer Saturday and I was very glad to see that will work fine.
    A $16.00 bolt! It is 5mm longer than the actual bolt specified but that bolt is back ordered and unknown when, or if, it will be available.
    So I found another year swingarm that appeared to use a similar bolt that is 5mm longer and took a chance that it would work. :-)
    Sometimes you win...

    Hopefully XR's Only will ship my new exhaust pipe this week after I called them Friday to add a carb rebuild kit to my order from 3 weeks ago, that they haven't shipped yet. :dirtdog

    I also pulled the old seat cover and foam off the seat base to build my own higher seat...
    #17
    JB2 likes this.
  18. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Back on track and trying to keep with my project schedule of doing something every day, last night I put the swingarm in to measure for a new brake line.

    [​IMG]

    I also painted the center cast section satin black after taking the picture.

    Today I won't have time to work in the shop so I ordered parts online.
    New brake lines front and rear, new levers, rear brake reservoir, and front fender.

    Still waiting to get the notice from XR's Only that they have shipped my parts... :becca
    That is no way to run a business. :pep
    I did hear from them today though, they asked what my order number was. :dirtdog
    #18
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  19. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Painted swingarm:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It will get another coat of paint after I finish polishing the side arms.
    Lots of sanding to go on the aluminum still before I can start polishing.
    #19
  20. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,980
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I worked another two hours wet sanding the swingarm with 220, 320, and 400 grit before moving to the drill press buffer to polish.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am also zinc plating bolt heads and nuts, first an acid bath:

    [​IMG]

    Then in the plating bucket:

    [​IMG]

    As it comes out of the electrolyte:

    [​IMG]

    After "carding" with a brass brush:

    [​IMG]

    That is the hollow swingarm bolt and I am happy with how it came out.
    Many more to be plated.

    Thanks to Fast Idle for all his help and instruction on how to zinc plate! :clap
    #20