XR250L owners check in

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by slip, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. xrmike

    xrmike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    New York
    Pix, sure:

    Complete rebuild of Top & Bottom complete. The machine shop that did the work has a small parts media-blaster so I had them clean up the engine cases and fins too. Probably has not looked like this since it left the showroom floor in 1991.
    I delivered my re-built carb and re-assembly has begun. Even though I'm riding a '19 CRF450L now which is light years advanced from the XRL (any XRL) I miss the simplicity of this bike. State Parks & Forests are re-opened so looking forward to breaking-in the engine smoothly and slowly.
    Leaving the frame clean but un-restored. This bike earned ever scratch & dent on it:

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    valvecrusher and Emgo like this.
  2. Chico

    Chico Passing through

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    897
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Nothing exciting, just posting some pics of recent XR250L ramblings out in Johnson Valley, Southern California. Rent trailer for $30, pull it out there at the crack of dawn, behind the Corolla and roll around exploring for a couple hours. Come back to the car for some lunch and a coffee and repeat. Drive home in time for dinner. Trying to get out more now that it's cooling off and looking forward to trying some other areas soon. Couple questions: 1. How do I confirm I have the stock XR250L muffler as opposed to the XR250R? I'm 90% sure this is original stuff but is there an easy way to see the difference? 2. Does anyone have OEM XR250R headers and muffler in reasonable shape to sell?
    I've had bigger adventure bikes since 2003 and am really enjoying the lower stress levels of riding this one to remote places. At my skill level, steep rocks and deep sand take a lot of the fun out of riding an 1150GS.
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  3. Glade

    Glade Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    133
    I have both mufflers. The XRL muffler measures 1.9 inches at the clamp where it meets the header. The XR muffler measures 2.3 inches at that same clamp.
    Chico likes this.
  4. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    Nice to see some other folks still riding the old XRL's.
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  5. Skinneyxrlryder

    Skinneyxrlryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    USA
    Hello everyone, this is my first post. Over 6050 page's of posts on the other thread, wow.
    3 months ago I sold my 2006 crf230x and purchased a 1996 xr250l. Missing the buddy pegs, 2300 miles, supertrapp muffler, basically new but crashed hard on the right side. Bone stock. All the emission stuff is there. I dont know jet sizes (yet) but the "pumper" carb spring mods have been done. 6523 miles on it now, new tires on order, I always do maintenance, I love and hate this bike.

    When i first got it, i thought I messed up and should have gotten the xr400 instead, but im overall very happy with it. Ill keep it for another year or ? For me to go ride, I have at least 50 miles of highway/freeway to ride. After that its another 12-22 pavement miles to dirt. So no matter what I need to be street worthy. The 250 doesn't exactly have all the power in the world to get out of the way on busy freeways, but it will carry me and my pack 80-95mph wide open throttle on flat ground no sort of wind while never getting close to redline because of lack of power. I presume the 400 is better in this regard. Xr600 is too big for me, I cant touch the ground and its too heavy for trail riding, I wonder about the 400. The crf230 was way more responsive and felt faster. Ive raced my buddy on his 230, im always slightly behind him, but catch and pass him when I hit 6th gear. He is more agressive rider too.
    Im too old now to be jumping and racing, my crf230 was a race machine and liked jumps. This xrl250 is definitely not a race machine, the suspension is way softer, the seat is thicker and bigger, makes a nice trail ride. I carry a 12 and a 13 tooth front sprocket with me now. I switch when i get to the trail. The 12 up front definitely helps but for more serious steep and tight trails I will go 1-3 tooth bigger on the rear. Then a 14 front for freeway?
    Im going to try a 500 mile round trip soon. My behind already hurts thinking about it.
    I want the bigger fuel tank, brush guards, luggage rack and better lighting. Maybe an oil cooler, well see.
    I see this bike becoming a light slow adventure bike.
  6. Glade

    Glade Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    133
    There are many engine performance upgrades available for the XRL, including big bore kits up to 280 cc that will really increase its power. The suspension can be re-worked to be quite capable too so don't count it out. It is probably way more capable than you think. Try XR's only for a start.
  7. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    So many parts from other XR's will fit the 250L. The problem is price of used parts keeps going up. Its easy to spend way too much fixing up these old bikes.
    I bought an abused non-running 250L back in '13. I spent more than I care to think about over the years fixing it up a little at a time. I have a completely rebuilt bike now, but it wasn't cheap.
  8. Skinneyxrlryder

    Skinneyxrlryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    USA
    Ive been looking at the engine mods, but ive decided to wait until overhaul time. Ive been contemplating getting the xrr exhaust system but I do alot of riding on steep terrain, I wonder how much low end I would lose going to bigger pipes? Right now it crawls up most everything. I also dont want to dump tons of money into it, it goes good enough right now. If its anything like my xr200r was, so long as i change the oil and adjust the valves, it wont ever die!!
  9. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Xrr exhaust will make more power everywhere. It might be cheaper to just buy a full aftermarket header and slip-on though. If you don't mind the extra noise.
  10. Skinneyxrlryder

    Skinneyxrlryder Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    USA
    If I decide to keep the bike, Ill do the exhaust, the xr only header is sexy! Im not worried about power right now, I bought this to use for trail riding and it does fine.

    Has anyone had any problems with their cdi box? A friend told me to carry an extra one with me on long trips because they go bad.

    I do alot of desert riding when its hot out, ive been debating if putting an oil cooler on it is worth it, or even necessary. On tight trails at low speed i see the value of it, but I stop about every 20 minutes and take a break.

    I never had any problems with my xr200r's, ever. With that said, what are the weak points of this bike I should focus on?
  11. Lajbi

    Lajbi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Hi Folks!

    Just check in with my bike. Not started since 2 years, could not find the compression, so I think I will remove the valve cover, maybe cylinder head as needed. Prev. Owner said, it starved on oil once or twice... It's az md22 from 1992, straight from japan.
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  12. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

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    Jul 9, 2007
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    Good luck, oil starvation is what usually kills these bikes.
  13. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

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    Jul 9, 2007
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    I added the oil cooler to mine. If you can get the parts cheap there is no reason not to. The R models all came with a cooler for a reason.

    I know the 650L has problems with the CDI box. I don't know if the 250L has those problems or not. I've never had trouble with mine.

    Weak link is the suspension, especially the forks. 400r and 650L can swap using the whole front suspension. you can use the 250L wheel if you swap the bearings. 650L shock fits if you move the voltage regulator. It is a hair shorter though.

    600r brake pads fit the front and have a little larger contact area. Its a cheap upgrade for the front brake.
    Emgo likes this.
  14. bark sampler

    bark sampler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    439
    Location:
    Middle of Michigan
    I miss my 250L. I will say the weak link is NOT the suspension IMO.

    They have one of the best non cartridge forks made and blow away more complicated designs from the same era. Just replace the short spring on top of the main spring with a piece of tubing for a higher net rate, fresh fluid, and performance is better than what Honda puts in the new CRF250L by a mile.

    In the rear you have a fully rebuildable Showa. Get it serviced with the right weight fluid and a full nitrogen charge. Set the sag, and again, it will put a CRF250L to shame and rival the KLX.

    It’s good stuff. Set up with just those things (basic service) I could comfortably attack sand whoops or ride rocky single track better than the off-road R version due to higher spring rates. I did that on two bikes as a friend had one too, both performed awesome. No, not up to 2000+ KTM, but great for a Japanese dual purpose of any year. Just my experience. I’m sure results vary.

    Now highway speeds with hills, elevation, or headwinds, that’s another story.
  15. Lajbi

    Lajbi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Hey, my xrl250r has cartride forks. (md22, 1992, from japan).
    bark sampler likes this.
  16. xrmike

    xrmike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    New York
    Rebuilt my front forks a few years ago. Better if not the same as new. Rear I have not touched yet. This is for a 1991 with about 8000+ miles but those were hard-core miles prior to my ownership.

    Amazing thing about these old Honda's and take it from me as a collector of vintage and classic bikes (mostly BMW's from the 1960's) you can refresh them as new but their value has bottomed out years ago. They are actually becoming investment vehicles while at the same time able to challenge and sometimes surpass anything brand-new on the trails or in the woods. Their simplicity was their key to success back then and now again in the present day. So keep your "mods" to a minimum or reversible and let it do what it was designed for... anything you can throw at it!
  17. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    I've had 2 of these bikes. One with stock suspension I rebuilt. Another with xr400 forks / 650L shock, I revalved / rebuilt / resprung. It is a night and day difference. The stock suspension feels like a walmart mountain bike. My brother still owns that bike and whenever I ride it I'm amazed at how crappy it feels in comparison.

    I have a set of ricor intimitators for 41mm forks (klr) I've been meaning to drop in and see if that can help.

    If I started with a nice bike and not a truckload of parts I'd upgrade the suspension / brakes and just ride it.
  18. xrmike

    xrmike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    New York
    I am looking for a used (obviously) 250L or 250R carb if anyone has one lying around. Thanks.
    1991 would be the best but '91 thru '95 seen to be pretty much the same. Other years won't work for me.
  19. xrmike

    xrmike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    New York
    Found one from the marketplace.
  20. Vincent_4466

    Vincent_4466 Norm

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa. 1st dirt bike, 69 Penton 125 6-Day
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    My XR250L with 250R carb, headers/muffler and oil cooler. Great running little bike. Fun runs with my wife on her XT225 through the hills of West Virginia.
    Bors and Streak09 like this.