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Discussion Starter #1
My old 92 XR 250 served me faithfully for many years.....well, they're kinda rose coloured glasses, she was a bugger to start if you tipped her over (which I did a fair bit) and was generally just a heavy old tractor, but she was my first dirtbike and I still love her. :)

I've given her a few facelifts over the years, but they were mostly cosmetic changes and easily applied ones with paint and plastics that easily fit the base. Easy peasy. The original......
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To the updated
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But, now I'm getting serious.

Project 92XR250 Street Tracker has commenced.

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And this is something like the look I'll be heading for (But with obviously NOWHERE NEAR the level of mastery that pro builders like these guys have)

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It's going to be a simple build to begin with.

No Frame Chopping - Other than the Seat Brace which I've already removed to allow the flat seat to sit down on the frame and possibly a rear seat loop, brat style

Rebuild the Brakes - which have scratched pistons and blown seals everywhere. (Wow, finding Nissin pistons for this bike is not that easy!)

Hope like hell the engine starts - The old girl has been sitting in storage for a while and was getting a bit tired the last time I rode her in the bush (whoa, must be at least 10 years ago now) so that's going to be interesting, but if nothing else the old Honda XR's were renowned for being bullet proof, so I guess we'll get to test that out.

The Main challenge at the moment is fitting Tank and Seat. But, I'm kind of on my way with that so I'll set up a project post and start the diary.

So, the idea is to get the Basic Groundwork done to a point where it's ridable and on the road. Then I can decide if I want/need to delve deeper into the customisation of bits and pieces

Thanks in advance to anyone who see's this, is interested and can offer helpful advice or suggestions to a newbie builder in Sydney Australia.

Kind regards
Burgo72
 

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We need a picture of the bike without the clading. Hard to tell what has been done to the examples without seeing what they started with. It might be worth researching what other calipers would/could be made too work that have parts available.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We need a picture of the bike without the clading. Hard to tell what has been done to the examples without seeing what they started with. It might be worth researching what other calipers would/could be made too work that have parts available.
Hi Woodsman. If you're talking about my bike (In the first 3 photos), its a bog standard 92 XR 250 R. Nothing's been done to it in the examples other than A) Cleaning everything up and putting new plastics on (as in the case of the first "Red" upgrade) and/or B) Stripping all the plastics and cutting off 1 frame brace to mount new Tank, Seat and shorty fenders (as in the 3rd photo with Blue tank). Other than that. NOTHING.

If you're talking about the 4th photo Example of the bike look im going for, it's an XR200 built in the phillipines, but there's plenty of examples of this type of build. I just like the fact that it's not TOO custom and retains some of it's dirt heritage, which is what I'm planning on doing. Street Tracker that has OBVIOUS Dirt DNA

Thanks for the suggestion on the other Calipers. I've started looking, but not finding anything easily at this stage. If anyone knows what's out there that will fit the stock Fork, I'm all ears. Otherwise, the simplest first iteration might just be to rebuild the 2 pot Nissins.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would put a 4 pot brake calliper on the front seeing as you don't have much to work with at the moment.
Thanks TrialsRider. If you can share an example of a 4 pot caliper that will fit the stock forks, Or an example of how to add 4 pots with "relatively" minor changes, that would be helpful.

Otherwise, as per my previous post, my first step will probably be to rebuild the 2 pot Nissins.

I'm not looking to spend Big $$$ on this one (I am working with a 250 farm bike, after all). I just want to start with some initial mods that end up with a bike I can ride on the road, with the Street Tracker look and feel, but with obvious Dirt DNA.
 

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Thanks TrialsRider. If you can share an example of a 4 pot caliper that will fit the stock forks, Or an example of how to add 4 pots with "relatively" minor changes, that would be helpful.

Otherwise, as per my previous post, my first step will probably be to rebuild the 2 pot Nissins.

I'm not looking to spend Big $$$ on this one (I am working with a 250 farm bike, after all). I just want to start with some initial mods that end up with a bike I can ride on the road, with the Street Tracker look and feel, but with obvious Dirt DNA.
Four pots are easy enough to mount because the disk is always right in the centre. I have access to a huge inventory of scrap bike not far away and the owner is a buddy, so parts are apparently a little easier for myself then most, I would just take some wrenches and go brake shopping. Nissin would not be my first choice but they are all good if they are four pots, compared to what you are riding now.

You might even be able to run trials bike brakes on that front disk, it looks fairly thin.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Day 900 (I say day 900 cause I've been looking at this bike in my garage and dreaming about how to create this thing for bloody years! It hasn't had any plastics on it for so long, just a frame and me, looking at it, beer in hand, pondering the great questions of life)......anyway I digress.....

Let me just state again that I'm not a pro bike builders shoe lace, so forgive me for the dodgy and undoubtedly cheap solutions that I'll come up with along the way in this build. But that is the entire point of this project......

Breathe new life into my old XR, creating a Tracker that I think looks cool, which honours it's Dirt DNA, as cheaply as I possibly can. I may fail miserably, but that's on me.

So, onto the weekend's affair........

The New Tank OBVIOUSLY doesn't have the same fixings as the old plastic XR Tank. So how to fix it to the frame has been one of those great questions I've been pondering. It has these little "Cup" shaped sections that stop it from forward movement.
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So my first solution has been to make up some brackets that match an odd, offset triangle shaped depression at the top end of the frame.

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They don't look like much, but the fit the bike ok and don't look too shit. Those little protrusions fit into the cup nicely and stop the tank moving forward, up or down. The Fork tubes miss the front fold of the tank by about 5mm on full lock either side.

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I also bent and welded up an A frame to hold the tank up off the Rear Shock mounting point.

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My next brain f*&k is how to fabricate a fixing that will hold the tank DOWN and accommodate the SEAT front mount bracket which looks like this.

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It's obviously going to need to have a T piece at the top, but as you can see from the Rear Tank photo above, there's not a lot of room between the tank mount and the underside of the tank itself, so the tolerances are minimal. I may stuff this up a few times before I get it right.......

Anyway, the other thing that has come off is the Front Brake Caliper and MasterCylinder. The brake fluid was more like brake sludge, dirty brown shit that had the consistency of, well.....mud. The dirt and oil seals are probably gone and the pistons are kinda scratched, so it's either a full rebuild OR replace the brake system and install something new entirely.

If anyone has an idea on what might suit WITHOUT GOING OVERBOARD :p (ie - no I do NOT want to put a dual disc system off a GSXR, even if it could be done. haha) I'd be grateful for the suggestion.

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Seriously though, I'm keen to hear suggestions for a possible brake swap AND the Rear Tank fixing bolt, so thanks in advance for your comments. Hopefully I'll be able to update again next weekend with some more progress. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Four pots are easy enough to mount because the disk is always right in the centre. I have access to a huge inventory of scrap bike not far away and the owner is a buddy, so parts are apparently a little easier for myself then most, I would just take some wrenches and go brake shopping. Nissin would not be my first choice but they are all good if they are four pots, compared to what you are riding now.

You might even be able to run trials bike brakes on that front disk, it looks fairly thin.
Thanks again TrialsRider.

Ok, I'll look into it. The part i'm still unclear on is whether the fork mounting points line up with a new caliper. Obviously I'll need to do more homework on that.

I have a trials bike as well. 2014 Sherco ST300R. SUPER Fun! :) Are you suggesting Forumula Brakes (I know they're not the best) or other Brake Co used on Sherco, Gas Gas etc trials bikes would/could fit?
 

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Thanks again TrialsRider.

Ok, I'll look into it. The part i'm still unclear on is whether the fork mounting points line up with a new caliper. Obviously I'll need to do more homework on that.

I have a trials bike as well. 2014 Sherco ST300R. SUPER Fun! :) Are you suggesting Forumula Brakes (I know they're not the best) or other Brake Co used on Sherco, Gas Gas etc trials bikes would/could fit?
Absolutely, if the disc will fit between the pads. Would be a major upgrade.
I was thinking you have enough suspension there to go over cars pretty easy, not sure I would mess with that but then again how are you going to ride it without doing wheelies?
 

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Tank is suppose to be rubber mounted but leather works in a pinch.
Lots of bikes just had a rubber strap to hold the rear tab of the fuel tank down,
but then they usually had one bolt at the front too.
 

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I suppose one other thing is, I can make stuff out of aluminum pretty easy. I even made a bracket to repair a broken Fantic lower fork leg when I had to. lol seen the same bike with the repair I did on it 8 years and 3 owners later.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I suppose one other thing is, I can make stuff out of aluminum pretty easy. I even made a bracket to repair a broken Fantic lower fork leg when I had to. lol seen the same bike with the repair I did on it 8 years and 3 owners later.
Yep, I was thinking about Ali for the tank brackets, but Perspex was just easier to get the first iteration done, plus, now I know it works, I can get it made (by someone else!) in another material if needed with the perspex as template. I'm an old Plumber, maybe I could make em out of Copper? (Aluminium? No bloody chance! hahaha)

The seat/tank connection is doing my head in! ?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Easter Saturday 11th April 2020

The Easter weekend rolls on with isolation, but also some progress and a solution to the first challenge!

A quick and relatively easy job, was the brake caliper strip down. NOTE: if you're doing this yourself remember to undo the brake Hose LAST. I'll admit to having to re-connect the caliper and bleed the brakes to get the Pistons out at least once (Ok, maybe twice).......anyway, they've come up pretty clean after the first round of scrubbing (you can kinda see how dirty they were in a previous photo above) and I'll do some more on them before rebuilding.

Long term I'm thinking I'll actually paint the calipers black.

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But the real progress has been the tank/seat mounting config......

I'd been thinking on this for a while, wondering how to hold the rear of the tank down, while providing something that would accept the "fork" plate on the front of the seat.....After some bouncing around of ideas with my brother Gilbert (thanks bro), I came up with this basic design........

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Bottom right was first concept, but then I added the 25mm plate in between the two, to stop the seat moving side to side.

Then I made this thingamajig. (Fingers crossed it would work)

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Ok, ok, it needs some grinding and finishing to soften the edges, and the welds are what you'd expect from an old plumber who's used to Brazing (and to be honest, still getting the hang of the wire speed and power settings on my gasless mig rig) but at least those bits aren't gonna separate any time soon. It'll do (hopefully) ;)

I also made a simple modification to the tank mounting plate to make inserting the above easier. Remember, the tank needs to install from the rear, moving forward and down, and there's not a lot of room between the plate and the underside of the tank, so it needed this slight mod. Actually, I was thinking that there would be two bolts holding the tank down, one on each side of the cut. That was the plan anyway.......

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Then I drilled the hole for the thingamajig and welded the new tank/seat brace onto the frame. Shit's getting real now......

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Ok, let's test how this goes together......... ?????

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Holy shitballs! It may look like something off a Container Cargo ship (or something you find buried under 100 years of scrap in an old farm shed) but f&%k me if it doesn't actually work! :)

You'll see the idea of two bolts holding the tank down became unnecessary.

And the Seat fits sweeeeeetly. No wobbles on either tank or seat, side to side, up or down. NICE! (well, not exactly nice, but functional at least)

The final two things I did were......

1. Fabricate a support for the mid point of the seat. Given that I'm not making significant changes to the "Sub-Frame" and the tank and seat sit kind of high due to the top Shock mounting point, the middle of the seat was dangling in free air, about 30mm above the frame (while the front sat on the thingamajig and the rear on the existing frame) and the plastic seat pan would flex and probably break as it copped a pounding over time from my fat arse . So, out came the gasless mig again........

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Same as the thingamajig, the support above will benefit from some edge smoothing and tidy up, but again, it works a treat! The seat is now supported front middle and rear and doesnt flex or rattle at any point.

2. I wasn't planning on doing this till later, but I pulled out the Airbox to make it easier to instal the above seat support. This will be replaced by a simple cone filter, but it really opens up the back of the bike and gives it that stripped back look. Also shows of the shock spring nicely.

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Next step is to finalise the seat fixing at the very rear, should be simple enough (i hope), re-attach the muffler and wait for the brake rebuild kits to arrive.....as soon as the pipe's on, I'll dump and replace the oil and see what we're dealing with in terms of starting.

I do have a sticky throttle problem (don't we all haha) but i'll probably wait to see what happens when i kick her over before I go further down that path. Carby return spring seems ok, perhaps just some frayed throttle cables?

Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be able to spend some more time on her today......thanks for reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, so I'm still learning......

The look I'm going to end up with is Probably more Scrambler than Street Tracker. Pipe will be kept stock - ie high and out of the way. I really like the dual pipe header, so no need to change that for this old dirt girl.

Anyway, thread has been changed to XR 250 Scrambler. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another weekend, another few fun hours of progress in the "Grudge".

Painted the Calipers this weekend and again, it just makes me appreciate people even more who're skilled at their craft and make what they do look easy. (As a plumber in a former life I understand that for me, doing good, neat work was easy, because I'd practiced.)

Wire brushed and cleaned them within an inch of their lives, then 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of Black and 2 coats of Clear (after the stickers applied) Caliper Paint. If you need it there's a good Caliper Painting vid here

So, the paint job is not perfect, but that's ok. This has always been a first iteration kind of project anyway. If I want to re-do them at some point, maybe anodised or baked powder coat, I can. But that goes against my low budget ethos at this stage. Like I said, makes me appreciate a GOOD spray job even more. (respect)

I also wanted to ad homage to XR on the caliper, Brembo style, and because i couldnt find anything off the shelf, I cut up the white part of a few old stickers i had laying around to complete the job.

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Ok, it's kind rough (and I f&%ked up with some overspray of black trying to fix up a blemish in the paint, AFTER the clear had gone on, at the end of the day......tired and perhaps that extra beer was blurring my vision/thinking?), but from a distance I reckon they'll look fine. haha. (They're only about 8mm high, so it was hard getting the internal edge/corner cuts as good as a manufactured one, even with sharp scissors and Stanley knife. Probably should have set up a better "Cutting" bench with light and MAGNIFYING GLASSES! ?)

Received the Rebuild kits last week and just waiting for the front Caliper pistons to arrive from O.S. Then it'll be back onto the Seat/Rear Fender finish and we'll see how the old girl starts up! (fingers crossed)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, so. Bad News.

I've been trying for 45 mins and that old bitch is as hard to start as I remember her! No wonder I love the electric start on my 2018 play thing!

Anyway, I'm guessing no compression, for the following reasons.....

1. It started briefly a couple of times - So I'm getting spark, at least initially/ possibly intermittently

2. It seems harder than I remember to find top dead centre for the "Full Kick" starter stroke. Ie the kick start doesn't feel different enough from exhaust to compression stroke.

Are there any "serious" mechanics out there who can share some troubleshooting steps to eliminate other possibilities?

Or is the first step to do a compression test? (I don't have one of those and from what I've read it's not clear what the compression on this engine "Should" be exactly.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, there's a decent likelihood that as a mechanic I'm a pretty good butcher (as my mum used to say) because the new spark plug did bugger all, the carby the same and I'll be surprised if those valves are in Spec at all after I touched them. But who knows. Hmph.

I have a compression tester coming so we'll see what that says over the weekend.

On the up-side, I've been buffing up the caliper brackets and they're coming up sweet! (The photo actually doesn't do it justice!)

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So there's plenty more where that came from.......hours of fun. ;P

And I sorted out the mounting for the rear fender. Looks kinda agricultural from here, but with the seat on it just all blends in.

Welded some 5mm (no doubt over engineered but it's what I had laying around) flat bar strips to the cross brace, tapped some thread into them, stainless steel screws and spring washers at one end. Bent Aluminium strip with old screws off the bike at the end and she's solid as a rock! :)

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The folds and bends will be bogged up so it mimics the smooth flat fender at the front and I'm thinking the whole frame will go BLACK, so hopefully it'll all kind of disappear.

What Id REALLY Like is to be friends with someone who loves rebuilding engines and want's to guide a greenhorn through the process. But, I may end up copping out and sending the engine to a pro, depending on what the compression test tells me.

Just feels like there's a lot I don't know about engines at this point......but we soldier on. :)
 

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Bring it here and I can help you adjust your valve clearances ;)
I'd almost put money on it your hard start problem is valve clearance being wrong. I don't even try to check them any more, I just go straight to adjusting the clearances if they have screw type adjusters and not shims.
 
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