Cafe Racer Forum banner

Honda CD250u 1989 - Learning Riding and Building at the Same time

3407 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Stephen J
Hi All,

I'm new around these parts but have long had a passion for cafe racers.

I am currently learning to ride (Learner permit in NSW, Australia) and have recently bought a used motorbike.

Meet Nancy, a Honda CD250U 1989.

Picked her up recently for what was an OK price for a first bike. The two previous owners had done some legwork to getting the old girl on her way to being a cafe racer although she isn't there yet. I knew going into it that I would need to put in some work to get her to the finishing point but I didn't realise how much work I would have to do as many problems are more than just cosmetic.

I've had her for one week, ridden her once and quickly realised there is a long list of issues I need to fix. This list is growing at the moment but here it is so far and in no particular order:
  • New front brake pads
  • new rear brake discs
  • rebuild front brake caliper system
  • bleed front brakes and replace brake fluid
  • take apart, clean, clear and rebuild front brake assembly
  • change sparks plugs from CR7's to CR6's
  • Change oil and oil filter
  • rewire electronics to get speedo light, neutral light and indicator light (all in speedo) to work
  • Rewire electronics and switch assembly to get front brake light to work
  • replace tyres
  • check and potentially replace seals on forks
  • general rust and corrosion removal
  • chain clean and re-lube

Cosmetic changes will include:
  • new handlebars (clubmans or clip ons)
  • New brake reservoir (chrome)
  • black metal grill on headlight
  • chrome tubing over exposed wire harness
  • new brake light
  • new bar end mirrors
  • new left and right handle assemblies
  • new paint job on gas tank (ideas o
  • maybe new seat
  • maybe rewiring to place battery behind seat to open up space under seat
  • new pegs
  • new kickstand
  • new black exhaust wrap, both exhausts
  • new chrome exhausts

I am well committed to this now and need to see it through. I want to keep a record of the exciting journey so where better than hear.

So please stick around and stay posted on the trial and tribulations of an amateur DIY cafe racer builder as he learns to both build and ride at the same time.

There will be laughter and probably more tears, and expenses, but hey this is fun so far and I am enjoying it despite the frustrations.

See less See more
1 - 3 of 14 Posts
Hello Jay and welcome to CR.NET. Your enthusiasm is commendable and hopefully will outlast the work and cost ahead of you to get your new wheels safe and sound. Did you perhaps check out the "Read First" section of the site before your posting? I'm thinking maybe not. To bad you didn't stop by before the purchase and you could have taken a list of what to look for and or avoid. What exactly was the good price may I ask? Anyway depending on the price, the list of repairs and maintenance isn't unexpected given the year of the bike and there will be more but your other list needs some tweaking. Better yet chuck it out. Right now you need one list, making it safe, reliable and comfortable to ride. The last thing you need as a beginner is a dodgy bike under you. There's lots of knowledge here on doing the right thing but doing the wrong thing will draw critic that isn't sugar coated. Thick skin helps. Take more pic's of your bike from different angles and closer shots for better reference.
Fill out your Bio.
I have grounded all future trips until the front brake issue is sorted which poses the most risk to my safety at the moment.
I am 100% concerned with ensuring I get home to them every night.

The cosmetic items are the lowest priority unless it makes more sense to couple them with a safety/performance repair/enhancement
And ultimately I want Nancy to be a striking cafe racer gal.
Yea stopping is kinda important, and is a huge part of your get home plan. You'll find as you clean the bike up and start improvements that it will come in to it's own look. Performance enhanced bikes that handle well just look good without trying. The term Cafe Racer has become so diluted as to what one actually is. From the "Hipster" to the "Track rider" they are different species. You mentioned possible performance enhancements during cosmetics and repairs. Don't know if it would make sense for what your doing but braided brake lines look the business and improve braking since your working on them anyway. Glad to hear your playin it safe.
1 - 3 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.