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

3404 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.

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Thanks Hillsy.

Yes it was registered. 6 months left and its now transferred to me.

What makes you say I'll be up shit creek?

EDIT: oh because of the state, I thought you meant State as in NSW. Yes there is a lot of work to do unfortunately
Thanks all for your posts your advice is much appreciated.

And thanks for posting about the first posters thread and advising to fill out my bio. All done now. Sorry I was just cruising the Project Builds thread when I created my account and didn't think to go into that thread.

I should make it clear that the bike is currently road worthy and fairly safe, except for some issues with the front brakes and speedometer lighting.

The front brake issue looks to mainly be with stuck pistons in my preliminary investigations. I will need to get it off the disc to do a proper inspection, I figure while I am repairing those I might as well replace the front brake pads and clean the whole assembly as well as bleed brakes and replace brake fluid (looking darker than amber at the moment). I have taken about the front brake switch because it wasn't triggering the brake light when pressed. I have cleaned this and rebuilt the switch assembly and it now works. Will post about this a bit later.

The lighting issue has been fixed this morning following some wiring and rewiring. I will post about this shortly too.

Out of interest for my own safety 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 note that I may have come across as someone more interested in the cafe racer looks than performance or safety first. I can assure that is no the case. As a married 32 year old with 2 kids (and a mortgage I don't to leave them all with) I am 100% concerned with ensuring I get home to them every night.

My initial lists were intended to map out, really for my own benefit, what I needed to tackle in no particular order. The cosmetic items are the lowest priority unless it makes more sense to couple them with a safety/performance repair/enhancement (e.g. new clip ons/clubmans when I get around to replacing the levers and switch assemble on either side of the handlebar.

For those interest in price, I picked this one up for AUD$1,500 and apart from the lighting and brake issues, it really is an ok running bike and could probably do without me tinkering with it in the short-medium term. Regardless I am avidly interested in getting to know this bike and being competent in the maintenance, repair and restoration of it.

And ultimately I want Nancy to be a striking cafe racer gal.

EDIT: and yes, drum brakes not discs :p
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