Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Tire...New Chain...New Grips...New Levers...Things are Moving along Nicely...

From time to time I post and ask questions on a Vintage Motocross Forum which is based in the United States. It is not a particularly active site and so I am not getting my questions answered but there are some interesting folks on the site that can offer some help. It is a pity that there are not more and better sites for vintage motocross information. There are incredibly helpful sites all around the world for vintage trials people...but not much for vintage motocross. I digress.

On my forth try at mounting this new tire, I finally succeeded. This is a very stiff tire and my hands are not as flexible or as strong as they used to be. Now I can look forward to mounting the another new Maxxis to the front.

I have received some criticism for cutting off the original Bridgestone tire which was mounted on this bike when I bought it. Apparently the tire was specific to the CR250 and prized by collectors. Oh Well...I really need a good tire if I am going to ride this thing. I believe this Maxxis Desert knobby (4.50) will keep me hooked up...unlike the worn-out Bridgestone which came with the bike.

As you can see from the picture above I have a new chain in place as well. Again, much to the dismay of collectors and performance enthusiasts it is not especially "correct". It is an o-ring chain and it does sap some power from the drive line. I am not especially worried. I am sure that I can get myself into some very significant trouble given the power of this bike and I do like the security of knowing that my chain is not going to break ten miles from my house in the Baja Desert.

Above is a nice shot of the OEM muffler. It is a very heavy piece...completely out of keeping with the rest of the bike. At the time this motorcycle was introduced, California had recently introduced laws requiring spark arrestors on all off-road motorcycles. This was Honda's rather inelegant solution. The assumption must have been that the buyers of this bike would remove this piece at the first opportunity. Unfortunately, I am stuck with this "solution". None of the forums that I have visited...nor any of the manufacturers of two stroke mufflers have been able to offer me any alternatives.

When I received the bike, the front mounting bolt on this muffler had been sheared off in the frame and the rear mounting bolt simply was not there. I had to drill out the frozen bolt and clean-out the rear muffler mount for a couple of new bolts. Not a huge project...but it had to be done and it felt good to get those pieces properly mounted. Now all I have to do is get some high temperature paint for the muffler and the side case covers.

The clutch side case cover has been a bit of a project. The very good news is that it had never been removed. The phillips head screws which attach this cover to the crankcase were in perfect condition. There was absolutely no evidence of the screw heads being torn-up in any prior attempts to remove them and the screws themselves were in "like new" condition. The clutch was likewise in "like new" condition. I was primarily interested in checking out the clutch because I have been lead to believe that the clutch baskets on these bikes were subject to excessive wear if abused. This clutch basket was perfect.

A problem arose when I re-assembled the side case cover. As you can see, it is a tight fitting and relatively thin piece. The first time that I re-assembled it...with a new gasket...the kick-starter shaft was bound-up tight. I could barely move the shaft. I took it apart several times and made it a point to carefully check the kick-starter assembly to insure I did not put anything back together up-side-down or backwards...but everything checked-out. It appears that when re-assembling this cover you have to pay very close attention to the order in which the screws are tightened.

Right now the kick-starter shaft is slightly bound-up. What I am going to have do is remove the cover once again and very slightly relieve the bushing where the kick-start shaft comes through the side case cover to create some additional clearance. As things stand right now I can not completely tighten the screws which surround the kick-start assembly. I am not particularly worried about this "modification" because the oil level inside that cover is considerably below the point where the kick-start shaft exits. In the picture above you can see the small bolt which is below and to the right of the kick-start shaft. That is the oil level inspection hole. That is the appropriate level for oil in that side case. It is obviously well below the kick-start shaft. In addition, the kick-start shaft has its own oil seal. So I am not worried about oil coming out of that bushing.

So...what's left? Well, quite a few things. My shocks that I ordered from a Spanish supplier (that shall remain nameless) never arrived and so eBay credited me back the PayPal funds that I had paid to the supplier. So now I am back to my English suppliers looking for a reasonable set of replacement shocks and I still need a front number plate. As mentioned above, the new front tire still needs to be mounted and the forks flushed. I am waiting for a new throttle assembly. One of the previous owners fell over a little too hard on the right side and the original throttle assembly is a little rough.

Watch this space!

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