I finally did something drastic about it. No, I didn't sell my truck, (I'm not that nuts
) but I'm sure I am not alone with being frustrated over the costs of fuel these days. I may have found a solution for myself. I posted this in a motorcycle forum I frequent. I figured I would pass it on to you guys too since we all seem to be in this fuel crunch thing together.
Sorry about the length but it was a venture getting it back in shape to ride on the street. If it seems like the topic jumps around a little it's because I deleted the mindless bantering between the other members and myself.
I'm so sick of paying close to $4.00 a gallon (diesel) that I've decided to do something about it. I pulled my XR250 out of the back of the garage and started getting it back into roadworthy shape. I travel about 75 miles a day round trip to go to and from work so I don't want anything happening to it enroute. So far I've put a set of Bridgestone TWs, and a new chain and sprockets. The sprockets are actually XL part numbers since I wanted to get the rpms down. Stock was 14 and 52 I think. I have 15 and 40 now with an O-ring chain. Big change from the tight woods gearing it came with but, it still pulls it along ok. I have the front end pulled off to replace fork seals and change fork oil viscosity. Probably throw on a new set of fork boots while I'm there. I already had a Baja Designs kit on it and got it registered but, I am thinking of an LED rear brake/tail light. My 4:30am morning commute is a mad dash with lots of illegals with no licenses racing to get to work so anything to make me visible will help. Probably have to leave a little earlier to reduce the amount of idiots jockeying for position. :roll: It will do 75-80 mph quite easily but I don't like to hold it there. After all, it is 20 years old!
It don't look too bad for an old girl that's been ridden hard in the mud and dirt and held wide open for most of it's running life.
Sorry for the crappy picture quality. I snapped a couple with my phone while tearing it down.
Everything I touch always seems to turn into something more involved than it starts out to be. :roll: So, I get the forks pulled down and after disassembly I notice the fork bushings are missing some of the Teflon on the leading edges. :? There were no dings, chips or rust on the fork sliders which is good and, on closer inspection, figured out the little flakes of Teflon are probably what made them leak in the first place. Getting stuck between the slider and seal and all. It don't take much. So while looking up the fork bushings, I decided to bring the old XRs legs into the modern times. I ordered a set of RaceTech Goldvalve Cartridge Emulators. I resprung and set them up with spacers for preload and experimented with the oil viscocity years ago. Finally got them to stop bottoming so easily but, they still felt like riding aroung on pogo sticks with empty dump truck springs. Hopefully I can get a little better ride using these new valves. It sure would be nice to have a nice smooth ride on the street and still be able to cross the empty concrete drainage ditches to escape the cops without bottoming.
Got the Race Tech emulators installed. Went smooth with no real hitches. I failed to notice before hand that there would be no external adjustments after installing them. Now every time I wish to adjust the damping, I have to take the top fork caps off, pull the spring and spacers out, and somehow fish the valve out.... or remove and turn them upside down which would pour all the oil out. Not really a hard thing to do but much more involved than spinning a screw in the bottom of the fork. Which BTW doesn't do anything anymore since I cut the original valves off like the instructions said. I installed the new valves as they came with 5 threads showing on the valve adjuster. They are supposed to be adjustable from 0-7 threads showing and Racetech recommends 20 wt fork oil if you drill the extra damper rod holes like they recommend. That seems sort of high to me but I don't know much about suspension designing. So I stuck to their instructions. Anyone have any suggestions, let 'em fly. I should have them mounted up tomorrow and will report on how they work soon.
In addition to getting the forks done today, I went ahead and put some fresh synthetic oil in it along with a filter. It didn't look too bad but, since I haven't been riding it, it was time due to age. Tomorrow will be the front brake pads and a banjo bolt switch for the tail light. The LED I ordered was the wrong one. There were two to choose from and I ordered the right one but wasn't shipped the right one. The guy from Wheeling Cycle supply was very apologetic and has the other one on it's way to me with a return envelope for the wrong one. I also need to order a new set of fork boots. The old ones are seriously dry cracking and look like crap. That's just a nit pick though. It should be on the road soon. I checked on renewing my liability insurance for it and it's like $70..... a year!!!! I told the lady on the phone I wanted to pay that in installments.
A couple pics of it back together. I need to wash it, dust everywhere on it.
Still gotta get some fork boots but, I'm in no hurry for those.
I've owned it for about 12 years and the tank decals have always done this. They grow big bubbles over time then pop. I guess the plastic tank is outgassing????
Here's why I needed a different tail light switch. It melted from the exhaust heat. My Baja Designs kit was one of the first ones released and had a few glitches. They've come a long way since then.
Got the correct LED tail light yesterday and mounted it up, and got the wiring sorted out. Had to splice and add some to get the switch to the front brake. Am going to get the right type of connectors today when I get off work to tidy it all up so it looks and functions like OEM. Also renewed my insurance and got it registered with the DMV. You definately want to be legal when you hit the road on something like this.
Most cops know just enough about motorcycles to know this really is a DIRT bike. Along with that, the propensity to ride like a fool on it is all but impossible to ignore.
Knock on wood, I've never gotten a ticket on it and I hope it stays that way.
That's not to say I haven't been stopped. They've all commented they thought it was illegal. But, once I show all my legit info, they giggle and think it's cool. I've even had a couple ask to buy it.
It's just a happy, non-threatening kind of bike.
Totally different from the responses I (most likely most of you too) got when "the man" pulled me over on the big GIX. :evil3:
OK. I made it to work this morning on the XR.
Not really the best day for an inaugural trek on an old bike but, it didn't miss a beat. My commute involves about 15 miles of highway that runs adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway until it ends at the beach in Sabine Pass. Warm muggy mornings, which we have plenty of, usually means fog... DENSE FOG!!
And today was no different. I left around 4:50-5:00am and didn't have much traffic. Leaving that early reduces the amount of maniacs on the road. I was lucky to have someone that was comfortable doing the speed limit behind me. We left the last light before the worst stretch of highway at the same time. So he knew I was on a motorcycle in front of him and gave me about 10 car lengths. (which is unheard of usually) I wish I would of had a car in front of me too. Since the XR's headlight is so high off the ground, it reflects a lot of light off the fog and severly cuts down on visible distance. It's not uncommon for cows, coons, alligators, you name it, to wander onto the road from the wildlife refuge the highway borders. It makes me uneasy at 70 when I can't see. At least a car in front could of given me some warning of impending disaster.
I topped off my tank last night before going to bed so I could get an idea of what sort of mileage I can expect. After a few trips, I'll add it up and post my results.