Author Topic: Fixing up a 1997 XR250  (Read 1258 times)

Fixing up a 1997 XR250
« on: Mar 26, 2016, 19:54:25 »
Hey all, been reading around this forum for the better part of a month now and figured I would hop in with a project.

This XR belongs to a friend and I am trading labor for a favor so to speak. It had been sitting in his backyard for several years now and he wants something to ride, so he had the grand idea of fixing it. There was someone giving away a 1980 Suzuki XS750 engine for free, so I am having him pick it up (a half-hour away from him, but three hours away from me) and bring both the bike and the engine to me.

I've worked on this XR before, as we tried to get it running two years ago. We got close, as it would idle for 2-4 seconds before dying regardless of throttle position.

I have quite a bit of mechanical experience, as I drive old vehicles and worked in a mechanics shop for a year and a half during high school, but I have never done bikes before this one. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be things that are different to cars, so that's why I am posting here.

The things that were done:
-All gaskets replaced in Carb. (There were some missing before this)
-New oil
-New bolts for the intake manifold/boot thing as one of them was missing.

Things that might need to be done:
This is where I need help, I'm not familiar with this bike, and don't want to tear down the entire thing to find I didn't need to. Any suggestions from anyone with experience would be greatly appreciated.

*Pictures will come when I get the bike in my possession, which should be within a week or so.
Something tells me making this a hobby is going to hurt my wallet and my sanity.

Offline runmikeyrun

  • Posts: 393
Re: Fixing up a 1997 XR250
« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2016, 04:27:22 »
I apologize I didn't see this sooner.  I have a '94 XR 250L enduro.  While the bike had some changes in 97 I'm sure some things are pretty consistent between models.

They hate starting cold, especially in cold weather and/or after sitting for any length of time.  Use some starting fluid. 

The L models were pretty lean to meet EPA requirements.  If it's an L consider some jetting changes.  I bumped my needle and pilot a little and it runs better and I think a little cooler.  Ditch the emissions crap and block off the tubes.

Stock airbox has a metal screen along with a frame inside the filter.  Cut out that screen for better airflow.  Mine also has a snorkel on top of the airbox under the seat.  Cut it flush to the top of the box, again for better air flow.  Oiled foam filter is the way to go.

The spark plug is a pain to remove/install.  The factory socket works well, and once I crack it loose I slip a section of fuel line over the plug to unthread it the rest of the way.  A million times easier.

Seems like this thing just eats sprockets and chains.  Not sure why.

Adjusting the valves is much easier with the tank loose so you can raise it up.  The clearance for the exhaust valves isn't bad, the intake is super tight!  Do yourself a favor and loosen the tank mounts.  The adjustment covers are soft aluminum and strip really easy- you'll be tempted to use a wrench.  If you use the box end you'll be ok.  The open end or a crescent wrench will strip them easy. 

The automatic compression release works really well and is welcome relief when you need to kick it back to life in the woods. 

It's a good bike.  Low seat height, torquey motor that gets my fat ass up hills pretty well.   Suspension is soft, not good for jumps!  I've run mine on two road trips- around Lake Erie (600 miles) and to Iowa and back (1200 miles).  I've run two AMA enduros with it.  I DNF'd both times but only because I got too tired after about 70 miles.  On long days your ass will get chapped pretty good but the seat is softer and wider than most modern dirt bikes.  The bike has 17,000 miles on it now, had about 2,000 when I got it.  Been damn reliable.  Only replaced valve seals and rings once although it's probably getting ready again soon.

Hope this finds you well and helps!

Live to ride, Ride or die.

Rupp Minibike
Benelli Minibike
Tomos Moped (lol)
74 RD250
81 XT125
76 KH400
79 YZ250
77 RD400

14 Yamaha Bolt
81 KZ750E
94 XR250L
68 CL350 (in process)

Yeah, it's dangerous.  That's why I like it.