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Author Topic: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.  (Read 5493 times)

Offline runmikeyrun

  • Posts: 391
1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« on: Sep 01, 2016, 03:57:22 »
Well.  Finally scored one of these.  I've been looking for years for either the 250 or 350 (F5/F9).  Why? 

Back in the day my dad had a 350.  Sold it after a few years to a guy.  Fast forward to when I was 12 (late 80s) and dad bumps into said guy.  Guy sells the bike back to him, which has been sitting almost since my dad sold it to him.  My dad rebuilds the bike in our basement that year.  I watch and I'm hooked!  At 17 I bought my great uncle's RD250 and promptly restored it a couple years later.  I've been a vintage bike nut ever since.

About the project: the bike is an oil injected two stroke.  instead of going for a full restore my goal is to have a reliable and safe machine with the current "patina" that it has.  The tank and fenders are straight and while there's some of the usual scrapes, surface rust, tears in the seat cover etc its in pretty good overall shape for a bike that's 45 years old.  Besides I'm already balls deep in a cb350 frame off and two full restorations at the same time would be too much.  One good thing about the Ohio winter: lots of time to build.

I'll be working in two phases. 

Phase one includes getting it on the road before the Ohio winter.  Amazingly, the tank is spotless inside and it runs pretty strong!  Shifts nicely too.  So some quick safety upgrades are in order so I don't immediately die- check/clean brakes, replace tubes in tires, lube cables, fix trans oil leak, replace the crusty chain.  The petcock leaks like crazy.  Needs some bits to get back to street legal too:  gauges, head/tail light, signals etc.  It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who strip enduros of all these things!  Just buy a dirt bike.  Also, it needs a title so I'm working quickly to get the paperwork to Vermont BMV.

Phase two (next year) is a motor tear down for new gaskets, seals, clutch plates, etc.  Electrical upgrade (modern ignition and addition of regulator) and new tires.  The tires are workable in phase one and putting around town but for the sake of longevity they need replaced.  I'll probably replace all the control cables, fork seals, brake shoes, etc.  Wiring needs TLC.  Shocks are stock units and suck bad. 

At some point I'd like to swap the 250 cylinder and piston for the 350.  From what I've read the bottom ends and most of the rest of the two bikes are the same.  The 250 makes ~23 hp, the 350 ~34 hp.  Kind of a no-brainer.  I'll probably do this when I tear down the motor.

I decided to name her Buzz Bomb.  She actually has a deep grunt for a two stroke but still retains the buzzy quality they all have.

I'll post updates as I make progress!

Bike as she sits fresh after delivery- the beginning!
« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2016, 04:34:27 by runmikeyrun »
END OF LINE.

Live to ride, Ride or die.

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

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

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

Offline advCo

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Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2016, 10:38:33 »
Sweet little enduro. I'm in for the ride


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0 - Sold
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0 - Sold
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0
'97 BMW F650st - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75732.0

Offline canyoncarver

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Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #2 on: Sep 01, 2016, 17:43:09 »
Yeah, I'm in.
--

YZF750/1000R The Fly
KZ 750 Twin
ZRX 1100
KZ400 The Rabbit
KLR650, 65 Norton, my never finished shovelhead chopper, an 86' FXR, and an F9 Bighorn
more YZF750R's, more KZ's, a Zephyr750...and the ever unfinished 75' CB550 cafe.
--

Offline jimmer

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Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #3 on: Sep 01, 2016, 18:04:54 »
I hope you keep the stock tank/seat combo with the original patina! Cool bike.
Yamaha Blaster Bike                                                                  Suzuki T500 Titan Twingle

Online Hurco550

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Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #4 on: Sep 01, 2016, 18:13:52 »
Cool! Watching
"If you just picked up a drug habbit instead of a kawasaki triple at least you could get high while you waste money"
~ bradj
1988 tw200, the swamp donkey: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75455.0
2006 Suzuki DR650 Adventure monowheel trailer build: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75033.0
1976 BMW R90/6 farkilitious: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=74349.msg882477#msg882477
1975 RD350 Road Racer: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70652.msg833688#msg833688
1976 GT250 Rebuild: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64973.new#new
Full Custom Pit Bike: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=66954.new#new
1971 Yamaha 90cc twin HS1: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70498.0
"much ingenuity with a little money is more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity" - Arnold Bennet

Offline runmikeyrun

  • Posts: 391
Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #5 on: Sep 01, 2016, 20:08:41 »
I hope you keep the stock tank/seat combo with the original patina! Cool bike.
Yes, absolutely am!  People pay money to have their bikes relic'd like this.

Update: coincidence or fate that I start vacation a week after getting the bike?



Tore into a couple things today.  First, I sent the bill of sale and DMV paperwork to Vermont to get a registration so I can get an Ohio title. 

Second, wanted to start addressing some issues and get the ball rolling on parts.  Ordered a battery, petcock and gauges online.  The Local vintage Kawasaki shop had a few items in stock- tail light lens, engine seals, and a chain.  I'm glad I bought a chain for one extra reason that I found when I got home:



Seems as though a previous owner thought metal spade connectors would make good master link clips.  God, that would have ended poorly!

There's a transmission oil leak and a little investigation revealed it was coming from the clutch side cover.  Wouldn't you know, the bolts were loose.  Tightened those up, we'll see if it will address it enough until I tear down the motor.  While I was over there I inspected the carburetor which is under this cover:



Everything was ok.  Replaced the fuel line while I was in there.  There's a plug missing that I'll have to find, because that's a direct line of unfiltered air to the engine!

Speaking of unfiltered air- the air filter element was long gone, so I oiled a piece of filter foam and wrapped the expanded metal cone.  I'm not sure how the bike was running, some doofus had installed the air cleaner lid so that it sealed the air cleaner assembly! 



The tail light socket is crusty because it's been missing a lens and bulb for who knows how long. 

So I picked up a new center contact and will be installing that.  I couldn't find any 6v tail light bulbs locally, so I'll have to order some.

That's it for the moment, more to come!
END OF LINE.

Live to ride, Ride or die.

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

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

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

Offline jimmer

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Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #6 on: Sep 01, 2016, 20:13:36 »
Get on amazon.com and buy a 12$ JT countershaft sprocket for that new chain. I'm sure it needs a rear too. You are getting things done! Have a great and safe vacation.
Yamaha Blaster Bike                                                                  Suzuki T500 Titan Twingle

Offline runmikeyrun

  • Posts: 391
Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #7 on: Sep 01, 2016, 21:29:43 »
I think that's a great idea.  They look ok, bike's odometer says just under 3,000 miles.  But yes, I think sprockets are a solid idea
END OF LINE.

Live to ride, Ride or die.

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

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

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

Offline runmikeyrun

  • Posts: 391
1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #8 on: Sep 01, 2016, 21:30:31 »
The tail light lens is reproduction, looks kinda funny all brand new and stuff.  Maybe I should hit it with a scotchbrite pad?  Lol

« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2016, 22:04:31 by runmikeyrun »
END OF LINE.

Live to ride, Ride or die.

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

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

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

Offline advCo

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  • Posts: 2704
  • Nick Ol' Eye
    • adventur Studios
Re: 1971 Kaw F8 Bison 250 goin' down.
« Reply #9 on: Sep 02, 2016, 03:00:46 »

The tail light lens is reproduction, looks kinda funny all brand new and stuff.  Maybe I should hit it with a scotchbrite pad?  Lol



Just throw it on the ground a couple times, that's the look I'm going with on the XL

JT is pretty good about getting you sprockets that will work, if they don't have your model just grab the measurements they show on the website and call them up. You can get em cheap if you shop around, I found the best prices for front and rear on eBay.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0 - Sold
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0 - Sold
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0
'97 BMW F650st - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75732.0