Suzuki DR250 Cafe Racer? Scrambler? Just a fun city bike...

Sipma02

New Member
If you think about it, what even is a cafe racer? A fun, fast, light motorcycle for ripping around the city? Thats what this is going to be. Its gunna get lowered a little, but I wanted to start with a platform that would sit higher because I'm too tall for those little old japanese bikes...

Anyway, It’s a 1983. Its in better shape than the pictures suggest. Engine was clean and kicked 160 PSI. Started in one kick and some starting spray. The lady I got it from was too small to kick start it, which is why she wanted it gone. Lucky me!
:)


My main goal with this bike was to have a lightweight, fun commuter that I can do a little bit of gravel/light trail riding. Long-term, my wife and I want to move into a sprinter van, and this could ride on the back of the sprinter van with us cuz its so light! I’ve always wanted a dirtbike of sorts because they usually have larger wheels and sit a little taller. I was nervous about getting it plated and registered for the street, since that’s going to be most of my usage. It turns out the Vin number wasn’t registered, so I was able to get it plated and registered for $78! Plus, insurance is only $9 a month
:)


I’m hoping to spend some time and make this thing a super sweet around towner. Unfortunately it’s only a 250, so I don’t think it’s ever going to be my only motorcycle. But still! My goal is to have something that I’m super proud of and love to ride and look at, and be able to do lots of exploring on varied surfaces. Kinda dig the cafe with a bit of scrambler look so I'm shooting toward that. Street scrambler? Dirt Cafe? Current plan is to get a headlight, taillight, more street tires for it and ride the crap out of it this fall, to see what works well and what needs to be rebuilt. Then, over the winter I'll go through everything with a fine tooth comb. This thing is absolutely nothing special... but its fun to call it my own.

I like taking pictures of stuff, so I'm just planning on posting pictures and documenting my build status here, feel free to offer advice, suggestion, etc. This way I can keep track of my skills (or probably lack thereof;). But Im really excited to learn and try my hand at fabricating stuff!

Thanks for reading!

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SONICJK

Reminds me of...me No, I'm sure of it. I hate him
Welcome man!
Those Dr's are great little bikes.
The suspension could use some updating but the motor is solid and they are a ton of fun.
I used one to dig a ditch for a power line one time:
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I beat the living hell out of that bike and it never gave in.
 

Sipma02

New Member
Welcome man!
Those Dr's are great little bikes.
The suspension could use some updating but the motor is solid and they are a ton of fun.
I used one to dig a ditch for a power line one time:
I beat the living hell out of that bike and it never gave in.
Holy crap, thats awesome! Wow, I love that. Im dreaming of digging a ditch ;)

Thanks for the pics!
 

der_nanno

Faster!
I used to have the same. The DR250/GN250 engine is also used in some Chinese quads etc. so parts are incredibly cheap (cylinder head with cams for around 100 USD) and they even come in faux Suzuki-boxes. ;) Also 300cc kits are available, which were good fun back then.
 

Sipma02

New Member
I'm def interested in a 300cc kit someday. Maybe this winter ;)

Over the weekend I got lots done! I found a service manual which I've mostly read through. Tested all ignition/electrical components–all are within spec. Carb cleaned. Still waiting on an air filter. Runs and idles decent, but seems to wobble/surge a little bit. Bogs when I crack the throttle from idle. I think an air filter/larger jets will help that. Cleaned up the petcock. Still a little hard to turn, but doesn't leak anymore so thats cool.

Got the wiring figured out! It wasn't that hard, being that there was a stock headlight, but I had to do some tracing of wires. And there was no 12v DC signal, this is a 6v system on here which sorta sucks. This photo is kinda messy but I just got a universal regulator/rectifier from Amazon and wired it in to the stock generator. It worked perfectly! I want really bright LED head/taillights. But this setup gives me a clean, consistent 12v with no battery! Im really excited about the simplicity/reliability of that.
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LED headlight
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Also, I got new grips (i LOVE Oury's... have them on all my motorcycles and bicycles) and levers. New levers so that i can have a switch for the brake lights. Was able to use the stock brake lever boot, so it still looks legit and protects the cable (somewhat) from rain/bugs/debris. You can really make an old moto feel new with some new grips :')
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BTW, not in love with the stock front wheel size. Or tire for that matter. But on Facebook Marketplace, I found a guy selling some brand new, mounted Shinko 705's! Perfect for what I wanna do with this bike. One was mounted on a DT400 rear rim, front one was loose. Haven't mounted the front yet. Had to grind one bolt to make it work, but otherwise no major trouble.
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Thanks to my boy Jon for almost sacrificing his fingers
;)

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New tire
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Full pic! I'm liking where this is going
 

Sipma02

New Member
Finally got a good solid Uni air filter. My idling evened out and it has a little better throttle response so that’s good. Still bogging a little from idle when I crack the throttle wide open. Ordered some pilots to see if i can jet that out.
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In addition to that, I put stickers over the gas tank. To some, it looks kinda wack. For the time being, I like it! The stock tank was poorly rattle can painted by someone else. Honestly I have been on the lookout for a new gas tank, so I might end up replacing it anyway. Might get one of those ebay "cafe style" tanks. Anyone have good experiences with those?
Tank w stickers:
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There is an obligatory Gopro sticker on there.

front end is looking good! I repainted the front fender. That might get ditched eventually for something mounted closer to the wheel. I’m super stoked about the headlight. It’s really bright!
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Next up for mechanical basics: Chain, sprockets, and clutch cable. Might try to get a little different ratio to squeeze a liiiiiittle more highway speed out of this little guy.

Then on to the fun stuff! (making it look good!)
 

Hurco550

Keep er' Between the ditches
DTT BOTM WINNER
Love it man. I am a fan of DR's and moreso sticker bomb tanks.....

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der_nanno

Faster!
My DR250 did about 125-130kph (sitting upright) and didn't run into redline in 5th, so I doubt a longer than stock gearing will really help you with going faster. (Or mine was just a slug, which I somewhat doubt...)
 

Sipma02

New Member
Nice! Im maxing around 65, and im 6"3, 210lbs with gear. So 65mph/110kph-ish seems about right? The main thing I'm trying to solve for is getting a 1st gear that is a little more usable. Right now It only takes me to about 12mph/19kph, which is not that useful for city driving. I wanna keep it somewhat low so i can still ride gravel roads/doubletrack comfortably, but if I'm 100% honest this will mostly be a city bike.

Hurco550–FREAKING love that little bomber of a bike! Looks like near unlimited fun :)
 

teazer

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Just a thought. Slide carbs don't ever respond well to the throttle being whacked open. Air velocity drops and that means the carb can't pick up fuel, so it doesn't get up and go. If you need instant response better think about fuel injection.

Slide carbs work best when rolled open at the same rate that the revs pickup.
 

Sipma02

New Member
Out with the old, in with the new! Clutch cable, that is.

Old one: (yuck!)
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New one
:)

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Doesn't look thatttttt different but man a new clutch cable sure revives an old bike. Feels so good!
 
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