1985 DR 250

I need to jump in and ask a quick question for my first post. I have been on one type or another set of two wheels for a number of years but have been out of the dirt for a while. My first new bike was a DR 400 back in the early 80es, I think I was into dual sporting before there was such a term. Recently I happened upon a DRZ 125 that I have brought back to life that really does it's best to pull me around even though I weigh in at 240 pounds. I have a small farm with hills that I like to ride around on. On a recent trip to my local motorcycle dealer which has some older bikes to look through I spotted a sad looking DR that looks to be mostly all there. Would any of you take on bringing one of these back to life or move on to something newer? It seemed to have compression, I didn't try to start it, when I asked about it they laughed and said they had it running but it smoked real bad, I was thinking muffler full of oil after falling over. Anyway hand levers are broke seat has holes and who knows what else, was told $300.00.

Well I think I am going back to have another look at the bike. I have to do things on the cheap so I hope to save this bike from death and have something to ride. Like I said the little 125 I have really does a nice job, neat to be able to man handle it around in the woods, but this 250 has a head light.

The early DR250s are good bikes. I rode my neighbor's MINT 82, and we used it for test runs against my DR190. It stood up fine against my dad's DR-Z250, except the disc brakes on the Z. 
If you bought the bike, how good are your mechanical skills? For $300, I would do the valve seals and check the sealing of the valves themselves. A top end is also cheap insurance, as you can buy a china kit including the cylinder, piston kit and top end gasket kit for $75 on eBay HERE.
The biggest weak points of these bikes are twofold. 1) The metal gas tanks were poorly lined from the factory, and really should be replaced by a Clarke tank. 2) The rear wheel is a 17" jobber, and there's few choices. Maxxis makes a nice IT tire that I used on my Husqvarna 500, which stood up nicely.
Good luck!

Brought her home yesterday and changed out the oil and fuel and with just one kick she fired up but OMG the smoke was thick and it was spitting oil out of the muffler. The compression seemed good, I will check with my gauge, it seemed to take the throttle real good like it would be fine but the smoke. Are there any known places for the oil to get into the combustion chamber other than the rings or valve guides on this motor? Also the dealer sent me home with a shop manual for a DR250/250S but it doesn't look like mine. Mine has two ports for the exhaust header and my clutch cable comes down the left side and pulls from the left side and in the book shows it differently, were the earlier ones made different?

180 PSI on compression, the compression rings would scrape off enough oil to keep it from smoking this much so I got to believe the valve seals are at fault if there is no other place oil can get in right?

Well I went back and did a leak down test and to my surprise there was next to no air coming out anywhere so time to go in I thought. All the time I have had this bike I have thought the overall wear didn't match the smoke it made, she looks good. As I am removing the tank looking at the top end I thought it looked cleaner than the rest of the bike. So I keep removing cam cover, cam fine but chain seems loose, pull the head and see what looks to be a new piston looking back at me. Pull the cylinder off and it looks like someone before me recently went to the trouble to replace the piston and work the head over but didn't hone the cylinder wall, smooth and slick as a babies azz. I know it is off to someone that has the correct tools to really measure things but ill bet I found the problem.

I'd still do the valve seals, just because you've got the top end off already.
For a manual, you can use a GN250 shop manual, found HERE for free. The engines are identical, except for the electric starter.

Well, I took the head and cylinder to Kenny Miller to have him look things over. Looks like I will be getting a new piston and a bore job to match with head work on the valve seating. I still cannot understand how it had 180 PSI compression but it did. I am told the cam chain comes out without splitting the case so I ordered one of those also. I am still looking for a few more parts to make it complete but things are looking up.

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