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My "custom" honda elsinore

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Hey everyone, 

Someone gave me a parts bike honda elsinore. It needs a lot of work obviously. I was thinking of building a budget bike piece by piece so that I can learn to work on the bike. It's my first bike and I don't even have my permit yet. I am not interested in restoring the bike but building a bike with available parts on a budget. People keep telling me to get a newer bike but I just love the look of the 70's bikes. I was thinking about getting a honda xl250 and using the motor and electronics since they pop up on craigslist for reasonable prices often. I am new to motorcycles so I thought this would be a good place to go through the process step by step and get your opinions on each stage. My goal would be to build a bike that looks the way I want it, learn to work on it, learn to ride, taking out on fireside roads, make it street legal and maybe use it to commute 12 miles on surface streets. What do you guys think?

 

I have it down to the frame now so first stage is to restore the frame. I don't see any cracks or anything and it appears straight.  What do you recommend for this? 

Motorcycle_1.jpg

 

I love this bike... I thought something like this but with the honda elsinore/xl250 platform instead of a 650... that will be my next project ;)

DSC_6351.JPG

Edited by Seeker15

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sounds like a great project. some people might chide you for not restoring a classic bike like that, but, hey, it's your bike and you can do what you want and you're the one who is going to ride it. the only trouble might be to register it for road use in california. they go by the registration number on the frame to determine whether it is street legal from the factory or not. however, since it is older than 2003, you might be able to just go in and register it. there is also a way you can declare it a home built bike, e.g. if you had built your own frame or something, but they are cracking down on that. do you have a title for it ? xr/xl250 motor might be a little long winded on California freeways, but if it's geared properly it might be manageable. where are you located ? 

 

I usually have someone powder coat my frames. it's a little heavier than painting, but lasts longer. you'll need to strip it down, remove the bearings, have someone media blast it, they usually do some kind of hot dip to de-grease it, before powder coating and baking it. after coating or painting, I usually use a tap to clean out all the threaded holes on the frame. 

Edited by cynicryder

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back when i was road registering old bikes that were never meant for the road in CA, i'd do the Vermont method.  register/plate it in Vermont.  when the plates show up, go to the DMV with the registration & the plate, say you bought it there and want to title/transfer it in CA. smile, be courteous and such...  worked 90% of the time for motorcycles that were pre 17 digit VIN.    i haven't done this in ~10 years in CA myself, but here it's still working.  

 

cool project, btw...

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I just registered a '83 xr200r that I brought in from outside. it was undocumented (never had a title) and I just showed up with the bike and filed lost paperwork forms. they inspected the bike and even though it's not a street legal bike, issued me a plate for it. I had to ask to get it dual registered (i.e. green sticker + plates).

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Thanks cynicrider and dhallilama. I know I will get flack for not restoring to stock but I figure it was a parts bike and would have  probably ended up being recycled. I was curious about the registration. The frame is stamped MT-250 which I believe was street legal. I don't have a title for it. I am not planning on doing too much freeway riding. My commute is just surface streets and it may just be a fun bike to ride around. Is there any other motors you recommend? I am in Whittier about 30 minutes from LA. Where are you? 

sounds like a great project. some people might chide you for not restoring a classic bike like that, but, hey, it's your bike and you can do what you want and you're the one who is going to ride it. the only trouble might be to register it for road use in california. they go by the registration number on the frame to determine whether it is street legal from the factory or not. however, since it is older than 2003, you might be able to just go in and register it. there is also a way you can declare it a home built bike, e.g. if you had built your own frame or something, but they are cracking down on that. do you have a title for it ? xr/xl250 motor might be a little long winded on California freeways, but if it's geared properly it might be manageable. where are you located ? 

 

I usually have someone powder coat my frames. it's a little heavier than painting, but lasts longer. you'll need to strip it down, remove the bearings, have someone media blast it, they usually do some kind of hot dip to de-grease it, before powder coating and baking it. after coating or painting, I usually use a tap to clean out all the threaded holes on the frame. 

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Thanks cynicrider and dhallilama. I know I will get flack for not restoring to stock but I figure it was a parts bike and would have  probably ended up being recycled. I was curious about the registration. The frame is stamped MT-250 which I believe was street legal. I don't have a title for it. I am not planning on doing too much freeway riding. My commute is just surface streets and it may just be a fun bike to ride around. Is there any other motors you recommend? I am in Whittier about 30 minutes from LA. Where are you?

I'm in norcal/sacramento area. 

 

hmm, engines... most of the four stroke aircooled singles (XR/XL,XT/TT,DR/SP) are pretty reliable. the 2 valve motors are simpler and cheaper to maintain, while 4 valve motors usually have a little bit more power/top end. the 2 carburetor models are more complicated to tune/setup. you might want to stay away from the dry sump oil motors. these motors need an external oil reservoir, which is in the frame. the XL/XR125-200 is legendary for reliability/simplicity, and you can get more power from them as well, with hotter cams/bore kits, etc..., but that adds cost to your project. a 2-valve/wet-sump/single carb 250cc is a good choice/compromise.

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Unfortunately it is not mine , I found the pic online and have just drooled over it ever since . It combines two of my most favorite trailbikes and is something I want to build sometime in the future

 

 

420hondaxl.jpg

 

DSCN1684.jpg

 

P0003403.jpg

 

Van_Bike close.jpg

 

rovarna.jpg

 

These bikes , just float my boat ,  :smirk:

Edited by hinksy
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Unfortunately it is not mine , I found the pic online and have just drooled over it ever since . It combines two of my most favorite trailbikes and is something I want to build sometime in the future

 

....

 

These bikes , just float my boat ,  :smirk:

sweet bikes... I do have a CR480R I have been restoring and an  XR500R motor as well as a SP500 motor, not doing anything... but these twin shock conversion are really nice.

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Wow a 420 would be amazing... Seems like what I would want to do. Maybe start with the 350 and learn to ride and then get it stroked later? How easily with tit fit in there? Will the frame hold up? I found this tonight and the guy will let it go for $400. Should I go for it?

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/mcy/4110146163.html

Unfortunately it is not mine , I found the pic online and have just drooled over it ever since . It combines two of my most favorite trailbikes and is something I want to build sometime in the future

{style_image_url}/attachicon.gif 420hondaxl.jpg

{style_image_url}/attachicon.gif DSCN1684.jpg

{style_image_url}/attachicon.gif P0003403.jpg

{style_image_url}/attachicon.gif Van_Bike close.jpg

{style_image_url}/attachicon.gif rovarna.jpg

These bikes , just float my boat , :smirk:

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Seeker , although the frame from the CR 250 looks weaker , it would be at least the same strength as the Xl`s if not stronger , due to the material that it is constructed from . The standard XL frame is just mild steel and is quite weak . Or I am very rough , as I either broke the frame or snapped off a lot of foot peg mounts on the 6 XL`s I had , greg

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Sorry hinksy. I didn't see your post. Man I am tempted. Seems like a good deal and I could probably sell the extra parts. Any reason I would keep it on the xl350 frame and bring some of the elsinore parts over?

Seeker , although the frame from the CR 250 looks weaker , it would be at least the same strength as the Xl`s if not stronger , due to the material that it is constructed from . The standard XL frame is just mild steel and is quite weak . Or I am very rough , as I either broke the frame or snapped off a lot of foot peg mounts on the 6 XL`s I had , greg

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If I were you, I would buy something totally different than your MT 250 chassis. Get a four stroke bike and build from there. Doing what you want to do would cost you a fortune and it probably wouldn't work to well.

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