Picked up a CR250 - need advice!

Hey guys, long story short I wanted to pick up a dirtbike to go riding with some family and ended up getting a 2000 CR250 from a friend of mine.


The good: Aftermarket short levers, hand guards, full FMF exhaust, supposedly aftermarket bars, rear sprocket, wheels, and carb. Front and rear suspension rebuilt right before it got damaged, and the front tire was new as well.

The bad: Everything between the carb and the chain is missing, along with both rads, hoses, and the plastic guards. The only bit of the electronics I have is the killswitch. Frame has some surface rust, and the plastics are a bit banged up. Rear tire is missing a couple knobs bit I figure it should be okay for a bit.


I'm fairly mechanically inclined but this is my first dirtbike. I've been trying to hunt down a complete engine but everywhere I contacted either didn't have any, or didn't work with bikes this new. Last night I managed to win a 2001 jug on everyones favourite auction site, but missed out on the matching bottom end as the guy I had been bidding against for the jug went nuts and jacked the price a lot higher than I wanted to go. I've got my eye on a mostly complete 00 bottom end but I have a feeling that'll go higher than I want as well.


A couple questions right off the bat:

- From what I can gather, an 01 jug will fit on a 00 bottom end, but the part numbers are different. Can anyone confirm I can combine these two?

- Can I use 1998 electronics on a 00/01 bottom end? Looking at the parts diagrams it should fit but the 98 system looks vastly more complicated than the 01.


Any advice or leads on parts is greatly appreciated, I live in Canada but I'm nearish to the border so I can get stuff shipped to the border and go pick it up if need be (that's my plan for the jug I bought).

Edited by underscore

I'd say get a manual right off the bat to start.. at least a clymers and then get this book.  It is excellent and should help you along the way filling in where the manual doesn't answer your questions.. and of course put searches on TT for cr 250 and make use of the archives that have helped me and others here. 




I still get great info out of this book. Sometimes I forget setup options and other ways to approach working on my bike. Maybe you can find it in your local library or used. Still for me it's the best bang for my buck along with a manual. Then you will have a better chance of not screwing up by getting the wrong parts etc. You'll ha.ve a clear frame of reference right in front of you and you'll feel more secure in your choices for purchases at least. ..and probably lessen your chances of wasting money on stuff that wont work.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

Wheres the original engine at now? You have your work cut out sourcing a complete engine from parts. You are way better off finding a good dismantler on ebay and just buying everything at once or it will nickle and dime you to death. 

Thanks for the advice, I definitely plan on picking up a manual when I can. I've been digging through a few threads already, and I just finished reading through tarheel's rebuild.


The original engine is long gone, which sucks because rebuilding that (or at least taking the externals from it) would've been a lot better than where I am now. I'll post up some pictures tonight, I'm obviously unsure of how a completed bike looks so hopefully you guys can point out any additional parts I'm missing. So far I know I need a bottom end, rads, hoses, electrics, and a lot of bolts.


What do you guys think of bolt kits like these? I know it won't have everything I need but I figure it's a good start and should save me a few bucks vs buying each bolt on its own http://www.ebay.com/itm/250-PC-Honda-CR-125-250-MR-MT-Elsinore-Vintage-CR125-CR250-Restoration-Bolt-Kit-/150711883217?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item231720d5d1

I have some 01 radiators that are ugly as hell but will install and hold coolant all day long. Just pay shipping.

98 electronics provided a power jet on the carb. The 99 and 00 models don't have that. It may still work.

The 00 cylinder fits. I believe 97-01 fits with a domed piston/head but 92-96 require the flat piston if you use the 92-96 head.

It could be cheaper just to buy a whole blown up bike instead and just replace internals

Edited by shrubitup

find a motor before you start spending money on hardware.

Since you haven't started yet you can also just take an over all look at how much this all will cost by the time you are done...Maybe make a list.  Sticker shock for parts will be the norm. When you see stuff like clutch cover gaskets going for $18 it is shocking ... or linkage bearings going for $80- $90 it is significant. .. Check real prices for everything including shipping to be clear. You can sell your bike or part it out and maybe make money and get another project bike that may be better to start off on. I know it kind of sucks but really this could be a loser in comparison to just buying another intact running decent shape bike . Make a list of everything you need and price it out and plan on spending more than less.. be complete so you can have an honest assessment. You could buy probably a whole bike for say $1700 or $2000 and come out way ahead to start out with. Look at what I just saw on our local craigslist.. unreal deals to me for what you get and a whole lot cheaper than what I think you may end up paying by the time you are done. Even these will still have some work to do to them. It's used so that's a given to me.


for ex. 






just trying to keep emotion out of it and looking at it objectively... You don't want to lose if you don't have to. I've lost a lot of money I didn't need to in the past.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

Sounds like a bit of a mission. Hope it all works out for you but I also think it will be better long term to start with something with all the bits in one place.


The frame shouldnt have any rust on it as its all aluminum on the 2000.


Hope it all works out

^ sonofagun you're right. I'm gonna have to take a better look tonight and be sure of the year before I go any further.


I'm on the hunt for a motor first and foremost but I'm trying to plan ahead as best I can, like I said before I can order stuff from the US and pick it up at the border to save on shipping, but it's best to do a bunch of stuff together if possible. It's tempting to just get a complete bike and go from there but around here I'm looking at $2500 minimum to a bike that's <15 years old and it'll likely has a bit of neglected maintenance to take care of too. So basically double the price of the bikes listed above. Right now I'm at $200 for the frame and $225 for the head, I'm trying to keep it below the cost of a new Chinese-made bike which is around $1800 for a 250 here.


Shrubitup - You've got a PM! Apparently the Powerjet on the 97-98 can be disconnected, so it's tempting to pick up a 98 system and try that, the downside being I can't be 100% sure it will work. I'll keep doing more research, the cost of the 99-01 ignition is looking painful.

Edited by underscore

Good catch Bilbo.... I believe 96 was the last year for the steel framed 250s.

Abit curious how  you ship to the border... :rolleyes:

Edited by Blackwoodz

I have an almost complete 2001 cr250. Motor needs rebuilt and a lot of love. But everything is there. Radiator, hoses, All the little stuff. Where are you located??

I'll post up pictures & check the VIN tonight to be sure of what the heck I have here. Either way I'd love to stuff a 00/01 engine in there (I know a couple welders if it comes to that). I'm in British Columbia but I can get down to Washington to make shipping easier, basically there are companies located near the border that allow you to ship items to them, then pay them a small fee for holding the item and calling you when it arrives. Then you can go down, pick it up, and deal with the customs yourself. When some companies offer free shipping in the 48 and want $100 to ship to Canada it becomes worth it.

Do yourself a favor. Part it out.

I really hate to say it, but I'm with CamP on this one. Idk if you just want a running bike that may or may not be reliable or if your going for an all out restore, but either way if you think 2500 dollars is alot of money then your really going to hate what this thing is going to cost you. I'm sure the suspension is probably shot along with all the bearings, if you even have the forks and shock. Sure you can buy a complete engine from eBay for 5-600, but that's a gamble on what your actually getting. I restored my bike last winter and it was complete when I started and still nickel and dimed me to death. It's worth it to me since I have a basically new bike set up for me for half the price, but it was not cheap. Buying parts from other years that may or may not work is only going to give you fits at some point and most likely when you get to the end and realize all the other components you bought aren't compatible with the new one. If you do decide to do this then you better start and thread so we can all cheer you on, but there is nothing cheap or easy about it. Why don't you look on Washington Craigslist and buy a blown up bike for 500 and import it or find a running 1200 bike that you only have to put a couple hundred into. Then you can turn around and sell for a profit if the prices in canadia are really as high as you guys say.

It's not a lot of money, but it's more than I want to pay for someone else's problems. I could pick up a 10 year old bike for $2500 that ends up needing the suspension and bearings redone as well, and it could blow up the next day and need a rebuild. Then I'm not far off from where I am now except with more money already into it. If you read my previous posts it has the full suspension and supposedly the forks and rear shock were redone about 2 years ago, right before the bike got parked. I don't see much of a difference buying a used motor from a running bike, and just buying a running bike. They're both used after all.


In other news I looked up where the VIN lives and checked it out, apparently it's a 98 CR500R. That's what I get for assuming my buddy knew what he had. So now I have to ask a couple of potentially stupid questions: Does this make it more worthwhile to piece back together/part out, and can I just stick a CR250 motor into it without too much difficulty? From what I gather a 500 would be a bit much for a novice.

well you are already $225 into buying that ebay head..so you might want to try and cancel that before it ships.

Part it out. Buy the nicest bike you can find within your budget. There are old bikes that have spent their entire lives in the garage and have virtually no use. I look for 100% stock/original bikes that have less than 20 hours on them. They are out there if you are patient and sometimes for a lot less money than you would assume.


They will still require some work, but new filter/oils/tires is a calk walk compared to reconstructing an old incomplete basket case.

Edited by CamP

I did some quick searching has informed me that the CR500 motors are quite popular for swaps and therefore expensive, so I'm leaning towards a part out at the moment unless sticking a 250 in there isn't as daft as I think it might be. As it sits right now I can see three options:


1) Part it out.

2) Adapt it to fit a 250

3) Pick up a complete "recently rebuilt" 84 500 engine that's for sale locally (asking $300), toss it in, and go from there. Since the 84 is air cooled I don't have to worry about the missing rads, but then any other issues with the bike would need to be dealt with, and I have no clue if that would even be worth anything if I decided to sell it later.

I/we are not trying to rain on your parade, but rather offer first hand knowledge. Every one of us that is giving you this advise has been through this before. That 500 frame has suspension set up for a 500. It's old technology compared to a newer aluminum framed 250. Not that it won't be perfectly fine for trail riding, but the fact is that its set up and sprung for a 500. Without some work its not going to be ideal for a 250 swap. Suspension work is not cheap. There are two trains of thought on the 500 frame. One is that there are alot of people out there stealing the engine from those frames and putting them in a newer aluminum frame so you may find odds and ends fairly cheap. The other is that there were a lot less 500's made than 250's and finding the parts may be difficult. You should be able to swap a 250 engine in there without a ton of hassle. If you can cancel your eBay order and find a complete 250 engine I think that's your best choice. That wouldn't limit you to a certain year or two and you can throw in whichever engine you find the cheapest and in best condition. Try finding one with the stator, carb, and everything included. Will save you a lot of headaches. The older 250's are definitely not lacking in power and some diehards actually prefer them to the newer ones. I'd search for a 91 and up 250 engine complete if your serious about trying to pull this off. The hpp motors would be the best bet and I believe they are 91-01 and would probably be the easiest. But even after all that beware that you now have a Frankenstein bike that is going to be hard to sell, and will take work to get everything to work together. I can tell you now that unless you want to spend all winter messing with this thing and pulling your hair out trying to get it to work that your best bet is to get rid of it by parting it out.

If you part out your bike I would be interested in your rear wheel if it's an 18 inch rim...you might think about just putting a 500 motor in it and trying to sell out or trade for a bike that fits your skill level better if your set on rebuilding it...I've rebuilt a few bikes in my time and right now I'm trying to help a friend rebuild a kx250, he doesn't want to listen and keeps buying used parts, right now he's got a 96 cylinder we are trying to fit to 00 cases, the cylinder fits fine but the 00 power valve is wider than the 96 port and he doesn't have the 96 assembly so he's back to looking for parts...projects like these and yours can be a huge pain in the as s...but that being said we will all help you as much as we can!

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