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Bought a 1997 XR250R...worst air filter in the world?

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So I went on a 3 hour trek last week to look at this bike and it ran great, looked decent, and had a few minor issues to fix, so I bought it for $1500.  I changed the oil, adjusted the chain and tire pressure, checked suspension and brakes.  Before the first ride I realized I didn't look at the air filter.  What I discovered was shocking.  I can't believe it runs at all if any of this filter ended up in the carb.  I did replace it of course with an uni filter.  Bike is missing the heat shield (the guy said it fell off and wouldn't stay on, which is odd), the frame support bolt that goes into the center of the exhaust, the bars seem to be bent slightly and the tires need to be replaced.  My 1995 200R is a lot more comfortable to ride, but I expected the suspension to be a lot better on the 250, but the first ride was pretty rough.  I had a bad spill on some rocks and laid it over and fell off down a bank.  Got a couple new battle wounds.  The whole bike felt pretty squirrely at times, hopefully it's just the bad tires.  I'm wondering about the front disc brake guard also, does this year have one stock?  My buddy has a 1991 250R with a complete disc guard that goes up the forks about a foot, but I don't see one on the 1997 in the diagrams.  The brakes were also extremely sensitive.  I'm used to my 200R drum brakes having a lot more forgiveness.  I had to be extra careful not to hit the fronts too hard on corners.  Anyway from the looks of that air filter I'm wondering how much better this thing might run with a carb rebuild and rejetting.

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Edited by badcrc
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16 minutes ago, dlock5 said:

The xr is a tough sob, to run with that filter.

No kidding.  I'm thinking a rodent got in there and tore it up, but I can't explain the appearance.  It looks like no one ever changed it.  With that kind of neglect I'm surprised the rest of the bike looks decent.  I'm thinking about making it street legal so I'm looking at DOT 90 off/10 on tires like the Dunlop D606.  I need something soon because it felt like I was riding on jello.  Not sure what to make of the suspension.  It feels on the soft side, but high speed over rocky terrain felt pretty rough.

Edited by badcrc

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Well i know it sucks to drop more money into the bike. But your shock and forks probably need to be serviced, at least new oil, and maybe new linkage bearings. And are the springs, front and rear correct for your weight?. Im fat so i had to get big boy springs lol.

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it's actually not uncommon to find air filters that have completely disintegrated like that. When I took my seat off my old 01 cr250 after i bought it i went to grab the filter and it just totally crumbled like yours. I think the reason they do that is because the chemicals in certain oils over time erode the filter if they are not regularly washed and reoiled.

as far as suspension, could the previous owner have installed stiffer springs?

congrats on the bike, looks pretty dope to me, I think you'll enjoy it once you figure out suspension and tires

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50 minutes ago, dlock5 said:

Well i know it sucks to drop more money into the bike. But your shock and forks probably need to be serviced, at least new oil, and maybe new linkage bearings. And are the springs, front and rear correct for your weight?. Im fat so i had to get big boy springs lol.

Ya that's what I was thinking after that ride.  I haven't measured the sag, but getting on it's a tad high, then it drops to about the right height, so I bet it's too loose.  Felt like there was very little dampening so I guess this will be my first fork service.

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17 minutes ago, md30 said:

it's actually not uncommon to find air filters that have completely disintegrated like that. When I took my seat off my old 01 cr250 after i bought it i went to grab the filter and it just totally crumbled like yours. I think the reason they do that is because the chemicals in certain oils over time erode the filter if they are not regularly washed and reoiled.

as far as suspension, could the previous owner have installed stiffer springs?

congrats on the bike, looks pretty dope to me, I think you'll enjoy it once you figure out suspension and tires

That's exactly what happened, it was crumbling every time I moved it.  I'm sure the guy I bought it from didn't do anything to the bike since the chain was ready to fall off, tires were really low, levers really loose, and that air filter.  Maybe a previous owner did, I'll have to check that out.  I'm 5'11 230lbs, so maybe that's not a bad thing if adjusted properly.  I mainly ride technical trails where you're not getting out of second gear.  I'm really used to just man-handling the 200R on those trails, so the 250 is pretty much man-handling me and I go with it.  It's amazing how much the little extra weight and power change everything on tight trails.

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That's exactly what happened, it was crumbling every time I moved it.  I'm sure the guy I bought it from didn't do anything to the bike since the chain was ready to fall off, tires were really low, levers really loose, and that air filter.  Maybe a previous owner did, I'll have to check that out.  I'm 5'11 230lbs, so maybe that's not a bad thing if adjusted properly.  I mainly ride technical trails where you're not getting out of second gear.  I'm really used to just man-handling the 200R on those trails, so the 250 is pretty much man-handling me and I go with it.  It's amazing how much the little extra weight and power change everything on tight trails.

230, you're going to need springs unless the previous owner was your size and beefed it up.

 

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Get a Uni filter. Clean/oil regularly youll have it for ten years.

Springs are the #1 must. Then its compression valving. Im talking for you big guys. Dont think youre solving something by using heavier oil. Cause then the rebound valving has to struggle through sludge. Thats why a stiffer spring and compression valving will be the second to best mod youll do to your bike. 

If its new to you, then the chain should be new...your leg is pretty important.

Get some red f3 ASV levers on that joint!

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That is normal on Xrs with old stock air filter to fall apart UNI great choice. Keep a close eye on intake valve adjustment as all 96/04 Xr250 have soft intake valves.Replace with SS Kibble white Valves. Also since Xr250 fork has no rebound adjuster forget stiff springs,or gold valves. Money in the gutter update when your ready to Xr 400 forks. Revalved stock rear shock works great.

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5 hours ago, notoriousE-R-I-C said:

Get a Uni filter. Clean/oil regularly youll have it for ten years.

Springs are the #1 must. Then its compression valving. Im talking for you big guys. Dont think youre solving something by using heavier oil. Cause then the rebound valving has to struggle through sludge. Thats why a stiffer spring and compression valving will be the second to best mod youll do to your bike. 

If its new to you, then the chain should be new...your leg is pretty important.

Get some red f3 ASV levers on that joint!

Good info.  Funny I just ordered some F3 ASVs for it a couple days ago.  Also got some protaper se henry reed bars (have the same on my 200 and like them a lot).  I was going to get the 1 1/8 oversized but after experimenting I didn't want the extra height from the adapters, and of course the extra cost of the bars plus adapter.  I might hold off on installing the ASVs a bit after I dumped it on those rocks, just until I'm used to it.

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2 hours ago, bajatrailrider said:

That is normal on Xrs with old stock air filter to fall apart UNI great choice. Keep a close eye on intake valve adjustment as all 96/04 Xr250 have soft intake valves.Replace with SS Kibble white Valves. Also since Xr250 fork has no rebound adjuster forget stiff springs,or gold valves. Money in the gutter update when your ready to Xr 400 forks. Revalved stock rear shock works great.

What year of 400?  I'll keep an eye out for parts bikes.  I was just researching valve adjustments so I didn't have to pay a shop.  Looks like something I can handle.

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8 hours ago, dlock5 said:

230, you're going to need springs unless the previous owner was your size and beefed it up.

 

Maybe...I've been eating better and losing weight, so I expect to be around 200 by fall.

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Id save the old levers to keep good and use in case the ASVs break. And if you bought them new, not used off another bike, theyll hold warranties. But youll need an "in the meantime" lever. 

ASV has less than 1000 refurbs in the last twenty years and has put out hundreds of thousands of products. Parts and products made by our fellow tax payers. 

You can machine lower bar triple clamps to accept 1 1\8" bars. Not worth it to lose an inch unless you have the equipment. But Ive seen it done. XR bars are solid. But you got 7/8"protapers? Cool. Adjust your bend to your comfort. Good move. Just need some Spider grips and youre set!

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Grabby brakes?  Those must be aftermarket pads.. Some good and some bad.. You would probably like the Honda pads but they are more pricey.

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4 hours ago, badcrc said:

What year of 400?  I'll keep an eye out for parts bikes.  I was just researching valve adjustments so I didn't have to pay a shop.  Looks like something I can handle.

All years good on Xr400 fork 96-97 slight different springs. I would get 98 up. If you get a set I can tell you all mods on those forks. If your valve adjustments are every 300 miles  Only intakes best to replace just dont buy oem valves.

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1 hour ago, Baja Rambler said:

Grabby brakes?  Those must be aftermarket pads.. Some good and some bad.. You would probably like the Honda pads but they are more pricey.

BIG time x2 on OEM pads. 

Something you should NOT settle for the cheaper option on.

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"Forgiving" brakes on an XR 200? I have one and I'd classify the brakes as something you're suggesting the bike to do when you use them...but pretty minimal stopping power. I just rode yesterday with both my XR 200 and XR 400 and I like the 400 brakes wayyy better but the 200 if definitely more fun in the tight single track.

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7 hours ago, WWalker said:

"Forgiving" brakes on an XR 200? I have one and I'd classify the brakes as something you're suggesting the bike to do when you use them...but pretty minimal stopping power. I just rode yesterday with both my XR 200 and XR 400 and I like the 400 brakes wayyy better but the 200 if definitely more fun in the tight single track.

I just meant there seems to be a lot more leeway on the 200.  If I hammer the brakes the wheels lock up, but there's a lot of room between slowing down and locking up the wheels.  On the 250 the disc brakes are lot more touchy, not something I'm used to.  Could be just some adjustment needed and maybe different pads as suggested here.  I defnitely don't have "minimal stopping power" on the 200.

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