TO SCRAMBLE OR NOT TO SCRAMBLE

I am considering buying a crf 250l dual sport. I like the size and seems like the perfect lil bike to whip around town in. Its my alternative to a scooter. Not to mention the price tag is very attractive. I'd like to make it into a scrambler. My buddy told me this would be difficult because this particular bike has a perimeter frame, and a metal gas tank wouldn't properly fit. Also the radiator is up front under the plastics and would stick out funny. Any ideas and could someone school me on what a perimeter frame is and why a cool looking metal gas tank won't fit? Any ideas on how to make this possible? I know the xr 650 could work but I like how small and cheap the 250 is. Thanks

I have one. If you plan on being competitive then this is not the bike for you . It is big, heavy and very under powered in its stock form. If you want a fun all around bike then snag one - they're great, they do a little of everything. If you want to compete with it then either expect to put in a lot of money for mods/upgrades or get a different bike.

Kompact
No no no. Scrambler, not hsre scrambler. Think 1960's to early 70's off road bikes. Twin shocks, teardrop tanks, round headlights.

Ans yes, perimeter frame will be an issue. Frames used to have a single backbone that the tank straddles. Perimeter frames have 2 spars that run either side of the engine with a tank that nests between them. Why not start with a used bike that better fits the aesthetics you seek?honda-cb550-street-scrambler.jpeg

yep, not a good frame to work with for that style of bike,  An XR or an XL, or a CRF 230 or smaller have the type of frame that could be modified for scrambler type bike, but a 250l or 250 r or 250 x would be poor choices.

An old skool tank will have a tunnel for the upper frame tube a perimeter frame does not

 

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XR scrm.jpeg

xr frame.jpg

Thanks guys. So just to be clear, the perimeter frame on the crf 250l will make it impossible to fit a metal tank? I wanted a newer bike so the work load would be less, also electric start was something I really wanted. Not to mention I could find the crf 250l cheap and street legal. The typical bikes used for scramblers are a lil on the bigger size, I want something light and fast for the city. I'm also 160 lbs. I'm gonna check out the crf 230f but will have to make a lot of mods to get it legal. Thanks again.

On 7/10/2017 at 11:02 PM, loosechange said:

I am considering buying a crf 250l dual sport. I like the size and seems like the perfect lil bike to whip around town in. Its my alternative to a scooter. Not to mention the price tag is very attractive. I'd like to make it into a scrambler. My buddy told me this would be difficult because this particular bike has a perimeter frame, and a metal gas tank wouldn't properly fit. Also the radiator is up front under the plastics and would stick out funny. Any ideas and could someone school me on what a perimeter frame is and why a cool looking metal gas tank won't fit? Any ideas on how to make this possible? I know the xr 650 could work but I like how small and cheap the 250 is. Thanks

buy a scrambler. the wr is a great dual sport , but bad at posing. 

The concept of a scrambler was taking a street bike and modifying it so that it would be better suited for off road riding.  It was popular before actual dirtbikes were refined and common.  If you want to build a real scrambler, start with a street bike.  

If you want to start with a dualsport, I'd look for something air cooled.  Check out the air cooled XR600R and XL600 Hondas from the 80s and 90s (NOT to be confused with the even-heavier liquid cooled electric start XR650 of today).  Or some similar air cooled dualsport with a steel frame

The good ol XR600 (or other similar bikes over 400cc) will: 

- Weigh about 50lbs less than the CRF250L. 

- Cost a lot less. 

- Have a lot more power. 

-  Have a steel frame with no radiators, which means that you can actually make the bike look like a scrambler

- Have a kick starter.  A bike is NOT a scrambler unless it has a kick starter.  Can also have electric start, but cannot be without a kick starter.  Otherwise wtf. 

- You won't even lose a dime on resale, so you can sell the bike with no loss.  Meaning that if you end up wanting less power, you can sell the XR600/XL600 (or similar air cooled steel frame dualsport) and buy a crf250l

You can sell it for what you paid for it, unless you do some irreversible destruction whilst doing the scrambler conversion. 

Edited by dirtjumpordie
On 7/11/2017 at 11:20 AM, loosechange said:

 Not to mention I could find the crf 250l cheap and street legal. The typical bikes used for scramblers are a lil on the bigger size, I want something light and fast for the city.

The CRF250L weighs like 320lbs..  Thats pretty much XR650 weight.  

My 1985 XR600R weighs 266lbs.  Air cooled.  No electric start.  

It can also do the interstate.  CRF250L can hardly do a back road. 

At least the crf looks girly.  and costs 3x as much as my old bike.  

Thanks guys. So just to be clear, the perimeter frame on the crf 250l will make it impossible to fit a metal tank? I wanted a newer bike so the work load would be less, also electric start was something I really wanted. Not to mention I could find the crf 250l cheap and street legal. The typical bikes used for scramblers are a lil on the bigger size, I want something light and fast for the city. I'm also 160 lbs. I'm gonna check out the crf 230f but will have to make a lot of mods to get it legal. Thanks again.

I just had an ugly li’l 1980 SR250 given to me to scramble. It’s going to be pretty easy since there’s not much to the bike - has electric start, air cooled and still a thumper. I don’t know how gutless it’s going to be but it can be jetted with decent exhaust for an extra horse. It’s not exactly a ‘run to the next city’ kind of bike but a good ‘round towner. I’ve been scrounging for cheap and free parts and already have a seat, bars and signals. I’m hoping to have it complete for under $500. So that’s an option for you.
Pic shows what I have and what it’ll look like by the summer.
Picking it up Saturday
IMG_5797.jpgIMG_5957.jpg

pretty much all of asia has chosen the venerable TW200 for it's mod-life work horse. people make T-Dubs into everything. scramblers, bobbers, I've seen some trikes, café racers....got a bike style you like? bet there's a T-dub version

it's small, light, low seat, air cooled, carbed....damned near indestructible. as long as you're not looking to get on the highway it can't be beat. plus you can put an 11" wide rear tire on it for extra mean looks.

On 1/24/2018 at 0:59 AM, BibleTHUMPER said:


I just had an ugly li’l 1980 SR250 given to me to scramble. It’s going to be pretty easy since there’s not much to the bike - has electric start, air cooled and still a thumper. I don’t know how gutless it’s going to be but it can be jetted with decent exhaust for an extra horse. It’s not exactly a ‘run to the next city’ kind of bike but a good ‘round towner. I’ve been scrounging for cheap and free parts and already have a seat, bars and signals. I’m hoping to have it complete for under $500. So that’s an option for you.
Pic shows what I have and what it’ll look like by the summer.
Picking it up Saturday
IMG_5797.jpgIMG_5957.jpg

That looks pretty sweet.  To me, THAT is a real scrambler.  Scramblers are bikes that started off as street bikes and were converted to be used off road.  I see a lot of guys taking dirtbikes, and then putting street bike steel gas tanks on them, street bike seats, and street bike dual shocks on the back.  Then they call it a scrambler.  To me, that is the opposite of a scrambler.  Because they're taking bikes that started off built for off road use, and they're modifying them to make them look/ride like they were never intended for dirt riding lol. :facepalm:  To each his own, but if you want a scrambler why would you not start out with a street bike, instead of neutering a dirtbike??




That looks pretty sweet.  To me, THAT is a real scrambler.  Scramblers are bikes that started off as street bikes and were converted to be used off road.  I see a lot of guys taking dirtbikes, and then putting street bike steel gas tanks on them, street bike seats, and street bike dual shocks on the back.  Then they call it a scrambler.  To me, that is the opposite of a scrambler.  Because they're taking bikes that started off built for off road use, and they're modifying them to make them look/ride like they were never intended for dirt riding lol. :facepalm:  To each his own, but if you want a scrambler why would you not start out with a street bike, instead of neutering a dirtbike??

Gotcha. I had someone tell me they would scramble my ‘88 XR250R in a heartbeat but she’s my off-road sanity - no way. I only found out what a scrambler is a couple years ago and love the tinker/customize aspect. Maybe I’ll post some progress here but it won’t be very impressive with my budget haha (one income, a wife, two teenagers and a mortgage)
The first thing I did after getting it home last night was lube all the bolts, nuts and screws for disassembly and broke the seized spark plug off. DOH! I guess tomorrow it’s off to grab an extractor set.
Then today picked up some donated parts...

IMG_6045.jpg

... from a buddy scrambling a ‘76 Honda 350 (I forget the model)




If you want to start with a dualsport, I'd look for something air cooled.  Check out the air cooled XR600R and XL600 Hondas from the 80s and 90s (NOT to be confused with the even-heavier liquid cooled electric start XR650 of today).


XR650R was liquid cooled, kick start only, off road only bike of the early to mid 2000s. The XR650L of today is air cooled, electric start, and pretty much unchanged since something like 1992 or 1994.
On 11/14/2017 at 8:40 PM, dirtjumpordie said:

The CRF250L weighs like 320lbs..  Thats pretty much XR650 weight.  

My 1985 XR600R weighs 266lbs.  Air cooled.  No electric start.  

It can also do the interstate.  CRF250L can hardly do a back road. 

At least the crf looks girly.  and costs 3x as much as my old bike.  

:thumbsup:  :lol:

4 hours ago, adam728 said:


 

 


XR650R was liquid cooled, kick start only, off road only bike of the early to mid 2000s. The XR650L of today is air cooled, electric start, and pretty much unchanged since something like 1992 or 1994.

93

The wife was grumpy so I spent some time stripping the bike tonight - what an ugly, slimes, dirty bike

 

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the easy-out I used to try to get the broken spark plug out is the spiral tapered type and just won’t take those plug threads out! I’m going to buy one of the square tap in easy-outs tomorrow. Was wondering if it was any use working on it before I even know if it runs but I don’t imagine a 250cc from 1980 would cost much if I had to find another - lots of used bike boneyards around here.

 

IMG_6058.thumb.jpg.a1d46e0f6998d2bbc484e44204be9eea.jpg

 

Keep in mind that I’m on an extreme budget so I’m using as much of the original that I can or what I can get for cheap or free. Was hoping to keep it under $500 at first but now hoping to keep it under $300. Tires and battery will eat most of that (hoping to find good used dual sport tires). All I’ve spent so far is engine cleaner, a can of high-temp black spray paint, cigars and a 6 pack.

Am going to do a super-clean of the whole frame and inspect it then pull the brakes apart this week.

 

IMG_6062.thumb.jpg.bd3c91e6863a4cce93711e37a9b994ed.jpg

 

Sat the tank and seat on with the new clubman bars For a pic. The seat fits perfect - just need to move 2 mounting tabs.

 

 

Tried everything to get that seized, broken plug out - I broke an easy-out because I put a pipe on the wrench for leverage. I finally took the head off to let the mechanic have a go ... he just drilled it out and put a threaded insert sleeve in. Now that I’ve rebuilt the carb I can get it started as soon as my head gasket comes in

IMG_6079.jpg

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Its coming along nicely!  And holy hell that broken sparkplug looks like a nightmare.  

Btw i bet you can get rid of most of the rust on the chrome.   Take some 0000 steel whool to it.  I used to detail a lot of old harleys at a shop i worked at when i was in highschool. 0000 steel whool was the best shit for cleaning chrome

Its coming along nicely!  And holy hell that broken sparkplug looks like a nightmare.  
Btw i bet you can get rid of most of the rust on the chrome.   Take some 0000 steel whool to it.  I used to detail a lot of old harleys at a shop i worked at when i was in highschool. 0000 steel whool was the best shit for cleaning chrome

Thanks for the tips and encouragement.
Ya I find SOS pads work well on rusty chrome (it ain’t no Taj Mahal). I’ve got a leather fork bag that will cover the front forks and from the bottom fork clamp up will be black. The fenders will be cut down and black and we’ll have to see how the rear springs clean up but they may end up black too.

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