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Not a 250r but figured I'd get more responses here. Bought a crf150r basket case for my wife that was locked up. Turns out the piston is the problem. It moves freely until I torque the head then binds. There's no signs of damage piston, rings or cylinder and it's not contacting head or valves. What do you guys think? TIA

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Just a thought but,

depending how the engine failed, there's a chance the connection rod is bend.

Until everything is torqued down, perhaps there's enough 'wiggle' in the cylinder to compensate for side loading ?

 

-is it a stock replacement piston or, high compression (domed ?)

 

What was damaged and what was replaced in that engine?

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Stock replacement piston. It has a fairly fresh bottom and top end. Rod doesn't appear to be bent or damaged. I'm gonna try to torque down the cylinder only and try to see what it's doing exactly

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