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Tackling a XR200r street tracker project with zero mechanical/modification knowlege.

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 I picked up a 99 Xr200r as a complete bike, but in pieces, for $250. I have big Street Tracker dreams with no mechanical/modification experience to back it up....

I plan to learn how the engine works by building it with the box of legos it came with.

Then learn how to weld to modify the sub-frame.

Replace wheels, seat, tank, fenders, airbox, electrical ect.......

let the madness begin!

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Edited by mad maXR

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I started this thread to document my progress as well as ask questions and invite outside knowledge, experience, advice, and constructive criticism. Again, I have ZERO mechanical exp. and knowlege, so reminding me of that is just a waste of your energy.

Thanks in advanced for any answers, advice, and feedback.

.....this is my inspiration 

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That XR200 is going to be gutless on the street. Gearing will be the only way that you will have hopes of hitting freeway speeds at a huge sacrifice of acceleration ability.

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Hopefully you live in a state that allows you to make a dirt bike street legal. Otherwise you'll just be building this bike for shits and giggles. 

You probably weren't provided a title with the bike, which will only make things harder. 

Your first step should be to get a service manual. That will have the specs for the engine internals, which you will need in order to find out why the engine was taken apart in the first place and what's wrong with it. 

You could be looking at a costly rebuild, or maybe reasonable, just depends on what you find upon inspection. 

Having NO mechanical knowledge means you probably have a very minimal amount of tools, unless you're a kid that lives at home with parents who have most everything you'll need. Calipers and micrometers are always good to have. However, you can get most done with 1/4" and 3/8" drive ratchet and metric sockets as well as metric combination wrenches. Basic hand tools will get a lot done. Get a torque wrench too, 3/8", and maybe a 1/4"

Not knowing at all what you're doing will definitely not make this easy, but having a manual, and reading all you can on here, should help you get it done. 

Since you won't be needing that seat, I'll give ya $20 for it 😁

Trying to learn to weld, especially on something that you want to take out and ride on the street, or ride at any kind of speeds on any terrain, is a very risky thing to do. Not everyone should get a welder just because they can. 

If you plan to take on welding up your own subframe, you should hit the scrap yard and pick up a lot of scrap metal to practice on first. You especially need to find tubing/pipe that's the same wall thickness as the bike frame so you can practice on that first. Because you will end up having blowouts and destroying your frame if you don't know what you're doing. 

Good luck on the build

Edited by Daniel627
Left stuff out
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4 hours ago, woods-rider said:

That XR200 is going to be gutless on the street. Gearing will be the only way that you will have hopes of hitting freeway speeds at a huge sacrifice of acceleration ability.

I hear ya on that man. I originally wanted a xr600 but didn't have much luck finding one in my area and price range.

Some factors that pushed me to this bike were:

Location- I live on the beach, most streets here are 25-35mph, a lot of people here drive golf carts around.

Price and availability were the biggest, $250 for what is (hopefully) a complete bike and 17mi from my house.

Knowledge- this is a learning project, so I expect LOTS of mistakes and doing things the hard way. With this bike I'm not too invested financially or emotionally. If I have to set it on fire and walk away I can. Haha.

Thanks for the input, stay tuned and see how it turns out!

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2 hours ago, Daniel627 said:

Hopefully you live in a state that allows you to make a dirt bike street legal. Otherwise you'll just be building this bike for shits and giggles. 

You probably weren't provided a title with the bike, which will only make things harder. 

Your first step should be to get a service manual. That will have the specs for the engine internals, which you will need in order to find out why the engine was taken apart in the first place and what's wrong with it. 

You could be looking at a costly rebuild, or maybe reasonable, just depends on what you find upon inspection. 

Having NO mechanical knowledge means you probably have a very minimal amount of tools, unless you're a kid that lives at home with parents who have most everything you'll need. Calipers and micrometers are always good to have. However, you can get most done with 1/4" and 3/8" drive ratchet and metric sockets as well as metric combination wrenches. Basic hand tools will get a lot done. Get a torque wrench too, 3/8", and maybe a 1/4"

Not knowing at all what you're doing will definitely not make this easy, but having a manual, and reading all you can on here, should help you get it done. 

Since you won't be needing that seat, I'll give ya $20 for it 😁

Trying to learn to weld, especially on something that you want to take out and ride on the street, or ride at any kind of speeds on any terrain, is a very risky thing to do. Not everyone should get a welder just because they can. 

If you plan to take on welding up your own subframe, you should hit the scrap yard and pick up a lot of scrap metal to practice on first. You especially need to find tubing/pipe that's the same wall thickness as the bike frame so you can practice on that first. Because you will end up having blowouts and destroying your frame if you don't know what you're doing. 

Good luck on the build

Thanks for all the input and foresight, def somethings there I had not considered.

I'm in FL, I will have to look into the street legal laws out here. And no, I was not provided with a title.

I have a manual ordered. The previous owner said it was taken apart to replace the piston and rings. Assuming I can trust his word I don't thing the engine rebuild will be too big of a can of worms, fingers crossed.

As far as tools, I'm slowly building the arsenal. I have wrenches, 3/8 1/4 and 1/2 ratchet drives and sockets, impact and torque. I will look into calipers and micrometers, thanks. Also, I recently befriended a guy who is a Yamaha racer and certified mechanic, so his knowledge and tools will be a valuable asset with this project. He's pretty stoked on this project.

I was planning on re-using the foam from the seat for the new one, but not required. Could be talked into giving it a good home over disecting it. The p/o re-upholstered it, only has some minor discoloration on it, grease maybe. Let me know if you would really like it, maybe we can work that out.

Ok, as far as welding....

It may be an ambitious goal. So far I know I need to buy a good setup, get lots of clean scrap and practice practice practice. I do really want to have the skill under my belt so I'm not above taking a class at a local trade school. I was also thinking just doing the subframe wasn't setting myself up too much failure, we shall see I guess.

Thanks again for your input, you sound like you have been around the block a few time. Haha. Keep an eye on me and shoot any feedback my way!

 

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Step 2, and the probably the longest but most informative step for me, Engine rebuild.

The Top end and cylinder are already removed and in pieces. I want to tear down the bottom end to learn and make sure there are no issues or soon to be issues.

@woods-rider has me thinking about gearing, of course don't know anything about it, so I will be looking that up during this process. Any input or knowledge anyone has on that is welcomed!

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Your gearing changes can be made with the front and rear sprockets, no internal gearing changes needed... unless you are really ambitious and only want to change specific gears.

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Sweet project. You can easily trade your tall suspension for the late model shorter stuff.

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35 minutes ago, woods-rider said:

Your gearing changes can be made with the front and rear sprockets, no internal gearing changes needed... unless you are really ambitious and only want to change specific gears.

Ok. Noted. I naturally assumed it would be internal.

Thanks again!

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36 minutes ago, chadzu said:

Sweet project. You can easily trade your tall suspension for the late model shorter stuff.

Thanks for the info!

Stay tuned and feel free to drop anymore gems like that.

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I used ‘82 xr250 fork lowers with ‘85 vfr500 tubes and clamps to get an old school looking front end that was the right height. Also you can ditch the shock linkage and just mount the stock shock cantilever style. That lowers the bike.

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1 hour ago, chadzu said:

I used ‘82 xr250 fork lowers with ‘85 vfr500 tubes and clamps to get an old school looking front end that was the right height. Also you can ditch the shock linkage and just mount the stock shock cantilever style. That lowers the bike.

Ok. So remove the two parts on the bottom and attach the shock straight to the swingarm?

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2 hours ago, chadzu said:

I used ‘82 xr250 fork lowers with ‘85 vfr500 tubes and clamps to get an old school looking front end that was the right height. Also you can ditch the shock linkage and just mount the stock shock cantilever style. That lowers the bike.

Also, would love to see a photo of the forks you mention.

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Hopefully you live in a state that allows you to make a dirt bike street legal. Otherwise you'll just be building this bike for shits and giggles. 
You probably weren't provided a title with the bike, which will only make things harder. 
Your first step should be to get a service manual. That will have the specs for the engine internals, which you will need in order to find out why the engine was taken apart in the first place and what's wrong with it. 
You could be looking at a costly rebuild, or maybe reasonable, just depends on what you find upon inspection. 
Having NO mechanical knowledge means you probably have a very minimal amount of tools, unless you're a kid that lives at home with parents who have most everything you'll need. Calipers and micrometers are always good to have. However, you can get most done with 1/4" and 3/8" drive ratchet and metric sockets as well as metric combination wrenches. Basic hand tools will get a lot done. Get a torque wrench too, 3/8", and maybe a 1/4"
Not knowing at all what you're doing will definitely not make this easy, but having a manual, and reading all you can on here, should help you get it done. 
Since you won't be needing that seat, I'll give ya $20 for it
Trying to learn to weld, especially on something that you want to take out and ride on the street, or ride at any kind of speeds on any terrain, is a very risky thing to do. Not everyone should get a welder just because they can. 
If you plan to take on welding up your own subframe, you should hit the scrap yard and pick up a lot of scrap metal to practice on first. You especially need to find tubing/pipe that's the same wall thickness as the bike frame so you can practice on that first. Because you will end up having blowouts and destroying your frame if you don't know what you're doing. 
Good luck on the build

To add to tools - feeler gauges for valves

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Another tool to add would be a mini-wire wheel and scotch brite wheels for you grinder.  It'll clean up the case, carb, and any other aluminum parts.  Also, you you know of a powder coat place near you, they can take the steal parts such as the frame and random pieces and  make them look super sano with a finish that will be much tougher.  It should be a cool project.  Just be patient, but not too patient that it takes so long and then you get frustrated or board, the quit.  

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On 10/31/2018 at 1:05 PM, socalxr said:

Another tool to add would be a mini-wire wheel and scotch brite wheels for you grinder.  It'll clean up the case, carb, and any other aluminum parts.  Also, you you know of a powder coat place near you, they can take the steal parts such as the frame and random pieces and  make them look super sano with a finish that will be much tougher.  It should be a cool project.  Just be patient, but not too patient that it takes so long and then you get frustrated or board, the quit.  

Yes! I was watching this YouTube video of this guy using the same tools to make his cases shine! 

then i was reading the comments and a couple people mentioned that it would corrode in a short time if it wasn't reanodized to protect it. Kinda pushed me to just get them painted/powdercoated. Thoughts?

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I've done a few projects like this over the years. Not all bikes, but still lots of cutting, welding, fabricating, etc. One piece of advice I can give...

When you are doing the fabrication stage, where you're trying to get the "look" you want, don't fully weld everything until you are sure it all works together. A few tack welds will hold it all in place and allow full assembly. I've spent a lot of time cutting and grinding because something needed to be moved a 1/4" and was already welded. Much easier to zip off a tack weld. Even small brackets for holding whatever, don't weld it fully.

Once you have the bike completely built, everything is square, true, in line, wires hidden, etc. Then, take it all apart, finish your welds, do last minute tweaking of stuff, sanding, grinding, etc. THEN and only then, start the finish process. Paint and what not. Nothing sucks more than a very visible scratch in a project that's still not complete. Once you have the frame painted/coated, then wrap it with towels and masking tape when doing final assembly of big parts, engine, swing arm, forks. You are working on a budget with limited skills, take your time. By the time you've built it, pulled it apart, finished welds, paint and stuff, you will know this bike intimately and when you do the finish assembly, there shouldn't be any surprises. 

Remember, this isn't like watching (insert favorite bike/car building show here) on TV. They are financially/mechanically equipped and capable of fixing any oops that may happen when building. You're not in that position, you're learning and having a blast doing it, go slow and enjoy yourself.  I'm looking forward to watching the build. Take LOTS of pictures. 

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Just thought of something else. If you are not fully confident in your welding ability, take the tacked together stuff to a local fab shop or welder, explain your story and what you're doing, they may help you out and finish your welds for not much at all.

Hell, who knows, take them a few pizzas or something and you might get it for free. 

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